Do you think you’ve got what it takes to be the king of H1Z1’s Battle Royale hill? Daybreak is giving you a chance to prove it! One lone survivor will walk away from the post-apocalyptic game’s first live invitational this September with all the glory of being the last man/woman standing as well as a cash prize. Sound like something you want to be apart of? Producer Steve George and Senior Game Designer Adam Clegg shared with us the details on how to get in on the action of the event, which will take place at TwitchCon in San Francisco on Saturday, September 26th, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. EDT (10:30 a.m. to noon PDT).
We ask tough questions. Whether the devs answer them truthfully — or at all — is on them! [Follow this category’s RSS feed]
The announcement that WildStar developers Carbine Studios plan to make the MMO the latest addition to our ever-growing free-to-play piles happened a while ago now, and superfans have been waiting patiently since then to see how the transition would affect the game. The wait is officially over as the F2P version of WildStar is in closed beta right now. Players who have been granted access to the beta will now be able to see for themselves the changes that were presented to me by Product Director Mike Donatelli and Lead Designer Mike Barr during Gamescom. Stick with me to read more about the closed beta and the changes you can expect for the F2P version of WildStar, or if you prefer, check out the new trailer below.
Elder Scrolls Online will be the Elder Scrolls title of record for the next little while, according to Dualshockers. The publication interviewed Bethesda VP of Marketing Pete Hines at last week’s Gamescom, and Hines intimated that the studio is completely focused on Fallout 4 and ESO, even though the previous installment of its tentpole franchise, 2011’s Skyrim, is nearly four years old.
Since ESO recently launched on consoles and is prepping for a major DLC at the end of August, Dualshockers concludes that it will be “the Elder Scrolls game Bethesda will be talking about for a while.” Hines told the website that it will be a “very long time” before Bethesda will discuss its post-Fallout 4 projects.
On the opening day of Gamescom 2015, I crept away from the buzzing hum and dazzling lights of the show floor to sit down with Guild Wars 2 Lead Designer Crystin Cox to discuss Heart of Thorns and the horizontal progression development system we now know as the mastery system. I was treated to a full breakdown of each mastery branch with a live demo, and it was full of great information about the masteries involved and the thought process behind the system’s development. We also hit on specializations, verticality, and the beta weekend during my follow-up questions, so be sure to keep reading for all things HoT.
Last week, our comments erupted over some game studios’ haphazard use of the term “MMO” — and how that overuse and misuse has possibly tainted the genre, leading other studios to avoid its use altogether. One of the games under fire is Shards Online, a game that borrows heavily from old-school sandboxes but is set up a la Neverwinter Nights to allow players to create their own rulesets and run their own servers, some definitely not “massive” at all.
Massively OP: First, how do you and Citadel define “MMO” in 2015? How does that differ from “MMORPG” and from earlier understandings of the terms? Do you believe your understanding of the terms has changed since Shards Online was first announced?
Citadel’s Derek Brinkmann: I don’t think you can define the term MMO by taking the literal translation of the acronym Massively Multiplayer Online (Game). This would apply to a game that allows thousands of players to interact with each other within the game. If you went purely off of this literal meaning, session based games like Diablo III technically fall into this category since there are thousands of people playing Diablo III and you can interact with any of them by jumping into the same session. And nobody thinks that Diablo III should be considered an MMO.
It seems like half the Massively staff has been playing Project Gorgon here lately, so we figured it was time to seek out the devs at Elder Game and ask them a few burning questions. Lead developer Eric Heimburg was gracious enough to field our queries, and by clicking past the cut you can read about his thoughts on everything from indie MMO development to improving the game’s aesthetics to future features including a demonologist skill that actually risks your character’s soul!
Are you interested in Black Desert? If so, a new interview with the game’s western community manager might be worth a read. Or it might not be, if you want anything beyond general PR-speak.
In any event, the piece confirms that an English version of the fantasy sandbox will be playable before the end of 2015, and it also says that the dev team has just opened its European office. Predictably, community manager “Oli” dodges a question about the changes from the game’s Korean version to its English version. He does say that the team wants to “avoid at all cost the bad impression left by other Korean game companies that bring their games to the west with quality standards that don’t match the expectations of US/EU players.”
RIFT is starting to make more noise as 2015 marches on, particularly with its recent Patch 3.3. This newest update added a major saga to the game and other neat features, and so to catch up on all of these changes, Massively OP sat down with Trion Worlds Game Director Chris Junior to get the full scoop.
Join us as we talk about the Nightmare Saga, instant adventures, a new approach to raiding, and planar crafting!
Although H1Z1 is deep in clean up mode, that doesn’t mean forward progress isn’t still being made. Producer Steve George and Senior Game Designer Adam Clegg spoke with us a bit about the upcoming features players will be able to see in the next few months, including a female zombie model, skin tinting, guild functionality, better base-building features, different types of zombies, and new points of interest like a giant hospital that will situated in the north. They also shared a few new images!
I toured the zone with Overmeyer and Community Manager Alex Monney, and I can tell you that even the trailer doesn’t do the scope of the area justice. (When a dev can actually get lost for a moment during the tour, you know it’s spacious!) Even more than that, Overmeyer noted that the zone was built for expansion, and players will see dark areas on the edges of the map where the zone will expand in the future.
As a self-proclaimed connoisseur of housing, I was impressed by Neverwinter’s first foray into the feature. It may not have the extent of decorative personalization that I prefer, but there’s a bit of available in the form of what building amenities are added. And the stronghold has plenty of functionality, which will bring guilds together to do more than just sit on a bar stool and tell stories.
“It’s kind of a common practice for annualized products,” Brevik explains, “so we took that and said we’ll rebrand it as Marvel Heroes 2015 and get new reviews, and we were able to raise our Metacritic score from a 58 to an 81, which proved that all of our hard work and effort had really gone a long way, making the product much better. And it garnered a bunch of new attention, and a whole bunch of new audience.”
Brevik goes on to the say that unlike last year, the 2016 rebranding won’t happen on the game’s anniversary, but it will have a big patch associated with it. There’s much more to the interview, too, so click through the link below if you’re interested.
Last week I checked in with indie airship battler Guns of Icarus, and I figured why not check in with the dev team at Muse while I was at it. CEO Howard Tsao graciously fielded my questions about GoI’s upcoming PvE mode, and he filled us in on everything from enemy AI to factional gameplay to new airships that are coming soon.
Join us past the cut for the full interview.
WildStar has a major stat rebalancing patch on the way — in fact, it’s so major that it needs a whole new term: stat refactoring. In a new dev blog published this morning, Carbine Lead Combat Designer Steven “Meerkat” Engle explains that primary stats and stats that derive into secondary stats, including Brutality, Finesse, Insight, Tech, Grit, and Moxie, are all set for execution; the studio further plans to run all stats though a balance pass and and adjust the ilevel power curve. The revamped system is intended to add clarity, interest, and consistency to the stat system.
Massively OP’s Justin Olivetti spoke to Meerkat about some of the impending changes; read on for the interview and some new screenshots too.