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]

The Daily Grind: Do you think EA is pivoting into a Star Wars pseudo-MMO?

Yesterday’s surprise revelation that EA was canning Visceral Games and “pivoting” the design of its in-progress Star Wars linear adventure RPG clearly struck a nerve around here, as we received a flood of mail about it (thanks guys!), and not because that game was an MMO but because of how EA justified the closure.

“It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design,” EA VP Patrick Soderlund said. “Importantly, we are shifting the game to be a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency, leaning into the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and reimagining central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore.”

If you read between the lines, the “market” has apparently told EA to scrap a single-player RPG in favor of something more persistent, more marketable, and very likely more multiplayer, especially since Soderlund name-dropped Anthem’s engine and then mentioned how Battlefront II “fuels [its] live service” in the franchise.

What do you think? Are we looking at another Star Wars pseudo-MMO in a few more years? And maybe more importantly, do you think EA’s implication that return-worthy – presumably connected, online games – are the only games worth building right now? Read more

Grab a RoboManiac currency key from YEPS and Massively OP to get your ‘bot on

So here’s a new game that’s just rumbled onto our radar: It’s called RoboManiac, and it’s a self-described free-to-play browser MMO that combines “an RPG and sports manager” with robots, an elaborate trading system, a league leaderboard, multiplayer alliances, and basic RPG progression. It’s also adamantly against pay-to-win tactics. Did I mention the robots?

“From the beginning, you have the option to individually equip your Bot with different weapons, drive modules, blades, and numerous other body elements from energy cells to booster packs. Using your Workshop, you can repair, upgrade and level up the various elements of your bot. In your habitat and its surroundings you can send your bot on different missions, fight other bots, or send it to work in the factory, so you can use a few credits to buy or sell important boosters and upgrades at the marketplace. Trading in parts and items is an important part of the game and allows you to do good deals with other players.”

German studio YEPS! has granted MOP codes that will unlock a nice chunk of in-game currency, called platinum. Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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Take home a Hand of the Gods Medusa key in honor of the console closed beta launch

Hi-Rez’s turn-based strategy card game Hand of the Gods — you might recall it better as SMITE Tactics or even its internal name, Hotgods — formally launches closed beta on console today, arriving on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

“The​ ​beta​ ​for​ ​Hand​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Gods​ ​kicks​ ​off​ ​by​ ​offering​ ​special​ ​bundles​ ​for​ ​PlayStation​ ​Plus​ ​and​ ​Xbox​ ​Live Gold​ ​members–including​ ​FREE​ ​access​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Closed​ ​Beta​ ​for​ ​those​ ​members! Starting​ ​today,​ ​PlayStation​ ​Plus​ ​and​ ​Xbox​ ​Live​ ​Gold​ ​members​ ​can​ ​receive​ ​the​ ​Hand​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Gods promotional​ ​bundle​ ​for​ ​free!​ ​Each​ ​bundle​ ​features​ ​a​ ​unique​ ​Leader​ ​Skin​ ​and​ ​also​ ​includes​ ​an​ ​Exclusive Card​ ​Back​ ​and​ ​Player​ ​Icon.​ ​In​ ​addition,​ ​the​ ​bundle​ ​includes​ ​five​ ​Core​ ​Packs​ ​to​ ​give​ ​new​ ​players​ ​a​ ​jump start​ ​in​ ​building​ ​their​ ​decks.”

Want even more stuff? Hi-Rez has granted us codes for the Legendary Greek God Medusa, redeemable on either console (but not PC). Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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LawBreakers drops a big update with competitive league, new maps, and customization

The latest update to LawBreakers is coming out on October 19th, and it uses the phrase “All-Star” a bit too often for anyone who has been on the internet over the past few years. But it also has a brand-new linear tutorial for players fresh to the game, so you can jump in and get a better idea of how to actually play the game. That is definitely a good thing for bolstering the game’s playerbase, but even if you’re one of the game’s existing ten fans, you’ll have reasons to enjoy the next update.

The patch brings in the ranked competitive Boss League, albeit in a “season zero” setting to test the system in actual play. There’s also a new Blitzball-themed map, a new variant on the Redfalls map, and lots of new customization items for players to unlock as rewards. Spectator mode has gotten better, cross-region queueing is enabled… you can watch a video showing off all of the new features just below, so don’t shy away if the game still has your interest.

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The Daily Grind: Is PUBG finally the ‘WoW killer killer’ we’ve been waiting for?

Say the words “WoW killer” to a bunch of MMORPG players in 2017 and you’re bound to get eyerolls, for good reason: Even though we’ve been watching over the last decade as game after game chased the title, most folks don’t really believe that any MMORPG will ever truly “kill” World of Warcraft except possibly WoW itself, however slowly. Globally oriented, e-sports-centric games like MOBAs and shooters have long since surpassed the MMORPG market anyway, beating them at their own community game.

What I didn’t really expect to ever see was a game that killed the “WoW killers,” and that’s exactly what PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is doing. Oh, League of Legends, Dota 2, and CS:GO aren’t dead, and they’re not going to roll over and give up so easily, not when they’re still making money hand-over-fist (just a little bit less than before). But I have to admit that I didn’t see this coming. Battle royale is an old game type, and PUBG isn’t even the first to try to revivify it. I never expected this kind of dramatic sea change in online gaming. We’re watching a huge shift happening right before our eyes, and bizarrely enough, Daybreak is partly responsible.

Is PUBG a “WoW killer killer”? Is PUBG really worthy of all the fuss, or are people just sick of the old-school MOBA and shooter lineup?

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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds tops 2.3M concurrency, bans a fraction of that

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.

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Overwatch dings up to 35M players ahead of quarterly financial report

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.

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The Daily Grind: How should studios solve the gaming-while-rural problem?

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.

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Fortnite teases Halloween event, lists development projects in the works

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.

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Frontier Expo 2017: Science, history, and gaming make for a great first con

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!

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The Stream Team: Finding a new home on ARK’s Ragnarok

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

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Hearthstone changes triggers to help make the game more intuitive

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.

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Citadel: Forged With Fire goes on sale, reduces marble building costs

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.

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