retro

Trove brings prehistoric fun to consoles

Dinos! Dinos! Dinos! Trove’s anything-goes pop culture umbrella certainly has room enough for our prehistoric best friends, and today’s Megalithic update brings plenty of them to the console.

Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players can now join their PC betters brothers in blasting dinosaurs while ordering a few about as the new Dino Tamer class in the Jurassic Jungle biome. The biggest game of all, of course, is the T-Rex. Take that down, and you might just become legend.

Trove is kicking off a two-week Dino Attack event to celebrate the occasion. The game also introduced more dragons and created a French and German translation for console players. High-level players will be happy to hear that it now takes less XP to level from 20 to 30.

Source: Trove

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The Game Archaeologist: Maze War, the first online multiplayer shooter

It is sometimes hard to know how far back to go when chronicling the history of early MMOs and their ancestors. After all, this column has looked at several titles (such as Habitat and Neverwinter Nights) that do not fit the modern definition of an MMORPG yet were bound in blood to the genre nonetheless.

So if today’s game seems to be somewhat tenuously related to our favorite hobby, I beg your forgiveness in advance. However, I do feel that it is pertinent to our exploration of this wonderful genre. The game in question is Maze War, and it holds an admiral uniform’s worth of medals depicting firsts in the infant genre of video games. Most importantly for us, Maze War was the first graphical video game to be networked and allow players to interact and fight each other. You can see why that may tie in to our current situation.

While the game itself certainly never attained the complexity of modern shooters or RPGs, its innovation and pioneering certainly make it worthy of examination. So let’s dust it off and get to it!

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Trove’s Megalithic update lands on PS4 and Xbox One June 27

Way back in April, Trion teased a “mega” 2017 update for Trove intended to bring the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game update to speed with the PC version. Now, that update’s got a date, and it looks like the features are intact too:

“On June 27, Jurassic Era dwellers stampede their way into Trion Worlds’ epic block-building adventure Trove on PlayStation® 4 and Xbox One with the release of the game’s first major update on consoles. The Megalithic Update adds hours of new content with the Dino Tamer class, Jurassic Jungle biome, minigames, custom maps, and other features that expand the open world feel of Trove, which now has over 5 million players on consoles.”

There’s a trailer and new screenshots down below too. PC players, don’t despair; the same dev stream back in April promised another update after this one, PC included, featuring sub-classes, club upgrades, mastery rank tweaks, and plasma fishing. There’s a big bonus event running this weekend as well!

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Trove activates all daily bonuses for week-long event

Sometimes you just got to get a little nuts, you know? Go crazy and flip on all of the switches, activate every bonus event, and cackle maniacally. At least Trove thinks so, which is why the devs have activated, well, everything in the game right now.

From now through June 26th, Trove has activated every daily bonus across all accounts. This means that all players will enjoy boosts to XP, crafting, mining, and more.

Additionally, Trove is throwing a sale on piñatas, slashing the price 50% until the 27th. Oddly enough, console players are only getting this deal for winter piñatas while PC players are getting it for the summer variety.

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The ladybugs of Trove invade the game’s console versions

The ladybugs looked so cute and unassuming in Trove that we never thought they would attack. When they struck, the terror was… well, not overwhelming. I mean, there are a lot of them, but they’re still ladybugs. So it was… whelming. Exactly the right amount of whelming. But the ladybug invasion is still here, for the first time for console players, and it’s still up to the players to smack the heck out of the bugs until they are no more.

Successfully telling ladybugs to fly away home will give you a chance to earn two different ladybug-themed hats, or even a pair of ladybug wings for that maximum ladybug feeling. Whether or not you want to smack these bugs for your rewards, you’ll need to do so quickly; the swarm is only sticking around until June 20th. Find ladybugs in Adept adventure zones or higher and get used to clearing out the most adorable sort of bug infestation.

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One Shots: Walk of shame

From Zulika Mi-Nam’s Adventures in Tale of Toast:

  1. Log into a game to do some play testing.
  2. “Hey, look at these cutsie graphics and those childlike animations!”
  3. Kill some level 1 and level 2 bunnies rabbits and some loot drops right on the ground from time to time.
  4. Find a treasure chest with a level 5 baddie guarding it.
  5. Make that baddie chase me around a tree and out run him back to that chest and loot it and get away: “Haha this is easy and I got a badass level 5 sword… gonna save that for later.”
  6. Go to town sell my trash loot and head back out.
  7. Take on a level 3 mushroom: “Pfft no problem.”
  8. Gonna go for this level 4 bat: “Woah this could go either way… depends on who lands the next hit….yah! Loot sound! Wait, he is bouncing away… I’m dead… then what was that loot?”
  9. Respawns and looks at inventory: “That… that was the sword I was saving, and it is just laying out there on the ground now.”
  10. Do the walk of shame to retrieve my sword and turn to shake my childlike fist at that bat. “I’ll be back! You… you fooled me with your cutsieness.”

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The Game Archaeologist: Phantasy Star Online

The Dreamcast was a brief but shining aberration in the gaming world. Coming along years after Sega had fallen out of its position as a top-runner in the console market, it represented the company’s last-ditch attempt to reclaim its former glory. While it failed to succeed in that respect and ultimately closed up shop in 2001 (ending Sega’s interest in the console market), the Dreamcast became a gaming cult favorite responsible for some of the most innovative titles ever made. Games like Jet Grind Radio, Space Channel 5, and Shenmue have remained fan favorites long after the Dreamcast’s demise, which shows the legacy that these dev teams left behind.

But perhaps the Dreamcast’s greatest gift to the gaming world wasn’t crazy taxis or space dancing but a surprisingly forward-looking approach to online gaming. In 2000, the Dreamcast took the first steps to bringing an online console RPG to market, and while it wasn’t a true MMO, it certainly paved the way for titles like EverQuest Online Adventures and Final Fantasy XI.

It was bold, it was addictive, and it was gosh-darned gorgeous. Ladies and gentlemen: Phantasy Star Online.

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EverEmber returns as a much larger MMOARPG

Chances are that there is probably no one among our readers who remembers EverEmber Online, a retro-themed MMO that released at the end of 2015 and was swallowed up into a black hole of disinterest following that. Apparently the game’s launch was a letdown to its developers as well, which is why they pulled the plug and decided to start over by making EverEmber Reborn.

EverEmber Reborn is a 3-D MMOARPG that’s currently in development by a small dev team and will purportedly offer a free-form open world experience for those brave enough to traverse the game’s hardcore lands. It is not a sequel or a remake of EverEmber Online but another game set in the same universe.

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The Game Archaeologist: How Sceptre of Goth shaped the MMO industry

When it comes to text-based MMOs created in the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s, the sheer number of them would blot out the sky. There are certainly more multi-user dungeons (MUDs) than I’ve ever been able to get a handle on when I’ve tried creating lists of the most important to know, but I will say that there are a few that seem to pop up more than others. The original MUD1, created by Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw, was certainly a watershed moment for online roleplaying games. Learning about DikuMUD is pretty essential, considering its impact on graphical MMORPGs that we still play today.

But there’s another title that often goes unnoticed, unless you keep an eye out for it. It’s a MUD that keeps popping up when you look into the history of the MMORPG genre, one with ties to key players and design concepts that are still active today.

It’s the MUD that shaped the MMO industry, and it was called Sceptre of Goth.

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Portal Knights launches across multiple platforms

It’s full steam ahead for Portal Knights, which launched yesterday on Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. For those wondering if early access periods ever truly end, here’s one example of a definitive launch!

The dev team said that this is a nerve-wracking and exciting time: “You know, leaving early access is scarier than you think… What will new players think? Will our community think this is the end? So many questions! Be rest assured, just because we’ve now left early access, that doesn’t mean anything will change. Going forward, we fully intend on updating Portal Knights, like we always have done, and filling those updates with community requests.”

For those unfamiliar with the game, Portal Knights is a multiplayer RPG member of the extended Minecraft family. Players adventure through linked sandbox worlds while returning back to their own virtual homes every so often to build and craft. There are three classes available, and players can create teams of up to four to traverse these worlds. Portal Knights is priced at $20.

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Win That War hauls out a ‘truly massive scale RTS”

Remember when real-time strategy games were all the rage and not games where you did weird things with dino poop to stay alive? Insane Unity does, which is why the studio is building a MMORTS called Win That War.

“The heart of the Win That War experience lies in a massively multiplayer online campaign, in which opposing factions wage merciless war to conquer territories at planetary scale,” the team explains. Players join up with one of three retro-futuristic factions to conquer the galaxy one planet at a time.

Win That War just launched on Steams early access and includes a PvE mode for those who would rather beat up a computer than a fellow gamer. The game’s not free to check out, alas; it costs $20 to purchase at this stage of testing. Check out the trailer after the break!

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Warframe developer confirms retro hybrid shooter Keystone

Warframe has been positively kicking ass this past year, doing what MMOs seldom do: continue breaking its own concurrency records four years in. So is Digital Extremes content to just roll around in piles of money? Nope — it’s put together a second team to build another game.

It’s called Keystone, and as announced today, it’s a “competitive first-person shooter with a distinct blend of first-person action and deck-building strategies” with an appealing retrofuturist vibe.

“With the look and feel of the 1970’s retro-pulp era, Keystone will take players on a journey through a multi-verse that begins on the starting square of an intriguing, mystical board game. Players will wield unique decks of cards throughout the match that offer handy benefits, amazing powers, and fearsome weapons. With timing and resourcefulness, personally customized decks give players the upper hand in battle both individually and when strategically coupled with teammates’ decks.”

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Wynncraft fashioned a free MMO out of Minecraft

Love MMOs? Have a hankering for Minecraft? Your desire for the two aren’t mutually exclusive in the case of Wynncraft!

If you haven’t heard about it already, Wynncraft is a really impressive community-made MMO using Minecraft as its bones and sinew. The free game takes place on one of the largest seamless maps in Minecraft and has all of the staples that you’d come to expect from a fantasy F2P MMO: quests, dungeons, loot, crazy cosmetics, leveling, events, exploring, and all manner of aggressive mobs.

Wynncraft’s team boasts that the game has already seen over one million players pour through its gates in the four or so years that the project has been active. Get a brief glimpse of what it looks like below!

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