On this week’s show, Justin and Bree deal with a hodge-podge of interesting MMO news, including ARK’s launch, Destiny 2’s PC beta, and what some studios are doing to help players in response to the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey.
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.
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Cast your mind back to 2015 and see if you can recall an odd MMO launching on PC and PlayStation 4 called Wander. It was notable for being a non-combat game that focused on exploration and had you roaming about as a giant tree (at least part of the time). It was also notable for being called the “worst PlayStation 4 game ever.”
It was pretty obvious that Wander wasn’t going to be even a mild success by that fall, and the studio stopped issuing patches and updates for the game in September 2015. The last Twitter message from the company was in late 2015, saying that there was another update in the works.
The deathknell for the game came in last month, when it was delisted from Steam, as Endgame Variable noticed: “Sorry to say we are now removing Wander from sale. We would have liked to switch it to be free, but alas our agreement with CryTek for use of the CryEngine will not allow that. Thanks to all Wanders and sorry.”
Finding the fun, I’m sorry to say, was a bit on the fleeting side.
The problem isn’t that Shroud of the Avatar suddenly stopped having any of the redeeming features I noted last week; no, the stuff I found there is still there this week, and it’s not as if I can’t find any of that fun. The problem is the one that shows up reasonably often in situations like this. Having found the fun and gotten the shape of how the game’s mechanics are going to go for a while, the game ran into the related but also different problem wherein there’s nothing to advance for.
It’s not that I lost the fun, then. It’s that the fun was in some ways contingent upon having a reason to level up, and once that tenuous connection of goals was lost it wound up leaving me with the question of why, exactly, I was doing this. I never found much of a solution to that, either, so that’s not a good sign.
After a protracted period of self-induced silence, the Dogma: Eternal Night team has slipped out of the shadows to whisper dark tales of its progress in bringing this moody vampire MMO to the market.
One big feature that the team has focused on as of late is a minion system that allows players to order their slave “mortals” around on various tasks for rewards. Through this system, players will be able to vie with others for control over the establishment and the city as a sort of blood-sipping crime lord.
The game has a new client and an updated website is one the way for the near future. Also in the works for the alpha build are better graphics, the combat system, and a brand-new slice of the city that includes a club. “We are now focusing on gradual introduction of game mechanics so that characters can do more than just wander the city,” the team reported.
This week, the dominant story has become Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire expansion, which is coming our way far sooner than a lot of folks had guessed. For this edition of Massively Overthinking, I’ve touched base with some of our writers to measure their reactions to the big announcement, asking them to gauge what’s in it, whether it was worth the wait, what they’re disappointed about, what they think of the pricing, and whether they’ve felt sufficiently enticed to play. Let’s dig in!
Do you think you know what Warframe
is? Can you define the game? Well toss that out the window because the new expansion is going to change things quite a bit. Plains of Eidolon
, announced tonight at the end of TennoCon 2017, is taking the shooter in a new direction by opening the world up and fleshing the universe out, creating new ways to experience the game. If you haven’t tried Warframe
yet thinking the game isn’t for you, this summer will definitely be the time to jump in and give it a spin.
Can the new expansion really be that game-changing? Yes. I sat with devs as they played through a live demo earlier this afternoon, and what I saw really takes Warframe in a new direction. (I also really liked it!) Plains of Eidolon adds a whole new dimension of player freedom. It brings a more MMORPG feel into the game — makes it more of a real world. Instead of just taking missions and teleporting to small instances, players will have the chance to explore the Warframe universe in open landscapes and meet the races they’ve been protecting for the last four years. Game Director Steve Sinclair told me that while it isn’t an open world, this is a first step in that direction, incorporating elements such as NPCs, open adventure areas, and day/night cycles that influence the gameplay. Of course, the expansion will also include a new Warframe, new weapons, and plenty of new story. Read on for a preview and the brand-new trailer!
Funcom Lead Designer Oscar Lopez Lacalle and Community Manager Jens Erik Vaaler helmed an E3 recap livestream for Conan Exiles on Friday, and if you missed it, it’s worth a quick look now that the E3 hype is dying down. During the convention, Funcom announced big moves for Conan, including a date for its Xbox One launch (August 16th), a planned Xbox One X launch (sometime after November 7th, we gather), and a big freebie expansion for the game, which doesn’t have a name just yet but will go live alongside the Xbone preview release.
In the meantime, however, the devs showed off new tree modeling, climbing — including monkeybar animations — and the exploration system previously teased. As the two wander around the game, players see an old-school type of “you have discovered” pop-up indicating the point of interest they’ve just bumbled into. “There’s a lot of spots in the world which are significant because they have good vistas or because they are places of power or places where there are camps of foes or capital cities or many different interesting locations to find,” Lacalle says. Turns out you get “generous” experience for exploring too, and it’s based on how many spots you’ve discovered in total — explore a lot, and you get more XP per spot. “It is a pretty significant source of XP if you’re into exploration.”
Your favorite game is going to die. I wrote about that. Some games are never even going to get to launching in the first place, unfortunately. But then there are these titles: games that went the distance when it came to development, marketing, promotion, testing… but somehow didn’t quite manage to stick the landing past that. These are the games that, in Transformers terms, are the hi-then-die cast of the MMO space.
That doesn’t always mean the games are bad, mind you. Some of these games were great fun. But through a combination of business model issues, publisher issues, player population, and just general weirdness, these titles couldn’t make it to a year and a half in the wild. Heck, some of them couldn’t even make it to a year and a quarter. And if you want to peruse this list and wonder why all of these titles are gone but Alganon is somehow still operating… well, we’re just as confused as you are.
What do you do if you’re a sentient stone head who has been tasked with centuries of guard duty? You probably do a lot of lounging around on a cushy chair, waiting for some Dudley Do Right to wander your way and agree to do your job for you.
Miol sends in this odd Guild Wars 2 shot from the Living Story Season 3 in response to my call for goofy screenshots: “How about a literal talking head? Silly enough?” Well, it’s noggin I like, but noggin I hate, either.
Yeah, I’ll just show myself out. Sorry about that.
Let me talk to you, my friends, about grinding. Specifically, about how it gets a bad reputation that it doesn’t altogether deserve.
How does this connect to this week’s adventures in Black Desert? Well, because I wound up doing a fair bit of grinding. It wasn’t intentional or anything, since my designated goal this week was to just trek about and see the sights for a bit. But if you give me a camp full of goblins just sitting in my path, and you have me, a player who’s more than willing to give these things a shot on the basis that the worst possible outcome is that I die… well, I’m going to fight those goblins. I’m going to fight them a bunch.
And, I think, this was ultimately a good thing. Because while the game still has all of the problems that I’ve seen to bother me up to this point, the grinding of goblins was a notable island of things feeling fresh, crisp, and responsive. It’s almost as if I enjoy the game more when I’m away from the things of man.
Endgamers are getting lots of love in Neverwinter’s
Shroud of Souls campaign. That’s the takeaway from today’s PWE
dev blog, which covers the new “featured quest” en route for endgame players, underpinning the storyline of the content.
“The quest begins with the appearance of a strange shadowy tower in the skies above the skies of the River District of Neverwinter,” the dev blog says, setting the stage. “Wraiths now creep around the back alleys and shadows, draining the life of anyone unfortunate enough to wander nearby.”
Rewards for the quest include “a unique chest piece draped in the dark essence of a powerful necromancer that lets the weak survive when their foes do not” as well as a Netherese Arcanist companion.
Well then. That answers that. If you haven’t heard today’s The Secret World news, you’ll get an earful tonight. Massively OP’s MJ is still reeling from the Secret World Legends announcement and all it means for her favorite game. No matter what, she’ll always carry the torch for TSW! Thankfully, MJ still gets to log in and play, and that’s exactly what she’s going to do. What she’ll do, however, is anyone’s guess; she might take her frustrations out on every mob in sight and litter the ground with corpses, or she may just wander the world as dazed as a zombie. Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. to join the discussion in a rant-filled edition of OPTV in…
What: The Secret World
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 29th, 2017
We all know how delightful that “new MMO smell” is, particularly when it’s a particularly exciting title that you were anticipating for a long time. Finally getting into the live game, creating your first character, and celebrating with everyone else rushing into release is a heady experience.
After that comes the honeymoon period, in which you continually discover great features about the game and easily devote most of your gaming time to exploring. It’s fresh, it’s new, and it could be “The One” you were waiting for your whole life. But sooner or later, the honeymoon must end and either an ongoing relationship is formed or you find yourself disillusioned and wander away.
Looking back at all of the MMORPGs you’ve played, which one provided you with the longest honeymoon period? From release until whenever you stopped being enamored with that game, how much time did you have?