dinosaur

The MOP Up: Neverwinter’s green beetle fiasco (May 21, 2017)

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 TERARendTree of SaviorDragon NestNeverwinterArmored WarfareEVE OnlineOverwatchARKWakfuDestiny, and Pokemon Go, all waiting for you after the break!

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The Stream Team: Going hog wild for a healer in ARK

Did you know that pigs are good for more than just bacon? In ARK, giant hogs are good for healing. That’s right: A heaping helping of healing in a hog. These new critters sound like a good addition to a raiding party, so Massively OP’s MJ is going to go hog wild and try to catch one. Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. to join in the hunt.

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 20th, 2017

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The Survivalist: ARK Survival Evolved discusses early access, launch, and wipes

Could ARK: Survival Evolved finally be launching? That’s a question many survivors would love to see answered soon. Unfortunately, we can’t provide you with any date as one hasn’t been announced. But it appears there could be a light at the end of that tunnel thanks to a Studio Wildcard interview earlier this week in a podcast dedicated to the survival genre.

If you are a fan of survival games as I am (and chances are high if you are reading this!), you might really want to check out Infection – The Survival Podcast. ARK fans especially will be interested in this week’s episode 122; it features a lengthy discussion with Kayd Hendricks, the senior technical game play designer. Hendricks touches on many subjects, including the team, early access, wipes, launch, narrative, and more. Even without a launch date, it’s really worth a listen/watch; a couple of his remarks really struck a chord with me.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 117: Starfall no more

Kind of a weird and fascinating week for MMOs, as an expansion has a legal showdown with a charity, a western MMO is announced, and Vvardenfell decided to come to us two weeks early. Is the industry shaping up for the most explosive June on record? It might just be!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Conan Exiles tempers player expectations while vowing to fix combat

Funcom is working its tush off on Conan Exiles’ combat, a new Q&A with Joel Bylos suggests, but make sure you understand the end goal. “We don’t ever expect combat in Exiles to be on par with an action game like Dark Souls,” he cautions players. “We want combat to be fun and interesting in its own right, but without years to invest in the combat system we are not going be creating something that competes with Chivalry. Our ambition for combat, clearly stated pre early access launch, was Dark Messiah/Skyrim (modded) levels of combat.” But he admits the team hasn’t “achieved [that] ambition” yet — and that means a heavy focus on eliminating “clunky” combat feel, weapon balance, and sorting out where the game should rely on action vs. roleplaying elements.

Bylos also says Funcom is working on map improvements, creature AI, expanding the dye system, respawn rates, drawbridges, NPC looting, container ownership, thrall rescue, and character customization.

That’s gotta be good news for fans of the game, who’ve seen its playtime popularity on Steam fall sharply since February (by comparison, ARK: Survival Evolved has held relatively even; its current monthly peak is 10 times Conan’s).

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The Daily Grind: Which multiplayer survival sandbox is the most like an MMORPG?

A week or so ago, I took an ARK: Survival Evolved post out of our newsroom to write up, expecting something mundane. I’m an MMORPG player, after all; survival sandboxes look cool, but most give off the same non-persistent, ephemeral, could-fail-at-any-time vibe as emulators, especially the player-hosted ones for games in eternal early access, so I’ve always stayed away. But ARK has put a lot of effort (and cash) into cultivating incredibly high-quality mods, and that’s what got my attention and made me glad I’d taken the post: An auction house mod in the game seems like exactly the sort of thing that helps this subgenre turn the corner from “everybody haplessly running around naked killing dinos and each other with crappy axes” to genuine persistence and social tools and server anchors. Far more than construction projects that you’re really only building to function as content for somebody else to tear down, anyway.

Let’s say I’m looking for a good multiplayer survival sandbox — MJ’s put together several lists for her new column already to choose from. But which one do you think is the most like an MMORPG and would most appeal to an MMORPG-first type of gamer — and why?

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The Stream Team: ARK’s bees, glorious bees

OK, so maybe ARK’s bees aren’t exactly glorious. In fact, they are downright pesky and dangerous — especially as a swarm. But they do have honey, and that sweet nectar is worth going after. Massively OP’s MJ is out to try to tame a queen bee to start her own honey production. She might even be able to spot a few more of the new creatures inhabiting the island. Tune in live at 10:00 a.m. as MJ tries her hand at beekeeping (and catching).

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 10:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday, May 13th, 2017

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ARK: Survival Evolved rolls out bees, sharks with frickin laser beams, and an auction house mod

Why I took this post, I have no idea: I’m firmly in the “NOT THE BEES” camp over here, and yet bees are exactly what ARK: Survival Evolved got this weekend in the form of Giant Bees. That, and sharks with frickin laser beams on their heads thanks to the TEK Megalodon Saddle. Not coincidentally, we suspect, the volcano POI has also gotten a major redesign and is actually active.

Reddit is currently debating whether Studio Wildcard’s implication that it’s going to hold off on new creatures following the late May patch is a good idea. Just kidding, everybody thinks it’s a good idea. As one poster put it, “Now they will finally be doing what many of us have been saying for years: ‘STOP ADDING SHIT AND FIX YER SHIT!'”

Meanwhile, there’s good stuff rolling out for custom servers thanks to Wildcard’s sponsored mods program, including an auction house!

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One Shots: Lonely hearts

Are gamers really lonely? Do we flock to MMORPGs as a response to that? I’m pondering these thoughts today following the response of a call for screenshots that captured the emotional state of loneliness. There were several entries, which makes me think that being alone, even together, is something that’s often on our mind.

In this vein, Rees Racer has an example from — of all games — Winning Putt Online. Seriously.

“Despite several different modes of team play in Winning Putt Online, sometimes it’s just you and your putter left to walk off the 18th green after a round, wondering how it all went so terribly wrong,” Rees writes. Mental note: “Rees Writes” would be an interesting PBS kids-type show.

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One Shots: Through the portal?

The other day, Bree was complaining about how so many screenshots from modern MMORPGs suffer from a bland and monochrome palette. Coming to the rescue, then, is our team of expert One Shotters, scouring online games for vibrant looks and colors!

Zulika Mi-Nam kicks us off with this delectable piece of Portal Knights scenery: “The last few days I have been playing Portal Knights. I guess it is like a Stargate/Minecraft combo? It scratches the same itch that EQ Next did for me, not that I was a builder. I just like exploring and some type of progression. This is more combat oriented though.”

How’s that doggy going to get down, Zulika? Throw that dog a bone already!

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The Stream Team: Preparing for ARK’s active volcano

Another big change is coming to ARK: a live volcano! Devs have recently added special markers to show what will be changing. Unfortunately for Massively OPs MJ the entire metal production operation is based on the soon to explode mountain, so she and the team need to relocate the dinos and goods before they are destroyed. Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. as the team preps for this new world change.

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 15th, 2017

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ARK: Survival Evolved brings underwater doom to consoles

Remember the big ol’ underwater-themed ARK: Survival Evolved earlier this month that sent PC players into a tizzy over the big bird nerf? (Not the Big Bird nerf — that’s something else entirely.) That selfsame patch has landed for console players this week — without all the nerfs, mind you, as many (though not all) of those have been sorted out on PC in the meantime:

“This huge new patch (v256) arrives bursting with new content, including vacuum-sealed underwater bases and aquatic creature breeding, TEK teleporter pads and wireless generators, and four powerful creatures. Today also brings to console players the first major menu redesign of ARK, as the Inventory UI receives a complete visual and functional overhaul – introducing a modernized and streamlined new look. This is a huge upgrade that makes inventory management a breeze.”

Want more survival sandbox coverage? Check out our new column, The Survivalist, which covers ARK and the now dozens of other titles in this subgenre, and don’t miss our weekly ARK: Survival Evolved streams, which take place on our streamer’s very own ARK server (which you’re invited to join if you wanna)!

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The Survivalist: Is gaming’s early access the new launch?

Previously, while discussing ARK: Survival Evolved’s big bird nerf, I touched on the subject of the early access model. My focus then was on the model in relation to ARK, but it isn’t unique to the dinosaur survival game by any means. In fact, that model pretty much defines the entire multiplayer survival genre, which appears to be (perpetually) stuck in early access. Just take a gander at our guide: Practically every title is in EA. Some have even been in this unfinished state since 2013!

So what gives? Why isn’t anything getting completed and actually launched? Or is this really what launch looks like nowadays? I certainly hope not. Early access certainly has its place, but there are issues — especially with games that use the model for years on end. And that isn’t doing the survival genre any favors in the long-term.

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