I’ve been playing a lot of ARK: Survival Evolved lately. It’s certainly not an MMO, just judging by player count, but it has elements of progression, persistence, crafting, and combat that many MMOs share. My question to you this morning, MassivelyOP readers, is whether or not there’s any aspect or feature in particular from ARK or its survival sandbox brethren that you’d like to see incorporated into an honest-to-goodness MMORPG.
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This was my E3 2015 introduction to Vladimir Piskunov, CEO of Bitbox and friend to veterans of Shadowbane, Darkfall, and other PvP games (or at least, the guy inviting the veterans to Life is Feudal‘s alphas).
Welcome along to Guild Chat, our comfy place for discussing all your guild dramas in a fun, frank, and empathetic way. You know the drill: Together, we’ll get to the heart of readers’ problems, helping them make the most out of their guild. Take a seat! Just pop that old suit of armour onto the floor… there you are. Now that we’re all settled, let’s have a look at this edition’s hot topic. This time, we’re going to tackle a question submitted by Samantha that asks for our help in dealing with a bad egg that’s holding her guild back. As a nice little twist, the player in question is her guild leader, and Sam’s fellow guildies are starting to feel weary with all the friction too. Read Sam’s question in full below to really get to grips with her gripe, and don’t forget to offer her a helping hand in the comments.
Most everyone who knows me well will acknowledge that I’m not generally a cynical, dark person. I’m not rooting for games to fail, for the industry to crash, for developers to be banished to the wastelands for their sins, or for the cultural return to Parcheesi. So while you might read the title of today’s piece as rather grim, understand that this is more a public service announcement than a cantankerous gamer dancing on the yet-to-be-dug graves of online RPGs.
Every MMO will die, and some of those much sooner than others. Right now there are seven games that are probably not long for this world, although in this industry you never quite know, do you? But if you have any interest in the following titles, I would recommend getting in to play them now — before it’s too late and you end up posting tear-laden nostalgia pieces on Reddit, wishing for one more day in that world. OK, that might be too grim. I’m not saying that all of these are on the verge of being shut down but that they’re operating on borrowed time and have a very uncertain future.
This week, no one will exactly be surprised to learn that I’m playing Final Fantasy XIV‘s early access weekend. Or trying to, anyway, because while the servers are nice and stable and the content seems largely free of bugs, you’re going to be stuck with some pretty horrendous queues and lobby server errors the moment you try to log back in after you log off for literally anything. Which, you know, isn’t something I’m really going to rake the company over the coals for… but it’s still kind of annoying to sit through.
But enough about me, by which I mean a very small bit more about me and about others. It’s What Are You Playing, wherein we tell you our plans for the weekend (and our Patrons chime in) and you let us know your weekend plans in the comments! And there’s no queue here. There might be login issues, though, depending on how nicely Livefyre is running.
Make no mistake, even with the recent launch of Heroes of the Storm, MOBAs are crashing and burning all over the place these days. We’ve seen titles like Transformers Universe, Solstice Arena, Infinite Crisis, Dawngate, and Wrath of Heroes flame out against the shared monopoly of League of Legends and Dota 2, and the consensus around the Massively OP office is that this is only the beginning of a possible Great MOBA Crash.
Of course, this could be trying to connect dots in the effort of seeing a trend. After all, games are born and die all of the time, so why should MOBAs be any different? What do you think: Are MOBAs destined for a Great Crash or is there enough interest and innovation to expand the field and keep current titles running?
After covering the development of Ubisoft’s The Division since 2013, I finally got my hands on the game itself — and its PvP — at this year’s E3. It’s not exactly a true MMO, but it’s got online co-op,
tablet-assisted play, and an “end of the world” setting free of zombies, all of which should translate to hype. [Apparently that tablet app has been canceled as confirmed earlier today.] New details on the Dark Zone may have scared some people off, but my interest was piqued.
For my part, I’m a big fan of organic, open-world PvP; instanced PvP doesn’t do much for me unless it’s about more than just accruing points or climbing ranks or even loot. Unfortunately, the Ubisoft PR rep at E3 began the demo by telling the participants our objective was to kill the other teams in a 3v3v3 “match.” Up until that point, I hadn’t realized that Dark Zone was being billed as an arena for loot gain. In fact, the official description of the demo implied a much more free-form experience.
Five minutes after I logged into ARK: Survival Evolved, I punched a fish. A few moments later, I punched a tree. Shortly thereafter, I mustered the courage to punch a dinosaur, and while that didn’t go as well as I would have liked, I did in fact survive.
ARK is one of the ubiquitous early access survival sandboxes littering Steam these days, but because of some glowing recommendations and because dinosaurs, I opted to forego my usual bias against paying to test and dropped 25 bucks on the title.
When Perfect World and Runic Games announced last week that Torchlight was stretching out into the mobile market, it caught many folks quite unawares. (It’s not often a studio can keep something under wraps so well in this industry!) So of course I was looking forward to meeting with these studios at E3 2015 to learn more about this little surprise. What I didn’t expect was to get my hands on a nearly completed version of the game and test it out!
Before I delve into my experience, I must preface this hands-on with the confession that with the exception of Fruit Ninja, I have never played — nor even been interested in playing — any mobile game. Well, unless Tetris counts! I am very much a PC gamer who wants the more in-depth worlds and experiences that come with that platform. That means I definitely have no bias toward or inclination to favor this genre of game. With that said, you can better appreciate this statement: I might very well start playing Torchlight Mobile on my own device when it launches!
The last few years around convention time, I took a moment in The Daily Grind to ponder whether E3 had become irrelevant for MMO gamers in particular. This year, I can’t even ask that question with a straight face. While the con wasn’t swarming with true MMOs, the MMO announcements circling the expo were huge. Star Wars: The Old Republic is doing what to its storyline and factions? Guild Wars 2’s expansion is prepurchasable at what price? EVE: Valkyrie hasn’t been abandoned yet? (I kid, I kid.) Never mind that there’s an expansion on the way for Final Fantasy XIV, a patch for World of Warcraft next week, Blade & Soul en route and a F2P relaunch for WildStar, and oh yeah, Elder Scrolls Online console launch anyone? Almost every major MMO player showed up with something big this week.
But what was the biggest? What was the MMO highlight of E3? Bonus question: What was the highlight of E3 overall?
This week’s Massively Overthinking question was shot over to us from Kickstarter donor Celestial, and it’s all about voice chat in MMOs.
Do you use a voice chat program while gaming, and if so, which one do you primarily use? Mumble, TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, RaidCall, Razer Comms, Skype, or some game-integrated solution (WoW, DCUO, LotRO, etc.)?”
And furthermore, do you actually like voice chatting, or is it just something you do because you have to for certain gameplay situations? Let’s discuss the pros and cons of voice chat vs. other types of chat in general!
But then gamers got a good look at the tiers and what’s in them and what they cost… and the cheering turned to something else entirely. By Wednesday morning, the faint hum of discontent that began at E3 had turned into a seething rage across Reddit. Our articles on the subject taken together have racked up well over 800 comments as I write this. A single thread on Reddit exhorting players not to prepurchase is nearing 3000 upvotes, more than the subreddit has ever seen on a single topic. The official forums were offline all day Thursday. And through it all, ArenaNet has stayed eerily silent.
Whether you side with the angry mob or have a more nuanced view, Guild Wars 2 is thoroughly bungling its expansion prepurchase.
“HEX is unique. I had to roll out features as they come. Most big companies have enough money to say, ‘No no, we’ll wait till the cake’s baked, and then we’ll put it out.’ I’ve had to go, ‘Oh, this part’s baked; I’ll peel this off and serve it. Here’s some frosting on the side!’ I’ve had to piecemeal you this cake, which is not a good way to serve cake.”