state of the game

The Survivalist: Osiris New Dawn is doing early access right even amid disappointments

A couple of weeks ago, when Osiris: New Dawn introduced new classes, I’d delved back into the sci-fi survival sandbox after a bit of a break to check out the state of development in. I was pleased as I perused the new skill tree, doubly so when I saw all the new items that could be crafted. Once I got to the task of actually surviving, I found that that beginning experience had also changed a fair share, from crash landing farther away to new missions to direct you. True, I missed my little robot companion and my inflatable dome, but overall I was pretty impressed with the progress and started a penning this Survivalist to say so.

So imagine my surprise when just before completing my thoughts I read the dev blog about negativity toward the game and its changes. Here I was happy to see how far it had come and others were ripping it absolutely to shreds. Fenix Fire CEO Brian McRae was so affected by the negative reviews and complaints that he penned a response addressing the issues. I admit, when I started reading I was taken aback and even a tad annoyed at the negative Nancys bashing the game. Didn’t folks appreciate the fact that this early access with forging ahead at a decent pace? Sure there would be bumps, but that was a part of actual development.

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Chronicles of Elyria has 12 tribes planned, could include cross-breeding

While progress on Chronicles of Elyria has slowed a little this summer due to illnesses and vacations, the team has a lot to report in this week’s blog update.

One interesting tidbit from the post concerns the game’s tribal lineup, as the team has “skeletal data” in place that allows for the creation of a full dozen races. But could there be more if the species get a-mingling? It looks like there could be, as devs are discussing cross-breeding as part of the offspring system.

Out of the dozen, eight will make up the initial selection of playable races. These include Brudvir, Dras, Hrothi, Janoa, Kypiq, Neran, To’resk, and the Waerd. The other four will need to be discovered during gameplay in order to unlock them as character creation options.

The rest of the letter covered the glory of otter bears, progress made on the MUD client, and a sneak peek at the third version of the website. The team promised that a midyear state of the game address is being prepared and should be posted soon(tm).

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The Exiled is back on track after disappointing launch

So how are things going for The Exiled? The developers had been quiet for a while, and that’s rarely the sign of good news. Nor was it entirely good news in this case; the latest update on the state of the game makes it clear that the game’s population wasn’t sustainable on its own, so the team had to take on contract work for a while. But they’re still around, and they’re looking to double down on what makes the game work with the upcoming survival mode.

The idea with survival mode is to really push the parts of The Exiled that are the most fun, when players are in a constrained area and struggling for resources rather than being largely alone. To do this, the survival mode servers will be around for only a narrow window each day and will also have limited lives for all characters, encouraging players to play carefully but play quickly. You’ll also have a thirst meter, which makes the game that much more dangerous in action. Check out the full breakdown for more details on how the new mode will work as the game continues on in Early Access.

Source: Steam page

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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is everything you expect (and that’s outstanding)

In my mind, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is all about sticking the landing. After a few years of FFXIV being out, the game has consistently earned high praise from people who play it. Heavensward was recognized as a definite high point for the game, improving more or less everything in the game and adding more besides. So the question was whether or not Stormblood would continue down the same road or try to dramatically upend things, break down what once worked well and lose sight of what people enjoy.

The good news, then, is that it sticks the landing.

Everything that worked well in Heavensward has been brought forward and refined, and the parts that hadn’t worked so well have been trimmed away, repurposed, or outright removed. It feels very much like an expansion to the same core game, but in the process it manages to address almost every complaint I had over Heavensward almost incidentally. And it continues on in the high standards the game has set for itself over the years, resulting in an expansion which I’m already in love with after finishing the main storyline.

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Shroud of the Avatar plans a pair of investor Q&A sessions, the first taking place tonight

One of the frustrating bits about the MMORPG studios that are turning to newly legal online equity crowdfunding platforms is that the very SEC rules meant to protect us also hinder us when it comes to digging up information and reporting on the proceedings. That is, gaming studios and other companies are forbidden from disclosing specific things (chiefly, deal terms) about their campaigns to the media while those campaigns are ongoing. You might notice studios won’t answer most emailed or forum questions either. The idea is that a campaign’s premise would be scattered for different audiences, which could open the game up to legal challenges later.

All of this is preamble to explaining why you might want to tune in to the Q&A sessions Portalarium will be holding with investors and potential investors into its newly announced Shroud of the Avatar SeedInvest campaign. The first is tonight at 5 p.m. EDT and takes the form of a public streamed webinar; the second is a public Reddit AMA next week on June 20th. Presumably, investors will be able to ask more direct questions about the studio’s finances during those established public fora.

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Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter is live, seeking $750,000 to bolster the ‘rebirth of the MMORPG’

“If necessary, I have made some very good friends in my previous business endeavors who are dying to invest.” -Steven Sharif, Massively OP interview, May 2017
As promised, Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter has just gone live — Intrepid Studios is seeking $750,000, and it’s already racked up $190,000 of that as I type this. Unlike most games that claim the MMO moniker these days, AoC is all about the massive, thanks in no small part to the MMORPG pedigrees of its team, with an emphasis on player-governed territory, economy, world building, and consequential PvP.

Ashes of Creation is a new MMORPG that aims to bring the Massive back to Massively Multiplayer,” declares the Kickstarter preamble. “It takes everything we love about the genre and brings it boldly into the future as a truly next generation title. We’ve all wanted a world that lives and breathes and reacts, where our decisions matter, where the world changes because of what we’ve done. Ashes of Creation is that game: The rebirth of the MMORPG.”

Here’s something we rarely see: a promise to refund in case the whole project goes belly-up. “And finally, in the case that Ashes of Creation does NOT launch, we promise to refund all backers in full.”

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 113: Avatar vs. toon

Do you want to date my space avatar? She’s a star and she’s hotter than a supernova by far. Or maybe you’re a loony tooner? What’s the socially acceptable way to reference your character in an MMORPG without coming across like some weirdo from another gaming era? Bree and Justin will devote their lives to figuring out this question.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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WildStar looks forward to more Prime difficulty content over the next year

The first major WildStar patch of 2017 unlocked the Primal Matrix and added the Prime difficulty level for select dungeons. What’s next for the game? According to the newest state of the game letter, it’s time for even more Prime difficulty, including Prime difficulty raids! No longer will you have to suffer through the normal difficulty raids like some sort of sucker, assuming you could actually get a full raid group together to even take on the content, much less clear it.

The Prime difficulty is also coming to other dungeons and adventures over the remainder of the year. The other big addition is the new Communities feature, allowing players to come together and collaborate on housing plots instead of working separately. If you’re tired of how easy the raids in WildStar are, we’re sure you’ll be happy at the thought of making them even harder. If you’re not a big fan of the difficulty hike at this point, though… well, there are more Primal Matrix levels coming, so that’s something?

Source: Official Site; thanks to GreaterDivinity for the tip!

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Black Death’s V0.12 overhauls combat and housing, offers new trailer

Indie survival sandbox The Black Death is due for a massive update any hour now. Last week, Small Impact Games told players that back in November, the team simply wasn’t happy with the state of the game, so back to the drawing board it went for a round of key feature-building and problem-fixing. Now it’s ready for us.

The update is packed with a fully revamped combat system, a proper diurnal system, new spawn locations for noobies, new pillaging areas “that nobody in their right mind would want to visit unless you want the best loot in the game,” and the “tip of the new housing system iceberg” with what the team is calling a “core feature set” for housing that’ll be expanded heavily moving forward.

The update was meant to go live yesterday but was held back a day and change thanks to bug and internet issues. While you wait, check out the brand-new trailer out for the update!

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Gigantic has plans for bot matches, accessibility, and Windows 7 support

Motiga Community Manager Evan Teicheira has a new state of the game post up for Gigantic today — a most welcome one as the game laid off another 15 employees earlier this month to “reduce burn rate.”

“One of the most important revelations we’ve had during the beta is that Gigantic is complicated – not necessarily in a bad way, but in a way that makes it difficult for new players to pick up the game and get over the steep learning curve of the game,” he acknowledges. “There are a lot of intricate mechanics that differentiate Gigantic from other games, and only make sense when players understand how each mechanic plays into the much larger picture. For a brand new player, Gigantic can feel like a hectic, fast-paced, visually overwhelming, and ultimately confusing experience. Even for veteran players, it can also be difficult to test new heroes on the live battlefield.”

Consequently, Motiga is working on bot matches, balancing accessibility with challenge, Tripp tweaks, chat and voice implementation, an achievements system, new heroes, new battlegrounds and — drumroll — the move to Arc, which should allow players on Windows 7 and beyond the chance to play the game.

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Choose My Adventure: Wrapping up WildStar

Writing about WildStar at this point feels weird.

Obviously, I just finished up playing the game for this feature for four weeks. It feels fresh in my mind. And in many ways, it really has changed quite a bit from launch to its credit. In many other ways, it hasn’t changed much at all. And the ways in which it has changed would make a much bigger difference if those changes affected things that initially drove me away from the game.

So in many ways, when I write about WildStar now, I’m still writing about the launch version of the game. It’s just that we’re now several years out from that launch, and its potential to really be something no longer has the time to turn into reality. It’s still just a hope for what it could be, and there’s not much more to the game beyond what we see right now. So it’s the same state of the game, but it’s gone from promising opportunities to unrealized potential.

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Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen has a brand-new wiki

If you’ve somehow missed it in every single discussion of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s design philosophy, the game is very much a throwback to the older days of MMOs. Of course, back in those older days you would have to go to four or five different sites to find out about the materials for a simple crafting recipe, and there was no assurance that all of those sites would be providing the same information. The new Pantheon wiki should be much easier to look at for any needed information.

Due to the early state of the game the wiki is still on the lighter side, but it already outlines what we know about the game’s classes, races, and mechanics. Plus, it’s a wiki, so you know that updates are going to be pretty easy to come by. Check out the whole thing, whether you’re looking for information right now or just want to bookmark it for future use.

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What ever happened to Darkfall, Fallen Earth, and Runes of Magic?

It bears repeating that here on Massively OP, we cover an immensely wide field of live games — so many that it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of what’s happening in each one (which is why our readers are invaluable in winging us tips about their favorite MMOs!). And while there’s never any shortage of news and happenings in the field of MMORPGs as a whole, once in a while we realize that it’s been a good long time since we heard anything about certain games that we used to discuss a lot in the past.

When that happens to me, I’ll often head off on a little fool’s errand to scout the website, Twitter feed, forums, and Reddit to see what’s going on. I hate to be out of the loop on games, especially ones that used to be more prominent in the news, but more often than not, the lack of news is because there’s been a lack of news.

You ever caught yourself going, “What ever happened to the original Darkfall? Or Runes of Magic? Or Fallen Earth?” I totally have, which is why I went on expeditions to see what I could uncover. So let’s catch up with these three games and see what is up!

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