It’s been a right long time since Massively OP’s MJ has moseyed through Wild West Online, and much has changed. One thing has stayed the same: The world is gorgeous! But you can’t just ride around admiring at the scenery, not when everyone is packing a gun or five! Can MJ survive as a new trailblazer? Join us at 2:00 p.m. and place your bets!
What: Wild West Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 20th, 2018
How do you tame the wild west? One patch at a time, my friends.
The developers behind Wild West Online continue to adjust the western MMO (that’s set in the west) based on tester feedback. The latest build has a nice assortment of changes, starting with a pretty significant adjustment to crafting. Players will discover that crafting takes time to perform and that each blueprint gives a variable amount of XP based on the difficulty of the recipe.
Other changes heading into the game include a move to put events on a randomized timer, a shooting-free safe zone near hideout cabins, daily and weekly cosmetic sales, and this charming gem: “We’re adjusting amount of stamina taken from the horse when you shoot her, so it’ll take less bullets to slow down horse now.”
Busy times over at Wild West Online, where the dev team is pushing forward on multiple fronts. Currently, the devs are focused on bringing back quests to the test server, a new supply chain gameplay system, animal hunting grounds, land deeds, player-owned plantations, and an improved town capture event.
Speaking of town captures, the devs gave a broad overview of how this system will work within the larger framework of factions, such as bandits and sheriffs. The devs said that factions “still define ‘side’ you’re aligned with in a global conflict, but they also give your character perks.”
Other discussions taking place right now involve new facial features for male characters, the design of an impressive-looking gatling gun, and a new map called the Northern Regions which may be mostly focused on relic hunts, gold mines, and hunting grounds.
Hoo-ee. There’s a whole mess of stuff in the newest patch for Wild West Online, so much so that the patch notes are jam-packed with videos showing all of it off. Players will see the change right away with the shifts to character creation that force you to align with a faction, as well as the new frontend system that has integration for the game’s real-world currency shop. There are also new customization options for character outfits, horses, and even firearms.
But all of that is just a coat of paint, not changing how the game actually plays. No, the changes in play come from things like the full day/night cycle, the first pass at character skill trees, an improved map interface… the list goes on. You’ll really want to look through the full patch notes, but you can get a taste of all the changes through the selection of videos just below. (That’s right, just a selection. There’s a lot of stuff here.)
Following a drawn-out and somewhat inconsistent testing phase, Wild West Online is back with an important message: It’s overhauling the game from top to bottom to improve the alpha client.
The studio admitted that it allowed the deluge of player requests derail it from hitting promised deadlines, and that it wants to get the game’s development back on track. All in all, it is taking longer than expected, although not as long as most anyone who is familiar with MMO development would have expected.
“We’re happy to announce that we’ve reached a state where we think our new version of the game is ready for you to try out,” the studio said. “Today we’ll be taking the game down for a patch, and since we’ve pretty much overhauled all the game systems, it may take a week or so for us to prepare the new game backend, database and make sure that account data is intact.”
In response to one fan who noted that Red Dead Redemption 2 was heading down the pike, the studio replied, “Well, we hope to get game out before October 2nd.”
Don’t look now, but PvP is coming — and it’s coming to almost every new MMO in development. It only recently hit me just how many upcoming games are being centered around PvP as a core mechanic. Camelot Unchained, Crowfall, Ashes of Creation, Wild West Online, Worlds Adrift, Dual Universe, Chronicles of Elyria, every survival sandbox you could name… all PvP, pretty much all of the time.
I don’t outright resent PvP from being in MMOs, but as a primarily PvE player, it concerns me to see a flood of this washing over titles that I would otherwise have no reservations about playing. Many of the worlds and mechanics of these games have appeal, but not at the expense of having some jerk ambush me and kill me in 1.5 seconds flat at any moment.
Heck, even Sea of Thieves’ piracy gameplay loop has triggered alarms in my head that captains will be looking to swarm the title with griefing tactics once they’re done playing the “proper” way.
Maybe I’m overreacting. How do you feel about the increased focus on PvP in upcoming MMOs? Why do you think we are seeing a rise of such games?
Due to enthusiastic player response on the topic of farming in Wild West Online, the developers have gone back to the drawing board to expand the system to become a great deal more involved and interesting. “For all of the many fans who have been asking for more farming and crafting: it’s on the way,” the devs promised.
Farming 2.0 will include a larger variety of plants (ever grow eggplants in MMOs?), and require players to grow crops from seeds gathered in the wild or gained by quests. Crops can be sold as is or can be used in crafting recipes to make food, medicine, and other items.
But if farming is in, could ranching also be a possibility? In a word, no. “We gave long thought about ranching back in November,” the team said, “but decided that it’s too complex task for us to do it properly for now. Animations, models, AI, interactions, not to mention persistence — all that put ranching into backlog for us.”
The next patch for the game should be coming in the next week or so.
Wild West Online’s devs are digging around for player opinions on what it should work on next. “Over the last few months you’ve given us tons of suggestions and ideas on what you want to see in the game,” 612 Games wrote on its forums yesterday. “Looking at the roadmap we posted, you can see some of what we’re already working on based on your prior feedback. Below is a list of other feature ideas we’ve collated from additional recent feedback.”
Among the options? Quickdraw dueling, bar games, better RP uses for taverns, rideable trains and stage coaches (in place of fast travel), farming crops, mining and smelting, and forts “for defense against Native American or bandit attacks.” What’s winning right now is a bigger, more varied map with weather effects.
Unfortunately, the poll is inexplicably closed after just half a day, otherwise we’d tell you to go make your voice heard; this game literally dropped free-for-all PvP in favor of a faction-based PvP system as a result of overwhelming player feedback, which contributed to the game’s delays last fall. Still, it ought to give a tease as to what’s likely coming next in development.
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!