It’s been just over a month now since Monster Hunter World launched on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, heralding a brand-new generation of Capcom’s acclaimed action-RPG franchise. As the first entry in the series developed for current-gen, non-handheld consoles since 2009’s Monster Hunter Tri, World marks a major transition for the series, one that brings with it sweeping changes to the time-honored formula upon which the series was built. There’s been, of course, some anxiety among the game’s community about what these changes might mean for the game’s future, with some fearing that the game would be watered down to attract a wider audience.
However, after putting a frankly embarrassing number of hours into the game, I’m happy to be able to say that there’s no need to panic. New features have been added, mechanics have been streamlined, and the world – fittingly enough – is more expansive and engrossing than ever. That’s not to say that the jump to a new generation has come without its costs, but make no mistake: For all its sweeping changes, World is still Monster Hunter through and through. And if you ask me, it’s the best one yet.
The end of September marked a major milestone for Dauntless, the upcoming monster-slaying action-MMORPG from indie developer Phoenix Labs, as it officially concluded its Founder’s Alpha event and made the jump into closed beta. Since then, legions of would-be Slayers have stormed the Shattered Isles, taking up arms to defend the last bastions of human civilization from destruction at the hands (and talons, fangs, or similarly sinister appendages) of the marauding monstrous beasts known as Behemoths.
And as it so happens, I was one of them. As a long-time fan of Capcom’s venerable Monster Hunter series, which pioneered the “kill-carve-and-craft” action-RPG subgenre upon which Dauntless aims to build, I’ve been eager to check it out for some time now. So when closed beta rolled around, I shelled out for a Founder’s Pack and joined my fellow prospects in the frontier settlement of Ramsgate, where I hoped to prove worthy of the Slayer mantle, or failing that, then at least to avoid dying horribly.
Are you a sucker for pixel art and retro JRPGs? Then here’s a nice little treat for you: Kingdom of Loot will launch tomorrow in early access on Steam. It’s expected to stay in early access for the next two-and-a-half years while development continues.
Self-described as “the love child of Secret of Mana and Diablo,” the ARPG Kingdom of Loot marries the 16-bit era to the MMORPG genre… and it actually looks pretty cute and fun. It’s divided up into social town hubs, an open world map, and private instances. Players will take up arms to do some Zelda-style hack-and-slashing while going on quests and hanging out with their guilds.
“Kingdom of Loot seeks to bring back the timeless feel of these classics while answering the question: How would they have been if based in a global mass multiplayer system?” the team describes. “An immersive persistent world to explore, tons of loot to collect, new friendships to forge and adventures to live and strongly focuses on collecting, crafting and sharing in-game loot. You decide whether doing it on your own, with a small group of friends, a guild or joining hundreds of other players on your quest for epic gear.”
You wanted answers, we’ve got answers! As soon as Funcom
sent us the press release and the FAQ about the launch
of Secret World Legends
and its effect on The Secret World
, we fired off some questions to get more details and some clarification. Game Director Romain Amiel
has now expounded on different aspects of both games for us, including the use of the Ability Wheel, changes to progression, Grandmaster status in both games, future development, and more. Here’s what he had to say.
(Bad news spoiler: Your hopes of having continued content in The Secret World or a new graphics engine have the same lifespan as an Orochi agent.)
If you are the sort that has ever looked at online game design and thought to yourself, “I could do so much better,” then it’s time to put your boasts to the test by checking out MyWorld. This software allows players to whip up their own action-RPG levels and then connect them with others to make a near-infinite sprawling patchwork quilt of worlds.
“At the heart of MyWorld is the ability to link worlds together, construct multiple level games and adventure through them with friends,” a press statement said. “Via portals, game makers and game players can cross over into worlds created by other users and play the action RPG they’ve made to be discovered. Any game level can be linked to any other level and can be easily chained together to create a unique experience.”
The software is currently 25% off at Steam. Get your first look at MyWorld after the break!
If you zombie players can rip yourselves away from Pokémon Go for a few seconds, you might see that there are actually other mobile games in the world. One of them is Medal Masters, an action-RPG from Nexon, and while it might be short on Squirtles and Pikachus, it does have a large new update for you to enjoy.
The Call of Destiny update expands its guild battle system so that players can duke it out across the globe. The patch also increases the level cap to 100, introduces a hero evaluation board for freedback, and adds three new heroes: Mordred, Apollon, and Pan. This brings the hero count up to 388. Gotta catch ’em all!
Medal Masters is available on both iOS and Android devices.
Has Mu Legend grabbed your attention yet? This action-RPG has been in development since 2011 and is on the cusp of closed beta testing in Korea, with about 60% of the game completed at this point. If hopes, dreams, wishes, and ponies can pull together, it should be coming over here as well.
MMO Culture posted an interview with the dev team about the making of this prequel to 2001’s Mu Online. But just because the game shares a name and lineage with Mu Online doesn’t mean that Mu Legend will be merely a graphical update.
“Mu Legend was decided to be hack-and-slash MMORPG with the previous quarter view,” the devs said. “We thought having a quarter-view will allow users to feel the joy of mass battle using simple mouse and keyboard control”
Smed’s not the only one launching a pixelart OARPG on Kickstarter today: Thrive Games has just revealed Dragon of Legends.
Dragon of Legends is an online action RPG for PC, Mac, Linux, and Mobile devices, that is heavily influenced by Gaelic and Norse mythology. Enter the ever-evolving lands of Hávámal, where the lights of faeries border the realms of darkness.
Work on the 2-D game has been ongoing for the last year and a half, Thrive says in its Kickstarter pitch; it’ll include a detailed character class and skill system, crafting mechanics, boats, an achievement journal, twitch combat, and user-generated content. It’s also crossplatform: You’ll play it on PC, Mac, Linux, and tablet. The studio’s goal is $41,318, and thought stretch goals are planned, they aren’t revealed just yet.
Among the dream team John Smedley assembled for Hero’s Song — studio Pixelmage’s new 2-D open-world ARPG — is Patrick Rothfuss, an acclaimed fantasy author who rocketed to stardom in 2007 when his first novel, The Name of the Wind, won multiple literary awards and was followed up with a New York Times bestselling sequel. Smed tapped Rothfuss specifically to plot the game’s lore, world, and story. We spoke with him about his process, his worldbuilding, his thoughts on immersion, and what video games he plays when he’s not busy penning blockbuster books.
Massively OP: You’re primarily known to fantasy audiences for your award-winning novels. Why make the leap to video games? What did Smed say to drag you over to the dark side?
Patrick Rothfuss: What a lot of people don’t know is that I actually tried to write a computer game long before I tried to write a novel. What’s more, I’ve been playing computer games pretty much since the beginning. So turning my hands to videogames isn’t a leap so much as it is a small step for me. Though it is a step in an exciting new direction.
Today, we finally learn what John Smedley has been working on since he resigned from his decades-long role at Daybreak.
The industry veteran has founded indie studio Pixelmage Games and is hard at work on Hero’s Song, a buy-to-play, fantasy-based, pixel-art, open-world, PvE-focused action RPG that can “host thousands of other players” but will boast a solo campaign and allow private servers as well. The sandboxy feature set — housing, character development, crafting, a world in flux — sounds remarkably like an MMORPG, at least in its largest form. The studio has raised a million dollars in private investment already and brought together MMORPG industry veterans like EverQuest Lead Designer and co-creator Bill Trost and wildly popular and widely acclaimed fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss. The game’s Kickstarter launches today, and the game itself launches in October — that’s one year of development time from start to finish.
We spoke to Smed in this world-first interview on the game. Read on for Smed’s thoughts on game funding, business models, permadeath, graphics snobbery, DLC, and just what genre this game really belongs in.
Bored of MMOs, despondent about the industry, or simply looking for something a little different? Turning to something similar to MMOs, yet offering a new experience, is what’s attracted many people to online action RPGs.
MMOARPGs, or ARPGs for short, are a booming segment of the online games industry for their fast gameplay, bite-sized sessions, and ease of play. They’re distinguished by features not generally found in MMOs, such as click-to-move, an isometric viewpoint, time-to-kill that is often lightning fast, simple controls, heavily instanced worlds, and loot exploding out of corpses like squishy piñatas. Still, they offer many of the same qualities that are found in traditional MMOs, most notably persistent characters and multiplayer connections.
If you’ve ever been curious about trying out an online ARPG but don’t know where to start, here’s our quick-and-dirty guide through four titles that are bridging the gap between MMOs and single-player ARPGs (such as the excellent Torchlight II and Titan Quest).
I was very excited to sit down during Gamescom with Nicolas Coutant, producer at NCSOFT West, about the upcoming US and Europe release of Blade & Soul, a quirky Asian fantasy MMO developed by Team Bloodlust. Some of you may have seen our very own MJ Guthrie’s fantastic E3 hands-on, but for those of you who are new to the title, know that this F2P MMO features a beautifully crafted online world and some very unique combat mechanics. I got to briefly try out the Windwalking movement feature and some of the signature combat combos that call to mind the best classic martial arts movies, and I was very impressed with what I saw.
Today I’m able to let you know that the highly anticipated entry to the US and EU MMO marketplace is now on sale via three different Founder’s Packs, each offering good value and a shedload of extras for the keenest fans to grab early. Every tier will include access to Closed Beta and also will grant players entry to the title’s Head Start access, meaning that those players who decide to purchase early will enjoy early access and full testing privileges. I was also promised at Gamescom that Blade & Soul will release in the first quarter of 2016, so we don’t have long to wait until we can get our hands on this stunning looking game. Read on for details of the three packs and my initial impressions.
March is but a memory. April is here. And while a new month certainly brings new things to Choose My Adventure, we’ve got just a bit of cleaning up to do before we head full-bore into the next big game. March’s sampler platter edition of CMA challenged us with four different titles — Diablo III, Path of Exile, Marvel Heroes, and Torchlight II — and to date we’ve discussed only three.
Thus, we’ll begin April with thoughts on Torchlight II, the final game in our sampler platter series. Developed by Runic Games, Torchlight II is an OARPG with some interesting twists, a beautiful color palette, and one of my favorite video game worlds.