Of particular note are the Crucible Labs slated for release on May 29th, which promise to be part of an effort to bring players into a more active development process for PvP. Players will get to try out experimental forms of PvP before they become a regular part of the game, with feedback playing an important role in determining what gets upgraded to be a regular part of the game. We don’t yet know exactly what those experimental forms will be yet, of course, but the new content should offer some interesting previews of the future.
Are you familiar with Geocaching? It’s a popular activity in which players hide and discover treasure caches all over the world (and is a favorite of Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott, who hid one on the International Space Station).
It turns out that Bungie is a fan of the game as well, as the studio team created its own special geocache hunt for fans to discover. Destiny 2 players discovered clues in the latest patch that eventually led to a secret message. This message contained GPS coordinates to a real-world location, which turned out to be a hidden cache on Sleeping Beauty Mountain in New York state.
The contents? A huge Valkyrie spear modeled after one of Destiny 2’s weapons and a note from the developers encouraging the finder to share his or her discovery with the community at large. The note was from Design Lead Rob Gallerani that thanked the community for its passion and hinted that more geocaches may be coming. Additionally, the team left a second, smaller container with gold coins for future hunters to take if they traveled to these coordinates.
“The team at Vicarious Visions have been fans of Destiny long before we started working with Bungie on this amazing franchise,” Creative Director Brent Gibson wrote last week. “We are fortunate enough to not only add to the gameplay experience, but the franchise as a whole by bringing the legendary Hunter, Ana Bray, to life! She has carried our banner through this entire journey and we can’t wait for you to meet her on this adventure. See you on Mars on May 8!”
Requisite trailer with lots of guns and percussion and orange fire and zooming text.
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!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from TERA, Neverwinter, Battlerite, The Black Death, Royal Blood, Saga of Lucimia, Skyforge, Prosperous Universe, Pokemon Go, Ocean Legend, Ultima Online, Reign of Guilds, Dofus, Final Fantasy XI, Destiny, and Osiris: New Dawn, all waiting for you after the break!
There’s a lot riding on the release of Destiny 2’s Warmind DLC next week, and the developers aren’t shy about promoting the patch as a way to make up for some of the disappointment players have felt lately. In a new developer insights video, the team discusses the various activities and explorable areas that players will enjoy come May 8th.
While the campaign is important, Bungie sees the attached activities as what will be bringing players back again and again. A huge amount of location variety, a massive boss fight, and a Rasputin melee weapon are just some of the elements that are going into making this a memorable patch.
And if you’re wanting to check out the game right now – on the cheap – the Humble Bundle sub is currently offering the game as a sign-up deal for the annual subscription to the service. “Subscribe for $12/month to immediately unlock Destiny 2 (MSRP: $59.99) with more to come!” reads the blurb, and yes, you can cancel after paying that first month.
Activision-Blizzard talks battle royale and saving Destiny 2 as stock slowly recovers after Dow Jones snafu
Yesterday we teased ActiBlizz for putting out another boring quarterly financial report about its ever-growing piles of money, but even with World of Warcraft doing well, the announcement turned out to be interesting – and not entirely in good ways.
For starters, as Bloomberg and GIbiz report, Dow Jones apparently published old data as new ahead of the financial call yesterday, causing Activision-Blizzard stock – as well as Electronic Arts and Take Two stock – to tumble, with ActiBlizz falling 6.3%. Within a few hours, corrections and proper numbers had been published, and the stocks all rose again, with ActiBlizz closing 2.3% down.
“We regret our error as well as inadvertently breaking the embargo,” Dow Jones admitted. “We have issued a correction and are reviewing our processes.”
ActiBlizz Q1 2018 financial report: WoW is actually outperforming expectations – time for a fourth yacht or no?
Reporting on Activision-Blizzard’s endless piles of money is about as much fun as reporting on how fifty-bajillion-zillion people are playing fork knife. No, I said that wrong; it’s about as much fun as taking a fork and a knife to my own eyeballs. But hey, it’s tradition, so here goes: Bobby Kotick and the gang have announced new records, measured in said piles of money; the company acknowledges it was a quarter “without large content releases” that nevertheless produced enough piles of money to surpass its own guidance, leading it to raise its outlook for more piles of money for the year.
“For the quarter ended March 31, 2018, Activision Blizzard’s net revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were a Q1 record $1.97 billion, as compared with $1.73 billion for the first quarter of 2017. GAAP net revenues from digital channels were an all-time quarterly record $1.46 billion. GAAP operating margin was 30%. GAAP earnings per share were an all-time quarterly record $0.65, as compared with $0.56 for the first quarter of 2017. […] Activision Blizzard’s operating margin was 39% and earnings per diluted share were an all-time quarterly record $0.78, as compared with $0.72 for the first quarter of 2017. […] Operating cash flow was a Q1 record $529 million, up 29% year-over-year.”
Next week on May 8th, Destiny 2 is making a strong bid for players’ attention with its Warmind DLC. It feels as though there is extra pressure on this content update, as Destiny 2’s reputation and popularity has taken a strong hit since its launch last year.
Bungie put together a page to cover all of the highlights of Warmind, and to be fair, it looks like quite the full-featured patch. There’s a new Mars storyline, the Escalation Protocol public event, the Spire of Stars raid, the debut of Season 3, exotic weapon tuning, seasonal Crucible rankings, new Crucible maps, and private matches to anticipate.
To get the full scoop on Season 3’s changes to the Crucible and its new exotic weapons, give the following developer video a watch.
“Fortnite is now the largest free-to-play console game of all time, in revenue generated and monthly active users,” SuperData has declared in its monthly revenue report for the gaming industry for March 2018. The game sits at the tippy-top of the console listing and has now breezed past both PUBG and World of Warcraft to sit at #5 on PC.
“Fortnite had quite a March. The game has overtaken the previous ‘king of battle royale,’ PUBG, in terms of revenue generated and monthly active users across all platforms. It also hit the #1 spot by revenue on iOS in the United States in its launch month, and has the highest conversion rate of any free-to-play PC game in March. […] There’s no other way to say it: the game is a phenomenon. Fortnite generated $223 million across all platforms (console, PC, Mobile) in March, up a whopping 73% from February.”
Hearthstone’s re-entry to the PC side has bumped Far Cry 5 out of the top 10 (though Far Cry 5 on console is at #2). Destiny 2 is now nowhere to be found, Monster Hunter World has sunk to #10 on the console side, and Sea of Thieves debuted at #7 for console revenue. Don’t get too excited about Sea of Thieves, though; the analytics firm says almost half of the game’s two million or so monthly active users were playing the free trial.
Plenty of new weapons and gear await players on the Red Planet, including the Huckleberry machine gun. And if you don’t quip, “I’ll be your Huckleberry” when you get it, you automatically lose at Destiny 2. Some guns from the first Destiny are coming back as well, such as the Suros Regime.
Other changes of note include PvP updates, an improved Crucible mode, PvP gun rewards, updated exotics, two additional strikes, and the Escalation Protocol public event on Mars. Warmind releases on May 8th for both PC and console.
Bungie is doing a deep dive on Warmind in a Twitch stream today and talking about the huge content update that’s scheduled for May 8th. The full reveal stream is taking place at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Bungie’s channel, right as this post is going live – so it’s time to come up with a convincing excuse not to be productive for the following hour.
The DLC will bring players back to Mars, introduce private matches, increase players’ vault space, and start the third season of the game. You can get a quick preview of the reveal after the break.
Massively OP reader Steve wants us to revisit the Daily Grind on making death more meaningful without making it more annoying. His letter was long, so let me paraphrase a bit:
“It feels to me like underlying point was, ‘MMOs are too easy, so how do we make them harder?’ The question of video game difficulty is something that is seldom ever tackled head-on, as it tends to draw out a somewhat vocal minority. There are so many worthy topics about how people define difficulty, twitch skills vs. depth, easy vs. hard, difficulty vs. accessibility, easy vs. engaging, shallowness vs. depth, and so on. These are things I’d love to really see discussed more online, and very few sites will actually touch it. But I think that MOP’s community is overall mature enough to actually have some discussions about this without it devolving into a fist fight.”
I’m sure you’ll prove him right! Right, guys? Guys? So let’s talk about MMO difficulty in this week’s Massively Overthinking. What do we really mean when we talk about “difficulty” in MMORPGs? Are games easier than they used to be, and if so, is there something studios should do to change that?
It seems as though the primary purpose of this patch is to optimize the game’s performance, an effort which is vital to any PvP-focused title. Players using older computers will see the most improvement, although Daybreak is helping everyone out by putting an end to exuberant players who keep spamming the celebration emote.
Other tweaks include reducing the match countdown timer, showing kill receipts in team spectate mode, forbidding players from getting around ping restrictions by grouping up, and allowing players access to the map right away when going into Fort Destiny.