Who doesn’t love a good ghost ship story? I’m a sucker for them, so Sea of Thieves’ Cursed Sails, the game’s second major update, definitely has my eye. According to the new trailer and blog post, players are getting that promised new ship, some new story lore, and the three-man Brigantine, along with the hinted-at multi-boat alliance system and the NPC skeleton ships that will be popping out of the sea to wallop your crew as the “emergent threat” they are. Nothing like watching a ship helmed by skellies literally dive into the depths and drag everything with it. Reddit is freaking out (in a good way) over the crab sighting too.
“Cursed Sails will change things forever on the Sea of Thieves, as the sails you see cresting the horizon are no longer guaranteed to be other players making their own way through the world. The decks beneath those masts may now be manned by skeletal marauders returned to the seas from their restless graves. All that sustains these grinning terrors is a thirst for battle that leads them to terrorise Outposts and call out defenders to face them on the tides…”
The update launches on July 31st; you can watch the preview trailer down below. Arrr!
Over the weekend, I was chatting with the mom of my son’s friend and let slip that I’m a video game blogger. Her reaction? “What do you think of Fortnite? Is it so big because it’s free-to-play?” Our kids aren’t even old enough to play this game, and she knew all about it and wondered about its runaway success.
The truth is, there are lots of reasons for Fortnite’s success, more than I had time to mumble out in small talk. Jamie Madigan on The Psychology of Video Games blog took a stab at answering the same question this week, and his answer is probably not what anybody is expecting.
“I think Fortnite Battle Royale’s secret sauce has to do with something that’s kind of obvious once you think about it: random chance. I don’t mean that Fortnite’s success is due to luck. Rather, I mean that Epic smartly leveraged the power of random rewards in their design for the game, and that’s one of the main reasons it’s so popular.”
We’ve been keeping an eye on Klang Games’ MMO Seed since at least last year, when the studio revealed its single-shard simulation mechanics and use of SpatialOS. It looks as if the game is making some progress, as Klang has a fresh blog post up today with a “teaser” of the game’s current pre-alpha build.
The video shows tiny colony vessels shooting out from earth and setting up camp on other worlds as the humans spread out and build civilization from scratch, from tents to villages to big cities across the new planets. It’s cute and might remind you of a cross between The Sims and Spore, in an EVE Online-like setting, which won’t surprise you as its founders have CCP Games pedigrees.
The company further announced today that it’s raised another $8.95M in Series A investor funding, bringing its total investment to $13.95M.
As of autumn last year, external testing was planned for this summer; it’s not clear whether that’s been delayed or this teaser is a precursor to a test. A few months ago, the devs “no comment”-ed on the topic of release.
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!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Elsword, EVE Online, Soulworker Online, League of Legends, Realm Royale, Survived By, EverQuest II, Prosperous Universe, Black Desert Mobile, and Star Trek Online, all waiting for you after the break!
Now that the next World of Warcraft expansion is almost upon us, it’s time to say farewell to Legion and all that that entails. MMO blog Leo’s Life took some time for a retrospective that examines the highs, lows, and patch rollout over the past two years.
“Aside from the penalties to alts, I think Legion delivered an amazing package,” he said. “The timing of content release was good, the content was relatively bug-free, the lore was solid, the flows inside each zone worked… it was all rather seamless.”
We’ve got plenty of additional MMO essays for you after the break, covering topics such as player housing, grouping, events, ageless MMO thrills, and more!
It’s a catch-all, catch-up episode for the Battle Bards as they dig through new soundtrack releases from MMORPGs that they’ve covered in the past! You may be prepared for an eclectic and enjoyable mix of music — but there is no way that you can steel yourself for the raw and heartfelt confessions that take place on this show.
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 124: Old MMOs, new music (or download it) now:
Ship of Heroes has a fresh dev blog up today on stuff you can’t even see. I’m talking, of course, about nanites, ridiculously tiny robots that work in unison to make big stuff happen across the literal spaceship your superheroes are flying around on in the game. Of course, what the different nanites do depends how they’re programmed. Some of them are effectively magic clean-up crew, fixing busted infrastructure and scrubbing away graffiti. Others serve players in combat.
“Nanites are also useful for combat, though not as much as one might think. They are completely ineffective for offensive purposes, because everyone carries standardized counter-nanites for personal defense in their bodies. Counter-nanites have been around and standardized for more than a century, and the common models are rugged, reliable, and simple enough to be unhackable. The Justice requires immigrants to get counter-nanites as part of the citizenship process if they don’t already have them, and children get them from their parents. The ship itself also has counter-nanites in case of any attempt to attack its systems.”
Check out the whole piece on the official site (and the new screenies below!).
Regardless of who you believe had the right and wrong of the ArenaNet Twitter fiasco last week, game developers have expressed concern over the way it was handled and the potential impact on the greater industry. As Gamasutra noted, the International Game Developers Association has put out a blog post urging developers to demand that companies “clarify the guidelines and expectations around social media use, both in professional and personal accounts,” specifically referencing the recent Guild Wars 2 firings. Moreover, IGDA says, companies should be transparent about how they will “protect [their] talent from internet harassment mobs.”
“Game developers are also frequently targeted for harassment, particularly if they are members of under-represented communities,” IGDA Executive Director Jen MacLean writes. “Companies must plan for how they will support their staff members in the event of online harassment, and should clearly communicate the resources they will make available to their team to have safe, productive, and positive interactions online, especially if they are expected to do so in their roles.”
If you’re a die-hard Mapler anxious for your next big thing, or someone wondering what the heck a Mapler is, then point your eyeballs at Nexon’s MapleStory 2 site for the answer to both, as the company’s posted up a schedule for its next round of closed beta in the west, coming up on July 18th.
“The second Closed Beta will introduce a number of changes to help us prepare our servers and systems for the full release,” says the company. “This includes new dungeons, more quests to complete, a test of the Meret Market systems and more people to give our network a real workout.”
A second blog post this week dives into everything available in the game’s founder packs, which go on sale the same day as closed beta 2 kicks off. Depending on whether you snag the $25, $60, or $100 package, expect a unicorn mount, outfits, a mushroom emote, titles, and a soft serve tombstone that for some reason looks like poop. It does. They even admit it! The new vids down below should give you a taste of what you’re in for.
Are you all in on games as a service? Are single player-games over, replaced by much more profitable eternally online (and lockbox-ridden) titles? Bethsoft’s Todd Howard doesn’t think so. Speaking to GIbiz, Howard says that in spite of Fallout 76’s controversial online nature, the always-on games-as-a-service motif “doesn’t mark the future.”
“Corporately we’ve done a mix; people forget sometimes,” he says. “Elder Scrolls Online is one of the biggest online games in the world, we have Fallout Shelter which we keep updating, and Elder Scrolls: Legends. Anyone who has ever said ‘this is the future and this part of gaming is dead’ has been proven wrong every single time. We like to try it all. For a long time we wanted to try a multiplayer game and we had this idea. We shouldn’t be afraid. We should try it.”
Ubisoft, on the other hand, has taken a different tack. The company’s EVP of Creative, Lionel Raynaud, spends some time in a corporate blog post to come at the problem from a narrative angle, saying his studio is trying to keep games going by doing its best not to “give finite experiences.”
Funcom’s fortunes continue to rise thanks to Conan Exiles: The company announced today that it’s “both the best-selling and fastest-selling game” in its history, passing up 2008’s Age of Conan, which sold 1.4 million units in its first three years. Conan Exiles has busted past that record in under half that time since launching early access in 2017.
There’s good news to look forward to, too, as the devs are working on a freebie patch, and the game is picking up new DLC called Jewel of the West in “early August,” which you’ll note isn’t all that far away.
“The downloadable content introduces new Aquilonia-themed building pieces, weapons, armor, furniture, and more. In Conan lore, Aquilonia is the center of the civilized world and its clothing and architecture is inspired by that of the real-world Romans.”
The free content will include pets and taming, “allowing players to find and tame anything from camels to panthers and even spiders and then use them to guard their base, carry resources, and more.”
Enjoy the new trailer along with the satisfaction of knowing Conan is doing great!
Set aside your castles in the air: Crowfall’s castles are built on solid ground. ArtCraft’s most recent dev blog is all about them, or rather, about the battlements, walls, and gatehouses that will make your in-game castle an actual fortification instead of just a place to stash your prettiest loot.
“The deeper we dig into Eternal Kingdom construction and the quest for Castle customization, the more modular this feature becomes,” ArtCraft says. “We want to deliver the maximum amount of options with the minimum number of assets and deeds. This way, we save you inventory space and save ourselves some overhead (or more like over-headache amirite?)! With all that being said (brace yourselves): MEGA DEEDS are coming!”
So what the heck is a mega deed? It’s a deed grouping, essentially: “Let’s say you’re building with 1×1 stone wall pieces. With the correct deed, you can place a 1×1 stone wall OR a 1×1 sloped stone wall or even a 1×1 half-sloped wall! Multiple options but one deed to rule them all!” Moreover, players will be able to use panels to trick out an existing structure and “alter it for any aesthetic or practical purpose.” I’m gonna turn all mine into stockades for the trolls!
Live in Bless Online on the holiday today is the 22.214.171.124 patch as promised, with its two big chunks of new content. PvE players are getting a new series of dailies called Royal Quests, at least if they’re level 45. Neowiz says you can finish off 15 per day to max out your rewards. As for PvPers, Basel Gorge is about to be your new haunt. It’s a “highly contested centerpoint of the conflict between the Union and Hieron factions.”
“While in Basel Gorge, players are able to gain more Combat Points from engaging in PvP than they would in other open world zones by controlling neutral bases. Gaining control of a neutral base will grant all members of that faction currently in Basel Gorge a ‘Gorge Occupier’ buff. This buff can stack up to three times, once for each neutral base in the area. Each stacked buff grants a 7% increase in movement speed and increases the amount of Combat Points gained from killing another player by 50%, making faction PvP within Basel Gorge extra rewarding. However, keep a close eye on the bases! Once a base is captured, it will only belong to that faction for twenty minutes before it reverts to neutral and can be contested by the opposing faction once again.”