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]
I am no stranger to covering survival sandboxes for Massively OP. I wrestled with dinosaurs before ARK: Survival Evolved was a thing. I got kidnapped and tried to drown myself in a puddle, spent days building a glorified shack before hackers or server admins could destroy them, and got a better understanding of what it’s like to be an Asian gamer thanks to Valve’s social experiment. There have been some good memories for sure, but the cancelled games, broken promises, and fact that most of the genre is in an infinite non-launch state are just some of the reasons I’ve been losing faith in online, multiplayer survival games. I love the idea of PvP allowing for meaningful social gameplay, but in reality, I mostly experience only ganking. But without PvP, I generally get so bored of PvE that I run into the arms of a (J)RPG so I can get drama and permadeath in a finished product, often without kids screaming at me to stop moving and just die.
But here I am again: roped into another shot at the genre. I’m looking at pay-to-play Conan Exiles like a launch title, “early access” be damned!
Funcom has just announced what appears to be excellent news for investors and gamers alike: Conan Exiles has sold 320,000 copies worldwide — that’s net sales, which excludes refunds and chargebacks. It gets better.
“In addition, all of the costs directly related to this game have been recouped and the project is now operationally profitable. […] Direct costs are considered to be those related to salaries, social security and equipment for the development, technology and marketing teams, external PR & Marketing expenses and other external consulting or licensing expenses directly attributable to the project.”
Work on the PC early access version — and the planned Xbox One edition — “continues as planned.” PS4 dev begins later in 2017.
The company’s full investor report for Q4 2016 is due out at the end of February.
If everyone can’t have it, no one should. That’s the stance that Blizzard is taking when it comes to using a mouse and keyboard to play Overwatch on consoles, as those players presumably have a huge advantage over controller users in response time and precise action.
On the official forums, Game Director Jeff Kaplan wrote a terse post a few days ago stating the studio’s position: “The Overwatch team objects to the use of mouse and keyboard on console. We have contacted both first-party console manufacturers and expressed our concern about the use of mouse and keyboard and input conversion devices. We have lobbied and will continue to lobby for first-party console manufacturers to either disallow mouse and keyboard and input conversion devices or openly and easily support mouse and keyboard for ALL players.”
As Kaplan points out, there is no official support for keyboards and mice on these consoles yet, although that hasn’t stopped some from figuring out a workaround. VG247 notes that many of the top players on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 use a mouse-and-keyboard setup via special converters.
The next expansion or adventure for Hearthstone
might have been spotted, thanks to eagle-eyed fans who apparently spend their free time combing through resumes of voice actors.
Indeed, in the resume for Lani Minella is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it mention of a Hearthstone expansion we have yet to see: Lost Secrets of Un’Goro. Minella lists previous work on Hearthstone and is credited with voicing several dinosaurs and beasts for the possible upcoming release.
If true, this means that Hearthstone will be diving into one of the more famous (and infamous) locales from vanilla World of Warcraft. Un’Goro Crater was a jungle zone filled with primeval creature, including one aspiring T-Rex who liked to jump out of the shadows and bite your head off when you were just trying to quest in peace.
Last week, Funcom announced that it was parting ways with PingPerfect as the dedicated host for both official and player-run Conan Exiles servers, and indeed, the official servers stopped operating over the weekend. Now it appears that GameServers.com will be picking up the slack.
The tek tier is finally here! That means Massively OP’s MJ is going to show off dino laser helmets. But in order for everyone to start making his or her own to keep, the team needs to defeat the raid bosses in the arena. Today, MJ and the crew are taking a pack of T-Rexes in to face the Broodmother. It’s a DPS race against the clock — if they can stay alive. Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. to watch the assault.
What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 4th, 2017
Conan Exiles‘ early access might be a little too popular for its own good. Funcom announced today that while there are now around 7700 servers — 7500 of which are privately run by players — PingPerfect, the company selected to host the servers, isn’t cutting it.
“Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming demand for servers and our needs for administrating them, our official partner has been unable to deliver the level of quality and service we require. Because of this we have mutually agreed to end the partnership. We are in the process of finding new partners with the ideal hardware we can move the existing game databases to. However, due to the high demand for Conan Exiles servers, many hosting companies are simply out of the hardware that we need and as such this process might take a few days.”
The studio also says it’s removed the 25% lifetime server hosting discount offer from the Barbarian edition of the game. PingPerfect says it will honor the discount for existing purchases, however.
When ARK: Survival Evolved came on the scene in June 2015, it was met with enthusiasm (dinosaurs!) as well as some skepticism (Early Access). But Studio WildCard quickly won over many fans with the game’s delivery, which included frequent updates (and dinos of course). And we do mean frequent! The studio was cranking out meaty content and bug fixes at a rate never seen before in any other EA title — sometimes updates were multiple times a day! Stuff came so quickly it was hard for server admins to keep up with at times. Many of us started holding ARK up as an example of early access done right. Why couldn’t other studios do early access more like WildCard?
But over time, that sentiment changed. A year and a half later, folks who have championed long for ARK — including me — have taken a few steps back. Enjoyment is giving way to frustration. Fans are giving up and leaving. Why is that? Bugs? Devs? Shifted priorities from finishing to milking money? Different eyes might see different causes, but the one thing stands out: The development process has changed. What was once so great is now not so great. And you have to wonder if this spells trouble for the studio.
It never gives any of us pleasure here at Massively OP to announce the closure of an online game because we know that it uproots a community from its home and removes an important part of some players’ lives. So it makes us incredibly happy today to report that in one instance a planned shutdown never actually materialized.
Earlier in January, we reported that digital card game SolForge was going to shut down on the 31st due to too large of a scope and presumably financial reasons. However, the sunset didn’t happen and the game might now survive, thanks to community support and some help from two devs from Path of Exile’s Grinding Gear Games. The current plan is to move SolForge to a smaller server and make it more sustainable.
“Thanks to support from the community, along with technical support from executives at Grinding Gear Games, we may have a solution that could keep the current game running for the foreseeable future,” the team said. “We are currently working on an attempt to migrate Solforge to a smaller server, allowing it to stay online and protect everyone’s current collections and ability to play.”
Responding to claims that raiding in Conan Exiles is way too easy as it is right now, Funcom said that it will soon address these issues by balancing sieges and village assaults.
In a post on Reddit, a representative said that a patch is coming tomorrow to toughen up tier 1 and tier 2 buildings so that they won’t be so easy to take down. Other adjustments to improve the raiding scene including making steel (and as a result, steel weapons) more rare and stripping arrows of the ability to harm structures.
“This is just the beginning of the early access balancing act, and we’re going to be keeping a close eye out on how you all adapt to these changes and other adjustments we make as new features are introduced,” the studio said.
With the weather that some of us are having, it seems appropriate that Paragon is introducing a winter-themed character to its roster. This week, Aurora joins the game as the 27th playable hero, bringing all manner of ice attacks and movement powers that leave her with no time for musical interludes about yearning and inner turmoil.
Aurora is a crowd control master, flinging down ice barriers at melee range with her sword, whipping up a frozen (and strangely functional) clone, and surfing on a pocket glacier that can be left behind for friends. This week’s patch also makes a change to its deathstreak mechanic, awarding fewer CP if a player has died an awful lot lately.
Get acquainted with Aurora in her announcement video below!
Despite mixed reviews and technical shenanigans, Conan Exiles is enjoying a heady first week of early access. Funcom reports that the survival sandbox has already seen up to 40,000 concurrent players. As of the writing of this article, the game was in the top 10 most-played games on Steam.
The studio acknowledges that the game is seeing performance issues (namely, lag) that it didn’t have in previous rounds of testing. “One of our main priorities right now is reducing server lag. There is no singular issue that is causing this, but a set of issues we need to resolve,” Funcom said.
Conan Exiles has already put out multiple patches and is preparing a larger one for next week that should address several issues, such as network congestion, players getting stuck, and parts of buildings not showing up at all.
Global Agenda turns seven today, but since every work around to get the game back on her computer failed, Massively OP’s MJ will have to celebrate by playing the game’s PvP spiritual successor — Paladins. There’s plenty of fun to be had playing the various champions. Will MJ choose one of her favorites — Cassie, Ying, or Grover — or will she try someone new? There are so many to choose from! Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. to honor the game that started Hi-Rez, and has led to everything the studio’s made.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017