Over the last couple of weeks, we shared with you part one and part two of our guide to the best upcoming and current indie MMORPGs on the market. Naturally, there were always those titles that we overlooked or couldn't fit into the space, so we are back with the third and final part of this guide to make sure that all of your favorite games got mentioned.
As a side note, we won't be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too much for the scope of this guide. And if you're interested in these games, then you'll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns.
On with part three!
This week has brought some pretty terrible news for fans of Gigantic, as developer Motiga has had to lay off a significant portion of the development staff due to a lack of funds. The studio claims that it's aggressively negotiating for more capital, with the intent being to rehire those laid off, but only time will tell if this plan comes to fruition.
Depressing, huh? Yeah, let's move on to other beta news from the past week.
- How do you feel about giant combat robots in hot pink? A Japanese squad-based tactical third-person shooter, Figureheads, will be entering open beta later this month, and you can indeed have a giant combat robot in hot pink. The world is a wonderful place at times.
- "Oh, I don't want to have a third-person shooter in a robot," you say? Well, perhaps you'd like to catch up on Eternal Crusade's discussion of the Eldar faction.
- "No, I prefer shooters in a more modern era." Aren't you picky? At least you can look forward to taking part in The Division's open beta once it kicks off on February 19th.
- "That's a little too modern for me." What do you want? Do you just want to play Overwatch, is that it? Because that title has just returned to beta with new modes and progression systems.
- "Actually, I think I'd just settle for a foreign traditional MMO." Fine, then, check out what Bless Online looks like with its current beta endgame.
- "But why aren't you mentioning Pumpkin Online?" I'm glad you asked, hypothetical reader. This is what's going on with Pumpkin Online.
That was a wild tour, but there's still a full list on down below if you'd like to check that out. Did something slip into a new testing state whilst we were paying attention to other things? Well, please let us know in the comments, then.
Let's do a catch-up post on the development of the non-combat dating sim Pumpkin Online, shall we? Back in October 2015, the team decided that it needed to switch graphics engines, going from the Hero Engine to Unreal 4. This move was coupled with the decision to downgrade the game from an MMORPG to a multiplayer title spread over several small (or even single-player) server populations.
In November, the team was hard at work on the fishing system and the multiplayer chat system. By December, however, the team was feeling as though it was falling behind on its planned two-year development schedule but said that it would work hard to get a playable beta by the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017. Meanwhile, the sleeping and mailbox systems have been added to the game.
More good news came with the most recent newsletter: "We've officially started world building with adding buildings. The first village we have all the buildings for so far is Spoonie Island. They are not textured yet, but we will be placing the buildings in town to get a feel for how we may want it to look."
You can check out some of Pumpkin Online's progress in a new alpha video after the jump!
If there's one thing that always, always goes with MMOs, it's combat. I mean, we can't be a hero without killing something, right? We can't explore a virtual world of wonder without needing to murder a small chunk of it, no?
And as exciting and replayable and institutional as combat is, sometimes... sometimes I get a little tired of it. Being in games where everything revolves around supporting combat in some way or directly fighting can be mentally exhausting. So the Massively OP team and I sat around one afternoon trying to name MMOs where combat is not just rare but absent entirely.
We thought we could name only a small handful, but we quickly stormed our way past 10, and that's not even counting sports MMOs, text-based MUSHes, and the iffy status of Puzzle Pirates. So if you're looking for an online game that isn't about stabbing, punching, or fireballing goblins to death, here are attempts by the industry to provide alternatives!
Welcome back to Make My MMO, a recurring column from Massively-that-was which covers crowdsourced MMOs of both the fully funded and the not-so-much variety. Each week we'll round up the most relevant crowdfunding news stories in case you missed them, and we'll also keep a running tab on active funding drives.
And speaking of that, for the next two weeks we get to write about ourselves in this space, as our Kickstarter is ongoing through March 6th and you lovely backers continue to stick it to the man while humbling us with your support.
Click past the cut for the rest of this week's crowdfunding news. And don't forget to tip us if you see something we missed (especially this week and next as we're still scrambling to get our new house in order!).