Every MMORPG player knows that there is something incredible and magical in the feeling that you get when you take your very first steps into a new game. It’s the fresh scent of the unknown mixed with potential, excitement, and energy.
Reader François knows this all too well as he documents an early moment from Final Fantasy XIV: “The trees of the Shroud meet the sky as Kan-E-Senna watches a young adventurer depart for the other nations of Eorzea. A familiar sight for anyone who started in Gridania.”
Small pet peeve, but when your city has a name like “Gridania” and your street patterns are all twisty-turny, you’re going to make my eye twitch. Elves need to buy better urban planners, IMO.
Is there room enough in this industry for another self-proclaimed hardcore, old school MMORPG with all of the PvP fixins? Russian-based Atlant Games is betting that there is, as it’s deep in development with a medieval title called Reign of Guilds.
A cross between a kingdom simulator and a guild sieges, Reign of Guilds thrust players into a fantasy realm where they will vie for power, control, and territory. It’s all hard edges here, with full corpse looting, non-target combat, friendly fire, and the tantalizing possibility of clawing your way to the top to become the realm’s king.
Reign of Guilds has 10 months of development under its belt and is already wielding a prototype that has a few dozen players testing it. The studio said that it plans on launching a Kickstarter campaign for it in the future.
Today is a positively massive day for fans of Trove
– and fans of superheroes, for that matter – as Trion is announcing a brand-new expansion for the popular
MMO and its 15 million players. It’s called Heroes
, and yes, it’s comic-themed!
“Trove – Heroes focuses on the neon festooned city of Luminopolis, a new high-tech skyscraper-laden section of Neon City. Luminopolis has been thrust into a battle for power between the evilly robotic Amperium and the Resistors, a rebel group fighting to bring the light back to the city. Players will partake in all new adventures, interact with new NPCs, wage battle against gigantic invading Mega World Bosses, and fight to save Luminopolis from the nefarious threat of the Amperion.”
If you’re sick of all your existing classes, you’ll be thrilled to know there’s a new one coming too, the Vanguardian. “A heroic class that pulls inspiration from the classic silver age of comic heroes, the Vanguardian is a paragon of virtue and strength,” Trion says. “Utilizing fluid combat in up close and personal melee skirmishes and from afar via effective ranged attacks, the Vanguardian is well-equipped to take up the cause of the Resistors and turn back the Amperion once and for all!”
Funcom is forging ahead with its plans to launch Conan Exiles for real and for true on all the things come May 8th. And, as the latest dev blog explains, to make that date, the company’s probably going to cut some features from that launch build.
“In the past couple of months, we’ve had to make some serious decisions as to what will be in for launch,” says the studio. “We’ve been going through every aspect of the game (including things still in development) and we have evaluated everything based on a range of criteria. Some features or content simply ended up not being good enough, some things have ended up not making sense for the game, some things have been replaced with other features and content, while some things just turned out to be out of reach from a technical or development capacity standpoint.”
What’s Star Wars The Old Republic
got up its sleeve for Valentine’s Day? How about a “share the love
” event for new and returning players?
BioWare announced today that it’s re-energizing its invite-a-friend campaign with a new SWTORSHARETHELOVE promotional code that’ll get you rewards, including a speeder, droid minipets, and other perks if your buddies actually subscribe.
Existing subbers are getting something too: “The SWTOR team is Sharing the Love with our Premium Players by giving everyone the Chiss Talon Interceptor Airspeeder and the Force Veteran’s Armor Set – these rewards will be available beginning March 1, 2018 through in-game mail.”
If you’re a former subber, you can also make sure of the share the love code if you reactivate, and you’ll also pick up that sweet airspeeder and armor Set. These promos all run through February 27th.
Elder Scrolls Online’s
paid Dragon Bones DLC and free update 17 are finally fully launched on PC. While technically the update rollout was yesterday, the EU and NA servers were up and down throughout the afternoon
after an extra-long maintenance and an emergency downtime to fix a fairly major experience exploit/bug. Multiple storage bugs
are also being reported on Reddit, so heads-up there.
The headline feature of update 17 itself is the new outfit system, but players are reporting it’s expensive to access indeed: You’re looking at 1500 crowns (roughly $15) for an extra outfit slot, and yes, that’s per character, though you do get one freebie per toon. Altering that outfit will cost you another 400 crowns (though you can also buy those with in-game gold). Incidentally, subbing to the game nets you 1500 crowns every month, but it’d take you a long time to deck out alts that way.
As Shroud of the Avatar surges toward its formal launch later this year, the devs are continuing their stream of weekly newsletters. This week, they’re talking up their updates to the South Midmaer Way, construction on new map South Fetid Swamp, and bears. Kind of a lot of bears. In fact, all the bears have been “completely rebuilt.” Bears bears bears. OK, I’ll stop. They are pretty cute!
In patchy news, Portalarium is also working on the planned player vendor revamp coming in R51. “The first thing we will try to improve is visual variation,” Starr Long explains. “Long term we plan to support customization of vendors via equipment choice but for now we are focusing on providing that visual variation through our pattern system. These patterns will include a female version of the current vendor, a completely new outfit based on Victorian shopkeeper uniforms (with gender and skin tone variations), and a cash register that will act as a fully functioning player vendor (even though it does not appear as an NPC).”
Mad World first popped up on our radar last summer, when we learned it was a HTML5-based Korean action MMORPG vying for your attention on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. This week, studio Jandisoft announced plans to launch the game on Steam this coming fall. It’s touting story-driven quests as part of a cute but grimdark storyline, along with crafting, guilds, and other MMO necessities. Interestingly, there are no classes here – just weapon skills.
“Clad in unique hand-drawn 2D art style, Mad World stays true to the classic MMORPGs but with a few tweaks. Leaving the MMORPG’s standard combat style, the game’s Target and Move style makes the combat more dynamic, and its classless weapon-based skill system gives more options when using skills.”
We’ve got the latest “mood” trailer down below!
You know what I like? Hearing about a new game for the first time that I can actually buy right now. Of course, this one’s in Steam early access, so maybe you’ll want to hold your wallet. I’m talking about Staxel, which dropped on my radar this week thanks to a couple of my favorite readers. To me, it looks like a cross between Stardew Valley and Trove, with that voxel Minecraft look but sandboxy content that’s more focused on farming, fishing, and growing out the village with your own customizations than on mass-murdering mobs.
“Put down your roots and settle into life as a newcomer to the village. Starting out with a run-down, old home and farmland reclaimed by the wilderness, it’s up to you to turn the place around. Plant seeds, carefully tend to your crops, take care of your animals, and expand your farm. Don’t forget: take care of your farm, and your farm will take care of you!”
It’s not a formal MMORPG, but the Steam page says it was “designed with multiplayer in mind from day one,” hence custom online servers and online multiplayer capability. Anybody tried this one out?
Really, when you think about it, MMOs are our grown-up toy chests. They have all of these attractive and fun toys to keep us occupied and happy as we pretend that we are heroes on great adventures while making a pit stop to play Barbie’s dream house. And that’s OK — we need to blow off steam and relax somehow, and this beats HALO jumping in the safety department.
This week, the Massively OP readership was all-too-eager to show off the toys within their toy chests, starting with Hirku’s trip to an amusement park. In a theme park MMO. There are layers upon layers of meta in today’s column, folks!
“World of Warcraft’s Darkmoon Faire is my favorite toy, and this week I get to play!” Hirku posted. “Wheeee!”
When the toxicity topics just keep piling up in the news room and nobody wants to cover them, you get the Toxicity Roundup, your weekly report on who’s being a jerk in gaming this week! (We’re kidding. This is not really a thing. We don’t really want this to be a thing. Please don’t make this a thing.)
Let’s start with Overwatch. Kotaku has a report out on a stream sniper who was hassling popular streamer TimTheTatMan. The troll would show up in the streamer’s matches, refuse to play anything but Symmetra, and proceed to suck – meaning the team always lost. Apparently, TimTheTatMan wasn’t the only person this jerk had griefed. “To be clear this player is being banned, not for their hero choice, but rather for systematically ruining Overwatch games for thousands of players,” Blizzard wrote on Reddit. “We recognize that not finding this player faster is an unfortunate failure of our ever-developing reporting system and we’ve already taken steps to quickly eliminate outliers like this in the future.” So one down, how many more to go?
What else have we got here…
First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who offered me some good Project Gorgon advice in the last installment of this column. Advice helped me put together an idea of some stuff that I had managed to miss with my natural explorations, including where I could get a freaking handsaw. It wasn’t even hard; I just misread a certain gateway as an exit instead of a path to another sub-section of the town. So that helped get me back on track.
Second, I’d like to apologize for having to take a mulligan last week and leaving you all without a column; it was totally down to limits of my own time rather than any dislike for the game. If you’ve not gotten the message from the first couple of installments, I quite like the game as a whole.
Third, I’d further like to apologize for the fact that this week my lifelong tendency to be terrible about screenshots struck badly. On the plus side, it’s not like most of my gear has changed, and there’s not much more to be said about the game’s graphics. On that note, in fact, we should probably start talking about the actual game.
Wanna own a part of a moon? Entropia Universe is putting one up for sale, and you can even play on it this year.
“Arkadia Moon will orbit the popular Planet Arkadia within Entropia Universe allowing players to travel there by space craft,” says long-running MMO studio MindArk. “The new moon will be 64 square kilometers in size and features High Stakes mining opportunities, seven brand new creatures and new adventure missions.”
The equivalent of six bucks will get you one of the 200,000 deeds up for sale in prep for the moon patch coming later this year (third quarter, the PR says), though it’s slightly cheaper if you buy one earlier than later. And yes, you can go there on your spaceship.
And why on earth – er, on Entropia – would you buy this thing? You’ll recall that the 15-year-old Entropia Universe has a real-cash economy, meaning that if property in the game gains in value, you can cash out and actually turn a tidy profit. Here’s Entropia’s spiel: