Last week, a guildie of mine mentioned that he’d been interested in Crowfall until he realized he couldn’t be a gerbil (Guineacean) of the class of his choosing. It was a total coincidence that the Crowfall devs had literally that same week announced they were nuking their race/class-locked archetype system and disentangling races and classes, so I got to tell him his wish had been granted.
I think this pushes the game more solidly into MMORPG territory, so I’m happy to see it: More customization and choice and variety is what I’m all about. But I was going to play it before, too. For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’m presenting the idea of locked vs. unlocked archetypes to our staff to mull over. How important is it to you to be able to play any race/class combo in a game? Is it something you see as critical to MMORPGs? Is archetype-locking more the domain of MOBAs and ARPGs? When do you let it slide to play a fun game?
EverQuest II recently introduced a new feature with the release of GU103 back on May 10th called the Proving Grounds. That place is no joke. I can assure you that it is pretty aptly named; this little instance is all about showing you and your group what you are made of.
When this feature was first announced, I was pretty excited. Who doesn’t like new content, especially something with replayability? It sounded fun. Initially I had thought (hoped?) that the new Proving Grounds content would be a feature enjoyable by the majority of the population. What I learned — quite quickly — was that my hopes and reality were two very different things. And I learned that the hard way. Hard as in double-digit-death-counter hard. Instead of sinking my teeth into this content, it sunk its teeth into me! Now that’s not necessarily a problem. I enjoy a challenge, and I do so look forward to conquering this one and exacting some revenge. However, I just wish my first experiences with the Proving Grounds didn’t come with more disappointment and frustration than fun because I do think it’s a good idea filled with promise. Read more
SuperData’s April worldwide digital video games market summary has arrived, and with it we get a glimpse into the top gaming studios. And only the tippy top.
Irritatingly, World of Warcraft has once again been split into east and west, contrary to every other game on the chart. SuperData had split the game for its January report, botched the entries in February and hastily repaired its graphic to rejoin the two, and for March, the WoWs were one from the get-go. Now they’re two again.
The upside for WoW is that its western branch pulled out ahead of World of Tanks in terms of revenue (Tanks was beating a combined WoW last month). Dungeon Fighter Online and New Westward Journey Online II have swapped positions, while the addition of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (and separated WoWs) has pushed Lineage I and Wildlands out of the top 10 entirely. Wildlands dropped down the console list as well; ARK Survival Evolved and Mass Effect Andromeda have dropped from the console chart altogether.
On the mobile side, Pokemon Go held steady, but Lineage 2 Revolution continues creeping upward.
If you happened to miss it, MJ and I jumped to the island of Vvardenfell on Monday because early access for the Elder Scrolls Online chapter of Morrowind started this week. Unlike other times that we’ve streamed together when most of what we did was questing, we just explored the island this time. Although part of that time was spent just figuring out my mic situation, it was a fun way to see the island and a very interesting way to play the game.
When MMOs and I were young, I hopped into Ultima Online not having a clue how to play the game. I saw miners running around naked supposedly because ore was heavy (and the threat of ganks was real). I saw people standing just outside the city carefully poking each other with low-level knives to help them gain experience. I also saw people standing around the bank barking, attempting to sell their wares. None of this was actually questing, but all of it was a legitimate way to play the game.
Elder Scrolls Online is a unique game, far apart from your standard themepark-style MMO. I would still call it a themepark, but it veers from the standard World-of-Warcraft-style themepark in many ways, chiefly in that you don’t have to follow a singular path to get a lot out of the game. In fact, have come up with some alternative ways to enjoy the content of Morrowind without following the main questline.
Dungeons are deeply on my mind as of late, mostly because I’ve been missing doing them in MMORPGs. It’s odd: In particular MMOs, I run dungeons all of the time, while in others, I hardly ever touch them. The latter situation might be due to a lack of useful grouping tools, unrewarding instances, and games that have failed to develop an active dungeon crawling culture.
But which MMO offers the best dungeon crawling experience? That’s a tough one. I’ve certainly enjoyed plenty of World of Warcraft and RIFT’s instances, and I’ll admit that Final Fantasy XIV did a great job incorporating dungeons into its core gameplay. The Secret World had some awesome boss fights (and very little in the way of trash mobs), and I loved skirmishes in Lord of the Rings Online for a good while there.
What do you think? Which MMO has the best dungeon experience and why?
If you are a fan of action and anime, you might want to keep your eye on Kritika Online. Although this game has been out for years in Korea, it is just now making its way to the western market. En Masse, best known to MMO fans for its shepherding of the western version of TERA, is localizing and publishing this anime title, which will start letting players in to play the closed beta starting tomorrow, May 24th. In preparation of this closed beta launch, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk shop with Senior Product Manager Brian Knox. In between slicing and dicing bosses in a couple of dungeons, Knocks shared some tidbits of what players can expect in this new game. Along with that hands-on time with a mid-level character during the interview, I was able to log in and experience the game as a brand-new adventurer. Here’s how it all went down.
Just because RuneScape’s standard skill cap is set at 99 won’t stop the team from busting through that ceiling when next month’s expansion arrives.
On June 5th, Menaphos The Golden City will launch in the game, bringing with it a brand-new slayer dungeon experience (among other features). This slayer dungeon is not for greenhorns; characters need level 88 in the skill to enter it. The crazy news is that with the expansion, the slayer skill will raise its cap to 120 to accommodate all of the action that this instance will get.
The dungeon sounds pretty neat: “The path into the depths of the dark dungeon will take players from the burial tombs near the surface deep underground, where the corrupted monsters and worshippers of the gods dwell. In a shift from typical slayer dungeons, loot dropped by vanquished enemies can be automatically sent to a brand-new loot chest during the course of the adventure, allowing players to focus on combat whilst knowing you’ll be able to pore over all your gained treasures at the end.”
Source: Press release
In case you missed the Conan Exiles Twitch stream Friday, and you probably did because who stays home on a beautiful May Friday to watch 50 MMO companies doing video game streams, then you can catch the recap video. Funcom’s Joel Bylos, Jens Erik Vaaler, and Nicole Vayo spend quite a bit of time lobbing exploding orbs around, showing off temporary effects (water is on fire at the moment, but eventually it’ll douse existing fires!) and oil bombs that’ll make sieges really interesting.
The team also posted up a new Q&A on Reddit this weekend; Bylos notes that the planned list of pets might be cut down to fit the development timeline, hostile NPC camps are taking a back seat to The Purge, an installer tool for community mods is on the agenda eventually, proper trading isn’t in planning at all, and the climbing system is a “game changing system” that will shift how people build, siege, and explore:
For all the allergies Bungie has to admitting the Destiny games are MMOs, the dev team is not shy about admitting that it drew inspiration for the shooter’s dungeons straight from one of the biggest MMORPGs of all time.
According to a recent interview, Destiny Game Director Like Smith talked about how much he loved World of Warcraft and wanted to recreate the feel and flow of that MMO’s group dynamics in Destiny’s raids.
“Taking a raid from a non-shooter and bringing it into a shooter is about translating the feelings, it’s not about actual specific mechanical translation,” Smith said. “The feelings that matter from cooperative gameplay are those around other people making things easier — it’s about being able to see the impact everyone has on the success and failure of the group.”
Smith said that the team is focused on improving some of the weaker elements of Destiny with this fall’s Destiny 2. “We want to unhide the fun of Destiny,” he said.
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 TERA, Rend, Tree of Savior, Dragon Nest, Neverwinter, Armored Warfare, EVE Online, Overwatch, ARK, Wakfu, Destiny, and Pokemon Go, all waiting for you after the break!
Next week is shaping up to be a big one for the MMO industry, unsurprisingly, as Memorial Day approaches and schools begin leaking out for the season. Allods Online has its own release in store next week: the 8.0.1 Creation update, an apparent thematic extension of last winter’s Immortality expansion. On deck for the update:
- an althetic competition – “Join chariot races, descend into the Minotaur’s Labyrinth, and fight in the gladiator games!”
- a new storyline revolving around the newly raised Dominus
- new artifacts through raid adventures, with 5 upgrade levels
- fabled items — or some of them, anyway — will be demoted to lootable and craftable status
- a rating system for players who own a Maze
- a new order trial, party skirmishes
My.com has a separate dev blog out for gearing up too. MOP’s MJ Guthrie poked her head into Allods — for the first time! — just a few weeks ago; you can watch her show below. Warning: Gibberlings ahead!
There are games that simply do not hold up past the demo, and frankly I’ve played a lot of those in Boston. Usually those are non-MMOs that promise big but don’t wind up delivering; I was excited about Rock Band Blitz
, but it didn’t really pan out as being as fun as a standalone game compared to a quick demo station. So I was aware that however much I liked Neverwinter
from demo kiosks, it was entirely possible that sitting down to play the actual game would be something of a disappointment.
But it wasn’t. Made you look.
Far from being less than it had seemed when I tried out the demos, I quite enjoyed my first week of time spent in Neverwinter. Not that it’s going to tear me away from all other games forever, but it’s a fun experience with plenty of things to hook you into the gameplay quickly without forcing you to dive headfirst into lore in order to find your commitment to the story.
With a new-found confidence in her killer bunny pack, Massively OP’s MJ is ready to take on more HEX
content. After trouncing that dungeon,
she’s eager to hit the campaign trail again with her fuzzy army. What will she run into next as she explores new areas? And more importantly, can HoppyHoppyJoyJoy bash the threats or will the bunnies be bopped on the nose and sent scampering away in defeat? Join us live at 2:00 p.m. to find out.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 18, 2017