early access

MMOs you’ve never heard of: Savage Hunt – Dragon’s Prophet, Ironsight, Until None Remain, and Battlerite

Welcome back to our intermittent series on MMOs and other multiplayer games you you’ve never heard of! Today we have four fresh titles to take a look at.

Savage Hunt

Gamigo announced Savage Hunt – Dragon’s Prophet this week, the successor to Dragon’s Prophet, which Gamigo is calling “one of the most successful MMORPGs ever launched.” MMORPG players will recall that Daybreak sunsetted the US version of the original game in 2015, though it continued on overseas. The company says the free-to-play title will launch on September 28th in English, German, and French, and yes, you can still “hunt, train, and fight with […] dragons.” Over 600 of them, in fact, though you’ll probably be distracted by “4000 exciting quests and events” and PvP battles. The official site doesn’t appear to be live just yet.

Savage Hunt – Dragon’s Prophet is the newest release after the long-standing success of Dragon’s Prophet. Discover new and epic adventures and find your own path in Savage Hunt – Dragon’s Prophet. Explore a fantastic world that combines classical MMORPG elements with unique features. Search through forests and mountains for rare dragons, items and always be prepared for the fight. In the new Book of Dragons, you can collect your dragons and plan your journey. Find, hunt and tame over 600 dragons with individual strengths and skills. Only the best hunters and collectors can improve their dragons and items.”

What else have we got?

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This week in survivalboxes: Valnir Rok, Hellion, Next Day Survival, and ARK

It’s time for another survivalbox roundup! What’s new in the world of eternal building, unbuilding, ganking, ganking buildings, and consuming adequate food and water so you don’t keel over dead from all the fun you’re having?

Valnir Rok

Viking-themed survival sandbox Valnir Rok is currently conducting closed alpha rounds, having opened up new servers in Asia, South America, and Russia for this weekend’s test event.

“Looking back, it was a good decision to make another closed alpha weekend before the launch,” wrote the devs this week. “Although the player’s feedback was very positive overall, we found several bugs and some serious problems. We managed to fix some issues over the weekend and patched a few performance problems. Now our task is to fix severe bugs, which influence gameplay, to have a successfull launch. Nevertheless, we are looking forward going in Early Access by the end of September.”

What else have we got here…

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Massively Overthinking: How will Star Citizen make money after launch?

During this week’s Massively OP Podcast, Justin and I attempted to tackle a question sent in by commenter and listener Sally Bowls – specifically, she wanted us to speculate on what a post-launch monetization plan for Star Citizen might look like.

“Assuming they have a lot of overhead and expense, are they going to fire most of their employees at launch? Keep them and support them with subscriptions? DLC? Cosmetics? A stream of new ships would be my first guess – but new ships good enough that people spend $50M-$100M per year withouth causing old customers to think the new shiny invalidates their previous purchase? That seems to me a non-trivial tightrope to walk.”

Put away your instinct to joke that it won’t matter because Star Citizen is never coming out. Let’s just reasonably assume that it does eventually launch into something the studio will call more or less ready. How do you think Star Citizen will make money after launch? That’s the question I’ve posed the Massively OP team for this round of Massively Overthinking.

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The Stream Team: Getting a look at Guardians of Ember’s launch

Good-bye Early Access! It’s a glorious day when a game can say that, and today Guardians of Ember gets to join the ranks of launched titles. Of course, Massively OP’s MJ wants to jump in and check things out. Since the game touts “fighting to the death” she doesn’t think she’ll come out of this journey unscathed. The Death Counter is sure to feed tonight! Join us live at 7:00 p.m. for a launch look at…

What: Guardians of Ember
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

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PvE-centric Fortnite’s new battle royal PvP mode will be free-to-play

Epic Games announced this morning that Fortnite’s upcoming PvP mode will essentially be free-to-play.

The game was originally touted by Epic as a PvE survival title without direct PvP and has taken heavy criticism over its punishing business model and progression system. Nevertheless, Epic announced earlier this month that its next patch will introduce PvP in the form of a battle royal-style mode, rather upsetting its early buyers. That update is due out on September 26th, and today, the studio’s issued an addendum: While the original “Save the World” PvE part of the game will remain in “paid early access,” the PvP-oriented, 100-man “Fortnite Battle Royale” map will instead be “free for everyone on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Mac.”

PvE players on Reddit, who bought the game in early access when it launched just a few months ago based on its PvE-centricity, are not pleased at all, arguing that it will split the playerbase as well as distract from the original PvE goals of the game. “It’s now a free PvP game with a $40 PvE mode,” one noted. “I continue to be concerned for the state of PvE in this game.” (They may not even be wrong. Just ask H1Z1: Just Survive players how this story goes.)

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Hack-n-slash MMOARPG Guardians of Ember launches today

After wandering the lands of early access since last December, the Runewaker-developed hack-and-slash Guardians of Ember has now gained enough confidence, experience, and (most importantly) development to officially launch.

Even better, the release of the MMOARPG is being treated to a large patch but not a wipe from beta testing. “This patch will be unlike the others as it seeks to bring quality of life to the citizens of Olyndale. You can expect to see changes to the loot orb system, shared XP in group play, free reskill, Spanish localization and the much-requested nightmare mode,” the team said. New and updated since early access are arena battles, a wave-based Horde Mode, a guild skill system, crafting upgrades, an enhancement system, new mounts and pets, and alterations to the cash shop based on early access feedback, including those free respecs up to level 25.

The basic edition of the game is $20 on Steam, although you can pick up the deluxe edition and the deluxe DLC package for 33% off through September 27th. As we’ve previously covered, the game ran a small ($10,000) Indiegogo campaign for German localization but actually secured $77,000 and put the extra money back into the game with a hardcore mode and launch event.

We’ve got the launch trailer, pics, and a roundup of all our coverage to date for you down below!

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Fortnite accidentally adds then removes crossplatform Xbox One/PS4 play

Update: Aww, nuts. Epic has already disabled it, calling it a “configuration issue” and bug.

Bet you’ve never actually ridden a physical lockbox from an online game before — unless you went to PAX West this year, of course!

Persnickety piñatas aside, zombie survival title Fortnite has steathed in a rather applause-worthy feature that it really should be trumpeting from the highest of hills. Over this past weekend, Epic Games enabled cross-platform play between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Sound unique? That’s because this is allegedly the first time an online game has managed to wrangle cross-platform play between these two particular consoles. The subject has been of great interest as of late, with Microsoft being more open to sharing its playspace with the competition and Sony jealously guarding its territory.

Fortnite is currently testing its new Battle Royale mode which is coming to the game on September 26th.

Source: VG247

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Puzzle Pirates: Dark Seas server goes into early access

Every voyage has a beginning, and for Puzzle Pirates’ newest server, the maiden voyage began this past week.

It’s called Dark Seas, and it’s a version of the game designed around PvP with both new and old realms to explore. Players will create a pirate and align themselves with a faction as they battle their foes and seek treasure. It’s out right now on Steam early access and should be sailing those waters for at least a half of a year. No wipe is planned, although the team isn’t ruling it out in dire circumstances.

Puzzle Pirates: Dark Seas is a new take on a beloved MMO that’s been sailing the seas for over a decade,” the team said. “The goal for Dark Seas is to introduce an entirely new ocean, a volatile new place full of more danger and unexplored frontiers.”

Not only is this a new version of an old MMO, but Dark Seas is also the first big release for the relatively newly formed Grey Havens. Grey Havens is an indie studio that is now running the Puzzle Pirates franchise and is made up mostly of former Three Rings employees.

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Dark and Light vows to squash early access bugs

Early access or no, players expect their games to work right when they’re shelling out money for them. The developers of the reworked Dark and Light are cognizant of this fact, and as such are working hard on a build to eliminate some of the more serious bugs that have been dragging down the game experience in its testing phase.

One of the more notorious issues is the “black screen bug” that continues to keep some players from entering the game itself. Other bug fixes include help with taming Nidhogs and Goblins, preserving data for soul stones, and retaining donation totals for vendors.

“As an early access game, we’re expecting to face a number of bugs ranging from minor to severe — with new content, new bugs are bound to show up as well,” the team said. “Our main focus is to try and make Dark and Light the best experience possible, both in terms of content and stability. We’re working to tweak existing content, like the exceedingly-difficult Ice Cave, while fixing bugs and creating new, exciting content to keep Archos’s Adventurers busy for a long time.”

Curious whether Dark and Light is worth playing (and paying)? Check out one player’s impressions after the break!

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PAX West 2017: ARK Survival Evolved on optimization, the Aberration expansion, and future development

This past summer, ARK: Survival Evolved finally officially launched, ending its stint as an early access game just three days before PAX West, then promptly announced its second expansion on the first day of the convention. There wasn’t even a week between launch and the second expansion’s unveiling, and there will be fewer than two months between the two launches; Aberration is scheduled to launch in October.

While at PAX, I sat down with Studio Wildcard Senior Producer Navin Supphapholsiri, who thanked fans for supporting the game: “We really appreciate the support for the past two years. Just to see how far we’ve come along, it’s all thanks to the community.” Then we talked about the launch, about Aberration, and about the team’s focus going forward.

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Project Gorgon is ‘gearing up’ for a Steam launch, adds item context menus

When the history books go to record the development of Project Gorgon, they’re going to have to use terms like “ages” and “epochs” to describe the slow-burning process of this game’s creation. Still, our generation might live to see this indie MMORPG move out of alpha and into a broader market.

The team said late last month that it was hard at work “gearing up” for Project Gorgon’s Steam launch. Previously, it was stated that the Steam early access release would precede Gorgon’s official launch later this year.

The game’s late August patch revised the zone of Serbule Hills, added a poetry podium for oration, and made several changes to augmentation and transmutation. Coming soon, however, is an update to the user interface that will add much-needed context menus for items. Check it out after the break!

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Funcom promises better communication for Conan Exiles

Get ready for a flood of information from Conan Exiles. Funcom admitted that it had been dropping the ball on talking with fans about what’s going on with the game — a fault that it wants to correct starting post-haste.

“Unfortunately haven’t been the best at communicating recently, something we’re going to be addressing (and hopefully improving upon) today,” Conan Exiles’ community manager posted on multiple sites. The post went on to promise a weekly meeting with the entire dev team, during which notes will be taken and compiled for a regular Monday post to the community.

If you can stomach even more communication about the early access sandbox, check out this Gamasutra interview with Creative Director Joel Bylos in which he talks about Conan Exiles’ Zelda influences, the rocky rollout of the Xbox One version, and the studio’s decision-making process.

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Worlds Adrift is making it easier to play well with others

There are times when Worlds Adrift is meant to be lonesome, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be lonely. The development team has posted a new article about upcoming changes to improve crew functionality, giving players more incentive to team up as they explore the floating islands filled with traps and strongholds.

It starts by making crew beacons easier to use and have more functionality, giving players more options when split up or shipwrecked while still giving people a chance to get together over long distances. New crew revivers are also incoming, ensuring that crew members who drop in a heated battle are better able to jump back into the action with friends. Check out the precise mechanical details on the official site, and get ready to have an easier time working as a team as you travel. After all, teams tend to stick around longer, and considering the studio’s cash injection it seems the game might be around for a while.

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