endgame

Hell freezes over: Devilian to sunset in March

Two-year-old Devilian will not make it to its third birthday, we are sorry to report. Trion Worlds announced on Friday that it will be shuttering the Diablo-style MMO on March 5th. This makes sense following developer Bluehole’s decision late last year to discontinue work on the game.

“Trion Worlds and Bluehole Ginno have come to the mutual agreement to bring Devilian to a close,” the publisher posted. “In order to help with this transition, we want to ensure that you have time to say goodbye to your favorite haunts and to decide where your journeys will take you next. As Nala’s time nears its end, we want to offer you every opportunity to enjoy your remaining time there. While the servers are still on, we are turning on a 24/7 event with bonus experience, gold, gems, Enigma keys, and flower drops — making it easier for all to experience endgame content together.”

Devilian players are being compensated with a welcome package and credit transfer to one of Trion’s other titles. We recently checked in with the title, as you can see in the two-year birthday stream below.

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The Division stocks up on gas masks for next week’s event

Need a stylish gas mask to cover that thing on your neck that could be charitably called a mug? Jump in to The Division next week for its Ambush global event to earn a new mask while pulling the world out of an apocalyptic disaster.

It’s interesting that several outlets are starting to tout this two-year-old game as getting its second wind. PC Gamer said that the recent 1.8 update “made it worth playing again,” pointing to the numerous activities that players can enjoy at the endgame. “In broad terms, The Division is in the best position it’s ever been, and it’s well worth easily sinking triple-digit hours into it if loot-shooters intrigue you,” the outlet said.

Echoing these thoughts is YouTuber Cleanprincegaming, who made the case that The Division has made an incredible comeback in terms of its quality and content from its messy and unfocused launch. Perhaps it’s time to check back in with this multiplayer shooter in 2018?

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Outpost Zero lets you build a bot army to conquer a planet

Don’t do survival the hard way, with only your fleshy meatbag shell as your primary resource. Use your brains and futuristic technology to summon an army of intelligent robots instead to do your bidding!

That’s the premise of Outpost Zero, a new survival sandbox that bills itself as a cross between “multiplayer FPS” and StarCraft. Players will land on an alien planet, gather resources, build bots, and construct a base. There isn’t a peaceful resolution here, however; base vs. base wars are the core of the endgame. Leading a trained bot army, players will engage in FPS combat against enemies in an attempt to interrupt operations and loot resources.

The studio says that Outpost Zero is a very deep sandbox, particularly when it comes to the game’s base construction and economic market. It’s currently ramping up its alpha program. Check out the trailer below!

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Massively Overthinking: What’s the smallest MMO you’re willing to play?

A comment on Reddit about the current size and viability of Kritika Online got me thinking about MMO playerbases in general lately. We all know that there’s a stigma attached to little games; the big games with big servers and millions of players feel safer, and nowadays people just assume a small MMO has one foot in the grave. But it isn’t always true. We could also rattle off some smaller MMOs that seem to be moving along just fine, with bills paid. Sure, they’d like to be bigger, but they’re holding steady and know how to work the playerbase they do have rather than constantly alienate their current customers in search of new customers. And some MMO gamers actually prefer those sorts of titles. After all, if the game has just a few thousand people, it’s much easier to get to know a large slice of them, plus have your voice heard by the developers and actually influence the gameworld.

For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked the writers to reflect on the smallest MMOs they have played, and then consider how big an MMO has to be in terms of playerbase that they’d consider playing it now. What’s the smallest MMO you’re willing to play, and why?

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Wild Terra outlines upcoming system changes to improve post-launch issues

Bears! What are they good for? Hides in Wild Terra (say it again)! Except that actually getting those hides proved a lot harder than players expected because the game never communicated that bears were supposed to be big challenges taken on by well-equipped groups. Instead, players have been falling into a habit of using exploits to kill bears, which isn’t good for the game and is probably not much fun for the bears either. The latest dispatch from the developers states that the intent is to make killing bears harder to exploit while also making it much more certain that you can get some skin off a bear’s back when you succeed.

The developers are also working on the issue of an insufficient amount of iron ore in the world and the attribute issues, with one attribute (intellect) being uninvolved in combat entirely and artisans being unable to effectively fight in any context. New lighter armor is being introduced to allow for lightly armored melee fighters, iron spawns are being reworked, and new systems are being introduced to allow the Corrupted Lands to be free of unintended “ghost” enemies. Check out the full post for all of the details to see how the game is patching up its post-launch issues.

Source: Steam

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Choose My Adventure: Starting fresh in Project Gorgon

I’m really glad to be heading into Project Gorgon for the first CMA of the year. Not just because it’s a title which I have absolutely no experience with, although that helps. No, it’s also because Project Gorgon is another installment in the ongoing and non-absolute answer to the longest-running question in MMO history. Now that we have this neverending game with all of these moving pieces to play with, what are we actually here to do?

That sounds like a straightforward question, but I think it’s important to consider the reality that this has always existed and always been an issue. No matter how much you might enjoy an MMO, ultimately, you need a goal of some kind, and thus most of them have made a point of offering one. It’s important to note that “goal” is not a synonym here for “endpoint,” as most MMOs feature a goal of some sort but not a point when you are supposed to actually be entirely done forever.

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Neverwinter announces Lost City of Omu for February 27; check out the new trailer!

Perfect World has just announced a new update for Dungeons and Dragons MMO Neverwinter – its first big update of the year and another chapter in the ongoing storylines set in the jungles of Chult. “On February 27, prepare to enter the Lost City of Omu!” PWE posted.

“There is more to the Tomb of Annihilation and the death curse gripping Faerûn, and adventurers must seek answers in the Lost City of Omu. A mysterious new zone filled with crumbling temple ruins and a labyrinth of underground tunnels offers new monsters to hunt, treasures to uncover, repeatable adventures and Heroic Encounters featuring the dreaded Tyrant, an undead T-Rex with unique attacks. Continuing their campaign against the evil lich, adventurers will delve into a lair infested with yuan-ti, where they must beat the odds and unearth secrets of the Trickster Gods to overcome Acererak and the death curse.”

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Final Fantasy XIV previews beasts, Feasts, and glamorous feats

The newest set of previews for the next Final Fantasy XIV patch are now available, and they are not about the next sequence of endgame challenges… or perhaps they are. After all, aren’t glamours the real endgame? The answer is yes, and the new glamour dresser (a far better name than the previous temporary name of “glamour commode”) makes assembling new outfits and applying them in a flash much simpler while also ensuring that you can free up valuable storage space for your cosmetic items.

Speaking of cosmetic items, perhaps you’d like to earn some valuable cosmetic stuff from befriending the Ananta, with the preview outright stating that you will need to enter into a series of bizarre trials to successfully befriend the snake ladies. Or maybe you’d prefer to beat the snot out of other players with the Feast updates like a new map and the new team feature. You can check out a collection of screenshots for the update just below, too.

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The Daily Grind: Would you play a PvE game with full item decay?

One of the most insightful comments I ever saw about Darkfall (yes, Darkfall) was that, realistically, in a game with open PvP and full looting, it was inevitable that you’d lose all of the good gear you had on. That would always be a real risk, and it would always happen sooner or later. The real question was how long it would take you to rebuild to full power after such an event and how tedious it was to do so.

I’m not fond of that style of gameplay as it stands, but I still think about it, because it doesn’t need to be “full loot and free-for-all PvP” for that core principle to stand. A game with nothing but PvE could still have you lose gear as soon as you die, or it could ensure that your gear would eventually break and be unusable forever no matter how much you repair it.

On the one hand, this would kind of damage the very environment of a game like World of Warcraft with its emphasis on perpetual improvement; at the same time, it could also be seen as a way to break away from the game’s ever-upward treadmill, and it would mean that continued gear drops from world quests would still provide meaningful gear even if you have something better right now. So what do you think. Would you be interested in playing a PvE game where your gear decayed to nothing and you had to rebuild? Where you replaced a piece not because you got a stronger one, but simply because it was always time-limited?

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Wisdom of Nym: Materia and stats in Final Fantasy XIV

When Heavensward was the current expansion for Final Fantasy XIV, we were introduced to the idea that you could meld materia onto valuable endgame gear. It was a big shift, made only slightly smaller by the fact that pretty much every single job required the exact same melds without the slightest amount of consideration. You didn’t really need to think about it except for a handful of cases, and even in places where melding something else might be useful (like melding just enough Piety for Black Mage to get another cast off), you weren’t going to be suffering if you just ignored it.

This has changed somewhat in Stormblood. At this point, melding is a simple game, but it’s more complex than it gets credit for, while also perhaps being a bit simpler than it needs to be. Or perhaps it’s just as complex as it needs to be. It’s a multi-faceted issue, in other words, and one that deserves more nods than it gets.

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Global Chat: Love the farm, hate the farm

How do you feel about grinding in MMOs? What about farming? These questions can elicit a wide variety of answers, from shrieks of dismay to enthusiastic head nods. Depending on the situation, grinding and farming can be something to be enjoyed, to be endured, or to be avoided at all cost.

The Game Freak Show says that he has a love/hate affair with grinding and farming, and it presents all sorts of muddled emotions, especially when gated mechanics are thrown into the mix: “While I have forgiven the grind in many RPGs for sucking away my time, this disturbing trend of games that do not have a harsh grind because they’re flawed or made for a different audience, but to force people to drop more cash on the table is something I can’t.”

Continue on for a look at Kritika Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online’s Ravenloft, the best solo MMOs, and more!

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Massively Overthinking: Our MMO hopes and wishes for 2018

One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It’s way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.

But all the same, for tonight’s Massively Overthinking, we’d like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2018 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.

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