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]
Calling Patch 9.18 “one of the most significant ever” for World of Tanks
overhauled the game’s matchmaking system this week as part of a concerted effort to address some troublesome areas.
So how does this matchmaking overhaul make the game better? “The improved matchmaker assembles teams choosing from a set of server-based algorithms — templates — so that both camps always have the same number of vehicles at the top/middle/bottom of the list. It also limits the number of SPGs per side to 3 at the most and significantly reduces the instances of map duplications.”
In short, fewer unfair matches and more battles in which you’ll have an honest shot at victory. The update also changed SPGs to become long-range artillery support for teams and revised the light tank lines to spread them all of the way to Tier X.
Brutal deathmatch arena game The Culling has temporarily reduced the financial barrier to entry, allowing anyone to try it out for free this weekend.
From now through Sunday, The Culling can be accessed for free through Steam. Additionally, the early access title is 33% off through May 1st, bringing the price down to $16.74.
Changes and adjustments are still being rolled out on a rapid basis to the in-development game, such as the re-introduction of the stagger mechanic while blocking. “The nature of weakness and feeble created scenarios where it was nearly impossible to overcome a HP disadvantage because the weakened player was capable of forcing damage trades,” the devs said. “We want players to have the opportunity to overcome any HP deficit through skillful play — stagger creates that opportunity.”
Blizzard has just announced that Overwatch has just counted 30 million players. That’s buyers, mind you, as the game is buy-to-play.
However, a limited free-to-play Overwatch is actually happening, albeit with two caveats: It’s only going to be for the month of May, and it’s only rolling out in China. Blizzard announced that all heroes and all maps will be available for free from May 1st through the 31st in China. The only exception is competitive mode, which will not be available for the F2P crowd. Players can take the game out for a spin and even keep their progress if they purchase the game after that month.
Meanwhile, Overwatch fans who are a little peeved at having to play Heroes of the Storm to earn special skins should be consoled by the word that these skins will eventually come to Overwatch’s lootboxes in the future. Anything else Blizzard can do for you? Fluff your pillow? Tell you a bedtime story? OK then.
Osiris: New Dawn just launched its new patch, and Massively OP’s MJ is diving into a brand-new world to play the new Ranger class. Honestly, she just wants to explore the new landscapes, which are pretty spiffy-looking. Maybe she will stumble across a dungeon, but hopefully not before she has a bit more of an arsenal built up. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to check out the latest changes.
What: Osiris: New Dawn
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 28th, 2017
If you’ve been waiting for a new top-down action team shooter set in a sci-fi universe, then Games of Glory may be for you! The game just opened its beta doors this week, and Massively OP’s MJ is barging in to check things out. What will the champions be like? How are the play fields designed? And how well will the death counter feed? Join us live at 9:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a first look at…
What: Games of Glory
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 27th, 2017
Remember the big ol’ underwater-themed ARK: Survival Evolved earlier this month that sent PC players into a tizzy over the big bird nerf? (Not the Big Bird nerf — that’s something else entirely.) That selfsame patch has landed for console players this week — without all the nerfs, mind you, as many (though not all) of those have been sorted out on PC in the meantime:
“This huge new patch (v256) arrives bursting with new content, including vacuum-sealed underwater bases and aquatic creature breeding, TEK teleporter pads and wireless generators, and four powerful creatures. Today also brings to console players the first major menu redesign of ARK, as the Inventory UI receives a complete visual and functional overhaul – introducing a modernized and streamlined new look. This is a huge upgrade that makes inventory management a breeze.”
Want more survival sandbox coverage? Check out our new column, The Survivalist, which covers ARK and the now dozens of other titles in this subgenre, and don’t miss our weekly ARK: Survival Evolved streams, which take place on our streamer’s very own ARK server (which you’re invited to join if you wanna)!
Carving out a niche of your own in the deep of space is part of the full Hellion experience. In a new dev diary, the team discusses how players can claim ships or outposts as their own, naming them and setting permissions for others to visit (or not). There is always the possibility of hacking another’s security system to gain unwanted access, however.
Once you own a ship, apparently it’s yours to decorate inside and out as you please: “While exploring the world of Hellion players will be able to find various customization items that can be placed inside ships and modules. Some of these include posters, pictures, emblems, logos, etc. In addition to premade items, players will also have the option of placing written messages.”
Can we cover this game with “MOP RULES” graffiti? Let’s make it happen, people! In fact, now’s a good time to jump into the game: The 0.1.12 patch is live today, and yes, it fixes the ship HUDs!
If you’re averse to politics, science, and education, you might want to give ECO wide berth. Otherwise, Strange Loop Games CEO John Krajewski hopes that you and the upcoming generation of students might learn a thing or two about the impact of humans on a closed environment through ECO’s 30-day cycle.
“Within the experiential power of games, I believe we can find some of the power to untie the political knots that wrap up climate change, creating an experience in a virtual world where climate change is a problem you can see in front of your face, and it immediately threatens you,” Krajewski wrote.
Krajewski said that by allowing players to experience first-hand how the environment reacts to siphoning off resources and changing the world itself, the players might come to a conclusion through their experience. “Within ECO, the processes of climate change and societal impact happen over the course of 30 days, with a few dozen friends or classmates, in a world small enough to see all of it,” he said.
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.
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.
“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.
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!
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.”