MMORPGs are massively multiplayer online roleplaying games, our core focus here on Massively OP. MMORPGs are traditionally differentiated from mere multiplayer games by their persistent worlds, massive playerbases and/or servers, customizable character development, and always-online status. [Follow the MMORPG category’s RSS feed]
Among the dream team John Smedley assembled for Hero’s Song — studio Pixelmage’s new 2-D open-world ARPG — is Patrick Rothfuss, an acclaimed fantasy author who rocketed to stardom in 2007 when his first novel, The Name of the Wind, won multiple literary awards and was followed up with a New York Times bestselling sequel. Smed tapped Rothfuss specifically to plot the game’s lore, world, and story. We spoke with him about his process, his worldbuilding, his thoughts on immersion, and what video games he plays when he’s not busy penning blockbuster books.
Massively OP: You’re primarily known to fantasy audiences for your award-winning novels. Why make the leap to video games? What did Smed say to drag you over to the dark side?
Patrick Rothfuss: What a lot of people don’t know is that I actually tried to write a computer game long before I tried to write a novel. What’s more, I’ve been playing computer games pretty much since the beginning. So turning my hands to videogames isn’t a leap so much as it is a small step for me. Though it is a step in an exciting new direction.
One of the recurring gamer complaints about Star Wars: The Old Republic is that it’s becoming less and less an MMORPG over time. With Knights of the Fallen Empire’s fresh emphasis on the solo story, how is SWTOR going to still feel like an MMO? And I agree that the MMO aspects of the game have been downplayed or outright lost in BioWare’s promotion of the game. BioWare has now added solo-mode flashpoints, and even the upcoming Eternal Championship will clearly focus on single-player bouts against NPCs.
It would be disingenuous of me to say that SWTOR is perfect and has everything that an MMO should. But the game hasn’t lost its MMO cred, and if we examine it closely, we can see that it’s actually gained some of its credibility back as an MMORPG. Of course, the flaws still exist, so today, let’s talk about where SWTOR’s cred stands by examining some of the major things that people usually point to discredit the game, and let’s also talk about some things that rarely get mentioned that could sway opinion one way or another.
The big excitement in the EVE Online world right now is the upcoming Citadel expansion, which is slated to arrive sometime this spring. CCP Seagull took to the airwaves yesterday to deliver an updated roadmap on the expansion as well as other 2016 projects. Citadel will revolve around the titular massive space structures that players can contribute materials to building and mod out when constructed.
One of the big things coming to the game is the addition of skill trading. This new feature will allow players to extract skill points, sell them, and inject them into their heads (because that all sounds totally normal and healthy). Skill trading is slated to arrive with the game’s February update.
You can watch the updated EVE Online roadmap after the break!
Instead of going through that introduction again on a new class, MassivelyOP’s MJ is continuing her Blade & Soul adventures on TestSubject the Summoner and her trusty sidekick, Sleepyhead. Will gameplay actually become more prevalent than cutscenes this time around? Tune in live at 11:00 a.m. to find out as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a launch-day edition of…
What: Blade & Soul
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 11:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
Today, we finally learn what John Smedley has been working on since he resigned from his decades-long role at Daybreak.
The industry veteran has founded indie studio Pixelmage Games and is hard at work on Hero’s Song, a buy-to-play, fantasy-based, pixel-art, open-world, PvE-focused action RPG that can “host thousands of other players” but will boast a solo campaign and allow private servers as well. The sandboxy feature set — housing, character development, crafting, a world in flux — sounds remarkably like an MMORPG, at least in its largest form. The studio has raised a million dollars in private investment already and brought together MMORPG industry veterans like EverQuest Lead Designer and co-creator Bill Trost and wildly popular and widely acclaimed fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss. The game’s Kickstarter launches today, and the game itself launches in October — that’s one year of development time from start to finish.
We spoke to Smed in this world-first interview on the game. Read on for Smed’s thoughts on game funding, business models, permadeath, graphics snobbery, DLC, and just what genre this game really belongs in.
If you’re most interested in when you can get back into playing Black Desert Online again, the answer is on February 18th. It’s just that straightforward. Don’t trust us, trust the official Twitter account:
…wait, did that say something about a character creator? Oh, yes it did. So even if you’re not eager to play the game again or aren’t eligible for the second closed beta, you can have free rein with the character creation tool. If you are eagerly awaiting that second closed beta, you can figure out what sort of character you want to make before the servers come back online. It’s a little something for everyone today.
NCsoft’s Blade & Soul formally launches in the west today, having spent the last few days in headstart. To celebrate how far it’s come in the last year since announcing its intent to launch on our shores, we’ve rounded up all of our best coverage of the game and plopped the launch gallery and trailer below too. Enjoy!
A few weeks ago, Massively OP’s Eliot Lefebvre wrote about the intersection of social anxiety and MMOs. It was a surprisingly popular article, with gamers coming out of the woodwork to post about the stress of PUGging with total strangers in particular. A number of you recommended specific tools to help shybies survive in harsh online worlds (and others to avoid completely, like damage meters — the last thing a shy or anxious person needs in a pick-up group is judgy strangers yelling at him over deeps). Actually, I was quite impressed with our community’s response to that post because it never veered into “shyness is a problem and you should fix it” territory. Kudos.
But it did make me wonder about which MMOs are best suited for folks with social anxiety or who are shy, people who want to play in these fantasy worlds but are held back in some way by nerves or stress. I’m thinking the ones with really great tools for grouping and communication would apply; let’s nix games whose content virtually requires voice chat, for a start, or games that refuse to implement group- and guild-finders. Games with face-to-face-trade-or-bust are probably out too. I’m thinking that making social experiences low-stress and easy is the key; how great was it to walk into a Star Wars Galaxies cantina and just click on a musician for a buff, interacting without being required to rush into chat? How about getting a “run” in classic Guild Wars, where all you had to do was stand there and chit-chat while everyone’s goals were achieved?
What do you think is the best MMORPG for shy gamers or gamers with social anxiety?
It seems like level 60 is always just out of reach for poor Storm in Marvel Heroes
; Massively OP’s MJ keeps getting distracted by new heroes and various events. But no more! She’s devoting this Midtown Madness Monday to reaching that milestone. With only seven levels left, can she make it? Join us live and in-game at 9:00 p.m. to help MJ meet her goal.
What: Marvel Heroes
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Monday, January 18th, 2016
Wild Terra’s server structure is undergoing a transformation.
In a new dev blog, the developers explain that the sandbox’s servers will each boast a unique, dynamic map. “[R]esource generation rate and size of the map will depend on a number of players on the server,” writes Juvty Worlds. “It will allow to solve problems connected with the resource lack after big advertising campaigns. Eventually Wild Terra will be able to enter Steam and increase its player base. After all, we’re making an MMO!”
The developers also discuss safe, PvE-only territories: “In contrast to the peaceful territories, there will be regions for PvP-oriented players with a constant war going for valuable resources and control over the habitats of rare animals.”
The new server is expected to begin testing this winter.
In the third episode of the Worlds Adrift Show, the devs show a tantalizingly brief glance of the game’s new grass and flowers. Hope you like those three seconds of in-game footage, because the rest of the brief show is spent promoting updates from the past week, including the creative writing competition, the discussion over ship names, and a look at the team working hard behind the scenes.
Check out the show after the break!
In 2016, Dungeons and Dragons Online
is joining that elite club of MMOs that have been running for an entire decade. Yes, this year DDO
turns 10 years old (insert “can you believe it?” reaction) and the team is preparing a “big party”
in February to celebrate the occasion.
The centerpiece of the anniversary events will be the debut of a free dungeon that will reference the game’s history and popular characters. “It’ll also give you the opportunity to defeat some ‘devs’ in battle,” Executive Producer Severlin wrote. “Yes, I plan to try to kill you in-game.”
DDO is also preparing a brand-new race for Update 30: the Gnomes. The race will include a Deep Gnome iconic version and will be about the same height as a halfling (albeit with a little more heft and facial hair).
Here’s the bad news for Firefall fans: the game is going down for maintenance on January 19th at 11:00 a.m. EST, and it’s staying down until January 20th at 1:00 p.m. EST. That’s quite the wait. The good news is that when the game comes back online, you can jump into the game’s patch 1.6 content, so at least all of that time spent waiting will have some ultimate rewards.
Patch 1.6 includes new narrative content tied to the Razorwind threat with an improved focus on story, the addition of Jetball as an arena PvP preview, new PvE Holdout missions, and a bunch of other updates and expansions. There’s a preview of the new Razorwind missions in video form down below, if that’s something you’d like to see. You might not want the game to be down for quite so long, but the bring side is that it will at least include plenty of stuff for the wait.