After some ups and downs this afternoon — everybody loves the “try again later” message, right? — Valve’s summer Steam sale is finally underway and stable. Here’s what we’re looking at in our corner of the gaming world.
We’d never heard of Big Way Games’ Steam Hammer before last week’s debut on Steam’s early access platform: It’s a multiplayer sandbox survival game (64 players to a shard) built around making steampunks fight dieselpunks. Reviewers thus far have likened it to Wurm Online and Life is Feudal, and several have complained about the lack of female characters, but surely that’s just a matter of time and patches. The most recent patches, in fact, have made some big balance and QOL changes already, including doubling gathering speed and increasing both spawns and gathering materials.
The game raised over $50,000 from crowdfunders last year, though it was in development a year or two before that. Possibly the most shocking thing about it is that it’s actually delivering on schedule — its Kickstarter promised a May 2017 alpha, and here we are.
The game is not to be confused with SteamHammerVR, a virtual reality game also in access on Steam. The full launch is expected at the end of 2017; early access will set you back $26.99 as of press time. Want to see it in action? We got an early look over the weekend!
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!
This week we have stories and videos from MapleStory, Heroes of the Storm, Ingress, Wurm Online, DCUO, Hellion, Life is Feudal, Skyforge, Overwatch, H1Z1, Final Fantasy XI, all waiting for you after the break!
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Crowfall canceled its weekend playtest, but not before issuing a dev blog updating the community on some of the crafting changes that are in the latest builds, including the addition of Geomancy (using precious stone, wood, and ore to make land parcels that can combine into larger ones) and Architecture (which lets players craft deeds for buildings as well as crafting stations and city structures — sound familiar, SWG vets?).
Out in space, a group of core Elite Dangerous community developers went on strike briefly this week, bringing their websites and tools back online once Frontier had agreed to better support them. That was good timing, as players are in the middle of a massive roleplay event that will affect the outcome of an in-progress novel based on the game.
Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar dropped Release 41, City of Titans talked about its “aesthetic decoupling” philosophy, Pantheon updated players on its finances, OrbusVR completed its first closed alpha test, and the Dual Universe team moved into a new office.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.
is unleashing another round of closed beta testing for the MMO fork of Life is Feudal
, expected to run two weeks. Accompanying the beta announcement is a new trailer from the team going through the game’s laundry list of features, from crafting and weather to survival skills and a persistent world to territory and terraforming.
“While players may start their adventure in Life is Feudal: MMO alone, as they gather and craft supplies needed to make it to the next day, they will quickly meet up with others to form groups, then guilds, and finally work their way up to complete medieval societies and nation-states,” says the studio. “Life is Feudal: MMO is a realistic social experience, where the best way to thrive in the world is to work together and build a fully functioning society, where everyone has a place, from the most basic hunters and gatherers, to farmers, soldiers and civic leaders.”
Closed beta is available to peeps who pick up one of the early access packs, the cheapest of which is $39.99. We’ve got the trailer below — anyone jumping in?
Good news, The Elder Scrolls Online fans: Morrowind is now in beta testing! It’s in closed beta, so you probably don’t get to take part in it, but if you do, you still can’t tell us about it. You can, however, tell us about any and all funerals you are holding for your Templar. A moment of silence will be observed.
Other beta news? Aw, shucks, why not?
- The next Starfall Tactics test starts up on April 24th. It does not, in fact, feature any tactics based around falling stars, because physics does not work that way. Instead, it has character creation, limited progression, and a new ship class.
- Everyone gets a prize for participating in the SkySaga Alpha 10 test! You get a prize! And you get a prize! The prize is probably not a humpback whale, but you never know.
- The next round of testing for Life is Feudal‘s MMO side of things is starting on April 26th and should run for around 10 days. Clear your calendar for Wednesday, then.
- Project Gorgon is looking good these days. Seriously, the latest round of graphical updates makes it like that nerdy but shy girl from school who suddenly turned immensely hot, or something. You know your movie cliches, fill them in on your own time.
- Want to hunt some trolls in Saga of Lucimia in an early test version? That’s a thing that’s happening. No word yet on whether or not they’re actual in-game trolls or more general trolls, but make sure to designate someone as “torch-monkey” if you’re going out at night.
- Last but not least, the Marvel Heroes console version is starting its beta today, and it features local co-op. That’s unlikely to ever come to the PC version, although why you would need it is a different discussion altogether.
For those of you not delighted by the above stories (and those who are delighted), we also have a list just below. Isn’t that lovely? Let us know if there are errors within the list down in the comments. Or let us know what betas you’re playing and can be discussed without an NDA. Or let us know if you want to buy the Laser Prime redeco from the most recent Transformers box set. We have an extra.
The MMO side of “harshly realistic, socially focused, medieval life simulation” Life is Feudal
has a fresh trailer this week that’s intended to outline what your first five hours in the game are going to look like. It looks like a lot of running, scary animals, terrible weather, and desperately cobbling together food and shelter!
“Starting as a simple and poorly equipped peasant, players will need to gather resources to set up a camp while foraging for food and starting their first campfires. Soon, they will socialize with other players, working together to gather resources and build a home. Finally, players working together will divide up duties and play out various roles in the game, be they hunters, gatherers, defenders of their village or brigands attacking other encampments.”
In short, you’re gonna die. The vid’s below.
Bunnies and eggs! Flowers and grass! Lots and lots of chocolate as we hoard every Cadbury thing we can find! (Or maybe that’s just me?) Yep, Easter is this weekend, making it a convenient time for MMOs to shower us in stuff to keep us indoors and playing instead of outside marveling in the end of winter. We’ve collected a few of those events down below!
We don’t often see co-developed MMOs and survival sandboxes where the game that’s smaller in scope gets the content second, but that’s exactly how Bitbox is working on Life is Feudal’s
MMO and its “Your Own” version. Last week, the studio patched up LIF: Your Own
with the big changes already in the MMORPG
The patch includes a total redesign of the combat skill tree, a balance pass for armor, “optimized and partially rewritten AI system,” parallaxed terrain textures, chopping damage, damage to moveable objects, siege torch weapons, terrain effects on horse travel, tweaks to the diurnal cycle, pavement flattening for structures, and a whole bunch of adjustements to weapons systems. Players say that not everything is in yet (diplomacy and trading posts are still high on the wish list), but it’s something.
Or, you know, you could just go play the MMO, which is currently in beta.
If you don’t like tricks and jokes, just stop reading right now, turn the lights off, and go climb back into bed. Nothing on the internet is going to bring you joy today, so just sit this one out. Trust us.
For everyone else, there’s April Fools’ Day! Follow along as we rattle off all the great MMORPG pranks and events we’ve found so far this morning.
Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya’ll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn’t as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.
I’m not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller — and oft times privately managed — scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we’re going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here’s a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.
Now that Life is Feudal has turned on the power to its closed beta program, more players than ever before are getting to see what this medieval sandbox MMO looks like first-hand. For the rest of us there are always screenshots, those tantalizing glimpses into this developing game world.
The studio released a baker’s dozen of new pictures from the game this week to show that this world isn’t just bland designs and colors. In fact, from the looks of these shots, Life is Feudal is shaping up to be a nice-looking title, with interesting vistas, natural-looking scenery, and even a giant sword in the stone. See for yourself below!
Source: Press release
I am finding it hard to believe that we are two months into 2017 already, especially since I’ve had so many pressing Guild Chat submissions recently that I haven’t had a chance to turn my hand back to MMO Mechanics in all that time! As an introduction to a new year, I usually like to include a predictions column that summarises my perspective on how I believe mechanics will change over the following twelve months, but I don’t feel as though the 2016 trends I mentioned have died out yet and wish to instead focus on the sustained emphasis on sandbox MMO development with strong holistic, character developing mechanics.
In this edition of MMO Mechanics, I’m going to talk about some upcoming MMOs and the non-combat, realistic, and technical mechanics added into the 2017 sandbox mix. Although I can’t guarantee that the titles I mention below will actually release this year, each of them has enough solid development behind them to make a 2017 release at least probable; besides, even if these titles don’t release in the next ten months, they will still bear the hallmarks of the state of the modern sandbox MMO and are worth noting. Add your thoughts on the common threads you’re finding in 2017’s planned MMO mechanics in the comments: I’m sure to miss several key mechanics development trends in this non-exhaustive list.