This week’s Massively Overthinking topic is a submission from reader and commenter camelotcrusade, who takes the industry’s current fight over monetization in a different direction from lockboxes. “Are modern games too cheap?” he asks, probably slowly reaching into a can of worms with a wicked gleam in his eye.
“When you think about it, many other things we buy have increased in price over the last decade but AAA games are still expected to be a maximum of $60, with many of us waiting for sales (or for free-to-play). Meanwhile, games everywhere are adding shops, post-release content, and DLC galore with increasingly aggressive pricing models. How much of this is to make-up margins they can’t capture up-front? How much should an AA game cost in 2017? $75? $90? Is there a price point where lockboxes, gambling, and in-game stores could focus on value-add instead of survival? And how did we get here? Whose fault is it? And how do we get out of this, or is ‘would you like a game with your store’ the future as we know it?”
Let’s talk money!
You know that moment when you just can’t take it anymore? I am there, right on the cusp. I know many folks have gotten to their “I can no longer support <insert name here>” phases for various games and studios for a variety of reasons, but I had never yet reached such a point in my own gaming. (That one studio doesn’t count because I never supported them in the first place.) And now here I am. I don’t think I can continue to support Studio WildCard.
That is definitely a shift for me. I have been an ardent fan of ARK: Survival Evolved. I championed the game pretty heavily: I have streamed it for over two years, I personally host two servers, and this very column was born largely on the back of ARK. I have almost 1500 hours of playtime, and I own the expansions. I had praised the game and Studio WildCard for a long while, holding it up as an example of things done right.
Then things changed. The accumulation of many remarks and actions that ate away at my trust was topped off by the way the studio shows disregard for its current customers, treating them as disposable cash cows. And then came the sequel talk this very week.
In her first run through Wild West Online’s Technical Alpha 1, Massively OP’s MJ mined herself some gold and successfully made it back to town to sell it. In fact, she succeeded in staying alive the whole time! Of course, chances for that happening again are slim as she sneaks back in for early access. There is new content to check out, including new quests and even a special bank robbery event. Then again, MJ also wants to prowl the countryside looking for campsites to plunder. Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. and saunter into the old west with us.
What: Wild West Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 15th, 2017
The Wild West Online early access alpha has officially begun, at least if you shelled out for the higher tiers of founder pack. According to 612 Games’ Facebook page, Pioneer ($50) and Collector ($80) edition players were welcomed in last night, while other buyers – that’d be those of you at the $30 Townie level – will hop in around 3 p.m. EST today.
We realize the founder pack page is a bit confusing as it says you’ll have access to closed alpha but not the early access, but it wouldn’t be the first time this game has muddied the waters of what test phase it’s in and whether or not it’s been delayed.
612 Games has previously touted this test round’s multiple quests, historical guns, public events, character progression and customization, and of course, female toons. The studio has also said the game will fully launch (on Steam) “later this year.” Make sure you take a peek at the latest patch notes, especially if you’re returning after time away! We’ll be streaming the game later this afternoon (yesterday’s run was botched by server downtime), so keep an eye out on OPTV!
Emerging from a rough stretch of server issues, Wild Terra has apologized to its testers and offered to make it up to them with some good old-fashioned bribes.
“We experienced great problems with the stability of the servers in last three days,” the team said. “In compensation all players entering the game before the end of the week will receive a premium scroll for three days which you are free to use at your discretion.”
Some of the fixes for these issues were incorporated into the fantasy sandbox’s newest patch. This update also added tutorial quests for new players, the revolution that is simple daily quests, and a redesign of several user interface windows.
Wild Terra is currently 15% off at $12.74, in case you want to get into the Steam early access program.
If you are not acquainted with Dark and Light’s chaos servers, let us refresh your memory. These shards have a heavy PvP focus with all sorts of crazy rules and are being used by the developers to influence PvP development in the game. They are also the target of an upcoming wipe coming later this week.
On November 16th, Dark and Light will wipe and reset all of its chaos servers in preparation of a new tracking system for house competition. Through this, players will earn points for their respective houses by performing certain activities across the game world, such as finding rare nodes or killing world bosses. The competition comes to a head each Sunday, with the top three scoring houses on each chaos server receiving special rewards.
The good news for fans of ARK: Survival Evolved who are not in the mood to buy a sequel to the game at the moment? There isn’t one being developed right now. But ARK 2 is still not off the table according to one of the community managers; in fact, based solely on popularity, it seems inevitable.
We don’t have any plans for a sequel right now. But as has been stated, with the unprecedented popularity of the game, it would be a disservice to not expand on that through a sequel.
Why a sequel instead of just expansions? Because the development team has learned a lot over the course of bringing ARK to release, and that means a sequel could contain lessons learned about system design as well as back-end improvements to make the game easier to update and maintain. Of course, it’s all speculation right now, as one isn’t presently in the pipeline; the title did only recently move from early access into proper launch. Just don’t be surprised if you hear about one in the next few years.
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!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from KurtzPel, Path of Exile, The Black Death, SMITE, EVE Online, Dreadnought, Heroes of the Storm, TERA M, Battlerite, Dragon Quest Rivals, Final Fantasy XI, Aion, Pokemon Go, Vendetta Online, Ingress, and Old School RuneScape, all waiting for you after the break!
This is your bi-annual reminder that, yes, Pathfinder Online continues to exist and even grow through development. The reduced team pushed out its first patch since last August, but considering everything that’s going into this update, you might agree the wait was worth it.
What’s included here? Ninjas. Or ninja, depending on how nitpicky you want to be about the pluralization. “The new escalation, Over the Crown, brings ninjas of the Ruby Crypt clan,” the team reports, “as well as samurai and wizards of the Shojinawa family employing them, all the way across the world from Tian Xia to the Echo Woods. This escalation is meant for experienced characters, and is both tougher and more rewarding than Gathering of Legends.”
Sounds charming. Other additions with Early Enrollment v14 include the use of ammunition, two new types of premium player housing, less annoying town criers, line-of-sight restrictions, and a renaming of Smallholdings to Freeholds. Hopefully this is a good sign of the future existence of this PvP MMO — what do you think?
Free-to-play sci-fantasy MMORPG Skyforge
has semi-launched on the Xbox One
, at least kicking off its early access program. The move follows a hop from PC to PlayStation 4 earlier this year
. The downside is that to get in today, you’ll have to pick up a founder pack – if not, you’ll be waiting a few more weeks.
“If you don’t have a pack yet but would like to join the early access, it is not too late,” My.com posted today. “The founder’s packs are still available until Skyforge releases on Xbox One on November 29th.” The bundles run from a $14.99 starter pack all the way up to a $79.99 gold founder pack stuffed with class unlocks, cash-shop currency, and two months of sub time. All packs come with early access, while the larger preorder bundles include additional cosmetics.
We’ve included the announcement pics below along with today’s new launch trailer. Anyone planning to pick it up on Xbox?
The production schedule for OrbusVR is speeding right along, and the game is just about ready to head into early access. For a given value of “just about,” anyhow; November is still going to be all about the closed beta starting on November 15th. But when that ends on December 8th, players can mark their calendars for the early access head start on December 13th, and from that point on the game is playing for keeps.
Yes, really; the game’s early access period will feature no more wipes or rollbacks, whether you’re part of the headstart or have to start on the general early access period on December 15th. That’s also when fans will be able to gift the game to others, incidentally. So if you’re excited for the game but don’t like playing MMOs when you know there will be progress wipes, get ready to dive in with a will in mid-December.
If you’ve had an eye on Wild Buster and wondered how the “gritty sci-fi hack’n’slash MMOARPG” is faring in the lead up to its November early access launch on Steam, then today’s giveaway is for you. InselGames has granted us 1000 keys for this weekend’s test, which aims to put the brand-new US servers through their paces.
Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!
The latest edition of Microsoft’s gaming console launches today, and Conan Exiles is ready to take advantage of all of the new bells and whistles. Not literally, because that would be an audibly annoying console, but we’ll assume you understand metaphor.
In yesterday’s patch, Funcom said that it is ready for the Xbox One X: “Conan Exiles is now Xbox One X ready, with improved graphics resolution and shadow quality, increased effective resolution textures, and longer view distance.”
The patch isn’t just about the new console, as it has re-enabled the ability to summon avatars, fixed a nasty server crash bug, and adjusted stamina so that it will regenerate normally in single-player mode.