Has it really been seven years since martial arts MMO Age of Wushu first descended on an MMORPG genre that had almost forgotten what a real sandbox looked like? Indeed it has. As MMO Culture noted today, Snail Games is currently celebrating the game’s seventh birthday since launching China with an update introducing the game’s final martial arts school and a brand-new story trailer to boot.
We agree with Cinderboy that it’s unlikely the update will ever make its way westward; the subreddit is all but dead and the western version of the game has seen little more than bonus events for many months since the North American and European games merged back under Snail’s control. Die-hard fans of the game just biding time for more news on the upcoming sequel Age of Wushu 2.
Still, happy birthday to what Massively-that-was once justly called “the greatest sandbox you’ll never play.”
The Game must go on! Massively OP’s MJ only made it through v2.0 of the text-based game in Secret World Legends
, but there are still three more versions to go. And the third one is pretty fun. Can MJ solve it all? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. as MJ dives deeper into Immersion as the Game v3.0 takes her Seoul.
What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, August 16th, 2018
Enjoy the show!
GameDaily has an interview with Rend’s Jeremy Wood this week that covers a bunch of meta topics of interest to MMO players and watchers of this oddball hybrid title. While Rend has no plans to suddenly become a battle royale title, Frostkeep is very much watching what the MMO subgenres and companies are up to in order to “fill the same psychological needs that are being filled by those games in [Rend].” Specifically, Wood says his team learned a lot from Blizzard and the MMO genre.
“Our biggest takeaway from our Blizzard experience is you can make a fantastically unique product without really inventing anything new,” Wood explained. “Blizzard got where they are by taking inspiration from all sorts of different great pieces of games in different genres.”
Yikes – Realm Royale is apparently struggling, proving once again just how hard it is to break into one of these new runaway subgenres. GitHyp (via GIbiz) has a report this week on the size of Hi-Rez’s battle royale playerbase after just two months of life.
“At the time, we thought Realm Royale could be PUBG‘s first serious competition on Steam with no other recent battle royale game coming close to 100k players,” GitHyp writes. But since then, the game’s activity level has apparently sunk to around 7000 concurrent players, which as the analytics firm notes is a loss of 93%. Streaming of the title is down too, aside from the ongoing $100K weekly tournaments. GitHyp attributes the downslide to Steam’s mixed reviews, which focus primarily on balance concerns.
Earlier this week, Hi-Rez reorganized into into three core studios, one apiece for SMITE, Paladins, and Realm Royale, as if to emphasize GitHyp’s assertion that the game isn’t dead yet and the company’s not giving up on it any time soon; it’s still in alpha on PC, and it has yet to launch on console.
It would be easy to dismiss Saga of Lucimia’s pervasive “group-based or go home” ideas as mere rhetoric, but the reality is, there exists a small segment of the veteran MMORPG population that genuinely believes an MMO is not an MMO if it doesn’t focus exclusively or near-exclusively on grouping, and there are going to be games that cater to those folks.
I wanted to bring up that recent tweet because it seems like an extremist, maybe even revisionist position to take for a game in our market, and I don’t just mean in 2018 when plenty of non-MMOs have called themselves MMOs and even more MMOs have shunned the term. I mean in terms of the historical games being used as a touchstone for these ideas. Yes, some early MMORPGs like EverQuest emphasized group content; while you could level up on some classes and in some cases alone, for the most part, you needed to group up to get things done, whether you were taking down a dragon or just trying to squeeze out a few more bubbles of level in the midgame.
Hi-Rez Studios is making bold moves today: It’s just announced that it’s splitting up the band, unbundling its games teams into separate but joined substudios. Titan Forge Games will run SMITE, Evil Mojo Games will operate Paladins, and Heroic Leap Games will steer Realm Royale, all under the First Party Studios banner. And they’ll all run alongside Skillshot Media (focused on e-sports) and Alacrity Arthouse (technical art services) and presumably anything else Hi-Rez ultimately brings into the fold.
Confused yet? The good news is that the people actually working on all the games aren’t actually changing.
“Our new Hi-Rez Publishing Group is designed as a service organization, whose sole mission is to enable each of our partner studios to reach their full potential and best serve their respective gamer communities,” Hi-Rez President Stewart Chisam says in today’s press release. “By structuring ourselves in this manner, we allow the organization to scale to multiple games more easily, while ensuring our existing game communities receive a better, more focused service than ever before.”
Camelot Unchained’s beta one is rolling on, and we’re assuming City State’s Mark Jacobs is napping on a beach somewhere enjoying his long-delayed vacay because CSE co-founder and technical director Andrew Meggs is helming the latest studio update and Q&A. Oh, and he’s accompanied by Ian the Intern, whom Meggs tries (unsuccessfully?) to embarrass at every turn.
This weekend, the RvR game’s build was put through its paces on the Wyrmling server, with UI bug fixes, shadow darkness tweaks, placeholders removed, and CPU bugsquashing – and that’s all apart from the madness going on on the Hatchery server where the real messes dwell. In short, the current test build is even better than what launched two weeks ago. My favorite bit is the fix to superpowered stones and their concomitant exploits. This is a real thing.
“Stones, like from Stonehealers, would affect other stones,” Meggs says, almost incredulously. “So you could put two invulnerability stones right down next to each other and they would make each other invulnerable. Or stones that were healing each other… it allowed creation of super-exploitable combinations by players working together to defeat the other realm. Which is good! But we want you to do it without exploits.”
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 RuneScape, Worlds Adrift, Destiny 2, Starfall Online, Survived By, Hyper Universe, Elsword, Pirate101, War of Rights, Ragnarok Online, Perfect World Mobile, OrbusVR, SMITE, and Prosperous Universe, all waiting for you after the break!
I certainly did not have to twist readers’ arms to get them to bring out a mountain of MMORPG character selfies set against interesting backdrops. Of course, everyone had their own definition of what that should mean…
“When it comes to character selfies the backdrop becomes less important if there is an important lore character in your picture,” said Ryuen. “Case in point: My humble Monk managed to snare Firiona Vie herself in EverQuest II for a quick pic before she had to attend to more pressing matters.”
She had more box art modeling to do. It’s exhausting, being one of the last of the Midriff Elves in the game.
Have you played The Game? Secret World Legends
has a text game that mirrors the the real… we mean, game world. Massively OP’s MJ played through The Game v1.0 last time
, and now she’s ready for the upgraded version. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. as MJ solves v2.0.
What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, August 9th, 2018
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.
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin sift through the ashes of World of Warcraft’s burning developments, make sense of Chris Roberts’ “You win by having fun!” mantra, get cozy with werewolves and tieflings, and more!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
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As a longtime fan of MMOs, I struggle with one serious factor when it comes to playing them: time. It’s not just finding time to play, period, but instead considering whether or not an MMO deserves my time.
Unlike a lot of other video games, MMOs don’t often reward the occasional gamer. Their design and business model pushes hard for large, constant, and repeated investments of time. So it’s kind of difficult for me to just pick up a title and play it once to get much out of it. For most games, if it’s not something I can dedicate at least an evening a week to making progress, then it’s probably not worth “dipping” into.
Still, some MMOs are surprisingly friendly for occasional play. I find episodic titles like Star Trek Online and Secret World Legends perfect for this, since they have fewer content releases focused on a smaller amount of very defined and story-based experiences.
What do you think? Which MMOs are the best for occasional play if you’re not looking for a 100 hours-a-month investment?