With beta and launch on the horizon, MapleStory 2 is pulling out all of the stops to get noticed and generate the largest audience it can. That means that the sandbox sequel to the 2-D MMORPG is not above working in a shameless battle royale mode into the game if it gets more eyeballs on the product.
The survival PvP mode is to be called Mush King Championship. It will host up to 50 people who will duke it out until there is only one remaining. The battle royale mode was announced during a Korean dev video, which you can watch below.
The first wave of beta invites for the May 9th CBT went out earlier this week.
Saddle up, pard’ners, ’cause it’s about to be a bumpy ride.
Wild West Online announced today that it is officially launching on May 10th. Yes, as in two weeks from now. On that day, the game will simultaneously leave early access and release on Steam. It’s a pretty big step for a game that has not been in open development and testing for very long.
The studio said that when it arrives on Steam, Wild West Online’s launch build will add faction global conflict, big PvP world events, many more PvE missions, and a bunch of side activities. These include mining, farming, hunting, cooking, and (most importantly) brewing that alochol. The west can’t be very wild if everyone’s sober, after all.
Check out the Steam date announcement after the break!
The Battle for Azeroth beta is here, at long last, and it feels like it might have come a little early in the process. Usually beta testing is mostly for when you have all of the core stuff in place, but this feels like it’s just officially being called a beta when some of the pieces are still being moved into the right direction. That might be more nitpicky than anything, so I’m not going to spend too much time on it; World of Warcraft has had a tricky relationship with “alpha” and “beta” terminology, but it’s still not even in the list of the worst offenders.
I got my beta invite (at the same time the official changeover happened, even), but I haven’t yet gotten a chance to actually play around in it. However, I think now is as good a time as any to talk about the things that I am actually nervous about when it comes to Battle for Azeroth. Yes, I’ve been a pretty big advocate for the expansion and what we’re hearing so far, but there are things about the expansion that still make me nervous now that we’re moving into the beta phase. So let’s talk about that.
If you don’t count the day-one patch at launch a month ago, today marks the first major update for Shroud of the Avatar since it fully shed all its beta and early access trappings. Release 53 – yes, they’re still monthly, like clockwork – includes new zone rebuilds, virtue effects, heraldry, plus the loot overhaul.
“We made massive improvements to loot. Player crafted gear sold to merchants will now appear in supply bundles, decorations have been added in multiple places including toadstools on mushroom enemies (how ironic is that?), worn armor can now be found on humanoids, lot deeds and homes now appear in rare supply bundles, and drop rates have been increased for all items in Offline Mode!”
Maybe the most pressing new addition is the looking-for-group code. “A party leader can add their party (aka ‘group’) to a public listing of open groups for others to join,” Portalarium’s patch notes say. “Players who are looking for a group to play with can use this listing to find an open group.”
Apparently inviting players to attend ArtCraft’s actual (or cleverly staged?) developer meetings was such a hit that Crowfall is doing it once again. A new “Fly on the Wall” video series kicked off this week, giving players a rare opportunity to hang out with the devs as they discuss world building in this upcoming PvP MMORPG.
There’s a lot of discussion of the various elements that are going into making the campaign worlds. If nothing else, hearing the developers seriously consider all of the implications of roads, mountain passes, parcels, and strongholds connect can give you an idea of the complexity that this game is striving to produce. Even more so, when you consider that the campaign worlds will be generated when each opens up.
If you’ve been finding yourself missing Marvel Heroes – but not all the drama and lies – you might want to mosey on over to Steam today, where former Gazillion CEO David Brevik is launching his new sidescrolly pixelart RPG, It Lurks Below, into early access.
“It Lurks Below is a fun new one-man indie game project from myself, David Brevik, the creator of Diablo and Diablo II. Although the game is already engaging and addictive, I want to use Early Access to make the project even better. I’m a big believer in actively communicating with your community, getting feedback and improving the final product. This has already been going on in a small closed beta, but I’m ready to open it up and make the best possible game.”
Launch is expected later this year; the current version is just shy of 20 bucks. As we’ve previously reported, it’s not an MMO, and it’s not even multiplayer, so you won’t see much coverage of it here going forward, but Brevik is a big name in MMOs, so there you go – consider yourself duly notified about a cool thing he’s doing.
It occurs to me that it is very difficult to find MMOs that I have literally never played before in some capacity. There are titles on the list, of course, but it’s a short list. Which amuses me, since anyone who listens to me on a regular basis knows that I have a small number of games that I consider “my” games, and usually there are just two that are fairly consistently on that list. But it’s part of the job; back when I first got this job in the time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth (the late aughts), my lifetime game count was at four. Maybe four and a half, if you want to count the Champions Online beta that talked me out of playing it at launch.
Of course, that’s one of the interesting elements not just of this job but about MMOs in general. You react differently depending on how many MMOs you’ve played, and considering that these games are big, long-term time commitments, that can produce some interesting dynamics. So let’s go ahead and take a look at what your personal lifetime count says about you and your understanding of the genre.
Can you beta test a battle? Don’t see why not. Just ask everyone to attack very, very carefully and memorize where their starting positions were for the inevitable reset.
The alpha phase is over and dead, and the Horde has gathered at the gates of beta for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. This morning, Blizzard wiped the test servers and booted up a new build while activating the expansion’s beta status. New waves of keys have been sent out, so check your email if you’ve been trying to get an advance look at warfronts, island adventures, and all of the rest.
According to Wowhead, no further character wipes are planned for the test phase, and the character copy service is going to be turned on real soon now. A Q&A session on the beta will take place this Thursday, beta forums are live, the beta level cap is set at 120, and beta beta beta.
Hope you haven’t booked that summer vacation just yet, because Legends of Aria would like to interest in a fantasy holiday. The studio announced this week that it is a patch or two away from open beta, which it hopes to start in June.
The wider testing base is necessary, Citadel Studios said, in order to “start addressing the issues we can only find with lots of people.” So there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be in and enjoying this Ultima Online spiritual successor before too long, assuming that you are interested.
Following June’s open beta, Legends of Aria will go into an early access soft launch through its own client. Citadel is still holding back on its plans for going live on Steam and rolling out a marketing campaign as it evaluates how the next few months progress. However, the studio said that in all likelihood these events will happen this autumn.
Did you think slipping player numbers were going to do in the battle royale grand-daddy? Nope. Free-to-play must have been a big boost, as Daybreak announced today that it’s porting H1Z1 to PS4. Open beta is set to begin on May 22nd, with both signups and a preorder bundle ($29.99) available presumably as soon as the landing page starts working.
“H1Z1 on PS4 is designed specifically for the console and focuses exclusively on the core elements that make battle royale exciting,” Daybreak’s PR says. “The game features a new weapon progression system, fully reworked UI, and new weapons and gear.” The company is touting a “tailor-made” control scheme for PS4, a “grab-and-go” equipment system, and new progression mechanics.
And lest you forget that this is the game Star Wars Galaxies fans can come home to,
“The crafting system has also been removed from the game.”
Whether or not you were a fan of Defiance, you might be interested in seeing what Defiance 2050 is about. Massively OP’s MJ gets to sneak into the closed beta and take a peek around at this new reboot. How will she like it? Tune in at 3:00 p.m. to join her for this first look at…
What: Defiance 2050
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 23rd, 2018
July 4th is getting closer, which means the Camelot Unchained team is in high gear polishing up the build for the beta that’s finally set to launch come Independence Day. Last week’s dev update was relatively short for the longwinded CSE; there were no player tests this weekend, but the studio discusses its asset decluttering rules, building code, a big UI update, class animations, chat UI, character creation, the trading system, and the trait system. Maybe the most interesting bit (for regular players) is actually the screenshots at the very end of the update on the Dragon Fang scenario.
“The hill we are currently climbing in the assembly of this map, is the creation and placement of these large, SPIKY, rock walls, growing outward from the Place of Power which resides in the center of the map,” explains CSE’s Tyler Rockwell. “All these rocks also need to be very performant so we can have hundreds of players fighting it out in this zone. Next week we’ll try and finish up placing the majority of these assets to show off more of the map in the update!”
Due to the scattered locations of City of Titans’ team members, the devs have long since attempted a modular approach to building the superhero MMORPG. However, this format started to “break down,” and the team stepped back to look for a different approach.
This came in the form of Unreal Engine 4.18, which finally allowed its users to attach plugins to other plugins. After that version came out, the City of Titans team had a path forward and spent a few months restructuring the project to function within this new framework. Thanks to the change, the team said that the pace of development should be much better.
“Now that plugins can work with other plugins, all of the various game components can be plugins,” the devs said. “This means that interdependency and modularity are no longer mutually exclusive — they can be both at once […] Because everything is in the same place, everything — to the extent anything this complicated ever does mind you — just works.”