On the verge of expanding into a full multiplayer experience, No Man’s Sky has rocketed back into the spotlight with July 24th’s NEXT update. In many ways, it’s absolutely amazing that the space game has reached this point considering its abysmal start in 2016 and harsh community criticism over a then-broken game.
The Guardian scored a rare interview with creator Sean Murray, who spoke on the mess of the launch and the subsequent journey to redemption. He said that the difficulty of the launch experience was “really personal” and that he and the studio received death and bomb threats, which even we chronicled at the time.
“I remember getting a death threat about the fact that there were butterflies in our original trailer, and you could see them as you walked past them, but there weren’t any butterflies in the launch game,” Murray said. “I remember thinking to myself: ‘Maybe when you’re sending a death threat about butterflies in a game, you might be the bad guy.'”
Don’t call it an MMO yet, but Even More Multiplayer is making its way to No Man’s Sky with its “Next” update. Hello Games today dropped a new trailer showing off how the “limitless procedural universe” is coming along. In fact, you haven’t got long to wait to play it yourself, as it’s rolling out next week on July 24th (Europeans have to wait an extra three days to the 27th for some reason).
“The new mode will be added to the limitless procedural universe across all platforms next week via the No Man’s Sky NEXT update, coinciding with the game’s launch on Xbox One, in a publishing partnership with 505 Games for physical retail. With this launch, players across Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Steam for PC will be able to explore, fight and survive with friends as they voyage across the vast celestial sandbox.”
Hello Games is touting a whole slew of features, including small-group exploration, the chance to “prey on others to survive,” building shelters and colonies, exocraft racing, custom race track creation and sharing, “epic space battles,” unlimited base building, fleet control, capital ships, “challenging multiplayer missions,” and a massive visual upgrade. Holy crap. Maybe that’s why the game’s recent reviews on Steam are pretty positive, eh?
I’ve still got hype on the brain. We’ve talked about the length of hype cycles and under-hyped MMOs. Now I want to talk about games that have actually suffered from their own hype specifically.
No Man’s Sky and WildStar pop to mind immediately for me as games we cover that were grievously wounded by hype. Both games effectively promised and teased far more features and more interesting features that they actually delivered, causing hype for the game to turn into venom post-launch. And in both cases, the game studios have made considerable effort to turn it around, but the grudges linger.
PUBG strikes me as another game that was heavily hyped last year but quickly succumbed to a prettier, cheaper, more accessible, and more polished game.
And howsabout Destiny 2? A contender, right?
Which online game has suffered the most from its own hype?
A No Man’s Sky griefer purporting to roleplay an evil emperor, monologuing and all, decided to up his griefer game by taking it out of game and erasing a 400+ member strong Amino community cafe.
As Kotaku reports, the streamer, SGX, had a history of this sort of play.
“Erasing a base in No Man’s Sky is pretty easy to do. Each planet can only have a certain number of bases that are visible to other players. In many communities, it’s considered polite not to claim a base on a planet that has other bases on it already. What SGX did was go to planets in civilized space, meaning communities like Cafe 42 or the Galactic Hub, travel to places where he knew player-made bases existed, and claim bases at the same site, effectively destroying them. He’s also left some rude comments in his wake, all in keeping with his evil overlord persona. In one stream, he re-words a comment a couple of times because the profanity filter won’t let him submit his desired message: “I pissed at your door.”
MMO players have nice long memories, so I’m sure you’ll recall that way back in 2016, No Man’s Sky ticked everyone off and even was investigated for deceptive marketing practices, including suggestions of multiplayer that didn’t materialize at launch, though subsequent well-received (and free) updates have since made multiplayer closer to reality.
According to last night’s Inside Xbox livestream, Hello Games is going to double-down on the existing limited multiplayer with a “full multiplayer experience,” allowing players to game with a “bunch” of their friends in teams as well as bump into strangers – even “prey” on them, so it sounds like PvP will be a thing. Basebuilding and dogfighting and massive space battles were also mentioned. It’s incredibly ambitious.
The update will go live for existing PC players alongside the Xbox One launch on July 24th.
Looking for a few good deals on MMOs and multiplayer games? Both Humble Bundle and GOG.com are running some sales right now that might cut you a deal on a title you’ve been eyeing.
Humble Bundle’s Sci-Fi Week includes price breaks on No Man’s Sky ($23.99), Osiris: New Dawn ($12.49), the standard version of Elite: Dangerous ($13.49), the commander deluxe version ($31.79), and the season pass for Elite: Dangerous Horizons ($17.99).
GOG.com’s Most Wanted Games Sale isn’t quite as relevant for the online gamer, although you can pick up Grim Dawn for a respectable $7.49, Torchlight for $3.79, and Torchlight II for $4.99.
Ahead of an apparent impending leak, Hello Games’ Sean Murray dropped a “small announcement” about No Man’s Sky this morning.
“Coming in Summer 2018 is No Man’s Sky NEXT, a free update for PS4, PC, Xbox and WeGame,” he writes. “It’s our largest update so far, and we’re working our socks off.” There’s a teeny trailer too, and I do mean teeny – it’s just the title of the game. You might recall that the game isn’t actually out on Xbox One yet, so that’s apparently happening simultaneously.
MMO players will recall that the game raised ire ahead of its launch back in 2016 for deceptive marketing practices, including suggestions of multiplayer that didn’t materialize at launch, though subsequent well-received updates have since made it a reality.
Way back in 2016, No Man’s Sky was all anyone talked about thanks to misleading hype positioning the game in the stratosphere. In fact, the multiplayer features that were teased (and apparently planned in spite of claims to the contrary) didn’t actually launch with the game, contributing to a regulatory investigation (which went nowhere). It was particularly disappointing to the MMO community, which didn’t believe NMS was itself an MMO but had been looking forward to online and social features, to the point that we were all deeply disappointed when it didn’t happen.
Some of that disappointment vanished last summer, when Hello Games emerged from its self-imposed PR silence with a new patch introducing “joint exploration,” which wasn’t exactly co-op multiplayer; instead, the devs called it “an important first step into the world of synchronous co-op in No Man’s Sky” – and we called it the first step into turning the game into what was originally advertised.
Players are now taking even more next steps. As Kotaku first reported, a player modder – RaYRoD – undertook a huge overhaul mod to basically reintroduce a lot of the planned features that people noted weren’t actually in the launched game.
How do you feel about grinding in MMOs? What about farming? These questions can elicit a wide variety of answers, from shrieks of dismay to enthusiastic head nods. Depending on the situation, grinding and farming can be something to be enjoyed, to be endured, or to be avoided at all cost.
The Game Freak Show says that he has a love/hate affair with grinding and farming, and it presents all sorts of muddled emotions, especially when gated mechanics are thrown into the mix: “While I have forgiven the grind in many RPGs for sucking away my time, this disturbing trend of games that do not have a harsh grind because they’re flawed or made for a different audience, but to force people to drop more cash on the table is something I can’t.”
Continue on for a look at Kritika Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online’s Ravenloft, the best solo MMOs, and more!
At the opening presentations of EVE Vegas 2017
, CCP Games
announced that it has teamed up with mobile developer PlayRaven
to produce a totally new free-to-play mobile MMO set in the EVE Online
universe. Currently codenamed Project Aurora
, the new game won’t be connected to the EVE
universe directly but is thematically set in EVE
and has some similar gameplay elements such as territorial warfare and corporation politics.
Each player in Aurora will take command of an upgradable space station, from which ships can be dispatched to gather resources and capture territory. You’ll find yourself on a star map with other players doing the exact same, and can forge alliances, form corporations, and betray other players just like in EVE. The goal is to fight for possession of ancient artifacts in the centre of the map that you can then use to fix a broken ancient stargate and move onto the next map. Each jump brings you one step closer to the ultimate goal of reaching the center of the galaxy — I’ll take a pause here for those currently experiencing No Man’s Sky flashbacks.
It’s been a year since the disastrous and controversial launch of No Man’s Sky, a game with failings that included, among many others, a lack of multiplayer when it specifically advertised itself as such.
But has the space exploration game finally arrived now that it’s sitting on several patches is far more robust than its launch incarnation? Virtual Bastion thinks this may be the case.
“The new updates, Atlas Rises included, appear to build greatly upon the simple notion of giving players things to do, from crafting homes to completing actual missions. Certainly, the game isn’t perfect: Slow progression is still a problem, dreadful inventory management remains, and promised in-game multiplayer has yet to be realized, but the fact remains that No Man’s Sky on August 2017 is a far cry from No Man’s Sky of August 2016.”
Dual Universe just snagged a positively massive cash injection. According to a press release posted today, private investors have poured $3.7 million in funding into the sci-fi sandbox MMORPG. That’s in addition to the more than $630,000 the game raised on Kickstarter less than a year ago (a haul that at the time earned the game the title of third most funded video game on Kickstarter that year). Napkin math says the game picked up another $3M in between through on-site fundraising and possibly earlier investment.
Oh, and unlike a lot of games that snap up the “MMO” label, this one actually deserves it.
“Dual Universe is a new type of massively-multiplayer online experience: it takes place in a vast Sci-Fi universe, focusing on emergent gameplay and content building, with player-driven in-game economy, politics, trade and warfare. The vision for Dual Universe is to create the first virtual online civilization. At the heart of Dual Universe is a truly innovative proprietary technology, which was developed to lay the foundations of the game. The CSSC (continuous single-shard cluster) manages one single universe with potentially millions of people interacting in it at the same time. A multi-scale voxel engine enables players to physically modify the world; dig a hole, carve up a mountain or build anything they want, from space ships to orbital stations, at any scale they desire. Novaquark is building a virtual world environment where they hope millions of people will be able to live exciting collective adventures within a vibrant and emergent universe where everything is possible. The company aims at creating a new form of entertainment, where participants are free to create their own stories and environment.”
Remember all the fuss a year ago when No Man’s Sky finally launched and the multiplayer features Hello Games’ Sean Murray had teased (and the “online play” feature apparently hidden under a sticker on the gamebox) didn’t actually materialize, disappointing millions of players and contributing to a regulation investigation? We sure do, as it was really the only reason we covered the game at all.
Good news, though: It looks as if we’re getting what we paid for after all, just, you know, a year later. When the NMS update Atlas Rises launches, it brings with it “joint exploration,” a feature that sure sounds lot like co-op multiplayer, though Hello isn’t using that exact term.
“Glitches in the simulation have begun to appear. Visualised by strange floating orbs, up to 16 players can see and communicate with one another, and explore the universe together. While interaction with others is currently very limited, this is an important first step into the world of synchronous co-op in No Man’s Sky. While interaction is very limited, VOIP (Voice over IP) allows proximity based voice chat with other nearby explorers. Use portals to quickly travel to more populated planets, or to meet up with friends.”
There’s plenty more in the update, of course, but this is the bit that got our eyebrows waggling. If you owned it before, are you plugging back in for this?