Happy closed beta day to Kritika Online! Joining today’s never-ending roster of launches and pre-launches is En Masse’s new action MMO, expected to run in a closed testing phase through June 13th.
“The nonstop action of Kritika Online will be on full display in this closed beta, as players select from 4 character types — the Warrior, the Gunmage, the Rogue, or the Reaper — and rampage through the lavish 3D worlds solo or with friends, defeating bad guys and super-sized level bosses using oversized blades, alchemical superguns, and dazzling acrobatics. In addition to Kritika Online’s over-the-top action, the closed beta gives players their first hands-on look at the game’s deep progression systems and story.”
The game will be free-to-play come its eventual launch but for now is accessible only through founder packs, the cheapest of which is currently on sale for $14.99, though you can put down up to $74.99 (again, it’s a sale) for even more perks. Orrrrrr you could grab a key right here! En Masse granted us a truckton of closed beta keys, so click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to take one home yourself!
Turns out that a fifth of you are already deep in The Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind head start early access period thanks to your having preordered the game on PC. You are dismissed from reading, though you might want to listen up anyway to learn just when the masses (another fifth of you) will be joining you in Vvardenfell: It’s June 6th as planned, at 5 a.m. EDT in the morning. Yes, the literal crack of dawn (or earlier!) for those of us here in the US, and smack in the middle of the work day for Europeans. And yes, there will be a “maintenance period” for consoles ahead of the launch.
“Retailers worldwide will allow players to purchase the game and pick-up pre-orders in advance to allow for pre-loading,” ZeniMax noted today. “In North America, customers will be able to pick-up ESO: Morrowind on the evening of June 5, beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern time. In Europe, the game will be available when retail stores open on the morning of June 6.” Check out the map to figure out when to set your wakey-wakey alarm!
Blizzard has just announced “Overwatch Contenders,” what it’s calling a “development league for aspiring Overwatch League professionals.”
“Over the first year of organized Overwatch competition, we’ve seen an incredible exhibition of skill at Overwatch APEX in South Korea, the Overwatch Pacific Championship in the Asia-Pacific region, and the Overwatch Premier Series in China. It’s time to bring that level of competition to the West. If you and your team have what it takes to compete with the best in the West, Overwatch Contenders is your chance to shine. To find the top teams on the North American and European servers, Season Zero of Overwatch Contenders will be an open signup, online-only qualifier to determine the top eight teams in each of those two regions. Each of these tournaments will have a prize pool of USD $50,000.”
Registration in North America and Europe has opened today and will run through early June with playoffs in early July. An open division will follow in 2018 to “offer emerging teams a path to Overwatch Contenders seasons in each region.”
WoW Token prices have soared following yesterday’s surprise announcement that Destiny 2 will be published on Blizzard’s Battlenet app (yes, that’s what Blizzard called it). Players ran amok speculating on the currency, which they are guessing may influence the shooter come September, while others are hoarding in the hopes of using it to buy a copy of the game itself. Buyers in Europe sent the price up to over a quarter of a million gold; Americans were seemingly less impressed (or less concerned about potentially higher international prices for the game), as on this side of the pond the currency peaked at 140K gold per token and fell faster.
This isn’t the first time an announcement like the Destiny 2 one has caused a major market shift. Back in February, Blizzard revealed that WoW Tokens would be redeemable for Blizzard store currency, driving the cost so high that it was no longer a wise investment for paying off subs. This most recent spike, however, is even bigger — IcyVeins has declared it an all-time high for the currency.
Blizzard reps have previously said that the token is a harmless tool that makes “people happier,” though only a small fraction of players participate in the market.
We’ve known since last year that Elite Dangerous was going to set up camp on the PlayStation 4 in Q2 of this year. As of this morning, we know exactly when: June 27th.
“Frontier Developments, a leading independent creator of video games, is pleased to announce that Elite Dangerous will make its debut on the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system on 27 June 2017. Digital pre-orders are available from today in Europe and will be available later this month in the United States. In addition to a worldwide digital launch there will be simultaneous availability in leading physical retail stores in major territories of the Elite Dangerous Legendary Edition boxed disc for both PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One.”
Frontier notes that players shouldn’t expect crossplay: You’ll “share the same background simulation, but you won’t be able to cross play directly with Commanders on other platforms.”
Age of Wulin, the European counterpart to NA’s Age of Wushu, is being handed off once again in the region. The martial arts sandbox was originally published by Snail Games, handed off to Webzen for four years in Europe, and is now returning to Snail’s control on July 11th.
The team said that this will merge the two titles together: “Today, we would like to announce that the Age of Wulin publishing licence will return to Snail Games, the developers of Age of Wulin, on the 11th of July, 2017. Snail Games will then take over operations and migrate your characters to their version of the game, Age of Wushu. It was a very difficult decision to make, as your support and passion since the early days of this project have been outstanding, but it will ensure the continuity of the game.”
Soft-launching today on both the iOS and Android markets is a new mobile MMORPG from Netease dubbed Crusaders of Light. It was originally released as Land of Glory overseas last month (and was tremendously popular in China), but it’s gotten a name-change and a spruce-up for the western market. You’ll notice immediately that it seems to have an awful lot in common with vanilla World of Warcraft, from its stylized graphics to its 40-man PvE raiding endgame. It boasts 25×25 battlegrounds, small-scale ranked arenas, guild ladders, mounts, and loot out the wazoo too.
As I write this, it’s not yet up for download publicly on either platform for me in the US; it looks to be trickling out to Oceania first today, then Europe, Russia, Brazil, and North America in time for the official launch this summer. You can preregister on the official site, and yes it’s free-to-play with plenty of stuff to buy on the side.
I sure hope you’re not tired of CCP Games talking about VR because CCP can’t stop won’t stop.
The video game studio known best for EVE Online has been laser-focused on the VR space for the last few years now, launching Gunjack, Gunjack 2, and EVE Valkyrie for VR and just last month announcing VR sports sim Sparc.
Today, CCP CEO Hilmar Pétursson features in a new interview on GamesIndustry.biz, where he basically talks up how well VR is doing. When interviewer James Brightman suggests that only about two million high-end VR devices have sold — numbers that the analysts at SuperData said made VR the “biggest loser” of the holiday gaming sales season — Pétursson argues that two million is actually a much bigger deal that it seems to be by putting the number into national perspective.
Sandbox Interactive ran an AMA for its in-development indie MMO Albion Online on Reddit last night, covering everything from the game’s business model to how players in far-flung locations fare on its global server. Here are the highlights!
- There are no plans for a freebie weekend or trial as a result of fairness to founders and botting issues — as well as performance issues. “The game is extremely well populated as it is, and we’d be worried that free trial could slow down the servers.”
- Likewise, SI will be sticking to its original plan to reward founders with early access, though players have expressed concern over the potential for an ArcheAge-like land-grab.
- In response to players bringing up pay-to-win and the game’s $30 buy-in, SI explained the game’s business model is based on EVE Online’s and that while players can essentially gain an advantage by buying and then exchanging real-money currency for in-game currency, it won’t afford players a guaranteed win. As for the currency exchange, it should be possible to play the market.
If you’re deep into Hearthstone
and you live outside of North America, you might find yourself more broke than usual. This is due to Blizzard
raising the prices of card packs, adventure wings, and tickets in regions around the world.
In a post on the EU forums, Blizzard delivered the bad news: “We regularly look at our pricing around the world, and from time to time we make changes such as these to align with local and regional market conditions. The price of the Un’Goro prelaunch bundle offer will not be affected by this change and will remain the same until launch.”
Polygon notes that the prices for affected customers are going up about 30%. The increased prices will affect players in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa starting March 22nd.
This past week, I received this letter from reader Thurro: “Your recent LOTRO
resurgence has my interest, and from the sounds of you on the podcast I might not be the only one. Would you consider writing a beginners guide or even just a list of tips for getting started from scratch?”
Sure, why not? It’s still a little too early to tell, but we could be seeing a nice little LOTRO renaissance right now, and I bet that there are more than a few players who are checking the game out for the first time after reading the news and hearing recommendations from others. Considering that it’s a massive MMORPG with 10 years of content and expansions, I could see how it might be overwhelming during your first week.
A true guide would probably take so much longer than the space I have this week, so let me present a quick and dirty starting guide to the this wonderful MMO and then point you to LOTRO Wiki for any further questions (seriously, it’s a great resource!). Let’s get started!
What’s going on with Lost Ark anyway? It’s been a good long time since we heard anything about this promising and stunning-looking MMOARPG, including whether or not it was actually confirmed to arrive in the west.
We are tracking a rumor this week from Steparu that Lost Ark is planning on a new Korean CBT for sometime this summer. “Although just a rumor and nothing set in stone, someone from LostArkDB had a chat with a Smilegate employee, and they mentioned that the next closed beta for the Korean version of Lost Ark is scheduled to start sometime in June or July,” he posted.
If true, that means that the title is still slowly progressing through its overseas beta cycle and will probably be a while yet to arrive in North America and Europe — if ever at all. Still, it’s something, so cling to hope!
Funcom announced today that it’s found a partner to host its Conan Exiles servers in Europe: G-Portal.
“This week the remaining European servers for Conan Exiles have been going up one by one,” says the studio. “We’ve already rolled a decent number of servers and the rest of them will be ready in a short while thanks to our new server partner! Servers will be popping up all over Europe, from west to east, so look for the ones with the best ping to find the one closest to you. The old Pingperfect servers will be brought up with the same name and server database as before, so players can jump right in to continue their adventure in the Exiled Lands.”
Early this month, Funcom told players it was parting ways with its original server host, PingPerfect, and switched to Gameservers, which it believed would be better able to handle the apparently huge demand for the game. Then, last weekend, the studio abruptly region-locked official servers for the game, sending legitimate international communities into turmoil as replacement servers have been coming up slowly all week.