runic games

Studio known for the Torchlight series.

Massively OP Podcast Episode 143: BlizzCon strikes back

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree dig into the exciting news from BlizzCon, mull over the troubles at Marvel Heroes, mourn the passing of a great studio, and cover a handful of MMO updates.

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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PWE confirms Motiga layoffs and Runic Games closure, but MOBA Gigantic will stay up

Last night, we reported on multiple employees and former employees’ allusions to the closure of Motiga Games, the studio behind MOBA Gigantic. “Today marks the end of Motiga and my time with an absolutely amazing team,” wrote former audio lead Dan Crislip. “If anyone is hiring, we’re all looking!”

Perfect World has now responded to Massively OP with a statement on what’s going on – in fact, it’s not just Motiga affected, as apparently Runic Games is also shutting down. PWE is distancing itself from the decisions.

“Following the news that Motiga has reduced the staff of its studio, Perfect World Entertainment can confirm that as the publisher of Gigantic, the game will continue to be available on our platforms. A core team of developers remains at Motiga, who will work with us to support the game and its players, including moving full steam ahead with the upcoming November update and future content. We cannot thank everyone enough for their contributions in making Gigantic the outstanding experience it is today.”

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Massively Overthinking: Female characters and gender-locked classes in MMOs

One of the reasons I gravitated to and stick by the MMORPG genre in spite of its many ups and downs (oh, so many downs) over the last two decades is the fact that I can play more or less exactly the character I want to play, which is usually female characters. Other genres, even RPGs, have been relatively slow to catch up to what we’ve had here in MMO land right from the start. The idea of a serious MMORPG launching without female toons of some sort is almost unheard of.

I bring this up because of Quantic Foundry’s latest blog post, which delves its Gamer Motivation Profile for data on how gamers feel about being able to play female protagonists. Unsurprisingly, three-quarters of female gamers and a third of male gamers, irrespective of age, consider that option very or extremely important!

For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our mixed-gender staff three questions: what they think about Quantic’s findings, whether they stick to the gender they personally identify as when rolling toons in MMOs, and whether the lack of gender options — or in MMOs’ case, things like gender-locked classes — drive them as nuts as they drive me.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMOs would you include among the greatest RPGs of all time?

Massively OP reader Francois recently pointed us to IGN’s Top 100 RPGs of All Time, which we thought was worth a nod since unlike many such lists, it includes several early MMORPGs: including EverQuest (100), EVE Online (81), Phantasy Star Online (63), and of course, World of Warcraft (5), plus other multiplayer games we’ve covered in the past, like Diablo II, Titan Quest, Torchlight II, Stardew Valley, Neverwinter Nights, and more Ultima, Elder Scrolls, and Final Fantasy franchise games than you can shake an ancient console cartridge at.

But I can’t help but feel as if the MMOs that were included were added more for their saturation and fame and ubiquitousness during a certain time period than for their actual quality as RPGs, especially once you apply IGN’s rubic, which mentions requirements like story, combat, and presentation. I bet gamers with more experience in the breadth of MMOs could come up with a few more examples — maybe even a few made sometime after 2004 too, yeah?

Which MMOs would you include among the greatest RPGs of all time?

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The Daily Grind: What would you like to see done with MMO pets?

A little while ago, I was amused by a story about how a sort-of pet for World of Warcraft’s sort-of housing was able to be moved to the current city hub via effort on the player’s part. It struck me as funny, as that game has more actual vanity and combat pets than you can shake a stick at, yet some players would put in the effort to bring Dog “home.”

Eh, who am I to judge? I love my pets in MMOs, even though most of the time all they do is trot alongside of you and clutter up dungeon runs. I enjoy the virtual companionship and being able to show off a little. I do wish they’d do a little bit more, whether it be trot around my house (in games with housing), go sell my vendor trash (Torchlight-style), or fetch me the occasional critter and drop it dead at my feet.

What would you like to see done with MMO pets? How could they become more interactive and engaging? Would you want a pet that grew up, that could be taught tricks, or one that responds to commands?

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Torchlight Mobile will be here by the end of the year

Mobile players looking for a tried-and-true ARPG won’t have long to wait until a classic arrives on their devices. Touch Arcade reports that testing for Torchlight Mobile is progressing nicely and that the game should arrive in app stores by the end of 2016.

Torchlight Mobile is not a mere port of the 2009 ARPG but seeks to improve on it with several new features, including multiplayer, arena battles, dueling, and a MOBA mode. The game also comes with a mix-and-match skill system, randomized dungeons, 25 unique pets,

Check out Torchlight Mobile’s Chinese gameplay trailer after the jump.

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The MOP Up: The Division opens its public test server (September 25, 2016)

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!

This week we got confirmation that The Division is finally launching its public test server (tomorrow, in fact!). We’ve got that plus stories and videos from Guild Wars 2League of LegendsFinal Fantasy XI, and more, all waiting for you after the break!

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Massively OP’s guide to choosing an online ARPG

Bored of MMOs, despondent about the industry, or simply looking for something a little different? Turning to something similar to MMOs, yet offering a new experience, is what’s attracted many people to online action RPGs.

MMOARPGs, or ARPGs for short, are a booming segment of the online games industry for their fast gameplay, bite-sized sessions, and ease of play. They’re distinguished by features not generally found in MMOs, such as click-to-move, an isometric viewpoint, time-to-kill that is often lightning fast, simple controls, heavily instanced worlds, and loot exploding out of corpses like squishy piñatas. Still, they offer many of the same qualities that are found in traditional MMOs, most notably persistent characters and multiplayer connections.

If you’ve ever been curious about trying out an online ARPG but don’t know where to start, here’s our quick-and-dirty guide through four titles that are bridging the gap between MMOs and single-player ARPGs (such as the excellent Torchlight II and Titan Quest).

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MMO Burnout plays Rebel Galaxy

I wanted to like Rebel Galaxy more than I do. That’s not to say it’s a bad game at all; on the contrary it fills the mission of this column rather nicely, which is to provide me with a temporary escape from the maddening MMO genre as I continue my neverending and seemingly futile quest for an adequate Star Wars Galaxies replacement.

Rebel Galaxy just isn’t the game that it could be, at least in my opinion.

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Not So Massively: NSM at Gamescom 2015; Splatoon’s Octoling hack

It’s been a fantastic week for online gaming with dozens of MOBAs and competitive shooters on the show floor at Gamescom 2015. Hi-Rez Studios was showing off the first playable build of its new shooter Paladins and announced a new map for SMITE. League of Legends brought champion Gangplank back from the dead with a new look and announced that its refer-a-friend system will be retired next month. The Dota 2 world championship down to an extremely tense final game over the $6 million top prize and almost had a surprise upset (spoilers ahead).

RUST fixed a number of server problems that were causing some servers to get stuck running at four frames per second, and plans are in the works for custom skins via the Steam Workshop. The Path of Exile devs took a look at the development process behind player-designed Divination Cards. Elite: Dangerous sparked some controversy with the announcement of its new expansion and associated pricing, but managed to patch out several major cheats being used online. And Splatoon players have datamined secrets from the August patch game files, including several unreleased weapons and the possibility of playing as an Octoling instead of a squid.

Read on for roundup of all the Gamescom 2015 online gaming news from MassivelyOP and a detailed breakdowns of the stories above in this week’s Not So Massively, and don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed for weekly updates!

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The Mop Up: FEAR is dead edition

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.

This week we’ll mourn FEAR Online’s passing, check out Atlantica Online’s latest mercenary, enjoy an intergalactic Star Citizen comic, and check out footage of Torchlight Mobile.

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Runic will show a new game at PAX Prime

Torchlight developer Runic will be revealing its new project at this year’s PAX Prime, according to a post on the company’s forums. The firm told VG247 that the title is not a Torchlight mobile port and, based on prior statements, a console port is also unlikely.

Could it be the MMO that Runic was talking about way back in 2012? We’ll find out in late August when we head to Seattle for PAX.

Runic is currently owned by Perfect World. Founders Erich Schaefer and Travis Baldree left the firm in 2014 to form an indie outfit known as Double Damage Games.

Source: Forums; Via: VG247

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