It appears as if Portalarium is suffering some layoffs and downsizing in the wake of the launch of Shroud of the Avatar: The studio’s Starr Long admits to “adjusting [the] team size” in a forum post written yesterday.
“Now that we are almost complete fulfilling our Kickstarter promises (brewing coming online in R55, physical rewards shipping very soon, progress being made on castle defense, etc.), we are adjusting our team size to better match our current monthly revenue. This will give us the balance we need to begin work on Episode 2 while ensuring we can support the online service. To do that means having, at least for now, a smaller team. Right now we will shift our focus from creating new content to polishing our existing systems. This means making a stronger new user experience, fixing bugs, reworking the quest system, performance improvements, user interface polish, and more. At the same time we will continue the Tier adjustments in progress which will rework our existing scenes to more appropriate difficulty levels based on our current player population.”
Exctinction is coming! Wait, that’s a bad thing… unless you’re a player of ARK Survival Evolved, where Extinction is just the name of the game’s next expansion.
“Finish your journey through the worlds of ARK in ‘Extinction’, where the story began and ends: on Earth itself! An Element-infested, ravaged planet filled with fantastical creatures both organic and technological, Earth holds both the secrets of the past and the keys to its salvation. As a veteran Survivor who has conquered all previous obstacles, the ultimate challenge awaits: can you defeat the gigantic roaming Titans which dominate the planet and complete the ARK cycle to save Earth’s future?”
Intriguingly, Studio Wildcard has apparently begun calling the survival sandbox a “dinosaur action-adventure game.” Huh.
Launch on PC and console for the expansion is a pretty long ways off – November 6th – but the studio is promising new skins and themed drops between now and then. It’ll be free for players with the season pass or explorer’s pack, with an upgrade fee for everyone else.
Who had June 26th for Guild Wars 2’s
next big thing? Oh, everyone? Because we had gobs of time
in the delay deadzone
? Right right.
Yes, ArenaNet just announced that episode 3 of season 4, dubbed Long Live the Lich, will finally, finally roll out next week on June 26th. If you know even a little bit about Path of Fire, you really don’t need me to tell you which lich we’re talkin’ about here.
If you do need me to tell you, I’m still not gonna. It probably means you’ve not played the expansion, in which case, the big ol’ sale ANet just dropped is right up your alley; the game is half off right now.
Trailer incoming! It’s promising a new legendary warhorn, the Domain of Kourna map, a new roller beetle mount, and the new Deepstone fractal.
It feels really weird to think about just how few dungeons we’ve gotten in Final Fantasy XIV
for this expansion. Not that it’s the start of a new trend; Heavensward
already dropped the numbers compared to the base game, and thus Stormblood
continued in a similar trajectory. But when you think about the fact that the game used to have three new dungeons per patch and compare it to an average of one and a half… it’s still adding them on a regular basis, but it’s a much slower basis.
The slower pace of dungeons was something that was announced well before the expansion actually launched, of course. So I think it’s interesting to look at the slower pace, at the stated goals, and see how well the changes have actually achieved those goals. Or, perhaps, if the whole thing didn’t work out very well and we should hope for an uptick again in the next expansion.
GDC 2018 back in March was good to Defiance 2050, at least in terms of making people aware of the goals of the game. It doesn’t necessarily mean people like what they’ve seen or heard, but Social Influencer and Community Manager Scott “Mobi” Jasper and Community Specialist Coby West feel that particular reveal has done the best for the game.
At this year’s E3 followup, there wasn’t any huge new reveal, aside from the launch date itself – just more tweaks. There certainly seems to be a bit of a disconnect between the overall MMO sphere and the 2050 fandom the devs are used to, with the devs somewhat understandably being more connected to their fans. After all, those are people who are willing to pay to play, and especially for a free to play game, that’s what you need. I got my hands on the game for the second time this year, and while it’s a solid play experience, I worry that, created in a vacuum, its potential for growth beyond the original Defiance experience is limited.
A small, seemingly insignificant addition to Battle for Azeroth might have a positive effect on World of Warcraft’s modding community. Blizzard is adding a function that will allow reports on offensive behavior to be sent from within addons themselves, which finally allows the mod community a way to police its previously lawless empire.
The “SendAddonMessageLogged” function won’t be automatically instituted into every addon; mod creators have to enable and integrate it themselves. However, once it is functional, this tool can help players report toxic behavior that is taking place in mods right to Blizzard’s CS department.
In other news, with artifact weapons heading out the door with the upcoming expansion, the question of the hour is how Blizzard will handle the removal of these legendary items. Players on the public test realm got a look at the artifact retirement questline that will come with next month’s Patch 8.0, and if you’re totally fine being spoiled, you can peek at what it will entail over at Icy Veins.
Ever since Trove launched its superhero-themed expansion Heroes, I’ve been hemming and hawing over buying the big mama upgrade package for the Vanguardian and the gobs upon gobs of currency that comes with it. You guys, I want it, but I have such guilt over spending that much dough on a single class and the costume fluff I’d probably buy with the rest of it. For the same stack of cash, I could buy five or ten whole games on Steam.
It’s silly. I’ve paid way more for dumber things; ask me how much I paid to move a bunch of toons across accounts in Star Wars Galaxies back in the day when that kind of cash was far dearer to me. So I should just get it while the fam is still into the game. And yet… I keep stalling.
How about you? What MMO have you splurged on lately, and what’s the biggest MMO splurge you’ve ever made?
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!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from War of Rights, Closers Online, World War Z, Old School RuneScape, The Black Death, OrbusVR, Reign of Guilds, Skyforge, AlchemiaStory, Path of Exile, Grim Dawn, Revelation Online, Defiance 2050, and DDO, all waiting for you after the break!
If you have ever played more than one MMORPG, the thought has probably crossed your mind that you would love to see your favorite features from all of them put together. It hurts when one game has great housing and another has some of the best group content that you have experienced. Why can’t you just create the best of both worlds?
Zeriah spent some time wishing for exactly this as she drew up a list of features from both World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV that she’d love to see merged together.
“If I could take a bit from each game and combine it into one, I think I’d be in heaven,” she said. “FFXIV has some of the most amazing outfits I have ever seen in a game and while it has transmog system but I feel it would be made truly amazing by the addition of the armor journal WoW has brought in.”
With all the online talk about Nintendo this year, it feels only fitting to give Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros Ultimate a little time. We’ve talked recently about the unbundling of MMOs and why the market seems primed for a big title yet goes unanswered. Readers and writers all noted that other genres help meet the demands for this, from MOBAs to even social media.
In fact, we even covered an online fighting game last year because it included customizable characters (both appearance and abilities), quests, loot, guilds, and even guild quests that involved more than two people. An MMO it was not, but it certainly had enough overlap that it turned a few heads. The last Smash Bros included several of these components but restricted them to mostly offline play. However, one interesting note was that the Mii-fighter, a highly customizable character in the Smash-verse restricted to “fun” and “casual” play off and online, is being prepared for online battles. Whether that means in a new form or its customizable form matters, as one might hint at Nintendo’s aim for this title: another try for sanitized online fighter, or embracing the full spectrum of Smash fans. I’m leaning towards the latter.
Massively OP’s MJ is excited to soon explore Trove’s
Geode, and there’s a new event just for amping up that excitement! To prepare for the upcoming update, Trovians are building a big boat in the Rise of the Sunseeker event
. A big boat! No, bigger! MJ is ready to do her part (and earn her own boat in the process). Tune in live at 6:00 p.m. to join in the event, and be sure to read our E3 deep-dive into the Geode update
to learn more about it.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 16th, 2018
Enjoy the show!
If it seems like World of Warcraft Classic would be an easy project, you may not have spent as much time thinking about it as the developers. Heck, according to the latest development watercooler, it took some time for the team to decide what classic World of Warcraft should even be. The decision ultimately settled on patch 1.12, the last patch before the launch of The Burning Crusade, but that didn’t mean just loading it up and going.
It turns out that the classic code not only doesn’t like to play nice with modern video cards and anti-cheating software (because it’s more than a decade old) but has a lot of really inefficient ways of storing spell and ability data. So the developers have to also go through, piece by piece, to store everything in better formats and improve the experience across the board. Check out the full article to see the work going into making the classic experience work.
You know it’s a really good and meaty content patch when a studio can get more than two blog posts out of it. Blade and Soul’s
Celestial Dawn fits that bill, because NCsoft is still talking about next week’s update, this time with a post on the big changes
coming to various items and systems.
The Celestial Dawn update is goign to give players even more rewards from Nightfall Sanctuary’s hard difficulty bosses and improved the payouts from Celestial Basin activities. The crafting system got a balance and price pass and Zen Bean traders will be stocked with a “greater variety” of goods.
To help players tackle the bigger challenges of this patch, the legendary accessory augment system was born: “The new legendary accessory augment system allows you to tackle specific hard mode dungeons for a chance at Psyche items, which will allow you to further increase your legendary accessory power. Each dungeon has their own unique psyche related to the augment system, in addition to the battlefield traders having their own PvP-focused versions.”