Many people believe that server merges are innately bad because in games like ArcheAge
(or even all the way back to Star Wars Galaxies
), they were done completely wrong or the game itself wasn’t designed for its servers to ever consolidate. However, other MMOs – RIFT
comes to mind – have nearly perfected server merges. And for the most part, server merges help the game and its population. Because many of the smaller servers combine together with larger servers, there are more people around, group-finder queues tend to pop faster, PvP is more dynamic, and roleplayers can reach the all-important critical mass.
If I were to just look at the Star Wars: The Old Republic server merges from the perspective of the overall benefits of combining different server communities, I would have zero issue with them. SWTOR is one of those games that has no innate issues with combining server save for players losing character names. It could be done without losing character names, and I will get into the flaws of that system in a bit.
Now, let’s talk about my specific perspective having experienced two server merges by BioWare, then we will get into the details of how this latest one affected those in my community.
If shifting sands and certain death doesn’t warn you away, you just might discover the mysteries of an ancient and long-dead civilization buried underneath the deserts of Revelation Online
This week’s zone spotlight in the MMO is for Scavenger’s Borough. As the name implies, the region is more of a lawless scrabble under a harsh desert sun. Yet there are interesting locations to discover and a trio of factions with which to contend as players make their way through the area. Plus, there’s a robot factory. For real.
“While the dangers that lie within Mech Citadel are well-known, hardy adventurers plumb its depths, hoping to uncover long-forgotten technologies of the Fire Civilization,” the team posted. “The abandoned military robotics factory is a popular destination for the fearless.”
It may be a ways away, but World of Warcraft Classic is on the road to becoming a reality. Blizzard posted at least two job openings for project team members as part of the effort to create the legacy version of the game.
While not revealing any specifics about the older version of the MMO, Blizzard’s listing is still a thrill to read: “Travel back in time to a World of Warcraft before the Mists of Pandaria parted, and before Deathwing broke the world. When Blackrock Mountain, the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj, and the floating citadel of Naxxramas were the most difficult challenges in Azeroth. The World of Warcraft team is working on bringing that world back to our players with Classic WoW, and we need engineers to help us bring the past into the present.”
Blizzard told fans at BlizzCon that WoW Classic would be a massive effort and that the studio was committed to making it happen and keeping it running as long as the main MMO operates.
Twiddling your thumbs after having conquered and subdued the world in Citadel: Forged With Fire? You’ll soon have more than enough challenge on your plate with an upcoming release that will add endgame dungeons and bosses.
The team said that the three new dungeons will present an “extreme combat challenge” for groups, but simply accessing them is going to be difficult in and of itself: “Unlocking access to the dungeons themselves will require the unraveling of an ancient mystery. Three soul stones, each imbued with the essence of an ageless evil, have been shattered and dispersed across the land of Ignus. It is up to you, intrepid wizards, to find and repair these soul stones, use them to enter the domain of three legendary beasts, and banish them back into the darkness.”
The game’s November 3rd patch added the ability to upgrade structure materials, attack towers, and defensive towers without the need to tear down and rebuild. Citadel also included a new raid warning screen to give players a heads-up if someone is attacking their base.
Halloween is such a great time that everyone is getting in on it. Citadel is offering the chance to go trick-or-treating, with world chests scattered about filled with goodies. You know Massively OP’s MJ can’t resist! She wants to find some of those rare holiday costumes, so she’s on the prowl going door to door, tree to tree, and rock to rock seeking the treasures. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to join the search.
What: Citadel: Forged With Fire
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017
Citadel: Forged With Fire is one of many MMOs and survival sandboxes sitting in beta or early access but still pushing out some sort of Halloween content, which ought to tell you just how important the holiday is to the genre. This week, Blue Isle drenched the gameworld in fog, spider webs, dead trees, and a bloodmoon, but there’s more too for builders and minigamers:
Costumes and Masks: Outfit your player for the holiday… Choose from pumpkin or ghost masks, a bed sheet ghost costume, helmets, a flaming pumpkin head and more!
Tombstone Props: Get graveyard props to use when building.
New Building Pieces: Trap doors, spike pits, acid pools and more! These items will stay in game forever.
Trick or Treat: Candy and costumes will be hidden in chests found at enemy camps and caves, trick or treat you enemies for a delightful treat!
Check out the spooky Halloween trailer below, and keep an eye out for our big Halloween guide still on the way!
It’s time for Legends of Aria to say farewell to alpha once and for good.
The fantasy MMO wrapped up its so-called final alpha test over the weekend and turned to focus on the upcoming beta. During the last alpha, around 2,500 players clocked in over 33,000 hours, providing the team with invaluable feedback for further development.
Speaking of which, it sounds as though there are exciting things ahead for this small but scrappy sandbox: “We will be adding more character to the world, more landmarks, better developed points of interest and more immersive and living cities. Our work is far from done in this regard as we really push to bring the world to life. I’m also excited to announce that two additional cities are being added to Celador. One in the Southern Rim and one in the (soon to open) Eastern Frontier.”
As for the beta itself, the team is not dating it yet, saying that “we are not going to release beta until we are where we want to be.”
If you’ve been eyeing Citadel: Forged With Fire but have held out so far in the hopes of a good deal, now might be the time to pounce. Through October 16th, the title is 30% off its normal price, reducing the sandbox’s cost to $17.49.
Sale aside, Citadel continues to patch up on a near-weekly basis. This week’s update features a reduction of the cost of marble and ornate building materials, which the team says is a reaction to community pushback over the high cost.
“While our goal with raising the building cost of marble and ornate was to increase the perceived value of the high-tier structures and slow the appearance of massive, server straining mega-structures, we realize now that we may have gone a bit overboard in our approach,” the team admitted.
Something evil and sinister has awakened in Legends of Aria, but that is actually pretty exciting news for alpha testers seeking new challenges and content to conquer. Wednesday’s alpha patch activated “Dragon’s Den awakening spawn” that provide access to Tier III prestige abilities and loot when defeated.
The update also made crafting armor and weapons easier than before, with decreased difficulty in making them and an increased spawn rate for resources. Stealthing around is now a little more difficult but also less random, with players not being able to suddenly hide while in plain sight of others.
If you’re curious about this indie fantasy sandbox as it wraps up its alpha and eyes beta testing, check out our recent podcast interview with Lead Developer Derek Brinkmann as he gives the inside scoop into all things Legends of Aria!
On this week’s show, Legends of Aria’s Derek Brinkmann returns for another interview about how the indie MMORPG is shaping up as it goes through its “final” alpha and heads toward beta and launch. We also dig deep into the mailbag to gripe about gambling!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
While the heady days of Ultima Online’s dominant position over the industry are long gone, the MMORPG continues to operate and expand, and many players have fond memories of the unique experience that game offered. In fact, some titles like Legends of Aria and (obviously) Shroud of the Avatar are doing their best to claim the unofficial title of “Ultima Online spiritual successor” in the hopes of reuniting veteran MMO players with the special qualities that made this game great.
These aren’t the first games to try to grasp the holy grail of an Ultima Online sequel. There were actually two such projects that went into heavy production in the late 1990s and early 2000s — both ending with premature cancellation and frustration on the part of developers and fans.
The second of these, Ultima X Odyssey, I covered a while back. Today, we’re going to take a look at the first MMO that attempted to mix the Ultima Online formula with a few new twists. Ultima Worlds Online Origin might not be as well-known (or as well-titled), but its history is just as fascinating as UXO’s.
Blue Isle is decorating the heck out of Citadel: Forged With Fire with this week’s patch. “Before this update, many players gave the feedback that their homes felt a little empty,” says the studio. “We’re adding a selection of basic furniture props to the game to finally breath some life into your empty dining halls and cavernous lounges!” Tables! Chairs! Tables with tablecloths! Chairs with fancy leather and studs! That cot I saw at IKEA the other day, only with straw! Wine barrels!
OK, so there’s more to the patch than a bad keg party, including new building reagents and a taming rebalance.
“Historically, Pacify times were calculated in a linear fashion: The higher the creature’s level, the longer it would take to Pacify them. With our next update we’ll be adding a little more variability to the experience. Tame times will be calculated based on a number of factors including the level of the player’s weapon, the level of the creature, debuffs that may be applied to the creature, and the creature’s current HP. That Infernal Dragon taking too long to tame? Bring down its health, stun it with Gaslight, and pull out your strongest weapon! We hope that these new variables will make the taming of creatures a much less tedious and much more engaging experience.”
The word “final” certainly attracts the attention, which is perhaps why there’s this excited buzz around Legends of Aria’s final alpha. The test kicked off last week with a slew of new features and content, attracting plenty of founds back after a summer drought.
If you’re curious about this title, have questions, or are trying to figure out how to play it, we are here for you today. After the break we’ve got the latest developer town hall Q&A session as well as the adventures of our own MJ as she heads into the game for a fresh start. Check them out!