the skies

Official Site: The Skies
Studio: Eforb
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Post-Apoc Survival MMORPG
Business Model: Subscription
Platform: PC

The Survivalist: Massively OP's guide to multiplayer survival sandboxes

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.
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Perfect Ten: Memories of an Anarchy Online noob

My initial foray into MMORPGs was, to put it nicely, quite ungraceful. I wasn't even aware that they were a thing until about the year 2000, when I started to notice EverQuest and Asheron's Call boxes on the shelves. But stories about addiction from friends and the seeming obtuse nature of these games kept me from trying... until fall 2001, that was.

That's when I saw a sci-fi title lumped together in this unknown category, and I had liked Funcom's The Longest Journey so much that I thought I'd take a chance on this odd online game. My subsequent experiences in Anarchy Online were fragmented, ignominious, and confusing as all get out. It was so weird, in fact, that I needed a "redo" of City of Heroes several years later to properly get onto the MMO bandwagon (and I haven't fallen off since!).

So what was it like being a total Anarchy Online -- and MMO -- noob back in the day, feeling out this game from a position of complete ignorance? Glad you asked, friend, because I'm going to tell you all about it.

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Revelation Online shows off the many paths to wings

You don't want to walk in Revelation Online; you want to fly away. (Just like a dragonfly.) Fortunately, the game gives you wings pretty early on, so you can explore the world from the air as you wish. The most recent preview on the official site shows several of the diverse wings available to players in the game, ensuring that players of all styles can soar through the air with the greatest of ease.

Wings are available from dungeons as drops, but wings can also be crafted by breaking down unwanted sets of wings. You can also earn specific sets by crafting a new set from several reputation items. In short, you needn't worry that you'll suffer from a paucity of wing options, from insect-like dragonfly wings to billowing energy in vague wing shapes. Check out the full dispatch for more information on how to take to the skies.

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Battle Bards Episode 92: Dragon’s Prophet

Strap in for a fiery ride across the skies in today’s episode of Battle Bards! While Dragon’s Prophet was not fated to last long — at least in North America — it did leave behind a treasure trove of music that we’ve only started to dig into. The bards get a little dragonish themselves for this show, perhaps of a different opinion of what constitutes the perfect score for giant flying lizards.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 92: Dragon's Prophet (or download it) now:

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Cloud Pirates hits early access and adds convoy mode

Hear ye, hear ye! Pirates are terrorizing the skies with the aid and comfort of ruthless players! So-called "early access" has ushered in an era of fear and cutthroat commutes, and experts say that this is only the beginning!

It's true: The PvP airship simulator Cloud Pirates went into early access yesterday with Update 1.1: Gold Rush. The patch adds a new convoy mode in which a team of players work together to guard a shipment of ore as a second team seeks to steal it for their own greedy souls.

The developers took this opportunity to answer many community questions about the game, including where it will go from here. "We have several large items prepared for this year and it’s too early to share most of them, but we can safely say that the two upcoming big things are competitive (rating) battles and improving the Cloud Pirates Brotherhood (clan) system. Statistics, ladders, ratings and competitive gameplay is one of the main directions for Cloud Pirates."

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Airship-themed MOBA Cloud Pirates enters early access February 9

Arrrr, skymateys: Cloud Pirates is floating into early access on February 9 following a stress test two days before.

The game is an online MOBA/shooter hybrid in which players soar through the skies in Allods Online-inspired dirigibles and shoot the crap out of each other with cannon. The game will be playable through Steam's early access program beginning on February 9th, though of course you can pick up a founder's pack to play early.

Update 1.1, Gold Rush, "enables pirates to gain a head start that will allow players to loot special resources," says My.com. "Players can form brotherhoods, the clans of the game, to loot or defend special aerial convoys and be rewarded in valuable “meteor ore.” Future updates will allow brotherhoods to build incredibly useful sky fortresses. These fortresses will play a pivotal role in Cloud Pirates high stakes action.

Check out the new trailer below!

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EVE Evolved: The Siege of M-0EE8, the new largest battle in gaming history

In the political sandbox of EVE Online, colossal player-run military coalitions frequently war over territorial conflicts, in revenge for past transgressions or just for fun. Circle of Two alliance recently found itself the target of a massive war not long after it had built a colossal 300 billion ISK Keepstar citadel in the historically contested nullsec system of M-0EE8. Opposing alliances set up their own smaller citadels next to the Keepstar and used them as staging points in an all-out attack on the system. Following two intense battles over the Keepstar in which hundreds of billions of ISK was lost, the explosive final phase of the conflict took place last night in what has come to be known as The Siege of M-0EE8.

I arrived in M-0EE8 in a cloaked covert ops frigate at around 18:30 EVE time to watch the event unfold, and it wasn't long before a world-record-breaking 5,300 pilots had poured into the star system. A cluster of anchorable warp disruption field generators hung like bright lanterns in space, with great swarms of Scorpions and shoals of Machariels swirling inside. A constant stream of weapons fire flowed from these blinding death bubbles to the Keepstar, whittling down its immense structure like a swarm of insects nipping at a Tyrannosauros Rex.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I give a brief account of the Siege of M-0EE8, share some screenshots from the event, take a look at how the server coped with the enormous battle, and drill down into the battle stats to see just how record-breaking the siege was.

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Cloud Pirates flies toward Steam Greenlighting, opens Q&A

My.com announced this week that it's angling for Greenlighting on Steam (been a while since we had one of those) with its upcoming sky-dirigible MOBA Cloud Pirates. Sky-dirigible MOBA should totally be a new genre.

The Allods-inspired MOBA sailed into its first rounds of closed beta earlier this month and last and is planning a Q&A for fans; check out own own trip to the skies below.

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One Shots: Player barbecue

Oh, standing in the fires might look cool and give your character that mysterious aura that's so desirable among the trendy set, but in the end all you have is player barbecue. That's a recipe for regret and bactine right there, folks.

Reader Dajhryne doesn't seem to mind getting third degree burns for the sake of this fiery shot: "So I played a bit today with this topic in mind and made some new screenshots instead of sifting through old ones. Age of Conan may not be the best venue for creating light-hearted, fun, naughty-but-not-quite over-the-line screenshots, which is what I took this as intended to be."

Today's player screenshot offerings include eyes, expansions, zombies, and more!

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Icarus Online goes mobile with Icarus M

While we just recently got Riders of Icarus here in the west, players have been enjoying Icarus Online in the east for a couple of years. And now, those folks will be able to enjoy the game while on the go instead of being tethered to their desks. WeMade Entertainment just debuted a mobile version of the game called Icarus M. Built with the Unreal Engine 4, this version lets players battle bosses, tame creatures, and soar through the skies from anywhere on their mobile devices. Want a peek at the action? Steparu shared the official debut trailer, and we've included it below.

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Riders of Icarus' (soft) launch-day roundup and trailer

The high-flying, gorgeous Nexon MMORPG Riders of Icarus has soft launched into the skies of open beta today, meaning anyone and everyone can mount up and start soaring -- and what a wild ride it's been, given that the game was only just announced for the west six months ago! Nexon's got an open beta trailer live on the site to rope you in, and we're rounding up all of our coverage to date right here -- including our own streamed tours of the pre-launch. Let us know if you're playing today!

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The Skies is still on track for a 2016 PC beta, 2017 console beta

Post-apoc F2P MMORPG The Skies has been busy since launching its early access alpha on Steam last month. Last week, it performed a mass inventory wipe of all alpha players; more recently, it's buffed its roleplaying and leaderboard systems and says it's taken community feedback on a major guild update with clan levels, member caps, and a clan ladder.

Studio Skies Technologies told press this afternoon that this week the early alpha will open to players outside of Steam. An open beta launch on Steam is planned for later this year, with an Xbox One and PlayStation beta at the "beginning of 2017."

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Preview: In the saddle of Riders of Icarus' mount system

Feel like flying? How about flying while you fight? In Riders of Icarus, you'll be able to do both. One of the main tenants of this upcoming MMORPG is building up and training your personal critter collection as you adventure throughout the lands -- and the skies.

As you might expect from any self-respecting fantasy game, there are dragons involved. And yes, you get to (try to) tame some of these beasts to be mounts to take you into battle, fight beside you, or even grant buffs. Mounts can also be transformed into smaller-version pets to fight at your side. If dragons are not quite your style, not to worry; there are hundreds of other creatures to choose from, both common and mythical. To get a small taste of this experience before the June 2nd launch of closed beta (open beta on July 6th), I jumped into the game with Nexon's Patrick Dillon. Then jumped on a bear. Then jumped on a dragon.

Here's how all that turned out!
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