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]
If you’ve been away from H1Z1 for a long time, you need to known that Daybreak’s been making it easier to get back into the game, both for former players and for newbies.
I spoke with Daybreak Lead Systems Designer Tony Morton at PAX West about the recent combat update, and he showed off the upcoming combat practice feature.
“What we’re doing is system by system and segment by segment,” he told me. “We’re kind of gutting it; we’re starting over from scratch in a more systematic standpoint.”
All hail the Czech Republic! C-Z-E-C-H! That spells victory!
Blizzard is toasting players from the republic for their performance at the recent Hearthstone Global Games tournament at Gamescom last month. In a long and colorful infographic, the studio revealed that 2,345 games were played during the course of the tournament, which included 510 quests.
Forty-eight countries competed for both glory and a slice of the $332,000 prize pie. Other interesting statistics revealed include the fact that the most successful class was the Druid, followed by the Hunter and Warrior. Also, one game saw the deployment of 37 Jade Idols, which we’re just going to say is a lot despite having seen a few hundred of them at a tourist gift shop once.
If you’re a big fan of Lawbreakers, don’t be dissuaded by the game’s tiny player numbers on Steam; there’s plans in the wings! The development team released a new roadmap to fans detailing a new map (Namsan) and a new onboarding experience to help players understand how to play the game right out of the gate. There are also new Skirmishes coming, which are new temporary map modes that give players new ways to play the game in the short term.
Further out, players can look forward to another new map, the game’s first post-launch class being added to the game, and the inclusion of the game’s competitive ranked league. The roadmap ends by reassuring players not to worry about those small user counts, which is of course totally reassuring and means that everything will probably be all right.
It’s not enough for the CS:GO community to bleed players to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds; nope, this week it’s taking another blow in the form of legal action against CS:GO YouTubers and profiteers.
You’ll recall that Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Thomas “Syndicate” Cassell ran afoul of both Valve and the law last year, when the Washington State Gambling Commission began cracking down on Valve for allegedly facilitating gambling via a skin API that allowed websites like CS:GO Lotto to use skins as gambling currency, netting the site a billion bucks last year. Indeed, there was even a class action RICO lawsuit filed against both Valve and several CS:GO gambling website owners, including Martin and Cassell, though that suit was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.
That wasn’t the end of it, however; last week, the FTC settled its case against the CS:GO Lotto duo for failing to disclose that they owned the website while promoting it through various seemingly unrelated influencer platforms, particularly YouTube, both its own platforms and paid influencers’ platforms.
Ubisoft announced a brand-new multiplayer arena shooter today: It’s called Atomega, and it’s adorable, at least if you’re into retro 3-D graphics and robots. The substudio behind the title also built Grow Home and Grow Up, so expectations are high. Probably the most intriguing part is that it’s a shooter where you can win without being a total murder hobo.
“The player must acquire mass, by peacefully collecting it or via firefights, to evolve his Exoform from the nimble Atom to the godlike Omega. Competing for mass, players engage in a frantic battle for supremacy through intense 10-minute rounds, gathering up to eight players. Acquiring mass also grants points and the player with the most points at the end of the round wins. It is a relentlessly competitive experience, an easy to pick-up but hard to master game, with a light-hearted tone echoing the personality of its small development team.”
Like what you hear? You won’t have a long wait: It launches for PC next week on September 19th for the equivalent of €10. Check out the trailer!
For its first major content update, Dark and Light’s Mysteries of Blackice Peaks proved to be a bit of a mixed bag. While adding more zones and features to this fantasy sandbox, the update was so buggy that it resulted in a rollback. Ouch.
Now, hopefully the game can move forward instead of in reverse. The team patched up its patch last week, fixing several bugs and making the frost cave a lot more dangerous to traverse. The team tried to smooth over the bumps by saying, “Again we’d like to apologize for failing to push the patch live earlier and causing a lot of confusion and frustration.”
That does leave a “black screen bug” that’s keeping some players from getting into the game, an issue that the developers say that they’ve prioritized for a fix. With all of the problems, fans of the game might need to be reminded that there are some positives here too, such as the sumptuous graphics.
With its domination over Steam
and 10 million units sold
, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
has the industry’s direct and rapt attention. But this immense success hasn’t come without obstacles, particularly as the studio attempts to expand and wrangle a monster success.
“The biggest problem we’re having at the moment is the server platform, because we’re trying to develop it on a production system, which is super hard because you’ve got millions of players — literally millions — coming through the doors every day,” said Bluehole Creative Director Brendan Green.
The early access shooter has also seen stiff backlash due to its decision to introduce microtransactions into the testing process. While Green said that the percentage of players expressing dissatisfaction is relatively small, it has still led to a review bombing campaign on Steam.
When I visited the En Masse
offices during PAX West
, it was a crash course in learning how to use a controller — which I haven’t picked up in years — as I was introduced to Closers
, an episodic anime online RPG. The game has five different characters players can choose from from the Black Lambs, each with its own personality and dialogue with all the NPCs. For my hands-on, I played Seha (a melee swordsman), but there is also Sylvi, Yuri, Misteltein, and J.
Devs noted that the story of Closers is very important; the game itself is story-driven. The characters are all teens with psychic abilities brought together as a team to fight back the interdimensional monsters that are pouring into New Seoul (Old Seoul was devastated during the last invasion) through portals.
These portals, of course, need closing.
PAX West 2017 has come and gone, and though MJ is still feverishly working on her last few articles, we wanted to pause a moment to reflect on everything we’ve seen and read and recapped so far. So for today’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our writers to tackle three topics from an MMO player’s perspective: the biggest surprise of the show, the most disappointing bit, and the games that grabbed them and won’t let go.
If I had to pick a PAX West booth to give an award to for sheer fun factor, it would go to Digital Extremes’ new board/card/computer game combo The Amazing Eternals. (I’m not alone: The booth also got an award from a magazine!) The retro bowling alley vibe — complete with bowling shirts, orange shag carpet, and wood paneling — combined with the awesome old TV console frames on the monitors just screamed funky and fun.
Did that same vibe translate into the game? Yup. It was prevalent when I got to dive in and try a couple of matches. Admittedly, the first one was less fun, but that’s because I jumping in totally blind; the enjoyment spiked up quite a bit more after talking with Lead Game Designer Allen Goode and actually learning about the game. And now you, too, will have that same info so you can have a blast in your matches — or at least know better what’s going on!
Remember how former Turbine President Jeffrey Steefel was snapped up by Wizards of the Coast this past January to head up a digital games studio for the studio’s IPs? Now we know the big project that his team was making: Magic: The Gathering Arena, a F2P digital card game that’s coming soon.
Made for PC and mobile, Magic: The Gathering Arena is a full-fledged Magic game with “full rules and ongoing content support for new card sets.” It sounds as though Arena might well be a replacement for the creaky and faulty Magic Online, although the studio wasn’t saying if this will be the case.
“We want to create the deepest, richest digital card game on the market, and for it to be as much fun to watch as it is to play,” said Steefel in a press release. Magic: The Gathering Arena is taking beta signups and will begin testing Constructed play from the Ixalan set later this year.
Success can be a double-edged sword, especially if one isn’t prepared for it. Developer Sloclap is discovering this over the past week, as its popular multiplayer brawler Absolver is being crushed under the weight of players attempting to log in and enjoy the new title.
The biggest issues since launch concern server instability, lag, and connectivity, with some players simply unable to log into the game (and in fact, Polygon notes that Oceania servers weren’t even turned on until later).
“Overall game stability is the top priority here,” said the developer on Twitter Monday. “We apologize for the online issues you are encountering.”
Absolver has been regularly patching in an attempt to shore up the game before the launch crowd grows too impatient and quits (or worse, demands a refund). Other issues that the team is attempting to resolve include corrupted saves on the PlayStation 4 and allowing players to break through regional locks to hang out with friends.
Are you eager to form a nation, fight your friends, and wage a war of conquest across the land? Then perhaps you’d like to check out War of Conquest on Kickstarter. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the title is derived from the original game of the same name made by ex-Turbine developers, which ran for several years before succumbing to the simple march of technology over time. But now the game is coming back with improved systems and graphics if the Kickstarter meets its lofty goal of… $7,000.
One may well suspect this Kickstarter is as much for promotion as it is for anything else, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in on it now and reap the appropriate benefits. The project is already just shy of 50% funding at $3,145 (as of this writing) and has quite a way to go in terms of time, so if the idea of a massively multiplayer strategy title tickles your fancy, keep your eye on this one.