“ARPG” stands for “action roleplaying game.”

E3 2017: Absolver reveals fourth combat style, plans August 29 launch on PC and PS4

We’ve kept an eye on multiplayer ARPG Absolver since its debut just before last year’s E3, and it’s back at the show again in 2017 with not just the three combat melee forms we already knew about but a fourth.

“Zui Quan masters at Sloclap and bootleggers at Devolver Digital revealed the mysterious fourth combat style for the upcoming combat melee combat game Absolver today: Stagger,” the studio writes. “A sight to behold, players can master this savage style later this summer in the game’s closed beta and attendees of E3 who have appointments to check out Absolver can try their hand at this difficult and entertaining fighting style.”

You can tell somebody was having fun in this press release too: “Absolver drunkenly punches you on PC and PlayStation 4 on August 29.” Well then. An Xbox One release is referred to in press materials, but no date for that has been announced. Check out the new trailer too!

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Grim Dawn sells 1M copies, previews Inquisitor class

While you’ve been off playing other games, Grim Dawn has become a sleeper hit in the ARPG community. The dark game just announced its one millionth copy sold since its February 2016 launch. As a cherry on top of that cake, over 200,000 batches of DLC have been purchased by players as well.

And times are about to get even better for Grim Dawn. This year, the multiplayer game will roll out a so-far-unnamed expansion, and part of this release will include the new Inquisitor mastery. Inquisitors are “hunters of all things eldritch and bizarre,” wielding skills such as protective seals and offensive runes to decimate the army of darkness. If you like classes that toss out traps left and right for enemies to stumble blindly into, then the Inquisitor is tailor-made for your desire.


Retro-themed Kingdom of Loot goes into early access

Are you a sucker for pixel art and retro JRPGs? Then here’s a nice little treat for you: Kingdom of Loot will launch tomorrow in early access on Steam. It’s expected to stay in early access for the next two-and-a-half years while development continues.

Self-described as “the love child of Secret of Mana and Diablo,” the ARPG Kingdom of Loot marries the 16-bit era to the MMORPG genre… and it actually looks pretty cute and fun. It’s divided up into social town hubs, an open world map, and private instances. Players will take up arms to do some Zelda-style hack-and-slashing while going on quests and hanging out with their guilds.

Kingdom of Loot seeks to bring back the timeless feel of these classics while answering the question: How would they have been if based in a global mass multiplayer system?” the team describes. “An immersive persistent world to explore, tons of loot to collect, new friendships to forge and adventures to live and strongly focuses on collecting, crafting and sharing in-game loot. You decide whether doing it on your own, with a small group of friends, a guild or joining hundreds of other players on your quest for epic gear.”

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MyWorld empowers players create and link their own ARPG levels

If you are the sort that has ever looked at online game design and thought to yourself, “I could do so much better,” then it’s time to put your boasts to the test by checking out MyWorld. This software allows players to whip up their own action-RPG levels and then connect them with others to make a near-infinite sprawling patchwork quilt of worlds.

“At the heart of MyWorld is the ability to link worlds together, construct multiple level games and adventure through them with friends,” a press statement said. “Via portals, game makers and game players can cross over into worlds created by other users and play the action RPG they’ve made to be discovered. Any game level can be linked to any other level and can be easily chained together to create a unique experience.”

The software is currently 25% off at Steam. Get your first look at MyWorld after the break!

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PAX East 2017: Dauntless reveals new trailer, plans 2017 launch

Keeping an ear to the ground for Dauntless news? You should be: It’s a co-op ARPG from Phoenix Labs, an indie studio made up of former BioWare, Riot Games, and Blizzard devs. It’s expected to launch on PC later this year as a free-to-play (and apparently online) title that focuses on basic cosmetics and boosts to fund development costs.

It’s not massive, mind you, but it’s worth a look for multiplayer fans. The new PAX trailer is below.

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Pokemon Go: Japan’s snorlax event, gyms, PvP, and trading

Despite what I may think, Niantic is still calling Pokemon GO an MMO at GDC 2017.

Senior Product Manager Tatsuo Nomura referred to it as one while speaking with Polygon. Nomura also mentions that that when it launches, trading “won’t be through the internet,” and that while online trading might be seen by some as a way to potentially help rural players, the developers’ goal is more about potential distribution for regional Pokemon (such as North American Tauros or South American Heracross). You’ll need to be in close proximity to your trading partner, though don’t expect it until at least later this year, as the company is worried it may kill the game. The team is trying to improve the gameplay experience for rurals still, but no specifics were given.

Perhaps this is partially why company president John Hanke discussed the gym situation with Wired, and yes, Hanke mentions attempts to combat spoofers. Translations note that an overhaul of the gym system is the team’s “next step,” wanting to get more people into the gym scene and to have gyms focus on teamwork. Supposedly, legendaries will also be available later this year, as will player vs. player battles.

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The Soapbox: Pokemon Go Generation 2 still isn’t a real MMO

Pokemon GO Generation 2 is out now, and it feels a lot like an MMO expansion in a lot of ways: We have new features, we have new grinding mechanics, and (of course) the combat system’s been overhauled (twice, with the original change making dodging useless, the second possibly fixing the situation).

On the one hand, I’m excited as a Pokemon fan, especially since it’s a free update. On the other hand, I’m starting to think that Raph Koster’s famous comments on AR games being MMOs might be a bit off, at least in terms of POGO.
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For Science: A third of our polled social media users quit Pokemon Go over trackers

Pokemon Go has received some large updates recently: the buddy system, medals, some big gym changes (twice), and now we’ve got dailies. We’ve been dazzled with two events granting bonus… well, everything, and yet, I’ve been noticing veteran players around me retiring anyway. Casual players are playing less often. During the Halloween event, I was surprised about the number of people that actually didn’t return to the game!

Rather than go on pure anecdotal evidence, I conducted an impromptu survey on social media to get a clearer picture of why people quit the game before the November 0.45.0 update. Here are the results.

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Exploring real-life PUGs, the Plus, and the antisocial nature of Pokemon Go

Although Pokemon Go isn’t advertised as an MMO, both experts and players have noted it does present some interesting similarities: Both have tons of players on servers where player locations are tracked. Both games task players with interacting with AI and (in simple ways) other players. And the game worlds in both are directly impacted by player action (remember, Pokemon Go is based on the Ingress map that was sourced out to the players).

Being an MMORPG site, we’ve talked about socialization and how it relates in particular to our genre. However, much like other modern MMOs, PoGo can lead to the sort of “alone together” situation that seems to eternally threaten our genre’s relevance — indeed, its existence.

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Rumor: American McGee ARPG Akaneiro is kaput

Four years ago or so, a number of folks at Massively, including me, had their sights set on Akaneiro: Demon Hunters. It was a co-op ARPG by American McGee with a successful $200,000 Kickstarter behind it and a Red Riding Hood-inspired, horror-esque Mori Girl setting and beautiful, cel-shaded graphics. The only real problem with the game was its hybrid business model, which couldn’t quite decide whether it was buy-to-play or free-to-play with an excessive pay-to-play cash shop.

Along the way, the game’s real-life business model collapsed. In 2014, McGee admitted that studio Spicy Horse Games was $1.7 million in debt and had downsized to just two people. But the game was at least playable — in a messy but free-to-play state on Steam.

That is, at least until recently. Over the past week, players have begun reporting on Steam that the game has gone offline without warning. According to MMO Fallout, support tickets are apparently triggering an auto-responder that declares Spicy Horse closed entirely (in July, as a matter of fact) and that it will no longer offer support for any of its games, though it does say “Akaneiro WILL continue to remain online for the foreseeable future.”

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Mobile ARPG Heroes of Incredible Tales releases beefy update

Heroes of Incredible Tales (otherwise known as HIT) may have launched less than three weeks ago, but the mobile multiplayer action-RPG already has a hefty update. Today, Nexon and NAT Games introduced a new PvE area with 30 stages to conquer, two new raid boss fights, new costumes with two new equipment slots (magic stones and cloaks), an Altar of Trials challenge mode, and a training mode. The level cap was also bumped from 50 to 60 with six accompanying skills. Players who want stronger equipment can boost that level cap from 20 to 30, and those who just want to chill can throw on a new vacation outfit. For more details, check out the patch notes on the official Facebook page, or dive in and experience them first hand.

Source: Nexon press release; official site


Mu Legend wants to satisfy your ARPG cravings

Has Mu Legend grabbed your attention yet? This action-RPG has been in development since 2011 and is on the cusp of closed beta testing in Korea, with about 60% of the game completed at this point. If hopes, dreams, wishes, and ponies can pull together, it should be coming over here as well.

MMO Culture posted an interview with the dev team about the making of this prequel to 2001’s Mu Online. But just because the game shares a name and lineage with Mu Online doesn’t mean that Mu Legend will be merely a graphical update.

Mu Legend was decided to be hack-and-slash MMORPG with the previous quarter view,” the devs said. “We thought having a quarter-view will allow users to feel the joy of mass battle using simple mouse and keyboard control”

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Pixelart OARPG Dragon of Legends launches on Kickstarter

Smed’s not the only one launching a pixelart OARPG on Kickstarter today: Thrive Games has just revealed Dragon of Legends.

Dragon of Legends is an online action RPG for PC, Mac, Linux, and Mobile devices, that is heavily influenced by Gaelic and Norse mythology. Enter the ever-evolving lands of Hávámal, where the lights of faeries border the realms of darkness.

Work on the 2-D game has been ongoing for the last year and a half, Thrive says in its Kickstarter pitch; it’ll include a detailed character class and skill system, crafting mechanics, boats, an achievement journal, twitch combat, and user-generated content. It’s also crossplatform: You’ll play it on PC, Mac, Linux, and tablet. The studio’s goal is $41,318, and thought stretch goals are planned, they aren’t revealed just yet.

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