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Broke Protocol is currently free on Steam to celebrate its first birthday

Remember Broke Protocol, the funky sandbox that’s basically a mash-up of Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto, with voxel graphics bolstering cops-and-robbers gameplay? It’s apparently celebrating its first anniversary on Steam today, and in celebration, it’s free. Free as in free beer. But only if you grab it really quickly. Quickly as in this week.

“Starting August 15th 10am PST (5pm UTC) Broke Protocol will be free to keep forever (100% off). No trial, limitations, or strings attached. But act quickly because the offer is only available during this 100-hour promotion.”

The Cylinder Studios devs note that the game has changed quite a bit over its first year of life; it can now support over a hundred players simultaneously and has shifted focus to better support roleplaying with more civilian and “enforcer” jobs as well as player housing, vehicles, and third-party admin tools to balance out all the crime and mayhem. Merchants and a map editor are still on the way too.

Source: Steam. Thanks so much, George!

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The Walking Dead: Our World designed its AR game with MMOs in mind

Are we, as a culture, at full Walking Dead saturation yet? Probably been there for years, honestly, but it is astounding how many video games this franchise has pumped out so far. There are so many, in fact, that it might be easy to overlook one or two — such as the Pokemon Go-style alternate reality game that’s not afraid to point to its MMO roots.

“We took a lot of inspiration from other games that use location mechanics on a map, but fundamentally we were building an MMO that has a single huge instance with every player in the same game,” said Next Games Lead Director Sulka Haro.

The Walking Dead: Our World encourages players to explore their environments, bash some (virtual) zombies, rescue survivors, and complete missions around the world. Characters from the TV show can be collected, and players can team up with others to accomplish goals. Our World is available on both Google Play and the App Store.

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The MOP Up: Worlds Adrift makes room for PvE servers (August 12, 2018)

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 Old School RuneScapeWorlds Adrift, Destiny 2Starfall OnlineSurvived ByHyper UniverseElswordPirate101War of RightsRagnarok OnlinePerfect World MobileOrbusVRSMITE, and Prosperous Universe, all waiting for you after the break!

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The Stream Team: Soaring over ARK’s Scorched Desert

Poor Scorched Earth. With all the time that Massively OP’s MJ has spent on the island and then Aberration, ARK’s first expansion has been sorely neglected. She hasn’t even seen a majority of the map! That changes today as MJ goes in and explores this giant desert. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to get a tour of…

What: ARK: Scorched Desert
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 11th, 2018

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Crowfall shows off the behind-the-scenes magic of the Clusterizer

As cool as it may sound, unless you’re actually working on developing Crowfall, the odds are you will never see the Clusterizer in action. You will only ever see what it’s done, and you won’t even know that it was the work of the Clusterizer. But what does the Clusterizer actually do? It helps link zones together, according to the latest article on the official site showing off the intentionally somewhat ugly interface and the mechanics behind this map-linking tool.

Yes, the Clusterizer is a way to put multiple zones into a coherent whole and keep track of each specially developed map, so players can explore, have multiple areas to visit, and avoid retreading the same ground. So it’s pretty technical, but it should be fascinating for anyone excited about seeing the technical side of making the game’s areas in a given campaign fit together. It’s also just fun to say. The Clusterizer.

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League of Legends Lead Designer Ghostcrawler moves to an unnamed project

Let’s play connect-the-dots today and see if we can see a picture forming over at Riot Games, shall we? Back in July, its co-founder dropped a befuddling tease about the studio creating an MMO, which was then somewhat refuted a week later. Then the studio continued to talk way too much about MMOs to anyone who would listen.

Now there’s a new dot in the shape of Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street, who announced that he’s leaving the League of Legends team to work on one or more projects in development. One of these couldn’t possibly be an MMO that need the help of a former World of Warcraft dev… could it?

“My new position at Riot is head of creative development,” Street said. “We’ve been up front that we want to put the ‘s’ in Riot Games, and I am helping with that effort. In addition, we have been taking Runeterra as a world more seriously, as you’ve probably realized with the release of the Ryze CG and the world map.”

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Massively Overthinking: Should MMORPGs incentivize exploration – and how?

Our Daily Grind on exploration last week sparked an intriguing follow-up from MOP reader Miol.

“When asking about sightseeing and exploration in MMORPGs, you also mentioned the lack of rewarding incentives for exploring those worlds, or worse, a poor implementation of such features, as you pointed out by Guild Wars 2’s vistas. Many of Wander’s mechanics also come to mind for me. You and many commenters in that article stated that their exploration mostly happened by their own initiative!

“So what features would you all wish in an exploration-heavy MMO? Is Trove’s Geode with its non-combat spelunking on to something? Would exploring other players’ curation and display of art already be enough for you, a la Occupy White Walls? What would an MMO need to simulate a fun road trip? Would looking for that one place with those until-then-unmatched resource stats, be a definite must for you, as in Star Wars Galaxies? Or is open-world housing more of a priority, so you can find that perfect spot for your porch? Purely just survival features? Or maybe even, as Andrew once mentioned, a certain mechanic for dying, as in Project Gorgon?”

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Path of Exile’s Delve launches August 31 with an infinite dungeon; here’s our chat with Grinding Gear’s Chris Wilson!

Picture this: an underground dungeon that gets progressively more challenging — and rewarding — the deeper you go, and there is no end. Not no end in sight, but no end. An infinite dungeon. Does this sound like a dream come true to you? Well go ahead and smile because Path of Exile is delivering just that on August 31st (unless you play on Xbox One, then you have to wait until September 3rd). The next league is aptly called Delve, and its all about descending into a never-ending mine shaft, reaping rewards while staving off the dangers in the darkness — with the darkness itself being one of those dangers!

While that info alone might be enough to keep you entertained for a bit, we know you want more. So I had a little chat with Producer Chris Wilson to learn more about this intriguing idea with its new mechanics and features to pass it all on to you. And who knows? This might be just the beginning: Wilson called this “Path of Exile’s first infinite dungeon,” which would lend you to believe that more numbers could follow.

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The Overwatch Summer Games are back

You’ve been training for this moment all year long, and by “training” we mean “aggressively burping while sitting in your comfortable office chair.” You’re ready. You have the makings of a champion, so get out on the field and prove your mettle!

The Overwatch Summer Games have returned for another round, running from now through August 31st. In addition to the usual activities and rewards, there’s a new Busan Station Lúcioball map to enjoy this year and over 50 new items added to the game’s lootboxes.

Generally, it’s a good time to grab some limited-opportunity skins, especially if you like fighting in breezy summer attire.

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Legends of Aria eyes October for Steam early access

The Legends of Aria team sounds as if it has a lot on its plate right now. The team posted a road to launch update to keep fans appraised of the plan from here to release.

And there is a wee bit to do: “We need to implement a list of features (like fixing the map, adjusting the UI, loot, and more) and then go all in on bugs and stability for the next few weeks. We need to lock in some stress tests. We need to close the servers for some focused testing. We need to wipe the servers for the final time, and give our crowdfunders and founder’s pack buyers their head start. And we need to launch on Steam early access.”

Because that’s not enough, the team is throwing two events this month, a 6XGM event on August 17th and a Permadeath Mod event on August 30th. Following that on September 4th, the servers will go dark in preparation for early access some time in October. Hopefully. “Going to Steam is the natural next step for a game that began with crowdfunding and needs a critical mass of population in order to succeed,” said the team.

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Hands-on with Monster Hunter World on PC: ‘A quick and dirty port’

So you’ve probably heard some news about the Monster Hunter World port. PC performance issues, keyboard and mouse issues, random crashing. I wish I could tell you differently, but I can’t. No joke, MHW is one of those games I really wanted to see do well on PC and wanted to tell you all to go out and buy. I still argue the series is MMO action raiding boiled down into a tight, fun, formula filled with the treasure hunting you like and less of the downtime and dice rolls you hate, without so much of the synchronized combat dancing we see in the genre, but I have some serious reservations about this port.

Granted, Capcom has already made improvements during the media testing phase I participated in. It seems like the bug that caused the game to hard crash has been fixed in single player experiences, but the game’s somehow carried over some console oddities, and as PC media doesn’t seem as hyped as the console media was (I never found people to group with because so few were playing), I can’t talk about multiplayer.

I can, however, make some comparisons to the PS4 version I reviewed earlier this year.

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EVE Evolved: A furious supercapital war is raging in EVE Online

This year kicked off with a bang for EVE Online as rumblings emerged of impending war on a scale that the gaming world had never seen before. It looked as if two massive military coalitions were about to come to blows in the most spectacular way when a small border skirmish between The Imperium and Pandemic Horde escalated out of control. Both sides armed heavily for a battle over a space station and moved hundreds of expensive Titans and Supercarriers into position to prepare for the battle. Players estimated that a fully escalated battle could have seen the equivalent of a million dollars in ships go up in smoke, and the story of EVE‘s first “million dollar battle” rapidly captured the media.

While that battle earned a Guinness World Record for having 6,142 players simultaneously in the same battle, it was far less destructive than anticipated. The Imperium decided not to commit its full forces and ultimately less than 1% of the expected value in ships went up in smoke. Fast-forward to this week and the old rivalry came to a head again as The Imperium teamed up Legacy coalition to launch an all-out assault on a Northern Coalition and Pandemic Legion staging Keepstar in the X47L-Q system — except that this time both sides committed their full forces. The result was one of the most destructive battles in EVE Online‘s decade-and-a-half long history, and this war may be just getting started.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into some of the history that led to the current conflict and details of the battle in X47L-Q.

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