This week, we read the heartwarming story of a couple that found love in Diablo III, of all places. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from Black Desert, Lord of the Rings Online, Path of Exile, and more, all waiting for you after the break!
tree of life
Do you have any money left after all of that holiday shopping, travel, and dining out? Steam would very much like to have what remains, if you please, and is willing to trade you some discounted games in return.
Yes, the annual Steam Winter Sale is up and running, which means all sorts of deals for the frugal MMORPG player. We've compiled a huge list of all of the deals -- including discounts of up to 90% off! -- to help you navigate the holiday promotion. The sale ends on January 2nd. Hope it helps!
Right now we are in a strange place in MMORPG history. Following the backlash of WoW clones and several high-profile titles that underperformed, major studios are becoming extremely risk-averse to creating big-budget titles the way that we saw not five years ago. Many former MMO teams are diversifying with shooters, MOBAs, and other safer and trendier titles.
Yet all is not lost! MMO features continue to ripple out into all types of game genres and new titles continue to be produced -- just not from the usual suspects. Instead, most of what is on our immediate horizon comes from either crowdfunded indie teams or eastern giants. The good news is that 2017 should see the culmination of many of these long-brewing projects and adaptations, hopefully resulting in a bumper crop of interesting online RPGs for us to play.
So let's run down the list of games that either are or possibly could be coming to you in 2017. We will provide an overview of each title, why you should care about it, and our best guess at the odds of its officially launching during the calendar year. If an upcoming MMO is not on the list, then it is our opinion that while we'll see it eventually, a 2017 release isn't happening.
Getcher credit cards ready, folks. It's time.
(New additions are at the bottom!)
The avalanche of MMO Halloween events continues to thunder down over us, and we are digging as fast as we can to stay on top of all of the notices! If we get buried alive, well, 'tis the season for that.
Your cobwebbed tour begins in Tree of Life, where this upcoming game is throwing a Pumpkin Fest with spooky buildings, a broomstick mount, and some cosmetics to earn. The next stop is at Fractured Space, where the newly launched MOBA has added a Halloweeny character into the roster.
Finally, Mortal Online is taking advantage of the holiday to promote its newest school of magic, Necromancy. Check out the game's patch highlights and Fractured Space's new character in the videos below!
"Two things I did on Hallows Night: / Made my house April-clear / Left open wide my door / to the ghosts of the year." ~ "All Hollows Night" by Lizette Woodworth Reese
Is your door open to the ghosts and ghouls of MMORPGs this season? They are definitely shambling up your walkway, looking to tell you of the grim delights of the holiday in your favorite online games. Indeed, Halloween season is upon us, which means that MMOs have an excuse to break out their favorite yearly festivities.
With so much to look at and do, you might be in a terrible fright trying to figure out what to do first. We consulted our Massively OP gravedigger Bram (he's on retainer), who offers surprisingly good advice for sorting out the Halloween season in MMOs and getting the most out of the holiday. We recorded his words in this guide, although beware to the soul that reads them all -- Bram might be seeing you before the week is up. MUAHAHAHA.
Last week, we introduced the first part of our guide to the best upcoming, in-development indie MMORPGs -- yes, the list was so long that we had to split it lest our CMS explode! So this week we're back with the other half of our list, a quick and dirty guide to many of the indie MMORPGs in development and some of the key points about each. Hint: We're not asking whether they are a sandbox with open world PvP because of course they are. As a side note, we won't be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too great for the scope of this guide. And if you're interested in these games, then you'll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns.
On with part two!
When you write for an MMORPG website that covers literally hundreds of games and could probably add in hundreds more that are extinct, are in operation only overseas, or are so incredibly niche that their creators' moms don't even know about them, you start devoting a large portion of your brain to trying to keep details about all of these games straight. This not only results in forgetting two of your kids' names (after all, space is limited), but it's nearly an impossible task. There's just too much out there.
And lately I've noticed that the staff and readers alike have started to become incredibly confused regarding all of the indie MMOs that are oozing through the development process in their 72 planned testing stages (the other week I could swear that I saw a game declare itself to be going into "state semi-regionals"). There are too many games, some of which look far too similar, and it's stressing us out.
Enhance your calm, citizen. Here's the first part of our quick and dirty guide to many of the indie MMORPGs in development and some of the key points about each. Hint: It's not asking whether they are a sandbox with open world PvP because of course they are. As a side note, I won't be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too great for the scope of this guide. And if you're interested in these games, then you'll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns. Then stay tuned next week for the second half of this list!
This week on Battle Bards, the crew dips its toes into the "candyland" world of Dragon Nest. It's a game that belies stereotypical expectations, being both dark in theme and rich in music. Of course, Steff declares herself a wet blanket from the onset, but will she be won over by the show's end? Listen and find out!
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.
We’ve got Episode 82: Dragon Nest and the show notes for you after the break!
If you're not a fan of open PvP, you'll probably be quite happy that Tree of Life has waved farewell to open PvP as a mechanic. The game's most recent patch makes factional PvP a major component of the game, with all players starting with a neutral faction by default. In order to take part in PvP, you'll need to join a guild aligned with one of the three other factions in the game, entering into pitched battles against the other factions to gain control of powerful relics.
One relic is activated each day, with seven total relics to be active. Once a relic is captured, it provides a buff to the capturing faction for one week, until the time that the relic would become active once again. It's a considerable shift to the game mechanics, so you should probably read the official patch notes carefully to make sure you understand what you're getting into before you just pluck a relic in the field and think you're getting an easy buff.
Indie sandbox Tree of Life sees a brand-new update this week for early access backers. Of note, the patch introduces the brand-new rainforest region, tweaked maps, balanced rocks, and optimized the client. Moreover, abandoned buildings will decay at a faster rate. "Please remember, mice are very clever, so they will be gone whenever the owner and the same guild members approach to the buildings," says OddOneGames. Those darn mice.
The art team has also deluged forumgoers with new screenshots and concept art pertaining to specific terrains -- specifically, the game's desert and rainforest biomes.
The game is currently 30% off on Steam ($13.99 US) with an additional 10% off cash shop purchases.
This week, Blizzard announced that World of Warcraft's sixth expansion, Legion, will indeed arrive this summer as planned. August 30th is the big day. Got your preorder in yet? Here's what else is new in the land of MMO beta testing:
- Tree of Savior banned 3000 cheaters and dealt with pricing fallout from scheming arbitrage artists.
- Tree of Life -- yeah, all the trees are confusing -- launched its beta (along with its cash shop).
- Origins of Malu announced it has suspended its development as it shops for investors.
- Camelot Unchained announced its beta one release has been delayed, likely several weeks.
- Nexon's flying MMORPG Riders of Icarus began its second round of closed beta.
- Hi-Rez's shooter-hybrid Paladins patched its closed beta with, Dragon Punch, which pushes live new champion Drogoz, The Greedy.
- Guild Wars 2's live beta test of world linking for WvW began today.
- Cube World is alive!
- Fragmented released a trailer ahead of next week's Steam early access launch. Stress tests are ongoing.
- Glitch-spinoff Children of Ur updated its open alpha with a new build.
- The Black Death lurched like a plague-ridden zombie into Steam early access.
- Nexon launched the alpha for LawBreakers with a new trailer featuring no less than Ice-T.
- The Culling's first big early access patch introduced female playable characters.
- Asta's still in beta too, but it's also getting a big content patch.
Check out our complete list of games in testing below!
The test marks the debut of an almost brand-new look and feel to the game. Tree of Life has upgraded its character models to give them more of a cartoony look and has more or less wiped the entire sandbox world. New features have been added with the beta launch, including beards, make-up, additional terrain types, axes, pickaxes, secret areas, and protection for newbies.
The beta will coincide with the launch of Tree of Life's cash shop, although the game doesn't have anything in it just yet. There are several changes to stats and items that should be noted in case you were intimately familiar with how things used to be. Change: It's what's you get when you climb this tree.
All editions of the game are currently 30% off on Steam.