A year has gone by since Funcom rebooted The Secret World
into Secret World Legends
, and the studio is ready to celebrate that milestone with its fans. Tomorrow sees the debut of both the anniversary event
and the new refer-a-friend program
, both of which will have to tide players over a while while the next content update gestates in some unholy studio womb.
The full patch notes aren’t out yet, but we do know that the event has some fun gifts/rewards such as six new character poses, different sprint effects, and the fantastic BEE DOG. Who’s the most loyal honey-producing friend a superhero can have? You are! Yes, you are!
As for the refer-a-friend program, it will reward both recruiters and their buddies with goodies like anima shards, bonus AP/SP, distillates, cache keys, and a vampire glamour outfit.
Now that you’ve seen (or maybe you haven’t) Dungeons and Dragons Online’s
version of Castle Ravenloft, you can check out Neverwinter’s
vision of this iconic vampire fortress that is coming in the next module.
The game’s artists penned a blog post to talk about how the visuals for the castle were drawn from the original D&D campaign and then modified to suit the game. It’s an interesting peek into the process of creating art for MMOs, especially if you’re doing so under a time restriction and with limited resources.
The team said that it had to pull out a few sly tricks to get all of the areas done: “Sometimes in the industry we don’t have the indulgence of existing concept or there may not be time for our concept artist to deliver an idea to us and that was the case for the interior of the castle. So with our limited time I re-purposed an older kit by updating the geo and materials, most noticeably the pillars.”
Dungeons and Dragons Online
isn’t the only MMO that’s vacationing in the moonlit lands of Barovia. Cryptic announced this week that it is bringing Neverwinter
into the Ravenloft campaign with a special module that is coming next month.
The Ravenloft update, Neverwinter’s 14th module, will introduce that game’s playerbase to a gothic horror setting. It will include a new adventure zone, tarot card readings by Madame Eva, a day/night cycle, heroic encounters, and a challenging Castle Ravenloft dungeon.
“The mists of Barovia pull adventurers to the Domains of Dread and into the land of the mighty vampire — Strahd von Zarovich,” the press release said. “In the darkest corners of this foreign land, adventurers will find new stories from quests and instances; all-new repeatable adventures with newly designed monster hunts and heroic encounters, where the creatures of the mist must be destroyed; and expanded endgame progression with a new campaign culminating in a journey into Castle Ravenloft itself. Heroes of Neverwinter must work together to free this cursed land from Strahd’s control.”
You can check out the extremely brief teaser trailer after the break.
Tabletop games and MMORPGs seem like they would go well together, but remarkably they often don’t. That’s true for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is that we have a lot more games adapting different source material separately. You can certainly run a Star Wars: The Old Republic-themed game with a Star Wars tabletop system, but neither one is based on the other. (Technically there was a supplement published for it, but that was covering the first two single-player games, which themselves were based on that tabletop system.)
But there have still been incursions from MMOs into the tabletop space, and MMOs which pluck that fertile ground for the seeds of inspiration. So let’s spend today looking at these games, when you can log off of your favorite MMO, gather around a table with your friends, and keep playing your favorite MMO. More or less.
What to make of Shroud of the Avatar? The few MMO bloggers who have looked into this recently released but already long-running title have struggled to get a handle on Lord British’s latest RPG.
The Ancient Gaming Noob calls it “retroist hobbyism” and left him wondering. “What is this game that is by turns awkward, finicky, intricate, deep, slow, and clearly a work in progress?” he asks. “Where does it fit into the gaming world?”
Inventory Full found some merit in it but noted the extreme performance issues and other annoyances: “My willingness to struggle on was further undermined by the D&D style random encounters that dragged me into a private instance every time I tried to travel from one adventure area to another. Not to mention the fact that my weapon was broken and I couldn’t remember how the combat system worked anyway.”
Continue on with us in this edition of Global Chat, as we’ll read essays on altitis, EverQuest, City of Heroes, Elder Scrolls Online, and more!
Dogma: Eternal Night has slipped into the shadows of silence — and some fans are concerned.
As was pointed out on Reddit, the studio hasn’t posted any updates or put out any tweets about the vampire title since last fall. That’s not exactly a good thing for an indie game that needs to raise awareness and funds to pull off a proper MMORPG.
While the title’s composer did put out an initial soundtrack this past February, the game’s community manager resigned in mid-March. Since he seemed to be the main link of contact between the studio and community, this has come as a blow to those who are following the game.
Dogma: Eternal Night has raised $27,366 from the community to date and has a test server that was online as of the time of this article.
So, for this week’s antics in Warframe
, I bought a frame.
“Shenanigans!” you cry. “The poll went against your buying a frame!” And it’s true, the poll did go against that… the week that I put up that poll. But there was no poll last week, and thus I declared executive privilege and went with the frame that I’d been eyeing for some time as a perfect compliment to my playstyle. Which, despite what many people have suggested, was not one of the most stealthy frames.
My reasoning, ultimately, was that there was no real way for me to reliably farm up the materials to build an additional frame and actually start playing with something else in the time I had remaining. Thus, rather than continuing to tool around with just the Excalibur, I felt that it behooved me to give another frame a shot so that I could at least realistically say whether having a different option altered my opinion about the game as a whole.
While we haven’t heard too much about Shadow’s Kiss following its small but successful Kickstarter campaign last year, the team has been teasing its followers by posting several screenshots (or mock ups) from the vampire MMO on its Twitter feed.
We’ve compiled all of the pictures for you below, including shots of Grand River Cemetery, a BDSM club called The Lash, a penthouse view (a patreon reward), an industrial graveyard, and the Slayer base. What do you think so far? Is this a game that you’re interested in trying out for its vampire angle or mature themes? Let us know in the comments!
Welcome to a special edition of Make My MMO, Massively OP’s regular recap of what’s going on in crowdfunded MMOs, which we do specifically for those of you who are convinced Kickstarter is the absolute worst (it’s not) and that no crowdfunded MMOs ever launch (they do). Plus, somebody’s got to keep an eye on what your money’s up to! Tonight’s edition isn’t going to be our usual recap of the last couple of weeks, however; we’re going to look at the most important MMO crowdfunding news of the entire year. Lock up your wallets and let’s get to it.
Expect some vampires to be popping bottles of the red bubbly today.
The team behind Shadow’s Kiss is celebrating the conclusion a modestly successful Kickstarter run, the funds from which will help to get this indie vampire MMORPG made. The game passed 300% of its target goal for funding, ending up at the $80,414 mark thanks to the efforts of 884 backers.
Fans and backers will be pleased to see that all of this overachieving has resulted in numerous stretch goals, including last-minute ones such as a “frenemy” system for seducing enemy groups and a demolitions expert who will train you in making things go ka-boom.
Congrats from the Massively OP team for a good run! It will be interesting to see what this small team can do with 80 grand in the future.
Even though it’s looking more like Christmas than Halloween around these parts, Shadow’s Kiss is taking its Kickstarter all the way to the bank. The blood bank.
The indie vampire MMO is about to finish a successful fundraising campaign, having raised over $67,000 of its initial $25,000 goal. This means that the community has unlocked a number of stretch goals, such as crafting, a ritual magic system, a soundtrack from Midnight Syndicate, and demolitions.
“We’re honored and a bit overwhelmed by the support from the community,” said Clockwork Throne President Thomas Sitch. “This Kickstarter is going to allow us to finally bring the world a vampire-themed MMO, with gothic story elements, horror, and the ‘coolness factor’ of being a vampire set on ruling the night.”
Flush with all of that future cash, the team apparently funded a trip to the city to interview real vampires during which all of the devs were killed. Or so the following mockumentary videos would have you believe.
Do not be alarmed.
Your brain is now under our control, but that is a good thing. You no longer have to worry about the mundane tasks of life; all you need to do now is party. Party hard, party with a purpose, party until you collapse and feed all of your life’s energy to our party vampire!
You know who loves to party? Skoryy loves to party: “Here, have last night’s Extra Life 2017 party in Secret World Legends’ Agartha, complete with dancing CMs and giant Dreaming One mascots!”
Last week we broke the story that EVE Online
developer CCP Games is backing out of the virtual reality games market
, closing its Altanta office and selling its VR-focused Newcastle studio. The long-held Atlanta office was acquired in the merger with White Wolf in 2006 and has been hit with several rounds of layoffs over the years, with a major hit in 2011
after the Monoclegate disaster and another 2014 when the World of Darkness MMO was cancelled
. The Newcastle studio was the development house responsible for CCP’s VR dogfighter EVE: Valkyrie
, and both Valkyrie
and CCP’s new VR game Sparc
will now be maintained by the London office.
Around 100 staff were laid off in the restructuring, roughly 30 of whom worked in CCP’s headquarters in Reykjavik, Iceland. Though we were informed at the time that these changes would not impact the development of EVE Online, it since became apparent that more than a few non-development staff were cut. In addition to the EVE PR staff and others that were stationed in Atlanta, all but two members of the EVE community team in Reykjavik have also been let go. There are reports that several GMs and the localisation manager for EVE have departed too, and the mood on twitter from staff in Reykjavik recently is best described as sombre and a little shaken.
In this extra edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into CCP Games’s history of taking risks with staff’s jobs, look at some of those affected by the layoffs, and ask whether there is more fallout to come.