“Do you see all that I have done?”
The stakes are high for this fall’s Destiny 2, with a near-unstoppable villain smashing through the status quo to set himself on the top of a rubble of worlds and Destiny 1 character accomplishments.
On top of this morning’s news about some of the bells and whistles coming for the PC version, Destiny 2 released its launch trailer today to set the stage for the events to come. It’s a wild ride through a broken landscape with desperate sorties, Tron-style frisbees, massive guns, and even a chicken. Our money is on the chicken.
Treat yourself to some cinematic adrenaline after the break!
We are one week away from Destiny 2’s open beta test on the PC, and computer players might be growing both excited and anxious about getting their hands on this franchise for the first time.
Bungie seems to be going to great lengths to reassure the PC audience that they will not be an afterthought, nor will their version of the game be inferior (it will be the opposite, in fact). ““We wanted to treat PC gamers like first-class citizens since the first day of development,” Bungie CM Deej said. “It’s built from the ground up to be amazing on state-of-the-art hardware. It should feel native on the PC.”
Speaking at an early Gamescom press event, Nvidia announced some additional features for Destiny 2, such as text chat, graphics that scale up to 4K, SLI support, and HDR lighting. The open beta will run from August 28th through the 31st and will be exclusively accessed through Blizzard’s Battle.net. Nvidia said that it will release a game-ready driver on August 24th, so make sure you grab that if you’re planning to try out the OBT.
It seems like the entire MMO blogosphere wanted to chip in thoughts on the Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire
announcement, whether or not each writer was playing the game. So what did they all think?
“Finally, something other than dragons to fight!” enthused Occasional Hero. “I love mounts. And I love leaping and jumping mounts,” wrote Aywren Sojourner. “BUT. We all know what else a mount system introduces — cash shop opportunities!”
GamingSF ran down the features, saying that he’s on the fence as to whether or not to come back: “The best way to know that, I suspect, is to play some of the game in the time between now and the 22nd of September.”
Not everyone is on board with the expansion. “The announcement did not in any way overcome my healthy skepticism of the ‘horizontal progression’ philosophy of the game,” chimed in Endgame Viable. And In An Age seems like he’d wants to play, but admits that the business model puts him in a “mental bind” regarding both expansions.
Hey, graphics junkies and PC fans. Are you hyped for Destiny 2’s PC launch yet? In case you’re not, Bungie and Nvidia have a brief video out effectively demonstrating why waiting a little longer for the game to hit PCs is going to be worth it.
“Experience Destiny 2 in 4K with uncapped frame rates in the PC Open Beta August 29-31. Pre-purchase Destiny 2 on PC Exclusively at Blizzard Battle.net and get 24 hour early beta access starting on August 28. Begin Destiny 2’s epic cinematic story campaign, fight below the surface of Nessus in the three-player cooperative Strike Inverted Spire, and enter the Crucible to put your competitive multiplayer skills to the test in two 4v4 modes.”
We’re sure it’ll be pretty for you console folks too. Just not as pretty. And hey, you get to play five weeks sooner. Eyeballs below.
The down side for players looking forward to Destiny 2 on the PC is that they have to wait a little longer for pretty much everything. The good news? Sometimes that wait means things like getting a beta less full of bugs. Bungie is fixing several bugs from the console beta including the infinite supers glitch, the infinite grenade glitch, and the Warlock glide glitch (which the designers enjoyed, but was ultimately a glitch and thus needed to be fixed).
The PC beta will also feature faster charging for supers across the board, more damaging grenades, more power ammo drops, and an issue with Warlock melee having more range than that of other classes. So it’ll be a more balanced experience when PC players get to jump in, proof that good things do indeed come for those who wait.
Gamasutra has an unusual piece from an Ubisoft developer this week arguing that co-op gameplay is the industry’s rising midcore trend, one that he believes will ultimately outstrip team competitive games. “It’s all about all the big data and stats that are finally available and can be mined,” author Andrii Goncharuk says, “and no surprise that it’s showing that players who played co-op mode have much more play hours, and players who played co-op with friends have even more play hours.”
He may be right, though first you’d have to believe co-op ever went anywhere to begin with (and console players would probably tell you nope!). But as I read the article, I couldn’t help but see MMOs in most of the arguments he’s making about what makes co-op games sticky, and yet MMOs are being edged out all the same. And while I don’t like to think of the MMO genre’s space in the industry as a zero-sum situation, the reality is that when people tire of MMORPG baggage but still want social play, co-op is exactly the sort of game they retreat to.
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our writers to reflect on the rise of co-op PvE games outside the MMO label. Do we play them? Do we prefer them, and when? How can we learn from them? Is the popularity of smaller-scale co-op hurting MMORPGs?
She enters your apartment and you stand ready to greet her, wearing your Destiny 2-branded bathrobe. “Come in,” you purr, offering her a sippy cup full of Destiny 2-themed energy drink with Destiny 2-themed ice cubes. “I’ve carefully planned our evening, darling. It should be special.”
“Ooh, I like my dates to have class,” she replies for no readily explainable reason, stepping carefully past the teetering pile of Destiny 2-branded Pop-Tart boxes. “What is that wonderful scent?”
“I’ve been burning these Destiny 2-themed scented candles,” you say, holding up your Ghost-shaped candle holder because your interactions have the air of a thinly veiled advertisement. “Tell me, darling, would you prefer the scents of Venus, or do you long for the musky odor of the Dreadnaught?”
“You choose, you astonishing portrait of seduction,” she cries. “Take me now.”
(Yes, all of these are real products for sale for actual money in the real world. Except, oddly, for the sippy cup.)
Usually when it comes to discussing world hemispheres of MMO game design, comments and observations are made about what western studios can learn from their eastern counterparts. MMO Bro, however, flipped that discussion recently to share four things that eastern MMOs can (and perhaps should) learn from western games.
“The problem, though, is that in most eastern games I’ve played, the story still feels like kind of a background element,” he writes. “There isn’t a lot of effort put into developing it or helping the player experience it in a dynamic way. It’s usually bland quest text. In the west, we’ve seen MMO games make great strides toward better storytelling in recent years.”
As we continue with our visits to MMO blogs, we’ll hear musings on Guild Wars 2’s direction, Standing Stone Games’ missteps, speed-leveling in World of Warcraft, and more!
Don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine! This is not a joke: ActiBlizz just sent ’round a press release announcing a partnership with Rockstar energy drinks and poptarts, which I’ve just learned is actually properly formatted as Pop-Tarts. This was important enough that it needed to invade my inbox, and by god, I’m going to make sure you’re informed of this critical partnership development too.
“Destiny 2’s international collaboration with Rockstar Energy Drink includes limited edition ‘Destiny 2 themed’ cans in different flavors available in the U.S. and Canada, U.K. and Germany. The U.S. flavors are Original, Punched, and Zero Carb. Canada flavors include: Original, Punched and Burner. The U.K. flavors include: Original, Punched Guava, and XDurance. The Germany program features flavors: Original and Sugar Free.”
For some reason we all need different flavors? Guava? What? “Score loot with cans!” No!
“The U.S. partnership with Pop-Tarts® will fuel players’ Destiny 2 gaming experience by offering XP Boost, free with purchase of specially-marked packages of Pop-Tarts®.** In addition to this limited time offer, Pop-Tarts® will feature custom-designed, collectable packs highlighting each Guardian Subclass.”
We could practically copypasta last quarter’s Activision-Blizzard report to this one and nobody would notice. That’s because once again, it’s the Blizzard segment of the company driving the revenue flow; Blizz’s incomes rose 4% year-over-year to account for 42% of the revenue (with King and Activision itself trailing behind).
“Blizzard had the biggest quarterly online player community in its history with a record 46 million MAUsB, up 38% year-over-year. The Overwatch community continued to grow more than a year after launch, setting another all-time MAUB record with the release of two seasonal events in the quarter. Hearthstone MAUsB grew year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter to an all-time record, driven by its expansion, Journey to Un’Goro.”
Blizz is also talking up its “time spent” metric and claiming that it’s increased in World of Warcraft year-over-year, which should shock absolutely no one given Legion:
Gaming analysis firm SuperData is touting a new report for marketers today, shedding some light on the shape of the industry so far in 2017 — for everyone. Yep, today’s report is free, as long as you’re willing to hand over a mailing address, so let’s run down the highlights:
- 46% of US gamers are now women.
- 665 million people glue their eyeballs to gaming videos and streams — more than HBO, Netflix, ESPN, and Hulu combined.
- “The global market for games and interactive media will grow 12% this year,” for the first time crossing the $100B threshold.
- A streadily increasing percentage of that dough is coming from digital console revenue.
- By 2020, SuperData argues, “players will spend $4.5B on immersive gaming — more than 20 times what they do today.”
- “Rocket League shows that console gamers are willing to spend on optional cosmetic items in multiplayer games.” Stop buying lockboxes, people.
Whether you get it or not, it’s pretty apparent by now that there’s a huge demand for viewers to watch other people play video games and offer running commentary while doing so.
That’s Twitch in a nutshell, and it’s an audience that the Sea of Thieves team is keeping in mind as it develops its game. In a new dev video out today, Bungie said that it has always tried to make the spectator experience of Sea of Thieves captivating and enjoyable. And the studio is making no (skull)bones about trying to harness Twitch to propel the game forward.
“I think we have to think of games like that these days,” said Executive Producer Joe Neate. “It’s not just about the player; it’s about the viewer too. They’re both an audience and they’re both people that have a say in it.”
Check out the conversation — including a look at Sea of Thieves’ earliest demo prototype — after the break!
Time and again, we here at Massively OP have noted how RuneScape seems to be incredibly underestimated by the larger MMO community. For how popular it is, it never seems to get the respect and attention from the core MMORPG community that its online contemporaries do.
That is, until you head over to Twitch. According to the June viewing charts over on NewZoo, the fantasy MMORPG drew in an astounding 6.7 million hours of viewership over that month alone. This is enough to put it in 11th place, well ahead of titles like Destiny, Minecraft, Black Desert, and H1Z1: King of the Kill. It’s RuneScape’s world — we only watch it from afar.
The top 10 of the viewership chart is filled with the usual suspects, including much of Blizzard’s roster (World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm) and the dominant MOBAs of our time (League of Legends and Dota 2).