Have you ever noticed that while there’s an entire world out there, most all of the MMORPGs we discuss and play tend to either be ones crafted in the USA or imports from China or Korea? We even have a shorthand for this: “western” and “eastern” MMOs. We’re usually not talking about entire hemispheres with these references, but rather about categorizing three countries that are big into the MMORPG business.
But what about the rest of the world? Are all of these other countries so uncaring about this genre that they’ve never tried their hand at making an MMO? Of course not; as I’m about to show you, there are plenty of online RPGs that have been made in countries other than China, the USA, and South Korea. It’s just that for various reasons, those three countries ended up fostering concentrations of video game developers who knew how to create these types of games.
So let’s take a tour around the world and see if we can’t give some credit to other countries for their contributions to the MMORPG genre past, present, and future. Before you click the link, see how many you can name off the top of your head!
“Pay-to-win” is old news now — game designers’ new plan for hoovering all the cash out of our wallets is “pay-to-loot.”
According to IGN’s Nathan Lawrence, who dives into the topic today, that’s the term game psychologists are using to describe what online gamers have been derisively referring to as gambleboxes and lockboxes for years: You’re essentially buying chances at a thing, paying to roll the dice and let the RNG gods determine your reward, padding the game’s coffers all the while.
The gambling references aren’t accidental; one expert calls lootboxes a “poker machine-like experience,” while another points to the phenomenon as an exploitation of human nature:
You can stop fidgeting about what might or might not arrive in Star Citizen this year: Cloud Imperium has released its promised development roadmap for the rest of 2017. The studio stresses that quality will trump everything, that estimates are merely estimates, and that the schedule isn’t all-encompassing, but the words “3.0” and “persistent universe” and “planetary tech” have been enough to send Reddit into a tizzy of excitement.
It’s also sent the community into a tizzy of concern, as it appears the original plans for 3.0 have been trimmed down to get it out the door this summer, with many of its features pushed off to later patches later in the year. According to the newsletter, this is partly the result of Behaviour Interactive ending its subcontract for Cloud Imperium (you MMO folks will know it as the studio behind Eternal Crusade).
Check out the whole shebang below.
If there’s one thing that has always been associated with the Warhammer franchise, it’s the terrible and overwhelming crusades that its greenskins occasionally unleash. Eternal Crusade is in the midst of one of these right now, offering players an opportunity to experience a waaagh! up close and personal.
From now through April 23rd, players can take part in a new Ork campaign called “A New Waaagh!” Participants should be forewarned that it will most likely be loud and chaotic, because that’s just the way that the bloodthirsty Orks like it.
Players can follow the progress of the campaign over the next week, and when it concludes there might just be a reward waiting for all of those who survived.
Welcome along to another advice-filled edition of Guild Chat, the column through which the Massively OP community can both offer pearls of wisdom to fellow readers and air their own guild-related issues in front the masses in the hope that I can be of assistance while also crowdsourcing further great solutions from fellow MMO enthusiasts in the comments. This time, an anonymous reader wishes to discuss in-guild bullying and whether or not he should leave his MMO of choice in order to avoid further nasty confrontations. What started as brief periods of tension within his guild has now bubbled over into full-on personal attacks and our reader in need is unsure of the best method for dealing with the bullying he now faces from his ex-guildmates. Read on for the full submission and my take on the situation facing our mystery submitter.
Thanks to this past week’s introduction of a free-to-play model, Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade saw a massive jump in its player population. The team reports that concurrency doubled practically overnight while daily active users tripled to 44,619.
While this is certainly a cause for celebration among the team, the huge influx of players caused some technical issues that required a weekend of hard work to sort out. There’s still more to be done, as some guild services and the world map are being reworked to accommodate the larger crowd.
The team also said that it’s making a few adjustments to its Steam offerings, such as bundling together the four DLCs into a single purchasable package. Also: “Steam is working on the giftable version of the game for all players that bought the game before we launched the free version. Apparently, this is not straightforward but we’ll figure out something, or an equivalent.”
Roll for initiative! Bree and Justin are getting all kinds of nerdy with this week’s show, in which they talk about Dragon-people, the return of a long-abandoned sci-fi game, a momentous anniversary, and the viability of sandbox MMOs.
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:
It is important to note that the official Eternal Crusade line is that the upcoming free-to-play option is not a full conversion to free-to-play, and that’s largely accurate. Free players will still be limited in what they can access. But it does mean that you will be able to play the game for free, while those who already have bought the game and are playing not for free get some fun stuff. For example, you get a bunch of in-store credit for the game, all four factional DLC packs, unique Venerable items, and something else as-yet-undisclosed to offer another little bonus.
Free players, of course, will have access to all of these things for purchase separately (aside from Venerable items) and can jump in to fill out the game’s queues, so they win as well. This also coincides with another patch to the game trimming up balance issues and outstanding bugs, so whether or not you’re already a player or just look to jump in when the game goes free, you can know you’re playing the most polished version of the game possible.
A new patch rolled out in Eternal Crusade earlier this week, making it easier than ever to plot your grand revenge upon those who wrong you. This is thanks to the new death camera, which will graciously show you the player who killed you so that you can burn that image onto your retina as you reincarnate looking for a little payback.
The patch isn’t merely about revenge, of course. The game now has a new map, Fortress Ronan, for players to fight over. Lag issues should also be much improved, and players who pick jump and support units will see a marked increase in their survivability.
The Eternal Crusade team also answered 15 community questions about the early access title, although it is being closed lipped about how it might be expanding the campaign system and its rewards in the future.
The EVE Online community was a little surprised this week by what appeared to be the accidental early reveal of the feature list for this summer’s update. Someone noticed that the official EVE Updates page had a new “summer” section filled with details of upcoming features but with placeholder images attached. The page disappeared shortly thereafter, but not before someone snapped a screenshot of it and published it to Reddit. CCP Falcon tweeted that this wasn’t a leak but that “a few cards were published early without images” and they’ll be re-published properly on Monday. This hasn’t stopped the EVE community and bloggers from speculating heavily on the content of the early reveal, and I must admit that I can’t resist doing the same.
The summer update comes ahead of the Drilling Platforms discussed in my previous article, but it looks like part of the impending resource-gathering revolution is coming early in the form of a complete re-design of the mechanics behind asteroid belts. Strategic cruisers will also be getting a significant balance pass across the board, and the recently announced Exoplanet search minigame will be coming to Project Discovery. The update also includes graphical overhauls for several space station types, redesigns of the Vexor and Ishtar drone ships, new explosion graphics, and improvements to the new player experience. Outside the game, we’ll be getting all-new forums boasting new features for sharing and engagement, and a chat system that keeps going even when the server is offline.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into a few of these early reveals and speculate on what they might mean for EVE. Is a total mining overhaul coming earlier than expected, and could we get EVE chat on our phones?
In the near future, Eternal Crusade is offering a free option for players to jump in and start playing without any need for purchase, although there will be limitations on the speed of advancement for free players. A new state of the game letter explains the limitations and why they allow free players access to a fair portion of the game. In short, restricting free players to a single class and faction wouldn’t give free players any reason to come back, and it wouldn’t actually lead to a population surge for paying players; more relaxed restrictions works out better for everyone.
Current players will be receiving the benefits of the full version right away, of course, and the letter stresses that the team is still focused on the same overall priorities of balance, bug fixes, and content improvements. Testing keys will be going out within the next few weeks thanks to a partnership with Alienware, so you can look forward to seeing the new wave coming in sooner rather than later.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
This week we have stories and videos from Dragon Nest 2, Vainglory, Wild Terra, Heroes and Generals, Overwatch, Armored Warfare, Blade and Soul, Cloud Pirates, Pokemon Go, Eternal Crusade, Final Fantasy XIV, and Elsword, all waiting for you after the break!
It’s been a bit quieter than normal on the Eternal Crusade front this month, but that was due to a large-scale rebalancing patch being in heavy testing. That patch is up for testing now for players, with the expectation of going live soon. And it’s a big one, altering the fundamental way that you play the game with more loadout freedom, no more diminishing returns on loadouts, and major shifts to the ways that each faction is meant to play.
The idea is that players will be asked to make hard decisions about survivability compared to damage-dealing capacity, with more flexible classes having more options but being more vulnerable on the exchange. Eldar units are also less healthy, so they should go down faster to compensate for their spindly frames being difficult to help. That’s in addition to a number of new options for every class to help each faction feel more distinct. Check out the full list of changes on Steam; it’s a meaty patch that should severely disrupt your regular play patterns.