Daybreak has always been very clear that H1Z1 is a game in development, and while it can never be fast enough for fans, the game has been making steady strides in that department. Just the past week more was added and tweaked, so MassivelyOP’s MJ wants to dive in and check those changes out. Will she survive until the dawning of a new day? Or will she fall to another ninja bear? Tune in live at 9:00 and root for her (or even the bears!).
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
Just because you can’t get to EverQuest II’s Rum Cellar content yet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the atmosphere of that pirate-y cove. MassivelyOP’s MJ takes a break from decorating and organizing her inventories to show off the new Rumrunner prestige house and matching decor that is available. Will the new digs be cool enough to seduce her into buying yet another home to decorate? Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to see for yourself (and maybe help her resist the sweet siren call of new housing).
What: EverQuest II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 9th, 2015
Daybreak Game Company isn’t pulling back on H1Z1’s development, but is instead doubling down on the survival zombie sandbox by adding more team members and resources to build what President John Smedley calls “a massive world.”
Smedley posted an update of H1Z1’s future development on Reddit today, listing several features that will be coming down the pike. These include guard towers, machine gun emplacements, a streamlined building process, professions, and smarter zombie AI. He also hinted at an announcement concerning the Battle Royale team later in June.
“Our goal remains to have a massive world,” Smedley said. “We’re doing that with Forgelight 2, which has been in development for quite a while now. We’ll be able to show stuff to you soon, but needless to say we’re super excited by what we’re seeing.”
Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!
Hey, remember EverQuest Next? Daybreak does too, which is why it announced on Friday that it’s shifting developer attention to the unreleased title. There are caveats, of course; Daybreak won’t commit to a 2015 release, and Landmark is not being abandoned. “You can fully expect updates and hotfixes to Landmark as we continue with this development process; they are simply going to be on a less regular schedule than you guys have been accustomed to over the past year or so,” says Daybreak’s Terry Michaels.
It was a big week for MOBAs as well, with the launch of Heroes of the Storm and the sunset announcement for Infinite Crisis. Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.
When EverQuest’s newest progression server Ragefire came online then took an immediate nosedive, I sprang from my chair cheering.
Hey now, don’t aim those eye daggers at me! Hear me out. My revelry was not because I wanted the server to fail and die. Quite the opposite, in fact: The reception it received, and the fact that so many were interested in this throw back to the olden days, was what was making me dance in the aisle and pump my fist with glee. It is a heartening blip on the radar of current game development, development that more often than not moves ever further down the instant-gratification road. It means people are not just paying lip service to the ideal of how things used to be; they are acting on it, even speaking with their wallets. More than anything it says old school is not dead.
And man, that is worth cheering about.
The wheels in my head have been turning over non-combat mechanics in MMOs for a while now, perhaps because of the buzz surrounding Wander, the latest MMO to ditch combat entirely in favour of less violent interactive mechanics. I have to confess that I’m not a massive fan of thoughtless violence in my MMOs, so I tend to favour those with strong supportive mechanics that affect what I do outside of my usual mix of PvE combat. Characters in MMOs, for me at least, are an in-game reflection of the player, and I’d much rather rid the world of threats than kill other players in a frenzy without a plausible in-game reason.
I don’t believe than an MMO absolutely requires combat, and I certainly feel that other game genres have much stronger combat mechanics than ours if that’s what you’re looking for. Titles that allow players to choose another path if they wish are ultimately much more rewarding, filling my time with various pursuits and labours that use excellent mechanics. The virtual world I inhabit feels much richer when I have a hand in its economic or socio-political development through these mechanics, which is exactly what keeps me enthralled with the genre. In this issue of MMO Mechanics, I’m going to unpack three ways in which MMOs employ non-combat mechanics to enrich the game’s virtual world.
It’s not every year that a movie comes along that captures the pop culture zeitgeist so powerfully and so quickly as The Matrix did. I recall lugging a few college friends along to see this back in 1999 — having heard only a few sparse details about it beforehand — and coming out of the theater feeling as if we we’d been electrified. The bold mix of science fiction, martial arts, philosophy, action, and leather ensembles became the smash hit of the year, and a franchise was born.
And while we had great hopes that this would be this generation’s Star Wars, The Matrix ultimately proved to be a lightning-in-a-bottle phenomenon, impossible to recapture once unleashed. Sequels, animated shorts, video games, comic books — none rose to the height of the original film, and eventually the franchise petered out.
During this period, an odd duck of an MMO was born: The Matrix Online. When you think about it, an online virtual world where people log in and fight against programs was a really short hop from the movie series. MxO, as it was abbreviated, was an audacious game with unique features, story-centric gameplay, and a sci-fi bent in a field of fantasy competitors, and while it only lasted four years, it was enough to make a lasting impression for its community. Today, we’re going to revisit the 1s and 0s of The Matrix Online to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Daybreak senior producer Terry Michaels has posted a new letter on the Landmark website. He says that the dev team has been shifting its focus and resources to EverQuest Next, though he has no dates to share because what the team plans to do will take “an unknown amount of iteration, tweaking, and sometimes drastic direction changes.”
Michaels also says that Landmark itself “will continue to be essential in the development of EverQuest Next.” Finally, he’s got a new screenshot to share, which you’ll find at the link below
Holly Longdale’s recent producer’s letter for EverQuest II offered a slew of news, including the announcement that time-locked PvE and PvP servers are coming to the game this year. Unlike the progression servers of its elder sibling, which combine time and progress restrictions, EQII’s could just lock content at a point of time in the game’s history.
But that’s up to the community: Daybreak is asking for feedback in order to make the servers what the players really want. Another notable factoid Longdale let loose was that the design is moving toward less handholding and more allowing players to figure things out because the devs “want EQII to be a thinker’s and strategist’s game.”
The countdown has begun for PlanetSide 2’s invasion onto the PlayStation 4. Daybreak announced today that it will be releasing its MMOFPS on the console on June 23rd in both North America and Europe. The title has been in beta on the console for the year to date, with “tens of thousands” of testers putting the game through its paces.
Don’t have a PlayStation Plus membership? Don’t know what that is? It’s no problem; PlanetSide 2 can be downloaded and played on the PS4 with no other requirements. Members will receive a discount on store items, however. PlanetSide 2 has been modified to work with the console, including utilizing the DualShock 4 controller to great effect and allowing players to hit the “share” button to capture awesome moments.
Daybreak said that it has plans to expand the launch to other regions in the future.
An editorial over at Rock Paper Shotgun attempts to tie two topics together as one: why there will never be a World of Warcraft killer and how MMOs have been in a cultural decline ever since Azeroth opened for business.
“World of Warcraft was a hit for many reasons,” the author postulates. “Its chunky graphics that still hold up. Its focus on a personal quest. Its generally welcoming attitude and approachability. But what made it the game that it was was being the first to bring the magic of MMOs to the wider world. […] But the trouble with magic is that the same trick rarely works more than once.”
How is the MMO blogging community reacting to Blizzard’s proclamation that flying mounts are grounded — perhaps permanently — in World of Warcraft? In two words, not well.
In An Age gave 10 reasons flying was a great part of the game, Aspect of the Hare says that it felt like “a punch in the gut,” Murloc Parliament thinks that the game must move forward instead of backward, Tish Tosh Tesh considers the decision a strike against returning to the game, Cogitationes Astalnaris says that this is another example of how the studio has lost its mojo, Alternative Chat blames the studio for poor communication on the issue, and Heals n Heals speculates that it’s part of a larger probem. On the flip side of the issue, The Rykter Scale says that he won’t miss it and Tales of the Aggronaut agrees with the devs that flight is a “double-edged sword.”
With that out of the way, let’s look at some other excellent community posts from the past few weeks, including first steps in EverQuest’s progression server, a screenshot safari to City of Heroes, 10 reasons to play Trove, and a huge testimonial about the awesomeness of Marvel Heroes.
Between templates and basic materials being free in Landmark, folks have been able to build bigger and better things in a shorter amount of time. So what new creations are out there dotting the new islands? MassivelyOP’s MJ is cruising about to see all the creativity. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for the tour and the chance to walk away with your own seven-day code to jump in and see for yourself!
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 30th, 2015