tad williams

Otherland compensates players for early access issues

Otherland’s early access launch wasn’t without its difficulties, as Drago has been racing to fix various issues over the past weekend. During this time, some players found themselves unable to log into the game, experiencing client crashes, or stuck forever on loading screens.

Drago says that many of these issues now have been resolved and has compensated players with a gift as an apology. “We have used the chance to give everyone +1000 credits to change your character look in the metamorph! This means everyone who has or will buy the starter edition in the future will now have 1000 credits, deluxe edition buyers get 2500 and collector’s edition owners 5000 in total. ”

Source: Steam #1#2

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 30: Slumbering MMOs

This week Justin and Bree talk about the painful subject of when MMOs go dark for extended downtime and technical issues. Of course, there’s plenty of good news, too, such as Elite’s great sales, Otherland’s early access, and RIFT’s brand-new calling.

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.

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Otherland opens its early access doors today

Does Otherland hold potential to be an immersive MMO? Fans today will get to find out as the title opens up its early access testing on Steam.

The sci-fi MMO is adopting a buy-to-play model, and as such players will have to fork over some cash (at least $20) to get into early access testing. According to the developers, the game is mostly feature complete, with early access taking the place of open beta instead of being a repackaged alpha test. The team is asking for help during early access to track down bugs and to judge whether the combat balancing is too easy.

To find out more about Otherland, read our recent first impressions of the title and then watch the early access trailer after the break.

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A wicked hive of synth and vibrancy: First impressions of Otherland

I first covered Otherland, the Gamigo-turned-Drago MMORPG based on Tad Williams’ sci-fi book series by the same name, at E3 2012. The idea of having multiple genres in the same game was cool, as was instanced personal housing complemented by (at the time) non-instanced guild housing where players could donate “eDNA” to build NPC mobs that would guard guild lands during PvP raids.

Back then, it sounded fresh and new. WildStar was still far off on the horizon, having only just been announced, which was why I was surprised when Otherland disappeared, especially when NPCs were supposedly going to live their own lives, moving around town at certain hours based on player interaction — a feature I still don’t feel I’ve seen fleshed out well in an MMO. Drago Entertainment’s attempt to bring the game back years later with the same ideas is commendable, but as I downloaded my preview version of the game, I wondered whether the game could feel as new now as it seemed in 2012.

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Otherland reschedules early access for September 10

A day after its early access was supposed to begin, Otherland announced that it has rescheduled the start of alpha testing on Steam for September 10th.

“As mentioned before this gives us additional time to prepare US and EU based servers, add further territories and fix more bugs (although we’ll make sure to leave some for you to find — just kidding),” the team posted.

To tide players over, Drago released a new feature video showing several locations from Otherland’s multiverse, including Lambda Mall, 8Squared, 5Isle, Bad Sector, Bugworld, Limbo, and Mars. You can view it after the jump!

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Otherland delays early access

Bad news, kids: Otherland is not going to make its projected August 26th start date for early access after all.

“There are many reasons for [the delay],” Drago posted, “one of them being the decision to set up US servers simultaneously, as this has been requested so many times over the last couple of days. The team simply could use more time to polish the game and get rid of bugs that have come up over the weekend.”

No new time frame for an early access launch was given, although the team said that it will be announcing the new date along with a feature video later this week. Previously, Drago indicated that early access would last for a half of a year and that the game is nearly feature complete. Early access should cost around $22 for the standard edition, although Drago has yet to commit to prices.

Source: Steam

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 26: Failcom

In the lull between conventions, Larry and Justin turn their attention to a hodge-podge of MMO industry news. On the show today, the duo discuss WildStar’s F2P patch, Funcom for sale, Darkfall’s soft wipe, and the umpteenth iteration of Hellgate: London.

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.

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Check out Otherland’s housing in its features video

Last week, Drago Entertainment emerged from its zone of quiet development to remind everyone that Otherland still exists and in fact is releasing on Steam early access next week. A new key feature video demos a number of game mechanics, including the auction hall, vendoring, and player housing. Housing amounts to a large, instanced apartment, but it comes with an awesome cityscape view (seriously) and customization of rooms and textures, complete with lovely glowy cyberpunk flair.

Enjoy the vid and pics below.

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Otherland enters early access on Steam on August 26th

It was announced years ago, has jumped developers and publishers, and by and large seems like the sort of thing that was never going to come out. But Otherland is indeed coming out on August 26th. Granted, it’s only “coming out” in the sense of an Early Access launch on Steam, but that’s still far more than fans of the original novels have likely expected for the past few years.

Otherland is an action MMO offering housing, an “eDNA” system allowing players to copy and clone items, and a variety of different game environments to explore. You can see exactly what the game will play like on the 26th for yourself if the top-level overview has you intrigued, or if you just loved the books and can’t wait to see the virtual worlds made… well, not real, but virtually explorable at least.

Source: Drago Entertainment press release

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Apparently Otherland is still being developed

What ever happened to Otherland? Well, it sold a bunch of copies, spawned three sequels, and had its feature rights sold to a film production team that you’ve probably never heard of before sitting in development hell for the past three years.

Oh, you meant Otherland, the MMO! Well, it’s kinda also in development hell, given that it was first announced in 2008, then canceled, then picked up by a new dev studio called Drago Entertainment. As of this week, though, there’s been a bit of an update courtesy of a community manager post on the game’s official forums. The devs have apparently tweaked a lot of stuff including graphics, content, mechanics, and performance. Unfortunately, there’s no firm date for when we’ll get to see the fruits of their labor, as the next play test is rather cryptically described as coming “soon.”

But at least it’s an update, right?

Source: Forums; thanks Kinya!

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Otherland beefs up its clan and PvP feature set

Progress on the revived Otherland project has been running quiet for most of this spring, but now that looks to change. Today, Drago Entertainment announced some of the improvements that it’s making to the Tad Williams MMO for its beta build.

First of all, Otherland has added in its clan system, with the ability to create guilds, set up a hierarchy, level them up, post daily messages, and transfer leadership. The game will even have a mall vendor that will sell exclusive items to players who belong to a clan.

The other big improvement is in regards to its PvP gameplay. Players now have the option to enter and leave PvP mode at will, enjoying an XP bonus when flagged for a fight. There will be other incentives to PvP, including its own ranking and rewards system.

Source: Drago Entertainment press release

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