On this week’s show, Bree and Justin dive into the Russia gaming crisis, tackle a trio of significant MMO patches, and celebrate the coming of a cute-looking title. Plus there’s always those challenging community podcast questions to keep them occupied!
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:
Massively OP’s MJ didn’t get very far solo in her first look at PixARK, but now she’s going to team up so she can experience more of the land of voxel dinos. Can she successfully tame a ptera? MJ certainly hopes so! Walking everywhere means too many opportunities to fall down deep holes and die. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. as MJ dives deeper into this early access.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 23rd, 2018
Similar to how skill training works in EVE Online, Crowfall uses a time-based skill-up system that accrues points whether or not the player is online. The dev team took some time recently to evaluate how the system was working out in testing and decided that it could benefit from some improvements.
While a dev blog goes into depth on the minutiae of the tweaks, the gist is that the entire system will accrue points in a “time bank” for players to spend on skill nodes when they log in each session. Many of the skill trees have been streamlined as well.
VIP players are going to have an advantage over regular players with this system, as they will get a much larger time bank (30 days vs. three days) and the ability to train two types of skill trees at once instead of one.
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 Seal Online, Trove, Pokemon Go, Sea of Thieves, Tales of Gaia, Battlerite, War of Rights, PUBG, World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, Will to Live Online, and Prosperous Universe, all waiting for you after the break!
With Project Gorgon now out on Steam early access, many first-time visitors to this strange game are feeling out the world and its systems. So what are they discovering?
Tales of the Aggronaut said that he was “hooked” when he put in a good weekend: “Part of the charm of this game is that it plops you into the game with no real warning or advisement about what you should be doing.”
“There’s never any doubting the sheer personality evident in every aspect of the game,” recommended Inventory Full. “The enthusiasm and good nature of the tiny development team sweeps all cynicism away.”
Project Gorgon not your cup of tea? Join us after the break for blog essays on Second Life, RIFT Prime, Shroud of the Avatar, and even Dungeons & Dragons!
As comments and tweets and nastygrams in my inbox have repeatedly demonstrated over the years, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve put in years of play in brutal gankboxes and done more than your fair share of time in endgame raiding and PvP: An hour in a guilty pleasure MMO renders you irreversibly contaminated in the eyes of a certain segment of the gaming population. You’re a filthy casual (or worse!). I don’t actually buy that idea for a second, but I can’t help but find it colors my ability to enjoy and willingness to gush over cutesy games, silly MMOs, and retro titles.
Case in point? Trove. I’m consistently surprised by the depth I’ve found in Trove (in fact, the overall gameplay loop reminds me more of City of Heroes than Minecraft or Cube World), but the fact that people see neon voxel graphics and smirk it away as a kiddie game both irritates and squelches me. And yet it’s the MMORPG that’s got me logging in every day the last month or so, something I haven’t felt like doing anywhere else for quite a while.
Do you have a “guilty pleasure” MMO? Do you keep a secret any of the MMOs you play? Don’t worry; we won’t tell!
If you’re going to share a plot of land with other people in Crowfall, you need to understand what that sharing will entail. If you’re still unclear as to how the game’s eternal kingdoms will allow people to work together to build up, the latest official development entry spells it all out in clear language, and it’s fairly straightforward. You just need to understand how the various ranks interact and what will be expected of any given player.
Any kingdom has its monarch, its nobles, and its vassals. The monarch is the owner of the overall area, while the nobles are invited members who can place parcels of land as they wish. Vassals cannot place parcels, but can decorate on the parcels placed by nobles or the monarch. It’s a fairly complex interrelated hierarchy, so feel free to peruse the whole rundown on the official site to find out how to work with others to build a kingdom everyone can enjoy. Assuming they were invited, anyhow.
Skill trees are pretty darn important to Crowfall, so it’s also pretty darn important when the development team announces that said trees are getting some overhaul and simplification. There’s also changes to the way that the game handles accrual of skill points over longer-term leveling, with a pretty stark divide between free players and VIP members, which is going to further affect players in terms of leveling things up. Be prepared for growing pains.
The reading of the patch notes also includes notes about the game’s Vassal system, which is currently working but not giving players all of the messages that might be necessary (if you kick Ron off of your property, for example, Ron won’t see a message when he logs in next time). You can hear about all of the changes coming with the aforementioned future patch by hopping down past the break and watching the whole video, although you should also be aware it’s an hour long.
Contrary to what you may have believed, Dual Universe isn’t going to limit its sandbox features to the creation and flight of personal spacecraft. This week, developer Novaquark is promoting the game’s robust creation toolset which should allow players to colonize an entire galaxy.
The voxel-manipulating tools will allow players to build outposts and structures. This isn’t your chunky Minecraft style of voxels, however, but a much more flexible and good-looking system. Terraforming, city construction, cave excavations, and spaceship design are all being handled on both the macro and micro level with these tools.
“Whether they’re building a single structure on a small scale or working together to forge an entirely new civilization on a massive scale, Dual Universe’s tools empower players to build however they want,” the game’s press release said. “Novaquark simply sets the rules and establishes the universe, but everything that grows, falls, is rebuilt, and shared within this universe is and will always be a community-constructed endeavor.”
Check out what these outposts look like after the break.
As a collector and reviewer of MMORPG soundtracks, I owe a great debt to fellow music lovers who take the time to somehow extract files from the game directories and make these tracks available to the world at large. YouTube has been an invaluable treasure trove of MMO music, thanks to these devoted fans, and I thought I would give some of them props today for their hard and continuing work.
While there are plenty of channels where you might see a person post a playlist at one point for a single game, there are a handful of YouTubers who see their mission to continually post new music for ongoing online games. Today we are going to look at five channels and the game soundtracks that they cover. We’re talking hours and hours of music at your fingertips here, so set aside your plans for the rest of the day and get listening!
Crowfall is ready to push its pre-alpha testing phase to the limit. A new dev video from ArtCraft this week shows off some of the new content in its 5.5 version, focusing on its new map, Wrath. Wrath includes new adventure zones, which are basically high-stakes PvE areas. I spy lots and lots of spiders! There’s also a new high-elf companion, the female Centaur variant, badges, updated visuals for specific spells and weapons, and the new health and recovery system. Crafters and merchants are in for a treat too, as player vendors are totally in. It’s starting to look pretty slick.
And that all means it’s time to break the servers! “The Pre-Alpha 1 through Beta 3 test groups are encouraged to log onto the LIVE servers and keep an eye on the in-game Global chat channel for announcements about concentrating on single servers and specific areas,” ArtCraft says. “You’ll often be playing with and against members of the Crowfall dev team as we gather data related to scalability. This is very important to ensure fun, speed and stability for players, so we need as many Crows as we can get piling onto the servers.”
I’ve been playing two games that focus a lot on jumping lately: Trove and Guild Wars 2, specifically Guild Wars 2’s Super Adventure Box content. And it’s been the hardest time I’ve had playing multiple MMOs at a time specifically because of jumping. Jumping in Guild Wars 2 is a one-click, last-second leap into the void, right? You take off and hold your breath that you land, especially in SAB or jumping puzzles, where the visible landing area is actually smaller than the real landing area.
But in Trove, double-jumping is life, and you can even boost your jump skill. You’re pretty much jumping all the time. And I’m seriously struggling moving between the games. Ask me how many times I’ve fallen in SAB this week because my brain wants me to double- or triple- or duodecuple-jump as if I’m in Trove. It’s not pretty!
How do you balance muscle memory for playing multiple MMORPGs? Do you drag around the same keymaps to help out? Is there a particular pair of games that you find butt heads more often than not?
The host of small improvements and tweaks that result in a better operating game client and a more enjoyable user experience can be just as — if not more — important than a new zone or class.
Crowfall’s team knows this, which is why it has devoted April’s developer Q&A video to quality of life concerns. Topics up for discussion this week include default castles in Eternal Kingdoms, combat logs, user interface scaling, and even possible plans for a phone app. As for the last item, the team said that it’s not a launch feature but it is definitely on the list of projects that should be addressed following the game’s release.
Check out the full Q&A video after the break!