Is Worlds Adrift shaping up to be a sleeper hit of an MMO? Its team certainly thinks so, as it claims that in the first two weeks of testing alone, the median play time among closed beta gamers was an impressive 15 hours.
A beta report last week emphasized the team’s desire to have one server per world region, although this rule will be bent during the testing process. Right now, additional servers are opening up in the US and EU to allow the studio to test different map layouts and more player islands.
Another big change coming to the game is the addition of gameplay features to the Island Creator tool: “This means that on top of creating wonderfully-looking places of lore, exploration and awe, the creators will also be able to weave gameplay within the islands. Initially this will be rather simple: a type of surface players cannot grapple on; dangerous spikes that hurt on contact; and automated turrets that seek and fire until cleverly disarmed.”
See the developers messing around with Worlds Adrift’s turrets after the jump!
I’m a kart racer. Oh sure, I enjoyed Cruisin’ USA and San Fransisco Rush as a kid, and of course I played Gran Turismo a little, but in general, I prefer kart racing games. They’re easier for non-gamers to get into when played on a console and often have mechanics that make them games more forgiving. I can see the appeal of realistic racing games, though. I’m no good at them, but they can be fun.
Even when I first demoed the original The Crew, I felt this way. I didn’t play the game at release, nor have I played any non-kart, non-arcade racers, but I respected it for what it was: a racing game with an MMO lean. However, this year, I feel like I could handle my car better in The Crew 2, which alone made me feel a bit better about the genre, but the addition of both boats and planes actually made me like the game.
It’s hard to deny that one of Final Fantasy XIV’s newest classes marries style and substance, particularly if you’re into a certain swashbuckling aesthetic.
Skoryy took time out of playing Stormblood to share his new Red Mage with us: “More character screenshots this week as Eorzea’s version of Skoryy, Skory’a, reveals himself as a defender of the weak, the innocent, and candy drops! En garde!”
Now, be careful with that sword there! It’s not just a prop to make you look good at historical reenactments; it can stab your way into a felony charge if you’re not careful.
It is sometimes hard to know how far back to go when chronicling the history of early MMOs and their ancestors. After all, this column has looked at several titles (such as Habitat and Neverwinter Nights) that do not fit the modern definition of an MMORPG yet were bound in blood to the genre nonetheless.
So if today’s game seems to be somewhat tenuously related to our favorite hobby, I beg your forgiveness in advance. However, I do feel that it is pertinent to our exploration of this wonderful genre. The game in question is Maze War, and it holds an admiral uniform’s worth of medals depicting firsts in the infant genre of video games. Most importantly for us, Maze War was the first graphical video game to be networked and allow players to interact and fight each other. You can see why that may tie in to our current situation.
While the game itself certainly never attained the complexity of modern shooters or RPGs, its innovation and pioneering certainly make it worthy of examination. So let’s dust it off and get to it!
This week’s episode of Star Citizen Around the Verse sees Cloud Imperium’s Chris Roberts and Eric Kieron Davis bookending Foundry 42, Ship Shape, and solar system segments. From the Foundry 42 Frankfurt office, Development Director Brian Chambers checks in to discuss new hires, level design work, landing zones, atmosphere mapping, buddy AI, enemy reactions, planet surfacing, outpost lighting, environment art, and multiplayer persistent universe gameplay testing (yay!), while Ship Shape is aimed at you motorcycle lovers.
“Being able to see your footsteps in the snow or have your vehicle kick up dust while speeding across the desert are those little details that’ll make you believe that you’re really in those environments and be much more immersive, and you know me – I love immersive,” Roberts chimes in.
The best bit is easily the solar system segment, but I’m biased – I married an astrophysicist. The devs explain how they use the Solar System Ed (SolEd) to build out the parts of their galaxy in the service of the Star Map, making use of volunteer astronomers and other scientists to vet their ideas for scientific plausibility. Fun!
So ARK: Survival Evolved is going to be the first big survival sandbox not named Minecraft or Don’t Starve to not only make it to launch but to get there from Early Access development. Leaving EA is something we rarely see, which is why readers may notice I’m quite critical of games that ask for your money, sell you an incomplete game, and then spend years defending their EA status while continually making money on an unfinished project. To hear that a company once known for making paid DLC for an unreleased game is willing to shake the security blanket that is Early Access fills me with joy and a little trepidation.
Normally, this is where I’d tell you I’ve written up the interview, which is still true. However, as this was in a small group setting, not only do we have a writeup, there’s also a YouTube video for the few of you who have thirty minutes to wade through the (mostly) raw interview. You’ll see ARK’s Community Manager Cedric Burkes in person, hear daring press try to ask hard-hitting questions, and cringe as my terrible hat hair makes a quick appearance at about the 27-minute mark.
Since the only real form of progress in Overwatch involves skins, there’s nothing more frustrating than opening a few dozen lockboxes and seeing every rare skin be the same one… for a character you don’t even play. The latest development update from director Jeff Kaplan notes that the team is aware of the problem, and steps are being taken to ensure that the number of duplicate items received will be dramatically reduced in the future.
You don’t need to worry about losing out on the buy-anything credits, though; the credits you get from loot boxes will also be increased, so you should find yourself getting more credits even as you get fewer duplicates of things you already have. How well this will map out in particular remains to be seen, but it’s an effort to mitigate the randomness that’s always underpinned the game’s lockbox structure. Kaplan also discusses ongoing improvements to the highlights feature; you can watch the full development update just below.
Super-intelligent apes and moon combat: What’s not to love about today’s Overwatch update?
The Horizon Lunar Colony, Overwatch’s newest map, is officially open for business. Players can enjoy the environmental storytelling while they fight through this moon base. According to the team, it’s the first map that the team has done that’s over 90% completely indoors.
“Built as a first step towards humanity’s renewed exploration of space, the Horizon Lunar Colony’s goal was to examine the effects of prolonged extraterrestrial habitation — on human and ape alike,” the team said. “The scientists’ research proved incredibly promising…until, suddenly, all contact and communications with the base were lost.”
The update also adds Officer D.Va and Oni Genji to the lootboxes, in case you were frustrated at not getting one of these yet. Read up on the finer points of the patch notes and refresh your memory concerning the Horizon Lunar Colony after the break!
As June continues to roll along, so do the PvP-related updates in Guild Wars 2. So far ArenaNet has updated Tyria’s world-vs.-world content and skirmishing with the first part of the Competitive Feature Pack, followed by the start of PvP League season 4. Today’s update is live now and includes the new 2v2 team deathmatch map, Hall of the Mists; the retooled Heart of the Mists PvP lobby; and 5v5 automated tournaments: “The pinnacle of competitive combat. Compete in daily tournaments to qualify for a monthly tournament to earn rewards, glory, and the chance to see your winning team honored with statues in the lobby!”
The patch also has a bit for cosmetic junkies; Dulfy reports that the new cash-shop dyes appear to include the brightest white shades released to date.
PvP players, don’t miss our Guild Wars 2 columnist Tina Lauro Pollock’s most recent Flameseeker Chronicles, which is a great starter guide for jumping into WvW.
Monster Hunter World‘s reveal caught me completely off guard during its E3 2017 reveal. We’d already had a title announced for the Nintendo Switch, and I’d figured that was our usual non-spinoff MH entry for the year. I’ve admittedly not finished or heavily invested in the series since leaving Japan, but part of that is because the American mobile gaming culture doesn’t really have the fanbase Japan does. In fact, I got into Monster Hunter Tri in a bad way because it was a console title. While the portability of the series really helped me to explore Japan’s gaming scene and meet fellow gamers face-to-face, my gut feeling upon seeing MHW’s console and PC plans was that Capcom might really be able to catch the western audience this time. And that was before seeing Monster Hunter lead designer Yuya Tokuda play the game in real time.
The other day I was continuing on with my Bingo Boffin adventures in Lord of the Rings Online
when Mr. Boffin decided he was going to sneak his way across battle lines and into Mirkwood Forest. Like most of his encounters, I don’t think he ended up loving it quite as much as he anticipated, but you know what? I did.
You see, ever since Siege of Mirkwood came out with LOTRO’s second expansion, I’ve always been quite partial to this odd little zone in Middle-earth. Perhaps this makes me the odd man out among the community; I rarely see anyone speak highly of Mirkwood (or, these days, speak of it at all). It seems like it’s forgotten, this strange cul-de-sac of the game world that only exists to be a stopping point on the epic story before players have to turn around and go back the way they came.
Yet as I was running all over the place trying to secure first AND second breakfastses for Bingo Boffin, I was reminded of how much I love this zone. I’d even say that Mirkwood is in my top five zones of the game as a whole (alongside The Shire, Forochel, West Rohan, and North Ithilien). It’s time this forgotten land got some recognition, so here goes.
As I mentioned in MassivelyOP’s Best of E3 Overthinking article, I came away from this year’s con thinking Sea of Thieves was the best playable online multiplayer game with a playable demo there, despite that demo being “terrible.” What I mean by “terrible” is that it created the potential for some of the worst parts of gaming to come true. There’s a reason most MMOs demo a battleground, boss fight, or newbie experience: Those are easy to demo, especially for non-MMO fans. Some demos give players a zone to explore, which is better, when done well. Rarely are people put into a situation where the entire demo requires coordination, but Rare did it, and it paid off, despite the fact that it’s not selling an MMO.
Allow me to explain.
If the fact that Destiny 2’s PC edition is being held back seven weeks following the release of the console versions sticks in your craw, then you probably don’t want to read the rest of this post.
In its attempt to give PC players a paper cut and pour lemon juice in it, Bungie confirmed on Twitter that several PlayStation 4 exclusives won’t hit computers (or Xbox One) until 2018. These exclusives include the Lake of Shadows strike, Terra Concord Titan armor, Tesseract Trace IV Warlock armor, Icarus Drifter Hunter armor, the City Apex ship, the Borealis rifle, and the Retribution PvP map.
PC and Xbone players can see what they’ll be missing out on this year after the break.