It’s a good time to pile on predatory cash-shop models, especially if you’ve got a better one, and in-development hardcore MMORPG sandbox Saga of Lucimia is doing just that. While citing EA and Star Wars Battlefront II as the lead villain, however, Lucimia dev Tim “Renfail” Anderson isolates microtransactions as a whole, not just the lockbox phenomenon that saw EA dragged to the principal’s office.
“While the cash shop model has risen to prominence in the past decade, to the point where the vast majority of MMORPGs have shunned the subscription model in favor of larger profits, it is a system rife with poorly executed versions,” Anderson argues. “While there are some examples of microtransaction systems that work relatively well — I would argue that Elder Scrolls Online is a prime example in this category — the vast majority of them do not.”
It’s been a while since we checked in with Saga of Lucimia, one of several up-and-coming indie MMO sandboxes on the horizon. But that’s about to change, as the studio is prepping a meaty alpha update for the end of the month, which testers can anticipate tackling over Labor Day weekend here in the States.
Calling it the “most enhanced alpha version yet,” the devs say the update focuses heavily on combat effects (“things like snare, root, haste, slow, damage-over-time abilities, elemental effects, chemical and disease effect, heals and heals-over-time”), with a brand-new UI, customizable chat, trading, banking, money, the first version of a questing system, conversation trees, a basic ability journal, new zones, and updated loot tables.
There’s a new video summarizing what to expect from the preview weekend, tucked down below.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Valiance Online took everyone by surprise by announcing the launch of its investor alpha on PC for Friday, though it didn’t actually launch until today thanks to some unforeseen tech issues. “If you donated to our old website campaign or Kickstarter, you might not be in Alpha today,” Silverhelm tweeted. “We’ll be working over the weekend to get you in!” Folks who donate right now through the official site should also have immediate access.
Over in the newly launched Albion Online, developers calmly responded to criticism of its large-scale battle system, explaining the upsides and downsides of diminishing returns from zergs. (Thanks, David!)
Meanwhile, Project Gorgon promised tweaks to its Poetry Appreciation skill (<3), Saga of Lucimia demoed its Pyrography skill, OrbusVR welcomed more players to its open alpha, Shroud of the Avatar rolled out R44 and cracked down on insider trading exploits, Chronicles of Elyria posted a whopper of a roadmap, Global Adventures’ Kickstarter ends tomorrow, and Star Citizen clarified (sort of?) the number of planets it will launch with and effectively announced another 3.0 delay.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.
Time to check back in with that most groupy of group-centric upcoming MMOs, Saga of Lucimia. You know, if this game was a fish, it would be a grouper that took you to school.
Anyway, it’s been a while since we’ve heard much on this title, as the studio has gone silent for a couple of months, but that doesn’t mean development has stalled. The team is getting ready to run its seventh early access test this Saturday and Sunday, during which the CMs will be organizing troll hunts and taking players on tour of the lands.
Additionally, a pair of devs appeared on a new Tavern Talk episode to chat up the new alpha build and all that it contains. Saga of Lucimia has expanded with new masteries, improved character creation, adjustments to combat, and larger zones, so much so that it takes over an hour to cover. Give it a watch below!
Good news, The Elder Scrolls Online fans: Morrowind is now in beta testing! It’s in closed beta, so you probably don’t get to take part in it, but if you do, you still can’t tell us about it. You can, however, tell us about any and all funerals you are holding for your Templar. A moment of silence will be observed.
Other beta news? Aw, shucks, why not?
- The next Starfall Tactics test starts up on April 24th. It does not, in fact, feature any tactics based around falling stars, because physics does not work that way. Instead, it has character creation, limited progression, and a new ship class.
- Everyone gets a prize for participating in the SkySaga Alpha 10 test! You get a prize! And you get a prize! The prize is probably not a humpback whale, but you never know.
- The next round of testing for Life is Feudal‘s MMO side of things is starting on April 26th and should run for around 10 days. Clear your calendar for Wednesday, then.
- Project Gorgon is looking good these days. Seriously, the latest round of graphical updates makes it like that nerdy but shy girl from school who suddenly turned immensely hot, or something. You know your movie cliches, fill them in on your own time.
- Want to hunt some trolls in Saga of Lucimia in an early test version? That’s a thing that’s happening. No word yet on whether or not they’re actual in-game trolls or more general trolls, but make sure to designate someone as “torch-monkey” if you’re going out at night.
- Last but not least, the Marvel Heroes console version is starting its beta today, and it features local co-op. That’s unlikely to ever come to the PC version, although why you would need it is a different discussion altogether.
For those of you not delighted by the above stories (and those who are delighted), we also have a list just below. Isn’t that lovely? Let us know if there are errors within the list down in the comments. Or let us know what betas you’re playing and can be discussed without an NDA. Or let us know if you want to buy the Laser Prime redeco from the most recent Transformers box set. We have an extra.
Massively OP reader Suikoden wrote this great question to the podcast — too good to let just Justin and me answer it. It’s a two-parter!
“Back when I used to be a hardcore MMO gamer circa 2000-2010, I felt that MMOs of that era were designed more toward the hardcore gamer and even catered to us more. Within the last 5 years, I’ve had to develop into more of a casual player. However, I now feel that games once again cater to me and my current playstyle. Did the MMO genre evolve alongside me, from a more hardcore-centric genre to a more casual playerbase? Or is it the same as it always was and I just feel that it caters to me because it’s designed to feel like it caters to all playstyles? And if there was a change, do you feel it is for the better or for the worse for the genre?”
I posted Suikoden’s questions to the team for this week’s Massively Overthinking!
Right now we are in a strange place in MMORPG history. Following the backlash of WoW clones and several high-profile titles that underperformed, major studios are becoming extremely risk-averse to creating big-budget titles the way that we saw not five years ago. Many former MMO teams are diversifying with shooters, MOBAs, and other safer and trendier titles.
Yet all is not lost! MMO features continue to ripple out into all types of game genres and new titles continue to be produced — just not from the usual suspects. Instead, most of what is on our immediate horizon comes from either crowdfunded indie teams or eastern giants. The good news is that 2017 should see the culmination of many of these long-brewing projects and adaptations, hopefully resulting in a bumper crop of interesting online RPGs for us to play.
So let’s run down the list of games that either are or possibly could be coming to you in 2017. We will provide an overview of each title, why you should care about it, and our best guess at the odds of its officially launching during the calendar year. If an upcoming MMO is not on the list, then it is our opinion that while we’ll see it eventually, a 2017 release isn’t happening.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news — or future crowdfunding news, as the case may be — we learned all about Ashes of Creation, a new sandbox MMORPG being built by a group partly made up of ex-SOE/Daybreak designers. A future Kickstarter is just one of their plans!
Meanwhile, winter is coming to AdventureQuest 3D, 1000 guilds have already formed for Dual Universe, Elite Dangerous announced plans to launch on the PS4, Ever Jane introduced house ownership, and Camelot Unchained explained how it plans to integrate with Discord.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!
For the most part, Saga of Lucimia has been relatively quiet this fall as it continues development. Quiet, that is, except for its video channel, which has been pumping out more of the “Pillars of Gameplay” videos. The series, which came to 20 entries, is now at a conclusion. Only four pillars, SWTOR? Saga of Lucimia scoffs.
As might be expected from a tough-as-nails game world, several of the more recent videos concentrate on the importance of group-based gameplay. It’s not just about having more warm bodies around to absorb the arrows and fireballs that you’d rather not encounter, as combat skills and roles in this game have a deep interdependence with one another.
Catch up on Saga of Lucimia’s design philosophy with the following videos!
Last week, we introduced the first part of our guide to the best upcoming, in-development indie MMORPGs — yes, the list was so long that we had to split it lest our CMS explode! So this week we’re back with the other half of our list, a quick and dirty guide to many of the indie MMORPGs in development and some of the key points about each. Hint: We’re not asking whether they are a sandbox with open world PvP because of course they are. As a side note, we won’t be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too great for the scope of this guide. And if you’re interested in these games, then you’ll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns.
On with part two!
When you write for an MMORPG website that covers literally hundreds of games and could probably add in hundreds more that are extinct, are in operation only overseas, or are so incredibly niche that their creators’ moms don’t even know about them, you start devoting a large portion of your brain to trying to keep details about all of these games straight. This not only results in forgetting two of your kids’ names (after all, space is limited), but it’s nearly an impossible task. There’s just too much out there.
And lately I’ve noticed that the staff and readers alike have started to become incredibly confused regarding all of the indie MMOs that are oozing through the development process in their 72 planned testing stages (the other week I could swear that I saw a game declare itself to be going into “state semi-regionals”). There are too many games, some of which look far too similar, and it’s stressing us out.
Enhance your calm, citizen. Here’s the first part of our quick and dirty guide to many of the indie MMORPGs in development and some of the key points about each. Hint: It’s not asking whether they are a sandbox with open world PvP because of course they are. As a side note, I won’t be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too great for the scope of this guide. And if you’re interested in these games, then you’ll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns. Then stay tuned next week for the second half of this list!
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’s headline story is word that a beach party has arrived in Chronicles: RuneScape Legends as part of a patch that also contains a new legend and 37 additional cards. But wouldn’t those cards get soggy at a beach?
We’ve got plenty of other news tidbits for you after the jump, including stories from Age of Conan, Pantheon, Guild Wars 2, and Star Trek Online. What are you waiting for?
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, the Chronicles of Elyria team discussed its plans for the online shop (it’ll be ready in a few more weeks and allow folks a whole month to purchase packages identical to its original Kickstarter offerings), its design bible (expect notes on the game’s bloodlines and religions soon), and other bits and bobs of production.
Online multiplayer space colonization game 3001SQ also began a two-month Kickstarter, asking just over $95,000 to fund its commercial prototype. A public tech demo is already available.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!