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Official Site: Rust

The Survivalist: Massively OP’s guide to multiplayer survival sandboxes

Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya’ll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn’t as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.

I’m not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller — and oft times privately managed — scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we’re going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here’s a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.
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EVE Evolved: Would EVE Online make a good survival game?

EVE Online has practically dominated the sci-fi sandbox MMO niche for nearly 14 years, with its harsh PvP-oriented gameplay and massive single-server universe combining to provide something that’s remained compelling in an ever-changing industry. From its humble foundation as a mostly empty sandbox with a smattering of people and limited resources has sprung political intrigue, war, espionage, charity, theft, and economics that often mirrors the real world in startling detail. In over a decade of virtual history, we’ve seen the rise and fall of massive empires, the birth and collapse of industries, the emergence of heroes and villains, and the forging of thousands of real life friendships.

While EVE‘s long-term success can be attributed partly to the absolute persistence of a single-shard universe, I often wonder what would happen if a fresh server opened today. What could players achieve with a level playing field and blank slate for all, and what would the EVE universe even look like without 14 years of accumulated wealth and skillpoints behind it? A tantalising hint of what that gold rush might look like comes from survival sandbox games such as RUST and DayZ, which have hundreds of small servers and very little focus on persistence. It’s got me thinking about what a shorter-term survival sandbox game with EVE‘s core gameplay would be like, and I honestly think it could be amazing.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I make the argument for an EVE Online survival sandbox game and the massive gameplay opportunities that periodic server wipes can present.

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A ‘new chapter’ is coming next year for Worlds Adrift

Mark their words: 2017 is due to be a major year for Worlds Adrift. Now that the alpha NDA is lifted, the ball is rolling faster toward early access, which should happen in the first quarter.

Bossa Studios listed all of its (impressive) achievements from the year past in a dizzying parade of mentions before going on to pump its fans up for what’s to come in the near future. The studio said that biomes with their own flora and fauna are coming next, along with objects that deteriorate and rust.

“That’s when a new chapter in the story will begin: During early access we’ll be kicking off a bunch of awesome features we’ve been hinting at for a while,” the developers wrote. “Regular content and feature updates will flesh the game out, expand the world, and make Worlds Adrift the full experience we have in our heads.”

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RUST dev after three years of early access: ‘If you’re bored of the game then just stop playing it’

While RUST has amused us plenty this year, thanks to the character gender via Steam ID thing and the hobo simulator (and don’t forget penis size last year!), hardcore players are getting bored, and can you blame them? The survival sandbox has been lingering in early access since December 11th, 2013 — that’s three years for those of you who don’t do math over Christmas break.

If you’ve among the many gamers fed up with early access periods that seem to drag on, you probably don’t want to be told “too bad” when you voice those complaints, but that’s pretty much what happened in the RUST community last week, when Facepunch Studios’ Garry Newman basically recommended that complainy Redditors just stop playing.

“We’re stuck in ping pong loop,” he wrote. “We release an update, you love it for a month, you get bored, blame the system, bitch for a few months, then we release another update – and the same thing happens.”

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Star Citizen on the Homestead demo and designing a ship that’s ‘dying over time’

Star Citizen’s Around the Verse is back this week with a peek into what the UK team is working on: the notorious Polaris, the camera system revamp, and the Ursa Rover. But the highlight of the video is the behind-the-scenes look at Homestead demo, including the art and sound design process behind crashing a Javelin into the desert and tearing it apart in a believable and organic way. Cloud Imperium says that it was inspired by moodboards of abandoned military ships and cargo liners — plus Star Wars Episode VII and Max Max — when creating the setting.

“We had to think how the sand would build up on the surfaces and how you get it to look as though the ship is no longer pristine and clean and it’s been out in the sun for years, kind of rusting away. So we made use the blend shaders in CryEngine to kind of blend from the originally paneling that was already there on the Javelin and blended that into either rust or into sand, and the way we approached it was the exterior hull of the ship, that was kind of sandy and as though the exterior of the ship would be treated so it would withstand the elements as it were, but then everything that was exposed from the interior, that was just rusting away and decaying and that was the way we approached it. So that as you revealed the innards of the ship you could see it kind of dying over time.”

The nifty part starts around 17 minutes in, but the whole episode is below.

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RUST’s player-made hobo simulator is as hardcore as they come

For some, one of the factors that keeps players returning to multiplayer sandboxes is the ability to mod the game and make up their own rules. Apparently the RUST community is enjoying an explosion of creativity, prompting the team to draw up a post highlighting some of the most interesting finds of the month.

One player decided to turn RUST into a hobo simulator: “He imposed rules on how he could survive: everything scavenged; nothing earned (i.e., no hitting rocks, trees). He could only eat what he found in trash or on bodies, and resources were gathered from the ground or corpses. Or traded, but you’ll see that trading is largely him running after people screaming for help.”

Other projects include a wicked-looking shotgun model, a flyover of RUST player bases, and a RUST personality attempting to go undercover. Of course, your mind is still on the “hobo simulator” bit, so we’ll help you out by showing you the video of this mode after the jump.

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The MOP Up: Richard Garriott’s new book (April 24, 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!

Richard Garriott (Ultima Online, Shroud of the Avatar) has penned an autobiography called Life at the Extremes in which he talks about all of his life’s crazy adventures. You’ll have to wait a little while to read it, however, as it won’t be out until next January. In the meantime, check out lots of online gaming news, including stories from DC Universe Online, ARK, Eternal Crusade, and more!

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The MOP Up: ARK’s free PvP version goes wide (April 17, 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 past week ARK: Survival of the Fittest released to several other platforms, including Mac, Linux, and Steam OS. Will anything stop the world-conquering march of these terrible thunder lizards and their fans? If you’re still alive after their rampage, read on for more news and videos including stories from Saga of Lucimia, Diablo III, and DC Universe Online!

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Betawatch: A perilous siege hits Crowfall (April 15, 2016)

Players of Crowfall are in quite a lot of peril with the arrival of the Siege Perilous testing phase. Or are they assaulting a place called “Perilous?” It could go several ways from a grammatical perspective. Plans are already in place for the game’s next stage of testing, and there are several bigger picture answers available for anyone fascinated by the game and looking for more information.

This week, we bid farewell to Ascent, which has launched out of early access in the hopes of garnering a bit more attention and a wider playerbase because otherwise it’s going to be hard to keep spending time and money working on it. That might not be pleasant, but it’s still the reality.

Other beta news? Oh, yes indeed.

And yes, a full list of beta stuff exists down below. Go forth! Read! Let us know if something slipped into another test phase without us realizing it! Tell us what you think about betas not under NDA! Use exclamation marks relentlessly! Bees!

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Like skintone, Rust’s character gender is determined by Steam ID

Remember back when Rust added new skin tones and other secondary attributes that players didn’t get to choose? Because the game just implemented another big variation between players: gender. Female models are in the game, and as with other character attributes, you don’t actually get to choose whether or not you want to play a female character. Your gender is determined based upon your Steam ID.

The update says outright that if you feel like you’re stuck in a gender you don’t want, there are lots of people who already experience that; it’s just that this is now determined by Steam ID rather than birth.

Other changes with this patch include armor and medical fixes, improvements to lighting and grass, and resource gathering. You can check out the full list of patch changes as well as some of the reasoning behind changes on the official site.

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Massively Overthinking: Just how massive is massively multiplayer?

Recent tweaks to the taxonomy structure of Massively OP and coverage of what we formerly called “Not-So-Massive” games prompted a resurgence of internal discussion about the types of games we cover and just what the genres mean. MOBAs are easy to separate out, but the line between “multiplayer” and “massively multiplayer” is just as hard to define now as it was five or 10 years ago when we were first struggling with blurring lines. Are Marvel Heroes, Trove, and Devilian, for example, massive “enough” to make them more like EverQuest and World of Warcraft than they are like Diablo III and World of Tanks? Do we care whether a developer has adopted or shunned the word “MMO” when covering a game as one? What precisely makes a game massive — what’s the magic quantity or quality?

I posed these questions to the Massively OP writers for this week’s Massively Overthinking.

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Not So Massively: Top 10 most surprising NSM stories of 2015

Back in 2011, our former corporate overlords at Massively-of-old noticed that games like League of Legends were getting pretty damn popular and asked us to work them into the site. In order to incorporate them into an MMO blog without disrupting the existing MMO news coverage, we decided to put all of the news on games that may not fit the MMO definition into a new roundup-style column called Not So Massively. In the years that followed, the column kept track of dozens of online games in various stages of development, watched the MOBA genre mature, saw many games plod slowly into an early grave, and witnessed the e-sports explosion on a weekly basis.

It’s no secret that online gaming has been trending away from the persistent online universes of MMOs and into the shorter session-based gameplay of MOBAs, action RPGs and first person shooters. With gaming preferences changing, it wasn’t long before Not So Massively became oversaturated with news each week and began drawing more traffic than some of the MMO news. Naturally, we’ve now adapted and started rolling MOBAs and other online games into our everyday news coverage. As we hit the end of 2015 and approach almost a full year since Massively was reborn independently as MassivelyOP, I’d like to look back at the past year and highlight the top ten most surprising and controversial Not So Massively stories of 2015 in no particular order.

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Rust opens player-created item store

Rust is the latest online game to open up an item store, but it’s actually more interesting than it sounds. The store sells only player-created items, allowing gamers to make money on their designs.

The store is through Steam itself, which will apparently change depending on the demand and economy. There are already many player-created designs available, including weapons, clothing, and even bedding. Come on, you know you want to be the first person on your block to pay $5 for a virtual designer sleeping bag!

Rust recently wiped the game to allow for a new early access build that’s more organized, has better loot balance, and allows players to place windows and doors.

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