I want to start this column by saying the absolute meanest thing I have to say about Project Gorgon, and that one is probably pretty obvious. This is not a pretty game. I’m reluctant to say that it’s outright ugly because a lot of effort has obviously been put into making the game look as pretty as it possibly can, but there is a hard limit to how much you can do under the circumstances. The result? Even with graphics cranked up as high as they will go, this game is not a looker.
That’s the meanest thing I’ve got. In every other respect, it delivered on what I expected or actually provided me with a little bit more.
Character customization, at this point, is also pretty anemic and terrible, but I managed to make a character who looked at least halfway decent. Then my character got immediately fireballed in the face with several NPCs standing (or hovering) over her body, announcing sadly that her will wasn’t going to break, and so one of them would need to take her on specifically as a pet project. And then I woke up on an island.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained fans are stocking up on big bags of popcorn because the announcement has been announced! If you care about the future of the game, you’re gonna want to show up this coming Thursday to hear what’s in store. Hint hint nudge nudge. It’s all teased in the game’s latest backer update, which further covers CSE’s progress on the engine, latency, the UI, tools, networking code, animations, and art.
Meanwhile, we got a personal tour of Ship of Heroes, Project Gorgon gently hyped its upcoming early access, Chronicles of Elyria announced it’s abandoned SpatialOS, and Elite Dangerous delivered beta and launch windows for its update chunk.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Don’t look now, but Project Gorgon could be out on Steam by the time the Easter Bunny emerges from her hidey-hole.
The project lead took to Twitter this week to inform the community that early access is aiming for February or March: “It’ll be another month-ish before Project Gorgon is on Steam early access, but it’s now in internal testing. Which means I can now play from Steam! Nobody else yet, just me. But it’s a step.”
As we digest this happy news, Linux testers also have something to brighten their day. The team pushed out an experimental launcher for those using a Linux OS on their computers. This doesn’t mean that Project Gorgon has official Linux support (it doesn’t), but it’s a nice concession to those who use the platform.
Curious about this indie MMO? Check out Eliot’s run through Project Gorgon this month in his Choose My Adventure series!
A comment on Reddit about the current size and viability of Kritika Online got me thinking about MMO playerbases in general lately. We all know that there’s a stigma attached to little games; the big games with big servers and millions of players feel safer, and nowadays people just assume a small MMO has one foot in the grave. But it isn’t always true. We could also rattle off some smaller MMOs that seem to be moving along just fine, with bills paid. Sure, they’d like to be bigger, but they’re holding steady and know how to work the playerbase they do have rather than constantly alienate their current customers in search of new customers. And some MMO gamers actually prefer those sorts of titles. After all, if the game has just a few thousand people, it’s much easier to get to know a large slice of them, plus have your voice heard by the developers and actually influence the gameworld.
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked the writers to reflect on the smallest MMOs they have played, and then consider how big an MMO has to be in terms of playerbase that they’d consider playing it now. What’s the smallest MMO you’re willing to play, and why?
I’m really glad to be heading into Project Gorgon for the first CMA of the year. Not just because it’s a title which I have absolutely no experience with, although that helps. No, it’s also because Project Gorgon is another installment in the ongoing and non-absolute answer to the longest-running question in MMO history. Now that we have this neverending game with all of these moving pieces to play with, what are we actually here to do?
That sounds like a straightforward question, but I think it’s important to consider the reality that this has always existed and always been an issue. No matter how much you might enjoy an MMO, ultimately, you need a goal of some kind, and thus most of them have made a point of offering one. It’s important to note that “goal” is not a synonym here for “endpoint,” as most MMOs feature a goal of some sort but not a point when you are supposed to actually be entirely done forever.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen devs gave a first look at game’s brand-new website, which is due to launch later in January. It’s good news for those of you who’ve argued the existing site doesn’t do enough to explain the game to newbies who haven’t been following the game for years.
High-end Star Citizen backers also have the opportunity to attend an exclusive shindig in May. “On Friday May 4th, we will host a private Concierge event, which will include an intimate tour of our LA headquarters, followed by dinner in the commissary and a sit-down Q&A with Chris Roberts and key devs from the Star Citizen team,” members of the Chairman’s Club were told via email this week. “The event will be filmed with highlights airing at a later date. It will be limited to 60 tickets, going on sale to Concierge members for $350 in three installments [beginning next Friday].” (Thanks, DK!)
Meanwhile, Crowfall talked parcels, Chronicles of Elyria wrote about identity, Elite players are busy rebuilding, and Ship of Heroes spoke to us about its hopes for the superhero MMO genre. Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
It has already been a year since one of the oldest graphical MMOs, Asheron’s Call, was shut down unceremoniously following Turbine’s decision to jettison MMOs and focus on mobile titles (how’s that working out for you, by the way?). But have you ever wondered where all of the players went after they were exiled from their virtual home?
PCGamesN did, and one author started investigating and interviewing former Asheron’s Call players to see where they immigrated. While some left MMOs altogether, others drifted toward emulators or other titles like Elite: Dangerous. But it seems like many of these refugees may have found a new home in Project Gorgon.
Guild leader Sasho is one of several who transferred his community into the upcoming MMO: “From a certain point, people didn’t log into Asheron’s Call to play the game, we logged on to see each other — the game was just the excuse. The spirit of the AC community never died, so when looking for a new place to hang our coats, the question wasn’t ‘which MMO is best?,’ but ‘where can I find my old friends?.’ And, honestly, Project Gorgon is an amazing game.”
As our review of the past year of Choose My Adventure rolls onward (a bit longer than originally planned), we enter what I think of as the trifecta of disappointment. Why? Well, the word “trifecta” is fun to say. Try it a few times. Also, because the were three titles among the back end that were pretty notably disappointing.
There are always going to be titles with Choose My Adventure that don’t connect as much with me; after all, the games that I play on a regular basis are not chosen based on a random number generator. But these titles in particular are disappointments, each for their own reasons. And then, in the middle, there’s a game that is far closer to “not mine, but not bad,” which is a different matter altogether. Life, in short, is a rich tapestry.
Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Most Anticipated MMORPG, which was awarded to Star Citizen last year for the third year in a row, though it was an incredibly close vote. (And yes, we recognize the irony of Star Citizen mopping up both negative and positive awards.) This year’s discussion on most anticipated was close too, but there’s more a sense of frustration since a lot of the games we’re picking from here year after year are the same – because they still aren’t out.
Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!
The Massively OP staff pick for Most Anticipated MMORPG of 2018 and Beyond is…
Welcome to a special edition of Make My MMO, Massively OP’s regular recap of what’s going on in crowdfunded MMOs, which we do specifically for those of you who are convinced Kickstarter is the absolute worst (it’s not) and that no crowdfunded MMOs ever launch (they do). Plus, somebody’s got to keep an eye on what your money’s up to! Tonight’s edition isn’t going to be our usual recap of the last couple of weeks, however; we’re going to look at the most important MMO crowdfunding news of the entire year. Lock up your wallets and let’s get to it.
Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Best Indie or Crowdfunded MMO of 2017, a brand-new award for us this year. All indie MMOs and crowdfunded MMOs are eligible for this award; the game needn’t actually have launched yet, though a lot of us decided to self-impose that rule anyway. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!
The Massively OP staff pick for Best Indie or Crowdfunded MMO of 2017 is…
It’s that time of year again where the airwaves of certain radio stations are clogged with the same songs from the 1950s, television broadcasts are filled with specials about the nature of giving, and dozens of people exclaim that Die Hard is a holiday film due to its timeframe. Yes, it’s the holiday season, and whatever you celebrate, you cannot retreat into your favorite MMO without seeing plenty of red suits, white trim, and all sorts of associated antics.
So, where will you hang your gaming hat this year? Probably in much the same place as usual, but if you’re curious about which games are running which events, we have you covered with our roundup just below.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, eyebrows across the ‘verse rose as Crytek filed a lawsuit alleging that the studios behind Star Citizen and Squadron 42 were in violation of Crytek’s copyrights in regard to CryEngine. In a statement to Massively OP, however, CIG denied that it was still using CryEngine and said it planned to fight back. “This is a meritless lawsuit that we will defend vigorously against, including recovering from Crytek any costs incurred in this matter.”
Over on the Camelot Unchained blog, CSE is busy working on plot and item permissions tech, scenarios, combat, skill buttons (no word on that I-win button, sorry), NPC AI, large group UI, deflect animations, the place of power, armor, and weeds. No, actual weeds. And dead trees. What did you think I meant?
Meanwhile, OrbusVR hit early access, Albion Online tweaked Kay and updated its rewards, Elite’s Thargoids finally started fighting back, and Crowfall raised a bunch of new money from investors. And the much-anticipated Ashes of Creation and Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen launched their respective pre-alphas for elite and specially selected early backers.