On this week’s show, Bree and Justin dive into deep mysteries, get ready for a slice of RIFT Prime, and once again try to figure out just what the heck Daybreak is doing with its H1Z1 franchise. Also, BREE SINGS. It’s as amazing as you always imagined.
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Ashes of Creation has a new video out swooping through the halls of the dungeon Dünheim, apparently playable in the game’s current alpha zero phase. The accompanying lore diary describes a Dwarven city within a mountain, in decline thanks to supernatural forces (and/or comets?).
“The road into Dünheim was a long tunnel that begins at the Great Gates of the mountain. Several miles in length, it was the only entrance into the mountain. Normally, this passage was filled with traders and travelers from across Verra. But in the recent years, the world had changed, and with it so had the lifeline into Dünheim.”
What’s left behind to torment our characters is a dark, dank, and cavernous hall that’s surely going to remind you of Tolkien’s Moria. Try not to fall off the walkways because these Dwarves apparently hated railings too. Enjoy!
Out with the old and in with the new… website, that is. Intrepid Studios wasn’t content with the previous version of Ashes of Creation’s studio web presence, electing to overhaul the site with a brand-new version that is now live.
In the studio’s press release, Intrepid mentioned that it was hiring for at least six additional position including a senior game designer and a senior producer. The studio also said that it’s working on a pair of secret, in-universe projects as well as the fantasy MMORPG.
“Intrepid is also currently planning two unannounced projects within the Ashes of Creation universe,” the studio said. “Information on both projects will be revealed at a later date.” Creative Director Steven Sharif underscored this by hinting at “big plans” that will be revealed later this year.
Source: Press release
Open world dungeons, node tending, and other pre-alpha adventures were all part and parcel of Ashes of Creation’s developer livestream last week. The team showed off 52 minutes of uninterrupted gameplay that included exploration, various features, and a ton of action combat.
The team answered many community questions on the livestream, including how the current build was tailored specifically for testers: “We wanted people who were coming in to test to actually be able to kind of do stuff solo. So, it’s not what it was really built for. All the group content right now is just in our dungeons. And that’s totally going to change when we go live.”
Other topics discussed was Ashes of Creation’s stealth system, account-bound player housing, caravans, diminishing returns on crowd control, animal husbandry (woo), and cosmetics. Check it out below!
Don’t look now, but PvP is coming — and it’s coming to almost every new MMO in development. It only recently hit me just how many upcoming games are being centered around PvP as a core mechanic. Camelot Unchained, Crowfall, Ashes of Creation, Wild West Online, Worlds Adrift, Dual Universe, Chronicles of Elyria, every survival sandbox you could name… all PvP, pretty much all of the time.
I don’t outright resent PvP from being in MMOs, but as a primarily PvE player, it concerns me to see a flood of this washing over titles that I would otherwise have no reservations about playing. Many of the worlds and mechanics of these games have appeal, but not at the expense of having some jerk ambush me and kill me in 1.5 seconds flat at any moment.
Heck, even Sea of Thieves’ piracy gameplay loop has triggered alarms in my head that captains will be looking to swarm the title with griefing tactics once they’re done playing the “proper” way.
Maybe I’m overreacting. How do you feel about the increased focus on PvP in upcoming MMOs? Why do you think we are seeing a rise of such games?
For Ashes of Creation fans, January has provided a video bonanza to help with the lengthy wait to beta and launch. Last week we were treated to a look at the game’s surprisingly beautiful Underrealm, and this week it’s a hands-on romp through the world.
IGN took a developer tour of the game this week, noting that while there were (presumably) placeholder kill 10 rats quests and a lack of many standard features in the pre-alpha, the combat was “punchy” and the non-instanced dungeon an exciting concept.
You can watch some of this tour after the break. It may not be the most in-depth video ever, but there is plenty of eye candy and combat to behold.
What’s Ashes of Creation been up to since that confusing alpha zero rollout back in December, the official class matrix, and the fan Q&A? Working, of course. And that’s on display in a video published last night exploring the world’s UnderRealm. It’s a spooky, glowy, psychedelic, bio-luminescent forest sort of biome that may have those of you with kids humming Trolls.
“We are happy to show a first iteration of our UndeRealm in Ashes of Creation! The team is hard at work and in full production on the world of Verra. This is a first look at the pre-alpha UnderRealm and the difference of look and feel that this area will have from the world above ground. Enjoy, and see you in game soon!”
We’ve tucked it down below.
Have a burning curiosity about pixies, testing, and soundtracks? They might have been answered yesterday. In the span of an hour, the Ashes of Creation team tackled around 30 player questions in a developer livestream on Twitch in addition to giving viewers an early look at the first iteration of the Underrealm and Dunir dungeon.
Topics covered in the livestream include the death of the quicktime bar, Fae pets, the persistent nature of the Alpha 2 servers, class balance, tameable mounts, climbable trees, bards, bots, and gold sellers.
The team said that the next phase of its Alpha Zero testing is coming next week and will include more people on the server. So far, the “raw” test has provided a lot of useful feedback that’s kept the team busy doing “tons and tons” of optimizations.
“We are agile and we are so focused on getting things done,” Jeffrey Bard reported. Steven Sharif added that the game production is “slightly ahead or are in a better position than I anticipated we would be in at this point.”
Here’s something interesting to chew on today: Kickstarter actually had an incredible 2017 when it came to funding games and raising money. Head of Games Luke Crane tweeted that the platform was up year-over-year in both of these categories.
“Games on @Kickstarter in 2017: $172M pledged ($163M raised); 7033 launched projects (2997 successfully funded projects); 767K backers (726K backers to successful projects),” he said. “Good job y’all. A huge year for the community. That’s the most games projects funded on Kickstarter in any year to date! And the money exceeds 2016’s funding by +29%.”
Not too many of these game projects involved MMOs, admittedly, although 2017 did see Ashes of Creation become the most-funded MMORPG to date on Kickstarter. Other notable 2017 Kickstarter projects included Shadow’s Kiss, Ship of Heroes, War of Conquest, and Global Adventures.
Update: The $172 million apparently covers all games, including video games, tabletop, board games, and card games. Video games raised $17.25M over 2017.
Last week, we posted a rundown of the most popular MMORPG articles of 2017, calculated strictly by the number of pageviews they got. Today, we’re going to take a look at the most popular articles of 2017 as measured by comments, which provides an entirely different overview of the year and the genre.
This list is a little wonky as we couldn’t keep a lot of our January comments when we were booted off Livefyre. (Some of the old comments were restored, but others were simply lost because Livefyre wasn’t properly saving them back. Long story.) So technically, we lost a month. Still, I think we have a pretty good picture of what people really truly want to talk about (which isn’t always the same thing you like to click on!).
I didn’t back a single video game in 2017, which is a first for me. The year before, I backed Hero’s Song, and we all know how that ended. I’m looking forward to a few of the games I backed actually coming to fruition this year, like Crowfall and Shroud of the Avatar, while others, like TUG, I just figure represent money I’ll never see paid back in game form. Lesson learned, right?
It’s not as though there weren’t epic games rolling out last year, either; Ashes of Creation, one of the biggest MMOs ever on Kickstarter, owned a lot of headlines last year and it looks really great, but ultimately I decided that I’d just rather wait until it’s actually ready before leaping in. I’m not swearing off the platform on purpose, just more willing to be cautious and patient. Others of you, I know, are over and done with Kickstarter, either because you’re fed up or because you’ve been genuinely burned. And still others are hoping for a revolution in the genre and will gladly throw money at it – if it will just show up.
Will you Kickstart any MMOs in 2018?
We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!
Ashes of Creation blew up on Kickstarter in May, weathering concerns over its CEO’s history and referral plans to easily meet its crowdfunding goal and truck onward through multiple stretch goals.
Wild West Online fared just as well, reportedly canceling its Kickstarter after announcing it as a result of outside investment and weathering its own drama.
Meanwhile, Marvel Heroes landed on console, Black Desert moseyed over to Steam, we delivered an absurd amount of Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood preview coverage, and Morrowind hit early access.
Read on for the whole list!
Welcome to a special edition of Make My MMO, Massively OP’s regular recap of what’s going on in crowdfunded MMOs, which we do specifically for those of you who are convinced Kickstarter is the absolute worst (it’s not) and that no crowdfunded MMOs ever launch (they do). Plus, somebody’s got to keep an eye on what your money’s up to! Tonight’s edition isn’t going to be our usual recap of the last couple of weeks, however; we’re going to look at the most important MMO crowdfunding news of the entire year. Lock up your wallets and let’s get to it.