On this week’s show, Bree and Justin sift through early 2018 news, including a possible leak of Amazon’s New World, a touching player memorial in RIFT, warnings of alien attacks in Elite: Dangerous, 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.
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Last week, we reported on a situation brewing on the EVE Online subreddit, where player after player spoke out about the game’s botting problem, exacerbated by a recent post about a specific botter corp leaving expensive capital ships where other players could easily take them out.
Seeking a statement on the botting situation, we reached out to CCP, whose CCP Falcon posted a response to our article on Reddit.
“[Botting is] to the detriment of the game and it needs to be stamped out,” he says. “It’s garbage behavior, it’s against the rules, and it’s something that has a magnified effect in EVE because of the single shard nature of the game, the economy, and the fact that everything on the market is player built or sourced.” Specifically, he dismissed the idea that CCP generates revenue from botters. That said, he also believes CCP has more work to do on the problem.
A new year, a new batch of survival games! Yes, the genre has become so popular that one guide, no not even two guides could contain all of the survival goodness. More keep cropping up. I certainly can’t say as I mind, since this is the style of game that has been giving me the feeling of having an impact on my environment. And it’s not all the same collection of zombies, although there is still plenty of that. It is interesting to see what new takes developers are bringing to the table. Want to do a survival reality show? There’s a game for that! How about living like a viking? Yup. What if you want to be the psychotic killer that survivors are trying to, well, survive? Got you covered. Fell like upping the ante and surviving via VR? There are a few of those available.
If you are looking for a new survival to sink your teeth into, here’s the addendum for some newer games in development as well as some newly discovered ones since the last mega double guide. Note: This collection will be a mix of multiplayer and single-player titles with some uniques thrown in.
Is there a quota for how many sci-fi spaceship MMOs with playerbases angry over exploits we can cover in a week? Because if so, Elite Dangerous already met it. If not, EVE Online requests a moment of your time.
The EVE subreddit is smoldering with post after post on what players characterize as a serious botting problem, exacerbated by a recent post in which a player claims that in a brief span of time, his group was able to easily take out eight Nyx capital ships allegedly belonging to a single corporation well-known among gamers for botting.
One redditor summed up the community dismay that cheaters and cheater money rules the game, quoting another’s estimate that bots pull in a tremendous amount of ISK (in-game currency) monthly and lamenting the perception that CCP lets the botting go on (or even encourages it).
“I feel completely worthless as a customer,” Loroseco writes. “I feel like my effort over the years has been for absolutely nothing. I feel that I’ve been cheated out of making a fortune because I felt compelled to obey the ToS that I agreed to when I started playing.”
We’re guessing there are lots of new Elite Dangerous players roaming around now, what with the game having been just 7 bucks on Steam over Christmas, but that just means a bigger playerbase to cheer today’s news. Early this morning, Frontier announced that the game’s third season of content is on the way, beginning with Elite Dangerous: Beyond – Chapter One (they have never been good at names, let’s be honest) coming in “Q1 2018.” The beta itself for the new content will be free for all players and begin on January 25.
“Launching Q1 2018, Elite Dangerous: Beyond – Chapter One is the first update of Elite Dangerous’ third season, following the Thargoids devastating assault on humanity’s starports. Beyond advances the ongoing player-driven narrative and introduces a variety of gameplay enhancements, upgrading the gameplay experience whether players prefer to trade, fight or explore in Elite Dangerous’ massively multiplayer galaxy.”
Most online games have rules governing running from a fight, abandoning a team, or exiting the game to avoid gameplay, be they MMORPGs or shooters or MOBAs. You’ll get smacked with some sort of penalty or timeout, at minimum – if you didn’t, why, you’d just quit out every time you were losing a fight.
In Elite Dangerous, that practice is called combat logging, particularly when you’re using dodgy means to achieve it, and it’s been a subject of contention in the game since at least 2016, when we first covered it. Back then, players were accusing Frontier of not doing enough to prevent and punish what both saw as an exploit of the game’s mechanics.
Turns out that accusation is alive and well in 2018. Players have posted on Reddit and the official forums a summary of what they say is their latest investigation into Frontier’s investigation. This time around, they used an alt to combat log in the middle of fights with multiple other players, complete with video and in-game reporting, over a span of five months. According to the players, Frontier didn’t punish the account for any of the incidents.
It’s a new year and a new you! Well, probably the old you a few days past the expiration date, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely useless. For example, you probably have enough mental cognition and digital dexterity to log into an MMORPG and create a new character before you dissolve into an unslightly mess of bones and goo.
To celebrate the debut of 2018, the Massively OP legion is out in force to create new characters with all sorts of crazy resolutions!
First up is CapnLan: “My first character creation for the new year is technically an old one. I recovered my old FFXIV character from 1.0 but they had me run him through the new character creator when I logged in for the first time. I touched him up a bit with some new options and went for a stroll around Ul’dah. Here’s a quick shot I took of him with all his hilariously outdated 1.0 gear in front of the New Year decorations on the main street.”
For a long time, Elite: Dangerous players felt… well, not exactly safe around the Thargoids, but at least safe enough to poke or ignore the aliens as individual whims dictated. Now that the aliens are actually attacking, that safety is gone. That’s the bad news. The good news is that players are already working to rebuild the locations under attack by the aliens; civilians were evacuated and the operations are being restored now.
Players are also able to take part in new community goals to start some pre-emptive evacuations ahead of what is the expected trajectory of the Thargoid attacks, providing supplies to craft a large evacuation ship. Of course, none of that necessarily means that the Thargoid attacks are going to work the way players expect; thus far, they’ve been anything but predictable. So it’s good to see players rebuilding, but we would still advise against taunting them.
It has already been a year since one of the oldest graphical MMOs, Asheron’s Call, was shut down unceremoniously following Turbine’s decision to jettison MMOs and focus on mobile titles (how’s that working out for you, by the way?). But have you ever wondered where all of the players went after they were exiled from their virtual home?
PCGamesN did, and one author started investigating and interviewing former Asheron’s Call players to see where they immigrated. While some left MMOs altogether, others drifted toward emulators or other titles like Elite: Dangerous. But it seems like many of these refugees may have found a new home in Project Gorgon.
Guild leader Sasho is one of several who transferred his community into the upcoming MMO: “From a certain point, people didn’t log into Asheron’s Call to play the game, we logged on to see each other — the game was just the excuse. The spirit of the AC community never died, so when looking for a new place to hang our coats, the question wasn’t ‘which MMO is best?,’ but ‘where can I find my old friends?.’ And, honestly, Project Gorgon is an amazing game.”
As our review of the past year of Choose My Adventure rolls onward (a bit longer than originally planned), we enter what I think of as the trifecta of disappointment. Why? Well, the word “trifecta” is fun to say. Try it a few times. Also, because the were three titles among the back end that were pretty notably disappointing.
There are always going to be titles with Choose My Adventure that don’t connect as much with me; after all, the games that I play on a regular basis are not chosen based on a random number generator. But these titles in particular are disappointments, each for their own reasons. And then, in the middle, there’s a game that is far closer to “not mine, but not bad,” which is a different matter altogether. Life, in short, is a rich tapestry.
Last year was positively stuffed with updates, expansions, and cool stuff. A lot of years I struggle to remember which major updates happened in the past year, due partly to my own faulty memory but due largely to the simple fact that not a lot of them really stuck out for me. This year? We were awash in updates. Some games literally gave me multiple choices about which update I thought was “the best” just because, well, there were so many.
So the list that follows is, honestly, a fragment of what could be chosen. At least one of them is something you will probably disagree with. And that’s fine, because thankfully, last year (as mentioned) contained tons of great updates for people to enjoy. So without further ado, let’s delve into the best updates of 2017 and gush for a bit about how many cool things got added to games last year.
With 2017 officially over and done, Steam’s taking a moment to report on its best-selling games over the course of the whole year. While there are no specifics shared as to which title sold how many copies, Valve does roughly rank games according to overall sales.
In the “platinum” category are several familiar online titles, including ARK: Survival Evolved, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, H1Z1, Warframe, and Dota 2.
Moving down into “gold,” we find Elder Scrolls Online crowing happily. “Silver” sellers mark Conan Exiles, Black Desert Online, War Thunder, and Path of Exile among the third-tier titles. The list is rounded out with other MMOs and MOBAs like Paladins, Elite: Dangerous, and The Division.
Steam’s Winter Sale, which contains many of these games and more, is ending on January 4th.
That’s it, folks. It’s time to put the wraps on the bumpy, odd year that was 2017 and get ready to flip our calendars to the pristine landscape of 2018. While the future of MMOs always holds uncertainy, one thing we know for sure: We’re going to screenshot the heck out of it.
To put a bow on 2017, I asked Massively OP readers to submit their absolute best screenshot from this past year — and the community took up the task with gusto. We’ll start things off today with Hugmonster showing us what a dignified, serious game Guild Wars 2 can be.
“My best screenshot of the year? Obviously me launching a stampede of rainbow unicorns!” he shared.