I’m not gonna lie, watching my kid and his cousin play Splatoon 2 on said cousin’s shiny new Switch made me reaaaalllly want to get a Switch. But maybe Splatoon 2 could use a little rethink. That’s because, as Polygon reports, the game is becoming “increasingly overrun with hackers, who have figured out ways to not only claim an easy win, but also circumvent the game’s abuse report system.” The publication reports that the multiplayer modes are riddled with the equivalent of god-moding speed-hackers abusing hardware exploits, and Nintendo apparently prefers to take a reactive rather than proactive approach, asking players to report cheaters after the fact.
Last week, a greyhat hacker and game fan brought matters to a head by hacking the game’s leaderboards with a demand that Nintendo fix the exploits and get rid of the cheaters itself. Oh, and then that guy trying to raise awareness for the problem was summarily banned while the hackers he was complaining about continue on. How dare he impugn the good name of Splatoon 2! Reddit is calling him a martyr and a saint, as they should.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
“From what we’ve seen so far, we’re in really good shape.”
Mark Jacobs hasn’t given us a firm start date for Camelot Unchained’s Beta 1 yet, but from the sound of his recent livestream, it’s getting really close.
The crash rate for Camelot Unchained has dipped into the “acceptable” range for a beta test, with the average player being able to stay in game for up to four hours without a crash. The team expects that this rate will improve even further for Beta 1, especially as it is trying to “break the build” by stressing the server and testing its capabilities.
Get the full report after the break, with the livestream starting at the 7-minute mark and the talk from Mark Jacobs at 16:40.
With last week’s launch of the revamped and rebooted Defiance 2050, Trion Worlds was betting on players flocking back to the sci-fi MMO shooter now that it’s seen improvements and adopted a free-to-play model. However, it doesn’t seem as though the community is giving its approval for the latest version of this game, at least according to Steam, where Defiance 2050 is weathering “mostly negative” reviews.
One common complaint is that the relaunched MMO isn’t really that much different or better than the old game — yet players have to start over from scratch (in an eerily similar situation to last year’s Secret World Legends reboot). Other frequent criticisms include the proliferation of lockboxes, server instability, old bugs that haven’t been fixed, and not enough recognition or extras for players coming from the original game.
Site Kitguru ran Defiance 2050 through a series of benchmarks and compared it to the original game, stating that it “improves upon its predecessor with a more detailed experience.” It was also noted that there was a choppier frame rate on larger resoutions, better AI, and no apparent reason for the reboot on PC.
The Star Citizen refunds subreddit is often the home of big words and tall tales, but Redditor firefly212 did more than just talk: He actually tried to take Cloud Imperium to court over his refund request. Unfortunately for him, he lost in small claims court and the case has been sent to arbitration, as the judge apparently agreed with CIG that its retroactive policy regarding refund arbitration should apply even to donors and package-buyers who began contributing to the game before that policy existed.
“In mediation, CIG/RSI would not agree to refund the portion of my account not covered by the arbitration agreement. Though lawyers aren’t permitted, CIG/RSI lawyers drafted and submitted statements that were permitted. The judge declined to hear anything about the conscionability or lack of consideration in the TOS. Despite the top sentence on the TOS, CIG/RSI successfully argued that the arbitration clause should be applied to transactions even before the clause existed. CIG/RSI repeatedly argued that there is a playable game and that funds have been earned, but the judge did not rule that either. Following application of arbitration clause to transactions outside covered dates, court orders matter to arbitration, case is dismissed without prejudice.”
Concern and alarm has been raised among the Ashes of Creation community this past week as four members of Intrepid Studios, including CEO Steven Sharif, were granted moderation privileges for the AoC subreddit.
While not unheard of for a studio to be in control of a community subreddit, the potential conflict of interest usually prevents devs from moderating their own game’s community sites. What is far more usual, and what the Ashes of Creation community is now calling for, is that the developers be given special “flair” or tags on the subreddit but stripped of their moderation privileges. With the devs in charge, there is worry that censorship and shameless self-promotion will run rampant.
Steven Sharif addressed the situation with this post: “Yesterday, the owner of this sub Julius messaged me on Discord and offered to return the sub to our control in the hopes of giving the sub to a mod team that had the time to dedicate the tender love and care the sub deserved. I accepted, and will be including the volunteer mod team from the Ashes Discord in the moderation of this sub. With that, I will also become more active on the sub from a discussion standpoint and perhaps schedule an AMA as well.”
Ready to hunt monsters in Final Fantasy XIV
? Not just in general, but as part of a crossover with Monster Hunter World
? You’ll get your chance starting on August 7th according to the most recent live letter, as the crossover event starts then and treats players to two versions of the trial against the great beast Rathalos. It also represents a new sort of challenge as it’s available in both normal and Extreme modes, but the former is an 8-player challenge while the latter is limited to 4 players. Of course, that also marks the arrival of the next part of Eureka, so players will have plenty to do on August 7th regardless.
Those who take part in the event will be able to earn a new mount (Rathalos himself), a new armor set, and new minions and outdoor furnishings for completion. So that’s reason enough to take part.
Of course, players who are more interested in the next part of the story and the next set of dungeons will want to hop along until September, when patch 4.4 is scheduled to release. That will contain a new trial against Suzaku, a new pair of dungeons, the conclusion of the Omega series with the Alphascape, and all of that lovely new storytelling. Check out a gallery of shots for the live letter just below, and keep your eyes peeled for more information in the coming weeks.
Update: we’ve added the new trailer for the crossover event just below.
I’ve still got hype on the brain. We’ve talked about the length of hype cycles and under-hyped MMOs. Now I want to talk about games that have actually suffered from their own hype specifically.
No Man’s Sky and WildStar pop to mind immediately for me as games we cover that were grievously wounded by hype. Both games effectively promised and teased far more features and more interesting features that they actually delivered, causing hype for the game to turn into venom post-launch. And in both cases, the game studios have made considerable effort to turn it around, but the grudges linger.
PUBG strikes me as another game that was heavily hyped last year but quickly succumbed to a prettier, cheaper, more accessible, and more polished game.
And howsabout Destiny 2? A contender, right?
Which online game has suffered the most from its own hype?
Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!
Guild Wars 2’s “PR nightmare” and the industry reaction to it dominated headlines and comments this week, but that’s not all that happened in the realm of MMORPGs. Defiance 2050 officially launched, Star Citizen players waged a protest, Wild West Online floated a reboot, Trion began compensating Marvel Heroes refugees, Crowfall announced plans to license its engine, and MJ brought back the Warframe goods from TennoCon. Plus, we got some useful dates for Monster Hunter World, Rend, and WoW’s expansion pre-patch.
Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.
recently released the first major content update for its medieval sandbox survival game Life is Feudal
, and it brings with it a slew of new features, including the uniting of the game’s numerous worlds, a PvP arena, the slavery system (really), and the clergy system. And to celebrate the new update’s release, Bitbox is granting all players a set of “God’s Favor” currency, the total amount of which is valued at over $2 million US.
With the new united map, players can now travel “freely” (i.e., with subscription-based restrictions) between the game’s worlds as well as trade between worlds via trade posts. For those who want to test their combat prowess against other players, the update introduces new PvP arenas, which pit up to 20 players against one another in free-for-all battles, with the top three players in each match taking home prizes of coins and PvP ranking points.
The newest update for Skyforge
is now live and changes a lot about the way PvP works
. Before, PvP had gear scaling to the point that it was almost irrelevant while walking in, but now gear scaling has more factors affecting that scale. It also introduces the new PvP-based Honor stat, which affects your overall stats and how much damage you’ll deal on balance. Players who wish to accomplish a lot in PvP will want to stack on Honor via stat adjustment. There’s also the new Happy Hour system, which encourages you to take part in PvP at set times for increased rewards across the board.
Speaking of increased rewards, the game is also rolling out the myLoot Marketplace as a means of getting more stuff for myCoins. Taking part in events and purchasing items earn myCoins, and said coins can be used for purchasing items in the marketplace, a sort of “here’s your extra for buying something” reward. Check out the full rundown if you’re looking for more details on the new system.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, we got our first hints of “emergent gameplay” in Star Citizen as a group of players took over a refueling hub and began blasting everyone who came near it out of the sky. Why? Oh, they’re not just griefers; they’re specifically protesting CIG’s backburnering of the Arena Commander mechanics. I suppose it got them some attention, but also now all the people whose alpha ships they blew up hate them rather than CIG.
Meanwhile, Legends of Aria launched its second closed beta, Pantheon unveiled its character creation system, Saga of Lucimia riled everybody up over its grouping stance, City of Titans posted an epic teaser, Shroud of the Avatar opened a new cash shop to fund the next season and began optional subs, and Fractured’s Kickstarter has leaped up to $88K of its $116K goal with 10 days to go.
Finally, Crowfall had a big week, as its studio, ArtCraft, announced a second studio to license Crowfall’s engine to other companies building MMOs; we chatted with the company’s J. Todd Coleman about it too. There’s a huge chunk of new guide videos out on the game now too.
Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
The latest dev blog for Russian indie dev Atlant Games’s upcoming Reign of Guilds has a veritable smorgasbord of detailed information about various facets of the game, ranging from the technical tools being used to create the open world to the game’s magic system and more. A great deal of the blog post is devoted to discussing the design and creation of the game’s open world, detailing the tools the devs are using in order to generate the world’s mountains, forests, streams, and other natural splendors. It also takes a look at the first of the game’s counties, called Daerkunn, which the blog post says is about 50% complete.
The dev blog also delves into the construction of the castles that will play key roles in the game’s guild-vs-guild warfare. From simple wooden outposts to grand stone citadels, the team is aiming to provide a diverse array of locations for players to kill each other over. In addition, the post highlights some of the elemental magic players will be able to wield as well as detailing the game’s inventory and trading systems. If you’re interested in checking out this behind-the-scenes look at Reign of Guilds’s development, you can check out the full post over on the game’s official site.
Last week, a developer from Parisian developer Dreamz Studio posted about how early access was the best thing that happened to his game, specifically because the early access playerbase acted a sort of extra pair of hands for developing the game.
“I believe that there’s no need to be a former Chef to make innovating pretty little tasty meals,” he writes. “Indeed, you just have to know the basics and then let you guide by the taste of your customers, right?” The studio basically retooled everything from the main character and the world to visuals and level customization based on eight months of feedback, even adding multiplayer because people begged for it.
This is basically how early access is supposed to work, right? This was the whole point of letting people buy their way in early, either with early access or Kickstarter or preorder packages, and then help test and guide the game as superfans. We’ve just seen it go wrong over and over, either because studios abuse the early access tag to make easy money and then abandon the title and the loyal players, or because early testers abuse their input to guide the game into becoming something nobody but them wants to play and causing it to flop hard. I bet you can name games for each group.
How much input do you, as someone who buys in during a game’s development, expect to have in the game’s ongoing design? To the pollmobile!