classic mmo

Generally used to describe MMOs from before World of Warcraft’s launch in 2004, though sometimes shortened to describe just the first few MMOs launched prior to 2000.

Dark Age of Camelot delays its free-to-play shift to 2019

While we reported in December 2017 that Broadsword was aiming for a free-to-play option for Dark Age of Camelot, we haven’t seen a lot of movement on that front — until now. A recent producer’s letter informed the community that the Endless Crusade update with its business model shift has been delayed to the first part of 2019.

“Once patch 1.125 has released, we’ll be shifting our development resources towards the Endless Conquest update,” the team said. “As mentioned in some previous grab bags this option will now be made available to returning and new accounts rather than just newly created ones. This change does increase the scope of the Endless Conquest update considerably but we strongly believe it’s the right way forward for Dark Age of Camelot!”

In addition to working on the F2P version, Broadsword is busy focusing on this summer’s Patch 1.125 (which includes RvR currency, RvR reward streamlining, and two new class/race combos per realm), a new fall harvest event, and a new website.

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The MOP Up: Neverwinter’s five-year anniversary and Ravenloft campaign (June 24, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from World of WarplanesWorld of Warships LegendsPlayerUnknown’s BattlegroundsSea of ThievesSkull and BonesOld School RuneScapeSMITEWar ThunderNeverwinter, and Pokemon Go, all waiting for you after the break!

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Anarchy Online teases upcoming 17th anniversary event

Happy 17th birthday, Anarchy Online! Seventeen years ago this month, Funcom first stepped out onto the MMORPG scene and “launched” this sci-fi title. We are legally obligated to put that into quotes, because it wasn’t so much of a game launch as a mockery of all that was good and pure in the world. Fortunately, the disastrous start eventually gave way to a solid and engaging title that endures to this day.

Anarchy Online is days away from throwing its anniversary event, which will take place from June 26th through July 19th. While there aren’t any specifics out on the event quite yet, you can take a look at last year’s anniversary details to get an idea of what is probably coming.

And if you’re feeling all nostalgic, why not indulge some more by reading our Game Archaeologist retrospective of this game?

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Gran Skrea brings an indie sandbox MMO to early access

On the prowl for an undiscovered indie MMORPG these days? You might want to check out Gran Skrea Online, as it just went into early access this past weekend.

According to the team, Gran Skrea “combines a desire for new player-defined MMORPG mechanics with influences from classic RPGs like RuneScape, Ultima Online, and The Elder Scrolls.” It’s $9 right now through June 23rd, which isn’t the most exorbitant price we’ve ever seen, and there’s an official Discord set up already.

The sandbox MMORPG sends players “to create their own destiny in an original world of medieval fantasy.” This apparently means a mixture of quests, “ruthless” PvP combat, guilds, and economy. There are already quite a few features in place, including player housing, a criminal flagging system, lots of crafting, and a game world with plenty of lore. There’s more to be added in the early access program, so features such as territorial warfare, auction houses, and naval warfare are still in development.

Get an early look at Gran Skrea after the jump!

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The MOP Up: Skyforge’s PvP revolution (June 17, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from War of RightsClosers OnlineWorld War ZOld School RuneScapeThe Black DeathOrbusVRReign of GuildsSkyforgeAlchemiaStoryPath of ExileGrim DawnRevelation OnlineDefiance 2050, and DDO, all waiting for you after the break!

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Ultima Online’s publish 100 hits the test server, Broadsword seeks paid event moderators

One hundred! Classic MMO Ultima Online has pushed out its 100th major update to the test server this week. It’s primarily a bug-fixing update, riding on the heels of the game’s spring free-to-play conversion. I’m not going to lie: The thing I’m most excited about is the fix for specifying how many seeds to remove from a seedbox. I love my seedbox you guys.

But of course, the update also fixes exploits with active masteries and soulstones, dye bugs, artifact drop bugs, the Wind entrance bug, yarn stacking bugs that I am pretty sure are literally 20 years old, and the faction city battle instakill bug. It’ll also allow players to swap their Cleanup Britannia points between toons (yay!) and tweaks the heck out of pets and pet training.

Meanwhile, if you’ve always thought it might be more fun to be a tabletop gamemaster in a digital space than a player, you might want to take a peek at the help wanted announcement Broadsword posted this week. The studio is looking for contractors to serve as paid Event Moderators – those are the lovely folks who craft and carry out live storytelling events on different UO shards. I know, live studio-hosted roleplaying events in 2018. Crazy.

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RuneScape shows off an hour of its new mining system

Dig things out of the ground, put them together into more useful forms, sell those more useful forms, repeat. That’s the core loop of mining for RuneScape (and most MMOs with mining systems), so how can you improve upon that? Well, the latest stream from the development team shows off the developers working on doing just that, with a system that is at once simpler and more fun for players.

Yes, simpler; the team describes the new system on the stream as “you just kick the rock and [the game] does it for you.” But it also means that you can focus more on what you’re mining rather than the minutiae of mining. Check out the full video just below, complete with a look at the artisan workshop, Orikalkum armor, and the new smithing interface. It’s rather lengthy, but you can still dig it.

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The Game Archaeologist: The tangled legal history of Interplay’s canceled Fallout Online

With the recent revelation that Bethesda’s Fallout 76 is going to be an online multiplayer survival game, players who have been hoping for a Fallout MMO finally have something to anticipate. Sure, it’s not a proper MMORPG, but it’s all we could ask for in this day and age, right?

Actually, Fallout 76 isn’t the first time that the Fallout series was heading for online shenanigans, nor is it the closest concept to a pure MMO. Years ago, an attempt was made by the original creators of the Fallout series to bring an online game to the community, but this effort was stymied by Bethesda and a mess of legal issues.

For those who look back at the Interplay era of Fallout with deep fondness, the thought of the canceled Fallout Online project is a sore wound that continues to cause pain whenever prodded. Which is, I guess, what I’ll be doing today as we look at what Fallout Online was going to be — and why it never came to be.

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‘Magic through serendipity’: Raph Koster on the glorious mess that was Ultima Online

I was a wide-eyed, naive kid when I first stepped into Ultima Online in 1997, and as it turns out, the developers were too.

That’s my takeaway from reading through the Ultima Online chunk of Raph Koster’s new book, Postmortems. Koster, as any dedicated MMORPG fan will recall, went by “Designer Dragon” back then as the creative lead on the game. Having come from a MUD background, he and his wife Kristin Koster were instrumental in shaping Richard Garriott’s seminal MMORPG and therefore the genre as we know it.

Koster kindly sent us a preprint of the book, unwittingly robbing himself of $35, as I was going to buy it anyway, and it’s massive, folks: over 700 pages spanning three decades and the majority of the online games Koster’s worked on during his long tenure in the gaming industry. Some of those games are definitely of more interest to our readers on Massively OP, in particular Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies. It’s the Ultima Online chapters I aim to cover today.

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The MOP Up: The Black Death improves its profession system (June 10, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Old School RuneScapePokemon GoEverQuest, EVE Online, Paladins, Titan QuestThe Black DeathSkyforgeFinal Fantasy XIWizard101, Pirate101War of RightsEvolveState of Decay 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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The Game Archaeologist: Myst Online

The impact of Myst in 1993 was akin to an atomic bomb going off in the PC gaming world. The leap forward in graphical fidelity (aided by the large storage capacity of a CD-ROM and all of the full-motion video and gorgeous images tucked into it) captured gamers’ imaginations and made this adventure title the best-selling PC game of all time, at least for several years. Brothers Robyn and Rand Miller’s story about a stranger who had to solve puzzles through a good-looking (if deserted) landscape was devilishly difficult, yet that challenge kept players coming back for months and even years.

The Myst franchise surged forward at that point, with several sequels, remakes, and ports selling like hotcakes through the final game’s release in 2005. Yet something interesting happened along the way when an offshoot of the series — Uru: Ages Beyond Myst — evolved into an MMO. With a focus on multiplayer exploration and puzzle-solving instead of non-stop combat, it may be one of the very few MMOs out there that eschews fighting for brainpower.

It’s an oddity, no doubt, and despite it being an incredibly niche title, it has fascinated me enough to pull me into a research rabbit hole. So let’s take a look at Myst Online: Uru Live!

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The Daily Grind: What’s the best MMORPG vet reward you’ve ever gotten?

CCP Games rolled out a pretty sweet veteran reward for EVE Online vets this week ahead of the game’s anniversary: Everybody who’s been playing since the game went free-to-play in 2016 picked up a tier one Abyssal Filament.

That got me thinking about vet rewards in general. It’s actually become a pretty rare concept in MMORPGs, largely because they were originally intended to reward people for being loyal subscribers, but of course, fewer and fewer MMOs have subscriptions anymore.

I’ve picked up some really good rewards over the years that actually made me want to keep my sub going. Remember the vet reward resource crates in Star Wars Galaxies? My favorite might be my ethereal mounts in Ultima Online, or maybe my seed box (it holds hundreds of gardening seeds to cut down on the inventory mess).

What’s the best MMORPG vet reward you’ve ever gotten, and what did you have to do exactly to earn it?

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The Soapbox: Do MMOs still fall victim to the copycat curse?

When Radical Heights launched, I was inspired to put together a whole Perfect Ten about why trend-chasing doesn’t work for online games. Obviously, my chief focus was on games that wind up being developed at a rushed pace to cash in on trends and then run face-first into problems with chasing momentary trends, which… you know, you can just read the article; it’s linked right there. But it also prompted a follow-up question by longtime reader Sally Bowls asking why, with all of these issues, why the same rules don’t apply to MMOs.

The answer? Well, there isn’t one answer. There are three answers, all of which are part of the same set of considerations. For one thing, there’s the difference of development time and depth. For another, there’s the time before grinding. And last but not least, well… they do apply, really. But let’s take this piece by piece to talk about why trend-chasing for MMOs doesn’t quite provoke the same immediate reactions as it does for, say, MOBAs.

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