By far, this is the focus of Pantheon’s February state of the game post by Creative Director Chris Perkins, who reports that the testing has resulted in “overwhelmingly positive and constructive” feedback for the team. The development team is hard at work on the perception system, combat, class design (in particular, the Ranger and Dire Lord), NPC AI and dispositions, and game balancing.
While there are only a few hundred checking out a limited slice of the game at this point, the pre-alpha will be expanding soon as it heads into its second phase next month. Pre-Alpha 2 will open up to include Halnir Cave for gameplay, with additional zones to follow.
For Ashes of Creation fans, January has provided a video bonanza to help with the lengthy wait to beta and launch. Last week we were treated to a look at the game’s surprisingly beautiful Underrealm, and this week it’s a hands-on romp through the world.
IGN took a developer tour of the game this week, noting that while there were (presumably) placeholder kill 10 rats quests and a lack of many standard features in the pre-alpha, the combat was “punchy” and the non-instanced dungeon an exciting concept.
You can watch some of this tour after the break. It may not be the most in-depth video ever, but there is plenty of eye candy and combat to behold.
Don’t do survival the hard way, with only your fleshy meatbag shell as your primary resource. Use your brains and futuristic technology to summon an army of intelligent robots instead to do your bidding!
That’s the premise of Outpost Zero, a new survival sandbox that bills itself as a cross between “multiplayer FPS” and StarCraft. Players will land on an alien planet, gather resources, build bots, and construct a base. There isn’t a peaceful resolution here, however; base vs. base wars are the core of the endgame. Leading a trained bot army, players will engage in FPS combat against enemies in an attempt to interrupt operations and loot resources.
The studio says that Outpost Zero is a very deep sandbox, particularly when it comes to the game’s base construction and economic market. It’s currently ramping up its alpha program. Check out the trailer below!
You could argue that a pre-alpha is itself a seed that will eventually grow into a full, playable game. It’d be a bit of a tortured metaphor, but it would also mean that you could make the argument that the two minutes of pre-alpha footage available for Seed below represent a seed of Seed. And isn’t it all worth as many tortured metaphors as it takes to make a lame joke?
Probably not. In fact, it’s probably more productive to just watch the footage and think a little bit about what you’re seeing on the screen. You get to see the early version of building structures, plotting gardens, and developing a campsite from a small gathering into a larger group, so all of that is pretty indicative of the final game Seed wants to be. We’ll see how it blossoms over the coming months.
Here’s a little bit of bad news that’s followed by a large dose of good news for Arcfall fans. The team announced that it decided to move back the implementation of the game’s PvP system by two weeks.
Bummer, right? Well, it’s actually because of an unexpectedly good thing. The team said that it’s been making such great progress on the western sandbox that it will be able to exit pre-alpha and enter alpha testing earlier than anticipated. And because the transition requires a wipe, it didn’t make sense to also wipe for a PvP system two weeks beforehand.
Thus, on August 25th Arcfall will officially become an alpha product, and add systems like PvP, animal taming, animal farming, mounts, factions, guilds, swimming, castles, player-owned vendors, and a revised loot system. That’s a decent trade-off for a two-week delay, eh?
Sometimes it’s the small details that makes a patch memorable. For Gloria Victis, it’s something as simple as additional music during character creation, terrain footstep sounds, and a Chinese translation.
These come courtesy of Wednesday’s patch, which also factored in plenty of new combat and performance improvements. Hit detection, player synchronization, and being able to block arrows with a shield strapped on a character’s back were all fixed thanks to player feedback and developer response.
We’ve got a buffet of Gloria Victis videos for you after the break, including one of the new music tracks, a look at crafting, and the combat update. Check them out and let us know what you think in the comments!
If No Man’s Sky didn’t exactly scratch your itch for multiplayer interplanetary exploration, mining, and crafting, then Astroneer is suiting up right now to take a stab at this format with all sorts of lovely soft pastel visuals and a quirky feel.
The team posted its development roadmap this week that traces the project’s main goals from Astroneer’s current pre-alpha status all of the way to launch. Currently, the team is tackling some of the large, essential “boulders” that will make up the core systems, which are broken down into more manageable “rocks” to allow for progress.
There were also hints dropped about possible features, such as themed spacesuit designs: “Without giving too much away, one can already begin to speculate about all the ways planet-themed unlockable suits might add to multiple areas on this roadmap, like the research system, crafting, customization, and others.”
In a small planned surprise, Frostkeep sent out a wave of unannounced pre-alpha invites for Rend this week. The studio says that the additional testers will prove most helpful as work continues to get the survival sandbox ready for early access. More waves will be coming soon, so don’t feel shy about signing up.
The team went on to pen a dev blog about its skill system, which sounds fairly similar to other games out there. There are no limitations as to how many skills you can work on, so go nuts. Leveled-up skills lead to better efficiency as well as unlocked crafting recipes and helpful perks.
As in most survival sandboxes, you’re going to start out at the bottom rung of the gathering ladder, punching trees for their wood and also because they deserve it. Y’know, it only now occurs to us how poorly these so-called “survival” games actually prepare players for a real-world survival situation.
In an interview with Pantheon Senior Game Designer Corey LeFever on MMO Play, LeFever said that the dev team is “very satisfied” with the progress that the team has made over the past couple of years.
The interview serves as a decent overview of what Pantheon is about, although knowledgeable fans might find it slim pickings for new information. LeFever does discuss the open world aspect of the game as well as climates, class roles, and Pantheon’s group-centric philosophy.
“We really have put a lot of our blood, sweat, and tears into this project, and we hope that comes across when our fans see the streams and public facing updates,” LeFever said. “It’s a rare opportunity to work on a project like this in the manner that we do, and we take that seriously. As far as the next dev steps? We’re pretty focused on continuing on all fronts: systems, classes, new zones… you name it.”
“When you push the world it pushes back. When you give to the world, it gives back. Take too much, and the world just might bite back.”
The Ashes of Creation team posted a new developer diary this week that focused on one of its five design pillars, that of a reactive world. The gist is that the game world will slowly react and respond to player actions, reshaping in both positive and negative ways.
The team said that each server will be a world to itself: “Each server in Ashes of Creation will be unique, because each server will grow, mature, and change on its own based on how its players interact with one another. Sure, we’ll have our own events planned out, but the players’ choices on how and where to settle towns, when to lay siege to settlements, and even how much they forage for resources — it all changes the landscape and layout of a given server.”
Looking for a little more of an Ashes of Creation hit to get you through the weekend? The team posted a pair of short videos showing off some aggressive fauna — namely, a troll and flanggler. Watch them below!
What would a superhero MMO look like if it took place in a small town where the tallest building was only three stories? We’ll probably never find out because it’s almost mandatory to have them skyscrapers for visuals and dramatic perches.
City of Titans spilled some info about its own downtown skyscraper district yesterday, calling it the “beating heart of the city.” Following a massive fire in 1908, the downtown rebuilt to include modern marvels of architecture from several different decades and styles. When the game comes out, players will be able to visit the area to see the tallest building in the game (Liberty Tower), a superhero hangout, and plenty of skywalks.
“Downtown is home to a huge, wildly eclectic range of superbeings and superpowered groups,” the team posted. “Some of the more frequently glimpsed groups include enforcers of the Black Rose, the Aether Pirates, and the ePunk Radicals. Prominent supers often seen in the area include Captain Orbit (at the Orbit Room), the speedster Celerity, and a host of others.”
Last weekend, Crowfall developer ArtCraft Entertainment held the last of its February playtest weekends, inviting the game’s Early Access backers to jump into the gameworld to play, test, and provide feedback on the game in its current state of development. As one of said Early Access backers (full disclosure there), I was among those invited to take part in the test, and having last played the game sometime early last year, I figured now would be a good time to pop in and see how the game’s coming along.
At present, the game build is a very early one that the devs have dubbed Pre-Alpha 2.0, so the features on display during the playtests are both limited and almost certain to undergo radical changes between now and Crowfall’s eventual launch. The game’s current, rather bare-bones incarnation includes the frameworks, in varying stages of completion and polish, for its basic gathering, crafting, and PvP combat features, though my playtime over the weekend was limited largely to the former two, with relatively little in the way of bloodshed. I don’t consider that to be altogether a bad thing, though; even this early implementation of Crowfall’s gathering and crafting systems is intricate enough that I reckon it deserves a column in and of itself, so let’s go ahead and dig in.
For those that felt titillated and intrigued by the original announcement of Rebel Horizons a year ago (if you can remember back that long), movement has been spotted on the project after many months of relative silence. The team is planning to make an appearance at GDC this spring and has a new trailer to show off to the public.
The trailer for the sci-fi sandbox shows a man on another world, taking a jet bike across the desert to a settlement. There, he buys some gear and then steps into a teleporter, destination unknown.
Rebel Horizons is making a shared persistent universe in which players can forge their own destinies and make their own living. Possibilities include trading, crafting, bounty hunting, mining, harvesting, and traveling to other worlds, each with their own ecosystems and economies.
Catch a glimpse of the future in the GDC 2017 trailer after the break!