Your favorite game is going to die. I wrote about that. Some games are never even going to get to launching in the first place, unfortunately. But then there are these titles: games that went the distance when it came to development, marketing, promotion, testing… but somehow didn’t quite manage to stick the landing past that. These are the games that, in Transformers terms, are the hi-then-die cast of the MMO space.
That doesn’t always mean the games are bad, mind you. Some of these games were great fun. But through a combination of business model issues, publisher issues, player population, and just general weirdness, these titles couldn’t make it to a year and a half in the wild. Heck, some of them couldn’t even make it to a year and a quarter. And if you want to peruse this list and wonder why all of these titles are gone but Alganon is somehow still operating… well, we’re just as confused as you are.
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 Skyforge, EVE Online, Ingress, War Thunder, World of Tanks, Wakfu, League of Legends, SMITE, GTA Online, Elsword Online, Wurm Online, Darkfall: Rise of Agon, Worlds Adrift, Counter-Strike, SEAL Online, and Warspear Online, all waiting for you after the break!
As much as we complain about MMORPGs, with their grinds and their boredom, even the most kill-or-be-killed ganker paradises would probably be better to live in than the real world with all its troubles and highly inconvenient implementation of permadeath. With rare exceptions, most MMOs let you return over and over to keep on trying forever, and you can always grab a mining pick or kill some trolls to make money and survive.
Me, I’d pick Glitch: Not only was the cutesy Tiny Speck game devoid of conflict, but I spent most of my time creating quests for players, wandering around, and stuffing my face with delicious food so I wouldn’t die. It was a good life. And if I did die? No biggie; hell was actually kinda fun — and critically, not permanent.
How about you? If you could live in an MMO world, which one would it be?
After over a month of voting and counting down, we’ve arrived at the final six picks for your favorite MMORPG theme songs of all time. It’s been absolutely illuminating seeing the formation of this list and the placement of certain tracks, and I’m glad that everyone who wanted to got to participate.
Before I reveal the top six themes, here are a few honorable mentions:
Are you ready? I know I am! Here we go!
The fallout over The Secret World’s reboot into Secret World Legends has spread far and wide over the MMO blogging community, with many expressing dismay while others signal intrigue.
“This is bad in pretty much every way that it possibly could be,” laments Superior Realities, while Through Wolfy’s Eyes said that the reboot “seems like a solution that isn’t doing a great job of communicating its intent too well, which makes me feel a tiny bit worried.” GamingSF doesn’t know if he has it in him to repeat all of the content, saying that it is “too big of an ask at the moment.” And Inventory Full calls the move “an act of desperation” on the part of the studio.
“I am also really hoping that stripped of MMO shackles that this title can truly excel,” I Has PC notes on the other hand, and Endgame Viable comments that Legends “sounds like a good thing.”
We’ve got more MMO blogger essays to share with you this week, including a requiem for Club Penguin, a judgment on SWTOR’s galactic command, and a summation of the average LOTRO player.
It is written in The MMORPG Code that MMOs, especially those of foreign pedigree, must indulge our most silly faux holidays. I’m sure that’s the case, else why would an upstanding game like Black Desert
insert St Patrick’s Day into your immersions?
Yes, today’s patch sees not only the return of the dice-rolling Black Spirit’s adventure and new craftables for the Dark Knight but also beer. The Cold Draft Beer event, to be exact.
“To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, all players will receive beer on 3/17. Please check your in-game mail on this date to find your delivery of beer!”
That’s where I get all my beer for sure.
By the by, maintenance this morning was extended slightly for North American players and quite a bit for EU players; Kakao apologized for the extra downtime and told EU players that compensation is on the way, though everything is back up now.
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.
It’s taken this long, but the Battle Bards have gone completely and irreversibly insane in the membrane! Today the team cracks open the door of the MMO music funhouse to see what off-kilter, crazy, and manic tunes may be found. WARNING: Once you’ve entered the asylum, you might find yourself a resident… for life!
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, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 93: It’s a Madhouse! (or download it) now:
Have you ever fallen through the world in an MMO? Good times, right there. It’s a jarring, crazy experience in which you see just how flimsy and thin the surface is from beneath as you plummet to your death or disconnection.
We’ve all experienced weird bugs and glitches in MMORPGs from time to time. Often they’re nothing more significant than odd character models, clipping, or rubberbanding, but once in a while we hit on some winning moments where, say, a character’s face disappears save for his eyes and teeth. Or when an NPC abruptly shrinks to the size of an ant.
What’s the weirdest MMO glitch you’ve ever experienced? Bonus points for screenshots in the comments as proof!
In March of last year, MOP’s Justin wrote a detailed guide to the most common death penalties in MMORPGs. Last September, Gamasutra pulled seven game developers together to discuss the most effective gaming “fail states,” several of which involve death. Both articles came rushing back to me this week when Crowfall revisited the subject of its own death penalty, which involves a brief ghost period and a fast-track trip to the temple for resurrection.
This week, I’ve asked the MOP writers to consider MMOs and non-MMOs and propose their own favorite death penalty. Is it an old one, a new one, or one no one’s done at all? What’s the best way to implement death in a modern MMORPG?
In third grade, my teacher sent home a report card with the note that “Justin is wonderfully strange.” Ever since then, I never found the terms “strange” or “weird” to be pejorative but rather a signpost pointing the way to interesting paths less traveled.
To be weird is to deviate from the safe and predictable and instead venture into the wild and woolly lands of the imagination. When it comes to MMORPGs, I feel that more devs would love for their games to be more strange while the risk-averse studios (and their publishers) pull hard to keep traditional tropes in play.
Still, every once in a while a game comes out that walk on the weird side. These MMOs don’t usually boast universal appeal, large numbers, or even great respect, but they do offer vivid imagination, hidden qualities, and a certain uniqueness that is rarely found elsewhere. Today, we will celebrate the wonderfully strange in online gaming with these 10 titles.
Chargebacks were a big deal in 2016: Black Desert, ArcheAge, and No Man Sky were all embroiled in community drama thanks to perceived chargeback abuse. PayPal even ended its chargeback protection for crowdfunding donations, making it harder for gamers who hand over cash to abuse the credit card system to get that money back.
But some games are offering you your money back and you’re still not taking it.
Hero’s Song, for example, recently went under, but John Smedley pledged to refund any Steam and Indiegogo purchasers who asked for their money returned. Yet there are folks in our comments who said they wouldn’t take him up on that — they feel they got their money’s worth or don’t feel it’s right to take back what was intended as a gift, risks fully understood. That reminded me of when Glitch sunsetted after a couple years in operation and Stewart Butterfield offered everyone all of their money back from years of play and a lot of players said no way.
How about you? Do you claim refunds on games when available? How often do you do it?
It’s Christmas in Black Desert! Or at least it will be once the extra maintenance is over.
Kakao is kicking off the winter festivities today with snow falling in appropriate zones, new aurora effects, winter themes for parts of the UI, the return of cash-shop gifting, and Christmas clothes and furniture in the cash shop. Plus:
“During the event, Santa will appear in the sky riding his sleigh and dropping gifts through the world of Black Desert in […] Velia, Heidel, Calpheon, Altinova, and Valencia.”
We’re sure it all makes sense in the lore… somehow.
Critically, Kakao says, “While wearing the Zebra Underwear or Zebra Underwear (No Stockings), and entering Dye interface with the combat stance turned on will no longer cause a graphical glitch with the sorceress’ body.”