Still playing Pokemon Go? Wish you were, but couldn’t find a group to raid with? Or maybe you are in a group but want to fill out the roster a bit more? Good news! Niantic will begin doing monthly community events for the game starting January 20th. The plan is for Niantic to host a monthly event “starring a special Pokémon, which will appear frequently around the world for just a few hours.”
While that sounds like a good way to distribute regionals more, the kicker is that the Pokemon caught during the monthly event also will have an exclusive move. Naturally, the first Pokemon is Surfing Pikachu, but before you wander off to join the rest of us waiting for Squirtle Squad Squirtle, you should know that other bonuses will also be in play, such as increased XP or Stardust, plus Lure Modules activated during the event will last for three hours. It’s probably not going to help build communities as well as in-app social media communication option, but it’s a start.
The timing’s quite nice, as Niantic recently released a new Legendary whale, Kyogre, who (like Groudon) has Mewtwo-esque stats for those of you still pining away for EX Raid passes, but has been difficult for many trainers to catch.
Mobile users are probably used to the eventual demise of their phones and the nonfunctionality of apps they bought long ago, no matter which manufacturer or operating system is behind their daily driver. Obsolesence is a way of life. But that reality won’t be of any comfort to Pokemon Go players on older iPhones, who’ve been told this week that their time has come.
“In an upcoming update to Pokémon GO, we will end support for Apple devices not capable of upgrading to iOS 11, such as iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c models,” Niantic announced. “This change is a result of improvements to Pokémon GO that push the application beyond the capabilities of the operating systems on such devices.”
So in a nutshell, come the end of February, you’re going to need a newer phone than one from 2012/2013 to play POGO, else everything you’ve paid for in the game will begin collecting dust and you will be playing other games. It’s not currently clear which other devices are destined for the chopping block in the near future, but it does appear that Niantic’s plan is to drop you rather than create a low-load version of the app to keep dedicated customers on older devices, just as it was Niantic’s plan to block all rooted/jailbroken devices rather than sort out actual cheaters.
One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It’s way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.
But all the same, for tonight’s Massively Overthinking, we’d like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2018 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.
In all our many roundups at the turn of the year, we’ve never done one on the legal dramas that have affected the MMO genre. That changes today!
Of note, there’s…
- the lockbox scuffle as various countries turn their watchful gaze on the industry and self-regulation collapses in a puddle of shrugs;
- the Crytek lawsuit against Star Citizen studio Cloud Imperium;
- the potential for dead online games to skirt DMCA laws;
- multiple Pokemon Go-inspired lawsuits and criminal trials;
- the end of the Warner Bros. and Tolkien estate lawsuit;
- the continuation of the Oculus/ZeniMax Media lawsuit;
- the cease-and-desist filed against Asheron’s Call emulators;
- and a whole ton of Blizzard lawsuits, including the capsizing of the Bossland cheaters following multiple Blizz victories.
My favorite, however, is Andrew’s research into whether lockboxes legally constitute gambling – from last January. Enjoy!
We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!
July was a month of MMORPG launches, as Riders of Icarus, Albion Online, and Gigantic formally launched; Dark and Light hit early access; and other MMOs, including SWTOR, Guild Wars 2, and Neverwinter, rolled out major updates.
But it was also a period of delays, as Star Citizen collected thousands of comments over its repeated delays of its 3.0 alpha and both ARK: Survival Evolved and Lord of the Rings Online’s Mordor rescheduled launches for August. We also said farewell to Firefall after its long limbo, and don’t forget the Pokemon Go live event trainwreck!
Read on for the whole list!
One of my favorite things to do every year is drill down the top articles on the site for our readers. I don’t mean the most controversial, the most fun, the most important, or the most commented-on; I mean the single articles that actually brought in the most hits. And what I find most interesting is that most “popular” aren’t always the ones we expect! As we’ve noted before, a well-timed link from a major website – Reddit, Fark, or a game dev – can elevate an entire month. (That’s why we’re so grateful when our fans share our work across social networks!)
Just remember that the list favors posts made early in the year (and in some cases, evergreen articles from earlier years) as later pieces haven’t had as much time to percolate, so when you do see big articles from December on a list like this, that means a popular post indeed!
It’s that time of year, dear readers. As it says in the holy book of that one deity (probably Lawful Good), “Peace on earth and good will towards your fellow gamers.” Or, well, something like that.
But seriously, even as a non-religious person, I know this is the time of year to reach out to my fellow humans. As a gamer, I know we get worked up over the unfair ganks, the auction house snipers, the whales drowning in skins… but at least today, try to reflect on a few times you were put in a situation that humanized your opponent. I’ve talked about past instances before, but I’m still working on it. In fact, just this month, I finally met my long-time Pokemon Gym rival in person. And she was so nice. We’d both noticed that we’d been trying to ease up on the other and even talked a bit about custody terms for our turf. Meeting her face to face (and finding out her husband instigated a lot of the battles!) made me glad I kept an open mind about the nature of game-enforced factions, and now my group’s got a new, active raid partner.
What about you, readers? When was the last time you considered your MMORPG opponent’s perspective or met your enemies in a neutral area and bonded?
With 2017 drawing to a close and 2018 rushing up to meet us, the Massively OP team has regrouped for another round of bold and goofy predictions for the year ahead. We’re feeling pretty good after our fairly successful predictions from last year! What’s in store for the MMO genre next year? Here’s what we think.
It’s an exciting time to be a Pokemon Go player! It’s been only about a week since the introduction of generation 3 Pokemon and a literal game-changing weather addition, but data miners at Silph Road have already noticed something new. While the recent holiday event announcement confirmed the sale of the new star piece item among other goods, 20 new water and ice Pokemon, increased ice type spawns, and free single-use incubators from December 22-25, we also received news of a huge AR update in league with what we’ve seen for the upcoming AR game Walking Dead: Our World. While data miners think it may work with Android’s ARCore, Niantic’s press release only talks about accessibility for Apple’s ARKit on devices running iOS 11.
Admittedly, this means that AR+ is a feature that only a fraction of the player base will be able to experience. The fact that using this mode also gives players additional experience points and stardust (the game’s rarer currency for leveling Pokemon) is disappointing for those left out, but it makes sense as the new catching method seems rather involved.
Welcome back to another mobile MMO roundup, maybe possibly giving you something fun to do on your phones while you’re stuck at various holiday events this season!
Players are either happy or grumpy with Pokemon Go, as apparently the game is scheduling random raids (which are hard enough to come by generally) for Christmas day. Because it needs to be said again: This is literally the worst raiding system in any MMO ever and I can’t believe there isn’t more rage.
Like A Boss isn’t an MMORPG, but like Little Healer, it does mock MMORPGs with a Dungeon Keeper twist, and it’s available on mobile now. “Now it’s time to become the Boss in the role-playing fantasy world you know from MMOs, but this time it’s your territory that is being invaded, your riches, and your minions that are being ransacked!”
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 Outer Stories of Wulin, ArcheAge Begins, The Black Death, Wakfu, Dark Age of Camelot, RuneScape, Pokemon Go, SMITE, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, Battlerite, Ragnarok Rush, Wild Busters, Final Fantasy XI, and Twin Saga, all waiting for you after the break!
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked the writers to do something most of them hate: brag! We’ve tried to isolate our favorite personal work from the year and talk about why we think it matters, then identify our favorite work from somebody else on the site this year and do the same. I always tell them it’s easy, but it never is!
Think of all the wacky things devs have said in public in front of gamers and journalists this year.
Now imagine what gets said behind closed doors!
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked our staff to select the best (and worst) developer quotes from the year and reflect on what we’ve learned from them. Let’s dig in – we’ve got some whoppers.