Neverwinter’s guild keeps will require blood, sweat, and gears

Cryptic is incredibly excited about Neverwinter’s upcoming guild housing if the studio’s barrage of strongholds dev diaries is any indication.

Strongholds won’t just be given to players; guilds will need to fight hard to win them. The stronghold zone is infested with orcs, mercs, and even dragons, and players will need to “evict” them in the most lethal way possible.

Once the keep is won, guilds will need to rebuild the ruins, structure by structure. These buildings, such as the lumberyard and marketplace, require true team effort and massive number of donations. The upshot of all this work is not only a place to call home but new quests and group events to explore.

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Final Fantasy XIV previews Alexander, claims 5M all-time subs

It might not be your cup of tea, but Final Fantasy XIV is certainly the cup of tea for a large number of MMO players, though how many remains unclear. At a recent event in Japan, producer and director Naoki Yoshida stated that the game has acquired five million total subscribers since its rerelease, although he did not state that the game currently has that many. Exact subscription numbers remain something of a mystery, as Square-Enix has declined to release them. Still, it’s something to chew on during speculation.

Final Fantasy XIV‘s first expansion launched two weeks ago tomorrow, and during those first two weeks the game it has given players no weekly lockouts. The idea, from the beginning, was to allow players to just relax and enjoy leveling without any sort of pressure. Now a tiny bit of pressure is being added as the game opens up its first weekly lockout in the form of Alexander, a former Sharlayan structure used as the nexus for the Primal of the Goblins. Check out the vid below.

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The Daily Grind: What’s the most addictive collection minigame you’ve played?

I’ve been playing a lot of Assassin’s Creed: Rogue here lately, and while it’s certainly no MMO, it has managed to remind me of the MMO space’s more addictive mechanics courtesy of its collection minigames. I’ve spent far more time sailing around the North Atlantic (and the rooftops of colonial New York) looking for floating musical shanties and glowing animus fragments than I’ve spent advancing the game’s storyline, and I shudder to think how many hours will be listed under the game on my Steam list when I’m finally finished.

But it’s a ton of fun, so there’s that.

What about you, MOP readers? Have you met an addictive collection minigame in an MMO that’s grabbed you like that?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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MMO Week in Review: Playing devils, punching dinos (July 5, 2015)

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!

Trion confirmed this week that it is indeed porting Korean MMOARPG Devilian Online to the west as Devilian. In a welcome letter posted to the community, the head devs asserted that the game deserves the MMO label, talking up the game’s open world and large-scale PvP.

Want to game with members of the Massively Overpowered community? MOP’s own Jef is hosting an ARK: Survival Evolved server. Come punch dinos with us!

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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Behind the scenes: The sights and sounds of World of Warships’ vessels

Immersion. That’s not a word you often hear associated with lobby-based PvP games. But in the case of World of Warships, the third title in Wargaming’s WWII-era trilogy, it’s more than just fitting; it’s defining. Although not a battle simulation, WoWS offers a genuinely immersive experience thanks to the historical authenticity and the level of detail in both the audio and visual departments. You’ve heard the devil is in the details? Well that’s where the immersion is, too. And now that open beta has started, more players are finally able to dive in and experience this for themselves.

To learn more about how the development team achieved such a high level of immersion, I went to the source: I visited Wargaming’s headquarters in St. Petersburg and talked with the devs who create everything you see and hear in the game. And after watching the creation process in action, I appreciated the ambiance all the more when I jumped in for a hands-on in the closed beta.
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WildStar’s devs spill more on F2P transition

The picture of WildStar’s future is slowly starting to emerge from the haze with continuing discussion from Carbine Studios about this fall’s business model shift and major game changes.

Last Friday’s studio livestream saw the devs spending nearly the entire time talking about free-to-play and what players can expect when it hits. Among the topics included the always-on sprint, how the loyalty store and cash store differ, the sell-junk button, and new areas like the Cryo Plex and low-level instances.

There was also a recent ask me anything (AMA) in which the team fielded a much wider range of topics. A good portion of the discussion revolved around the stat changes, which will require an overhaul of many parts of the game: “All items in the game are transitioning over to the new stat system. To coincide with these changes we have also spent a great deal of time revising the offerings from quests, instances, vendors, etc. to better cater to ALL class/role combos.”

Check out the whole video below.

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Star Citizen gets a monthly report, Star Marine status update

Hot on the heels of last week’s Star Marine delay update comes a new monthly report from Star Citizen chairman Chris Roberts. As per usual, the report is a lengthy look inside each of Cloud Imperium’s worldwide studios as they work to fit all of the different pieces of Star Citizen’s sprawling space sandbox gameplay into a cohesive whole.

New this week is an update specific to the aforementioned FPS module. When he announced the delay last week, Roberts also promised that weekly status updates would be forthcoming as the developers work toward solving the module’s various challenges. This weekend’s update takes a closer look at the engineering issues Roberts mentioned previously.

Source: Monthly report, Star Marine update; thanks everyone who tipped us!

 

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MMO Mechanics: Four inspiring indie developments worth watching

The MMO genre has immense sticking power in terms of tenure, staying relevant to players for decades despite such fluid and rapid development in the larger gaming industry and particularly in relation to online gaming. With such an extensive back catalogue of games in the genre, it’s not surprising to see so many recycled mechanics being employed in new releases due to the significant financial risks associated with MMO development. The latest batch of promising indie developments, however, has me sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation — moderated with a heavy dose of trepidation, of course — for what new, reimagined, or creatively employed mechanics we’ll see in the MMOs of tomorrow.

In this edition of MMO Mechanics, I’ll break down the mechanics under the work-in-progress bonnets of some of the indie and fledgling offerings that have captured my attention for all the right reasons. I’ll look at what each game proposes to do differently and why that makes me excited for its release.

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One Shots: Impossible architecture

When you construct your buildings out of pixels and polygons, you don’t necessarily have to worry about what’s physically possible and what isn’t, just what looks interesting and believable. I always check out the structures that developers come up with because there are always artistic architectural details that often go unnoticed.

Reader Zepheera saw something special in this Dungeons and Dragons Online view: “I’ve always loved the way the enchanted pylons float under the harbor inn. It’s subtle magic; there’s practicality, though it’s more for effect and might escape someone’s notice the first time. It makes me think if I could really be a wizard, I might go into city planning.”

Wizard city planners. That’d be awesome.

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The Daily Grind: What’s the worst MMO grind you’ve experienced?

There was a certain level band in World of Warcraft where my wife and I just resigned ourselves to a lack of useful quests and would just grind elementals in the Blasted Lands whilst listening to comedy routines. (This was before it was almost impossible to finish a zone before leveling past it.) Levels 47-50 in Final Fantasy XIV have perhaps the most annoying dungeon in the game as your only on-level option along with a serious dearth of quests even on your first job to 50, much less subsequent ones. There were far too many spots in The Secret World wherein I found myself repeating a single boring mission or two for the AP to make my build and gear work before I could move on.

And none of these is the worst things I’ve heard of – the horror stories I’ve been told about relentlessly grinding up skills in Ultima Online alone could serve as a reminder that just because a game doesn’t have levels doesn’t mean it lacks a leveling grind. So what’s the worst leveling portion of a game that you’ve experienced? What was a horrible upward crawl that you wouldn’t repeat ever if you could avoid it?

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Make My MMO: July 4, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Pathfinder Online introduced mules. No, not your dual-boxed healer or the crafter avatar that you force your kid to level up when he’s done cutting your grass, but actual mules that carry goods and make sad mule faces.

Pathfinder’s mules are both designed to help traders move large quantities of goods and to attract gankbox bandits looking to spoil said trader’s day, so use them with caution! The rest of this week’s crowdfunding news roundup is just past the break.

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The Game Archaeologist: The 4th Coming

Over the years that I’ve been writing The Game Archaeologist, I’ve received more than a few requests to cover a game that was completely unknown to me: The 4th Coming. It sounded like one of the lesser MUDs, so I stuck it in the backlog to investigate at some point.

Now that I’ve finally come around to looking into this title, I’ve discovered that The 4th Coming is actually one of the earliest — if not the earliest — online action RPGs, much in the same vein as today’s Path of Exile and Marvel Heroes. It makes sense that someone would seek to capitalize off of the explosive success of 1996’s Diablo, and that someone turned out to be Montreal-based Vircom Interactive.

Despite being one of the scant few ’90s graphical MMO pioneers, The 4th Coming’s legacy has been far outshadowed by its contemporaries and titles that followed. Today we’re going to see if we can’t deliver its due by looking at what this ARPG created.

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Pathfinder adds mules, cautions against attacking them

Goblinworks has added mules to Pathfinder Online, according to a new dev blog by designer Lee Hammock. Mules are intended to make long-range travel easier for traders and to spur economic interaction. They’re also intended to be targets for bandits and, interestingly, are “not something every gatherer out in the wood brings along with them every time they go out.”

Hammock says that mules are mainly to move large quantities of goods on special occasions, and he also details how players can go about acquiring and using mules. The mules aren’t without risks, as their AI is based on Pathfinder’s monster AI and therefore may behave unexpectedly if attacked or subjected to spell casts. Hammock cautions players to use their mules carefully, as the devs won’t be able to recover any lost inventory that your mule may have been carrying.

Source: Dev blog

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