Ultima Online spiritual successor Legends of Aria is preparing to go through a major transition over the new year as it winds down its crowdfunding campaign and gears up for closed beta testing.
The team announced that it will stop selling founder’s packs on December 29th and transition to selling pre-orders instead. Fans are advised to buy into the packs now if they want any of the crowdfunding tier rewards, especially physical items.
Far more exciting is Legends of Aria’s 2018 development roadmap, which kicks off with Closed Beta 1 on January 15th. This first test will add a new adventure area, two cities, re-open the catacombs, and add in a notoriety system.
Past that is March and Closed Beta 2, which will focus on the new player experience and a whole lot of polish. Then, if all goes well, Steam early access will follow in April 2018. Exciting times we live in for sure!
Hello MOP readerbase! As you are likely aware, Massively OP’s funding is a hybrid, coming both from advertising and from reader donations, most of the latter through Patreon. Last week, Patreon announced changes to its fee structure
that had us all scrambling, as it would have affected sites and donors like ours and moved transaction fees from us to you in a way that would’ve made it hard to justify small monthly donations, which are the majority of our contributions and those for other indie creators on the platform. We alerted our backers on Patreon about the proposed changes last week
and were as concerned as you about the future of the platform and whether it was in our and your best interests to stay on it.
I am relieved to report today that Patreon heard the public outcry over the changes and announced today that it will not be implementing those changes.
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 Thieves, The Crew 2, Monster Hunter World, DayZ, Red Dead Redemption 2, Stardew 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.
It has been a long, long while in the coming, but gorgeous pixelart RPG Dragon of Legends is finally coming to the public stage next week. Thrive Games announced that the title will launch on Steam early access next Friday, December 15th.
Dragon of Legends is a Norse-themed 2-D action RPG with a retro style that ran a successful Kickstarter last year. It offers a lot of character customization, seven classes, and lots of hand-designed pixel art.
While the early access version will be single-player only, the team will be working on getting multiplayer functionality ready for the full launch version. Also planned between now and release are additional classes, Steam Workshop integration, and cross-platform play with mobile devices.
As we do every year, today we’re going to peer back into the depths of last year’s staff predictions for the genre and the games within it to determine just how we fared. After all, what would be the fun of making predictions if we couldn’t have a laugh at how wrong we were a year later? So let’s dig in and find out whether we nailed it or failed it!
Think of all the wacky things devs have said in public in front of gamers and journalists this year.
Now imagine what gets said behind closed doors!
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked our staff to select the best (and worst) developer quotes from the year and reflect on what we’ve learned from them. Let’s dig in – we’ve got some whoppers.
Lest you be dispirited by the fact that Crowfall’s soft launch isn’t going to make 2017 as promised (after also not making 2016), ArtCraft has a post up today outlining all the things the team did accomplish this year. And one of those things happens to involve acquiring another chunk of cash from investors.
“After a lot of discussion over the summer, we decided to do a larger raise to expand our game content, cover all launch expenses and to have enough funds to drive a respectable marketing campaign at launch,” J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton write today on the official site. “We believe this is the right approach, so we pitched it to our investors. They agreed. We are delighted to announce that on December 1st, we closed another financing round for an additional $6 million. This money will be used to fund the completion, launch and marketing of Crowfall. This means we’ll be hiring a few more people, we’ll be able to invest more in our live infrastructure and support more players; and we’ll be able to get some real attention once the game is ready.”
Expect some vampires to be popping bottles of the red bubbly today.
The team behind Shadow’s Kiss is celebrating the conclusion a modestly successful Kickstarter run, the funds from which will help to get this indie vampire MMORPG made. The game passed 300% of its target goal for funding, ending up at the $80,414 mark thanks to the efforts of 884 backers.
Fans and backers will be pleased to see that all of this overachieving has resulted in numerous stretch goals, including last-minute ones such as a “frenemy” system for seducing enemy groups and a demolitions expert who will train you in making things go ka-boom.
Congrats from the Massively OP team for a good run! It will be interesting to see what this small team can do with 80 grand in the future.
Can we make an agreement right now, you and I? That if the world ends because of a zombie uprising, maybe we can work together for mutual survival instead of succumbing to a battle royale mentality on day two of the apocalypse? There’s no reason to do the zombies’ job for them.
The undead are on the move in yet another survival sandbox, but at least Survive the Nights is more focused on teamwork and fort building than stabbing friends in the back over a can of peas: “Survive the Nights is a unique FPS survival game focusing on teamwork, fortification, creativity and strategy. Secure a structure or roam free, the choice is yours. Survive the Nights focuses on realistic survival, post zombie infestation.”
The multiplayer sandbox ran a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014, raising eight times its original goal. Currently, the game’s 64 square kilometers of playable area is gearing up for early access on Steam, which the team considers a soft-launch of the current alpha build. Steam keys for backers should be going out today, but you can keep your eye on the Steam page for a way to get into it if you’re not one of the game’s funders.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained’s weekly progress report is on the shorter side (for CSE) given that the game’s monthly newsletter just went out, but there are some interesting tidbits within, including the fact that the studio is considering uprooting the game’s hosting services and migrating elsewhere. The team’s also been working on battlegrounds and warbands, status effects, animations, female clothing, tech stuff, and boats.
In great news for anybody still lamenting World of Darkness, victory seems assured for vampire MMORPG Shadow’s Kiss, whose Kickstarter should conclude on Tuesday with more than double its ask.
Meanwhile, Elite Dangerous patched its patch, Shroud of the Avatar is hosting a Movember team, Valiance Online teased female toons, Project Gorgon is planning its next update early tomorrow morning, we spoke to Mark Jacobs about developer wages, Ship of Heroes prepped its combat alpha, and Star Citizen drove eyebrows to the sky by announcing the pre-sale of land claims in space.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Even though it’s looking more like Christmas than Halloween around these parts, Shadow’s Kiss is taking its Kickstarter all the way to the bank. The blood bank.
The indie vampire MMO is about to finish a successful fundraising campaign, having raised over $67,000 of its initial $25,000 goal. This means that the community has unlocked a number of stretch goals, such as crafting, a ritual magic system, a soundtrack from Midnight Syndicate, and demolitions.
“We’re honored and a bit overwhelmed by the support from the community,” said Clockwork Throne President Thomas Sitch. “This Kickstarter is going to allow us to finally bring the world a vampire-themed MMO, with gothic story elements, horror, and the ‘coolness factor’ of being a vampire set on ruling the night.”
Flush with all of that future cash, the team apparently funded a trip to the city to interview real vampires during which all of the devs were killed. Or so the following mockumentary videos would have you believe.
Its team might be miniscule, its alpha more than a year away, and its funding still unsecured, but Fractured is powering ahead as best it can to lay down the foundations for this sandbox MMO.
Fractured’s first state of the game was posted on Monday to bring fans up to speed on what’s been done since the title was announced earlier this year. While some systems (including many sandbox elements) have yet to be initiated in development, the two-person crew has already pulled together a core of this MMO, including movement, action combat, backend infrastructure, an authentication system, pathfinding, and a prototype of the Knowledge system. The devs attribute their quick progression on the project of the use of Improbable’s SpatialOS platform.
The team said that over 5,000 fans have registered accounts so far from 100 different countries. “We’re glad of how far we’ve gone in barely over three months with such a small team of coders, and we’re excited to think of how fast we’ll become once the project receives proper funding and our devs at least double in number,” the devs said. “Looking at our development speed so far, the fact there’s still one year left to the planned start of Alpha 1, and the fact a Kickstarter and subsequent team expansion are going to happen in between, we’re confident we’ll deliver all that’s been promised.”
While it will be a while before fans can try out the game for themselves, the dev team did promise to release some actual screenshots and in-game footage to give people an idea of what Fractured looks like.
How about this for a new November tradition at Massively OP: Let’s get together at this time every year to see if video game composer Jeremy Soule is ever going to make good on his effort to create and release his classical music album, The Northerner. Because between talking about it this time last year and now, Soule still hasn’t produced anything substantial to show for the $127,000 that he raised from fans in a 2013 Kickstarter campaign.
This raises the deep question: What do you call it when a music album becomes the equivalent of “vaporware?”
Kotaku noted that in the past year, a fake apology from Soule somehow got posted to the Kickstarter page and then left there without any way to remove it. His representatives pointed fans instead to a February 16th Facebook update in which Soule explained that part of the reason for the delay is that his company is developing a new musical technology that will be used in the symphony. A much more recent update stated that his “Northerner Diaries” — excerpts and vignettes of the upcoming album — will be released next month on December 20th.
Our suggestion? Check out Guild Wars 2’s newest expansion album instead, which is currently available to listen and purchase.