This week’s Massively Overthinking question comes to us from Kickstarter donor Aldranis, whose query neatly dovetails with the IP-related question we answered on the podcast earlier this week. Aldranis writes,
Do you think IP-based games lead to an oversaturation of mediocre MMOs on the market? It seems for every Marvel Heroes or Lord of the Rings Online, there are one or two Matrix Onlines. I feel these types of games can not only stunt design/developer creativity but also introduce games that no one would really play, wasting a great IP. Similarly, I’m really bummed that World of Darkness didn’t make it to the light of day (pun very intended). That was an IP-based MMO I was really looking forward to, and now seems to be lost, at least in the short-term.
I posed Aldranis’ question to the Massively OP writers, and man, they took the diss on The Matrix Online as fightin’ words!
It’s not been the best week for Star Citizen. The upcoming space sim suffered a massive 48 GB data leak after a community manager accidentally left a partial URL attached to a posted screenshot. The culprits used this to go in and nab art assets for the Void Bomber and Bengal Carrier, as well as potential story spoilers.
To wash the bad taste of that incident out of your mouth, you might want to turn to the latest 10 for the Producers Q&A session. The devs confirmed the use of an in-game chat system for the FPS portion of the game, discussed the use of in-game currency, speculated on the direction that AI behavior could go, and even hinted that there could be romances between players and NPCs.
Monday’s blurb about NCsoft and its AI research was sort of interesting, don’t you think? The Korean firm isn’t the first MMO company to highlight advances in artificial intelligence, though. Heck, Star Citizen was talking up its AI a year ago.
What about you, MOP readers? Do you care about AI advances in your games, or would you prefer that developers focus on player-vs.-player mechanics, systems, and the like? Vote after the cut!
In a bizarre coincidence, four separate MOBAs announced new champions this week. SMITE revealed an adorable Norse squirrel god named Ratatoskr and officially launched its XBox One closed beta. League of Legends put new champion Ekko on its public test server and pushed Patch 5.9 live with major changes to Ashe and a small change to the game’s Attack Move function. Infinite Crisis released DC Comics villain Solomon Grundy, a resurrected corpse who returns to life after being killed. Heroes of the Storm showed off Warcraft’s famous Blood Elf fire mage Kael’thas and announced a $200,000 top prize in a new $1.2 million tournament series to be held at this year’s BlizzCon.
Online RTS Grey Goo released nine new symmetrical maps designed for competitive online play, and Path of Exile showed off its new Ice Crash melee skill gem. Dota 2‘s compendium sales broke the $27 million revenue mark, and develoeprs added several new ways to gain compendium points. Elite: Dangerous released a Mac version that will play online seamlessly with the PC client and announced the release date for its upcoming Powerplay update. Star Citizen released Alpha patch 1.1.3 to fix an exploit and several bugs, opening the game to free play over the weekend. And X-Wing may be getting a spiritual successor as the series’ Lead Designer David Wessman is attempting to Kickstart a new space shooter named Starfighter Inc.
Read on for detailed breakdowns of the stories above and other news from the wider world of online gaming in this week’s Not So Massively, and don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed for weekly updates!
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Gloria Victis developer Black Eye Games let us know that it’s in “the home stretch” in terms of upgrading its fantasy sandbox to the Unity 5 engine. What’s the big deal with that? Well, a 50 percent framerate increase, for starters, not to mention improved eye candy.
Elsewhere, indie PvP sandbox Das Tal officially kicked off its Kickstarter campaign. The rest of this week’s crowdfunding roundup is just past the cut.
If you’re like me, you bought into Star Citizen way back in 2012 and you haven’t dropped a dime since. Don’t get me wrong because I’m still looking forward to Cloud Imperium’s space sandbox opus like no other game, but I don’t see the point of spending real money on pretend spaceships that I’ll be earning in the finished title anyway.
Fortunately for people like us, CIG periodically makes portions of its ever-growing fleet free-to-fly in the playable Arena Commander module. This week, all of the ships in the Aurora and Mustang lines are open for test flying without having to purchase them, and all of the poking and prodding has the dual benefit of providing CIG with “valuable testing metrics.”
I’m not going to lie to you, dear readers: I don’t care much about Star Citizen. I am aware, though, that the actual big news about the game over the past week was a big information drop regarding the game’s FPS module. But for my money, the big thing was the silly little Flash-based shooter. That’s the sort of stuff I like.
Yeah, I might have played that a lot.
Did anything else happen over the past week? No. And by no, I of course mean yes.
Do we have a huge list of games that are currently in testing down below? Oh, you know us too well. Probably because we do this every week. Check it out, and let us know if something sneakily changed testing status while we weren’t looking all secret-like.
I imagine that most of us have a future bucket list of MMOs that we wish would get here already. It wasn’t but a couple of years ago that I was salivating over several major up-and-coming releases, including Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, and WildStar. My list of most-anticipated never seemed to get smaller, it seemed.
Flash-forward to 2015 and it feels as though we’re in a different era all of the sudden. Games are still being made, to be sure, but there seems like there are fewer blockbuster-wannabes on the horizon. I’m really happy playing what we already have, although I miss that feeling of “ooh, I can’t WAIT!” that used to drive my excitement.
Even so, there are several titles in development that have my attention to varying degrees. Maybe some of these aren’t the big-budget extravaganzas I was used to and maybe a couple are long shots, but as it stands, here are 10 future MMOs I can’t wait to play.
Path of Exile announced a potentially revolutionary and futuristic sounding new Deterministic Lockstep mode that promises sharper gameplay and zero desync for those on fast internet connections. Blizzard announced an upcoming balance patch for Heroes of the Storm and revealed that the Chinese release of Diablo III‘s expansion has sold over a million units sales in just two over weeks. Online RTS Grey Goo delayed its upcoming match replay feature in favour of new symmetrical maps aimed at the competitive gaming scene. And the official team list for Dota 2‘s upcoming world championship tournament was revealed this week as the tournament’s prize pool blasted past the $7.5 million mark.
The recent League of Legends subreddit controversy continued this week as moderators were accused of trying to suppress a popular story broken by banned esports journalist Richard Lewis. Heroes of Newerth may be set to make a comeback as the game and its entire development team have now moved to publisher Garena. And Bungie revealed all the details of Destiny‘s upcoming House of Wolves expansion, which increases the level cap to 34 and introduces new PvP and co-op game modes.
Read on for detailed breakdowns of the stories above and other news from the wider world of online gaming in this week’s Not So Massively.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, we learned everything we ever wanted to know about Star Citizen’s first person shooter module, plus a bit more. In addition to some deep dives into character and art design, we got a good look at SATA Ball, which is simultaneously an in-fiction sport and an attempt at FPS mechanics that haven’t really been done before, according to Cloud Imperium.
You can catch up on the rest of this week’s crowdfunding news after the cut.
Cloud Imperium has dropped a huge info bomb regarding Star Marine, which is what the firm is calling Star Citizen’s first person shooter functionality. Like Arena Commander before it, Star Marine will be releasing in an alpha state and will undergo ongoing development as it’s being tested by the game’s backer community.
Chris Roberts says that even though Star Marine is in a pre-beta state, it includes “animation fidelity and attention to detail that you wouldn’t normally expect in an alpha gameplay module.”
Today’s website update includes lengthy dissertations from various CIG department heads on everything from character design and animation to art and environment and a new in-fiction sport called SATA Ball that the devs are also using to test Star Citizen’s zero-g locomotion system.
[Source: Star Marine update
Forget Arena Commander — the new hotness in the Star Citizen universe is Hyper Vanguard Force IV. And you can play it right now without a beta key.
So what is this? Hyper Vanguard Force IV is a Star Citizen-themed retro shoot-em-up that can be played in your browser. Its pixel art was based on Star Citizen’s concept art and we can attest that it’s actually quite fun to play. There’s even an old timey manual that you can peruse, if the mouse-driven action proves to be too complex for you.
Give it a try and report back here with your high score!
[Source: Hyper Vanguard Force
This week, Landmark was consumed in a fiery explosion, by which we of course mean that it had a big old wipe. But it’s all right, because we also saw the new island shapes and they’re pretty keen. You can also jump in on designing elf buildings, if you want to.
What other strange events took place in the beta testing world this week?
Oh, and we also have a huge list of several titles past the break that are in testing as last we knew of it, which could mean very little because some of them like to creep into what could be practically called launch without telling us. Those little scamps! The full list is below, and if you notice one of said scamps is hanging out, do let us know down in the comments.