This patch also includes Brynn, the Skywarden, wielding a shield and lance as a front-line menace to enemy teams. There's also the start of Season 2 and a whole lot of incremental updates to the balance of various characters, so the metagame will shift slightly no matter what. And since the game is fully free-to-play now, you don't have to take our word for it; you can just jump in and try out the expanded and rebalanced game yourself.
Studio: Trion Worlds
Launch Date: October 4, 2016
Genre: Turn-Based OFPS
Business Model: F2P/B2P Hybrid
Do you want to test out Brynn the Skywarden in Atlas Reactor? You can do that right now on the game's test server. You can even stream about her and sing her praises on every available forum. The developers are fine with it; it's a public test server, there's no NDA. But even if you don't want to play around with Brynn, you may want to check out the test server, as there have been extensive balance changes to a wide variety of characters.
Aurora, Asana, and Nix have all received some downgrades, as Trion felt all three characters were a bit too easy to play successfully; by contrast, Orion, Blackburn, and Juno have all gotten buffed up. And that's not counting the smaller tweaks to specific mods or other options to ensure that the game has a more balanced environment. You don't have to just read about the changes, though; as mentioned, you can try them out. Right now, if you're at a place where you can run the game (your work may be very accepting).
According to the game's recent producer's newsletter, Season 2 is set to debut on January 17th with "a ton of major improvements and enhancements." Chief among these is the ability for gamers to now earn (in addition to purchase outright) freelancers by playing the game. The studio will be handing out special gifts to those who have already spent money on these playable characters as a thank you.
Trion said that this has been the most-requested feature since Atlas Reactor's launch: "By making the game fully free-to-play we give more players the opportunity to experience everything Atlas Reactor has to offer. Now, players will be able to play the game for free, earn some freelancers along the way, and at any time they can upgrade to a premium pack to get all current and future freelancers."
Among its features, Season 2 will include a new, unidentified freelancer, rotating game modes, balance tweaks, and a reworked tutorial.
When the sun goes down, the Battle Bards’ work has just begun! In this week’s episode, the crew explores nighttime music cues in MMOs, chasing the ever-elusive feel of what that period between dusk and dawn sounds like in game. Don’t fall asleep!
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
We’ve got Episode 89: Nightfall and the show notes for you after the break!
Massively Overpowered's end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for Best Pseudo-MMO of 2016, which was awarded to ARK: Survival Evolved last year. As you might surmise, the games eligible for this category are online games that generally aren't considered traditional MMORPGs -- they're MOBAs, online dungeon crawlers, ARPGs, online shooters, survival sandboxes, and other games that tread into MMO territory but aren't full MMORPGs. Once again, we've opted to include pre-2016 titles, as long as they accomplished something truly notable in this calendar year. 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 Pseudo-MMO of 2016 is...
It's time to get all snuggly in front of a crackling fire, roast up some chestnuts, down a gallon of hot chocolate, and log into your favorite online RPGs for seasonal festivities! Or you could "bah humbug!" your way through the season and ignore all of the silly, free, and rewarding events if you so desire. We're not here to tell you what to do, after all!
With extra time off of work and school, many gamers have the opportunity to take advantage of all of the winter holiday events that are running across MMORPGs, MOBAs, and other online games. Feeling at a loss about where to start? Board the Massively OP sleigh and join us as we take you on a tour of all of the Christmas events going on right now!
Welcome to SNOWMAGEDDON, the brutal, take-no-prisoners, open-all-presents throwdown that only Atlas Reactor has the guts to operate! Well, it's a lot more fluffy and spirited than that sounds, as the game introduced a Christmas-themed winter map and festive skins for some of its characters.
A new mode, Extraction, was also added to the game. Trion Worlds explained how this mode works: "Grab the case and play keep-away for as long as you can! Each turn you end with possession of the case, you’ll earn one point. Every kill is worth 2 points! When your team has earned 10 points an Extraction zone will appear for your team only. If you end your turn, alive, with the case, in your Extraction zone, you’ll win the game!"
Finally, the studio is starting to wrap up season one and has laid out several achievements for the most daring and tenacious of players.
The newest character in Atlas Reactor, Kaigin, does not respect the personal space of warp. He's sneaking through warp's closets and taking compromising photos of warp. He's the Warpstalker, and while his personal habits might leave something to be desired, you can probably use his tendencies to your advantage as he bisects space itself to tear your enemies apart.
Kaigin is legitimately hard to spot, too; he can throw down smoke grenades to obscure enemy vision, teleport through walls with his dashing Void Strike, turn invisible, and damage both areas and single targets. He'll also apply a specialized debuff to anything he damages, with subsequent attacks consuming the debuff for extra damage while re-applying it. You can easily use him to teleport through barriers, deal damage, then bolt back through and out of sight with controlled play. Check out the full rundown for more actual lore behind Kaigin and some tips for playing with and against him.
Did you honestly think that strategy MOBA Atlas Reactor was going to sit on the sidelines of the whole e-sports scene and not dive in head-first? It was going to happen sooner or later -- and it turns out that "sooner" is the case, as its first Electronic Sports League competition is kicking off this Saturday, November 12th.
The move helps to solidify the title as an e-sports contender and, of course, increases the public profile and recognition of Atlas Reactor a month or so following its official release. Whether or not you care about e-sports, you should know that Trion Worlds is making Atlas Reactor "completely free" from Friday through Sunday to celebrate the game's ESL debut.
Trion recently published a trailer promoting the title -- and if you squint real careful-like, you might even see a familiar website mentioned in it.
Extra Life is kicking off this weekend! The charity group has been organizing game developers and players alike in an annual gaming marathon for most of the last decade, and thanks to Twitch, we can watch and tip participants as they play to raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. MMORPG studios like Trion, Perfect World, En Masse, and Turbine (thanks Toanstation!) are all streaming for the charity this weekend. (In fact, Trion is one of the core sponsors.)
"All money donated to the En Masse Entertainment Extra Life page will count towards the team's $5,000 goal and will go towards the Seattle Children’s Hospital."
The Force is strong with Star Wars: The Old Republic's new expansion, at least by all of the buzz that it's created thanks to Knights of the Eternal Throne's new Blur trailer and revealed details. MMO bloggers are dissecting every bit of this new information and finding much about it to ponder.
"We'll actually be able to choose difficulty modes for story chapters now," Calphaya noted. "I doubt that this will do anything more than increase health and damage values of mobs and bosses (although I'd love to be surprised!) but certainly this should be interesting to see in-practice. Certainly I know a lot of people have complained that Fallen Empire is too easy, so hopefully they'll be sated."
Ravalation thinks that all of this points to a bright future for the MMO: "Knights of the Eternal Throne promises a story as compelling as KOTFE, and then some. Although I know it's unlikely to be the focus of things, I'm personally mostly looking forward to finding out what happens to Senya and Arcann."
"Two things I did on Hallows Night: / Made my house April-clear / Left open wide my door / to the ghosts of the year." ~ "All Hollows Night" by Lizette Woodworth Reese
Is your door open to the ghosts and ghouls of MMORPGs this season? They are definitely shambling up your walkway, looking to tell you of the grim delights of the holiday in your favorite online games. Indeed, Halloween season is upon us, which means that MMOs have an excuse to break out their favorite yearly festivities.
With so much to look at and do, you might be in a terrible fright trying to figure out what to do first. We consulted our Massively OP gravedigger Bram (he's on retainer), who offers surprisingly good advice for sorting out the Halloween season in MMOs and getting the most out of the holiday. We recorded his words in this guide, although beware to the soul that reads them all -- Bram might be seeing you before the week is up. MUAHAHAHA.
The spotlight feature for the October 17th update is the addition of a new freelancer, Su-Ren the Robo-Rishi. "Su-Ren is a melee focused support freelancer whose staff mastery protects her allies and strikes fear into her enemies," Trion Worlds explained.
The patch also kicked off this year's Halloween event, the Holo Haunt, which goes live in the game today. Players can earn new skins by completing challenges. Other patch notes include the change to allow free players to enter into custom matches (although they still can't create them), the ability to pause in custom games, and plenty of adjustments to the UI, chat, and gameplay.
Curious what we thought of this unique MOBA? Check out our launch impressions from earlier this month!