With a ways to go before its launch, multiplayer boss slayer Dauntless is trying to use the time afforded to it by an open beta delay to shore up some of the game’s more noticeable weak spots. One of these problem areas, as identified by the community, is improving collision between monsters and their killers.
“We’ve gathered and analyzed community feedback on issues impacting combat,” the devs wrote, “and are implementing changes to improve the mechanics of collision and the feel of dodging. These changes will make fights feel tighter, better reward skill, and allow you to continue practicing the way of the Slayer.”
To assist in this endeavor, the devs are tightening up hitboxes on characters and mobs, helping players move better while dodging, and fixing some bugs that were giving an unfair advantage to the giant behemoths.
You can read this week’s patch notes for the closed beta on the site.
You know the old saying, don’t put your cart before the horse? Fortunately, Life is Feudal
has taken that to heart with its current effort: horse carts
, which are currently being teased on the official forums. (Proper horses went in in August
, so there you go.)
“You can expect horsedrawn carts to be patched into the game ‘Soon™’,” says the studio, noting that the carts have been heavily requested by players. “It is actually quite a complex feature, where four types of entities (horse, cart, player, movable objects) within the game have to interact with each other in a straight and logical way. This is the main reason why this feature has taken so long to implement.”
So far this September, the studio has also been working on castle wall modules and weapon skins, plus heavy optimization for the MMO following a “significant breakthrough in the client and server side physics calculations.”
Life is Feudal is an ambitious sandbox that was scaled-down midway through development to be a “pocket” version of its planned MMO with shared assets across the board; it has in recent years gotten underway in a closed beta.
Let’s cut to the chase: There’s a new roadmap out for Dauntless’ future development, and that roadmap includes an announcement concerning the transition from closed to open beta. Phoenix Labs said that it is now targeting an early 2018 window for its OBT, a hefty delay.
Sounds like there are some upgrades planned, too: “Those waiting to join us in the open beta can look forward to more polish and more content. For players who are already in the closed beta, this means that you can look forward to more improvements and seeing your feedback make a tangible impact on the game that you are playing.”
Turning to look at the roadmap itself, the team has broken up the development into several projects. Some currently being worked on include behemoth variations, a transmog system, gear balance, supplementary combat attacks, new monsters, an improved hunt board, more exploration gameplay, and additional character creation options.
What is the new mobile MMO Royal Blood all about? We honestly can’t tell you, unless the entire game is about fighting a bunch of monsters in a featureless black void over a pounding baseline. That’s where the trailer starts, and at 22 seconds it doesn’t really have time to go anywhere else. We can tell you that the game’s closed beta testing is starting on September 25th and running through September 29th in South Korea, though.
The game is supposed to feature “event-driven co-op gameplay” and is crafted with Unity, although no plans for a localized release or even a domestic release in South Korea have been announced yet. (Given the short beta test period, one can assume soon.) And hey, if you like trailers that are just what appear to be player characters killing stuff in a featureless void, the one down below will be a great way to start the day. Perhaps we’ll learn more when the beta starts.
Worlds Adrift developer Bossa Studios just got a massive influx of cash – 10 million bucks – thanks to a Series A investment round backed by multiple UK investment firms. Representatives of the largest investor, Atomica, will join Bossa’s board.
“This new round of funding will be used to cement the future success of the studio, supporting its recruitment of top talent that will help define Bossa’s strategic focus on AI, User Generated Content and Open Development, as the studio also prepares to launch Worlds Adrift to the public, the first ever game to be built on Improbable’s SpatialOS platform.”
Bossa isn’t known for just its MMO development on Worlds Adrift, of course; you probably also know it from Surgeon Simulator and I Am Bread. Closed beta is ongoing; signups are still live on the official site, or you can pick up one of the new founder packs that just went live last week.
We’re going to lead off with the bad news: Lost Ark is currently planning its release in South Korea and China in 2018 with no real word on a localized version for here just yet. So keep that in mind while you watch the eight-minute trailer below. If it all looks enticing and interesting to you, well, you don’t know when you’ll get to experience it in a language that you actually speak. So you may have to go your whole life without getting to play music with a group beautiful enough that it attracts a rampaging owlbear to sit down and listen happily.
Of course, having typed that line, you probably have to see what the heck is actually in this trailer. There’s a lot of more standard stuff in there, too, like sailing across the ocean, exploring ruins, and creeping through dangerous areas filled with monsters… but there’s also the aforementioned “singing and gathering woodland creatures” bit. So perhaps you out to just check it out to see everything being added to the game for its second closed beta test.
If I had to pick a PAX West booth to give an award to for sheer fun factor, it would go to Digital Extremes’ new board/card/computer game combo The Amazing Eternals. (I’m not alone: The booth also got an award from a magazine!) The retro bowling alley vibe — complete with bowling shirts, orange shag carpet, and wood paneling — combined with the awesome old TV console frames on the monitors just screamed funky and fun.
Did that same vibe translate into the game? Yup. It was prevalent when I got to dive in and try a couple of matches. Admittedly, the first one was less fun, but that’s because I jumping in totally blind; the enjoyment spiked up quite a bit more after talking with Lead Game Designer Allen Goode and actually learning about the game. And now you, too, will have that same info so you can have a blast in your matches — or at least know better what’s going on!
Remember how former Turbine President Jeffrey Steefel was snapped up by Wizards of the Coast this past January to head up a digital games studio for the studio’s IPs? Now we know the big project that his team was making: Magic: The Gathering Arena, a F2P digital card game that’s coming soon.
Made for PC and mobile, Magic: The Gathering Arena is a full-fledged Magic game with “full rules and ongoing content support for new card sets.” It sounds as though Arena might well be a replacement for the creaky and faulty Magic Online, although the studio wasn’t saying if this will be the case.
“We want to create the deepest, richest digital card game on the market, and for it to be as much fun to watch as it is to play,” said Steefel in a press release. Magic: The Gathering Arena is taking beta signups and will begin testing Constructed play from the Ixalan set later this year.
Although I’d recently played a bit of Dauntless, I was looking forward to my hands-on at PAX West. That’s because I was primed to see — and hopefully face — a new behemoth. I also spoke with Phoenix Labs’ Encounter Designer Reid Buckmaster about development, reception of the game at the convention, plans moving forward, and of course, behemoths.
One of the unique aspects of fighting behemoths is the fact that you can break off physical pieces of the boss to weaken them and score specific loot. Currently in the beta, there are around a dozen different behemoths, according to Buckmaster, but each of those has different variants between easier tutorial ones, the base versions, and then hard versions that include different attacks and attack patterns. “All told with the variants we have I believe it’s 27 different versions of encounters in Dauntless right now,” he said. “Every encounter has a little something new to encounter.”
When you think about Wargaming
, you don’t really think about characters or troops — you think about war machines. But Total War: Arena’s
inclusion into the studio’s publishing portfolio is not nearly as out of place as it may first seem. Created by Creative Assembly, Total War: Arena
is a lobby-based war game, just like the World of
trilogy. The big differences are the time period and the use of troops instead of vehicles.
And the newest troops to enter the game are the war hounds.
At PAX West, I got to sit down with Senior Producer John King to discuss the new commander Boudica while watching her unleash her war hounds on the battlefield, plus I got to check out World of Tanks’ war stories in person!
MMO builder types, today’s Worlds Adrift update is aimed squarely at you. Bossa Studios just released a massive update to the Island Creator — that’s the world-building tool that is freely downloadable and usable on Steam, without your even needing to own the game. The best player-submitted creations are inducted into the base game itself.
“Players have created hundreds of islands that have appeared in-game since the Island Creator tool first launched in April 2016, but this release marks the first opportunity they have to add specific gameplay elements to their creations,” explains the UK studio. “Today’s Phase 1 update will enable the Worlds Adrift community to act as game designers, as they can now add non-climbable materials as well as spikes and barbed wire to their island designs, creating new platform puzzles adventures, dangers, challenges, and surprises for players worldwide to discover and explore. For those wishing to add a more explosive element, a trio of turrets are now also available: Light Turrets will ping away at players, Explosive Turrets will also target ships, and the Tether Turret offers a ‘reel in and shock’ option for the most inventive of island creators.”
Thus far when playing OrbusVR, players have had no ability to send private messages to one another. As a result, you’ve had to rely on context clues; perhaps your friend is running toward you screaming while brandishing a sword because she’s bringing you a free sword and she’s very excited. When the game’s second closed beta starts up, though, she’ll be able to send you a quick message to let you know ahead of time that she’s doing a new cardio routine requiring her to run and scream, and the sword is a good weight to use when it’s over her head.
Players will be able to send private messages to friends or Fellowship members, with Fellowships also getting added to the game (if you’re thinking that sounds like a guild by another name, good job). There’s also new market stall functionality, so NPCs run by players can just sell you stuff and you can buy it. And if dealing with a merchant’s prices cause you to subsequently run around screaming with a sword over your head, well, you can send messages about that.
If you were hoping that another title would pick up the idea of a voxel world and run with it, you’re getting your wish. I met with Jean-Christophe Baillie, the president and founder of NovaQuark, at PAX West. He showed off the pre-alpha build of his company’s voxel sandbox, Dual Universe. After zooming across the planet, building a ship, terraforming, and then blasting off to the moon to do it all again, I believe this subscription-based game (which begins its pre-alpha for backers on September 30th) may very well be the home that players who’ve been wishing for a voxel-based world have waited for.
Baillie defines Dual Universe: “We give more creativity freedom to the players: They can build the ships they want, the environment they want, the houses they want. It’s about freedon to create anything you like.”