If you wanted some clear visuals on how far Ship of Heroes has come over the last year, the video Heroic Games published over the weekend is ponying up. It stands in clear contrast to a similar mission map video the team put out just about a year ago, as the new one shows off how that same map has been upgraded and adapted for the new engine version, with more props, textures, materials, doors, viewscreens, and lighting and reflectivity tweaks.
According to Heroic, this particular map is expected to take around 30 minutes to beat, although the PR notes that the devs are “pretty flexible about player strategies” such that “if a team figures out how to complete the mission in 5 minutes, more power to them!” As for what’s coming up in the future:
“We’re working on several tasks in parallel right now. Our next video may show off the new Healing Nanites powerset, but it’s not set in stone yet. We have some additional lore related to Nanites in the queue as well, and we’re hoping to get that published before we go to the next Alpha event. The next alpha event is a login test which will help the dev team prepare for a raid test later this year; we’re hoping to get a couple dozen or more members of the community to volunteer to participate.”
The mastery sets in indie superhero MMORPG City of Titans are a bit like specializations for the game’s archetype. In addition to each archetype’s power sets, your mastery set lets you do some extra things to focus in your playstyle from a few different options. The latest preview on the official site shows off one of the mastery sets for each archetype, demonstrating how each one allows you to tilt the same powers in a different direction.
For example, the Surprise Strike set for Enforcers allows you to build your archetype more toward the stealthy side of things, giving extra bonuses against unaware targets. Saving Grace makes your guardian more dangerous to fresh enemies and better able to sustain your group through heavy fire. Focus makes your Operator better able to lock down the field for a group. It’s not enough to make for a totally different experience, but it does allow you to tilt your play a bit into a specific direction, which is ultimately a good thing.
DC Universe Online
has its summer all mapped out, and it’s a doozy. Daybreak
is leaping into the Teen Titans lore this July for a new episode called Judas Contract
– just like the 1984 and 2016 comic.
“In JUDAS CONTRACT, the Teen Titans are evolving as a team and making upgrades to their home base: Titan’s Tower! Cyborg has joined the Justice League, so the Titans are looking for new recruits, and that means you, heroes. Villains will look to infiltrate the Titans at the request of the Fearsome Five, and both heroes and villains will have to do well enough in training to show the Titans they have the right stuff. Once on the island, things start to go wrong. But who is behind these events, and where are the Titans disappearing off to?”
DCUO Creative Director SJ Mueller does note that the story revolves around Terra but with a “modern DC roster” and “a few newer Titans characters” – Nightwing, Raven, Damian Wayne, Red Robin, and Jericho are mentioned. Expect a “large-scale” event with level-agnostic, singleplayer, and multiplayer adventures. Oh yeah, and plenty of loot.
Since the server merges, the Star Forge server has unofficially become the roleplay server for Star Wars: The Old Republic
. And roleplaying’s fight to remain a relevant way to enjoy this MMORP
G has never been tougher. Roleplayers, if nothing else, are resilient. We are still in the game and attempting to find our place in this world where there is little support for our gameplay style from the developers.
Some of you might remember the late ’80s, but for those who don’t that was a period of time when the only thing keeping Star Wars alive were the RPGs. Timothy Zahn would not pen Heir to the Empire until 1991, the best video game we had was arcade-only made in ’83, and The Phantom Menace was well over a decade away. This was the period of time that the keeper-of-canon Pablo Hidalgo started his quest to become a part of the Lucasfilm family. It was the time when only two things were keeping the Star Wars alive: the Kenner toys and West End Games’ Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. We know it wasn’t the made-for-TV Ewok Adventure movies.
Roleplayers have been the undercurrent that has kept the franchise alive, even during the dark times — during the prequels. What is their current status in SWTOR?
While City of Heroes is long gone, you can’t keep a good cape down. With a couple of superhero MMORPGs out on the market right now and a trio of them on the way, there are at least five titles for players to live out their heroic fantasies.
For those among our readers who have boundless ideas for superhero characters, from the majestic to the goofy, there is nothing stopping any of them from planning out what kind of powered-up vigilante they want to create.
So if you had all options available to you, what kind of superhero would you want to make in an MMO? What would be your character’s powers, theme, name, and backstory? Would you be a flier, a jumper, or a web-slinger? As a bonus question, do any of the five MMOs we’re tracking look to be the best arena for you to create your dream character?
The transparency that comes with crowdfunded and indie MMORPGs is awesome – when everything is going to plan. But what about when it isn’t? That’s what Ship of Heroes has addressed in a new forum post today. Heroic Games’ Casey McGeever explains that the studio’s milestone schedule is an internal tool, helping the team figure out what to do next when it gets ahead or falls behind. And fortunately, he doesn’t think the players freak out when the schedule goes awry.
“We don’t feel a lot of negative feedback from the community when we miss a milestone,” he writes. “And of course, we try to set the milestones so that we can achieve them. But we have missed a few — We’re late right now on delivering a new powerset and our date for the login test is slipping into June because we have people who come into and out of the project. Our core is a group of unpaid volunteers, supplemented by committed contractors. But people, resources and technical issues arise in every project — even if a big firm like Google or Microsoft is doing the project. The point of our schedule is to communicate to you all of you, our community, what we are trying to do and to enable you to understand what is happening at any time. To show what we are focused on at the moment.”
Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I was remarkably reluctant to enter into the field of MMORPGs despite being a perfect candidate (a gaming geek who loved fantasy and sci-fi RPGs). All of the reasons that I had at the time for stalling really could have been boiled down to a single word: accessibility.
MMOs back then looked — and probably were — very inaccessible. They had a payment barrier. They required a lot of setup and hardware. Their interfaces were cluttered and their gameplay interactions were obtuse. Frankly, I got the impression that a lot of them were a mess that was only understandable to those who had put in hundreds of hours to decipher the format.
When MMOs started to become more accessible, particularly with City of Heroes, World of Warcraft, and Guild Wars, I eagerly jumped in. Those three titles in particular made giant leaps forward in opening up these games to the first-time player. But that doesn’t mean that MMORPGs have arrived at universal accessibility just yet. Here are ten areas that studios could be improving in order to make their titles more appealing and understandable to outsiders.
Although City of Heroes is not coming back (I think we all need to come to terms with that), many successors are waiting in the wings with their own vision of how a superhero MMO should be. Valiance Online, City of Titans, and Ship of Heroes all have claimed inspiration from City of Heroes and claim that they will be replicating some elements of what made that title work so well.
But what did work well about City of Heroes? Why did it succeed when Champions Online, a title modeled after it and created by the same studio, failed? Why is City of Heroes so beloved, even years after its demise?
Let’s hash it out today in the comments. Break down City of Heroes for us and see if you can’t put your finger on what made this particular MMO fly high.
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 Heroes of the Storm, Elder Scrolls Online, DayZ, EVE Online, Pokemon Go, Dota 2, City of Heroes, Final Fantasy XIV, Portal Knights, Lineage 2 Revolution, Wizard101, Ingress, and Reign of Guilds, all waiting for you after the break!
What was your first? Not necessarily the first MMORPG you ever played, but the first that made you fall in love with that game and the genre at large? Probably for me, that would have to be City of Heroes, a title which just clicked on all levels and ushered me into a new age of gaming.
I’ll let Katriana tell you hers: “My first MMO, and first MMO love it’s probably fair to say, was EverQuest. I have many memories of my time there, but sadly I don’t have many good screenshots from that time still that aren’t just character selfies. The image below was taken circa early 2003 and is one of the better ones I still have. It represents the crowning achievement of the guild I was in there, the slaying of the first-born dragon Klandicar. It was far from being new or even necessarily notable content at the time, but it was quite an achievement for our little guild.”
Hope your brightly colored spandex is back from the dry cleaners, because you’re going to need them sooner rather than later. The team at Ship of Heroes hinted at a test that sounds like it is going to involve a lot more players than have seen the game to date. The event itself, which will accept sign-ups, is just going to be a “milling around” situation around the game’s signature arch. Still, for fans that will be one giant leap forward from sitting and waiting for the next superhero MMO to take shape.
“We’re working steadily toward a login test, which is a very modest name for a pretty significant event,” the team posted on the forums. “If it works out well, we will have demonstrated that we can put the MMO into our MMORPG.”
Some other projects that the team is tackling include a day/night cycle, playing around with the new PopcornFX toolkit, improving the codebase, and polishing Arch Park. Ship of Heroes’ development was slowed by unspecified “personnel issues” in the recent past, but the team said that it is recovering and even adding new members to the team.
Massively OP reader Sorrior recently sent in a question about raiding, a topic we haven’t discussed in a while.
“I have noticed raiding tends to lead to more homogenization even without PvP and a bigger focus on numbers when making classes as opposed to their feel and style. I also see a correlation with a bigger emphasis on raiding and the decline of community quality. On a personal level, I feel like raiding should be about the joy of taking on foes you cannot defeat alone with allies/friends, but I feel many treat it as a chore or just see the numbers nowadays. Or they are just after the gear, which also seems to bring in a lot of people who focus on the numbers rather than the experience. I thought talking about why we raid and what we enjoy about it as MMO players while discussing ways to preserve the feeling of community might be fun.”
I think talking about that would also be fun, which is precisely why we Overthink it in this column. So let’s do it: This week I’ve asked the Massively OP staff whether they raid now or ever did, what they raid for, and how they feel raiding fits into the modern MMO from a mechanics and community standpoint.
Are you missing City of Heroes this week, what with the 14th anniversary of its launch and all? We are too. Earlier this month, we wrote about one of the many brilliant homages to the game, Super Entity Game Server (aka SEGS). But instead of being a brand-new game in the City of Heroes spirit or a combat-free (and relatively safe from legal action) client like Paragon Chat, SEGS is a straight up emulator that intends to restore the whole shebang. And apparently, the team is hunting for more folks to help speed up development.
“We want to extend a invitation to those who have some C++ coding skills as we head towards our second release, and would be interested in volunteering to help out,” the SEGS team told Massively OP by email this weekend. “While the internet is a big place, it’s also not as easy to get a message out. Hence why we’re making sure we offer this to anyone who could be interested. As for people who have no coding experience, there is room for you to volunteer as well. By downloading, installing and submitting bugs through our GitHub page.”