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 Old School RuneScape, Worlds Adrift, Destiny 2, Starfall Online, Survived By, Hyper Universe, Elsword, Pirate101, War of Rights, Ragnarok Online, Perfect World Mobile, OrbusVR, SMITE, and Prosperous Universe, all waiting for you after the break!
Lag is no longer just your excuse for trading players melons in Worlds Adrift. It’s a very real problem that the development team knows is hitting players square in the playtime, and it’s also taking a while to fix it up. The most recent development update explains that while the team is well aware it’s happening, there’s still work to be done to actually fix the issue; the attempt to track down the cause and repair it last week didn’t actually work out, so it’s still being investigated.
The game’s test server has also been delayed due to some issues with Alliance chat, with the remainder of the team hard at work to fix that issue and let people start testing new patches sooner rather than later. On the bright side, the next announcement from the team is promised to include some actual updates instead of just work on bug fixes because players want more content too. Dude.
Longtime MMORPG fans will know that the concept of player councils and senates, liaisons between the playerbase and the developers, have long been a part of the MMO landscape, be they in games like EVE Online and Star Wars Galaxies or Lord of the Rings Online. Longtime MMORPG fans will also know that the impact of these types of councils is about as weighty as a junior high student council. Worlds Adrift is now joining their number, according to a new Bossa Studios post this weekend.
The first batch of 10 on the “Community Cloud Council,” Bossa says, have been hand-picked to “help streamline feedback” from the playerbase. “These players have been very helpful to Bossa, time and time again giving very honest and constructive feedback on development,” the company explains. “These guys know every inch of the game, are aware of all the ins and outs of the mechanics, have provided thorough bug reports, and kept above board when dealing with some pretty bad exploits.”
The second council, however, will be subject to the vote of the playerbase. The Worlds Adrift team does note that members will be signing NDAs and will further serve as a sounding board for in-development content.
Improbable’s SpatialOS is moving on up in the world: The company announced this week that China’s NetEase has invested $50 million to acquire a “small equity stake to act as strategic investment” in the company. And that’s not just casual money; NetEase is apparently planning on developing multiple games using SpatialOS, the first of which is expected to be revealed later in 2018.
“We are recruiting and establishing a presence able to support game developers of all types within China who wish to use SpatialOS, and actively seeking other partners in Asia,” Improbable says. “The investment will increase our ability to help game makers in China and beyond to build previously impossible games, by helping game makers to benefit from a neutral, openly available technology platform supporting the next generation of online gaming.”
Test servers! They’re a great way to get a peek at new content or to actually hammer through any major game-breaking bugs that might be found therein. And now Worlds Adrift is getting one with the latter purpose as its explicit focus, giving players a chance to try out new updates before they’re live in hopes that game-breaking bugs can be found more efficiently with many hands.
The developers are also working hard on the game’s next biome to explore, which should provide a variety of new opportunities for players to craft and locate things. Most of the other work has been on fixing bugs and working on things like engine overheating, but you can check out the full rundown to catch up on the fine details of that progress. Pretty soon you’ll be able to see some of it in action for yourself, too.
So it turns out the developers behind Worlds Adrift have all melted in the midst of a London heat wave. It’s very sad, as they point out on the latest development entry on the official site. You may wish to stop reading this post and play an appropriate song on the bagpipes. Despite being reduced to a liquid, however, the team has continued working on the game and is hard at work finishing the new creature refactor while completing the loot accumulation on island for patch 0.24.
Work is also progressing on fixing the resources dropped by creatures across multiple biomes, as well as things like chat functions working properly on new servers and fixing various bugs. You can see the full rundown of things being developed on the official site, with a fair number of fixes and improvements slated for 0.24 and a few more features expected further in the future. Assuming that the now-melted team doesn’t evaporate, anyhow. (It’s a real risk.)
The little things make a big difference sometimes. You don’t necessarily need your character to mutter “ow” in reaction to falling a few hundred feet and then landing in a set of jagged branches, but that expression of pain does do journeyman service to making a game world feel more alive. Which is why the Worlds Adrift team went to the trouble of recording a new batch of audio assets headed to the game to give player characters some sounds when they’re injured, along with the various emotes getting some voices.
One of the big points for the developers was downplaying severity; the team didn’t want characters screaming in agony as bad things happened, but just expressing some degree of exertion and pain. The voice emotes also provided their own struggles, including the male voice actor being unable to burp on command (forcing a developer to step in and provide the vital belch). Check out the full rundown on voices as well as some of the raw audio on the official site.
After the launch of Worlds Adrift but prior to E3, we sent off an interview to Bossa Studios and recently received our answers, complete with current news about how the studio is trying to address griefing, adding countermeasures, and yes, “gitting good.” Maybe the phrasing there could be better, especially given the brutality of the Steam launch, but Bossa Studios Co-Founder Henrique Olifiers and Game Designer Luke Williams were kind enough to talk to us about why they pursue the seemingly less profitable PvP crowd, building PvPvE experiences, and the road to release.
Let me be upfront with my biases for those unfamiliar with my coverage: I love open world PvP as a concept, not as a ganker but as the guy trying not to get ganked. I love the concept of virtual worlds, but as Bill Roper and I discussed, players aren’t developers and don’t always understand the tech that gives them the games they love.
Don’t expect a patch this week in Worlds Adrift: Bossa’s delayed it to July 3rd. In its latest dev blog, the studio says it’s packing more into that patch than originally planned to compensate. In the meantime, the team is working on fixes for alliances, new raider gear, propellers, the character sheet do-over, an item exploit, new resource types, and bug fixing – including the grey screen issue, though apparently that’s not actually solved yet.
Meanwhile, The Guardian has done a rather dramatic piece highlighting the game and whether Bossa’s “billion-dollar tech [can] make it the next Fortnite.” The tech it’s referring to, of course, is SpatialOS, which has been a buzzword for the MMO genre for the last few years.
Automaton Games CEO James Thompson came along with Improbable, Bill Roper, and Mavericks to this year’s E3, where I got a second chance to see how everything in the battle royale/MMO hybrid is doing since GDC. I know battle royale is a hot topic around here, and the reaction we saw at GDC did have me worried about Mavericks’ potential audience.
Thompson was quite eager to talk about Mavericks, especially its battle royale side, but as someone who’s much more of an MMORPG player, I felt the one key thing we found common ground on was that Mavericks is aiming to be less of a simple genre game and more of a “platform” to build on, not because of any strength of the BR or even MMO genre but because of its ability to run a simulation. For virtual world fans, this is something I feel we should be paying more attention to.
For MMO players, Improbable brought some interesting ideas to GDC this past spring. It also brought some games I wasn’t expecting, and the ones I was expecting were kind of downplayed. On the ground floor, developers from some of our favorite MMOs hadn’t heard of SpatialOS, a platform that allows games to be “bigger” by running multiple game engines in an innovative way, with a few developers being exceptions. I was set up for a meeting with Improbable CCO Bill Roper to help figure things out, but soon into our physical meeting he was pulled away and we had to follow up with emails, which rarely goes as well.
Fortunately, Roper had time to sit and chat again with me at E3. With SpatialOS’s first game out in the wild and more on the way, I felt like there was a lot Roper could explain about SpatialOS, MMOs, and Improbable’s role in it all.
Still having a rough time in Worlds Adrift? Bossa Studios has a new humorous guide out to help players “git gud.” Among the tips recommended by players: Use the builder to drop construction objects on your enemies’ head, point your cannon backwards to make yourself look less threatening, always ask before entering other players’ space, and cover your awesome ship with crappy parts to hide its awesomeness. Basically, be the Millennium Falcon.
Most recently, Bossa updated the game with the 0.2.1.1 patch, which added crouching, rolling, and sneaking, as well as improved the cameras, implemented an emote system, tweaked climbing, and fixed a ton of bugs. “YES – instruments are planned in the game,” says the studio.
This weekend, the devs are plotting multiple fun summer events across all the servers – make sure you check out the rolling schedule because there are indeed some sweet prizes, including engine schematic, cosmetics, lootbags, and “your ship immortalised in Dan Lish art.”
Git gud below.
Who would have ever thought that the tranquil-looking Worlds Adrift would become a raucous griefer’s paradise? Apparently not the developers, who were, we guess, hoping that a sense of noble honor would run through this lawless PvP sandbox.
But now that the griefing situation in early access has gotten so out of control, Bossa Studios is being forced to address it. It won’t be fixed overnight, apparently, but the studio is says that it is “keen to get it right” and has already rolled out its first wave of improvements and fixes to make Worlds Adrift a friendlier place to play.
These changes include lowering the requirements to make basic ships (so griefers have to work faster to ground you at the start), making wood stronger and lighter, and automatically blowing up your ship if you die far away from it. The studio advised those struggling with griefing to “use your belt and random revivers.” So, you know, get good.