Remember Wild West Online? The game made a lot of noise through early testing, but it went fairly quiet. Turns out the reason for that was a top-to-bottom revamp of the game’s client, so there have been a lot of changes in the current version of the game. Good news, though, that test version is almost ready for players to try.
More beta news? Sure thing, that’s what we usually do here. It’s a thing.
And yes, there is a list below with a whole lot of games in testing. Some of them might also be in “open beta” hiding no planned wipes and an open cash shop, and if you could let us know about that, we’d be grateful. You have to keep your eyes open for these things. They’re tricky.
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…
The last week of the year is always a time of anticipation and a fair amount of “let’s get this dumb year finished already,” so it comes as no surprise that most beta-related news this week is all about getting ready for next year rather than working too hard at the remaining one. Rend, for example, is looking forward to starting its alpha in the start of 2018. What day? Not important yet. It’ll be the start of the year, that’s all you need to know.
Other anticipatory news of the week?
And with that, we bring the end of Betawatch… for 2017. Seriously, we’ll be back here next week like always, and we’ve got our usual list below. If something has skipped off to another phase without us noticing, please, do let us know in the comments. Stay safe, and we’ll see you all again when 2018 rolls around.
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.