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 Neverwinter, Elder Scrolls Legends, Elite Dangerous, SWTOR, MapleStory, Hyper Universe, SMITE, Travian Online, Diablo III, Figureheads, Pokemon Go, Heroes and Generals, Rappelz, Ultima Online, Soulworker Online, Black Desert, and Gigantic, all waiting for you after the break!
We’re in the midst of a sort of sandbox renaissance, with numerous sandbox titles under development and more seeming to scuttle out of the woodwork on a regular basis, all vying for the attention of the masses of gamers weary of the World-of-Warcraft-inspired theme park formula that has dominated the market for so long. Among these contenders is Gloria Victis from indie developer Black Eye Games, a medieval, low-fantasy title that aims to meld an open-world sandbox MMO with the frantic swordplay action popularized by games like Mount and Blade and Chivalry.
Gloria Victis, like many of its compatriots in this new wave of sandbox MMOs, is still in development, but players can get a look at the current state of the game through Steam’s Early Access program. But if you’re one of the many who are (justifiably) wary of dropping money on unreleased games, don’t fret: I’ve taken the plunge in your stead to take a look at how things are shaping up.
Indie sandbox MMO Wild Terra has a big update this week that’ll make guild-oriented players particularly happy, as the castle system has rolled out to the live servers. Guilds can build everything from cheapie wooden forts to brick-laid castles that can actually withstand a siege, taxing guild members for cash, spice, and resources to make it all happen.
But of course, first you have to capture a castle from somebody else or bid on an unclaimed (or contested) one in the castle auction system, also new to game this summer. Once you do win a castle? Yeah, make sure you build walls first if you want to stop everyone from just waltzing on in (and ensure that you can appropriate tribute from the surrounding regions). If it sounds like a lot of work to do for a video game, it is, but maybe you should just watch the video instead. It’s the thing to do these days.
Korean sandbox import Tree of Life is officially in “final beta” ahead of its launch this week.
“NeoBricks is announcing Tree of Life, the sandbox MMORPG on Steam has been already started the Final Beta on live servers and the official launch will be on 17th of August,” reads the press release. “By official launch, German, Russian, Brazilian-Portuguese, French and Simplified Chinese will be added.”
NeoBricks and OddoneGames previously said they sold 34K copies of the game during its first few months in the wild; today’s press post says the game was “loved by around 85,000” users during early access.
Along with the partial wipe ahead of the launch, the plan is to implement the new Clay 2 engine, redesigned UI, and PvP update for launch. A more recent FAQ tells players that the relic war will be removed from the final version, the UI will see a new compass, and the team might consider world bosses. But PvE servers are not happening. “The three factions are contesting but PvP should not be the essential feature,” the devs wrote earlier this month. “We are designing the game so that you can enjoy it even without active PvP
Here comes another MMO emerging from early access! We’re talking about Korean sandbox import Tree of Life, which hit beta last year following a transition to factional PvP and a big graphics overhaul. Developers NeoBricks and OddoneGames, who’ve said they sold 34K copies of the game during its first few months in the wild, are plotting a final beta from August 10th to 16th, at which point the servers will be partially wiped and launched on the 17th.
The announcement comports with last month’s note that the test phase would come to an end in “early August 2017” when the game is fully released on Steam. The plan is to implement the new Clay 2 engine, redesigned UI, and PvP update for launch. A more recent FAQ tells players that the relic war will be removed from the final version, the UI will see a new compass, and the team might consider world bosses. As for PvE servers,
“The idea of PvE/PvP servers is interesting but we do not consider it. In the world of ToL, the 3 factions are contesting but PvP should not be the essential feature. We are designing the game so that you can enjoy it even without active PvP (We have looked at the Community Feedback and have been discussing about PvP and concluded to remove the Relic war in the official version).”
It’s a fascinating place to begin an expansion, really. Most games like to set up a new threat, pit players against impossible odds, and have them struggle toward a final boss in some distant raid somewhere. Lord of the Rings Online, however, enjoys bucking trends now and then, and no more so than with its new Mordor expansion.
The first few minutes revisit the conclusion of the Quest of the One Ring, with the surprising triumph of the Battle of the Black Gate, the eagle air-lift of Sam and Frodo, and the destruction of the Ring. Everyone is taken to a peaceful glade to lick their wounds, reconnect with friends, and savor the victory. Even the epic book, which we’ve been working on completing for 10 years now, has come to a conclusion. Shortest expansion ever, right?
From the sound of things, it doesn’t appear that Darkfall: Rise of Agon is doing quite as well as its indie team was hoping. The PvP sandbox launched in May and posted a roadmap just a few weeks ago, but now Big Picture Games is acknowledging that a drastic course correction might be needed.
In a short and slightly unnerving post on Rise of Agon’s site this week, the team acknowledged that the game’s direction is “underwhelming” to many players and is reassessing the MMO from the top down and bottom up.
“We came to the conclusion that much of what we have been trying desperately to hold onto were the roots of what Darkfall had become,” the team wrote. “This was a game that involved a heavy time sink, required perseverance, and tolerating insane amounts of tedium. What we attempted to do was walk a line between casual and hardcore play times, and we now know this was a mistake.”
Big Picture said that it will be evaluating how it can remove grind and inaccessibility, starting with “a series of design discussions” this weekend.
Indie survival sandbox The Black Death has a big patch going live this afternoon, complete with three new and updated pillage areas, the improved combat system, more gore (hah!), the new maul weapon, custom server settings, and the titular relic system:
“These all new, one-of-a-kind items are the finest, most exotic equipment available in The Black Death. But when we say one-of-a-kind, we mean it – There will only be one of these relics available on each server. When you’re close to an item, it’ll show up on your compass – even if someone else is carrying it.”
Wanna check it all out in person? We have a giveaway for that! Small Impact has granted MOP 10 Steam keys for the game, which’ll allow 10 of our readers to pop in and try out the early access for free. Read on to enter to win, plus check out the patch’s screenshots and trailer!
A game where the studio pays out millions to players? What kind of bizarro world are we living in, anyway?
When it comes to the runaway hit ROBLOX and its business model, this sort of thing is quite possible indeed. ROBLOX allows indie developers (including its own users) to come in and construct their own games using the “creation platform.” These people then get a cut of the profits, and everyone goes home happy. Gamasutra reports that ROBLOX is on track to pay out — wait for it — $30 million or so to these indie devs by the end of 2017.
Right now ROBLOX is splashing around in the waters of cross-promotion with Netflix’s new Voltron Universe series. An in-game event gives players the chance to fight alongside the mighty robot and earn some Voltron-themed weapons before the promotion ends on August 10th.
ROBLOX is now up to 56 million monthly active users — and that number just keeps on going up. The platform climbed onto the Superdata charts in June as the 9th top-grossing PC game over the course of the month.
Gloria Victis is gearing up for a big patch tomorrow: The indie hardcore sandbox will debut a brand-new desert-themed territory packed with a new racial city and quests.
“Prepare yourselves for the upcoming update, which will include the long-awaited Azeb nation, along with their very own city and questlines. With the new city and nation, there will of course be new areas to see and explore on this ever-changing map!”
Black Eye Games is further promising new roaming mobs and bosses spawning randomly, retool AI system, new NPC animations, new strafing and blocking mechanics, a new Glory ladder season, and — yay — crafting stuff.
“We will also be implementing new crafting items and features,” the devs write, “such as the possibility for players to disassemble their items, which will recover some scrap materials for crafting, 70 new items to loot and craft, and some changes based on community feedback, such as lowering the necessary fuels for crafting and taxes.”
If it seems as if you’ve been hearing about Albion Online for a long time, you’re not wrong. In fact, the game has delayed its testing periods multiple times for major revamps, to the chagrin of testers, but hopefully that’ll make today’s launch all the better. Yep, today the day this buy-to-play, economy-driven, indie PvP sandbox is finally here, at least if you’re in the top-tier of founders and starter pack purchasers.
“Developed by Sandbox Interactive, fantasy MMORPG Albion Online has officially arrived on PC, Mac and Linux, bringing with it a community of dedicated MMO fans. Kicking off their adventures with a clean slate after the beta server wipe, Legendary Founder and Legendary Starter Pack owners have already begun taking their first steps in the sprawling land of Albion, staking their claim on the untamed wilds and free markets therein. Epic Founders and Starters will be the next group to enter the fray, joining Albion’s servers on July 18th at 13:00 UTC, followed by Veteran Founders and Starters on July 19th at 13:00 UTC. Can’t wait to start forging out on your own adventure? Download the client and grab a Legendary Starter Pack to dive in right away!”
In an AMA over the weekend, Sandbox Interactive said it now counts 250,000 founders and almost $10,000,000 in funding.
Indie MMORPG Project Gorgon has a new Kickstarter post up detailing how far it’s come since its successful Kickstarter two years ago.
“Since the Project: Gorgon Kickstarter Campaign ended, we have implemented: New Website and Forums; Multiple new zones; A completely new tutorial experience; Dozens of new skills; Increased skill levels; Complete overhaul of the power system; Complete overhaul of equipment bonuses; New Animal Forms; New Animal items; Created and implemented an Animal Town; Created new quest systems; Created New NPCS; Added Guilds; Added Guild Missions; Added Player Vendors; Added dispensers; Added Work Orders; Added the ability to drown; Updated many game systems and functions; Implemented and Updated the in-game day/night cycle.
It bears repeating that Elder Game is a tiny studio consisting of two people: Asheron’s Call studio vets Eric Heimburg and Sandra Powers.
“We are currently in the process of overhauling the game graphics systems, effects, textures, lighting, and camera functionality. We have implemented such changes in the zone known as ‘Serbule’,” they write. “We are also in the process of internally testing a completely redesigned and coded User Interface.””
It’s been a while since we’ve talked about early access Korean sandbox import Tree of Life, which hit beta last year following a transition to factional PvP and a big graphics overhaul. Today, developers NeoBricks and OddoneGames have announced that the test phase will come to an end in “early August 2017” when the game is fully released on Steam. The companies say the game sold 34K copies in its first two months of early access.
“At the time of the Official Release, the new game engine, called ‘Clay 2 Engine’, will have been designed and developed for the new Tree of Life. As for the veterans of the game, they will see the game graphics have been significantly improved. Moreover, the game UI has been completely re-designed in light of a much needed UX improvement: an easy to use, good-looking UI. The PvP-content will also undergo massive improvement and polishing, the game will become more enjoyable but also much more intense.”
In 2016, we included it on our guide to the best upcoming indie MMORPGs and our MMOs to watch in 2017 list. Check out the official launch trailer down below!