Games in our Multiplayer category are multiplayer online games that share some but not all mechanics in common with traditional MMORPGs. Generally, their “massive” nature is contested. They frequently include OARPGs, online shooters, online strategy games, mobile MMOs, and other pseudo-MMOs that optionally provide single-player, offline, or custom-server support. We formerly categorized Multiplayer titles as “Not So Massively” games. You may also be interested in our MOBA category for PvP-centric arena battlers. [Follow the Multiplayer Online Games category’s RSS feed]
Since the swamp biome released, Massively OP’s MJ has been spending all of her Conan Exiles time there. But the desert is still an interesting place — perhaps even more so as it was also revamped. There are places to see and people to talk to, so MJ is heading back to the heat to check it all out. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to visit the NPC city in the far west.
What: Conan Exiles
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 21st, 2018
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Fractured ramped up its Kickstarter dev blogs as it nears the finish line of its crowdfunding effort, which ends in just four days. As I type this, it’s less than $10,000 away and I think it’s looking good. The studio posting up the details of its Star Wars Galaxies-esque player city system probably helped.
Meanwhile, Albion Online teased its upcoming crafting changes and recapped its largest battle ever, Elite Dangerous saw a teensy patch, Shroud of the Avatar prepped the upcoming patch, we took a look at Legends of Aria’s closed beta, and Star Citizen had a dose of drama as a backer took CIG to court over its refund policy and effectively lost, having been sidelined to arbitration. It capped off the week with a fresh concept ship sale, too.
Finally, Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs did update backers last night on the current state of the build, as the game’s beta was delayed an additional few weeks over its crash rate. “Testing overall has been great,” he says. And yes, the crash rate is still coming down – higher than he says he’s seen in some live games, but not good enough for him.
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.
She has but one life to give. Massively OP’s MJ tried out a demo for Survived By — a different sort of survival game with a bullet hell bend — back at PAX West. Now, it is a bit farther along in development and has moved into closed beta. Just how long can she stay alive in her first return to this game since that con? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you MJ’s first steps in…
What: Survived By
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 20th, 2018
Some limited-time modes in Fortnite are successful and some aren’t, but the Playground mode was notable in that its issues had nothing to do with player reception. The mode had to be turned off and then re-implemented because it was causing some pretty severe issues. What happened? Well, the latest post-mortem breakdown from the developers explains that it wasn’t an issue with any part of the game itself but a simple limitation of the matchmaking servers.
As Playground matches take place with far fewer players than a normal Fortnite match, the matchmaking servers were already doing far more work to match players up. That meant increasing the number of servers used by fifteen times… which meant also having to deal with a 15x increase in load and matchmaking lists. The good news is that the stresses of the mode have taught the developers where the matchmaking weaknesses lie, so future problems of a similar nature can hopefully be avoided.
Stretch your mind back over two years ago, when the much-loved Stardew Valley first confirmed it was getting a multiplayer version, thereby justifying our burning desire to write about it on Massively OP. Original creator Eric Barone and the studio he brought on to handle multiplayer, Chucklefish Games, kept a tiny trickle of hope coming over the last two years of seeming delays, but multiplayer went into beta testing this past spring, and now we have a real release date: August 1st. Yes, soon! That’s for PC, Mac, and Linux; the YouTube blurb says Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch are still underway.
As previously reported, the patch allows four players at a time, so three including the host player; you can marry other players, divorce them, chat, share farms, and share money, but only the host can pause the game (and it pauses play for everyone), and a few things are separate, like inventories and relationships. And everybody gets a cabin.
“In deciding what to share vs keep separate, our main goal was to encourage cooperation and teamwork,” the devs wrote on Steam when the beta was in testing. “Since the farm and your money pot are your main way of progressing through the game, they have to be shared in order to facilitate cooperation. Without this, there would be no need for players to even interact!”
On the verge of expanding into a full multiplayer experience, No Man’s Sky has rocketed back into the spotlight with July 24th’s NEXT update. In many ways, it’s absolutely amazing that the space game has reached this point considering its abysmal start in 2016 and harsh community criticism over a then-broken game.
The Guardian scored a rare interview with creator Sean Murray, who spoke on the mess of the launch and the subsequent journey to redemption. He said that the difficulty of the launch experience was “really personal” and that he and the studio received death and bomb threats, which even we chronicled at the time.
“I remember getting a death threat about the fact that there were butterflies in our original trailer, and you could see them as you walked past them, but there weren’t any butterflies in the launch game,” Murray said. “I remember thinking to myself: ‘Maybe when you’re sending a death threat about butterflies in a game, you might be the bad guy.'”
PlayerUnknown’s Battleground’s update 18 is live on PC servers today after a brief stint on the PTS. As we previously reported, the update adds new weapons, a new truck, and the new custom match creation mode, which allows players to combine their selected game mode with other presets, like weather, spawn types, and maps. And yes, that includes the zombie mode that for some reason everyone wants in spite of the fact that every new zombie game is instantly mocked. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Meanwhile, PUBG Corp and Bluehole have apologized for upsetting Korean fans with the addition of an offensive Japanese military symbol on a pilot’s mask and the inclusion of an AI bot named Unit 731, presumably after the Japanese army division known for chemical and biological experimentation on Korean, Chinese, and Russian captives during WWII. There’s your history lesson for the day.
Healers are important in Overwatch, but they also have the potential to get out of hand. Sure, it’s good to be able to patch up your teammates, but it’s not fun to play a match where you can’t actually damage the other team; at the same time, it’s not fun to play as a healer and watch your options be “slightly slow down team deaths.” In order to avoid these hypothetical scenarios, Blizzard is adjusting most of the game’s support heroes in the next patch.
Ana’s ultimate will get a healing component, Lucio gets additional shields and range, and Moira gets additional resource regeneration, all of which should help cover blind spots in these character toolkits. By contrast, Brigitte’s Shield Bash is getting its cooldown increased and Mercy is having her healing beam very slightly lowered in potency, which already has people on the forums happily explaining that Mercy is now completely useless. (Which has happened with every Mercy adjustment ever.) Check out the exact numbers and developer philosophy on the forum thread.
There’s a new thinkpiece out on how Fortnite happened and what it all means every week lately, but SuperData’s latest might be a comfort to the rest of the industry. Analyst Bethany Lyons argues that Fortnite’s wild success isn’t coming at the expense of all other games.
“Fortnite Battle Royale has grown without disrupting the bottom line or player base of a surprising number of free-to-play games. For example, the title has increased its console revenue in May at a rate of 12% month-over-month, while other free-to-play console games stayed more or less consistent,” she writes.
So that’s revenue. What about users? Other games are still growing, some even faster than Fortnite, she says, particularly in the free-to-play console market, which is encouraging competitors to focus there. And streaming? Seems hours-watched on Twitch for the big games have stayed fairly even too as Fortnite has taken off.
If you backed Temtem’s successful Kickstarter, now is the time to collect at least some of your rewards. Spanish developer Crema has posted up detailed instructions on how to access the super secret Discord channels in a new Kickstarter update, though the rest will roll out depending on which platform you’ve picked. PC alpha, for example, is expected to begin in November; the early access is slated for September of next year. In-game rewards will roll out during that phase rather than alpha.
Temtem fully funded on Kickstarter back at the start of July; over 11,000 backers pledged $573,939 to make the game and all of its stretch goals happen, making it the biggest MMO Kickstarter of the year to date. As we’ve previously covered, the game is a bit of a Pokemon lookalike and calls itself more of a “massively multiplayer creature-collection adventure” than a WoW clone with raids. “The core idea behind Temtem is to build a classic adventure game with a focus on the story campaign, but with online elements added around it (seeing other people online, interacting with them to battle, trade, or just to talk and share experiences),” Crema says.
Digital Extremes has officially launched Survived By into closed beta today, accompanied by a hefty patch including a new 10-man raid, hardmode dungeons, UI buffs, and a graphics upgrade. The game was originally announced last August just ahead of PAX West; it’s basically a mash-up of an MMO and a retro bullet-hell style game. In fact, at the time DE was calling it a true MMORPG with up to 100 players per fight, plus permadeath and crafting and dungeons. The permadeath, by the way, is the type whereby your next toon is the character whom you’re “survived by” and who gets some of the benefits of your dead one’s experience. Oh, and the whole thing is free-to-play.
“To kick off the development milestone, Survived By will begin letting in more players who sign up for accounts on the game’s website, and will launch its first major event, dubbed Prophecies of Sin, for a limited time starting today July 18 and ending on July 25. Atop a giant ziggurat, players must summon a devastating new boss and coordinate their efforts to save the world. Only the most brazen will emerge victorious and earn never-before-seen exclusive event skins, gear and unique titles. Gather your friends now for a night of retro-style bullet hell bonding and madness as you protect the world from the Prophecies of Sin!”
Earlier this week, we covered the shaky launch of Xaviant Games’ The Culling 2, a battle royale title that was billed as a new-and-improved sequel to The Culling. The game wasn’t received well on Steam; there appeared to be almost no players actually playing, reviews were nearing rock bottom, and players of the original game were rioting over their belief that Xaviant abandoned the first game, which was much more respectably received with over 13,000 “mixed” reviews.
Xaviant has accepted the reaction, and in fact, has responded with a video that will probably make you feel terrible for the devs involved. “It’s been a lot to take in, but we’ve been having a lot of discussions and one thing that has emerged very clearly for us is that The Culling 2 was not a game that you asked for, and it’s not a game that you expect as a worthy successor to The Culling,” Xaviant Director of Operations Josh Van Veld admits.
Consequently, the sequel has been canceled and will be pulled from digital shelves with full refunds to those who bought it. The company will be returning to The Culling and doubling down on the parts of it that made it unique and got all those good reviews in the first place, specifically by bringing back the original game’s day-one version and putting The Culling back into development, then ultimately turning it free-to-play.
The Crew 2 might be struggling to garner praise on Steam, where its beta ratings were poor and its post-launch reviews are merely mixed, but Ubisoft is projecting contentedness with it all the same.
“Its activity is trending in line with The Crew 1, which had benefited from a Christmas launch. Its digital performance is outperforming,” the company CFO said during Ubisoft’s investor conference call yesterday, as quoted by GIbiz. “What we can say is the game is performing in line with the activity of the prior one. It’s really on par from where we stood with the prior one. We know also the prior one had a kind of slow start and started to pick up as we built up more content and activity in the game. So if we do that, I think there would still be significant part of the sales of that game in the next three quarters” – that’s because the first Crew game had a second year almost as strong as its first.
Overall, Ubisoft reported earnings far outperforming expectations, at $444.8 million net bookings, leading to a record first quarter, with the rest of 2018 projected to look sweet indeed thanks to the new Assassin’s Creed title and The Division 2.