The Oculus/ZeniMax Media lawsuit still isn’t over, all these years after the start: ZeniMax is this week arguing before a Texas district court that Oculus should be forced to remove its VR products from sale or pony up royalties.
Earlier this year, courts awarded ZeniMax half a billion dollars in damages from Facebook-owned Oculus, having found that the VR company was guilty of copyright infringement, false designation, and failing to comply with a non-disclosure agreement. At the time, Oculus declared that a victory because the jury didn’t find it guilty of stealing trade secrets.
The new injunction filed by ZeniMax seeks to double that sum to compensate it for “ongoing harm.” Facebook and Oculus are contesting everything, of course, including the original verdict.
Even the judge seems tired of it all, reportedly having told listeners that he aimed to “resolve the heck out of [this] big, hairy fight.”
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree talk about FFXIV: Stormblood’s early access launch, Destiny 2’s PC delay, Elder Scrolls Online’s next DLC drops, breaking up the trinity in MMOs, and more!
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When Massively OP’s MJ started her Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind adventures, she couldn’t help but explore the new land. There are many interesting sights to see! But there is much MJ’s new baby Warden needs to learn (both about the land and about her skills), so now it’s time to take her first steps along the expansion’s quest line. Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. to see if she can stay on her feet.
What: The Elder Scrolls Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017
If you’re fond of The Elder Scrolls Online and have managed to tear yourself away from Morrowind for a few minutes, you probably already caught up on the game’s big announcements at this year’s E3. But there was more stuff going on this year than just that, and the game’s team has helpfully recapped the big events for players unable to attend, including the community meetup and the game’s presence at the Bethesda booth.
Of course, it’s easy to step away from the game if you’re unexpectedly banned, isn’t it? Players who preordered the game through Amazon seem to be having some issues, getting banned despite being players in good standing. Players who ordered physical copies of the game are still waiting on delivery of same, which seems to be the cause behind the unintentional bans. The community service team has been working with affected players as best they are able, but it’s still a bit of a kick for players who have done nothing meriting the banning. So… here’s hoping that if you are looking forward to the game’s next updates, you didn’t order through Amazon.
The Elder Scrolls Online released its first expansion, Morrowind, shortly before E3 2017. MMOs rarely come up with mainstream media, but with Morrowind’s nostalgia power, I heard the name mentioned a few times off the showroom floor. While I’d heard of Morrowind, of course, I didn’t personally get on the Elder Scrolls train until Skyrim — it’s been one of those games making “best of” lists for as long as I could remember. However, some of the things I’d read about the upcoming expansion gave me pause, so I brought them up with ZeniMax Game Director Matt Firor during our conversation at E3.
I ask for “camp” from all of you — and camp is what I got, although not necessarily what I envisioned. Sometimes it’s better than that! So what did Rees Racer immediately go to when I requested pictures of summer camp?
“There’s no pretending TERA is an open-world sandbox,” he said. “It is straight-up themepark. This means there are plenty of towns (large and small) along with various and sundry other quest hubs cleverly disguised as camps. I’m having good fun leveling the newest Valkyrie class, and here she is during a brief respite at the Desert Research Station in Val Aureum.”
May I float the suggestion that saddling a lion and pulling on its mane while shouting “GIDDYUP!” only has one logical and unfortunate conclusion?
E3 is drawing to a close, with its reveals over and done with — all that’s left is processing our interviews and hands-on pieces. But in the meantime, we decided to take this week’s Overthinking to consider the field. MMORPGs haven’t shined brightly at E3 in a long time, so our expectations are usually low — the con is interesting to us more for what’s happening on the multiplayer front.
So that’s what we asked our staff: What’s the most interesting or grabby-hands MMO or MMO-ish thing from E3 this year? Which game would get your best in show and why? There’s also an extra bonus section on the con itself courtesy of our writer on the floor.
During his interview with Gamasutra last week, Elder Scrolls Online’s Matt Firor told the publication, “I really think MMO is a technology. It’s not a game type anymore.”
Specifically, he means the megaserver structure of MMORPGs that allow thousands of players to more or less game together. “We have an interesting server structure in ESO that is unique in this generation of online game. What we do is we have what we call megaservers, where we instance all of our zones,” he explains. “Once you’re on the North American server, you never pick another server. The game kinda figures out how many instances of each zone to spin up, and which one to put you in….those are the kind of cool things that are happening behind the scenes, in game development, where it takes all of the decision-making out of the player’s hands.”
Someone could probably contest the “unique” part, given how many MMORPGs have employed versions of layered instancing and megaservers over the years, including modern ones, but I wouldn’t argue at all with “cool” — it still seems bizarre to me that any MMORPGs in 2017 are still stranding gamers on smaller servers, to the detriment of the game itself. So: What MMORPG needs megaserver tech the most but still doesn’t have it?
When I spoke to ZeniMax Lead PvP Designer Brian Wheeler a few months back, I was intrigued by the PvP that Morrowind was offering The Elder Scrolls Online. When it hit the test servers, I found it to be exactly what I thought it would be. But because of my playtimes or just the general activity on the PTS, the queues didn’t pop much, so I didn’t get enough of an impression of the Battlegrounds during the test.
However, since the chapter hit the live servers, I’ve been able to spend a good bit of time in the no-Champion Points version of the instanced PvP zones. (As many of you know, I have a heavy aversion to Champion Points, so I apologize that my impressions of the Battlegrounds are only reflective of that.)
Now, I enjoy PvP sporadically. I would not consider myself a hardcore PvPer. But there was a time when I spent all of my game time in both instanced and open-world PvP, so I am not ignorant of the interests PvPers: balanced classes, interesting and unexploitable maps, and strategic and engaging objectives. Of course, there will always be balancing issue when you’re dealing with the number of class combinations ESO carries, but they are relatively balanced. And the other interests fall in line with most other MMO PvP. There is one major flaw that appears effective on paper, but when you factor in human nature, it fails almost every time: 4v4v4.
has just announced this morning that both its MOBA SMITE
and its MOBA Paladins
will launch for the Xbox One X on November 7th, the same day the platform itself arrives. Both games are already playable on the Xbox One proper.
The studio’s released a video for each game showing off gameplay and visuals captured with the Xbox One dev kit — and yep, it’s native 4K with 60 FPS. Enjoy!
Get comfy in The Elder Scrolls Online, TES franchise fans: While there will eventually be another single-player game in the Elder Scrolls series, it’s not currently in development. That’s according to Bethsoft’s Pete Hines, who debunked rumors at E3 that TES:VI is among the games currently in production, implying that other projects are taking priority before the teams return to Tamriel in a non-MMO capacity.
It’s not entirely new news; Hines has been repeating variations of this rebuttal for years, just as he did right up until The Elder Scrolls Online was formally announced, so as usual, take it all with a sackful of saltrice.
In other Elder Scrolls news, the internet is busy going ballistic over what appears to be Bethsoft’s second attempt at paid mods via what it’s calling the “Creation Club.” It looks like a variation of what companies like Digital Extremes and Studio Wildcard offer, a partnership with specific modders to create mods under the studio’s banner. The controversy, of course, revolves around the proposed storefront through which these modders will sell their stuff — and the “credits” system players will be using to buy those mods. So far the program appears to be limited to Skyrim and Fallout 4, so ESO fans needn’t worry just yet.
I was writing a post earlier this week with a pair of screenshots labeled sequentially — “eso1.jpg” and “eso2.jpg” — which mentally startled me because, you know, Elder Scrolls Online II doesn’t exist. And it struck me that out of the core AAA MMORPGs — and even the big up-and-coming crowdfunded indies — only a tiny handful are sequels. Maybe more importantly, none of the major MMOs right now has given any hint that a sequel might be incoming, which you might consider a sobering thought or a relief that studios are leaning toward supporting what they’ve got instead of splitting their playerbases.
Put aside what’s been rumored (or not rumored) and tell us: Which MMORPG do you think deserves a sequel?
Ahead of E3, ZeniMax’s Matt Firor sat down with Gamasutra for a streamed interview on The Elder Scrolls Online, focused chiefly on Morrowind. It’s a bit of an odd interview, as the publication kicks things off by characterizing the game as a F2P title and suggesting that the MMORPG genre hasn’t seen a paid expansion in a long time, which may surprise those of you playing SWTOR, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, or Final Fantasy XIV. But Firor weathers the question, explaining that Morrowind is intended as a jump-in point for players who’ve never jumped in before, and yet it’s accessible for vets too.
“In the old days, what we did is we brought out an expansion, and the only people that bought it were experienced players because you had to be X level in order to buy it an enjoy it,” Firor explains. “That’s the difference between Morrowind and those days. Anyone can just jump in and have fun.”
He also touches on the differences between the era of Dark Age of Camelot and Elder Scrolls Online (hint: It’s about grind). It’s a long stream but worth it for Firor’s commentary.