There was not one, but two big gaming conventions this past weekend, and Massively OP reporters were on the ground at both PAX East and EVE Fanfest! Join us for a lively and informative hour of con reports from Eliot and Brendan. What can they glean about the future of MMOs from these shows? Find out!
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.
Master x Master
might very well be the MOBA that I learn to love in spite of any and all preconceptions.
I am not, categorically, a fan of MOBAs. This is not news. It’s not a moral stance of any sort; the genre, as a whole, just holds very little appeal. Master x Master had that to overcome right from the starting gate, along with the reality that the game’s very nature didn’t sound to appealing. A mascot-based MOBA based on NCsoft properties, most of which have very little resonance for me in the first place? I can live without that.
Walking away from the demo I had with the game, I’m humming an altogether different tune. The game actually exists in an odd hybrid space between MOBA gameplay, twin-stick shooters, and cooperative ARPG gameplay in more ways than one, and its “mascot” nature has been vastly overstated. What I’ve seen and played thus far is smart, fun, and almost everything I would have asked for from a genre that I normally don’t have much interest in.
It might seem as if Shroud of the Avatar has been in early access for a very long time, probably because it has. Technically, it’s still in an early access state. But according to Richard Garriott, whom I spoke to at this year’s PAX East, a great deal of that has to do with the fact that our traditional terms for test phases have little to no meaning any longer. The game is on Release 28, its servers have been up aside from scheduled maintenance for more than a year, there have been no unexpected patches of downtime. In every way, it’s ready for something closer to release.
So this year is the year of its “release,” but it’s also not really that big of a change. In July, the final character wipe will take place, freeing players from any concern of lost data and marking the de facto launch of the MMO side of the game. By December, the first episode of the game’s story content will be fully released. At that point, the game is out and it’s launched, so if you want to mark your calendars accordingly, it’s 2016 as the year of the launch.
The development history of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen could be generously described as “checkered.” The title went through several forms of failed crowdfunding and repeatedly seemed as if it might go the way of the dodo… but it pulled through and is still going strong. And at PAX East 2016, I had the chance to sit down with Brad McQuaid and ask him some questions about the game’s development as well as what led to the game’s early crowdfunding messes.
The short version? Startup companies are hard. McQuaid explained that he was a bit more ambitious than he should have been, expected things out of a Kickstarter that he should not have expected from a point in the game’s development that was far earlier than it should have been. That was his mistake, and in the long run, he sees that as something that can be fixed, that no one will notice the earlier issues if the team at Visionary Realms works together to make a great game when all is said and done.
People who know me know that if there’s just one thing in this world that I’m passionate about, it’s probably robots. Robots are a big deal to me. I like robots. I also have no small amount of affection for shared co-op experiences and twin-stick shooters. In theory, Livelock
should be, well, a lock. It’s not a hard sell for me to have customizable robots I can smash stuff with.
Whilst I was flitting about Boston for this year’s PAX East, I had a chance to actually play the game. And the end result was a game that I was not, in fact, quite as on-board with as I might have expected. But not because the game was bad — just because of lots of niggling little details here and there.
Livelock is a real departure from form for Perfect World Entertainment, a buy-to-play title that can at least theoretically be played completely offline and single-player. The demo on the floor, quite sensibly, was focused around players taking on a co-op level and smashing through lots of enemy robots together. The demo walked players through a number of miniboss fights, but it ended just before fighting the big boss, complete with some leaderboards for people who did well at the demo.
How many cooperative airship piloting simulators are there in the marketplace at the moment? The answer is that there’s basically just the one, and Guns of Icarus could probably rest on those laurels alone. Instead, the developers have rolled out new ships and guns on the show floor at PAX East 2016, giving players a taste of some of the new stuff being added to the game as it continues through the development cycle.
The new ships are the Mercantile Magnate (a maneuverable ship with many fields of fire), the Chaladonian Shrike (maneuverable and well-equipped to put out a broadside but with a fragile frame), the Fjord Baronies Crusader (a ship with powerful weapons that necessitates an expert crew), and the Anglean Corsair (a durable broadside ship with a complex engineering layout). New guns include a gas cloud launcher, a swarm missile launcher, and a focusing laser for ripping through light armor. There are also new enemy boss ships and AI crew members to fill out rosters. Check out a new trailer and screenshots for the game just below.
If you think you’ve seen everything that Final Fantasy XIV
has in its bag of tricks, the game’s Q&A panel at PAX
yesterday made it clear that it has plenty of new stuff in the wings. The panel revealed that patch 3.35 will add in the brand-new Palace of the Dead, a labyrinth crawling with the undead that’s unlike any other content currently in the game, starting with the fact that it’s a randomized soloable dungeon with its own level progression system.
Of course, that wasn’t revealed until the end of the panel rather than the beginning; there was enough to keep fans excited just on the basis of the panel serving as the game’s first ever live Q&A session in North America. Director and producer Naoki Yoshida, loremaster Christopher Koji-Fox, and community manager Matt Hilton took the stage to answer player questions while letting everyone know what was coming around the bed for players to look forward to.
At PAX East
this weekend, Ditigal Extremes
revealed a ton of incoming Warframe
content, including a gorgeous new fairy warframe concept (“with razor butterflies” and “fairy dust powers”), the Vauban Prime warframe variant (due late spring), a new arena event, exosuit sentient baddies, and the Lunaro Conclave mode, which is intended as a “sports” game with new mechanics.
We’ve included the full panel and the highlight reel as well as several other new videos below.
From its community event at this year’s PAX East, ZeniMax announced today that the recently teased Dark Brotherhood DLC lands on Elder Scrolls Online’s public test server on Monday; presumably, it’s launching for PC sooner rather than later.
Daybreak has just posted a new trailer for DC Universe Online’s Xbox One release. The company announced the Xbox One edition back in January; it’s intended to launch this spring. Cross-play between the PC, PlayStation3, and PlayStation 4 is already live.
The team is showing off how the game plays on the console at PAX this weekend.
If the voiceover on this “premium digital game” LawBreakers trailer sounds familiar, that’s because it’s Ice-T, whom Nexon has dubbed the “OG lawbreaker.” I love this job.
The trailer heralds sign-ups for the upcoming public alpha and the PAX East demo — they’re in booth #5116 if you happen to be at the con!
“LawBreakers is a first-person shooter in which even the laws of physics can be shattered, creating intense gravity-based combat and resulting in an ever-evolving and bloody arena. Set in a futuristic rebuilt America, players will choose whether to kill for the nobility of the “Law,” or go out for blood as a “Breaker,” as they take part in the conflict raging across iconic locations including the boiling oceans off the Santa Monica coastline, to a gravity ravaged Grand Canyon and nearly unrecognizable Mount Rushmore.”
The next week may be crucial to the future of ROKH, a persistent survival sandbox that happens to be set on Mars. Darewise Entertainment announced yesterday that it will be demoing the game at PAX East this weekend in the Kickstarter Arcade room. The demo will thrust a team of two into a a 155-square mile map of the Red Planet with the challenge to survive as long as possible.
Speaking of Kickstarter, Darewise is prepping a Kickstarter campaign for ROKH that will commence in early May. Will the exposure from PAX East help build momentum for the crowdfunding effort? We’ll see soon, but until then you can check out ROKH’s Kickstarter teaser video below.
If you haven’t noticed, we’re currently in the middle of another game development trend, this time centered around making survival action games. Can’t go two steps around here without one tripping you up, really. And here’s another contender, coming at you live during PAX East this week: Let It Die.
Created by Grasshopper Manufacture, Let It Die is a “crazy survival action game” that appears to take place in some sort of future dystopia. We don’t know much about the game itself past what we can deduce from its trailer, but we can say that Let It Die definitely skews to the gruesome end of the spectrum. Also, you can eat live, squirming rats for health.
We’ve got the PAX announcement video and teaser trailer below, although you should be warned that both are rather bloody.