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]
The world of Gloria Victis has gotten larger with the most recent patch, a great deal of additional space available for players to tromp about. This is partly in an effort to make sure that the game can account for additional players when it launches on Steam’s Early Access service in the next few months, but it’s also going to give more space for bandit camps, deserters, and other challenges for more experienced players. Like bears that are more dangerous than regular bears. Boss bears.
It’s not just bears who have bosses, as players will also find older aurochs, wolves, and perhaps other animals. These are the examples of the species that seem to have barely changed from the days when humans were huddling in caves, massive beasts whose powerful hides can be used to craft equipment of exceptional might. Check out the full patch notes if you like, or just start hunting down some big old bosses; you’ve got more ground to cover, after all.
We’ve come a long way in our discussion of Rachel Kowert and Thorsten Quandt’s book The Video Game Debate: Unravelling the Physical, Social, and Psychological Effects of Video Games, and while this article title might seem a contentious one to wrap up the series, I think it presents a topic and chapter worth debating.
In the book, Frans Mäyrä’s chapter on online communities initially offended me more than any other, but by the end of his thesis, he’d made some persuasive points that we, the MMO community, must consider. While Mäyrä does use a narrow definition of community, it’s to prove a point. It’s not that MMOs don’t contain communities; it’s a question of the circumstances, values, and outcomes related to their rise, fall, and the perception of the outside world.
Camelot Unchained’s weekly update has arrived, and the team is still crunching away. Mark Jacobs delivers news on several ongoing projects:
- An early alpha version of CU’s new patcher is ready, built partly by backers. It “already blows away what we had created previously,” says Jacobs.
- Testing of Friday Night Fight Nights has begun! (It began at 11 p.m. EDT last night, in fact.)
- There’s the usual list of user story card requests and reports from backers and devs, many partly or fully addressed.
- The devs drew attention to the CUBE building system and the ongoing player gallery there. Move over, Landmark!
- And CSE has put together a boardgame (in the devs’ spare time, not with company assets) that it hopes to invite backers to play in the near future.
There’s also a ton of new concept art and some screenshots, which we’ve collected right here for your perusal.
I don’t know about you, but I love a great character creation segment before getting into any RPG or MMORPG. Don’t rush me; let me soak in options, debate choices, and carefully craft a character that will ultimately step out into this exciting fictional world!
I think both Guild Wars 2 and Villagers & Heroes have absolutely terrific character creators in this regard, going above and beyond merely asking for name, class, and looks. I actually got to know my characters’ backgrounds, learned about their preferences, and made a few choices that would have an impact in the game itself. That’s how it should be, in my opinion.
Have there been any MMO character creators that really impressed you? Which game has the best one?
There’s a theory out there that Andy Serkis was actually born in a full motion-capture suit as part of an educational series for expectant mothers. Whether or not this is true, you can’t deny that the man has done an awful lot of work for films by pretending to be all manner of aliens, Gollums, and King Kongs.
He’s been enlisted, so to speak, to provide the motions and animations for the always easy-to-spell Thul’Óqquray in Squadron 42. In a new video, you can see Serkis diving off of boards and chatting up Chris Roberts in between takes. He even uses a special harness to replicate the effect of zero gravity on his character.
See, believe, and be amazed that someone gets paid to do all of this (but it’s not you). It’s all there after the jump.
The loss of EverQuest Next is bad news, but Landmark appears to be poised to absorb the strength of its fallen sibling with its further updates, like boss fights where you fight two things at once. The game is indeed getting a storytelling system, allowing everyone to jump in and craft stories, dungeons, and the like. Its next big update is due on Monday and will wipe characters and claims; two more such wipes are planned before the title finally launches.
The rest of the beta world, meanwhile, continued to move on full steam ahead.
- Paladins has deployed another major build to the game’s test servers, including a new payload map, Serpent’s Temple. One wonders what sort of payload is being delivered. Serpents, perhaps. (Thanks to Sorenthaz for pointing this out to us!)
- RuneScape Chronicle early access has begun, which means that the time has come for all closed beta testers to enjoy the benefit of their even earlier access. Stay tuned for normal access, slightly later access, and one-year delay access.
- Is there room in your heart for another digital card game? Star Crusade has released its first official trailer, and it wants your affection. And your attention. Also it wouldn’t mind having your stepstool, like, if you weren’t using it.
- Stronghold Kingdoms has released its trailer for its mobile versions, if you really like building castles all over the place but don’t like having to sit down in your actual home to do so.
- You can buy a founder’s pack for the upcoming Paragon, but you don’t have to content yourself with just a bunch of digital goodies that might blow away in the digital wind! There are hard copies available with your purchase as well. They’re quite material and may be used to install the game, or simply as an entertaining conversation piece.
And just like we always do, there’s more stuff down in the list below. Did we miss something? Let us know down in the comments, if you’d be so kind. We appreciate it.
MassivelyOP’s MJ got to sneak into Path of Exile’s new Labyrinth courtesy of the alpha server, but now she has to earn the right to go there on her own character! Today she faces the first — and possibly the second — of the Ascendancy trials. MJ is even playing in the new league. Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. to watch her witch wind her way through the traps.
What: Path of Exile
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 18th, 2016
Das Tal has implemented a big patch just in time for its long-planned March Mayhem test event.
The patch focuses on resource distribution intended to “add a completely new layer of diplomacy and trade to the game” as well as on client performance, Linux and Mac patchers, and updated visuals for multiple game environments. “The game world is still harsh but also a bit less dreary and monotonous,” says Fairytale Distillery. “In some rare cases you might even find a cactus in full bloom or some rare ice flowers in the mountains.”
The studio wrote earlier this week that it had invited 300 new testers for this event.
MOP’s own MJ Guthrie will be streaming from the alpha event tomorrow at noon (Saturday, March 19th, at 12 p.m. EDT) and handing out keys for the test, so stay tuned!
You know those NASA-type movies where the flight director pings all the various departments looking for updates on whether or not to launch? Well, making an MMO must be more complicated than sending a spacecraft to the moon, as evidenced by how many departments and people the Star Citizen team pings on a regular basis.
In a new episode of Around the Verse, the hosts check in with several of Star Citizen’s groups and figures, including a lengthy interview with COO Carl Jones. The team said that it’s making progress with Patch 2.3, although we don’t have a lot of specific details about that update yet. As players wait for that to drop, they can enjoy a limited period of time to fly all craft for free.
You can read the full transcript on INN or watch the latest episode of Around the Verse after the break.
If you’re not at GDC or SXSW this week, then you might be feeling a bit left out of the video game industry hoopla, but worry not: ArenaNet is bringing a slice of the events back home to you. Beginning at 3:30 p.m. EDT today, the studio will be streaming its own panel from SXSW in lieu of its regular Friday Guild Wars 2 show.
“Host and moderator Rubi Bayer will be joined by developer guests Associate Game Director Steven Waller, Head of Narrative Leah Hoyer, and Environment Design Specialist Josh Foreman for the panel ‘It’s Your World: Building Online Spaces for a Massive Community.'”
We’ve embedded it below for anyone who wants to watch live; ANet says it’ll rebroadcast at 6 p.m. EDT for anyone who misses it.
Daybreak has been amping up communication about Landmark this past week following the news that it’s plotting a spring launch for the sandvox MMO in lieu of completing EverQuest Next’s development, and its next update is on the way:
“We are still in the process of internal testing, but if all goes well, we plan to roll out the big update for next Monday, March 21 at 10am pacific time. There will likely be 24-48 hours down time due to the extensive changes. If we find some issues during testing that mean we need to push this date, we’ll let you know!”
The studio promises a stream during the downtime and reminds players that characters, claims, and guild names will indeed be wiped.
Last Friday’s WildStar news made me sad. I’m sad because there are two games at war within that title. One of them is a charmingly flexible sandpark; the other one is what I think our dear editor is thinking of when she calls the game World of Warcraft But They’re In Space, since it launched with all of the worst parts of WoW‘s endgame from its original launch without much to improve upon the formula. I really like the former part of the game.
Whenever we wind up with a title in that state, of course, people ask a simple question: Why doesn’t the studio just do a reboot? It worked really well for Final Fantasy XIV, which went from an industry punchline to a success story that’s still building momentum. So why don’t more studios just reboot MMOs that aren’t working?
The answer is that it’s not that easy. And it can conveniently be broken down into several bullet points for this particular column. So let’s get to it.
Hands up if anyone here remembers Earthrise. The post-apocalyptic MMO had a disappointing run from 2011 to 2012, ending with its closing by Masthead Studios due to poor reviews and not living up to its expectations.
We’ve known for some time that the game was picked up for a possible reboot, although the timetable on when this would happen has been fuzzy. Happily, it appears that progress is being made as Earthrise: First Impact popped up on Steam Greenlight.
Earthrise is being handled by SilentFuture Games, a developer out of Germany. According to a notice posted today on Facebook, fans have a reason to hope for the game’s revival: “As some might have noticed, we got Earthrise a spot on Steam. We are actually working on many changes and additions which includes the server. This might cause some outtakes. We are sorry that we couldn’t write much news, but we are still working on it.”