Daybreak has lavished the EverQuest and EverQuest II websites with community letters from producer Lauren “Mooncast” McLemore. Both MMOs just came off a pair of expansions, but you’re probably wanting to know what’s next. And I’d like to be able to tell you, but the studio is being coy, especially with the classic game, though you can be sure anniversary content is on the agenda.
“While I can’t divulge too much yet, I wanted to let you all know that the team is deep in planning and content creation. We’re committed to delivering another year of fun, challenging content to all of you!” McLemore says of EverQuest. “The year is just getting started and before we know it, we’ll be celebrating EverQuest’s 19th Anniversary! Look for anniversary content in March, and we’re excited to have you join us for the in-game festivities.”
As for EverQuest II? Apparently that team is “in the midst of figuring out what’s in store for this year.”
If you know one thing about indie MMORPG Camelot Unchained, it’s that CEO Mark Jacobs appears to dwell perpetually in internet comment sections amiably sparring with gamers and attracting loyal advocates.
But if you know two things, you also know that the game is late. Really late. The RvR-centric, PvM-free, anti-lockbox, sub-only MMO was supposed to enter beta three years ago, according to its successful 2013 Kickstarter, but studio City State Entertainment suffered admitted setbacks along the way – both hiring difficulties in the company’s Fairfax, Virginia, location and technical hurdles. Much of that has since been rectified; in 2016, the company launched a second studio in Seattle while continuing to hire engineers and spending the better part of a year completely refactoring its character ability code and polishing up its home-grown engine. But here we are in 2018, still mumbling beta when? at Jacobs and his dogged crew.
Well, we’re finally getting an answer to that question and more, along with a significant blast of hope for the future of the game, as CSE has just received a massive cash infusion to speed up development. I spoke to Jacobs at length – he’s infamous for being effusive – about what’s going on with the game and the studio in 2018. Read on for the executive summary!
If you have an exceptional memory, you might recall that a couple of months ago, Crowfall and Star Wars Galaxies designer Raph Koster wrote up a blog post on the cost of making games. The MMO expert followed that up this week with a much, much more detailed presentation that attempts to show hard data to back up his claims.
Koster said that he used industry contacts and other research to assemble data from over 250 games made from 1985 to today that shows the development cost minus the money spent on marketing. He even goes so far as to break down the cost of dollars per developed byte of information, which is where he sees costs for game falling. He said that when you look at it this way, players are getting a “deal” for games these days.
“Lots of people have made the observation that in terms of raw purchasing power, players pay around half of what they used to in the ’80s,” he notes.
Yes. There is indeed a yeti with a sniper rifle in the header. Let us all pretend that he doesn’t exist and he might not target us for destruction. His attention is no doubt preoccupied by Just Survive’s January 16th update, which begins with a full wipe and hopefully goes uphill from there.
Don’t get your hopes up too much for a major content patch, however, because this update is mostly about “bugs and fair play.” Probably the elimination of the former and the support of the latter. Daybreak announced that it has made significant improvements to the game’s anti-cheat system and fixed a dupe exploit.
“While we were initially hoping to push this update out without requiring a wipe, escalating abuse of the exploits fixed within indicated that it would be best for our players to wipe out the unfair advantage that these abusers had gained through cheating,” said Daybreak.
A content update is on the way “several weeks” from now with a new tier of construction, raid re-balancing, and the upgrade system.
This is, bar none, the column I hate doing most on a regular basis. None of the games I highlight in here is something that I actually like pointing to; they’re games that people like, games that may very well be someone’s absolute favorites, and yet they’re also games where the future looks difficult if not outright bad. A cloudy future is never a good thing, and this particular column does not make it all right.
But we’re still here in the early days of 2018, and that means it’s still the right time to look at the games we might not see around next year. For various reasons, these are the games that already look like they’re in trouble, instead of absolute face-shattering surprises like a couple of the shutdowns last year.
Considering that it’s City of Titans and not Prairies of Titans or Lonely Country Road of Titans, it’s safe to assume that this indie MMO has quite a few buildings to construct for superheroes to visit or (more likely) fly by in a flash. While most of the metro area will utilize standard and reusable models, the team did draft a volunteer to create unique landmarks that will help give the city an identity.
“Enter our current Mogul and Landmark Titan, Nathan Purkiss, a 3-D modeler with a passion for architecture,” the team posted on Kickstarter. “We were thrilled to see his application and immediately made buildings his sole priority and domain. That was some months ago, and he’s been making excellent progress.”
Some of Purkiss’ work was shown as game models, including the Central Library, the Pharos Fire Station, the Vander Vere Museum of Technology, the Holt House, and the Thunderbolt Dive Bar. Each of these structures isn’t just a pretty facade but contains lore and history, such as a repurposed abandoned theater that is now used for private parties and shady dealings.
The first MMORPG I ever played had a camping skill. You chopped down some wood for kindling, clicked to build a fire, and then did exactly two things with it: cook (useless) food and log out instantly. What a waste of a skill. Five points if you can tell me which MMO that was!
So it’s safe to say that camping in video games has come an incredibly long way from then, all the way to the awesome system that just debuted in Black Desert, but even so, most MMOs still don’t have camps at all, which seems bizarre to me. Justin and I were reminiscing on the podcast last week about Star Wars Galaxies, whose camping system was fantastic for getting people to explore and organically stop murder-hoboing everything in sight to take a breather, entertain, heal, and chat. Sure, we didn’t plop down tents every minute, but they made for great break points.
What would you say is the best camping system in an MMO, and how does it compare to the best camping systems in non-MMO games?
Happy seventh birthday heroes — and villains! DCUO
turned seven today, and to celebrate the occasion, you get the presents! Massively OP’s MJ is excited to be a part of the festivities… and to get the cool stuff. She’s looking forward to having her own Krypto base pet
, but that’s just the tip of the goodies iceberg. There are more gifts in store
. There are also anniversary activities to partake in, so tune in live at 8:00 p.m. for the fun.
What: DC Universe Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 11th, 2018
A comment on Reddit about the current size and viability of Kritika Online got me thinking about MMO playerbases in general lately. We all know that there’s a stigma attached to little games; the big games with big servers and millions of players feel safer, and nowadays people just assume a small MMO has one foot in the grave. But it isn’t always true. We could also rattle off some smaller MMOs that seem to be moving along just fine, with bills paid. Sure, they’d like to be bigger, but they’re holding steady and know how to work the playerbase they do have rather than constantly alienate their current customers in search of new customers. And some MMO gamers actually prefer those sorts of titles. After all, if the game has just a few thousand people, it’s much easier to get to know a large slice of them, plus have your voice heard by the developers and actually influence the gameworld.
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked the writers to reflect on the smallest MMOs they have played, and then consider how big an MMO has to be in terms of playerbase that they’d consider playing it now. What’s the smallest MMO you’re willing to play, and why?
Today marks the seventh anniversary of DC Universe Online
, and players are getting some goodies in honor of the occasion. Lead Producer Leah “Katnikov” Bowers posted a note outlining the gifts as well as offering a quick look back over the happenings of 2017. Take a stroll down memory lane then hop in game to get your anniversary items.
What gifts await players? All players, be they All-access members or non-members, can claim a new, updated Dark Spector Batsuit for 2018. Current members can claim a unique box that contains an unlocked Paradox time capsule, an in-game poster of Earth 3’s epic Superman vs. Ultraman art, and a collection of emblems modeled after Metal, the current special series from DC Comics. Past members (accounts that had their last member log in between August 1, 2014, and October 31, 2017) get membership benefits — minus the monthly currency grant — throughout the rest of January.
With exception of the free membership that is auto-granted to eligible accounts, the gifts must be claimed by logging into the game by January 31st, so jump in and grab them soon. Then be sure to tune in to OPTV tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST to help celebrate with an anniversary stream.
Looking at the title, you might think that I believe Elder Scrolls Online
is the perfect MMO, and in that case, you’d be incorrect. Elder Scrolls Online
might have won the Massively OP MMORPG-of-the-Year award
, but if you read my post in that article, you will notice that ESO
won my vote for that award from me because it didn’t have any major blunders – not because it did everything the best way possible.
That being said, there are a lot of things that other MMOs can do to rise to the level of competency where ESO currently sits. I would like to spend a few moments here at the beginning of a new year to talk about the things that ESO consistently gets right and that other MMOs can learn from.
Even with all of the discussion going on about lockboxes these days, it doesn’t seem to be slowing down the release of such packs in some MMOs. EverQuest, for example, is preparing a new Iksar Heritage Crate on the marketplace for January 17th.
This lockbox retails for 799 DBC and contains a chance at several different lizard-themed items, including Iksar armor, familiars, teleport items, a mount, and even a music box. Keep buying and buying and buying these lockboxes, because if you can get all of the teleport items or familiars, you’ll also net a (drum roll) NEW TITLE. Can you feel the goosebumps?
Daybreak is giving subscribers the option to grab a lockbox instead of their normal monthly stipend of 500 DBC. There’s an expiration period on this box, as it’ll disappear from the marketplace on April 17th.
Fresh off of its “largest” alpha test to date, Saga of Lucimia and its team are gearing up for a busy 2018. In a new video (complete with ambient bird noises), the project lead outlined some of the target goals for this year, starting with an intention to widen the pool of testers on a monthly rather than quarterly basis.
Other upcoming plans include more regular developer diaries, more streaming, work on the tabletop edition of the game, and finding a publisher for the official Saga of Lucimia novel.
The team also posted a manifesto on its “play nice policies” that it intends to enforce during testing and post-release. These policies are drawn from the olden days of EverQuest and its contemporaries, where social mores were upheld by the community and the GMs.
“Players will be expected to play nice with each other, respect camps, and generally ‘get along’ and treat each other with respect,” the team said. “Toxicity will not be accepted in any form, and we will absolutely be holding players to a certain standard of general niceness when it comes to playing alongside their fellow gamers.”