Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya'll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn't as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.
I'm not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller -- and oft times privately managed -- scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we're going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here's a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.
Massively OP's MJ was quite excited when she first learned that ARK would have jousting. And now, thanks to the awesome ideas and teamwork of many, MoPark is ready for its first ever jousting tournament! This is en event you definitely don't want to miss (even if just to see the amazing list!), so join us live at 2:00 p.m. to see who comes out on top and who gets knocked on their back.
What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, March 18th, 2017
I was pretty well taken by multiplayer survival sandbox Rend as soon as I saw it at this year's PAX East 2017, as I wrote yesterday. The concept immediately spoke to me as taking a lot of the cool ideas from other survival games while making the game as a whole into something very different. But I also entirely understand that sometimes you can look at the game and wonder what makes it so different. After all, it's hardly the first time that we've had a game using a lot of the building blocks. So why am I over the moon about Rend but not its obvious inspirations and close cousins?
The answer is that in some cases, I am over the moon about its close cousins. But it's also important to understand the distinction and the fact that Rend is not, say, Crowfall or Conan Exiles or any other game. So what makes Rend different? Not necessarily better, but how does it stack up to the obvious points of comparison?
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!
This week we have stories and videos from Heroes and Generals, Faeria, City of Heroes, Lineage M, Armored Warfare, Wakfu, Ark Park, Dauntless, Dark Age of Camelot, Overwatch, Blade and Soul: Table Arena, League of Legends, Strikers Edge, and Final Fantasy XI, all waiting for you after the break!
When at first you don't succeed, take in more rocket launchers! That's the answer for Massively OP's MJ anyway. She and the raid team did well facing ARK's Broodmother on medium difficulty, but they were quickly pounded into oblivion when they faced the giant ape and his monkey minions for the first time. No matter, a defeat will not deter this bunch; they all knew that the first run was an exploratory mission. Now, they have a plan. Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. as the team gets down to some monkey business.
What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, March 11th, 2017
What's going on with Lost Ark anyway? It's been a good long time since we heard anything about this promising and stunning-looking MMOARPG, including whether or not it was actually confirmed to arrive in the west.
We are tracking a rumor this week from Steparu that Lost Ark is planning on a new Korean CBT for sometime this summer. "Although just a rumor and nothing set in stone, someone from LostArkDB had a chat with a Smilegate employee, and they mentioned that the next closed beta for the Korean version of Lost Ark is scheduled to start sometime in June or July," he posted.
If true, that means that the title is still slowly progressing through its overseas beta cycle and will probably be a while yet to arrive in North America and Europe -- if ever at all. Still, it's something, so cling to hope!
Did Amazon's Web Services outage on Wednesday wreck your day? It wrecked a lot of the internet, including ARK: Survival Evolved, which uses the service for its CrossARK transfer system. Unfortunately, the outage apparently led to a duping issue that caused Studio Wildcard to roll back the official ARK servers, which are still technically in early access:
"We will be conducting a major rollback on all Official Servers to just before this incident, and will be wiping all Cross ARK storage of any items due to a dupe glitch which surfaced due to the incident."
The studio apologized to fans last night for the delay in communication and promised an evolution event with big bonuses to breeding, maturing, and egg hatching rates to help players make up for lost time, but it's Reddit, and Reddit's on fire over Wildcard's handling of the incident.
Earlier this week, Studio Wildcard teased its new paid modding program for ARK: Survival Evolved, and now it's released more details as part of its GDC push, including a video.
The goal of the "sponsored mods program," says the studio, "is to give a boost to the vibrant ARK modding community by selecting 15 projects each month to each receive $4,000 towards the modders' ongoing development costs," with the idea that finished mods might "be considered for integration into the final retail release on PC and Consoles of ARK: Survival Evolved."
Because yes, the game is still technically in early access.
Still, it's pretty decent money, though anyone this talented can probably land a job in the industry anyway.
You can take a peek at the first 15 on the official site already; the promo video is below.
ARK: Survival Evolved updated with v255 on PC over the weekend, releasing four new creatures into the wilds of the survival game. Survivors face danger from the air from both the large redwood tree-climbing cat that pounces on prey from above (the Thylacoleo) and the Microraptor, a bird that can yank riders right off their mounts. The waters aren't any safer with the addition of the Electrophorus eel (that does exactly what it sounds like it does) and the snail-shelled Ammonite, which calls all sea creatures to its aid when attacked. Also debuting this patch are Tek structures, allowing players to build bases with not only force field doors but an actual deployable force field to surround and protect their base.
In other ARK news, Studio Wildcard's Jeremy Stieglitz has announced that the team has selected 15 or so top modders to develop freelance modding content for the game at a rate of $4000/month for their work. The number and makeup of the modding team is expected to shift over time and is presided over by the designer who built Primitive+.
Check out the new goodies in the screenshots and highlight video below.
The latest Superdata Research report is in for the month of January 2017, and in addition to an increase of 9.8% of digital game sales, several online titles are sitting comfortably in the top 10.
One notable entry is the rise of ARK: Survival Evolved in the console chart to the number four spot. "Launching on PS4 in December, the game is an unusual standout on the AAA-publisher-heavy top 10 console list," the report noted. "In January, the game continued a rise as it becomes popular on the latest generation of platforms and took the number 4 slot, ahead of titles like Battlefield 1."
League of Legends, Dungeon Fighter Online, Overwatch, Lineage, Destiny, and Pokemon Go all made expected showings. World of Warcraft is also on the list, but twice, as the game's sales are being split between "west" and "east." That seem a little unfair to anyone else? You can check out the full chart after the break.
Last weekend Massively OP's MJ and her team successfully beat down ARK's Broodmother (even if it was on easy mode). But that's only the first of three different raids! This time, the group will be facing a more dangerous threat: the gorilla. A totally different strategy is necessary, but MJ is hopeful that with enough planning (and enough T-Rexes) the team can defeat this behemoth and unlock more Tek gear. Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. as MJ fights the giant ape and all its little monkey friends for the very first time.
What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 25th, 2017
Wanna see some dudes in socks and funny hats mess with dinosaurs? Yep, we've got that on tap thanks to ARK Park's new video, which includes first-person footage of players actually interacting inside of the VR game. It actually looks pretty darn amazing. Except to the people watching on and messing with the people behind the goggles, anyway.
First announced last November, ARK Park is Snail Games' and Studio Wilcard's Jurassic-era "immersive VR experience that brings you to a world where living, breathing dinosaurs are still roaming the earth" and where "players embark on an exciting tour of this ancient time, interacting [with] and witnessing hundreds of dinosaurs up-close and personal." Its' expected to launch on the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive later this year.
One way survivors have been able to nab new dinosaurs in ARK: Survival Evolved is by claiming abandoned tames when their ownership timer expires. That mechanic is being itself abandoned: On the game's Reddit forum, Studio WildCard's community manager confirmed that the practice of claiming of abandoned dinos is going away. Now when players leave servers their tamed dinosaurs will all just despawn/die when the timer runs out. This change, in conjunction with a 400 tamed dino cap for tribes, is meant to help server performance.
The idea was met with mixed feelings. Some folks enjoy the sport of camping out and snagging prized dinos when they become available, especially on PvE servers; others welcome the reduction in lag from server load. Could other options get the same desired result of less dinosaurs, such as giving owners the ability to release/remove unwanted dinos (short of setting them lose to slowly die)? One commentor offered this scenario as a compromise:
I think it should be a 50% chance the dino reverts back to wild and aggressive. Imagine the hilarity of watching people stand around arguing over who is going to claim that badass giga, and then the timer expires and it chomps everyone of them.
In response to concerns about trading dinosaurs, WildCard clarified that players could still actively unclaim their tames for others to claim.