Welcome back to Global Chat, the column where we reach out and give props to interesting and well-written articles from the MMO blogosphere. Today we’re going to kick off with a positive piece about Crowfall, as Kill Ten Rats’ Ravious is particularly pleased with the decision to announce its business model up front.
“One of my favorite devs, Jeff Strain, wrote way back in 2007 some of the most important words for MMO creators,” Ravious posted. “He said, ‘Decide on your business model first, and then build your game around it.’ So simple.”
Was this a good move for Crowfall? Read the rest of this week’s entries and then debate it in the comments!
The League of Legends community is in an uproar this week over a dispute regarding who owns the gameplay in a League of Legends match and who has the legal right to stream it. Riot Games President and Co-Founder Marc Merrill even suggested that players broadcasting professional player Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok’s public matches may constitute bullying, harassment or e-stalking. The rest of the MOBA genre has been pretty sedate this week, as Sins of a Dark Age approaches the first anniversary of its Steam Early Access release and South Korean MOBA Chaos Heroes Online is closing its doors just months after officially launching.
Star Citizen described its complex designs for immersive asteroid mining gameplay with separate minigames for mining beam control, asteroid scanning, and pulling in rock fragments with a tractor beam. Bungie warned against the dangers of using the PS4’s Share Play feature after an 11-year-old kid had his Destiny characters deleted by a troll. Path of Exile is getting a fully localised Russian release complete with a local realm and full voice acting. And Diablo III‘s patch 2.2.0 is set to boost several legendary item sets, improve the randomness of Nephalem Rifts, add new treasure goblins, and more. Asian servers will also get a new microtransaction system, though Blizzard says there are no plans yet to release microtransactions in Diablo III’s US or EU realms.
How big is 2015 shaping up to be for Star Citizen fans? Pretty freaking big, if Chris Roberts‘ latest Letter from the Chairman is any indication. “We are entering into the tightest schedule we’ve ever had for public releases,” Roberts writes. “In short order, you will see Arena Commander 1.1 (now with REC!), the FPS module, and the so-called social module, our first foray into the persistent universe.”
Roberts has a lot more to say, including bits about the aforementioned REC, upcoming community events, and a playable version of the FPS module that will debut at PAX East.
[Source: Letter from the Chairman
Welcome back to Make My MMO, a recurring column from Massively-that-was which covers crowdsourced MMOs of both the fully funded and the not-so-much variety. Each week we’ll round up the most relevant crowdfunding news stories in case you missed them, and we’ll also keep a running tab on active funding drives.
And speaking of that, for the next two weeks we get to write about ourselves in this space, as our Kickstarter is ongoing through March 6th and you lovely backers continue to stick it to the man while humbling us with your support.
Click past the cut for the rest of this week’s crowdfunding news. And don’t forget to tip us if you see something we missed (especially this week and next as we’re still scrambling to get our new house in order!).
Here’s a novel concept: pounding space rocks into space dust could actually be fun! At least it appears that way in reading the latest Star Citizen design doc, which is focused on mining. “Mining presents players with a variety of challenges requiring skill and intelligence, whereas mindless repetition of a task and idle drudgery are explicitly avoided,” explains persistent universe director Tony Zurovec. “There are no aspects of mining that allow a player to simply press a button and wait without concern for a result, or that require players to perform an action repeatedly without some element of thought and/or dexterity coming into play.”
Zurovec’s lengthy update touches on everything from freelance mining vs. working as an agent to finding an asteroid field and divvying up specialist responsibilities including pilot, scan operator, beam operator, etc.
Then of course there’s the selling of space rocks, which sounds like an occupation unto itself when you factor in the transport logistics necessary to sell high, not to mention possible speculation if you opt to purchase storage facilities and wait for the market to trend in your favor.
[Source: SC website
; thanks Cardboard!]
What do you get when you combine the the quirkiness of Glitch or Wakfu with the voxelboxiness of Trove? That’d be SkySaga, the UK sandvox that’s finally opening its alpha doors to those of us in North America. Act quickly, though; the offer ends February 26th. What else is new in the land on MMO testing?
Our complete list of MMOs in testing is below.
When Star Citizen recently announced its plans to sell temporary rental equipment this week, the online response was pretty mixed. While most backers seemed happy with the idea of adding some much-needed progression to the Arena Commander dogfighting module, questions were raised as to how much grinding would be involved, why equipment needs to be temporary, and how the rental will eventually tie into the main game. In response to feedback, Star Citizen producer Travis Day and tech designer Calix Reneau joined this week’s episode of Around the Verse to discuss the thought process behind the system’s design and answer some player feedback.
As Reneau explains it, the REC system was developed because the Arena Commander developers were adding cool new pieces of equipment but they were generally lost on people. The goal behind the REC system is to let players set equipment goals and then spend a few hours working toward accomplishing them. This turns Arena Commander into a place where players can earn new equipment and test out certain ship builds before buying the equipment in the main game or the online persistent shard. Clarifying how the duration system will work, Reneau explains that each item will come with seven days of usage, which can be activated one day at a time. For more details, check out Reneau and Day’s in-deph discussion of the REC system in the video below.
Welcome to Not So Massively, Massively Overpowered’s weekly roundup of all the news from the world of MOBAs, lobby-based games, and other online multiplayer games that aren’t quite MMOs. If this column looks familiar, that’s probably because back on Massively we had a similar column called Not So Massively. With the site’s rebirth, the column is back with a new name and full-featured coverage!
It’s been a bumper week for online gaming news, with Star Citizen announcing its new equipment rental scheme for Arena Commander and Destiny streaming its latest Raid dungeon at Crota’s End. Both SMITE and Path of Exile have announced the beginning of new competitive seasons, and League of Legends released Patch 5.3 with nerfs to Ahri and a new Nemesis Draft game mode. Blizzard revealed that the next playable character in Heroes of The Storm will be The Lost Vikings (yes, all three at once), and Infinite Crisis revealed new champion Katana. In more bizarre news, a Russian Diablo III player has managed to hit paragon level 1000 in hardcore mode, and Dota 2 faces intense community backlash to its Year Beast Brawl event.
Read on for a full breakdown of the week’s biggest online gaming news.
As I type this, Massively Overpowered’s Kickstarter campaign sits comfortably at $54,323. We hit our initial $50k funding goal in roughly 48 hours. We’re on pace to smash through our $75k stretch goal before the month ends. Thanks to the miracle of crowdfunding, the Massively team and I get to keep doing what we love to do instead of spending the next few weeks explaining to potential employers what an “MMO” is and why we had to write about it.
This has been an incredible experience. I’m absolutely humbled by our community and am infinitely grateful for its support. As I said in my backer update earlier this week, I’m completely out of ways to say “thank you.”
However, my overall feelings on crowdfunding remain the same. It’s slimy, dangerous, and a borderline scam.
Star Citizen chairman Chris Roberts has posted a blurb outlining a new system called Rental Equipment Credits that is coming to Arena Commander’s 1.1 patch. In a nutshell, REC will enable a form of progression so that backers can test all of the game’s ships without pledging additional money.
Roberts says that REC or something like it has always been the goal for the game’s persistent universe, but until now it has been unavailable in the alpha dogfight module. “One of the design tenets of Star Citizen is that it needs to be a complete experience regardless of what you have purchased,” Roberts says. “Someone buying a starter package needs to have exactly as much potential as someone supporting development by pledging for a new ship or purchasing a new weapon. I do not want to make a game where you feel compelled to spend anything but time to continue playing.”
Roberts then hands the mic to designer Calix Reneau, who outlines the REC mechanic in further detail.
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