It’s not too common to see game developers giddy about beheading, but then again, most developers aren’t part of the Crowfall team.
ArtCraft is giving both attention and additional features to its death system, explaining to players this week what happens when you see that light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not as cut-and-dry as it used to be, apparently. Now players fall unconscious when they run out of health, and can choose then to either resurrect as a new crow vessel, do a corpse run, or wait and see if a friendly ally will resurrect you. Each of these three options has an impact on equipment durability, so players will need to weigh the costs and risks in each situation.
But you came to this article for beheading, and beheading you shall have. There is an option to chop off the head of a vanquished foe (what we call “Doing a Ned Stark”) and keep the fallen player from resurrecting in that body. As a bonus, the executioner gets to keep a skull named after the fallen character, which he or she can then mount on spikes in the player housing section of the game. This is condoned video game behavior.
This week, The Ancient Gaming Noob posted up an image of RIFT Prime, where Trion asks people to… play nice. “Just a neighborly reminder that 1-29 chat is for RIFT chat, ideally things relevant to level 1-29 gameplay,” the UI HUD reads. “Please be good to each other. We’ve muted some and shall mute again. Have a great evening!”
Meanwhile, over in Trion’s Trove, I’ve had to report-and-block dozens of fellow players just in the last few days for disgusting slurs in multiple languages, stuff the filter doesn’t catch. For a free-to-play game that’s also on console, yeah, I guess I expect no better from the playerbase. But but but RIFT Prime is subscription-based. Surely that means a strong community, where such polite warnings from developers aren’t necessary? Yeah, not so much, as anyone who played old-school MMORPGs can tell you. This is a problem even in games whose devs prioritize community and care a whole lot.
So this week, let’s talk about in-game chat. Do you use it? Do you watch it? Do you turn it off? Is it really terrible everywhere, or just in some games? Which one is the worst and the best, and what should developers do about chat specifically?
We haven’t checked in with pre-eminent roleplaying MMORPG Ever, Jane in a long time – since last summer, in fact – but the game, as it turns out, has been humming right along in in beta.
You’ll recall that in autumn of 2016, the Jane Austen-themed social MMO had launched into open beta with loads of quest and lag bugs repaired, special events in October, proximity chat, login stability, and new content. In December of that year, studio 3 Turn Productions rolled out the 3.1 update with the home ownership system. A year ago, update 4 hit the server with even more housing as well as horseback riding and carriages. And then… well, that’s the last newsletter on the official site, though we covered the card-playing update this past summer.
Around the time I started working at Massively-that-was, there was an article that I quite liked talking about how four high-profile MMO failures were not necessary. It was a product of its time, but the point was made that these games didn’t have to wind up in the state they were in. The mistakes that were made were not unexpected problems, but entirely predictable ones that anyone could have seen. Heck, some people did see them and pointed them out, but nothing was changed.
I think about that a lot when I think about other MMOs and online games because there are a lot of titles that, even if not entirely failed, are in states they never needed to be in. These stories are, at the very least, stories of some failures where the failure was not an inevitable end state, nor are they messes that had to be made. The writing was on the wall, the warnings were given, and someone just kept on keeping on and ignored all of the signs. And here we are.
When we covered Shroud of the Avatar’s newsletter yesterday, one of the tidbits we mentioned was the plan for craftable housing. In response to a question from a player, Starr Long essentially announced that in the launch patch next week, Portalarium is planning to tweak that system, which has long provoked claims of pay-to-win.
“Yes we are going to be expanding the number of craftable houses soon. In R52 in fact we are adding a craftable inn.”
So what exactly does housing entail? A helpful Redditor linked to a helpful thread on the official site just a few weeks ago breaking down how exactly you can buy property without handing over your credit card because you definitely can – that’s the good news. If you’re not a crafter yourself, you just need a specific currency, Crowns of the Obsidians, which you can buy with gold.
Whether or not you agree that Shroud of the Avatar is already soft launched, it is most definitely hard launching on March 27th, meaning there’s just a few weeks to go until the big day. That makes the next couple of weekly newsletters extra important, given that they are previewing content that’s going into release 52 – in other words, brand-new launch content.
Portalarium’s latest offering teases two new companions, representing Truth and Courage, along with their unique art, plus progress on the town of Northwood and Blood River Forest adventure zone. Devs also answered a few more questions that didn’t make it into the previous Q&A; they say they’re working on DPS, crit rate, recipes, loot, and performance. They’re also “expanding the number of craftable houses” – there’s a craftable inn in R52, so MJ will be happy.
Additionally, SOTA is seeking out players for its “Ambassadors Program,” which’ll remind old-school MMO players of guide systems from games past.
A festival dedicated to getting sloshed? No, this isn’t college life — it’s EverQuest II’s Brewday! Every year near St. Patrick’s Day, a celebration dedicated to libations runs throughout Norrath. There are drunken quests to do, pink elephants and talking cabbages to collect, tons of themed crafts to make, and plenty of drinks to partake of. This year’s festival runs from March 6th at 3:00 a.m. EST to March 20th at 2:59 a.m. EDT.
While it is disappointing that Daybreak has not added any new content to the festival for 2018, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do. And there are a couple new items to acquire — namely a spiffy griffon mount and the next crafting recipe book. Here’s a guide to get you through the weeks of revelry. You can also get a visual walkthrough of some tasks by watching The Stream Team festival escapades from 2015, 2016, and 2018.
With just a few weeks away left before its official launch, Shroud of the Avatar is going nuts in its home stretch. Portalarium is getting ready to show off the game at SXSW this month and has expanded the free trial to allow users the ability to choose one of the three core paths available.
It sounds as though fans are still throwing wads of cash at this game, if the recent $110,000 telethon was of any indication. The community’s ingenuity was on display in this month’s newsletter, thanks to the Magnificent Trophy Room contest that showed off the capabilities of SOTA’s housing system and a spotlight on the Library of Spritual Knowledge. The latter is a place where player creativity is stored and displayed, including lore, music, and guides.
And if getting into the nitty gritty details of combat math and performance is your thing, then you’ll be the right audience for the studio’s latest tech talk video. Check it out below.
With the removal of the perpetual server restrictions and the opening of personal housing again, Final Fantasy XIV
seems to have decided that its housing problems were fixed. Or, if not fixed, at least significantly ameliorated. The game added a huge chunk of new wards, rules were put in place to make sure that people couldn’t snap up tons of houses for themselves, and I will definitely concede that a whole lot of stuff was different this time around. For some time after housing was introduced, small houses were actually available
, so Free Companies who wanted one but hadn’t quite made it were ready.
I will be the first to say that the new rules and restrictions were definitely a success. In terms of getting people connected with houses, this all worked, we got stuff more sorted out, and this is definitely the best we’ve had it since housing was first introduced. That doesn’t mean that I think the problem is really solved yet, though; a lot of the rules as they stand are inelegant solutions to a problem, and that’s part of why we are where we are.
With the RIFT
Prime server going live next week
(on Wednesday, to be precise), a lot of renewed interest has sprung up over this seven-year-old MMORPG. While plenty of former and current players are eager to try out this unique progression server, there is no doubt that many people who have never touched the game before might be thinking about jumping into RIFT
for the first time with this.
So in the spirit of that, we wanted to create a quick-and-dirty guide to some of the important RIFT essentials to help new players (or even older, rustier ones) hit the ground running on March 7th. Here’s everything you need to know about making your way in this fun and frisky MMO!
The votes are in, and I’m heading to the world of Warframe
. Or worlds. I am honestly not altogether clear about how much of the game takes place in space and how much of it is, like, still focused around one specific planet. Obviously there’s one specific place where you can do a lot of exploring, that’s a thing, but at the (very real) risk of exposing my own ignorance, my knowledge about the setting is kind of a blank space from top to bottom.
That’s not by way of laziness, for the record. Or at least, it’s not just laziness; some of it is how I prefer to take on these game where I know very little. As it stands for me, Warframe is that game where I don’t know much of the story or the background, but the results of the game that I do see are incredibly neat and surreal. It seems like it’s a game all about intensely baroque and odd-looking robot-armor-suits engage in all sorts of high-speed high-flying combat, and limiting that down to the realm of actual facts seems like depriving it of that power.
Have you ever had the burning desire to experience the magic, the majesty, the magnificence of the game development process as it happens? Truly, our mortal minds can scarce imagine the glory that takes place in studio conference rooms.
Crowfall has descended the mountain to extend a hand to us this week and invite us to such hallowed ground. The team put out the first part of a video showing a probably-maybe-not-staged meeting in which ArtCraft discusses the vassal system that it is developing for its eternal kingdom housing system.
The idea of a vassal system is that any given kingdom has a singular monarch that reigns over it. That monarch can set permissions for others to visit as well as for some of those to become nobles that can plunk down their own parcels and have vassals that serve them. As the team said, it sounds a little complicated but in practice, it’s pretty simple. Check it out below!
Cross-platform MMO Villagers and Heroes made a leap to another platform this week with the release of the game for the app store. This means that iOS devices can now pick up and join the fun along with the Android and PC crowd.
Mad Otter Games opened up a new server — US3 — to handle the influx of new players. It should be noted that unlike some mobile spinoffs of MMOs, Villagers and Heroes for iOS is the same full version that PC players enjoy, albeit with modified controls and UI to accommodate touchscreen devices.
Villagers and Heroes put out Patch 4.8 late last month with movement changes, a ranchable boar, and two new high-level zones. The iOS release includes the recent Starfall overhaul and offers eight class builds, 10 crafting professions, over 1,000 quests, and player housing.
So who’s picking this up this week?