A new piece out on the PlayStation blog is picking at MMO players’ Project Titan scar.
Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan explains that after the seven-year Project Titan MMO collapsed, its dev team was partially scattered, the remainder tasked with coming up with a new game — in six weeks. Kaplan’s team whipped up three pitches: two MMOs (one in a Blizz universe, one in a new one) and a shooter, which ultimately became Overwatch.
The magic, Kaplan argues, came from taking MMO class concept art from Titan and turning the subjects into fully formed individual characters.
“‘[Chris Metzen] lit up to the idea that they were no longer classes but heroes, characters, people,’ says Kaplan. ‘It wasn’t the sniper; it’s now Widowmaker, and she’s a cold-blooded killer turned by Talon who used her to assassinate her husband. That was a way cooler story than just, hey, it’s the sniper, pick what nose you want and if you want the long or the short hair. It was a character, a human being. So Chris instantly said, Yes! This is what we should do.'”
The rest, as they say, is history; Blizzard went forward with the Overwatch pitch. Still, I can’t help but wish we’d gotten to see those other two MMOs.
This week’s Massively Overthinking comes to us from Xijit — and I think you’ll agree it’s quite timely.
“In light of The Secret World getting reworked into more of a single-player or online-but-not-actually-an-MMO title, what other MMOs would you like to see downgraded from the full MMO format and turned into a single-player-focused or limited multiplayer title?”
I’d like to say I can speak for everyone and say NONE ZERO NEVER STOPPIT. But I bet our staff — and you — can probably think of a few MMOs that might be better suited for a different format. Let’s dive in to this pool full of poop jello and fight it out.
Months later, the World of Warcraft community is still coming to grips with the absence of Chris Metzen, who decided to retire from Blizzard at the age of 42. From the perspective of fans, his departure was aburpt, but according to Metzen, it was the culmination of several difficult years of development.
In an audio interview, Metzen admitted that the pressure to “out-perform” with Project Titan, and later Overwatch, produced panic attacks and overwhelming anxiety. Metzen said that it all got to be too much: “I spent so many years running real hot and real fast and chasing this dream that I had and also being a good soldier, a good officer, for this company I was with.”
You can listen to the full interview after the jump.
Judging by the number and passion of comments posted on the announcement of Amazon Game Studios’ new MMORPG, a lot of you have no shortage of opinions and thoughts on New World.
The announcement wasn’t completely unforeseen, although there was a huge shadow of doubt that it would actually turn into an MMO. A multiplayer survival sandbox or MOBA more likely. Instead, AGS revealed that it is indeed working on a “massively multiplayer open-ended sandbox” set in an alternate version of 17th century Americas where supernatural terrors abound.
Just as opinions are flying fast and furious about New World here on Massively OP — some excited, some fearful, some hesitant — so too is the conversation about this new title spreading across the MMO blogosphere. In this special edition of Global Chat, we’ll be rounding up impressions and analysis from passionate MMO players and writers on this major announcement.
Chronicles of Elyria’s weekly update to Kickstarter watchers is brief, but it heralds the 2.1 release of the website, which now includes a private messaging system, better moderation tools, improved mobile support, and aesthetic enhancements. Soulbound Studios says it still expects to launch the online store “in just two weeks.”
But you probably wanted to hear about the game itself. How about some lore?
“I can tell you we continue to work on defining more details of the different Tribes of Mann. While I can’t say much now, I can say that the first one we’ve been working on we call the Joru Tribe, pronounced Yor-oo. Members of the tribe are referred to as Joran (Yor-uhn). If you sense a bit of a Nordic flare to the name, you’re not wrong. As the design currently stands, the Joru are a northern tribe, accustomed to the harsh winters of the Tundra and Taiga. Rumor has it, even the Bearded King Thandrus may have some Joru blood in him.”
There’s also a bit of concept art and work-in-progress screenies of the Titan’s Steppe area, which we’ve included below.
Video game history buffs know well that not every Blizzard project resulted in a launched game. Starcraft Ghost and Project Titan, anyone? Of particular interest to World of Warcraft fans is the cancelled 1998 title, Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans.
This adventure game followed the story of Thrall (you may have heard of him) and featured quite a bit of animated cutscenes. While Blizzard provided the story and design, it had outsourced some of the work to Russian studio Animation Magic. The project was ultimately canned (and the story turned into the novel Warcraft: Lord of the Clans).
However, a fan project has been working on finishing up the game and getting it out to the public. “After 18 years of waiting, project Warcraft Adventures [that was] cancelled [by] Blizzard in 1998 year [is] finally released!” Russian fan Reidor posted. “This is [the] full pre-released version with in-game cinematics and interest .txt docs. This is my gift for all Blizzard fans, old and new.”
Hey little fella! Do you… do you have flowers on those quills? Indeed you do, for you are a Flower-Cup Porcupine, one of Chronicles of Elyria’s newest critters and possible the most adorable MMO creature we’ve seen in quite some time. According to this past week’s developer diary, the porcupine is part of the team’s effort to create a full food chain for the new tundra and taiga biomes (spoiler: this guy sits toward the bottom of it, although above the lichen).
The real star of the diary, however, is a video tour of Titan’s Steppe in which the team can show off both the environment and some of the new character animations. Titan’s Steppe is one of the regions that will be used for the game’s prologue release. The team made a lot of caveats before showing the video: “Not all animations are still in place, noticeably absent is our landing animation. In either case, the system is nearly complete, and movement in the world is now intuitive, responsive, and fun.”
You can watch it below!
Nexon‘s LawBreakers has put out videos on the Enforcer and Assassin roles so far, and this week is the week of the Titan. Yeah, these guys are the heavies of the online shooter, the tanks with damage and jumping skills.
MOP’s Andrew Ross told us that during his time testing the game at this year’s E3, Bomchelle — the Law side’s Titan — had the worst name and the best gameplay, so take that as you will. Video, pics, and mini-infographic below!
In is latest character video for LawBreakers, Nexon is featuring the Enforcer role. “Whether you are a LAW or BREAKER, get your run n’ gun fix by playing Axel or Kintaro,” writes the studio. “[Kick] ass from afar with the Enforcer by using the rifle, get close by using the Badger shock pistol and finish off your foes with the shoulder-mounted BloodHound Launcher.”
Expect vids for the Assassin, Titan, and Vanguard over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, the Enforcer reel is below, and stay tuned for another round of alpha testing this weekend.
As of the time that I’m writing this, we don’t know when the Legion pre-patch will hit World of Warcraft. I had to double-check that; these days, I’m never sure any longer. You would think that wasn’t information that could somehow slip through my notice, but with the release schedule and announcements around this expansion, it could theoretically happen. You could almost believe that it would be sandwiched in there without fanfare.
But even if we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, we have some idea. So now it’s time to start getting ready for the pre-path, getting all of our characters primed and ready for when the patch actually hits World of Warcraft. There might not be much new content with that pre-patch, but boy will there ever be a plethora of stuff to deal with just the same. So whenever it hits, let’s get ourselves all ready to go, and we’ll start with… shopping.
Sure it’s not Project Titan, but Overwatch is the next big thing, and it’s well and truly sucked the air out of the room. My guildies might resurface in a month. Maybe. Plus, this was cute last night at go-time:
How about you folks? Are you playing? Is it taking away from your MMO time or supplementing nicely? How long exactly were your queues? What’s the consensus among the Massively OP commentariat?
Blizzard’s Overwatch, the shooty remains of what was once destined to be MMORPG Project Titan, formally launches tonight at midnight — if you’re in London, anyway. For those of us here in the US, we’re looking at go-times of 7 p.m. EDT at Massively OP’s HQ in Philly to 4 p.m. PDT over on the west coast where Blizzard is. If you’ve already preordered, you should probably go make sure you’re all downloaded and patched up because it’s launch day and nothing can go wrong. Right?
Let’s round up some cool Overwatch stories in the meantime!
The game isn’t out yet and there’s already a clone because of course there is. MMO Culture reports that a Chinese clone called Legend of Titan was shamelessly revealed for mobile at a con earlier this month.
Here’s a heartwarmer: The daughter of an Overwatch fan drew up a sketch of her own proposed Overwatch character, Birst, and her dad sent it off to Blizz for feedback… but epic Blizz artist Roman Kenney turned it into a real drawing. So Blizz, when can we play this new character?
Master x Master
might very well be the MOBA that I learn to love in spite of any and all preconceptions.
I am not, categorically, a fan of MOBAs. This is not news. It’s not a moral stance of any sort; the genre, as a whole, just holds very little appeal. Master x Master had that to overcome right from the starting gate, along with the reality that the game’s very nature didn’t sound to appealing. A mascot-based MOBA based on NCsoft properties, most of which have very little resonance for me in the first place? I can live without that.
Walking away from the demo I had with the game, I’m humming an altogether different tune. The game actually exists in an odd hybrid space between MOBA gameplay, twin-stick shooters, and cooperative ARPG gameplay in more ways than one, and its “mascot” nature has been vastly overstated. What I’ve seen and played thus far is smart, fun, and almost everything I would have asked for from a genre that I normally don’t have much interest in.