A little while back, I took a look at the healthiest games in the MMO space at this time. That was a nice, uplifting list, wasn't it? And all of those titles continue to do just fine, even if one or two might have had a few bits of shocking news along the way.
Unfortunately, this is not an industry in which health is assured. Games can be high-quality and beloved, but they can still be shut down by outside forces. And that's not counting games that just come out in the wrong time period or launch in an unrecoverable state.
That may sound grim, but we're already staring at the first two shutdowns of 2017 in the near future, and both of the titles being killed are surprises. One of them might have wound up on this list if it weren't being shut down, but at this point, it is. So let's look at the MMOs with the most unclear futures and start hoping for the best.
What happens when a group of dislodged City of Heroes fans attempt to bring back the spirit of their favorite MMO while marrying it to another favorite geek pastime (in this case, Star Trek)? You end up with Ship of Heroes, an in-development title that's holding a torch for the popular superhero MMO... in space. We sat down with Heroic Games CEO Casey McGeever to find out more about this potential game.
Massively OP: For those a little unfamiliar with the project, can you give us your quick elevator pitch for what Ship of Heroes is?
Casey McGeever: Ship of Heroes is a new MMORPG in development, which is a spiritual successor to City of Heroes. We're combining the best elements of hero and sci-fi games in a setting 500 years in the future.
Past, present, and future. While the totality of a game studio encompasses all three aspects, we often focus on only one or two at a time. Over the last week, we heard a great deal about Hi-Rez Studios' present during Hi-Rez Expo 2017, from the tournaments (congrats to all the winners!) to what's immediately in the works for its roster of games. But there are still the two other sides to the studio to consider. And these are the sides I explored in interviews with President Stew Chisam and VP Brian Greyson. Specifically I wanted to learn if the company had plans to connect its past with its future in regards to Global Agenda. I was also curious as to what other directions the SMITE franchise might take.
Join me as we delve into the past and the future of Hi-Rez Studios, the possibility of a Global Agenda 2, and the expansion of the SMITE universe.
When massive monsters attack town, who you gonna call? No, not them, their specialty is in a completely different field. You're best off dialing up a handful of superheroes and offering them bonus rewards and currency for some abnormal mercenary work.
From now through January 11th, Champions Online is running its giant monster attack event, giving players a chance to earn 30% more tokens, rare costume pieces, and additional recognition. To help with the effort, cosmic bosses will respawn twice as fast as normal.
If you're a devoted Champions player and want to roll the dice on the game being around for a while to come, you might be interested in the current sale on the MMO's lifetime subscription. Through the 12th, the lifetime sub is 33% off its normal price tag of $300, taking it down to around $200.
Let's face it, you are not the best hero in Champions Online
. You try
to do good, you really do, but your efforts at doing good are frequently hampered by what you call "unfortunate side-effects" and the media calls "massive, irresponsible collateral damage." So perhaps it's high time that you get your hero a secret base to hide in until the heat blows over from your latest act of "heroism." You're lucky that doing so will be a bit cheaper until the new year
All Champions Online hideouts are 20% off until January 1st; unhelpfully, the official announcement as of this writing lists that as a Tuesday, but let's assume that the site means Sunday. That's cheap enough to put a hideout within the price range of more frugal hideout mavens, whether you want to buy a totally new hideout or just an additional hideout for the changing seasons. Just get in there before January 1st so you can resolve to start the new year without destroying any buildings you don't want falling down.
Massively Overpowered's end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for Best MMORPG Studio of 2016, which was awarded to Square-Enix last year.
We asked our writers to consider major MMORPG studios in 2016, not just their pet favorites, and judge the studios on what they did within the MMORPG genre this year specifically. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!
The Massively OP staff pick for Best MMORPG Studio of 2016 is...
With 2016 drawing to a close and 2017 rushing up to meet us, the Massively OP team has regrouped for another round of bold and goofy predictions for the year ahead. What's in store for the MMO genre next year? Here's what we think.
It's time to get all snuggly in front of a crackling fire, roast up some chestnuts, down a gallon of hot chocolate, and log into your favorite online RPGs for seasonal festivities! Or you could "bah humbug!" your way through the season and ignore all of the silly, free, and rewarding events if you so desire. We're not here to tell you what to do, after all!
With extra time off of work and school, many gamers have the opportunity to take advantage of all of the winter holiday events that are running across MMORPGs, MOBAs, and other online games. Feeling at a loss about where to start? Board the Massively OP sleigh and join us as we take you on a tour of all of the Christmas events going on right now!
Ho ho holy crap, Heroes of Newerth is getting a massive patch just in time for Christmas. The game's 4.0 update not only adds a few seasonal skins but also adds a new patch, ranking system, and upgraded visuals.
The new hero is Apex, a demon who is the "physical embodiment of the true evil," which is all sorts of awkward at dinner parties. Apex has many appropriately demonic skills and can even summon armageddon. Never summon armageddon.
Players can enjoy a Champions of Newerth, a seasonal mode in which players can progress through six ranks. The 4.0 update also improved some of the game's graphics, offered three new UI HUDs, added a "counter pick" mode for competitive games, and even wiped every player's bad report slate clean for the first time in the game's history.
You can check out Heroes of Newerth's 4.0 trailer after the break.
Being a superhero means that every holiday - every single one of them - will be met with an array of themed villains. It's inevitable. So while some MMOs might struggle with rationalizing the latest holiday, Champions Online
has every reason for players to expect a new pitched battle against some holiday-themed hooligans. True to form, the event kicks off today
and tasks players with collecting tokens in exchange for new rewards like the wind-up back piece, the robot head, and the swirling feather aura. And that's just for the first week; more is planned for the future.
Players can also jump in on the Chiller archetype during the holiday event, even though that archetype is normally only available from the in-game store. Of course, if you're not too concerned with the spirit of the season, you can also stomp around as a cybernetic hero with a laser sword. That's a bit less true to the season, but it's also entirely keeping with the design of whatever the latest hot action figure is. So it balances out.
Every wonder what happened to Craig Zinkievich after he moved on from Star Trek Online and Cryptic Studios? Turns out he and several other former Cryptic bigwigs got busy building a new studio, and they've unveiled it today. It's called Cold Iron, and it's touting itself as "a new fully funded game development studio focused on forging thrilling, high-quality AAA online action games," with "a passionate team of veteran game developers with decades of experience creating critically acclaimed and hugely successful MMO and action titles."
"Cold Iron is currently working on developing its first major action game for consoles and PC – an original sci-fi title developed on the Unreal 4 engine. While details on the unannounced title will be released at a later date, even in its infancy Cold Iron has procured full funding to see their dream to fruition."
So maybe not an MMO, but I guess we'll see, given the pedigrees in play here.
Zinkievich, who's known to MMORPG players for his work on City of Heroes, Star Trek Online, and Neverwinter, is joined by Shannon Posniewski, who worked on the same games plus Champions Online, and Matt Highison, the former Neverwinter art director.
The new galactic command endgame system that arrived in last week's SWTOR: Knights of the Eternal Throne
has been steeped in controversy
ever since its announcement. The system is taking another such hit this week as BioWare
scrambled to close a path that allowed players to advance faster than devs anticipated.
So what apparently happened is that some players realized that they could grind, grind, grind out the command XP to the weekly cap by continually farming gold mobs. The studio's response to this was to nerf the XP for these mobs from 10 per kill down to (wait for it) one.
Needed or not, the nerf certainly rubbed many players the wrong way according to several forum and Reddit posts on the subject. "[Mobs] were actually rewarding to kill and I found myself looking for new ways of getting around areas I could navigate in my sleep," one player posted. "Doing bonus missions I would have never considered otherwise. It opened up a completely new way to play for me, and now I feel like I've just had a door slammed in my face."
Perfect World wasted no time in pulling the trigger on its crop of winter holiday events now that December is here. The MMORPG publisher sent out its list of all of the events, both current and upcoming, for its library of titles.
It's important to note that while some of the events run for an entire month, others are only here for a couple of short weeks. If you're the type of player who hops between games during the holidays to take advantage of the many rewards available, you'll want to use this schedule to help you plan your attack.
Check out the full rundown after the jump!