Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s Star Kitten, Project Gorgon’s gorgeousness (April 22, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen built on the contentious infodump of last weekend with the news that it’s running a contest to encourage backers to, well, bring in more backers. Those who do earn a chance to win the big prize (a free trip to Gamescom in Cologne, Germany) or the little prizes, and those are what have players scratching the heads in confusion, as they’re themed around Star Kitten, an in-universe character that appears to salute… Hello Kitty?

Meanwhile, Ashes of Creation picked May 1st for its impending Kickstarter, Project Gorgon got pretty (!), Shroud of the Avatar and Grim Dawn and Path of Exile all previewed upcoming content in videos, Crowfall penciled in more pre-alpha test dates, City of Titans dropped a lore bomb, Hellion previewed its crew quarters, and TUG updated backers on its progress.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Ashes of Creation plans May 1 Kickstarter, demos ‘Metropolis’ player city system

We already knew Ashes of Creation was going to run a Kickstarter for funding, but as of this afternoon, we have a date: May 1st. And the devs put out way more in its update today than a save-the-date note; there’s also a huge trailer and infodump that rounds out our knowledge of the game’s node system, specifically as it pertains to the player cities known as Metropolises.

“The Metropolis is effectively the culmination of the Node system – it’s the biggest thing that players can bring into being, and the final level of civilization’s development on this forgotten world,” says Intrepid Studios. “The Metropolis requires a large amount of resources to develop and maintain, and because of how Nodes relate to one another, there can be no more than five in existence at any time. […] Each Node can be developed into one of four categories: Scientific, Economic, Militaristic, and Divine. The Economic ones are ruled by Oligarchies, while Scientific ones are ruled by democratically chosen leaders. Military nodes are run by those with the mettle and might to prove their worth, and the Divine are run by the players who seek to help others and dedicate their time and effort to that city.”

Check out the blog post on the official site, point your eyeballs at the brand-new trailer and metropolis images down below, and get your wallets ready.

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Feast your eyes on one of Project Gorgon’s ongoing graphical updates

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard MMORPG gamers say they love everything about the weird and wonderful sandbox of Project Gorgon… except for the dated placeholder graphics. Welp, that’s what the last couple of crowdfunding rounds were meant to fix, and today we’re getting a fresh look at improved textures and models in the alpha.

“This particular iteration of Serbule is focusing on three things: the textures and models in Serbule city (some of which are already live), the terrain (the grasses, trees, and so on), and the sky,” says Elder Game in its blog post today. “Graphics work always seems to take vastly longer than I hope it will. Part of that is because it needs to be tested on lots of hardware — and we don’t have a full set of testing hardware, so we also have to try to ‘simulate’ low-end machines, which requires some development work. But it’s coming along, slowly but surely. Here’s a few screenshots. They’re a couple days old, and the game already looks a bit different from these, but it will give you an idea of where we are in the process.”

Check out the whole dev post for an explanation of each shot (especially that nighttime image). The tiny team has also been hard at work on crafting skills too, in particular brewing. But I can’t stop looking at those skies.

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OrbusVR’s alpha begins tomorrow, includes instanced player housing prototype

Indie VR sandbox OrbusVR is whooshing along toward the start of its closed alpha tomorrow, available to Kickstarter backers (it raised $34,000 in its week-long Kickstarter in March) and those who pick up founder packs on the official site. That alpha will run just two days, though Ad Alternum has five more planned ahead of the July 2017 beta.

Most recently, the studio has completely overhauled the warrior class to take better advantage of shield tactics and added its first attempt at player housing.

“We’ve added a prototype of the instanced Player Housing that will be included in the game,” explains the team. “If you’re in Highsteppe, just follow your Player Compass to the ‘Your House’ marker, then open the door to enter. Your Player House location is shared with others in the game, but once you enter the house it’s all your own, personal space. Right now there’s not really anything to do in your house (other than throw a few bottles around), but eventually this is where a good chunk of the crafting in the game will take place, and where your Player Chest will be, which is where you can store items long-term.”

Anybody in the alpha?


Crowfall has big changes in store for its alpha UI

An MMORPG with a crappy user interface doesn’t last long in 2017. ArtCraft has this lesson memorized and has put it to good use in Crowfall, if today’s dev update is any measure.

UX Design Lead Billy Garretsen grants game-watchers a tour of the evolution of the PvP MMO’s alpha login screens, kingdom selection screens, heads-up display, and tooltips. The first thing you’re going to notice? It’s very white, reminiscent of the sort of look capitalized on in 2011 by Dragon Age 2 and 2012 by Guild Wars 2. Inside the game, though, the HUD and tooltips are relatively dark and flat — an extremely popular look for everything from World of Warcraft mods to smartphone operating systems.

“Long ago we established a brand guideline that carried us through the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign and development of our website and social media,” Garretsen says. “Over time, the UX presentation in the game has deviated and lost some of its brand identity” — and that’s what the latest revisions are meant to fix.

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s roadmap, Elite Dangerous’ Commanders, and Starfighter’s successful Kickstarter (April 15, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, it’s been a battle of the space MMOs.

  • Elite: Dangerous rolled out its Commanders 2.3 update, introducing what our own Justin dubbed “sitting in cockpits” — you won’t be walking in stations per se, but you will at least be able to roll up impressively detailed avatars and multi-crew your spaceships.
  • Late last night, Star Citizen published its 2017 development roadmap, suggesting that 3.0 will arrive this summer, though it’ll be less ambitious in scope than originally planned, as some of its features will be pushed to later in the year.
  • And congrats are due to Starfighter Inc., which pulled off a big Kickstarter win earlier this afternoon and takes home over $170,000.

Meanwhile, Ashes of Creation posted some gorgeous new concept art, Dual Universe posted its latest newsletter and video dev diary with alpha footage, Crowfall canceled its weekend playtest but made headway on expanding gender for its classes, Valiance Online showed off its special effects, and Kickstarted Planet Nomads geared up for early access next week.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 112: Heroic measures

Since it takes a superheroic effort to put on a podcast every week — so many words! so many Star Wars Galaxies references! — Bree and Justin consider themselves in equal company with this week’s superhero news and discussion. From Ship of Heroes to Marvel Heroes to City of Heroes, it’s 300% of your RDA of spandex in one hour!

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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Make My MMO: Ship of Heroes’ canceled Kickstarter, Edengrad’s early access (April 8, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, City of Heroes-inspired superhero MMORPG Ship of Heroes launched its Kickstarter, seeking $400,000. But three days later, Heroic Games canceled the crowdfunding attempt, saying it believed it “went to Kickstarter too early.” The new plan is to return to development, raise awareness, take donations through the website, and retool development based on its current level of funding, meaning a potentially smaller but earlier game.

In happier news, congrats are due to post-apoc sandbox Edengrad, which successfully launched into early access. Edengrad was funded last year for over $50,000 US thanks to Kickstarter backers.

Meanwhile, Dual Universe reached another stretch goal, Worlds Adrift launched its 6.0 update, Grim Dawn detailed the Necromancer class coming in its first expansion, Elite: Dangerous dropped its cash shop prices permanently, Starfighter Inc. continues to inch its way toward its Kickstarter end, and Shroud of the Avatar is in the midst of another free trial period.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Kickstarted indie VR MMO OrbusVR plans alpha tests, character customization upgrades

What’s up with OrbusVR, the blocky indie VR sandbox that breezed through its quickie Kickstarter to raise $34,000 last month — 340% of its goal? Quite a bit, it turns out! Ad Alternum has been quite busy — in fact, it says it’s already put the Kickstarter dough to use hiring two new employees, one working on quests and one working on art. The studio is plotting a 48-hour alpha test beginning on April 20th, with five more coming over the next couple of months and the beta fixed to July 2017. Would-be testers who didn’t back the Kickstarter can create accounts and purchase upgrades that include alpha access.

Founder Riley Dutton has also posted that the game now has an official wiki, a form of group voice chat, a proper naming policy, and progress toward the character customization effort, including hair, skin tone, faces, and eyes.

“The addition of the faces really adds a lot to the player model, so we’re super excited to play with that the next time we get you all in-game with us,” he writes. “We’re also working on a system so that the expressions of the player’s character change when they are speaking, and hopefully it can do some pitch detection and other tricks to show expressions as well.”

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Dual Universe crosses $690,550 stretch goal, eyes bounty system

How big can two universes get? Dual Universe is pushing the boundaries this month as community donations propelled it past another stretch goal.

Dual Universe met its 650,000€ ($690,550) “construct vs. construct” stretch goal, enabling the developers to include combat-oriented elements such as turrets and shields into the game world. That means that there is only one stretch goal remaining: the bounty system at 725,000€. The devs reiterated that they will not be adding any more stretch goals to the game until launch in order to avoid feature creep.

The team also released a project update video on the various bits of development going on, including allowing players to land their spaceships on top of flying constructs (such as floating aircraft carriers). Watch it below!

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City of Heroes-inspired MMORPG Ship of Heroes has canceled its Kickstarter bid

The team behind Ship of Heroes has just announced that it’s canceling its Kickstarter. Since the crowdfund’s launch on April 4th, it had raised only $35,138 of its $400,000 goal.

“We’ve had a very successful first day of fundraising, and then a slowdown,” Heroic Games’ Casey McGeever told backers in today’s update. “It does not look to us like we will reach our current goal of $400,000. So we did what we usually do, we listened to you, our supporters, to see what you are thinking. And we have drawn some conclusions. We went to Kickstarter too early. Our goal was high, and surprisingly many potential donors are only hearing about Ship of Heroes for the first time right now; they are understandably confused about some aspects of the game, and hesitant to support it just yet.”

Consequently, the team has vowed to cancel the Kickstarter and return to development while “raising awareness of the game.” A donation option will eventually be available on the game’s website for those who want to chip in.

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AdventureQuest 3D adds party system, cosmetic items, and dungeon options

Patch 1.4 landed in AdventureQuest 3D yesterday, bringing with it several important and welcome features to the game. And yeah, the patch even included the VR goggles that the team teased as part of its April Fools joke.

Some of the big notes of Patch 1.4 include the ability for players to form parties (up to five members), dungeon options for public or private instances, cosmetic items, several combat improvements, the waypoint system, and even the ability to walk backwards a bit quicker than before.

So what’s next on deck for this cross-platform MMO? “Coming next we have Ashfall Part 2, the Kickstarter map, a massive upgrade of early game content (including a new version of the Town of Battleon) using all of our new tools, and more.”

Source: Patch notes


City of Heroes-inspired Ship of Heroes’ $400,000 Kickstarter is live

Ship of Heroes has formally launched its Kickstarter today as promised, with a $400,000 ask.

The game is an Unreal 4 engine, full-scale MMORPG heavily inspired by City of Heroes, but with a bit more sci-fi flair as its core city is literally on a massive starship. Alpha is expected to begin later this year.

Ship of Heroes recreates the atmosphere and feel of City of Heroes, but upgraded in every way: cutting-edge graphics, a new, exciting setting to explore, meaningful character creation choices, and numerous other improved mechanics. That’s why this game needs to exist.”

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