otherland

Official Site: Otherland
Studio: Drago Entertainment
Launch Date: Early Access on August 26, 2015
Genre: Sci-Fi Themepark
Business Model: F2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

Massively OP’s Best of 2016 Awards: Biggest MMORPG Disappointment of 2016

Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for the Biggest MMORPG Disappointment of 2016, which was awarded in 2015 to World of Warcraft’s setbacks: Blizzard’s massive sub slide and content drought. Hey, at least it won’t go two in a row!

Disappointments can be games, launches, patches, trends, stories, sunsets, all manner of topics in the MMORPG genre and orbiting sub-genres. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively OP staff pick for Biggest MMORPG Disappointment of 2016 is…

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Global Chat: Is casual raiding in MMORPGs an oxymoron?

Do you scoff, chortle, or sneer when you hear the phrase “casual raiding” among the MMO community? You might be laughing at your own ignorance of modern trends, according to Frank at Overly Positive.

“Led by a movement in games like WoW and others who want to create more inclusive endgame, raids have gradually become more accessible to casual players,” Frank writes, “whether that is from reduction in the required number of raiding players, removal of difficult gated requirements, or the ease by which you find other people to do raids with. Some people might call this a perversion or a ruining of the idea of raiding, but I’d say that it’s more of an evolution of the practice in MMOs.”

Strap yourself in (we’re all about safety here at MOP), because we have a huge tour of the MMO blogosphere today, including a farewell to Chris Metzen, a roast of Angmar, and a visit to one of the most beautiful player homes in online games.

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Perfect Ten: The worst-squandered IPs in online gaming

There are always going to be differences in opinion about what should be done with an IP based upon a franchise. That’s just natural. The same core universe could be used to make a sprawling sandbox with weak combat but a robust non-combat market and profession system, or it could be used to make a combat-focused experience that focuses on energetic fights, nifty story moments, and little else. In both cases, even if you don’t like the end result, you can understand exactly why the IP was used for this.

Our column today is not about those games. No, this is about games that completely failed to make use of their licenses to IPs, produced totles that did not in any way logically follow from the license that was given, or otherwise took pure gold and turned it into something… less than gold. There’s room to debate whether some of these IPs would ever make good MMOs, but boy, the uses we have were pretty bad.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 82: Boldly go

As the team recovers from DragonCon, PAX West, Legion’s launch, and Labor Day, it’s anything but normal around the Massively OP office. It’s fall, and that means that we’re wading into expansion and launch season for MMOs, including a couple of significant titles this past week.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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Betawatch: Dual Universe hits the Kickstarter circuit (September 9, 2016)

This week, Dual Universe started its Kickstarter, and – oh, you’ve already got your checkbook out. Great, it’s half a million for this one. Oh, and it’s going to have a subscription business model, just if that affects your betting odds.

Meanwhile, most of this week’s beta news centered around stuff leaving beta testing. No, really! Just keep reading.

Do we even have a list left below? Of course we do, don’t be silly. Let us know if something on that list managed to slip into a launch or launch-ish state down below in the comments, though. We can’t promise we’ll agree with you, but we can promise that we’ll think of you as very attractive for at least four minutes.

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Otherland moves out of early access and into commercial release

It’s a grand day for the genre-hopping Otherland. The MMO has officially moved out of early access and released as a free-to-play title after a very short open beta period. The title has also returned to Steam after a period offline, which seems to be a habit for the troubled MMO.

All characters and progress in Otherland has been wiped for the launch, and those who bought into the early access program can log in to grab a bundle of bonus rewards for their new avatars.

The dev team said that it has a couple of big patches in the works: “The next major content update will contain an overworked combat system with improved enemy AI for an even more action-loaded gameplay. Also, another larger expansion around Christmas time is already scheduled, with a level cap raise, new quests, and a brand-new world.”

Source: Official forum. Thanks ZenDadaist!

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Betawatch: WoW Legion launches (September 2, 2016)

Boy, it feels like we’ve been waiting for this for a whole year, doesn’t it? World of Warcraft: Legion launched this past week, putting an end to a lengthy major patch drought and also sending everyone out on an island vacation. Or something. There definitely are islands, that much is a certainty. Our impressions are available in three parts covering the opening moments, the order halls and artifacts, and the leveling experience.

Is that not enough news for you? Well, let’s cover some other beta news, then. Come along!

There’s also our usual list just below, complete with games that didn’t make it into actual launch or whatever this week. If something has arguably already launched, i.e. a free-to-play game with no more wipes and a functional cash shop, do let us know if we missed it in the comments. If you have thoughts about a beta you’re playing, let us know that in the comments, too. Actually, let us know if you saw a cool dog on the way to work today. We’re not picky..

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Otherland hits open beta today, launches free-to-play on September 8

The Tad Williams-inspired sci-fi MMO Otherland shuts down today for a week of open beta. When it returns for its planned September 8th launch, it does so as a free-to-play game. Writes Gamigo,

“In preparation for the Open Beta, Otherland has received numerous updates during the previous weeks introducing new functions to the game. The tutorial has been updated, the game’s performance has been fundamentally improved, and various additional quests as well as new factions have been implemented in the story. Most importantly, the extensive crafting system has been completely reworked, with the addition of hundreds of new recipes. The battle system is undergoing a heavy re-design as well: the improved enemy AI will provide an even more action-driven gaming experience that will be further sustained by more fluid motion patterns and revised skill sets.”

The game has already had a weird time on Steam, having disappeared from the platform for a solid two months this past spring. Its early access packs are currently on sale from 30%-50% off their original $19.99-$49.99 prices.

Massively OP’s Andrew scoped out the preview version for us last year, as did Massively OP’s MJ via stream, which we’ve included below.

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Otherland’s latest patch buffs its player-driven economy

Otherland’s 5.5.50 patch this week is a big one for the crafters in its playerbase. “The crafting system has been fully revamped in this patch to make crafted items the backbone of gearing up and steer Otherland towards a more player driven economy,” Drago Entertainment says.

Player crafters will use the SOMA resource in their trade, determining the stats, level, and power of the finished product (or whether it’s purely cosmetic).

“The design goal for the future is to have crafted items being the best items in the game, superior to drops and quest rewards,” the studio says. “Only faction rewards and very rare event driven bosses are intended to be equal or better.”

Source: Steam

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Betawatch: You may completely believe that Otherland is back on Steam (April 1, 2016)

Yes, we’ve all had fun with today’s joke, but you can probably 100% believe the fact that Otherland is back on Steam after a two-month absence. That two-month absence in and of itself is kind of unbelievable, but the fact that it came back is downright plausible. The game has also received a patch after its return, which is a bit more unbelievable, but all the same I hesitate to say that you would not believe it, dear readers. You clearly have a keen eye and a knowledge of what is and is not believable.

Other beta news did indeed happen, which you can probably believe:

Do we have anything more for you? Well, yes, we do; it’s a whole list of things in testing just below. Perhaps you’d like to check those things out down below? And perhaps you’d like to let us know if something slipped into launch without us noticing? And perhaps you’d like to bring us a ham sandwich? Seriously, we like ham sandwiches. No mayo.

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Otherland patch raises level cap to 60 and introduces factions

When Otherland returned to Steam earlier this week, Drago promised that it would soon be accompanied by two sizable updates. Players didn’t have to wait long for the first of these, as Patch 5.5.42 dropped today.

The patch strives to bolster the game in many areas, starting with a level cap increase to 60. The update tour continues with the addition of 90 daily quests, 20 locations, 12 Mars side quests, better tutorial hints, higher enemy difficulty, an overhaul of SOMA drops, and an increase in group size in preparation for the game’s first raid.

Players looking to become part of a team can join one of Otherland’s new factions: “With this patch we are introducing the faction mechanics along with the first three factions: White Army, Red Army, and the Hackers residing in the Bad Sector area below Lambda Mall. Factions come with their own UI to track your reputation progress and we introduce associated daily quests along with it. ”

Source: Patch notes

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Otherland returns to Steam after two-month absence

When you’re in early access, it probably doesn’t help your cause to disappear from the world’s most popular digital games store for months at a time. Otherland has no doubt taken a hit for its absence from Steam since the end of January, but fortunately for the studio and fans alike, the title is now back up on the platform.

“It took quite a while, but Otherland is finally back in the store,” Drago posted. “There are still some smaller issues to deal with like adjusting pricing slightly in some territories and the upgrades from standard edition to deluxe and collector’s edition not showing up in the store, but those should be fixed right after the holidays.”

The studio said that it has a pair of large updates in the works for near future deployment with factions, dailies, a level cap increase, and more. Otherland is available to buy on Steam early access for $20 to $50.

Source: Steam

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Otherland should return to Steam soon

On its webpage, Otherland boldly and repeatedly advertises that it is available on Steam. Well, no it’s not — and it hasn’t been so for some time.

The trouble began back in late January, when Otherland was removed from the Steam store due to developer Drago requesting that the game be moved to a different account. This might have been prompted by talks to change the game to a different publisher. Ultimately, the move was more complicated than the studio anticipated, but Drago reported last weekend that Otherland should be coming back “any day now.”

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