I’m wrapping up my on-site E3 coverage this year with a meeting more about the industry meta than about any one game. The interviewee? Jake Parmley of Red Fox Insights. We’ve covered the firm before; its a video game market research company that claims to tap into about 70 million players world wide thanks to surveys built into partner sites reaching general gamers and niche gamers alike. That means surveys about FPS games will be found on, say, a review page for PlanetSide 2 rather than a guide for World of Warcraft.
My meeting was something that most general games may ignore, but those of us deeply invested in it are at least curious about it. Be warned: This is going to be one of those “sausage factory” type articles that will expose you to the inside of the industry!
I am honestly fairly sure that I know where the entrance to to the Deep Dungeon will lie when it comes out in July. I can’t be certain
, of course, but all of the signs point to it. And it’s one of the many bits of Final Fantasy XIV
that I’m looking forward to over the next few months, especially with my not-so-sneaking suspicion that the next few months will be the “best” part of Heavensward
. That alone deserves an article, but not today.
We’re a couple of weeks past E3, but the big revelations from the convention are still fresh and deserve some analysis. If you missed something before now, I wrote a bit about the facts back when it happened; no speculation or opinion in there, just the raw breakdown. Here is the space for speculation and opinion, starting with the implication of what the Deep Dungeon will mean for leveling across the game.
Multiplayer online TCG Deckbound is one of those rare gems that shines its brightest at an event like E3 rather than most of the other big conventions. The company’s pitches for a Bitcoin-esque digital card game are often met with confusion by gaming journalists. It’s an unusual presentation that could easily be misunderstood by your average gamer, especially if he or she can’t get the hands-on time.
Think of Deckbound less as a game than as a potential future platform: You can play it, but it seems more like a tool for building and exploring games, something probably more interesting to developers than casual gamers. In fact, Deckbound is using the same technology as Bitcoin to generate “cards,” though the data can translate into anything (like digital action figures), so you’re not actually using Bitcoin. Instead, Deckbound LLC is using block chaining technology, which allows players to legally own virtual items as opposed to leasing them as is the industry standard.
Though Daum didn’t have a booth at this year’s E3, I managed to snag some time with Black Desert PR/Marketing Manager Rick van Beem. Given some of the recent rumblings about delayed content and PvP changes, I thought it was a good opportunity to learn about how the publisher feels about current game events.
Serving two kinds of customers
I don’t personally play BDO regularly, not because I think it’s a bad game — in fact, I usually gravitate toward PvP-oriented sandboxes — but because the original PvP game pitched made decisions that made it less appealing to me. I don’t fault the game with that, and I still think it has some interesting sounding features, but balancing the different tastes isn’t easy.
At this year’s E3, I sat down with Elite: Dangerous’ Senior Designer Sandy Sammarco and PR/Communications Manager Michael Grapper to talk about the game’s successes and stumbling blocks. Before jumping in, let’s get the Engineers delay out of the way: Sammarco told me it stemmed from the team just not feeling the progress made by the original due date could have been better, so the team opted to hold it until it was up to par. While it may have been frustrating that the update came before a three-day weekend, it wasn’t to dodge potential complaints.
In space, there’s a whole lot of nothing
Much as you’d expect in real life, there’s a lot of empty space in, um, space. And Frontier says it hears that a lot from players who haven’t been playing for a long time. They forget that the world’s based on hard science, not a fantasy, which means space is pretty empty. That’s part of the appeal of the game. And as in the Engineers update, Frontier can take that space and fill it as it progresses through their feature goals. Elite’s a big game, and Frontier wants to make it bigger.
Despite Eliot’s positive experience
with Master X Master
at PAX East back in April, I went into my demo at this year’s E3
expecting very little. While I’m far from a MOBA master, I’ve sunk some time
into several non-mainstream
titles hoping to spice up the genre and rarely stick with them for long. Happily, though MXM
may suffer the same fate for me personally, I’m already feeling confident that I can recommend the title to Massively OP readers.
Don’t call it a mascot fighter
One thing I think that might be best for the game from a sales perspective is this emphasis on calling it a mascot fighter. Think of it like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?: There are cameos from famous people, but most of the movie revolves around original characters. MXM is much the same, so when you read character introductions outside of the game and don’t have a clue which NCsoft title they’re from, just assume they’re an original. There’s nothing intentionally misleading about this, as apparently my guide didn’t realize the out-of-game press made no emphasis to highlight this distinction (even the Asian websites lack this information on the character pages).
Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!
So E3 happened this week, and while it was one of the weaker E3s in recent memory for MMORPGs specifically, it still had plenty on offer: The Elder Scrolls Online dominated with its One Tamriel and housing announcement, Dual Universe clarified its sandbox PvP nature, and Sea of Thieves continued to tease its MMO features. There’s a bit more to come as well — stay tuned for embargo drops!
But the week ended on a sad note too, as Friday night Daybreak announced its intention to sunset PlanetSide 1 and Legends of Norrath.
Read on for the very best of the MMOs at E3 as well as this week’s MMO news and opinions.
While I don’t play any of Gaijin’s games, I was looking forward to meeting the studio at this year’s E3 for two reasons: the VR demo and seeing Crossout. Sadly, they weren’t combined, as the VR was for War Thunder and Crossout was simply a demo reel and Q&A. Even still, I came away with a few reasons to be excited.
The very first thing I had to ask the War Thunder team was how the recently introduced player-guided anti-tank missiles have changed the game from a developer’s perspective. Apparently they were well balanced, as the missiles are easy to see and fairly slow moving, so players at least have time to find cover to avoid them.
The recent E3 hubub about The Elder Scrolls Online new level syncing mechanics being extended has got me thinking all about the mechanics behind zones in MMOs, especially after I pored over an edition of Tamriel Infinium about how the feature’s extension could impact the game by Massively Overpowered’s own Larry Everett. Sooner or later, every MMO with a levelling system has to tackle the issue of what to do when players of differing levels want to play together, and while there are several ways in which to tackle the disparity, I’d love to see an MMO that combines some more traditional methods together in a case-responsive manner that also incorporated some degree of competence-based vertical scaling of content too.
In this edition of MMO Mechanics, I’ll have a look at the most common methods of dealing with zonation and bridging level gaps in horizontal progression systems and consider the rewards for both player and developer that the various scaling mechanics might offer. I’ll briefly cover the various scaling methods before evaluating the impact on gameplay and also the developer rationale that inspires their use.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been excited for a Rare game, but pirate-themed, multiplayer sailing-and-swashbuckling game Sea of Thieves took hold of me just based on the concept we heard last year at E3 2015. I knew this year the game would be shown in some capacity this year, and indeed I was pleased to get to interview Rare Lead Designer Mike Chapman and get some hands on with the game. I wasn’t disappointed.
Going into E3 this year, I didn’t think LawBreakers would be something we’d cover at MOP. I also didn’t expect much out of it, even with CliffyB’s involvement. I thought focusing on an adult crowd while aiming at a diverse crowd in the lobby shooter genre seemed suicidal at best.
However, LawBreakers turned out to be one of the titles at the con that pleasantly surprised me.
Whenever Naoki Yoshida
shows up at a convention, you know ahead of time that Final Fantasy XIV
fans are going to have plenty to look forward to. This year’s E3
was hardly an exception, with a live letter being released from the show floor
, an interview on the state of the game and future plans
, and even rumblings that the game may finally be getting ported over to Xbox platforms as well
. The last one is something that’s long been a sticky issue, with Square-Enix
having said that an Xbox version was welcome… but not at the cost of having separate servers or increased subscription fees.
More important for fans of the game as it stands was the live letter, which had all sorts of future plans outlined. Players can look forward to the Deep Dungeon releasing at some point in July, along with a /cpose function for sleeping animations (it’s been in the works for some time). Meanwhile, the developers already know that 3.4 will feature a more efficient tool for removing RMT spammers and the new apartment-style housing, which is targeted at addressing a variety of player concerns vis-a-vis housing plots.
Blade & Soul hasn’t yet been out for a year and it’s already gotten several updates, all good news for the players. While I had assumed the delay was because of a pro-wrestler like death grip from the game’s Korean overseers, I was wrong, as I found out during my discussion with NCsoft at this year’s E3 2016.
Let’s jump first into the team’s ongoing localization efforts. See that adorable little otter in the image below? That’s an exclusive western pet for B&S online. It’s just a small hint that the Korean developers are working with NCSoft West, but it might be easy to overlook.