612 games

Gamers raise new questions about Wild West Online’s credentials and connections

If there’s one thing that MMO fans have learned (and re-learned) over the years, it’s that it’s not a great idea to take things at face value when it comes to upcoming games. A healthy dose of skepticism is useful to keep one from getting burned by developers and studios who might make outlandish claims and expect them to be accepted.

So as you read this investigative piece at Kotaku that questions the validity and backing of Wild West Online, perhaps it’s useful as a reminder that we should be skeptical until a company and its product are proven.

The article in question raises a few concerns over Wild West Online, an online western sandbox that appeared out of nowhere a few months ago and is being developed by a studio that didn’t seem to exist much prior to that. It digs up some circumstantial evidence that hints of a link between WWO and Free Reign Entertainment, the studio that put out Sergey Titov’s The War Z.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 126: Firefall gets extinguished

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree mourn the passing of Firefall, find out what’s behind Tibia’s secret door, muse about World of Warcraft’s next expansion, and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Wild West Online’s brand-new gameplay video shows bounties, saloons, and more

It’s the video release that Wild West Online fans have been waiting weeks for: A six-minute glimpse into the western MMO’s gameplay.

During the video, you’ll get to see quick snippets of character creation, open-world exploration, outfits, saloons, gambling, thieving, rest cabins, and different environments. Some of WWO’s unique features were on display, such as a hotkey that pops up icons that highlight interactive features in the game world. Newspapers are pretty important as well, as the devs will use them to highlight in-game events and push the story forward.

You’ll also witness how the bounty system works. Players can claim bounties of naughty desperadoes on public boards and then hunt them down for cash. It might be a good idea to bring a friend or two along to ensure victory, however.

Fans have until July 20th to decide whether or not to preorder the game and secure a spot in alpha and beta testing. Give the video a watch after the break!

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Wild West Online extends preorder program, posts alpha server list

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: Wild West Online had to delay getting its promised gameplay video out. The team said that it should arrive sometime in July, but no date was set for this reveal.

On the plus side, the “early bird” preorder program was extended to July 20th, giving potential players a further opportunity to buy into one of the special bundles and get in on the testing process when it commences.

Speaking of testing, the team recently posted a list of its alpha servers and their locations. In North America, there will be servers in Dallas and Virginia. Europe will feature shards in Amsterdam and Berlin, while Southeast Asia is going to get things going with servers in Singapore and Hong Kong. The closed alpha should be going live by the end of the month.

Source: Twitter

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Wild West Online asks players what sort of gambling they want to see

It’s just not right to think of the stereotypical wild west without including some gambling. Based on movies on the subject, cheating at poker and the penalties for cheating at poker make up the majority of most people’s pastimes. So Wild West Online knows players want some form of gambling in the game, and it’s going to be in there. The question posed to the audience is what sort of gambling you want.

Obviously, there are some options with a higher degree of historical accuracy, but the goal here is to pick games that are fun to play rather than necessarily adhering to the “right” sorts of games. It’s not a formal poll, so you can feel free to sound off on Twitter with the sort of card game you want to be playing. Although you can probably be confident that poker is going to be in there no matter what.

Source: Twitter

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 121: Tap for Magic MMOs

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree talk about the huge revelation of Cryptic’s Magic: The Gathering MMO, the premature demise of Bless Online, World of Warcraft’s new launch, and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Wild West Online shows first in-game footage, offers early bird preorder packages

In other games it might be called a founder’s pack, but in Wild West Online, the team is calling it an Early Bird special. No matter what the lingo, the end result is a pre-order bundle that allows players an avenue to secure alpha and beta access, a discounted Steam key, and some extra cosmetics, such as an exclusive horse skin, a gun skin, and a character outfit.

The Early Bird packs range from $20 to $60 and will only be on sale through July 7th. The two higher-priced bundles also contain in-game bonuses such as housing plots and currency.

The team took pains to mention that this offer is only for early testers who want to get in on the ground floor and don’t mind playing an unfinished product. Fortunately, the studio promised “no fuss” refunds up until the second alpha test for anyone who buys a pack and then changes his or her mind: “This gives you a chance to play the alpha yourself and opt-out if you think the game won’t develop into the game you wanted.”

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Wild West Online discusses splitting the difference between scale and player participation

How many players makes an MMO? It seems like a straightforward question, but it’s a rather complex one, and one that Wild West Online is attempting to answer by degrees. The official statement on the matter is that the developers are doing their best to find a balance between having a sufficiently large population to feel massive while also having a small enough number to feel relevant on an individual level.

The statement explains that if there are too many players, each individual person feels as if the whole thing is going on whether or not one player takes part. By contrast, too few players makes the game feel empty and, well, not actually massive, thereby defeating the entire point of the genre. No hard numbers are stated for the record, but players are already speculating on what this means for allowed player populations per server. If it’s a subject near and dear to your heart, you may want to weigh in as well.

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Wild West Online FAQ says the game is ‘not historically correct’

Remember the days when MMOs used to post clear and concise FAQs instead of messy AMAs and lengthy developer livestreams? Wild West Online does, which is why it has a massive and informative FAQ up on its forums containing questions the community has about this project.

The FAQ confirms that an alpha test is coming in early-to-mid summer but that the devs are still hashing out several of the game’s systems, including the character skill system. Cosmetics, roleplay, housing, clans, nudity, trains, weapons, voice chat, crafting, and death penalties are among the many topics handled.

Wild West Online is confirmed to be only loosely inspired by the real world: “WWO is based on the old west of the late 1800s, early 1900s, but it’s not historically correct and will not reference on any real world events.”

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Wild West Online addresses Sergey Titov rumors [Updated]

Rumors spread on Reddit yesterday suggesting that Sergey Titov is involved in Wild West Online have been partially but not fully debunked. Titov, you’ll recall, was the controversial personality behind scandal-riddled The War Z aka Infestation: Survivor Stories aka Infestation World, a survival game so terrible our original reviewer called it “worse than actually being killed by zombies.”

Reddit user TheSkiesAreShattered (now deleted) posted his hypothesis (now deleted) that Titov was involved in Wild West Online’s development and indeed was its mysterious investor. The Redditor offered circumstantial evidence including an engine comparison, domain name patterns, and Facebook friends lists, chastising the press for missing those “clues.” Similar threads on the official forum have been locked and heavily moderated with links to the Reddit thread removed, but a forum moderator confirmed that the team licensed the engine from Free Reign Entertainment – that’s Sergey Titov’s outfit.

“No, Sergey Titov is not involved in the development of this game, but yes we use a game engine developed and supported by one of his companies,” the mod writes. A second followup post from the developers also homes in on the engine rumor specifically but doesn’t address the other allegations:

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Rootin’ tootin’ saloons confirmed for Wild West Online

What would a western MMORPG be like if it didn’t include the classic saloon? A darn poor game, that’s what. Fortunately, Wild West Online confirmed that these taverns will be part of the game, although it’s uncertain what features they will offer.

Wild West Online is going to have saloons,” the team said on Facebook. “Rootin’ tootin’ saloons. That much we all know. While we have our own ideas that we’re developing and working on for what actually goes on in those saloons, we want to know what the community at large wants to see. Will there be gambling, drinking, music, dames, brawling… what?”

Another small reveal this week was that Wild West Online will ship with three biomes, with more variety and larger maps to come as the game is expanded post-launch. Check out concept art of these saloons and biomes below!

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Exclusive Wild West Online interview on PvE servers, budget, and Red Dead Redemption 2

Here at Massively OP, there’s nothing we like to hear more than word that new, bold, and big MMORPGs are in development. Over the past week, Wild West Online rode in on a dusty horse out of a desert of MMO development, delivering the reveal of this western sandbox followed by a surprise announcement just this morning that full funding had been achieved and a launch was scheduled for later this year.

To dig more into these announcements, we sat down with Stephan Bugaj, Chief Creative Officer of 612 Games, to ask a few follow-up questions about this exciting project, its budget, its scope, and if only PvP gankers need apply.

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Wild West Online cancels Kickstarter and early access plans, secures funding for a full launch

Remember all of those plans that Wild West Online had for a Kickstarter campaign this month and a Steam early access release? Well, plans change — and sometimes for the better.

The studio has issued a press statement saying that the “overwhelming response” to the game’s initial announcement was enough to prompt its investors to dump more money into the game, thereby negating any need for crowdfunding whatsoever. This means that Wild West Online will eschew Kickstarter and early access in order to focus on developing the game for a full launch in 2017.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to have our initial investors step up and provide additional funding to make the game we wanted, without having to raise money via crowdfunding. Westerns are lacking on PC so we can’t wait to release the game to the public,” said 612 Games CCO Stephan Bugaj.

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