Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Biggest MMO Industry Blunder of 2017, which we awarded to the industry’s VR obsession last year, and I just need to point out that some of you mocked us for that pick, but we’re feeling mighty vindicated this year, and you’ll soon see why. This isn’t an award we particularly enjoy giving, but I think it’s a fitting complement to praising trends and big stories: We must consider the mistakes of the year so we don’t make them again and so we can be prepared for how they’ll affect us in the future.
The Massively OP staff pick for Biggest MMO Industry Blunder of 2017 is…
I’m afraid ARK Park, the virtual reality spin-off of ARK Survival Evolved led by Snail Games, is not going to make its planned December launch on PSVR. You probably figured that out when you realized there’s not much time left to launch in. In fact, as Snail Games announced today, the game has been delayed to the spring of next year because it “is still in development.”
“We are truly sorry for any disappointment this delay might cause,” Snail writes. “It warms our heart to see so many of you can’t wait to get your hands on ARK Park. As much as we are just as excited to see the final result, the game needs a bit more polish and optimization. We are firm believers in publishing a game only when it is fully developed.”
When launched, the game is expected to boast 10 maps, dino breeding mechanics, multiplayer activities, a puzzle-like crafting-and-discovery system, and a battle mode.
Welcome back to another fast look at what the survivalboxes are up to! We’ve got tidbits from ARK, CSGO, Astroneer, and Osiris: New Dawn.
First up: CSGO might be getting a survival mode. Dataminers have uncovered a bunch of files, some dating back years, that suggest a number of features and combat styles that aren’t in the game, including parachutes, and island map, and “survival” references. (via VG247)
Massively OP’s MJ and the crew stormed the castle last time and found a deep pool of water at the bottom. What lies beneath that placid surface? That’s what the team aims to find out. (Hint: it will likely involve sharp teeth and death!) Join us live at 2:00 p.m. to take a swim in the castle’s indoor pool.
What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, December 16th, 2017
It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won’t be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year’s list to see how spot-on I was).
This year we’re changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of “will see a hard launch in 2018.” Instead, I drafted up a list of 20 MMOs that have the potential to do or be really interesting next year, whether that be a launch, a long-anticipated beta test, or some other significant development. Plus, hey, you get 20 for the price of 10, so no complaining now!
As an aside, this list isn’t going to cover some other exciting-looking multiplayer games that are arriving in 2018, like Anthem, Sea of Thieves, The Crew 2, Monster Hunter World, DayZ, Red Dead Redemption 2, Stardew Valley, Conan Exiles, and State of Decay 2. And you old school fans won’t want to forget that Ultima Online has a new free-to-play option coming this spring.
The delays are in the past: Aberration truly launches for ARK Survival Evolved today on both PC and console, marking the game’s second expansion pack and the first since ARK officially launched. Merry Christmas, here’s your “irradiated hellscape” to play in!
“Waking up on ‘Aberration’ – a derelict, malfunctioning ARK featuring an elaborate underground biome system filled with new challenges unlike those found on prior ARK maps. Extreme radioactive sunlight, earthquakes, and environmental hazards, ziplines, wingsuits, climbing gear, fantastical creatures like the Rock Drake and Basilisk, and more await survivors throughout these vast caverns. Beware the ‘Nameless’: unrelenting, Element-infused humanoids, which have evolved into vicious light-hating creatures, and the Reapers, massive alien monstrosities which can impregnate foes to spawn their offspring!”
As we’ve previously previewed, the expansion includes new genetically mutated creatures to tame and slay, 50 new craftable items (who doesn’t need her very own custom hazmat suit?), and new environmental hazards, like earthquakes, gas leaks, and radiation exposure (ah, a use for that suit!).
Think of all the wacky things devs have said in public in front of gamers and journalists this year.
Now imagine what gets said behind closed doors!
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked our staff to select the best (and worst) developer quotes from the year and reflect on what we’ve learned from them. Let’s dig in – we’ve got some whoppers.
Funcom has just announced to Conan Exiles players anxiously awaiting the game on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 that they’ll be paying more than they originally thought: $49.99, up from $34.99.
“The version we release at launch will have even more content and gameplay in it than what you see today, and will have a landmass more than twice as big as what we started out with on PC Early Access launch. In fact, we’re adding an entirely new biome, a completely remade combat system, and new gameplay mechanics,” says the studio. “Because we are now doing pre-orders in retail, we have to increase the price already as soon as pre-orders start. It’s not something we want to do, we would of course prefer to have kept the Game Preview pricing the same until launch, but there is a very good reason why we have to bite the bullet.”
Massively OP’s MJ loves castles, and she loves exploring. Luckily for her, ARK’s Ragnarok map combines them both! There’s a castle overlooking Viking Bay that she’s excited to finally explore. Is it just an empty shell, or does it hold secrets to discover? Maybe it could be her next home! Join us live at 12:00 p.m. as MJ finally gets to storm a castle!
What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
Following at least two delays, ARK’s next expansion finally has a release date of December 12th.
Aberration will take players spelunking in the most terrifying environment possible, although the promise of new tech and sights is enough of a lure to overcome the obstacles. We hope.
In this realm, players will deal with a malfunctioning ARK, tame new types of creatures (such as a Lantern Pug), craft dozens of helpful items, and use ziplines and wingsuits to explore this strange new place.
The expansion pack will retail for $20 and is included in the season pass. Check out the trailer after the break and try to put all thoughts of a sequel out of your mind!
Step aside, turkey and fambly rage: It’s time to buy stuff. Because we don’t already unload our wallets the rest of the year on MMOs! Oh wait, yes we do. In any case, here’s a quick roundup of all the best MMO Black Friday 2017 sales on Steam and elsewhere.
Stately resting between the gaudy purple and orange of Halloween and merry red and green of Christmas is the earth tone-saturated Thanksgiving. While no one’s favorite color scheme, Thanksgiving does give us a nice in-between holiday with family meals, an awkward dance around politics, a work day for football teams, and the occasional MMORPG holiday event.
While not every online game has decided to embrace the American holiday, enough pop up every year that need corralling. And since we just got turkey certified here at Massively OP, we’re going to lay out all of this week’s event options for you on a platter. So enjoy the festivities and dressing up like a Pilgrim for two days maximum before deeply questioning that fashion sense. Now jingly sleigh bells, size XXXL red suits, and reindeer antlers, that’s a smart look indeed!
It’s kind of hard to be thankful this year. Sure, some good things have happened this year, but we also have some things that, to put it politely, are unqualified messes. There’s everything around Star Wars: Battlefront II. There’s the shuttering of Master x Master and Marvel Heroes (the latter I actually flagged a year ago as being robust and healthy). There are titles like Lord of the Rings Online and ARK: Survival Evolved that have doubled down on methods to enrage players. And last but certainly not least, there’s still no sign of a sequel to the Warcraft film.
That one might be a grey area, actually.
But the year hasn’t been devoid of light, and there’s still stuff to be thankful for. So rather than being bitter and cranky about it, I want to focus on what we do have to be thankful for even while I hope for better in the future. Let’s talk about some stuff that’s good to be thankful for, even if it doesn’t tickle your particular fancy, and be a little more hopeful.