It’s time to lock and load and do what video gamers do best: escort! Today, Blizzard announced a brand-new map for Overwatch called Junkertown that takes place in a Mad Max-style city.
“Junkertown is an escort map located in the harsh and unforgiving Australian Outback,” the studio explained. “Constructed from the remains of a destroyed omnium, it’s now the home to a band of lawless scavengers known as the Junkers, led by their cutthroat Queen. When they aren’t pillaging the omnium’s skeleton for anything of value, the Junkers blow off steam in the Scrapyard — a massive gladiatorial arena whose combatants fight for glory, riches… and to survive.”
Get your first look at the map after the break, and while you’re hanging out there, why not also check out “The Plan” animated short starring Junkrat and Road Hog? It’s well worth your time.
If you can’t create anything new, just slap together a lot of other things until you get something that sounds and feels vaguely fresh. Hey, we’re not knocking that approach; there have been a lot of wonderful games made that way.
So that’s why we’re trying to keep an open mind about Wild Buster, a newly announced title that incorporates mechanics and style from MMORPGs, MOBAs, action RPGs, and what looks to be a thinly veiled adoration of StarCraft. Developed by Nuri Works and published by Insel Games (Guardians of Ember), Wild Buster allows gamers to choose a specific hero to fight through waves of enemy mobs and enemy players, depending on one’s preference.
The game’s already been out for a while in Korea, but now Insel is working on bringing it to the west at an unspecified date. Early access for Wild Buster will begin next month, and fans should expect an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign this week to help with the localization and gameplay adjustments.
Check out the teaser trailer after the break!
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!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Neverwinter, Elder Scrolls Legends, Elite Dangerous, SWTOR, MapleStory, Hyper Universe, SMITE, Travian Online, Diablo III, Figureheads, Pokemon Go, Heroes and Generals, Rappelz, Ultima Online, Soulworker Online, Black Desert, and Gigantic, all waiting for you after the break!
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that everyone has at some point seen the xkcd called Isolation, but if not, there it is. No matter what the age and era, someone’s always preaching that people were more sociable in the long long ago. In this comic, however, Randall Munroe isn’t even contesting that. His point is basically no duh and so what. Yes, we become less sociable with random people in our immediate vicinity as we gain more and more access to ideas, entertainment, and people not in our immediate vicinity thanks to technology. Ultimately, replacing impromptu stranger interaction with the amusements of our choice appears to be what a lot of people wanted all along.
MMORPG players surely see where I’m going with this because we have the same eternal struggle when it comes to in-game socializing, grouping, community, and stickiness, the tug-of-war between the people who want to play alone together and the people who think that forced grouping is the only true path to enlightenment.
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked our staff to reflect on the alone together vs. forced grouping spectrum, to talk about where they stand on it, whether that position’s changed through the years, which games are addressing the divide the best, and how the two sides can move forward in a dynamic MMO genre.
Why would an early access game suddenly decide to hold a limited closed beta test? That’s the question of the week for Osiris: New Dawn, but the game’s director had a good explanation for the oddity.
In short, the team’s prior experience in making video games told them that it was imperative to have focused testing with strong feedback in order to shore up the title for launch. Thus, the closed beta test and the ensuing email feedback form.
It sounds as if the test was incredibly helpful to getting Osiris ready for release: “The cool thing is that we’re getting close. The beta feedback was largely positive and gave us insight into gameplay questions such as overall difficulty, progression, starting equipment, and all the new custom buildables. Since this experiment went so well we plan on conducting more focused test sessions.”
One of this summer’s sleeper MMO hits has to be Kritika Online
, a soft-launched action title published by En Masse Entertainment
. It might not be the deepest of all MMORPGs, but what it lacks for in progress it makes up for in pizzaz.
This week, the team posted a roadmap of its plans for the game over the next few months as it wraps up its open beta period. The major highlights include:
- August: A two-player instance, The Shattered Table, is coming at the end of the month, as is arena and PvP modes.
- September: Kritika will officially launch and become available on Steam. There will also be an update that should flesh out high-level content with new missions.
- October: The Psion class is poised to come into the game this month, bringing thematically interesting hybrid play for those looking to a different experience.
- Winter: En Masse has a lot more on deck for this game, including the Prodigy and Monk classes, a level cap increase to 70, PvP rankings, and more danger zones.
Over this summer, we’ve been getting tips suggesting that the Tad Williams Otherland MMORPG was in serious trouble, as first it went dark on Steam and then it returned, silently, with an 8GB patch. Drago Entertainment did not respond to requests for a comment then, or perhaps it could not if it didn’t control its press relations, but either way it’s finally posted something to its Facebook page today, and although it doesn’t address the Steam outage directly, it’s definitely good news going forward.
The studio explains that it was originally brought on as the developer by the investors who own the game in the wake of the RealU studio’s closure, but it was hamstrung by the publisher, who you’ll recall was Gamigo, though Drago doesn’t name names.
“Shortly after the soft launch of Otherland as a free-to-play game in September 2016, the publisher decided to hold back on most releases and information in preparation for a major relaunch planned for June this year,” Drago says. “The game not being relaunched as planned has seen the investors sit down with the publisher to voice their concerns and to keep a long story short, it has been decided that the investors will continue Otherland on their own.”
Snail Games’ MMO-turned-survivalbox reboot Dark and Light has prepped a new patch landing today aimed squarely at the B word: balance.
“This latest patch is designed to address player concerns about game balance,” says the studio. “We’ve enhanced the strength of all buildings and adjusted the strength of certain spells to better protect creatures and players, to make battles and raids more fair.”
Specifically, the game has seen nerfs to stone and iron weapons and weaker spells vs. thatch and wood buildings, so whether or not your fire spell can take out your enemy’s base will make a little more sense. Meanwhile, critters in the wild can’t damage anything but those weaker types of construction. Wouldn’t make much sense for a squirrel to wreck your stone castle, right? Except dark squirrels. Those guys can mess you up.
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds may have one of the worst video game names in history, but it set a new record on Twitch last week.
Gameloco founder Nicolas Cerrato points out that PUBG beat League of Legends in terms of hours of eyeballs on Twitch during the week of August 6th, the first time LoL’s ever been unseated by a game outside of a special event. And indeed, this was a special event: Dota 2 actually came close to beating both PUB and LoL together thanks to Valve’s massive $10M prize-pool The International tourney, which concluded over the weekend.
But PUBG still managed to edge out LoL — something that’s never happened before, possibly because MOBA eyes were distracted, or possibly because, as Cerrato puts it, “PUBG looks more and more like an extremely powerful cultural phenomenon that will impact gaming like very few games ever have.” There’s a reason Tencent was trying to buy it and its studio up, after all.
Indie sandbox MMO Wild Terra has a big update this week that’ll make guild-oriented players particularly happy, as the castle system has rolled out to the live servers. Guilds can build everything from cheapie wooden forts to brick-laid castles that can actually withstand a siege, taxing guild members for cash, spice, and resources to make it all happen.
But of course, first you have to capture a castle from somebody else or bid on an unclaimed (or contested) one in the castle auction system, also new to game this summer. Once you do win a castle? Yeah, make sure you build walls first if you want to stop everyone from just waltzing on in (and ensure that you can appropriate tribute from the surrounding regions). If it sounds like a lot of work to do for a video game, it is, but maybe you should just watch the video instead. It’s the thing to do these days.
Korean sandbox import Tree of Life is officially in “final beta” ahead of its launch this week.
“NeoBricks is announcing Tree of Life, the sandbox MMORPG on Steam has been already started the Final Beta on live servers and the official launch will be on 17th of August,” reads the press release. “By official launch, German, Russian, Brazilian-Portuguese, French and Simplified Chinese will be added.”
NeoBricks and OddoneGames previously said they sold 34K copies of the game during its first few months in the wild; today’s press post says the game was “loved by around 85,000” users during early access.
Along with the partial wipe ahead of the launch, the plan is to implement the new Clay 2 engine, redesigned UI, and PvP update for launch. A more recent FAQ tells players that the relic war will be removed from the final version, the UI will see a new compass, and the team might consider world bosses. But PvE servers are not happening. “The three factions are contesting but PvP should not be the essential feature,” the devs wrote earlier this month. “We are designing the game so that you can enjoy it even without active PvP
Gosh, I had almost forgotten about Fragmented – it’s been a while! But it’s formally launched on Steam as of today for a discounted $5.99.
“Today we have moved Fragmented into a released state after 16 months and more than 30 patches in Early Access,” says Above and Beyond’s JC Smith, noting that launch “does not mean the end of updates” for the game; “tweaks and bug fixes” are still on the table.
Fragmented was originally created by A&B in the Great Repopulation Pause of 2015 as a survival sandbox spin-off of the The Repopulation, first Kickstarted in 2012. The MMORPG was crippled by a nasty public contract dispute between the dev team at A&B and its Hero Engine-lessor Idea Fabrik, driving The Repopulation offline and causing A&B to spend a year working on Fragmented instead. Earlier this year, the studio announced it had sold the game to Idea Fabrik instead, a move that A&B said was in the best interests of the game and the playerbase, while A&B kept Fragmented. Since then, Idea Fabrik has gotten The Repopulation back online in a limited alpha.
In the strictest sense, there’s nothing wrong with non-responsive AI in a game. Even in Citadel: Forged with Fire, it just means that whatever NPC you started smacking will not smack you back. So it technically means you get an easy win… while also feeling like you’ve cheesed the system and not actually won at all. Good thing that the game’s last patch last week was aimed at finally stomping out this particular problem once and for all, right?
The team is also looking ahead to its next Wednesday patch, which promises to add new creatures requested by the community, full WASD rebinding, and corpse markers on the map. Of course, it’s worth noting that those new creatures should all be responding and hitting you back at this point, so just keep that in mind before you decide to prod some kind of burning bird.