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Studio known for running Fallen Earth and rescuing APB: Reloaded.

Perfect Ten: MMORPGs that died too soon

Your favorite game is going to die. I wrote about that. Some games are never even going to get to launching in the first place, unfortunately. But then there are these titles: games that went the distance when it came to development, marketing, promotion, testing… but somehow didn’t quite manage to stick the landing past that. These are the games that, in Transformers terms, are the hi-then-die cast of the MMO space.

That doesn’t always mean the games are bad, mind you. Some of these games were great fun. But through a combination of business model issues, publisher issues, player population, and just general weirdness, these titles couldn’t make it to a year and a half in the wild. Heck, some of them couldn’t even make it to a year and a quarter. And if you want to peruse this list and wonder why all of these titles are gone but Alganon is somehow still operating… well, we’re just as confused as you are.

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Perfect Ten: My favorite MMO dungeons

It’s hard to look at an MMORPG and imagine them without dungeons. For some people, these instances are the core of their game experience, offering challenging (well, hopefully) and rewarding group experiences that can be repeated for fun, profit, and optimal performance.

Dungeons and I have a strange history in MMOs. For me, it all depends on the game in question. There are MMOs that don’t really feature compelling or rewarding dungeons (Guild Wars 2), or make grouping up and getting into them difficult, or what have you. Yet in other games, I’ve run dungeons so many times that I could probably pathfind through each one blind. If done right, they can be really fun and offer me a chance to show off my stuff and feel like I’m part of a team.

For today’s list, I want to share with you my favorite MMO dungeons. I’m going to limit myself to one per MMO for diversity’s sake, which might make it a little challenging, but there you go!

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APB Reloaded brainstorms a ‘gangland survival mode’

See if you can follow the chain of progression here. In APB Reloaded’s most recent dev diary, the team says that it’s about done ironing out issues and fighting DDoS attacks in its console versions (problems that have been going on since early April). Once that is done, the devs want to bring some of these improvements and optimizations to the PC and figure the best way to do that is… by creating a new game mode. Because stress testing or something?

Honestly, it sounds like they’re trying hard to emulate the popularity of other titles: “Seeing the success of Battlegrounds and H1Z1 survival mode, we realized we have almost all the ingredients in APB to create a gangland survival game, and we want to your help to make this event as fun as possible.”

Jump on that survival bandwagon! If the proposed event is popular enough, APB hopes to incorporate it as a regular game mode following the summer.

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APB Reloaded fends off DDOS attack

APB Reloaded can’t seem to catch a break this month. Following severe lag and crashes with its console version earlier in April, yesterday the title was struck by a nasty DDOS attack that hurt both its Xbox One and PlayStation 4 performance, causing latency spikes and network outages.

“At the start of the weekend we began seeing an issue on our PS4 environment. We initially thought it was due to the recent patch or seasonal event but as time went on the issue spread to our XB1 environment as well. We have now identified the issue to be related to a new type of DDOS attack against our servers which spams our network and is causing latency and connectivity issues within the game,” the studio wrote yesterday.

The good news is that the crisis seems to be resolved as of this morning, which means that the seasonal event for the Xbox One can proceed as planned.

Source: APB Reloaded

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Massively Overthinking: MMOs, from hardcore to casual and back again

Massively OP reader Suikoden wrote this great question to the podcast — too good to let just Justin and me answer it. It’s a two-parter!

“Back when I used to be a hardcore MMO gamer circa 2000-2010, I felt that MMOs of that era were designed more toward the hardcore gamer and even catered to us more. Within the last 5 years, I’ve had to develop into more of a casual player. However, I now feel that games once again cater to me and my current playstyle. Did the MMO genre evolve alongside me, from a more hardcore-centric genre to a more casual playerbase? Or is it the same as it always was and I just feel that it caters to me because it’s designed to feel like it caters to all playstyles? And if there was a change, do you feel it is for the better or for the worse for the genre?”

I posted Suikoden’s questions to the team for this week’s Massively Overthinking!

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APB Reloaded tackles console lag and crashes

With the soft launch of APB Reloaded on the PlayStation 4 have come some hard truths: namely that the game isn’t quite where the devs want it to be.

Players have reported both numerous crashes and severe slowdown with the console edition. Apparently the slowdown is thanks to APB’s incredibly high character detail that’s since caused issues whenever new players load into areas, and most of the crashes were due to a single memory issue. Fortunately, the devs say that they’re on the case and have fixes coming in the first patch.

APB soft launched on consoles on March 30th and will continue as such for 30 days until its formal launch. The team is giving players freebies if they log in to play during this period.

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APB Reloaded soft-launches on PlayStation 4 today

If your main reason for not playing APB Reloaded at this point is the fact that the game is not on the PlayStation 4, you have a rather odd reason, but one that’s being rectified. The game’s soft launch on the console platform is scheduled for today at 11 a.m. EDT, allowing console owners to download the game and play as much as they wish. The “soft launch” designation is mostly to note that the game will receive minimal communication over the next month while developers address any major bugs or issues.

Players can also earn unspecified free goodies by logging in to put the console version through its paces, with the promise that all of the goods will be delivered when the game patches after 30 days. You can also earn a “Founder” tag for playing on the platform for at least 10 hours. So, hey, if you’d like to take part in some shooting antics and you’ve got all of the required hardware, you can get some stuff out of it.

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What ever happened to Darkfall, Fallen Earth, and Runes of Magic?

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!

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The Daily Grind: What’s the strangest MMO you ever tried?

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.

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Massively OP’s MMO guide to the Steam Winter Sale

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!

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Santa Truck and the PlayStation 4 are coming to APB Reloaded

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.”

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The Game Archaeologist: Classic PlanetSide

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.

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The Daily Grind: What features do you like in MMO mounts?

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?

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