On this week’s show, Justin and Bree shovel through the mountain of Gamescom reveals, including a trip to World of Warcraft’s Argus and Star Citizen’s elaborate Alpha 3.0 tease. The duo also mourn the premature demise of SkySaga, a promising-looking MMO that got a raw deal from its publisher.
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So, remember how Ghost in the Shell Online announced it was shuttering in Japan without announcing that it was also shuttering in North America? Turns out the latter is happening as well. The team behind the game announced today that all services will be shutting down on December 6th for North America, South America, Europe, and Oceania. All cash shop services have been suspended, although the game will continue to operate normally until the shutdown.
The official word is that it was a difficult decision to make, but the ultimate conclusion was that further development time wouldn’t make the title into a large enough success to justify ongoing costs. Our condolences to the players and developers affected by this closure; we hope you get some last good matches in before the game goes entirely offline.
The bright side of the news that Ghost in the Shell Online will be shutting down service in Japan is that this is not, technically, the game shutting down in its country of origin. But it’s still something of a blow, considering that the IP it’s based on is extremely Japanese and it was expected to be rather successful in the country. Not so, it appears; no reason is cited for the servers shutting down, but the most likely explanation is lack of players.
The game will close on November 29th after just about a year of operation in the country. No statements have been made about the future of the title on Western shores, to you can feel free to extrapolate your own hopes or fears based upon the announcement.
The Ghost in the Shell franchise is no stranger to highly competent cyborg ninja police officers stealthing around the city in the coolest fashion possible, but did its online game just stealth launch today?
It’s a little hard to tell, but it may have. First Assault Online left open beta at the beginning of the month after a year of testing, and now the game is promoting its major 2.0 release called Renewal.
The (launch?) update overhauled the user interface, added three new playable operatives, revamped the remaining roster, reorganized operative classes, added an Electronics Center map, and introduced an elimination mode for PvP.
The online shooter is available through its website or Steam, and you can check out the official trailer after the jump.
There are always going to be differences in opinion about what should be done with an IP based upon a franchise. That’s just natural. The same core universe could be used to make a sprawling sandbox with weak combat but a robust non-combat market and profession system, or it could be used to make a combat-focused experience that focuses on energetic fights, nifty story moments, and little else. In both cases, even if you don’t like the end result, you can understand exactly why the IP was used for this.
Our column today is not about those games. No, this is about games that completely failed to make use of their licenses to IPs, produced totles that did not in any way logically follow from the license that was given, or otherwise took pure gold and turned it into something… less than gold. There’s room to debate whether some of these IPs would ever make good MMOs, but boy, the uses we have were pretty bad.
Open beta for Ghost in the Shell: First Assault: Stand Alone Complex Online kicked off earlier this summer as a free-to-play title on Steam. If you haven’t gotten a chance to check it out, how about now — with a pack full of bonuses in tow?
Nexon and Neople have granted Massively OP 10 starter pack keys to give away to our readers. The starter packs include two bonus character unlock coupons, 500k GP, 10 each of 100% GP and 100% XP boosters, a 200 minute chipset pack, and three each of the Rapid Reload, Rapid Swap, Rapid Aim x3, Agile Reload, Agile Strafe, and Agile Step buffs.
Please note that only people in the declared supported regions will be able to use these keys, so please read Nexon’s full list of approved countries to make sure you’re eligible. Likewise, you must have a Steam account to unlock these particular keys for play.
Read on to enter to win!
Let’s make something clear: Shroud of the Avatar has not launched, it’s just handled its final server wipe and will now be persistent moving forward. Which is different from launch because the developers say so. It was a pretty big deal when it happened, considering that the developers also ran a big telethon at the same time. There’s also a land “rush” of sorts, but if you didn’t buy in at a big tier ages ago, it’ll probably be a while before you need to worry about that.
Elsewhere in the beta world, there was… well, testing. You know.
This is just a sampling of stuff that’s in testing, of course; there are more titles in the list we keep down below. If something dropped in a cash shop without letting us know or surreptitiously changed test phases, please, do let us know about it down in the comments.
Online shooter Ghost in the Shell: First Assault: Stand Alone Complex Online is going to take home this year’s award for most unwieldy title for sure. In the meantime, it’s launching into open beta this very day on Steam and off. It’s free-to-play, note, with microtransactions, so it’s not going to cost you anything but bandwidth and time to try.
Publisher Nexon says that it’s launching a new patch today in conjunction with the beta. Called “Up Close and Personal; Hand of Destiny,” it introduces exclusive character Kuro and a prototype map akin to the Ghost Assault mode coming in a future update. Nexon also mentions it’s tackled a number of issues with the game since its early access launch late last year, including a skill and weapon rebalance, several new maps, and improved UI. Check out the trailer below!
The doors are open for Das Tal‘s summer test, and the result has been good and bad. Good because a lot of people want to play, naturally, but bad because there have been some server issues and associated bugs. The team is hard at work on making sure players can jump in and enjoy the game, with a small patch just released to improve server performance. That’s what tests are all about, after all.
Other beta news? Sure, we’ll share that with you. Because we’re nice.
Oh, and we’ve also packed plenty more games just below if you just want an idea of what’s in testing right now. If something opened up a cash shop unexpectedly, please do let us know. You’ll be invited to our birthday parties that we’ll cancel at the last minute.
Whom will you play in Ghost in the Shell Online? This week, the game is making the case for white-haired Maven, a talented special ops soldier with a handy therm-optic barrier that obscures sight and protects her team from the enemy. Maven is the most recent addition to the game’s early access program.
According to her description, “Maven is an expert on guerilla warfare and topography, stemming from her time in the South American military. She first came to Chief Aramaki’s attention during an operation in which she single-handedly held off an insurgent attack after her entire squad was killed. Since then, she has been working for Section 9, where she has proven both resourceful and deadly. However, her troubled past is never far away. She has vowed to destroy the rebel group that ravaged her country and killed her family.”
You can watch Maven’s spotlight video after the jump.
There’s a new operative in town for Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – First Assault Online (or just Ghost in the Shell Online if you’re into the whole brevity thing). The latest update to the early access shooter brings Maven into the playable character roster. Maven can deploy barriers to prevent enemies from seeing what’s on the other side, although the barriers can be destroyed.
The update also adds a new deathmatch map, the Port, which serves as a smaller skirmish area for teams to face off. Several new weapons are also added as well, along with the first iteration of the Ghost Screen to display your post-battle performance. It’s a pretty substantial update to the game, and the future promises further improvements and newer maps for players.
Say this one ten times fast: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – First Assault Online is live today on Steam’s early access platform. The EA packs run from $4.99 to $29.99, though there’s a steep price cut for the middle tiers right now.
Nexon and Neople consider this phase a beta and have asked for feedback; they’ve also addressed why such an iconic IP has been turned into an online shooter:
With such a wealth of great content covered in Stand Alone Complex, picking a genre was no easy feat. However, while watching the series we were particularly excited by Episode 24 of Season One, in which the wrongfully accused team at Section 9 are tested to their limits, forced to take on an opposing Special Ops team in order to clear their names. This episode really made us imagine what it would be like to fight together as a perfectly synchronized team like Section 9, which helped us decide to bring that fantasy to life in a tactical team based shooter.
The future is coming to you a little sooner than expected. Ghost in the Shell Online, the shooter based on the cybernetic police squad anime, is launching an early access program on Monday, December 14th through both Steam and the Nexon launcher.
This early access is considered to be the beta phase of Ghost in the Shell Online’s development. There are two ways to gain access: either by applying for a beta key and getting lucky or purchasing one of the new early access packs for a guaranteed spot. The packs range from $5 to $30 and contain extras such as an exclusive weapon skin, in-game currency, and character unlock coupons.
The developers recently took some time to answer several questions from the community, although they waffled on the topic of possible solo and PvE content.
Source: Nexon press release