This past week’s announcement of Fallout 76 — Bethesda’s newest entry in the post-apocalyptic series — has just about everyone in the gaming community buzzing. And while we’re sure to hear more about this at E3, one vital piece of information may have already been leaked: the release date.
When Amazon posted the game’s pre-order page, it initially listed the game as releasing by July 31st, 2018. That date has since been changed to “on or before December 31st, 2019,” but there are some that wonder if Amazon might know a thing or two that we don’t. After all, Bethesda has said that it wants to drastically shorten the time between game announcements and releases. Another theory is that the multiple Halloween references in the teaser video point to an October launch.
Fallout 76 is retailing for $60, although you may want to wait until E3 (June 12th through 14th) to find out more (including a documentary on the making of the game!). We do know that it takes place long before the last couple of entries in the franchise and has some sort of online multiplayer component. Rumor is that it’s a survival sandbox of some sort. Your thoughts?
Bugs, you better live it up, because your days are numbered. Ultima Online is preparing a big bug push (squash?) with June’s Publish 100. The long-running fantasy MMO will indeed hit triple digits on its publishes next month, and the devs are encouraging players to submit any bugs they’d like to see fixed in the patch.
One recent feature that the team promoted in this month’s newsletter was the new and improved Town Cryer. This system was “completely revamped” to spread news and upcoming events across the entire server.
“Even in the midst of Publish 100, we have our eyes on Publishes 101 and 102. There are host of new features to fit the seasonal nature of those publishes, including Halloween and the holidays,” Broadsword said. “We also have some really exciting items coming to the Ultima Store in the coming months including the Virtue Shield, new hair and horn styles, beards, a new mount, and more!”
A lot of critical things have been said about Pokemon Go and Niantic in the past. Professionals that tried to defend certain UI elements still had plenty of suggestions a non-professional could have made. Same goes for players and professionals that noted the need for quests. In fact, Niantic’s insistence on doing local events instead of global events created some huge PR problems, and that’s without noting that, for a social game, the game actually lacked a lot of social features.
But there’s a weird thing: Niantic’s addressed many of those issues. Several are ones I’ve previously suggested. There’ve been several UI improvements, new quests, at least two events per month since February 2018 that aren’t just cash shop sales, and a push towards community building. It’s far from perfect, like the glaring omission of in-game communication or a social media connection, but we’ll ignore that for now. What I want to focus on is how Niantic’s taken feedback and enhanced Pokemon Go.
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!
Looking to throw caution to the wind and get a little wild this April Fool’s Day? Wild Terra is opening up its European-based server to anyone who wants to give the game a go without putting any money down.
The free trial weekend is being run in conjunction with a 30% discount, which takes the fantasy sandbox down to a pittance.
There’s another good reason to check in with Wild Terra this weekend, as Fools’ Day is going on. The animals are acting “very strange” and players can down a special Wodwose Miner mob to earn a fool’s chest with unique hats (which are Halloween-themed, but nevermind).
There aren’t many online games that can honestly say they’re still growing and setting records years and years after their launch, but that’s exactly what Grand Theft Auto Online – which launched way back in 2013 – is doing.
Earlier this week, Rockstar announced the good news in a blog post, stating that “2017 was the biggest year of GTA Online yet, capped off by an epic December that saw more players in the game than ever before.”
The news won’t surprise anybody who’s been watching Superdata’s monthly reports, as the game’s been sitting toward the top of the console charts for a long time, peaking at #1 for several months in the summer of 2017.
Rockstar’s blog post further notes the introduction of the Lampadati Viseris as well as sales and bonus events running through this weekend.
Ship of Heroes is super-jumping right into 2018 with two documents of note. The first is a retrospective of what the Heroic Games team learned from the community in the past year, including the fact that players want harvesting, crafting, and trading mechanics as well as crowd-control and pet mastery classes and Halloween. The team also says it understands the community’s desire for solid character creation and combat, details on character powers, and real gameplay video demonstrating development progress – particularly a mission video.
“A powerful character creator, and a positive community, are the two most important features of SoH, as judged by the voters in our polls,” writes the studio.
The second document, published here exlusively on Massively OP (not sponsored), is a reflection on the state of the MMORPG industry, particularly the superhero corner of it and how Ship of Heroes fits in, penned by Heroic Games’ Casey McGeever. We’ve included the whole piece below:
“The road goes ever on” is one of the most well-known phrases from Lord of the Rings, alluding to the ongoing journey of the characters, life in general, and even the fandom that poured out of this franchise. That road took us through 2017 and one of the most interesting years for Lord of the Rings Online
since the MMO’s debut in 2007.
After all, this was the first year that saw Standing Stone Games handling the title since the studio’s formation in 2016. We lived through the 10th anniversary, went to Mordor, and lived to tell the tale. It was a year of ups and downs, of mistakes and successes, and one of continued life for LOTRO.
As we walk down the road and get ready to cross the border from 2017 into 2018, I felt it would be appropriate to look back at the year that was and the road we traveled. What great memories did you make in the game — or the game made for you — this year?
Today we’re kicking off a countdown of Massively OP’s weirdest MMORPG stories of 2017!
Coming in at #5 on our list is…
When we moved over here to Massively Overpowered, some of us transplanted our long-running columns to the new space. I perhaps felt most devastated that I was going to lose all of the Game Archaeologist articles that I had painstakingly researched over the years. So my mission with this space became two-fold: to rescue and update my older columns while continuing to add more articles to this series on classic MMOs and proto-MMOs.
I’ve been pleased with the results so far because TGA is a series that I really don’t want to see vanish. As MMORPG fans, we should consider it important to remember and learn about these older titles and to expand our knowledge past the more popular and well-known games of yesteryear.
Now that we have quite a catalogue of Game Archaeologist columns, I thought it would be helpful to end the year by gifting this handy guide to you that organizes and compiles our continuing look at the history of the genre. Enjoy!
Is this Christmas or Halloween?
One can never quite tell with Warframe, which activated its holiday update yesterday with a bounty on ghoul packs. These critters sound like they could move right into Santa’s workshop: “repugnant Ghouls that overrun their victims in a gruesome mass of limbs and toxin.” Ho-ho-ho boy.
This holiday update also contains housing with brand-new personal quarters. Players can customize their quarters with toys, wallpaper, and even fish tanks. Aw. Fishies.
“Tenno can now personalize and decorate their own personal quarters with an assortment of cool items,” Digital Extremes said. “Customize the landing craft with a mini-stage, then select from posable Warframe figures, companion toys and beds, wallpaper, a fish tank and more to create a mini diorama of one’s own making. Plus, players can now invite a friend inside to visit!”
Even with Tokyo completely reinstated into Secret World Legends
, this reboot is still finding more content to add back in after starting over from its The Secret World
roots. Will today’s patch
, which adds back in the cosmetic barbershop and plastic surgeon, be the last of the “old vanguard” before it’s all new? Probably not; there are plenty of Halloween quests that are waiting for a return.
In addition to the cosmetic tools, Update 2.1.5 starts this year’s winter event, starring all sorts of special critters to attack, world raids, Christmas cosmetics, seasonal achievements, a new winter lockbox, and a free pet to players who log in by January 2nd.
The patch also adds the option to change your name (for a price), fixes several issues, and tosses in new animations for when players unlock emotes and titles.
Even though it’s looking more like Christmas than Halloween around these parts, Shadow’s Kiss is taking its Kickstarter all the way to the bank. The blood bank.
The indie vampire MMO is about to finish a successful fundraising campaign, having raised over $67,000 of its initial $25,000 goal. This means that the community has unlocked a number of stretch goals, such as crafting, a ritual magic system, a soundtrack from Midnight Syndicate, and demolitions.
“We’re honored and a bit overwhelmed by the support from the community,” said Clockwork Throne President Thomas Sitch. “This Kickstarter is going to allow us to finally bring the world a vampire-themed MMO, with gothic story elements, horror, and the ‘coolness factor’ of being a vampire set on ruling the night.”
Flush with all of that future cash, the team apparently funded a trip to the city to interview real vampires during which all of the devs were killed. Or so the following mockumentary videos would have you believe.