historical

The MOP Up: Aion has spring fever (April 23, 2017)

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!

This week we have stories and videos from EVE OnlineWurm OnlineGloria VictisBrawl of AgesTERAWorld of Warships, H1Z1Champions OnlinePortal KnightsFinal Fantasy XIAionWakfu, and The Black Death, all waiting for you after the break!

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Perfect Ten: Time travel in MMORPGs

Over the years, I’ve been fascinated with the concept of time in MMORPGs. It’s one of those things that developers probably don’t want you thinking about too closely, since it could create a crack in the world illusion that they’ve created. But really, how does time work in these games? Are you forever frozen in the same fixed point in history, advancing only to a new era when a patch or expansion releases? Does the timeline advance only as you go through new quests and hit arbitrary milestones?

Even more fascinating is when developers decide to have a little fun with their storytelling by throwing players into the past and future via time travel. It’s not even strictly for science-fiction games, either; plenty of fantasy MMOs work in time travel at one point or the other. It can be a great way of expanding upon the game’s lore and giving players an insight into events that led up to the modern era.

Today we’re going to look at 10 instances of how MMORPGs have used time travel with reckless regard to paradoxes and splintering the world into millions of alternate universes.

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Crowfall’s destructible castles are hungry hungry hippos

One of my favorite early MMORPG PvP memories is from Dark Age of Camelot, where I liked to position my Huntress atop my side’s keep battlements to fire down on the Hibbies and Albies swarming below. But of course, we didn’t build that keep; we just claimed it, so losing didn’t hurt much beyond our pride. In Crowfall, however, you’re going to have to rebuild and hold the strongholds you’re fighting over in the game’s Dying Worlds campaigns.

ArtCraft Associate Producer Max Lancaster has a dev blog out today explaining just how it’ll work. “Strongholds will use a capture-and-rebuild mechanic,” he says. “In these worlds, players will fight over the ruins of existing castles and will need to collect resources from neighboring ‘points of interest’ (POIs), specifically mines, mills and quarries, to rebuild the defensive structures in those strongholds. These POIs will be heavily disputed, so be prepared to fight to gain (and maintain) control of them. This is done by ‘feeding’ resources into what we call hungry spawners.”

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The Survivalist: Massively OP’s guide to survival games, single-player and beyond

As Massively OP is centered on the “massively” part of gaming, it makes sense that my first guide to survival games was focused on multiplayer titles. Similarly, The Survivalist will mostly (but not always!) concern itself with the multiplayer games in the survival genre. However, after researching this topic, I felt that not highlighting the single-player offerings would be a serious disservice to the genre. There are occasions when you want to test your survival mettle without the interference of other players; sometimes you just want to live or die on your own merits and not at the hands of someone elses decisions. Besides that, some of these titles — like Subnautica — offer an awesome premise you can’t get elsewhere.

Ready to survive on your own? Here’s a a taste of a number of games you can dive into when you want to scratch that survival itch in private.

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The Stream Team: Happy sixth birthday, World of Tanks!

For six years, tank enthusiasts have been blowing each other to bits in World of Tanks. And on the game’s birthday today, Massively OP’s MJ is jumping back into the fight to do just that! It’s been a while since she’s driven one of these lumbering death machines, and she’s looking forward to shelling a few enemies. Join us live at 7:00 p.m. to wish this WWII-inspired game a happy anniversary.

What: World of Tanks
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

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Wargaming says betting is ‘a natural part of sports’ and therefore online games

Earlier this month, we covered SuperData’s report on the state of gambling practices in digital games, in which one of the analysis firm’s claims was that Valve’s ordeal last year — whereby government regulatory boards investigated the company’s level of complicity in illegal gambling of Dota skins — have put a chill on other studios considering similar arrangements, to say nothing of the CS:GO legal drama. “No other company wants to be next,” SuperData said.

But apparently there’s one company: Wargaming. The studio’s Head of Global Competitive Gaming, Mohamed Fadl, told Gamespot that betting in gaming could become “one of the major incomes for esports or streaming platforms.”

“You’re stupid to say betting is bad,” Fadl reportedly said. “It’s a natural part of sports.”

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The MOP Up: Scorpio’s doomsday device (April 9, 2017)

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!

This week we have stories and videos from Pokemon GoDCUOPortal KnightsEscape from TarkovFinal Fantasy XILOTROWorld of TanksStar Trek OnlineArmored WarfareTree of SaviorPath of Exile, and Worlds Adrift, all waiting for you after the break!

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Dark Age of Camelot beckons adventurers to a new dragonish campaign

An undead threat. A clutch of dragon eggs. Buried treasure. An unnerving disturbance.

All of these are portents of Dark Age of Camelot’s latest campaign, A Dragon’s Curse. As with DAoC’s past campaigns, this one is being rolled out in stages over several weeks. Currently, players can go through the prologue and first chapter. Each faction has their own storyline and take on the events, and soloers should find that pretty much all of the campaign is doable by a single player.

As part of the first chapter of the campaign, DAoC has opened up a trio of new open world dungeons (one per faction). Heroes can plunder the depths of these for Aurulite, which can then be spent at vendors for new rewards.

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Multiplayer space sim Starfighter Inc. has 12 days to finish raising $150K

We’ve been covering Starfighter Inc. for the last few weeks in Make My MMO, but apparently a lot of you folks who say you want to hear about up-and-coming MMOs aren’t following that column (*HARD STARE*), so let’s shine a brighter spotlight!

The 20-man Impeller Studios team is marketing the game as “Counter-Strike meets World of Warships in Space.” It’s been in development for three years already, has a ridiculously high bar for scientific accuracy, uses Unreal Engine 4, and will indeed support VR.

Starfighter Inc. puts you in the cockpit of the future in a hard science-fiction based multiplayer space combat simulator for Windows PC, featuring hardcore shooter gameplay in the spirit of X-Wing vs. TIE-Fighter, but with unprecedented depth and sophistication. Starfighter Inc. combines the lethality and permadeath of Counter-Strike with the technical depth and customization of World of Warships. The key difference is that players operate a variety of nuclear-powered single and multi-crew fighters, reconnaissance ships, strike craft, and support ships, with weapons ranging from lasers, railguns, and missiles, to electronic and cyber warfare capabilities.”

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The Daily Grind: How much do you really care if your MMORPG is super successful?

Earlier this week, we reported on a SuperData revenue ranking report that showed World of Tanks pulling in more cash than World of Warcraft’s western division. At some point after that piece ran, as The Ancient Gaming Noob noticed, SuperData revised its chart and merged WoW East and WoW West back together again, putting it ahead of World of Tanks in the aggregate.

Now, I don’t really have a problem with this; that’s how it should be since none of the other games was ever split by region that way, as we’ve been arguing since February. But clearly someone — SuperData? Blizzard? — cared enough about WoW being #4 and not #5 to change it after publication.

But I wondered whether any players actually care. I suspect most of us care only that it’s successful enough to keep online first and keep the entertaining content coming second; whether it appears in a top 10 revenue chart on some analyst’s site isn’t going to be of much interest to regular players, except when they’re busy throwing shade on some other game, of course.

How much do you really care if your MMORPG is super successful?

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Dark Age of Camelot developers are looking to clean up unused games and general balance

It sucks when you have a great idea for a character, but all of the names you’d like to use have been taken. That’s a problem particularly affecting Dark Age of Camelot at this point, but the developers confirm in the latest community Q&A that the team is definitely considering freeing up unused names on unplayed or particularly old characters. The staff is also holding off on another Come Back to Camelot campaign until more balance concerns have been addressed, with a potential new rulest server in the works to give player population a shot in the arm.

The developers also addressed some mechanical questions, laying out the soft and hard caps for various stats and pointing out that many understood soft caps really do allow for more variation. There are also more hidden skills for some dual wielding lines, although those hidden skills shouldn’t substantially alter damage dealt. Check out all of the answers for the full rundown.

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SuperData February 2017: World of Tanks perks up, Hearthstone is sinking

Happy SuperData day! That’s the monthly holiday when we pore over the market analysis report, freak out over something doing well, freak over something doing poorly, and then fight over definitions, the evils of trusting paywalled science, and why more MMOs aren’t on the current list. This round, there’s lots to bicker over — but also some bits to celebrate in the February 2017 charts of top-grossing game titles.

On PC, while League of Legends, Crossfire, and Dungeon Fighter Online continue their top-three dominance, the rest of the roster has seen a bit of a shake-up, as Overwatch has fallen from #4 to #6 and World of Tanks has pushed past it as well as World of Warcraft. WoW’s status is a tad confusing; last month, SuperData began reporting Western and Eastern WoW separately, even though it does not appear to be doing that for any other game. This month, it’s omitted the West/East tags but still has two entries for WoW, so we’re left to assume to top one is still West as it was last month.

On console, ARK: Survival Evolved has fallen from its #4 spot to #6. As always, we point out that ARK: Survival Evolved has yet to formally launch, and it’s absurd that it’s on this list at all, but fools and their money and all that.

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World of Tanks players raised cash for kids during last year’s War Child campaign

Wargaming announced today that World of Tanks players raised a huge sum of money for children in need last year. Last summer, the video game giant teamed up with War Child, a UK-based charity that focuses on children affected by local and global political conflict, to raise money for that cause.

“Late last year, Wargaming partnered with War Child for their Armistice Campaign. Players of World of Tanks were able to buy special emblems and packages to help raise money for children affected by conflict all over the world, with 100% of Wargaming’s share going directly to charity. Thanks to the community’s help and generosity, a donation of $84,800 went to War Child UK. Wargaming would like to thank all the players who donated to this great cause as every single penny raised was from the community.”

Hear, hear and well done. Never let it be said that gamers have no heart!

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