Is there room enough in this industry for another self-proclaimed hardcore, old school MMORPG with all of the PvP fixins? Russian-based Atlant Games is betting that there is, as it’s deep in development with a medieval title called Reign of Guilds.
A cross between a kingdom simulator and a guild sieges, Reign of Guilds thrust players into a fantasy realm where they will vie for power, control, and territory. It’s all hard edges here, with full corpse looting, non-target combat, friendly fire, and the tantalizing possibility of clawing your way to the top to become the realm’s king.
Reign of Guilds has 10 months of development under its belt and is already wielding a prototype that has a few dozen players testing it. The studio said that it plans on launching a Kickstarter campaign for it in the future.
Remember Maguss, the Harry Potter-esque ARG everyone was buzzing around right up until Pokemon Go company Niantic said it was making Harry Potter: Wizards Unite? It’s just about to launch its open beta; you west coasters will want to wake up early on Saturday indeed to make the 8 a.m. EST starting time on Android and iOS. The game originally raised almost half a million dollars on Indiegogo, so its popularity seems assured!
What else happened in the world of MMO testing this week?
- Camelot Unchained finally has a beta date: the fourth of July. Fortunately, nothing else important happens on that day. Our interview all about how beta will work is pretty great if we do say so ourselves.
- Dead Maze officially launched! No more beta! Free at last!
- Villagers & Heroes seeks iOS beta testers ahead of its launch at the end of this month.
- Project Gorgon laid out the details of its upcoming Steam beta.
- Stardew Valley promised multiplayer beta this spring.
- Soulworker Online is inching ever closer to testing here; forums for NA and EU arrived this week.
- Ashes of Creation dazzled again with more footage of “alpha zero” gameplay.
- Staxel landed on our sandbox radar; it’s currently in early access.
- Bless Online is anticipating that when it starts, its early access open beta will run half a year.
We’ve tucked whole list of games temporarily and very much permanently in test stasis right on down below.
As Phoenix Labs powers toward Dauntless’ open beta later this year, it took a few minutes to tally up some Big Numbers from its closed beta testing period. The team compiled all of these in a mighty infographic (which is available after the break in case you need to wallpaper an especially tall room).
So far, over 100,000 testers have dipped into Dauntless’ beta, creating 869,000 characters in the process. Amusingly, the giant behemoths of the game are winning: Only 4 million of them have been slaughtered, whereas they have managed to stomp out 7.5 million characters.
Phoenix Labs also shared the growth of its studio over the past five years. Following the foundation in 2014 with three leaders, the team has grown to 58 with 12 new hires this year alone. The studio is planning to expand from Vancouver to San Mateo, California.
By the sound of it, the Blight is probably not a healthy, safe phenomenon for Worlds Adrift players to encounter. And yet, both the community and the dev team are anticipating the addition of this hazard in next Tuesday’s 0.1.7 patch.
The devs said that a movement has grown up around this addition: “You all seem really excited at the prospect of being engulfed by the Blight! So much so that we’ve had reports of a player group calling themselves ‘The Blightests,’ with each member going by a different name starting with ‘Father,’ who travel the skies and demand people follow the way of the Blight.”
A deeper look at the Blight should be coming soon to a YouTube near you.
There are many other projects on deck past this patch, including the alliance system, tutorial design, better FPS, and self-cleaning island storms (seriously). The team also has a humorous attitude toward a ship placement bug: “Began the hunt for Mildred, the ghost of World’s Adrift, who likes to mysteriously move ships about.”
The studio behind The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t mincing words when it comes to business practices that involve lockboxes and partially delivered games.
“If you buy a full priced game, you should get a big, polished piece of content, which gives you many, many hours of fun gameplay,” said Co-Founder Marcin Iwiński. “The moment [the community] feels you are reaching out for their wallet in any unfair way, they will be vocal about it. And — frankly speaking — I think it’s good for the industry. Things often look great from a spreadsheet perspective, but decision makers often aren’t asking themselves the question of ‘How would gamers feel, or is this offer a fair one?’ Gamers are striking back, and I really hope this will change our industry for the better.”
Iwiński said that the studio is focusing on its sci-fi game instead of another Witcher title: “In terms of big RPGs, it’s time for Cyberpunk 2077.” He admitted that the game is “a huge responsibility” but that the studio will step up to the challenge and deliver.
Fans should be able to hear about and see more of Cyberpunk 2077, as the title is widely rumored to be coming to this year’s E3 in June.
If you’ve long looked forward to farming with and marrying your friends in Stardew Valley, the day is inching ever closer. While the game’s multiplayer side has been delayed on multiple occasions, it’s aiming for a beta test starting this spring, so players can take advantage of all the patch features included therein. That includes playing together, new crafting features to distinguish belongings, and yes, the ability for players to marry one another instead of town residents.
No word yet on whether or not multiplayer will also allow you to have illicit marriage affairs after marrying your fellow players, but we’re going to go ahead and say that falls a bit outside of the game’s scope.
The patch will also add language support for French, Italian, Turkish, and Korean, so further players can enjoy more localized languages in addition to all of the multiplayer functionality. Again, nothing is certain quite yet, but if all goes according to plan the testing of multiplayer is just around the corner.
The third and final chapter of AdventureQuest 3D’s epic Dragons of Ashfall is now live. After months of battling up and through a volcano, players are finally able to take the fight to the big bad dragon boss itself.
Five and 20-player raids against the Great Dragon Talyn lies at the heart of the update, but it is certainly not the only addition. With the patch, the level cap has been increased to 20, players can now earn the DragonSlayer class, and new gear is available to unlock.
The team said that now the update is live, fans can expect to see a faster pace of releases: “Next week we will release those two dungeons to the right and left at the top of Mount Ashfall. Then, it is time for Dage’s birthday — a gateway will open to new area of the Underworld. Heroes should be advised to be weary of signing any ‘contracts’ in the underworld. Then the Shaman Forest and Dragon’s Graveyard will quickly follow.”
Six months. Six months is the countdown timer from the start of Bless Online’s early access to the game’s official launch, according to developer Neowiz. Although with no planned character wipe, the open beta should act more as a soft launch than anything else, especially to fans who have been eager to get their hands on this good-looking title for years now.
The studio fielded another interview about the incoming MMO in which it hedged a bit on the topic of grind, promised improved optimization, and confirmation that there will not be a region lock for the title. Neowiz said that it is planning to introduce a new race as early as 2019 and that housing is also on its way to the game.
By far, this is the focus of Pantheon’s February state of the game post by Creative Director Chris Perkins, who reports that the testing has resulted in “overwhelmingly positive and constructive” feedback for the team. The development team is hard at work on the perception system, combat, class design (in particular, the Ranger and Dire Lord), NPC AI and dispositions, and game balancing.
While there are only a few hundred checking out a limited slice of the game at this point, the pre-alpha will be expanding soon as it heads into its second phase next month. Pre-Alpha 2 will open up to include Halnir Cave for gameplay, with additional zones to follow.
You know what every good MMO needs? A fully functional morgue. Considering just how many corpses players accrue over a career, it’s not a bad idea to have an efficient (and refrigerated) locale to handle the bodies.
The mortuary is but one of many, many additions to the game that Project Genom’s developers are finalizing for the promised “main server update” that is coming in the near future. “At the current time, work is being done in all areas tested by the players. We’re finalizing the network, transitions between servers, and the database,” the team reported.
Testers can expect to find a radically enhanced game when the update drops, with improvements such as the dialogue system, branched quests, better quest rewards, tracked quests, upgraded chat channels, ammo boxes, a large Raider camp, and “extensive work” on optimization.
. With thanks to DK for the humbling reminder of why “Project Blankety Blank” should be outlawed for MMO game names.
In case you haven’t been reading the newspapers hot off the wire, the Civil War is still waging (at least, on the test server). War of Rights continues to churn out updates for this North vs. South battle simulator, so let’s make a concerted effort to catch up with the latest!
Up to 150 players have been stress testing the game’s fights, and with January’s Update 93, the team was able to fix an audio bug that occurred with so much action. Update 94 added the Antietam: Skirmish at East Woods map and reworked the Bloody Lane skirmish area. Then moving into February, Update 95 improved the “morale loss scaling algorithm” and “reduced headbobbing by 50%.” Sounds good to us.
Finally, this week’s Update 96 added the Antietam: Cooke’s Countercharge and Antietam: Roulette Lane skirmishes, bringing the total number of maps up to 16.
As an online multiplayer RPG, Sea of Thieves is making its own playbook instead of copy-and-pasting features and structure directly from other games. One such deviation from contemporary MMOs is that the pirate title will not let players mix-and-match their own character’s visuals when starting up a new game.
You read that right.
Instead, Sea of Thieves will randomly generate a handful of swarthy sea dogs from various options, giving players the choice to select one or roll up a fresh batch of Frankenpirates. This design choice is very deliberate, as Rare wants players to embrace crazy-looking characters instead of striving for perfection: “We want people to think, this is my very own Rare-created pirate character. It will encourage players to pick a character who wouldn’t normally be a character they would create in a character creator. It’s not about just making ourselves.”
With the launch of Villagers and Heroes on iOS mobile devices this February 26th, the team desperately needs all testers on deck to make sure the version is ready to release. In addition to asking for more applicants, the studio is running community challenges that will result in free goodies for everyone (in fact, the first such reward has already been reached).
On a rather strange note, the devs took to the forums this week to address various rumors that have been circulating about the title. These include the nature and number of moderators, accusations that the title has degenerated into a “Lord of the Flies” situation (their words), and alleged discrimination against the elderly.
The devs weren’t brooking any of it, especially that last one: “Are you kidding me with this? This one is so ludicrous, I’m not even going to respond to it.”