It seems like the entire MMO blogosphere wanted to chip in thoughts on the Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire
announcement, whether or not each writer was playing the game. So what did they all think?
“Finally, something other than dragons to fight!” enthused Occasional Hero. “I love mounts. And I love leaping and jumping mounts,” wrote Aywren Sojourner. “BUT. We all know what else a mount system introduces — cash shop opportunities!”
GamingSF ran down the features, saying that he’s on the fence as to whether or not to come back: “The best way to know that, I suspect, is to play some of the game in the time between now and the 22nd of September.”
Not everyone is on board with the expansion. “The announcement did not in any way overcome my healthy skepticism of the ‘horizontal progression’ philosophy of the game,” chimed in Endgame Viable. And In An Age seems like he’d wants to play, but admits that the business model puts him in a “mental bind” regarding both expansions.
Hey, graphics junkies and PC fans. Are you hyped for Destiny 2’s
PC launch yet? In case you’re not, Bungie
and Nvidia have a brief video out effectively demonstrating why waiting a little longer for the game to hit PCs is going to be worth it.
“Experience Destiny 2 in 4K with uncapped frame rates in the PC Open Beta August 29-31. Pre-purchase Destiny 2 on PC Exclusively at Blizzard Battle.net and get 24 hour early beta access starting on August 28. Begin Destiny 2’s epic cinematic story campaign, fight below the surface of Nessus in the three-player cooperative Strike Inverted Spire, and enter the Crucible to put your competitive multiplayer skills to the test in two 4v4 modes.”
We’re sure it’ll be pretty for you console folks too. Just not as pretty. And hey, you get to play five weeks sooner. Eyeballs below.
The down side for players looking forward to Destiny 2
on the PC is that they have to wait a little longer for pretty much everything. The good news? Sometimes that wait means things like getting a beta less full of bugs. Bungie is fixing several bugs from the console beta
including the infinite supers glitch, the infinite grenade glitch, and the Warlock glide glitch (which the designers enjoyed, but was ultimately a glitch and thus needed to be fixed).
The PC beta will also feature faster charging for supers across the board, more damaging grenades, more power ammo drops, and an issue with Warlock melee having more range than that of other classes. So it’ll be a more balanced experience when PC players get to jump in, proof that good things do indeed come for those who wait.
Gamasutra has an unusual piece from an Ubisoft developer this week arguing that co-op gameplay is the industry’s rising midcore trend, one that he believes will ultimately outstrip team competitive games. “It’s all about all the big data and stats that are finally available and can be mined,” author Andrii Goncharuk says, “and no surprise that it’s showing that players who played co-op mode have much more play hours, and players who played co-op with friends have even more play hours.”
He may be right, though first you’d have to believe co-op ever went anywhere to begin with (and console players would probably tell you nope!). But as I read the article, I couldn’t help but see MMOs in most of the arguments he’s making about what makes co-op games sticky, and yet MMOs are being edged out all the same. And while I don’t like to think of the MMO genre’s space in the industry as a zero-sum situation, the reality is that when people tire of MMORPG baggage but still want social play, co-op is exactly the sort of game they retreat to.
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our writers to reflect on the rise of co-op PvE games outside the MMO label. Do we play them? Do we prefer them, and when? How can we learn from them? Is the popularity of smaller-scale co-op hurting MMORPGs?
She enters your apartment and you stand ready to greet her, wearing your Destiny 2-branded bathrobe
. “Come in,” you purr, offering her a sippy cup full of Destiny 2-themed energy drink
with Destiny 2
-themed ice cubes. “I’ve carefully planned our evening, darling. It should be special.”
“Ooh, I like my dates to have class,” she replies for no readily explainable reason, stepping carefully past the teetering pile of Destiny 2-branded Pop-Tart boxes. “What is that wonderful scent?”
“I’ve been burning these Destiny 2-themed scented candles,” you say, holding up your Ghost-shaped candle holder because your interactions have the air of a thinly veiled advertisement. “Tell me, darling, would you prefer the scents of Venus, or do you long for the musky odor of the Dreadnaught?”
“You choose, you astonishing portrait of seduction,” she cries. “Take me now.”
(Yes, all of these are real products for sale for actual money in the real world. Except, oddly, for the sippy cup.)
Don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine! This is not a joke: ActiBlizz just sent ’round a press release announcing a partnership with Rockstar energy drinks and poptarts
, which I’ve just learned is actually properly formatted as Pop-Tarts. This was important enough that it needed to invade my inbox, and by god, I’m going to make sure you’re informed of this critical partnership development
“Destiny 2’s international collaboration with Rockstar Energy Drink includes limited edition ‘Destiny 2 themed’ cans in different flavors available in the U.S. and Canada, U.K. and Germany. The U.S. flavors are Original, Punched, and Zero Carb. Canada flavors include: Original, Punched and Burner. The U.K. flavors include: Original, Punched Guava, and XDurance. The Germany program features flavors: Original and Sugar Free.”
For some reason we all need different flavors? Guava? What? “Score loot with cans!” No!
“The U.S. partnership with Pop-Tarts® will fuel players’ Destiny 2 gaming experience by offering XP Boost, free with purchase of specially-marked packages of Pop-Tarts®.** In addition to this limited time offer, Pop-Tarts® will feature custom-designed, collectable packs highlighting each Guardian Subclass.”
We could practically copypasta last quarter’s Activision-Blizzard report to this one and nobody would notice. That’s because once again, it’s the Blizzard segment of the company driving the revenue flow; Blizz’s incomes rose 4% year-over-year to account for 42% of the revenue (with King and Activision itself trailing behind).
“Blizzard had the biggest quarterly online player community in its history with a record 46 million MAUsB, up 38% year-over-year. The Overwatch community continued to grow more than a year after launch, setting another all-time MAUB record with the release of two seasonal events in the quarter. Hearthstone MAUsB grew year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter to an all-time record, driven by its expansion, Journey to Un’Goro.”
Blizz is also talking up its “time spent” metric and claiming that it’s increased in World of Warcraft year-over-year, which should shock absolutely no one given Legion:
For everything, there is a season, turn turn turn. We’ve bid farewell to Albion Online this week, as it has launched properly and thus no longer qualifies as being in beta, but we also can say hello to the early access period for Dark and Light. Seriously, that just came out of nowhere, after ages of delays. It’s kind of awesome like that. So hooray for new early access!
We also bid farewell to Gigantic as it reaches its official launch. It’s like everyone graduating from college, although in this case college is full of supposed tests that are mostly a matter of building notoriety and… huh. That analogy works surprisingly well.
More testing news? Of course, friends, of course.
- The launch content for Tree of Life is available on the game’s test server, according to press releases. You can check out the game’s launch trailer, too, if you’d like.
- Good news for Destiny 2 fans on console, the open beta is running this weekend! Who doesn’t love that? PC players, presumably.
- Absolver isn’t quite an MMO, but it’s got a lot of the tropes, it has a nicely ornate combat system, and it’s launching on August 29th. So it’s all cool, and it’s almost there, right?
- As Chronicles of Elyria slowly rolls out its tribes, the developers have stressed the idea that you will have to pick and choose your tribe based on what you want to do in the game. So you can be whatever you want, as long as what you want is something your chosen tribe is already good at.
- Closed beta weekend in Citadel: Forged With Fire starting on Saturday? Don’t mind if we do. Yes, that’s moving particularly fast. So fast that you can fly, even.
- Last but not least, if you want to muck about on tropical islands while muttering about how this sly dog must’ve hidden the treasure in these parts, you’ll be quite excited about the riddle quests in Sea of Thieves. If you want to discuss how most pirate raids were about getting supplies instead of treasure and there was no reason to go bury this stuff… you should probably just bow out now, honestly.
Well, after all of that I’m sure everyone wants to retreat to the safety of the list of games in testing, yes? I know I do. It’s down below, and you can feel free to scroll through it and let us know if we’re missing something important in the comments.
Fans hotly anticipating Destiny 2 will be able to start testing the game on consoles next week, and you can pre-load the game now… assuming, of course, that you paid for it in advance. You can also check out a preview of its PvP, and if you believe Superdata, it’s going to be a big deal when it launches. Not that you needed an analysis firm to tell you that, of course.
Other beta news? Aw, heck, I guess we can do that.
- I think it’s time for another OrbusVR closed alpha test. The seventh, in fact; it is here and features pet dragons and hair. Hopefully not in the same space at the same time; dragons tend to not go well with hair. Burning smells and all that.
- Good news for those of you hoping for a self-proclaimed massive online sandbox RPG to drop out of the sky with little to no forewarning – here’s Citadel: Forged with Fire. Yes, that’s how it’s selling itself. Early access slated for later this month, which hopefully will be enough time for you to stop blinking in confusion. Perhaps reading about how magic will work might help?
- Speaking of sandbox titles, Tree of Life has quietly ambled along in early access for some time, but it’s exiting that stage of life and going into full launch in August. No exact date has been given, but August only has so many days, right?
- Riders of Icarus launched! I mean, sure, it had already launched a while back in every practical sense, but now it really launched officially. There are no backsies on that one.
- Last but not least, Albion Online celebrates its final week before a full launch by addressing a mild snafu regarding its founder packs. Hey, that ends things on a classy note, I’d say.
List of games in testing? Yeah, that’s here, just like always. Things are running normally, there is no need to be alarmed, the cat is on the mat. You can let us know if you like the betas you’re playing or if something slipped into a new test phase without us noticing in the comments, too. Familiarity is welcoming.
Console players could find themselves very busy this July if they’ve landed a spot in the Destiny 2
beta. Early access for the test kicks off next week for PlayStation 4 on the 18th and Xbox One on the 19th, while PC players will have to wait until August for their turn in the zone.
So how do you guarantee a spot? By pre-ordering, of course. PS4 and Xbone players who have done so should be getting a letter soon (if not already) from Bungie informing them that they can go ahead and pre-load the game on their systems to be ready to go from minute one of the test.
Imagine one day sitting down at your computer, firing up the Blizzard
launcher, and choosing to play World of Warcraft
or Diablo III
… offline. Yeah, it’ll probably never happen, but how weird would that be?
The Blizzard community is scratching its head this week off of some datamined commands in Hearthstone that allow the player to set his or her account to “appear offline” to friends. While this may indeed merely be a privacy toggle, it’s gotten some musing whether this indicates that Hearthstone — and any other Blizzard titles — might include an actual offline mode in the future.
While we ponder that, there is one thing we know for certain: You can use the Blizzard launcher today to link up with the Destiny 2 community prior to the game’s release this fall. By linking a Blizzard account with a Bungie one, Activision players can be eligible for giveaways and hook up with clans.
How big is Destiny 2
going to be? Really big
, SuperData predicts.
The gaming analysis firm claims that “by analyzing historical data [of Destiny 1] and [SuperData’s own] proprietary analytics-based metric system,” it’s concluded Bungie will likely sell between 4 and 5 million digital copies within its first three months of sales. That’s console and PC included.
(We’re sure the company simply misspoke when originally writing that it “evaluated the performance of Destiny 1 on both console and PC,” and again when it amended the piece this morning to “evaluated the performance of Destiny 1 on PC” alone. Destiny 1, of course, was console-only.)
“The forecast also takes into account the expected early September launch date of the title, the impact of a Battlenet release on PC and macro-level digital download trends,” says SuperData.
It’s not going to blow your mind to find out that there’s going to be PvP in Destiny 2
. Heck, it seems almost the norm for anything that is a shooter and has a console version. But even veterans of the original Destiny
will find new things to appreciate with the PvP maps, and so you might as well catch up with a tour of the new Endless Vale map and the Control gameplay type.
There’s also a nice chunk of footage of the map being played with the Void Warlock and Sentinel Titan courtesy of IGN, so you’ll get to see the concepts behind the map and see them in action. All told, there’s a fair bit of footage, so while it may be safe for work you probably shouldn’t try to watch it all at once. Come back to it throughout the day.