Around the time I started working at Massively-that-was, there was an article that I quite liked talking about how four high-profile MMO failures were not necessary. It was a product of its time, but the point was made that these games didn’t have to wind up in the state they were in. The mistakes that were made were not unexpected problems, but entirely predictable ones that anyone could have seen. Heck, some people did see them and pointed them out, but nothing was changed.
I think about that a lot when I think about other MMOs and online games because there are a lot of titles that, even if not entirely failed, are in states they never needed to be in. These stories are, at the very least, stories of some failures where the failure was not an inevitable end state, nor are they messes that had to be made. The writing was on the wall, the warnings were given, and someone just kept on keeping on and ignored all of the signs. And here we are.
You currently cannot play Diablo III on as many different platforms as you can play, say, Skyrim. But it looks like the number of available platforms will go up soon; Gamespot is reporting that anonymous sources indicate the title is indeed coming to the Nintendo Switch. Those sources have nothing to say on the topic of whether or not the game’s expansions will be included, but one can certainly assume that will be the case.
So why the silence after an earlier tease for exactly this? Well, it may be because Nintendo seems to prefer to remain tight-lipped about these ports until they’re closer to release, or it may be that the current testing is more about seeing if it’s doable than specifically making it happen. Or it could just be willful obtrusiveness, or the anonymous sources are wrong. You get to decide!
Let us see if you are bright enough to crack this clue. Blizzard Entertainment sent out a tweet earlier this week in which it said “Sweet dreams” and showed a short six-second clip of Diablo’s head functioning as a light switch. A hand comes into view and turns on and off the light twice.
We’ll wait while you mull that over.
Yeah, it looks as though the studio could be working on Diablo III (or some other version of Diablo) for the Nintendo Switch. Then again, it might not. Polygon emailed the studio about it and got a reply from Blizzard saying, “We can assure you we’re not that clever. [It was] meant to be a fun community engagement piece. We have nothing to announce.”
So is Blizzard being honest or coy here? And do you see Diablo III kicking butt on the Switch? Let us know in the comments!
Diablo III’s 13th season is kicking off next week. If you’re hoping for something revolutionary and thrilling for lucky number 13, this… isn’t that. In fact, the dev blog previewing the season actually uses the word “traditional.” But hey, if you like comfortable predictability, you’ll be pleased as punch.
Participants in the seasonal run will pick up more pieces of the Conqueror’s set (helm and shoulders), new Imperius portraits, and a new teddy bear pet (covered in blood, thus reducing its cute factor). Folks without four stashes can work toward an extra, and currency toward class sets is also on order.
It’s a tantalizing dream for some: A handheld version of World of Warcraft or Diablo that will no doubt spell the end of productivity and free time. And such games might be in the works.
Attentive MOP reader Sallly Bowls transcribed a key part of Blizzard’s recent conference call in which CEO Mike Morhaime hinted at mobile versions of the studio’s properties.
“The second opportunity is to take our very successful PC and console franchises and extend them to mobile,” Morhaime said. “And we think this is the time to do it and it’s an exciting opportunity for few reasons. First, mobile gaming is of course now very much at scale, large and growing with billions of people around the world who essentially have a mini console or PC in a pocket. And kind of the second reason that the technology we feel has advanced to a point where we feel there is a mobile platform now that can fulfill the requirements of our core IP.”
Diablo, Hellgate: London, and Marvel Heroes creator David Brevik has just announced his newest game — and it’s both similar and unlike anything he’s done before.
It Lurks Below is a 2-D lovechild of horror, Diablo, and Terraria, sending a lone player into a gloomy, pixelated world filled with terrors and spelunking. The game will make heavy use of procedural generation and randomization to create the maps on which players will explore, scavenge, loot, fight, and build. Brevik made the entire game by himself, including the art and music, and he promised fans that it will be coming out later this year with a limited closed beta starting this weekend (which is full, sorry to say, but you can watch Brevik stream it).
Imagine that one day you wake up, stumble to your computer, and check in on the morning news. Among the various tidbits is a rather surprising notice of a brand-new MMORPG that is not only in the works, but is on the verge of beta testing right the heck now. Would that be enough of a shock to wipe away any vestiges of sleep and generate immediate interest in this title?
For some players during a very short period in 2001, it definitely was.
The game in question is Fallen Age, an isometric MMO that made headlines by announcing its presence in one breath and imminent beta testing in the next. However, Netamin Communication’s game couldn’t quite live up to that promise, and by the end of the year, it had vanished almost as quickly as it arrived. So what was this game and what exactly happened?
Age of Conan’s Saga of Zath server officially launched yesterday, drawing fresh attention back to the game that Funcom maintenance-moded by proxy last year but apparently just isn’t done with. Zath has a ruleset similar to the base PvE server’s, only you have to create a new toon to zip through a “saga quest,” which will give you special rewards that you can then take with you back to Crom when the time limit is up.
According to the comments on our articles so far, Age of Conan hasn’t got quite the traction RIFT (to say nothing of WoW) has with the expansion-progression server or vanilla server idea, but then, this isn’t exactly like those; it’s a little bit more like Diablo III’s seasonal servers, right down to keeping all your loot at the end, but it’s still something new for fans of the original Conan MMO. Future saga servers, Funcom has said, will come with ruleset tweaks.
Let’s take it to the polls for another Leaderboard: Will you be playing Age of Conan’s new server?
Two-year-old Devilian will not make it to its third birthday, we are sorry to report. Trion Worlds announced on Friday that it will be shuttering the Diablo-style MMO on March 5th. This makes sense following developer Bluehole’s decision late last year to discontinue work on the game.
“Trion Worlds and Bluehole Ginno have come to the mutual agreement to bring Devilian to a close,” the publisher posted. “In order to help with this transition, we want to ensure that you have time to say goodbye to your favorite haunts and to decide where your journeys will take you next. As Nala’s time nears its end, we want to offer you every opportunity to enjoy your remaining time there. While the servers are still on, we are turning on a 24/7 event with bonus experience, gold, gems, Enigma keys, and flower drops — making it easier for all to experience endgame content together.”
Devilian players are being compensated with a welcome package and credit transfer to one of Trion’s other titles. We recently checked in with the title, as you can see in the two-year birthday stream below.
The first time Destiny 2
ran a faction rally, its mechanics had a problem where players could basically just earn tons of tokens without firing any weapons or anything. This iteration of faction rallies tried to fix that, but the result has been another issue with token throttling
. The latest dispatch from the development team
accepts culpability for this, noting that this is part of an ongoing process to keep lost sectors rewarding while also avoiding the aforementioned “lots of tokens for no actual gameplay” problem.
It is, at least, an admission of fault, alongside the admission that poor communication about the Season 2 weapons was entirely down to developers failing to explain what was intended when said weapons didn’t launch right away.
This was on us. No excuses. […] We will be remedying this lapse in communication next week with details on what you should expect when the next Iron Banner rolls out in Season 2.
It’s up to the individual player if admitting the mistake and promising to do better actually ameliorates things at all. In unrelated news, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg is stepping down in March with no reasons cited for his departure. No word yet on who will take his place.
Alien, quiet, and weird — that’s the Anarchy Online soundtrack for you in a nutshell. For the first episode of 2018, the ever-contentious Battle Bards are back to quibble about, gush over, and nitpick the score to one of the older sci-fi MMOs on the market today.
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 113: Anarchy Online (or download it) now:
One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It’s way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.
But all the same, for tonight’s Massively Overthinking, we’d like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2018 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.
Remember Kingdom of Loot? It’s cute, it’s pixelated, and it’s Secret of Mana meets Diablo in early access. So how is that working out? Well, the most recent video from the team shows off the game’s upcoming world map system, which is almost ready. Not quite ready, no, and you can see some framerate stutters due to the video being from a development machine, but the important thing is that it’s recognizably world-map-ish.
This particular video is devoted to showing off the world map, entering and exiting from various points, and so forth, so there’s no combat to speak of. It should, however, give you a navigational preview before the update goes live. Check it out just below if you feel like you haven’t had quite enough pixel-based artwork in your life recently.