At its pre-Gamescom press conference this Sunday, Microsoft revealed more about its upcoming Xbox One X and its glorious 4K gaming capabilities. As part of the conference, the company listed several games that would benefit from the enhanced performance and power of the console when it arrives this November.
MMO players should take note, because this list contains many games in our sphere of interest. The select enhanced titles include BioWare’s Anthem, ARK: Survival Evolved, Astroneer, Black Desert, Conan Exiles, Dark and Light, Diablo III, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Portal Knights, Roblox, Sea of Thieves, SMITE, State of Decay 2, The Crew 2, Elder Scrolls Online, The Division, Warframe, and World of Tanks.
The Xbox One X boasts six teraflops of processing power, 4K Ultra Blu-Ray, and 12GB GDDR5 graphics memory, and will retail for $500. Interested players can pre-order the Project Scropio edition right now for as long as supplies last.
Here’s some exciting news coming out of Gamescom’s early Microsoft presentation this week: Sea of Thieves will be linking up its PC and Xbox One communities in game thanks to crossplay capabilities.
Rare confirmed that both editions will contain “complete feature parity” between them, allowing for console and computer players to share the same severs and game edition. The dev team is already running crossplay internally and will be doing so for all technical alpha tests going forward. Additionally, the upcoming Xbox One X will be included in Sea of Thieves’ testing and crossplay, which is great for those who want to play on a 4K TV.
With 4,000 new players testing out Sea of Thieves’ technical alpha on the PC, the team has a lot to say about how this version of the pirate title is shaping up. Getting players into Sea of Thieves right away was a high priority, as was getting high resolution graphics going and allowing players to use arrow keys as optional controls.
“Every tech alpha that we do helps us improve the game so that when we get to early 2018 and we release the game to everyone, it’s the PC game that people expect,” said Windows 10 Design Lead Tim Timmins.
See what the team has to say about Sea of Thieves’ PC version after the break!
Don’t let the fluffy puppy distract you from what’s truly important information in this week’s Sea of Thieves Tales from the Tavern podcast! The crew at Rare gathered around the pirate pup to talk about its plans for Gamescom, among other topics.
The game will be playable at the show, so if you haven’t been able to get into the alpha, that might be your only way to experience Sea of Thieves right now. The team hinted at additional quest types and stores, and the devs spent some time discussing how they are taking pains to make the game as accessible and welcoming as possible for players who might be nervous about jumping into an online multiplayer environment.
Settle in for the 46-minute podcast after the break!
Why do we get the feeling that a majority of Sea of Thieves’ group gameplay will be devoted to players barking at each other “Where are you? WHERE ARE YOU?” until the developers break down and provide everyone with an in-game minimap?
You can see (hear) this on display during another developer gameplay excursion. This week, the team demonstrates how a group of especially clever pirates might go about solving one of the new “riddle quests” that make finding a treasure a tricky process. The quest in question deals with four feathers, with each leading the group further in their pursuit.
Give it a watch after the break!
Whether you get it or not, it’s pretty apparent by now that there’s a huge demand for viewers to watch other people play video games and offer running commentary while doing so.
That’s Twitch in a nutshell, and it’s an audience that the Sea of Thieves team is keeping in mind as it develops its game. In a new dev video out today, Bungie said that it has always tried to make the spectator experience of Sea of Thieves captivating and enjoyable. And the studio is making no (skull)bones about trying to harness Twitch to propel the game forward.
“I think we have to think of games like that these days,” said Executive Producer Joe Neate. “It’s not just about the player; it’s about the viewer too. They’re both an audience and they’re both people that have a say in it.”
Check out the conversation — including a look at Sea of Thieves’ earliest demo prototype — after the break!
For everything, there is a season, turn turn turn. We’ve bid farewell to Albion Online this week, as it has launched properly and thus no longer qualifies as being in beta, but we also can say hello to the early access period for Dark and Light. Seriously, that just came out of nowhere, after ages of delays. It’s kind of awesome like that. So hooray for new early access!
We also bid farewell to Gigantic as it reaches its official launch. It’s like everyone graduating from college, although in this case college is full of supposed tests that are mostly a matter of building notoriety and… huh. That analogy works surprisingly well.
More testing news? Of course, friends, of course.
- The launch content for Tree of Life is available on the game’s test server, according to press releases. You can check out the game’s launch trailer, too, if you’d like.
- Good news for Destiny 2 fans on console, the open beta is running this weekend! Who doesn’t love that? PC players, presumably.
- Absolver isn’t quite an MMO, but it’s got a lot of the tropes, it has a nicely ornate combat system, and it’s launching on August 29th. So it’s all cool, and it’s almost there, right?
- As Chronicles of Elyria slowly rolls out its tribes, the developers have stressed the idea that you will have to pick and choose your tribe based on what you want to do in the game. So you can be whatever you want, as long as what you want is something your chosen tribe is already good at.
- Closed beta weekend in Citadel: Forged With Fire starting on Saturday? Don’t mind if we do. Yes, that’s moving particularly fast. So fast that you can fly, even.
- Last but not least, if you want to muck about on tropical islands while muttering about how this sly dog must’ve hidden the treasure in these parts, you’ll be quite excited about the riddle quests in Sea of Thieves. If you want to discuss how most pirate raids were about getting supplies instead of treasure and there was no reason to go bury this stuff… you should probably just bow out now, honestly.
Well, after all of that I’m sure everyone wants to retreat to the safety of the list of games in testing, yes? I know I do. It’s down below, and you can feel free to scroll through it and let us know if we’re missing something important in the comments.
Not every map in Sea of Thieves will be as simple as “‘X’ marks the spot.” The team discussed how it’s developing more advanced maps called riddle quests that will require players to coordinate efforts and solve clues in order to find the buried chest.
In this week’s Inn-Side Story developer video, the team shares a behind-the-scenes look at the concept and creation of these tricky missions. The devs anticipate that while bad crews will split up and find themselves frustrated during these quests, smart crews will work together to discover landmarks and solve the mystery.
During these quests, players will receive a parchment with a riddle on it, broken down into rhyming couplets. The devs said that this gave the game a great “Goonies” feel as players figure out sequential clues, forage around for landmarks, and discover the treasure.
Hunker down and pay attention to the cryptic words below!
As part of the emergent gameplay of Sea of Thieves’ missions, player crews will occasionally come upon signs in their voyage of shipwrecks lying below the surface. At this point, they’ll have a decision: Do they carry on or do they stop and risk being boarded by enemy crews while diving below?
In the newest Sea of Thieves dev video, the team explains how shipwrecks are designed to balance risk and reward. Tucked inside of these ships are treasure chests and resource barrels, but players will find themselves battling a lack of oxygen and a fear of circling sharks to grab the goods. Also, there are floating bananas. This game and bananas, I tell you.
Give this video a watch after the break!
It can’t all be pristine blue waters and smooth sailing for Sea of Thieves; this is the open ocean, after all! This week the developers finally had the opportunity to show off the mighty storms that players will occasionally battle in their pirate adventures.
In terms for our aspirations for storms, we always wanted them to be something that a crew can look at as a big physical thing in the world,” said Senior Designer Shelley Preston. “You can have a look as a crew and decide do we go through it or around it?”
Storms are designed to make players feel vulnerable and challenge their piloting skills. They even include a fluid simulation in which waves will crash over decks, get them wet, and even seep through planks to drip below deck.
Give the three-and-a-half minute video a quick watch after the break!
I like naval combat in my MMOs. That’s my weakness. Vehicle combat is great, but for some reason, I especially like boats. When I heard there was another pirate multiplayer game being revealed at E3 2017, I knew I’d have to check it out. Fortunately, I’d already been scheduled to check out Ubisoft’s press section of their booth, giving me a rare opportunity to see Skull and Bones behind closed doors.
The pirate’s code(s)
Let’s get this out of the way upfront: Skull and Bones is not nearly the same as Sea of Thieves. At all. Sea of Thieves is a good pirate simulator. You get drunk, you swing a sword, you dig for treasure.
In Skull and Bones, you’re a pirate ship, not a captain. Your ship is your class, like a tank or a sniper. It’s much more about boat play than character play. Don’t think of the triad though, as I didn’t see any “healer” type boat. And don’t think you’re just in a death match, as the pirate aspect was still there, even in my battleground-esque demo.
As I mentioned in MassivelyOP’s Best of E3 Overthinking article, I came away from this year’s con thinking Sea of Thieves was the best playable online multiplayer game with a playable demo there, despite that demo being “terrible.” What I mean by “terrible” is that it created the potential for some of the worst parts of gaming to come true. There’s a reason most MMOs demo a battleground, boss fight, or newbie experience: Those are easy to demo, especially for non-MMO fans. Some demos give players a zone to explore, which is better, when done well. Rarely are people put into a situation where the entire demo requires coordination, but Rare did it, and it paid off, despite the fact that it’s not selling an MMO.
Allow me to explain.
Oh, E3, always a magical time full of promises when some aren’t meant to be kept, some are meant to be kept but won’t be, and some actually will happen. Have fun guessing which is which!
Among the more pertinent announcements from this year’s convention are ARK: Survival Evolved launching on August 8th, Sea of Thieves delaying launch until 2018, and Destiny 2 launching early September and late October depending on platform. We’ve also got the new game Anthem on its way for 2018 and Monster Hunter World headed for consoles and PC, which is all cool.
Oh, and let’s not forget the announcements of Skull and Bones and The Crew 2. Or the Lawbreakers beta starting June 28th while launch is set for August 8th. Jeez. Is there even room for more beta news? Yes, but just a little.
Whew! Some title density in there, almost mirroring that of the list down below. You can still read the list, though, and if we missed something or a game has slipped into a new test phase, you can let us know in the comments.