I haven’t been making any secret of how much fun I’m having in the Star Wars Galaxies Legends emulator (and thanks so much to the readers who urged me to try it!). What I haven’t tried just yet is TCGEmu, which is trying to revive the Star Wars Trading Card Game that existed chiefly inside SWG itself.
Late-game SWG players will recall that the TCG was ahead of its time on so many fronts: It was actually one of the first fully online card games out there, but back then it had no chance of reaching the heights of mainstream adoption that we’re used to seeing now with games like Hearthstone, especially since few people outside of SWG knew it existed. It was gorgeous as heck, too, with stunning artwork that exists nowhere else.
Of course, the TCG also has the dubious honor of being one of the first openly and egregiously lockbox-esque pay-to-win systems in a major MMORPG, as players spent gobs of money angling for loot cards, which they could then use (or sell) inside Star Wars Galaxies itself. While I personally bought and traded my (free monthly) loot cards and loved some of the clothing and homes added to the game, I was also among those who argued that all of those items should have been added to the sandbox through crafters rather than through gamblers and junkies spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on what were basically lockboxes in the form of card packs.
Crowds of players turned out to mark the final hours of RuneScape Classic yesterday, celebrating the impact that this initial version of the popular free-to-play MMORPG had on their lives.
RuneScape Classic — known back then as simply RuneScape — launched back in 2001. This version was overtaken in 2004 by the launch of a much improved RuneScape 2, but Jagex renamed the first version RuneScape Classic and kept its servers running.
Syfy posted a sentimental retrospective covering RuneScape Classic and its affect on both players and the MMO industry over the years that’s highly worth reading.
Jagex announced back in May that it would have to sunset this long-running MMO due to instability and bugs that couldn’t be easily fixed. To pile on the hurts, the studio also shut down Chronicle: RuneScape Legends, a CCG, yesterday as well. The death of Classic is by no means the end of the game franchise, as both Old School RuneScape and RuneScape are still operating.
Missing Marvel Heroes and Super Hero Squad Online? Today’s newly announced Marvel game isn’t going to bring those back, but it might rekindle the romance, especially if you’re an online card game fan. Yes, Marvel has apparently teamed up with Nexon for a mobile TCG they’re calling Marvel Battle Lines. It’s boasting both a solo campaign and multiplayer PvP.
“Nexon, a worldwide leader in online and mobile games, in collaboration with Marvel Entertainment has announced MARVEL Battle Lines, a new strategic card battle game featuring hundreds of iconic Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains. In MARVEL Battle Lines, players collect and build the ultimate deck of Super Heroes and Super Villains to take into battle across an expansive single-player campaign with an original story written by Marvel writer Alex Irvine and a real-time turn-based competitive player vs. player (PvP) mode. […] Collecting cards from each battle in the single player or PvP modes, players can build diverse decks of powerful Super Heroes and Super Villains, mastering their strategies to take on greater challenges and compete with the best in PvP.”
The game is slated to release free-to-play later this year on iOS and Android.
Hey, remember back in 2014 when Smilegate first announced MMOARPG Lost Ark? It’s been a long time. As I’ve written before, I was positively smitten with the gorgeous next-gen Diablo clone (and its NCsoft counterpart, Lineage Eternal) way back then. But it’s been pretty much nothing but delays and testing and restarts and more delays and testing in the ensuing four years (for both titles).
However, MMO Culture reports that the promised “final closed beta” for Lost Ark is beginning this week in South Korea, having formally revealed new trailers for three of the classes. And one’s a Bard! A new dungeon and TCG minigame are also on deck, while treasure hunting and sailing were added last year.
It’s still not a sure thing that Lost Ark will ever come here. While the Chinese version will launch next year under Tencent, Smilegate doesn’t have the cachet here that it does overseas; it runs Crossfire in the west but recently abandoned SkySaga mid-development.
Tabletop games and MMORPGs seem like they would go well together, but remarkably they often don’t. That’s true for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is that we have a lot more games adapting different source material separately. You can certainly run a Star Wars: The Old Republic-themed game with a Star Wars tabletop system, but neither one is based on the other. (Technically there was a supplement published for it, but that was covering the first two single-player games, which themselves were based on that tabletop system.)
But there have still been incursions from MMOs into the tabletop space, and MMOs which pluck that fertile ground for the seeds of inspiration. So let’s spend today looking at these games, when you can log off of your favorite MMO, gather around a table with your friends, and keep playing your favorite MMO. More or less.
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 Destiny 2, Scum, Pokemon Go, OrbusVR, Dauntless, Heroes of the Storm, Skyforge, Elsword, Old School RuneScape, MapleStory Blitz, Destiny 2, The Elder Scrolls Legends, Prosperous Universe, Final Fantasy XIV, MU Legend, Wakfu, and Dark and Light, all waiting for you after the break!
Massively OP is at GDC 2018 this year, and like Hearthstone
, we’re kicking things off with a bang: with monster hunting! No, not the dino-esque kind
Matt and I have been doing, but the kind Gilneas are doing in HS
‘s upcoming expansion, The Witchwood
. I got to sit down and talk with Lead Mission Designer Dave Kosak and Associate Designer Dean Ayala about the new expansion, RNG, and more.
What the Witchwood brings
First, the best part: Just logging in after Witchwood launches grants you not only three free packs, but a random legendary card as well. In fact, we’ve seen a few new cards and card mechanics in the past week or so. The Rush mechanic, essentially Charge without letting creatures attack players on their first turn, isn’t exactly new, and I was told it wouldn’t be retroactively added to any cards, including the warrior move “Charge,” which essentially just adds Rush to a creature. Echo is kind of cool, allowing the player to cast an Echo card as many times as they can afford that turn. And then there are the Worgen cards, which switch their attack and HP each turn add some flexibility to your decks depending on what you need. The latter two feel more interesting for an old CCG fan like yours truly since those are the kinds of things that are hard to do in a physical CCG.
Hi-Rez’s online card game Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics is getting a real launch set for February 20th on both PC and console. The game is the studio’s fifth game to make it to this stage (though as we’ve previously written, the studio has quite a lot more in production).
Like SMITE, HOTG will ostensibly be free-to-play, but players will need to buy cards to stay competitive. Hi-Rez says to expect a core bundle plus three pantheon packs to start, with a combined fee of around $45 to nab all the existing cards – more than 300 – at launch.
“Owners of the Founder’s Pack of Venus Competitors Pack will receive the Core Set Bundle for free. In addition, anyone already playing Hand of the Gods will keep their card collection, and will also have any previously spent runes returned to their account. Players can still play for free and acquire cards over time like a traditional CCG. Players can also get a quick start at the game by purchasing just one Pantheon Core Set.”
Check out our most recent stream of the game!
It’s a not-so-happy patch day for Lord of the Rings Online
. The studio said that it won’t be activating the new raid
with the rollout of today’s Patch 21.3.
“As we took a look at the Abyss of Mordath over the weekend on Bullroarer and read your feedback, we uncovered a couple of issues that we do not want present when the raid opens to the public,” SSG said. “We have decided to temporarily make the Abyss of Mordath raid inaccessible when Update 21.3 goes live on Monday, to give us time to correct these issues.”
Meanwhile, a Lord of the Rings digital card game was announced over the weekend for the PC. Fantasy Flight Games is adapting its own physical trading card game to the online realm as an initially single-player experience, although co-op play is planned for the future. The team touts the game’s “non-randomized approach” to card purchasing as one of its strengths.
The Lord of the Rings Living Card Game is coming to early access soon and will be launched as a free-to-play title in 2018. Check out the teaser trailer after the break!
Bloggers and journalists throughout the online gaming industry have been talking about monetization a lot lately. It’s not just lockbox/gachapon scandals, or their relationship with gambling, but basic monetization and what we want from it. Games, after all, don’t make themselves; we have to pay for something to make that happen. But some gamers seem to view free-to-play games as a game that should be free, not one to be supported if it earns respect. And on the flipside of that, far too few game studios give off a vibe not of experimenting with monetization but of maximizing profits above all else while barely veiling their greed.
However, outside the MMO world, there is a company that’s been doing it “right” for a long time: Nintendo. The AAA developer/publisher is known for both innovation and hesitance, following in others’ footsteps with great trepidation, trying to figure out the ins and outs while entering the mobile market long after it’s been established. The company recently released a new mobile title, but what’s interesting is that it and the company’s last four games are all different genres with different monetization strategies. Exploring these titles and their relationship to their monetization plans will not only highlight the potential success of the models but hint at why they work and how they can be curbed into models gamers and lawmakers can better accept.
Digital Extremes’ new retro-pulp shooter/TCG hybrid The Amazing Eternals (fka Keystone) has been under heavy development since its reveal last summer, most recently with characters Niia, Worp, and Ray; locations Odona, Multiverse, and Space Map; a new game mode codenamed Daring Delivery; and a nifty feature called mini-boards:
“Mini-Boards have the ultimate reward of granting a Keystone card, which is a special Ability that replaces your usual Q Ability. Mini-Boards will have branching paths for players to progress toward different Keystone Cards. For example, Ray’s Keystone Cards change his Turret to a Healing Station for his allies or a temporary Phase Shift that renders Ray untouchable by enemies for a short time.”
Want to check out the beta? Then you’re in the right post, as DE’s granted us a bundle of keys providing standard access to beta. Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab a key!
Massively OP’s MJ has been looking forward to showing off The Amazing Eternals since she played it at PAX West. And now is her chance! She’s ready to dive into this Jumanji-esque experience and check out the various Eternals. So far, her favorite is the healer, Nautica. You’ll also have the chance to join MJ in game: She has a number of beta keys to give away! Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. for a chance to win as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a first look at…
What: The Amazing Eternals
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, September 26th, 2017
While the full Hi-Rez portfolio wasn’t in attendance at PAX West, Hand of the Gods was on-hand with a fan tournament as well as machines to introduce folks to the game. Devs were also available to discuss this tactical SMITE spinoff. I sat down with Lead designer Scott Lussier and Executive Producer and VP of Design Scott Zier to talk about the game’s name, its progress, the reception at the convention, and plans going forward.
In fact, one of the tidbits Lussier shared is that the Japanese pantheon is next on the list after Hindu is released later this month.