Epic Games announced this morning that Fortnite’s upcoming PvP mode will essentially be free-to-play.
The game was originally touted by Epic as a PvE survival title without direct PvP and has taken heavy criticism over its punishing business model and progression system. Nevertheless, Epic announced earlier this month that its next patch will introduce PvP in the form of a battle royal-style mode, rather upsetting its early buyers. That update is due out on September 26th, and today, the studio’s issued an addendum: While the original “Save the World” PvE part of the game will remain in “paid early access,” the PvP-oriented, 100-man “Fortnite Battle Royale” map will instead be “free for everyone on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Mac.”
PvE players on Reddit, who bought the game in early access when it launched just a few months ago based on its PvE-centricity, are not pleased at all, arguing that it will split the playerbase as well as distract from the original PvE goals of the game. “It’s now a free PvP game with a $40 PvE mode,” one noted. “I continue to be concerned for the state of PvE in this game.” (They may not even be wrong. Just ask H1Z1: Just Survive players how this story goes.)
If you’ve been away from H1Z1 for a long time, you need to known that Daybreak’s been making it easier to get back into the game, both for former players and for newbies.
I spoke with Daybreak Lead Systems Designer Tony Morton at PAX West about the recent combat update, and he showed off the upcoming combat practice feature.
“What we’re doing is system by system and segment by segment,” he told me. “We’re kind of gutting it; we’re starting over from scratch in a more systematic standpoint.”
During this week’s MOP podcast, Justin and I remarked on Funcom’s spectacular 2017 financial showing, particularly in light of the fact that its numbers were so poor back in 2015 that it was asking creditors to defer its debts. Most of us didn’t really think the company would make it through way back then, but here we are — it came up with some hits just in time.
That got me thinking about other MMO companies and how they’ve fared. Trion, for example, just faced down a seemingly malicious and misleading rumor that it was in financial trouble. Daybreak was once in such dire straits that it was sold to an investment company and downsized considerably in terms of staffing and new game production, though now it seems H1Z1 is keeping it all afloat.
Consider the whole field of studios we watch around here: Which MMO studio’s finances worry you the most right now?
Names and titles fascinate me. While sometimes they have no deeper meaning than to sound pleasant and be memorable, a label can indicate purpose, history, and connection. MMORPG names are, of course, as varied as the stars in the sky, with many of them slapping “online” or “age of” somewhere in there to designate their category. But every so often, we witness a game that changes its name as part of its development and business evolution.
Today I wanted to run down 10 MMOs (well, nine MMOs and one expansion) that received notable name changes over the years. I’m not going to talk about games that created a weird rebrand for a business model shift but mostly stuck with the original title afterward (such as DDO Unlimited or WildStar Reloaded), but instead games that had vastly different names than what they ended up using.
This year’s online juggernaut is not, surprisingly enough, anything made by Valve, Blizzard, or Riot, but instead one stemmed from the mind of a modder. Of course, we are speaking of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the multiplayer battle royal that’s started to edge out contemporaries like H1Z1.
For proof of just how big and massively popular this title is, consider that since its launch on Steam early access in late May this year, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds sold an astounding 10 million units to trigger-happy gamers. And those games are being put to good use, with a peak concurrency of 970,000 set during Gamescom last month.
PUBG is set to launch on PC and arrive on Xbox One game preview later this year. Curious what this game is about and why it’s sweeping the PC landscape? We’ve got an informative video to share with you about that after the break.
Matches in H1Z1: King of the Kill are about to get faster, according to Daybreak’s latest roadmap for the game. “Our vision is for H1Z1 to be the dominant fast-paced, action packed game in the genre,” writes the studio. “This is what sets H1Z1 apart from its competition. PUBG is very clearly a slow paced, tactical experience. And they have certainly delivered on that vision. But ours has always been and will continue to be based on fast paced & action packed moment to moment gameplay.”
To make that happen, Daybreak aims to “keep players on the move” by removing emphasis from “tedious” things like looting and putting more focus on power progression and vehicles.
“Here’s how we envision a typical match of H1Z1 would play out: As the match starts to ramp up, multiple supply crates are airdropped into the arena at the same time. These airdropped crates are loaded with upgraded variants of the weapons found around the arena to give you an edge over the competition. You’ve got a choice: Get aggressive and hit these airdrops before your opponents, or try to outmaneuver your opponents and let them make the first move. Supplies will airdrop in waves with more powerful weapons coming in as the game goes on. Action in the end-game is intense, so you’ll build up your arsenal from airdrops and downed players if you want to be the last one standing.”
It probably has not slipped your attention that we cover more than just MMORPGs here on Massively OP these days. There’s a lot of crossover and connection between those and other types of online games, and much of our audience is interested in both. But our primary love is and always has been for the massively multiplayer RPGs.
That is why I am always a little disappointed when promising upcoming games decide to play it safer with a more limited multiplayer route than to go full-bore MMO. Titles like Monster Hunter World, State of Decay 2, or Sea of Thieves are exciting in their own right, but I can’t help but think that they would have been so much better as real MMORPGs.
Which multiplayer game or games do you wish would graduate to the MMORPG level? Past, present, or future titles are all open for discussion!
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 Paladins Strike, Warface, Monster Hunter World, Heroes and Generals, Pirate101, Trove, Skyforge, The Black Death, Star Trek Online, EverClicker, Neverwinter, Just Survive, Dauntless, Battlejack, Dungeon Fighter Online, League of Legends, Hyper Universe, Dark Age of Camelot, MU Origin, MU Legend, EVE Online, Age of Wushu, State of Decay 2, Dota 2, Splatoon, and Starcraft Remastered, all waiting for you after the break!
A storm is rolling into Fortnite next week, and it’s promising to be a doozy.
The zombie survival game is prepping its “Survive the Storm” update for August 29th, bringing a limited-time event for those who are willing to brave the elements. While active, players can jump into the titular mode to gather resources every day and hunker down at night when a nasty storm arrives. This isn’t your normal summer thunderclap, either; the storm can mutate zombies, giving them increased abilities and stats.
Those pitiful few who make it through the storms will be rewarded with new weapons, all with a “hydraulic” theme. The update will also add more defenders, heroes, performance improvements, and better art for Canny Valley Outpost.
Get your weather forecast for Fortnite after the break!
At its pre-Gamescom press conference this Sunday, Microsoft revealed more about its upcoming Xbox One X and its glorious 4K gaming capabilities. As part of the conference, the company listed several games that would benefit from the enhanced performance and power of the console when it arrives this November.
MMO players should take note, because this list contains many games in our sphere of interest. The select enhanced titles include BioWare’s Anthem, ARK: Survival Evolved, Astroneer, Black Desert, Conan Exiles, Dark and Light, Diablo III, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Portal Knights, Roblox, Sea of Thieves, SMITE, State of Decay 2, The Crew 2, Elder Scrolls Online, The Division, Warframe, and World of Tanks.
The Xbox One X boasts six teraflops of processing power, 4K Ultra Blu-Ray, and 12GB GDDR5 graphics memory, and will retail for $500. Interested players can pre-order the Project Scropio edition right now for as long as supplies last.
Wow. So I had no intention of crafting another Chaos Theory this week. I had plans. Other
plans. But then the Secret World Legends
announcement hit the airwaves on Monday and all other thoughts left my head as I sat there, stunned. I just couldn’t think of anything else. Could it be real? Was SWL
really going to be made into a television series
? Holy guacamole, it is! A pipe dream I have wished for five years is actually announced and in the works.
I’ve been pretty vocal about how much I want more story from SWL. Story is what this game does so right, and I just can’t get enough. I’ll probably never get enough! There are so many characters I want to know more about, so much history in locations that I’d love to delve deeper into, and so many fascinating events that we know only know the aftermath of that I’d love to witness firsthand. The IP is so rich with possibilities. I knew that the game would never, ever be able to sate my appetite for more, so I had wished long and hard that other avenues might present themselves: short stories, graphic novels, movies, and yes, television series. I can’t even describe how excited I am for the development of more story from this world. Is there risk? Yes, I get that. But the possibility of so much greatness is there! I seriously can’t wait. Imagine it, 30 to 50 minute cut scenes!
With so many possibilities, what could/should the TV show focus on? I have my opinions. Here are some specifics I’d love to see developed further for our viewing pleasure.
On Tuesday, Daybreak formally announced that the neglected PvE half of H1Z1, Just Survive, would be shedding its H1Z1 branding once and for all. The reveal couldn’t help but remind me of the way Daybreak did the same thing for Landmark, deleting the “EverQuest Next” and then the EverQuest IP altogether from the title and marketing before ultimately scrapping the entire game not long after launch.
I don’t think Just Survive is necessarily doomed without the branding, however. In fact, I can think of several MMOs that I wish could have dumped their IPs or changed their names to rid themselves of the proverbial albatross ’round their necks. Star Wars Galaxies leaps immediately to mind.
What MMO would you like to see dump its branding or IP?
Daybreak is a whirlwind this week: First it broke up the H1Z1 party and got Just Survive its own apartment, and now it’s bringing PlanetSide 2 up to speed. The studio is unveiling what it’s calling Critical Mass, an update planned for later in August that overhauls the game’s victory point system.
“Previously, the VP system acted as a sort of checklist where factions would complete various objectives which then rewarded points to that faction,” Daybreak explains. “Earning these points was somewhat removed from the moment to moment experience, and would often reward factions for what they’ve done in the past, instead of painting a picture of the current state of a continent. This was especially noticeable toward the end of the process, where continents would lock abruptly, often interrupting high-intensity battles in a dissatisfying or anticlimactic way.”
To fix that, the team is removing random alerts, nuking the “checklist goals” from the system, changing how continent locking works, and providing scaling rewards. Expect it on the test server “soon” ahead of the PC/PS4 launch later in August.