World of Warcraft and e-sports: two great tastes that taste great together, right? That’s Blizzard’s position, anyway. On Friday it laid out its plans for 2018. “The biggest event in WoW esports will be supported by a full calendar of tournaments around the world, ensuring only the most battle-tested and proven teams have a shot at the 2018 WoW Arena World Championship,” the studio says. “At the championship tournament itself, teams will be fighting for their share of a $280,000 prize pool and WoW Arena glory.”
Along the way in March, we’ll see eight teams split across North America and Europe fight for $100,000 and a spot in said championship, along with an increased prize pool and team roster spread for the Arena Cups throughout the year.
And if you’re more into watching competitive dungeon clearing, keep an eye out for the return of the Mythic Dungeon Invitational, which will this year include more teams, though this year, broadcasts will be broken down regionally and the “format will be double elimination, giving teams a chance to regroup after a loss and bounce right back.”
Builder-centric sandbox Life is Feudal has officially launched into early access with a buy-in of $29.99, and that’s the MMO version, mind you, not the Your Own survival sandbox. Consider it a bit like part two of the open beta, which has been running since autumn after initially being plagued by exploits and bugs.
“The Steam version contains all the features and content of the currently active Open Beta version, which means Steam users can join the tens of thousands of Open Beta players already building homes, keeps, and castles in the game. They will also be able to work with those same players to forge alliances that will over time form mighty guilds who control vast kingdoms. There’s a place for every type of player in Life is Feudal: MMO, from the butcher or baker, to the royal guard, regal knights, vassals and kings or queens.”
Last month, Bitbox implied it had “tens of thousands of players” romping through the game, though reviews are mixed; in the most recent reviews, players seem to be complaining chiefly about expensive P2W microtransactions, bugs, confusion, and grind.
In case you missed it, over the past few days the Lord of the Rings Online
community has been running one of the largest MMORPG player concerts in history. Winterstock V
, sponsored by the Lonely Mountain Band kinship on Landroval, has been entertaining crowds with a lineup of 47 player bands performing in front of Thorin’s Hall. Not all at once, you understand. There is a schedule
Standing Stone Games has been livestreaming the event, but in case you missed it, the studio has archived hours and hours of footage. And guess what? It’s all waiting for you after the break.
It’s really neat to see what players can do with a decade-old music system (plus the coordinated cosmetic outfits add that layer of professional dazzle). Check it out below.
Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!
Sci-fi MMOs dominated the first full week of the year, as Elite Dangerous announced dates for Beyond testing, Cyberpunk 2077’s implied it’s not dead yet, EVE Online players grumbled over botting, and Star Citizen promised predictability for alpha 3 patches and filed a motion to dismiss the Crytek copyright lawsuit.
Meanwhile, we reported back from Hi-Rez Expo 2018 with plenty of hands-on and interviews, which we’ve rounded up below in case you missed them! Then read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.
Way back in 2016, No Man’s Sky was all anyone talked about thanks to misleading hype positioning the game in the stratosphere. In fact, the multiplayer features that were teased (and apparently planned in spite of claims to the contrary) didn’t actually launch with the game, contributing to a regulatory investigation (which went nowhere). It was particularly disappointing to the MMO community, which didn’t believe NMS was itself an MMO but had been looking forward to online and social features, to the point that we were all deeply disappointed when it didn’t happen.
Some of that disappointment vanished last summer, when Hello Games emerged from its self-imposed PR silence with a new patch introducing “joint exploration,” which wasn’t exactly co-op multiplayer; instead, the devs called it “an important first step into the world of synchronous co-op in No Man’s Sky” – and we called it the first step into turning the game into what was originally advertised.
Players are now taking even more next steps. As Kotaku first reported, a player modder – RaYRoD – undertook a huge overhaul mod to basically reintroduce a lot of the planned features that people noted weren’t actually in the launched game.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Rend, Sea of Thieves, The Black Death, Warframe, HEX, Fragmented, MU Legend, Final Fantasy XI, Monster Hunter World, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Dota 2, Wurm Online, Ultima Online, and Path of Exile, all waiting for you after the break!
Don’t do survival the hard way, with only your fleshy meatbag shell as your primary resource. Use your brains and futuristic technology to summon an army of intelligent robots instead to do your bidding!
That’s the premise of Outpost Zero, a new survival sandbox that bills itself as a cross between “multiplayer FPS” and StarCraft. Players will land on an alien planet, gather resources, build bots, and construct a base. There isn’t a peaceful resolution here, however; base vs. base wars are the core of the endgame. Leading a trained bot army, players will engage in FPS combat against enemies in an attempt to interrupt operations and loot resources.
The studio says that Outpost Zero is a very deep sandbox, particularly when it comes to the game’s base construction and economic market. It’s currently ramping up its alpha program. Check out the trailer below!
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained fans are stocking up on big bags of popcorn because the announcement has been announced! If you care about the future of the game, you’re gonna want to show up this coming Thursday to hear what’s in store. Hint hint nudge nudge. It’s all teased in the game’s latest backer update, which further covers CSE’s progress on the engine, latency, the UI, tools, networking code, animations, and art.
Meanwhile, we got a personal tour of Ship of Heroes, Project Gorgon gently hyped its upcoming early access, Chronicles of Elyria announced it’s abandoned SpatialOS, and Elite Dangerous delivered beta and launch windows for its update chunk.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Soundtrack lovers, here’s a pleasant surprise for the end of the week: A brand-new album from Composer Brad Derrick and Elder Scrolls Online.
Derrick continues his reign over the game’s score, delivering a 36-track album that includes music from the Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood, and Clockwork City DLC. You can pick it up at iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon for $9.
The Elder Scrolls Online soundtrack was one of Massively OP reader’s top 20 picks a while back. We reviewed the Morrowind expansion score not too long ago, calling it “a much more memorable and moving soundtrack with plenty of nostalgic elements.”
The sad and touching saga of a fallen RIFT
player continues this week as the game’s developers cement her legacy in the game itself.
You might recall that last month, a long-time RIFT gamer and dimensioneer (a player housing expert, in other words) named Wintercharm was killed in real life in a traffic accident. Even though she was a teenager, Wintercharm had a huge impact on the community and spurred the creation of a massive in-game memorial garden by her friends.
Now, Trion Worlds is making sure that her presence will be remembered as long as RIFT endures. The studio worked hard to add an official memorial to Wintercharm this week, which arrives in the form of a special NPC that gives players “Wintercharm Blossoms” to use in their dimensions.
Just before the new year, the gaming community was mortified to learn that an innocent Kansas man had been shot by police following a fake crime report targeting the victim’s residence over a video game – i.e., a swatting incident that actually came to its intended deadly end. Now, the caller, 25-year-old Tyler Barriss, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, as well as with giving false alarm and interfering with a police officer.
According to original reports, Barriss was intending to target a Call of Duty player over a bet. His doxxing attempt went awry when he was given the wrong address for his victim, and so when he phoned police with his long and drawn out story about a murder/hostage/arson in progress, he sent them to the house of a completely unrelated father of two, Andrew Finch, who was subsequently shot and killed by police after opening his door.
Avast, feast your eyes here, ye swabbies: Sea of Thieves be settin’ sail for the waters of closed beta on the 24th of January for both PC and the Box of X. Hoist the mainsails and prepare to have your senses bedazzled, as no shroud separates ye from the testing, nor any NDA. Ye can even read up on the intelligence what governs those fancy skeletons that be dancin’ about, or ye could pick up a fine new hand-held controller for a heft spot of dubloons.
Other news for betas? Aye, ’tis a fine time to discuss the other ships what sit full in the water.
Now, I’ve told my tale and told it true, so ye ought let me be. But first, cast your eyes to the horizon, and ye can see our full list of games what be in beta testin’ right now! Aye, a beautiful sight; take a fine boat below, and keep your eyes peeled if one of those salty dogs what slipped into a new test phase without us recognizin’ it ahead of time.
Video previews of patches are like a chance to try before you buy. Except that you aren’t really trying so much as you’re watching someone try it. Also, since this is Blade & Soul
, you wouldn’t be buying it regardless; the title has a free-to-play business model. But you can still enjoy a pair of videos showing off both content and new features coming with the second anniversary patch, including the tailor shop’s outfit customization.
For some things, this is more useful than others. If you’ve seen the fight against Poharan before, this is not only not elucidating but specifically unhelpful, as the preview is more concerned about what the event adds after you beat her (a new merchant!) than how to beat her. On the other hand, seeing the pattern selection options in the tailor shop are going to help anyone curious about how the feature will expand player costume options. Check out the both videos below, although fair warning: Don’t start watching if your boss is walking over.