Have you ever noticed that while there’s an entire world out there, most all of the MMORPGs we discuss and play tend to either be ones crafted in the USA or imports from China or Korea? We even have a shorthand for this: “western” and “eastern” MMOs. We’re usually not talking about entire hemispheres with these references, but rather about categorizing three countries that are big into the MMORPG business.
But what about the rest of the world? Are all of these other countries so uncaring about this genre that they’ve never tried their hand at making an MMO? Of course not; as I’m about to show you, there are plenty of online RPGs that have been made in countries other than China, the USA, and South Korea. It’s just that for various reasons, those three countries ended up fostering concentrations of video game developers who knew how to create these types of games.
So let’s take a tour around the world and see if we can’t give some credit to other countries for their contributions to the MMORPG genre past, present, and future. Before you click the link, see how many you can name off the top of your head!
This week in MMO crowdfunding, City of Heroes-inspired superhero MMORPG Ship of Heroes launched its Kickstarter, seeking $400,000. But three days later, Heroic Games canceled the crowdfunding attempt, saying it believed it “went to Kickstarter too early.” The new plan is to return to development, raise awareness, take donations through the website, and retool development based on its current level of funding, meaning a potentially smaller but earlier game.
In happier news, congrats are due to post-apoc sandbox Edengrad, which successfully launched into early access. Edengrad was funded last year for over $50,000 US thanks to Kickstarter backers.
Meanwhile, Dual Universe reached another stretch goal, Worlds Adrift launched its 6.0 update, Grim Dawn detailed the Necromancer class coming in its first expansion, Elite: Dangerous dropped its cash shop prices permanently, Starfighter Inc. continues to inch its way toward its Kickstarter end, and Shroud of the Avatar is in the midst of another free trial period.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.
If you were hoping that Secret World Legends was essentially just The Secret World, well, you were wrong. You were told that you were wrong when it was announced, but the first round of leaks have been coming out of the beta, and they paint a very different picture of the game. Of course, it’s still early enough in testing that fans are cautioned not to see anything therein as final, so… take all of that with a grain of salt, naturally.
And yes, there is other beta news! That’s not a secret. It’s a known fact.
- Crowfall is offering players the option to customize skill loadouts. That’s new and it’s a real thing, unlike the development team’s recent round of answers for things which do not currently exist.
- The Morrowind expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online has a closed beta on the game’s test servers. Essentially, you can only be invited to test the expansion content, but everyone gets to test the patch itself. It’s a bit odd.
- If you want some drops in Albion Online, you’re going to need to make them yourself. Yes, there are plans for a system to ensure that even drops are made by players. Also a bit odd, but sort of cool.
- There are two factions in Escape from Tarkov, but there’s also a third… well, not a faction, per se, but scavengers can run around and screw things up for everyone regardless of affiliation.
- The latest update for Worlds Adrift doesn’t just make the game flow better, it makes it taste better. Metaphorically, anyhow. If you lick the part of your hard drive where the game is stored, you… actually, just don’t do that. Don’t even think about that.
- Last but not least, Edengrad has launched into Early Access. That’s not odd at all! Just straightforward.
You know what comes next: I mention that there’s a list of games in testing below, I implore you to let us know if something jumped test phases, I sit and cry with four pounds of crispy bacon. I don’t actually eat the bacon, I just cry next to it. Also, I’m hoping by this point you’ve stopped reading. The best secrets are out in plain sight.
Starting today, the Kickstarted post-apocalyptic sandbox MMO Edengrad is leaving its pre-alpha cocoon to clamber into a bigger cocoon called “early access.” With Patch 0.2.1, the title is officially in its alpha phase and can be played through Steam.
Edengrad puts players into the shoes of a post-apocalyptic survivor who leaves the safety of his or her underground shelter to try to make it in the harsh overworld. Expect to see a lot of typical survival sandbox activities, including foraging for food, keeping meters under control, crafting weapons, building towns, and fighting other players and the local mutants.
The team put out a trailer to mark the start of early access. It definitely warrants a watch for its oddity, as the trailer documents the life and times of a survivor who really, really loves his hatchet. Also, there’s a part where the guy kills another player and then tinkles on his corpse. Survival sandboxes, everyone!
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous rather unceremoniously announced on social media that the 2.3 Commanders update will launch around the middle of April — this is the huge update with multicrew ship functionality and the character creation system. (Thanks, ThatLanteshGuy!)
Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar launched its 40th update, Sweden jumped into small-scale equity crowdfunding with FundedByMe, Dual Universe reassured players about its video graphics, Edengrad hits early access this coming week, and Starfighter, Inc. held an AMA to promote its ongoing Kickstarter.
We also hosted Legends of Aria founder Derek Brinkmann on a special edition of the podcast this week, so if you’re curious about the large-scale future of what used to be the more small-scale Shards Online, give it a thorough listen. Then read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.
All the speculation and hopes turned out to be true; Destiny 2 will be coming to the PC as well as consoles, with a launch in September and a beta this summer. We haven’t yet had a confirmation that the sequel will allow you to ride on magical ponies or feature a third-person camera, but I’m sure that wishing hard enough makes things happen. Why not, at this point?
Other beta news with significantly less destiny did occur this week, naturally:
Oh, and there’s a list of stuff down below. What sort of stuff? Games in testing, mostly. Some of them might have jumped test phases without us noticing though, and if so, do clue us in down in the comments.
Fallout-inspired post-apoc MMO Edengrad is one step closer to launch today as it’s announced it’ll hit Steam’s early access program on April 4th, following a day-long stream. Expect it to run $12.99.
The Polish game was Kickstarted last year to the tune of $56,000 and was originally expected to hit early access last fall. We originally dubbed the game a survival sandbox, but the devs are calling it a “survival mmorpg” specifically.
“Gameplay rests on mechanics known from Sandbox productions, in which players have no set down destination, but everyone freely chooses interesting quests and take their paths,” Huckleberry Games says. “At the beginning, player’s everyday responsibilities include collecting firewood, building shelters, hunting small game and hydrating the character’s body. This phase finishes after finding fellow travelers and formalizing an acquaintance through formation of the fraction. Creation of micro-communities guarantees all members benefits inaccessible to a single player. […] A non-linear gameplay and dynamic turn of events will keep every player engrossed in the world of Edengrad for long months.”
This week in MMO crowdfunding, we did a retrospective on why crowdfunded MMOARPG Hero’s Song failed. It’s almost as if Justin knew (cue spooky music) because two days later, Hero’s Song’s John Smedley and most of the Pixelmage team showed up at Amazon, announcing a new studio and a new game for the shopping giant’s games division. In other words, don’t expect Smed back on Kickstarter any time soon.
Meanwhile, Star Citizen’s alpha 2.6.1 went live, we poked around TUG’s status, Elite Dangerous demoed its upcoming “Holo-Me” character creator, The Exiled prepped for next week’s launch, Ruin of the Reckless entered its backer test phase, and Camelot Unchained hinted at beta.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.
When you first step into the wasteland of Edengrad, you’ll be treated to the classic post-apocalyptic experience of trekking through a dry and mostly abandoned American southwest desert. That isn’t to say that it will be devoid of interesting sights and locales, however.
The devs shared some pictures from the Lost Highway and talked about how they worked to make this beginner zone more interesting than dull: “The Lost Highway is the first location seen by players after leaving the vaults. The desert, mostly based on Arizona’s Monument Valley, is in many places interlaced with rock formations […] On the one hand, we did our best to present Arizona’s climate as realistically as possible. On the other hand, we wanted to fill the world with interesting locations so the player wouldn’t get bored while wandering through endless grasslands.”
Check out some of the vistas you’ll be seeing on the Lost Highway below:
This week in MMO crowfunding was… well, it was a big week for gaming in general, and Kickstarted games rose to the challenge! In fact, we could barely pump out the news fast enough. Here’s what went on this week:
- Camelot Unchained continued work on “big ticket” development issues, like animation and effects and abilities for bots.
- Mekria Online, which we introduced only last week, has already canceled its Kickstarter; the studio vows to return with more to show players next round.
- Ashes of Creation released its first gameplay video, a “movie-like” version that’ll see a UI-laden edition next week.
- Gloria Victis introduced its new Glory system as well as the ability to burn down ALL THE THINGS. Seriously.
- TUG’s latest Kickstarter update tells backers that the team is working on gameplay prototyping and touted its recent investor presentation.
- Ship of Heroes previewed one of its signature heroes, Dr. Ellen Strikewell.
- Shards Online is prepping for its Steam launch with an impending wipe and NDA drop.
- Valiance Online posted four new videos of the alpha client! We’ve tucked one down below.
- Crowfall canceled its weekend playtest over studio concerns that the current version of the build isn’t up to snuff.
- Grim Dawn rolled out a massive new patch.
- and Shroud of the Avatar rounds out my super-long list with a post-mortem Q&A — video and text versions — on its latest release.
I told you it was busy, and there’s more down below! Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.
Even in a post-apocalyptic setting like Edengrad, it’s important for NPCs to fill out the world and make it feel more alive. However, that also involves a fine balancing act as well, as players need to feel like the NPCs are actually interacting with the world rather than just standing there. The game’s newest update adds the first iteration of new NPC mechanics starting with NPCs paying attention to characters around them.
Previously, NPCs would ignore players unless players specifically did something to draw attention. Now, NPCs will watch the characters move, react to players approaching, and so forth. It’s all part of the underlying system that will give NPCs full schedules and lists of activities to perform, adding in some additional verisimilitude when you walk through the world.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, ArtCraft says over 9000 gamers have been invited to try to break the three alpha servers active during Crowfall’s “Big World” playtest. “We’ve shifted our development approach to be more like a live MMO,” says Creative Director and Co-Founder J. Todd Coleman. Still on the way “soon” are the new crafting skill trees, unique world maps, the necromancy system that serves as the foundation for avatar swapping, and the protype for the Eternal Kingdoms. The company also crossed the minimum threshold for its Indiegogo-based equity crowdfunding effort, though it has been thus far unwilling to answer questions about its now-public finances.
Meanwhile, Pantheon is plotting a stream on December 9th, Ship of Heroes became the fourth City of Heroes spiritual successor (and has crowdfunding on the way), Star Citizen began testing alpha 26, Richard Garriott donated an in-game skull to a tavern in Shroud of the Avatar, and The Exiled kicked off its closed alpha (for which we still have keys!).
Finally, we sat down with Project Gorgon’s Eric Heimburg to chat about the state of the game and its graphics plans for 2017.
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’ve got our eye on!
Sometimes, stories are just so weird that you can’t help but find them fascinating. Take the unexpected removal of Project Genom from the Steam store. The former lead programmer claimed that he was given no contracts and functionally scammed out of assets and work; the studio claimed he never signed a contract and turned out substandard work. It’s one of those weird stories of conflicting hearsay that you know you’ll never really know the truth about, even with the promise that the game will be getting back on Steam soon.
It’s a quiet holiday week for most of us, but that doesn’t mean other beta news didn’t happen. For example:
- Wild Terra has opened up its testing to everyone for a few days, just so that people can see what the game is all about and give its test server a whirl. This coincides with some patches and improvements, as you like.
- Darkfall: New Dawn is also open to everyone for its stress test through the holidays. Whether or not that’s a test of stress on the servers or a test of your stress is left as an exercise for the reader.
- The pre-alpha for Edengrad has started, which means that it’s still light on some important features but also has the core of the game in place. At least, in theory. You’ll have to test it to know if that’s successful.
- Looking forward to Conan Exiles? It’s arriving in early access on January 31st, 2017. That’s a little ways away, but it’s not that far.
- Why not try out some Master x Master Titan Ruins this weekend? The game’s testing exactly that, so you can see how well it works out.
- Last but not least, Sea of Thieves is inviting people to become pirate insiders, which might be appealing if you have Windows 10 or an Xbox One. The rest of you can sit and stare in jealousy, or just wait for all of the information for insiders to be leaked. I mean, pirates.
While you’re enjoying a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers, why not take the time to peruse our list of games just below? Lots of games are in testing, after all. Of course, some of them may have advanced to another testing stage without us noticing, so feel free to let us know about that down in the comments.