Earlier this week, we wrote about Black Desert developer Pearl Abyss’ IPO and its grand plans for the future – among them, four additional MMOs. Sounds great, right? Except that the suspicion, at least in our comments, is that Pearl Abyss will just follow in the footsteps of Nexon, NCsoft, and Netmarble in that the games will mobile MMOs and not “real” MMORPGs at all. That may or may not be true; the games have fairly fast turnaround for a full-scale MMORPG, but then the company talked up the BDO engine for future games and expressed great ambition in the MMORPG market in the west and on console.
But the suspicion seems to turn off so many of us — the stigma is real. So for today’s Overthinking, I wanted to dig into that. Do you play mobile MMOs, especially any of the modern crop that are popular in East Asia and then ported here? What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs, and what would you want out of an MMO for a mobile device that would actually make you consider it a home MMORPG?
SMITE and Paladins studio Hi-Rez is thanking players today for their efforts in raising funds for the victims of the 2017 hurricane season.
“Earlier this month SMITE and Paladins players around the world contributed to the efforts to support those that have been affected by the devastation left in wake of Hurricane Harvey. Hi-Rez Studios hosted special promotions for its online games SMITE and Paladins where players could purchase in-game cosmetic items with a portion of the proceeds going to hurricane relief. Together the online communities for these two games raised $76,000 which Hi-Rez has donated to the Red Cross for hurricane relief efforts.”
The money raised is a sliver of the $1,401,749 Hi-Rez and its players have earmarked for charity since 2012. “The Atlanta based studio is grateful to its players for contributing to
charitable efforts that help others in need,” the PR says.
Just because SMITE
weren’t available to play at PAX West
doesn’t mean that there wasn’t stuff to learn about the games from Hi-Rez!
I got the low down on Hi-Rez projects from Scott Zier, who is VP of Design at Hi-Rez as well as executive producer of Hand of the Gods. We touched on multiple topics, from the flagship MOBA and the shooter to the MIA mobile title and the new mobile title. As Zier said, the studio always has a number of projects going at any one time: “We’re very much a multi-game studio.”
While the full Hi-Rez portfolio wasn’t in attendance at PAX West, Hand of the Gods was on-hand with a fan tournament as well as machines to introduce folks to the game. Devs were also available to discuss this tactical SMITE spinoff. I sat down with Lead designer Scott Lussier and Executive Producer and VP of Design Scott Zier to talk about the game’s name, its progress, the reception at the convention, and plans going forward.
In fact, one of the tidbits Lussier shared is that the Japanese pantheon is next on the list after Hindu is released later this month.
From FarmVille to VR to e-sports: Facebook is gunning for whatever the kids are into these days.
At least that’s the takeaway from Hi-Rez’s announcement today. Following last week’s reveal that it’s putting together a WESA-backed 10-member Premier League for Paladins e-sports, Hi-Rez announced today that it’ll be streaming the content from that league exclusively with Facebook Live, complete with a “weekly Paladins Esports Show on Watch, Facebook’s new platform for shows [that] will bring news, insights and analysis of the competitive scene.”
As GI.biz points out, Facebook’s already booked “5,500 hours of ESL’s tournament coverage, 1,000 hours of Wargaming’s esports content, and four monthly broadcasts from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” though Facebook’s Leo Olebe tells the publication the social media empire’s involvement is more about altruism than profit, at least for now.
“At Facebook, we always talk about building amazing things first and then figure out how to turn it into something economically viable at the end of the road,” he says.
Blizzard isn’t the only studio having a go at a massive pro league for its star shooter: Hi-Rez announced this morning what it’s calling a Premier League (PPL) for Paladins, in collaboration with the World eSports Association (WESA).
“The inaugural season of this professional Paladins PC League will begin fall 2017 with participation of ten WESA Member teams including EnVyUS, Fnatic, G2 Esports, mouseports, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Renegades, SK Gaming, Splyce and Virtus.Pro. The PPL will be the second professional esports competition played under WESA guidance. […] As part of the launch of the league, Hi-Rez Studios has partnered with WESA to split league revenues with participating teams, and to guarantee a minimum salary to players. These measures, combined with the global reach of the 10 WESA teams, give the PPL an exciting foundation from which to grow.”
We’ll be chatting with Hi-Rez at PAX this weekend, so stay tuned for more.
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!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Paladins Strike, Warface, Monster Hunter World, Heroes and Generals, Pirate101, Trove, Skyforge, The Black Death, Star Trek Online, EverClicker, Neverwinter, Just Survive, Dauntless, Battlejack, Dungeon Fighter Online, League of Legends, Hyper Universe, Dark Age of Camelot, MU Origin, MU Legend, EVE Online, Age of Wushu, State of Decay 2, Dota 2, Splatoon, and Starcraft Remastered, all waiting for you after the break!
In the pantheon of SOE’s (now Daybreak) flagship EverQuest franchise, there used to be a whole family of MMOs gathered around the table every evening. There was Papa EverQuest, looking a little wrinkled and worn but also radiating fame and authority. Next to him was Mama EverQuest II, a powerful matron of entertainment. And EverQuest Next used to be a twinkle in their eyes before it was extinguished.
Then, in the next room over was a cabinet. The cabinet was locked. Inside that cabinet used to be a weird abnormality that certainly looks like a member of the family, but one that hadn’t seen the light of day in quite some time. This member subsisted on the scraps of an aging console and the fading loyalty of fans, hoping against odds that one day he’d be allowed out for a stroll or something. His name was EverQuest Online Adventures, the EverQuest MMO nobody mentions.
EQOA was a strange abnormality in SOE’s lineup. While it was one of the very first console MMOs and heir to the EverQuest name, it was quickly eclipsed in both areas by other games and left alone. Yet, against all odds, it continued to operate on the PlayStation 2 for the better part of a decade before its lights were turned off. Today, let’s look at this interesting experiment and the small cult following it created.
is busy doing all the things, with hoopla in all three of its modern games today. (Sorry, Global Agenda
Over in SMITE, the studio is getting ready to reveal Artio, the Bear Goddess, on its afternoon livestream, along with the next phase of Project Olympus, the MOBA’s far-reaching overhaul patch series that began implementation earlier this summer.
You just know that whenever another MMO is attempting to have a bright and bold day full of announcement joy, Blizzard is compelled to come along and slap you until your attention turns back to its games. So forget everything else that’s going on today and revel in the fact that World of Warcraft’s third wing of Tomb of Sargeras, Chamber of the Avatar, is now unlocked on the raid finder. That’s a lot of green!
Over on the patchy side of the game, the dev team hotfixed several class tuning changes for PvP and PvE. The big winners of the buffing roulette are Frost Death Knights, Protection Paladins, and Retribution Paladins. The team also decreased the health of Kil’jaeden and the Fallen Avatar in the new raid to help players clear mythic difficulty.
Hi-Rez took the floor of DreamHack Valencia in Spain today for announcements across its stable of games.
First, the renamed online TCG Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics has kicked off its open beta, meaning it’s accessible for everyone now. It’s also launched a 70-card Venus Competitor’s Pack that includes a crossover Aphrodite skin in SMITE.
itself, the team announced Project Olympus, a “new initiative intended to improve core game features and further polish” the MOBA over the next three updates. Expect “major” engine upgrades, improved 64-bit client support, HUD and controller improvements for console, better in-game tutorials, and post-level-30 prestige levels.
Paladins introduced new support toon Jenos, the Ascended, and revealed the Splitstone Quarry map.
During the event, SMITE and Paladins players will be going head to head in multiple competitions with a combined prize pool of over $200,000.
Is your Paladins’ mount feeling stale? Is that old gray mare not what she used to be? Well today just might be your lucky day to change all that! Massively OP’s MJ has a special realm pack to give away that includes the new Frostmare Mount as well as a seven-day booster, 10 radiant chests, and two flair chests. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. for your chance to win!
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 5th, 2017
Paladins’ Sunsational patch — yeah, it’s really called that! — is live this week in the open beta with lots of summer goodies, a Fourth of July theme, and bans! For cheaters, that is. To celebrate the update, Hi-Rez has granted us a bundle of keys for Realm Packs, which each grant a seven-day booster, 10 radiant chests, two flair chests, as well as the new Frostmare Mount.
Read on to enter to win!