What’s Ashes of Creation been up to since that confusing alpha zero rollout back in December, the official class matrix, and the fan Q&A? Working, of course. And that’s on display in a video published last night exploring the world’s UnderRealm. It’s a spooky, glowy, psychedelic, bio-luminescent forest sort of biome that may have those of you with kids humming Trolls.
“We are happy to show a first iteration of our UndeRealm in Ashes of Creation! The team is hard at work and in full production on the world of Verra. This is a first look at the pre-alpha UnderRealm and the difference of look and feel that this area will have from the world above ground. Enjoy, and see you in game soon!”
We’ve tucked it down below.
Have a burning curiosity about pixies, testing, and soundtracks? They might have been answered yesterday. In the span of an hour, the Ashes of Creation team tackled around 30 player questions in a developer livestream on Twitch in addition to giving viewers an early look at the first iteration of the Underrealm and Dunir dungeon.
Topics covered in the livestream include the death of the quicktime bar, Fae pets, the persistent nature of the Alpha 2 servers, class balance, tameable mounts, climbable trees, bards, bots, and gold sellers.
The team said that the next phase of its Alpha Zero testing is coming next week and will include more people on the server. So far, the “raw” test has provided a lot of useful feedback that’s kept the team busy doing “tons and tons” of optimizations.
“We are agile and we are so focused on getting things done,” Jeffrey Bard reported. Steven Sharif added that the game production is “slightly ahead or are in a better position than I anticipated we would be in at this point.”
Here’s something interesting to chew on today: Kickstarter actually had an incredible 2017 when it came to funding games and raising money. Head of Games Luke Crane tweeted that the platform was up year-over-year in both of these categories.
“Games on @Kickstarter in 2017: $172M pledged ($163M raised); 7033 launched projects (2997 successfully funded projects); 767K backers (726K backers to successful projects),” he said. “Good job y’all. A huge year for the community. That’s the most games projects funded on Kickstarter in any year to date! And the money exceeds 2016’s funding by +29%.”
Not too many of these game projects involved MMOs, admittedly, although 2017 did see Ashes of Creation become the most-funded MMORPG to date on Kickstarter. Other notable 2017 Kickstarter projects included Shadow’s Kiss, Ship of Heroes, War of Conquest, and Global Adventures.
Update: The $172 million apparently covers all games, including video games, tabletop, board games, and card games. Video games raised $17.25M over 2017.
Last week, we posted a rundown of the most popular MMORPG articles of 2017, calculated strictly by the number of pageviews they got. Today, we’re going to take a look at the most popular articles of 2017 as measured by comments, which provides an entirely different overview of the year and the genre.
This list is a little wonky as we couldn’t keep a lot of our January comments when we were booted off Livefyre. (Some of the old comments were restored, but others were simply lost because Livefyre wasn’t properly saving them back. Long story.) So technically, we lost a month. Still, I think we have a pretty good picture of what people really truly want to talk about (which isn’t always the same thing you like to click on!).
I didn’t back a single video game in 2017, which is a first for me. The year before, I backed Hero’s Song, and we all know how that ended. I’m looking forward to a few of the games I backed actually coming to fruition this year, like Crowfall and Shroud of the Avatar, while others, like TUG, I just figure represent money I’ll never see paid back in game form. Lesson learned, right?
It’s not as though there weren’t epic games rolling out last year, either; Ashes of Creation, one of the biggest MMOs ever on Kickstarter, owned a lot of headlines last year and it looks really great, but ultimately I decided that I’d just rather wait until it’s actually ready before leaping in. I’m not swearing off the platform on purpose, just more willing to be cautious and patient. Others of you, I know, are over and done with Kickstarter, either because you’re fed up or because you’ve been genuinely burned. And still others are hoping for a revolution in the genre and will gladly throw money at it – if it will just show up.
Will you Kickstart any MMOs in 2018?
We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!
Ashes of Creation blew up on Kickstarter in May, weathering concerns over its CEO’s history and referral plans to easily meet its crowdfunding goal and truck onward through multiple stretch goals.
Wild West Online fared just as well, reportedly canceling its Kickstarter after announcing it as a result of outside investment and weathering its own drama.
Meanwhile, Marvel Heroes landed on console, Black Desert moseyed over to Steam, we delivered an absurd amount of Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood preview coverage, and Morrowind hit early access.
Read on for the whole list!
Welcome to a special edition of Make My MMO, Massively OP’s regular recap of what’s going on in crowdfunded MMOs, which we do specifically for those of you who are convinced Kickstarter is the absolute worst (it’s not) and that no crowdfunded MMOs ever launch (they do). Plus, somebody’s got to keep an eye on what your money’s up to! Tonight’s edition isn’t going to be our usual recap of the last couple of weeks, however; we’re going to look at the most important MMO crowdfunding news of the entire year. Lock up your wallets and let’s get to it.
Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Most Likely to Flop, which was awarded to Star Citizen and WildStar in a tie last year. We’re once again happy to say both games beat our odds, though you be the judge of by how much. This unpleasant category can encompass fringe MMOs as well as unlaunched games, and remember that “flop” can mean lots of things, from outright sunset to financial ruin to simply not living up to insane hype. And we don’t actually want anything to flop!
Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!
The Massively OP staff pick for Most Likely to Flop in 2018 or Beyond is…
Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Best Indie or Crowdfunded MMO of 2017, a brand-new award for us this year. All indie MMOs and crowdfunded MMOs are eligible for this award; the game needn’t actually have launched yet, though a lot of us decided to self-impose that rule anyway. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!
The Massively OP staff pick for Best Indie or Crowdfunded MMO of 2017 is…
With 2017 drawing to a close and 2018 rushing up to meet us, the Massively OP team has regrouped for another round of bold and goofy predictions for the year ahead. We’re feeling pretty good after our fairly successful predictions from last year! What’s in store for the MMO genre next year? Here’s what we think.
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin throw snowballs, beat up grinches, unwrap presents, and generally save Christmas the way they do every year. It’s our last pre-holiday show, so listen in and get on top of all of the last-minute activity from studios before they go on break!
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 crowdfunding, eyebrows across the ‘verse rose as Crytek filed a lawsuit alleging that the studios behind Star Citizen and Squadron 42 were in violation of Crytek’s copyrights in regard to CryEngine. In a statement to Massively OP, however, CIG denied that it was still using CryEngine and said it planned to fight back. “This is a meritless lawsuit that we will defend vigorously against, including recovering from Crytek any costs incurred in this matter.”
Over on the Camelot Unchained blog, CSE is busy working on plot and item permissions tech, scenarios, combat, skill buttons (no word on that I-win button, sorry), NPC AI, large group UI, deflect animations, the place of power, armor, and weeds. No, actual weeds. And dead trees. What did you think I meant?
Meanwhile, OrbusVR hit early access, Albion Online tweaked Kay and updated its rewards, Elite’s Thargoids finally started fighting back, and Crowfall raised a bunch of new money from investors. And the much-anticipated Ashes of Creation and Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen launched their respective pre-alphas for elite and specially selected early backers.
Now that Ashes of Creation is officially in its alpha testing, players will be able to discover for themselves what awaits in this interesting fantasy sandbox. One of these discoveries will no doubt be in the class system that Intrepid has concocted.
In the past, we’ve been critical over the somewhat generic-sounding class names (such as “Tank” and “Fighter”), but it turns out that these are only the start of your class identity. Players will actually choose a secondary class down the line that will transform their character into one of 64 blended classes. These include much more interesting-sounding names like Spellsword, Nightshield, Charlatan, Hawkeye, Falconer, Wild Blade, Apostle, and Songcaller. And while the primary class can’t be changed, players will have the option of switching up their secondaries if so desired.
“Today, as we begin our Friends and Family Alpha Zero test, we wanted to show you just how diverse we expect our playing field to be,” Intrepid said. “The classes adhere to roles like tanking, DPS, support, and healing, but it’s really so much more than that. Each one must provide a true fantasy fulfillment for the player — you want to be a badass, no matter what your class. And that’s a promise we intend to keep.”
Check out the class combination chart and Alpha Zero developer gameplay video after the break.