Make My MMO: Albion Online hits Steam, Camelot Unchained tackles crafting (May 19, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, buy-to-play sandbox Albion Online, which launched back in 2017, formally landed on Steam, bringing its blend of PvP warfare to a totally new audience. While the game never ran a Kickstarter, it did raise close to $10,000,000 from a quarter of a million backers through website crowdfunding and preorder packages prior to its release last summer, making it one of the higher profile crowdfunded MMORPGs to actually make it to launch and keep on producing content.

In Camelot Unchained – you’re still keeping an eye on the upcoming beta one, right? – the devs are busy sending early backers into the test server this weekend to break things. Among the bits and bobs CSE is working on? The crafting system, a major environment bug, character creation rendering, new ambient music, scenario maps, trait icons, animations, and “a new template for the home islands.”

Meanwhile, the Pantheon team sat down for a stream and revealed the first of its three classes, Ship of Heroes posted gobs of new screenshots to its Instagram, Elite Dangerous proposed making its factional combat mode entirely open PvP, and Legends of Aria patched in some good stuff, including the first iteration of secure trading.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Make My MMO: Greed Monger’s Jason Appleton is launching a cryptocurrency TV show as donors still await refunds (May 12, 2018)

Here’s a bizarre one for you: Greed Monger’s Jason Appleton is now being billed as a “crypto YouTuber” ahead of the launch of his 13-episode television series funded entirely by bitcoin – it’s called the Crypto Crow Show.

Greed Monger is probably the most famous MMORPG Kickstarter failure to date, having raised over $100,000 back in 2012 to build what the developers said would be a “crafting-focused sandbox MMORPG.” By 2015, the project imploded as devs abandoned it over a lack of funding, generating scam accusations from angry backers. Subsequent attempts to revive the game failed. Appleton resurfaced earlier this year, promising to reimburse Kickstarter backers with his newfound fortune, though a quick glance through the Kickstarter’s comments shows that currently there are still backers who haven’t received theirs, and Appleton has apparently closed down applications for refunds and is bashing donors still asking for their money back.

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Wild Mage: Phantom Twilight mixes together Final Fantasy IX, Minecraft, and Fruit Ninja

Want to explore everything, destroy everything, and cut everything in half? Want to do all of that while riding around on a boss airship? Then you’re going to need to pick up Wild Mage at some point.

Wild Mage: Phantom Twilight is an open-world ARPG set in a gorgeous-looking world that has thousands of those impractical floating islands and was somewhat inspired by Final Fantasy IX. Combat and environment interaction sound like the key hook: “The environment in this game is completely destructible. Monsters can be sliced into pieces (think Fruit Ninja). Fire propagates dynamically. Terrains and structures can be altered and destroyed (think Minecraft).”

Right now, Wild Mage is running a small but strong Kickstarter campaign. It’s already blown through its $10,000 target goal and has been hitting a few stretch goals in the first few days (such as bringing it to Nintendo Switch). If it reaches $60,000, the title will offer a multiplayer co-op mode with between four and six players exploring a world together.

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Pantropy’s second Kickstarter successfully funds and hits five stretch goals along the way

Second time proved to be the charm with Pantropy, as the sci-fi shooter wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign just two months after cancelling its first one. The team was aiming for €20,000 this time around, but shot past that to end up with €74,679 (about $89,011). Not bad for a game about stompy mechs and base building!

Even better, Pantropy’s crowdfunding campaign ended up hitting five stretch goals before it concluded. This means that fans can look forward to more boss creatures, PvE-only servers, a professionally written story, a single-player mode, and (naturally) orbital laser strikes.

“Thanks to all you amazing guys, we have reached our funding goal within 24 hours,” the team announced back at the campaign’s beginning. “That’s amazing and we can’t thank you enough! We can’t wait to have a huge event with all our backers in may and meet you guys in-game.”

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The love boat docks in Chronicles of Elyria’s port

Hope you’re ready for a combination of both nautical and amorous elements, because that’s what Chronicles of Elyria is dishing up for its “Kickstarterversary.” In other news, the English language just flipped over the table and stormed out of the room saying, “That’s it, I’m done with this foolishness.”

For this month’s one-year anniversary of Chronicles of Elyria’s Kickstarter campaign, the team is bringing back some old packages and deals. To rope in more players, there are several shared packages that include carriages, cottages, farms, and, you know, love boats.

“What’s better than being on a boat alone? Bringing a friend, of course,” the studio said. “Experience the romance and magic of a picnic for two, alone together on the calm waters of a picturesque lake. The Love Boat package provides everything you need for the perfect moment: The rowboat, the picnic basket loaded with sweets and affection, and an instrument to play beautiful music so you can woo your fondest friend and sweep them off of their feet, Elyria style.”

Make us proud, commenters. You know what to do.


The Daily Grind: Have you backed any MMO Kickstarters that you deeply regret?

Yesterday, as our writers were shaking their heads over Star Citizen’s latest shenanigans, Eliot cracked a joke about how having backed the game had become a punchline. I said I doubted anyone on the team had backed it, and then MJ pipes up and says she did: She grabbed one of the earliest intro ships and has barely looked at it since, just waiting for the actual finished game to emerge.

We gave her a pass, since honestly, anyone who backed it way back when couldn’t have really seen the last five or six years coming, right? Elite Dangerous’ Kickstarter was the same year and it’s been out for ages – Star Citizen didn’t look like a bad bet back then. (If you’re still paying $700 for a concept ship sight-unseen in 2018, well, I have no words for that.)

I didn’t back Star Citizen, but I have backed some serious duds. I’m livid over the stalled development of TUG and complete lack of communication from its developers. Greed Monger gave refunds (though apparently not all – thanks Xanward), but TUG won’t even say boo. Yeah sure it was 10 or 20 bucks, but still. Weird world.

Have you backed any MMO Kickstarters that you deeply regret?

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Fractured answers scores of fan questions, plans to compete with Albion Online

Small but ambitious fantasy sandbox Fractured compiled a host of fan questions this past weekend and released an hour-long video in which the lead developer answered them one by one. There’s a lot of information to digest, and thankfully, one player created a handy summary of the Q&A for those who don’t want to wade through an entire hour.

There was a lot of discussion about the upcoming Kickstarter campaign and the team trying to prove itself to a community that may be unsure about the developers and the project. The devs see Albion Online as Fractured’s biggest competitor but hope that they can make their game more solo and small group friendly to gain an advantage.

There was a wide range of gameplay features that were addressed, such as becoming an angel, questing on asteroids, death penalties, player collision during PvP, the effect of eclipses on the game world, the situational nature of gear, and various offerings on the cash shop. The devs are anticipating that the buy-to-play game will cost somewhere between $20 and $30.

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Two new battalions march into the Civil War MMO War of Rights

The conflict between the North and the South continues to escalate as both the 5th Alabama and 87th Ohio battalions join War of Rights with this week’s Update 108.

The patch also improves some animation, reduces server crashes, and gave melee fighters a boost with faster cooldowns on bayonets and swords. So fix those bayonets and charge already!

To date, War of Rights has raised $751,213 from 11,052 backers through its crowdfunding campaign. The studio said that it is down to around a thousand Steam keys left for the pre-Steam early access version and does not know when it will be able to secure more.

Source: Patch notes


Make My MMO: Camelot Unchained’s Physician, Pantropy’s second Kickstarter’s a charm (May 5, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Pantropy may happen this time! Its second attempt at a Kickstarter has raised over three times its ask so far and can hardly fail to fund this week.

In Camelot UnchainedCSE has been running tests of its latest build all weekend; the devs are busy fixing bugs, tweaking buildings, editing placeable items, working on vox tokens, and fleshing out the game’s art. Icon art, go! Make sure you check out the section on the unique Physician class. “The mechanics of this class are unique, requiring the physician to use the resources he has on his belt,” CSE notes.

Meanwhile, Star Citizen teased a new concept ship, an Elite Dangerous player spent the better part of a month sketching Elite’s logo in the gameworld, Ship of Heroes picked up some new devs, Chronicles of Elyria celebrated its Kickstarter anniversary, and we sat down with the Dual Universe boss for a deep-dive into the current build.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Dual Universe builds up development forward momentum

MMO development is rarely steady and even; there are ups and downs, fast periods and slow cycles. Sometimes the slower patches are necessary to firm up the basics, which is why Dual Universe has been in a “feature freeze mode” for a while. The good news? This phase is at an end, and we should be hearing more about what’s going into this sci-fi space sim in the near future.

“For several months we have been in a feature freeze mode to direct our focus near exclusively on both server and client stability,” Novaquark said. “This freeze period will be ending as the next client build coming in May will deliver many anticipated features! Players can now look forward to scanning, mining, trading, a piloting mechanics revamp, and other additional new content!”

In this month’s Kickstarter update, the team also showed off the new female Novean base outfit, laid out its May pre-alpha testing schedule, and shared the winners of the outpost building contest.

Check out our recent Dual Universe demo and interview for a deeper look at this interesting title!


Chronicles of Elyria reveals the wetlands, pokes through inventory, and celebrates its Kickstarter-versary

Can you make a swamp look beautiful? Chronicles of Elyria is doing its absolute best to do just that with its newest biome, the Freshwater Wetlands. The dev team gave players a hint at the possibilities for this region in a forum post that showed off this wet and wonderful place.

And because it’s the second year since the title ran its wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, Soulbound Studio is running several promotions during this month. New items and old favorites will be returned to the store and packages are being dug out of retirement to get you to spend some cash. There are community rewards (think “stretch goals”) during May, with the $500,000 tier unlocking playable Mydarri.

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Ashes of Creation reflects on its post-Kickstarter year

If Kickstarter truly kickstarted the gaming public’s interest in Ashes of Creation, then the team is not complaining. In fact, Intrepid Studios sent out a letter to fans in which it reflected on the past 12 months and how much has happened between May 2017 and now.

It’s probably one of those letters you just want to read yourself, so here you go:

Can you believe it has already been one year since the start of our Kickstarter? We cannot either honestly. It feels like only yesterday that we were in the midst of one of the craziest days of our lives! Ashes of Creation has come a long way since May 1st, 2017, and we are proud to report that the project is on schedule and making remarkable progress.

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Time travel-themed ARPG Lost Epoch launches Kickstarter and puts out demo

How is it even possible to make a Diablo-style game more awesome than the original? Easy — you toss in time travel. Now things get interesting.

“Time travel meets the online ARPG” is the premise of Last Epoch, which will send players across four distinct eras to murder everything in the vicinity. For loot reasons, you understand. The game features five base classes, 10 mastery classes, a branching skill system, game seasons, crafting, and all of the rewards you expect out of such games.

The title recently launched a Kickstarter campaign seeking $210,000 for the pre-alpha title. If all goes well, alpha will begin this August, beta in April 2019, and a full release during April 2020. The cool thing is that you can try out the demo right now for free before deciding if this a project you wish to support.

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