Here’s an early look at Crowfall’s keeps

A lot of Crowfall is going to come down to the environments. That might seem a little bit odd or silly, but if you consider it for a moment, you realize that it’s absolutely vital for players to have structures like keeps be exciting places to attack or defend, not just straight rushes from an entryway to a goal. So the latest video showing off the greybox form of the Keep is pretty relevant for players of every stripe.

This early model doesn’t feature textures or detailing, just the raw form of what the building may look like. It also already features plenty of places for defenders to repulse attackers and chokepoints for dramatic showdowns. The whole video is about 10 minutes long, but if you’ve got a bit of time to see what’s been built thus far, check it out below.

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The Daily Grind: Did you do anything noteworthy in MMOland this weekend?

I didn’t game as much as I would have liked this weekend, but I did manage a smidge of Elite: Dangerous, a bit of Windward, and a tiny bit of Assassin’s Creed: Rogue. Yes, I know I’m terribly late to the party on that last one.

But this Daily Grind isn’t about what I played, it’s about what you accomplished. So, how about it, MOP readers? Did you do anything noteworthy in MMOland this weekend?

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MMO Week in Review: Eyes on EverQuest Next (June 7, 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!

Hey, remember EverQuest Next? Daybreak does too, which is why it announced on Friday that it’s shifting developer attention to the unreleased title. There are caveats, of course; Daybreak won’t commit to a 2015 release, and Landmark is not being abandoned. “You can fully expect updates and hotfixes to Landmark as we continue with this development process; they are simply going to be on a less regular schedule than you guys have been accustomed to over the past year or so,” says Daybreak’s Terry Michaels.

It was a big week for MOBAs as well, with the launch of Heroes of the Storm and the sunset announcement for Infinite Crisis. Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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PvE sandbox Villagers and Heroes is reborn tomorrow

When I last checked in on indie PvE sandbox Villagers and Heroes a year ago, the Steam launch was busy rocking the game with dramatic changes that sent a lot of veteran players running for the hills. Even back then, developer Mad Otter was discussing a revamp of the game to nuke the controversial energy mechanic that propelled the game’s crafting (and its cash shop). That revamp is finally here and is just one part of the expansion/reboot (expanshaboot?) that lands tomorrow; Mad Otter calls it an “an all-new gathering supply system that completely replaces the unpopular energy/Vim system formerly featured in the game.”

There’s also a new mystery plotline, new voice acting and music, new character customization tools (including origin stories and personality types), a new respec system, and a massive “graphical facelift” for the UI, models, and textures. The game is F2P on Steam, so there’s little excuse not to take a peek.

Source: V&H official site and press release

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Heroes of the Storm readies Eternal Conflict patch

Last week, Heroes of the Storm launched. But that was the past, and Blizzard is all about looking ahead to the future. Part of this forward thinking is the preparation of a meaty content expansion for the game called Eternal Conflict.

Eternal Conflict’s keystone features will be a brand-new map, Battlefield of Eternity, as well as an additional character. The map pits two marching immortal characters against each other as players attempt the pave the way for victory. The Butcher will be joining the game from the Diablo franchise as an assassin who gets some oomph from eating his defeated enemies.

Eternal Conflict is heading to the game around the end of the month. You can check out videos of Battlefield of Eternity and The Butcher after the jump!

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Splatoon is Nintendo’s first serious entry into online gaming

Gaming giant Nintendo is no stranger to online play, but its online play usually comes with distinct limitations on the game that features it. The Animal Crossing series takes the best advantage of online play, creating small, shared worlds (player towns) where players can interact and actually talk to each other through direct text input and voice chat. Even so, many game options, such as doing chores for your neighbors, shut off and are replaced by different sorts of activities (like mini-games).

Perhaps this is why many members of the Animal Crossing team are involved in Splatoon, Nintendo’s first online shooter, which launched last week for the Wii U.

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Black Desert’s Korean beta servers will be merged into one this month

Black Desert is exiting its Korean open beta this month. Developer Pearl Abyss and publisher Daum will be merging all the game’s servers into a single megashard “and perhaps a multiple channel system,” Steparu reports.

He goes on to summarize his experience with the fantasy sandbox after nearly a year of playing its various beta stages, and it’s not all positive. “Class balancing is horrible,” he writes, while the enchanting system “is starting to become pay-to-win because you can now break down cash outfits for tokens that give enchanting bonuses.” Steparu also says that Black Desert features no group PvE content, and that most of his gameplay involves PvP.

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EverQuesting: Why I cheered when EQ’s progression server crashed

When EverQuest’s newest progression server Ragefire came online then took an immediate nosedive, I sprang from my chair cheering.

Hey now, don’t aim those eye daggers at me! Hear me out. My revelry was not because I wanted the server to fail and die. Quite the opposite, in fact: The reception it received, and the fact that so many were interested in this throw back to the olden days, was what was making me dance in the aisle and pump my fist with glee. It is a heartening blip on the radar of current game development, development that more often than not moves ever further down the instant-gratification road. It means people are not just paying lip service to the ideal of how things used to be; they are acting on it, even speaking with their wallets. More than anything it says old school is not dead.

And man, that is worth cheering about.

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MMO Mechanics: Three non-combat mechanics to love

The wheels in my head have been turning over non-combat mechanics in MMOs for a while now, perhaps because of the buzz surrounding Wander, the latest MMO to ditch combat entirely in favour of less violent interactive mechanics. I have to confess that I’m not a massive fan of thoughtless violence in my MMOs, so I tend to favour those with strong supportive mechanics that affect what I do outside of my usual mix of PvE combat. Characters in MMOs, for me at least, are an in-game reflection of the player, and I’d much rather rid the world of threats than kill other players in a frenzy without a plausible in-game reason.

I don’t believe than an MMO absolutely requires combat, and I certainly feel that other game genres have much stronger combat mechanics than ours if that’s what you’re looking for. Titles that allow players to choose another path if they wish are ultimately much more rewarding, filling my time with various pursuits and labours that use excellent mechanics. The virtual world I inhabit feels much richer when I have a hand in its economic or socio-political development through these mechanics, which is exactly what keeps me enthralled with the genre. In this issue of MMO Mechanics, I’m going to unpack three ways in which MMOs employ non-combat mechanics to enrich the game’s virtual world.

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One Shots: The infinite summons

One of the stranger Final Fantasy tropes is that the more powerful a summoned creature is, the longer it would take for any given game to play its animation. By the time I left the series around Final Fantasy X, summons were getting ridiculously long (like, make yourself lunch and go to the bathroom long). I can only imagine how patient that Reader Jay Bird had to be when he pulled the following whopper out of his pocket.

OK, so it’s a boss, but still. Jay says, “Tonight my Free Company in Final Fantasy XIV took down Twintania, the final boss of the First Coil of Bahamut. This was a huge achievement for us, and afterward we were all treated to this beautiful money shot in front of the head of Bahamut. We must have spent about 20 minutes taking screenshots in there.”

Selfies in front of good-looking corpses — this is why funeral homes don’t allow gamers. But we allow it, so head on in to this week’s collection of player screenies!

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The Daily Grind: Have bugs ever killed your enthusiasm for an MMO?

With a sale on Steam and a bit of curiosity, I decided that I would pick up and play some Fallout 3 over the weekend. Unfortunately, the description of the game didn’t include the important bit of information that the game will randomly crash on a regular basis, meaning that of my playtime in the game thus far, I’d estimate that at least half of it has been erased by the game crashing. Over and over. With no regard for what I’m doing.

I’m well aware the game isn’t an MMO (there are several signs, like the fact that it’s offline), but even so, I know there are people who have had technical issues so severe that games have been written off not for game mechanics but for simple unplayability. Has this happened to you? Have your attempts to play an MMO been met with so many crashes and bugs that playing became too irritating to continue?

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Make My MMO: June 6, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Das Tal continued its Kickstarter info dump and it invited everyone into its alpha test for one day only. Voxelnauts posted a new Kickstarter video and achieved a critical mass of Steam user support by getting greenlit on Valve’s ubiquitous PC platform.

Elite: Dangerous released its long-awaited Powerplay update, while Star Citizen delivered another one of its gargantuan monthly progress reports. Click pas the cut for the rest of this week’s crowdfunding roundup.

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The Stream Team: More motorcycle madness in GTA Online

When it comes to motorcycles, MassivelyOP’s MJ just can’t get enough! So she’s taking to the streets of GTA Online to look for the best bike to borrow (permanently). And how can she pass up the chance to race a dirt bike or two through the hills? Tune in live at 6:00 p.m. for a two-wheeled trip through Los Santos.

What: Grand Theft Auto Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 6th, 2015

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