subscription

Subscription MMOs are generally those that restrict play to gamers who pay an ongoing fee, usually monthly, though shorter and longer subscriptions, as well as lifetime subs, do exist. Some free-to-play and buy-to-play games also include optional subscriptions.

Gran Skrea brings an indie sandbox MMO to early access

On the prowl for an undiscovered indie MMORPG these days? You might want to check out Gran Skrea Online, as it just went into early access this past weekend.

According to the team, Gran Skrea “combines a desire for new player-defined MMORPG mechanics with influences from classic RPGs like RuneScape, Ultima Online, and The Elder Scrolls.” It’s $9 right now through June 23rd, which isn’t the most exorbitant price we’ve ever seen, and there’s an official Discord set up already.

The sandbox MMORPG sends players “to create their own destiny in an original world of medieval fantasy.” This apparently means a mixture of quests, “ruthless” PvP combat, guilds, and economy. There are already quite a few features in place, including player housing, a criminal flagging system, lots of crafting, and a game world with plenty of lore. There’s more to be added in the early access program, so features such as territorial warfare, auction houses, and naval warfare are still in development.

Get an early look at Gran Skrea after the jump!

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s lightness of dungeons

It feels really weird to think about just how few dungeons we’ve gotten in Final Fantasy XIV for this expansion. Not that it’s the start of a new trend; Heavensward already dropped the numbers compared to the base game, and thus Stormblood continued in a similar trajectory. But when you think about the fact that the game used to have three new dungeons per patch and compare it to an average of one and a half… it’s still adding them on a regular basis, but it’s a much slower basis.

The slower pace of dungeons was something that was announced well before the expansion actually launched, of course. So I think it’s interesting to look at the slower pace, at the stated goals, and see how well the changes have actually achieved those goals. Or, perhaps, if the whole thing didn’t work out very well and we should hope for an uptick again in the next expansion.

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E3 2018: A second look at Trion’s Defiance 2050 reboot

GDC 2018 back in March was good to Defiance 2050, at least in terms of making people aware of the goals of the game. It doesn’t necessarily mean people like what they’ve seen or heard, but Social Influencer and Community Manager Scott “Mobi” Jasper and Community Specialist Coby West feel that particular reveal has done the best for the game.

At this year’s E3 followup, there wasn’t any huge new reveal, aside from the launch date itself – just more tweaks. There certainly seems to be a bit of a disconnect between the overall MMO sphere and the 2050 fandom the devs are used to, with the devs somewhat understandably being more connected to their fans. After all, those are people who are willing to pay to play, and especially for a free to play game, that’s what you need. I got my hands on the game for the second time this year, and while it’s a solid play experience, I worry that, created in a vacuum, its potential for growth beyond the original Defiance experience is limited.

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World of Warcraft tackles addon toxicity, previews how you’re going to lose your artifact weapon

A small, seemingly insignificant addition to Battle for Azeroth might have a positive effect on World of Warcraft’s modding community. Blizzard is adding a function that will allow reports on offensive behavior to be sent from within addons themselves, which finally allows the mod community a way to police its previously lawless empire.

The “SendAddonMessageLogged” function won’t be automatically instituted into every addon; mod creators have to enable and integrate it themselves. However, once it is functional, this tool can help players report toxic behavior that is taking place in mods right to Blizzard’s CS department.

In other news, with artifact weapons heading out the door with the upcoming expansion, the question of the hour is how Blizzard will handle the removal of these legendary items. Players on the public test realm got a look at the artifact retirement questline that will come with next month’s Patch 8.0, and if you’re totally fine being spoiled, you can peek at what it will entail over at Icy Veins.

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Ultima Online’s publish 100 hits the test server, Broadsword seeks paid event moderators

One hundred! Classic MMO Ultima Online has pushed out its 100th major update to the test server this week. It’s primarily a bug-fixing update, riding on the heels of the game’s spring free-to-play conversion. I’m not going to lie: The thing I’m most excited about is the fix for specifying how many seeds to remove from a seedbox. I love my seedbox you guys.

But of course, the update also fixes exploits with active masteries and soulstones, dye bugs, artifact drop bugs, the Wind entrance bug, yarn stacking bugs that I am pretty sure are literally 20 years old, and the faction city battle instakill bug. It’ll also allow players to swap their Cleanup Britannia points between toons (yay!) and tweaks the heck out of pets and pet training.

Meanwhile, if you’ve always thought it might be more fun to be a tabletop gamemaster in a digital space than a player, you might want to take a peek at the help wanted announcement Broadsword posted this week. The studio is looking for contractors to serve as paid Event Moderators – those are the lovely folks who craft and carry out live storytelling events on different UO shards. I know, live studio-hosted roleplaying events in 2018. Crazy.

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Global Chat: The best of both worlds

If you have ever played more than one MMORPG, the thought has probably crossed your mind that you would love to see your favorite features from all of them put together. It hurts when one game has great housing and another has some of the best group content that you have experienced. Why can’t you just create the best of both worlds?

Zeriah spent some time wishing for exactly this as she drew up a list of features from both World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV that she’d love to see merged together.

“If I could take a bit from each game and combine it into one, I think I’d be in heaven,” she said. “FFXIV has some of the most amazing outfits I have ever seen in a game and while it has transmog system but I feel it would be made truly amazing by the addition of the armor journal WoW has brought in.”

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Camelot Unchained doubles down on development in the beta home stretch

Saying that it needs to “double down” and push hard to get the beta build finished for next month’s launch, the Camelot Unchained team noticeably increased its output this week with 20 items on its to do list.

Among the many projects that the developers were tackling this past week include shaping the Arthurian Physician class, stress testing the builder system, sorting out the crafting system, load testing servers, upgrading the trade window UI, and building props to populate taverns and banks.

As for Camelot Unchained BetaWatch (ooh, that’s a catchy title we should steal), it’s still on track: “As you all know, we had set our original feature lock date as June 12, which was this Tuesday. The good news is, many of our core Beta features have landed, things like skill improvements, scenarios, and our ability to have a complete game loop. However, some work just isn’t where we want it to be, and so we are moving forward with a bit of continued feature work to deliver the experience we want for Beta 1 Day 1. We are still hopeful for the 4th of July!”

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO’s music brings back all the feels?

One of the reasons that I love and listen to MMO music so much — other than it rocks, obviously — is that it has this incredible power to trigger nostalgia and latent memories of time spent in-game.

It’s amazing: I might have been away from a game for years or haven’t even thought about it since it went offline ages ago, but the second I hear the main theme or an iconic track, it is like I never left. Occasionally I marinate in City of Heroes’ score or the vanilla World of Warcraft soundtrack just to be transported back to around 2004.

Which MMO soundtrack brings back all the feels for you? Is there a particular theme that makes you close your eyes and gives you goosebumps as you are transported back in time?

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World of Warcraft Classic is still under development, will begin with patch 1.12

If it seems like World of Warcraft Classic would be an easy project, you may not have spent as much time thinking about it as the developers. Heck, according to the latest development watercooler, it took some time for the team to decide what classic World of Warcraft should even be. The decision ultimately settled on patch 1.12, the last patch before the launch of The Burning Crusade, but that didn’t mean just loading it up and going.

It turns out that the classic code not only doesn’t like to play nice with modern video cards and anti-cheating software (because it’s more than a decade old) but has a lot of really inefficient ways of storing spell and ability data. So the developers have to also go through, piece by piece, to store everything in better formats and improve the experience across the board. Check out the full article to see the work going into making the classic experience work.

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

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World of Warcraft Q&A explains why you’re not getting your Mark of the Wild back

Remember when everyone was very excited about how World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth was bringing back class buffs like Mark of the Wild? Yeah, that’s not happening any more, but the latest community Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas explains why. As he puts it, class buffs were an experiment and they want to make sure that every class brings utility to a group, but there doesn’t need to be a separate buff for each class and Druids already have plenty of utility. So long, Mark of the Wild, we were all excited to see you again.

Hazzikostas also explains that there are no plans to change the current spec-limited nature of artifacts (although special transmog cases are being added for artifacts players might otherwise not frequently be able to transmog), no more major spec changes from the current test realm for 8.0, and no plans to remove old pathfinder achievements for flight. You can watch the entire Q&A just below or read the summary on Wowhead.

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The Game Archaeologist: The tangled legal history of Interplay’s canceled Fallout Online

With the recent revelation that Bethesda’s Fallout 76 is going to be an online multiplayer survival game, players who have been hoping for a Fallout MMO finally have something to anticipate. Sure, it’s not a proper MMORPG, but it’s all we could ask for in this day and age, right?

Actually, Fallout 76 isn’t the first time that the Fallout series was heading for online shenanigans, nor is it the closest concept to a pure MMO. Years ago, an attempt was made by the original creators of the Fallout series to bring an online game to the community, but this effort was stymied by Bethesda and a mess of legal issues.

For those who look back at the Interplay era of Fallout with deep fondness, the thought of the canceled Fallout Online project is a sore wound that continues to cause pain whenever prodded. Which is, I guess, what I’ll be doing today as we look at what Fallout Online was going to be — and why it never came to be.

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Final Fantasy XIV promises the companion app for late July

There has long been a promise for Final Fantasy XIV players that there will be a companion app. It’s been promised for so long, in fact, that it would be easy to have written it off as never actually happening. But it is happening! In fact, it’s happening in late July, with the caveat that it might be delayed a bit as part of the app review process. The important thing is that it’s soon, and you will be able to take a little bit of the game wherever you go.

So far the promised features are inventory management for your retainers, scheduling events, chat, and handling market boards for an exchange of kupo nuts or moogle coins. (No word yet on how you get either of those.) It should provide a nice bit of management functionality if you’re going to be away from the computer, so keep your eyes peeled for more details on what you can do and the supposed premium services that will be offered with the app.

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E3 2018: Blizzard discusses keeping storytelling going in World of Warcraft

There are a lot of elements to weave together to tell stories in World of Warcraft. You can argue over whether or not the team doing so is actually very good at that task, but the point is that it is quite a task, and the panel for the team at this year’s E3 was all about the challenges of weaving together the game’s story and keeping things consistent. That alone is a challenge when you’re telling a story across games, novels, and various other formats for an extended period of time.

The team is promising to try new things during the lead-up to Battle for Azeroth, along with more major lore characters waving farewell. And there’s a discussion of the challenges in doing just that, along with keeping things consistent and building on long-term stories. If you’d like to look more closely behind the scenes, watch the panel just below; it’s only about half an hour long.

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