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.
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 Heroes of the Storm, Elder Scrolls Online, DayZ, EVE Online, Pokemon Go, Dota 2, City of Heroes, Final Fantasy XIV, Portal Knights, Lineage 2 Revolution, Wizard101, Ingress, and Reign of Guilds, all waiting for you after the break!
You probably have enough of Diablo II in Diablo III at this point to satisfy any urges you might have to play the classic game in a more modern engine. But if that’s not enough for you, why not take a hop and a skip over to StarCraft 2? Because someone is literally remaking the game via the real-time strategy title’s map editor.
Yes, this is a thing that’s happening. User egod123 is rebuilding Diablo II in this wholly different game. Sometimes life is amazing.
The project has been in the works since 2014 and is aimed at recreating the game faithfully while also adding in two additional challenge game modes, with an option for fans to start testing the maps as of today. Hopefully this one won’t attract the banhammer from the Blizzard legal team, although given that it’s being made as a mod of another Blizzard game anyhow, that might be an interesting case to see happen.
Tabletop games and MMORPGs seem like they would go well together, but remarkably they often don’t. That’s true for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is that we have a lot more games adapting different source material separately. You can certainly run a Star Wars: The Old Republic-themed game with a Star Wars tabletop system, but neither one is based on the other. (Technically there was a supplement published for it, but that was covering the first two single-player games, which themselves were based on that tabletop system.)
But there have still been incursions from MMOs into the tabletop space, and MMOs which pluck that fertile ground for the seeds of inspiration. So let’s spend today looking at these games, when you can log off of your favorite MMO, gather around a table with your friends, and keep playing your favorite MMO. More or less.
“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.
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.”
Oh, it’s Diablo III! Remember that game? Probably you do if you want to play a roguelike hack-and-slash on console. The good news for you today is that the game’s latest console patch brings the console version up to parity with the PC version, meaning that both versions now have the same content and options available. The only difference is the control scheme, which you can’t get on the PC because of reasons at this point. Important reasons, probably.
As for the actual patch, it’s not terribly large; it adds in the StarCraft anniversary celebration content and fixes a number of bugs, although comments on Twitter suggest that some of those bugs haven’t exactly been fixed just yet. But the important thing is that both version of the game are now in harmony. Now let’s see if that lasts through the next PC patch.
By the time that World of Warcraft came on the scene in 2004, the MMORPG industry had already gravitated toward standard when it came to the interface — specifically, the camera angle. MMO players and devs seemed to prefer third-person views that either peered over the shoulder of avatars or followed right behind them. For decades now, we’ve grown used to watching our characters’ rears as they jog along, and we can’t really imagine the experience otherwise.
Yet when you think about it, while this camera perspective is overwhelmingly used in the genre, it’s not the only one that crops up in MMOs. We’ve seen both old and new titles experiment with the camera angle, sometimes out of style and sometimes out of necessity (here’s a great Gamasutra article on the subject).
For today’s list, we’re going to look at 10 MMORPGs where the camera is positioned in a different way than you’d normally expect, especially if you are coming from modern games.
How is it even possible to make a Diablo-style game more awesome than the original? Easy — you toss in time travel. Now things get interesting.
“Time travel meets the online ARPG” is the premise of Last Epoch, which will send players across four distinct eras to murder everything in the vicinity. For loot reasons, you understand. The game features five base classes, 10 mastery classes, a branching skill system, game seasons, crafting, and all of the rewards you expect out of such games.
The title recently launched a Kickstarter campaign seeking $210,000 for the pre-alpha title. If all goes well, alpha will begin this August, beta in April 2019, and a full release during April 2020. The cool thing is that you can try out the demo right now for free before deciding if this a project you wish to support.
If you’ve been finding yourself missing Marvel Heroes – but not all the drama and lies – you might want to mosey on over to Steam today, where former Gazillion CEO David Brevik is launching his new sidescrolly pixelart RPG, It Lurks Below, into early access.
“It Lurks Below is a fun new one-man indie game project from myself, David Brevik, the creator of Diablo and Diablo II. Although the game is already engaging and addictive, I want to use Early Access to make the project even better. I’m a big believer in actively communicating with your community, getting feedback and improving the final product. This has already been going on in a small closed beta, but I’m ready to open it up and make the best possible game.”
Launch is expected later this year; the current version is just shy of 20 bucks. As we’ve previously reported, it’s not an MMO, and it’s not even multiplayer, so you won’t see much coverage of it here going forward, but Brevik is a big name in MMOs, so there you go – consider yourself duly notified about a cool thing he’s doing.
Bot-maker Bossland’s legit game flops, Germany rejects Blizzard’s US court victory and won’t enforce damages
Are you surprised to be hearing about Bossland again? We’re surprised to be reporting on it. The German-based botmaker made headlines for the last few years thanks to ongoing litigation provoked by its sale of cheat, bot, and hack programs for multiple Blizzard games. Blizzard had pursued Bossland across multiple continents in an attempt to shut down the cheat programs, which Blizz argued violated its copyrights and cost it significant amounts of money to fight – money it was therefore not spending on its own games and customers. The drama finally culminated in 2017 with victories for Blizzard in a German Supreme Court ruling and a California federal court case that awarded Blizzard $8.5M in damages.
Though the German courts recently ruled not to enforce the US court’s decision (on the grounds that it considered the minimum statutory damages awarded to be excessive and punitive), Bossland ended sales for almost all of its hacks at the end of last year; as of today, the only ones remaining are for non-Blizzard games, specifically Final Fantasy XIV and Path of Exile, though according to the group’s latest newsletter, there’s a PUBG one tucked on the forums too.
If OARPGs with Torchlight-esque graphics are your thing and your mobile device packs a punch, then feast your eyes and wallet on Raziel. Gaming behemoth Tencent has apparently picked up the title from developer Indra to port to phones and tablets in the west this year. It’s already out in Australia.
“Raziel is a fast-paced, hack-n-slash style RPG with a range of multiplayer and guild gameplay modes. Featuring advanced Unity 3D graphics, fast and flexible gameplay, and a diverse collection of characters and maps, the visually stunning adventure sets a new standard for mobile gaming.”
The game boasts four playable toons (with more as you go), a companion system so you can drag an NPC along with you (a la Diablo), more than 60 singleplayer dungeons. Tencent is calling this a “revolutionary MMORPG,” for what it’s worth, but the “massive” seems to focus on basic co-op and 1v1, 2v2, and guild battle-style PvP.
If we judged MMOs by their numbers alone — and I’m not suggesting we do so — then the original Lineage would be the crowing rooster strutting about the hen house. It’s also been one of those games that I’ve always intellectually acknowledged was a huge hit for some reason but never gave much attention. I think it’s because, contrary to many western MMOs, Lineage is primarily an Asian phenomenon. That doesn’t mean it should be shunned, of course, but just that it may be difficult to understand when you’re on the outside of it.
So let’s back up the memory truck to September 1998, when a then-fledgling NCsoft rolled out a Diablo-style isometric MMO and struck virtual gold in South Korea. At the time, gaming rooms were becoming a huge thing in the country. A recession had hit, giving people a lot of time with nothing to do, and the government was rapidly expanding the broadband network. In the face of this perfect storm, titles like StarCraft and Lineage became overnight household fixtures — and remained so for decades to come.
Even if you haven’t played Lineage and you don’t know anyone who does, trust me: Millions and millions of players have. As former Senior Producer Chris Mahnken once said, “Lineage keeps going because it’s just plain fun.”