A couple of weeks ago, Trion announced that it was prepping a big closed beta test for Defiance 2050 across all platforms – this very weekend, in fact. But it appears the test will be suffering a delay, at least for console players.
“The Defiance 2050 closed beta test will run on PC this weekend (April 20 – 22),” Trion’s email blast this morning reads. “In order to best optimize the experience for all players, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the closed beta test are being moved to a later date. We will communicate the updated console beta dates as soon as we can.”
Trion announced the console-oriented reboot back in February; the MMORPG studio has since promised it won’t abandon the original game and can’t support full crossplay but will credit classic Defiance players in the new title. Signups are live on the official site.
Want to know what to expect? We got hands-on with the reboot at this year’s GDC.
Source: Press release
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!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Seal Online, Trove, Pokemon Go, Sea of Thieves, Tales of Gaia, Battlerite, War of Rights, PUBG, World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, Will to Live Online, and Prosperous Universe, all waiting for you after the break!
The past couple of weeks has been wild as we dispatched writers to GDC in San Francisco and PAX East in Boston to gather up and bring back everything they could on the MMORPGs large and small on the spring convention circuit. In fact, as I type this, we’ve got Brendan in Reykjavik for EVE Fanfest too! So for this week’s Overthinking, we’re rounding up our coverage and then reflecting on the best and worst as we pick out what most excites, surprises, and disappoints us: First the roundups, then our thoughts. Read on!
is closer than you think! The Elder Scrolls Online
team announced today that the chapter is expected to hit the test server on Monday
. In fact, all of update 18 will be playable there too. Getting in is the tricky part.
“Invites will be sent to a large group of new PTS testers, but if you participated in the ESO: Morrowind PTS beta last year, you’ll be able to log into the Summerset PTS from the ESO launcher yourself, no invite required! Just don’t forget to enable ‘Show Public Test Environment’ from your launcher settings. Note that as always, anybody can install the PTS client, log in, and test the base game changes, but they won’t be able visit Summerset or experience any of the new Chapter’s features unless granted access.”
Do note that the main quest and story are under a strict NDA (agreement, watermarked screenies, the works) that lifts May 1st.
MOP’s Andrew and Eliot got hands-on with the chapter at GDC and PAX respectively, both of them finding it to be basically exactly what Elder Scrolls Online fans want and expect out of a big content dump.
When I saw Legends of Aria last year, right after it had dropped the Shards Online name and expanded to be a full-fledged MMORPG, it looked pretty good. Not spectacular, perhaps, but it definitely looked like something you could point to and agree that it was ready for the prime time. I was reasonably impressed with what the team had on display in terms of graphics, especially considering the size of the team behind the game.
This year, though, the game is looking significantly better than it did before. Where before I thought it looked good for an indie title, now it’s looking pretty nice for a title, period. And it’s still just as indie as it’s ever been.
Obviously, there isn’t a long stretch of time between what the team discussed at this year’s GDC and PAX East, so most of the talk that MOP’s Andrew had with the team still applies and I won’t rehash that here. The centerpiece of the team’s presence at PAX East was about showing off the game’s improved demo, by which I of course mean “the actual game running on live servers,” because the stuff that was there for the demo stations was also on the live version of the game. Which is, again, to the team’s credit.
Is it Halloween already? In Hearthstone
, it might as well be, as Blizzard is about to unleash the game’s creepiest expansion to date in just a week.
The Witchwood is coming out on April 12th, bringing players to the haunted realm of Gilneas, where a nearby witch has cursed the city with all sorts of doom and gloom. The expansion set is to be the first of three that Blizzard will roll out this year and includes 135 new cards, the “echo” card mechanic, and a new solo dungeon run called Monster Hunt.
Don’t forget to log into Hearthstone next week when the expansion launches to get three free card packs. Get caught up on The Witchwood with our extensive GDC preview and the cinematic trailer!
With Defiance’s reboot scheduled for this summer, Trion Worlds needs as many testers as possible to help run the game through its paces.
This is why the studio has put out a call for Defiance 2050 closed beta testers. The beta is scheduled to run from April 20th through the 22nd across all of its platforms (PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4). The beta will be limited not just in its duration but also scope: Players will only be able to level up to 25 and will be contained to Mount Tam and Madera for adventure zones.
Producer Matt Pettit urged interested parties to sign up today:”Getting players into the game as soon as possible is hugely important for us. We are creating Defiance 2050 with player feedback in mind, so this beta test is going to be essential for getting information from Defiance fans on where they would like to see us improve and where they’d like to us take the game.”
As this year’s GDC coverage is winding down, I am finally coming to the topic I saved for last: community. MMOs are more than just multiplayer. We attract the “alone together” people more than the “FPS hero” crowd in our comments section for a reason; MMOs are virtual worlds. They’re a digital space inhabited by other people. We may not talk to them, but we watch and listen. Maybe we engage, maybe we group, maybe we guild. We do stuff in a shared environment because we think, or hope, we’re part of a larger system.
And this is why we need to talk about cross-platform communities and the strength of in-game, embedded community tools. As social media rises and mobile crashes against our PC fortress, increased console cross-play should be a reminder that we’re all gamers, and (some) developers are finally getting that.
Games alone won’t make the world better. They won’t even make gamers better. We publish some articles that certainly seem pretty pro-games, but we’re very upfront about the catches. One big one is on us, the players, and how we game. However, game designers can do a lot to help us.
“But that’s hard, expensive, and/or boring!” some of you may be thinking. And yeah, sometimes that’s true. But for both indies and AAA companies, not only are there organizations able to help, but there’s the potential for government aid in unlikely places. Games for good isn’t just a pipe dream, either. Some of the most (deservedly) vilified gaming communities have not only helped with their time but their wallets as well. Even before going to GDC this year we knew this, but a few panels I watched really helped it click.
Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset
during GDC 2018
, which may or may not
have surprised you, depending on how many spoilers you’d already seen. As I still haven’t gotten back into ESO
, I didn’t mind the spoilers; I knew I was going to talk to the game’s Creative Director, Rich Lambert, so I’d need to be prepared. After consulting a bit with Larry
and discussing how hard to push the anti-elf agenda, I was released into the wild… but had that information gagged until today.
Perhaps that was for good reason, though, as not only did I get some hands-on time with Summerset, but ZeniMax provided us with capture cards so we could show you what we saw and did. It’s very much an early look. Yes, there are elves, but also mind traps and a new tutorial for those just entering Tamriel. It’s just hard to say much more, though, since the demo felt like it was aimed more at press/streamers completely unfamiliar with ESO. Don’t worry, lorehounds, I know enough to help you avoid spoilers (so maybe avoid the first 10 minutes of the video).
Last week, in his Ready Player One piece from GDC, MOP’s Andrew paraphrased something from Darewise’s Randy Smith that stuck out to me.
“[T]hemepark development is also more segregated. While it’s good for spreading players out into the world, it also tends to make your content linear, sending people into different zones that you’re constantly having to create. Instead, [Smith] suggested a focus on more ‘spiral’ style gameplay, where you revisit and redo things in a different way. Think of sandbox games where all your supplies are scattered around the game world. You start off with what you need, have a reason to go out and explore, but also a reason to come back.”
I loved this phrase – spiral gameplay – and was thinking about the MMOs that do this best. The one that popped immediately to mind was actually classic Guild Wars, even though it’s not a sandbox. I was always a big fan of how the game would send you through a map on an instanced mission, and then set you free in an explorable version of the same map with a much looser goal, giving you a chance to experience the same area with slightly different content.
Where else have you seen this philosophy in play? Which MMORPG offers the best “spiral” gameplay?
I love stories. Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I love stories not just for their raw entertainment value, but for their ability to teach. It’s not heavy-handed like being in class, but stories teach culture, customs, and character. We visit the past, the present, the future. We experience things through stories we might never get to experience for ourselves. War, I hope, is one of those things.
Andrew Barron, Director of Design at Bohemia Interactive Simulations, has seen war. And war stories. He’s also been in the game industry for awhile, both before and after his time as a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan. He knows war, but he also knows war simulators. It’s actually his job to help build them. So when he says our games our violent, he knows what he’s saying, but the context for that may not be easily understood. However, once it is, you’ll see that not only do we have some games getting war “right,” but that there’s room for us to grow, and some people are already working on that in a way that sounds, well, fun.
is not known for being a happy place. It’s shown even in mass media as a cutthroat world of war
. Dealing with exploits is key to making sure that this world ripe for unfairness is, well, as fair as possible, mechanically speaking. If abuse happens, traditional developer wisdom seems to be “shoot first, ask questions later,” and as players, we’re often fine with this. We don’t want to play with cheaters, right?
But what happens if the cheating is unintentional? What happens when the bug is so ingrained into the system that even casual, lapsed players accidentally took advantage of it just by returning to the game? How would you react if, shortly after resubscribing to a game, you had items or experience points taken and had your account suspended or banned? These are the things CCP Games’ Senior Project Lead of Player Experience David Einarsson had to deal with when tackling the ghost training bug.