Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve had some tantalizing rumors and teases that both Riot Games and Blizzard are building something new: Riot’s dangled some questions about maybe making an MMORPG – might it be a League of Legends MMO? – and Blizzard’s outright said it’s returning to the Diablo franchise for multiple projects (one of which is the Switch port announced this morning). Can we hope for an MMO from one of the big studios again – and should we?
That’s what we’re pondering in this week’s Massively Overthinking. Do you think either of these companies is actually working on a new MMORPG using an old IP, what might it look like if so, what are they working on if not, and what do you actually want to see happen? Read more
“So now I am very, very pleased to announce to everybody that we are taking the next step with Torchlight and making an MMO.”
By pulling back in some of the Diablo II and original Torchlight developers into the new Echtra Games, Max Schaefer has “gotten the band back together” to craft the upcoming MMOARPG Torchlight Frontiers. “To do justice to the Torchlight franchise and to take it to the next level, we really had to assemble an all-star team that’s capable of doing it,” explained Schaefer.
In the game’s first dev video, Shaefer walked fans through the genesis of this project and promised that this wasn’t a “generic MMO” but a true Torchlight game through and through. He talks up the persistent mechanics of an MMO and the “living, breathing world” that will grow over time.
Give the dev diary a watch after the break!
We may now know at least one of the several Diablo projects that Blizzard was teasing last week. Blizzard Watch reports that Diablo III is due for at least one additional port, this time to the Nintendo Switch.
The confirmation came about due to a mis-posted Forbes article that apparently jumped the gun. But once something is on the internet, it’s on it forever, so we know several details about this upcoming port.
The Switch version will be called Diablo III: The Eternal Collection and will retail for $60. There will be a few items exclusive to the Switch, such as a triforce picture frame, a Legend of Ganondorf armor set, and a Cucco companion pet. The game will have local and internet coop, as well as cloud saves.
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin geek out over the confirmation of a Torchlight MMO, salute the late, great RuneScape Classic, prepare for Battle for Azeroth, and more! Also, we read some really great listener haiku because you guys are awesome like that.
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.
Listen to the show right now:
NCsoft’s second quarter financials for the year hit this morning, and it’s not exactly bad news. Sales are down slightly, but everything looks wimpy next to Lineage M’s record-breaking debut last year. That’s now “stabilized” according to the company, and it also means core Lineage players are flooding back into the original Lineage, which saw its best quarter – by a lot – in over a year.
As for the other live games under NCsoft’s banner that our readers likely care about? They’re all down: Aion, Blade Soul, and Guild Wars 2 across the board, though Guild Wars 2 is still up year-over-year.
Perhaps the most interesting bits coming out of NCsoft this round are still on the horizon. As MMO Culture pointed out, the live conference call dished on The Lineage aka Project TL aka what’s left of Lineage Eternal (it’s hitting beta later this year), admitted PC sales have slowed down, and noted it’ll tailor new games based on the Aion and Blade & Soul IPs to the “global market.”
And yes, multiple new “major” games are in the works for next year, one apparently being Lineage 2 Mobile.
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.
Last year, Perfect World Entertainment shut down Runic Games. Even before that, fans had been told that any sort of Torchlight MMO would be a long time coming. And yet the previous event was not the end of the story, because it turns out that a Torchlight sequel is happening. More than that, Torchlight Frontiers is promising something far closer to an MMO than anyone might have dared to dream, offering a dynamically generated and shared persistent world for players to take on with friends and pets.
Pets in-game, that is. You do not need to teach your cat how to loot.
Max Schaefer, former head of Runic Games and co-founder of Blizzard North, is heading the team for Torchlight Frontiers, so there’s reason for fans to believe that the game will in fact feel very much like… well, Torchlight. Even more so than the mobile version, perhaps. So if it seemed like any sort of MMO version of the title was never actually going to happen, it looks as if, well… it’s happening. It’s going to be here soon. And yes, it’s a wonderful surprise.
It’s not exactly a secret that Blizzard has been working on something Diablo-related for a while as we’ve been tracking the company as it posts job openings for new Diablo games and fended off rumors about D3 mobile and Switch ports. That D2 remaster is still floating in my memory too. But confirmation is good, and we’ve got some of that on tap.
“We’d also like to let you know that the forges here at Blizzard are burning hot, and we have multiple Diablo projects in the works,” Blizzard Community Manager Brandy Camel teased in a brief video the studio posted today on Twitter. “Some of them are going to take longer than others, but we may have some things to show you later this year.”
So, BlizzCon is finally going to bring the Diablo love! Got any speculation?
Has it really been a month since we covered Stay Awhile and Listen, the second volume in David Craddock’s history of Blizzard’s development of Diablo? It has, and that means the Kickstarter is almost up. As TAGN noted, the book’s Kickstarter is down to three days to go but still needs about $2400 as I type this to meet its dirt cheap print goal of $12,000. At this price, the research and writing itself is purely community service. The paperback version of the book comes at the $30 pledge level, though you can pick up a digital version for just $10. Fans of our own The Game Archaeologist might want to give this a look.
“Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II – Heaven, Hell, and Secret Cow Levels is a documentary-style book that continues my trilogy chronicling the history of Blizzard Entertainment and Blizzard North. It picks up with the release of Diablo in 1997 and culminates at a crucial event in the summer of 2003 that saw Blizzard North co-founders David Brevik and Max and Erich Schaefer depart their company.”
The first book in the series is also available on Amazon for the same price as the sequel, though if you want the whole history, you’re gonna need both.
Worth noting: MOP reader CasualSlacks inquired with the author about an audiobook, and yes, there will indeed be one.
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 TERA, Vindictus, Realm Royale, Path of Exile, Elder Scrolls Online, League of Legends, My Dino, Citadel: Forged with Fire, PUBG, Armored Warfare, Paladins, Diablo III, EVE Online, and Star Trek Online, all waiting for you after the break!
Remember when the Dutch gaming authorities effectively threatened to prosecute prosecute companies like Valve for vending and trading lockboxes the government agencies considered a clear violation of Dutch law? The result of that, as we wrote earlier this month, was that Valve turned off all trading for Dutch players, and then turned it back on again with the caveat that Dutch CSGO players can’t physically open any of the boxes.
Dota 2 is another story: It seems Dota 2 has caught up to GGG’s Path of Exile in effectively offering players in the restricted region transparent lockboxes. As RPS reports, Valve didn’t mention this in the game’s patch notes, but here’s how it appears to work:
“When Dutchlanders now look at Dota 2’s loot boxes, which contain cosmetic items, the wizard ’em up simply tells them which item they would receive if they bought it. No hoping, no dreaming, no fancy animations or pounding drums as it shows you the fabulous prizes you could have won, just: chuck us a couple euro and you’ll get this hat for this wizard – wannit?”
It’s been a hot minute since we checked in with Path of Exile
, which has already had a pretty busy summer, what with the Incursion league and all. But what about the rest of the season? Grinding Gear has lots in store for that too.
For starters, throughout August GGG will be hosting a competitive flashback event along with the Incursion Challenge league. Xbox One’s premium stash is getting a bit of an overhaul, there’s a bug-fixing patch coming next week, and the studio is working on a fairly large update to party play, including much-wanted teleport-to-party-member and auto-join functionality, plus the opportunity to downlevel to your buddies.
“When the feature is turned on, you will be reduced in power to your friend’s level and they will be able to play with no experience penalty. This means you will both be able play together and they can level up as normal. While the option is off, everything works the the same as before. That means that your friends will get very little experience but you will retain your full power. You can see which level you have been downlevelled to above the party list on the side of the screen. We have also added the item find and monster life bonuses that are currently in effect to make that system more clear.”
Don’t expect a relaxing luxury cruise with Grim Dawn’s Forgotten Gods expansion later this year; it’s going to be a rough-and-tough ride that will require players to be at the top of their game to complete.
Part of this toughness comes from its new game mode, which the team is calling the Shattered Realm. This instable instance will task players to dive deep and fast into it before a timer runs out and the treasures disappear. Just to make things even more interesting, the further players progress, the harder combat encounters become.
And if you want to really test your mettle, why not take a dip in the challenge areas? These zones use difficulty scaling to great effect, ramping up the danger while increasing drop rates. “All this combines to making your loot hunt more dynamic each time you play,” the devs said.