Just because you happen to be a humanoid frog doesn’t mean that you’ve lost at the lottery of life. On the contrary, you have all sorts of advantages, such as being able to install and replace light fixtures very high in your underground cavern. Also, you can eat flies.
Reader Finyar starts us out this week with a stunning interior location from a fan-favorite MMO: “I’m currently playing Guild Wars 2 again and I’m always impressed with how beautifully crafted the game world is.”
Art matters, people. Also, why can’t we play more frogs in online games?
After over a month of voting and counting down, we’ve arrived at the final six picks for your favorite MMORPG theme songs of all time. It’s been absolutely illuminating seeing the formation of this list and the placement of certain tracks, and I’m glad that everyone who wanted to got to participate.
Before I reveal the top six themes, here are a few honorable mentions:
Are you ready? I know I am! Here we go!
I think I can speak for most of our staff in saying that in November when Funcom first promised a “major upgrade to both retention and acquisition mechanics and content of the game to counter the declining revenues” in The Secret World, no one expected this.
Ditto in February, when Funcom said it was going “relaunch to broaden the appeal of the game through [a] redesigned new player experience, major improvements to gameplay including combat, [the] introduction of new retention systems such as daily rewards, [and] adjustments to the business model, including allowing access to the story content for free” — people murmured “NGE,” but no one even considered that the studio would dump MMO players overboard in pursuit of ARPG fans.
But in retrospect, the cagey language and lack of actual updates in the game were right there all along, as was the casual maintenance-moding of Anarchy Online and Age of Conan.
For this week’s Overthinking, I’ve asked our staff to consider Funcom’s plans here — not the rumors and leaks but the set-in-stone plans — and reflect on what they say about the studio, the game, and the genre on the whole. What do you think about Secret World Legends?
When you push a player too far, commit too many crimes, and flaunt your evil with one of those tacky pre-battle speeches, you’re going to get a face full of avenging angel.
Tyler, take it away! “No matter how many of The Secret World’s world bosses I fight (and I have fought a lot; I may have a problem), I never get tired of seeing the swarms of players that rush in to take them down, the riot of different outfits and ability effects, the massive bosses withering away under the combined fire, the sheer epic mayhem of it all. Add the spectacular effects from ultimate abilities, and you have an endless source of amazing screenshot fodder.”
Welcome to an all-email submissions edition of One Shots! Remember kids, when you email a screenshot and a story, you get to cut to the front of the line!
If you’re a fan of Funcom and the games it makes, Conan Exiles probably has you breathing a bit easier than you have in a while. It’s an indisputable success for the developers, who have been in a difficult financial situation for the past several years. Now they’ve got a pretty big hit on their hands, big enough to take out a sizable booth on the PAX East show floor to demonstrate the harsh survival of the game.
I had a chance to chat with some of the Funcom staff on site as well as an opportunity to play the game a bit myself. (Although that was mostly an exercise in getting gored by rhinos and eaten by alligators, so MJ is probably the better source of information on the game mechanics.) They revealed to me just how big of a success the game has actually been for Funcom, hitting its twelve-month sales goal in 30 days. That’s significant however you slice it, especially when you’re discussing a buy-to-play game rather than a subscription setup.
From the land, the sea (stream), and the air — danger in Conan Exiles comes from everywhere! There really aren’t any safe spots in the exiled lands; the only refuge you might find is if you take over some territory and build one. Massively OP’s MJ continues to battle the wildlife in her quest to claim her own little space. Will she win the fight for survival this time, or will she be chomped into bloody bits? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to see who survives: MJ or beast.
What: Conan Exiles
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Friday, March 10th, 2017
As it stands right now, players in Conan Exiles may stride across the land with mighty swords or short stabbing implements held high in the breeze, and also you can pick up a sword if you want to. But it appears that players on Xbox One (commonly shortened to “Xbone” because sometimes life loves irony) will be unable to thrust forward into the unknown. According to creative director Joel Bylos, the team was told outright that there were to be no rods dirtying up this game of filthy, scrabbling violence.
Bylos is unsure whether the ladies will still be able to go tits out for being exiled in a wasteland and trying to kill other people, but he knows that the dongs will be gone as surely as they are omitted from LEGO games. There’s also no word about whether or not PlayStation 4 players will be able to enjoy the simple joys of having their digital bits flapping in the breeze. Of course, you can enjoy that in the PC verson, so if that’s a selling point, you needn’t feel limp and weak.
This week on the show, Justin and Bree celebrate a couple of hearty MMO updates, argue about mandatory mount viewing, celebrate the soft launch of Revelation Online, and extol the virtues of the PC Master Race.
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:
Though it’s fun for the broader industry, GDC has been a bit of a dud for our genre for years now. If you’re willing to expand your horizons past pure MMORPGs, however, there’s plenty of juice. Exhibit A: Funcom’s Conan Exiles presence at the show. PC Gamer has a report out today on Funcom’s plans for the game, including the clothing and armor dye system (coming this month), mounts and taming, PvE purge events stuffed with iconic Conan NPCs, better thrall micro-management, a lush foresty biome (bring your warmer clothes!), trebuchets that hurl rocks and dead bodies, and a new sewer dungeon.
Funcom’s Joel Bylos even sneaked in a dig on unspecified games that launch early access and linger there indefinitely while charging for DLC. Conan, of course, has vowed to launch by this time next year and has promised to avoid paid DLC during early access.
Massively OP will be meeting with Funcom at this weekend’s PAX East, so stay tuned for more, and in the meantime, check out the videos below.
It’s always a crapshoot with our weekly screenshot challenges; sometimes they take off, and other times… not so much. But boy howdy did you all seem to fixate on last week’s call to share pictures of MMO sights that creeped you the heck out. Now they’re creeping me out and I need sleep tonight!
Reader Vexia kicks us off this this nightmare fuel from Final Fantasy XIV: “I have 3,784 screenshots taken from FFXIV. Having played since open beta, I take an increased total amount of pictures each year. I searched through my 1,744 between now and February of 2016 to find the perfect shot of something that is creepy and, coincidentally, child-like. For some reason, the Sharlayans thought these were just the thing to guard their abandoned magical stuff. In true Square-Enix boss fashion, this is not even the final form. I spared you from having to look at that because it somehow gets even creepier.
Um… thank you?
If you’re eagerly anticipating playing Conan Exiles on your Xbox One, you’re going to need to be more patient. The game’s official Twitter account announced that the port to the platform will be delayed until Q3 for unspecified reasons.
The good news for people who are already playing is that the game received a small patch intended to fix a few exploits and improve game server startup speed as well as region-specific server issues. Unfortunately, players seem to find that it’s caused more of a server meltdown than anything, which was sort of the opposite of the intent. The developers have promised that they’re addressing these issues as a top priority, although if you’re experiencing any issues we’re sorry to say that there is no ETA for a fix at the moment. If you lost your placeable items, you will have to do a bit of legwork to reset that problem. So perhaps that’s why Xbox users will have to wait a bit.
Funcom’s fourth quarter 2016 financial report for investors landed this afternoon, and it’s a doozy, especially for MMORPG players. Of most interest is the news that the studio is planning on a relaunch of The Secret World in the next few months, with a redesigned newbie experience, revamps to gameplay and combat, dailies, and a business model overhaul.
Massively OP’s MJ can get sidetracked for a long time building, but she’s still very much an explorer at heart and there is so much more of Conan Exiles that she hasn’t seen. So today, she wants to set her construction aside in order to explore a bit. Of course, the more she explores, the more dangerous it becomes; along with new sights and new creatures comes new ways to die! Join us live at 6:00 p.m. as MJ wanders out farther into the wilds and into a cave.
What: Conan Exiles
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 25th, 2017