I was pretty well taken by multiplayer survival sandbox Rend as soon as I saw it at this year's PAX East 2017, as I wrote yesterday. The concept immediately spoke to me as taking a lot of the cool ideas from other survival games while making the game as a whole into something very different. But I also entirely understand that sometimes you can look at the game and wonder what makes it so different. After all, it's hardly the first time that we've had a game using a lot of the building blocks. So why am I over the moon about Rend but not its obvious inspirations and close cousins?
The answer is that in some cases, I am over the moon about its close cousins. But it's also important to understand the distinction and the fact that Rend is not, say, Crowfall or Conan Exiles or any other game. So what makes Rend different? Not necessarily better, but how does it stack up to the obvious points of comparison?
I've read all the impressions from the PAX East show that I could find, and they were all overwhelmingly mild -- including ours. As you hopefully know by now, Elder Scrolls Online showed off its instanced PvP battlegrounds, and the media consensus is that they are... coming. And that's it. This really surprised me. It's superficially hard to tell whether people have come to expect one thing from battlegrounds (because so many other games already have them) and ESO really isn't changing the formula -- or the battlegrounds really aren't anything to write home about.
If you were to take Lead PvP Designer Brian Wheeler's word for it, battlegrounds will change PvP in ESO forever because they're a type of PvP that ESO has never had before, which is true. Personally, I do believe not only that battlegrounds will bring something special to Elder Scrolls Online but that other games should pay attention to ESO because it's actually doing something innovative without drawing too much attention to it.
Battlegrounds aren't perfect; there will be some drawbacks, but let's take an honest look at what this new PvP type means for Elder Scrolls Online and maybe other MMOs in the future.
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!
This week we have stories and videos from Heroes and Generals, Faeria, City of Heroes, Lineage M, Armored Warfare, Wakfu, Ark Park, Dauntless, Dark Age of Camelot, Overwatch, Blade and Soul: Table Arena, League of Legends, Strikers Edge, and Final Fantasy XI, all waiting for you after the break!
I have long been of the opinion that there are few more terrifying animals on this planet than bears. Sure, there are sharks, the mighty kraken, and that little fish that may or may not swim up your urethra and summer home there, but as I live primarily on the land, I think that the odds are greater that a rampaging bear might ruin my day.
True story: When I lived in Colorado Springs, one morning I left home to drive to work and there was a black bear sitting in the middle of the road. I looked at it, nonplussed, and then sloooooowly backed up into my driveway and called in a sick day. Bear days should totally be a thing, however.
I have also been of the opinion that bears are consistently underestimated in MMORPGs. They're low level trash mobs or pets that finger players as complete noobs for not picking something more exotic. More exotic? Son, if you have a bear on your side, you have won the game. Period. One swipe of its paw and any raid boss' head should pop right off.
There is a plague of bears in MMOs. Today, let us delve into the ursine horror that curses our genre.
There's a whole lot to digest in this month's Dark Age of Camelot producer's letter, but perhaps the most significant is the move by Broadsword to introduce a microtransaction system into the game some time this spring.
Initially, the cash microtransactions will be used for cosmetic appearances, although the devs said that it will be expanded to include other, non-pay-to-win options: "Once this system is in place and working smoothly, we'll be able to work on the much-requested quality-of-life features like race, gender, and name respecs as well as potentially account to account character transfers!"
The team admitted that it may have pushed out game changes "too far, too quickly" last year and promised to revisit those this year. Other early 2017 projects include nerfing pet classes, retuning several hybrid classes, launching a new PvE campaign next month, and getting out the new forums and website by this summer.
Ready for sappy questlines, particle effects that look like hearts, and lots -- and I do mean lots -- of pink? Valentine's day has arrived in the real world and many of the pretend worlds inside MMORPGs (for some reason). And who are we to fuss when the events are all about candy and cheap romance? Nobody, that's who. Read on for our guide to Valentine's Day around the MMORPG verse!
Perhaps owing at least in part to the charisma of its chief executive, Camelot Unchained is one of those rare in-production MMORPGs that seems to attract people who would normally flee from it in horror.
What I mean by that is the same people I see freaking out over any new MMO that proposes open PvP of one form or another are following Camelot intently. There's even a lot of resistance to games that are basically tame battleground PvP, like Crowfall -- but Camelot seems immune.
Camelot Unchained isn't against my type -- I'm a huge fan of three-way RvR and can't wait to see how a modern Dark Age of Camelot sandpark looks in practice -- but I'm super intrigued that it's something a lot of non-PvP players (and even some of our non-PvP writers!) are watching. Can you think of other examples? Do you ever play or follow MMORPGs against your type -- and which ones?
Just because times are dark in and around Camelot doesn't mean that nobody's finding the time to love. Dark Age of Camelot is bringing around A Matter of the Heart as a special event quest to celebrate the holiday, running from today until February 17th. Players will need to visit the imp Russel, who will help give players a set of tasks to earn... a Lawn Cupid trophy.
Look, the definitions of "love" can vary quite a bit depending on time and circumstance. In the right context, a Lawn Cupid is very romantic.
Players who are level 45 and above will also have access to the Keeping Company quest to earn a tiny Compatriot Cube, and there are three older Valentine's Day quests being brought around to earn a Heart Cloak and a Heart-Shaped Box (wherein you may be locked for weeks). Hey, you've got to do something other than just stab people for control of castles; you can do that in appropriately heart-bedecked fashions.
Take a stroll through the trees and become totally lost in the foliage, drinking in the sounds of the forest with today’s show, as the Battle Bards go hiking through the woods to hear the music that they inspire. It’s an hour of forest tales on this week’s exploration of MMORPG soundtracks, so journey with us from Ultima X to Final Fantasy XI!
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
We’ve got Episode 91: Forest Tales and the show notes for you after the break!
It's been quite a month since Lord of the Rings Online
and Dungeons and Dragons Online
announced that they were breaking off from Turbine as part of a new studio
called Standing Stone Games
and being published by none other than Daybreak Game Company
. Players have had to deal with equal parts excitement and anxiety over this new course (with old developers). Does it bode for a brighter future, more of the same, or the beginning of the end for these beloved titles?
While Standing Stone has been communicative over the past month, we wanted to dig deeper into the decision to form the new studio, its relationship with Daybreak, and plans for both DDO and LOTRO going forward. To wit, we sat down with Standing Stone Executive Producer Rob "Severlin" Ciccolini, Lead Designer Ben "DrOctothorpe" Schneider, and Community Manager Jerry "Cordovan" Snook to discuss this major transition and its possible impact for these two MMO game worlds.
Beware Dark Age of Camelot pet classes: You may be merely slightly less omnipotent than before, thanks to this week's patch.
The team continues to fine-tune its pet classes after the last patch, which made sweeping improvements to them. After some evaluation, the devs concluded that some of the melee-pet roles were a little too powerful and have nerfed them. This means that, for instance, the Spiritmaster will only be able to get out 24 pets at a time instead of 32. Only.
"With [Patch] 1.122, we wanted there to be a real choice among the different pets with each pet type being useful and unique," Broadsword said. "In many ways this has been accomplished. However, the melee-DPS pets seem to be a bit too popular still. As we monitor this latest round of fixes, we are looking at some additional adjustments in the coming weeks that will help the other pet types' performance."
It might be hard to remember at this point, but back in 2008 there was a fever-pitch excitement for Mythic's Warhammer Online. The RvR MMO was poised to be not only a successor of sorts to Dark Age of Camelot but a rival to World of Warcraft. It drew from the dark Warhammer fantasy universe and had a lot of neat little ideas, including trinkets, wild classes, and public quests.
Unfortunately, WAR never managed to live up to these lofty expectations and eventually closed three years ago in December 2013. In a new video, a fan examines the history of the game and why and how it failed to live up to its potential.
Settle in for this 39-minute video below and let us know your favorite Warhammer Online memories in the comments!
One of the threads that weaves the Lord of the Rings narrative together is that of hope. Holding onto faith in friends, perseverance against all odds, and trust that good will prevail against overwhelming evil is something the Fellowship struggles with, yet in the end, that hope is fulfilled in the salvation of Middle-earth.
"Where there's life there's hope, and need of vittles," Gaffer is known for saying. And the hope that was made good in the books is the hope that the LOTRO community holds on in these waning hours of 2016. After a rocky year full of ups (the Battle of Pelennor Fields, new housing) and downs (the datacenter move, latency issues), this aging MMO and its players faced upheaval as the game was handed off to a new studio, a new publisher, and a new future.
I've heard it said from many people that they are "cautiously optimistic" about where Lord of the Rings Online goes from here. It's a cautious hope, and one which I can identify. As a longtime (and recently returning) player to this fantasy world, I want nothing but the best going forward for LOTRO. But is that hope grounded in truth or mere wishes?