Here’s the stuff we’d never heard of before we covered it for the first time here. You wanted bleeding edge… here it is! [Follow this category’s RSS feed]
Does Otherland hold potential to be an immersive MMO? Fans today will get to find out as the title opens up its early access testing on Steam.
The sci-fi MMO is adopting a buy-to-play model, and as such players will have to fork over some cash (at least $20) to get into early access testing. According to the developers, the game is mostly feature complete, with early access taking the place of open beta instead of being a repackaged alpha test. The team is asking for help during early access to track down bugs and to judge whether the combat balancing is too easy.
To find out more about Otherland, read our recent first impressions of the title and then watch the early access trailer after the break.
Valve announced that Dota 2‘s Reborn update will be released to the live servers in the next few weeks. Online RTS Grey Goo launched a tournament series that will run from now until January and boasts a total of $75,000 in prizes to be won. Dungeon Defenders II officially moved from pre-alpha to alpha with its “Alpha and Beyond” update. Heroes of the Storm restricted its Hero League queue system to solo and duo players, a move that has worked well in other MOBAs.
Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski announced that his studio is working on a new competitive online fps called LawBreakers set in a low-gravity world. League of Legends released Patch 5.17 following a hotfix to rebalance its newly crowned Juggernaut characters. Path of Exile quadrupled the drop rate of rare and super rare unique items in patch 2.0.3. SMITE added headless disruptive tank character Xing Tian to its growing roster of Chinese gods. And Star Citizen delved into this month’s progress while a fansite has put together all the information we know on the game’s release schedule.
Read on for detailed breakdowns of the stories above and other news from the wider world of online gaming in this week’s Not So Massively, and don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed for weekly updates!
The anime-saturated Onigiri is about to make the leap from Japan to the west on consoles as a free-to-play MMO.
What we have here is an action MMO with lots of button mashing, dungeon diving, and wholesale slaughter of Japanese mythical creatures. Players slip into one of five classes and take on the role of a demon hunter in ancient Japan.
Onigiri was originally supposed to release this month on the Xbox One but was delayed due to “scheduling issues.” A PlayStation 4 version is expected to follow later this year. You can check out the quick trailer after the jump!
I first covered Otherland, the Gamigo-turned-Drago MMORPG based on Tad Williams’ sci-fi book series by the same name, at E3 2012. The idea of having multiple genres in the same game was cool, as was instanced personal housing complemented by (at the time) non-instanced guild housing where players could donate “eDNA” to build NPC mobs that would guard guild lands during PvP raids.
Back then, it sounded fresh and new. WildStar was still far off on the horizon, having only just been announced, which was why I was surprised when Otherland disappeared, especially when NPCs were supposedly going to live their own lives, moving around town at certain hours based on player interaction — a feature I still don’t feel I’ve seen fleshed out well in an MMO. Drago Entertainment’s attempt to bring the game back years later with the same ideas is commendable, but as I downloaded my preview version of the game, I wondered whether the game could feel as new now as it seemed in 2012.
Clear the slate of your gaming plans for the near future, friends, because we’re here to tell you that your dream game has arrived: Horse World Online.
Blog Clean Casuals alerted us to the existence of Horse World Online, a browser-based horse breeding game in which players build up a farm, throw different types of horses together in the pastures, and, we don’t know, put on some Barry White or something. There is an incredible array of horse breeds available along with facts about each.
However, it’s not merely about making baby horses in an endless quest to produce pretty foals. Horse World Online also lets you race your beasts, enter them into competitions, and buy and sell them on the market. The game came out at the beginning of August and is free-to-play with various timers and an optional subscription.
Looking for an up-and-coming sandbox that isn’t some weird jumble of voxels? Wild Terra would respectfully submit that you check out its isometric medieval world as a possibility.
Survive, craft, build, fight: These are the core pillars of the Wild Terra experience. Juvty Worlds expects that players will shape the game world and build up towns and castles while fighting each other through the open PvP system. There’s also “realistic animal behavior” for those tracking and hunting beasts.
Wild Terra was formerly free for anyone to access, but as of August 25th the team had to rope off the game to paying customers due to the strain on the server. The cheapest early access bundle that will get you into the game goes for €9.99 (just over 11 bucks in US dollars). The devs project a release date for the end of 2015.
You can watch the trailer after the break.
Like the idea of survival games, but not PvP? Wish your class involved video games? Maybe you want to doom humanity to choking itself on its own filth?
Well, good news for all of you: Eco made its initial Kickstarter goal!
The game is basically a PvE survival game launching with player made governments where players use server-provided data on the environment (such as number of deer, population over the past month, and cause of death) to make laws. These laws aren’t just ideals but server enforced rules created and voted on by players, so if people choose to allow players to kill only three deer a day, the game prevents you from killing a fourth. Over harvesting leads to extinction, not just of that species but others related to it, which can eventually lead to the death of a world (read: server-wide permadeath via PvE). The emphasis on social tools, data use, and environmental balance isn’t a coincidence, however; Eco is built to be used as an educational game.
The sandbox known as MUD — not to be confused with actual MUDs — launched an ambitious Kickstarter this week, provoking the MMO community to do what it always does when asked for money: be skeptical. Of note, many of our readers took umbrage with the idea that female playable characters are be tucked behind a half-million-dollar stretch goal (the published stretch goal chart has since been abbreviated).
We spoke with Pure Bang’s Founder and Lead Designer Ben Walsh about the female character model and the game’s overall campaign.
Healers are the often unsung heroes of any MMO raid, spending hours staring at health bars while the rest of the group gets to enjoy the fireworks with the boss. Now there’s a mobile game that seeks to replicate the experience of juggling an entire raid’s health bars: Little Healer.
“For the last few months I’ve been working on a game that can fix my itch to play [World of Warcraft],” game developer Voley explained. “We went for a healer gameplay as the most rewarding and interesting.”
Little Healer is a free mobile game for iOS and Android that gives players a small array of spells and tasks them with keeping a raid on its feet during a succession of boss battles. While the actual battle isn’t shown, it is quite interesting how different fight patterns emerge through damage and debuffs. Give it a try, but be warned: This is one extremely tough game.
Just as MMO healers have been telling you for years.
I know, I know: Solid information about Heart of Thorns is coming really slowly from the Guild Wars 2 PR machine, making for a bunch of very nervous potential players who have a whole list of unanswered questions. The elite specializations haven’t all been released at this stage, and we still don’t know that that “challenging group content” we’ve been promised will look like. There are so many moving parts still whirring along the road to the expansion’s release, each one hovering just out of reach for the eager playerbase. With at most four months until HoT is in our hands and pre-orders already flowing, we really want to know as much as we can about the product we’re spending our hard-earned gaming budgets on.
Having said that, I dislike how we, as a community, are spoiling the moment for ourselves and the team at ArenaNet by extensively datamining for goodies and avidly jumping on the information unearthed. I guess there’s nothing immoral or directly damaging about datamining, but I feel as if we sometimes poke, prod, and shake the shiny expansion-shaped present so much in our quest to guess at its contents that we inadvertently end up tearing the wrapping paper and spoiling the magic. We’re looking at little snippets of an unfinished product that are still largely open to interpretation, and while that’s good for speculation, it’s not so good for gleaning concrete details. For this week’s edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I wanted to depart from my usual content to touch on why I find datamining to be more than a little bit of a buzzkill rather than the tasty teaser it’s usually presented as.
MUD is not a MUD. It’s inspired in part by MUDs, but the game itself is meant as an open world crafting sandbox driven by player choice and so forth. You know, like the other voxel-based sandbox titles you’ve seen on Kickstarter. This particular game isn’t selling its Kickstarter on those merits, focusing instead on the idea that the game is a hybrid between Minecraft and the MUDs of yesteryear.
A Steam Greenlight campaign has already succeeded for the game, complete with a trailer just below showing off a bit of the world in motion. A persistent and universal online world for the game is among its stretch goals, although at $1.5 million that might be a bit unrealistic. Still, you can take a look at the Kickstarter and decide for yourself.
We could quote a lot of numbers from Funcom’s second quarter financial report, but let’s be honest here: They’re just confirming what we already know. There are three non-numerical takeaways from the report, the first being confirmation that LEGO Minifigures Online underperformed significantly and will have its investments reduced. Second, some of Funcom‘s existing investors are deferring the company’s debts in light of its current situation. Third, and most importantly, the company is shifting gear to developing faster experimental games with a more aggressive release schedule.
The first of those games, The Park, is slated for release this October and should look familiar to fans of The Secret World even without all of the teasing director Joel Bylos had done regarding the previously unannounced title. The game is a single-player spinoff horror game centered around an amusement park that features prominently in the MMO, so if you wanted to have a short and directed horror experience outside of the online space, you’ve got something to look forward to. Check out the trailer just below.
Outer space is so quiet and lacking in any useful facilities. It’s going to be your job to change that in 3001SQ, an upcoming space colonization simulator from Paris studio Société des Mondes Virtuels.
3001SQ will allow you to flit between planets and other galactic objects to mine, build structures, engage in a player economy, and even wage war. Players will have a programmable computer on their ship that can automate some tasks, even when the player is offline.
The team hopes that 3001SQ will suck you into its virtual universe: “Our vision for the game has a strong emphasis on immersion. Every item in the world will have a purpose, or relay actual game-world data. It will be played entirely from a first-person perspective, allowing you to move seamlessly inside of, and between, vessels and planetary surfaces.”