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One game enters the list and another leaves. Dark and Light has started its closed testing, although there’s a very small number of people currently invited to test the game, so you’re probably not on the list. Meanwhile, Master x Master has entered the shark-infested waters of launch, so it’s now as real as it gets. Hooray for changes on the list!
Boy, I’m so excited I’m just going to launch into several more list items. Come with me, will you?
- Luna Online is apparently in closed testing in Southeast Asia, so that’s good news for fans of the game, people who live in Southeast Asia, and people who want games with names similar to those of moths. I assume the crossover on that list is rather small, but you never know.
- Hyper Universe has entered closed beta; if you’ve forgotten about that one, it’s a MOBA but of the side-scrolling variety. Check out the Facebook page for keys and such.
- A big test update is coming to Project Genom next month. It’s… big, almost like a whole rewriting of the game’s focus. You’ll want to see it to believe it, apparently.
- The bad news is that the early access launch for Rend is being delayed; the good news is that it’s apparently being delayed for really cool and good reasons. You’ll have to take the developer’s word on that one.
- Gigantic is launching on July 20th, so you may want to mark your calendar for that. And you can test freely on the PC right now, too.
- Kritika Online is throwing into the open beta ring pretty soon; June 29th, to be specific. Founder’s pack holders get in a little bit earlier, though.
- Last but not least, Shot Online Golf has hit the closed beta scene. So, you know. Golf.
And there’s still a whole list down below! What fun. Let us know if something in there slipped phases without us noticing, all right? We really like lists, if you haven’t noticed.
I sat down with Elite Dangerous Senior Designer Sandy Sammarco again at E3 2017, and while the information I’ve got in terms of game info may be a bit old hat for hardcore Elite players, I want to be clear on something: MMO players should take note of how Frontier is doing community events. Even if you aren’t interested in the game itself, the design strategies and execution are things that are reminding this jaded MMO-enthusiast about what got me into the MMO genre in the first place. I don’t really do space sims, and haven’t touched my VR for months (though I could probably hop on normal PC or PS4 versions), but my time with Sammarco has gotten me closer to hitting the “buy” button on the game.
I would like to start this article by saying that there are a lot of things to like about Secret World Legends, but for me, those good things — despite their being some of my favorite things about RPGs and MMOs — make it hard to overlook what I consider the flaws of the game.
Although there were always weird bits to The Secret World’s storytelling, like the silent protagonist, I’ve long considered it to be some of the best storytelling in MMORPGs. With the launch of Secret World Legends, that has not changed. In fact, I would say that as an introduction to the game, it’s improved. The weak point to the game has always been the combat. There were some very confusing things about it, which have been fixed, and there were some aesthetic issues, which have not been fixed.
I am very torn about how to approach my impressions of the game. I want to come at it as someone who hasn’t played it before because it’s being sold as something new. But at the same time, I have played the game, and I know exactly why I never played it for more than a week at a time. I approached the game from two different perspectives: Would this impress someone who has never played it, and will returning players who didn’t stick with it over the last couple of years be interested enough in the changes to come back?
In my mind, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
is all about sticking the landing. After a few years of FFXIV
being out, the game has consistently earned high praise from people who play it. Heavensward
was recognized as a definite high point for the game, improving more or less everything in the game and adding more besides. So the question was whether or not Stormblood
would continue down the same road or try to dramatically upend things, break down what once worked well and lose sight of what people enjoy.
The good news, then, is that it sticks the landing.
Everything that worked well in Heavensward has been brought forward and refined, and the parts that hadn’t worked so well have been trimmed away, repurposed, or outright removed. It feels very much like an expansion to the same core game, but in the process it manages to address almost every complaint I had over Heavensward almost incidentally. And it continues on in the high standards the game has set for itself over the years, resulting in an expansion which I’m already in love with after finishing the main storyline.
So ARK: Survival Evolved is going to be the first big survival sandbox not named Minecraft or Don’t Starve to not only make it to launch but to get there from Early Access development. Leaving EA is something we rarely see, which is why readers may notice I’m quite critical of games that ask for your money, sell you an incomplete game, and then spend years defending their EA status while continually making money on an unfinished project. To hear that a company once known for making paid DLC for an unreleased game is willing to shake the security blanket that is Early Access fills me with joy and a little trepidation.
Normally, this is where I’d tell you I’ve written up the interview, which is still true. However, as this was in a small group setting, not only do we have a writeup, there’s also a YouTube video for the few of you who have thirty minutes to wade through the (mostly) raw interview. You’ll see ARK’s Community Manager Cedric Burkes in person, hear daring press try to ask hard-hitting questions, and cringe as my terrible hat hair makes a quick appearance at about the 27-minute mark.
In yesterday’s comments on the Shroud of the Avatar AMA article, MOP reader squidgod2000 drew everyone’s attention to an overlooked bit in the Q&A that discusses nutrition in the game. I knew that food was intended to be a big deal in SOTA, but I had no concept of how far the game might eventually go — apparently a complicated system of calories, fat, and salt that affects a player’s stats. Richard Garriott says it’s all still a work in progress and only slowly being addressed (that goes for barfing up your food if you eat too much too!).
I love playing cooks in MMORPGs — let’s be honest, games are the only place I’ll ever be a great chef — so I most definitely want to see game mechanics in my sandboxes that make such consumables matter. I didn’t mind the various versions of “stomach capacity” Star Wars Galaxies implemented, for example. But I’m going to have to draw my personal line at counting calories in a freakin’ video game. Sorry, SOTA, but most of us have to do that and worry about our health or our relatives’ health in the real world.
And that leads me to today’s Daily Grind. How much realism is too much in an MMORPG?
With Pokemon Go trying to avoid explicitly calling itself an MMO, Massively OP once again has room for a top contender in the realm of mobile MMOs. There’s just one problem: We’ve got mostly Western readers for a genre that seems to appeal much more to the East. I was given the opportunity to see top global mobile MMO Lineage 2 Revolution and up and coming dino-sandbox Durango at E3 2017. I can see the appeal of both games, but also some limitations. Let’s dig into both.
My time with Neverwinter
is done, and it’s a game I find myself in an odd relationship with. It’d be fair to say that despite what some members of the audience expected, I never went into disliking the game; even when I was getting a little bit bored, I didn’t find myself desperately wanting to play something else just to be free of the scourge of the game itself. But at the same time… it never really got its hooks in me, either.
And some of that, I think, is that I’ve played it before.
I’m reluctant to say that every game Cryptic Studios makes is the same because every single one has very clear pieces that stand apart. Star Trek Online’s space combat, Neverwinter’s action combat, and Champions Online’s status as the last relic of a forgotten time. (Probably other things, too.) They’re not the same game. But they do all share the same gameplay loop, which is different… and despite my best efforts, there’s a certain point when all of that just winds up getting a wee bit tedious.
Despite the recent release of Path of Exile’s Fall of Oriath’s
recent beta release, Grinding Gear Games
sent Technical Director Jonathan Rogers out to E3 2017
to chat with press about the game’s incoming expansion. If you’re looking for some sweet, sweet data-crunching from the test server, you’ll be disappointed, as Rogers mentions the team shipped him off before he could see how the freshly launched test was going, but he still brought some interesting information.
When I’m playing an MMO, I’m playing it on my computer. My PC may be getting a bit older, but it’s still a very good machine, and there’s the benefit of familiarity and hardware. Heck, these days I do most of my gaming on my PC; console exclusives often just wind up being things I straight-up don’t play, so games like Destiny wind up in the ralm of vague curiosity.
But I don’t know if I’m the usual or the outlier. Sure, for a long time MMOs were pretty firmly limited to PC players, but these days you can get a number of games on console as well; part of me thinks that games like SMITE would actually work better on console than on PC anyhow. And that’s not counting games which you might play on the PC even when you play most of your games on other platforms, which is how I started with Final Fantasy XI. So what about you, dear readers? Are there MMOs you play on different platforms from your normal gaming? And if so, why?
Last week, Star Wars: The Old Republic
brought back the Nightlife event on Nar Shaddaa. In a nutshell, it’s a gambling event. After all, Nar Shaddaa is an underworld haven, and if mob movies have taught us anything, it’s gambling and casinos go hand-in-hand with the underworld.
The sad thing is that I kind of like this event. It’s not because of the activity of the event; that part is the most boring thing to watch because you’re literally just clicking on terminals. And it can’t be because of the cost; a player can literally go through millions of credits in just a few hours.
It’s because of the prizes. They really are some of the coolest things that you can get without having to touch the cash shop in any way.
I was watching Sechari from the Passionately Casual Podcast hang out with his Twitch chatroom as he was playing through the Nightlife event when I realized that it’s possible that not many people know how to maximize their credits for this event. I’m going to give you the same advice I gave Sechari, in three easy steps.
It’s time for a new expansion in Final Fantasy XIV, and that means for me that a lot of people are going to not know how to get through content. Heck, I don’t know how to get through all of the content; it’s new to me too. I’m still figuring it out, and while there are a few people who are progressing even faster than I am and know how to clear everything, they are in the decided minority. I mean, the expansion, counting early access, has only been out for five freaking days.
So that means I get to enjoy the old standby of offering advice when clearing group content. And some people are… let’s be polite and say that they’re better at it than others. An entire guide about how to give advice which will actually have a positive impact is a bit beyond the scope of this article, of course, but we can at least look at the advice that never, ever works. Or if it does, it is entirely by coincidence, not design.
Phoenix Labs’ not-Monster Hunter monster-hunting game Dauntless is obviously standing in a big shadow after E3 2017. I wasn’t yet fully aware of what Monster Hunter World was doing, but I’ve seen solid games lose to their larger rivals who are slower to innovate in the past. Capcom, while constantly disappointing Mega Man fans, is generally quite good with its co-op hunting series. RaiderZ, a Perfect World published not-MH game that also tackled the monster hunter genre, made minor changes to the formula and came as an actual MMO but still shut down. Though the Phoenix Labs guys weren’t aware of RaiderZ‘s failure, they seemed barely fazed by Capcom’s announcement, and maybe they’re right. Surprisingly, they’ve innovated a few things Capcom itself is doing while also adding a few things Capcom isn’t.