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]
Here’s a fun game that we play around the Massively OP office: A troublemaker will come in and loudly proclaim, “You know what’s a good game name? PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds!” Then it becomes a race to exit the building as fast as possible before flying projectiles from the staff make contact.
Dumb name or no, PUBG continues its meteoric climb in popularity. The battle royale shooter just reached a staggering 2.3 million concurrency, although these levels haven’t been achieved without a few (hundred thousand) bad eggs spoiling the batch. The studio claims that it has banned 322,000 accounts so far for cheating.
As the studio struggles to stay on top of this monster that it created, it also prepares for the holiday Xbox One release, the PC 1.0 launch, and the imminent addition of climbing and vaulting.
Blizzard just announced that it’s just counted 35 million Overwatch players – not too shabby for a buy-to-play team shooter that started out by tossing half a dozen MMORPG development dev years down a drain. That ought to make investors happy – expect the next investor relations report in early November.
I’d love to give more info, but the #8 revenue PC game and #6 revenue console game in the world sent a press release with nothing else. So instead, we’ll compare it to some other big numbers lately: 10M have shown up for Fortnite’s free-to-play console battle royal mode, while PUBG’s sold 13M in the last couple of months.
Also, this guy speaks for everybody.
If you’ve ever read any of MOP’s Andrew’s coverage of Pokemon Go, you’ve probably noticed a recurring theme: One of his biggest pet peeves is that Niantic privileges urban players over everyone else. If you live far away from a large city, you’ll not only struggle to attend events there; you’ll suffer from a lack of hotspots, gyms, raid opportunities, and other players on the daily, and you’ll have to drive between far-flung destinations just to play. A studio obviously can’t fix a population weakness, but it surely could work harder to stop making game opportunities and rewards effectively dependent on where you live.
The same problem’s apparently cropped up in Hearthstone as Blizzard has begun incentivizing what are essentially player-hosted LAN-party events with an ultra-rare Nemsy cards, ostensibly in the service of community. I plugged my current address in and came up with no less than six events over the next month within 20 miles of my home – triple that if I am willing to drive up to 100 miles. But I live in a large city (6M metro area) in the midst of even more large cities. If I plug in my address from back when I lived in New Mexico, there are no events within 100 miles of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Zip. Nada. They don’t even make the top 50 list for metro areas in the US, but they’re the biggest for 300 miles in any direction where they are. And still nothing.
The development train for Fortnite isn’t slowing down, with the studio posting a long list of projects that its teams are currently tackling. For those who don’t have time to peruse the full rundown, some of the more notable line items include voice chat,
In community news, some of Fortnite’s players have reported that the studio has overturned accidental bans and compensated affected individuals for the bother. After seeing the compensation, some voices wished that they had been mistakenly booted.
The team also teased Fortnite’s Halloween event in its most recent dev update video. Apparently this will be “quest-driven” featuring eight new heroes, two new weapons, and an additional biome called Hexelvania. More details will be forthcoming next week.
This past weekend was not the first time I have attended a developer’s convention, but Frontier Expo 2017 was one of only a very few times when I have been able to attend the first one of its kind. Last weekend, I got to witness the birth of Frontier Developments’ fan convention, held in London, UK. At 1500 attendees, it may have been a relatively small gathering compared to conventions like PAX or other more established cons, but it was still great. In fact, it offered fans a few firsts of their own! Besides your classic meeting-and-greeting, game announcements with reveals, and after parties (including live entertainment by Jim Guthrie, the musician who created the Planet Coaster music), folks got to try their hand at the studio’s really old games on their original equipment in the Frontier Developments museum.
Even more than that, attendees got to meet and listen to world-renowned experts in the fields of paleontology and astrobiology. Not because these would sell the game, but just because they are subjects of interest to fans. How many studios have offered that?
Now there were understandably a few bumps and learning experiences in this first endeavor, but in all, I say the inaugural FX2017 was a resounding success! It was easily the most chill convention experience I have ever had, and I look forward to next year’s show (and hanging out with the space loach more!). Let’s dig in!
The most exciting thing about ARK’s Ragnarok map for Massively OP’s MJ is the chance to explore an all new place — which is a good thing, since someone built on her favorite spot! That just means it’s the perfect chance for her to pick up and move to another part of the island, exploring everything on the way. But there is plenty of scary stuff out there, and most of it can eat her in one bite. Join us live at 12:00 p.m to help find a better spot for her new home.
What: ARK: Ragnarok
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, October 2nd, 2017
With hundreds of cards designed at this point, Hearthstone
matches are awash in a sea of effects and triggers that activate under certain conditions. With so much going on, it might be easy for players to get confused about the order of when and how spell effects happen, which is why the team is making a pair of small but crucial changes
with the October update.
“We want cards to work the way that you guess they might—in other words, we want the game to work intuitively,” the team wrote. “So we want to be extra clear that this update isn’t a change in depth; instead, it’s one step in an ongoing effort improve Hearthstone’s mechanics.”
The two changes are that minions with the “after” keyword will only activate their effect if they’re in play at the time and in-play effects will no longer trigger in-hand effects. Confused? Gameplay Engineer Josh Durica walks you through these changes with in-game examples below.
If you’ve been eyeing Citadel: Forged With Fire but have held out so far in the hopes of a good deal, now might be the time to pounce. Through October 16th, the title is 30% off its normal price, reducing the sandbox’s cost to $17.49.
Sale aside, Citadel continues to patch up on a near-weekly basis. This week’s update features a reduction of the cost of marble and ornate building materials, which the team says is a reaction to community pushback over the high cost.
“While our goal with raising the building cost of marble and ornate was to increase the perceived value of the high-tier structures and slow the appearance of massive, server straining mega-structures, we realize now that we may have gone a bit overboard in our approach,” the team admitted.
Back in September, Massively OP went deep undercover to bring players a shocking exposé on how Dark and Light subtly conditions players to become bullies by beating up and then enslaving the local goblin population. We thought it could get no worse… until now.
With the advent of Gobboween, there’s a new reason to take out latent aggression on the game’s goblin population: candy. Yes, now you’re actually beating up cute and mostly innocent creatures for their sweet snacks, an activity that the developers wholeheartedly encourage. And because it isn’t ridiculous enough, you can even use candy as ammunition in a special weapon.
If that isn’t enough excitement to fill your breeches, Dark and Light dropped a smallish patch today that added a new telescope recipe, allowed players to craft even more stone arrows at once (dangerously escalating the Stone Arrow Cold War), and beefed up rewards from trekking through the Ice Caves with friends.
Hopefully if you’re reading Massively OP, you’re not the type of player who holds a grudge against multiplayer games. For those who do, however, Sea of Thieves hopes to break down any preconceived stigma with its fun approach to multiplayer gaming.
“We want to make it more welcoming, more friendly,” Senior Designer Shelley Preston said in this week’s dev video. “We wanted to bring people in to this nice kind of environment and hopefully turn around some of those expectations or preconceptions that they got about multiplayer.”
Sea of Thieves has put a lot of thought into its style of multiplayer, nixing friendly fire in favor of a “sacred” crew bond and giving players the option to dip their toes in the waters with a small two-player ship before graduating to the larger varieties. And if there’s a non-cooperative player on your crew? You can all vote to lock them in your ship’s brig until they behave. Seriously. Check it out after the break!
Good news, LawBreakers fans! The game has set a new record for concurrency by reaching its unprecedented nadir of 10 players online! That’s according to PCGamesN, anyway, and we’re assuming they’re using Steam stats to come to that number, since we don’t have access to console numbers.
Ten is exactly enough players to play one match, so the game was still playable. Also, bad news; when the good news is “there were enough players to make one match happen,” you need to seriously re-index “good news.” Because there isn’t much.
Player counts did apparently spike up after the game’s most recent free weekend, but they immediately dropped right back off, despite hopes that the title would start to build up steam again. One can only hope that the concurrency numbers on console are significantly higher, because if they’re anything like the PC numbers, the future does not look bright.
It always gets a bit bumpy when politics, international intrigue, and video games collide, so hold on for this one.
According to CNN, Russia’s Internet Research Agency — an organization devoted to create unrest in the USA — tapped into Pokemon Go as a way to do this. How could this be? Apparently, the agency ran a contest on a site in 2016 that encouraged supporters of Black Lives Matter to hunt down Pokemon near sites of police brutality and to even change their character names to victims.
It seems dubious whether the “Don’t Shoot Us” campaign and contest had any effect on players or interfered with politics. CNN couldn’t find anyone who actually participated in it, and the campaign’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts have all since been suspended.
In promotional materials associated with its new paid “Esports Scoreboard,” gaming anaylsis firm SuperData – known best to our audience for its monthly revenue charts – has declared that “the esports market has finally hit the mainstream.” Though the associated marketing report is paywalled, some of the public statistics in the reveal are actually of interest.
For example, the company runs down the top 10 e-sports games by viewership, with League of Legends coming in at the top as of August. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which recently blasted past 2M concurrent players and 15M sales, clocked in at #2, but expect that to rise in future editions as the game’s exploded even more since then. The firm argues that PUBG, unlike many of the MOBAs and shooters dominating the rankings, “stands out from competitors because players spend most of their time in stealth mode instead of intense shootuts, giving streamers time to interact with their viewers.”
Blizzard’s had a strong showing, too, with Hearthstone, Overwatch, and StarCraft II all in the top ten; SuperData notes that Overwatch in particular will benefit from the offseason of Dota 2 and LoL.