Howdy pard’ners, it looks like you’re fresh off the trail. Why don’t you hitch your wagon to our newsreel and let us entertain you for a spell.
Did you hear about this there Wild West Online? Sure, the game just triggered a mighty year-long delay before launch, but rumor is that it’s because this dev posse is working on a lot of features. They told Sam who told us that a state of the game report for January should be out soon, and boy howdy, will it contain some interesting information.
Didja hear that the native tribes are going to be added to this game as a faction? Sure ‘nough. It will be interesting to see how the developers wrassle that option without opening a whole can of worms, especially with the promised PvP faction wars brewing.
As per the development roadmap revealed last month, Wild West Online is now aiming for a winter 2018 release.
Massively OP’s not-so-serious end-of-the-year awards conclude today with our blooper award for Schlag meme of the year, given to and in honor of MOP commenter Schlag Sweetleaf, who’s well-known as a snarky and insightful mememaker in the chatter under our articles. I know I’m not alone in frequently skimming the comments hunting for his jokes.
And the winner is…
Here’s the bad news for Wild West Online testers: The game’s next big update has to wait until January, because the developers realized that deploying a big patch right before the holidays was asking for everything to break horribly. So you will have to wait a little while longer for that. On the bright side, though, the game’s full development roadmap is updated and free for anyone to peruse, so you can see what’s coming up even if you aren’t in the testing group.
Among the notable features on the roadmap are a number of public events covering bank robberies, crashed balloons, and hunting for artifacts, as well as homesteads and campsites coming in February. Skills are expected to be added in January, so if you want to get better at mining or shooting, you’ll need to wait a little longer; by contrast, female characters are expected to be added sometime after the release. Check out the full roadmap, and enjoy the slightly less feature-rich but wholly playable version of the game right now.
We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!
Ashes of Creation blew up on Kickstarter in May, weathering concerns over its CEO’s history and referral plans to easily meet its crowdfunding goal and truck onward through multiple stretch goals.
Wild West Online fared just as well, reportedly canceling its Kickstarter after announcing it as a result of outside investment and weathering its own drama.
Meanwhile, Marvel Heroes landed on console, Black Desert moseyed over to Steam, we delivered an absurd amount of Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood preview coverage, and Morrowind hit early access.
Read on for the whole list!
As captain of our Stream Team, Massively OP’s MJ Guthrie and Larry Everett were joined by Andrew Ross this year to play zillions of games live, some old and some new, providing our community with an interactive look at some of the games in (and around) our genre. I’ve picked out my 10 favorites from the year, from sunsets and interviews to early access MMO sneak-peeks and even a group stream for the launch of one of the year’s biggest MMO expansions. Let’s dig in!
Still fretting over the Wild West Online’s surprise move from FFA PvP to faction-based PvP? Today’s video is a quick look into the character selection screen looks, with delete and rename options – but it’s got a bit of a peek at faction selection too. “Gunslingers” and “Trailblazers” actually sounds pretty spiffy.
“By popular request, you can now delete and rename characters. Newly created characters must exist for 48 hours first (and we reserve the right to change that timeout), but once that time has passed you can delete them. You can rename any character anytime, for a nominal charge in Treasure Notes currency.”
Developer 612 Games says to expect more “exciting new stuff in the next few weeks.” The didn’t-quite-make-early-access-in-2017 MMO is currently half off through the new year.
It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won’t be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year’s list to see how spot-on I was).
This year we’re changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of “will see a hard launch in 2018.” Instead, I drafted up a list of 20 MMOs that have the potential to do or be really interesting next year, whether that be a launch, a long-anticipated beta test, or some other significant development. Plus, hey, you get 20 for the price of 10, so no complaining now!
As an aside, this list isn’t going to cover some other exciting-looking multiplayer games that are arriving in 2018, like Anthem, Sea of Thieves, The Crew 2, Monster Hunter World, DayZ, Red Dead Redemption 2, Stardew Valley, Conan Exiles, and State of Decay 2. And you old school fans won’t want to forget that Ultima Online has a new free-to-play option coming this spring.
Still bummed out about Wild West Online’s delay to 2018? Wait until you see the game’s latest dev blog! 612 Games doesn’t mention the delay but does go into detail about some of the bigger changes on the way.
For a start, the game seems to be shedding its free-for-all PvP stylings, as the developers are adding three factions. They’re saying it’s about roleplay flair, but as in other faction-based MMOs, you’ll be locked to grouping with just your same side, and you won’t be able to team kill – you’ll be able to fight just those on the other sides. That more or less puts an end to the game’s original plan to allow free-for-all PvP and looting hemmed in by merely a flimsy bounty system.
“Most Wanted Status is going to be removed from the game and replaced with other mechanics to prevent Kill On Sight style grieving,” 612 Games says. “So under no circumstances when you are killed will you lose your items except gold or quest/event related items such as relic artifacts etc.”
In a move that will shock nobody who’s played the game, watched the game being played, or followed the multiple delays suffered by the game during its testing this fall, 612 Games has delayed the early access launch of Wild West Online and will not launch it on Steam in 2017 as promised as recently as November 15th, when the alpha for early access began.
“While we originally entertained the idea of releasing this year in December… the last few weeks have showed us that we clearly need to spend more time in Early Access Alpha before we’ll be ready to release the game to a larger audience. In short, no, Wild West Online will not officially release in December this year,” wrote the developers last night on Facebook, saying that they’re still working on specific mechanics they want in for launch. Those include “mounted combat on horseback, hunting wild animals as well as more structured PVP events and global events happening in the world that you can participate in,” though apparently “a number of gameplay issues” are also stopping the rollout.
More information on the game’s roadmap is expected later today.
It’s kind of hard to be thankful this year. Sure, some good things have happened this year, but we also have some things that, to put it politely, are unqualified messes. There’s everything around Star Wars: Battlefront II. There’s the shuttering of Master x Master and Marvel Heroes (the latter I actually flagged a year ago as being robust and healthy). There are titles like Lord of the Rings Online and ARK: Survival Evolved that have doubled down on methods to enrage players. And last but certainly not least, there’s still no sign of a sequel to the Warcraft film.
That one might be a grey area, actually.
But the year hasn’t been devoid of light, and there’s still stuff to be thankful for. So rather than being bitter and cranky about it, I want to focus on what we do have to be thankful for even while I hope for better in the future. Let’s talk about some stuff that’s good to be thankful for, even if it doesn’t tickle your particular fancy, and be a little more hopeful.
In her first run through Wild West Online’s Technical Alpha 1, Massively OP’s MJ mined herself some gold and successfully made it back to town to sell it. In fact, she succeeded in staying alive the whole time! Of course, chances for that happening again are slim as she sneaks back in for early access. There is new content to check out, including new quests and even a special bank robbery event. Then again, MJ also wants to prowl the countryside looking for campsites to plunder. Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. and saunter into the old west with us.
What: Wild West Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 15th, 2017
The Wild West Online early access alpha has officially begun, at least if you shelled out for the higher tiers of founder pack. According to 612 Games’ Facebook page, Pioneer ($50) and Collector ($80) edition players were welcomed in last night, while other buyers – that’d be those of you at the $30 Townie level – will hop in around 3 p.m. EST today.
We realize the founder pack page is a bit confusing as it says you’ll have access to closed alpha but not the early access, but it wouldn’t be the first time this game has muddied the waters of what test phase it’s in and whether or not it’s been delayed.
612 Games has previously touted this test round’s multiple quests, historical guns, public events, character progression and customization, and of course, female toons. The studio has also said the game will fully launch (on Steam) “later this year.” Make sure you take a peek at the latest patch notes, especially if you’re returning after time away! We’ll be streaming the game later this afternoon (yesterday’s run was botched by server downtime), so keep an eye out on OPTV!
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree dig into the exciting news from BlizzCon, mull over the troubles at Marvel Heroes, mourn the passing of a great studio, and cover a handful of MMO updates.
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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