PvP stands for player-vs.-player. PvP can take the form of virtual combat, economic trade, political machinations, or other competition.
At the start of this month, we reported on a massive new war that was kicking off in the north
of EVE Online
. The words “The Imperium Strikes Back!” rang across the game as one of the game’s largest military coalitions moved thousands of capital ships north in preparation for what it called a “dirty war.” The group planned to dump hordes of capital ships on the enemy aggressively and with little regard of the financial cost, using its vast economic wealth to spread pain and misery. This was going to be The Imperium’s great return to nullsec warfare after a year of farming ISK and building up resources, and that narrative was used to get thousands of players on board.
The reality hasn’t been quite so dramatic, but it’s been very interesting on a strategic level. We’ve seen the narrative of this war change substantially over the past few weeks and watched as every victory or loss is quickly spun into propaganda. The Imperium has lost several key battles and appears totally outmatched by the combined supercapital forces of the north, but has also destroyed a few enemy citadels and is already claiming victory over its primary strategic objective. TEST Alliance has seen its own share of victories and defeats in the region against Northern Coalition and Pandemic Legion too, but is now in the process of packing up to go home.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I examine the major strategic goals during this war, the apparent change in The Imperium’s narrative, and the effect on the average alliance line member.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Neverwinter, Elder Scrolls Legends, Elite Dangerous, SWTOR, MapleStory, Hyper Universe, SMITE, Travian Online, Diablo III, Figureheads, Pokemon Go, Heroes and Generals, Rappelz, Ultima Online, Soulworker Online, Black Desert, and Gigantic, all waiting for you after the break!
Is that… is that Camelot Unchained’s Beta 1 peeking over the horizon? From the tone of this week’s newsletter, it certainly sounds as if the long-fabled test is growing nearer every day. In fact, there’s even a section on the website that exhaustively deals with the philosophy and plans behind the beta.
The team had a whole mess of projects to report on this week, including the beginnings of a character information screen, model diversity in the mass bots battles, and dummy NPCs that run around the place.
Possibly one of the most interesting sections of the newsletter dealt with the team’s plans for player progression, which sounds somewhat different than your typical PvE MMO: “We want player’s actions to factor into the global scope of events taking place across the entire world. Player progression is intended to be a long-term investment, and to allow players to focus on what they like best: playing the game how they want to play. For Beta, we’ll be laying out the key progression elements, but will tweak the time it takes to progress during Beta 1.”
Were you not appeased by the 13 minutes of Wild West Online gameplay footage earlier this week? What can we do to make you happy, pard’ner? What will ever satisfy your craving of previews for this western MMO?
Let’s try this: How about five additional videos, showing more gameplay, an excursion through a town, lockpicking, treasure hunting, and mining. Is that enough? Please say that it is.
In speaking with IGN, the developers said that WWO is “a place for people to role-play in the towns, prospect for gold, build a homestead. [We’re] trying to find that balance between the PvP players and the role-playing/PvE type of stuff, resource gathering, exploration, building, etc.”
On Tuesday, Daybreak formally announced that the neglected PvE half of H1Z1, Just Survive, would be shedding its H1Z1 branding once and for all. The reveal couldn’t help but remind me of the way Daybreak did the same thing for Landmark, deleting the “EverQuest Next” and then the EverQuest IP altogether from the title and marketing before ultimately scrapping the entire game not long after launch.
I don’t think Just Survive is necessarily doomed without the branding, however. In fact, I can think of several MMOs that I wish could have dumped their IPs or changed their names to rid themselves of the proverbial albatross ’round their necks. Star Wars Galaxies leaps immediately to mind.
What MMO would you like to see dump its branding or IP?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that everyone has at some point seen the xkcd called Isolation, but if not, there it is. No matter what the age and era, someone’s always preaching that people were more sociable in the long long ago. In this comic, however, Randall Munroe isn’t even contesting that. His point is basically no duh and so what. Yes, we become less sociable with random people in our immediate vicinity as we gain more and more access to ideas, entertainment, and people not in our immediate vicinity thanks to technology. Ultimately, replacing impromptu stranger interaction with the amusements of our choice appears to be what a lot of people wanted all along.
MMORPG players surely see where I’m going with this because we have the same eternal struggle when it comes to in-game socializing, grouping, community, and stickiness, the tug-of-war between the people who want to play alone together and the people who think that forced grouping is the only true path to enlightenment.
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked our staff to reflect on the alone together vs. forced grouping spectrum, to talk about where they stand on it, whether that position’s changed through the years, which games are addressing the divide the best, and how the two sides can move forward in a dynamic MMO genre.
Don’t call them “tiny,” not unless you want your Achilles heel slashed and your hair set on fire while screaming laughter fills your ears. Crowfall’s Fae might be the second-smallest race to come to the game, but the species packs quite a lot into its small package.
Today, ArtCraft revealed details about this race that’s coming soon to the test servers. The Fae are the first race in the game that will boast wings, and their bloodline passive grants them increased stealth movement speed, the ability to double-jump, and the ability to glide. Additionally, Fae can dodge past foes and perform higher crits with a special debuff.
The Fae were originally female-only, but thanks to a Kickstarter stretch goal, they will offer a male counterpart as well. The team said that the race can be paired with the Assassin, Druid, or Frostweaver class: “The Fae will add an interesting new element to Crowfall combat thanks to their natural affinity for stealth and the added mobility of their wings.”
Maybe it shouldn’t come as a huge shocker that the studio behind World of Tanks
is into (pause for punny effect) heavy metal. Wargaming
announced this week that it’s planning on infusing its soundtrack with heavy metal music from musicians around the world, starting with a special track by Akira Yamaoka. Additionally, the studio has teamed up with heavy metal band Sabaton to produce a game-themed music video of its hit Primo Victoria and create an in-game tank to match the song. For the music video, the band went to the Arsenalen Tank Museum in Sweden, where they drove around in an actual tank and reportedly crashed through a wall. Hopefully on purpose.
The Primo Victoria tank is now in the game, and both Sabaton and Akira Yamaoka will be joining Wargaming at Gamescom 2017, with the former doing a live performance for fans.
Meanwhile, Wargaming has announced the start of War Stories, a series of PvE story episodes “offering tankers the chance to relive historical events, discover alternate histories, or play-out fantasy campaigns.” Trailers down below!
We’re in the midst of a sort of sandbox renaissance, with numerous sandbox titles under development and more seeming to scuttle out of the woodwork on a regular basis, all vying for the attention of the masses of gamers weary of the World-of-Warcraft-inspired theme park formula that has dominated the market for so long. Among these contenders is Gloria Victis from indie developer Black Eye Games, a medieval, low-fantasy title that aims to meld an open-world sandbox MMO with the frantic swordplay action popularized by games like Mount and Blade and Chivalry.
Gloria Victis, like many of its compatriots in this new wave of sandbox MMOs, is still in development, but players can get a look at the current state of the game through Steam’s Early Access program. But if you’re one of the many who are (justifiably) wary of dropping money on unreleased games, don’t fret: I’ve taken the plunge in your stead to take a look at how things are shaping up.
Daybreak is a whirlwind this week: First it broke up the H1Z1 party and got Just Survive its own apartment, and now it’s bringing PlanetSide 2 up to speed. The studio is unveiling what it’s calling Critical Mass, an update planned for later in August that overhauls the game’s victory point system.
“Previously, the VP system acted as a sort of checklist where factions would complete various objectives which then rewarded points to that faction,” Daybreak explains. “Earning these points was somewhat removed from the moment to moment experience, and would often reward factions for what they’ve done in the past, instead of painting a picture of the current state of a continent. This was especially noticeable toward the end of the process, where continents would lock abruptly, often interrupting high-intensity battles in a dissatisfying or anticlimactic way.”
To fix that, the team is removing random alerts, nuking the “checklist goals” from the system, changing how continent locking works, and providing scaling rewards. Expect it on the test server “soon” ahead of the PC/PS4 launch later in August.
Still skeptical about Wild West Online’s proposed PvP system? A brand-new video today may or may not help. PC Gamer spends 13 minutes narrating a dev-led demo of the game world showing off just how pretty and detailed it looks, though the publication notes it feels pretty empty in its current phase. The narrator reiterates the idea that you’re probably not going to want to “go buck wild” murdering in towns since you’re likely to be caught and bountied. You can fire warning shots, however, and of course you can be ambushed out in the wild, with much weaker penalties for banditry.
“I like the idea of playing a roadside bandit and attacking innocent gold miners while they try to go pan for gold and make do or pay rent or buy a small land deed,” PC Gamer’s rep says while a dev shoots (and misses) his target. “I do worry about player density and whether any time you go out into the world to look for treasure or pan for gold or whatever it is – I do worry about getting shot too often. I’m told that’s what the beta and alpha are gonna be before, testing what kind of player population they want and how often they want you to engage with other people in conflict. There’s gotta be a sweet spot, and they will need a live environment to test that in.” You don’t say!
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds may have one of the worst video game names in history, but it set a new record on Twitch last week.
Gameloco founder Nicolas Cerrato points out that PUBG beat League of Legends in terms of hours of eyeballs on Twitch during the week of August 6th, the first time LoL’s ever been unseated by a game outside of a special event. And indeed, this was a special event: Dota 2 actually came close to beating both PUB and LoL together thanks to Valve’s massive $10M prize-pool The International tourney, which concluded over the weekend.
But PUBG still managed to edge out LoL — something that’s never happened before, possibly because MOBA eyes were distracted, or possibly because, as Cerrato puts it, “PUBG looks more and more like an extremely powerful cultural phenomenon that will impact gaming like very few games ever have.” There’s a reason Tencent was trying to buy it and its studio up, after all.
ArtCraft Creative Director J Todd Coleman and Senior Animator Eric Doggett are back for another lengthy Crowfall Q&A, discussing upcoming cons and and getting the campaign test server up. “We are rapidly approaching the point where we can actually run a real campaign,” Coleman notes.
The duo also touch on the 5.3 race and class update and the extensive animation and rigging work required to make the team’s relatively new plan to more or less map most classes to most races. This is a big deal, Coleman says, as a lot of money and time is going into the animation efforts.
“Take a character – let’s say, the human knight – it took us two man months to make,” Doggett explains. “Just for the animation part” — not the models, textures, power design, or the testing itself. The studio’s current tool, however, can cut that process down to five to ten days, speeding up the process.
The whole episode is below.