It bears repeating that here on Massively OP, we cover an immensely wide field of live games -- so many that it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of what's happening in each one (which is why our readers are invaluable in winging us tips about their favorite MMOs!). And while there's never any shortage of news and happenings in the field of MMORPGs as a whole, once in a while we realize that it's been a good long time since we heard anything about certain games that we used to discuss a lot in the past.
When that happens to me, I'll often head off on a little fool's errand to scout the website, Twitter feed, forums, and Reddit to see what's going on. I hate to be out of the loop on games, especially ones that used to be more prominent in the news, but more often than not, the lack of news is because there's been a lack of news.
You ever caught yourself going, "What ever happened to the original Darkfall? Or Runes of Magic? Or Fallen Earth?" I totally have, which is why I went on expeditions to see what I could uncover. So let's catch up with these three games and see what is up!
Last month, I wrote a column on several MMOs that walked on the weird side. Even though many online games play it safe with genre and theme, once in a while we do get very odd, very doofy, and very bizarre MMORPGs that go a whole different direction.
My question today is, what's the strangest MMO you have ever tried? Do you play it safe yourself and stick to classic fantasy lest your imagination be stirred and your perceptions of reality start to warp and bend? Or have you dipped your toes into some of the more eccentric online worlds out there?
I think one of the strangest MMOs I've ever played was actually Fallen Earth. The whole post-apocalyptic setting gave the team an excuse for rewriting society to include really whacked-out holidays and myths based on before it all went to pot. Also, there were giant, mutated prairie chickens and hermit crabs wearing old CRT monitors, so my nightmares had some fuel for a few months there.
Do you have any money left after all of that holiday shopping, travel, and dining out? Steam would very much like to have what remains, if you please, and is willing to trade you some discounted games in return.
Yes, the annual Steam Winter Sale is up and running, which means all sorts of deals for the frugal MMORPG player. We've compiled a huge list of all of the deals -- including discounts of up to 90% off! -- to help you navigate the holiday promotion. The sale ends on January 2nd. Hope it helps!
You'd better not honk, you'd better not drive, you'd better not rage-quit, I'm telling you why: Santa Truck is coming to town. Well, to APB Reloaded's town, at least.
Even though we're still in the thick of November, APB says it's not too early to start preparing for its Christmas event. The team didn't give out much in the way of solid information for this event other than it is coming in a few weeks and will contain the above truck and some rather festive outfits.
However, PlayStation 4 owners can expect a present in their stocking come next month: "We’ve got our fingers crossed for a [PS4] launch prior to Christmas, but we’re at Sony’s mercy. While we’re hoping for the best, we still continue to work on PS4 and we’ll let you know once we have more information on the launch date."
Unlike fantasy, the sci-fi genre has had a rocky relationship with MMORPGs. While studios have tried just as hard to make and promote them, there seems to be a curse that hovers over some of these games. From the canceled (Earth & Beyond, The Matrix Online, Tabula Rasa) to the radically retinkered (Star Wars Galaxies) to the relatively niche (Anarchy Online), sci-fi has struggled to be seen as relevant and embraced as its bigger brother.
That isn't to say that these games or the genre is worthless, just that it's a harder sell in many areas of entertainment. Fortunately, studios haven't given up on these games, and some of these titles -- such as EVE Online or Star Trek Online -- have proven that they're worth pursuing.
Enter PlanetSide, circa 2003. While sci-fi MMOs, multi-faction PvP, and online shooters had been done separately at that point, PlanetSide stepped up to the plate to combine all three into a persistent war on an alien planet. Today we'll be setting our sights to the far reaches of the galaxy and beyond as we explore one of the more unique MMOs in existence.
Not all MMORPG mounts are created equal. For starters, some are horses, some are mutated pig-things, and some are Road Warrior deathmobiles. My favorite was always Fallen Earth's prairie chicken. It might have been ungainly, but boy was there nothing else quite like it!
Anyway, today I want us to talk about different features that we appreciate in mounts. These include, but are not limited to, mount persistence in the world, mounting speed, flight capability, combat durability, additional inventory space, and the ability to bite the head off of a passing orc.
What features do you like in MMO mounts? Which game gave you the best in these?
"Big, dramatic, and dare I say exciting things are afoot!"
Thus begins APB: Reloaded's latest dev blog, penned by Community Manager Tiggs and Producer Joshua "capnjosh" Clausen. The duo explain that the UK team recently laid off "a number of people" and that "the APB Team will begin to move over to the US office."
"The Future of APB is a bright one - we don’t have any plans of closing down and quite honestly there is a palpable excitement in the air. We do want to move forward with the PS4 release and Engine Upgrade. PS4 update is the main priority right now, since we need to get all platforms up to the same code base before we can complete a number of engine-level changes we all know are of such great interest. Yes, I know you’ve heard all this before; it actually is what needs to happen. We’re hoping to have this (PS4 release) completed in September. I’m not sure of a time line on the Engine Upgrade at this time, and I don’t want to say an estimated time until I can delve into things deeper to see where we are at."
Gamersfirst is also apparently working on a dynamic event system and the moving of Brazilian players to the core servers.
APB: Reloaded's community manager learned the hard way about the importance of account security, as her account was hacked over the weekend.
"Yes, my forum/game account was compromised and they thought it would be fun to create havoc," CM Tiggs said. "We've now got it secured and I cleaned up the small mess that they made. Too bad they're not very smart, because I do know who it was. They were not able to see any account information for players so don't worry. It is always wise to change your passwords often."
While the unnamed player had control of her account, he or she made numerous racist comments and forum posts while posting links to a hacker website.
For a long time now, I've had a very minor wish for an MMO feature: the ability to set up camp and have my tent be customizable in the same way that housing is elsewhere in many games. It makes more sense to me that, as an adventurer always on the move, I'd bring my home with me instead of making frequent return trips to a house on a different continent.
I love this idea. Why aren't we seeing it more often, really? Star Wars Galaxies and Fallen Earth both let you drop down camps across the world, and Trove's cornerstones went further with full-on customization while letting you pack up and relocate everything at a moment's notice. Really, all I want is a tent that has a few basic services, a roaring campfire, and a place to hang up a few trophies from my trip while passers-by drop in for a chat.
Is portable housing in MMORPGs of any interest to you? If so, what would you like to see in it?
The team behind APB Reloaded has been laying down the foundation for the game's transition to consoles, work that is now paying off as the game has soft launched on Xbox One in Europe.
You can probably classify this rollout as more of a test than a true launch, but in any case, European players can now check out the title on Xbox One. A US test was supposed to happen at the same time, but the team decided to delay the release of the soft launch in that region until a later date.
EU players evaluating APB's console edition are advised to be flexible, as the soft launch period will be marked by frequent updates and no cash shop purchases (at least initially).
Curious what APB Reloaded looks like on the console? We've got a customization video for you to eyeball after the break!
"Wait a minute," you say out loud to your computer. "Western MMORPGs aren't a thing, except in my fondest dreams. How can you write an entire column on music from these imaginary games?"
It is true, there really aren't many (if any) "wild west" MMOs, but that isn't to say that we are lacking for western areas and themes in our games. The American west makes for a great backdrop when its fictionalized into games, whether they be fantasy or sci-fi, and composers do love to sneak in a western-sounding track or two into their albums as well.
Today we're going to be listening to a wide range of MMORPG soundtracks that would be comfortable on the frontier. So pull a log up to the fire, take our your harmonica, and think of a home on the range!
Mark Kern, most recently recalled to MMORPG audiences for volunteering himself as a spokesperson in the Nostalrius World of Warcraft vanilla server ordeal, told followers earlier this month his side of the story of what happened to Firefall, the game built by the studio that he founded and that later ejected him.
Kern says that the game took many twists and turns from an alternate-reality WWII MMO to a sci-fi "MineCraft with war." What shipped after his ejection was, he claims, "a complete disaster."
"Of course, what shipped with Firefall was a compete redo of my original game (they spent six months undoing my game and implementing their own version prior to ship). The Firefall you can play now is level based, more about progressing your character than fighting a war. In fact, I think the war parts (like the Chosen invasions we had) are completely gone. Thumping is gone, crafting is gone, and dynamic quests have been replaced with traditional static quest givers, or job boards. Its pretty much a standard MMO now, instead of the simulated massive war game that I had always wanted to make. It’s really a shame."
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
This week we'll search our feelings about Blizzard possibly taking some of its IPs to mobile, grapple with Lineage Eternal's delay, find out what Saga of Lucimia defines what an "epic adventure" is in an MMO, discover the launch date for Chronicle: RuneScape Legends, and more!