Now that we’re almost 1/12th of the way through 2018, it’s probably about time to stop anticipating the year and start experiencing it. We have already looked at MMOs coming this year, multiplayer titles on the way, the current healthiest MMOs, MMO predictions, and the best value games on the market. So what’s left?
Expansions. Expansions and major content updates are what’s left. It might seem a little presumptuous to try to outline what’s coming this year, since many studios still have their long-range plans under wraps, but when we sat down in the MOP office to talk about it, we ended up with a much larger list than anticipated.
So here’s a look at the major MMO expansions and content updates we are expecting and anticipating over the course of this year. After this? You’re on your own, kid.
The second installment of Star Citizen’s Calling All Devs is out now, and if you want to see what it’s like when developers sit in workspaces or empty studios and hobnob with one another on Skype video calls, your prayers have been answered. If you want to get a whole lot of information about upcoming game releases, you’re out of luck. The video is 17 minutes long and not exactly filled with densely packed information so much as it’s filled with a solid minute of admiration for a developer’s beard.
To be fair, it is a very large beard.
Unfortunately, the Reddit thread on the video does not have a full summary, but it does provide some idea of what is actually in the video. Ship buying and trading, for example, will both not be in patch 3.1; there’s some discussion in there about how trading will be more based on the in-game contract system rather than just a pop-up UI window. Hotfixes are definitely possible and have already gotten rolled out for 3.0, although there’s no certainty about them. If you would still like to watch the video, we’ve provided it below.
Ever pause during your day and find yourself wondering, “Whatever happened to that game?” With hundreds upon hundreds of online titles these days, it’s surprisingly easy for MMOs to fall through the cracks and become buried as more aggressive or active games take the spotlight.
Well, every so often we here at Massively Overpowered find ourselves curious what has transpired with certain MMOs that we haven’t heard from in quite a while. Have we missed the action and notices? Has the game gone into stealth maintenance mode? What’s the deal? What has it been up to lately?
That’s when we put on our detective hats and go sleuthing. Today we look at what has been going on with Ascent: the Space Game, Aura Kingdom, and Fragmented.
Star Citizen just wouldn’t be Star Citizen without its obsession with meticulously crafted starships, and they’re exactly the focus of the Ship Shape segment in this week’s Around the Verse. After an interminably long round of introductions, Chris Roberts and company discuss how ships are born.
“It’s a long process,” Roberts quips. “It involves approximately 49 years of obsessively watching science fiction films and TV shows and reading a lot of science fiction novels, plus being a bit of a World War I and World War II enthusiast, and taking all of that and then coming up with various ideas for ships that have sort of been inspired by things that you’ve seen, things that you’ve read, things you know in the real world that fill in the various roles that we have in the game.”
Things like, you know, Serenity or the Millennium Falcon, to which you surely have an “emotional attachment,” he posits. “So we balance the combination of the practical needs that we want to fill in from the game requirements with the sense of an emotional attachment, so it’s not just a purely kind of cold pragmatic science.”
If you know one thing about indie MMORPG Camelot Unchained, it’s that CEO Mark Jacobs appears to dwell perpetually in internet comment sections amiably sparring with gamers and attracting loyal advocates.
But if you know two things, you also know that the game is late. Really late. The RvR-centric, PvM-free, anti-lockbox, sub-only MMO was supposed to enter beta three years ago, according to its successful 2013 Kickstarter, but studio City State Entertainment suffered admitted setbacks along the way – both hiring difficulties in the company’s Fairfax, Virginia, location and technical hurdles. Much of that has since been rectified; in 2016, the company launched a second studio in Seattle while continuing to hire engineers and spending the better part of a year completely refactoring its character ability code and polishing up its home-grown engine. But here we are in 2018, still mumbling beta when? at Jacobs and his dogged crew.
Well, we’re finally getting an answer to that question and more, along with a significant blast of hope for the future of the game, as CSE has just received a massive cash infusion to speed up development. I spoke to Jacobs at length – he’s infamous for being effusive – about what’s going on with the game and the studio in 2018. Read on for the executive summary!
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained fans are stocking up on big bags of popcorn because the announcement has been announced! If you care about the future of the game, you’re gonna want to show up this coming Thursday to hear what’s in store. Hint hint nudge nudge. It’s all teased in the game’s latest backer update, which further covers CSE’s progress on the engine, latency, the UI, tools, networking code, animations, and art.
Meanwhile, we got a personal tour of Ship of Heroes, Project Gorgon gently hyped its upcoming early access, Chronicles of Elyria announced it’s abandoned SpatialOS, and Elite Dangerous delivered beta and launch windows for its update chunk.
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.
Now that Star Citizen’s Alpha 3.0 is finally here, the team has a high outlook for the development process going forward. In this week’s Around the Verse, RSI says that future patches will be more predictable and will come out on specific dates instead of falling behind due to feature delays.
“There was actually a lot of debate as to whether or not we should cut some of the critical foundational features from 3.0 and push them into 3.1,” said Persistent Universe Director Tony Zurovec. “But we really wanted to ensure that we got the basic skeleton for what we’re going to need for all of the evolutionary gameplay enhancements that we’re going to deliver in all of the 3.x series — 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 — on a quarterly basis next year.”
The team is still evaluating how all of the technology that went into 3.0 is functioning together, which is why Patch 3.1 is going to focus on performance and improving the reportedly low frame rates that players are seeing. Past that, Patch 3.2 is slated to receive the first iteration of mining.
If there’s one thing that EVE Online
does better than any other MMO on the market today, it’s persistent gameplay on massive scales. The now-famous Bloodbath of B-R5RB
in 2014 involved 7,548 players over the course of almost 24 hours, and the Siege of M-OEE8
at the end of 2016 peaked at 5,300 separate players all piled into the same star system at the same time. Hundreds of thousands of players live and fight in the same single-shard universe, and EVE
‘s largest corporations have more members than the total population on some other MMOs’ shards.
But what about the smaller end of the scale? MMOs aren’t just populated by monolithic organisations bent on galactic domination, and a growing proportion of today’s gamers play online games solo or in smaller groups. Features such as Upwell structures and the new PvE gameplay have clearly been designed with a wide range of gameplay scales in mind, but EVE has never really got past the problem that bigger groups are almost always better. Could the solution to this problem be found in small-scale asymmetric and asynchronous warfare opportunities?
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at why EVE‘s massive scale makes it so compelling, the problem that massive scale introduces, and the case for more asymmetric and asynchronous warfare.
The bombshell of December 2017 was the news that Crytek was suing Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries, the companies behind the sprawling and controversial crowdfunded MMO Star Citizen, alleging that CIG infringed its copyrights by using CryEngine to develop non-Star Citizen game assets in the form of Squadron 42 while misusing Crytek’s logo in marketing materials and Crytek’s CryEngine in the form of Star Engine. In its initial filing, Crytek demanded a huge pile of direct damages, lost profits, and punitive damages, as well as a permanent injunction against CIG’s use of CryEngine.
At the time, CIG told Massively OP that it was aware of the complaint but that the lawsuit was “meritless” as CIG hadn’t used CryEngine since it switched to Amazon’s Lumberyard. And now we see its promised “vigorous defense” action, as CIG has issued a volley of its own in the form of a motion to dismiss the entire suit.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen devs gave a first look at game’s brand-new website, which is due to launch later in January. It’s good news for those of you who’ve argued the existing site doesn’t do enough to explain the game to newbies who haven’t been following the game for years.
High-end Star Citizen backers also have the opportunity to attend an exclusive shindig in May. “On Friday May 4th, we will host a private Concierge event, which will include an intimate tour of our LA headquarters, followed by dinner in the commissary and a sit-down Q&A with Chris Roberts and key devs from the Star Citizen team,” members of the Chairman’s Club were told via email this week. “The event will be filmed with highlights airing at a later date. It will be limited to 60 tickets, going on sale to Concierge members for $350 in three installments [beginning next Friday].” (Thanks, DK!)
Meanwhile, Crowfall talked parcels, Chronicles of Elyria wrote about identity, Elite players are busy rebuilding, and Ship of Heroes spoke to us about its hopes for the superhero MMO genre. Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
As we did in 2014, 2015, and 2016, today I’m going to recap our annual awards and other meta articles from the end of 2017. We gave out 19 formal awards this past year, all in addition to dozens of other recaps, roundups, listicles, predictions, bloopers, oddities, polls, provocations, and retrospectives. It was by far our biggest content dump to date, even bigger than last year!
Following our deep-dive into our awards and the attached reader polls, I’ll be recapping all of the end-year articles in one convenient place in case you missed something over the holidays – enjoy!
I didn’t intend to leave Star Citizen off my personal list of most-anticipated MMOs this year, but I think it’s the first time in several years that I did so. It’s not so much that I’m not looking forward to it – I am! – but that I don’t see the point of getting my hopes up when it still feels so far away from being feature-complete for all the things I want to do in that world. That, and it turns out I have a giant list of other MMOs that are much closer in space and time that just bubbled to the top of my excitement list. This is a great thing for the genre!
If there’s one that used to show up in my list every year but no longer does, even though it’s still technically alive? Probably The Repopulation. Sigh. That reminds me, I’m going to go listen to Sentience again.
What MMOs are you no longer anticipating that you once were?
One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It’s way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.
But all the same, for tonight’s Massively Overthinking, we’d like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2018 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.