This week in MMO crowdfunding, we got our first hints of “emergent gameplay” in Star Citizen as a group of players took over a refueling hub and began blasting everyone who came near it out of the sky. Why? Oh, they’re not just griefers; they’re specifically protesting CIG’s backburnering of the Arena Commander mechanics. I suppose it got them some attention, but also now all the people whose alpha ships they blew up hate them rather than CIG.
Meanwhile, Legends of Aria launched its second closed beta, Pantheon unveiled its character creation system, Saga of Lucimia riled everybody up over its grouping stance, City of Titans posted an epic teaser, Shroud of the Avatar opened a new cash shop to fund the next season and began optional subs, and Fractured’s Kickstarter has leaped up to $88K of its $116K goal with 10 days to go.
Finally, Crowfall had a big week, as its studio, ArtCraft, announced a second studio to license Crowfall’s engine to other companies building MMOs; we chatted with the company’s J. Todd Coleman about it too. There’s a huge chunk of new guide videos out on the game now too.
Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s pre-alpha test continues to progress forward, as the team just patched in the first version of the MMO’s character creation system this week. Six of the nine playable races for the game have been modeled and textured so far. These include male and female versions, because genders aren’t just cosmetic!
This month’s newsletter introduced players to the Giganaa, massive giants who tower over players and buildings. No doubt, they will make for fine targets with deep loot pockets in the future.
One project that the team has been working on is expanding class functionality in Pantheon. “Short term, I’ll be adding special support for all the other player classes. Today that means getting all the cool special ranger functionality into pre-alpha. Long term, I’d like to help us redefine what it means to play an MMORPG,” said Senior Programmer Jason Weimann.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained is in the home stretch before open beta. Yes, really, open beta. This is happening, people! Clear your 4th of July!
As for live Kickstarters, TemTem is up to $320K and counting, far past its original goal with still a week left to go. Most recently, donors unlocked Nintendo Switch play and the replay system. Clubs (guilds) are set to unlock at $400K. And yes, the game is now registered on Steam.
The Flower of Knighthood, on the other hand, abandoned its Kickstarter in its final hours, seeing it would not complete. The devs haven’t commented on their next move just yet.
Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar was hit with layoffs, EVE Online got its revenge on Star Citizen, Chronicles of Elyria posted lore, Albion Online rolled out a small update, and Crowfall admitted it’s delaying soft launch into 2019 but showed off its procedural world generation. Finally, Fractured prepped for Kickstarter – get ready to see that name a lot in this column!
Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Oh, boy, Star Citizen. It’s been a week. First, the little boy who would never lose faith in you lost faith in you. In a film, this is the point when you check into rehab. In real life, this is the point when the game released a trailer for alpha 3.2 that contains things not actually in alpha 3.2. And then they released another concept ship you can buy which looks… let’s be kind and say oddly similar to a ship from EVE Online. A well-known one. EVE Online had some fun with that. In short, the game is going to move to Australia.
Other beta news? Sure, yeah, let’s go for it.
- Amidst all the other news, The Crew 2 revealed its open beta will start on June 21st! You can try before you buy. Very briefly, because it launches on the Tuesday after that. So try hard.
- Pantheon is getting ready for its third pre-alpha, and it has a zone where everything works! That’s not sarcastic, that’s actually a landmark. I’m lucky when half of the zones in my home mostly work.
- The combat in Legends of Aria should be more sensible now. That’s welcome. Especially as you’ll be doing quite a bit more of it, as fast travel has been correspondingly weakened. Getting places is boring, or something.
- Why did Bless Online choose early access? Because Neowiz likes money? Probably, but maybe you should listen to the official explanation instead of being cynical. Or before being cynical anyway, we shan’t judge.
- Last but not least, Ship of Heroes has explained the team’s definitions of alpha, beta, open testing, and closed testing. There’s no snark to be had there. We like that sort of thing in this column.
Did you have a good week? Would you like to end it by looking at the games currently in testing? Would you like to tell us if something is mislabeled down in the comments? All of these things are good and you should do them.
The third pre-alpha build (which will include four zones and a level cap of 40) is on the way for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, and the Visionary Realms team has a lot to talk about as it shares a trio of new classes.
With this newsletter, VR debuted a section called “under wraps” in which it could share some of its design philosophies and upcoming projects. Discussion was given as to how the team approached the “horizontal identity” of classes: “These is the parts of a class that make them feel like they genuinely belong in the world. This is the immersion factor […] These are the elements that give our classes a tangible place in a shared world.”
The studio also shared an early look at the zone of Faerthale, a beginning zone for some of Pantheon’s Elves and the first zone planned to have all gameplay systems integrated. This is a huge deal for the game, as there are so many systems to include for a feature-complete zone. These include the day/night cycles, time-based spawns, specific atmospheres, the perception system, harvesting, places to climb, and NPC dispositions.
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, Pokemon Go, EverQuest, EVE Online, Paladins, Titan Quest, The Black Death, Skyforge, Final Fantasy XI, Wizard101, Pirate101, War of Rights, Evolve, State of Decay 2, all waiting for you after the break!
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin delve into the future of Lord of the Rings Online, debate when a sub isn’t a sub, head on into Summerset, fly high with Worlds Adrift, 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.
Listen to the show right now:
This week in MMO crowdfunding, buy-to-play sandbox Albion Online, which launched back in 2017, formally landed on Steam, bringing its blend of PvP warfare to a totally new audience. While the game never ran a Kickstarter, it did raise close to $10,000,000 from a quarter of a million backers through website crowdfunding and preorder packages prior to its release last summer, making it one of the higher profile crowdfunded MMORPGs to actually make it to launch and keep on producing content.
In Camelot Unchained – you’re still keeping an eye on the upcoming beta one, right? – the devs are busy sending early backers into the test server this weekend to break things. Among the bits and bobs CSE is working on? The crafting system, a major environment bug, character creation rendering, new ambient music, scenario maps, trait icons, animations, and “a new template for the home islands.”
Meanwhile, the Pantheon team sat down for a stream and revealed the first of its three classes, Ship of Heroes posted gobs of new screenshots to its Instagram, Elite Dangerous proposed making its factional combat mode entirely open PvP, and Legends of Aria patched in some good stuff, including the first iteration of secure trading.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
This month’s Pantheon newsletter is a doozy for folks eagerly awaiting the details of the game’s classes. Visionary Realms has revealed three: the sneaky Rogue along with the versatile Ranger toon, though fans of classic D&D-inspired MMORPGs may be most interested in the Monk.
“[The Monk’s] internal flow of Chakra is held back by a series of six gates, like water behind a sequence of dams. The Monk must learn to open these gates in order to wield their Chakra without limits, releasing it in a torrent of punishing damage, or in the form of powerful defensive and self-healing abilities. The 6 gates are known as: The Gate of Anger, the Gate of Peace, the Gate of Sorrow, the Gate of Joy, the Gate of Balance and the Gate of Release. In combat, Monks will constantly generate Chakra as a percentage of the damage they deal. In addition, certain abilities will increase a Monk’s Chakra by a certain amount when used.”
Racial combos, armor types, weapon types, and even a partial list of abilities are all included with the reveals, so they’re worth a click-through. VR says to expect more class details throughout the summer. The newsletter includes a deep-dive into the Orc tribes, as well.
It has to be a geeky dream come true to be able to get into a restricted-access MMO and go on an adventure with the actual developers. So look on with envy, then, as YouTuber KoopaTroopa787 joins the Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen team to play an Ogre Shaman on a dev-led dungeon crawl.
The video delivers a two-for-one benefit. Not only do you get to see an adventure through the Fion Iridia dungeon with a ton of combat, but you also get to hear the developers comment on the game’s various classes and systems as they progress.
What are you waiting for? Start your hour-long expedition with Pantheon after the break!
Beta testing for Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset expansion – as well as the free update 18 that’ll launch alongside it – began this week as the chapter rolled out to the PTS, with plenty of glimpses at new housing and wearables on the way. What else is new in MMORPG testing this week?
- Defiance 2050’s big PC closed beta is live for the weekend – though console players have been put off a little while longer.
- Old School RuneScape has begun testing its mobile client. That’s not very old school, but we’re not complaining.
- WoW’s Battle for Azeroth kicked off player testing of dark iron dwarves and mag’ghar orcs.
- Conan Exiles rolled out what’ll probably be its last major patch for testers before its official launch next month.
- Radical Heights’ early access teased female toons. In ’80s leotards.
- MapleStory 2 is plotting its western closed beta for next month.
Did we miss anything? Drop us a note in the comments, then check out our traditional list of all the bits and bobs currently
malingering trucking along in some form of testing.
Earlier this month, Pantheon’s community team tweeted out a question that keeps coming back to me: “What motivates you to play an MMORPG for long periods of time, as in months, sometimes, years?” My first reaction was a pretty common one I bed and was true for me for a long time: friends and guildies! I certainly played some games far longer than I would have otherwise because I wanted to hang out with friends (EverQuest in particular is coming to mind).
But in recent years, when I already “see” my friends and guildies every day in external chats, I’d found games need some other draw too. Housing is probably the biggest one. I don’t usually get sucked in for dailies or anything like that, but give me a house that I love and want to keep up – that I’ll not only log in for but pay for, as my continuing Ultima Online fees prove.
What keeps you logging into MMORPGs over a long period of time?
If we judged MMOs by their numbers alone — and I’m not suggesting we do so — then the original Lineage would be the crowing rooster strutting about the hen house. It’s also been one of those games that I’ve always intellectually acknowledged was a huge hit for some reason but never gave much attention. I think it’s because, contrary to many western MMOs, Lineage is primarily an Asian phenomenon. That doesn’t mean it should be shunned, of course, but just that it may be difficult to understand when you’re on the outside of it.
So let’s back up the memory truck to September 1998, when a then-fledgling NCsoft rolled out a Diablo-style isometric MMO and struck virtual gold in South Korea. At the time, gaming rooms were becoming a huge thing in the country. A recession had hit, giving people a lot of time with nothing to do, and the government was rapidly expanding the broadband network. In the face of this perfect storm, titles like StarCraft and Lineage became overnight household fixtures — and remained so for decades to come.
Even if you haven’t played Lineage and you don’t know anyone who does, trust me: Millions and millions of players have. As former Senior Producer Chris Mahnken once said, “Lineage keeps going because it’s just plain fun.”