One of the first players to encounter the Thargoids in Elite: Dangerous provided a video of the encounter, and the bad news is that it doesn’t go well for the player. The craft was already sitting amidst the wreckage of NPC ships and quickly turned its destructive firepower upon the player’s vessel. Considering the barnacles observed throughout the galaxy, it’s clear that players are finding the Thargoids to be unapproachable and frightening threats as they silently pursue an unknown agenda. And the patch has only been out for a day.
Nevertheless, players are finding ways to fight back. One player already managed to rip an organic and highly corrosive chunk out of a Thargoid ship, while other players have noted some odd gravitational signatures around a Thargoid’s frame shift. There are even reports of a fleet taking on a Thargoid and surviving, developing battle tactics that could take one down even if they didn’t succeed on the first attempt (the fleet in question suffered no losses, however). It’s going to be interesting to see how the community continues to respond to these alien threats.
Every MMO tells a story through the run of its life. A lot of those stories are pretty happy, too. Ultima Online may not be the most happening place in the world right now, but its story is about launching a genre and then running for two solid decades. That’s a pretty great story. However much it’s become a tale of mismanaged expectations, World of Warcraft kind of became the most popular thing for a long while and brought in tons of new people to the hobby. Even titles with sad endings often have bright stories; the end bit for City of Heroes sucks, but everything leading up to that was a gas.
And then you have these 10 titles. These are titles where the whole story is a tragedy, start to finish, and in many cases the tragedy isn’t necessarily over, but the story is still just plain sad. There are reasons, of course, maybe even good ones, but the result is that the narrative for these titles is pretty sad all the way through.
The wait for the Camelot Unchained beta has been long and arduous in the way that only “just sit around and wait” can possibly be, but it’s almost here. It’s going to happen! We don’t know quite when, but we do know that we’ve got a new guiding principles document for beta. So it’s coming very soon.
Meanwhile, we also bid farewell to both Tree of Life and Fragmented, as both have launched this week.
More beta news? We’ve got to be honest, it’s been a quiet week… but this stuff might all tickle you along the way just the same.
- We realize that Kritika Online is in an open beta where anyone can play right now, but don’t worry too much, as the game does in fact have a roadmap and launch plans. So that’s cool. Full launch in September!
- You know what else has beta plans? Guild Wars 2. Specifically, another preview weekend of Path of Fire starting up this weekend. At this point you’ll be done with it before it actually launches, which… wait, that’s not a good thing. Maybe ease up on previews.
- It’s only fair to note that Osiris: New Dawn also has a closed beta plan. This might seem odd for a game in Early Access, but a plan is a plan.
- The open beta for Destiny 2 isn’t here, but a new trailer to tease it is here, so you can split the difference a bit? That should be fun to watch, at least.
- It’d be wrong not to mention that Just Survive has now dropped the H1Z1 branding and is supposed to be getting more updates again. We’ll see, but it’s a thing.
- Last but certainly not least, the servers for OrbusVR’s closed beta are online now, so you can jump right in if you’re all (head)set to go. Wordplay!
But is there a list? Yes, of course there’s a list. It’s right down below, and while it may be trimming down slightly it still has no shortage of entries. Perhaps you’d like to let us know about things we may have missed in the comments? Either phase changes or new titles, we’re flexible.
Gosh, I had almost forgotten about Fragmented – it’s been a while! But it’s formally launched on Steam as of today for a discounted $5.99.
“Today we have moved Fragmented into a released state after 16 months and more than 30 patches in Early Access,” says Above and Beyond’s JC Smith, noting that launch “does not mean the end of updates” for the game; “tweaks and bug fixes” are still on the table.
Fragmented was originally created by A&B in the Great Repopulation Pause of 2015 as a survival sandbox spin-off of the The Repopulation, first Kickstarted in 2012. The MMORPG was crippled by a nasty public contract dispute between the dev team at A&B and its Hero Engine-lessor Idea Fabrik, driving The Repopulation offline and causing A&B to spend a year working on Fragmented instead. Earlier this year, the studio announced it had sold the game to Idea Fabrik instead, a move that A&B said was in the best interests of the game and the playerbase, while A&B kept Fragmented. Since then, Idea Fabrik has gotten The Repopulation back online in a limited alpha.
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,
Over the past week, many MMO bloggers returned to the conspiracy-laden regions of Secret World Legends
to see if they could answer the million-dollar question: Is this reboot and relaunch any good?
Today, we’re going to devote the full column to some of these impressions, starting with Ayren Sojourner, who identifies several problems with the launch of the game as a returning fan.
“I get that they want to walk new players through all the possible side-quest types. But man… I get thrown into a cutscene, then into a graveyard, then into some fragmented raid-something-something that I was familiar with, but would have been extremely confused by if I were a totally new player. Then more cutscenes. Then London. And now that Tokyo scenario that TSW used to start with. I’m still not out of cutscenes,” she wrote.
I’ve had enough time to fully reflect on my Guild Wars 2 Living World season 3 experience to date and wanted to circle back through what I now understand to be the state of play in order to gather my thoughts on where the final episode might take us. We’ve bounced across Tyria chasing the White Mantle, bonding with Aurene, helping to secure Kryta, navigating the tricky interpersonal relationships behind Dragon’s Watch members, and helping Taimi get answers about the elder dragons. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ll also have noticed that major expansion spoilers have also been leaked across the interwebs, so my mission is to attempt to draw conclusions for what might feature at the end of this season to lead us neatly into the second GW2 expansion.
In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’m going to briefly recap on the major story threads of the season so far and will then make some loose predictions about what might happen in the final episode. Note that this piece is most definitely spoilerific for those who haven’t finished the last chapter and also potentially for those who have managed to avoid the expansion spoilers. Feel free to bookmark this one for later if that applies to you!
Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya’ll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn’t as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.
I’m not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller — and oft times privately managed — scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we’re going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here’s a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.
My initial foray into MMORPGs was, to put it nicely, quite ungraceful. I wasn’t even aware that they were a thing until about the year 2000, when I started to notice EverQuest and Asheron’s Call boxes on the shelves. But stories about addiction from friends and the seeming obtuse nature of these games kept me from trying… until fall 2001, that was.
That’s when I saw a sci-fi title lumped together in this unknown category, and I had liked Funcom’s The Longest Journey so much that I thought I’d take a chance on this odd online game. My subsequent experiences in Anarchy Online were fragmented, ignominious, and confusing as all get out. It was so weird, in fact, that I needed a “redo” of City of Heroes several years later to properly get onto the MMO bandwagon (and I haven’t fallen off since!).
So what was it like being a total Anarchy Online — and MMO — noob back in the day, feeling out this game from a position of complete ignorance? Glad you asked, friend, because I’m going to tell you all about it.
The Repopulation is indeed on track to resume early access later this month as planned.
“Servers will be opening up to all current players on the 12th of this month,” Idea Fabrik COO Sarrene’ Grant told forumgoers this afternoon.
“All backers and current players of The Repopulation can enter the game starting at midnight EST on Sunday. Downloads are open, as some of you already know. Your game account login will be exactly the same. Nothing has changed there. We wanted to make sure that everyone that bought and supported the game had the same access as before. If you forgot your password you can use the link provided on the launcher to reset your password. If you have any problems logging in please feel free to post that up. A ticket system will be in place after the transfer is complete. We will be turning The Repopulation sales on at Steam between the 19th and the 26th of this month depending on how the servers hold up to the Alpha testing.”
Idea Fabrik is forging onward in its plan to re-start The Repopulation game servers, forum posts from the last couple of weeks suggest. The company told fans that it’s been working on transferring data to Steam.
“Once the transfers are complete, we’re still going to have the usual spin-up time and make sure that there isn’t any data/bit-rot, making sure that everything is working correctly, etc.,” Community Manager Christopher Riley told backers a week ago in response to questions about when the test server would resume service. “So as of this post it should be about 2 weeks after the transfers.”
Another post indicates that “a few” of the 10-man team in fact worked on The Repopulation prior to its ownership transfer.
On the left in the screenshot above is a windmill in the town of Cragstone in Asheron’s Call. On the right is, well, the same windmill, but in the ruins of Cragstone hundreds of years later in Asheron’s Call 2’s. The latter game’s post apocalyptic setting is quite fitting, all things considered. The sequel was a mechanical departure from the original in many ways, but built on the same lore fans still crave. Not all Asheron’s Call fans would come along for the ride, but the sequel did find fans who never touched the original. AC2 also is about to go offline twice, so, well, there’s that. But there is a reason a sequel was made, and I’d wager the reason it went offline has more to do with the game’s broken past than its innovations.
Join me today as I take a look back through the history and highlights of Asheron’s Call 2. (The original game was the subject of a similar piece earlier this week, so don’t miss that either.)
I have to apologise to raiders for not finishing my boss guides I began back in 2015: This is one of those articles that I’ve been meaning to write for quite a while, but ArenaNet has been doing a fantastic job of throwing shiny distractions in my path that have some sense of urgency (or at least a topical timing factor I can’t ignore) to its deliverance. My Guild Wars 2
raiding experience so far has taken a backseat to Living World developments over the past few months, so rather than attempting to draw up more raid boss guides to round out the set I commenced before season 3 became my article content focus that would just regurgitate known information to most current raiders, I thought it would be a better idea to summarise the Forsaken Thicket experience and share my thoughts on its encounters to wrap up the first raid in writing.
In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll look at each wing of Forsaken Thicket and the encounters contained in them, presenting my opinions on the battles and providing a rated-and-hated sort of summary on the three wings in the process. I’ll link up the few boss guides I compiled where relevant, but the main focus will be on how the encounter plays rather than how best to approach it. This article should prove useful for those who haven’t yet completed Forsaken Thicket and are considering raiding in GW2 as well as those who raid in other MMORPGs and are interested in comparing Anet’s offerings to their raids of choice.