A recent post by the City of Titans team in which it briefly mentioned “costume unlocks” for the upcoming superhero MMO got the community’s full interest. As such, the team followed that post up with a newer one discussing how costume unlocking is going to work when the game goes live.
The team stressed that a “majority” of costume and customization options are going to be available to everyone from the start. But the remainder will require unlocking, either from direct microtransaction purchases or through gameplay. And yes, every cash shop item can be obtained in-game through some effort.
“Items unlocked through gameplay will work a little differently,” the dev team explained. “Unlocked assets will only be available to the character that unlocked it, so if you want it for multiple characters you’ll have to earn it multiple times. Some items will come as rewards for completing storylines while others will be available just by exploring the world. Some will be easier to get and some will be harder, but all of them can be acquired through in-game effort alone.”
Here’s a new one for us, and if you like it, you can throw money at it right now: It’s called Endless Trials, and it is gunning for some of the more tedious and repetitive tropes of MMORPGs. With graphics that look more like FML than WoW, Endless Trials – ET – bills itself as “an MMO without the boring parts,” which to the three-man Danish dev team means a focus on endgame instead of “tedious leveling and grinding.”
“We all love a good challenge, something fun, something that pushes us and affords us a sense of accomplishment. The leveling and grinding part of the game, however, that is where boredom can creep in. With that in mind, we have set out to create a new, semi-hardcore MMO that focuses on endgame content. We are calling it Endless Trials, and it is our attempt at making raiding great again! Each new character will follow a brief introduction quest, and when we say ‘brief’ we mean exactly that: it will take just an hour to finish. From there, you get some basic gear and get in on the real action, battling dungeons with your friends, completing daily quests for rep and rewards, farming for crafting materials, and hanging around the space station with other players. This is a game in which leveling plays a minimal role. The key here is excitement. We want Endless Trials to feel fresh every time you play, not like a job that you are doing half the time just to get to the real fun!”
Sadly, it does not seem that God Eater Online really talks much about the experience of turning deific entities into snacks. If you were hoping to discover the unparalleled flavor of gods (possibly after they have been deep-fried), you will be disappointed. But not for much longer, as the game has announced that it will be shutting down in September in Japan. The title never made its way over to local shores, and under the circumstances that seems almost certain not to change.
God Eater Online launched on mobile in Japan back in February of 2017 and was based on the franchise of the same name, with players taking a variety of characters into active combat against monsters. The microtransaction store will be taken offline at the end of August, although for understandable reasons you may not wish to spend any money on it now, either. Our condolences to fans and developers affected by the shutdown.
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 Hearthstone, DC Universe Online, Elsword, EverQuest II, Wild Terra, Riders of Icarus, Dauntless, Realm Royale, Pokemon Go, Escape from Tarkov, War of Rights, and EVE Online, all waiting for you after the break!
With players compiling a massive amount of useful information and Noclip releasing a making-of documentary for Fallout 76, we’re starting to arrive at a much better understanding of what this game will be.
We learned a lot of new information from this video, such as the fact that all players will be able to see where each other are on any given map, that players will have to work together to solve puzzles in order to unlock the nuclear warhead bunkers, and that there are safeguards in place to keep consensual PvP from becoming a ganker’s paradise. The team also mentioned things like mutation traits, cosmetic microtransactions, free DLC, the ability to repair weapons, special perk cards, and the lack of player corpse looting.
The studio dealt with the major shift from single-player to multiplayer as well “It’s a mindset change,” said Design Director Emil Pagliarulo. “You have folks here who have been making single-player quests for so long, and what does it mean to support more than one player? So there’s a lot of things that go into that.”
Let’s start with the good news because you’re going to need it: CD Projekt Red did indeed bring Cyberpunk 2077 to E3 2018, and its trailer is a glorious introduction to a Blade Runner-esque dystopian future full of cyborgs, fantastic technology, and shocking violence.
The bad news? The “online elements” that we had heard about and the multiplayer that we had hoped for were nowhere present, at least from what the studio discussed in a semi-hidden wall of text that was embedded into the trailer. In fact, Cyberpunk 2077 is being billed as a “true single player, story-driven RPG” without any microtransactions or DRM.
We might hear more from the actual show floor, but in the meanwhile, check out the trailer after the break!
Last week, Guild Wars 2’s Crystin Cox gave a monetization interview to Gamasutra during which she made one specific argument I wanted to pull out and re-examine. She was trying to explain why lockboxes can provide a “value” to players that they can’t get any other way.
“When we talk about cosmetics, there’s a demand for every individual cosmetic. Like maybe I love cowboy hats, I just want to buy cowboy hats. But there’s also a demand, and a lot of players feel this way, for just cosmetic options. I like cowboy hats sure, but I also like bandanas, and I like clown hair, I like everything. I don’t really have a super strong preference. I just want more things to put in my dress-up box. That demand can be satisfied a lot better sometimes with just giving you a random thing because that can be done a lot cheaper. If you don’t care about which one you get and you just want one, you can get it for a lot cheaper. When you’re talking about games that have rarity, and rarity’s a big part of that game, then lootboxes can be done to distribute something on a small scale, so that not everybody has access to it but some do, as sort of a jackpot item. And then that gets into a little more complexity around the economy and your game, and whether not this is an enjoyable part of your game for people to play, play with the economy of some such. But if it is, then you can use lootboxes to be a pretty good distribution for something that’s very rare.”
Convenience and cosmetics. These are the foundational pillars of Guild Wars 2’s
microtransactions, and back at GDC earlier this year, Game Director Crystin Cox opened up about how ArenaNet monetized its game
using these pillars along with the free market and lootboxes.
“Expressing yourself, relating to other people, showing off, making a visual representation of who you are, is hugely important to a lot of MMO players, so that was always very high on our list,” she said. As for convenience items, Cox emphasized how the studio “respected people’s time” and wanted to make items that could trade time and money if so desired.
As for the dual currency system, Cox said that it has turned out quite well for the MMO: “I think we’ve done incredibly well with the free market because it accurately represents the value of the things that people are purchasing.”
Ever since Standing Stone Games started ramping up the prominence of Lord of the Rings Online’s
lockboxes following last year’s Mordor
expansion, the microtransactions have proved to be extremely controversial and divisive in the community.
And while LOTRO isn’t going to be ditching lockboxes any time soon, SSG is working on being more transparent about the system. On April 25th’s livestream, CM Jerry Snook answered a player concern about the topic.
“I have been working on a page in recent days that’s going to provide more transparency on both Hobbit presents and the seal-bound Gorgoroth lootboxes,” he said. “It’s going to talk about what you can get from these things, what’s considered rare, what’s considered common, what’s super-rare.”
Snook said that the page will come out in the next couple of weeks after it has been localized.
It’s safe to say that Path of Exile
will live or die based on its cosmetic shop, as the title famously does not charge for any content. Grinding Gear Games has decided to give the shop a visual facelift in an upcoming patch that will also allow for easier changes down the road.
Players will notice a “larger, clearer” user interface for the shop that also includes better navigation and categories for searches. They’ll also be able to search for certain items by key words.
“We have more plans for future improvements, which we will roll out as they are ready,” GGG said. “One of our most impactful plans is a tagging system that allows you to refine your searches by theme and use tags to cross reference themes or microtransaction type. We would also like to add a setting that allows you to hide microtransactions that you already own.”
As all eyes in Elder Scrolls Online
turn to the future expansion heading to the game next month, testing has begun in earnest on Summerset
. Version 4.0 of the MMO is now on the test servers, and the team is focusing on the starting area, the jewelry system, and the Psijic Order skill line.
Consider this permission to gorge yourself on information. Not only are the patch notes available for this build, but players have datamined several of the crown store microtransactions that are heading into the game. Once you’re done with that, learn where this expansion came from and check out two of our hands-on experiences playing it.
Finally whether you’re testing it out or not, you can get an early look at Summerset’s new crown store offerings, motifs, and housing options after the break!
Everybody loves to dump on EA for wrecking companies like BioWare and escalating microtransactions and lockboxes to ludicrous heights, but is it warranted? Kotaku recently spoke to former BioWare studio boss Aaryn Flynn for the skinny.
“I think there’s this perspective among gamers – angry gamers – that EA comes along and buys studios and ruins them, or EA is forcing microtransactions,” Kotaku suggests. But Flynn isn’t having any.
“I think they are a great company to be a part of because they care very much about the creative process – they care about that – so they want you to be successful, and they will do whatever they can to help you be successful. Every company’s got constraints […] but they are excellent at giving creative freedom for sure.”
It’s springtime in regular flavor RuneScape, and that means the Spring Fayre has returned. You might remember the event from last year, when the playerbase rioted over the frankly ridiculous microtransactions involved in the event. Jagex appears to have learned from that debacle as it’s now a free-to-play episode.
“This time it works a little differently: the Fayre will no longer need entry tokens for participation meaning you can have all of the fun for free! The Spring Fayre will pack up on April 23rd so make sure to take advantage of the attractions available to you!”
Those attractions include fortune telling, scavenger hunts, carnie games, cotton candy, Easter eggs, and all the other traditional midway shenanigans.