A year ago, MMO fans were thrilled to find out that Funcom had had its best quarter in ages thanks to the early access launch of Conan Exiles. The first quarter of 2018 wasn’t quite as huge, but you can be sure next quarter will be, as Funcom says it’s already sold 1.4M copies of the game, a million of those before May 8th – which Funcom notes is as many as Age of Conan sold in its first three years of life, making it Funcom’s “bestselling game of all time.” It’s expected to launch on PS4 in Japan this summer, alongside the game’s first DLC in June.
Age of Conan, by the way, gets a note for its Saga of Zath progression server that ran throughout winter and spring; the studio says it was “successful in engaging players and increasing revenue.” Little ink is spilled over Secret World Legends beyond a note about Dawn of the Morninglight and a promise for “more content and events […] going forward.” Anarchy Online is not mentioned.
Monday, the Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset
chapter went live for early access accounts. For the first time since 1994, players can visit the island of Summerset. And needless to say, 24 years makes quite a difference in the world of gaming. I’m not going to pretend that I ever played Arena
, but think its safe to say that things look a lot different and the mechanics of the game have changed, too.
I don’t think that Summerset is as highly anticipated as Morrowind was, but that’s can be a positive for ZeniMax Online Studios because there is scrutiny when it comes to the lay of the land and the storyline. On the other hand, it means less hype for the expansion.
As an MMORPG enthusiast, I’m excited to see MMOs continuing to grow the way ESO has. And I know that you might not be as familiar with Summerset, so I would like to give you my list of what you should probably look out for when you jump into the next chapter.
If you thought that Sea of Thieves offered a fun but rather shallow gameplay experience, you may want to start putting on that diving bell to go down into the depths with next week’s Hungering Deep content update.
Before that happens, however, there’s today’s Patch 1.0.8, which is more focused on small but useful improvements to the game. The 800 MB patch includes the ability to abandon voyages, set aim sensitivity, toggle color blind options, find more lore books, and experience better visual effects. Also: “The unsettling sound of a squawking chicken whilst caged is now… more bearable.”
Rare is obviously priming the community for The Hungering Deep and is running a small event leading up to it. The studio released both a developer update video and a teaser trailer for the free DLC. There’s also movement toward resurrecting the pioneer testing program to get players into early patch builds and a “zero-tolerance” approach for cheaters using third-party apps to gain an advantage in the game.
Bless Online’s media event and pricing reveal last week may not have gone entirely to plan. You’ll recall that Neowiz announced at the time that it’d be charging $40 for the standard edition of the game, on up to $200 for the collector’s edition, with each package containing headstart and varying chunks of premium membership time chunked together. That’s what set the community off: It was the first notice that the game would definitely include a premium sub with its early access. The studio also didn’t fully detail what people spending up to $200 would be buying, nor how it would balance all of that with its anti-pay-to-win stance.
Neowiz has taken the feedback to heart, however, and released a new plan overnight. The important parts are that Neowiz has cut the $200 pack down to $149, there’s no longer any “customer service priority” accompanying the packs, there’s an actual preview of some of the exclusive pack skins, there’s confirmation that player-to-player trading won’t be in the game, there’s confirmation about the cash-shop item that’ll safeguard you against PvP, and there’s a refreshed promise not to roll out DLC – instead, Neowiz says it’ll update the game every three months, with the Assassin class in the first one.
When last we checked in with Tree of Savior, it was in the middle of a nine-week anniversary event with free DLC, quest, and gear – in fact, that event is technically still running for another week or two. In the meantime, IMCGames is promising “intense balancing changes” coming in the next update.
First up? Healing. The current mechanics encouraged support classes to ingore healing skills because of their poor scaling. But “after this update, the amount of HP restored will depend not on the receiver’s maximum HP but on the caster’s healing abilities and skill level,” the studio says. “The efficacy of healing skills, then, will be based on your Healing stat and the skills’ own heal factors.”
There’s also a massive list of skill changes coming for nearly every class; while many tweaks are to healer and archer skills, there’s plenty more to be had, including straight-up brand-new skills for a few classes, like the Kabbalist and Wugushi. The Druid’s Lycanthropy set is due for an overhaul as well.
“Warmind is the start of a new conversation. It’s a step forward in the direction we want to start taking Destiny 2
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.
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.
It’s really hard for me to not to gush hard about Sea of Thieves. I know many out there won’t agree, and it’s easy to say why, especially for RPG and theme park fans. It also may be because I’m late to the party, as the game came out while I was at GDC. That being said, Massively OP doesn’t do ratings because we expect the games we cover to evolve, but we do post impressions and hands-on coverage, and as I’ve played the game before and after it’s latest patch, I figure it’s time to lay out some judgments. Don’t worry, we’ll run through the game’s grimy pockets before looking at its actual treasure!
Get your butts to Mars, Destiny 2
players, because you’re needed for the upcoming Warmind DLC
. Bungie did a full reveal of the game’s second major content update, which involves a new character named Ana Bray, an AI called Rasputin, and a Hive enemy known as Nokris.
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.
The second DLC expansion for Destiny 2
is arriving early next month — but players can get all of the details on it today.
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.
Sea of Thieves set sail with a brand-new patch this morning with better ammo crate positioning, UI tweaks, and new ship scuttling tips, plus tons of bug fixes, including the demise of “sky ships” – that fun bug where ships floated up to the sky when sinking. Also? No more earworms! “Players will no longer play the same shanty twice in a row.”
Do note that Rare says it’s still aware of bugs with not being able to view your character customization, the grey screen at launch, delayed achievements and commendations (stilL!) and missing DLC.
What’s on the horizon? “There’s rumour that a new shipment of clothing, items, weapons and ship customisations are on the horizon and heading for the Sea of Thieves!” Rare hints. “If you are saving yer coin for a pair of trousers, you might want to keep a weathered eye out for this arriving soon!”
While not going into any details about the progress of Anthem’s development and testing dates, BioWare nevertheless attempted to prime the pump for fans’ expectations this week.
BioWare General Manager Casey Hudson wrote the first of apparently several upcoming posts on Monday in which he acknowledged the studio’s failures in delivering more stories for Mass Effect: Andromeda while also putting in a plug for a brighter future with Anthem. Hudson said that Andromeda’s DLC stumble led to BioWare “refocusing” its mission by not losing sight of the world, character, and storytelling in its games.
“It’s in that spirit that we are working through production on Anthem,” Hudson said “a game designed to create a whole new world of story and character that you can experience with friends in an ongoing series of adventures. It will be unlike anything you’ve played, but if we do it right, it will feel very distinctly BioWare.”
According to a report on Gamereactor, Ubisoft would like a piece o’ that PUBG and Fortnite action.
The publication claims to have an “anonymous source inside the studio” who’s told it that Massive is building a quick-turnaround battle royale clone following an Ubisoft directive in January. As VG247 pointed out, this isn’t much of a surprise; not only do game companies like money and trends, but Ubisoft in particular namedropped PUBG in an investor call last year, suggesting Ubisoft might add the mode to its existing games via DLC.
Ubisoft answered the rumors by saying, “We don’t comment on rumors or speculation,” which you’ll notice is not a denial.
As we’ve previously covered, Massive is also working on The Division 2.