Have you ever noticed that while there’s an entire world out there, most all of the MMORPGs we discuss and play tend to either be ones crafted in the USA or imports from China or Korea? We even have a shorthand for this: “western” and “eastern” MMOs. We’re usually not talking about entire hemispheres with these references, but rather about categorizing three countries that are big into the MMORPG business.
But what about the rest of the world? Are all of these other countries so uncaring about this genre that they’ve never tried their hand at making an MMO? Of course not; as I’m about to show you, there are plenty of online RPGs that have been made in countries other than China, the USA, and South Korea. It’s just that for various reasons, those three countries ended up fostering concentrations of video game developers who knew how to create these types of games.
So let’s take a tour around the world and see if we can’t give some credit to other countries for their contributions to the MMORPG genre past, present, and future. Before you click the link, see how many you can name off the top of your head!
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.
It’s very rare that this job allows us to use the terms “shutdown” and “good” in the same sentence, but the upcoming alpha shutdown for SkySaga is one of those rare instances. After all, the only reason the alpha test is shutting down is so that the game can move into its open beta, which will serve as a de facto soft launch. See? That’s a good thing.
Other betas were doing stuff this week, too, so that’s also a good thing.
And we’ve got our full list of games just below if you’d like a more rundown-style update. As always, we appreciate it if you let us know what stuff has jumped to another phase of testing or might otherwise be erroneous; we do our best to keep up with changes, but we do miss things from time to time.
Take a last long look at SkySaga’s alpha servers because they won’t be around much longer. In a good way! Smilegate announced today that the alpha will come to an end ahead of schedule on April 27th as the game is prepped for its “full beta release,” which will act as an open beta soft launch as it won’t be wiped from that point onward.
“We’ve always planned to turn off the lights for a spell before we hit Beta; when we’d done all we could while Alpha was still live,” says the studio. “But the dev team have done such an amazing job that we’ve hit that point a little earlier than we were expecting.”
It’s not clear when beta will launch. “There’s a lot to do so we don’t have a fixed date for this just yet, but we’ll let you know when you’ll be able to come back in and explore the Infinite Isles some more,” says the FAQ.
After over a month of voting and counting down, we’ve arrived at the final six picks for your favorite MMORPG theme songs of all time. It’s been absolutely illuminating seeing the formation of this list and the placement of certain tracks, and I’m glad that everyone who wanted to got to participate.
Before I reveal the top six themes, here are a few honorable mentions:
Are you ready? I know I am! Here we go!
If, like me, your spring break plans have been thwarted by frigid weather in the forecast, maybe you’re looking for something new to do this weekend. If so, take a peek at SkySaga, which last week hit alpha 10. The voxel sandbox updated the floating City of Last Light, buffed character customization, improved the UI and atlas, added new components, and made it so much easier to search and visit other players’ homes. Crafting and the economy have seen a major simplification overhaul as well:
“Intermediate components have been removed from the crafting process, which means you can get straight to building what you need. For example – to craft a chair you no longer craft wooden planks on a sawbench and iron bolts in a forge, then combine these parts on a workbench, keeping track of the recipe with a mental shopping list – now you use the raw wood and metal directly in a single crafting device, and immediately hit craft. Simplifying this way means that inventory management gets much simpler, as there are fewer leftover parts. You can batch craft a stack, too – as many as you have materials for. The crafting UI has been drastically simplified and now focuses on the important parts of the process. The item recipe will auto populate if you have the right materials to complete the build.”
More recently, the team posted a video walkthrough of cave gameplay. Check them out below.
It’s time to get all snuggly in front of a crackling fire, roast up some chestnuts, down a gallon of hot chocolate, and log into your favorite online RPGs for seasonal festivities! Or you could “bah humbug!” your way through the season and ignore all of the silly, free, and rewarding events if you so desire. We’re not here to tell you what to do, after all!
With extra time off of work and school, many gamers have the opportunity to take advantage of all of the winter holiday events that are running across MMORPGs, MOBAs, and other online games. Feeling at a loss about where to start? Board the Massively OP sleigh and join us as we take you on a tour of all of the Christmas events going on right now!
Oh that dastardly Drynch! SkySaga isn’t even officially released, yet its Midwinter holiday has come under siege by the ever-grumpy Drynch.
“The Drynch has stolen the Midwinter tree and all the decorations from the City of First Light! There’s so much we don’t know: How did this happen, where did everything go, what does the Drynch want, what is under Peregrine’s mask, will there be more questions?” the site asks.
Players will need to work through several seasonal events, including construction projects and ice skating, to lure the Drynch out for an epic showdown. By completing all four Midwinter events, players will win a limited-time banner to display in their homes.
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.
“Two things I did on Hallows Night: / Made my house April-clear / Left open wide my door / to the ghosts of the year.” ~ “All Hollows Night” by Lizette Woodworth Reese
Is your door open to the ghosts and ghouls of MMORPGs this season? They are definitely shambling up your walkway, looking to tell you of the grim delights of the holiday in your favorite online games. Indeed, Halloween season is upon us, which means that MMOs have an excuse to break out their favorite yearly festivities.
With so much to look at and do, you might be in a terrible fright trying to figure out what to do first. We consulted our Massively OP gravedigger Bram (he’s on retainer), who offers surprisingly good advice for sorting out the Halloween season in MMOs and getting the most out of the holiday. We recorded his words in this guide, although beware to the soul that reads them all — Bram might be seeing you before the week is up. MUAHAHAHA.
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 we take a look at how SkySaga is handling a particularly tricky issue regarding player trading and recipes. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from Pokemon Go, Landmark, Heroes of the Storm, and more, all waiting for you after the break!
Over the last couple of weeks, we shared with you part one and part two of our guide to the best upcoming and current indie MMORPGs on the market. Naturally, there were always those titles that we overlooked or couldn’t fit into the space, so we are back with the third and final part of this guide to make sure that all of your favorite games got mentioned.
As a side note, we won’t be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too much 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 three!
Alpha 9 has descended upon British-born voxelbox SkySaga.
“We’ve made a lot of changes to SkySaga this Alpha and added some really awesome new features we think you’ll love!” writes Community QA Manager PirateScott. “Along with a completely redesigned City of First Light comes the mysterious Lumostone – a magical wireless method of connecting devices (having to open a door with your hands is sooooo Alpha 8 after all!). Now you can hook doors up to pressure plates using logic networks, and therefore have them open as you approach! We’ve also revamped the tutorial and Forest Mastery quest chain, changed how chests work on Adventures, made changes to combat, added some new voxels, amazing new weapons and armour, and updated the UI in a big way!”
Smilegate has posted a new trailer to accompany the rollout (it’s tucked below!). North American, European, and Aussie players are still able to sign up for the closed testing on the official site. A formal release date has not been set.