The latest production update from Chronicles of Elyria is going to make those of you who are super into detailed and meaningful character creation perk right on up. Elyria is a bit unusual in that characters can be linked to other characters through biological families, and those families influence where you’re “born” as well as what characteristics, appearances, and even religions you “grow up” with.
“Even if [you’re] wearing a disguise, the Child Contract records who you really are because your true genetics are used (your physical body is involved in baby-making). While the child created with the contract would only be aware of the identities their parents were using when they made the contract, their genetics will be based off of the True Identity. If you want to create secret children, you totally can, but they’ll still resemble you and not your disguise.”
There’s more to the dev blog, including a chunk on interaction with the world (like using tools to craft the elements of survival). That might someday include playable instruments too, though Soulbound says they “may not be playable at launch.”
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen did some just Star Citizen things as fans raised a pay-to-win stink over CIG’s lifting of the cap on pre-launch currency stockpiles, meaning hardcore backers can hoard now and have (another) major advantage come launch. The drama would’ve probably blown over in a day or two but kept blazing through the weekend, as first a CIG PR statement and then Chris Roberts himself bizarrely denied the pay-to-win aspects of the game. Oh yeah, and 3.3 was delayed to coincide with CitizenCon.
Want something new to back? We got two new MMORPG Kickstarters this week: One for a self-described “massively multiplayer online persistent entity game” called Codename Reality, which seeks $583,918 wants to “revolutionize the MMO genre,” while the other, at $105,000, is for a PvP MOBA/MMO hybrid called EverFeud. Both join our list today.
Good news on the Camelot Unchained front: Beta one did indeed launch as planned this week, and thought it won’t look considerably different to existing testers, it’s a major milestone for the Kickstarted RvR MMORPG. Meanwhile, Razer launched a super quiet Kickstarter for left-handed gaming mice, Zeal announced it’ll kick off a Kickstarter in September, Albion Online launched its Merlyn update, and the Diablo history book Kickstarter pulled through to successfully fund in the end (phew!).
Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Chronicles of Elyria’s biggest community event yet looks to change the very face of this developing MMO — but there’s a good chance that fans won’t survive the plague that’s heading their way.
That’s probably too melodramatic for what is, in effect, an elaborate poll that will be used to set up the game world for when it does release. The Searing Plague event will be shaped by the participation of the community. Players will strive to either spread the plague or cure it through a variety of activities. Oh, and if you haven’t pledged to the game yet? Your account is flagged as a plague carrier. Don’t despair, because plague victims can be purified through donations and possibly even earn a pledge on the strength of the goodwill of others!
If the players manage to overcome the plague, participants can earn a hereditary cure that will be passed down to their characters. If the plague wins, well, the game’s landscape is going to look a lot different than it would otherwise. You can get into the spirit of this event by reading up on some of the lore behind this slice of the game’s history. May the odds be ever in your favor!
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.”
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Fractured ramped up its Kickstarter dev blogs as it nears the finish line of its crowdfunding effort, which ends in just four days. As I type this, it’s less than $10,000 away and I think it’s looking good. The studio posting up the details of its Star Wars Galaxies-esque player city system probably helped.
Meanwhile, Albion Online teased its upcoming crafting changes and recapped its largest battle ever, Elite Dangerous saw a teensy patch, Shroud of the Avatar prepped the upcoming patch, we took a look at Legends of Aria’s closed beta, and Star Citizen had a dose of drama as a backer took CIG to court over its refund policy and effectively lost, having been sidelined to arbitration. It capped off the week with a fresh concept ship sale, too.
Finally, Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs did update backers last night on the current state of the build, as the game’s beta was delayed an additional few weeks over its crash rate. “Testing overall has been great,” he says. And yes, the crash rate is still coming down – higher than he says he’s seen in some live games, but not good enough for him.
Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
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.
Yesterday, Crowfall studio ArtCraft announced it was spinning off a brand-new company dubbed ArtCraft Technologies that would basically turn Crowfall’s engine into a marketable product for other studios, “providing game developers with turnkey technology solutions for creating large-scale Massively Multiplayer Online games.” We had opportunity to chat with ArtCraft Creative Director J Todd Coleman about the move and what it means for the studio and genre. Read on!
Massively OP: So to start, we’re curious about the “why” behind the new studio. Is ArtCraft thinking of this venture as an extra revenue stream for the company? Or is it trying to encourage more MMORPGs – or maybe both?
J. Todd Coleman: This wasn’t originally part of our plan. In the last 12 months, we’ve had a few different studios contact us to see if we would consider licensing our technology. The more we looked into it, the more it made sense. The additional revenue stream is great, obviously, but that has to be balanced against the potential distraction. We wouldn’t have done this if we didn’t see it as a great strategic move for the company, and a chance to leverage what we’ve built into something much bigger.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained is in the home stretch before open beta. Yes, really, open beta. This is happening, people! Clear your 4th of July!
As for live Kickstarters, TemTem is up to $320K and counting, far past its original goal with still a week left to go. Most recently, donors unlocked Nintendo Switch play and the replay system. Clubs (guilds) are set to unlock at $400K. And yes, the game is now registered on Steam.
The Flower of Knighthood, on the other hand, abandoned its Kickstarter in its final hours, seeing it would not complete. The devs haven’t commented on their next move just yet.
Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar was hit with layoffs, EVE Online got its revenge on Star Citizen, Chronicles of Elyria posted lore, Albion Online rolled out a small update, and Crowfall admitted it’s delaying soft launch into 2019 but showed off its procedural world generation. Finally, Fractured prepped for Kickstarter – get ready to see that name a lot in this column!
Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
You just couldn’t resist the bunny post, could you? The bunnies were there and your mind goes, “Aww, fluffy little hoppity hoppers!” and now you’re reading a post on Chronicles of Elyria. No, no, don’t leave, you might as well finish it while you’re here.
Anyway, the world of Chronicles of Elyria is coming together as the team prepares for the pre-alpha test. First up for this month’s efforts was getting the chat interface working for the VoxElyria client. “Chat in Chronicles of Elyria is a more complex beast than you might find in your typical MMO,” said the team.
The developers also worked on creating a stable and well-performing hardware platform and fleshing out the world with those adorable bunnies, shrubberies, oxen, and various bits of lore.
It’s not that common to see MMOs in development talk about the festivals that they’re planning to hold; that sort of thing is a post-launch affair, mostly. However, Chronicles of Elyria apparently deems that this is just as important as any other part of the game, which is why the team spent a good amount of space this week talking about Sedecim, a sort of farmer’s faire that also involves the nobility.
“Every 16 years (in game), a Sedecim takes place, where the nobility, aristocracy, gentry, and best craftsman of a continent all get together,” the studio explained. “They hash out the land boundaries and trade agreements, arrange marriages, and purchase and sample each others best wares. Weddings and festivities are held, and there’s temporary booths set up so merchants can show off their goods.”
While fans obviously can’t jump into the game and enjoy the festival right now, Soulbound doesn’t mind if they want to spend some money on in-game items this month. You know, for the spirit of it all. There is livestock to be purchased, a beer tent to be erected, and even some minstrel’s gear for the musically inclined.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen continued inching its way toward alpha 3.2, as the latest build has hit the PTU for the early “Evocati” player testers. It’s got a few waves to go before it’s released to all backers, but that’s OK: People are leaking stuff all over Reddit anyway if you’re dying to be spoilered.
As for live Kickstarters, TemTem has nearly tripled its goal as I type this, reaching yet another stretch goal – mounts – with Nintendo Switch support on the horizon.
Meanwhile, Dual Universe dropped a new trailer ahead of E3, Ever, Jane updated with butlers, Camelot Unchained says its still just barely on track for beta next month, Project Gorgon whipped up a bugfix update, Wild Mage successfully completed its Kickstarter and promised multiplayer, Albion Online got a small patch to Lancelot, and Elite Dangerous fans are busy at this weekend’s Lavecon 2018. (Thanks, Colin!)
Finally, Ashes of Creation dropped this teaser in its last press release: “We’ve got some very exciting business developments in the works, and while it’s not yet 100% official, we can’t wait to share with you the news. Make of that what you will, but don’t worry – we promise it’s good news for our fans all over the globe.”
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Cute? Terrifying? Both at the same time? Chronicles of Elyria continues to experiment with mad science and interspecies breeding by creating an “otterbear” for the game’s store. “If the cub doesn’t make you say squeee, we don’t know what will,” the devs said. And just because they could, they put a saddle on this thing and assumed that it would be all hunky-dory with being ridden.
Catch up with the latest developments in this fantasy MMO with this month’s newsletter. It wasn’t all affronts to God and nature, either. The team talked about readying the world and creating different tribe clothing concepts for its various races.
The team also showed off some of the boats that it’s been creating for the title: “Since ancient times, waterways have been the epicenter of civilization and, to traverse these, Mann has relied on boats. So without further ado, check our the boats that we added to our repertoire of vehicles in Elyria.”
Massively OP reader ichi_san has a burning question about the state of the industry.
“Lots of people seem to be looking for an MMO they can get into – consider the rush into Bless as an example. Lots of games are being released, but most (or even all) have some glaring issues, like pay-to-win, lockboxes, ganking, poor optimization, heavy cash shop, horrible gameplay, and so on. There’s the WoW model and other semi-successful formulas, and a lot of unexplored territory. The market seems hungry, and there is a bunch of history to build on and new territory to explore, but either gaming companies don’t understand their customers or greed/laziness/expediency get in the way, such that we see release after release that fails to scratch the itch. Am I missing something – are there fun MMOs with good graphics and fair monetization that I’m missing? Or is there a gaping hole in the MMO scene, and if so, why isn’t someone filling it?”
I’ve posed his question to the writers for their consideration in Overthinking this week. We’re long past bubble-bursting here when all of the still-major MMORPGs are four years older. What exactly are we looking at? Why is the obvious demand for MMOs not being met?