Earlier this week, MOP’s Justin expressed frustration over lockboxes, feeling especially provoked. “As both a player and a journalist, I find it insulting when an MMO studio wants me to get excited about its lockboxes,” he tweeted. “They are poison.”
MOP reader and gamer Iain (@ossianos) wants to hear more about poison! “I’d be interested to read an article on your thoughts, and those of the MassivelyOP staff, on how MMOs could otherwise make money,” he tweeted back.
Challenge accepted! And perfectly timed for this week’s Massively Overthinking topic. Imagine (or just remember) a world without lockboxes. How would MMOs and other online games survive without lockboxes here in 2017? What should they be doing instead, and what might they have to do when the inevitable gachapon regulation comes westward?
Hey, Path of Exile
console fans. Have you been moping on the sidelines throughout the long PC beta for Fall of Oriath
? Were you sad to find out it’s launching on PC on August 4th
? Then I have good news for you!
“Grinding Gear Games has announced today that its highly anticipated massive expansion, Path of Exile: The Fall of Oriath, will launch its beta for Xbox One at 2pm pacific on Wednesday, July 26th.”
That’s literally right as this post is going live; you can run over and register right now. “Space is limited and players selected will receive their Xbox One beta keys via email,” warns the studio.
As we’ve previously covered, the expansion adds literally new everything, from new skills and bosses to new locations, plus the new pantheon system, five new acts, and the difficulty level system. Just getting caught up? Don’t miss our February preview and reveal, our steam and hands-on with the PC beta, and our E3 interview on the expansion!
I know I complain a lot about Pokemon Go in my articles here, but there’s a reason for this. I’m a huge fan not just of the Pokemon series but of what Niantic is trying to do with its game on a basic level. The idea of getting games outside with the rest of the world instead of hidden in our rooms and offices is hugely appealing. I’ve even applied to work at Niantic before (though obviously I wasn’t selected), so for me especially it’s frustrating to see a company I want to succeed repeatedly making the same kinds of mistakes. These are mistakes that plagued the game’s launch, several events, feature reworkings, and now not one, but two birthday celebrations within the same year.
I actually got sucked into the hype recently and even said that the events surrounding the festival might give people a reason to come back. I’ve finally removed my foot from my mouth after previously downing some crow, but I’ve realized that, now more than ever, Niantic needs some tougher love, and here it is.
After multiple false starts over the summer, Path of Exile
has finally patched in its new microtransaction system
as of last night.
“In the new Microtransaction System, we’ve completely done away with the old Microtransaction Stash and have replaced with a new one that lets you sort and manage your microtransactions in a much cleaner way. The microtransactions are equipped to their own slots so that you can swap your items around at will without having to reclaim/reapply microtransactions constantly. You can also equip microtransactions from other characters with a click.”
“The microtransaction system in this 2.6.3 patch is fully up to date,” Grinding Gear’s Chris Wilson says. “The one on the Beta 3.0.0 wave 3 realm is missing some recent minor bug fixes, so if you see weirdness on Beta, that’s why. It’ll be up to date by release. If you try to reclaim microtransactions between the two realms, it will work, but may display incorrect character and league names. Your consumable microtransactions on Beta (like Fireworks and Skin Transfers) are your real ones and are actually consumed if you use them.”
Gamers talk a big talk about horse armor DLC and pay-to-win and the evils of cash shops, but y’all keep buying anyway.
That’s according to gaming research analysis firm SuperData, which today released an excerpt from its pricey report on digital console revenue for 2017. More than half of all digital console revenue this year, the firm says, will come from “additional content” like DLC and cash-shop microtransactions. That number is half again as high for the top-earning console games from the last few years.
Fully “39% of first-year additional content revenue for all titles is made in the first 3-to-6 months, leaving game publishers with a tight time frame to release new content,” argues SuperData. “Digital console consumers are hungry for more content as soon as they are done with the core gameplay. Most single player games have a gameplay timeframe between 10-to-40 hours within their single-player mode. It is not hard to see why over a third of console players believe that publishers should release content every 3-to-6 months. Over a fourth of them believe additional content should be released at least once a month. Publishers are warned to be wary of releasing content too close to the release date, since consumers see that tactic as profiting off content that should otherwise have been released with the full game.”
Path of Exile’s
Fall of Oriath expansion finally has a formal launch date: August 4th. The expansion adds literally new everything, from new skills and bosses to new locations, plus the new pantheon system, five new acts, and the difficulty level system. Over in the beta
, the devs are working hard on the Labyrinth, maps, and flask balancing with just a couple weeks to go. The aborted microtransaction system
is also slated for this coming Friday.
Just getting caught up? Don’t miss our February preview and reveal, our steam and hands-on with the beta, and our E3 interview on the expansion, plus the new images and trailer below!
MMORPG players just love it when somebody declares the MMORPG dead, right? All those games you’re playing, all the games we’re writing about and sustaining us? Zombie games! You’re imagining it all! Thanks, mainstreamers!
Today’s somebody, admittedly, is Ramin Shokrizade, an economist and author well-known for his career and expertise in gaming monetization specifically, and he doesn’t mean literally dead in today’s piece on Gamasutra, in spite of its title. “What Killed the MMOG?” is an excerpt of an unpublished paper he penned in 2009 on RMT: real-money trading/transfer and gold farming, a problem developers told him “had no solution.”
Shokrizade describes the “industrialization” of RMT in factories run by massive organizations in China dedicated to making black market botter cash off the burgeoning MMO market in the 2000s. “Since the accounts are optimized for profitability, they tend to bring in perhaps ten times as much coin per hour as a maximum level account played for entertainment purposes, and hundreds of times as much as an account at half the level cap or less,” he wrote. Consequently, paying for in-game cash from RMT companies was just a logical move for buyers.
Things are getting downright serious with Path of Exile’s
upcoming expansion. The team recently pumped out the second wave
of the Fall of Oriath
beta, which featured a wipe and the inclusion of Act 8 into testing. Wave 3 with its performance improvements is planned to arrive next week, followed by Wave 4 a week later.
“We are also hoping to release the 2.6.3 patch to the live servers in the next week, which includes the new microtransaction system,” the team added. “We want to get this deployed as soon as we can so that everyone can start using their microtransactions in the beta and be able to test the content in style.”
Considering that the team has said in the past that it wants to get the expansion out this month, that puts the release window somewhere in the last week of July.
The beta for Path of Exile’s Fall of Oriath
expansion is officially live this evening right on schedule.
● Act 5: The Fall of Oriath: Return to Oriath, home to the oppressive Templar theocracy. Explore frozen mountaintops, pristine temples and anarchic city streets. Leave a trail of furious destruction as you seek vengeance for your exile.
● A Single Playthrough, a Complete Story: We’re removing the previous difficulty level system to make room for another five brand new acts, bringing the total to ten. In these five acts, you will weave through both new and familiar locations and witness the results of your past actions.
● Claim the Power of the Gods: Path of Exile’s new Pantheon system provides you with potent powers taken from the Gods themselves. But beware, the Gods won’t go down without a fight.
● New items, new skills, a new challenge league and more, only available at launch!
The microtransaction system won’t make it into today’s update; we chronicled the tech issues swirling around that update this morning. Check out the brand-new screenshots and beta release trailer, and stay tuned for our impressions tomorrow!
The beta for Path of Exile’s
Fall of Oriath expansion is expected to launch today, but it hasn’t been without its technical issues. On Monday, Grinding Gear Games
had to roll back the 2.6.1 microtransaction system
for fixes. The same thing happened last night, causing the team to once again roll back to 2.6.0.m
and inform players that the microtrans system won’t be included in today’s 2.6.2 patch
The beta is anticipated to include acts 5 through 7, the visual upgrades for earlier content, balance changes, item changes, the Labyrinth restructure, new minimap, and the Pantheon feature for acts 6 and beyond. Act 8 will be added to the beta later (9 and 10 won’t be); there are no unique items to test right now, nor any new support or skill gems. And of course, the microtransaction system won’t be live.
GGG has also warned players that Atlas of Worlds supporter packs and their exclusive bits will vanish forever once this beta begins, so grab one while you can.
Stay tuned for more coverage from us on the expansion, and in the meantime, check out this video of an act seven boss!
You get a lot of stuff for free in Path of Exile
. If not for the fact that the game appears to still be a financial success, it could be argued that it might even be too much for free. For those of you who have dropped some money on the game’s microtransactions, though, the latest update is all about making your life a bit easier
with a new inventory and equipment slots for microtransaction items, so you should have a much easier time swapping and sorting your various cosmetic effects.
Players who aren’t into cosmetic effects can also take advantage of this weekend’s stash tab sale, offering discounts on every different type of stash tab to make storage that much easier. Players can also still grab purple footsteps, portals, and weapon effects by signing up for Twitch Prime. You can check out the new microtransaction system and the Twitch Prime cosmetics in the videos just below.
The good news for Secret World Legends
players is that you won’t need to pay money for the game. You won’t even need to pay money for things in
the game that would otherwise cost money. The game offered a new post today detailing the free-to-play model
, which will allow players to exchange Aurum (the microtransaction currency) for Marks of Favour (earned through daily challenges and normal play) and vice-versa. So if you never want to drop a cent, you can avoid it.
Weapon unlocks, some vanity items, weapon upgrades, the auction house, cosmetic changes, and some undisclosed elements all require Marks of Favour. Aurum, meanwhile, is used for unlocking inventory slots, character slots, progression boosts, bank space, other vanity items, and so forth. Allowing you to exchange between the two means you can always get more Aurum without necessarily spending money, although only time (and player purchases) will tell how generous the exchange rate is.
Remember Runescape: Idle Adventures? Probably not, which is probably a good part of the reason why the game is rather quietly shuttering its doors on May 15th. The farewell letter to the community explains that while the community for the game was solid, people weren’t sticking around to justify the cost of developing new content, which meant the title fell into that perilous trap where there’s no new content, so people leave, so there’s no reason to develop more, etc.
The spinoff launched into early access back in September of last year with microtransactions and a free-to-play business model. Multiplatform development was planned but never materialized. Our apologies to the players who are losing a game they enjoyed and the developers forced to pull the curtains on the project.