ship of heroes

Official Site: Ship of Heroes
Studio: Heroic Games
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Superhero MMORPG
Business Model: N/A
Platform: PC

GDC 2018: In the crow’s nest with Ship of Heroes’ CEO Casey McGeever

Let me be upfront: I’ve never gotten into a superhero MMO. I love comics; outside of work, it’s probably the only non-fiction I willingly read these days. It’s just the people I play with never got into hero MMOs, even when some of us finally tried DC Universe Online.

But I read all about them. And I know you superhero MMORPG players have been kicked around.

Heroic Games President and CEO Casey McGeever’s passionate about the need for the genre because of that, and that’s precisely why MMO Ship of Heroes was conceived. We’ve got superheroes everywhere these days, but as hot as the Avengers are, we’re largely given steaming piles of brown from their gaming-ignorant parent companies. So I sat down with McGeever to talk MMOs, tech, and a ship full of heroes during GDC 2018.

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Ship of Heroes’ map is ‘larger than the starting maps in City of Heroes’

If you’re a City of Heroes fan – or any kind of superhero fan – then you’re gonna want to check out the brand-new and never-before-revealed early-game Ship of Heroes map that Heroic Games just sent over. Remember, SoH is literally set on a starship, but it’s so massive that it fits all kinds of real-world zones inside.

“Every new MMORPG gets to the point where they can begin sharing the current version of the persistent level with their community,” Heroic Games writes. “Ship of Heroes is at that point right now. The map below is our first viewable version of the map of Apotheosis City. While every part of the city has not be allocated to a zone yet, it is clear that there will be about a dozen zones in the first playable level.”

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Ship of Heroes turns a critical eye to February’s combat alpha

Last month, Ship of Heroes ran its first alpha combat test with backers, and it was a blast (literally). With enough time to process the test, the studio put together a dev blog that shared what it has learned from the combat alpha to use in development going forward.

There are many critical notes that the devs provide, such as this one: “Enemies should attack relentlessly. We have already begun an enemy AI upgrade. This upgrade will be affected by the poll results you’ve given us on this subject. Our goal to is to add a new level of challenge to the AI.”

Heroic Games said that it will be polling the community for several decisions that need to be made about adjusting the combat. There’s nothing like seeing it for yourself, so check out February’s combat alpha highlights after the superjump!

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Ship of Heroes looks at ways to boost performance on older computers

While it is certainly too early for Ship of Heroes to be posting its full system requirements, the team did discuss some of the graphics options that it has included to boost performance on older or less capable machines. These include reducing the resolution, turning shadows off, and using pull-down menus.

The forum post discussing this stressed that optimization is a work in progress and that improvements and changes are being made all of the time. The trickiest aspect is, obviously, to allow the client and server to handle multiple players in the same area simultaneously.

“Most dev teams really spend the last few months trying to optimize in a sudden rush before launch,” the team said.

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Make My MMO: Pantropy’s Kickstarter ends Tuesday, Project Gorgon eyes Steam this week (March 10, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, it’s not looking great for Pantropy, whose Kickstarter is only just over half funded with only a few more days to go.

Meanwhile, Camelot Unchained is prepping for two scenario tests this weekend (the second is tomorrow, if you can catch it!), Dual Universe rolled out its new supporter packs, City of Titans took a look at character customization, Chronicles of Elyria posted a long lore piece, Elite Dangerous rolled out 3.0.2, OrbusVR previewed its talent system, Crowfall talked up its vendor system, and we streamed a first-hand look at Ship of Heroes. Plus, Project Gorgon hits Steam this coming week!

Finally, a troll informed me this week that Massively OP is nothing more than a pile of Kickstarter propaganda and some WoW and GW2 columns, so if you happened to read the 120 or editorials, streams, and articles we published this week that aren’t related to crowdfunding, good news, you imagined all that!

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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City of Titans’ avatar builder is on display – and it’s pretty awesome

It has been five years since comic book and City of Heroes fans threw $678,000 at Missing Worlds Media in the hopes of seeing a superhero MMO successor. Since then, City of Titans has been taking shape at a glacial pace, testing patience, and finding itself in a spandex race of sorts with Valiance Online and Ship of Heroes.

But could it have made a breakthrough? MWM announced this week that it has finally reached the point where it is proud to show off City of Titans’ character creator (or “avatar builder,” as the studio is calling it). The preview is still just pre-alpha, but it represents a huge step toward the MMO’s hopeful launch. Backers should be able to get their hands on the beta version of the character builder later this year.

“It’s taken us years to get here, but it will take a lot less than that to finish,” MWM said. “The ‘thousand program breaking bugs’ period is past for the chargen, and now visible progress will be more rapid. The biggest missing piece, currently, is female. Don’t think we’ve forgotten about the heroic women. Overcoming the final hurdles to bringing her in is the next big push. Perhaps she’ll be ready in time for next month.”

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The stream Team: An exclusive exploration of Ship of Heroes

Back in January, Massively OP’s MJ got to tour Ship of Heroes while chatting with Heroic Games’ Founder Casey McGeever and Lead Developer Matt Wilson. Since then she has been looking forward to getting in and running around herself. Today she gets to do just that! McGeever and Wilson are joining her again as she gets to man the controls. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. for a another romp around the massive ship.

What: Ship of Heroes
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Monday, March 5th, 2018

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Here’s your first look at newbies playing the Ship of Heroes combat alpha

Ship of Heroes has something to cheer about today as it’s just begun its combat alpha, complete with “signature heroes, the Apotheosis City environment, their offensive powers and powersets, enemies, UI, AI, and several other gameplay features, all of which are integrated into the Alpha version of the game.”

More alpha tests are expected this year, along with beta by the end of 2018, “but that does depend on the results of the intermediate alphas,” Heroic Games’ Gasey McGeever said in the press release today.

Take a peek at the combat alpha video down below: A trio of devs took a trio of total newbies and ran them up against a trio of enemy groups just to see how they’d all fare. “With one exception, each team member is playing a signature hero from SoH, and employing superpowers shown in previous videos. Sword Blossom, the Dual Swords Brawler, shows off a new offensive melee powerset for the first time,” Heroic Games told us.

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Make My MMO: Pantropy will send teamkillers to jail on ‘Troll’s Island’ (February 24, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, online shooter Pantropy broke the 33% barrier on its ongoing Kickstarter. The game has half a month to go to get to its $92,000 goal. “We’re still working on a lot of improvements and bug fixes. We have made the crafting recipes less complex and discussed a few ideas to punish players that kill or raid their own faction,” the team says in its most recent Kickstarter update. Punishment includes hard time on “Troll’s Island,” where players must perform “repetitive tasks (like hammering ores) in order to be free again” – or have guildies willing to risk life and limb trying to bust them out! (It might just be easier on the devs to just… turn off friendly fire, yeah?)

Meanwhile, Dual Universe is vowing to step up its communication game, Shroud of the Avatar rolled out R51, we finished up our tour of Project Gorgon, Ship of Heroes previewed pieces of its alpha, and Elite Dangerous is prepping to roll out the first leg of Beyond next week. And Camelot Unchained is still riding high on its beta one announcement earlier this month; this week, it’s been testing a 100x100x100 scenario – a tiny sliver of the eventual battle size. Don’t click that link if you’re hungry!

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’re following.

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Ship of Heroes shows off the new combat features for its upcoming alpha test

It’s not really a superhero game unless you’re fighting someone or something, right? So Ship of Heroes has a certain obligation to give you a bunch of tools for doing exactly that. The latest video from the team shows off the new features added into combat to ensure that players can get as much joy as possible out of beating the tar out of criminals in the city which is on a spaceship.

Among the features shown off are target level-checking (letting you know what you’re facing at a glance), auto-rotating to face your target, and a smoother combat flow in general. Of course, you don’t have to take our word for it; you can check out all of these features in the video just below. And it’s on the short side, so those of you allergic to watching an hour of developers fumble around for words won’t have to wait to see the good stuff.

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Make My MMO: Dual Universe’s second crowdfunding effort and Massively OP’s third birthday (February 10, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Dual Universe is still zooming along in its pre-alpha, and it’s addressed just that in a new AMA this week. The studio acknowledges that the game’s development has become delayed (you’ll recall it was originally supposed to launch a full alpha last fall) but that money isn’t an issue. “Don’t worry, we are OK,” Novaquark tells backers. “We are going to publish a roadmap before Summer. For the 24/7 [testing], this is a high level priority, and we hope to be able to get you there in a few weeks. It won’t be full time however, but more like full week-ends to start with.” The studio also says it’ll launch a second crowdfunding effort later this quarter.

On a more meta note, today marks Massively OP’s third birthday as an independent MMORPG website, and the plain truth is that wouldn’t be here today without the generous donors who contributed to our original Kickstarter back in 2015, our Patreon and PayPal donors, our Twitch subbers, our Amazon clicky-clickers, and you lovely folks who whitelist our ads. You and we are living proof that crowdfunding can work! Thank you all so very much from the whole team. Here’s to three and many more!

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Ship of Heroes teases February combat alpha with new gameplay pics

Ship of Heroes’ latest newsletter is here, and it’s all about the escorted combat alpha due to begin later this month.

“The combat alpha will consist of a series of escorted alpha tours,” Heroic Games explains. “In each tour, 2-3 devs will form a team with 3-4 of our donors, supporters, and members of the press. Together, we’ll run through the Science Park area of Apotheosis City and fight a series of enemy mobs. We’ll be recording, and possibly livestreaming, during at least one run.”

The devs note that the scenarios aren’t balanced for launch play but instead are meant to test how combat feels, which means extending the fights. In fact, the designers have been owned in their own play. “We do not expect ordinary combat in SoH to be as challenging as these fights, and we’re considering doing some runs at an easier difficulty that would represent street-sweeping rather than a boss rush,” says the team. Likewise, don’t expect powerset balance to be finished yet either.

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Make My MMO: Crowfall’s EU servers, Camelot’s newsletter, Star Citizen’s perks (February 3, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained’s idea of a “short” newsletter is still over 3000 words, but it’s live this week with a rundown of the news that’s still buzzing from January: that the studio is making new hires left and right in the wake of a huge cash investment that’ll speed up production of the game. It’s also called its first alpha a success now that it’s smashed some lag bugs.

And in surprising news, one of the principals on Greed Monger actually began processing refunds for its 2012 MMORPG Kickstarter after years of abandonment.

Meanwhile, the Elite Dangerous community thwarted griefers, Star Citizen added earliest test access to subscriber perks, Legends of Aria began another round of beta, AdventureQuest 3D teased its new Paladin class, Albion Online rolled out another update to the Kay patch, Dual Universe’s pre-alpha edged up to R0.8.16, and Crowfall made good on its promise to get the EU test servers up and running.

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’re following.

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