With so much going on while you attempt to manage your own space economic empire, you’re going to need a little help to stay informed. That’s why the small dev team behind Prosperous Universe is putting a priority on hacking out a useful notification system that will deliver regular updates on projects and events that impact the user.
The devs said that they’re taking a cue for this system from social media: “It pretty much looks and works as you’d expect from a site like Facebook… and that’s on purpose: Many smart people have thought a lot about this problem in the past and there is no point in reinventing the wheel.”
Another project in the works is to rebalance the game so that it rewards specialization strongly enough that it will tempt players away from creating self-sustaining bases that don’t require any external interaction.
The central tenant of Identity’s concept is that this isn’t going to be your run-of-the-mill combat MMO, but a life simulator that will let you live out fantasies of all sorts of exciting lifestyles, such as being a cop or a drug dealer.
The team released a short but interesting gameplay video last week that showed one law enforcement scenario. In it, a police officer pulls up to a house in the country and confronts two players doing their best Breaking Bad imitation in an RV behind it.
Earlier this month, the dev team said that it was going “full steam ahead” on the formation of the playable Town Square module.
“We’ve begun working with another studio to hasten art development for Town Square and other parts of Identity,” the team said. “With the release of Town Square, all founder package holders are going to be issued a key to redeem Identity on Steam.”
One fact you may not know about Shroud of the Avatar is that it allows players to stock and operate their own virtual shopkeepers to sell crafted and looted wares. These player vendors are about to get an upgrade from their former drab lives to a much more refined Victorian palate. The devs said that the male shopkeepers will be first in line for the makeover, followed by female NPCs in Release 52.
This week’s developer newsletter revealed the new in-game models for harvestable trees, which come in both pine and maple varieties. The team also continues to power forward with the design for the South Fetid Swamp, a location as charming as its name implies.
Portalarium also let players know that it extended the deadline to March 9th to confirm mailing addresses for physical goods from their pledges and backing.
Release 51 is scheduled for February 22nd.
You should probably not be terribly surprised to hear that Saga of Lucimia, an upcoming MMO that is staking a claim on the hard-as-nails market, is embracing gated content with gusto. And to hear the team tell it, this is logical and corresponds to most hobbies in real life.
“Just because you paid for a game and/or are paying a monthly fee doesn’t mean you automatically have access to the top levels of content,” the team said. “Does that matter? Does it affect anyone other than those who are attempting to meet the barriers in place for the highest levels of gated content? Not in the least.”
An example of Saga of Lucimia’s gated content is with its main epic questline, in which players “will need to meet certain standards of entry” at certain points, including dungeon and raid runs. Yes, it sounds as though keys and attunements are making a comeback.
Is there room enough in this industry for another self-proclaimed hardcore, old school MMORPG with all of the PvP fixins? Russian-based Atlant Games is betting that there is, as it’s deep in development with a medieval title called Reign of Guilds.
A cross between a kingdom simulator and a guild sieges, Reign of Guilds thrust players into a fantasy realm where they will vie for power, control, and territory. It’s all hard edges here, with full corpse looting, non-target combat, friendly fire, and the tantalizing possibility of clawing your way to the top to become the realm’s king.
Reign of Guilds has 10 months of development under its belt and is already wielding a prototype that has a few dozen players testing it. The studio said that it plans on launching a Kickstarter campaign for it in the future.
Remember Maguss, the Harry Potter-esque ARG everyone was buzzing around right up until Pokemon Go company Niantic said it was making Harry Potter: Wizards Unite? It’s just about to launch its open beta; you west coasters will want to wake up early on Saturday indeed to make the 8 a.m. EST starting time on Android and iOS. The game originally raised almost half a million dollars on Indiegogo, so its popularity seems assured!
What else happened in the world of MMO testing this week?
- Camelot Unchained finally has a beta date: the fourth of July. Fortunately, nothing else important happens on that day. Our interview all about how beta will work is pretty great if we do say so ourselves.
- Dead Maze officially launched! No more beta! Free at last!
- Villagers & Heroes seeks iOS beta testers ahead of its launch at the end of this month.
- Project Gorgon laid out the details of its upcoming Steam beta.
- Stardew Valley promised multiplayer beta this spring.
- Soulworker Online is inching ever closer to testing here; forums for NA and EU arrived this week.
- Ashes of Creation dazzled again with more footage of “alpha zero” gameplay.
- Staxel landed on our sandbox radar; it’s currently in early access.
- Bless Online is anticipating that when it starts, its early access open beta will run half a year.
We’ve tucked whole list of games temporarily and very much permanently in test stasis right on down below.
By the sound of it, the Blight is probably not a healthy, safe phenomenon for Worlds Adrift players to encounter. And yet, both the community and the dev team are anticipating the addition of this hazard in next Tuesday’s 0.1.7 patch.
The devs said that a movement has grown up around this addition: “You all seem really excited at the prospect of being engulfed by the Blight! So much so that we’ve had reports of a player group calling themselves ‘The Blightests,’ with each member going by a different name starting with ‘Father,’ who travel the skies and demand people follow the way of the Blight.”
A deeper look at the Blight should be coming soon to a YouTube near you.
There are many other projects on deck past this patch, including the alliance system, tutorial design, better FPS, and self-cleaning island storms (seriously). The team also has a humorous attitude toward a ship placement bug: “Began the hunt for Mildred, the ghost of World’s Adrift, who likes to mysteriously move ships about.”
It’s going to be easy to ignore new formulas in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth for a little while. After all, you’re dealing with a big across-the-board numbers squish along with a new expansion, so you’ll probably be focusing more on your individual abilities feeling like they do the right amount of damage per hit. But there’s been what appears to be a pretty major under-the-hood change in the game’s damage calculation. Whereas previously abilities that didn’t use your weapon didn’t care about weapon damage, it appears that everything in Battle for Azeroth uses weapon damage as an important component of its overall damage.
How does this affect you? From a moment-to-moment standpoint, it might not, but it does important work in addressing the disparity between classes like Warriors and classes like Monks. Most Monk abilities were not weapon strikes, so weapon damage didn’t actually affect their overall damage heavily and more attack power was the only real factor; by contrast, most Warrior abilities scaled with weapon damage all along. Going forward, if both classes scale based on weapon damage, it means that they’ll both need to assign roughly the same amount of weight to getting better weapons. It’s not something you’d notice unless you paid a lot of attention to damage formulas and specific gear importance, but it’s still an interesting change.
With $24k out of $94k raised so far, the German mech shooter Pantropy has a long road ahead of it in its Kickstarter campaign.
The team hasn’t stopped developing for the game during this period, however. It reported that work is being done on an “offline raid protection system” to make the PvP battlescape a little more fair.
It also acknowledged that its crafting system needs an overhaul: “We also got a lot of feedback from our current playerbase and the result is that our crafting is waaaay to complex. We’ll try to re-write all crafting recipes today and make them more simple.”
As we’ve pointed out previously, Pantropy is a little larger than your typical multiplayer game but less than a bigger MMO, with a server size of 64 to 128 players duking it out over an alien landscape.
There’s a familiar situation to players of tabletop games wherein a sidequest becomes more important than the main quest, and you wind up taking further sidequests on in order to advance the original sidequest. And if things go egregiously awry, you start asking yourself what you’re actually pursuing the sidequest for in the first place. The first arc of Darths & Droids does a pretty good job of illustrating this phenomenon.
Anyhow, that’s where I wound up with my last week of Project Gorgon. It wasn’t that I didn’t have self-determined goals, it’s that most of them required a sidequest to complete a sidequest to complete a further sidequest so that I could… start grinding. It was all functional, but it kind of felt like staring at the bottom of a cliff knowing that I had a limited amount of time to actually scale that cliff, and not being able to quite muster the enthusiasm when I know that I’ll never get all the way up the cliff in time.
On this week’s episode of Around the Verse, Star Citizen’s Sandi Gardiner and Chris Roberts bookend segments on the ship pipeline in the game. Did you know Star Citizen has introduced 114 ships, vehicles, and variants since the start of development? Neither did I. Here comes another one: the Aegis Vulcan. The adorably ugly and chunky ship is essentially a utility starter support spacecraft that packs in repairing, refueling, and rearming. Says CIG,
“It’s a versatile support ship. It’s there to support other ships. It’s not great at combat. It’s not great at transport. It’s not great at racing. It’s there for helping out with other ships. So if you’re that sort of person that is interested in the not more active combat side but helping others, then this is a really great entry into that, because it does allow you to help out massively for ships that run out of fuel, ships that have minor damage, ships that run out of ammo and any of these ships could be stuck out in deep space. They can call for your help, and you can go out there and give them just enough to get them where they need to go to. It’s sort of like the space AA or AAA for America. You call them up. They give you just enough to get to where you’re going, and then you can do your full repairs, rearm, refuel there.”
It’s also for sale as part of the early VIP optioning system. It’s $185 right now (warbond price), and
it is actually scheduled to no, it won’t make it into the 3.1 alpha (thanks Dividian).
The studio behind The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t mincing words when it comes to business practices that involve lockboxes and partially delivered games.
“If you buy a full priced game, you should get a big, polished piece of content, which gives you many, many hours of fun gameplay,” said Co-Founder Marcin Iwiński. “The moment [the community] feels you are reaching out for their wallet in any unfair way, they will be vocal about it. And — frankly speaking — I think it’s good for the industry. Things often look great from a spreadsheet perspective, but decision makers often aren’t asking themselves the question of ‘How would gamers feel, or is this offer a fair one?’ Gamers are striking back, and I really hope this will change our industry for the better.”
Iwiński said that the studio is focusing on its sci-fi game instead of another Witcher title: “In terms of big RPGs, it’s time for Cyberpunk 2077.” He admitted that the game is “a huge responsibility” but that the studio will step up to the challenge and deliver.
Fans should be able to hear about and see more of Cyberpunk 2077, as the title is widely rumored to be coming to this year’s E3 in June.
The third and final chapter of AdventureQuest 3D’s epic Dragons of Ashfall is now live. After months of battling up and through a volcano, players are finally able to take the fight to the big bad dragon boss itself.
Five and 20-player raids against the Great Dragon Talyn lies at the heart of the update, but it is certainly not the only addition. With the patch, the level cap has been increased to 20, players can now earn the DragonSlayer class, and new gear is available to unlock.
The team said that now the update is live, fans can expect to see a faster pace of releases: “Next week we will release those two dungeons to the right and left at the top of Mount Ashfall. Then, it is time for Dage’s birthday — a gateway will open to new area of the Underworld. Heroes should be advised to be weary of signing any ‘contracts’ in the underworld. Then the Shaman Forest and Dragon’s Graveyard will quickly follow.”