There was a lot of buzz swirling about Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s hour-and-a-half developer livestream yesterday, thanks to a truckload of information shared and gameplay that showed off the visual and animation improvements that the team has added.
Of particular note was the reveal of the Monk class and how this melee class handles, the new zone of South Saol Peninsula, and the acclimation system. Due to Pantheon’s hardcore design, even the environment will be a challenge to overcome due to debilitating effects (such as freezing winds, scorching fire, and deep sea pressure). To be able to survive in these areas, players will need to use “infusions” to acclimate their characters’ bodies.
While players will be able to eventually get their hands on all of the content shown in the stream, there is one aspect that will forever remain hands-off. Brad McQuaid apparently made his own class, a War Wizard, that can be played only by him. Because why not exercise your power and position if you’re making a new MMO?
The full developer livestream awaits you after the break.
How do you merge a survival sandbox game with a magic system? This is the challenge that Dark and Light’s team has been grappling with as it rebuilds the game into a new vision. The solution that emerged was to make spells as item-dependent as anything else in the game rather than inherent abilities rooted in characters’ innate talents.
The team put out another one of its awkward self-interviews to try to explain how Dark and Light’s magic system differs from what you normally see in online games. The gist is that you’ll need to craft special items and catalysts in order to use spells, and those spells will aid with surviving and crafting in the world. Eventually, players will start to specialize in certain types of magical crafting, enabling them to bring something unique to a group setting.
In a livestream Q&A session, World of Warcraft’s Ion Hazzikostas admitted that the studio probably shouldn’t have slapped the label of “biggest patch ever” on Patch 7.2. The game director said that this was an objective measurement of all of the content that was included, but not every player would experience all of it due to the variety.
Hazzikostas fielded several questions about the gradual unlocking of Patch 7.2’s content, including the still-to-come raid. He said that the unlock schedule for Tomb of Sargeras will come in May, with the raid opening up sometime in mid-to-late June. Another raid is reportedly in the works for Patch 7.3 on Argus.
Other topics discussed were the cross-realm zone lag, why Blizzard isn’t scaling players for the artifact challenge, paragon emissary chest rewards, the Legion assault schedule, and why the studio isn’t awarding Legionfall rep for the assaults (spoiler: It’s a dumb reason). You can watch the full Q&A below!
Massively OP Kickstarter donor John has a very simple question to kick off our morning: Why the heck is server downtime still a thing?
“How can any modern MMO still have server downtime after something like Guild Wars 2? Are we bad consumers? Do we not care? Obviously doable and I work for a company with a web frontend and plenty of places easily have the same without (planned) planned downtime.”
I’ve always found that curious too. I can understand why pre-Guild Wars 2 — Guild Wars 1, really — games would be locked into their server downtime/uptime paradigm, but new MMOs? What’s your excuse? Why don’t all MMORPGs have a rolling patch system like GW2’s? Why is MMORPG server downtime still a thing?
Deep in the comments of the MMOs-vs.-survival-sandboxes thread from last week, reader miol_ produced a beautiful comment about how MMO players have become a minority in their own genre, which he then expounded upon for us in this provocative email.
“I’ve reached the opinion, that since the launch of WoW and its clones, the ‘original’ MMO-playerbase became a minority in their own genre. Before, we were but hundreds of thousands of MMO players, but then came Blizzard with WoW and its legions of fans in the dozen of millions at its peak, starting to dictate what the new success of MMOs should look like. Even if we others tried to vote with our wallet and feet, we became a minority, having only a fraction of our initial influence, while many devs tried desperately time and again to find ways to get at least a portion of the new Blizzard playerbase.
“Am I wrong with that perception of history? Am I totally missing something? Or are ‘we’ are slowly becoming a majority again, now that WoW and its clones are seeing steadily declining numbers (instead of us winning more players to ‘our side’)? How do we lobby better for ‘our cause’? Or can we only wait and see, until the genre is small enough again? Or is it too late? Have we ourselves grown too far apart into our even more niche corners of personal taste since SWG, while production costs and our demands for production value have skyrocketed at the same time? How could we come closer again?”
Let’s tackle miol_’s questions in this week’s Massively Overthinking.
Thinking about giving The Elder Scrolls Online a go as the march toward Morrowind pushes on toward June? You probably won’t find a cheaper deal between then and now than the Humble Bundle’s prices.
You’re looking at $9.89 for the cheapskate version for people who just want a looksee, but the Gold edition for $29.99 is probably the best deal, since it includes most of (though not all) of the DLC packs to date.
Anybody picking it up?
Does anyone not get a little excited and cynical when they hear the phrase “game manifesto” these days? It’s such a loaded term, fraught with seriousness and import. And yet sometimes, just sometimes, it can be used to discuss something as seemingly trivial as damage-over-time skills in MMOs.
The Path of Exile team published the first part of its Patch 3.0 “manifesto” series, talking about the design philosophy and changes that will come to the game with this fall’s expansion. And yes, this initial post has to do with the different types of DoT effects and how some will be buffed, some nerfed, and some both buffed and nerfed.
Another significant 3.0 change (now in testing on a server near you!) are some tweaks to the popular Cyclone skill. The improved skill will use pathfinding to move around obstructions so that you don’t have to stop being the Tazmanian Devil. See it below!
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 haven’t picked up Champions Online as a free player, you might not know that the game restricts unfettered character creation for F2P. Instead, freeloaders are restricted to pre-built archetypes that don’t allow for the fun of mix-and-matching your own vision.
That is, unless you either subscribe or purchase a “freeform” slot unlock for your account. A freeform slot grants the full privileges of slapping your own build together to see how it functions. And while these slots are usually pretty pricey (around $50), right now Champions Online is holding a half-off sale on freeform slots, bringing the tag down to 2,500 zen (around $25).
The sale is running from today through next Thursday. Also, conspiracy theory, is this sale capitalizing on City of Heroes’ anniversary this week? Hmm…
Heads-up, Black Desert fans: Kakao just let its players know that their account security may be in jeopardy.
“We recently received a report that account security may have been compromised on a third party website. In response, we have reset the password for any related accounts. We strongly urge any user whose password was reset to contact customer support in order to change your e-mail address. Additionally if you used the same or a similar password on any other services, it should be replaced.”
The studio hasn’t clarified how exactly the compromise came about or what the third-party website entailed, but we’re guessing that if you’re affected, you’ll be getting a personal password reset email soon. Just make sure it’s from the studio and not hackers, eh?
An unexpected environment and a shocking revelation about a key character lays in wait for adventurers who continue to scale Wakfu’s Mount Zinit.
The team posted a dev blog about the next stage of ascent up the monumental mountain. “In Mount Zinit part two, we decided to finish one aspect of the narrative before you even had time to explore the whole mountain,” the devs said. “Acting as if this is all totally normal, we arrive at the end of the main quest!”
To finish their ascent, players will need to explore other zones and gear up even further. In other news, a small patch yesterday added rewards for Wakfu’s leaderboard. So what are you waiting for? Go earn, son!
The Immortal Annex in Revelation Online
is a place of boundless learning, a faction devoted simply to studying, researching, learning, and never actually going out to get a job. It’s an undeclared college major’s dream locale, and it’s also the latest spot being highlighted by the game as the place to go
. Not just for Rush Week and the weekly keggers, but for huge amounts of untapped knowledge and the usual mechanics of raising your esteem with a faction.
Secret skills are available to those who take the time necessary to really study the lore lining its halls, while the area has attracted several merchants who happily sell powerful gewgaws to anyone with the Annex’s best interests at heart. It’s a neat place to be if you want to learn more, and so perhaps you’re overdue for a trip back to school. And hey, if you’re already in your seventh year of an undeclared major and still think pizza is the ultimate breakfast food, it’ll feel like coming home. Maybe.