This week in MMO crowdfunding, French website AFJV reported that Dual Universe studio Novaquark has snapped up one of the original EVE Online designers: Hrafnkell Oskarsson. The crowfunded sci-fi MMORPG recently opened up its own custom crowdfunding portal to continue development, which is currently still in pre-alpha. “Together, Novaquark and Oskarsson will be working on Dual Universe, the giant multi-planetary sandbox universe where potentially millions of people will be able to invent new stories for themselves, create new political systems, economies, cities, and empires,” says the company in its PR.
It was a big week for the larger Kickstarted MMORPGs: As promised, beloved crowdfunded indie Project Gorgon hit early access this week to cheering crowds on Steam in spite of its relatively high price, and Shroud of the Avatar pushed out new videos ahead of its formal launch this week.
Meanwhile, Pantropy canceled its Kickstarter and is planning a second go, ROKH got a substantial update and a promise that it’s not being abandoned, Crowfall obsessed over death, Ascent The Space Game readied an engine switchover, and Albion Online rolled out its Lancelot update.
Ahoy, Worlds Adrift fans: You’re gettin’ a patch this week. It may not be fancy, but it’ll hopefully clear up the awful lag situation affecting testers (as well as fit into that whole “new update schedule” thing).
“That’s right! And this one does NOT involve a world wipe. Full patch notes will be available on Tuesday, but for now the major thing in this update is a potential fix to one of the major culprits behind the client freeze – the big ‘lag’ when approaching islands or ships,” says Bossa Studios. “It seems to have made a difference during in-house testing, so we’re all very excited to see how it holds up in the world.”
The studio further notes it’s been hard at work on the art pipeline, music and sound effects, storms, respawning, salvaging, and lootable objects. Moreover, Bossa’s apparently been on a bit of a hiring spree in the lead up to launch; the team’s added 13 new bodies with “more already on their way.”
By the sound of it, the Blight is probably not a healthy, safe phenomenon for Worlds Adrift players to encounter. And yet, both the community and the dev team are anticipating the addition of this hazard in next Tuesday’s 0.1.7 patch.
The devs said that a movement has grown up around this addition: “You all seem really excited at the prospect of being engulfed by the Blight! So much so that we’ve had reports of a player group calling themselves ‘The Blightests,’ with each member going by a different name starting with ‘Father,’ who travel the skies and demand people follow the way of the Blight.”
A deeper look at the Blight should be coming soon to a YouTube near you.
There are many other projects on deck past this patch, including the alliance system, tutorial design, better FPS, and self-cleaning island storms (seriously). The team also has a humorous attitude toward a ship placement bug: “Began the hunt for Mildred, the ghost of World’s Adrift, who likes to mysteriously move ships about.”
With the island creator toolset, players have been able to build new content for Worlds Adrift right alongside the dev team. The best of these projects have been taken and absorbed into the official game as a benefit of crowdsourcing. And now, these island creators have a few new options to add beautiful touches to their works.
The developers gave a quick animated preview of several visual effects that are in the works for the island creator toolset. These include flocks of birds flying about in the sky, drops of water, fireflies dancing about, and rocks and dust falling.
Bossa Studios said that the game recently saw “a massive spike in players” as it gets ready for Patch 0.1.7’s release. Other upcoming projects include the alliance system and fixing bugs that are impacting the client, inventory, and scalability.
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 Vendetta Online, Worlds Adrift, Monster Hunter World, Hellion, Rust, Skyforge, Blade and Soul, Portal Knights, Final Fantasy XI, Dreadnought, PUBG, Hyper Universe, Crossout, Black Desert, Dark and Light, H1Z1, Dauntless, Robocraft, Fortnite, War of Rights, Cosmos Invictus, Ultima Online, and Vendetta Online, all waiting for you after the break!
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?
With the next big testing patch arriving on Tuesday, Worlds Adrift is preparing players for a wipe that will make way for improvements to come.
Patch 0.1.6 will add the new swivel guns, newbie tooltips, and tons of additional visual effects. “These deck-mounted shotguns are effective against players and creatures, and come as a full category of procedurally generated schematics with procedurally generated art (like cannons),” the team said.
The developers also laid out a list of projects that they’ve been working on for the two patches to follow. These tasks include balancing loot tables, updating the island export, improving the Blight’s AI so that it will go after less desirable ships first, better crafting station effects, and of course lots of bug fixes.
Settings, glorious settings! The new settings menus are coming to Worlds Adrift in patch 0.1.7, and you can check them out in detail. Sure, they’re not the most visually dazzling things in the world, but they’re clean and efficient and let you tweak settings, improve game performance by toggling bits off as needed, and they work. They’re also one of the many features the team is hard at work on for the aforementioned patch.
Team members are also working hard at fixing bugs, most of them more about polish or weird crashes, making the game look better and run more reliably for everyone. The team has also sounded off on character wipes, reminding players that the wipes have always been in the cards and were announced long ago whilst simultaneously apologizing for poor communication this time around. Check out the full list of specific issues, and get fired up for the next patch to bring in some extra configuration options.
Despite reportedly struggling with issues caused by Worlds Adrift’s 0.1.5 patch, the team is forging ahead with the next update. It’s still a week or two away, but a preview of the patch notes are up, and they include some new weaponry for players to slap on the side of their airships.
Yes, we’re talking about swivel guns. Swivel guns are deck-mounted shotguns that might not have the range to be effective against other ships, but they are incredibly deadly against fleshy creatures that might attempt to board your vessel.
Other changes coming with 0.1.6 are the ability to have up to three characters on an account, newbie tooltips, and lots of additional visual and special effects.
The team also said that testers should expect a wipe in the near future: “The anticipated wipe is still coming and will be one of a few to follow, however the reason behind the delay has mainly been due to the new world and island implementation taking incredibly long to export, making the devs step back and re-access the previously planned implementation approach.”
Chronicles of Elyria’s latest dev blog is out, and it’s more than just a recap of 2017 and look ahead to 2018, although it has that too: It makes the announcement that the game will no longer be utilizing SpatialOS.
“In January of 2017 we began the long process of taking what was mostly an offline, single-player game – designed primarily to validate user experience and gameplay feel – and turn it into a MEOW [Multiplayer Evolving Online World],” says Soulbound Studios. That meant integration with SpatialOS and Unreal Engine 4. But as development progressed, Soulbound explains, it ran into game elements (non spatial systems) that didn’t quite fit the architecture. What’s more, Soulbound argues, the studio was concerned that the game’s large size would make SpatialOS too expensive for it (and therefore for players) long-term.
“Of course, we brought our concerns to Improbable, and over the last eight months they’ve done a fantastic job working with us to try and bring the price down. Unfortunately, it remains an expensive solution for us. To make sure we were prepared, we began looking for alternative technology that could fill any gaps left behind if we were unable to use SpatialOS for any reason.”
One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It’s way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.
But all the same, for tonight’s Massively Overthinking, we’d like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2018 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.
While Worlds Adrift’s end-of-year video isn’t heavy on any juicy details of upcoming testing and development, it does convey Bossa Studios’ enthusiasm and goofy love of its upcoming airship sandbox.
The video showed the team having a great time putting their game through the paces. It also revealed shots of the studio physically expanding its space as Bossa heads into 2018.
The team also praised the testing community for its participation over the year: “You certainly did stuff that we never imagined would be possible. Things like linking two islands together with a bridge, ships made of pure gold, and quite frankly, islands that simply left us in awe. At every turn, the sheer creativity of the players has simply astonished us and kept us going.”
Who wants to play a guessing game? If you’re an Ashes of Creation backer, you get to play one whether you answered yes or no! See, the game’s first test is scheduled to start today, so everyone gets to find out if they’re in one of the expected invitation waves or not. A new storefront was launched on the official site regardless, with the actual kickoff of testing expected later today (there’s supposedly a stream at 6 p.m. EST). There’s a lot of guessing going on.
More pre-holiday beta news? Yes, before the real lull begins.
- OrbusVR has definitely started its early access today, although some people got in even earlier than that. But it’s today no matter what, so unless you possess a multi-directional time machine, that’s what you have to work with.
- Conan Exiles is super for-real launching next year on May 8th, 2018, so get your testing fun in now before it’s… no longer in testing. That seemed more final at first.
- The bad news for Worlds Adrift players is that its 0.16 patch and associated wipe will not happen before the holidays. The good news is that the 0.15 patch will happen before the holidays. Although depending on how you feel about that wipe, maybe it’s good news all around.
- Console testing for TERA is here! But you probably aren’t invited. It’s a very small group of testers right now, you see. Don’t worry, you’ll have other chances.
- Did you drop a whole lot of money on Pantheon? Then you could be testing it right now! Although you’re probably busy working at whatever high-paying job allowed you to drop all that money on it. We don’t know your work schedule.
- Last but not least, the Ranger and Assassin have arrived for this round of testing in Crowfall. It’s like a holiday miracle, except most holiday miracles involve slightly less murder. Maybe for Festivus.
So happy not-quite-holidays, folks! And check out our list just below, let us know things that have jumped testing phases without us noticing, you know the deal. Just remember that testing games isn’t a gift, it’s a responsibility. Like puppies, or baby llamas, or insect-raising kits, or LEGO kits that request you building several dozen models before you’re allowed to stop.