Con in Cologne, Germany, usually in August every year.
All hail the Czech Republic! C-Z-E-C-H! That spells victory!
Blizzard is toasting players from the republic for their performance at the recent Hearthstone Global Games tournament at Gamescom last month. In a long and colorful infographic, the studio revealed that 2,345 games were played during the course of the tournament, which included 510 quests.
Forty-eight countries competed for both glory and a slice of the $332,000 prize pie. Other interesting statistics revealed include the fact that the most successful class was the Druid, followed by the Hunter and Warrior. Also, one game saw the deployment of 37 Jade Idols, which we’re just going to say is a lot despite having seen a few hundred of them at a tourist gift shop once.
Eurogamer’s just published a long Gamescom interview with Cloud Imperium’s Chris Roberts on Star Citizen, and anybody concerned about the state of 3.0 and its long delay and missed windows should probably give it a read — it may not change your mind, but it’s the gospel from the boss’ mouth. Also it’s significantly more entertaining than debating space poop.
Roberts first won’t agree that the 3.0 alpha, when we finally see it, constitutes beta. “With 3.0, the game is moving into a phase akin to Early Access,” he says, as “3.0 is the first time you’ll have some of the basic game loops and mechanics,” the first slice of the game with “proper persistence for your character, ship and items in terms of what their state is, their location is.” Terms like beta and early access, he says, are “just labels.”
“People still think of the old way [of making games], like my past games. We’d talk about a game for years, we’d show it, but no one would have their hands on it ’til it was out. There was an obsession with ‘when will it get released’. Even with those [traditional boxed] games now, they get patched, they add things, make things better over time.”
PAX West 2017 has come and gone, and though MJ is still feverishly working on her last few articles, we wanted to pause a moment to reflect on everything we’ve seen and read and recapped so far. So for today’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our writers to tackle three topics from an MMO player’s perspective: the biggest surprise of the show, the most disappointing bit, and the games that grabbed them and won’t let go.
This year’s online juggernaut is not, surprisingly enough, anything made by Valve, Blizzard, or Riot, but instead one stemmed from the mind of a modder. Of course, we are speaking of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the multiplayer battle royal that’s started to edge out contemporaries like H1Z1.
For proof of just how big and massively popular this title is, consider that since its launch on Steam early access in late May this year, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds sold an astounding 10 million units to trigger-happy gamers. And those games are being put to good use, with a peak concurrency of 970,000 set during Gamescom last month.
PUBG is set to launch on PC and arrive on Xbox One game preview later this year. Curious what this game is about and why it’s sweeping the PC landscape? We’ve got an informative video to share with you about that after the break.
This week’s Star Citizen Around the Verse is more or less a recap of Gamescom and a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the chaos behind the curtain, so if you follow the game closely, you probably don’t need it. As of recording time, the team says it added 27 issues to the must-fix list and checked in 768 updates over the week, bringing the game to 94 outstanding issues that need a clean-up before 3.0 can roll out to the Evocati.
Meanwhile, Cloud Imperium has posted a Q&A on the Origin 600i, one of its newest concept ships, desirable for its modularity and solo-friendliness. More stylish than the Aquila (and also pretty much every other starship you’ve ever seen), it’s admittedly “extremely expensive,” even though it’s not as powerful or long-range as other ships in its class.
“We are building a universe, and part of that means we can consider aspects that a standard game does not, such as value and desirability,” CIG explains. “When we look at vehicles in the real world, its apparent that more functionality does not always mean something is more expensive, and vice versa. In the Star Citizen universe, a sleek, luxury ship created by Origin will bring certain connotations with it, in the same way most people would find a sports coupé more desirable than a family sedan, despite the fact it has [fewer] seats and cup-holders.”
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree shovel through the mountain of Gamescom reveals, including a trip to World of Warcraft’s Argus and Star Citizen’s elaborate Alpha 3.0 tease. The duo also mourn the premature demise of SkySaga, a promising-looking MMO that got a raw deal from its publisher.
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.
Listen to the show right now:
If games industry giants can be seen as extremely territorial siblings, each jealously guarding his or her own possessions and unwilling to work with others, then Microsoft is positioning itself as the one who is finally maturing and willing to reach out.
One of the big topics for consoles of late is that of “crossplay” — allowing the same game on different platforms to offer shared gaming space for its community. Some titles have this; Sea of Thieves made waves at Gamescom by announcing that it will support crossplay between Xbox One and PC, while Final Fantasy XIV has had crossplay for its PlayStation and PC community for years now.
Some, such as ARK, are resisting this functionality. Companies such as Sony are being blamed for stonewalling further efforts to break down these walls of segregation.
In its effort to rush a new aircraft carrier to the game in time for this past week’s Gamescom, Wargaming might have done World of Warships
a grave disservice with its launch of the Graf Zeppelin. Players called it an “unplayable” and “unfinished” ship
, an assessment that the studio admitted was true
. As such, the premium vessel is being recalled for further testing and a full refund offered.
“We admit that the decision to release this ship in the current condition was wrong,” Wargaming posted. “We should have spent more time working on it and we need to take responsibility for this mistake, as well as provide our apologies to the community.”
Part of the controversy stemmed from the fact that the ship was priced at $60, a price point that definitely carried with it weightier expectations. The studio also apologized for coming down hard on one of its community contributors who offered strongly worded criticism of the Graf Zeppelin.
Noble heroes? More like scavengers in truth. That’s the bottom line for player characters in Crowfall, as spelled out in the MMO’s Gamescom trailer.
In the short video, a woman illustrates her multifaceted existence as she dies and is reborn countless times to be both a savior and a villain. Sharp eyes might spot siege equipment in action, a trio of Guinecean Duelists, the flying spirit crows bringing players back to life, and of course, plenty of archery action.
You can watch the game’s first cinematic trailer after the break, and as a bonus, also hang out with the devs to hear the latest developments of the game straight from the show.
If you skipped out on the Star Citizen Gamescom presentation, you missed out on some pretty good stuff. You also missed out on an hour of awkward preshow and a loooong wait when one of the demo machines crashed mid-show, true, but there was plenty of good stuff too go around, headlined by Cloud Imperium’s collaboration with Faceware. Anybody remember SOEmote? Yeah, it’s that: “real-time, player-driven facial animation.”
“The new feature will track players’ facial expressions and movement, then reproduce them on their avatars in-game, allowing for the most immersive and realistic player-to-player communication. […] Using Faceware’s soon-to-be-released facial motion sensor, this new feature enables Cloud Imperium and any Star Citizen to detect hundreds of facial movements in a variety of lighting conditions. Those movements are then instantly streamed onto the character’s face, in-game, a critical element in creating believable digital faces. The feature can also be used with the computer’s built-in webcam, though the quality of facial detection may vary.”
Seen as a demo during the presentation, it looked pretty cool, if the crowd’s gasps and claps are any judge, though I found the moving-camera bit a tad nauseating to watch without my being at the controls myself. Will facial animation catch on this time? Guess we’ll see.
The capstone to Star Citizen’s Gamescom hoopla is slated for this afternoon at 3 p.m. EDT, when Cloud Imperium’s Chris Roberts takes the stage from Cologne for the core presentation of the game.
“We’re excited to be back at Gloria Theater on 9 p.m. (UTC) Friday, August 25th, for another great show. Hosted by Chris Roberts, showcasing some of what we’ve been working on this year, and delivering some never-seen-before gameplay! If you’re not there in person you can watch live on Twitch, or join one of the 20+ Bar Citizens around the world and watch with the community.”
Join us as we watch along below as it begins shortly, and don’t forget to get caught up on this week’s Star Citizen news so far.
European dead zone sure sounds festive, right? Well, it looks pretty, anyway. Bungie revealed the open world environ in a new video from Gamescom yesterday
. The new trailer shows players stalking through ruined cathedrals and swampy caves and tech camps, highlighting adventures, quests, loot boxes, the rep screen, exploration, lore acquisition, and endlessly shooting baddies. Really, it’s mostly that.
Meanwhile, Destiny 2 project lead Mark Noseworthy is featured in a long piece on Rolling Stone, in which he points out – without using the word – that accessibility was a problem in the original game that D2 is meant to rectify.
“It was a game that became difficult to recommend. It got to this point where, you know, your brother-in-law or someone would ask you, ‘Hey, should I be playing this Destiny game?’ And my first instinct would be like, ‘Mmm, I don’t know if I’ve got enough time to carry you for that period of time, where I’m gonna have to explain everything.'”
Notably, Noseworthy says he’s already requested time off after launch — to actually play the game.
No more delays: ARK Survival Evolved launches next week on August 29th, and Studio Wildcard brought a trailer to Gamescom to razzle-dazzle the dino-loving audience. It’s not just any old trailer, either; there’s new content on display, including Tek gear and two new creatures: “the playful Otter and the fiery Phoenix.”
“This furry little Otter makes a cozy companion that can ride around on your shoulders and can help retrieve silica pearls for you! The flaming Phoenix bursts into fire with the heat of the desert. Operating at impossible temperatures, this legendary flyer can cook resources just by holding them. Perhaps it could even be ridden, if somehow one could acquire gear fireproof enough to withstand the flames blazing across its feathers.”
Don’t worry; there will still be a blue million games in early access to tease once ARK’s out.