Supporters for Ship of Heroes are going to be able to test out the alpha version of the game’s character creator this year. That is awesome. But what will it look like? Take a look in the video just below; it’s right there in the game’s 14th released demo video, clear as day. The developers take the opportunity to recreate the game’s “signature” hero while looking at the plethora of powers, costume options, and body options already available even in the early development state.
“This is the first time the improved ‘big guy’ character model has been shown in the character creator. The standard version of this character is 6’7″ tall, and heavily muscled,” Heroic Games says. “A number of technical improvements have been added to the CCT, including an eye zoom camera, a hide helmet buttom, and additional morphs to precisely control the character’s facial features.”
Obviously, the video doesn’t go through every single part line-by-line; this is a superhero game, so that would take forever. But you’ll get a good sense of the fine control over body parts and the diverse options you’ll have available to you in the game. Check out the video just below, and if you’re a supporter, get ready to try it all out for yourself sometime this year.
Hey, there’s a Guild Wars 2
expansion coming: Path of Fire
. Maybe you’re coming back for that. Maybe you left the game only a few months back, or maybe you played the game at launch and then left a long time ago. Why not take advantage of a huge chart
to catch up on all the features that have changed since the last time you logged in?
Redditor KyrgyzManas lays out everything that’s been added to the game along the way and everything you might have missed along the path, color coded and blocked by year. Some things, of course, you just can’t catch up on, but at least this way you’ll have some idea of what you missed and what you can still see in action. Even if you’ve played straight, there’s bound to be something you forgot and can re-appreciate given the format.
Meanwhile, if you last played Guild Wars 2 during the Path of Fire preview weekends, you’ll have some catching up to do too. That’s because ArenaNet posted notes for some balancing changes to all of the new specs right ahead of the launch tomorrow, sending Reddit into a bit of an uproar, particularly Necromancers.
Are you sad that the original EverQuest is so neglected? If so, you are wrong. It’s not neglected at all. Even if you have zero desire to go jump on one of the game’s progression servers, the game is launching its 24th expansion in December. EverQuest: Ring of Scale will be up for pre-order and beta testing in October, so you only have a little while left before you can start seeing the latest expansion for yourself.
This expansion sends players back to Kunark for new gear, new monsters, new skills, new AA, and more new stuff. Plenty of content for players to plow through as they finish off what was started in the 23rd expansion as the Combine faces its greatest challenge yet. It’s good to see that even years later, new expansions for EverQuest still come out on a regular basis. And that’s not counting plans for more updates to the game’s time-locked progression servers, to boot.
Growing up mostly on consoles, inventory management was not a big part of gaming when I was younger. Downright irrelevant, even; the question was how many cottages I had on-hand in the original Final Fantasy, not whether or not I could fit them in my inventory. (Which makes sense, since by the time you’ve fit an entire cottage into your backpack you might as well be able to fit ninety-eight more.) But MMOs work on stricter requirements, and thus we have ongoing changes with games like Final Fantasy XIV and World of Warcraft giving me more space even as they give me more stuff to manage.
The latest bit of inventory management hassle for Guild Wars 2, though, makes me wonder if this is really just a matter of chasing old ideas when there are better options available. That might be more a function of annoyance than a useful idea, but then I remember that the games I remember most fondly are not ones in which I recall inventory management; at best, I forget those irritations (such was the case with City of Heroes, where I actually forgot about the glut of Enhancement drops even at launch, much less the later crafting materials). What do you think, readers? Is inventory management a fundamental part of MMO gameplay? Or should it be something you don’t have to worry about any longer?
The upcoming soundtrack remaster
for Black Desert
is nothing but an upside for fans of the game. If you already like the music in the game (you can read Justin’s evaluation of it
), well, now you’ll get to hear a different version of all of it; if you don’t
already like the music, hey, you’re getting a new soundtrack you might like more. But don’t take our word for it, as you can check out a preview video just below showing off the process of bringing the soundtrack to a full orchestra.
If you’re worried about lack of fidelity, the remastered soundtrack is being overseen by the original composer, Hui Man Ryu, and performed by the National Orchestra of Halle from Germany (with help from additional orchestral members from Prague and Budapest). Check out the video below, listen to a couple of sample tracks on Soundcloud, and get ready for a much richer sound for the game when the remastered soundtrack gets added.
It’s time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, so it would be weird if Star Trek Online
let that milestone pass by without comment. The latest featured episode, Beyond the Nexus, is a very specific celebration of the show as players seek out a stranded Galaxy-class starship with the help of Captain Geordi LaForge, voiced (as is only appropriate) by the inimitable LeVar Burton.
Burton will also be making an appearance in the upcoming Season 14 patch, where he’ll star in another featured episode alongside Captain Kuumaarke (Kipleigh Brown) at a unified colony for the Lukari and Kentari peoples. The patch will also feature a new fleet holding, new Tzenkethi alerts, a new colony map, and a new primary specialization for players. If you’re one of the man fans who started appreciating the franchise with the voyages of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D, it’s a good day to celebrate and a better day to look forward to the future.
Players have long awaited the chance to make Sleipnir, the mount of the Dark Divinity Odin, soar through the skies in Final Fantasy XIV
. Sure, the horse in question is just a regular horse, but he also happens to be a horse for a primal. So it’s good news for owners of the mount that he will take to the skies with the release of patch 4.1
, while the Witch’s Broom will once again be able to cast spells on the ground as it could during its first holiday appearance. Who doesn’t like more ways to play with mounts?
But FFXIV isn’t just making horses fly; it’s also making numbers fly. The latest Square-Enix financial report notes that sales of Stormblood have massively increased income and profits, with the game reaching an all-time subscriber high following release (exact numbers are not disclosed). So everything gets to fly on upward, and you can rest assured that big expansion releases do, in fact, result in more sales.
If you’ve never heard of “review bombing” on Steam, we envy you. The process goes something like this: Something causes a certain group of users to get very angry about something related to game, which could be the actual content of the game, the content that’s not in the game, or something entirely outside of the game like takedown orders being filed against a streamer who won’t stop spewing racist hate speech. The users then flood the game’s Steam reviews with negative feedback, downvote all positive reviews, and upvote all negative reviews in an effort to reduce the game’s overall positive rating.
This is, needless to say, a bad thing. A new post from Valve explains the tools the team used to look at this trend and how to possibly solve the issues.
In short, Valve doesn’t necessarily want to lock people out from reviewing for a period of time, especially since there’s no hard-and-fast rule to follow and pretty much any review-bombed game reverts back to its original rating over time. However, the developers do want to make it clear when this is happening, and thus they’re changing how reviews are shown into a histogram displaying the trend over time. So if a game is receiving a usual stream of positive reviews and then a sudden negative spike, you can hopefully tell what’s going on, at least.
Apologies for being extensively absent from this column over the last few months! Every day the Massively OP offices are deluged with fan mail demanding, “Bring back Jukebox Heroes! Where is Jukebox Heroes? How can I survive without that epic MMO music to get me through the week?”
To which I can only mutter something about a classified mission to Paraguay, being adopted by a jaguar for six weeks, and subsequently finding myself co-starring with The Rock on his latest escapade. It’s all in the line of duty when you are an MMO reporter.
But I am back, and boy is there a lot of news to talk about this week! Let us catch up on the MMORPG music scene and see what is happening with Destiny 2, Lord of the Rings Online, Absolver, Black Desert, and Champions Online already!
It’s a great feeling when a Gigantic
match starts up, and then some of the other players just leave without warning in the middle. Wait, not great; what’s that other word that means the opposite of great? Crappy. That’s the one. And the folks behind the game know that. That’s why they’re rolling out new penalties for players who leave in the middle of a match
, much harsher than they had been before when stability was still an issue.
Essentially, lockout time increases the more you leave matches in quick succession, with players also getting more time to reconnect in the event of an unexpected disconnection. After a week, your penalties for leaving are downgraded slightly, so if you got kicked off of the game for half an hour one week but don’t make a habit of leaving mid-match, you’ll rarely notice any penalties at all. With penalties starting at five minutes and extending up to a full day of being locked out of queue, players will hopefully want to stick out a match while also not being horribly penalized for stability or other real-life issues.
If you played BattleTech around the table before jumping into MechWarrior Online, you’re probably familiar with the “IIc” designation attached to certain ‘Mechs, marking Inner Sphere designs adapted to serve as Clan ‘Mechs with significantly improved technology. Four new hero ‘Mechs have been added with the game’s latest patch, a quartet of Clan IIc machines for those who want the smooth tech of Clan engineering combined with the brutal lines of Inner Sphere machinery. Or for those who are just really attached to the Hunchback for whatever reason.
The big centerpiece of the patch, though, is a new special event system integrated into the game that will make special battles more immediately visible and relevant for players. It will support per-faction conflict more comprehensively while improving both Quick Play and Faction Play modes. Now you can just see your goals and your progress right from inside the game. And if you use those new hero ‘Mechs to take on some of these special events, well, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Last week, Conan Exiles players got an apology and a promise that Funcom would do a better job of communicating what was going on with the game’s development. This week… that promise has already gotten its first bit of follow-through with a weekly community letter discussing the state of the game on both Xbox One and PC along with upcoming projects. The former is being quickly brought up to parity with the PC version, while the latter is having stability fixes rolled out and new updates added for testing.
Further out, the team is working on a new fire-themed dungeon area for players to explore, new building pieces for housing, and an overhaul of the game’s combat system. It also explains the split between the various portions of the team, hopefully putting to bed the idea that the team is only working on one thing at any given time. Check out the full letter to get a sense of where the team is at and what’s next for survivors in the exiled lands.
Good news for fans of hunting monsters today, as Monster Hunter: World has announced its release date as January 26th, 2018! The slightly less-good news is that’s just for the versions on Xbox One and PlayStation 4; players on PC will have to wait for an as-yet unspecified date. But it’s still happening, and a firm release date just makes it seem that much more likely in the near future.
You can also check out a new rather narrative trailer just below, showing off the landscapes and (most importantly) the monsters players will encounter in the game. Those of you who remember that a rather similar title pushed its own launch to 2018 might be looking forward to the battle for hearts and minds, but if you’re a stalwart Monster Hunter fan, you can be happy just to know that there are only a few short months before the game is open to the world. You can also check out our hands-on from E3 this year.