Well that didn’t take long! There are a plethora of survival sandboxes out there for fans to play (as you can see from our multiple guides!), enough that there might be some worry that the market for this genre is getting pretty saturated. Perhaps there is room still, but anyone entering that crowded market needs to have a good hook and be able to deliver a worthwhile experience in order to attract and keep players. Sadly, this isn’t always (often?) the case. Even when you want games to not just survive but thrive, there are a host of factors that work against that.
I have found that I enjoy the survival sandbox genre, and I play a number of the games. A couple get the lion’s share of my attention and game time while others are visited occasionally. Some of these titles have a chance to move into a favored position in my heart and my gaming line up. Others, however, have lost their chance completely. Here are seven survival sandboxes that I want to love, but don’t — at least not yet.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained devs say they’re getting really close to finalizing the date for beta one. This week, in addition to fiddling with the beta calendar, CSE says it’s been working on poses, rocks, casting and UI animations, new armor and weapon textures, container permissions, and performance for buildings, as well as training up the new tech producer.
Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar pushed out R50, Elite kicked off the beta for its next big update, we continued our tour of Project Gorgon, Dual Universe teased new concept art, War of Rights got a wee patch, ROKH patched up (devs say they’re still “looking for the best way to make [their] come-back,” and Fragmented admitted it’s essentially in maintenance mode.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Over the weekend, we added a new entry to our “whatever happened to X” series with a quick note about Fragmented, the survival sandbox that Above & Beyond put together in its attempt to raise enough funds to save The Repopulation. While we quoted the formal statement that A&B wasn’t abandoning updates for the game at launch, an awesome tipster dug up a forum thread from just last week where the devs effectively admit defeat.
“The game hasn’t been abandoned but it is more or less in maintenance and bug fix mode only at this point,” A&B’s J.C. Smith says in response to players asking whether it’s worth $3 from the latest sale. “It just doesn’t bring in enough revenue for anyone to support it full time at this point. Josh are I still around to fix emergency issues and issue the occasional bug patch but the team has moved on to other projects at this point and we don’t foresee any major additions to the game in the future. Future patches will likely be similar to the last couple patches, focusing on streamlining and bug fixes.”
Just one more casualty of The Repopulation’s sad story.
. Cheers, Emmanuel.
Ever pause during your day and find yourself wondering, “Whatever happened to that game?” With hundreds upon hundreds of online titles these days, it’s surprisingly easy for MMOs to fall through the cracks and become buried as more aggressive or active games take the spotlight.
Well, every so often we here at Massively Overpowered find ourselves curious what has transpired with certain MMOs that we haven’t heard from in quite a while. Have we missed the action and notices? Has the game gone into stealth maintenance mode? What’s the deal? What has it been up to lately?
That’s when we put on our detective hats and go sleuthing. Today we look at what has been going on with Ascent: the Space Game, Aura Kingdom, and Fragmented.
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 Rend, Sea of Thieves, The Black Death, Warframe, HEX, Fragmented, MU Legend, Final Fantasy XI, Monster Hunter World, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Dota 2, Wurm Online, Ultima Online, and Path of Exile, all waiting for you after the break!
We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!
August was dominated by several competing stories that just wound throughout the whole month: The Secret World’s TV series venture as produced by Johnny Depp, the full reveal of Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire expansion, and Star Citizen’s multiple delays and demos.
We also saw launches for World of Warcraft’s Argus, Elder Scrolls Online’s Horns of the Reach, Lord of the Rings Online’s Mordor, ARK: Survival Evolved, LawBreakers, Fragmented, and Tree of Life. And if you squint, you can just see the first inklings that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was already taking off.
Read on for the whole list!
I have long resigned myself to the fact that no matter how much time I take in my first playthrough of an MMO, I’m going to miss about 75% of what’s going on in the story and world. It’s just a little too much and stories are scattered all over the place, and so my understanding of the lore becomes partial and fragmented.
That’s where alts come into play. Once I get a max level character, then I’ll start up an alt and re-learn the game world with the help of a foundation that I have established in my first journey. I’m on my third trip through Secret World (two in the original, one in Legends), and even now I’m still absorbing a lot more information that totally blew over my head in prior runs.
What about you? What lore, stories, and concepts did you miss the first time around in your MMO? Don’t be shy; pipe up in the comments and confess!
Step aside, turkey and fambly rage: It’s time to buy stuff. Because we don’t already unload our wallets the rest of the year on MMOs! Oh wait, yes we do. In any case, here’s a quick roundup of all the best MMO Black Friday 2017 sales on Steam and elsewhere.
One of the first players to encounter the Thargoids in Elite: Dangerous provided a video of the encounter, and the bad news is that it doesn’t go well for the player. The craft was already sitting amidst the wreckage of NPC ships and quickly turned its destructive firepower upon the player’s vessel. Considering the barnacles observed throughout the galaxy, it’s clear that players are finding the Thargoids to be unapproachable and frightening threats as they silently pursue an unknown agenda. And the patch has only been out for a day.
Nevertheless, players are finding ways to fight back. One player already managed to rip an organic and highly corrosive chunk out of a Thargoid ship, while other players have noted some odd gravitational signatures around a Thargoid’s frame shift. There are even reports of a fleet taking on a Thargoid and surviving, developing battle tactics that could take one down even if they didn’t succeed on the first attempt (the fleet in question suffered no losses, however). It’s going to be interesting to see how the community continues to respond to these alien threats.
Every MMO tells a story through the run of its life. A lot of those stories are pretty happy, too. Ultima Online may not be the most happening place in the world right now, but its story is about launching a genre and then running for two solid decades. That’s a pretty great story. However much it’s become a tale of mismanaged expectations, World of Warcraft kind of became the most popular thing for a long while and brought in tons of new people to the hobby. Even titles with sad endings often have bright stories; the end bit for City of Heroes sucks, but everything leading up to that was a gas.
And then you have these 10 titles. These are titles where the whole story is a tragedy, start to finish, and in many cases the tragedy isn’t necessarily over, but the story is still just plain sad. There are reasons, of course, maybe even good ones, but the result is that the narrative for these titles is pretty sad all the way through.
The wait for the Camelot Unchained beta has been long and arduous in the way that only “just sit around and wait” can possibly be, but it’s almost here. It’s going to happen! We don’t know quite when, but we do know that we’ve got a new guiding principles document for beta. So it’s coming very soon.
Meanwhile, we also bid farewell to both Tree of Life and Fragmented, as both have launched this week.
More beta news? We’ve got to be honest, it’s been a quiet week… but this stuff might all tickle you along the way just the same.
- We realize that Kritika Online is in an open beta where anyone can play right now, but don’t worry too much, as the game does in fact have a roadmap and launch plans. So that’s cool. Full launch in September!
- You know what else has beta plans? Guild Wars 2. Specifically, another preview weekend of Path of Fire starting up this weekend. At this point you’ll be done with it before it actually launches, which… wait, that’s not a good thing. Maybe ease up on previews.
- It’s only fair to note that Osiris: New Dawn also has a closed beta plan. This might seem odd for a game in Early Access, but a plan is a plan.
- The open beta for Destiny 2 isn’t here, but a new trailer to tease it is here, so you can split the difference a bit? That should be fun to watch, at least.
- It’d be wrong not to mention that Just Survive has now dropped the H1Z1 branding and is supposed to be getting more updates again. We’ll see, but it’s a thing.
- Last but certainly not least, the servers for OrbusVR’s closed beta are online now, so you can jump right in if you’re all (head)set to go. Wordplay!
But is there a list? Yes, of course there’s a list. It’s right down below, and while it may be trimming down slightly it still has no shortage of entries. Perhaps you’d like to let us know about things we may have missed in the comments? Either phase changes or new titles, we’re flexible.
Gosh, I had almost forgotten about Fragmented – it’s been a while! But it’s formally launched on Steam as of today for a discounted $5.99.
“Today we have moved Fragmented into a released state after 16 months and more than 30 patches in Early Access,” says Above and Beyond’s JC Smith, noting that launch “does not mean the end of updates” for the game; “tweaks and bug fixes” are still on the table.
Fragmented was originally created by A&B in the Great Repopulation Pause of 2015 as a survival sandbox spin-off of the The Repopulation, first Kickstarted in 2012. The MMORPG was crippled by a nasty public contract dispute between the dev team at A&B and its Hero Engine-lessor Idea Fabrik, driving The Repopulation offline and causing A&B to spend a year working on Fragmented instead. Earlier this year, the studio announced it had sold the game to Idea Fabrik instead, a move that A&B said was in the best interests of the game and the playerbase, while A&B kept Fragmented. Since then, Idea Fabrik has gotten The Repopulation back online in a limited alpha.
Getting confused over Fractured and Fragmented? Me too! Let’s add another into the mix: The Foundation! Actually, no, let’s back up. Fractured is a relatively new SpatialOS MMORPG sandbox, with planetary colonization, crafting, housing, skill- and reflex-based combat, and — critically — no grind and no forced PvP. While it’s been in production since January, it didn’t leak out to us until a month ago.
The Foundation is a new program Fractured’s developers at Italy’s Dynamight Studios have integrated into the game’s forums (so all you need to do to participate is create an account there). On the surface, it’s a “community engagement program,” which sounds either awful or mundane, but MMO vets who look more closely will find that it more resembles the incentivized fluff from direct crowdfunding — only you’re not paying for it. It’s meant to reward players for doing things like posting feedback and ideas, chatting with fellow fans, and sharing game updates, and it amounts to a minigame before the game is even out. Says the studio,