The next chapter of En Masse’s Kritika Online
is currently being run through its paces on the test server. The studio announced that it is testing the Windhome content update
, which contains a hearty dose of new areas and storylines.
In the update, players will venture to Windhome, a “remote encampment” under siege with two new armor sets to chase. The studio is giving players a boost to handle the endgame content with an easy mode to previous content and upgraded gear levels.
Looking ahead to late spring, May will bring improvements to the fractured memories system, a guild competition, pet gear, and inventory UI upgrades. Then in July, more class awakenings are planned, as well as additional weapon enhancements, danger zones for Windhome, and a revved-up arena mode.
SpatialOS: You’ve probably been seeing this name pop up more and more in the MMO sphere. Worlds Adrift, Mavericks, Fractured, Seed, MetaWorld, and Identity are just some of the titles we’ve mentioned that have sprung up to use Improbable’s platform. The company picked up more than half a billion dollars from Japanese company SoftBank, roped in MMO veteran Bill Roper, and got Jagex to announce its intention to use it in a future project. However Chronicles of Elyria recently noted it’s dropping Improbable’s baby, and both on and off the record, developers I spoke to at GDC 2018 had mixed reactions – assuming they’d even heard about SpatialOS at all.
What’s the big deal about the platform? What does it do? Why should developers care? Why should MMO players care? I attended a panel by Improbable and briefly sat down with CCO Bill Roper to try to figure it all out.
Plenty of panels at GDC are recorded and uploaded to the internet weeks after the event, including this one. It’s not quite the same as being there, as you miss a few things. For example, this year’s Ultima Online Post-Mortem panel was packed. It was international. It was fun, gross, nostalgiac, and sometimes groan-inducing.
And I’d hate to just summarize the talk, especially since some of you vets have heard these stories before, but since ya’ll couldn’t make it, I’ll do it. For you. But for this particular panel, not only will I try to summarize what was said before the panel will be viewable online in a few weeks, but I’ll dish out on the after-panel chat with Richard Garriott, Starr Long, Raph Koster, and Rich Vogel, including comments from the team on bad bans, kingslaying, VR, and the state of the MMORPG.
Is it even possible to put the diametrically opposed playstyles of PvE and PvP into the same MMO game world and make it work? Well, obviously it’s been done in the past to varying degrees of success and failure, but the upcoming fantasy sandbox Fractured thinks that it has struck upon a “unique” solution that caters to both sides and the spectrum between.
Part of the team’s plan is to create three worlds with different rulesets (PvE, lawful PvP, and lawless PvP) so that players may choose the level of interplay between the two crowds. Another part of that solution is giving an alignment to each character.
If the recent silence in Fractured’s neck of the woods has troubled you, just remember that sometimes quiet can mean good as well as bad. In this case, the team said that it has some pretty big reveals in the works, but fans will have to be patient for all of the details.
The first is word that the sandbox MMO is about to land some much-needed funding: “I’m incredibly happy to announce that, after long negotiations, we’re about to hit a major milestone in securing funding for Fractured. By ‘about to,’ I mean we’re actually only a few days away! While I can’t say more on this at the moment, we’ll officially disclose everything to you and to the press really soon — on the 13th of March, if all goes as planned.”
The team also said that it is working on a blog post that will tackle Fractured’s vision for PvP and a video to show off group PvE action in the title’s SpatialOS engine.
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.