PvE stands for player-vs.-environment, where environment is generally taken to mean the world, NPCs, and AI.
When it comes to notable years in the MMORPG genre’s history, 2008 stands out as one of the most significant. World of Warcraft’s debut onto the scene in 2004 caused an upheaval in ways far too numerous to go into detail here. Suffice to say that its overwhelming popularity drew the attention of game designers who looked at the staggering numbers of players and found themselves envious of the potential to grab a slice of that money pie.
Many projects went into high gear following WoW’s launch, with plenty of them trying to copy the formula and structure that Blizzard established in the hopes of making it at least partially as big as that game. So-called WoW clones began to pepper the market and there was a sense that gamers were ready to move on from World of Warcraft to the next generation of MMOs. In many players’ minds, this would be either 2008’s Age of Conan or Warhammer Online, two big-budget MMOs with strong IPs that carried a lot of the weight of expectation.
Little did anyone realize that 2008 represented a bubble that was about to burst on the industry and the WoW clones that followed — including Warhammer Online. Today, we’re going to take a look at “bears, bears, bears,” the high hopes of Mythic Entertainment, and how WAR became a casaulty on its own battlefield.
Succeed or die trying: That’s the attitude you’ve got to have when heading into EVE Online’s
new Abyssal Deadspace instances
CCP explained what these unique packets of space-time contain and what players can do in them when the Into the Abyss expansion lands: “Abyssal Deadspace is a new type of encounter in EVE focused around short session solo gameplay, with some very ‘EVE‘ type opportunities for interaction. As a player you are making a series of strategic decisions that are different each session. You build up mastery between sessions by learning the patterns in the abyss. If you do well you will be rewarded, if not; you die.”
State of Decay 2 is out, and I know, I know, it’s not an MMO, but it does have online multiplayer in a shared world, as long as someone’s hosting. And I’ve been thoroughly sucked in.
Here’s the thing: It’s survival, it’s got a bit of a story, and you can immediately deal with griefers in the post-apocalypse and never have to see them again. I had great experiences with friends and foes alike, and I think some of you might feel the same if you give it a whirl.
As a fan of the wonderful world that Secret World
brought us, do you cringe or grin with excitement when Secret World Legends
news pops up? Do you waffle between tell me more
and no news is good news
? I’ve been on both sides. Who can blame us? We’ve weathered everything from financial woes
and the corresponding closure concerns to a complete reboot. And now, we’re experiencing yet another changing of the guard. The Creative Director position that has migrated from Ragnar Tornquist to Joel Bylos
to Romain Amiel has been vacated, and a new lead designer is taking over; Amiel left Funcom last month
to pursue different endeavors, leaving Chris “Nirvelle” Meredith in charge.
You can’t have a big change like this without people worrying that something will happen to their favorite conspiracy-laden game; it’s inevitable, like the sass of Kirsten Geary. The big question is, will this latest development in the structure of developers ultimately fall on the fear or cheer side of the fence? Will the recent momentum be lost? Is this just one step on the continued track of new content, or will the train be totally derailed?
If you suspected, as I did, that Wild West Online might not get much in the way of updates after its bizarrely hasty launch, prepare to be relieved as a new update is on the way to allay those fears. In fact, it’s being called a “relatively big redesign of the game.” What’s going into it? It’s not set in stone yet, but 612 Games has some ideas, and a lot of those ideas are going to appeal to PvE-centric players who don’t really want to get shot.
That begins with the faction system, which is apparently once again the subject of proposed changes. “You will still be fighting for McFarlane or Steele when capturing Towns, but you won’t need to choose your faction on character creation. It’ll be a more fluid system. Town Captures will be balanced – we’re basically borrowing base balancing/gameplay from Battlefield 1 on this,” the studio says. “Players who want to do activities beside PvP will be able to do that relatively safe. […] So basically there’ll be no killing on sight or grieving of players leaving the safety of the towns. All towns will be safe zones unless of course, the town is actively under siege by Factions.”
Ten years of live operation, and Conan still looks like someone killed his puppy. Maybe you need a new hobby, Mr. The Barbarian? We hear there’s this new sandbox survival game out right now that’s pretty hot.
Anyway, Age of Conan is officially 10 years old this month, and to celebrate the occasion, Funcom is throwing players to the lions. Er, wait, that’s not right. They’re throwing lions at the players. Still sounds unsafe, but no matter. Anyone who logs in between now and June 5th will receive their own totally safe, no training necessary Golden Lion of Aquilonia mount.
The anniversary event also includes new daily rewards, an extra raid finder chest that can be opened every day, the addition of the Black Ring Citadel to the raid finder, several quality-of-life changes (such as being able to disable PvE XP), and the return of Shadows of the Past and Acheronian Soul classic content.
Bless Online’s media event and pricing reveal last week may not have gone entirely to plan. You’ll recall that Neowiz announced at the time that it’d be charging $40 for the standard edition of the game, on up to $200 for the collector’s edition, with each package containing headstart and varying chunks of premium membership time chunked together. That’s what set the community off: It was the first notice that the game would definitely include a premium sub with its early access. The studio also didn’t fully detail what people spending up to $200 would be buying, nor how it would balance all of that with its anti-pay-to-win stance.
Neowiz has taken the feedback to heart, however, and released a new plan overnight. The important parts are that Neowiz has cut the $200 pack down to $149, there’s no longer any “customer service priority” accompanying the packs, there’s an actual preview of some of the exclusive pack skins, there’s confirmation that player-to-player trading won’t be in the game, there’s confirmation about the cash-shop item that’ll safeguard you against PvP, and there’s a refreshed promise not to roll out DLC – instead, Neowiz says it’ll update the game every three months, with the Assassin class in the first one.
Just ahead of this year’s E3, Ubisoft is rolling out The Crew 2’s closed beta – that’s May 31st through June 4th, and yep, it’s on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, with preload beginning on the 29th. What sort of vroom-vroom content will you be testing?
“During the Closed Beta, players will experience the first level of the progression system as they compete in races across the first four disciplines – Street Race, Rally Raid, Powerboat and Aerobatics – against the backdrop of a fully redesigned U.S.A via land, water and air. To create more adrenaline-fueled experiences, players can use the Fast-Fav feature and instantly switch their vehicle type depending on the type of terrain they will encounter: an airplane flying underneath San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge can turn into a boat with the touch of a button.”
The game was originally announced a year ago with a launch date of March 2018, but it was delayed, first to a vague summer window and then to June 29th, a date that apparently will hold firm. We played at at E3 last year when it was still pretty far away, and we actually liked it even then, which is a great sign. Preorders and closed beta signups are on the official site, and the new trailers are below!
While its rollout has been rocky
“lucky” 13th hotfix
brought a lot of content and changes to both the regular and Prime servers.
The major focus of the hotfix was on the game’s souls and callings, with a particular focus on the progression server’s class balance. You’re going to want to run down the whole extensive list (are we sure this is a mere hotfix?) for all of the details, but Trion did note that it made a big fix to buff stacking that could help or hurt certain builds depending.
On the live server, the Seeker event is going on from now through June 15th. By discovering and solving puzzles, players can earn free silver tier loyalty in the game store.
Then, over on Prime, the Greenscale’s Blight raid has gone live, a new vigil challenge is underway, and crafting rifts are now a thing. Players can log in to get a couple of nice freebies: a third character slot and a Verde companion pet.
Don’t call it a full-fledged expansion, but Lord of the Rings Online’s
next content update may be nearing that level of content and focus.
Standing Stone Games Executive Producer Rob Ciccolini posted a roadmap to the community today that laid out the rest of 2018 and beyond for the Middle-earth MMO. Ciccolini said that the team will be delaying the release of Minas Morgul in order to properly flesh up the rest of North Rhovanion over the next couple of updates. This includes a huge addition to the game with the Iron Hills and Grey Mountains regions, a level cap increase to 120, another part of the Black Book of Mordor epic storyline, an instance cluster, and a new raid.
Change is coming to Revelation Online
, even if it’s largely under the hood for the moment. You folks might recall that the My.com MMO got a new producer
and vision back in January. Now it appears yet another a new captain has taken the helm, as newly installed Global Producer Petr Lagun pens in a dev blog today
“The company has decided to change its operation strategy and in an effort to close the gaps between the West (Europe and North America) and Russian operation teams there will be a single producer for the Western and Russian markets – and that’s me,” he writes.
So how does that affect Revelation Online itself?
“For Revelation Online, it means that there will be less differences between the Russian versions and Western version of the game as we are hoping to unify the same client build, our current aim is to do this with our first unified build which is currently under the name ‘New Sulan.’ While we are working on this update, the team is preparing exciting and interesting events for PvP and PvE players.”
As some of you may remember, I wasn’t terribly impressed with Conan Exiles when it first went into Early Access last year. It wasn’t exactly that the game was rough, but just more of the same: free-for-all PvP with people constantly zerg killing each other, now with slavery and some dragons!
But Funcom has done a lot to flesh out the game since then. My GDC look at the game gave me hope, and although the PvE conflict switcharoo is really upsetting, I actually have to say that, mechanically, Funcom has won me over. While I normally track my playtime, I have to admit that I spent far too much time playing Exiles. Sadly, I didn’t get to experience clans, god summoning, purges, teleportation, massive battles, or slavery, but it wasn’t from a lack of trying. In fact, Conan Exiles should give all of us, PvE players included, a reason to pay more attention to the survival genre.
With the ever-developing, ever-growing nature of MMORPGs, the expansion truly has a life of its own. By now we are well acquainted with the cycle that runs from gestation to obsolescence and can usually point to where any particular expansion is on this chart.
The Lazy Goldmaker outlined the typical progression of MMO expansion packs with a six-step cycle that focuses heavily on the economy and raiding: “After the final raid of the expansion we will enter the last content drought. This is typically the longest period with nothing exciting added to the game. We are in the middle of this phase of Legion currently. Most of the markets from the live expansion will still be viable, but profit margins will be decreasing, as will prices on all goods.”
Read on for more MMO blog essays, including ones that cover EVE Online, Wizard101, SWTOR, and LOTRO!