Are you a little sick and tired of lockboxes everywhere and all of these games desperately trying to jump onto the battle royale bandwagon? It might be of some small comfort that Funcom has no immediate plans to add either to Conan Exiles (although “never say never” and all that).
Creative Director Joel Bylos addressed these issues and more in an interview with PC Gamer. Now that Conan Exiles is just two-and-a-half months from official release, Bylos said that the team is working hard to making the whole package work, even if it means cutting content.
Bylos was asked several questions about the success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and how it could impact Conan Exiles’ profile. “You just do your thing and make things that are unique and interesting,” he said. “In terms of press attention, it’s always hard to get press attention when there’s a pretty girl at the ball. PUBG is definitely the pretty girl at the ball this year.”
Sad news this morning: Linkrealms is sunsetting, today if our read of the letter sent to players yesterday is correct, since today is the end of the month. Players posted the email up on the Steam forums:
“Here we are at the end. I suppose everyone had a sense that this announcement was coming: the Linkrealms servers will be shutting down at the end of the month. Linkrealms was the result of endless hours of hard work and investment, creativity and dedication, but it never achieved any traction in the real world market. The game has been coasting down for a year and now there’s nothing left to fund the servers – reality has caught up with us all. We developers have truly enjoyed working on the game and hope you all had fun in the Linkrealms world. Below you can find a couple games that we think you might like now that Linkrealms is gone. Goodbye, and thank you for being with us in this long, exciting journey!”
Linkrealms was an isometric, indie sandbox plainly inspired in part by Ultima Online; it first hit beta in 2011 and made its way to Steam in 2016.
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin dig into the allied races that are coming soon to World of Warcraft, the non-race of the City of Heroes spiritual successors, meaty early 2018 patches, and more!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
While Fractured, the dynamic fantasy sandbox MMO, has been sporadic with its development blogs, when they do arrive, you can be assured that they offer real meat to a hungry audience.
This is definitely true with this week’s look at the game’s 14 schools of magic and fighting. Even better, all this comes packed with several short videos that show the first gameplay footage to date for this title.
These schools include a huge variety, such as abjuration, illusionism, necromancy, martial arts, and assassination. Oh, and there’s a “musicianship” school for those who like to mix their magic and songs together. Bard party, anyone?
Its team might be miniscule, its alpha more than a year away, and its funding still unsecured, but Fractured is powering ahead as best it can to lay down the foundations for this sandbox MMO.
Fractured’s first state of the game was posted on Monday to bring fans up to speed on what’s been done since the title was announced earlier this year. While some systems (including many sandbox elements) have yet to be initiated in development, the two-person crew has already pulled together a core of this MMO, including movement, action combat, backend infrastructure, an authentication system, pathfinding, and a prototype of the Knowledge system. The devs attribute their quick progression on the project of the use of Improbable’s SpatialOS platform.
The team said that over 5,000 fans have registered accounts so far from 100 different countries. “We’re glad of how far we’ve gone in barely over three months with such a small team of coders, and we’re excited to think of how fast we’ll become once the project receives proper funding and our devs at least double in number,” the devs said. “Looking at our development speed so far, the fact there’s still one year left to the planned start of Alpha 1, and the fact a Kickstarter and subsequent team expansion are going to happen in between, we’re confident we’ll deliver all that’s been promised.”
While it will be a while before fans can try out the game for themselves, the dev team did promise to release some actual screenshots and in-game footage to give people an idea of what Fractured looks like.
One thing you can say for the MMO industry: It never ceases to surprise all of us. No matter what predictions we may make at the beginning of a year, by December we will all be proven fools who lack vision and foresight.
Although 2017 isn’t quite over yet, we here at Massively Overpowered wanted to count down the biggest news stories that crossed over into our neck of the woods so far this year. We witnessed controversies and delights, shockers and sadness. We saw launches and shutdowns, expansions and bugs.
So before we move into 2018, let’s take a look at the year that was and remember the biggest stories that dominated headlines.
Since this past summer, we’ve had our eye on Fractured, yet another SpatialOS MMO on the way to hard drives everywhere. If it’s not on your radar yet, it probably ought to be be, as it’s touting planetary colonization, crafting, housing, skill- and reflex-based combat, and most interestingly, no grind and no forced PvP.
The team’s most recent dev vlog covers character progression, specifically a “knowledge system” that is “different from both level-based and skill-based systems.” In fact, Dynamight Studios is saying it “can be defined as the first accomplished example of horizontal progression in an MMO,” which I’m sure will quirk the eyebrows of all the other games with horizontal progression, yeah?
In any case, this does sound pretty cool. The goals, Dynamight says, are to keep newbies competitive from the start with “minimal power gaps,” while providing “long-term objectives for character development,” avoiding grind, and creating opportunities to change builds during play. If anything, it reminds me of systems used in the Fallout series: Exploring the worlds, encountering new critters, identifying items, and discovering relics all help you earn knowledge points, which you can then spend on a talent tree, which looks more like something you’d see in a sandbox than in a typical themepark or OARPG with class trees.
Lots of big stuff is happening today
for Kritika Online
. First of all, the game’s servers are going down at 9:30 a.m. EDT to apply the game’s next major patch, Fractured Memories. That’s a big thing right there. Then, at 11:00 a.m. EDT, the game will be available on Steam. And at the same time, the game’s launch on Steam means that the game will have fully launched
, no more open beta tag. So that’s three big things all happening today.
Forming the core of the Fractured Memories update, the Fractured Memories dungeon is far more than just a dungeon. Pulling from all of the game’s content, the dungeon creates a unique experience each time players level 15 and up enter by varying map layouts, enemy variety and placement, difficulty levels, and rewards to ensure that players never run the same dungeon twice. Players won’t just gain experience points and gear from Fractured Memories, they will also gain ability points that can be used to grant account-wide buffs. Points are earned based on how quickly players complete a Fractured Memories dungeon and can be used to unlock and upgrade passive bonuses including reduced cooldowns, increased gold drops, and increased damage when attacking from the back to help them tackle higher difficulty levels. Those with the fastest times can earn a spot on game-wide leaderboards, where the top players receive rewards at the end of each 12 week period before the leaderboards are reset.
Names and titles fascinate me. While sometimes they have no deeper meaning than to sound pleasant and be memorable, a label can indicate purpose, history, and connection. MMORPG names are, of course, as varied as the stars in the sky, with many of them slapping “online” or “age of” somewhere in there to designate their category. But every so often, we witness a game that changes its name as part of its development and business evolution.
Today I wanted to run down 10 MMOs (well, nine MMOs and one expansion) that received notable name changes over the years. I’m not going to talk about games that created a weird rebrand for a business model shift but mostly stuck with the original title afterward (such as DDO Unlimited or WildStar Reloaded), but instead games that had vastly different names than what they ended up using.
Earlier this summer, we first wrote about Fractured, yet another SpatialOS MMO currently under construction since this past January. If it’s not on your radar yet, maybe it should be, as it’s touting planetary colonization, crafting, housing, skill- and reflex-based combat, and most interestingly, no grind and no forced PvP.
This week, Dynamight Studios whipped up a new feature spotlight covering the universe from a lore standpoint, including eclipses, which might have been a really cool thing to reveal last week, yeah? I’m teasing about the astronomy degree, of course. The gist is that there’s a single solar system with a planet, Elysium, that split into three others, each with its own “gaming experiences,” biomes, and diurnal cycles for players, including events and seasonal cycle mechanics depending on where the planets are in their orbits at any given time.
Gamasutra has an unusual piece from an Ubisoft developer this week arguing that co-op gameplay is the industry’s rising midcore trend, one that he believes will ultimately outstrip team competitive games. “It’s all about all the big data and stats that are finally available and can be mined,” author Andrii Goncharuk says, “and no surprise that it’s showing that players who played co-op mode have much more play hours, and players who played co-op with friends have even more play hours.”
He may be right, though first you’d have to believe co-op ever went anywhere to begin with (and console players would probably tell you nope!). But as I read the article, I couldn’t help but see MMOs in most of the arguments he’s making about what makes co-op games sticky, and yet MMOs are being edged out all the same. And while I don’t like to think of the MMO genre’s space in the industry as a zero-sum situation, the reality is that when people tire of MMORPG baggage but still want social play, co-op is exactly the sort of game they retreat to.
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our writers to reflect on the rise of co-op PvE games outside the MMO label. Do we play them? Do we prefer them, and when? How can we learn from them? Is the popularity of smaller-scale co-op hurting MMORPGs?
Last month, we introduced our readers to Fractured, yet another SpatialOS MMO currently under construction since this past January. Its chief claims to fame include planetary colonization, crafting, housing, skill- and reflex-based combat — and most interestingly to players bored of stock MMO tropes — no grind and no forced PvP.
This week, the team behind the game, Dynamight Studios, has released what it’s calling a feature spotlight on one of its “design pillars” — character races — arguing that the “potential of the concept has never been exploited in full” by the genre.
Dynamight CEO Jacopo Gallelli contends that “races have been used to add variety to combat, questlines and, at best, environments” in MMOs, but that “no one has ever strived to employ them to immerse players in a different culture and society, and to make them feel that they are playing a whole different game if their character is a Demon instead of a Human.”
Getting confused over Fractured and Fragmented? Me too! Let’s add another into the mix: The Foundation! Actually, no, let’s back up. Fractured is a relatively new SpatialOS MMORPG sandbox, with planetary colonization, crafting, housing, skill- and reflex-based combat, and — critically — no grind and no forced PvP. While it’s been in production since January, it didn’t leak out to us until a month ago.
The Foundation is a new program Fractured’s developers at Italy’s Dynamight Studios have integrated into the game’s forums (so all you need to do to participate is create an account there). On the surface, it’s a “community engagement program,” which sounds either awful or mundane, but MMO vets who look more closely will find that it more resembles the incentivized fluff from direct crowdfunding — only you’re not paying for it. It’s meant to reward players for doing things like posting feedback and ideas, chatting with fellow fans, and sharing game updates, and it amounts to a minigame before the game is even out. Says the studio,