Remember Wild West Online? The game made a lot of noise through early testing, but it went fairly quiet. Turns out the reason for that was a top-to-bottom revamp of the game’s client, so there have been a lot of changes in the current version of the game. Good news, though, that test version is almost ready for players to try.
More beta news? Sure thing, that’s what we usually do here. It’s a thing.
And yes, there is a list below with a whole lot of games in testing. Some of them might also be in “open beta” hiding no planned wipes and an open cash shop, and if you could let us know about that, we’d be grateful. You have to keep your eyes open for these things. They’re tricky.
Good news, Project Gorgon fans: The game’s early access launch on Steam draws ever closer. It is, in fact, astonishingly close right now. There are a few things that will need to happen first, though; the game needs another patch first to take care of some legal text and so forth that needs to be present for the game’s launch on Steam. That also means a few bug fixes as well.
After that’s taken care of this week, players can expect the title to be available on Steam early access at some point next week. So it’s not here quite yet, but it’s approaching ever faster, and it won’t be longer until you can enjoy the game polishing itself up in early access. That’s something to be happy about.
Want something to read in the meantime? We just visited Gorgon in our Choose My Adventure column last month.
It may not be a show-stealing spectacle, but optimization is a vital aspect of a game’s pre-launch preparations. So let not your eyes be led astray from Project Gorgon’s February 28th patch notes, because the bottom line here is that the game will play nicer with a faster framerate across the board.
To accomplish better performance and stability with the Gorgon client, the team has enabled basic occlusion culling in the outdoor region of Serbule and made an additional tweak that helps framerates out when there is a crowd of players or mobs on the screen at any one time.
Project Gorgon is also enabling the default setting to automatically adjust a quality level for a player’s computer: “This feature helps lower-end PCs find a quality level that gives good framerate, and is especially useful for computers that have good FPS in dungeons but bad FPS in outdoor areas. When your framerate is too low, it will reduce the graphics quality; if it’s high it’ll increase quality.”
Out of all the titles that I’ve played for Choose My Adventure, Project Gorgon is probably the earliest in its development cycle. It’s also, by a sizable margin, the best in show. If you’re looking for a quick ringtone-style clip to take away from this column, that would be the one.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot of criticisms of the game, nor does it mean that this is a game which will delight and amaze everyone who plays it. I have a somewhat biased starting point anyway because I talk about this subgenre for a living, and thus I have certain tastes that not everyone is going to share. That isn’t meant as a brag; that’s meant as a self-admonishment because these are things no one should really care about all that much.
Still, here I am, here this game is, and I am happy to pronounce it the best of all the Choose My Adventure games that I’ve played for this feature so far – albeit with the slight caveat that it won’t be able to hold onto that title forever if it doesn’t actually address some of the issues that I noticed while playing.
It has been a long while since Massively OP’s MJ has played any Project Gorgon. That’s because this was one of those games she didn’t want to spoil before launch. But she just can’t wait any longer! So much has changed, and she wants to experience some of that. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. as MJ reenters this world.
What: Project Gorgon
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained invites you to break out the sparklers because the game will finally launch its long-delayed beta one on July 4th. That’ll follow the “feature lock” date of June 12th. We got the whole scoop in our interview earlier this week!
Meanwhile, Star Citizen posted a new ship sale, had a nice friendly chat with the BBB, and talked about the thrilling topic of refueling. Plus, Crowfall got a lore update, Albion updated its Kay build, Pantheon teased its pre-alpha, Project Gorgon detailed its Steam preparation, and mecha-shooter Pantropy updated its ongoing Kickstarter.
And Maguss, the wizarding MMOARG that raised almost half a million bucks on Indiegogo, launched its open beta on iOS and Android this morning.
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.
One of the features that captivates and draws players to Project Gorgon is the quirky indie MMO’s design of infusing the game with a wide and bizarre assortment of skills that you don’t typically see in other online RPGs. After all, this is a game that includes such skills as Flower Arrangement, Beast Speech, Psychology, Civic Pride, Holistic Wellness, Poetry Appreciation, and Howling.
It has me excited because I’ve grown tired of what I see as a limited skill set that inhabits most combat-centric MMOs. I want games to remember their pen-and-paper roots and come up with skills that go beyond “the best and fastest way to murder.” And if that takes the form of poetry, then so be it.
If you were able to add skills to an MMO, what would they be? What skills would enhance your gameplay experience and make your title that much more interesting and immersive?
Remember Maguss, the Harry Potter-esque ARG everyone was buzzing around right up until Pokemon Go company Niantic said it was making Harry Potter: Wizards Unite? It’s just about to launch its open beta; you west coasters will want to wake up early on Saturday indeed to make the 8 a.m. EST starting time on Android and iOS. The game originally raised almost half a million dollars on Indiegogo, so its popularity seems assured!
What else happened in the world of MMO testing this week?
- Camelot Unchained finally has a beta date: the fourth of July. Fortunately, nothing else important happens on that day. Our interview all about how beta will work is pretty great if we do say so ourselves.
- Dead Maze officially launched! No more beta! Free at last!
- Villagers & Heroes seeks iOS beta testers ahead of its launch at the end of this month.
- Project Gorgon laid out the details of its upcoming Steam beta.
- Stardew Valley promised multiplayer beta this spring.
- Soulworker Online is inching ever closer to testing here; forums for NA and EU arrived this week.
- Ashes of Creation dazzled again with more footage of “alpha zero” gameplay.
- Staxel landed on our sandbox radar; it’s currently in early access.
- Bless Online is anticipating that when it starts, its early access open beta will run half a year.
We’ve tucked whole list of games temporarily and very much permanently in test stasis right on down below.
There’s a familiar situation to players of tabletop games wherein a sidequest becomes more important than the main quest, and you wind up taking further sidequests on in order to advance the original sidequest. And if things go egregiously awry, you start asking yourself what you’re actually pursuing the sidequest for in the first place. The first arc of Darths & Droids does a pretty good job of illustrating this phenomenon.
Anyhow, that’s where I wound up with my last week of Project Gorgon. It wasn’t that I didn’t have self-determined goals, it’s that most of them required a sidequest to complete a sidequest to complete a further sidequest so that I could… start grinding. It was all functional, but it kind of felt like staring at the bottom of a cliff knowing that I had a limited amount of time to actually scale that cliff, and not being able to quite muster the enthusiasm when I know that I’ll never get all the way up the cliff in time.
It’s an exciting time for Project Gorgon as the game heads toward Steam! It’s not happening right now, of course; the game will be submitted for final approval in a week, and it’ll probably be live on the service in two. But when that happens, the whole way you play the game is going to change, and thus the developers have outlined the whole process from now until the game is live on Steam.
Players who have pre-purchased the game will received their Steam keys in the mail after it’s live, while those who have just taken advantage of the game’s free testing will have to actually buy it. Players will still be able to log in with the alpha client for about two weeks after the Steam launch, with the option to link your previous test account to the game so that you can unlock any rewards and the like. You also won’t suffer any data wipes, so don’t be worried about that.
Curious about how the game plays? Well, we’re covering it right now in Choose My Adventure. Hint, hint.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Dual Universe is still zooming along in its pre-alpha, and it’s addressed just that in a new AMA this week. The studio acknowledges that the game’s development has become delayed (you’ll recall it was originally supposed to launch a full alpha last fall) but that money isn’t an issue. “Don’t worry, we are OK,” Novaquark tells backers. “We are going to publish a roadmap before Summer. For the 24/7 [testing], this is a high level priority, and we hope to be able to get you there in a few weeks. It won’t be full time however, but more like full week-ends to start with.” The studio also says it’ll launch a second crowdfunding effort later this quarter.
On a more meta note, today marks Massively OP’s third birthday as an independent MMORPG website, and the plain truth is that wouldn’t be here today without the generous donors who contributed to our original Kickstarter back in 2015, our Patreon and PayPal donors, our Twitch subbers, our Amazon clicky-clickers, and you lovely folks who whitelist our ads. You and we are living proof that crowdfunding can work! Thank you all so very much from the whole team. Here’s to three and many more!
First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who offered me some good Project Gorgon advice in the last installment of this column. Advice helped me put together an idea of some stuff that I had managed to miss with my natural explorations, including where I could get a freaking handsaw. It wasn’t even hard; I just misread a certain gateway as an exit instead of a path to another sub-section of the town. So that helped get me back on track.
Second, I’d like to apologize for having to take a mulligan last week and leaving you all without a column; it was totally down to limits of my own time rather than any dislike for the game. If you’ve not gotten the message from the first couple of installments, I quite like the game as a whole.
Third, I’d further like to apologize for the fact that this week my lifelong tendency to be terrible about screenshots struck badly. On the plus side, it’s not like most of my gear has changed, and there’s not much more to be said about the game’s graphics. On that note, in fact, we should probably start talking about the actual game.
Last week, we got a well-intentioned email from a reader named Rick, who proposed a column in which readers tell us what they are looking for in an MMO and we offer up suggestions for just the right MMO. It’d be like Guild Chat, we imagine, only instead of dispensing guild advice, we’d be telling you folks what to play.
The email prompted some discussion among the MOP staff about whether that would be an effective column to write (or to read). We do answer some questions like that for the podcast from time to time, for example, but I seldom get the impression we’ve actually helped. Most times, the listener has already tried everything and is hoping for a game that simply doesn’t exist yet, so we’re destined to fail. And even then, it’s really difficult to recommend MMOs to people without really knowing their full history with every studio and game. Some of us can’t even find an MMO we want to play!
So we thought we’d open that discussion up for everyone. How do you go about recommending MMOs to other people? What are your criteria? When your sister says she’s done with WoW, your co-worker requests input around the watercooler one day, or Some Dude On Reddit asks for pointers – where do you start?