“As the season finale, today’s episode is a conclusion and also a lead-in to what comes next,” Mike O’Brien posted. “Our goal was to do it in a meaningful way, not with a simple cliffhanger that’d get spoiled as soon as we announced the next expansion. I can’t say more without revealing too much, but I love it that we get to make episodes like this and tell stories like this. I want to congratulate the episode six team for the care and crafting that went into getting it just right.”
It’s a big week for the zombie survival title Fortnite, what with it coming out on Steam early access and all, and the developers are taking advantage of the increased attention to talk up their game to interested parties.
On Reddit yesterday, the devs hosted an ask-me-anything session that covered the making of the game, how the team acted on feedback, heroes, crafting, outposts, and future plans. The team stressed that everything is in “early iteration” right now, so expect things to change over the course of the year.
So what was the hardest part of making the game? “The biggest challenge we had was how do we make a robust building system that was usable in high fidelity third person combat. So controls and complexity become a real challenge. If you wonder why we don’t have crouch… this is why.”
The team said that it plans to release Fortnite later this year after testing, polish, and content additions. Past that, there are plans in the works for different modes, like iron man and an open world, so you might see this small title getting a lot bigger over the coming years.
Following the cancellation of the western version of Bless Online, Neowiz surprised everyone by announcing that it would be publishing the game here in the west on its own. Then last week, it announced a “Rebuild Project” for the whole game, which is expected to allow Neowiz giant do-over on everything from making gear feel more important to character progression, plus the revamped combat, unique class skills, better mount and pet content, a non-sucky crafting system, a tighter UI, and new PvP content. We’ve presumed that upgrades to the game overseas will eventually make their way to the version being promised for the west, particularly given that it was supposedly canceled originally over “quality standards” and “technical difficulties [that could not] be overcome.” Indeed, the long delay was at least in part a result of the combat system do-over Aeria said the game needed.
Since then, the entire official Korean site has been taken over with a huge “REBUILD” banner and Neowiz has published a fresh dev blog outlining the project’s seven main goals and homing in on the first: character growth. Google Translate isn’t exactly trustworthy here, but the gist seems to be that the studio finds the leveling up process both opaque in terms of power and limited in that gear capped progress. Under Rebuild, items themselves will pick up durability and reinforcements, what sounds like an evolution system for weapons, plus a disassembly system for junk.
Check out the whole thing on the official site — just bring your Korean dictionaries!
Gloria Victis is gearing up for a big patch tomorrow: The indie hardcore sandbox will debut a brand-new desert-themed territory packed with a new racial city and quests.
“Prepare yourselves for the upcoming update, which will include the long-awaited Azeb nation, along with their very own city and questlines. With the new city and nation, there will of course be new areas to see and explore on this ever-changing map!”
Black Eye Games is further promising new roaming mobs and bosses spawning randomly, retool AI system, new NPC animations, new strafing and blocking mechanics, a new Glory ladder season, and — yay — crafting stuff.
“We will also be implementing new crafting items and features,” the devs write, “such as the possibility for players to disassemble their items, which will recover some scrap materials for crafting, 70 new items to loot and craft, and some changes based on community feedback, such as lowering the necessary fuels for crafting and taxes.”
“Take up your favorite wrench and celebrate all things gnomish, be they metal, combustive, mathematical, experimental, or a combination thereof! Adventures, rewards, buyables and crafted items await you, both new and familiar. You won’t want to miss all of the fun at Gnomeland Security, your headquarters for all things Tinkerfest, in Steamfont Mountains.”
There is new stuff to toy with this year, including a new hack-‘n’-slash public quest in Antonica and the Commlands, a new achievement, new merchant items, and a new crafter recipe booklet. EQ2 Traders has pics of new toolboxes, a distillery, and metalwork arches, plus a buyable backpack, minipets, and a sweet fabled-tier familiar for high-end tinkers.
We’ve been chatting about game economies this week here at Massively OP, so it’s a happy coincidence than this week’s episode of Around the Verse features Star Citizen’s shopping kiosks and commodities system in detail. Heck yeah, space shopping.
“The kiosk is going to be the user’s interface to purchase things or sell them within the game that are not physically within the shop in the case, purchasing or things in their inventory, things from their ship all selling with be done through the kiosk,” explain studio reps. There’s also a nifty discussion on the difficulties of scaling the economy to support the sale of “super tiny and inconsequentially priced [items] all the way up to […] massive battlecruisers.” As for recipes,
“Recipe in the context of Star Citizen is somewhat similar to a crafting recipe in other MMOs. It defines the types of commodities and resources that go into manufacturing a given item like a laser cannon or even a ship. The way that we use recipes and the way that you may find them in another game is that those recipes generally aren’t used directly by the players, instead they’re used by the design team to really sculpt the types of goods that are bought and sold in a location in the world and that’s to make that location feel correct. So if it’s a factory that it buys and sells the kinds of things that you would expect from that location.”
ARK and Conan aren’t the only survivalboxes in town — in fact, several of the modern contenders in the subgenre have updates and videos this week demonstrating their progress.
Today, we’ll start with Next Day: Survival, a new game to our coverage here on Massively OP and one that’s just hit early access today. It’s touting its storyline, questing, “sophisticated crafting system,” car restoration system, repitation, and multiple game modes, including pure PvE and a single-player mode.
“Next Day: Survival is a multi-player survival game with elements of RPG. Its action takes place in an imaginary country within the Eastern Europe, a large part of whose territory is contaminated with toxic fog. The player’s main task is to survive, to develop his game character’s skills, and to interact with the surrounding world, other players, and non-player characters (NPCs). In the course of the game, the character earns a reputation, which gives him the chance to join various factions of survivors, each with their own features and limitations.”
Last month, we introduced our readers to Fractured, yet another SpatialOS MMO currently under construction since this past January. Its chief claims to fame include planetary colonization, crafting, housing, skill- and reflex-based combat — and most interestingly to players bored of stock MMO tropes — no grind and no forced PvP.
This week, the team behind the game, Dynamight Studios, has released what it’s calling a feature spotlight on one of its “design pillars” — character races — arguing that the “potential of the concept has never been exploited in full” by the genre.
Dynamight CEO Jacopo Gallelli contends that “races have been used to add variety to combat, questlines and, at best, environments” in MMOs, but that “no one has ever strived to employ them to immerse players in a different culture and society, and to make them feel that they are playing a whole different game if their character is a Demon instead of a Human.”
So this week, you get to choose the column you want to read. There are two spoiler warnings below: one covering my thoughts of playing the game from a strictly game-based perspective, the other one being my thoughts of playing the game from a comic book fan’s perspective. Read one! Read the other! Read both! Theoretically you could read neither, I suppose, but then you would have clocked out before you were done with this introduction.
Hear that buzz? It’s Guild Wars 2 gearing up for its third season finale next week… and then, ultimately, pushing into uncharted territory with its second expansion. With the episode’s latest trailer fresh in our minds, let’s take a peek at what else is going on in the game this week.
It goes without saying, there’s gonna be speculation and spoilers.
First up? Let’s start with the teaser vid posted yesterday.
A reader recently sent in a letter asking Justin to explain why he (Justin) had never really connected with Final Fantasy XIV despite giving the game the ol’ college try. I can’t answer that question, obviously; I’m not Justin and don’t presume to know how his mind works, and given his pathological hatred of elves, I’m not sure I’d want to. But I can point out some of the little things that make me fall in love with the game all over again on a regular basis, something that’s hitting me hard as Stormblood ups the bar significantly from the level established in the game so far.
I make no secret of the fact that I’m a fan of the game, and I have been for years. But there are a lot of reasons for that, and some of them are just reasons like these. Every time I duck back into the game (on a daily basis, yes), I notice something I missed before, and half of the time it makes me smile. So let’s look at the little things that make me adore this game.
“Players can earn unique rewards like the exclusive Midyear Victor’s Laurel Wreath hat, and earn double Alliance Points, PvP gear, and rare crafting items during the event. Loot and bonuses are available in all PvP modes: join hundreds of players in the massive campaigns of Cyrodiil, engage in close-quarters street fights in the Imperial City, and compete in the intense, 4v4v4 arena-style showdowns of the Battlegrounds in Morrowind.”
The event begins on July 20th and runs to the end of the month. To hop in, just pluck the free Midyear Mayhem ticket from the cash shop and hop to your alliance gate in Cyrodiil to get moving.
Don’t care about PvP? There’s a new bundle in the cash shop themed to go along too.
Back in June, Neowiz and Aeria Games/Gamigo confirmed that they’d mutually ended their partnership to make Aeria the western Bless Online publisher. While initially the studios stated the MMO had been canceled for our region and wasn’t coming westward at all thanks to “quality standards” and “technical difficulties [that] cannot be overcome,” Neowiz quickly moved to suggest that it would be publishing the game here in the west on its own, presumably with the combat system do-over Aeria had begun and Neowiz said it was continuing.
Now we have a better idea of just what that means.
Yesterday Neowiz announced what it’s calling the “Rebuild Project” for the whole game, which will allow the studio to “abandon the current structure and make it from scratch,” gutting some of the game’s underlying systems and content and adding new. Specifically, Neowiz says it’s making gear feel more important to character progression, revamping combat, retooling class skills and unique feel, creating variety and fun for mounts and pet content, adjusting crafting to not be “useless,” and improving the UI experience. New PvP content (a capture-the-flag map?) is also under development for August; the screenshots in this post show the new area.