new world

Official Site: New World
Studio: Amazon Game Studios
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: MMORPG Sandbox
Business Model: Unknown
Platform: PC

Chaos Theory: Guide to Secret World’s Illuminati faction

Kirsten Geary. That is almost all you have to say when talking about the Illuminati faction in The Secret World. That’s because the infamous KG (as she signs her memos) is practically the personality of the organization — at least as far as players are concerned. As the player handler, she is the main contact point for everyone putting on the blue. However, there is more to the faction than her. Lots more! Not that I can tell you all of it; that would spoil the game! But I can tell you some, in case you are considering rolling one when Secret World Legends hits the scene.

After laying out the gist of factions last week, I’m shifting my efforts to looking at each one individually. Today we’ll peek behind the curtains of the Illuminati so you can get a look at the inner workings. Don’t worry: I promise to make this as spoiler-free as absolutely possible.

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The Stream Team: Preparing for ARK’s active volcano

Another big change is coming to ARK: a live volcano! Devs have recently added special markers to show what will be changing. Unfortunately for Massively OPs MJ the entire metal production operation is based on the soon to explode mountain, so she and the team need to relocate the dinos and goods before they are destroyed. Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. as the team preps for this new world change.

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 15th, 2017

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The reinvented Guns of Icarus Alliance arrives on Steam with fresh PvE

The reinvented Guns of Icarus Alliance is sailing into a bold new world with its debut on Steam. Players can pick up a copy of this expanded multiplayer airship adventure for $20, or pay a little more for a costume pack and soundtrack to go with it.

So what makes Guns of Icarus Alliance different than its forefather? Basically, the game has gotten away from a strict PvP setting to include a lot of challenging and fun co-op PvE content as well. The team has created new story mechanics, large PvE mission maps, new weapons, additional ships, and a lot of costume and ship cosmetics to unlock.

“If you’ve heard of the previous Guns of Icarus, the PvP game, this is way different,” the studio said in a press release. “Think of it as you and your ragtag crew teaming up with other ships against hordes of enemies controlled by an intelligent AI director.”

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Perfect Ten: Time travel in MMORPGs

Over the years, I’ve been fascinated with the concept of time in MMORPGs. It’s one of those things that developers probably don’t want you thinking about too closely, since it could create a crack in the world illusion that they’ve created. But really, how does time work in these games? Are you forever frozen in the same fixed point in history, advancing only to a new era when a patch or expansion releases? Does the timeline advance only as you go through new quests and hit arbitrary milestones?

Even more fascinating is when developers decide to have a little fun with their storytelling by throwing players into the past and future via time travel. It’s not even strictly for science-fiction games, either; plenty of fantasy MMOs work in time travel at one point or the other. It can be a great way of expanding upon the game’s lore and giving players an insight into events that led up to the modern era.

Today we’re going to look at 10 instances of how MMORPGs have used time travel with reckless regard to paradoxes and splintering the world into millions of alternate universes.

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Amazon job posting reveals New World details

A job listing for a player relations specialist may be inadvertently giving us a glimpse of a few details concerning Amazon’s upcoming New World MMORPG.

Tucked inside the job posting is a description of New World:

New World is a massively multiplayer, open-ended sandbox game that allows you to carve your own destiny with other players in a living, hostile, cursed land. How you play, what you do, and whom you work with or against is up to you. Live on your own amidst the supernatural terrors or join with others to build thriving civilizations. In this evolving world that transforms with the changing of the seasons, weather, and time of day, the only limit is your own ambition.

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Crucible gets Westwood co-founder as its new boss

Hands up: Any Massively OP readers play the crap out of Command & Conquer back in the day? In the ’90s, Westwood Studios was a legend for that series (and how awesome was Red Alert? Here’s the Hell March theme for your Thursday listening pleasure) before the studio was purchased by EA and shuttered.

Well, one of the co-founders of Westwood, Louis Castle, is being given another chance at widespread glory. Castle was recently hired by Amazon Game Studios Seattle to head up the company’s sci-fi multiplayer title Crucible.

Castle told Games Industry that he’s thrilled to get to work on a brand-new IP: “I don’t know too many game developers who would prefer to pursue licensed IP over the chance to create something. The new IP problem space is wide open and the possibilities are endless. I’ve personally had about equal amounts of success in both adapting and building IP.”

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Massively Overthinking: Is the MMORPG genre taking a much-needed breather?

Massively OP donor and commenter Tibi sent this epic question to our podcast and kindly allowed me to share it here instead for maximum impact! Tibi wants us to consider the state of the genre and consider that maybe we’re taking a much-needed breather from the hectic chaos of a few years ago.

“Much has been said and written about the decline and even death of western AAA MMOs, but assuming that New World and future games end up coming out, I am actually happy with this quiet period. It can give already launched games the time to mature and grow into what was originally promised. I doubt that if we were still getting the onslaught of games from a few years back, Elder Scrolls Online could have thrived the way it does today or that The Secret World could have kept its smaller but constant playerbase. There are so many good games out there and it’s great to see them able to keep the lights on and welcome new players who would otherwise have gone chasing the new shiny and miss out. What do you think?”

I posed Tibi’s question to the Massively team for this week’s Overthinking, but they were all too busy playing quiet MMOs! Just kidding. Batter up!

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Check out these gorgeous New World screenshots

Ever since last September’s surprise announcement that Amazon Game Studios was actually building a sandbox MMORPG called New World, we have been dying to know more about it. As the relative lack of coverage on this site might suggest, the studio hasn’t really been promoting it past that initial press release.

However, a sharp-eyed fan noticed that the company did put two new screenshots for the game some time recently on the Amazon Lumberyard page. The first picture shows a lush forest setting while the second gives an idea of what a settlement might look like in those early colonial days.

Recently, Amazon put ex-Daybreak CEO John Smedley in charge of a new studio and different mystery project in San Diego. Check out the screenshots after the jump and let us know what you think in the comments!

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Shards Online’s always-on alpha is now live

Citadel Studios’ MMORPG Shards Online has formally launched its alpha today. “Alpha for a game like this means we’ve pretty much got all the major systems working cohesively, and that we’ve got a lot of the game’s launch content nailed down,” CEO Derek Brinkmann says. “We’ve hit all the major milestones from our Kickstarter, and we’re finally ready to keep the servers up 24/7. By no means is our work done, but we’re at a point now where we really think we’ve delivered on promise that was made during our Kickstarter campaign.”

If you’ve ever played the game on a trial key in the past, your trial has been renewed for the weekend. If you aren’t one of those lucky souls, then you can either back the game ($40) to get in or enter to win a trial key from us right here, as Citadel has granted Massively OP 100 keys for this weekend’s alpha test, which we’ll be raffling off in time for you to hop in tomorrow. Read on to enter to win (and to check out the brand-new trailer)!

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Massively Overthinking: Hopes and wishes for MMORPGs in the new year

One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It’s way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.

But all the same, for tonight’s Massively Overthinking, we’d like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2017 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.

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The most popular MMORPG conversations of 2016

Last week, we posted a rundown of the most popular MMORPG articles of 2016, calculated strictly by the number of pageviews they got. Today, we’re going to take a look at the most popular articles of 2016 as measured by comments, which provides an entirely different overview of the year and the genre. The other list was stuff you clicked on, but this? This is the stuff you cared enough about to comment on — and boy did you ever.

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MMO Year in Review: A whole New World (September 2016)

This year, we’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2017.

Everyone knew that Amazon Game Studios was working on an MMO, but not many people truly believed the game would be a true sandbox called New World, complete with the unapologetic MMORPG label attached. Surprise!

Meanwhile, the community reeled over the retirement of Blizzard’s Chris Metzen, rioted over ARK: Survival Evolved’s attempt to sell an expansion from its early access corner, and revolted over Chronicles of Elyria’s bid for more dough.

Read on for the whole list!

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Perfect Ten: Biggest MMORPG surprises of 2016

Back at the beginning of December, I posted a list of what I considered to be the biggest MMORPG stories of 2016. However, there were notable exceptions in that list of news that fans thought should be included. Unbeknownst to them but knownst to me, I had a second list in the works: the biggest MMO surprises of 2016.

That’s right! Today we’re going to revisit all of the big news that pretty much nobody saw coming (and if they say they did, they’re lying, but let them have it – it’s what they live for in this internet age). Being surprised by this genre is one of the reasons why I love writing for Massively OP — you never quite know what will pop up on any given day.

Sure, some surprises are sour and unwelcome, but others can be delightful and exciting. We’ve got both on this list, so let’s wrap up this year by seeing what stories gave us double-takes and were the buzz on everyone’s lips!

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