Multiplayer Category

Games in our Multiplayer category are multiplayer online games that share some but not all mechanics in common with traditional MMORPGs. Generally, their “massive” nature is contested. They frequently include OARPGs, online shooters, online strategy games, mobile MMOs, and other pseudo-MMOs that optionally provide single-player, offline, or custom-server support. We formerly categorized Multiplayer titles as “Not So Massively” games. You may also be interested in our MOBA category for PvP-centric arena battlers. [Follow the Multiplayer Online Games category’s RSS feed]

Decade-old multiplayer ARPG Titan Quest drops ‘Ragnarok’ expansion

So here’s a happy surprise: THQ Nordic just launched an expansion for Titan Quest, the multiplayer-optional ARPG that’s been rattling around on hard drives for over 10 years now. Not even terrible timing since there are about to be a lot of homeless ARPG fans, and hey, this game even has a subtle Thor tie-in!

Dubbed Ragnarok, the expansion is $14.99 (a discount from its regular $19.99 price), and it boasts a Norse-mythology-themed fifth act with concomitant storylines and quests, new physics and graphics enhancements, a new mastery (Runemaster) to combine with the existing ones for a total of 45 new character templates, a new level cap of 85, new gear, and critically, PANTS.

You’ll need to to own the anniversary edition of the game to run this expansion, but that shouldn’t be a problem for fans, as THQ granted existing owners on Steam access to the anniversary edition for free last year. Maybe we should’ve seen this coming!

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Overwatch kicks off a free play weekend across all platforms

Destiny 2 who? Overwatch is aiming to lure in as many of Blizzard’s players as possible with another free weekend. The best part? It’s already here, complete with the newest character Moira, so if you’ve never purchased the team shooter, you can download it from the Blizzard launcher and give it a try right now.

The free weekend is running through the 20th and is available to players on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It isn’t a limited experience, either; the studio is allowing everyone to play any of the 26 heroes across all maps and game modes.

Of course, Blizzard hopes to make a few sales from this weekend, which is why it said that any progress made during the event can be carried over if a player decides to purchase the game.

Source: Overwatch

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EA disables all Star Wars Battlefront 2 microtransaction crud – for now

Whenever you see a studio call fans “passionate,” it’s almost always shorthand for “rioting with pitchforks and torches.” Guess what Star Wars Battlefront 2’s execs are calling its players this week?

DICE GM Oskar Garbrielson apologized to the game’s “passionate” community about the missteps that EA made in locking its characters behind a prohibitive grind and aggressively pushing microtransactions. He said that the team is disabling all in-game purchases with crystals, at least until the company can figure out a better way to implement them:

“But as we approach the worldwide launch, it’s clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in the design. We’ve heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. And we’ve heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn’t get this right. We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases. We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning. This means that the option to purchase crystals in the game is now offline, and all progression will be earned through gameplay. The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game. We’ll share more details as we work through this.”

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO would you recommend to Marvel Heroes refugees?

So Marvel Heroes has about six weeks to live thanks to the impending shutdown of the game following Disney’s decision to drop Gazillion as a business partner. That’s going to leave some superhero MMO players once again without a home, and though the game’s current Steam numbers can’t hold a candle to the number of players affected by the City of Heroes closure five years ago, we’re left with the same situation – and a similar roster of games vying for refugees.

The big superhero MMORPGs are still DC Universe Online and Champions Online, the former of which is certainly better supported with content, the latter of which may have more of that Marvel feel. There’s also three strong crowdfunding superhero MMOs still trying to fill the CoH vacuum: Ship of Heroes, City of Titans, and Valiance Online. Which MMO would you recommend to Marvel Heroes refugees? Would it be another superhero MMO, another superhero game or ARPG altogether, or something else? If you’re a former MH player, where are you getting your fix?

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Survivalbox roundup: The Black Death communicates, Hellion revamps, and Life is Feudal soft launches

Once you recover from the drive-by scorching of MJ’s ARK: Survival Evolved critique, perhaps you’re wondering what else is going on with survivalboxes in other regions of the genre.

The Black Death is making a concerted effort to connect more with fans by bringing back the weekly Q&A series and expanding its presence on social media. The team also is asking for gaming feedback from its community via a survey.

Space sandbox Hellion is working hard on its next update, which will mainly focus on reworking and rebalancing several key systems, such as power supply, life support, and the user interface. The team is excited to announce that Discord integration is coming to the game soon as well.

And with Life is Feudal’s soft launch tomorrow, you’ll definitely want to get hyped up for this semi-MMO by watching the release trailer below!

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Sea of Thieves trailer dares you to ‘be more pirate’

All other studios, it’s time to pack it in: Sea of Thieves has won the Trailer Olympics, at least for 2017.

In Rare’s newest video, the team crams a shipload of awesome into a minute-and-a-half as it challenges gamers to “be more pirate.” While the trailer doesn’t reveal anything new, it does a great job showing off the various activities and demonstrating the overall tone of the game, bouncing from crew teamwork to swimming with sharks to, er, “banana crunching.” Also, a buccaneer throws up on the camera lens. Give that team an award!

OK, it might not be Oscar bait, but this continues to get us completely hyped for Sea of Thieves’ launch in spring 2018. Anyone want to join the crew of the S.S. Mighty MOP?

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Path of Exile’s War for the Atlas expansion opens December 8

It may feel as if Path of Exile just came out with its The Fall of Oriath expansion, but that was last August. The time is quickly approaching for the next one! If releasing expansions were an Olympic event, Grinding Gear Games would win the gold medal every time. This studio delivers loads of new content like clockwork.

Now, I could sit here and heap praise all day, but I know you want to learn about all about expansion number… some big number. Lucky for you, I sat down with Producer Chris Wilson and got a tour of the goodies coming our way. So what is this next expansion and its accompanying new league about? It’s a sequel to Atlas of Worlds!

In September 2016, players were introduced to the world atlas, filled with end-game maps to complete on the way to fight the ultimate boss, The Shaper. On December 8th, this Atlas will be redesigned with significantly more maps and a second ultimate boss that is vying for control in War for the Atlas. And the new Abyss Challenge League starts up as well. Learn more about it all and watch the official trailer below!

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Dark and Light shows off the environments of the Scalding Abyss

In the Flames of Bel’Xahl patch for Dark and Light that releases today, players will take on the greatest enemy of humanity since time immemorial: convection. Seriously, you are running through a volcano. I don’t care how much Flame Armor you’ve crafted; your body will start to have unpleasant things happen to it long before you can fight new enemies like the Ashen Fist Goblin, Scalding Wyrm, and the eponymous Bel’Xahl. Lava is really hot.

Of course, this being a video game, you can explore this volcano, fight those enemies, craft that armor, and still have a chance to nip off for a dip in the new hot springs added to the game. There are also turkeys running around the world to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. If all of this sounds like the sort of stuff that you live for, you can jump in at a discount when the game is included in the upcoming autumn sale on Steam.

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The Survivalist: ARK Survival Evolved’s sequel tease is an insult to its fans

You know that moment when you just can’t take it anymore? I am there, right on the cusp. I know many folks have gotten to their “I can no longer support <insert name here>” phases for various games and studios for a variety of reasons, but I had never yet reached such a point in my own gaming. (That one studio doesn’t count because I never supported them in the first place.) And now here I am. I don’t think I can continue to support Studio WildCard.

That is definitely a shift for me. I have been an ardent fan of ARK: Survival Evolved. I championed the game pretty heavily: I have streamed it for over two years, I personally host two servers, and this very column was born largely on the back of ARK. I have almost 1500 hours of playtime, and I own the expansions. I had praised the game and Studio WildCard for a long while, holding it up as an example of things done right.

Then things changed. The accumulation of many remarks and actions that ate away at my trust was topped off by the way the studio shows disregard for its current customers, treating them as disposable cash cows. And then came the sequel talk this very week.

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Star Wars Battlefront 2: The AMA, Wall Street, and the Belgian gambling commission

In case you ever wanted to sniff the distinct scent of internet dumpster fire, you probably should’ve gone to the Star Wars Battlefront II DICE developer AMA on Reddit yesterday and watched that EA world burn. Almost 30,000 comments later, EA’s handpicked community masseuses didn’t walk back any of the specific business model shenanigans or the “sense of pride and accomplishment” blither, and players are actually madder now than they were when they downvoted EA’s comments 677,000 times on Monday.

Meanwhile,

  • Wall Street is freaking out over the potential stock hit to EA should the game launch poorly thanks to angry gamers.
  • Belgian authorities are reportedly investigating SWBF2 (via GIbiz) to determine whether its design amounts to a money-fueled game of chance, in which case it would be subject to gambling laws and potentially be fined or censored.
  • Players have assessed that it’d take over 4500 hours of play or $2100 to unlock everything in Star Wars: Battlefront 2 as the game’s monetization is currently set.
  • Finally, that “EA dev” who claimed he’d received death threats? It’s no longer clear he’s an EA dev, let alone that he received death threats, and he disappeared from social media after Kotaku went digging. Astroturfer? Hmm.
Source: Reddit. With thanks to Sorenthaz and Miol.

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Conan Exiles update scrubs out dupe bugs as servers are wiped

By Crom, Conan Exiles is under attack by dupe bugs! Funcom hurried to push Update 31 live yesterday to deal with the issue and add a few fun new options to the game. These features include inventories for thralls, armor patch kits, new building materials, and an artisan crafting workbench.

Funcom said that it will be rolling out a series of server wipes (partial and full) to deal with the effects of the duping. The level of wipe is dependent on the vote results from each server, with only a handful electing not to wipe at all.

“To soften the blow, we’re increasing the harvesting and XP rate on the official servers for the next week, letting you quickly get your stuff and levels back,” Funcom said.

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StarCraft 2 unlocks free-to-play options, but it’s not completely free

First announced at BlizzCon earlier this month, StarCraft 2 is now free-to-play for anyone who would like to engage in Blizzard’s hit real-time strategy title.

This is free* with an asterisk, however; only the Wings of Liberty single-player campaign, all of its multiplayer content, and co-op commanders are included in this statement. The other three single-player campaigns have to be purchased separately**, although this comes with a double-asterisk to indicate that those who previously purchased Wings of Liberty can get Heart of the Swarm for free through December 8th.

Some players have noted that this isn’t technically the first time that StarCraft 2 offered a free-to-play option. The StarCraft 2 Arcade, which includes a fan-made MMO mod of the game, has cost nothing to use for quite some time now.

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Citadel: Forged with Fire shows off its upcoming boss dungeons

The next big expansion for Citadel: Forged with Fire is adding… dungeons. With bosses in them. Boss dungeons, if you will. Perhaps it’s not all of that new to those of us who have seen dozens of MMOs with… well, dungeons, but it’s still new to the game, and the latest preview of the patch shows off three of the dungeons coming with the expansion. If you were hoping that each one would feature an elemental theme, you’re in luck!

The Phoenix Spirit Citadel is filled with extra-large sprites (as in the enemy type, not pixelated character art) on the way to the two phoenixes at the heart of the lair. Dragon’s Heart Citadel features… you know, you can probably guess what boss lies at the heart of that one. And the Blood Soul Citadel houses an icy, demonic presence, covering the whole thing in a thick layer of rime. Check out the full preview for more lore, or just peruse the screenshots below.

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