Multiplayer Category

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]

Overwatch League gets ESPN and Disney XD television contract

Count this as a huge victory for Blizzard’s attempt to legitimize and popularize its fledgling Overwatch League.

The studio announced this week that it has signed a deal with both ESPN and Disney XD to exclusively televise Overwatch League games for the next two years. The coverage began yesterday with the League’s first season playoffs and will continue through the grand finals later this month. In fact, Blizzard is touting the fact that Overwatch will be the first e-sports championship broadcast ever on ABC.

“We are pleased to partner with Activision Blizzard to bring Overwatch e-sports to our audience,” said Disney XD Senior Vice President Marc Buhaj. “The Blizzard team has created a genre-leading esport and a premium professional franchise system in the Overwatch League. We are kicking off the agreement by showcasing the inaugural season playoffs and Grand Finals live across our linear footprint. Together with our telecast partners at ESPN, we look forward to growing a legion of new Overwatch fans across the next two years.”

Source: Press release

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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds adds MMR matchmaking to Sanhok, addresses big criticisms

The dev team at PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds pushed out a patch this week that addressed a couple of the more pressing issues for the game right now, such as a fix for a “revive bug” that wasn’t letting players come back to life in team matches. We can see how that might be problematic in a PvP game.

The patch came with one key improvement to the new Sanhok map: “After receiving a lot of feedback from players who love Sanhok, we’re also going to turn on MMR matchmaking for the map on live servers soon. We agree with the feedback we’ve received from many of you that this will make the map a more meaningful and competitive experience.”

The team also slid a special message into the patch notes that acknowledged valid criticisms over game performance and issues. It promised that effort was being put into improving performance, combating cheating, and eliminating problematic bugs.

Source: Patch notes

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The Stream Team: Working through Outpost Zero pirate invasions

Massively OP’s MJ can’t seem to get much base building done in Outpost Zero because she keeps being interrupted by rude pirates! She’s not about to let that deter her from building her compound and amassing a robot army. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to see how much progress she can (and the alpha itself has) made.

What: Outpost Zero
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

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Sea of Thieves’ Sunken Curse Event is live with today’s patch

Sea of Thieves is pulling another patch out of drydock today, this one with a fresh event for players of the pirate pseudo-MMO.

“Cursed Mermaid Statues are the latest addition to Sea of Thieves. Hidden in the shallows around island shores, they radiate, cursed with ancient magic. For this adventure, the Bilge Rats are challenging all brave pirates to seek out and destroy the statues. Not all statues are bound by the same curse but they all regenerate health over time and while some will require more firepower than others to destroy, no more than four players will be required to destroy even the toughest statue.”

Of course, there’s plenty more to the update, including new sunken items, new titles, new cosmetics (even a tattoo set), more useful loading screens, UI tweaks, crash fixes, and a few bug fixes too – for example, “cannonball knockback no longer causes unintended damage to fellow crew members.” Check out the developer update and other goodies down below!

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Wild West Online plans ‘soft relaunch’ to boost playerbase, says playable women are a ‘cosmetic feature’

The latest Wild West Online patch landed on July 5th, and it brings in some changes like a full Sheriffs vs. Outlaws faction setup and the ability to taunt your enemies. It’s also easier to customize your character’s appearance and several skill trees have been fixed to work correctly with the game’s current build. All good things for the people still playing the game, and all meant to feed into what is apparently a plan to relaunch the game entirely to be more of an online shooter and all that entails:

What this “relaunch” plan means for you – our existing players ? to be honest it doesn’t really gonna affect you much – it will for sure will bring new players to the game, as well as add more stuff to do in a game, making user experience more in line with it being PVP shooter game.

The developers go on to explain that quests will be removed from farmers, replaced with simply daily tasks that pop up as part of the interface, and farmers will become just another sort of vendor in the game world. You can read up the full plans for the “soft relaunch” now, although you have to dig a little bit to find out that the developers are working on adding playable women to the game but don’t consider it a very high priority because it’s “just a cosmetic feature.”

If you’ve forgotten, WWO launched out of early access in May in a state which appeared wildly unready for launch, with immediate negative reception. We’ve got a roundup just below if you’d like to catch up on the progress.

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Overwatch’s new looking for group system is a huge hit

Who would have ever imagined that a Blizzard game’s looking for group tool would be a big hit with players? Overwatch only recently expanded its mindset to include LFG with the late June update, and so far the multiplayer shooter has shot up in popularity because of the system.

“In the first week, instances of players grouping in six-stacks has doubled,” reported Jeff Kaplan. “The awesome part is, six stacks have seen a significant improvement in queue times. But the best part is, none of this has impacted any other group size queue times or solo queue times at all. So it’s been purely a positive in that regard.”

Kaplan promised “changes and improvements” to the looking for group system with Overwatch’s next patch. In the meanwhile, you can see the evidence for yourself about LFG’s popularity after the break.

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The Division 2 won’t force you to group if you don’t wanna

With The Division 2 on the way for next year, fans of the series are trying to get a handle on just how much grouping they will be expected to do when it arrives. It turns out that the answer to that is, “As much or as little as you please, just give us your money.”

Ubisoft confirmed that it will be entirely possible to solo through the whole game: “You can play through the entire story campaign into endgame and [then the] endgame [content], alone… [But] you can also do the same content [in] two, three, or four player co-op. Or eight-player co-op, two full groups in the raid if you opt into the challenge that we’re adding. So it’s very important for us that you get to pick.”

We got an early look at The Division 2 last month at E3, including mentions of the franchise’s first-ever eight-player raids. Right now, players in the first Division can earn shields that will unlock rewards for the March 2019 sequel.

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The Stream Team: How about that Warframe news?!

So how about that Warframe news?! Massively OP’s MJ is pretty excited about it (as you might have noted from her convention write-ups). What did you think of it? Now is your chance to talk — or gush — about the upcoming changes to the game with MJ, so join us live at 8:00 p.m. and get on the Fortuna and Railjack conversation to share your thoughts.

What: Warframe
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

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Hearthstone unleashes mad science with The Boomsday Project expansion

Anyone notice how Hearthstone seems to have the best art team and the biggest sense of humor of the entire Blizzard studio? It certainly doesn’t have restraints on its creativity or insanity, as evidenced by the announcement of its latest expansion pack, The Boomsday Project.

Coming on August 7th, The Boomsday Project takes players on a tour of Dr. Boom’s mad science lab and his “irresponsible experiments.” The expansion contains 135 new cards, including nine additional legendary spells. Players will contend with new types of cards such as Projects, Magnetics, and Omegas.

Single-player lovers will be treated to the Puzzle Lab, a solo experience that reportedly (but don’t quote us on this) involves puzzles. There’s a $50 pre-purchase bundle that’s up right now that tosses in a gold legendary and card backing for those who drop a half-C on it.

Go on a mad science bender after the break!

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LawBreakers helped kill The Amazing Eternals during testing

The death of The Amazing Eternals partway through its testing was a shock for numerous fans, all of whom were looking forward to the first post-Warframe title from Digital Extremes. But there were good reasons for stopping the title there, and according to publishing VP Meridith Braun, one of the big reasons was LawBreakers:

The competitive landscape at that time was pretty hefty. We just saw LawBreakers not do so great, and it was a fantastic game, so that was sad. That happened right when we were starting our closed beta for [The] Amazing Eternals.

Braun also noted that the game was “the right game at the wrong time,” while also attributing the unexpected resources required to make Warframe’s Plains of Eidolon update as good as it could be. It was a perfect storm of forces arrayed against the title, in other words; the one saving grace for fans is that the company would still like to revisit it at some point (though considering the big updates approaching for Warframe, it shan’t be soon).

Source: PCGamesN via VG24/7

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Overwatch players raised almost $13M to fight breast cancer in ‘Pink Mercy’ campaign

Remember last spring when Blizzard ran that big “Pink Mercy” charity campaign in Overwatch? The company’s run the numbers, and it turns out Overwatch players are really generous, really pissed off about cancer, or really like pink. My guess is it’s all three.

“Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the Overwatch community during the Pink Mercy charity campaign, we’ve raised more than $12.7 million (USD) to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. This is the largest donation by a corporate partner within one year in BCRF’s 25-year history, and it’s all because of you.”

Naturally, there’s a video of the pink Mercy skin contributors have snagged!

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Titanfall Online is over before it had even begun

Korean website Game Focus is reporting today that Titanfall Online has effectively been canceled.

As Kotaku notes, EA and Nexon have been working on the project for several years, though it just announced the team-up and its plans to launch for Asia last year. But now it appears the companies have taken stock of the changing winds of the games market, finding that player testing wasn’t going well.

“It is true that Nexon and EA have agreed to cancel Titanfall Online under a business decision. […] After much deliberation, it was decided that reallocating development resources to another project was better for the company.”

Our condolences to fans and developers.

Source: Game Focus via Kotaku

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Fortnite’s missing burger mascot appears in California desert, triggering an ARG hunt

Even though Fortnite is all about the battle royale PvP these days, its world does change and develop, offering players tantalizing mysteries such as a falling comet and a missing Durr Burger mascot.

Players have wondered what happened to the burger sign following rifts that have been opening up all over the island. Now we know — it popped up in the very real Californian desert alongside a police car and a tent. This really weirded out the photographer who discovered it, as he was not a Fortnite player. Later visitors encountered an “Agent” character who handed out small notes that encouraged players to call a number.

This is all part of a new ARG for Fortnite, which players have been attempting to solve as a community. It looks like some sort of promotion for the newest season of the game. You can follow the developments on Reddit and on the Game Detectives wiki.

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