Each player in Aurora will take command of an upgradable space station, from which ships can be dispatched to gather resources and capture territory. You’ll find yourself on a star map with other players doing the exact same, and can forge alliances, form corporations, and betray other players just like in EVE. The goal is to fight for possession of ancient artifacts in the centre of the map that you can then use to fix a broken ancient stargate and move onto the next map. Each jump brings you one step closer to the ultimate goal of reaching the center of the galaxy — I’ll take a pause here for those currently experiencing No Man’s Sky flashbacks.
no man’s sky
Official Site: No Man’s Sky
It’s been a year since the disastrous and controversial launch of No Man’s Sky, a game with failings that included, among many others, a lack of multiplayer when it specifically advertised itself as such.
But has the space exploration game finally arrived now that it’s sitting on several patches is far more robust than its launch incarnation? Virtual Bastion thinks this may be the case.
“The new updates, Atlas Rises included, appear to build greatly upon the simple notion of giving players things to do, from crafting homes to completing actual missions. Certainly, the game isn’t perfect: Slow progression is still a problem, dreadful inventory management remains, and promised in-game multiplayer has yet to be realized, but the fact remains that No Man’s Sky on August 2017 is a far cry from No Man’s Sky of August 2016.”
Dual Universe just snagged a positively massive cash injection. According to a press release posted today, private investors have poured $3.7 million in funding into the sci-fi sandbox MMORPG. That’s in addition to the more than $630,000 the game raised on Kickstarter less than a year ago (a haul that at the time earned the game the title of third most funded video game on Kickstarter that year). Napkin math says the game picked up another $3M in between through on-site fundraising and possibly earlier investment.
Oh, and unlike a lot of games that snap up the “MMO” label, this one actually deserves it.
Remember all the fuss a year ago when No Man’s Sky finally launched and the multiplayer features Hello Games’ Sean Murray had teased (and the “online play” feature apparently hidden under a sticker on the gamebox) didn’t actually materialize, disappointing millions of players and contributing to a regulation investigation? We sure do, as it was really the only reason we covered the game at all.
Good news, though: It looks as if we’re getting what we paid for after all, just, you know, a year later. When the NMS update Atlas Rises launches, it brings with it “joint exploration,” a feature that sure sounds lot like co-op multiplayer, though Hello isn’t using that exact term.
“Glitches in the simulation have begun to appear. Visualised by strange floating orbs, up to 16 players can see and communicate with one another, and explore the universe together. While interaction with others is currently very limited, this is an important first step into the world of synchronous co-op in No Man’s Sky. While interaction is very limited, VOIP (Voice over IP) allows proximity based voice chat with other nearby explorers. Use portals to quickly travel to more populated planets, or to meet up with friends.”
There’s plenty more in the update, of course, but this is the bit that got our eyebrows waggling. If you owned it before, are you plugging back in for this?
No Man’s Sky is due for its third freebie patch, and it’s coming this very week.
“We’re calling it Atlas Rises,” Hello Games says in an email that hit owners’ inboxes yesterday. “It focuses on improving the central story of No Man’s Sky and adds the ability to quick travel between locations using portals. Patch notes will be made available shortly before the update goes live. What we do is much more important than what we say, but since launch we have sometimes focused too much on that.”
No patch notes yet, but the studio does comment on the Waking Titan ARG it’s been running, which dovetails into this patch with the portals that will finally become functional.
Elite Dangerous’ David Braben has a big spread in Rolling Stone’s Glixel blog this week, and it’s a fun read as he zips around discussing Trappist-1, Roman slavery, Star Wars, ant society, Shakespeare, Ursula Le Guin, computer science jobs, and the future of humanity. It’s a whirlwind, but he does eventually get around to talking about Elite itself, admitting that while the game will never achieve “perfection,” it’s “definitely approaching” his ideal space game, as “accurate as we can possibly make it.”
“When we first greenlit Elite: Dangerous, there were no other major space games since Freelancer,” he says. “Now, there are dozens. So, I think we’ve succeeded. We’ve brought the genre back to life. And we’ve proven there’s quite a lot of demand for this sort of game. Yes, it’s niche, but it’s quite a big niche. And we’ve got [Star Citizen’s] Chris Roberts coming along now, and so many other games that look interesting. No Man’s Sky, even.”
He also argues that free-to-play is a “challenge” to online communities and instancing in MMOs.
Veteran Massively OP reader Miol says he’s exhausted by a recent string of stories in which MMO companies screw gamers over, one after another: ARK Survival Evolved, Albion Online, Skyforge, and now Black Desert all figure into his list, just from the last week.
“I want to ask what more can gamers do to protect themselves and everyone else as consumers than speak up? It feels exhausting to always stay vigilant and feel upset all the time, since games, as an everchanging medium, give devs so many opportunities to screw us over with every single patch or update. And the worst immediate consequence seems many times a meek apology for what they’ve done, only for them to try out something different that maybe could go over unnoticed.
“You guys have reported about this UK watchdog group ASA, who investigated No Man’s Sky, but even they dismissed the tons of complaints about false advertising. Steam did declare some changes to advertising on their platform, but I still don’t see them taken place. If even those big negative stories don’t have that much of an impact, what hope is there for all the smaller communities, spread thin globally? There was a recent wave of gamers imploring each other to not pre-order, but that ebbed away fast enough, when the next shiny pre-order advantages over other players were presented. But even so, this still can’t protect you from what may happen after the launch!
“As said by Bree many times: Merely quitting won’t help either, as the studio will never know why most of the times. But also sending feedback for nine whole days didn’t help Skyforge players to make its devs to scramble! So what else could we do? Or should we just take rotating shifts to call them out?”
We’ll take the first shift right here in Overthinking.
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.
- Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind is 25% off, with even steeper discounts for the larger bundles.
- Black Desert is 20% off.
- Final Fantasy XIV’s bundle and standalone are on sale, but Stormblood alone is not.
- It’d be criminal not to try Trove; its starter pack and DLC are up to 90% off.
- All of TERA’s Steam packs are 50% off.
- Skyforge boosters are up to half off.
- Shroud of the Avatar is $19.99.
- A couple of RIFT’s packs are half off.
- Final Fantasy XI’s mega bundle is half off.
- ArcheAge’s starter pack is 10 bucks.
- EVE Online’s editions are half off.
- Elite Dangerous is half off, give or take depending on the edition.
- Some of Riders of Icarus’ packages are up to half off.
- A bunch of Marvel Heroes’ packs are 40% off.
One of the indie highlights of this weekend’s pre-E3 show was Ashen, a beautiful survival sandbox with a former Guild Wars 2 artist on board at studio Aurora44. It’s not quite an MMORPG, but it’s promising what it’s calling “passive multiplayer” in a “seamless multiplayer” mode — a bit like what No Man’s Sky promised and failed to deliver — though you can opt to play solo too. It’s reminding me more of the Myst franchise or Wander in that it’s a survival sandbox framed by mystery and open-world exploration and relationship-building, not so much by the now-tropish parade of murderous zombies, dinosaurs, or other players (which is not to imply it’s not stuffed with danger, mind you!).
It’s expected to be a Microsoft exclusive, meaning PC and Xbox One release only, and that includes the newly announced Xbox One X. Peek at the trailer down below.
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 MechWarrior Online, Guild Wars 2, EverQuest II, Cabal Online, EVE Valkyrie, Paragon, Second Life, Luna Online, Atelier Online, Final Fantasy XI, Legend of Ancient Sword Online, No Man’s Sky, Heroes of the Storm, Art of Conquest, Dreadnought, Overwatch, SINoALICE, Blade and Soul, Pokemon Go, and Eternal Crusade, all waiting for you after the break!
If No Man’s Sky didn’t exactly scratch your itch for multiplayer interplanetary exploration, mining, and crafting, then Astroneer is suiting up right now to take a stab at this format with all sorts of lovely soft pastel visuals and a quirky feel.
The team posted its development roadmap this week that traces the project’s main goals from Astroneer’s current pre-alpha status all of the way to launch. Currently, the team is tackling some of the large, essential “boulders” that will make up the core systems, which are broken down into more manageable “rocks” to allow for progress.
There were also hints dropped about possible features, such as themed spacesuit designs: “Without giving too much away, one can already begin to speculate about all the ways planet-themed unlockable suits might add to multiple areas on this roadmap, like the research system, crafting, customization, and others.”
As Massively OP is centered on the “massively” part of gaming, it makes sense that my first guide to survival games was focused on multiplayer titles. Similarly, The Survivalist will mostly (but not always!) concern itself with the multiplayer games in the survival genre. However, after researching this topic, I felt that not highlighting the single-player offerings would be a serious disservice to the genre. There are occasions when you want to test your survival mettle without the interference of other players; sometimes you just want to live or die on your own merits and not at the hands of someone elses decisions. Besides that, some of these titles — like Subnautica — offer an awesome premise you can’t get elsewhere.
Ready to survive on your own? Here’s a a taste of a number of games you can dive into when you want to scratch that survival itch in private.
Last week, No Man’s Sky patched in the option to build rovers for quickly traversing the landscape. That’s just a good thing, right? After all, it means that you could hop from place to place without having to use up fuel on your ship. Except that for some reason, the geobays required for these rovers could only be built on your home planet, meaning that you couldn’t use them at all on any new world you discovered. In other words, a great new tool for exploring strange new worlds could not be used to explore strange new worlds.
Whether this was an accident or an oversight is unclear, but either way, it’s been changed now. Players can now build geobays on new worlds, meaning you can hop in and start exploring with faster movement wherever you wind up. Or you can just put on an appropriate soundtrack and start crushing the local wildlife underneath your exploratory vehicle’s wheels. It’s all up to you, it’s your playground.