Animal Crossing: New Horizons is letting you swim and dive starting on July 3

    
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Sure, having your own private island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is nice, but why not just descend into the water around it and never emerge? The bad news is that even once the game’s swimming update lands on July 3rd, you will need to emerge. But you’ll also want to, because the update means that there are new deep sea creatures to turn in to Blathers for display before you go on to sell them to the Nooklings for ever-greater numbers of Bells. Everybody wins! (Except the sea creatures.)

There’s also a new set of encounters with Pascal, who offers DIY recipes in exchange for specific sea creatures, and a new set of encounters for washed-up visitors on your shores. There’s apparently more coming in August, but for the moment, turn your thoughts to heading under the sea and scooping up crustaceans and fish you’ve never before gotten ahold of.

Source: Twitter
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Louie

Excited for Animal Crossing: Stormblood!

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Dankey Kang

Can’t wait, Shisui of the Violet Tides here I come!

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Danny Smith

“WILD, PURE AND FORRREVERRRR FREEEEEE!”

Blathers changed.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Booo my boyfriend knew about this before I told him.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

It still confuses me why this title is covered on this site.

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Nate

Idk, could have something to do with the “mmo” in their name?

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

Please do elaborate how this is more of an “mmo” compared to other titles with similar lite online capabilities that are not covered.

Andrew Ross
Staff
Andrew Ross

I discussed there previously, but here’s the analysis I used in the article, which is based on some major points Raph Koster has used when discussing MMOs:

Spoiler
The MMO-ness test
Let’s start with talking about how “MMO” the game is, since especially on this site, it’s something that people consider. We’ll use the criteria I’ve used in the past when describing other online multiplayer games:

Avatar-based (text, 2-D, 3-D, etc.)
Environment is persistent and interactive
Environment leads to player-to-player interaction
AI exists to interact with
Some sort of reward system
Corporate, not private, servers that don’t require or display a population size to start or cap out at
Real-time interaction (for turn-based action, must be limited to seconds/minutes)
In-game communication system

We’ve got avatars, the environment is both persistent and interactive, and it certainly has led to player-to-player interaction (trading goods, services, and just socializing). We interact with AI, there’s a reward system, there’s real-time interaction, and there’s an in-game communication system. That’s a 7 out of 8 features, though the one it’s lacking is servers that don’t require or display a population size to start or cap out. So Animal Crossing is much more an MMO than a lobby shooter (something like Overwatch lacks persistent environments and I’d argue no AI in most battle modes), but you clearly aren’t going to have a town able to compete with Orgrimmar in WoW.

That being said, the beauty of online multiplayer games, especially popular ones, is that even if you can’t play with all your friends at the same time, you can play with some of them whenever you’re simultaneously free, often without jumping through too many hoops to be on the same server or same zone. I think it’s one of the things that draw us to games like Phantasy Star Online or Monster Hunter. However, unlike those games, Animal Crossing has no direct combat, so social systems are at its multiplayer core, and they’re part of why the game is popular – just not quite in the way other people are covering it.