Paragon Chat has put out the batsignal to City of Heroes fans still missing their favorite MMO — saying that they don’t have to miss it alone. This Saturday, December 16th, the exiled City of Heroes community will be gathering together for a holiday party in the chat client.
The first-ever HERC Holiday Hullabaloo begins at 2:00 p.m. EST in Pocket D at the ski chalet in the City of Heroes chat client. Fans can recreate their own iconic CoH characters (or make up new ones) and enjoy the lasting remnant of this MMO.
According to the description, the party contains “merriment, costume races, joy, snowball fights using temporary powers, cheer, a City of Heroes-themed Christmas carol contest, a surprise, and all of the ‘fa la las’ you can handle.”
It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won’t be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year’s list to see how spot-on I was).
This year we’re changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of “will see a hard launch in 2018.” Instead, I drafted up a list of 20 MMOs that have the potential to do or be really interesting next year, whether that be a launch, a long-anticipated beta test, or some other significant development. Plus, hey, you get 20 for the price of 10, so no complaining now!
As an aside, this list isn’t going to cover some other exciting-looking multiplayer games that are arriving in 2018, like Sea of Thieves, The Crew 2, Monster Hunter World, DayZ, Red Dead Redemption 2, Stardew Valley, Conan Exiles, and State of Decay 2. And you old school fans won’t want to forget that Ultima Online has a new free-to-play option coming this spring.
Who says you have to have launched to have holiday events? Not Ship of Heroes. The City of Heroes-inspired indie superhero MMORPG has a new video out this afternoon teasing what will eventually become its Christmas event once the game is in a playable state.
“Meltdown is collecting Christmas gifts by racing around Apotheosis City,” Heroic Games explains. “As he finds each one, he opens it and receives both in-game money (Dust), and a gift that goes into his inventory. We’re also showing picture-in-picture clips of the most important milestones SoH has achieved in each of the last twelve months. Through the PiP, we are sharing an overall tale of success, of moving from a website with a bit of concept art and story, to our current working game prototype.”
The studio is also reminding fans that it’s still planning on launching open beta by the end of 2018 and that donations – with their associated rewards, including access to the alpha – are still open.
It’s one thing to strike a pose and get a good-looking selfie in there, it’s another to coordinate a whole group of twitchy gamers and get them to take a group photo without someone jumping or facing the wrong way or forgetting to emote.
Vincent Clark has mastered this group pose in the formation of his new Final Fantasy XIV boy band album called “Ears over Eorzea.” We anticipate great things from this mostly shirtless crew of well-manicured rebels, as long as they don’t fall into that hot tub and drown.
One of the things that I promised way back when I started writing this series about Secret World Legends
was to mention the way in which this game seems to tie into The X-Files. There’s an obvious superficial connection (both take place in the real world with added supernatural stuff, for example), but that’s not actually the connection that sticks out to me. It has more to do with the nature of the story both are telling.
While I’m not on board with the game’s character vignettes (which are much more “portrait of this person you don’t really interact with” than anything), there is an underlying story running through every part of the game. I clocked out midway through Egypt when I played the original The Secret World, and there were an assortment of reasons, but part of it was that connection I mentioned above. To wit: the game really likes having mysteries, but it doesn’t really like having answers for a lot of them.
One of the everlasting points of contention between me and the MMO industry is that no game gets everything right. Gah! Can’t you mold perfection, devs? Like it’s that hard. Anyway, so often I see a great feature in one game that I wish would become the industry standard — but it doesn’t.
For example, I would love to port WildStar’s housing system to every other MMO I play, because I’ve never experienced a better and more enjoyable homesteading experience. It makes me grit my teeth to play, say, World of Warcraft and feel that big hole where housing should go. I’d also lug around RIFT’s instant adventures as an alternative to typical questing when I wanted a change-up once in a while. And what about giving every MMO City of Heroes’ character creation system? I’m down for that.
What feature from another game would you, if you could, import into your favorite MMO right now? How could you see that feature improving the game?
There’s already a lot of lore floating around for City of Heroes-inspired indie MMORPG City of Titans, but all of the lore in the world doesn’t mean much if you never get to see any of it in the game. So the latest development update is about the process of making even the game’s simplest missions take shape. There are three different sorts of missions outlined (self-contained Tips, game-spanning Sagas, and area-related District Stories), but this particular development entry is just about bringing a self-contained tip from concept to completion.
Tips are the shortest and simplest mission type, meant to make up quick half-hour play sessions, starting with a tweet-length summary of the major plot points. While the goal here is to make these missions fairly lore-agnostic, care is taken to ensure that there’s still a sense of the overall lore and an interesting situation for players who really do enjoy the game’s storylines. Check out the full dispatch for a more thorough breakdown of all the work going into even the littlest elements.
It’s a hundred identical superheroes in hot pants facing off against a giant robot, and that robot does not stand a chance.
The following video may look a little odd, but it’s an important one for the Ship of Heroes team. It shows an internal large-scale raid test in which a hundred player clones duked it out in the same instance at the same time, maintaining a 30 frames per second rate throughout. The team says that these numbers shows how the superhero MMORPG will be able to pull off incredible fights among large groups of players and enemies in the future.
“So far, no other MMORPG using Unreal Engine 4 has publicized numbers this large,” a press release said. “Apparently the devs at Ship of Heroes are planning to provide large raids for at least 50 players right from level 1. This stands in a marked contrast to the common MMO trend of making raids endgame content that require grinding or buying loot boxes — or both.”
The Ship of Heroes team is working hard on building this City of Heroes spiritual successor and hopes to have a beta out by the end of 2018. A combat alpha is scheduled to begin next month.
Magic in space? Ship of Heroes is determined to make it work.
The superhero MMORPG announced today that it will be including a magical subset of heroes and villains into its lore and gameplay. All superpowered humans with magical ability are part of the Attuned, a general-purpose group with this kind of affinity. But tucked inside the Attuned is the sinister Red Sigil, a cult that believes that mages should be used as the “first line of defense” and be put in charge of the giant ship.
“While superhero mages tend to fall into a few general categories, there are countless types of magic in the galaxy, including some odd outliers that are difficult to classify,” the team wrote. “The mages of the Attuned hate the Prometheans above all others, and this antagonism is reciprocated. The Attuned fundamentally like the ship as it is. Even the Red Sigil only want to seize control of the ship’s political system and revenues; they would be happy to have super-powered subordinates if they could effect a coup.”
The controversy over lockboxes and their legal status continues to draw more attention from governments, with Australia now weighing in on the issue. Not the whole country, mind you, but the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), which wrote a letter stating that lockboxes were considered gambling under the country’s laws.
While the VCGLR doesn’t typically oversee video games, its opinion does carry weight in the government and could prompt action on the proliferation of lockboxes in online games. The problem? The government body says that it’s very hard to regulate and that “there are a lot of variables at play.”
“What occurs with ‘loot boxes’ does constitute gambling by the definition of the Victorian Legislation,” wrote VCGLR Strategic Analyst Jarrod Wolfe. “Unfortunately where the complexity arises is in jurisdiction and our powers to investigate. Legislation has not moved as quick as the technology; at both State and Federal level we are not necessarily equipped to determine the legality of these practices in lieu of the fact the entities responsible are overseas.”
Do you miss playing your Controller in City of Heroes? One of that game’s spiritual successors wants to resurrect the concept of a mez-happy superhero who throws down crowd control and status effects as a way to exert domination over a battlefield.
The Ship of Heroes team delved into crowd control powers in this week’s blog post, saying that mez abilities “make a game more complex and give players greater flexibility in how they defeat enemies.” The developers listed nine specific crowd control powers they are considering, with at least five of these being included for launch. These powers range from slows to sleeps, from confuse to terrify.
Even if mezzing isn’t your thing, there are always debuffs to toss onto enemies to make their defeat easier and buffs to share with allies to bolster your team. Fifteen examples of each type of debuff and buff powers were listed, which should be more than enough to spark your imagination as you think of what kind of hero you want to build when this game goes live.
You might have missed the riots in the streets over lockboxes these past few months, but we assure you, the controversy is very real. One game where this won’t be a problem? City of Titans.
The team opened up about its business model this week, explaining how it will make money as an indie superhero MMORPG. Despite needing revenue as badly as any other small game, City of Titans promised not to include lockboxes as part of its business plan. For the record, the game is adopting a buy-to-play model with a cash shop and optional subscription.
“We’ve put a great deal of thought into how to finance profitably but ethically,” the team said.
So Marvel Heroes has about six weeks to live thanks to the impending shutdown of the game following Disney’s decision to drop Gazillion as a business partner. That’s going to leave some superhero MMO players once again without a home, and though the game’s current Steam numbers can’t hold a candle to the number of players affected by the City of Heroes closure five years ago, we’re left with the same situation – and a similar roster of games vying for refugees.
The big superhero MMORPGs are still DC Universe Online and Champions Online, the former of which is certainly better supported with content, the latter of which may have more of that Marvel feel. There’s also three strong crowdfunding superhero MMOs still trying to fill the CoH vacuum: Ship of Heroes, City of Titans, and Valiance Online. Which MMO would you recommend to Marvel Heroes refugees? Would it be another superhero MMO, another superhero game or ARPG altogether, or something else? If you’re a former MH player, where are you getting your fix?