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.

MMORPG veteran Richard Garriott decries ‘space tourist’ label

If you haven’t figured it out, Shroud of the Avatar and Ultima Online’s Richard Garriott is on a press tour lately for his new memoir, Explore/Create, in which he talks about his interesting life of video game development, adventuring, and even space travel.

As part of that tour, Garriott penned a piece for NBC news in which he goes more in depth about his stint as an astronaut that was sent up to the International Space Station in 2008. While the game designer paid a large sum of money for the privilege of the space flight, he pushed back hard against any suggestion that he was nothing more than a tourist.

“Please don’t call me a ‘space tourist,'” he wrote. “I was not a tourist. I got the same training NASA (and Russian) astronauts get. In orbit, I worked hard to complete those experiments both to offset the high cost of my flight and, more important, to build the businesses that will take me (and you) back to space and ultimately help humanity escape the cradle of our existence.”

Source: NBC News

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Albion Online expands its launch rollout

Some MMOs have launch days, but some MMOs are not Albion Online, which is claiming a good chunk of this week to officially release this long-awaited fantasy sandbox. You see, yesterday only admitted legendary pack purchasers, while today allowed in the epic crowd and tomorrow will see veteran founders join in the fun.

This staggered release is probably helping to keep the game more stable than it might have been otherwise. There were some initial login issues, but the team reports that it (mostly) cleared those up quickly. There have been a few other problems, like missing learning points and players being able to farm gear out of their league, but for the most part it looks like things are going relatively smoothly for this launch.

Conspiracy sidebar: Did Jagex announce RuneScape’s mobile adaptation this week to take some of the wind out of the sails of Albion’s release? Your call on that one.

Anyway, check out the launch trailer and eight quick tips for starting out in this game after the break!

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RuneScape and Old School RuneScape are adding cross-platform mobile play

Attention, RuneScape and Old School RuneScape players who have hitherto been chained to your desktops or laptops to play: Set yourselves free! Jagex just announced that both titles are moving to mobile. And by move, we mean taking your current game with you, not starting all over. You get your same account, your same characters, everything — you just get it to go.

Play for both games will be cross-platform, allowing folks to swap seamlessly between the PC and mobile on their account, hopping between platforms as you switch from being settled at home or being out and about. Of course, you can also completely ditch the PC if you want to! This opens RuneScape up to the mobile gaming audience, giving those who prefer this platform a chance to join the community and experience the games. Of this move to mobile Senior Product Director Neil McClarty said,

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RuneScape developer Jagex is hiring for an unannounced free-to-play MMO

While sitting on top of the enormously successful RuneScape, Jagex has had a difficult go of it producing a follow-up MMORPG. Projects like Stellar Dawn and Transformers haunt the studio with what could have been. But the good news is that it doesn’t look like the studio is giving up on this dream.

According to a couple of job listings on Games Industry, Jagex is recruiting for an “unannounced MMO” project. The studio is currently seeking a senior game designer and a gameplay programmer for the same title. The postings went up at the end of May, so the studio has been looking for a little while now.

The description gives only the barest of hints as to what this game might be: “Jagex Games Studio is looking for a highly creative and driven senior game designer to work on a free-to-play unannounced, new MMO. You would be working as part of the core team that’s developing an innovative new MMO and be expected to see designs through from inception to realisation.”

Back in May, a Jagex employee accidentally showed a “next gen” project slide at a presentation, fueling rumors of a new game.

Source: Games Industry. Thanks Saryent!

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The MOP Up: SMITE sees a Divine Light (July 9, 2017)

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!

This week we have stories and videos from Pokemon GoSplatoon 2Blade and SoulDragon’s Dogma OnlineClosers OnlineOverwatchVindictusMu OnlineWurm OnlineAstellia OnlineDofus PetsHellionSMITEStarCraftAionFinal Fantasy XI, and League of Legends, all waiting for you after the break!

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The Game Archaeologist: Where are all of the open-source MMOs?

Recently we had an interesting question come in from reader and Patron Rasmus Praestholm, who asked me to do a little investigating: “What (if anything of substance) exists in the MMO field that’s not only free, but open source? The topic of open source came up briefly in a recent column, where Ryzom was noted to have gone open source at some point. But have any serious efforts actually gotten anywhere starting out as open source?”

As some graphical MMORPGs pass the two-decade mark in video game history and are being either cancelled or retired to maintenance mode, it’s an increasingly important topic when it comes to keeping these games alive. Not only that, the question of open source MMOs involves the community in continued development, with the studio handing over the keys to an aging car to see what can be done by resourceful fans.

But has anything much been done with open source projects in the realm of MMORPGs? Is this something that we should be demanding more of as online gaming starts using more accessible platforms such as SpatialOS? Let’s dig a bit into this topic and see what we turn up.

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Perfect Ten: MMOs in limbo

The one thing that I thought we could all count on forever was that the MMO life cycle was pretty easy to understand. A game is launched, then it runs for a certain amount of time, then it shuts down. That last part kind of sucks, but the point is that you know when it’s time to move on. The life cycle is clearly one of creation, then life, then death, like a potted ficus or a cheap desk chair you get at Target.

But then sometimes you have a cheap desk chair that breaks in a crucial way, but you manage to screw the right sort of braces together so you can keep using it for another year after it should have been thrown out. And sometimes an MMO is born, and then it lives, and then it… doesn’t live, but it’s not actually shut down or in maintenance. Or it isn’t clear what’s going on with it, due to what seems to be total abandonment. Or it updates more than games which are supposedly live.

That’s what this column is all about. MMOs in a weird sort of limbo, where some facts are clear, but the results or the overall trajectory make no sense. Sometimes it’s not even clear if the game has actually launched or not. It’s weird.

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RuneScape is on the Switch (using the Rainway app)

If you’re one of the small army of people wondering when you can play your favorite MMOs on the Nintendo Switch for some reason, the good news is that it appears to be happening here. Here’s RuneScape running on the Nintendo Switch:

Of course, this is not an official port or client but a bit of trickery using the Rainway application, which is built on the promise of letting you control your favorite PC games on a variety of different viewing devices. So it’s not exactly a port running on the Switch. But it’s still the game running on the Switch, and now you can dream about playing your favorite MMO on that console. (Feel free to insert your own Jurassic Park joke in the comments.)

Source: Twitter

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Ultima Online adjusts animal training, gets ready to test Publish 98

Following Ultima Online’s most recent update, animal training is at the forefront of many adventurer’s minds. The overhaul to the system has received a lot of feedback, some of which the team is taking to use for adjustments. One of the biggest of these is a 50% reduction in damage when a pet attacks a player.

Speaking of updates, Publish 98 is on track to be tested later this month. The team isn’t talking much right now about what that patch will contain, but hey, it’s coming!

Ultima Online’s 20th anniversary party in Virginia this September with Richard Garriott and Starr Long is currently at capacity, so the organizers are asking attendees to inform them ASAP if they are no longer coming so as to free up their spot for others. The team will be raffling off three grandfathered castles to the entire community at that point, attending or not.

Source: Newsletter

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Anarchy Online celebrates its sweet sixteen

Maintenance mode or no, Anarchy Online is going to celebrate its birthday in style. The MMO, which launched back in 2001, turns 16 this month and is bringing back its anniversary celebration to mark the occasion.

“Today, Anarchy Online celebrates its 16th year of active service,” Funcom posted. “Not a whole lot of games can boast this kind of accomplishment, and we sincerely thank you for your continued love and support of Anarchy Online. You are the very matter that makes up this universe, so thank you again.”

As part of the anniversary event, players can run quests for the Tinker to earn a gift bundle with 500(!) items, defeat the Desert Rider for his loot, and take advantage of multi-month subscription deals to secret bonus loot. There’s also a new cybernetic helmet as a loyalty reward for those who have stuck with the game thus far.

Source: Steam

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 124: Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott and Starr Long

On this special bonus episode, Justin catches up with Richard Garriott and Starr Long about Ultima Online’s spiritual successor, Shroud of the Avatar. How is this project shaping up now that it’s nearing launch? Listen and find out!

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:

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Funcom is working on a ‘tactical turn-based strategy’ game

Funcom is apparently keeping itself busy with a new partnership and game. The company’s investor relations site has a brief press release with the announcement:

“Funcom N.V. has entered into an agreement with Bearded Dragon International LTD regarding the development and publishing of a new game. The game is in the ‘tactical turn-based strategy’ genre and is planned to be released during 2018. Initial platform will be PC, with consoles to be evaluated after the PC launch. More information about the game will be revealed when PR and Marketing activities are initiated prior to release. This activity is part of Funcom’s strategy of releasing multiple game titles per year, providing significant activities more often and building a larger portfolio of products.”

Funcom is best known to MMO players for its long-running The Secret World, Age of Conan, and Anarchy Online, as well as sunsetted MMO LEGO Minifigures Online and early access survival sandbox Conan Exiles. AOC and AO were seemingly maintenance-moded earlier this year, while The Secret World has been back-burnered in favor of Secret World Legends, which has formally launched today.

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The MOP Up: Gamescom’s big opening by Angela Merkel (June 25, 2017)

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!

This week we have stories and videos from MechWarrior OnlineMu OriginDark Age of CamelotAstellia OnlineMarvel End Time ArenaRagnarok Online, and Guild Wars 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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