With 2017 drawing to a close and 2018 rushing up to meet us, the Massively OP team has regrouped for another round of bold and goofy predictions for the year ahead. We’re feeling pretty good after our fairly successful predictions from last year! What’s in store for the MMO genre next year? Here’s what we think.
sea of thieves
Official Site: Sea of Thieves
Every pirate needs some good reading material for those long ocean voyages, assuming that they can read. And now, for the literate and illiterate alike, a Sea of Thieves comic book series is coming for the discriminating adventurers.
The comic series is being written by Jeremy Whitley and drawn by Rhoald Marcellius and will arrive in stores and online during the game’s launch month of March 2018. It shouldn’t be confused with the game’s official art book, which is being handled by Dark Horse Comics.
Titan Comics says that the comic will be appropriate for all ages: “In Titan Comics’ brand-new series, follow two competing crews of pirates, bound by a shared past and a single destiny, as they sail the Sea of Thieves in a race to track down an ancient treasure. Along the way they’ll deal with undead hordes, devious traps and their own bitter rivalries, but which crew will emerge victorious and ultimately claim the legendary loot?”
If you’ve been paying attention to Sea of Thieves, you may have noticed that Rare’s game isn’t hewing to the traditional RPG stats and mechanics. In fact, there are no character levels and stat gear at all. So that raises the question: What do you chase and how do you progress in this MMO?
A new dev video explains all of this. Basically, players will pursue cosmetics and reputation in the three NPC factions, earning better rewards the greater their legend grows. Each faction focuses on different mission types: The Gold Horders are all about treasure hunting, the Merchant Alliance places priorities on trade shipments and livestock retrieval, and the Order of Souls wants you to get into scraps with the undead to retrieve their skulls.
Players can pick up “voyages” (i.e. quests) from these factions, but the higher their reputation, the better and more lucrative these voyages become. Voyages can be shared among crews, and there are no barriers to sharing and engaging in these missions between crew members.
It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won’t be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year’s list to see how spot-on I was).
This year we’re changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of “will see a hard launch in 2018.” Instead, I drafted up a list of 20 MMOs that have the potential to do or be really interesting next year, whether that be a launch, a long-anticipated beta test, or some other significant development. Plus, hey, you get 20 for the price of 10, so no complaining now!
As an aside, this list isn’t going to cover some other exciting-looking multiplayer games that are arriving in 2018, like Anthem, Sea of Thieves, The Crew 2, Monster Hunter World, DayZ, Red Dead Redemption 2, Stardew Valley, Conan Exiles, and State of Decay 2. And you old school fans won’t want to forget that Ultima Online has a new free-to-play option coming this spring.
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree sort out the pile of expansions and updates that developers are scrambling to get out of the door before the holiday break. From vampires to kobolds, there’s something for everyone this month, and it only looks to get nuttier with the new year!
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As we do every year, today we’re going to peer back into the depths of last year’s staff predictions for the genre and the games within it to determine just how we fared. After all, what would be the fun of making predictions if we couldn’t have a laugh at how wrong we were a year later? So let’s dig in and find out whether we nailed it or failed it!
The announcement came in the form of a new trailer that gives a quick overview of the general gameplay and quirkiness that comes with this pirate title. We are especially excited about the quick bit where they showed a rapid succession of cosmetic outfits — because a buccaneer has to look fashionable, after all!
Pre-orders will get into a January five-day closed beta and secure a Black Dog pack for the live game. Get pumped up with the launch trailer below (and say hello to the chicken when you do so)!
“The only thing that’s sinking here is your dignity!”
It is that time once again for the Sea of Thieves development team to record themselves playing their own game for our amusement. It was a crazy session, too, with three ships full of pirates clashing in a nasty, frantic, and often hilarious battle to the death.
Both small and large ships were used in the video below, and even if you haven’t been able to get a spot in the alpha test, you’ll be able to get a taste for some of the core gameplay of Sea of Thieves through this seven-minute romp. Check it out!
Sea of Thieves is planning to go out with a bang in 2017 as it expands its technical alpha pool for one final, massive test. Rare announced that anyone who signs up to become an Insider by December 1st will be invited to the fun.
“Everyone who joins the Insider Programme by the cut-off date of December 1st will be invited to the next play session — our biggest and best yet — with the latest brace of brand new features to test,” the studio said. “Yes, as promised, all eligible Insiders are now getting their chance to jump in and play Sea of Thieves before its release next year.”
The Sea of Thieves Xbox team recently discussed some of the optimizations that are being done to get the game looking its best for the Xbox One X. Even if you’re not planning to play on that console, you might want to watch the video below and drool over the graphics.
All other studios, it’s time to pack it in: Sea of Thieves has won the Trailer Olympics, at least for 2017.
In Rare’s newest video, the team crams a shipload of awesome into a minute-and-a-half as it challenges gamers to “be more pirate.” While the trailer doesn’t reveal anything new, it does a great job showing off the various activities and demonstrating the overall tone of the game, bouncing from crew teamwork to swimming with sharks to, er, “banana crunching.” Also, a buccaneer throws up on the camera lens. Give that team an award!
OK, it might not be Oscar bait, but this continues to get us completely hyped for Sea of Thieves’ launch in spring 2018. Anyone want to join the crew of the S.S. Mighty MOP?
While Sea of Thieves’ standard pirate vessels require a crew of four, Rare acknowledged that some players were going to ask for boats that could be manned by one or two for that solo or duo experience.
Enter the “efficient” and “vulnerable” small ship.
“When we were making the small ship, we wanted to make it feel significantly different to the large ship,” said Senior Designer Andrew Preston. “We started to looking at how many degrees the ship rotates. It only rotates 360 degrees rather than 720 degrees like the large ship […] It can turn on much sharper angles so it can be more nimble.”
Get to know the small ship in the latest developer video below!
There’s never enough grog when you’re trying to wrap your head around the fast-changing events of the world. Fortunately, Sea of Thieves has a plan to keep you up-to-date with everything going on with the technical alpha: messenger mermaids. Barring that, there’s a new dev video, but it’s not nearly as alluring.
The team discusses some of the big changes that it’s made to the test now that “thousands and thousands” of players have put the game through its paces. The major additions to the technical alpha as of late include the addition of voice chat (“for pirates with mouths full of jewels”), brigs for misbehaving crew members, the ability to scuttle your ship, and smaller ships for a reduced crew.
Check out the content update after the break!
For the most part, Sea of Thieves has delivered a stream of short, bite-sized videos to show off various aspects of the pirate game as it is developed. However, every so often, many members of the team gather for a (goofy) hour-long podcast for fans who are seeking more in-depth discussion.
In this week’s Tales from the Tavern Podcast, the team discusses the panel at NYCC, something about pigs, how the game is handling non-verbal combat encounters, and more. Check it out after the break!