What’s that sound? That’s the sound of Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 creeping ever closer, as the teams say they’ve made “substantial progress.”
In the latest edition of Around the Verse, Chris Roberts says the dev team is focused on “clearing out the remaining blockers,” while “the dev-ops team is going through the process of preparing the build for distribution.” They’ve cleaned up 19 more must-fix issues, with 7 more to go.
The feature for this episode centers on air traffic control, which sounds like a weird and boring thing my kids would play, but nope – it’s actually pretty important to landing ships in an open-world MMO, as it’s critical to help players land in a spot that’s actually big enough and actually empty. Otherwise, you’d be landing Serrenity II on top of my Millennium Falcon IV, and we can’t have that. The whole episode is below.
Probably my greatest and most constant gripe about fantasy MMORPGs is that for all of the freedom and imagination that this genre supposedly boasts, game designers keep going to the same boring well of tropes and limit themselves instead of exploring possibilities.
Nowhere do you see this more than in races. Dwarves and Elves? We’ve got bushels and barrels of them, all on sale at discount prices. There are regular humans, of course, and Slightly Bigger Humans, and Half-Sized Humans, and Blue Humans. But what about getting outside of this been-there-played-that cookie cutter design to offer some interesting playable choices?
Like fairies, perhaps?
I could never understand why we don’t see fairies more in MMOs. They are widely recognized in the fantasy genre, they seem to have popularity, and they even share some cross-over with Elves. But the poor fae have been unrepresented, so much so that it took a lot of digging to come up with a mere 10 MMOs that allow you to play as one, whether it be as a race or class. Let’s take a look!
RuneScape announced yesterday a new promo that works in conjunction with its existing Treasure Hunter system. It’s a bit of a lockbox system, with the caveat that you can claim one to two keys to open said lockboxes for free every day just for logging in, depending on your sub status in the hybrid MMO. If you want more, then you have to buy them with cash.
The promotion, however, changes things up. “With every Key you use, you have a chance to earn a bonus prize on the Prize Pool interface at the top of the screen,” says Jagex. “Claim that extra prize immediately, or use more Keys to get a chance at more, rarer, prizes. Every Key you use will apply one of two actions: add an extra prize to your pool, or remove all prizes gathered so far from it. The longer you hold out without claiming, the more extra prizes you can claim and the rarer your prize pool collection will get. But be careful – you could lose it all!”
That’s prompted players who normally don’t find the treasure hunter lockboxes particularly problematic to flock to Reddit with a multitude of complaints ranging from accusations that the promo is rigged to concerns that the game is shamelessly promoting gambling to a game chiefly aimed at kids.
Although much of the RIFT
demo at PAX West
focused on showing off the Celestial Storm update
, it was another aspect that captured my attention. While I was speaking with Senior Design Director Simon Ffinch as we toured around the Celestial lands (in god mode once Ffinch discovered he took a level 11 into the level 100 area!) and watching players participate in a zone event, I learned the stories behind a number of Easter eggs peppered throughout the game. Games will always do new content and updates, but how many honor their fans by adding them into the game?
From FarmVille to VR to e-sports: Facebook is gunning for whatever the kids are into these days.
At least that’s the takeaway from Hi-Rez’s announcement today. Following last week’s reveal that it’s putting together a WESA-backed 10-member Premier League for Paladins e-sports, Hi-Rez announced today that it’ll be streaming the content from that league exclusively with Facebook Live, complete with a “weekly Paladins Esports Show on Watch, Facebook’s new platform for shows [that] will bring news, insights and analysis of the competitive scene.”
As GI.biz points out, Facebook’s already booked “5,500 hours of ESL’s tournament coverage, 1,000 hours of Wargaming’s esports content, and four monthly broadcasts from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” though Facebook’s Leo Olebe tells the publication the social media empire’s involvement is more about altruism than profit, at least for now.
“At Facebook, we always talk about building amazing things first and then figure out how to turn it into something economically viable at the end of the road,” he says.
It has been a big and busy year for Wizard101
, and the team wants to make sure that you notice and appreciate everything it’s done to improve the game. In this week’s producer’s letter
, Leah Ruben
runs down all of the additions and changes that have happened already in 2017. And looking over the list, we have to admit that it’s a pretty impressive amount.
The spring and summer updates got the lion’s share of the reflection, with a spotlight on the new tournament types, the monstrology collection system, tweaks to PvP (which Ruben calls “a game of inches” when it comes to balance), improved menu chat, and a slew of other additions.
“What’s to come?,” Ruben asks. “Well, we’re turning nine in just a few days. Nine! Can you believe it? Thank you to our fantastic community, we wouldn’t be here without you! We’ll be celebrating all month, so stick around for the fun. Also, we’re in the thick of building the next update! We’ll give you more details soon, as the winds turn a bit cooler.”
If you have tried to log in and play Wizard101
in the past 24 hours, you may have experienced disappointment as the game services informed you that it was down
. This is due to some nasty DDoS attacks
that have been targeting KingsIsle’s games, according to the studio.
“Since yesterday, KingsIsle has been mitigating severe DDOS attacks against our games Pirate101 and Wizard101,” KingsIsle reported. “This means your game play will be impacted until we can resolve the issue. Many will be unable to log in. We have always taken care of our community when trouble arrives, and we will be sure to do so again once the issue has been fully resolved.”
It looks as though some service has been restored to both games, although it doesn’t sound as if the attack is over.
Here’s one MMO that we didn’t realize was creeping up on a decade of live operation! Wizard101 is celebrating its ninth birthday
this week, and you are invited to the party.
The fun starts with a whole pack of free gifts that can be redeemed on the website. This bundle includes a birthday hat, sparkler wand, gala gazebo, confetti cannon, and various consumables. Players don’t have forever to grab this, as the promotion will vanish — as if by magic! — on September 5th.
The game’s anniversary continues in-game with the reprisal of the Five B.O.X.E.S. and Lost Pages events, as well as a sale on special birthday-themed items in the cash shop. Subscribers also get all sorts of bonuses during this period, such as extra experience and a free training point respec.
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 Paladins Strike, Warface, Monster Hunter World, Heroes and Generals, Pirate101, Trove, Skyforge, The Black Death, Star Trek Online, EverClicker, Neverwinter, Just Survive, Dauntless, Battlejack, Dungeon Fighter Online, League of Legends, Hyper Universe, Dark Age of Camelot, MU Origin, MU Legend, EVE Online, Age of Wushu, State of Decay 2, Dota 2, Splatoon, and Starcraft Remastered, all waiting for you after the break!
Let’s face it: There isn’t really a huge pool of MMORPGs from the 1990s to explore in this column. By now I have done most of them, including some of the more obscure titles. Yet there has always been this one game that I have shied away from covering, even though it (a) was an actual MMO from the ’90s and (b) is still operating even today. And that game is, of course, Furcadia.
So why my reluctance? To be honest, I suppose it was my reluctance to tackle anything in the “furry” fandom without knowing how to handle it. I don’t quite get the fascination with wanting to pretend to be an animal, and some of the expressions that I’ve seen in the news and online from this community have made me uncomfortable. Thus I kept away because I was worried that a piece that I wrote on Furcadia would devolve into a nonstop stream of jokes to cover that personal disquiet.
But I’ve tiptoed around this MMO long enough, and I have come to realize that there is virtue in earnestly trying to understand a subculture that is outside of my bubble, even if I don’t end up appreciating or liking it. Casting off preconceptions and simple snark, let us take a look at this unique title and see what it has to offer for the larger genre.
Friends and family separated by gaming platforms won’t be coming together for a joyous reunion any time soon if they’re playing ARK: Survival Evolved.
Crossplay between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 crowds remains a future dream, as Sony is stubbornly refusing to allow its kids to play with the neighbors. What makes this situation that much more agonizing is the fact that such crossplay is functional right here and now. ARK’s Jeremy Stieglitz reported on Twitter that “we have it working internally, but currently Sony won’t allow it.”
Perhaps it’s only a matter of time as the industry starts to shift in that direction. Earlier this week, we reported the Sea of Thieves will be featuring crossplay between Xbox One and PC crowds when it launches next year.
ARK: Survival Evolved is looking to finally launch the game across all platforms on August 29th.
One of the fun things about this hobby is that certain tropes repeat themselves constantly. And they’re usually weirdly specific tropes, too. Poop quests, for example. So many MMOs have one quest or another that make you dealing with poop. Someone has a fixation that is probably not entirely healthy, and that someone keeps getting hired to design quests.
But sometimes you try to come up with a trope that’s so specific that it has to be unique. Or at least rare. “MMOs that feature a zone full of floating islands requiring flight to travel around.” At least one zone, and it is traveled around via flight. That cannot be common, that has to be…
Wait. How did I not only get a full list but actually have to decline some entries? How the heck did this happen? There are this many MMOs using this astonishingly specific trope? How did this happen and why?
Hey, kids! Want to read a big long interview with Cliff Bleszinski about launching LawBreakers? Because you probably shouldn’t read it if you’re an actual kid. There’s a lot of swearing and one anti-government rant in there about having to get your car inspected. But there is some useful information therein, like how Bleszinski thinks that streaming the LawBreakers alpha testing was a mistake that gave people the wrong impression. He also thinks that the title’s initial poor numbers are a reflection of the game in a live state is more about a marathon than a sprint, that the numbers will come naturally over time.
Bleszinski goes on to state that the game is meant to appeal to core shooter audiences rather than having what he describes as “kiddy bumpers” and an aesthetic moving away from what he refers to as “Anna and Elsa running around killing the zombies.” If you don’t mind a lot of swearing, by all means, check out the full interview.