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See: City of Titans

Perfect Ten: 20 upcoming MMOs to watch in 2018

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 ThievesThe Crew 2Monster Hunter WorldDayZRed Dead Redemption 2Stardew 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.

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City of Titans shares details on creating its mission lines

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.

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Australia turns up the heat on lockboxes

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.”

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City of Titans vows ‘no lockboxes’ for its business model

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.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO would you recommend to Marvel Heroes refugees?

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?

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City of Titans shows off animation blending in action

We can’t really show you animation blending in the header because we tend not to use animated pictures in our headers due to resource load, consistency, and the desire to motivate Schlag in the comments. But the latest development update from City of Titans is all about just that, showing off a neat feature of the game’s Unreal 4 engine that allows animations to blend into one another automatically. It’s still being refined, but the various bits of animation where it works sure do look impressive.

If you’re still unclear on the core concept, animation blending is all about making a set of movements flow into one another naturally, so your character punches, uppercuts, and shoulder tackles rather than having each animation start from the same “neutral” pose. In other words, it makes character motions look like they’re deliberate activities instead of a grand mal seizure. You can see where it works and doesn’t on the official site.

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City of Titans outlines power set design for the game

As a spiritual successor to City of Heroes, there’s an obvious line through City of Titans when it comes to powers. That does not, however, mean that the game is just copying the CoH design process and calling it a day. No, CoT is designing its powers based on layers, starting with the set’s basic playstyle, then its focused style, mechanical identity, and speed.

The trick, of course, is that doing so allows quick pipelines for new sets and expansion; if the numbers are all tweaked, it’s fairly quick to go from a slow ranged area combo set to a slow ranged area damage-over-time set. Furthermore, by allowing every archetype access to a tertiary power set, you get access to another set of abilities to play off of your existing abilities. The full post outlines the 25 sets planned for the initial launch by name (if not in details), so check it out if you want a breakdown of the creative process and how the game will be implementing its superhuman abilities.

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Citadel Forged With Fire = Harry Potter + IKEA

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.”

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Leaderboard: Which of the City of Heroes spiritual successors are you looking forward to?

A few years ago, we counted basically three City of Heroes successor games, all made by indie studios. In 2017, we still have three core titles on the way — it’s just a slightly different three. In light of that, MOP reader Pepperzine proposed today’s Leaderboard: Which of the five City of Heroes spiritual successors are you looking forward to the most?

To the pollmobile!

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Massively Overthinking: The best and worst MMOs of 2017’s PAX West

PAX West 2017 has come and gone, and though MJ is still feverishly working on her last few articles, we wanted to pause a moment to reflect on everything we’ve seen and read and recapped so far. So for today’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our writers to tackle three topics from an MMO player’s perspective: the biggest surprise of the show, the most disappointing bit, and the games that grabbed them and won’t let go.

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City of Titans plans 2017 pre-alpha, crowdfund to ‘take things to the next level’

City of Titans studio Missing Worlds Media has just posted a recap of its presentation at last week’s PAX West and a status update on the game.

“For City of Titans, our remaining goals for this year (2017) are to deliver the pre-Alpha for testing, and that we would be finally delivering the Second Chance promised back during our Kickstarter,” the studio’s Nathaniel “Doctor Tyche” Downes reports. “The pre-Alpha release has taken us longer than other games due to our compartmentalized approach to development. It works for us in that we have fewer roadblocks due to our distributed nature of development, but the drawback is that as we integrate, we will find new bugs and challenges to overcome. That’s what testing is for, and once delivered, our progress will continue apace.”

The “second chance,” he says, will allow folks who didn’t Kickstart the City of Heroes-inspired MMORPG years ago an opportunity to do just that, as well as to take another crack at the original Kickstarter rewards. Some of them, anyway.

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PAX West 2017: Ship of Heroes on exploration, community, and recapturing the magic of City of Heroes

Sometimes MMORPG players might get the feeling that game companies will let just about anything slide in order to keep the most revenue streaming in, but that’s not the case with one particular hopeful City of Heroes successor: Ship of Heroes. Studio Heroic Games is predicating the game on a positive atmosphere, which starts from the ground up.

At this year’s PAX West, I sat down with CEO Casey McGeever to talk about the game: where it’s coming from, where it is now, and where it’s going. We discussed funding, rivalries, community, and the wild backstory about the massive ship that heroes will be living on. After that, I attended the CoH successor panel to hear about the three largest superhero MMORPG games currently in development. Let’s suit up and dig in.

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City of Titans doesn’t have issues swapping male and female animations

Well this is a boon to the City of Titans project.

The development team behind the superhero MMORPG was fiddling about with some of its character tools and experimented with switching the model from male to female to see what would happen with animations. It turns out that both genders animated just fine, which means that it might be easier than expected to create attacks and abilities for characters without having to animate two sets of motions.

“Since the male and female models are not the same, it was not a given that animations would be able to do this. Also the female’s hair has physics. Somewhat unpolished, but it’s there,” the team said. You can view the animation examples after the break.

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