No console lives forever, although it seems like the more recent generations have enjoyed lengthy runs. Sony delivered some disconcerting news to fans this week as it said that the PlayStation 4, which debuted back in 2013, is now heading into the end of its life cycle as hardware sales decrease.
This doesn’t mean that the console is going to be abandoned any time soon, just that Sony is shifting its hardware priorities elsewhere. Software sales are still expected to continue strong for the time being, and the company reported that the online PlayStation Network now has 80 million users. Sony told The Wall Street Journal that the next iteration of the popular platform is at least three years off.
Making a list of the “biggest” MMOs currently running is always an exercise in frustration. It’s easy to put a few things on the list – no one’s going to argue with placing World of Warcraft on such a list, for example – but then everything else always gets mired in opinions and controversy, and endless cycles of “why isn’t this game I love on there while another game I don’t like is there?!” I speak from experience.
Still, on our list of the healthiest MMOs at the moment, we’ve got only three licensed games: Neverwinter, Star Trek Online, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Those are by no means the only entries on the licensed game list, of course, but there does seem to be something of a dearth of those. And perhaps that’s more understandable than it seems. For all that we talk about how one setting or another would be perfect for an MMO, there are some unique troubles you inevitably run into when you get into the licensed MMO shuffle.
It’s easy to take pot shots at Champions Online these days, what with Cryptic hyping up its duration after years of stagnant development. But I’ve also been reading testimonies here and there from people who genuinely love the title and still have fun with it.
That reminded me that we all have our underdog MMOs. These aren’t titles on the top 10 lists of popularity and discussion, yet we still love them anyway. Maybe they have that spark of something special that only a few of us have seen, or perhaps we cherish them despite their flaws. I still carry a weird torch for Fallen Earth, even though it has settled into obscurity and hasn’t done much for years now.
What’s your underdog MMO? Which title do you secretly love and proudly support even though it’s not as cool and trendy as some others?
Star Trek Online’s
console versions are once again catching up to the PC build, thanks to the addition of The Renegade’s Regret
featured episode. The episode puts players in the role of a genocidal alien race — and a captain that starts to question the orders that are given.
Cryptic is also hauling the Infinity lockbox out of drydock for another run while retiring the Discovery lockbox. The redesigned Infinity lockbox loot table will give players options when they (hopefully) find certain packs.
“Our hope is that these changes will streamline the box’s contents a bit, and allow players to more easily claim the prizes they want when opening the many choice packs contained within the Infinity lockbox,” Cryptic said.
The world of Ravenloft is a perfectly nice place to visit in Neverwinter
. There are slight caveats, of course; to really enjoy it you just have to make sure you plan on never leaving. Or never being free of horrors in the middle of the night. Or shrieking terrors in the middle of the day. Or ever-present, all-surrounding mists. So it’s actually not very nice at all and you can’t visit, because once you’re there you’re there forever. Helpfully, this is all explained in the latest lore entry on the official site
Players will be chasing on the trail of the legend of Strahd, a nobleman who gave the nomadic Vistaria free passage through his lands (sounds like a decent guy) and also damned himself and everyone near him to an eternity of torment (less decent). If you’re unfamiliar with the Ravenloft setting, it’s a good quick primer about why the members of your immediate friend circle who are familiar with it respond to requests to enter with a flip-off and a laugh.
Although City of Heroes is not coming back (I think we all need to come to terms with that), many successors are waiting in the wings with their own vision of how a superhero MMO should be. Valiance Online, City of Titans, and Ship of Heroes all have claimed inspiration from City of Heroes and claim that they will be replicating some elements of what made that title work so well.
But what did work well about City of Heroes? Why did it succeed when Champions Online, a title modeled after it and created by the same studio, failed? Why is City of Heroes so beloved, even years after its demise?
Let’s hash it out today in the comments. Break down City of Heroes for us and see if you can’t put your finger on what made this particular MMO fly high.
What was your first? Not necessarily the first MMORPG you ever played, but the first that made you fall in love with that game and the genre at large? Probably for me, that would have to be City of Heroes, a title which just clicked on all levels and ushered me into a new age of gaming.
I’ll let Katriana tell you hers: “My first MMO, and first MMO love it’s probably fair to say, was EverQuest. I have many memories of my time there, but sadly I don’t have many good screenshots from that time still that aren’t just character selfies. The image below was taken circa early 2003 and is one of the better ones I still have. It represents the crowning achievement of the guild I was in there, the slaying of the first-born dragon Klandicar. It was far from being new or even necessarily notable content at the time, but it was quite an achievement for our little guild.”
Dungeons and Dragons Online
isn’t the only MMO that’s vacationing in the moonlit lands of Barovia. Cryptic announced this week that it is bringing Neverwinter
into the Ravenloft campaign with a special module that is coming next month.
The Ravenloft update, Neverwinter’s 14th module, will introduce that game’s playerbase to a gothic horror setting. It will include a new adventure zone, tarot card readings by Madame Eva, a day/night cycle, heroic encounters, and a challenging Castle Ravenloft dungeon.
“The mists of Barovia pull adventurers to the Domains of Dread and into the land of the mighty vampire — Strahd von Zarovich,” the press release said. “In the darkest corners of this foreign land, adventurers will find new stories from quests and instances; all-new repeatable adventures with newly designed monster hunts and heroic encounters, where the creatures of the mist must be destroyed; and expanded endgame progression with a new campaign culminating in a journey into Castle Ravenloft itself. Heroes of Neverwinter must work together to free this cursed land from Strahd’s control.”
You can check out the extremely brief teaser trailer after the break.
is really not going to stop reminding everyone that it’s become the “longest running superhero MMO of all time,” chiefly by simply refusing to close down as the playerbase and content dried up (and not ever having to either since Cryptic wisely bought the IP rather than licensed it). It’s earning its keep a bit today, however, as well as some deserved respect, by actually releasing some new content in the form of a new alert. It’s called Save the Earth.
“In this epic adventure, your Champion’s personal nemesis has commandeered a satellite high above the orbit of Earth! You’ll have to fly there and do battle with them to… wait for it… Save the Earth! Are you up to the challenge, Champions? Complete this new Alert to gain exciting rewards like the Threaten Emote, a Ray Gun, many different visors and more!”
Cheesy, yes, but what do you expect from a superhero MMORPG? Good on ya, Champs. Let us know if you’re going to be checking it out!
Tabletop games and MMORPGs seem like they would go well together, but remarkably they often don’t. That’s true for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is that we have a lot more games adapting different source material separately. You can certainly run a Star Wars: The Old Republic-themed game with a Star Wars tabletop system, but neither one is based on the other. (Technically there was a supplement published for it, but that was covering the first two single-player games, which themselves were based on that tabletop system.)
But there have still been incursions from MMOs into the tabletop space, and MMOs which pluck that fertile ground for the seeds of inspiration. So let’s spend today looking at these games, when you can log off of your favorite MMO, gather around a table with your friends, and keep playing your favorite MMO. More or less.
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin look ahead at the next generation of MMORPGs in development while saying farewell to a couple of the old guard. It’s a podcast full of conspiracies, time magic, debates over subscriptions, and way too much talk about Farscape!
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:
You’ve always known that there’s going to be a new reputation coming along with the next Star Trek Online
patch, because of course there is. When Victory is Life
launches, players can begin earning reputation with the Gamma Task Force
by taking part in the new “Swarm” queue or the sector battlezone. Use those reputation marks, start in on projects, and assemble yourself a new set of equipment along with new traits.
So what sort of rewards do you get? Players can enjoy impulse engines designed for high maneuverability at low power alongside a core system that boosts auxiliary outputs, with a stacking team-wide bonus to drains and control. You also have new weapon sets available, new ground kits, and new traits to help resist control effects while improving your own. Plenty of fun toys for experienced players, in other words, especially if you like locking down your enemies.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from TERA, Neverwinter, Battlerite, The Black Death, Royal Blood, Saga of Lucimia, Skyforge, Prosperous Universe, Pokemon Go, Ocean Legend, Ultima Online, Reign of Guilds, Dofus, Final Fantasy XI, Destiny, and Osiris: New Dawn, all waiting for you after the break!