We've teased upcoming Ashes of Creation for its "nodes," and apparently Intrepid Studios agrees that they're confusing, as the MMORPG has released a dev blog this afternoon explaining just what they are, again.
"Nodes are a pre-set location, wrapped in a zone of influence, in our world that can form into towns of different sizes. These sizes range from a small camp to a sprawling metropolis. The size of the towns depends on the contribution by players and how far they’ve advanced the Node. Players do not create the footprint of a Node, but within that footprint they do have the ability to own land. Players who are part of the government for a specific Node will have the ability to modify building types and services further, but for the most part, a Node will grow along its own specific path (think about this more as NPCs building these towns out, rather than PCs individually putting buildings and walls up). A Node’s contribution area is larger than the actual town itself, allowing for players to adventure while building upon the town. We call the contribution area the Node’s 'Zone of Influence,' and it’s the area where players help to advance the Node they are in."
Nodes can grow into towns, and players who perform activities within their boundaries contribute back to the node (and vice versa), but the size of the municipalities is limited; there can be only so many huge, sprawling metropoleis at a time, after all. Nodes will also have a determined type -- military, divine, economic, and scientific -- which will provide benefits to the associated activities.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Shards Online surprised the gamer community by announcing a namechange -- to Legends of Aria -- and a scope-change, the good kind of scope change if you're an MMO player, as the game just got bigger.
More good news: The Repopulation is expected to come back online for original backers and Steam buyers tomorrow. Idea Fabrik expects the sandbox to once again be for sale on Steam later this month.
Still more good news! As I write this, indie VR MMO OrbusVR has nearly tripled its Kickstarter goal already. Its whirlwind one-week campaign ends on Monday.
Meanwhile, gamers pledged over $12K US to bring Swedish brawler RUiN to a winning Kickstarter a few days back, but Caribbean Conquest wasn't so fortunate: Its Kickstarter ended unsuccessfully earlier this week. Plus, Dogma: Eternal Night worked on its character module, Grim Dawn talked itemization, and AdventureQuest 3D hyped The Dragons of Ashfall.
Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on.
"When you push the world it pushes back. When you give to the world, it gives back. Take too much, and the world just might bite back."
The Ashes of Creation team posted a new developer diary this week that focused on one of its five design pillars, that of a reactive world. The gist is that the game world will slowly react and respond to player actions, reshaping in both positive and negative ways.
The team said that each server will be a world to itself: "Each server in Ashes of Creation will be unique, because each server will grow, mature, and change on its own based on how its players interact with one another. Sure, we’ll have our own events planned out, but the players’ choices on how and where to settle towns, when to lay siege to settlements, and even how much they forage for resources -- it all changes the landscape and layout of a given server."
Looking for a little more of an Ashes of Creation hit to get you through the weekend? The team posted a pair of short videos showing off some aggressive fauna -- namely, a troll and flanggler. Watch them below!
This week in MMO crowdfunding, we sent MOP's Matt Daniel into Crowfall, from which he emerged with many opinions on the state of the game's high-profile crafting and gathering systems. Economy folks should give it a read!
There are two MMO-related Kickstarters ending this week you may be interested in. Arena brawler RUiN is about 200 bucks from funding as I type this, so it's going to happen for sure. Caribbean Conquest's second go at Kickstarter, however, is likely to fall short; it's secured only about $2000 in pledges of its $30,000-ish goal with only a few days left.
What else is new? Worlds Adrift got a new website (thanks, Daras!), Project Gorgon rolled out a new patch, Albion Online released videos on its sound and music, Elite Dangerous began testing part of the Commanders patch, Camelot Unchained teased beta 1, and Ashes of Creation demoed its gameplay.
Finally, get thee over to Steam, where a trial of Shroud of the Avatar can currently be had entirely for free.
Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on.
Life is weird. You would think that once Robocraft was a thing I would never have played anything else, simply because it's a game about building your own robots and then making them fight. Yet it hasn't really made it onto my radar before, although perhaps that will change now that the game has launched into beta. That's a good thing for all who care for robots, really.
Other beta news? There was a bit, here and there!
- Steam Early Access has added Cloud Pirates to its ranks; the game has been in general Early Access since February, but now it's on Steam as well. Convenient!
- Revelation Online has soft launched... for players with early access to the soft launch. The full soft launch isn't until March 6th. Yes, it's early access to early access. Development is crazy. You can catch up on your knowledge of the classes while you wait for general admission, if you like.
- Ashes of Creation is still in its alpha stages, but it's still letting you take a look at its gameplay, so that's pretty cool. It'll likely change quite a bit over time, but hey, first look!
- The Darkfall resurrection project Rise of Agon is hitting launch on May 5th. That's a few months away yet, but it still fits on the calendar.
- Wondering about Crowfall's current state of test crafting? We had a deep dive into it with a full hands-on piece, so if you missed it, you'll want to check that out. The developers also showed off the upcoming Fae Assassin (who is a fae who assassinates, not an assassin of the fae).
Your quest now, should you choose to accept it, is to head into the comments and let us know about what betas you're playing. There are more on the list below, you see. You can also let us know if something on that list has launched while claiming it's still in testing, which is something that probably didn't happen back in 2006, but who knows at this point? That was a while ago.
Ashes of Creation sprung a brand-new alpha video on MMORPG players via PC Gamer this morning. It's not, as suggested there, the team's first gameplay video; Intrepid Studios has been dropping those over the past few months, when we've got a glimpse of spell animations and combat. But it is our first look at the game with any sort of user interface at work, and we get much more group combat and movement animations here.
Ashes of Creation crept onto the scene back in December; it's staffed by a number of former SOE and Daybreak vets, and it's purporting to be a bit of a sandbox, with organic events and some old-school (but not annoying) design vibes, wrapped up in a modern graphics package. Check the video out below!
This week in MMO crowdfunding, The Exiled was released to the wilds of Steam early access. Formerly called Das Tal, the buy-to-play indie sandbox attempted to raise funds through Kickstarter back in 2015 but pulled in only €33,000 of its €50,000 goal and resorted to website preorders instead, forging ahead to now. Reviews on Steam so far are mixed; once you subtract the confused trial players who seem surprised to see PvP in a PvP sandbox, the main complaints revolve around crafting grind and lag.
Meanwhile, Ship of Heroes teased its Kickstarter, Shroud of the Avatar released R39, Albion Online settled on a July release, Life is Feudal rolled out its second beta, Pantheon brought on more new employees (thanks, Reht!), Dual Universe planned a GDC community meetup, Star Citizen explored the Magnus system and released a new concept ship, HEX got a new publisher, and Elite: Dangerous did science and turned... beige.
Closer to home, games critic and veritable prince of Patreon Jim Sterling scored a victory for games journalism in the courts as a judge dismissed with prejudice a game developer's libel lawsuit against him. (Thanks to everyone who tipped this our way!)
Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on.
After extending its beta well into 2017, Albion Online has announced its date for officially leaving that hallowed state: July 17th, 2017. Just a few months away! So if you were worried that "well into 2017" meant the fall, you can rest easy. The game has also looked at adjusting some of its open PvP zones, so that's also a good thing.
Other news? Aw, of course, anything for you:
You can also find our full list just below, replete with all sorts of games which are in testing. Did something jump test phases without us noticing? That's awful; let us know about it so we can fix it. Or just scroll down the list and look for what you'd be interested in playing, we'll accept either.
MOP tipster Joel let us know about an absolute trove of info flowing in the Ashes of Creation Discord channel thanks to the candor of Creative Director Steven Sharif. Sharif has been on a tear explaining game systems to the players hanging out there. Here are a few of the more interesting bits!
- "Ashes will allow medium and small guilds to stay competitive. We have specifics systems in place to accomplish this."
- "Playing alone is complete accepted, and feasible."
- "High customization suite for character creation will allow for fat/skinny variants."
- "I want to see players be able to enjoy the game together, and that includes new players being able to participate in activities with their experienced friends."
- "While we do have classic leveling mechanics for the adventuring class, there are many ways to 'level' in Ashes. Not everything is put behind a linear progression. We want players who are casual to be able to participate in activities with players that have more time to play."
Financial nerds ahoy! On today's show, Bree and Justin talk about the economics of WoW Tokens and earnings reports, encouraging listeners to break out their accountant books to play along. There's a secret message encoded for those who balance their checkbooks correctly!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
This week in MMO crowfunding was... well, it was a big week for gaming in general, and Kickstarted games rose to the challenge! In fact, we could barely pump out the news fast enough. Here's what went on this week:
- Camelot Unchained continued work on "big ticket" development issues, like animation and effects and abilities for bots.
- Mekria Online, which we introduced only last week, has already canceled its Kickstarter; the studio vows to return with more to show players next round.
- Ashes of Creation released its first gameplay video, a "movie-like" version that'll see a UI-laden edition next week.
- Gloria Victis introduced its new Glory system as well as the ability to burn down ALL THE THINGS. Seriously.
- TUG's latest Kickstarter update tells backers that the team is working on gameplay prototyping and touted its recent investor presentation.
- Ship of Heroes previewed one of its signature heroes, Dr. Ellen Strikewell.
- Shards Online is prepping for its Steam launch with an impending wipe and NDA drop.
- Valiance Online posted four new videos of the alpha client! We've tucked one down below.
- Crowfall canceled its weekend playtest over studio concerns that the current version of the build isn't up to snuff.
- Grim Dawn rolled out a massive new patch.
- and Shroud of the Avatar rounds out my super-long list with a post-mortem Q&A -- video and text versions -- on its latest release.
I told you it was busy, and there's more down below! Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on.
The extended beta for Albion Online gives the developers time to add more to the game. For example, when the Galahad patch goes live, players will be able to explore completely revamped cities! Not partially vamped, either, they had no vamps before and now they've been re-vamped. (We might not know exactly what that means.) There's also the upcoming expedition system, which is... instanced PvE dungeons, but don't call them that, probably.
Other beta news? Oh, sure, we'll do that for you. Because we're friends and all.
- The closed beta for Dragon Nest 2 is recruiting now, although there's no word on when exactly it starts. Or much hope for onlookers from this side of the pond, as it really does require Korean players. But it's moving forward, that's something.
- CBT3 for Revelation Online has come to an end, with the open beta around the corner. How far around the corner? We don't know. Of course, considering that name reservations go live on February 14th, we can certainly speculate.
- Crowfall was all ready to go with its Templar setup, demonstrating the animations and everything. Unfortunately, you're going to have to wait a little longer, as the planned test on February 10th was cancelled. The sadness, she is overwhelming.
- Want to see a bit of Ashes of Creation in action? You can check out the first glance inside one of the game's dungeons right now. Per legal agreements, there will be no puns about how the ice-themed dungeon "looks cool," intentional or otherwise.
- Cloud Pirates is hitting that most special of all times, early access! It even includes a new gameplay mode, so you can't be mad. (Is that how the rules work? You can't be mad if you get extra stuff too? Someone should check on that.)
Rather calm week, yes? Don't blame us, most of us were buried under snow. There's still a nice full list just below, though, but you never know when some of these games might have hopped test phases without us realizing it. We do our best to track the offenders down, but if we miss someone, would you be kind enough to let us know down in the comments? Thanks.
Curious what Ashes of Creation looks like in action? The team released its first gameplay video last night, showing a mage exploring an icy dungeon with both outdoor and indoor sections. It's a short romp, to be sure, but there are several details to be gleaned from it, including combat spells, utility magic, and very beautiful effects and scenery.
In a press statement, Intrepid Studios said that it's giving us a movie-like version first and will demonstrate the dungeon with the full user interface next week: "We turned off the UI and shot much of the gameplay through a cinematic angle. We did this because we want you to experience the beauty in Ashes of Creation. All too often, MMORPGs have had to sacrifice aesthetics for performance. With today’s technology that is no longer necessary. The versatility of Unreal Engine’s graphical fidelity coupled with our own in-house built backend allows for the rendering of a visually stunning world while encompassing the gameplay mechanics of a massively multiplayer online experience.
Check it out after the break and let us know what you think in the comments!