EVE Online gives love to planetary interaction, looks back at an all-female pirate gang

Creating and maintaining planetary colonies in EVE Online isn’t exactly new, as the system dates back to 2010. But the developers have deemed it high past time that they give this creaky system some love with the upcoming Into the Abyss expansion.

“Most of the changes are aimed at making setup and maintenance of your colonies less painful, especially when it comes to all the clicking that is currently involved in setting up a colony,” CCP said in a dev blog on the system. Lots of changes to planetary interaction are in the works, including a new planetary colonies window to help you keep track of your projects.

And while things get ordered down on the surfaces of planets, out in space it’s still the anything-goes sandbox that EVE has always been. One interesting piece of the game’s history that was recently documented by PC Gamer was the story of the Hellcats, an all-female fleet that pushed back against the notion that the MMO is strictly a game for men. The fleet only ran for two-years, but its legacy still lives on today.


NetEase’s Age of Exploration MMO Ocean Legend sets sail for mobile

Multiple new-to-us games calling themselves MMORPGs seem to land on mobile devices every week these days. On our radar today is Ocean Legend. Live on iOS and Android in some soft launch beta hybrid mode, it’s a swashbuckling “Age of Exploration” MMO that’s a mix of Sea of Thieves and Pirates of the Burning Sea and Sword of the New World. Here’s NetEase’s pitch:

“Players take part in the growing naval empires of 15th and 16th century Europe. Choose between four different characters and five separate countries for your own oceanic adventure in the Age of Exploration! In single player mode, join Columbus and his shipmates on their third expedition, battle against pirates, then set out on your own to make a name for yourself as commander of your own fleet.”

Exploration is accomplished through “Cards of Discovery” – History, Theology, Architecture, Art, Biology, and Geography – each of which “opens up a new world of knowledge for players, and an opportunity to travel more and face new challenges, like difficult weather conditions, real navigation, and even other players in multi-player mode.”

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WoW Factor: Speculative classes for the future of WoW

If Allied Races show us anything, it’s that World of Warcraft is really in no danger of running out of new races to throw at us. This particular system is adding nearly twice as many new races in one expansion as we’ve had added during the entirety of the game’s lifespan thus far, there’s another one that looks to be set up for this as well (hello there, Vulpera), and there’s a deep roster of other options that people have asked to have for ages. Yes, it would take some work to retrofit Vrykul and Ogres, but considering the work going into new male orc poses, Zandalari Trolls, and Kul Tiran Humans, it is definitely not insurmountable work.

Of course, as I alluded to a while back, we sort of have a disconnect right now where we’ve got far more race options than class options. And while we’re awash in races, we seem to be in danger of running out of classes that can’t be pretty cleanly modeled by what’s already in the game. That doesn’t mean we can’t get any new classes, of course, but it’s hard to justify the inclusion of a Pirate class when we already have a Rogue spec doing everything such a class would theoretically offer. The inclusion of mechanical Hunter pets alone basically short-circuited talk about “Engineer” as a class.

Not that this means we’re out of options, of course; in fact, there’s still plenty of things left in the bank of known or reasoned class options that we can’t play just yet. So let’s talk about some of those options, and along the way I’m sure we can fit in some fun discussions about the difference between classes and hero classes.

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Shroud of the Avatar ruins its armor on purpose and reveals cinematic storyboard

When Shroud of the Avatar said that it is developing worn and rusty armor and weapons to meet player demand for such things, it may sound, well, downright strange. Yet when you think about it, there is an appeal to wearing and sporting gear that has a “lived in” look instead of immacuately perfect and shiny outfits.

As such, worn, rusted, tattered, and dirty armor will start to be dropped with Shoud of the Avatar’s Release 53. The team said that players can either equip these or salvage them for patterns.

Generating dirty laundry for a future patch isn’t all the team is doing these days. Work progresses on new scenes, including the village of Eastmarch (and surrounding areas), the pirate haven of Penmawr Island, and the besieged town of Tenebris Harbor.

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Sea of Thieves corrects its course with six planned content patches for 2018

The widespread criticisms that Sea of Thieves is rather lacking in the content department has not fallen upon deaf ears at Rare. The studio most certainly is feeling the pressure to give its antsy pirates more to do, and in a recent 14-minute developer diary, plans are put forth to make it happen.

Three content updates are planned to roll out over the next few months, followed by another three this fall. First up is “The Hungering Deep,” which will arrive in early may and add a new world event, more rewards, and a sinister new threat. “Cursed Sails” comes after that with a new type of ship, followed by “Forsaken Shores” and a fresh region of the world to explore.

In addition to the three content updates, Rare said that it will try to run weekly events. This all comes at a price, as the team’s shifted focus will delay the rollout of ship captaincy and pets.

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EVE Fanfest 2018: EVE Online’s upcoming ‘Into the Abyss’ expansion sounds incredible

While player capsuleers are undoubtedly the most powerful force in EVE Online, there are some pretty scary NPCs lurking in the depths of space. One of those threats has just been unearthed throughout New Eden with the discovery of The Triglavian Collective, an ancient and twisted offshoot of the human race found in tiny pockets of space cut off from the rest of the universe. EVE Online players will soon be able to invade these pockets of Abyssal Deadspace and face the collective in the upcoming “Into the Abyss” expansion coming on May 29th.

At EVE Fanfest 2018, CCP revealed a huge set of interconnected new features revolving around ancient Triglavian ships and Abyssal Deadspace pockets. Players will hunt through these bizarre new environments filled with unpredictable dangers that get more challenging the further you go, and with increased challenge comes some incredible rewards. You’ll find blueprints for powerful Triglavian ships, an incredible new weapon system ominously named the Entropic Disintegrator, and organic mutaplasmids that can transform your existing modules into powerful Abyssal versions.

Read on to find out who the Triglavian Collective are, what the deal is with Abyssal Deadspace, and why the “Into The Abyss” expansion could be incredible for solo PvE players.

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Pirates plunder Shroud of the Avatar

Way back when websites were a new and marvelous thing, creators often slapped a yellow “under construction” icon on them to indicate what should have been blindingly obvious — that what you see wasn’t the final, finished result.

Despite launching last month, Shroud of the Avatar remains “under construction,” as are all online games in development. As work continues apace on Release 53 for later this month, the team is crafting several new and improved zones, including the player village of Eastmarch, the pirate-infested Penmawr Island, and the recently plundered Tenebris Harbor.

The team is also throwing a launch screenshot contest “to highlight all the moments of beauty, virtue, danger, and wondrous discoveries that inhabit the land.” Prizes include titles, pets, and in-game currency.


Jukebox Heroes: Five great YouTube channels for MMO music

As a collector and reviewer of MMORPG soundtracks, I owe a great debt to fellow music lovers who take the time to somehow extract files from the game directories and make these tracks available to the world at large. YouTube has been an invaluable treasure trove of MMO music, thanks to these devoted fans, and I thought I would give some of them props today for their hard and continuing work.

While there are plenty of channels where you might see a person post a playlist at one point for a single game, there are a handful of YouTubers who see their mission to continually post new music for ongoing online games. Today we are going to look at five channels and the game soundtracks that they cover. We’re talking hours and hours of music at your fingertips here, so set aside your plans for the rest of the day and get listening!

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One Shots: Fun with filters

You know all of those weird filter effects that you have in your photo editing software? There always seems to be a stigma against using them, mostly because they’re very noticeable and showy. But today, let’s cast off that stigma and just have some fun, eh? After all, this is a column that begins every week with a black-and-white version of the headlining photo.

And that photo this week is from Deekay, who showcases the lighter side of life in Sea of Thieves. “Finally a selfie of my pirate as she dances on the bowsprit!” he write.

One leg, choppy seas. There is no way that she didn’t fall overboard and drown about thirty seconds after that screenshot was taken.

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Wizard101 plans its 10-year anniversary while Pirate101 grooms Handsome Dan

With the 10th anniversary of Wizard101 approaching, the team at KingsIsle is squirreling itself away behind closed doors to plan a grand soiree. We don’t know the details of this party yet, but fans have the go-ahead to get excited about this “grand celebration.”

Over at sister game Pirate101, the team is adding “a little more flair” to the bulldog Handsome Dan and is promoting the 101 games Fansite Festival that’s taking place on April 15th around both games. You’ll want to check out the events page to see what the community is doing.

The KingsIsle team recently went to SXSW and had a lot of fun showing off its roster of games. Check it out after the break!

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EVE Evolved: Get ready for EVE Fanfest 2018!

There’s just a week and a half to go before EVE Fanfest 2018, the biggest event in the EVE Online social calendar. The event kicks off on April 12th and will celebrate EVE‘s upcoming 15th anniversary, a major milestone for any online game. This year we’re anticipating juicy details on the next step in EVE Online‘s ambitious long-term development roadmap, an update on the impending EVE mobile game, and possibly a major announcement about CCP’s upcoming MMOFPS codenamed Project Nova.

MassivelyOP will be on the ground once again this year to get the latest insight into the future of the sandbox. Stay tuned to our coverage of the event using the EVE Fanfest 2018 tag, where I’ll be posting major announcement news, detailed discussions on new gameplay revealed, interviews from the event, and in-depth opinion pieces. Fanfest will also be a great opportunity to assess the mood and impact of last year’s pull-out from VR game development, and to take the pulse of the community of a variety of topics. If you have any specific questions you’d like me to pose to developers or players while I’m there, please let me know in the comments.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I break down our expectations for EVE Fanfest 2018 and give some tips on getting the most out of the event for players attending or just watching from home.

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Guns of Icarus Alliance opens preorders for its PS4 port, promises cross-platform voice chat

Guns of Icarus is making another bold move – this time to console. Specifically, it’s launching its Alliance edition on the PS4, with preorders open right this very moment.

“Assemble a daring crew to battle for sky supremacy with Guns of Icarus Alliance, out May 1 on PlayStation 4 for $14.99. The team-based, pirate airship combat game from indie developer Muse Games is the first to offer cross-platform play and voice chat between PS4 and Steam players. Starting today, players can preorder Guns of Icarus Alliance and receive a 25% discount, a ship figurehead and a costume set forged exclusively for those that preorder.”

We’ve been following the Muse Games title for almost a decade; you’ll recall that it’s a steampunk airship combat MMO that reinvented itself last year with a slew of PvE and co-op content and successful Kickstarters for multiple types of content. Most recently, the title pushed out a new PvE defense map called Blistered Abyss.

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Sea of Thieves patches in performance improvements, promises to get everyone in to play as it breaks 2M players

One week after launch, Sea of Thieves is sailing the choppy ocean of live operation with two million players already. The developers uploaded an update video about the “hectic” week they’ve had and the preparations for the game’s first post-launch patch.

With demand for Sea of Thieves “off the charts,” Rare is working hard to scale the game’s servers to allow everyone to get on and play. Other issues, such as rewards not appearing and character details disappearing, are being investigated and fixed.

Today’s Patch 1.01 — which pretty much requires players to re-download the entire 20GB client — deploys a host of fixes and performance upgrades. Get the lowdown on the pirate life after the break!

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