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RuneScape preps player-owned farms, pushes forward with mobile MMO testing

Time for a huge RuneScape progress update, so let’s cover all our bases with one energetic post, shall we? Starting with the signature game, Jagex is preparing player-owned farms for the first week in September. This isn’t a piddly little flower garden, either; RuneScape’s farms are huge and deeply involving, as you can read for yourself.

Meanwhile, RuneScape Mobile is being run through playtests on both iOS and Android, and the studio is generally pleased with the results and demographics from the testing so far. “While the technical challenges of bringing RuneScape onto mobile have been huge, we are getting closer by the week to having an experience that feels satisfying,” Jagex said.

Old School RuneScape on mobile is running a beta test this month as well, so you are going to have your pick of mobile sandbox fun this year, it looks like!

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MapleStory 2 somehow ‘sells out’ of founder’s packs

Artificial scarcity or necessary action? Either way, fans are going to have a hard time securing a founder’s pack for Nexon’s upcoming MapleStory 2, as the studio announced that the packs have “sold out” for the rest of the Closed Beta 2 test.

Nexon only just started selling founder’s packs on July 17th, although it did say ahead of time that there would only be “an extremely limited amount” of these packs that also provided closed beta access. The founder’s packs ranged from $25 to $100 in cost and provided extras such as unicorn mounts, cosmetics, and a month of premium club membership.

The studio said that there is still hope for everyone who is dying to spend money on the game: “Those that have already purchased a founder’s pack will still be able to upgrade their packages, however we will not be accepting new purchases until a later date. Keep an eye on the MapleStory 2 website or social media feeds to learn more about when MapleStory 2 founder’s packs will become available again.”

Source: MapleStory 2

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The Daily Grind: Are you less inclined to enjoy an MMO in beta testing?

Writing is not a matter of having no bias, it’s a matter of being aware of your bias and attempting to correct for it. That comes up for me when I write about MMOs in betas, because my default assumption is to do less and have a slightly harsher view. Considering my love of persistence in MMOs, this is probably not a surprise. I don’t want to play the lesser version of the game when all of my progress is going away! Save me for launch, please. Especially for expansions for World of Warcraft, which I have no doubt I am going to actually play anyhow.

This is not a universal feeling. Some of my friends prefer playing in beta titles, simply because while the game is in beta you can test things freely without worrying about spending your points wrong or anything similar. It’s like friends who used to play on the City of Heroes test server most of the time, partly because everything got reset every so often and thus never got stale. So what about you guys? Are you less inclined to enjoy an MMO in beta testing? Do you actually prefer it?

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The Game Archaeologist: Kesmai’s Air Warrior and Legends of Kesmai

Most studios would be overjoyed to have pioneered one significant advancement in video game history, but then again, most studios aren’t Kesmai. While it’s not a household name today, it’s reasonable to say that without the heavy lifting and backbreaking coding that this company shouldered in the ’80s and ’90s, the MMO genre would’ve turned out very different indeed.

Previously in this space, we met two enterprising designers named Kelton Flinn and John Taylor who recognized that multiplayer was the name of the future and put their careers on the line to see an idea through to completion. That idea was Island of Kesmai, an ancestor of the modern MMO that used crude ASCII graphics and CompuServe’s network to provide an interactive, cooperative online roleplaying experience. It wasn’t the first MMO, but it was the first one published commercially, and sometimes that makes all the difference.

Flinn and Taylor’s Kesmai didn’t stop with being the first to bring MMOs to the big time, however. Flush with cash and success, Kesmai turned its attention to the next big multiplayer challenge: 3-D graphics and real-time combat. Unlike the fantasy land of Island of Kesmai, this title would take to the skies in aerial dogfighting and prove even more popular than the team’s previous project.

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The Stream Team: Surviving the first steps in Survived By

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

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Betawatch: Legends of Aria wants you to break it (July 20, 2018)

Please, break the servers for Legends of Aria. The developers want you to break the servers. There’s a big event this weekend and everyone is being encouraged to go hog wild and log in until the servers buckle under the strain. You probably should not whisper that it’s been a naughty, naughty server as you do your best to break it, but we suppose you should follow your bliss.

Other beta news? Aw, heck, just because we’re friends.

Are those stories strange enough for you? Perhaps you’ve got some strange stories of your own to share down in the comments, or perhaps you’d just like to let us know if something slipped into a new test phase without us noticing. Both are neat!

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Dauntless previews the flaming exotics arriving with The Coming Storm expansion

Dauntless turned heads earlier this week by announcing two things: It’s racked up 2M players in free-to-play open beta, and it’s got a big patch coming up in August, complete with a hub makeover, new content, and new gear. Among that gear are two new flaming exotics, which Phoenix Labs has previewed in a new dev blog. One is a fiery morningstar that turns the floor into lava, and the other…

“The first of our two new Charrogg exotics is the Skullforge. With a heavy metal structure and dynamic flame effects, this piece will add flare to any Slayer’s setup. Battle is where this helm really shines, though. When you land your first hit, you’ll see flames start to flicker from the helm’s metal crown. Land a few heavy blows in a row, and you’ll light up hotter than an aether-fueled bonfire.”

Look, if somebody comes at me with a hat that is literally on fire, I am backing away slowly and then very, very quickly.

The game’s most recent version fixes Godhand bugs, duplicate gear, and sword and pike issues.

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The Stream Team: Looking at Legends of Aria’s closed beta

Alpha is but a memory from the past — Legends of Aria has moved on to closed beta. That means Massively OP’s MJ needs to dive in and see how things are going. She already likes the choices on character create. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to check out the beta version of…

What: Legends of Aria
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 20th, 2018

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Stardew Valley is finally really truly launching PC multiplayer on August 1st

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!”

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Grab a Survived By closed beta key from Digital Extremes and MOP

Digital Extremes’ retro permadeath/bullet-hell MMO Survived By entered closed beta yesterday and rolled out a patch with a new 10-man raid, hardmode dungeons, UI buffs, and a graphics upgrade. But what good does that do you, person reading this who has no closed beta key?

We can fix that: In celebration of the CBT, DE has granted Massively OP 2000 keys to get our readers into the game right now. Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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Fractured’s Kickstarter stretch goals include a dungeon crawler inside an asteroid

Sitting at about 80% funded with under a week to go, Fractured’s Kickstarter campaign may come down to the wire in the end. Even so, the studio has unveiled its stretch goals that include both backer and monetary-based benefits.

The first stretch goal, which will be achieved at $127,581, will take players off of the fantasy worlds and into… asteroids? Indeed, the dev team has plans for a procedurally-generated dungeon set inside asteroids that contains monsters, riddles, stealth challenges, and crafting materials.

“The biggest reward of the Labyrinth?” the team posted. “Unique tokens that can be exchanged for weapon skins, armor skins, mount skins, pet companions and other cosmetic rewards — or used to boost the next Labyrinth challenge!”

Other stretch goals for the campaign toss in a Lich transformation, a baby dragon hatchling pet, a free month of VIP access for all backers, more character creation options, fishing, and animal taming.

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Saga of Lucimia updates its four-year-old grouping manifesto

It’s a little strange to consider that Saga of Lucimia has been around in development for four years now, but that’s the gestation period of an indie MMORPG for you. While the game isn’t ready to emerge from its shell just yet, the devs felt that the philosophy and advancements that they have made over the past four years warranted a revision and update of its group-based gameplay manifesto.

It’s worth a refresher read if you’re interested in the game, considering that this approach lies central to Lucimia’s design philosophy: “We are building a group-based game, one that focuses on the epic battles, challenges and rewards that come about as a direct result of being part of something epic in scope… not grocery store runs and endless fetch quests where you bring back tongues, tails, and teeth from various mobs.”

Lucimia’s fanatical devotion to hardcore group play has enthralled some and alienated others. As recently as earlier this month, the game’s creative director publicly criticized some testers for forgetting how to group up and overcome obstacles together.

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Chronicles of Elyria starts to pull its game systems together for a full-featured alpha

Chronicles of Elyria is starting to take all of the pieces that it has been crafting for its ambitious fantasy MMO and pull them together to make an actual game. The team announced that it is working hard on one of the most “critical releases” in Elyria’s development that is “all about breadth of functionality.”

“Release 0.4.0 is where we take the prototypes we’ve been working on over the last couple of years and begin integrating them into the code-base so that we have the game-play features of Alpha 1 (in some minimally viable way) all in one place,” the studio said. “By the time we exit 0.4.0, we will have iterated, in one way or another, on every major feature of Alpha 1.”

These features include refining the character skill system, improving crafting professions, iterating the combat system, building up the world and its biomes, and a new six-week event for this summer that will dictate some of the pre-history for the launch game.

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