Week in Review: Gamescom 2015 (August 9, 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!

Blizzard stole Gamescom handily with its possibly rushed but certainly jam-packed reveal of World of Warcraft’s next expansion, called simply Legion. It almost took away the sting of losing Bashiok to NCsoft and dropping to 5.6 million subscribers. But will it be enough to stem the tide?

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions as well as a roundup of all of our Gamescom coverage so far.

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EVE Evolved: CCP can’t just focus on EVE Online any more

The recent announcement of arcade shooter EVE: Gunjack for the Samsung Gear VR has prompted some pretty interesting negative responses from gamers this week. There’s obviously still a lot of ill will in the air over the cancellation of the World of Darkness MMO, and people have been a bit skeptical of CCP‘s plans since Monoclegate and the underwhelming reception of DUST 514. Many of the comments on Massively Overpowered and other sites suggested that CCP should release Valkyrie before starting work on yet another title, or that the studio should stick to EVE Online and stop wasting money from EVE subscriptions on side projects. People are honestly suggesting that CCP should keep putting all of its eggs in one big (and slowly shrinking) basket, but that just doesn’t make business sense.

Nobody should be surprised that CCP wants to develop several new games or that it’s failed to replicate the success of EVE Online. EVE activity seems to be on a slow decline, and the truth is that very few independent game studios strike it big with even one game. Previous success is not necessarily an indicator of future success, and it’d be naive to think one game can support a large studio indefinitely, so CCP naturally has to keep working on new titles just like everyone else if it wants to survive. If we want EVE Online to still be around a decade from now, it may depend on experimentation with new games and emerging trends such as VR today. There may even come a time when CCP won’t revolve around EVE Online but around whole collection of titles spanning the EVE universe and beyond, and it won’t get there without taking some measured risks.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at why CCP can’t just focus on EVE any more and why developing lots of small experimental games could benefit EVE Online in the long term.

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Gamescom 2015: Hearthstone adds five new cards to The Grand Tournament

You might have noticed a smidgen of news coming out of this year’s Gamescom, and Hearthstone has got a bit more to add to its previous jousting announcement. Five new cards are joining The Grand Tournament expansion: Fist of Jaraxxus (Warlock), Warhorse Trainer (Paladin), Flash Heal (Priest), Living Roots (Druid), and Charged Hammer (Shaman).

Fist of Jaraxxus has the interesting effect of dealing damage when it is played or discarded. Both Warhorse Trainer and Flash Heal, however, offer more standard fare; the former grants a +1 attack buff to Silver Hand Recruits and the latter heals five health for the cost of a single mana point. Living Roots gives the choice of calling forth either two 1/1 Saplings or dealing instant direct damage. The final card, Charge Hammer, changes the Shaman’s hero power to a damage dealer when his weapon is used up.

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Order & Chaos 2: Redemption announced for mobile

“We thought we were saving the world, but we were all deceived.”

Mobile World of Warcraft clone Order & Chaos Online is getting a sequel that will be set following a world-shattering event at the end of the first MMO. Order & Chaos 2: Redemption is set 600 years later with a new landscape and epic struggle.

There’s no word as to a beta or launch date, but the official site is taking pre-registration sign-ups for Order & Chaos 2. If you do, you’ll be able to secure a few goodies for your account including an XP potion and a gem of luck. Gameloft said that it will continue to operate and add to Order & Chaos Online even after the sequel releases.

You can check out the teaser trailer for the game after the break.

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War Thunder is ‘within a hair’s breadth’ of a complete destructibility system

War Thunder players will soon be able to destroy the game’s ground environment, according to a new Gaijin dev blog. Previously the ability to destroy vegetation and small objects such as fences and statues was added to the World War II combat sim, but now “wall fragments, ruins, and entire buildings” will be available as well.

Gaijin says that it is “within a hair’s breadth of creating a system of complete destructibility.” You can watch a brief demo vid just past the break.

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The Mop Up: FEAR is dead edition

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.

This week we’ll mourn FEAR Online’s passing, check out Atlantica Online’s latest mercenary, enjoy an intergalactic Star Citizen comic, and check out footage of Torchlight Mobile.

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One Shots: First steps into a greater world

Do you miss Vanguard? It’s been a while now since that particular fantasy world closed its doors to players, but warm memories of the game continue to persist among former fans. Reader PJ sent in several screenshots of Vanguard, although he says that he unfortunately lost most of his pictures.

I like this one because of the perspective. It’s not only pretty, but when you see the tiny character on the right, you develop a whole new appreciation of the scope of this area.

We’ve got a great tour of the sights of MMOs for you today, so let’s get this party started!

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The Daily Grind: Do patches compel you to return to MMOs?

I frequently feel like an outlier among the Massively Overpowered crew. Everyone else jumps from game to game because there’s a new patch in Marvel Heroes or Trove or EverQuest II or Let’s Sit In An Empty Room And Yell At One Another IV: Deluxe Edition. Meanwhile, every week I’m playing the same games for the same reasons, and the only thing that rotates – very slowly – is what games I have on tap in general.

It’s not that patches don’t pique my interest; it’s simply that when I think about playing Star Wars: The Old Republic or Guild Wars 2 or whatever, I’m not interested in hopping in and getting a quick glance at the game because I want to be in there for the long haul.  Which gets me thinking about you, dear readers. Do you jump into a game when a new patch catches your interest? Or do you tend to stick with your games of choice through thick and thin, even if the favorites of yesterday are offering something new?

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The Stream Team: Having fun with Grand Theft Auto Online heists

Pulling off a heist in GTA Online is a whole lot more than just walking into a bank with a gun. MassivelyOP’s MJ and her friends must jump through multiple hoops in order to get all the necessary pieces before they can go for the big payout. Join the crew live at 12:00 p.m. as they move closer to collecting the cash.

What: Grand Theft Auto Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 8th, 2015

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Make My MMO: August 8, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Project Gorgon continued to feel the Kickstarter love thanks to the realization of its $30,000 stretch goal. Star Citizen acquitted itself well with a spiffy Gamescom presentation, and fellow space sim Elite: Dangerous announced planetary landings before becoming embroiled in one of those zomg-someone’s-getting-a-better-deal-than-me drama explosions.

The rest of this week’s crowdsourced MMO news is rounded up for you just past the break.

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MMO Burnout: Virtual bush flying with FSEconomy

I play a lot of flight sims. The Sturmovik series, DCS, X-Plane, and pretty much every similar title ever released has found its way onto my hard drives at some point. Microsoft’s unkillable Flight Simulator X remains at the top of my personal heap, though, both because of its realism and because of the staggering number of pro mods — both payware and freeware — that have kept it relevant and looking good since its 2006 release.

The best of these mods, at least in my opinion, isn’t even a mod but rather a virtual environment called FSEconomy. It’s not quite an MMO for pilots, but it’s close.

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Nexus Telegraph: Four things that have me excited about WildStar’s F2P patch

Hot dog! This past week’s stress test of the new fall patch for WildStar (it doesn’t have a name yet, and Carbine is getting away from the “drop” moniker) got me all worked up over the many shinies coming our way. There’s so much here that I would think that everyone would be pleased at least with something, although you never know.

From what we’re seeing so far, Carbine’s trying to get the game in as good a shape as possible to make the best first (and returning) impressions when the crowd streams in for free-to-play. So it’s a lot of everything scattered all over WildStar’s surface, from attunements to relics. But for me? There are four areas of the patch that stand out above the rest. Let’s take a look.

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Champions Online’s lifetime sub goes on sale

Even superheroes deserve a break now and then. Champions Online is temporarily reducing the cost of its lifetime subscription with a month-long sale, giving players the opportunity to snag a “forever or until the servers shut down” gold membership.

The sale takes 33% off the normal asking price of $299, bringing down the price nearly a hundred bucks. The lifetime sub includes several free character slots, all archetypes unlocked, 500 ZEN a month, more costume sets, and all veteran rewards.

Champions Online is running this sale until August 27th, so you have until then to decide if you want to take advantage of the deal.

Source: Lifetime subscription sale. Thanks to The Grand Nagus for the tip!

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