How much is your house worth in The Sims 4? Obviously, the game attaches a value to it, but that’s just game terms and doesn’t really match what we think of as the value of these things. This is why the UK-based mortgage company L&C Mortgages looked at the housing market in eight separate games to compare the costs and availability of a house in all of them, including the exceedingly market-limited houses in Final Fantasy XIV.
The comparisons are not perfect, since games like Fallout 4 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are single-player titles without players competing for a house. Still, if you’d like to see how the cost of virtual real estate stacks up, it should be at least mildly amusing. And hey, it also means you can mention your home is worth millions of dollars before muttering that it only applies in Eorzea. (Or Othard, if you want to be really pedantic. At this point you might as well be.)
Bethesda isn’t really that keen on allowing crossplay with its games these days. The studio recently confirmed that Fallout 76 isn’t going to feature crossplay between platforms, nor is Elder Scrolls Legends going to get it any time soon.
No specific reason was given for the decision, although there were heavy hints that Sony’s stance against crossplay was a factor in this. “Fallout 76, sure: It would be nice if I could play on my Xbox and my kid is playing on his PC and we can play together, but if we can’t,” said SVP Pete Hines. “But for Legends it’s absolutely critical.”
At least Bethesda is working on several features to make its communuty happy despite this, including a committment to mod support and an in-game photo mode.
This past weekend was a treasure trove of information for fans of Fallout 76. Bethesda ran some panels and Q&A discussions at QuakeCon, giving special attention to the game’s character growth system and limitations on PvP.
Perks and mutations are going to be the key methods of character progression, although with players receiving packs of perk cards every now and then, the devs hope that they will experiment with different builds instead of getting locked in to just one thing.
As for PvP — which certainly has some fans worried — Bethesda is attempting to limit the griefing through special mechanics. Players who don’t respond in a PvP encounter won’t receive as much damage, and if they’re killed without firing back, then their murderer will become a marked player with a bounty on his or her head. Oh, and if you’re under level 5 or engaged in fighting a mob, you’re off-limits for PvP entirely. The studio also said that players can easily rebuild their bases via blueprints if they’re hit by a nuke.
It’s hard to imagine a Fallout game these days without the haunting and beautiful score of video game composer Inon Zur. Fortunately, players this fall won’t have to fret about Zur’s work being absent from the online Fallout 76.
“Thrilled to finally reveal that, yes, I am scoring Fallout 76!” Zur posted on Twitter. “It’s been an amazing journey collaborating with Bethesda Studios on the biggest Fallout game yet and I can’t wait to share the new music with you.”
Variety has an exclusive interview with the composer. Zur said that this will be one of his “most unique scores to date” that involves “sophisticated and emotional” tracks as players explore the post-apocalyptic landscape of West Virginia.
This will be Zur’s fifth soundtrack for the long-running franchise after Fallout Tactics, Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, and Fallout 4.
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.
Here’s something interesting about Fallout 76’s October beta: Players not only will have access to the full game, but their progress will also carry over into live. Think that’ll spurn a lot more interest in the test?
“Our current plan for the B.E.T.A. is it will be the full game and all your progress is saved for launch. We hope you join us!” Bethesda told fans.
While that’s pretty exciting, some enthusiasm for this upcoming post-apocalyptic online RPG has been dampened by the word that Fallout 76 won’t be available via Steam — at least at launch. You’ll only be able to access it through Bethesda’s own digital games platform, because you need yet another one of those on your desktop!
We all know that the definition of “MMORPG” and “MMO” have been stretched, twisted, and interpreted in vastly different ways over the years based on who is talking. It’s not always the easiest label to apply correctly. Game worlds can be excessively instanced while the servers still hold thousands of players, some lack world persistence but have scads of people, and so on. Plus, we’ve long since entered into an era where studios are downright allergic to using the MMO label unless they’re doubling down on the genre.
What I’m getting around to is this: Is Fallout 76 an MMO? I mean, really? At first glance it seems not, what with world map instances holding only a small handful of players. But then when you consider world persistence and the way that servers allow for people to easily jump between instances to connect others, then it gets more tricky. Ever since the Bethesda Showcase, we here at MOP have soft-landed on the side that “yes, it’s kind of an MMO.”
But not all of us agree, and perhaps not all of you will either. Make your case and let us know if this upcoming post-apocalyptic survival game is, indeed, an MMO.
Zip up those Vault Tec suits, kiddos, because you’re going out into Fallout 76’s West Virginia wasteland as soon as this October. That is, of course, if you are able to snag a key for the closed beta by plopping down some cash for a pre-order.
Bethesda posted the news on the forums: “Starting in October, we’ll be selecting people who have pre-ordered the game from a participating retailer to enter our B.E.T.A. We’ll start small and grow over time as we prepare for launch. Be sure you’ve read our F.A.Q., for details on how to redeem your B.E.T.A. code and other important details. To clarify, everyone who pre-orders at a participating retailer will be included in the B.E.T.A.”
The studio said that details are “still changing” about the survival MMO but that it couldn’t answer specifics on everything just yet. Bethesda will be taking to the stage at QuakeCon 2018 on August 11th to go through a deep dive on the character systems and answer some fan questions about the game.
Three years in, a player-led lawsuit against Trion Worlds concerning false advertising and lockboxes in ArcheAge continues to bounce around the California court system.
The suit, filed back in 2015 by Aaron Van Fleet, Paul Ovberg and James Longfield, alleged that Trion violated consumer laws, falsely advertised a 10% founder perk discount for its cash shop, and went against California laws concerning illegal lotteries. While Trion tried to move the case to arbitration, the courts decided that there were some worrysome discrepancies between ArcheAge’s EULA and TOU and so kept the suit going.
MMO Fallout posted an update on the case, mostly to say that the lawsuit is still going, that Trion is still trying to get it taken out of court, and that the plaintiff had amended the complaint with a very minor update. The article expresses concern over the one and only exhibit for its case, which is a series of screenshots showing player dissent in the forums over these issues.
What is Fallout 76? Even Bethesda doesn’t seem to have a clear grasp on terminology to label it, avoiding both the MMO and survival labels for the upcoming multiplayer post-nuclear game.
“We avoid the word ‘survival,’ because people’s minds immediately go to DayZ and Rust and certain other games, and those comparisons are not really accurate for what we’re doing,” Game Director Todd Howard told The Guardian. “If you think about the survival modes we’ve made in Fallout 4, it has that vibe… Fallout 76, although it’s an online game, when I play it, I mostly still play it solo. We like those experiences as much as our fans do.”
Howard admitted that the project has the studio a little worried about taking this important franchise online: “We are sometimes afraid of doing it, as much as our fans are afraid of us doing it. But we’ve got to try new things.”
In dealing with the ArenaNet fallout over the last couple of weeks, I started giving serious thought to the Reddit problem in gaming, and I’m not just talking about the overt hate groups allowed to fester there. You know how one of the rules of thumb for MMORPG communities for the longest time was never go to the official forums because you’d come away feeling depressed and dejected, believing the game community was a hot mess and your class was most assuredly the most broken? Reddit is like that, only nobody there cares enough about fixing it to see it through, and so we’ve got a tragedy of the commons problem playing out in cyberspace.
When game companies owned their own discussion spaces, most of them at least made some modicum of effort to keep them respectable. Oh, sure, some took that way too far and deleted criticism, but most, barring the very biggest, tamped down on toxicity because that space reflected on them. They cared. This is how I feel about our own comment section, incidentally, because our team owns this site and cares about the conversations we have here, unlike many other sites owned by corporate groups that don’t even care if comments exist at all.
Former ArenaNet developer Jessica Price has just made a string of new statements on Twitter discussing some of the issues surrounding the ongoing Guild Wars 2 PR nightmare, in which she and fellow developer Peter Fries were booted from ArenaNet following a Twitter altercation that mobilized a Reddit mob. Her primary complaint seems to be her allegation that ArenaNet – especially Mike O’Brien – “escalated” her (and Peter Fries’) firing, knowing what the mob’s response would be.
“The announcement was an escalation. The company could have chosen to say ‘their remarks don’t represent the company, we don’t agree with what they said, and they’re no longer with the company,'” she writes. “That’s not what they did. They framed an interaction on my personal social media in which I told a few individuals who (I thought) were being assholes that I wasn’t on the clock and wasn’t going to feign affection for people who are being assholes as ‘attacks on the community.'”
Consequently, she argues, O’Brien effectively provoked the mob, knowing what harassment would follow after she and Fries had been painted as “enemies of the community”; she calls it “active solicitation of harassment,” using the mob as punishment and then maintaining “silence in condemning the harassment,” which she says is “profoundly telling.”
Are you all in on games as a service? Are single player-games over, replaced by much more profitable eternally online (and lockbox-ridden) titles? Bethsoft’s Todd Howard doesn’t think so. Speaking to GIbiz, Howard says that in spite of Fallout 76’s controversial online nature, the always-on games-as-a-service motif “doesn’t mark the future.”
“Corporately we’ve done a mix; people forget sometimes,” he says. “Elder Scrolls Online is one of the biggest online games in the world, we have Fallout Shelter which we keep updating, and Elder Scrolls: Legends. Anyone who has ever said ‘this is the future and this part of gaming is dead’ has been proven wrong every single time. We like to try it all. For a long time we wanted to try a multiplayer game and we had this idea. We shouldn’t be afraid. We should try it.”
Ubisoft, on the other hand, has taken a different tack. The company’s EVP of Creative, Lionel Raynaud, spends some time in a corporate blog post to come at the problem from a narrative angle, saying his studio is trying to keep games going by doing its best not to “give finite experiences.”