The Stream Team: Xsyon made it 7 years!

Can you believe Xsyon has made it to seven years? We haven’t heard anything about the game in a long, long while, but the servers are still there so Massively OP’s MJ is popping on to take a look around. Join us live at 1:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a seventh anniversary show of…

What: Xsyon
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 1:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 16th, 2018

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 161: Project power

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin roll up their sleeves and take on projects left and right. It’s a look at the announcement of Project C and the imminent early access launch of Project Gorgon, among many other exciting developments this week!

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.

Listen to the show right now:

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Massively Overthinking: Is battle royale a fad?

This week in Massively Overthinking, I want to talk about something out on the fringes of our genre: battle royale games. We’ve been watching BR take off, first with H1Z1, then the explosion of PUBG last summer and fall, and now Fortnite has taken the crown, becoming even more popular and raking in even more money, at least on console and potentially overall. And yet less than a year ago, we were embracing Fortnite as a PvE building game – see how blazingly fast Epic pivoted to catch this trend? I remember when PUBG started to plateau in the west even as it continued it climb in China, and I wondered then whether anything could ever dethrone it – and I have to say, I didn’t think it would be Fortnite.

So let’s talk about battle royale. Is it bleeding an online subgenre – MMOs, shooters, MOBAs, or survival sandboxes, or is it just something everyone’s tacked on top of existing gameplay? How will mobile keep up? And most importantly, is it a fad that’s destined to eventually fade away, or is it here to stay?

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H1Z1 is finally going free-to-play

Remember way back in the long, long ago, before H1Z1 hit early access, split, reconstituted, renamed, didn’t launch, aborted a console port, and all those shenanigans? You know, back when the game was planned as a free-to-play title, but it didn’t happen?

Now it’s happened.

Following the official launch of H1Z1 (the battle royale half) last week, Daybreak has formally announced that it’s going free-to-play. Today. There are brand-new buyable packs on Steam running up to 100 bucks, but they are at least technically optional.

Readers will recall that the game has appeared to be struggling on Steam over the past half year as other battle royale games picked up players; as of February, the game had apparently lost 90% of its playerbase since last summer, presumable to the likes of PUBG and Fortnite, the latter of which launched free.

The zombie sandbox half of the game, Just Survive, hasn’t made any free-to-play announcement yet.

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Trion says the original Defiance is NOT being sunset or neglected for Defiance 2050

We were all pretty stunned when Trion announced Defiance 2050 last week, and indeed, we fired off a round of questions almost immediately. Trion’s answered our questions today, including those about what’s going on with the original game (spoilers: It’s not being abandoned). Read on for the details!

Massively OP: The big question is what’s happening to original Defiance itself? Will it continue on in any way? Maintenance mode, or will it continue to see updates and holidays?

Trion: Definitely! Original Defiance will continue to receive event updates, and players can continue to login and play. We’re even working on a new Valor rewards system for people who jump in and play the game before Defiance 2050 launches, which we’ll have more information about very soon.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 160: Defiance ’till the end

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin cruise into a wild week jam-packed with updates and a full-fledged MMO reboot on top of everything else. It’s all they can do to hang on to the bucking bronco of news without being flung off into side topics, but they’ll do their best!

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.

Listen to the show right now:

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H1Z1 has launched after three years of early access with a ‘massive’ patch

If you bought the rumors and teases last week that H1Z1, the artist formerly known as King of the Kill, was about to launch, then congrats: You bought the real deal. If you thought there would be a huge marketing push with lots of hoopla after three years of early access and an aborted launch two summers ago… now there I will be disappointing you.

Yes, the battle royale half of the original H1Z1 has technically launched today, shedding its early access tag and emblazoning a new February 28, 2018, launch date on its Steam portal. It’s still got its $19.99 pricetag, however.

Daybreak is capping off the stealth-launch with a totally not stealthy and in fact respectably massive patch to bring the game up to version one and season one; expect the planned spawn changes, combat balancing, way better match rewards, tweaks to account leveling, UI upgrades, and the new scoring model that ditches the high-kills scoring method and instead takes into account top 10 games, average placement, and kills. The studio also announced Auto Royale today if you’d prefer to with cars.

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Defiance 2050 further explains cross-platform play, character carryover, and game mechanics

Still scratching your head a bit about the Defiance 2050 surprise announcement yesterday? We all are. Fortunately, we do have a bit more information about what’s going on with the new version of the game, thanks to a new FAQ, feature rundown, and a producer’s letter explaining a little bit more.

First and foremost, the big news you were waiting to hear about: No, players are not going to be able to transfer characters straight over from the original Defiance. Players will retain some of their progress, and accumulating Valor on the existing version of the game will lead to further rewards in Defiance 2050, so you can still unlock some things. You also can let go of any notions about new cross-platform play; the game will still be locked by its three platforms.

Players can, however, enjoy a game that’s been built from the ground up as a free-to-play system with improved graphics, new gameplay systems, and various other improvements. Check out the FAQ for more information, or read through the producer’s letter for a clearer portrait of how we wound up here.


Massively OP Podcast Episode 159: Panda punching

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin dive into deep mysteries, get ready for a slice of RIFT Prime, and once again try to figure out just what the heck Daybreak is doing with its H1Z1 franchise. Also, BREE SINGS. It’s as amazing as you always imagined.

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.

Listen to the show right now:

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Trion reboots Defiance as Defiance 2050, launching on PC and console this summer

Welp, now we know what Trion Worlds has been working on: Defiance is getting a sequel, launching for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 this summer. The MMORPG studio says Defiance 2050 is a “completely from-the-ground-up recreation of Defiance” that “overhauls the exciting story and groundbreaking gameplay of the original, reimagining the San Francisco-based sci-fi shooter experience for current gaming hardware.”

Defiance 2050 recreates the original game from the ground up to be representative of the current generation of consoles. From updated textures to improved resolutions and framerates, Defiance 2050 is a marked improvement over the original DefianceDefiance 2050 is more than just a simple graphical remaster, as the game’s systems have gotten major improvements to create the definitive version of the game. Today’s consoles and PCs enable the dev team to implement features and upgrades that fans of the game have been clamoring for, while advancements in hardware allow for action on an even larger scale than before, with more players able to take to the battlefield in white-knuckled combat.”

It’s not entirely clear just yet what’s happening to original-flavor Defiance itself (we’re reaching out to Trion about that right now and will update when we have more info). Beta signups are live on the official site right now, and we’ve got the announcement trailers down below too.

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The Daily Grind: Given H1Z1’s plight, are you worried about Daybreak?

Last week, it became clear that H1Z1 has forfeited a ton of ground in the battle over battle royale games as it’s lost 90% of its Steam playerbase since July. Now, I’m gonna be honest: I don’t really care about H1Z1 for its own sake. Even if the game didn’t make me internally cringe at the “Star Wars Galaxies fans can come home” silliness, I really dislike zombie settings, I find battle royale modes dull, and the game has been a mess for years, with missed launches, missed ports, and more marketing do-overs and renames than I can shake a sawed-off shotgun at.

But I’ve nevertheless had the impression that H1Z1 was propping up Daybreak quite a lot, which made it hard to bear it any ill will. It really was a popular game on Steam for the last few years and had to have made quite a bit of dough. We’ve already noted this year that Daybreak’s down to a bare handful of titles, and I have to wonder whether DC Universe Online’s console crowd, the vets stretched thin over the EverQuest and PlanetSide franchises, and the Standing Stone publishing hustle are enough.

Are you worried about Daybreak?

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Rumor: H1Z1 may finally be launching; the ‘royalty showdown’ begins today

Yesterday, in our report on H1Z1’s plummeting player numbers since the onslaught from PUBG and Fortnite, we mentioned that the game’s launch, once planned for 2016, had been canceled and indefinitely delayed. And Daybreak didn’t launch it in late 2017, when it split the game’s branding.

But Daybreak may be preparing for a real launch at last. Friend of the site pointed out to us that during Friday’s livestream, Daybreak showed off a season one screen and suggested there “won’t be any more pre-seasons.” That could just be a segue into the “Royalty Showdown” event that’s going on today, as the top 75 players from the 7th preseason will compete (the first event starts today at 1 p.m. EST). Or it could mean the game is finally preparing to launch.

In the meantime, the studio’s just rolled out a ton of big changes to the test server, including pre-match spawn selection timeouts, full-heal consumables, and new loot crate rewards for winning matches.

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