Hey, remember the MMO Book Club? That’s the Reddit-and-Discord group that allows members to vote on a game to play, then organizes a guild and events inside that game over the allotted time period, ensuring that folks who want to try out an MMORPG have a ready-made community of likeminded casual people who aren’t going to immediately scamper off to greener pastures. You scamperers, you.
To date, the Club has dipped into Lord of the Rings Online (which we streamed!), WildStar, The Elder Scrolls Online, and TERA, the reigning champ. As the group enters its second half-year, it’s opened the voting once again; that takes place in Discord to avoid brigading.
“The shortlist of games you can vote on to play with the Bookclub now are: Guild Wars 2, Secret World Legends, DC Universe Online, EverQuest, RuneScape, ArcheAge, World of Warcraft and TERA.” (Voting for TERA extends the current cycle another month instead of moving the crew to a new game.)
Earlier this week, we wrote about Black Desert developer Pearl Abyss’ IPO and its grand plans for the future – among them, four additional MMOs. Sounds great, right? Except that the suspicion, at least in our comments, is that Pearl Abyss will just follow in the footsteps of Nexon, NCsoft, and Netmarble in that the games will mobile MMOs and not “real” MMORPGs at all. That may or may not be true; the games have fairly fast turnaround for a full-scale MMORPG, but then the company talked up the BDO engine for future games and expressed great ambition in the MMORPG market in the west and on console.
But the suspicion seems to turn off so many of us — the stigma is real. So for today’s Overthinking, I wanted to dig into that. Do you play mobile MMOs, especially any of the modern crop that are popular in East Asia and then ported here? What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs, and what would you want out of an MMO for a mobile device that would actually make you consider it a home MMORPG?
Let’s introduce you to Trab. Trab is a PC gamer who really enjoys shooting things, so he’s looking forward to some other shooter that recently released on consoles, with a PC release coming later. What is Trab going to do for this weekend? Perhaps he’s going to jump in and play The Division’s free weekend, which is happening this weekend from September 14th through the 17th. There’s lots of stuff to shoot there, and Trab won’t have to wait for a later PC release.
If you’re in the same boat as Trab or just want to try before you buy the game, you can start pre-loading the game now, so you’ll be all charged up when the free weekend kicks off. Your progress will be saved if you buy the game, and there’s even a 60% discount if you buy from Ubisoft directly during the free weekend. That seems like a pretty good deal for anyone with a need to shoot something on PC.
Ubisoft announced a brand-new multiplayer arena shooter today: It’s called Atomega, and it’s adorable, at least if you’re into retro 3-D graphics and robots. The substudio behind the title also built Grow Home and Grow Up, so expectations are high. Probably the most intriguing part is that it’s a shooter where you can win without being a total murder hobo.
“The player must acquire mass, by peacefully collecting it or via firefights, to evolve his Exoform from the nimble Atom to the godlike Omega. Competing for mass, players engage in a frantic battle for supremacy through intense 10-minute rounds, gathering up to eight players. Acquiring mass also grants points and the player with the most points at the end of the round wins. It is a relentlessly competitive experience, an easy to pick-up but hard to master game, with a light-hearted tone echoing the personality of its small development team.”
Like what you hear? You won’t have a long wait: It launches for PC next week on September 19th for the equivalent of €10. Check out the trailer!
Have you ever really wanted to get ganked by the AI in a game? That’s what you’ll be getting with the two new areas in The Division arriving with patch 1.8. Players traversing the West Side Piers will find enemies dynamically spawning along the zone, and the designers are bragging that it’ll at least seem like the game is trying to take you out specifically. Which probably sounds either awesome or awful, depending on how you feel about enemies popping up to shoot you from diverse angles.
You can check out all of that in the latest developer stream, archived just past the break. The new areas will also make Division Tech (previously available only in the Dark Zone) accessible to players within these wholly PvE regions, which should be welcome for those who don’t wish to have even the threat of actual ganking. Check out everything just below if you’re curious to see what it’s like by the harbor in the next patch.
This week’s Star Citizen Around the Verse is more or less a recap of Gamescom and a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the chaos behind the curtain, so if you follow the game closely, you probably don’t need it. As of recording time, the team says it added 27 issues to the must-fix list and checked in 768 updates over the week, bringing the game to 94 outstanding issues that need a clean-up before 3.0 can roll out to the Evocati.
Meanwhile, Cloud Imperium has posted a Q&A on the Origin 600i, one of its newest concept ships, desirable for its modularity and solo-friendliness. More stylish than the Aquila (and also pretty much every other starship you’ve ever seen), it’s admittedly “extremely expensive,” even though it’s not as powerful or long-range as other ships in its class.
“We are building a universe, and part of that means we can consider aspects that a standard game does not, such as value and desirability,” CIG explains. “When we look at vehicles in the real world, its apparent that more functionality does not always mean something is more expensive, and vice versa. In the Star Citizen universe, a sleek, luxury ship created by Origin will bring certain connotations with it, in the same way most people would find a sports coupé more desirable than a family sedan, despite the fact it has [fewer] seats and cup-holders.”
Curious where you might travel to next in The Division’s post-apocalyptic New York City? Since the whole game is “tourists with guns” anyway, why not visit the aircraft carrier Intrepid, which is now a floating museum-slash-video game level?
Ubisoft revealed the details behind its upcoming Resistance update today, informing players that they will be visiting a new zone called West Side Pier. It’s here where the Intrepid is docked, but don’t expect to be standing around goggling and taking pictures! The enemy factions are starting to band together against the Division forces, and players will engage in the new Resistance PvE mode to counter their threat.
If that’s not enough, Update 1.8 is also going to add a 4v4 deathmatch skirmish mode for Division players who can’t get along. What kind of example are we giving to the enemy by doing this, anyway?
Check out the reveal trailer below!
And lo, as the Battle Bards walk through the zone of the shadow of death, they will fear no evil, but they will listen to evil’s soundtrack because that is what they do! In today’s episode, the crew looks at the darker side of MMORPG soundtracks, dwelling in the wicked, the profane, and the deliciously macabre. Also, Syp does his Cookie Monster voice.
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 104: Something wicked this way comes (or download it) now:
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree shovel through the mountain of Gamescom reveals, including a trip to World of Warcraft’s Argus and Star Citizen’s elaborate Alpha 3.0 tease. The duo also mourn the premature demise of SkySaga, a promising-looking MMO that got a raw deal from its publisher.
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.
Listen to the show right now:
With the high drama and surly community demanding Star Citizen 3.0 already, it’s made for a slightly awkward Gamescom appearance for the crew.
On the show floor, Erin and Chris Roberts were front and center for a live show in which they discussed little else but 3.0. The team is only showing the demo of a single moon at the show, while 3.0 will reportedly span an entire system. There’s a lot of parts that the devs need to finish up and make sure they work well together, such as getting more players into the same server space, character customization, survival mechanics, and ship items.
The team said that it wants “as many [players] as it can” fit on a server at 3.0’s launch, although whatever this cap will be will most certainly increase afterward.
If you’re still wondering what the holdup is with the Alpha 3.0 release, the Star Citizen team devoted this week’s entire Around the Verse show to going point-by-point through the various issues that the team is addressing. Check it out after the jump, and then check back this afternoon at 3 p.m. EDT when Roberts takes the stage for the big presentation.
Start planning the next leg of your cross-country vacation now because Ubisoft announced this week at Gamescom that it will be launching The Crew 2 on March 16th, 2018. This release will take place simultaneously on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
A beta is forthcoming at some point, but players can go ahead and pre-order one of the editions right now. There are three, ranging from standard to gold, but by purchasing any of them in advance, players can secure a Mercedes-AMG C 63 Touring Car and the Harley-Davidson Iron 883 as bonuses.
To fuel your excitement, there are a pair of trailers to show off the game and its legendary motors bonuses after the break!
At its pre-Gamescom press conference this Sunday, Microsoft revealed more about its upcoming Xbox One X and its glorious 4K gaming capabilities. As part of the conference, the company listed several games that would benefit from the enhanced performance and power of the console when it arrives this November.
MMO players should take note, because this list contains many games in our sphere of interest. The select enhanced titles include BioWare’s Anthem, ARK: Survival Evolved, Astroneer, Black Desert, Conan Exiles, Dark and Light, Diablo III, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Portal Knights, Roblox, Sea of Thieves, SMITE, State of Decay 2, The Crew 2, Elder Scrolls Online, The Division, Warframe, and World of Tanks.
The Xbox One X boasts six teraflops of processing power, 4K Ultra Blu-Ray, and 12GB GDDR5 graphics memory, and will retail for $500. Interested players can pre-order the Project Scropio edition right now for as long as supplies last.
The Division has this week patched up with Update 1.7, a whopper of a patch that introduces an epic new time-limited global event system, new commendations and patches, face masks, facial customization, new gear sets, account-wide sharing of bits and bobs like blueprints, a weapon rebalance, skill tweaks, the works. Oh, and new lockboxes dubbed “encrypted caches” from the Premium Vendor. Yes, they require dropped or cash-shop-bought keys, and yes, they “contain unique appearance items, emotes and skins.”
Ubisoft is opening up last winter’s Survival DLC to a free-play event starting this Friday and running through Sunday as part of its promotion of the patch. “Experience a completely new way to play The Division: cold, stripped of gear, and beset by a brutal snowstorm, you must survive until extracting safely in the Dark Zone,” Ubisoft teases newbies. “Finding warm clothes and survival equipment will be vital to your success.”
The trailers for both the update and the older DLC are down below!