post-apocalyptic

H1Z1’s Fight for the Crown TV debut is tonight with $300K on the line

Just as this post goes live at 9 p.m. EDT, Daybreak’s H1Z1: King of the Kill will see its TV debut as its Fight for the Crown tournament is aired on The CW, the perfect channel for a zombie survival sandbox, given its preponderance of cringey YA genre material.

But before you go all “kids these days,” check out Daybreak’s new infographic and the behind-the-scenes vids — it’s definitely not just kids who’d like a slice of that $300,000 prize pool.

Anybody watching tonight, or will you be sobbing quietly in a corner with Just Survive?

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H1Z1: King of the Kill preps pre-season 4 and televised e-sports debut

H1Z1: King of the Kill, that zombie sandbox you love to hate but apparently just can’t quit, is preparing pre-season 4. The main thing you’ll need to know while you’re angrily playing the game is that kill scores will be increased (to make achieving Royalty harder); kill values will be “bucketed” depending on the phase; and the new reward set item this round is a helmet with a skull on it.

The successful favored spawn of the H1Z1 brand is also gearing up for its television debut with the $300,000-prize-pool Fight for the Crown event that will be broadcast on Thursday.

H1Z1: Just Survive, meanwhile, is living in a van down by the river, but it swears it has a plan to turn its life around this time. And yes, both games are still in early access following an aborted launch last fall.

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Massively Overthinking: MMOs, from hardcore to casual and back again

Massively OP reader Suikoden wrote this great question to the podcast — too good to let just Justin and me answer it. It’s a two-parter!

“Back when I used to be a hardcore MMO gamer circa 2000-2010, I felt that MMOs of that era were designed more toward the hardcore gamer and even catered to us more. Within the last 5 years, I’ve had to develop into more of a casual player. However, I now feel that games once again cater to me and my current playstyle. Did the MMO genre evolve alongside me, from a more hardcore-centric genre to a more casual playerbase? Or is it the same as it always was and I just feel that it caters to me because it’s designed to feel like it caters to all playstyles? And if there was a change, do you feel it is for the better or for the worse for the genre?”

I posted Suikoden’s questions to the team for this week’s Massively Overthinking!

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RIFT, Trove, and ArcheAge start accepting Razer zGold

There’s a new way to pay in Trion Worlds’ games, and that way is Razer zGold.

Trion announced this week that all of its games, including RIFT, ArcheAge, Trove, and Defiance, now accept Razer zGold as a payment option. Razer zGold is a virtual payment and rewards currency that can be used in several games while helping players earn special gifts on the side.

Trion is encouraging players to try out zGold with a pair of gifts of its own. Players who buy the RIFT Ascended Essentials Pack with zGold will get the Intermediate Pack for free. Additionally, a free month of patron status will be handed out to anyone who purchases a 3,250 credit pack with zGold. These can only be claimed once each per account.

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The Survivalist: Massively OP’s guide to survival games, single-player and beyond

As Massively OP is centered on the “massively” part of gaming, it makes sense that my first guide to survival games was focused on multiplayer titles. Similarly, The Survivalist will mostly (but not always!) concern itself with the multiplayer games in the survival genre. However, after researching this topic, I felt that not highlighting the single-player offerings would be a serious disservice to the genre. There are occasions when you want to test your survival mettle without the interference of other players; sometimes you just want to live or die on your own merits and not at the hands of someone elses decisions. Besides that, some of these titles — like Subnautica — offer an awesome premise you can’t get elsewhere.

Ready to survive on your own? Here’s a a taste of a number of games you can dive into when you want to scratch that survival itch in private.

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H1Z1 adds more east coast servers, new team follow cam

Here’s an unfortunate scenario: You are taking part in an elimination-style match and you have just been killed. What is there to do next? Do you stare at the sky for the next 10 minutes or should the game kick you out to the menu?

H1Z1 has come up with a different solution for King of the Kill, which is a new team follow camera that allows spectral players to attach themselves to group members who are still alive (but not the enemy, of course). That way you can at least be entertained and informed, even if you are completely powerless to do anything more about it.

This week’s H1Z1 patch has several other changes and features than the team follow cam, including degrading vehicle performance when it takes damage, better hit feedback, arena optimizations, a nerf to the magnum pistols, and easier to see ammo boxes and grenades.

The team also reports that it has added more east coast servers, which should improve performance and latency to those connecting in that area.

Source: Patch notes

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H1Z1: King of the Kill is a game no one likes that’s still on Steam’s top games

Do you like H1Z1: King of the Kill? That’s a trick question; just a quick glance at the game’s Steam page would reveal that no one likes it. It has a 59% rating from reviews, it’s covered in reviews saying that the game is a buggy and unfinished mess that’s never going to be as developed as it could be, and in Steam’s performance charts it… winds up being one of the top-played games. Despite all of that. So perhaps there’s something to learn here.

It turns out that while a lot of players will vociferously point out how much they dislike the game, that doesn’t stop people from playing it and streaming it whilst enticing others to do the same. The result is a game which is unpopular in discussion but quite popular in terms of actual units sold and hours logged, i.e. the metric that the designers actually care about. So if you really dislike the game and the focus it’s gotten by Daybreak, perhaps a solution to that would involve… well, actually not playing it.

Source: Kotaku; thanks to Agemyth for the tip!

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H1Z1 makes it easier for you to see what you’re hitting

H1Z1’s PvP side is finally getting some much-needed love (sorry, slight dig at Daybreak’s preferential treatment of King of the Kill). The devs posted a new diary this week to talk about the three major projects that the team is tackling this month.

With 64% of players polled telling the studio that game optimization is “extremely important,” Daybreak’s engineers are working to improve framerates and overall performance. Another project is providing useful visual feedback from firearms so that players can easily tell if their shots are hitting body armor… or just bodies.

Vehicle destruction was the final topic for discussion: “We added several different vehicle degradation states that trigger at various damage thresholds. Take enough damage, and your car loses torque, handling, and eventually, turbo. The new vehicle UI helps to communicate these states with warning lights, and you can see the impact of each state on your overall mobility with the speedometer.”

Source: H1Z1

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The Survivalist: Massively OP’s guide to multiplayer survival sandboxes

Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya’ll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn’t as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.

I’m not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller — and oft times privately managed — scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we’re going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here’s a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.
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The Stream Team: Xsyon survives six years

Long before survival games became all the rage, there was Xsyon. In fact, it may very well be what started Massively OP’s MJ on her survival path. She played the game in the early years as it was developing, but she hasn’t been back in a while. It’s definitely time to jump in and check things out again. Maybe this time she won’t die to crazy chickens or psychotic squirrels! It’s not like the Ides of March is all about death. Oh. Tune in live at 5:00 p.m. to celebrate six years of survival in…

What: Xsyon
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 5:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

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What ever happened to Darkfall, Fallen Earth, and Runes of Magic?

It bears repeating that here on Massively OP, we cover an immensely wide field of live games — so many that it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of what’s happening in each one (which is why our readers are invaluable in winging us tips about their favorite MMOs!). And while there’s never any shortage of news and happenings in the field of MMORPGs as a whole, once in a while we realize that it’s been a good long time since we heard anything about certain games that we used to discuss a lot in the past.

When that happens to me, I’ll often head off on a little fool’s errand to scout the website, Twitter feed, forums, and Reddit to see what’s going on. I hate to be out of the loop on games, especially ones that used to be more prominent in the news, but more often than not, the lack of news is because there’s been a lack of news.

You ever caught yourself going, “What ever happened to the original Darkfall? Or Runes of Magic? Or Fallen Earth?” I totally have, which is why I went on expeditions to see what I could uncover. So let’s catch up with these three games and see what is up!

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The Perfect Ten: A plague of MMO bears

I have long been of the opinion that there are few more terrifying animals on this planet than bears. Sure, there are sharks, the mighty kraken, and that little fish that may or may not swim up your urethra and summer home there, but as I live primarily on the land, I think that the odds are greater that a rampaging bear might ruin my day.

True story: When I lived in Colorado Springs, one morning I left home to drive to work and there was a black bear sitting in the middle of the road. I looked at it, nonplussed, and then sloooooowly backed up into my driveway and called in a sick day. Bear days should totally be a thing, however.

I have also been of the opinion that bears are consistently underestimated in MMORPGs. They’re low level trash mobs or pets that finger players as complete noobs for not picking something more exotic. More exotic? Son, if you have a bear on your side, you have won the game. Period. One swipe of its paw and any raid boss’ head should pop right off.

There is a plague of bears in MMOs. Today, let us delve into the ursine horror that curses our genre.

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Defiance prepares for its Armistice Day celebration

In Defiance lore, Armistice Day is a pretty big deal. It’s not just an excuse for a holiday; it’s the end of the Pale Wars between the native people of Earth and the Votans. It was supposed to usher in peace, but as evidenced by the huge amounts of ordnance flying every which way in Defiance, that obviously didn’t work out quite as intended. Of course, this year’s celebration also includes a whole lot of weaponry with the return of Defiant Few lockboxes, so even the game is celebrating with more firepower.

Starting this week and through the remainder of March, the game is celebrating by rotating through previous events running simultaneously, starting with the Solstice Strike, the Midsummer Mutiny, and the Nuclear Winter events this week. Each of these holiday events offers all of the same rewards as the past, so you can have a shot at filling out holiday collections that you may have missed in the past. The final week will feature three holiday events voted on by the players, so you can be sure to have something to celebrate while you celebrate through the remainder of the month.

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