maintenance mode

Global Chat: A starting point for WoW Classic

The recent announcement of WoW Classic’s starting point — Patch 1.12 — started to make the prospect of this legacy server a lot more real to players, including many MMORPG bloggers.

“Fans of Captain Placeholder are no doubt disappointed, but it seems like a reasonable place to call Vanilla to me,” said The Ancient Gaming Noob.

“I do wonder whether Blizzard will ever take this idea to the logical next step, as other studios have already (both EverQuests and now RIFT), and make it into a progression server so that players can relive the highs of each new content release, patches, and expansions in turn,” mused GamingSF.

Inventory Full concurs: “A server that simply locks at a specific snapshot of the game risks stagnation. There is a market for an unchanging experience as can be seen by the number of ‘maintenance mode’ MMOs that still hold some kind of population but it’s easy to see why a company as large and successful as Blizzard might not consider that audience sufficiently large or profitable to encourage.”

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Final Fantasy XI developers answer fan questions on Reddit

Age is catching up to Final Fantasy XI, but the development team remains as passionate as ever. For the game’s 16th Anniversary, English-speaking fans asked a number of questions, and 20 of those questions have been answered by the development team and posted on Reddit. And the one bit of bad news in the whole answer is a confirmation that some things which would be nice to have in the game (like specifically disabling mount music) aren’t high priority simply because the team is small at this point.

Why is the team small? Because that helped ensure that the game would have a team providing updates for as long as possible.

Of course, that still means adjusting what’s on offer; the team has plans to keep offering more side story quests for post-storyline content along with balance adjustments, having noted that a focus on gear adjustments meant that players felt like not much was happening for the title. The team also wants to capitalize on the fact that the game is still supporting subscribers, although it remains to be seen if there will be any sort of discount for subscribers to Final Fantasy XIV. (It has to be considered from a business perspective.) Check out all the answers for a peek behind the curtain for the most actively developed game ever to declare itself in maintenance mode.

Source: Reddit

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Whatever happened to Tibia, The Realm Online, and Meridian 59?

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 be catching up with three MMOs from the 1990s to see what they’re up to in 2018: Tibia, The Realm Online, and Meridian 59!

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The Survivalist: Eight ways to give Just Survive a fighting chance

Do you remember at the beginning of May when Just Survive was talking about “working on a plan to go forward”? I understand if you don’t: It almost seems as if Daybreak itself has forgotten about the game, so how can it expect players to remember. Well, with H1Z1 doing so well on the PlayStation 4, maybe — just maybe — the game that actually birthed the battle royale version (that it lost its name to) will get some love. We can dream! And while we dream, we can also help the studio out with its plan-making endeavors. And boy, do I think it needs some help! As it is, the next promised patch sound like little more than maintenance mode and doesn’t really dispel the rumor that the game is on the sunset path. In order to survive, Just Survive needs to step up and offer a bit more than that. So here are eight ways Daybreak can give this survival game a fighting chance.

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The Crew 2 is getting an open beta while the original The Crew goes into maintenance

It’s probably not much of a surprise to hear that The Crew is slipping into maintenance mode, as patches had been quiet for a while and the sequel is slated to come out this month. But it has been confirmed at this point that there will be no more patches for the game from this point onward. Servers will remain online and playable, and maintenance isn’t ruled out for fixing imminent issues, but don’t expect any new content.

There’s hope for those who need some new online racing fun but aren’t ready to buy the sequel just yet, as the game’s beta site has teased that an open beta is coming soon and will be discussed more at this year’s E3. So you can get some new driving fun in before the game releases… it just won’t be in the original game. That’s not exactly a shock.

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Hi-Rez is basically maintenance-moding Hand of the Gods

Back in May, we covered the bizarre silence surrounding Hi-Rez’s SMITE-infused free-to-play online card game Hand of the Gods. At the time, the information and update flow had completely and dramatically stopped; Hi-Rez was refusing to communicate with the community or the press about the fate of the title, causing players on Reddit and Discord to suspect the game was dead.

As it turns out, it’s not dead, but it’s as close as it gets. Just over a week ago, Hi-Rez president Stewart Chisam finally responded to player inquiries on Twitter.

“We have been working on and off on a nice bug fix patch to come out sometime soon,” he writes. “But no major content updates on the schedule. Servers will stay up as long as we have enough people wanting to play.”

I’d like to say that the game’s subreddit is filling up with farewells, but there are just a few, which probably won’t come as a surprise. Even an attempt at a postmortem hasn’t gotten much traction; players argue that stiff competition, marketing, balance, system requirements, bugs, and the mobile version were all factors in the game’s poor reception.

Source: Twitter

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Final Fantasy XI announces a small June update and a big July update to follow

The bad news for Final Fantasy XI fans is that the game’s monthly update in June is going to be on the smaller side. That’s a little unfortunate, insofar as the updates are frequently a bit meatier; June features some Ambuscade adjustments and some Escutcheon improvements, but that’s about it. That’s the sort of thing which, absent of other information, might lead you to suspect that the game’s lengthy string of maintenance mode updates was finally winding down.

But the update notice gives us a reason for the slightly smaller patch, and it’s a good one. Something bigger is coming in July, and that means June has to be a bit smaller. That, of course, prompts questions about what might be coming in July. New battle content? More quests? The possibilities are many, and whatever turns out to be the truth, it’s likely well worth the wait for another month.

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How a server explosion – and two epic devs – help keep Classic Guild Wars alive

Sometimes things going wrong lead in good directions. According to a new interview on Kotaku, there are actually two developers keeping Guild Wars afloat at the moment – the original one, that is – and they only started diving into that because the game’s power supply exploded. In the process of fixing that damage, they happened to uncover a minor technical limitation that was impacting ping rates… and as a result, it became clear just how many people still enjoyed the game and what could be done to improve it.

Obviously, there’s no new content planned for the game (both because there are only two people doing extra work on it and because the development tools barely exist now), but there’s still a lot of stuff that can be done within the existing game code to provide higher graphical resolution and better performance across the board – as ArenaNet has already done over the last month, to the cheers of older school gamers.

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to keep a game running in its maintenance mode, the full piece is well worth a read.

Source: Kotaku

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Classic Guild Wars 1 just got a huge graphics update

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!

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Whatever happened to Line of Defense, The Exiled, and Pathfinder Online?

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.

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The Survivalist: Seven survival games I want to love, but can’t… yet

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.

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Guild Wars blows out 13 candles on its birthday cake – were you there for its first?

Travel back with us to April 2005, when an unknown and unproven studio known as ArenaNet decided to make a play at its own gaming in the then-blooming MMORPG genre. Despite World of Warcraft seizing headlines left and right at that point, Guild Wars came upon the scene and carved out its own sizable following with its (then-rare) buy-to-play model, collectable skills, and gorgeous artwork. It went on to sell well over six million copies over the next five years, putting it among the best-selling PC titles of all time.

This month marks Guild Wars’ 13th anniversary, and while the title has existed in maintenance mode for some time now, players can still go back to an older era of Tyria where jumping was forbidden and there was only one playable race. The anniversary celebration is currently up and running, with all sorts of fun on the Shing Jea Boardwalk. Why not head back and get your rollerbeetles on or play a match or two of dodgeball?

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Champions Online is now officially the longest-running superhero MMO, and the world makes no sense

You are no doubt aware that Champions Online is still running, although the game has been in unofficial maintenance mode for half of forever. What you may not be aware of is the fact that at this point, it is the longest-running superheroic MMO on the market. That’s right, it edged out its closest competitor by just about a month.

If that strikes you as the sort of thing that should not have been permitted to happen, well, you aren’t alone in that. But that’s the world we live in.

You can argue whether it’s the longest-running steadily updated superheroic MMO, but you can’t argue that it’s been in operation longer than anything else. Collectively, it turns out that players have had about 5500 years in-game, which is more than twice the age of the Great Wall of China. Those are your fun statistical factoids for the game, but we’re sure that some other unintentionally depressing fact will come along before too long.

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