Yesterday, in our report on H1Z1’s plummeting player numbers since the onslaught from PUBG and Fortnite, we mentioned that the game’s launch, once planned for 2016, had been canceled and indefinitely delayed. And Daybreak didn’t launch it in late 2017, when it split the game’s branding.
But Daybreak may be preparing for a real launch at last. Friend of the site Babagra.pl pointed out to us that during Friday’s livestream, Daybreak showed off a season one screen and suggested there “won’t be any more pre-seasons.” That could just be a segue into the “Royalty Showdown” event that’s going on today, as the top 75 players from the 7th preseason will compete (the first event starts today at 1 p.m. EST). Or it could mean the game is finally preparing to launch.
In the meantime, the studio’s just rolled out a ton of big changes to the test server, including pre-match spawn selection timeouts, full-heal consumables, and new loot crate rewards for winning matches.
Polygon has a report out this afternoon sourcing data aggregator GitHyp, both of which are casting doubt on H1Z1’s future viability as a game and as a professional e-sport.
Daybreak-watchers will recall that last autumn, the MMO company dropped the King of the Kill branding from H1Z1 and the H1Z1 branding from Just Survive, splitting the two games up amidst a push for a China launch and a new pro league. In October 2017, we were already eyeing H1Z1’s falling playerbase numbers in comparison to PlayerUnknown’s Battleground’s meteoric rise – even at the time, H1Z1’s peak concurrency had fallen a full third since August.
That trend has unfortunately continued, according to GitHyp, which now says the game has lost 91% of its players since its July peak. Steam Charts suggests the drop-off is almost that bad too.
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 Vendetta Online, Worlds Adrift, Monster Hunter World, Hellion, Rust, Skyforge, Blade and Soul, Portal Knights, Final Fantasy XI, Dreadnought, PUBG, Hyper Universe, Crossout, Black Desert, Dark and Light, H1Z1, Dauntless, Robocraft, Fortnite, War of Rights, Cosmos Invictus, Ultima Online, and Vendetta Online, all waiting for you after the break!
Well here is something that we learned today: the meaning of ENAS. If you’re not deep into the PvP shooter scene, the East North American Strafe is “a method of movement that involves moving your mouse back and forth rapidly while running forward and strafing to make yourself extremely difficult to be shot by other players” that is especially prevalent in H1Z1.
And because the developers see ENAS as straddling the line between skill play and exploit, they are attempting a solution to artificially counter it and level the playing field so everyone doesn’t look and act like jittery deer.
Daybreak’s fix here is a “movement modifier” that kicks in when a player starts juking the mouse rapidly. If the system detects rapid mouse movement (due to ENAS), it reduces a player’s speed and makes him or her easier to hit. Additionally, all movement speed in the game is being slightly lowered. The studio will be trying out this system and tweaking the penalty on the test server before bringing it over to live.
Has the pace of news moved so quickly that we’ve already forgotten about Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene’s statement that video games lack any IP copyright protection? Because that was really ridiculous. Especially since what he was referring to was not actually even remotely related to copyright, but covered something that would be handled via patent. And even that wouldn’t have worked!
Of course, you can’t really blame him. By which I mean you can totally blame him, but it’s a common misconception that turns up time and again. People talk about copyright, trademark, and patent issues in the same general melange of “this company owns this,” and the thing is that they’re related terms and concepts that nevertheless mean very, very different things.
Last week on Reddit, an EVE Online player begged CCP to organize a wall of shame for botters – essentially an online list of those caught cheating, with character names and corps to boot. This, he argued, would not only prove to the community that cheaters were being banned but allow players to “self-police” those corps “actively harbouring bots.”
You’re probably making a face right now imagining just what EVE players might do with such a list, but then again, we’re talking about botters here. I’m more curious whether you folks actually believe those are effective or a good idea in general. Several EVE players said it’d never happen because of European laws, but in fact we’ve written articles about multiple MMO studios naming-and-shaming cheaters: Guild Wars 2, Riders of Icarus, H1Z1, Tree of Savior, and Mechwarrior Online, just to name the first five I found by searching the last three years of our own site.
Is “naming-and-shaming” MMO cheaters with a “wall of shame” a good idea, or should studios that famously ban the wrong people maybe stay away from painting targets on customers’ backs?
This is, bar none, the column I hate doing most on a regular basis. None of the games I highlight in here is something that I actually like pointing to; they’re games that people like, games that may very well be someone’s absolute favorites, and yet they’re also games where the future looks difficult if not outright bad. A cloudy future is never a good thing, and this particular column does not make it all right.
But we’re still here in the early days of 2018, and that means it’s still the right time to look at the games we might not see around next year. For various reasons, these are the games that already look like they’re in trouble, instead of absolute face-shattering surprises like a couple of the shutdowns 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.
A couple of weeks ago I covered 20(ish) MMORPGs that we are looking forward to seeing develop, test, and launch in 2018. But as you well may know, Massively OP covers a small university’s worth of “not-so-massively” multiplayer games that have some crossover into the MMO space. We do this because it gives some people much-needed gripe fuel and also because a lot of our readership is also interested in these games.
There is a lot of movement in the multiplayer game space, especially as the larger video game market continues to adapt and hew to MMO design. It’s a blended mess as we continually try to sort these games out into their proper categories, but while we do that, you can enjoy this list of 20 multiplayer games that you should be tracking in 2018. From survival sandboxes to pirate simulators to sequels, here we go!
You do the cybercrime, you do real world time. Cast your mind back to 2014 and 2015, when a hacker group called Lizard Squad became notorious for slamming the PlayStation Network and H1Z1 with DDoS attacks. The group also called in a bomb threat on an airplane flight as a way to target then-Daybreak CEO John Smedley.
The slow process of justice finally saw Zachary Buchta, one of the founding members of Lizard Squad, convicted for his crimes after he plead guilty in court. During his guilty plea, Buchta admitted to a conspiracy to commit damage to protected computers. He could spend as little as two-and-a-half years and as many as 10 years in prison for the crime.
Buchta is expected to help prosecutors in the ongoing investigation of the attacks. Another member of the group, Julius Kivimaki, was convicted in a Finnish court in 2015 but was only given a suspended sentence.
With 2017 drawing to a close and 2018 rushing up to meet us, the Massively OP team has regrouped for another round of bold and goofy predictions for the year ahead. We’re feeling pretty good after our fairly successful predictions from last year! What’s in store for the MMO genre next year? Here’s what we think.
Another December, another Steam sale to entice you to spend money on games you don’t have time to play just to have them for a rainy day! Here’s a quick look at what’s on the list for MMO and survival sandbox players.
Watch out, evil-doers: Just Survive is coming for you. The zombie MMO patched in a slew of new anti-cheat measures this week to keep everyone on the up-and-up.
Daybreak said that it had to wipe the servers to get these measures up and running: “This update includes significant anti-cheat updates, including new technology to detect, prevent, and punish players passing through world geometry and player constructed bases.”
On the plus side, the December 19th patch includes some niceties, including rebalanced loot distribution, “significant” server performance improvements, and a holiday event with festive zombies that carry special pieces of wintry gear. And if you log in by January 2nd, you’ll get a Rudolf nose, because your character is just way too dignified as it is.
If you’d rather get into the PvP side of things, Just Survive’s counterpart H1Z1 is hosting a free play period that ends in about a day… so get on top of that!