Is it weird that it seems so long ago that DayZ was the “it” survival arena game for streamers? How quickly we’ve moved on, yet undoubtedly some of the game’s population remains. For those faithful, the team is preparing to transition the sandbox shooter to a completely new engine in what it is calling a “reboot” of the title.
Bohemia Lead Producer Eugen Harton told PCGamesN that the transition will take place in the coming month: “We’re releasing DayZ on a new engine in a couple of weeks on PC, and it’s gonna be coming to Game Preview on Xbox this year. That’s basically our aim. I would almost say it’s a reboot of DayZ on PC.”
Harton hedged on both comparing the game against the popularity of Fortnite and PUBG while remaining silent altogether on when or if the title will launch out of early access. Which, for those counting at home, DayZ has been dwelling for four freaking years now.
When you think of DayZ these days, you probably don’t think of it as the nexus of the survival sandbox popularity rush any longer. It’s mostly in a historical context, in fact. But the game is supposedly heading out of early access this year, and the game is also setting its sights on expanding to further shores. Alongside the beta launch, the game is heading for Xbox Game Preview at some point this year, with PlayStation 4 support planned at some undetermined point in the future.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, commenters on the Xbox One subreddit have already started comparing the game unfavorably to later titles developed from the framework DayZ set down, with the game’s protracted testing period and lack of forward movement cited as key reasons to avoid the title when it does launch. Of course, there are still no firm dates for any of this, so there’s a lot of room for things to change.
A couple of weeks ago I covered 20(ish) MMORPGs that we are looking forward to seeing develop, test, and launch in 2018. But as you well may know, Massively OP covers a small university’s worth of “not-so-massively” multiplayer games that have some crossover into the MMO space. We do this because it gives some people much-needed gripe fuel and also because a lot of our readership is also interested in these games.
There is a lot of movement in the multiplayer game space, especially as the larger video game market continues to adapt and hew to MMO design. It’s a blended mess as we continually try to sort these games out into their proper categories, but while we do that, you can enjoy this list of 20 multiplayer games that you should be tracking in 2018. From survival sandboxes to pirate simulators to sequels, here we go!
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained’s weekly progress report is on the shorter side (for CSE) given that the game’s monthly newsletter just went out, but there are some interesting tidbits within, including the fact that the studio is considering uprooting the game’s hosting services and migrating elsewhere. The team’s also been working on battlegrounds and warbands, status effects, animations, female clothing, tech stuff, and boats.
In great news for anybody still lamenting World of Darkness, victory seems assured for vampire MMORPG Shadow’s Kiss, whose Kickstarter should conclude on Tuesday with more than double its ask.
Meanwhile, Elite Dangerous patched its patch, Shroud of the Avatar is hosting a Movember team, Valiance Online teased female toons, Project Gorgon is planning its next update early tomorrow morning, we spoke to Mark Jacobs about developer wages, Ship of Heroes prepped its combat alpha, and Star Citizen drove eyebrows to the sky by announcing the pre-sale of land claims in space.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Remember like 50 million years ago when DayZ was young, Dean Hall was at the top of everybody’s interview list, and nobody realized the survival sandbox genre was about to blow up? Ah, 2013.
DayZ still hasn’t launched all these years later, to the point that it’s been supplanted as the most-egregiously-still-in-early-access game multiple times, and Dean Hall has left the company and started multiple games since then (and closed some of them, too). But at least the early access part is about to change as the team makes its “move away from legacy DayZ,” according to a post penned earlier this week by Bohemia Interactive Lead Producer Eugen Harton and Creative Director Brian Hicks.
The team admits that the current experimental build (0.63) isn’t up to snuff and won’t make it to players this year. When it does launch next year, it’ll introduce new crafting, revamped ranged and melee combat, the new central economy, new visuals, new animals, new zombies – gobs of new stuff and overhauls to old stuff.
I remember years ago when then-Massively-columnist Rubi Bayer let loose with a blistering rant on the state of faux beta MMOs. She helmed Betawatch back then, see, and she was fed up with (mostly imported) MMOs claiming to be in beta when in fact they’d soft-launched. A lot of readers didn’t understand her fury at the time, but boy have things changed, right? Now, every game’s in on that very old trick, only they call it early access now, while some are still pushing the boundaries, charging $1000 for pre-alpha.
MOP reader Pepperzine proposed a topic for this week’s Massively Overthinking that’s right on point. “I was thinking it would be interesting if we could discuss when people consider a game to be in alpha/beta versus a final launch as a topic,” he wrote to us.
“Back in the day, this was easy to determine. Selective testers were extended invites into beta who were experienced testers who had the computer hardware to handle the software. The primary purpose of being in the testing phase was exactly that, to test and bug report. When the game was made available to the public at a price, a game was considered launched. Now, players are granted access to pre-launch titles by ‘donating’ or purchasing access. For the most part, the primary purpose of participating in the pre-launch experience for these players is not testing or bug reporting but rather to experience and play the game. The division of purchasing a game and donating to test has become so blurred that it is no longer a valid way of determining if a title is at a state to where it is launch ready. These titles can stay in this pre-launch phase for as long as they deem necessary, easily deflecting criticisms by reiterating it is still in development. So when do you consider a game to be launched? Is it when the producers declare it is? Is it when there is no longer the possibility of wipes? Is it when cash shop monetization is implemented? Is it as soon as the company begins selling access?”
Where’s the line in 2017? Let’s dig in.
With all of the influx of survival shooters on the market, it might be easy to forget the game that started them all. Due to its slow pace of development, DayZ has found itself struggling to remain as prominent as it once was, but the online shooter’s situation could be improving soon as the game heads into beta.
The team is enthused to talk about the upcoming 0.63 patch, which will be making some significant changes to improve DayZ’s look and core functionality. Some of these improvements include helping characters to move better, tweaking the animation system, keeping eye zoom removed from the build so that players will engage in closer firefights, and nixing “zigzagging” while running, all big steps toward separating DayZ from its Arma 2 base.
It sounds as though the team has figured out a way to be more agile in its development process: “This means that we are no longer tied to larger technology changes and can focus on the stuff that’s important to us and players alike: things that tackle immediate concerns that have troubled the game for a very long time. The approach we chose is based around priorities that carry through to other features, so we spend less time going back and redoing stuff over and over.”
DayZ’s Dean Hall says his new sci-fi survivalbox Stationeers is launching early access in September, and he isn’t sugarcoating the game’s difficulty.
You might remember Stationeers from its rather casual reveal back in March, hot on the heels of the apparent cancellation of Dean Hall’s other big sci-fi game, Ion, an EVE Online-inspired MMORPG that dissolved in a puddle of cagey and contradictory statements from the studios and platforms involved.
Stationeers, however, isn’t an MMO; it’s a sandbox, and it hates you, so don’t be fooled by the adorable graphics. “This is not a casual game,” Hall’s studio, RocketWerkz, says.
“Easy to start but hard to master. Well, kind of easy. Maybe not really. This game has been designed for the hardcore players who want games that are very systems oriented. This is a game about complex systems and how you optimize them. The game presents a variety of science-based survival problems that you have to solve yourself, and then try and optimize your solutions over time. For those not seeking a very intensive and hardcore experience, this game is not for you.”
After some ups and downs this afternoon — everybody loves the “try again later” message, right? — Valve’s summer Steam sale is finally underway and stable. Here’s what we’re looking at in our corner of the gaming world.
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 Black Death, Hellion, Astellia Online, Overwatch, DayZ, Pirate101, Armored Warfare, Aion, Elder Scrolls Online, Path of Exile, Dungeon Fighter Online, Wurm Online, Revelation Online, Osiris: New Dawn, Dark Age of Camelot, Age of Wushu 2, all waiting for you after the break!
Stationeers, an upcoming multiplayer survival sim, marks Dean Hall’s (DayZ) third attempt to create a space station title. In a recent interview with PC Games N, Hall seems confident that this one will make it across the finish line.
“The other day we set a record of 28 players playing, with excellent bandwidth usage,” he says. “It was fantastic. It was the first time we’d run a playtest with a large number of players that had no major errors, so that’s putting us on the road to release.”
Hall talks about the features that are going into the game, the ones being adjusted, and the ones being left out due to resource limitations. He’s hoping that trading between stations will make its way into the game at some point, but Hall is more concerned with creating a “great core game loop” that was present in other successful early access titles like Prison Architect and Rimworld.
Stationeers is slated to come to Steam early access some time this year.
Remember back when DayZ creator Dean Hall was building ambitious sci-fi full-scale sandbox MMO Ion, inspired by EVE Online and Space Station 13? Remember a few weeks ago when it came out that it’s probably a dead game since, y’know, no one is actually working on it and everyone involved is giving weirdly vague statements about its status?
OK. Now fast-forward a couple of weeks to EGX Rezzed in London, where Hall is apparently in the midst of demoing yet another new space game inspired by Space Station 13. It’s called Stationeers, and Hall really doesn’t want people to think it’s Ion, even though it plainly has quite a bit of Ion in it.
“Inspired by the beloved Space Station 13, Stationeers puts you in control of the construction and management of a space station either by yourself in single-player, or online with your friends. Complex systems around atmospherics, power generation, medical, agriculture, food, and gravity require your thought and management at all times.”
Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya’ll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn’t as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.
I’m not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller — and oft times privately managed — scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we’re going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here’s a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.