This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained continues inching along toward its planned summer beta. According to the game’s latest update, CSE is running internal tests on a new server while tweaking tooltips, the banes and noom system, capture-the-flag mode, item placement, armor, environment assets, and animations, including new idles for each class.
Meanwhile, Crowfall released its 5.5 alpha, Ashes of Creation announced alpha one will land by the end of the year, Albion Online balance-patched armor and GvG while counting a million dead bunnies, Dual Universe released its April newsletter, and Dogma Eternal Night hit the skids.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Planetary simulator ECO is surprising testers with an interesting twist that will be sure to keep them on their toes (and plugging their nose): garbage.
Any unwanted items and byproducts that are dropped in the game will gradually decompose, turning into either compost or pollution depending on the items in question. “This will be another negative resource that societies will have to plan for and handle (or don’t, and see what it does to the world), and the amount generated by players will ramp up as tech increases,” the team explained.
Before this stinky system arrives, ECO delivered Beta Patch 7.3 with a first pass at localization, world markers on the minimap, steel lighting fixtures, global markers, faster biting fish, and more.
MassivelyOp reader Bryan recently wrote to us with a fun question about emulators, a topic that will simply never die as long as MMORPGs do.
“I recently viewed some comments claiming that official era servers wouldn’t acquire much of the player base from private servers, due the benefit of private servers typically being free to play. After thinking about it though, I actually know many people who have donated money or purchased cash shop items on private servers. And I have been in guilds that paid for guild website hosting and guild voice chat hosting for their private server guild. Free stuff is always nice, of course, but it seems as though while the benefit of free to play private servers is there, there’s still a decent amount of people willing to pay out of their pockets for them. I am wondering, how many MOP readers have donated or would be willing to spend real money on a private server?”
So let’s tackle the emulator question in this week’s Massively Overthinking. Have you ever played on an emulator? Under what circumstances? Which ones are you OK with, and which ones do you stay far away from? Are you OK with emulators raising money, and for what purpose? And have you ever donated money to or spent money on an MMO emulator?
This week in MMO crowdfunding, French website AFJV reported that Dual Universe studio Novaquark has snapped up one of the original EVE Online designers: Hrafnkell Oskarsson. The crowfunded sci-fi MMORPG recently opened up its own custom crowdfunding portal to continue development, which is currently still in pre-alpha. “Together, Novaquark and Oskarsson will be working on Dual Universe, the giant multi-planetary sandbox universe where potentially millions of people will be able to invent new stories for themselves, create new political systems, economies, cities, and empires,” says the company in its PR.
It was a big week for the larger Kickstarted MMORPGs: As promised, beloved crowdfunded indie Project Gorgon hit early access this week to cheering crowds on Steam in spite of its relatively high price, and Shroud of the Avatar pushed out new videos ahead of its formal launch this week.
Meanwhile, Pantropy canceled its Kickstarter and is planning a second go, ROKH got a substantial update and a promise that it’s not being abandoned, Crowfall obsessed over death, Ascent The Space Game readied an engine switchover, and Albion Online rolled out its Lancelot update.
At long last, players of ECO will no longer be stuck having to walk from place to place like an animal, but will be free to tear across the landscape of this ecologically focused game in a smoke-belching SUV. Sure, the first vehicles previewed don’t fall under that header, but we’re certain it’s only a matter of time. Show the game what “player vs. environment” can really mean!
Jokes aside, the addition of a universal steam engine (previewed in a video below) and a variety of different vehicle types will allow players to explore more options for living in harmony with the environment or exploiting it for short-term gain. The initial lineup should give you the farming and transportation tools you’ll need. Players are also encouraged to vote on the next major development goals for the title; the vehicles are expected to be up for testing on April 6th, with a main Steam release not long thereafter.
For those who have forgotten, ECO is an environmental-themed sandbox title that’s been in early access since February. You can check that out for a look at the world and the game with the developers.
Have you ever noticed that you play it way too safe in your MMOs, especially when it comes to interacting (or not) with others? Aywren of Sygnus wrote an honest blog post lately in which she felt challenged to examine and even buck her “safe patterns” in life and gaming and to try to get out of her rut and try new things.
“On my gaming blog, I’ve talked about my struggles with grouping in MMOs, and how FFXIV specifically had to pick me up and forcibly throw me out of my safe zone if I wanted to keep playing it. This is something I still struggle with,” she admitted. “I do everything I can to avoid stressful dungeons, raids or classes. I’m still afraid of tanking and healing for strangers outside my FC.”
Join us for more thought-provoking blog posts from the MMO community as we fill up your screen with the latest in Global Chat!
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Dual Universe is still zooming along in its pre-alpha, and it’s addressed just that in a new AMA this week. The studio acknowledges that the game’s development has become delayed (you’ll recall it was originally supposed to launch a full alpha last fall) but that money isn’t an issue. “Don’t worry, we are OK,” Novaquark tells backers. “We are going to publish a roadmap before Summer. For the 24/7 [testing], this is a high level priority, and we hope to be able to get you there in a few weeks. It won’t be full time however, but more like full week-ends to start with.” The studio also says it’ll launch a second crowdfunding effort later this quarter.
On a more meta note, today marks Massively OP’s third birthday as an independent MMORPG website, and the plain truth is that wouldn’t be here today without the generous donors who contributed to our original Kickstarter back in 2015, our Patreon and PayPal donors, our Twitch subbers, our Amazon clicky-clickers, and you lovely folks who whitelist our ads. You and we are living proof that crowdfunding can work! Thank you all so very much from the whole team. Here’s to three and many more!
At long last, ECO has moved from alpha into beta and Early Access on Steam. Drop a little money on it and you can get into testing this blocky ecological simulation sandbox. Yes, it’s along the lines of Minecraft, but the goal here is simulating the influence you can have on ecological simulations. So you can insist to others that it’s educational and actually be right.
We’ve also had some other beta news this week, and as we do every week, we’ve assembled some highlights below in easy-to-read list format.
All of the questions above, I promise, were purely rhetorical. You don’t need to answer them down in the comments. You can, however, let us know if something is wrong with the list below where we keep all of our important beta news. You can also let us know about betas you’re involved in testing, or talk about this week’s stories, or whatever you so desire. We’re flexible that way.
The blocky world simulator ECO has bidden farewell to alpha and moved right into beta today. The beta transition also coincides with the title’s release on Steam early access, where ECO can be purchased for $30.
The beta launch comes with Patch 7.0, which adds definable districts, a more balanced world generation, redesigned plant simulation, password protected servers, reworked tutorials, a better-looking HUD, support for mods, and several new plant and animal species.
“We’re putting together a road map with what’s to come, and look forward to deeply involving the community as we keep development moving, tons more we want to do,” the team said.
Massively OP recently explored ECO with its developers. If you missed that stream, we’ve got it for you below!
ECO is a survival game unlike the others; you are trying to keep the entire planet alive! Not only that, but it is full of science! Massively OP’s MJ is excited to dive in and check this sandbox out ahead of its Steam launch. Even better, she isn’t heading in alone: Devs are joining in to discuss the unique elements and answer questions about the game. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for a look inside this new world.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Monday, January 29th, 2018
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained’s weekly progress report is on the shorter side (for CSE) given that the game’s monthly newsletter just went out, but there are some interesting tidbits within, including the fact that the studio is considering uprooting the game’s hosting services and migrating elsewhere. The team’s also been working on battlegrounds and warbands, status effects, animations, female clothing, tech stuff, and boats.
In great news for anybody still lamenting World of Darkness, victory seems assured for vampire MMORPG Shadow’s Kiss, whose Kickstarter should conclude on Tuesday with more than double its ask.
Meanwhile, Elite Dangerous patched its patch, Shroud of the Avatar is hosting a Movember team, Valiance Online teased female toons, Project Gorgon is planning its next update early tomorrow morning, we spoke to Mark Jacobs about developer wages, Ship of Heroes prepped its combat alpha, and Star Citizen drove eyebrows to the sky by announcing the pre-sale of land claims in space.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Wetlands are an important part of the ecosystem, and not just because they are chock-full of stinging insects, biting snakes, and muddy bogs. They also are important quest locations in MMOs, which is why it’s so important to preserve them as nature intended.
Thankfully, organizations like SOTA (Swamps of the Alliance) exist to save the unique qualities of the wetlands from becoming generic, cloned entities. The digital eco warriors are rebuilding the East Longfall Wetlands for (catch and) Release 49 as part of the Paths of Truth and Courage. We assume that those are national forestry trails.
The SOTA team has also been busy this month creating “hordes of barbarians and cannibals,” although we cannot for the life of us understand why they would do this. Perhaps a dare.
In some online games, player housing is mostly a way to show off personal creativity and set up a space of your own. In ECO, however, it will be much more than that.
The dev team introduced its new housing system, saying that setting up an abode will be an important way to help your character to grow. You know, before the end of the world and all that.
“The better furnished your house is with the more variety of rooms, the faster you’ll gain skill points,” the team said. “Adding furniture of matching categories to a room (i.e., bathroom, living room, bedroom) will provide a room bonus to the property owner, and having multiple rooms of various types will apply a ‘balanced house multiplier.'”
Of course, make your house too big to draw these benefits, and you’ll be putting the planet at risk. Shame on you. Player housing arrived in the Alpha 6.1 patch.