Back in June, Neowiz and Aeria Games/Gamigo confirmed that they’d mutually ended their partnership to make Aeria the western Bless Online publisher. While initially the studios stated the MMO had been canceled for our region and wasn’t coming westward at all thanks to “quality standards” and “technical difficulties [that] cannot be overcome,” Neowiz quickly moved to suggest that it would be publishing the game here in the west on its own, presumably with the combat system do-over Aeria had begun and Neowiz said it was continuing.
Now we have a better idea of just what that means.
Yesterday Neowiz announced what it’s calling the “Rebuild Project” for the whole game, which will allow the studio to “abandon the current structure and make it from scratch,” gutting some of the game’s underlying systems and content and adding new. Specifically, Neowiz says it’s making gear feel more important to character progression, revamping combat, retooling class skills and unique feel, creating variety and fun for mounts and pet content, adjusting crafting to not be “useless,” and improving the UI experience. New PvP content (a capture-the-flag map?) is also under development for August; the screenshots in this post show the new area.
World of Warcraft is giving e-sports another go. In a blog post going live this afternoon, Blizzard has announced the Mythic Dungeon Invitational, an e-sports competition themed around Mythic Keystone dungeons with a $100,000 prize pool.
“Teams aspiring to battle on the global stage must first push themselves through a gauntlet of Mythic Keystone dungeons, taking on increasingly difficult Mythic Keystones and earning the best scores on the Proving Grounds,” says the studio. “Top scoring contenders will be invited to join as one of 32 outstanding teams from around the world, competing for a share of the $100,000 prize pool—and ultimately claiming bragging rights of the #1 spot. Once chosen, 8 teams from the Americas, 8 from Europe, 8 from China, and 8 from Asia-Pacific will be tapped to face the challenge, proving they have what it takes to go all the way to the finals.”
Would-be participants should complete Mythic Keystone dungeons between July 25th and August 8th, submitting their best score to Blizzard, which says it will be “be judging performance across the 5 dungeons in which the team achieves the highest Keystone Level during those two weeks.” The top groups will be welcomed to a single-elimination bracket invitational event around in September. And yes, the rest of us will get to watch.
Source: Press release
The commandment has come down from the Steam mountain that thou shalt not cheat. As you picture Gabe Newell etching Valve’s TOS on rock tablets, know that this is not one rule to take lightly.
Last week, Steam ended up banning over 40,000 cheaters over the course of a day thanks to its anti-cheating software. The huge leap in bans was in part due to the Steam summer sale, which brought out temporary accounts in large numbers of players trying to circumvent game rules.
For those remaining, Valve has big plans in store for the platform’s user interface. A “refresh and update” is coming at some unknown date, bringing with it an overhaul to how the games library functions. Once the update hits, users will be able to jump quickly into recently played titles and enjoy more informative and better designed game pages.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: Wild West Online had to delay getting its promised gameplay video out. The team said that it should arrive sometime in July, but no date was set for this reveal.
On the plus side, the “early bird” preorder program was extended to July 20th, giving potential players a further opportunity to buy into one of the special bundles and get in on the testing process when it commences.
Speaking of testing, the team recently posted a list of its alpha servers and their locations. In North America, there will be servers in Dallas and Virginia. Europe will feature shards in Amsterdam and Berlin, while Southeast Asia is going to get things going with servers in Singapore and Hong Kong. The closed alpha should be going live by the end of the month.
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!
This week we have stories and videos from Dota 2, Destiny 2, Battleground Europe, ArcheAge, Orbus VR, Final Fantasy XI, Hearthstone, TERA, Tibia, Elsword Online, Osiris New Dawn, League of Legends, Astroneer, SMITE, Warframe, The Black Death, and Gloria Victis, all waiting for you after the break!
What’s a pirate’s favorite letter? You might think “Arrr,” but he really loves the C!
Dad jokes aside, swashbucklers have boarded Lineage II’s classic server over in Europe, but we doubt that anyone is too concerned about the company. The pirate horde is headed by Captain Zaken, a fearsome foe that can only be taken down by a minimum of seven (!) coordinated parties. He’s only the first of five additional raid bosses that have bolstered the game’s villain roster.
Pirate treasures can now be found on the hunting zone of Devil’s Isle, or if a chance of scenery is needed, there’s also the new Giant’s Cave to explore. To help with the patch’s raid bosses and hunting grounds, players can take advantage of weapon augmentation to give their gear a bit of a boost.
Last week, both Neowiz and Aeria Games confirmed that Aeria is no longer serving as the western Bless Online publisher — worse, Bless appeared to be entirely canceled for our region. “Gamigo announces that the MMORPG Bless Online will not be published in Europe and North America,” read the formal announcement. “The collaboration had to be cancelled because after extensive testing the game did not meet the quality standards of both Neowiz Games and the gamigo group. […] Together with Neowiz we have come to the conclusion that the technical difficulties cannot be overcome, so we agreed not to complete the game for our respective markets.”
Done deal, right? Apparently not so much. “The game will not be published” turns out to mean “we will publish the game ourselves.”
“You must be curious about future Bless in EU/NA as we ended our contract with AG,” Neowiz told MMORPG.com. “NBS believes the EU/NA Bless fans are very valuable to us so we commit to deliver game updates directly to you. We will surely present you with improved Bless in the future.”
Can you believe Pokemon Go is almost a year old? Remember back when there was so much PoGo news that we gave up and went to a daily roundup of all the nonsense and vandalism and accidents and lawsuits and government security freakouts? Good times, good times. Niantic also remembers and is ramping up to celebratory summer events — plural. If you still play, here’s what you’re looking at during Pokemon Go Fest:
- There’s a Pokemon Go celebration in Chicago’s Grant Park on June 19th. (You have to buy tickets, note.) The studio says other US cities may get their own version of this meet-and-greet.
- Unibail-Rodamco shopping centers across Europe will play host to multiple celebrations over the next four months. No details yet.
- Yokohama, Japan, will suffer a “Pikachu Outbreak,” which sounds scary but is said to be a “unique experience.”
- Finally, everyone can take part in the Solstice Event:
The Neowiz statement that Aeria Games is no longer serving as the western Bless Online has now been backed up by Gamigo, Aeria’s parent company, though contrary to the translated reports from yesterday, Gamigo says it wasn’t a unilateral decision by Neowiz — and it appears that the game has been canceled for our region entirely, not simply shelved for a new publisher.
“gamigo announces that the MMORPG Bless Online will not be published in Europe and North America. The cooperation between the Korean games developer Neowiz Games and the gamigo group has been terminated by mutual agreement. Unfortunately, the collaboration had to be cancelled because after extensive testing the game did not meet the quality standards of both Neowiz Games and the gamigo group. Jens Knauber, COO of the gamigo group, regrets this development: ‘Together with Neowiz we have come to the conclusion that the technical difficulties cannot be overcome, so we agreed not to complete the game for our respective markets. This has not been an easy decision for us and we put a lot of thought into this step. On the other hand, we have a number of interesting new releases coming up to complement our already strong portfolio, so our players can look forward to several new games in the near future.'”
En Masse’s action MMO Kritika Online
is deep in the midst of its closed beta as gamers test its four class types, progression systems, and storyline. How does it play? You can check out our impressions of the game so far
or our stream
… or you can grab a beta key from us, which not only gets you into the beta until June 13th but includes a mini catspaw minipet.
Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to take one home yourself!
Master X Master
is launching in North America and Europe on June 21st
, NCsoft just announced. The game is a hybrid MOBA-MMO with PvE elements that has charmed our writers
in spite of some tone-deaf City of Heroes inclusions
earlier this year.
“For those of you who purchased a Soldier or Master Founder’s Pack, the Name Reservation period will start on June 16! If you haven’t purchased a Founder’s Pack yet, what are you still reading this for!? Packs include tons of great benefits, including Masters, Skins, and Membership time, all at a steep discount. Grab or upgrade to a Solider or Master Pack prior to June 21, and get everything inside—including early name reservation—before they’re gone for good!”
The South Korean studio has launched a lengthy story cinematic to cap off the launch announcement; we’ve included it below.
For a game that once promised
it would provide “everything an MMO player could want,” Echo of Soul
hasn’t exactly toppled popular culture and established itself as digital king in any hemisphere. Yet it’s far from dead, as developer Mr. Blue has signed a contract with Aeria Games
to develop a “massive update” for the game that will arrive before the end of 2017. Little is known of this update other than its title: Phoenix.
While the patch is slated for North America and Europe, Mr. Blue hasn’t given up trying to get Echo of Soul into other regions. The MMO developer attempted to reenter the Chinese and Korean markets after initially failing in those countries, and it has recently signed publishing deals to get Echo of Soul out in Turkey and the Middle East.
For those of you playing, you can get yourself a free seahorse mount in time for summer if you drop the devs a line on Facebook. Sounds efficient.
Multiple Korean outlets are reporting that Black Desert developer Pearl Abyss is preparing an initial public offering and seeks a fall listing on the Korean stock exchange.
Seoul’s Pulse News reports that in the last year, two investment companies poured over $10 million US into the game developer, estimating the studio’s value at nearly $500 million US. “Industry watchers said Pearl Abyss raked in 26 billion won in net profit in the first half of last year, surpassing full-year 2015 net profit of 23.7 billion won that was up 120 percent from 2014,” it writes.
The publication notes that Black Desert is significantly more popular in the US and Europe than in its native Korea and is hoped to do well in China, on console, and on mobile.
Black Desert, of course, is published here in the west by Kakao’s EU subsidiary. Most recently, it launched on Steam.