Hey, you. Yeah, you, dude leeching candy from the bucket you bought “for the neighborhood kids.” And you, lady still trying to decide between “Princess Leia” and “lazy zombie” for your costume (go Leia, duh). Put all that aside and get into some MMOs instead! Halloween is only one night in real life, but in MMORPGs, it goes on for days or even weeks. Some studios will probably even forget to turn it off! Others will let you run around with a flaming pumpkin head mask for all eternity!
Here’s what we’re looking at this year for Halloween across the MMORPG verse.
Welcome back to another quick tour through the very latest in mobile MMORPG news. Let’s begin at the beginning with…
Yep, the GAMEVIL-produced mobile spinoff of this core sandbox MMORPG has released on both iOS and Android worldwide, with 100K players having signed up for pre-registration. “Developed with Unreal Engine 4, ArcheAge Begins features impressive-looking character models and environments, intense strategic battles and engrossing online multiplayer features,” GAMEVIL says. (Thanks, Jason!)
Massively OP’s Justin Olivetti has a provocative article on his personal gaming blog, Bio Break, this week on MMORPG housing.
“I once again wonder why open world housing is this holy grail that some players and developers seem hellbent on chasing,” he writes. “It’s an ideal, a beautiful mirage couched in the notion of players inhabiting the very world they play, allowing them to stroll through neighborhoods of fellow adventurer’s homes and basking in the connectivity of it all. Yet it’s a failed experiment, one that is proven time and again to have far more drawbacks than benefits.” After listing off his complaints with the mechanic, he ultimately concludes that “we simply don’t need fixed open world housing, even in sandboxes.”
But being Justin, he also asked for feedback on why the joys are worth the drawbacks – and how to fix the system so it works instead of running off the rails. That’s just what we’ll do in this week’s Overthinking. Is he right about not needing this type of housing? And if not, how would you fix open world housing?
Starting on Tuesday, October 24th, ArcheAge
is getting into the spirit of Halloween. As we all know, the real meaning of Halloween is dressing up in costumes and enjoying bits of ghoulish glee, and you can rest assured that exactly that will arrive with the game’s many seasonal events
. Honor the souls of the dead for festival tokens, or go about smashing pumpkins and picking up costumes and event crates. There’s also a special trade pack delivery route starting on October 18th, and it won’t bring you through festival areas, so you’ll be in greater danger the whole time.
You know what’s really scary as an ArcheAge player, though? Discussing servers. No, it’s not another merge, thankfully, it’s just opening up transfers to and from the game’s Evolution servers. Fresh Start servers remain sectioned off for the moment, but it wouldn’t be a proper Halloween season without a shiver of terror running down your spine. Even if it’s less terror at the thought of monsters and more at the thought of another land rush.
If you haven’t heard already, tomorrow marks the start of a massive gaming marathon called Extra Life
that will help raise much-needed funds to aid sick kids at the Children’s Miracle Network hospital. Among those forming teams and playing titles for this charity is Trion Worlds, which is encouraging its community to rally around this worthy cause
Trion’s Extra Life marathon begins tomorrow afternoon, during which the dev team will stream non-stop for 24 hours. To encourage and entice players to join the team in this fundraising effort, Trion is offering a bounty of virtual goods based on the amount of money raised.
Patch 4.1 arrived in Final Fantasy XIV
, and the Shirogane housing rush came and went exactly how everyone familiar with the game had been expecting for months on end. The plots available sold out in a matter of minutes, the people who were lucky enough to get in ahead of the queues were the ones who got new houses, and everyone else was left to rant and rave. Frankly, it all worked great, technically speaking; there were no sudden disconnections, no horrid lag spikes, no zone crashes, nothing. Everything worked exactly as it was supposed to and nothing broke, which means that by definition, nothing went wrong.
Well, unless you count shining a harsh light on the game’s horribly misguided housing design as “something going wrong.”
A lot of discussions about this seem to be missing the point. It’s not that what happened with Shirogane housing was a disaster; it was a model of efficiency and the game working as intended. Calling it a disaster is mischaracterizing the situation, making it seem like something didn’t work, when the real problem is an underlying issue of an open-world housing system that completely fails to adequately serve the needs of players.
The economy for ArcheAge
servers is getting a little more unified. During the game’s next weekly maintenance window, the auction houses for the game’s fresh start and legacy servers will be getting merged into one overall server
. Legacy auctions are going to remain unaffected, but fresh start server auctions will be expired automatically, meaning that players on the fresh servers will have to adjust to the existing standards across the larger server community.
If no bids have been placed on an item on a fresh start auction house, the full posting price and the item will be returned to the player; otherwise, the highest bidder will receive the item. It’s another step toward bringing the fresh start servers in line with the rest of the game, although whether or not that’s a good thing probably depends on whether or not you have something up for auction that’s about to become more valuable or less so in the near future.
I might not pick one of Final Fantasy XIV’s Lalafell as an ideal combat companion, but when it comes to staging adorable photogenic moments? I would say that they are ideal.
Reader Vexia nodded off to a bunch of fluffy sheep in today’s headlining pic: “It’s totally worth it ’cause then you can count them all to fall asleep. I guess this qualifies as being ‘in my element’ too: surrounded by fluffy cuteness.”
Ack. We need a palette cleanser! Truck in some gratuitous gore and oversized spiders!
Ever played Epic Tavern? Massively OP reader Uli though it would make an interesting point of comparison for MMO content. “Epic Tavern is a single player game where you run a fantasy tavern frequented by heroes for a drink, food, bed for the night, and you can try to persuade those NPC heroes to go on a quest for you, sharing the spoils,” he explains.
“A comment I read suggested that would be great for MMO taverns: player running a tavern being able to give quests in the game to players frequenting the tavern. I know there are options for player run quests, but this would be different: pre-existing or otherwise player-made and engine-supported quests that are bestowed on player to match their group or skill level. And of course it would mean that visiting a tavern and meeting other players would finally have a point beyond mere chatting/RP. Ensuring people spent time in taverns to interact with would really help the socializing/third-space-in-virtual-rooms issue. But could it work in a MMO? Would that be abused for loot/rewards, biased quest assignment/withholding based on favors? Or what other problems could that cause?”
A lot of our writers and readers have experience with player-generated content, so I thought it would be fun to build on the ideas of Epic Tavern for Uli in this week’s Overthinking. Which MMOs have (or desperately need) great PGC, and when have you seen it go wrong? Could a formal, mechanical system for quest-giving like Epic Tavern’s work in an MMO, or is it something best left to the roleplayers?
If you have ever visited the MMORPG subreddit, you probably know that one of the most frequent posts that pop up are ones asking the community for recommendations. These are players who have left a full-time game and are now fishing around for a substitute, or those who have “played them all” and are hoping that some undiscovered gem exists, or are having a difficult time finding a good game match for their preferred playstyle.
I am often leery about tossing out blanket recommendations because it’s far better to get to know a player, his or her game history, and the type of game sought before giving my opinion. But if you were to put a fish cannon to my head and threatened me with rapid-codding, I think I would be generally OK promoting the following 10 MMORPGs to most players, sight unseen.
These are MMOs that have earned my personal recommendation and are the titles that I tend to promote the most. Here we go!
Sorry, we couldn’t resist that intentionally confusing headline! Anyway, for those interested in checking out the mobile spin-off of ArcheAge, your time is now.
Pre-registrations have started for ArcheAge Begins in preparation for the game’s debut on mobile platforms next month. There is incentive to get you to sign up for the game: You can get gems, gold, stamina, and universal pieces (whatever those are, they’re universal) if you submit your email now.
According to the description, ArcheAge Begins’ “primary gameplay mode will give players the chance to exercise strategic expertise; players will need to form teams of four unique heroes and use the ‘card-flipping’ battle system to conquer challenges and unravel the story. ArcheAge Begins will also have compelling multiplayer features including in-game commerce and guild battles.”
If you’re on the fence about this, check out the short cinematic trailer below and see if that sways your mind.
Hey, remember the MMO Book Club? That’s the Reddit-and-Discord group that allows members to vote on a game to play, then organizes a guild and events inside that game over the allotted time period, ensuring that folks who want to try out an MMORPG have a ready-made community of likeminded casual people who aren’t going to immediately scamper off to greener pastures. You scamperers, you.
To date, the Club has dipped into Lord of the Rings Online (which we streamed!), WildStar, The Elder Scrolls Online, and TERA, the reigning champ. As the group enters its second half-year, it’s opened the voting once again; that takes place in Discord to avoid brigading.
“The shortlist of games you can vote on to play with the Bookclub now are: Guild Wars 2, Secret World Legends, DC Universe Online, EverQuest, RuneScape, ArcheAge, World of Warcraft and TERA.” (Voting for TERA extends the current cycle another month instead of moving the crew to a new game.)
Need a little of that ArcheAge magic on the go? You won’t have to wait long; starting next month, Gamevil is going to roll out the mobile version of the MMORPG to players worldwide.
ArcheAge Begins is slated to hit the Apple Store and Google Play on October 25th, offering a different take on the established (and ever-so-controversial) sandbox. Developed with XLGAMES’ help, ArcheAge Begins gives players the choice of 30 heroes and has them battle their way through the world using a “flip card” system. There’s also PvP because why wouldn’t there be?
The main claim to fame here, other than the relation to ArcheAge, is the mobile’s advanced graphics, which are rendered in the Unreal Engine 4. Gamevil is specifically targeting the North American and European markets, saying that these regions showed a “high participation rate” in the game’s testing.
It looks as if most of the official discussion and reveals for the mobile MMO are being posted on Facebook. Check out the trailer and gameplay after the break!