This week, classic Guild Wars 1 has gotten its first real update in the years since going into maintenance mode. As we noted on Tuesday’s podcast, the update follows player feedback and requests in the original game’s recent AMA, which apparently took even ArenaNet by surprise (though it shouldn’t; this game is beloved for a reason!).
The patch notes tell the story: It’s primarily a graphics settings update, but it makes a huge difference to the 2005 MMORPG. In addition to getting better window support and improved anti-aliasing options, the game now boasts a level of detail toggle setting that makes the distant world look gorgeous.
“A new ‘Advanced’ option checkbox has been added to the Graphics options panel. This will replace the ‘-lodfull’ command line option that was added recently. Model LODs will always use the highest available LOD (Level Of Detail), regardless of distance, including the disabling of ‘imposter’ models. The max draw distance will be doubled. Ground cover vegetation draw distance will be pushed out even further.
Terrain LODs will almost always draw in highest.”
Big cheers to ANet’s Stephen Clarke-Willson for making it happen. Now, we’re expecting lots of GW1 screenshots for One Shots over the next few weeks!
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!
In this week’s edition, we’ll look at three titles in development that seem to have gone quiet: Line of Defense, The Exiled, and Pathfinder Online.
Nine years ago on Massively-that-was, we began covering the MMORPG known as Alganon – you’ll recall it as a bit of a World of Warcraft clone, long before that phrase was trite. You’ll also recall it as a game that weathered a major controversy back in 2010, when the game’s president, David Allen, was pushed out of the company. Why? According to none other than Derek Smart, who replaced him, Smart “fired” Allen “for insubordination and for acting against the best interests of the company,” investors, game, and team, arguing that he himself had a better plan for the game’s business model. Allen retaliated, accusing Smart of a “smear campaign” and suing him to boot (the lawsuit was settled in 2010 and Quest walked back some of Smart’s statements).
Since then, the game has muddled along without making headlines for much of anything besides an expansion in 2014. But that might be changing, as over the past few months, the game’s future has appeared less certain.
Back in October, Smart told Steam players that because of the game’s low population, the team hadn’t been investing much into the game for the prior year. “We were planning a visual update, and another DLC,” he wrote, “but those plans are on hold for now.”
Magic in space? Ship of Heroes is determined to make it work.
The superhero MMORPG announced today that it will be including a magical subset of heroes and villains into its lore and gameplay. All superpowered humans with magical ability are part of the Attuned, a general-purpose group with this kind of affinity. But tucked inside the Attuned is the sinister Red Sigil, a cult that believes that mages should be used as the “first line of defense” and be put in charge of the giant ship.
“While superhero mages tend to fall into a few general categories, there are countless types of magic in the galaxy, including some odd outliers that are difficult to classify,” the team wrote. “The mages of the Attuned hate the Prometheans above all others, and this antagonism is reciprocated. The Attuned fundamentally like the ship as it is. Even the Red Sigil only want to seize control of the ship’s political system and revenues; they would be happy to have super-powered subordinates if they could effect a coup.”
As someone very much on the outside of this whole Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire thing, my observations is that this is some sort of night sky simulator coupled with a public transportation PSA. It does look very pretty, though.
“I’ve been having an absolute blast with Path of Fire so far,” writes Xephyr. “The maps are HUGE and insanely detailed, there’s stuff to do everywhere! And mounts, omg, THE MOUNTS! Joy of movement indeed. Anyways, here’s me and my griffin bro doing some exploring.”
In Mother Russia, mount rides you to work!
We realize that some of our readers are a bit younger, so we’d like to introduce you to a universal truism of life: Delays always win. Everything goes wrong and nothing ever works right. Depressing and harsh? Yes. But considering that Star Citizen has delayed its 3.0 testing once again and ARK: Survival Evolved has pushed back its official launch to August 29th, can you say we’re wrong?
Other beta news has also happened, though. Some of it not delay-oriented at all!
- If you’re wondering about all of the features that MU Legend will have at launch, you can watch a helpful video explaining its core features in a quick and easy-to-view format. That should be nice and straightforward.
- Free-to-play open beta for Dreadnought has begun on the PlayStation 4. All the spaceship-based deathmatch action you could possibly ask for.
- The development on Camelot Unchained is steaming toward its first beta at full tilt, so that should happen… when it’s ready. At some point before the heat-death of the universe, hopefully this year.
- Rebuild testing for Bless Online has started as well, albeit in a language that one may suspect most of our readers do not read or speak. But at least it’s making forward motion, which is heartening alone after a winding process of back-and-forth up to this point.
- There’s also a new update for Line of Defense that’s focused almost entirely on underlying technology rather than actual in-game content. You can be sure that this is a vital step in the process of making a game work, of course, and thus no one would ever criticize a game for such updates.
Is that a list of beta tests in below the cut, or am I just happy to see you? It’s both! I’m happy to see you in an allegorical sense, of course, because I’m not actually watching you right now. But it’s nice to see readers, and I’m sure you’ll help us all keep feeling happy by sharing your own beta stories (or sneaky phase changes for betas) in the comments below.
Derek Smart’s MMO Line of Defense has a progress update this week covering the state of the game’s build. A new patch is on the way, and it’s fairly light, according to the post, being focused on the “underlying tech.” But that’s partly by design.
“Progress has been somewhat slow due to various factors including team and tech related challenges, as well as scheduling,” Smart says. “In addition to this, due to resources, scheduling, and dev costs, I also made the final decision to complete the PC version of the game using the existing custom engine in order to avoid any long term delays and complications.”
This means Line of Defense will be ported to UE4 by a secondary team. “In the end, we’re going to end up with two engine versions of the game, one for the PC, and the other for consoles,” he tells early access backers. “But due to the similarities between our Havok based custom engine, and UE4, there are currently no concerns related to parity in the game’s features. If anything, most of the noticeable differences will be in visuals, due to the vastly superior graphics of the UE4 engine.”
Sharpen those swords and practice those spells, because tomorrow you’ll stop playing pretend and fight for real. Neverwinter
is due for another catastrophic siege
, and players will be the front line of defense against the forces of evil attempting to bring down the titular city.
Starting tomorrow and running through June 8th, multiple events will spring to life all across the city of Neverwinter, including cult invasions and dragon attacks. Players can even participate in a counter-attack to bring pain back to the enemy.
There are all kinds of rewards that can be earned by participating in the siege, including cosmetics, a battlefield medic companion, dyes, and a brand-new siegebreaker griffon mount.
Even superheroes like to look their best.
The Ship of Heroes team announced that it just finished updating the game’s graphic engine to Unreal Engine 4.14.3, which will give the devs some shiny new toys to integrate into the upcoming sci-fi MMO. The update was not to the Unreal Engine’s latest build, as the devs prefer to stay a step behind so as to work with a trusted and stable version.
“What does this mean for the Ship of Heroes team?” the devs asked. “Well, we’d like to highlight one particularly helpful new feature: in 4.14, Epic has added a tool which enables developers to generate lower level of detail (LOD) variations for static meshes with a few clicks. It sounds simple, but this is a big time-saver for artists who no longer have to spend time creating those lower-detail LODs manually. ”
As a bonus, these LOD variation buildings have a fraction of the polygon count of the original structures, offering faster load time and smoother playfield rendering.
Derek Smart’s Line of Defense is expecting a new public build later this month, this one focused on the next phase of defense mechanics and AI.
Back in November, the controversial game developer who dubbed himself “Internet Warlord” released a state-of-the-game post, clarifying that LOD’s PC release will ultimately be exclusive to Windows 10, that the console version has switched to Unreal Engine 4, that the Havok-based PC engine is still up in the air, and that both PC and console will allow custom hosted servers. Moreover, the game will not be free-to-play, though PC and console will have different pricing structures.
In response to a question about Line of Defense’s status on Steam, developer Derek Smart (yes, that Derek Smart) has told players that he has decided to pull the game from Steam.
“My reasons for moving the game are very simple. I am tired of the noise, the attacks, the harassment, the distractions here on Steam,” he writes. “Steam has become too big for Valve to be able to effectively police every aspect of it and where anti-social misfits reside. They know this, the Steam community knows this, and we the developers and publishers, know this.”
He cites “review bombing” and a lack of developer control over the “#1 source of harassment: the front facing Steam store page” in the form of review comments and ratings. The game’s Steam reviews currently stand at 122 negative to 21 positive.
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. See any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
This week we’ll gorge on free games from the entire Tribes library, find out what Oort Online’s new name is, get a first look at Lord of the Rings Online’s latest update, and more!
Internet Warlord Derek Smart is at it again: This morning, the dev behind Alganon and Line of Defense ramped up his crusade against Star Citizen and Chris Roberts with a demand letter from his attorneys and the threat of a class-action lawsuit.
“I have decided to make good on previous statements calling for accountability,” he writes. “Aside from the FTC guidelines on crowd-funding, as well as actions they have taken against companies that seek to defraud consumers, and because I have reasons to believe that this entire project now borders on consumer fraud, regardless of the risks to myself, my family etc or the amount of aggravation (attacking the messenger is an exercise in futility) that this is no doubt going to cause me, I am going to continue fighting this, while working with the Federal authorities, including the FBI, to get to the bottom of what is going on with this project and where backer money is going.”