MMO Week in Review: WildStar is saving itself (May 31, 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!

Just in time for its first birthday, Carbine formally announced WildStar’s free-to-play transition this week; it’s due in the fall and is part of NCsoft’s stated intent of bolstering its Western roster. Our own WildStar expert Eliot Lefebvre, who’s been heavily critical of the game’s first year, thinks there’s still hope for the game.

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

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EVE Evolved: Have the Drifters conquered the Jove Empire?

EVE Online‘s Carnyx release is right around the corner on June 2nd, and it’s going to be a big update! The Caldari will finally get their tech 3 tactical destroyer with the release of the Jackdaw, a tough little ship that specialises in light missiles and rockets. We’re also getting some graphical tweaks, more cruiser-sized burner missions, and the long-awaited rebalance of afterburners, microwarpdrives, shield extenders, and armour plates. This release will also add the Entosis mechanic I’ve discussed in previous articles, though players will be able to use it only in a limited capacity to disable station services.

While it’ll be good to see all of the above implemented, the thing that I’m most looking forward to is the opening of five more mysterious new wormhole systems as part of the advancing Drifter storyline. The new star systems can be reached via unidentified wormholes that appear in systems with Jove Observatories and appear to lead directly to Drifter space, where new group PvE challenges lie. This next step in EVE‘s storyline also seems set to tie everything new in the game together, from the upcoming structures and new capture mechanics to new PvE types and maybe even plans to eventually give players control over empire space.

In this lore-filled edition of EVE Evolved, I delve into the story surrounding the Drifter menace, speculate on where the Jove fit into the picture, and look at how an in-character YouTube series is really bringing EVE‘s patches to life.

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Is World of Warcraft’s decline tied to the rise of mobile gaming?

So what knocked World of Warcraft‘s subscribers down so quickly between the launch of Warlords of Draenor and now? Most people playing the game will be quick to point out design decisions, update pacing, and other such culprits. A recent article on posits a different theory, however – that the game’s decline coincides with the rise of mobile gaming as a more addictive option.

The article notes that the game hits its apex in 2010, around the same time that mobile gaming started to take off. Subsequent falls have been a result of mobile gaming successfully getting more and more addictive compared to Blizzard’s title. Whether you agree with the conclusion or not, it’s food for thought as you go about your day.


E3 is actually letting the public in this year… sort of

No doubt you have heard stories of the dark rituals that go on at E3, the secret chanting circles that keep the video game industry running but are hidden from the eyes of mortal men and women. Or, you know, maybe you’re just aware that it’s an industry trade show. Either way, it’s traditionally been closed off to the public… but not this year.

Before you get excited, that doesn’t mean you can just walk in the front door. Somewhere between 4,000 to 5,000 non-industry people will be offered invitations to the show, handed out by ESA companies with a exhibition on the floor. E3 this year will run between June 16th to the 18th, and don’t worry; if you don’t get to attend, there will still be the usual onslaught of coverage.

Source: Gamepolitics


Das Tal plans Kickstarter-exclusive preview, discusses server architecture

Are you seriously interested in server architecture? Can you not wait to find out how Das Tal is handling its backend for logging in? Because the people behind the game have already discussed it, but as development and the Kickstarter campaign rolls on it was something well worth revisiting. All the information you could hope to learn about how the game handles logging in and communicating with the client is all in one convenient location.

If you’re already backing the game, you can get in on a special preview today starting at 2:00 p.m. EDT. It should run for about four hours, so if you haven’t already done the prep work to get ready, we recommend you do so now.


Star Trek Online flame wars erupt over gay backdrop NPCs

The most recent featured episode for Star Trek Online stirred up some controversy because it’s all about gay Klingons. By which we of course mean that there’s a lesbian couple attending a fight purely as a background element without any particular attention drawn to it. Unsurprisingly, people have expressed anger at the inclusion on the game’s forums, prompting community manager LaughingTrendy to step in and point out that the couple is hardly a focal point of the episode and then step in again to keep the discussion civil rather than nasty on both sides.

The episode’s writer has opted to respond on Twitter with a simple “sorry not sorry,” so make of that what you will. Fans upset by the inclusion may wish to be reminded that while the game hasn’t shown such relationships explicitly in the past, the franchise has released several episodes over the years to establish that same-sex relationships are seen as normal and it takes extraordinary circumstances for them to be highlighted.

Source: Forum Post #1, Forum Post #2, Twitter; thanks to Some Guy and Russell for the tips!


One Shots: Reflections of me

One fun in-game photography trick is to use reflections, mirrors, and glass to offer a different — and sometimes more artistic — vision of a scene. I have to applaud reader Jake’s use of the water’s reflection in this piece because it makes it beautiful times two!

“I’m leveling a Sylvari Ranger for the upcoming Guild Wars 2 expansion, and I found this beautiful little nook off the beaten path in Brisban Wildlands,” Jake wrote. “There is no vista or point of interest in this location; you just have to be nosing about to find it. That’s one of the things I like about this game: The map was designed with exploration in mind. And jumping (sigh).”

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The Daily Grind: What are you looking forward to, MMO-wise, in the rest of 2015?

What in the world happened to the first half of 2015? With one thing or another, it just flew by, and here we are heading into June. Not a whole lot of launches yet, but there’s a lot to look forward to – Blade & Soul and Skyforge are both slated for launch, The Elder Scrolls Online is arriving on consoles, expansions are launching, and WildStar is going free-to-play. And that’s just off the top of my head!

My point is that there’s a lot going on from June onward, and odds are you can’t keep track of everything yourself. So what are you looking forward to over the remainder of the year? Is it one of the aforementioned events, or is it something else altogether? What’s keeping your eyes pinned with anticipation to the MMO horizon?

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The Stream Team: Cruising Landmark’s creations (and code giveaway)

Between templates and basic materials being free in Landmark, folks have been able to build bigger and better things in a shorter amount of time. So what new creations are out there dotting the new islands? MassivelyOP’s MJ is cruising about to see all the creativity. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for the tour and the chance to walk away with your own seven-day code to jump in and see for yourself!

What: Landmark
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 30th, 2015

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Make My MMO: May 30, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Square Enix pimped out 2-D action MMO hopeful Dragon of Legends as part of its Indie Collective showcase. In slightly less positive news, Greed Monger’s development team was “forced to admit defeat” and informed the game’s community — which had coughed up more than $100,000 in Kickstarter donations — that it was shutting the project down.

Oh, and Das Tal released a ton of updates for its ongoing Kickstarter drive.

The rest of this week’s MMO crowdfunding roundup is just past the cut.

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Take a look at God Slayer Online’s first beta test

Are you doing most of your god slaying offline at this point? You might be able to benefit from God Slayer Online, then, because it’s all about the slaying of gods but it allows you to do so with others. Or perhaps you won’t benefit at all; the game is currently in its first closed test, and the folks at Steparu took it for a whirl. The verdict thus far? A resounding “eh.”

As it stands, the game features three gender-locked options for players, an open world that largely seems segmented off into square blocks, and an action gameplay setup. The article admits up front that the game didn’t leave much of an impression; it wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t particularly arresting. Still, if you’re curious about the action title and want to see it in action, you can check out the full article.

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World of Tanks’ 9.8 update is live

World of Tanks updated to version 9.8 this week. New features include the domination game mode and dynamic platoons that allow you to group with friends in the middle of a battle. Wargaming has also added the option to pick either the standard or high definition client, the former of which caters to users with low-end PC graphics capabilities and slower internet connections.

Domination is basically a new version of capture-the-flag tuned for “anyone who likes playing World of Tanks a little more recklessly.”

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Test fly Star Citizen’s military ships for free this week

When I backed Star Citizen in 2012, I opted for a couple of the $60 pledge tiers. One of these I gave away, and the other I kept for myself. I haven’t upgraded my pledge since then, which means that when I log into the alpha dogfighting module, I’m limited to flying starter ships like the Aurora and the 300i.

For the next week, though, I (and you, if you’re a fellow backer) can test fly the Anvil Hornet, the Gladiator, and the Aegis Gladius without upgrading pledges, thanks to Cloud Imperium’s latest free-fly week that focuses on military ships. “These free-fly weeks provide valuable testing metrics so we can continue to build this game together. Thank you citizens for the continued support and dedication,” the company says on its website.

Source: Military ship test drive


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