My husband and I were chatting about the whole Chris-Roberts-is-fed-up-with-trolls-and-date-estimates-that-everyone-knows-aren’t-going-to-stick thing from last week when he said something that struck me. “It reminds me of how people harangue George R. R. Martin (of Game of Thrones fame) about his next book,” he observed. “They believe he owes them something for being his loyal fans,” which you’ll recall once prompted famed author Neil Gaiman to declare, “George Martin is not your bitch.”
The difference, of course, is that George R. R. Martin can do whatever the heck he wants while he rolls around in his well-earned piles of money because his books aren’t crowdfunded. He quite literally doesn’t owe us anything, even if people who’ve been his fans for multiple decades might feel otherwise.
Crowfunded MMOs like Star Citizen aren’t quite in that position. Technically, you knew when your credit card number hit the screen that yours was a donation toward an idea. Some of the games we Kickstart? They fail. Or they drift in limbo. Or they don’t meet the vision. They aren’t all Path of Exile and Elite Dangerous is what I’m saying. But when those campaigns masquerade as pre-orders, people can be left with the idea that, well, they’re owed what they think they paid for.
Do you feel the MMO you’ve crowdfunded owe you something? Or are you content knowing you donated toward a vision of a better genre?
There are dangerous things in deep space when you play Elite: Dangerous. More dangerous than system failures, or pirates, or interstellar phenomena. The Thargoids are arriving on September 26th, the culmination of many teasing moments in which players have been forced to realize that they are not, in fact, alone in the galaxy. Now they’re coming, and players are going to have to deal with a danger that is far more mysterious than anything found up to now.
While patch 2.4 is coming out on the 26th, it marks the beginning of narrative content which will be rolled out in the weeks and months following the initial patch. If you’re eager to get a taste of what’s coming next, though, check out the cinematic trailer just below. It’s possible to override the shutdown pulse that these mysterious entities generate, yes… but there’s more to it than just the first pulse.
Did you hear about EverQuest II multi-month Days of Summer reward event? If so, lucky you! Here is an event that was launched with so little fanfare that even though I am playing every week. it completely slipped out of my mind — even after I learned about it the first week! It’s also an event that rewards players with some pretty snazzy rewards if they complete each of the weekly quests, so missing out entirely will make you lose out on a familiar, level 100 gear, housing decorations, a prestige house, and more. So many goodies! That may be because this summer event is akin to prelude events before expansions as it is aimed at helping people gear up for the upcoming expansion. Now don’t you wish you knew more about it? Well here you go.
The good news is that even if you hadn’t heard a word about it until now, it’s not too late to start; the event runs from August 2nd, 3:01 a.m. EDT, all the way until October 3rd at 2:59 a.m. EDT. The even better news is that players need not have completed the quest in the week it was first offered. You just have to complete them in order. I proved this by starting the event during this week’s week five quest. The bad news is that not only do you have to be level 100 to be able to see all of the rewards on the event vendor, you also need to own Kunark Ascending to complete some of the quests. The even worse news is that only those who have paid for membership can access the quests at all.
I will admit that I’ve been craving a good space exploration sim lately — the burn to “explore strange new worlds” is rising inside of me. Should Elite Dangerous be my course? Reader Andrew makes a compelling case with this week’s headliner.
“I recently took an exploration adventure in Elite Dangerous to the ghost ship Zurara on the edge of the galaxy in the Formadine Rift and put together an album of screenshots that I took along the way,” he sent in. “Here I am enjoying the sunset before I leave the Bubble Nebula and head out to the next and final stop on my journey.”
How is World of Warcraft like the wild west of American history and legend? Something about Barrens chat might come to mind, but blog Coffee Cakes and Crits has another view on the connection between the two.
“One of the ‘codes’ of the Old West was that you did not have to tell where you came from or why you were in the West,” he writes. “This code is exactly the same in the World of Warcraft. You don’t have to say what you do for a living or your military background or level of education. You don’t even have to claim a gender. It is what you do in the game that matters and you can go as far as you dare to try and, hopefully, try again. This is a very good thing.”
Continuing on with our tour of the MMO blogosphere this week, we’ll see a gut reaction to the Secret World TV series announcement, impressions from the Path of Fire preview weekend, and more!
At its pre-Gamescom press conference this Sunday, Microsoft revealed more about its upcoming Xbox One X and its glorious 4K gaming capabilities. As part of the conference, the company listed several games that would benefit from the enhanced performance and power of the console when it arrives this November.
MMO players should take note, because this list contains many games in our sphere of interest. The select enhanced titles include BioWare’s Anthem, ARK: Survival Evolved, Astroneer, Black Desert, Conan Exiles, Dark and Light, Diablo III, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Portal Knights, Roblox, Sea of Thieves, SMITE, State of Decay 2, The Crew 2, Elder Scrolls Online, The Division, Warframe, and World of Tanks.
The Xbox One X boasts six teraflops of processing power, 4K Ultra Blu-Ray, and 12GB GDDR5 graphics memory, and will retail for $500. Interested players can pre-order the Project Scropio edition right now for as long as supplies last.
You think you’ve heard strange MMORPG soundtracks before, but Wurm Online is about to take you to the odd frontier. With two distinctive soundtracks that skew away from typical composition, Wurm baffles, amuses, and bewitches the Battle Bards in today’s show!
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 103: Wurm Online (or download it) now:
Good news for the Elite: Dangerous crew; according to the Frontier Developments Twitter account, Elite: Dangerous and the Horizons expansion have passed a grand total of 2.75 million sales. The phrasing is slightly ambiguous, as it could mean the combined total of each one’s individual sales is 2.75 million or that the game has sold 2.75 million copies altogether. Both are impressive, certainly, especially as the last sales data we had was from January 2016 when the base game had sold 1.4 million copies.
If you’re part of the crowd and plan to be out for PAX West in the near future, you can take part in the studio’s planned Frontier meet-up for fans and community on August 31st, 2017. The event is first-come-first-served and does have limited capacity, so you should make your plans soon, but it’s there if you want to go. The rest of us can sit back and relish the days when 825,000 sales was a major milestone.
Tencent is sprinkling more money around: Yicai Global
are reporting that the Chinese conglom has invested money into South Korea’s Bluehole Studio
. It’s not currently clear how much money; according to Yicai, Bluehole refused a total buyout offer.
We’re presuming that Tencent’s interest is chiefly in Bluehole’s development and publishing of the increasingly popular and obnoxiously named Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds.
But to MMORPG players, Bluehole is probably best known as the Korean studio behind TERA, as well as Devilian (in the East), Project W, and a number of mobile games, including one based on TERA.
Most recently, Tencent was spotted pouring $23M into Elite Dangerous dev house Frontier Development to acquire 9% of the studio.
Despite the name, Elite: Dangerous has never required a particularly elite home computer to run. But it will be getting just a little bit more elite with its next patch, as 2.4 is removing support for the game’s 32-bit client. Players who wish to play the 2.4 test version will need a 64-bit version of the game; according to the official announcement, this change will affect a tiny portion of the game’s overall userbase.
Those players who will be affected will also be directly contacted by the team to make sure that everyone is aware of the change and what can be done to prepare. Odds are low this will affect you, but it’s still worth noting and being ready for. On the bright side, this marks another milestone towards ensuring that the 2038 problem doesn’t hit the world with a fury of a thousand suns, so we can commend Frontier Developments for looking ahead.
Anyone a little excited about Guild Wars 2 these days? Probably not, but on the off-chance that there’s a glimmer of hype and hope alive, here’s a reminder that there’s some stuff that was put out for the game and other stuff that’s coming for the game. Deserty-stuff.
“I don’t want to spoil much about the latest Guild Wars 2 episode, so here is just a shot from inside of Divinity’s Reach palace temple, where it begins!” Miol submitted.
I wish I could un-spoil myself from that screenshot, because now I know the game’s design plans for the next seven years, all from the subtle clues that are contained in those stained glass windows. How I wish I could erase that knowledge and experience it as a wide-eyed child would!
Earlier this summer I wrote that Elite Dangerous‘ community events were something the MMO community should watch. Watch. I never said play, and I never ended up pushing the “purchase” button when I saw it on sale. I’m not really a flight sim person. Heck, I’ve even mentioned several times that I prefer kart-racers to realistic racing games.
However, I recently snagged a review key for Elite Dangerous to try it out on the PlayStation 4. I even streamed my first experiences with the game. It was a rocky session to say the least, but I decided to stick with it for a few more hours after getting some support from viewers. I really wanted to be able to recommend the game as something to pick up, but honestly, I’m still in the “watch” category.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Valiance Online took everyone by surprise by announcing the launch of its investor alpha on PC for Friday, though it didn’t actually launch until today thanks to some unforeseen tech issues. “If you donated to our old website campaign or Kickstarter, you might not be in Alpha today,” Silverhelm tweeted. “We’ll be working over the weekend to get you in!” Folks who donate right now through the official site should also have immediate access.
Over in the newly launched Albion Online, developers calmly responded to criticism of its large-scale battle system, explaining the upsides and downsides of diminishing returns from zergs. (Thanks, David!)
Meanwhile, Project Gorgon promised tweaks to its Poetry Appreciation skill (<3), Saga of Lucimia demoed its Pyrography skill, OrbusVR welcomed more players to its open alpha, Shroud of the Avatar rolled out R44 and cracked down on insider trading exploits, Chronicles of Elyria posted a whopper of a roadmap, Global Adventures’ Kickstarter ends tomorrow, and Star Citizen clarified (sort of?) the number of planets it will launch with and effectively announced another 3.0 delay.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.