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 Survivalist: Is gaming’s early access the new launch?

Previously, while discussing ARK: Survival Evolved’s big bird nerf, I touched on the subject of the early access model. My focus then was on the model in relation to ARK, but it isn’t unique to the dinosaur survival game by any means. In fact, that model pretty much defines the entire multiplayer survival genre, which appears to be (perpetually) stuck in early access. Just take a gander at our guide: Practically every title is in EA. Some have even been in this unfinished state since 2013!

So what gives? Why isn’t anything getting completed and actually launched? Or is this really what launch looks like nowadays? I certainly hope not. Early access certainly has its place, but there are issues — especially with games that use the model for years on end. And that isn’t doing the survival genre any favors in the long-term.

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Conan Exiles walks through the process of adding texture-rendering middleware late in development

The developers of Conan Exiles had a problem. The game was full of high-resolution textures to paint across the world, thus ensuring that rocks looked like rocks, trees looked like trees, and skin looked like slightly softer rocks. But the amount of required textures were also causing issues with video cards with only 2 GB of VRAM, and even 4 GB of VRAM could result in problems. So how could the team avoid turning the game into a blobby mess? That’s exactly what the latest development post is all about.

If you were hoping to read about some major new gameplay system coming to the game, we’re sorry to disappoint you, but this post does not end with the revelation that players can kill and harvest textures. But it is an interesting peek behind the scenes at a development element we rarely consider that has a large impact on the game as a whole. Check out the whole thing to learn how the game handles textures, and then hug a textured and non-blobby tree in the game. Then chop it down for lumber.

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Rend’s arsenal offers many ways to bump off your enemy

“Your choice of weapon will have a big impact on your play-style in Rend, from using massive ballistae to assault your enemies, to launching a spirit-world stealth bombing run — there are many choices for players to make.”

With its PvP focus, Rend is stocking up on plenty of weapons for players to use with impunity upon their competitors. A new dev diary talks about the “blasters and bombs” that can be chosen for the fight. Due to its survival sandbox nature, players will begin with crude weapons (such as throwing sticks) and work their way up to portable high-tech death.

The path of progression goes from stone age to medieval (crossbows, bows) to industrial (spike-launchers, bombs). There’s even a super-powerful ballista, which comes in several varieties and has to be mounted upon your fortress or club house.

Source: Rend

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Mars survival sandbox ROKH pushes early access to May

Mars-themed survival sandbox ROKH is inching closer toward release, a new post on Steam announced today, as early access is now planned for May 16th.

“Playing on persistent servers, you will experience a truly sandbox experience. No mission or quest here, define your own goals according to your own needs! And to succeed, find your own way to play with the many game systems available. As a newcomer on ROKH and its Mars Colonization Program, you must find ways to survive by exploring Mars in your basic astronaut suit, looking for resources. Oxygen, food, water – all your life support systems will have to be cautiously managed.”

We first heard about ROKH back in 2015 when it released its teaser to the world. Just about a year ago, developer Darewise Entertainment launched a Kickstarter for the game seeking over $100,000, but that crowdfunding attempt was canceled when it achieved only about a fifth of its goal. Since then, the early access launch has been kicked around a few times — first to September 2016, then January 2017, and now to next month. Stay tuned for more on the game as it’s one of the titles we’ll be covering in our nascent survival column!

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KingsIsle seeks support to get EverClicker on Steam; Wizard101 and Pirate101 might be next

First there was EverQuest. Then there was Ever, Jane. Now there’s EverClicker. This sort of trend could go on (wait for it) forever.

KingsIsle, the studio behind both Wizard101 and Pirate101, is branching out into the mobile space and is looking for fan support to propel its newest title onto Steam. On the Wizard101 forums, the team asks the community to head over to Steam Greenlight to vote for EverClicker in the hopes of seeing it hit the big time.

Oddly enough, both 101 games have yet to debut on Steam themselves, but KingsIsle said that EverClicker could pave the way for that. “It’s easier to start our journey onto Steam with a game that isn’t hugely complicated with a lot of moving parts,” the studio said. “Starting with EverClicker on Steam allows us to learn the process. If successful, we hope to be able to offer more of our games on Steam and other distribution outlets in the future, which could include games such as Wizard101 and Pirate101.”

Source: Wizard101 forums, Steam Greenlight. Thanks, Tom!

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Path of Exile shows off some of the new monsters for its next expansion

So Path of Exile is launching its next expansion very soon. The team behind the game is showing off some of the new monsters coming with that expansion. One of those monsters is a cage of skeletons walking around and waving its arms to and fro while puttering toward the camera.

Is that ridiculous? Is that scary? It’s hard to be sure. There’s a thin line between horror and comedy, and boy, it’s hard to know where that contraption falls. But you can see it for yourself just below, along with two other monsters which are far more clear in their attributes. Still, though, skeleton cage.

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Conan Exiles patches in 50 emotes, exploit fixes

Update 25 has landed for Funcom’s in-early-access survival sandbox Conan Exiles, bringing with it 50 new emotes as promised. You’ve got the basics, like shrug and point and dancing, and then you’ve got “laying [sic] seductively,” “spank,” and “belly dance,” which is totes what you should be doing in a brutal world where everyone wants to kill you.

The update also fixes several ongoing exploits, including a dupe issue and that pesky problem of “accidentally” falling through the game world and raiding people’s bases.

And this line in the notes is cryptic: “Seeing dead people can now lead to great rewards.” Hmm.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go over here and emote sleeping on the ground. I’m sure it’s safe to sleep here. What could go wrong?

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Grand Theft Auto Online introduces its new Tiny Racers mode, and it’s wonderful

The newest Adversary mode for Grand Theft Auto Online isn’t about stealing things. It’s barely even about exploding cars. No, it’s about taking the game back to its roots with top-down stunt racing on an elevated track, complete with boost sections, power-ups, and all of the general ridiculousness you could expect. It’s the Tiny Racers mode, and it’s live now, without any need for DLC.

Players who drop too far behind the pack in this mode will get blown up, but for the most part it’s just about fun and mildly goofy top-down races across seven tracks. You’ll be getting increased rewards for playing it for the next week or so, which should serve as even more motivation to try it out. Check out the trailer just below for a glimpse at the action.

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Osiris: New Dawn teases planetary changes coming in this week’s update

We’re inching ever closer to the release of survival sandbox Osiris: New Dawn’s “massive” next patch, all set to include new dungeons, better graphics, a new class (the Ranger), and a Proteus II biome and location update.

The Proteus update is, in fact, the subject of the game’s latest most recent trailer, which zips through the updated map and hitting the highlights from underwater craters to soaring skyscrapers.

Osiris has been live on Steam’s early access program since September of last year. The update should go live on Thursday. In the meantime, check out the video!

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Overwatch pro player sees career ended over racist diatribe

It’s probably not the best idea to start shouting racial abuse in the middle of a live stream if you’re public figure with a pro gaming career.

That’s the lesson to learn from Toronto Esports player Matt “Dellor” Vaughn, who apparently started shrieking the N-word repeatedly (“for 26 uninterrupted seconds while his teammates sat in stunned silence,” PVP Live writes) over voice chat during an Overwatch stream, which one of his viewers then uploaded to YouTube for posterity.

The diatribe caused Toronto Esports to end Vaughn’s contract:

“Toronto Esports is an organization built on inclusivity, and we have always had a zero- tolerance policy for any forms of discrimination. Immediately upon learning of the incident, the player was interviewed, admitted to the offence, and was notified that his contract with the organization was being terminated.”

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Master X Master unlocks all characters for beta finale

Live in the moment even more than usual, because when April 27th rolls around, Master X Master’s beta won’t be around to keep you entertained.

For the final week of the MOBA’s closed beta test, NCsoft has unlocked all of the masters for testers to test drive and abuse. Abuse? We meant “adore.” Adore. Not only will players have all 36 heroes at their fingertips, but ranked mode on the Titan Ruins map is turned on to test.

“For players still looking to get the exclusive CBT Taejin skin, good news, you now have another chance to get it before closed beta ends,” the studio said. “If you’re able to play and complete at least seven ranked Titan Ruins matches, you’ll be awarded with this exclusive skin, which will be awarded at the game’s official launch.”

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The Stream Team: Practicing with Paladins’ new healer, Seris

With the release of Paladins’ Souls and Shadows update, Massively OP’s MJ has a new champion to play. She’s really looking forward to checking out Seris, the newest healer. Even better, she has codes to share that include both Seris as well as her Taboo skin set. Want to win one? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. EDT for your chance to collect her.

What: Paladins
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

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The Stream Team: Watch and win SMITE Tactics beta access

Tired of being left out of betas? Want the satisfaction of prying a set of beta doors open so you can get in? Massively OP’s MJ has a crowbar right here to help you get into SMITE Tactics! She’ll be playing and giving away a bunch of beta codes, so tune in live at 10:00 a.m. for your chance to get in and check the game out for yourself.

What: SMITE Tactics
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 10:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

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