Well, it is the end of the year, and we have been doing this comic for 37 weeks. It has been an amazing ride. Before we close things out for now, I’d like to take some time to recognize some key players in making this comic possible. Personally, I’d like to thank Jef for doing this with me and giving me the support and writing chops the comic needed. And Bree certainly deserves thanks for letting us do this hair-brained idea in the first place. But in reality, this comic would not exist if it weren’t for you, the Kickstarter supporters and the readers. Thank you so very much.
For now, on to this week’s comic…
ARK: Survival Evolved got some mainstream press coverage over the weekend, with a piece in the Seattle Times that focused on Studio Wildcard lead Jesse Rapczak. Yes, people still produce (and apparently read!) newspapers, and Rapczak — a former Microsoft designer who worked on the HolonLens project — is profiled along with ARK itself.
The dino survival sandbox has sold over 2.4 million copies despite not being finished and despite being a PC-only title to date. Studio Wildcard features a five-person dev team working in Bellevue, Washington, and “a few dozen more working as far afield as Egypt,” according to the Times.
Raptr recently released its most played games list for October 2015. MMOish titles featured heavily in the list, with Star Wars: The Old Republic posting big gains and World of Warcraft maintaining a comfortable position in the top five. Guild Wars 2 climbed by 10.87% over the previous month, securing the 12th spot in the rankings, while Final Fantasy XIV dropped five spots and 24.31% of monthly game time.
MMO-likes ARK: Survival Evolved and Warframe are also present and accounted for, while MOBAs Dota 2 and League of Legends continued their world domination.
I haven’t forgotten the fact that there were people on the first day of Heavensward
early access sporting level 50 Machinist and Dark Knights. There was a period when the new jobs absolutely dominated low-level roulettes. Heck, they’re still
more common than the others in leveling content. But even with all that having been said, being level 60 on one of the new jobs is no longer a badge of honor. You just are
, at some point, after sufficient leveling.
So where does that leave Final Fantasy XIV‘s three new additions?
None of the new jobs introduced with the expansion is unusual at this point, but they all still occupy a unique place in player culture simply because they are new. Beyond that, however, all three of them have an odd place in player minds that may just be there until we get another set of new jobs with the next expansion. So let’s take a brief and highly unscientific look at where these jobs are as we steamroll toward the new year.
Welcome to Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2015 awards series.
Every year, we poll our writers about the best and worst MMOs, stories, studios, and trends and assign awards to the winners (or losers, as the case may be). Last year, we broke with tradition and split our awards into smaller categories and individual posts so that we could consider them throughout the month of December, and it worked very well, so we’ll be repeating that format here. We’ll also continue providing our writers’ nominations and rationales (in some cases, we allowed them to choose two games to make the final decision easier); we think that’s helpful insight. And we’ll include a reader’s poll at the end. Let’s see whether you agree with our picks!
Today’s award is for the most underrated MMO of 2015, which was awarded to Elite: Dangerous last year. This time around, we opted to include pre-2015 MMOs, as long as they accomplished something truly notable in this calendar year.
The Massively OP staff pick for Most Underrated MMO of 2015 is…
It’s a big week for Devilian
, as the action-RPG just finished up its open beta test and will be launching in a few days. Trion Worlds’ posted server list
for the game is notable in that the head start servers will be different from the launch servers.
When the head start begins tomorrow, founders can roll characters on Ravan in North America or Segarro in Europe. December 10th’s launch will activate two more servers: Asperon (NA) and Seadrift (EU).
Devilian also has its Steam page up and running, although right now all you can do is buy the early access pack through it. The $20 pack includes the head start access, a corgi pet, devil wings, two weeks of patron status, and two additional inventory rows.
Update: Trion Worlds says that all four servers will be available at head start.
Time is definitely running out for Ubisoft to get The Division’s promised beta test out this month. And in fact the studio has decided that it will be moving said beta from December to “early 2016,” although a specific reason for the delay was not given.
Instead of the beta this month, The Division will be hosting an Xbox One exclusive alpha test from December 9th through the 12th. This test will draw from players who have pre-ordered the Xbox One version, be under an NDA, and include more content than just PvP in the Dark Zone.
Ubisoft said that anyone who has preordered the game will be invited into the beta test on their respective platforms when it starts up next year. The Division is still committed to a launch date of March 8th, 2016.
It’s the weekend, which means that it must be time to peruse the latest Shroud of the Avatar newsletter. Sure enough, Portalarium released another juicy one on Friday that features an extensive look behind the scenes at the making of Aerie. What’s Aerie, you’re asking yourself? It’s a city inside the fantasy sandbox that’s surrounded by prairies and swamps. Aerie is also known as the “City of Truth,” according to Portalarium’s Esteben Zaldivar, and it’s a scholarly place that is both rich in trade and reliant on wind power.
Elsewhere in this week’s update, the devs get together for a Release 24 postmortem, so be sure to read the full text if you’re a Shroud of the Avatar backer or curious onlooker.
No Man’s Sky is a big game, what with 18 quintillion planets that would take 600 billion hours for players to explore, according to Kill Screen. The website recently talked with the game’s managing director Sean Murray, and the resulting interview is a lengthy one, though it probably won’t take you 600 billion hours to read.
There’s little in the way of gameplay information or reveals, as the piece focuses on what it’s like to be a struggling indie game dev and picks Murray’s brain regarding the genesis of the project. Murray does offer an interesting nugget on why the game lacks traditional busywork, though. “Somebody said, ‘Aren’t you worried about the fact that the game doesn’t have missions or quests or collectibles, and would you consider putting those in?’ And I had a kind of little breakdown. I was just saying, like, because I have this argument with myself all the time, because it would be really easy to put those things in. And we think that, fundamentally, there are enough games that have those concepts.”
The game has a new PSX video, which we’ve included below.
Every time I play Space Engineers, or even write a post about it, I’m blown away by the recent planetary update. The sheer size of the new playfields, not to mention the fact that they’re all fully changeable by players, is one of the most impressive game industry feats that I’ve seen in quite a while.
I’m curious to see if other voxel-based titles can improve on Keen’s design, and as such I’m also curious to know about the MOP community’s affinity for these sorts of games. Aside from Landmark, there aren’t many playable voxel-based MMORPGs at this point, but what say you? What’s your favorite voxel game in general?
Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!
Bethsoft is giving away a million dollars in a new Elder Scrolls Online promotion ostensibly designed to get people hyped for the game around the Christmas season. The contest is open to people in the UK, Germany, France, Russia, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada except Quebec, and the US, excluding residents of Florida, New York, Rhode Island, US territories, and folks on military installations. So instead of talking about this new phase of MMO marketing and what we’d do with the money, we’re talking about how sweepstakes laws suck.
If you don’t feel like complaining about that, you could always complain about the game’s cash shop, which is now selling vampire and werewolf transformations.
Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.
That kickstarted HEX: Shards of Fate
trading card game is still a thing, and earlier this week, HEX Entertainment published a video showing off the first in-game footage of the title’s PvE mode.
The clip takes viewers along for a ride through the dungeons of Fort Romor, though the dev voiceover notes that there are a few placeholders and bugs present that will disappear from the final version. RPS also spilled the beans on how HEX’s dev team views its AI. “Designing the fundamentals of a card game is one challenge, devising an ever-growing roster of cards to play with is yet another, but what [the team] team now have to do is create an artificial intelligence that presents a credible and capable challenge to players,” HEX’s devs told the site. “It has to know how to play, understand every card in the game and, like any of HEX’s human opponents, be able to anticipate, to adapt and even to surprise.”
Click past the cut to view the PvE vid.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
This week the Lineage II community nominated names for the new EU classic server, Marvel Heroes’ Kitty Pryde got a new look, an April Fools joke came to life, and studios started giving away presents for the holiday season!