With the move to put The Secret World in maintenance mode and shift focus to the rebooted Secret World Legends, one MMO blogger decided that it was time to say goodbye to his stable of characters by logging each of them out in meaningful locations.
“It is now clear that The Secret World’s days are numbered,” Tyler of Superior Realities writes. “I have decided to say goodbye to the game while I still can, conducting a final tour of some of my favourite parts of the game and finding thematically appropriate ways to retire my many characters. And taking an unhealthy number of screenshots.”
I’ve seen others do this sort of thing, especially when an MMO ends, and it almost never fails to be touching and profound. These games meant something to us, and when we say farewell, it can be an emotion-laden funeral for time well spent.
Join us today as we tour around other essays from the MMO blogosphere, including an examination of class customization, musings on SWTOR’s road map, and a balloon ride in World of Warcraft.
Console geeks assemble! It’s time to throw off the shackles of responsibility, hygiene, and relationships to devote yourself to a straight week or two of non-stop superhero action. It’s OK. We’ll write a permission slip for you that you can give to any concerned parties.
Marvel Heroes Omega, the streamlined console version of the PC MMO, is soft launching today for PlayStation 4. Well, technically it’s an open beta, but since the studio has promised that progress will not be wiped going forward, we’re calling it like we see it. Also, the team is not above taking your money at this point, so it feels like a release to us.
“To celebrate today’s open beta launch for PlayStation 4, all players can also look forward to receiving Daredevil, the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, as a free playable character. To receive this gift, players must download and install Marvel Heroes Omega and download the free Daredevil pack via the PlayStation®Store on their PlayStation 4 console.”
Xbox One players are just going to have to do a Hulk sulk for a month and wait for their turn on June 20th. Meanwhile, PC players are twiddling their thumbs and waiting for next month’s anniversary event.
Next week is shaping up to be a big one for the MMO industry, unsurprisingly, as Memorial Day approaches and schools begin leaking out for the season. Allods Online has its own release in store next week: the 8.0.1 Creation update, an apparent thematic extension of last winter’s Immortality expansion. On deck for the update:
- an althetic competition – “Join chariot races, descend into the Minotaur’s Labyrinth, and fight in the gladiator games!”
- a new storyline revolving around the newly raised Dominus
- new artifacts through raid adventures, with 5 upgrade levels
- fabled items — or some of them, anyway — will be demoted to lootable and craftable status
- a rating system for players who own a Maze
- a new order trial, party skirmishes
My.com has a separate dev blog out for gearing up too. MOP’s MJ Guthrie poked her head into Allods — for the first time! — just a few weeks ago; you can watch her show below. Warning: Gibberlings ahead!
Imagine you’re a hunter. Imagine that for every deer you kill, you take a part of it home with you and keep it in a jar, like that’s a sane thing to do. And imagine that if you collect enough parts, you can velcro them together to make a loyal deer pet of your very own. Your mind just went to a dark place, didn’t it? Sorry about that.
Well, this totally normal activity is programmed into the feature set of Dark and Light, but instead of your stock deer, you can harvest elementals to make your own companion. We wonder how they feel about that, being sentient magical Frankenstein monsters assembled from murdered relatives.
“Newer explorers should steer clear if they happen across a wild one,” the devs advise in a new dev blog, “but more experienced players can kill elementals and harvest them for powerful magical cores. These cores can be used as crafting reagents for high-level items and spells, or, once enough cores have been collected, they can be used to summon a tamed elemental of your very own.”
Ever since the tone-deaf SOE proclamation that nobody wanted to play Uncle Owen in an MMORPG, contrary me has consciously fought that very stupid idea. A whole lot of people wanted to play Uncle Owen, then and now, there and elsewhere. Star Wars Galaxies was a game half full of Uncle Owens. I spent a lot of time literally becoming a moisture farmer as my own form of rebellion. And yet, as I realized while debating with my husband a few weeks ago, the person I really wanted to be was freakin’ Lando. And most MMORPGs don’t allow that either — it’s Luke or GTFO.
Such is the argument made by a recent PC Gamer article, which in its own precious mainstream way argues that “MMOs need to let you be an average Joe” to get out of the clear “creative slump” they’re in.
“With their scale and permanence, MMOs give us the chance to be citizens in a make-believe world we create with the help of our fellow players. When it’s left up to us what kind of role we want to fill in that world, everybody’s immersion benefits from being surrounded by all types of characters with vastly different stories.”
For this week’s Overthinking, I asked the staff to chime in on the concept of Uncle Owen in MMORPGs. Do you play this way? Do you wish you could? And is it the way forward?
Chronicles of Elyria is continuing its… interesting method of disseminating development information by posting blogs about its “adventure teams” and their work on the project as if they were in a game of their own.
What we can discern is that the team has hired on a new senior client engineer, is working on different types of player animations (such as falling), is crafting a wardrobe system, and is drawing up a huge list of the flora and fauna of the opening region of the game.
Perhaps the most intriguing bit is how Chronicles of Elyria’s tech foundation is coming together: “Already we’ve got Unreal and SpatialOS running in concert, multiple characters running around and animating, entities persisting after logging off (the way OPCs will), colliding with one another without passing through, and server-side authority of location and other data such as character vitality.”
The team also posted a “brief” 32-minute Q&A video that you can watch below!
With all of the hullabaloo going on concerning Ashes of Creation and its Kickstarter campaign, a few bloggers are asking themselves whether or not this is an MMO worth backing, especially if they’ve been burned before by grand promises and poor execution.
“All of this adds up to an enticing package and ought to spark the embers of hope that maybe there will be something new under the sun when it comes to the fantasy MMORPG genre,” The Ancient Gaming Noob wrote. “So why am I not excited about this? Why isn’t this helping me shake off the MMO malaise?”
“I’m not on the hype train by a long shot. Not that I see anything particularly wrong with the game, it’s just way, way too early to even think about commenting on it,” Endgame Viable said.
“Am I going to pony up? Mmmm. Maybe,” mulls Inventory Full. “I’m still thinking about it, although, after reading the Kickstarter page, I’m actually less interested in the game than I was.”
Perfect World — it’s not just a massive games publisher, it’s also an MMORPG! The team at Battle Bards timidly tiptoe into this unknown soundtrack, not sure of what may lurk around the next bend. Is it a hot pile of suck? An undiscovered gem? Forgettable fluff? We’re not going to tell you in the intro here; you’ll have to listen along with us to find out!
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.
Listen to Episode 98: Perfect World International (or download it) now:
It’s time to play catch-up on another interesting indie MMORPG, Identity. You may remember this as the contemporary life simulator sandbox that has raised over a half-million dollars in funding and promises to let people inhabit a virtual world not unlike our own.
The team at Asylum Entertainment has been chatty over the past few weeks, announcing some big developments for the project. The first piece of news is that the team behind Identity is partnering with Improbable to use SpatialOS to become a “scope-changer” for the project.
“The Identity team has been testing the waters with SpatialOS for a couple of months now and we’re incredibly excited about what it’s going to mean for Identity,” the team said. “Identity can now be what we all hoped it would be, a true MMORPG in scale. SpatialOS is going to power Identity behind the scenes, allowing absolutely enormous scale for our world and the people playing in it.”
MMORPG blogger and MOP commenter Isarii (@ethanmacfie) recently published an excellent video positing that the MMO industry is facing a “massive identity crisis.”
“The MMO genre has sort of walked away from the things that made it unique and has faced an identity crisis since then as MMOs have reinvented themselves as these big giant titles trying to appeal to as many people as possible,” he argues. “As a result, you end up with MMOs that try to do things that smaller scale games tend to do better while not doing any of the things that make MMOs themselves unique.”
The whole video is worth a look-and-listen as he pins down what exactly does make MMOs unique and which MMOs have excelled as actual MMOs (protip: It’s everything from EVE to SWG to WoW, so don’t think this is about subgenre elitism at all). What do you think? Is Isarii right? Is the genre facing an identity crisis? And how do we solve it? That’s what our writers will be debating in this week’s Massively Overthinking.
If interior decoration gets your motor running, then Conan Exiles is about to become your favorite haunt. The survival sandbox just unloaded a slew of home decor — as well as a sneaky trap or two.
There are over 50 “placeables” that were added to the game’s housing options in Update 26. These include stackable pillows, a stuffed crocodilie head, a flaming brazier, a giant carpet, a warm campfire, and for the discerning barbarian, windchimes. Conan likes to hear the lamentations of the little tinkles that it makes.
The game also introduced two new traps, in case you want a little old-fashioned home security: “While exploding traps do a great amount of damage, vapor traps create a cloud of poisonous gas and will do increasing damage the longer you stay in the cloud. Though they take longer to kill enemies, vapor traps can for example be placed in corridors or other confined spaces, where exploding traps would not only kill your opponents, but also do great damage to your own constructions as well.”
has a pair of new dev blogs out this week. The first focuses on Snowpine Reach
, a snowy Alpine zone in the northeast corner of Nuanor, and yeah, screenshots like these are why you play Revelation Online
“Snowpine Reach is cold enough to dampen the spirits of those unused to such chilling environments, thus those who stay there must quickly learn how to craft the warmest clothes using the hides and furs of local wildlife,” says the studio. “Given Snowpine Reach is also the staging ground for one of the most bitter rivalries in Nuanor, staying warm isn’t the only factor one must adapt to when trying to survive.” That’s because the baddies are also trying to kill you, as are the factions — at least until you pick a side.
The other piece covers the lore behind Shinji. Poor, poor, Shinji, doomed to be the king of everything. Have a look — pretty, yeah?
Season 3 has dropped in Trion’s Atlas Reactor today, introducing the brand-new Hyperforge map and a brand-new support hero, Meridian.
“He blurs the line between Frontline and Support, and doesn’t feel the burden of carrying the p.u.g.s! He’s the royal Hyperion Primus that hefts a massive 2-handed hammer powered by old Reactor tech. His ultimate shields his nearby teammates turn after turn, helping keep his Firepower’s alive to win trades. He’ll launch with a Necrolancer alternate skin that is scary enough to win games through skintimidation.”
Trion’s also rolling out new skins, new achievement tracking and badges for the season, and the return of the Extraction game mode. The ranked component of the season kicks off two weeks from now and also includes special rewards for those who jump in. We’ve got all the new images of Meridian below — enjoy!