Leaderboard is a weekly feature in which the Massively Overpowered staff pitch a poll to the readership. [Follow this feature’s RSS feed]
We were all prepared for the lack of Diablo III news from BlizzCon, in spite of the franchise’s huge following. But what we we didn’t anticipate was the demand for Diablo II and Warcraft III, especially in light of the announcement of World of Warcraft Classic and the free-to-play conversion of StarCraft II.
Turns out that Blizzard does have its eye on remastering both games, but it’s not ready yet. As Blizzard Senior Producer Peter Stilwell told PCGN, Warcraft III in particular needs a whole lot of balancing and a new map pool to satisfy tourney players.
And as for Diablo II? Hackers are the real threat.
“With Diablo [II] the big one is the botters and the spamming is out of control, [people asking] could we please fix that,” Stilwell admits. “Keep rolling seasons but maybe eventually be good enough at combating them that you see real names at the top of the leaderboard again.”
Although the videos are gone now
, a group of Chinese net cafe players apparently resorted to violence in response to rampant speed hacking in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
, “roughing up” the hackers who dared to cheat while their victims watched on from the same room and decided to do something about.
I think we can safely say that violence is probably not the answer to video game cheating, however vindicating it may feel. So what is? I thought it would make for an interesting Leaderboard to find out what you do. Whenever I come upon cheaters, I usually just report and move on with my life, but other people take these things to extremes, I know, and those extremes may actually be more productive for getting the studio to take notice. Let’s hit the polls and find out.
A week or two ago, Massively OP reader Sally Bowls proposed a Leaderboard too intriguing to pass up. “How about a poll on your lockbox purity?” she suggested, rattling off eight possible answers to a question about how “pure” you are when it comes to lockboxes and MMOs – in other words, it breaks down how far you’re willing to go to avoid them. In fact, I have a few options I want to add to in the interest of seeing whether folks who support lockboxes are really only supporting them because they want whales to pay our way. Plus, elf butts.
Let’s do it. To the pollmobile!
So here’s a new game that’s just rumbled onto our radar: It’s called RoboManiac, and it’s a self-described free-to-play browser MMO that combines “an RPG and sports manager” with robots, an elaborate trading system, a league leaderboard, multiplayer alliances, and basic RPG progression. It’s also adamantly against pay-to-win tactics. Did I mention the robots?
“From the beginning, you have the option to individually equip your Bot with different weapons, drive modules, blades, and numerous other body elements from energy cells to booster packs. Using your Workshop, you can repair, upgrade and level up the various elements of your bot. In your habitat and its surroundings you can send your bot on different missions, fight other bots, or send it to work in the factory, so you can use a few credits to buy or sell important boosters and upgrades at the marketplace. Trading in parts and items is an important part of the game and allows you to do good deals with other players.”
German studio YEPS! has granted MOP codes that will unlock a nice chunk of in-game currency, called platinum. Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!
just keeps on growing globally: It’s completely outstripped every other game on Steam in terms of concurrency, having now set a new record of 2M concurrent
this weekend. As GIbiz points out
, its closest competitor now is Valve’s own Dota 2
, which saw 700K concurrency over the same period. That’s up a million for PUBG
just since last month, with 13M copies sold to date. Oh, and did I mention it’s still in early access?
We’ve previously noted that the game is primarily pulling from the CSGO audience, but now it looks to be hitting the other top games too – H1Z1 especially, whose peak concurrency has dropped a full third since August – and I have a few guildies playing who normally play MMOs. How about you? Are you one of the 2M people playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds today? Let’s take it to a Leaderboard poll.
Nielsen has a massive “fan report” out this week dubbed The E-Sports Playbook, covering audiences in the US, UK, Germany, and France and focusing on e-sports fans as a market. There’s a massive breakdown of demographics that will suprise nobody, like the fact that millennial men are the core audience for watching e-sports, and they aren’t into actual sports or TV.
One of the more interesting surveys included covers whether fans believe e-sports are real sports (over 50% do) and whether they think it belongs in the Olympics (less than a third do). I thought we’d replicate the latter part of the survey for today’s Leaderboard. Knowing that e-sports are already being included in multiple sporting games in Asia, and given Nielsen’s clear lean toward its being an inevitability, what do you think?
A few years ago, we counted basically three City of Heroes successor games, all made by indie studios. In 2017, we still have three core titles on the way — it’s just a slightly different three. In light of that, MOP reader Pepperzine proposed today’s Leaderboard: Which of the five City of Heroes spiritual successors are you looking forward to the most?
- City of Titans – CoT was the first out of the gate, with a successful $678,189 Kickstarter back in 2013. It’s expecting to release a playable pre-alpha for backers by the end of this year.
- Valiance Online – Valiance ran its Kickstarter in 2014 but raised only a fifth of its $150,000 goal. Since then, it’s solicited backers through its website. Its founder alpha began in July of this year.
- Ship of Heroes – SoH startled everyone when it was announced less than a year ago. Though it canceled its Kickstarter bid in April and trimmed back its launch scope, it has continued on with serious development, most recently charming would-be players at PAX. Limited combat alpha testing begins in December with raid beta expected in June of 2018.
- Heroes and Villains – H&V was the third successor to be announced, but it’s had a much quieter run. Plan Z Studios does still frequently update its website with development notes, the most recent being on supergroups, but it has yet to open crowdfunding.
- Redside – Redside popped up earlier this year with a really barebones Kickstarter aimed at bringing back the villain elements of City of Heroes, but that Kickstarter failed to fund (by a lot) and studio Brass Lampworks’ website is no longer active.
To the pollmobile!
I was super worried about losing my whole guild to Destiny 2’s PC beta last week, but after the beta fling, they’re back to chattering about Guild Wars 2 and plotting adventures there. I’m not sure it’s a slam on Destiny 2, either, just that we’re chiefly PC fans, so the console launch isn’t much of a draw, and the PC launch is still almost two months off. Meanwhile, Guild Wars 2 is very much live, with an expansion just a few weeks away.
For today’s Leaderboard, let’s see whether you’re like my guildies — are you playing Destiny 2?
When Oculus dropped the price of the Oculus Rift down to $400 earlier this summer, supposedly temporarily (but not its first drop), analysts were torn over the decision, suggesting that Facebook’s rumored cheaper wireless Pacific device might be the impetus.
Now this week, HTC joined in the price-slashing parade, reducing the price of the Vive from $799 to $599, a fee analysts said back in January was still too pricey for the Oculus. However, the president of the Viveport marketplace rejected the idea that the new price was a response to the Rift’s panic-mode. “I think we are the leader in the market, and the plan was always that high-end VR be available to everyone,” he told Polygon. “So of course there are a couple of components that need to fall into place … in order to reach the mass market, you need to have a lower price point. That’s been the plan all along. I think it’s good that other players in the market are making similar moves.”
For this edition of Leaderboard, I thought it would be fun to take stock of our core audience’s view of the price of VR here in 2017 to see whether it differs significantly from the 2014 vs. 2016 report, which suggested that while initial high prices had shifted many gamers’ expectations for a higher price, an even greater number still wouldn’t pay over $300 for a device. To the pollmobile!
This past weekend, the gaming segment of my Twitter feed was positively dominated by chatter about Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire
expansion free preview weekend. I even saw a few of my guildies dip back in, which shouldn’t have surprised me — quite a lot of our readers and friends told us in last week’s Leaderboard poll
that they had plans to try the free weekend, many of them no doubt trying to decide whether to buy it and return to the game or even play it for the first time.
The question is, did it work? Did Guild Wars 2’s preview weekend convince you to buy Path of Fire? Let’s hit the polls and find out.
There’s a joke on the Guild Wars 2
subreddit that you don’t need to read anything about the game — you just wait for WoodenPotatoes
to put out a 30-minute video on 2 minutes of content and explain it all to you and more. It’s probably true, but since you’ve some time to kill until Path of Fire
launches on September 22nd, so why not fill it with WP?
His latest videos zero in on several big subjects. The first and most intriguing is the new map; it’s clear that the map has almost doubled in size as huge parts of the deserts southeast of Orr are now colored in and soon to be accessible. The scope of the map is compelling, maybe especially compared to the Heart of Thorns zone area, which is positively tiny to scale. He also raises some questions about why the developers would bother including empty but drawn-in areas to the east of Ascalon (like that big ol’ lake). Hmm!
The second video focuses much more on PvP and WvW, something ArenaNet has only lightly touched on since the big reveal. We’ve tucked both videos down below – and don’t forget to vote in our morning Leaderboard poll on whether or not you intend to play the freebie preview weekend in GW2 starting Friday!
As part of its marketing push ahead of Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire expansion launch in September, ArenaNet is plotting a freebie weekend for the game. The base game is already free-to-play, of course, but this weekend, all players will be treated to a preview of the paid and unlaunched Path of Fire content, even if you’ve never put a dime into the game. Existing players and newbies alike can basically tour the first zone (Amnoon Oasis) before deciding whether or not to pick up the expack. If you’re a total newbie, all you have to do is register a free account and you’re good to go starting Friday through Sunday. The weekend after that, the expansion’s elite specs will be available in PvP and WvW, so you’ll get to sample those too.
The question is — will this work? Are you actually going to give it a go? To the pollmobile!
Before we begin, let’s just get the trailer thing out of our systems. It was bad. Really bad. OK? Good. That’s done.
Lord of the Rings Online launched Mordor yesterday, its first major expansion since the transfer of the game from Turbine to Standing Stone Games last year.
And while Justin’s busy diving in and cooking up some impressions of the expansion for us, I thought I’d open it up to the readers in a poll: Was Mordor enough to make you go back LOTRO or even pick it up for the first time?