At the beginning of June, we covered The Elder Scrolls Online’s implementation of spyware program Red Shell, which is designed to track specific information about players and PCs logging into the client, like where on the globe they live. At the time, as fury blazed across Reddit, ZeniMax’s Matt Firor apologized for Red Shell, saying the company was “experimenting” with it and didn’t intend to patch it into the live build, and therefore it would be patched back out.
As it turns out, there are plenty of other games with Red Shell, or parts of Red Shell lingering. Redditor Alexspeed75 has been keeping track of games accused of running the spyware. Most notable on the list for our readers is Funcom; while the studio removed the Red Shell code from Conan Exiles in May following player complaints, players still found parts of it in The Secret World as of last week. That, Funcom has told Redditors, was an error, as it patched out the code last year.
SoulWorker’s getting a new toon today, marking the fifth playable character in the anime MMORPG. Who is he? Jin Seipatsu, a “courageous boy stricken with guilt for the loss of many innocent lives to the demons that plague his world and the evil known as The Great Void.”
“Jin belongs to the Fistfighter class among the SoulWorkers — a group of warriors with emotions so strong that they’re able to manifest them into powerful weapons. Jin’s particular emotional power is Integrity, which bestows upon him unique attributes such as the highest base hit points and area of effect damage among all other characters, as well as his own set of specialized attacks.”
There’s a new raid, too. Dubbed The Golden Citadel, it boasts five themed rooms with plenty of loot that can be tackled only after players have first completed all the game’s casual raids.
It’s hard to say how SoulWorker Online is doing in its first month of release here in the west. It’s certainly an attractive-looking title, but it may be doomed to the same level of niche obscurity that, say, Closers has experienced.
At least Gameforge is working hard to update the game and is making adjustments as needed. One of these changes is the addition of tradable items in the cash shop. About 21 items, including skill reset tickets and respawners, are now flagged for this feature. This means that someone can pay money to buy them on the store and then turn around and sell or trade them on the market.
SoulWorker is currently running an EP Party event through April 30th that will half the EP cost (rounded up) for all dungeons.
What’s the newly launched SoulWorker Online to do to keep players occupied as they dash up the levels? Turn them on each other, of course!
The dev team activated a new PvP operation that is accessible at level 55. The operation, called Dimension Trip, opens up three times every day and hosts between four and eight players per match. The special arena tosses both monsters and players at each other as they move through four successive sectors, earning points as the teams race against a 10-minute clock.
Once an arena bout is concluded, ranks will be handed out and rewards divvied up accordingly. It sounds like players will get a special currency that can be exchanged for items from a crafting vendor.
Welcome back to another look at all the MMO beta happenings of the week! I’ve stashed Eliot in the brig so that I can take over Betawatch and do some extra work on Friday! Wait, I’m not really sure I’m doing griefing right. Anyway, here’s what’s up.
- Defiance 2050 is hunting for beta testers! Make sure you’re all signed up.
- TERA formally launched on consoles, bringing an end to its beta.
- Soulworker likewise moved from soft launch to full launch.
- Made of money? A big chunk of cash will get you into Pantheon’s pre-alpha next month.
- We got our hands on Conan Exiles’ launch build (and loved it).
- Ashes of Creation is targeting fourth quarter 2018 for its alpha one launch.
- Camelot Unchained is testing, testing, testing.
- Crowfall is now in 5.5 pre-alpha, having introduced a new map and lady centaurs.
- Arcfall may still be in pre-alpha, but now it’s also free-to-play.
- Star Citizen rolled out 3.1 and then 3.1.1, but then rolled back to just 3.1 because bugs.
- And Occupy White Walls was the bright star of the week, offering alpha testers the chance to play around in an MMO art gallery.
Say farewell to SoulWorker Online’s open beta — and hello to release! Gameforge announced that the import has wrapped up its one-month-plus open beta test and is preparing the title for an official release.
The good news for any testers is that they won’t be losing their progress in the transition, as Gameforge won’t be wiping the game. The better news is that any tester will get a whole parcel of beta rewards when the release happens.
It’s a little unclear whether the launch will be today following maintenance or at some point in the future, but it does look to be soon. The team behind the adaptation said that it is taking action on much of the feedback that was gathered during the test.
SoulWorker is technically in open beta on paper; it isn’t supposed to truly launch until later this quarter. It hit Steam at the end of February. It announced it was done wiping. It opened up the cash shop. And now, it’s got a subscription too – an optional one, mind you.
There are actually two different subscription plans, both 30-days, and they are stackable; the silver sub grants keycards, respawners, battle books, extra auction slots, and an additional 80 daily energy. The gold sub doubles most of those bonuses, adds a few more, and adds an additional 120 max energy. It’s also possible to buy subs and sell them in-game.
But it’s the energy perks that have beta testers particularly concerned about pay-to-win, as energy limits in-game activities in a way few MMORPGs can get away with. In SoulWorker, players start with 200 daily energy, so with the double sub, they can double that number. Gameforge says it’s still considering how to proceed.
We already know that SoulWorker Online will not be wiping characters before its full launch, and now we find that the game is going even further into a launch-like state by adding in its full cash shop now. Yes, you can hop in the game and drop money for real if you’d like. Some players are crying that the prices are exorbitant or unfair, so keep that in mind before you dream of spending four dollars to double your experience gains or something similar.
Players can also collect two free daily items from the game’s cash shop in response to the feedback regarding the energy/fatigue system; further player input is being collected and considered by the developers. That doesn’t mean much will change, but at least it might.
The latest episode of the game’s accompanying anime has also been released, letting players see a bit more of the story and lore behind the title. Of course, it’s not exactly a lengthy episode at three minutes, so you can watch the whole thing just below if you’d like.
There are certain expectations you have when a free-to-play game is in open beta with a full launch planned for later. For example, you kind of expect a character wipe. But not so with SoulWorker Online; the developers have confirmed via Twitter that no character wipe is incoming, so anything you do now will still be relevant when the game fully launches later. That does make the distinction between the current state and launch a bit fuzzier, though.
What’s not fuzzy is the game’s IP blocking, which apparently rolled out without warning for all players not located in North America or Europe. As MMO Culture reports, no confirmation or explanation of IP blocks or the lack thereof had been offered by publisher Gameforge prior to the blocks being rolled out, and the game’s Twitter and Steam landing pages still make no mention of them.
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!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from War of Rights, Blade and Soul, Lineage 2 Revolution, Darwin Project, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Closers, Elder Scrolls Online, Bless, Soulworker Online, Skyforge, The Black Death, Saga of Lucimia, Dungeon Fighter Online, Mu Origin, Prosperous Universe, Legends of Aria, Battlerite, and Aura Kingdom Mobile, all waiting for you after the break!
Do you like anime? Action? Multiplayer games? Put them all together and you get SoulWorker, a new anime action multiplayer that just launched into open beta this week. Massively OP’s MJ is going to take a peek inside and check the game out. If you want to see what it’s all about, join us at 2:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a first look at…
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday, March 2nd, 2018
Here it comes! Korean cel-shaded action MMO SoulWorker Online – just SoulWorker now – is launching beta in the west today after its delay from last year. It’s an open beta, mind you, so you can actually play today as soon as it unlocks.
“Korean game studio Lion Games’ extraordinary free-to-play anime action MMO SoulWorker is finally coming to North America and Europe! […] Publisher Gameforge will host an Open Beta for SoulWorker in North America and Europe that starts today at 12pm EST / 9am PST. During the Open Beta Test, four characters will be available that players can use to experience SoulWorker’s story-rich PvE single-player mode or action-packed 4-player PvE co-op mode.”
The game is still slated for a formal launch later this quarter.
Back in November, MMO gamers were bummed to find out that Soulworker’s western rollout had been delayed into the first quarter of the new year. But the Smilegate/Gameforge machine is now finally cranking up: A tipster noticed that the game’s western forums (featuring English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Polish) have just launched.
“As ever, we’re hard at work on SoulWorker. We’re making great progress and we will soon be able to give you more information on the start of the open beta!” says the forum team. “The game is free-to-play and will also be available on Steam starting with the Open Beta. It will feature Korean voices (original voices) and text in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Polish. It is currently not planned to include Japanese voices. It is our goal to provide PvP content and new characters like Jin Seipatsu or Iris Yuma in the future, but at this point we unfortunately can’t confirm when exactly this content will be available.”
Server names for seven western servers have also been published – it looks like two of them will be in English, one for North America and one for the UK.