Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Most Anticipated MMORPG, which was awarded to Star Citizen last year for the third year in a row, though it was an incredibly close vote. (And yes, we recognize the irony of Star Citizen mopping up both negative and positive awards.) This year’s discussion on most anticipated was close too, but there’s more a sense of frustration since a lot of the games we’re picking from here year after year are the same – because they still aren’t out.
Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!
The Massively OP staff pick for Most Anticipated MMORPG of 2018 and Beyond is…
I didn’t back a single video game in 2017, which is a first for me. The year before, I backed Hero’s Song, and we all know how that ended. I’m looking forward to a few of the games I backed actually coming to fruition this year, like Crowfall and Shroud of the Avatar, while others, like TUG, I just figure represent money I’ll never see paid back in game form. Lesson learned, right?
It’s not as though there weren’t epic games rolling out last year, either; Ashes of Creation, one of the biggest MMOs ever on Kickstarter, owned a lot of headlines last year and it looks really great, but ultimately I decided that I’d just rather wait until it’s actually ready before leaping in. I’m not swearing off the platform on purpose, just more willing to be cautious and patient. Others of you, I know, are over and done with Kickstarter, either because you’re fed up or because you’ve been genuinely burned. And still others are hoping for a revolution in the genre and will gladly throw money at it – if it will just show up.
Will you Kickstart any MMOs in 2018?
Welcome to a special edition of Make My MMO, Massively OP’s regular recap of what’s going on in crowdfunded MMOs, which we do specifically for those of you who are convinced Kickstarter is the absolute worst (it’s not) and that no crowdfunded MMOs ever launch (they do). Plus, somebody’s got to keep an eye on what your money’s up to! Tonight’s edition isn’t going to be our usual recap of the last couple of weeks, however; we’re going to look at the most important MMO crowdfunding news of the entire year. Lock up your wallets and let’s get to it.
Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Best Indie or Crowdfunded MMO of 2017, a brand-new award for us this year. All indie MMOs and crowdfunded MMOs are eligible for this award; the game needn’t actually have launched yet, though a lot of us decided to self-impose that rule anyway. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!
The Massively OP staff pick for Best Indie or Crowdfunded MMO of 2017 is…
In an effort to create “moment-to-moment” gameplay and progression for players to enjoy in short bursts, Crowfall’s team has come up with a new system designed to fill in the gaps between major activities. This system is called, apparently, divine sacrifice.
Through this system players will collect resources and items to sacrifice to the gods for divine favor. Said resources can be found through PvE, exploring, harvesting, PvP, and so on. As favor builds up, players receive attribute points to invest in their character’s stats, giving a way to progress even if nothing is happening in PvP.
“The goals of this system are to push players out into the world and force interaction with others (both positive and negative),” ArtCraft said, “to strengthen the player’s emotional attachment to their character, and to provide a series of simple ‘what’s next?’ goals that drive players to stay in the game, thus creating the critical mass for the multi-player game loops to trigger.”
With 2017 drawing to a close and 2018 rushing up to meet us, the Massively OP team has regrouped for another round of bold and goofy predictions for the year ahead. We’re feeling pretty good after our fairly successful predictions from last year! What’s in store for the MMO genre next year? Here’s what we think.
The world of Crowfall will never be the same again. If you’re a crafter, that is.
ArtCraft’s December update for the PvP MMO is overhauling its crafting system and bringing it kicking and screaming into 2018. One of the big changes from the old version is that now players will need to seek out the eight specialized crafting stations to make their goods. Since crafting now has tiers (basic, intermediate, and advanced), players will need to find a crafting table that can handle those tiers if they want to make better goods.
You can see where this is going, right? The more advanced and desirable crafting stations will be located in certain PvP sites, so players will only be able to access those stations that their faction has conquered. To help in all of this is a revised and streamlined crafting interface.
The developers are here to walk you through all of the changes, and after you watch their tour below you can discuss the shift on the forums.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, eyebrows across the ‘verse rose as Crytek filed a lawsuit alleging that the studios behind Star Citizen and Squadron 42 were in violation of Crytek’s copyrights in regard to CryEngine. In a statement to Massively OP, however, CIG denied that it was still using CryEngine and said it planned to fight back. “This is a meritless lawsuit that we will defend vigorously against, including recovering from Crytek any costs incurred in this matter.”
Over on the Camelot Unchained blog, CSE is busy working on plot and item permissions tech, scenarios, combat, skill buttons (no word on that I-win button, sorry), NPC AI, large group UI, deflect animations, the place of power, armor, and weeds. No, actual weeds. And dead trees. What did you think I meant?
Meanwhile, OrbusVR hit early access, Albion Online tweaked Kay and updated its rewards, Elite’s Thargoids finally started fighting back, and Crowfall raised a bunch of new money from investors. And the much-anticipated Ashes of Creation and Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen launched their respective pre-alphas for elite and specially selected early backers.
Who wants to play a guessing game? If you’re an Ashes of Creation backer, you get to play one whether you answered yes or no! See, the game’s first test is scheduled to start today, so everyone gets to find out if they’re in one of the expected invitation waves or not. A new storefront was launched on the official site regardless, with the actual kickoff of testing expected later today (there’s supposedly a stream at 6 p.m. EST). There’s a lot of guessing going on.
More pre-holiday beta news? Yes, before the real lull begins.
- OrbusVR has definitely started its early access today, although some people got in even earlier than that. But it’s today no matter what, so unless you possess a multi-directional time machine, that’s what you have to work with.
- Conan Exiles is super for-real launching next year on May 8th, 2018, so get your testing fun in now before it’s… no longer in testing. That seemed more final at first.
- The bad news for Worlds Adrift players is that its 0.16 patch and associated wipe will not happen before the holidays. The good news is that the 0.15 patch will happen before the holidays. Although depending on how you feel about that wipe, maybe it’s good news all around.
- Console testing for TERA is here! But you probably aren’t invited. It’s a very small group of testers right now, you see. Don’t worry, you’ll have other chances.
- Did you drop a whole lot of money on Pantheon? Then you could be testing it right now! Although you’re probably busy working at whatever high-paying job allowed you to drop all that money on it. We don’t know your work schedule.
- Last but not least, the Ranger and Assassin have arrived for this round of testing in Crowfall. It’s like a holiday miracle, except most holiday miracles involve slightly less murder. Maybe for Festivus.
So happy not-quite-holidays, folks! And check out our list just below, let us know things that have jumped testing phases without us noticing, you know the deal. Just remember that testing games isn’t a gift, it’s a responsibility. Like puppies, or baby llamas, or insect-raising kits, or LEGO kits that request you building several dozen models before you’re allowed to stop.
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked the writers to do something most of them hate: brag! We’ve tried to isolate our favorite personal work from the year and talk about why we think it matters, then identify our favorite work from somebody else on the site this year and do the same. I always tell them it’s easy, but it never is!
Crowns are the microtransaction currency coming to Crowfall starting in 2018, which you can buy like most microtransaction currencies. Guilds are… well, guilds. If you’ve played an MMO you know how a guild works. And you can use crowns to purchase the right to make a guild early, at which point you can get more crowns for having people sign up for the guild. It’s all explained pretty handily in this update about guilds and crowns, you see.
Early guild-makers will received bonus crowns in the guild’s crown wallet for players recruited to the guild, with players warned that any crowns in the guild wallet belong to the guildmaster (which technically does prevent the guildmaster from stealing the crowns, since they belong to the guildmaster). It’s also important to note that anything you buy with crowns should be craftable in the full game, and crown purchases are for Eternal Kingdoms rather than campaign worlds. The full explanation has answers for probably most of your questions about crowns, albeit not actually saying how many crowns things cost or how many you get for a purchase. (So 1000 free crowns could be $10 of crowns or $0.10 of crowns.)
Even games that haven’t technically launched yet are getting into the whole pre-holiday MMORPG frenzy. Take Crowfall, for example: Instead of kicking their feet up and sipping the finest of eggnogs, ArtCraft’s team members decided to release Pre-Alpha 5 today. Maybe it’s to impress their Elf on the Shelf.
Testers have a couple of tempting new options to play with this build. Both the Assassin and Human Male Ranger are available to try out, so you’ve got your pick of stabby-stabby or shooty-shooty. Crowfall has also added crafting stations, more keybinding options, the ability to anticipate and chain skills more smoothly, and something called “Wwise implementation.” Actually, this sounds like a good thing: “That will keep others’ sounds quieter than your own and support sound dropoff.”
Check out the full dev livestream that covers this patch after the break!
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 Anthem, 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.