retro

Trove’s subclassing system launches with Eclipse next week

A total solar eclipse isn’t a common event — the continental US hasn’t seen one in almost 40 years. So it makes a lot of sense for games to take advantage of the occasion, and that’s exactly what Trion is doing with Trove next week with its Eclipse update.

The highlight of that update isn’t eclipse glasses, although perhaps it should be: It’s actually the subclassing system that we’ve been stoked about for months. It’s probably going to remind you more of Marvel Heroes than of Guild Wars, as each of the existing classes, when taken as a subclass on a character, will provide a specific passive bonus — but it’s based on your power level in that other class. So since my mains are a Tomb Raiser and Candy Barb, I could take Candy Barb as the subclass on my Tomb Raiser for this bonus:

“Provides extra Stability and has a chance to drop candy when damaging an enemy. The candy increases attack and either movement speed or healing.”

Which I will do because candy. But the exciting bit is that it provides people a reason to play multiple classes and benefits those with a deep bench on their account. Check out the whole list of bonuses on the official site — spot any obvious synergies?

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Retro shooter Keystone rebrands as The Amazing Eternals ahead of founder beta

Remember back in 2015 when a gamer sneaked into Digital Extremes’ headquarters and wandered around for a day, tricking the unassuming Canadian devs into spilling the beans on a top-secret “FPS with cards” game they were working on? Last spring, we found out that game was a real thing, a retro-pulp shooter/card game hybrid called Keystone.

Today, however, we’re finding out that the “Keystone” title has been scrapped in favor of a new one: The Amazing Eternals. The Warframe dev asserts now that Keystone was just a codename for the closed alpha, which is drawing to a close and will soon be replaced with a closed beta that you too can pay to play.

“Building from its Closed Alpha test with thousands of enthusiastic new players, free-to-play Canadian developer and publisher Digital Extremes will launch the Founders Program for The Amazing Eternals (formerly codenamed Keystone) Tuesday, August 29. Using the community-driven model that helped grow Warframe to great success, The Amazing Eternals Founders Program rewards early adopters with direct development team collaboration, exclusive in-game gear, instant access to the Closed Beta, and more. Join the Multiverse by signing up free for a chance to get into The Amazing Eternals Closed Beta or enter the game instantly with the Founders Program launch on Tuesday, August 29!”

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The Game Archaeologist: EverQuest Online Adventures

In the pantheon of SOE’s (now Daybreak) flagship EverQuest franchise, there used to be a whole family of MMOs gathered around the table every evening. There was Papa EverQuest, looking a little wrinkled and worn but also radiating fame and authority. Next to him was Mama EverQuest II, a powerful  matron of entertainment. And EverQuest Next used to be a twinkle in their eyes before it was extinguished.

Then, in the next room over was a cabinet. The cabinet was locked. Inside that cabinet used to be a weird abnormality that certainly looks like a member of the family, but one that hadn’t seen the light of day in quite some time. This member subsisted on the scraps of an aging console and the fading loyalty of fans, hoping against odds that one day he’d be allowed out for a stroll or something. His name was EverQuest Online Adventures, the EverQuest MMO nobody mentions.

EQOA was a strange abnormality in SOE’s lineup. While it was one of the very first console MMOs and heir to the EverQuest name, it was quickly eclipsed in both areas by other games and left alone. Yet, against all odds, it continued to operate on the PlayStation 2 for the better part of a decade before its lights were turned off. Today, let’s look at this interesting experiment and the small cult following it created.

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Neverwinter’s Tomb of Annihilation is coming to consoles on September 12

Don’t fret, anxious console players: Your adventures in the completely safe and not-scary-at-all jungles of Chult are coming soon. In about a month, as a matter of fact.

Now that Neverwinter’s Tomb of Annihilation update is out for the PC, the team is getting ready to push the patch to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on September 12th. The update contains a new campaign, a high-level dungeon, and the monster hunt system.

So what to do between now and then while you wait? Macrame is an option. So is printing out those awesome retro posters and making trading cards for your friends. Perhaps you could schedule a safari to a real jungle and see if any of the animals drop gear for your armor set. Please don’t drag Massively OP into the official police report after that, thanks.

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Snail releases trailer for PixArk, its Minecraft-ARK Survival Evolved mashup

What’s that squishy sound? Oh yeah, it’s the sound of an IP being milked. I’m talking about Snail Games’ new Minecraft clone PixArk, which is apparently based in the same IP as ARK: Survival Evolved and Snail Games’ own ARK Park. The title is planned as a bit more of a survivalbox than voxelbox MMO counterparts like Trove, however. Expect first-person view, machine guns, and dinosaurs.

2P reports that Snail Games announced at ChinaJoy that the game will indeed come west, so yay! If you like voxel games, this one actually looks pretty cute. The trailer’s down below.

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The Daily Grind: What’s the best MMORPG for gamers who are sick of raiding?

In the middle of the conversation spawned by yesterday’s financial news that Guild Wars 2 had seen its worst revenue quarter since launch, several of our commenters sidetracked into discussion about raiding in Guild Wars 2 compared to the rest of the genre. One commenter suggested Guild Wars 2 treated non-raiders as second-class citizens (especially given that GW2 was originally sold as a game that eschewed traditional raiding). But the way I see it, pretty much every MMO with raiding treats non-raiders this way, and it’s a huge problem for that whole raid-centric segment of the genre. And Guild Wars 2 is no exception.

Some gamers suggested games without raiding (like Trove), older games with NPC aid (like classic Guild Wars), games with solo raiding (RIFT), and games with difficulty sliders (like City of Heroes). Several commenters offered up MMOs like World of Warcraft and Elder Scrolls Online and Final Fantasy XIV because they offer plenty of raiding (or raiding-adjacent) content for casuals, which is something GW2 still strangely doesn’t do.

So today’s Daily Grind is two-fold: What’s the best MMORPG for gamers who are sick of raiding period, and which MMORPG-that-has-raiding treats non-raiders the best?

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Neverwinter releases epic retro posters for Tomb of Annihilation

Over the summer, I put up some of NASA’s fun faux retro travel posters advertising space paleofuture in my kid’s room. I love this style of art, so I have no idea how I missed it that Neverwinter has gotten in on the trend, but it has: six posters “advertising” some of the locations and icons from the Tomb of Annihilation expansion.

We’ve included the posterized versions here in the preview gallery, but the official site has them cropped and proportioned for multiple desktop and mobile resolutions, so head on over there and let them do the hard work for you.

And PC players, make sure you enter our Neverwinter giveaway — it ends tonight!

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Massively Overthinking: Gathering our thoughts on Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire

This week, the dominant story has become Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire expansion, which is coming our way far sooner than a lot of folks had guessed. For this edition of Massively Overthinking, I’ve touched base with some of our writers to measure their reactions to the big announcement, asking them to gauge what’s in it, whether it was worth the wait, what they’re disappointed about, what they think of the pricing, and whether they’ve felt sufficiently enticed to play. Let’s dig in!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 129: Treasure Trove

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree talk about Trove’s underdog status, the impact of server merges on open world housing, playing as a deer, gender stereotypes in MMOs and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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The MOP Up: Skyforge investigates the Cradle of the World (July 30, 2017)

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 Gloria VictisPath of ExileBreakawayDauntlessSplatoon 2DarkEden OriginEVE OnlineWorld of WarcraftUltima OnlineSkyforgeTroveFinal Fantasy XIElder Scrolls OnlineOverwatch, and Path of Exile, all waiting for you after the break!

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First Impressions: Splatoon 2 is a lobby shooter for socializers

After my hands-on at E3 and experience with the first Splatfest demo, I was a little concerned about Splatoon 2. I loved Splatoon 1but something about the E3 Salmon Run fell flat, and after having experienced the full version of Splat 1, I thought that the demo of Splat 2 without customization felt too shallow.

So I was provided a review copy of the game prior to launch, and something still didn’t feel right. While it was good to get in time with the single player mode and prepare me for launch, I figured out what was missing: the real Splatoon community. It’s what gives Splatoon more of an MMO-y feel than most of Nintendo’s other titles.

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The Daily Grind: What do you think of half-size MMO subs?

One of the things that’s always intrigued me about games like Trove and RuneScape is their willingness to experiment with different kinds of sub models. Most AAA MMORPGs that have a sub go for the stock $15-per-month fee standardized back in the early aughts. A month is a nice clean chunk of time, but it’s just as arbitrary as anything else, and in a world with lots of MMOs to play, sometimes I just want to dabble for a week or two rather than commit to an entire month in the currency of time or money.

Trove enables that urge: It offers a 15-day, $8 sub, which feels like less of commitment psychologically. The game also cleverly hands out as in-game rewards smaller sub passes in the 1- to 3-day range to give people a tiny taste of the sub perks — another thing I’ve never seen in a AAA title.

Personally, I think offering short-term options like this is a really good idea for a free-to-play title, to the point that I am not sure why other games don’t follow suit. What’s the downside here? What do you think of half-size MMO subs?

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Massively Overthinking: How should MMOs make money in a world without lockboxes?

Earlier this week, MOP’s Justin expressed frustration over lockboxes, feeling especially provoked. “As both a player and a journalist, I find it insulting when an MMO studio wants me to get excited about its lockboxes,” he tweeted. “They are poison.”

MOP reader and gamer Iain (@ossianos) wants to hear more about poison! “I’d be interested to read an article on your thoughts, and those of the MassivelyOP staff, on how MMOs could otherwise make money,” he tweeted back.

Challenge accepted! And perfectly timed for this week’s Massively Overthinking topic. Imagine (or just remember) a world without lockboxes. How would MMOs and other online games survive without lockboxes here in 2017? What should they be doing instead, and what might they have to do when the inevitable gachapon regulation comes westward?

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