Buckle up, MMO fans, because it’s about to get really weird up in here. There seems to be this strange struggle between studios these days to claim the title of “first-ever cross-platform MMO” (at least for a western title). Last week, RuneScape announced that it was going to be the first game to do this with its upcoming mobile edition, but now Villagers and Heroes — which offers the game on both PC and Android — is contesting that claim.
“Competitor announces ‘1st MMO on mobile, first to deliver interoperable play between PC and mobile’ for 2018… SORRY, WRONG. We did it first!” Mad Otter Games tweeted last week. “Villagers and Heroes IS the first and the BEST mainstream and established Western MMO offering full cross-platform play!”
Of course, AdventureQuest 3D would like to have a word with both of you, as would Pixel Worlds, Pocket Legends, Nebula Online, Arcane Legends, and some game that launched this past week. Forget its name. Albion something? “First cross-platform MMO” doesn’t really seem to be a label that can be exclusively claimed these days (as we’ll talk about on the MOP Podcast later today!).
In her last push to make it to the end of Chronicle: RuneScape Legends‘ PvE campaign, Massively OP’s MJ was waylaid by the Bandit King; today, she wants revenge! It may take a new deck built for a specific Legend, but she is bound and determined to crush this king. Then she’ll be just one step away from the final boss. While MJ plays, she’ll be giving away special one-per-account booster packs that contain 10 card packs and 100 Platinum premium currency. Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. to cheer MJ on and maybe help her build a new deck — you might walk away with a prize!
What: Chronicle: RuneScape Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, July 24th, 2016
Time and again, we here at Massively OP have noted how RuneScape seems to be incredibly underestimated by the larger MMO community. For how popular it is, it never seems to get the respect and attention from the core MMORPG community that its online contemporaries do.
That is, until you head over to Twitch. According to the June viewing charts over on NewZoo, the fantasy MMORPG drew in an astounding 6.7 million hours of viewership over that month alone. This is enough to put it in 11th place, well ahead of titles like Destiny, Minecraft, Black Desert, and H1Z1: King of the Kill. It’s RuneScape’s world — we only watch it from afar.
The top 10 of the viewership chart is filled with the usual suspects, including much of Blizzard’s roster (World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm) and the dominant MOBAs of our time (League of Legends and Dota 2).
Some MMOs have launch days, but some MMOs are not Albion Online, which is claiming a good chunk of this week to officially release this long-awaited fantasy sandbox. You see, yesterday only admitted legendary pack purchasers, while today allowed in the epic crowd and tomorrow will see veteran founders join in the fun.
This staggered release is probably helping to keep the game more stable than it might have been otherwise. There were some initial login issues, but the team reports that it (mostly) cleared those up quickly. There have been a few other problems, like missing learning points and players being able to farm gear out of their league, but for the most part it looks like things are going relatively smoothly for this launch.
Conspiracy sidebar: Did Jagex announce RuneScape’s mobile adaptation this week to take some of the wind out of the sails of Albion’s release? Your call on that one.
Anyway, check out the launch trailer and eight quick tips for starting out in this game after the break!
Attention, RuneScape and Old School RuneScape players who have hitherto been chained to your desktops or laptops to play: Set yourselves free! Jagex just announced that both titles are moving to mobile. And by move, we mean taking your current game with you, not starting all over. You get your same account, your same characters, everything — you just get it to go.
Play for both games will be cross-platform, allowing folks to swap seamlessly between the PC and mobile on their account, hopping between platforms as you switch from being settled at home or being out and about. Of course, you can also completely ditch the PC if you want to! This opens RuneScape up to the mobile gaming audience, giving those who prefer this platform a chance to join the community and experience the games. Of this move to mobile Senior Product Director Neil McClarty said,
While sitting on top of the enormously successful RuneScape, Jagex has had a difficult go of it producing a follow-up MMORPG. Projects like Stellar Dawn and Transformers haunt the studio with what could have been. But the good news is that it doesn’t look like the studio is giving up on this dream.
According to a couple of job listings on Games Industry, Jagex is recruiting for an “unannounced MMO” project. The studio is currently seeking a senior game designer and a gameplay programmer for the same title. The postings went up at the end of May, so the studio has been looking for a little while now.
The description gives only the barest of hints as to what this game might be: “Jagex Games Studio is looking for a highly creative and driven senior game designer to work on a free-to-play unannounced, new MMO. You would be working as part of the core team that’s developing an innovative new MMO and be expected to see designs through from inception to realisation.”
Back in May, a Jagex employee accidentally showed a “next gen” project slide at a presentation, fueling rumors of a new game.
If you’re one of the small army of people wondering when you can play your favorite MMOs on the Nintendo Switch for some reason, the good news is that it appears to be happening here. Here’s RuneScape running on the Nintendo Switch:
Of course, this is not an official port or client but a bit of trickery using the Rainway application, which is built on the promise of letting you control your favorite PC games on a variety of different viewing devices. So it’s not exactly a port running on the Switch. But it’s still the game running on the Switch, and now you can dream about playing your favorite MMO on that console. (Feel free to insert your own Jurassic Park joke in the comments.)
Over the past year I’ve nearly been bested by the unclimbable mountain that is the RuneScape soundtrack. With well over 1,200 tracks currently existing in the game, it’s sheer folly to try to listen to it all straight through. That, of course, is exactly what I’ve been attempting, yet with new tracks coming out all of the time, I feel that there’s no end in sight.
If I’m to be forever working my way through an MMO soundtrack, RuneScape is a great place to be. As I’ve been discovering, there is such a sheer variety of interesting and catchy tunes on display covering a wide swath of biomes, races, events, and situations. What I perhaps like best is how RuneScape’s score isn’t in the slightest self-conscious with being silly and bizarre. In fact, it seems to revel in it!
So today let’s take an odd musical interlude to listen to six goofy and weird RuneScape tracks before we all get serious again about our video games.
After four years and over 700 MMORPG music tracks, the Battle Bards have arrived at their 100th show! For this centennial spectacular, Syl, Steff, and Syp reminisce about the most notable shows, their best soundtrack discoveries, and their favorite tracks. This super-sized show gets wrapped up with a bout of listener emails and a promise of another amazing hundred episodes!
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 100: Centennial spectacular (or download it) now:
RuneScape just opened up a giant city of Menaphos. Do want to peek inside and see what is different in the game’s first big expansion? MassivelyOP’s MJ does! She’s going to explore the city to see what she can see. Maybe she’ll find some of those hidden cats, or take a turn The Shifting Tombs. Chances are she’ll get into some kind of trouble in the desert. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. to finally get through those long-closed gates.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 8th, 2017
Old School RuneScape’s playerbase isn’t showing its best side this week.
Motherboard reports that following the announcement by a Jagex employee that a small gay pride quest will be implemented in the game, Old School RuneScape players have flocked to Twitter and Reddit to complain (the latter with over 6000 upvotes, though the original poster has since updated to note he no longer wants the event removed because of the inevitable “media backlash” that could tank the game’s rep). Objections range from reasonable (the event wasn’t put to a community poll in accordance with the server’s guidelines) to tedious (no politics in my games! think of the children!) to overt homophobic screeds that I won’t reproduce or dignify here. Just imagine really bad stuff, then crank it up to 11.
In fact, some players are plotting to riot (their word) in-game while the event is live, not against the LGBTQ community (they say) but “in support of keeping this game free of any agenda.”
One of the worst teases in a game for me is to see a place and not be able to go and explore it. RuneScape players have experienced that to the 12th degree! Not only were the walls and gate of the city of Menaphos erected 12 years ago with no way for players to get inside but different quests in the game would hint at the story that existed behind those unbreachable walls. And as of today, fans can finally get through those gates and experience the city.
But before the city gates opened up permanently, Jagex slipped me in for a guided tour of Menaphos, the Golden City. While I wasn’t able to play the game myself, I got see the sights and learn many things about the game’s first ever expansion from Jon Wilcox (senior communications manager), Dave Osbourne (lead designer), Joseph Redstall (product manager for the Menaphos expansion), and Benjamin Luff (gameplay development graduate.
Old School RuneScape has gotten a fresh update this week, and it’s going to do its best to kick your ass: with a lava-drenched solo PvM challenge called The Inferno.
“This challenge is not for the faint-hearted, and is designed to strike fear in to the most hardened gamers out there,” warns Jagex. “Located in the fiery depths of the volcanic city, Mor Ul Rek, players fight their way through increasingly difficult waves of monsters and challenges. Only once these have been defeated, will the truly skilled adventures battle it out against the final boss, TzKal- Zuk.”
Special armor, thieving targets, and lava fishing await intrepid adventurers, along with special prizes — including RuneFest tickets and lifetime subs — for the first players to best the encounter.