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]
What do you know about HEX: Shards of Fate
? If you’ve ever played it, probably more than me. But what do you know about Chronicles of Entrath
? HA! I’ve got you there. I spent a day at the HEX Entertainment studio, hobnobbing with developers and hearing all about many aspects of the long-awaited PvE expansion. There was plenty to take in, from the AI to the art to the history of the game.
Oh, and I got to play! That was something you should have seen: I didn’t lose a single match.
My takeaway from the experience is a desire to dive in and play more. And that’s coming from someone who has never touched a TCG before, on or offline, and was honestly a bit intimidated by HEX. Once the patch goes live next week, I’ll encourage everyone else to jump in and check it out, whether you are an old pro or newbie like myself. Here’s why.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
This week we welcomed Metal Gear Online’s multiplayer launch on PC, got a comprehensive lesson on the history of MMOs, took a peek at the cover art of Albion Online’s novel, wept at a heartfelt goodbye from two devs, and more!
In every competitive online game, there will always be people who are willing to cheat to get an advantage over other players and companies willing to develop those cheats for a profit. Developer Valve has waged a constant war against cheaters in its first person shooters since the days of Half-Life 1, using its regularly updated VAC (Valve Anti Cheat) system to detect hacks and ban those using them. A constant arms race has developed between the companies developing undetectable hacks and the efforts of Valve to detect them, and it seems that this war is seriously heating up right now in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Players are reporting that they’ve been running into cheaters at an alarming rate in recent months. Website VAC-Bans.com has reported a sharp rise in VAC bans over the period, with just over 9,000 players getting banned in December and almost 12,000 accounts already banned in January. As this number includes only cheaters who were detected by VAC and later banned and the website only tracks about 5% of players, the real number of people cheating in-game is likely much higher. The rise in cheating has been widely attributed to sales of the game during the Steam Winter Sale and to players attempting to gain back the ranks they lost when developers recently reduced player ranks across the board.
Players who are reported for hacking but aren’t detected by VAC can also be banned through the Overwatch system, which asks players to watch a replay of the suspect match and decide if they think he’s cheating or not. Other attempts to limit cheating in CS:GO have included blocking new accounts from being used in competitive games until they reach level 3, which helped temporarily but was quickly circumvented by the creation of a black market for pre-levelled accounts.
Don’t fear the winter — embrace it! That’s the thinking of Path of Exile
this month as it prepares to launch a new seasonal race that revolves around the theme of icy combat.
The Winterheart race season begins on January 29th and concludes on February 25th. The main hook of the season is that characters move faster when on chilled ground, which will be all over the game. There are 155 smaller events that fall under the overarching umbrella of the fixed seed event, including new game modes like races that start in later acts and no-portal party races.
Naturally, there are some tantalizing winter-themed rewards for accumulating those seasonal points, so plan accordingly and may the odds be ever in your favor.
Diablo III is a game that deals in numbers, and given the sheer output of digits that a combat counter can produce, Blizzard’s engineers have been struggling with the issue of what to display on screen without overwhelming the player. The team has come up with two solutions in the most recent update and penned a dev diary to explain the changes.
“Patch 2.4.0 introduced a couple of new features to address this,” Blizzard explained. “First, we’ve introduced a new in-game option to truncate numbers and display them using abbreviations. Second, we’ve added an entirely new feature that highlights some of your largest damage numbers in a new color.”
The issue of portraying important numbers on-screen grows trickier when you factor in localization, as all of Diablo III’s 13 languages don’t handle numbers the same way. Even picking out a color for important number events (the studio went with orange, by the way) took some serious consideration on behalf of the team.
While time travel has certainly been done as part of MMO quests, could an entire game revolve around the sci-fi concept? Dark Era, a new title from Game 321, thinks it can indeed.
Launched this past week, Dark Era puts players in the role of Chrono adventurers who can hop through six time eras that span both eastern and western mythos. Stops include 1307 AD with King Arthur in Camelot, 1203 AD with Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest, 629 AD in Emporer Li’s camp and the Tang Dynasty, 44 BC in the Roman Empire, 1174 AD in Ancient Egypt, and 1420 AD with Joan of Arc in France. The game offers three classes and can be played through a browser or a client.
Check out the trailer after the break and see if this could be a quirky gaming possibility for your weekend!
Trion Worlds has been so quiet about Atlas Reactor over the past few months that you can be forgiven for having forgotten the game was on the way this year. Well, perk up, sparky, because the studio is preparing a limited test for its turn-based team tactics title, and it’s welcoming any and all sign-ups to be potential testers.
The “sneak peek” test will take place sometime in February. Will you be one of the lucky recipients of an alpha key?
MassivelyOP’s MJ has built up her flock of sky piranhas in ARK, and now she’s starting an army of land piranhas. With four compies already, she needs to tame at least four more to get the swarm effect. The trick is finding one alone to tame, because facing a pack is not advised! Join us live at 12:00 p.m. to help wrangle a few of these vicious — yet cute — killers.
What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, January 23rd, 2016
Who doesn’t like a good character creator? The people in charge of Black Desert clearly like having one so much that a standalone version was released. Now everyone can enjoy making characters that are just like Bart. If you can’t wait to make a character and play said character, of course, you’ll have to wait for the next closed beta test starting up on February 18th.
Meanwhile, Blade & Soul leaves the list altogether, what with its launch this past Tuesday.
And there’s other beta news, too!
And just as in previous weeks, we do indeed have more titles listed down below. Is something missing? Why, let us know in the comments!
Flight sim fans are often on the cutting edge of technology and peripherals, usually more so than the rest of the gaming crowd. After all, when your goal is to replicate the complete flight experience, you’re going to need some serious hardware.
One gamer has put together an impressive virtual cockpit that combines the Oculus Rift headset with a detailed instrument panel and flight chair to bring him as close as possible to the real thing. He’s very effusive in his appreciation of the detail and combat of War Thunder as his game of choice, and shows it compared to flying an actual small-engine plane to demonstrate how well it does its job.
So what does War Thunder look like with all of the (ahem) trimmings? Prepare to be impressed after the break!
Hi-Rez’s online shooter Paladins is undergoing a major patch for its ongoing closed beta today. The so-dubbed “Chicken Patch” introduces new game modes, Survival and Payload, the latter of which is played out in a new map called Outpost:
“Attackers must attempt to push the Payload along the tracks to the Defenders base to win the game. Defenders must keep the Attackers off the Payload cart long enough for the time to run out. If the Attackers reach the checkpoints they gain additional time.”
There’s much more to the update, including a big balance pass for champions. We’ve included both tutorial videos below.
Want to see the map you’ll be traversing when you leap into The Division next week? Great. Ubisoft has uploaded an interactive map to the game’s official site today for just that purpose. Dive on in.
Of course, the shiny maps won’t matter if you can’t run the game, so how about a look at the new recommended and minimum specs? In addition to acquiring the massive hard drive space hinted at earlier this week, you’ll want to break out your wallet for a pretty sweet rig: The company recommends the equivalent of a system with an Intel Core i7-3770 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 and 8GB of RAM. Whee!
Finally, Rock Paper Shotgun has a new interview out with Creative Director Magnus Jansén on why the game designers chose to set the game in New York at Christmas, when a game just has too much stuff, and why Ubisoft is so laser-focused on supporting the PC in a genre where a lot of devs go console-only.
Survival games aren’t always the cheeriest of places (after all, you have to have something to survive against), but a new game might make other titles seem like a trip to the local candy, puppies, and fireworks store.
The Black Death plops players in the role of a medieval commoner who must not only make a living somehow but do so amidst one of the worst pandemics that history has ever seen. Players can choose from one of 10 classes, explore a period Western Europe, buy property, and compete against the wildlife, fellow villagers, and the infected (which look to be more like zombies here). Why not be a Minstrel who’s cheering up those sore-ridden souls with a few top 40 hits?
Early access for The Black Death will begin in March on Steam. You can check out its teaser trailer after the jump.