Do you have any money left after all of that holiday shopping, travel, and dining out? Steam would very much like to have what remains, if you please, and is willing to trade you some discounted games in return.
Yes, the annual Steam Winter Sale is up and running, which means all sorts of deals for the frugal MMORPG player. We’ve compiled a huge list of all of the deals — including discounts of up to 90% off! — to help you navigate the holiday promotion. The sale ends on January 2nd. Hope it helps!
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Elite Dangerous’ massive Guardians expansion went live this week, introducing new features to the space epic including multi-person crewing, NPC ferrying, new planetary discoverables, and a much improved map. Frontier’s David Braben sat for a Reddit AMA during the week as well, addressing everything from exploration to multiplayer. “Yes, it is a multiplayer game,” he wrote. “We are conscious that different people want to play in different ways and we want to support that. Personally I prefer PvE and co-op multiplayer, but that is mainly because I’m a bit rubbish on PvP. Many players have come across me in the depths of space, and I really like it that most would rather chat than kill me.”
- Shroud of the Avatar updated with Release 35 right on schedule! Expect improvements for the Path of Love, better cooking mechanics, and a rework for roving encounters.
- Project Gorgon’s latest update implemented a Halloween “loot extravaganza,” tweaked combat, and “wide-spread changes to abilities and treasure effects.”
- Hero’s Song will keep its promise to launch its backer alpha in October; it goes live on Halloween.
- Gloria Victis made plans for female toons (stay tuned for our in-depth look at the game!).
- And keep an eye on Antraxx, whose Kickstarter is due to wrap up on November 1st.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!
Stained Glass Llama, the studio behind indie sci-fi sandbox Divergence Online, has put that game’s infrastructure to work in a brand-new game that launched last week on Steam’s early access platform. Divergence: Year Zero is set in the same universe and is intended as a sequel to the Star Wars Galaxies-inspired sandbox, only instead of being an MMORPG, this version is themed more like a survival sandbox, with plans for vehicles, non-combat professions, improved animations, new zones, quests, and voice comms still on the way, though it’s already “100% playable” according to the team.
Developer Ethan Casner says that he expects Year Zero to be in early access for about six months while it “finances completion”: “Year Zero began its life after nine-months of improvements and new additions to Divergence: Online and as a result will see full-launch roughly the same time as it’s predecessor Divergence: Online completes its tour of duty in Early Access.”
The game is currently available at a discounted $26.99 US on Steam.
Last week, we introduced the first part of our guide to the best upcoming, in-development indie MMORPGs — yes, the list was so long that we had to split it lest our CMS explode! So this week we’re back with the other half of our list, a quick and dirty guide to many of the indie MMORPGs in development and some of the key points about each. Hint: We’re not asking whether they are a sandbox with open world PvP because of course they are. As a side note, we won’t be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too great for the scope of this guide. And if you’re interested in these games, then you’ll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns.
On with part two!
When you write for an MMORPG website that covers literally hundreds of games and could probably add in hundreds more that are extinct, are in operation only overseas, or are so incredibly niche that their creators’ moms don’t even know about them, you start devoting a large portion of your brain to trying to keep details about all of these games straight. This not only results in forgetting two of your kids’ names (after all, space is limited), but it’s nearly an impossible task. There’s just too much out there.
And lately I’ve noticed that the staff and readers alike have started to become incredibly confused regarding all of the indie MMOs that are oozing through the development process in their 72 planned testing stages (the other week I could swear that I saw a game declare itself to be going into “state semi-regionals”). There are too many games, some of which look far too similar, and it’s stressing us out.
Enhance your calm, citizen. Here’s the first part of our quick and dirty guide to many of the indie MMORPGs in development and some of the key points about each. Hint: It’s not asking whether they are a sandbox with open world PvP because of course they are. As a side note, I won’t be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too great for the scope of this guide. And if you’re interested in these games, then you’ll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns. Then stay tuned next week for the second half of this list!
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, our own MJ – MJ Guthrie, that is – returned from DragonCon with reports from several crowdfunded MMORPG studios. First up is Camelot Unchained and its own MJ – Mark Jacobs, that is – who’ve got a new update out, complete with new screenshots of the autumn forest biome (seen above) and a tease about the ongoing hiring. Jacobs says the team has been busy working on resource modification, ability conditionals, skill timing, archery abilities, periodic effects, building damage, the Stonehealer class, and the first pass on multi-island/multi-server integration.
We’ve also welcomed Hero’s Song back to our watch list. The John Smedley-led OARPG canceled its Kickstarter earlier this year but has returned to crowdfund just ahead of its early access launch with a new Indiegogo campaign.
Dual Universe also launched its first Kickstarter, seeking over half a million dollars to fund the epic sci-fi sandbox. Meanwhile, Ever, Jane postponed its open beta’s first update, Fragmented went on sale for five bucks in the Humble Bundle store, Edengrad updated backers on its combat plans, and HEX released its fifth card pack, Herofall. Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!
This week, Dual Universe started its Kickstarter, and – oh, you’ve already got your checkbook out. Great, it’s half a million for this one. Oh, and it’s going to have a subscription business model, just if that affects your betting odds.
Meanwhile, most of this week’s beta news centered around stuff leaving beta testing. No, really! Just keep reading.
- World of Fishing launched on Steam as a free-to-play title, thus allowing you to spend all of your time doing something that every MMO includes for no comprehensible reason. Seriously, what is with MMOs and fishing? Of all the things for every game to include, why is fishing more universal than housing or decent combat mechanics or character customization or anything else? But at least World of Fishing is up-front about it.
- The early access period for Otherland has ended, replaced with a full-on launch for the title. There are lots of jokes that could be made here, but most of them are spoilers for the novels. Go read those.
- Early access for Dark and Light has not started yet, but it’s intended to start this fall. Mark your calendar. Repeatedly, since “fall” isn’t a month, but mark them just the same.
- The team behind Revelation Online has revealed that the game does indeed feature PvE, if you were worried about it. Revelatory! It’s also taking appearance very seriously; you can make your own jokes about revealing yourself.
- Last but not least, Divergence Online has started a mid-testing Kickstarter campaign to add giant robots to the game. If you’ve been testing the game and thought that it really needs more giant robots, get out your checkbook once again.
Do we even have a list left below? Of course we do, don’t be silly. Let us know if something on that list managed to slip into a launch or launch-ish state down below in the comments, though. We can’t promise we’ll agree with you, but we can promise that we’ll think of you as very attractive for at least four minutes.
Star Wars Galaxies-inspired indie MMORPG Divergence Online is back with another crowdfunding campaign. If we’ve done our math right, this’ll make the game’s fourth campaign.
Developer Stained Glass Llama says that this campaign centers on bringing mechs to the game as a “development directorate.” The team asks $5000 to add a pair of pilotable mech chassis and synthetics weapons integration; at $7000, the team will add a second synth chassis, completed theta-blade, and passenger weapons on mechs. The $25 tier includes the game, while larger donations will net you one of the existing or future vehicles or freighters. “If the campaign is not successful, you won’t pay a dime,” promises the studio.
The title is in early access on Steam for the price of $29.99. Most recently, the game introduced land and air vehicles, a new operator profession, and a prequel — that is, a survival game called Year Zero. Divergence’s Ethan Casner has been criticized in the past over using what he called “placeholder” assets seemingly from SWG, though he prevailed in an unrelated DMCA dispute earlier this year.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Project Gorgon received a big quality-of-life patch this weekend. Of note, the game now offers synchronized dancing! “If three or more players dance to music, they will be prompted to perform a particular dance ‘move’,” writes ElderGame. “If at least three dancers perform the specified move, all spectators receive a choreography boost. […] A massive troupe of 12 (or more) dancers performing reasonably well together can give spectators a Dance Appreciation buff.” You can also expect adjustments to work orders, mob aggro, and GUI scaling, among several dozen new changes.
Want more dancing? Social MMORPG sandbox Ever, Jane launched its open beta this week. The Jane Austen-themed game was originally Kickstarted to the tune of over $100,000.
And Star Citizen broke the $120,000,000 barrier in its ongoing crowdfunding; the game’s 2.5 alpha went live this week.
Meanwhile, Grim Dawn received a big patch to its Crucible DLC content, Ascent patched in terraforming, and Shroud of the Avatar dinged up to $10,000,000 in crowdfunding.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!
Divergence Online posted a big update yesterday bringing land and air vehicles to testers along with a brand-new biome called Anduine, an area ripe for big game hunting.
“Anduine: a land of brightly-colored flora, low and rolling hills, calm rivers and plenty of room to expand. Accessible via ATCs newly-constructed ‘Anduine Station’, transporting to this new region is as easy as vising your favorite shuttleport and paying the super-low fee of just 1000 credits.”
The new playable Operator profession will allow players to pilot the new vehicles and freighters. The majority of vehicles – which include freighters, haulers, fighter jets, racers, rovers, and hoverbikes – are flight-capable, says Stained Glass Llama’s Ethan Casner, and craftable vehicles should roll out this week.
Depending on your definitions, Star Citizen is already pretty persistent. For example, it’s already persistently crowdfunding, persistently putting out new ships for the price of a used car, and persistently drawing accusations of “scam” from people who don’t know what scams are. But its persistent universe got some love with the most recent gameplay trailer. Yes, there’s actually a game in there beneath all of the debates. It also passed another crowdfunding milestone, but as mentioned, that’s persistent.
Other beta news? Aw, shucks, why not. You earned it.
- Fractured Space is launching its beta on September 15th, with more details promised at PAX West. It’s been in early access for about two years now, but this is definitely a step toward something, that’s for sure.
- Ever, Jane is now in open beta. Good news for anyone who likes ballroom dancing, political intrigue, and insult-based PvP; bad news for anyone who was hoping that the game would shift design radically and start having Jane Austen characters killing rats for levels. Which actually sounds pretty awesome.
- All the cool kids these days have spinoff survival games, and now Divergence Online is getting one too. Don’t you want to be cool? It’s a good thing that this market has nothing but potential for growth and no risk of oversaturation.
- All of the cool kids these days are also on Early Access on Steam, so Project Genom is getting in on that action in October. October is the month when the coolest kids show up. Prove otherwise.
- Revelation Online has been showing off its systems, and that includes a system that lets you level up when you’re ready rather than when the game lets you. It’s also selling founder’s packs, though, so it’s not turning your entire world around.
- Worlds Adrift is looking for signups for alpha testing. Wondering what it’s like in the game? Why not check out a diary of the testing life?
And there’s a list! A list of games in testing. It’s right down below. Let us know if something snuck a cash shop in without us noticing what was happening, or just share your thoughts on a current beta you’re enjoying. If you’d like to argue the fine points of terminology instead, we can’t really stop you, but it might not be a fun Friday.
The Divergence Online project, a spiritual offshoot of Star Wars Galaxies, has spawned a survival game prequel that will lead into the MMO proper. This has been dubbed Divergence: Year Zero, and it is currently vying for votes on Steam Greenlight.
The devs said that anyone who’s already purchased Divergence Online will get Year Zero for free. “Many players liked our idea of a ‘modern simulation zone’ inside Divergence Online and at the same time, many players did not,” the devs said. “We listened and decided the best course of action would be to transplant this element of modern survival into its own game to keep the two timelines seperate and the result is Divergence: Online’s first companion game; Divergence: Year Zero.”
So what does Divergence: Year Zero look like? We won’t keep you in suspense long; a seven-minute gameplay trailer awaits you after the jump.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, the Divergence Online drama came to a close, as DMCA claims against the developer were dropped early and the game fully returned to Steam.
We also saw The Repopulation switch engines, Elite: Dangerous tweak its business model, and LuckCatchers fall under our radar as an early access title on Steam.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.