Tad Williams’ Otherland MMO rebrands as Otherland Next with Fire Isle expansion, social sandbox mode

    
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Way back in March, Otherland announced a big expansion called Fire Isle, themed around Chinese mythology and launching summer 2018. It didn’t quite make that summer window, but it is on the way now, according to a press release from the team today. Incidentally, Drago appears to now be calling the game Otherland Next.

“Drago Entertainment, developer of the Otherland MMO, introduces Otherland: Next with their big Fire Isle expansion,” Drago says. “Players can expect to have a completely new Otherland experience with 90 new quests, legendary weapons and the new social class available now, as well as an upcoming overhaul of the UI. Thanks to the close collaboration with Tad Williams, author of the much acclaimed Otherland bestseller series, players get an exclusive sneak peak of the first third of his upcoming novella by completing a special quest.” That novella is The Deathless Prince and the Peach Maiden.

The “social class” might be the most interesting thing in the whole update, at least if you’re tired of the stock MMO formula. It kinda sounds like Second Life:

“The new social class works like a secondary game mode, which solely focuses on the social interaction between players, offering a totally different MMO experience apart from the common formula. Players that choose the social class at the start of the game will skip the tutorial and teleport directly to the social hub called Lambda Mall. There they can interact with each other, move around, change their appearances via MetaMorph and create their own player housing in U|Space but not exit the area, fight against monsters or go on quests, except the special Tad Williams Scavenger Hunt quest and the U|Space quest. In case players of the social class decide they want to explore all other adventures of Otherland: Next, they can unlock their character for the normal MMO experience with the help of a NPC in Lambda Mall or create a new character.”

MMO players will recall that the game originally launched in 2016 to poor reception after a beleaguered early access, popping up and down on Steam multiple times and going free-to-play before dying. In 2017, studio Drago and its investors announced they had taken over publishing duties from publisher Gamigo, implying that Gamigo had hamstrung development until then.

Source: Press release

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Hydlide S

I really wanted to like this game. It had an interesting theme and some neat ideas, but they were mostly half-baked ideas. And the combat felt sooooo bad. I hope they can at least make the combat a little less janky and I’ll check it out again.

carnalforce1337
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carnalforce1337

Otherland and Earthrise (R.I.P) are the two worst mmorpg’s I have evern played. “Played” is actually not accurate, since these games were literally unplayable.

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BalsBigBrother

Oh no they called it Next, its doomed (too soon?) heh.

I hope it can find its audience and be successful enough to get continued development. While I don’t think this will be a game for me personally I would never wish for any game to fold. No more sunsets please we need to see more success in this genre.

The bit at the end about Gamigo is a little concerning though given recent event surrounding a couple of games that I enjoy quite a lot when I play them (Trove & Rift).

Xijit
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Xijit

I have given them more than a fair shake over the years: Gamigo is just a cash grab company. The reason why they keep coming up with funds to buy out struggling competitors is because they put absolutely none of their revenue back into actually running the games they buy.

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Weilan

That’s true, I’ve been following a F2P Korean FPS called Ironsight ran by Aeria/Gamigo and it’s a tragedy… a disaster. For 9 months all they did was release 3 maps and the rest is just shoving more skins in the cash shop as the population keeps dropping.

Xijit
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Xijit

Yeah, I know that game: it looked like it could be something good (well, at least “noy bad”) when they were showing it off before the buyout.

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Armsbend

Ahhh the legacy of Marvel Heroes strategy of getting rid of bad reviews by changing your name – with the same dogshit game.

hey Tad – take a hint and shut it down.

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agemyth 😩

I haven’t noticed any games getting away with this recently. Otherland currently still has all its old negative reviews, but is not listed as “Otherland: Next” yet. When Marvel Heroes took the “Omega” label it kept the reviews of whatever it was before that.

Out of curiosity I would like to know if people noticed other games getting to wipe their reviews in the last year or two.

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Armsbend

There was another I’ll have to find it later. Marvel shed all reviews when they did that Heores 2016. Then Heroes 2017. Amazingly they stopped rebranding once they got the reviews they liked. Sadly, no one was playing it anymore. Pissing off customers by rebranding does that.