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 Uncharted Waters Online, The Division, Paladins, TERA, Reign of Guilds, War Thunder, Escape from Tarkov, Magic the Gathering Arena, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Wakfu, ARK Park, EverQuest II, Pokemon Go, Elder Scrolls Online, Crossout, EverQuest, Neverwinter, Citadel, and Kritika Online, all waiting for you after the break!
If all goes well, later this year we will finally be treated to an actual Harry Potter MMORPG in the form of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. While that will be a mobile ARG in the vein of Pokemon Go, it will still be a big step into the online space that MMO fans have been craving for nearly two decades now.
Obviously, Harry Potter continues to be a mammoth franchise for J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., and Electronic Arts, which has handled the video game license over the years. While there have been single-player Harry Potter titles, especially on consoles, no MMORPG emerged even at the height of the IP craze that swallowed up Star Trek, Star Wars, Warhammer, and more. So why not?
The truth is that Harry Potter Online almost did happen. Its brief existence and development isn’t too well-known, even today, but the wasted potential has always tantalized me with what could have been. Using a time-turner, we will go back to the late 1990s today and peek in on a possible future that came to fruition.
recent update is called Legends Return, a title that works on a couple of levels when you consider that the game’s creator, Jake Song, came back to give the title some personal attention after working on other projects. He is now the executive producer on the game, and as such, he sat down for a Q&A video to talk about the guidance that he’s brought back to the MMO.
“The change in development we made this year is that we are going to make sure to release a monthly update, even if there is only a small amount of change,” he told fans.
Song discussed how the team is working to restore some of the fun to the game while retaining “minimal character limitations” that was at the core of his original vision. It’s a pretty breezy six-minute interview, so do yourself a favor and give it a watch when you get some time!
With a dozen members of the all-star cast of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine returning to reprise their roles for this June’s Star Trek Online: Victory is Life
, one actress has the advantage over the others. Chase Masterson is back for at least her third stint in the MMO, having played fan favorite Leeta in past updates (including as a hologram and as a Mirror Universe villain
With the heavy Deep Space Nine focus on the game’s third expansion, it’s good to see the reunion of a cast from a show that’s now 25(!) years old. Masterson has since gone on to act in many TV shows and movies, perform as a jazz singer, and found an anti-bullying organization called Pop Culture Hero that uses film, comics, and TV to take a stand against bullying in schools and communities.
We sat down with Masterson to talk about reprising the role of Leeta, the continuation of Deep Space Nine, the benefits of maturity, and how we all can be heroes.
One of the most common comments you’ll see in articles about big events in EVE Online
is that it’s a lot more entertaining to read about than to play, and that’s certainly true if what you’re reading is Empires of EVE
. Written by EVE
Historian Andrew Groen back in 2015 and published thanks to the support of over 3,000 players through a crowdfunding campaign
, Empires of EVE tells the story of some of EVE
‘s earliest and most deadly wars and political schisms.
Cutting through all of the propaganda and player self-motivations in a political sandbox like EVE is no small task, and it’s complicated by over a decade of shifting loyalties, misinformation, propaganda, and misremembered events. Andrew is uniquely equipped to cut through many of those issues, collecting as accurate historical records as possible and delivering it all as a coherent, deeply compelling narrative that even plenty of non-players have thoroughly enjoyed. Andrew recently announced that Empires of EVE had broken the 15,000 sales mark, and at EVE Fanfest 2018 he announced a sequel is now in the works.
I caught up with Andrew at Fanfest to find out how the first book’s success has affected him and what the future holds for Empires of EVE: Volume II.
How big a deal with the lootbox controversy that finally hit the mainstream last year? Pretty big, SuperData argues. In a new blog post, the analytics firm argues that “the loot box controversy hampered Star Wars Battlefront II out of the gate” as shown by the game’s monthly active users compared to its predecessor’s, and that the resulting dumpster fire has caused publishers to rethink lootboxes and self-regulate or at least modulate their greed – an effect we’ve already seen in the MMO industry too.
“At the upcoming E3, we’re likely to see presenters announce ‘no loot boxes’ or that paid content is ‘cosmetic only’ in order to get on the good side of creators and hardcore gamers,” SuperData predicts. “Loot boxes won’t disappear anytime soon given their success in games like Overwatch (over $600M of loot boxes sold through February 2018). In the short term, though, ‘No loot boxes’ will be the game industry’s own ‘gluten free water’ — and we’re likely to even see this slogan used to market titles where loot boxes would not make sense such as adventure games.”
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!
With a combat alpha under its belt, the superhero MMORPG Ship of Heroes turns its attention to the challenges that lay ahead. The team has posted up a detailed roadmap that included a visual plan of the first half of 2018, including what’s to come over the next three months.
The aggressive development schedule for the near future includes a login and network test, more enemies, more powers, more costumes, a day/night cycle, the addition of PopcornFX, an initial look at Controller powers, and better outdoor lighting are all on the table.
Past that, the team hopes to accomplish a raid test in the third quarter and then move out of alpha testing into the beta by the end of the year. Ship of Heroes’development plans and a talk with its lead designer, check out our PAX East interview with Casey McGeever.
Everyone knows that the various people portraying characters at PAX East are just there to portray a character. That’s not who they really are. Just because an attractive young woman is dressed up as a character in a way that cleverly circumvents the event’s ostensible policy against “booth babes” does not mean that she is actually a bounty hunter, for example. (She could be, though. We’ve all got side hustles.) So it should come as no great surprise that the Guild Wars 2 griffon was itself playing a part, just like the other actors on the floor.
I was lucky enough to sit down for an interview with “Feathers” (it specified that its real name would break my eardrums) on the show floor, and since I was sitting very still to avoid triggering its instinctive hunting reflexes, I could also record everything it said perfectly. So please, to cap off our PAX East experience, enjoy my interview with this mythical creature of sand and wind.
With its early access debut coming next month, Bless Online has a lot riding on how well it can present itself to a western market. Renovations and adjustments continue apace on the fantasy MMORPG, with the combat system receiving a top-to-bottom revamp in order to please future consumers.
The dev team said that it looked through the classes’ combat skills and “restructured their composition and effects” for the upcoming release. This revamp includes changes to rhythmic combat, incentives for grouping, and more ways to skill up your character.
It also emphasized, yet again, that the buy-to-play title will not feature pay-to-win aspects. “Bless Online’s monetization system will be user friendly,” the team said, going on to point out how the two main in-game shops work in conjunction with each other.
Get ready for Bless Online’s May launch by reading up on our interview with owner and operator Neowiz!
At this year’s PAX East, I discovered that my mental picture of Casey McGeever did not match the actual man in person, but that was a positive thing; meeting the man himself, he projects an aura of warmth and earnestness that’s almost impossibly infectious. Not that it should be all that surprising, as he’s spent so much time talking about the strength of community when it comes to building up the base behind Ship of Heroes as a whole.
McGeever and I had an opportunity to speak about a number of issues surrounding the City of Heroes-inspired superhero MMO, starting with some talk about the game’s roadmap moving through the remainder of the year. The roadmap covers the past few months and recent known developments, but it had to be delayed slightly while the team pushed through the early stages of pre-alpha, engine upgrades, and the associated tasks. Now we’re into April, and it’s time for the community to see what’s on the docket for the next three months.
So if we’ll no longer have tier sets in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, what motivation will you have for continuing to raid on the high end? For that matter, what motive will you have to continue running island adventures? Two more interviews from the show floor at PAX East 2018 with lead encounter designer Morgan Day cover exactly that. To answer both questions, Mythic raiding still has the best item level rewards in the game, and that’s not changing; meanwhile, long-term island rewards are still being discussed, but are very important to the team.
Players invested in the story can take heart that there’s going to be plenty to digest in Uldir, which is all about Titan research into removing Old Gods without killing the host (Azeroth, in our case). The War Campaign will also be akin to the Class Order Campaign, bringing players into enemy territory. There’s also plans to allow respeccing of Azerite armor, although frequency has yet to be determined. All good stuff to learn about as the release swiftly approaches in August.
4.5 update is going live tonight, complete with raise-able dragon battle mounts and shadow invasion content provoked when big world bosses are downed. But what most players are probably looking forward to the most is the introduction of new fresh start servers
“ArcheAge: Legends Return introduces two new progression servers, Nui and Ezi, for North America and Europe respectively. Nui and Ezi will offer time-locked content for the first time in ArcheAge, starting with low caps and systems from the game’s original launch and developing major systems, like Castle Sieges and Hero Elections, over time.”
As we’ve previously covered, some players are already worried about the potential for pay-to-win messes on the fresh start server. But Trion is downplaying that: “Marketplace restrictions will be in place to ensure that as the servers open, players will be placed on even footing through marketplace and gear progress restrictions that will be set over several months, allowing for all players to have the chance to reach the level cap prior to it increasing.”