The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from World of Warplanes, World of Warships Legends, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Sea of Thieves, Skull and Bones, Old School RuneScape, SMITE, War Thunder, Neverwinter, and Pokemon Go, all waiting for you after the break!
Automaton Games CEO James Thompson came along with Improbable, Bill Roper, and Mavericks to this year’s E3, where I got a second chance to see how everything in the battle royale/MMO hybrid is doing since GDC. I know battle royale is a hot topic around here, and the reaction we saw at GDC did have me worried about Mavericks’ potential audience.
Thompson was quite eager to talk about Mavericks, especially its battle royale side, but as someone who’s much more of an MMORPG player, I felt the one key thing we found common ground on was that Mavericks is aiming to be less of a simple genre game and more of a “platform” to build on, not because of any strength of the BR or even MMO genre but because of its ability to run a simulation. For virtual world fans, this is something I feel we should be paying more attention to.
Oh, Crowfall, you really looked like you were going to make it to soft launch this year. But it’s not happening; the studio has outright said that soft launch is just not going to be doable before the end of the year, because it’s more important to get the game to the right place. A shame, but on the plus side, we can find out more about the day/night cycle. That’s… similar?
It’s really not. Let’s move on to other beta news.
And that’s everything, but you know, we do have a list of things in testing down below. Is something missing? Has something jumped phases? Do let us know down in the comments below, we always appreciate it.
According to this week’s Star Citizen Around the Verse, the team’s been hard at work on facial rigging, mining, audio effects (yes, pew pew sounds), chat integration, ship power, overland biomes, and new guns.
Of course, the other big Star Citizen news this week is the release of alpha 3.2 to a huge wave of backers on the PTU. And one of its big headline features is the updated party system. That’s party as in grouping, mind you, not the kind with cake and champagne. The middle chunk of the episode focuses on that system and how it was influenced by player feedback. Turns out MMO players reaaaallly like grouping and piled on the demands for a better system after 3.1 released. Who knew, right?
The last half of the episode closes out with a lengthy lore section (Loremakers, which usually comes out earlier in the week), so all in all, you’re getting a pretty short development episode this round, but that’s probably OK since you’re getting actual content in the game instead. The whole piece is down below.
The Star Citizen Reddit is abuzz today – and no, not just about EVE Online’s “Venture Capitalist” skin bundle joke, although they’re doing that too. Nope, they’re buzzing because Cloud Imperium has opened up the testing for the alpha 3.2 build on the PTU for a much broader group of players, including subbers and wave-one PTU backers.
The focus of this leg of the test is mining in particular – scanning, extracting, and prospecting need a work-through. The patch also buffs up the grouping system, turrets, shopping, G-force effects, and orbital quantum travel. And it actually adds some of those old pixel ships that somebody keeps buying, including the Anvil Hurricane and Aegis Eclipse. Pew pew.
Everything is moving in Rend. That much should be expected, of course, because the game is still early in its testing cycle. In this particular case, though, the faction base is moving from the prior location to a spot closer to Yggdrasil. This has a number of benefits, as it gives players a taste of what to expect during the first journey to the base, provides clearer movements to the other biomes, and offers the developers a chance to change the map a bit further.
This also helps adjust the overall balance of the game by setting creature movement speeds to account for the new location, and since the game’s taming system is arriving in the same update it addresses multiple issues at once. None of the changes impact the overall timeline, so you can look forward to seeing the results of these shifts yourself sooner rather than later. Our own Andrew got a chance to see how the game is coming along on E3, so you can also take his word for it.
You just couldn’t resist the bunny post, could you? The bunnies were there and your mind goes, “Aww, fluffy little hoppity hoppers!” and now you’re reading a post on Chronicles of Elyria. No, no, don’t leave, you might as well finish it while you’re here.
Anyway, the world of Chronicles of Elyria is coming together as the team prepares for the pre-alpha test. First up for this month’s efforts was getting the chat interface working for the VoxElyria client. “Chat in Chronicles of Elyria is a more complex beast than you might find in your typical MMO,” said the team.
The developers also worked on creating a stable and well-performing hardware platform and fleshing out the world with those adorable bunnies, shrubberies, oxen, and various bits of lore.
Frostkeep Studios showed off plenty for Rend at E3, as you can see from our hands-on with the game, but the studio still has more to share. It unveiled another boime last Friday, showing off the lush landscape that surrounds hearthhome with a flyover video. Stagswood is home to — you guessed it — stags. But this survival PvPvE game doesn’t feature just ordinary stags. No, these majestic luminescent creatures have beautiful flora growing out of their mighty antlers. They live among the skogurfrut bushes and hardwood saplings under the canopy. Also living amid the foliage (likely stalking you) are wargs, and down in caves you’ll find vicious looking Ursas. Check out some screens below, then watch the flyover and collect a few survival tips on Rend’s official site.
Let’s all take a moment for an appreciative round of applause to any studio that is considerate enough to post monthly round-ups of games in development. This is especially helpful for titles like Dual Universe, as there is so much going on that it gets easy to miss updates.
So what’s going on with Dual Universe this June? The team reviewed its pre-alpha 0.10 patch, which added scanning and mining gameplay, several new gameplay videos, a dev blog on the revamp to piloting mechanics, how it’s handling player feedback, and some new concept art.
Speaking of the patch, another major feature just added to the space sandbox was its oh-so-necessary market system. The devs urge that you familiarize yourself with the market UI in order to make the most efficient use of your time and effort. Check it out below!
Saying that it needs to “double down” and push hard to get the beta build finished for next month’s launch, the Camelot Unchained team noticeably increased its output this week with 20 items on its to do list.
Among the many projects that the developers were tackling this past week include shaping the Arthurian Physician class, stress testing the builder system, sorting out the crafting system, load testing servers, upgrading the trade window UI, and building props to populate taverns and banks.
As for Camelot Unchained BetaWatch (ooh, that’s a catchy title we should steal), it’s still on track: “As you all know, we had set our original feature lock date as June 12, which was this Tuesday. The good news is, many of our core Beta features have landed, things like skill improvements, scenarios, and our ability to have a complete game loop. However, some work just isn’t where we want it to be, and so we are moving forward with a bit of continued feature work to deliver the experience we want for Beta 1 Day 1. We are still hopeful for the 4th of July!”
Here’s a slight damper for your weekend: Crowfall has decided to delay its soft launch into 2019 due to the additional work that the studio believes should to be done. ArtCraft said that between “getting it right” and “calling it done,” it would much rather do the former.
“The game experience is paramount,” ArtCraft stated. “We firmly believe is the right path forward. These changes aren’t free, however, so we should recognize that more changes to core systems means more time before launch. As a result, I think it’s clear that our soft launch is not going to happen by the end of the year.”
The delay isn’t the first for the studio; by our count, it delayed major functionality as well as a soft launch last year too.
Now that you’re past the crushing disappointment of development schedules, here’s some good news. Alpha testing is on track to start later this summer and the studio is in a strong financial position after receiving an additional $6 million investment at the start of 2018. Other deals that have been made to help the PvP MMO include a partnership to bring Crowfall to Russia and an agreement to license its MMO technology base to an unnamed company.
Oh, boy, Star Citizen. It’s been a week. First, the little boy who would never lose faith in you lost faith in you. In a film, this is the point when you check into rehab. In real life, this is the point when the game released a trailer for alpha 3.2 that contains things not actually in alpha 3.2. And then they released another concept ship you can buy which looks… let’s be kind and say oddly similar to a ship from EVE Online. A well-known one. EVE Online had some fun with that. In short, the game is going to move to Australia.
Other beta news? Sure, yeah, let’s go for it.
- Amidst all the other news, The Crew 2 revealed its open beta will start on June 21st! You can try before you buy. Very briefly, because it launches on the Tuesday after that. So try hard.
- Pantheon is getting ready for its third pre-alpha, and it has a zone where everything works! That’s not sarcastic, that’s actually a landmark. I’m lucky when half of the zones in my home mostly work.
- The combat in Legends of Aria should be more sensible now. That’s welcome. Especially as you’ll be doing quite a bit more of it, as fast travel has been correspondingly weakened. Getting places is boring, or something.
- Why did Bless Online choose early access? Because Neowiz likes money? Probably, but maybe you should listen to the official explanation instead of being cynical. Or before being cynical anyway, we shan’t judge.
- Last but not least, Ship of Heroes has explained the team’s definitions of alpha, beta, open testing, and closed testing. There’s no snark to be had there. We like that sort of thing in this column.
Did you have a good week? Would you like to end it by looking at the games currently in testing? Would you like to tell us if something is mislabeled down in the comments? All of these things are good and you should do them.
What makes an alpha? If your answer is “marketing jargon,” you’re not entirely wrong. But the team behind Ship of Heroes is going for a slightly more formalized definition, and it’s explained on the official site right now. In short, an alpha is when you have people who aren’t part of the development team running around in the game, because that’s when you can find the bits that are broken without developers who just know to avoid that stuff.
The team is also preparing for its next major alpha milestones, starting with a 50-player login test with everyone logging into a spot and running around. Assuming that goes well, it’s time to move on to the same thing with a full-fledged invasion, adding combat into the mix. If you’re curious about the exact divisions between alphas, betas, and closed vs. open status, check out the whole piece on the official site.