The Legends of Aria team sounds as if it has a lot on its plate right now. The team posted a road to launch update to keep fans appraised of the plan from here to release.
And there is a wee bit to do: “We need to implement a list of features (like fixing the map, adjusting the UI, loot, and more) and then go all in on bugs and stability for the next few weeks. We need to lock in some stress tests. We need to close the servers for some focused testing. We need to wipe the servers for the final time, and give our crowdfunders and founder’s pack buyers their head start. And we need to launch on Steam early access.”
Because that’s not enough, the team is throwing two events this month, a 6XGM event on August 17th and a Permadeath Mod event on August 30th. Following that on September 4th, the servers will go dark in preparation for early access some time in October. Hopefully. “Going to Steam is the natural next step for a game that began with crowdfunding and needs a critical mass of population in order to succeed,” said the team.
While we may only faintly remember Trials of Ascension: Exile for a pair of failed Kickstarter campaigns back in 2015, the hardcore fantasy sandbox nevertheless has persevered in development to the point where the title went into Steam early access last month.
The game is perhaps most notable for the fact that, along with playing as a boring human, you can adventure through the world as a web-spinning spider or a flame-spitting dragon. It’s a survival game at heart, so expect a lot of crafting, building, and (presumably) dying. Speaking of dying, one of the server options is to allow permadeath, a feature that the team feels is desirable to certain players.
Trials of Ascension’s first early access patch rolled out this week with lots of quality-of-life and database improvements. The dev team has a huge shopping list of features that it is working on for the future, including a magic system, various growth stages for characters, and more server host options.
If immersion and realism are what you crave in a new MMORPG, take a look at Codename Reality, another new game in our field of view this week. Europe-based studio Orode Productions just kicked off a Kickstarter for the game seeking $583,981 to build what it says is “the kind of project even the biggest game design companies wouldn’t dare undertake” – a “massively multiplayer online persistent entity game,” or MMOPEG for short. This one’s buy-to-play, with no sub.
“Codename Reality is a realistic fantasy/medieval realm in which your actions shape the world,” the devs write in their pitch.
“In other words, we have provided you with the possibility to create its history. We have redesigned the NPC system to better integrate with the realistic feeling and along with this, the death mechanic is more aligned with permanent death than with the classical MMORPG death system. You define the storyline and as such your future is completely up to you. However, with great potential comes great risk. Players can be harsh, and the same goes for the Realm itself. Only those with the skills to predict the consequences of their actions will succeed. Can you rise to the occasion and thrive in the Realm, or will your actions lead to the demise of you and your allies?”
Digital Extremes’ retro permadeath/bullet-hell MMO Survived By entered closed beta yesterday and rolled out a patch with a new 10-man raid, hardmode dungeons, UI buffs, and a graphics upgrade. But what good does that do you, person reading this who has no closed beta key?
We can fix that: In celebration of the CBT, DE has granted Massively OP 2000 keys to get our readers into the game right now. Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!
Digital Extremes has officially launched Survived By into closed beta today, accompanied by a hefty patch including a new 10-man raid, hardmode dungeons, UI buffs, and a graphics upgrade. The game was originally announced last August just ahead of PAX West; it’s basically a mash-up of an MMO and a retro bullet-hell style game. In fact, at the time DE was calling it a true MMORPG with up to 100 players per fight, plus permadeath and crafting and dungeons. The permadeath, by the way, is the type whereby your next toon is the character whom you’re “survived by” and who gets some of the benefits of your dead one’s experience. Oh, and the whole thing is free-to-play.
“To kick off the development milestone, Survived By will begin letting in more players who sign up for accounts on the game’s website, and will launch its first major event, dubbed Prophecies of Sin, for a limited time starting today July 18 and ending on July 25. Atop a giant ziggurat, players must summon a devastating new boss and coordinate their efforts to save the world. Only the most brazen will emerge victorious and earn never-before-seen exclusive event skins, gear and unique titles. Gather your friends now for a night of retro-style bullet hell bonding and madness as you protect the world from the Prophecies of Sin!”
As an MMO music collector, I’ve gathered some really obscure soundtracks over the years, including ones from games that people don’t even remember existing, nevermind having actually played. I won’t lie: Some of these soundtracks are downright forgettable. They might have one or two halfway decent tunes tucked among them, but they certainly do not have enough good tracks to justify a whole column on them. Once in a while there might even be a gem that can be sifted from the pile, but these end up being anomalies.
Back in 2016 I posted a quick list of six great tunes from MMOs that most people had never played, and today, I’m going to do another. Sure, maybe there are a few of you out there who did log into these games back in the day, but chances are that a majority of readers on the site did not. In some cases, the music is all that remains of a long-lost experience.
So let’s see what gems we might uncover today!
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 World of Warplanes, World of Warships Legends, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Sea of Thieves, Skull and Bones, Old School RuneScape, SMITE, War Thunder, Neverwinter, and Pokemon Go, all waiting for you after the break!
In retrospect, it was probably not the brightest of ideas to settle in an abandoned village in the middle of a dark forest full of monsters. But what’s done is done, and now it’s up to you and 29 friends to try to make it work.
This is the premise of Grimmwood, a social multiplayer RPG that works in elements of survival titles, roguelikes, and city builders. It’s not a free-roaming 3-D title but rather a menu-driven experience that plays out a bit like a tabletop RPG. There are choices to be made during the day, including going on expeditions, crafting up tools, and re-enforcing the village. This is all necessary, because every night the monsters come and assail your small outpost.
There’s a really neat alternative 16th century vibe running through this title, and the fact that players have to manage limited action points, their characters’ sanity levels, and actions that could result in permadeath should make for tough choices.
Grimmwood is currently in open beta and can be played for free on Steam.
Massively OP reader Steve wants us to revisit the Daily Grind on making death more meaningful without making it more annoying. His letter was long, so let me paraphrase a bit:
“It feels to me like underlying point was, ‘MMOs are too easy, so how do we make them harder?’ The question of video game difficulty is something that is seldom ever tackled head-on, as it tends to draw out a somewhat vocal minority. There are so many worthy topics about how people define difficulty, twitch skills vs. depth, easy vs. hard, difficulty vs. accessibility, easy vs. engaging, shallowness vs. depth, and so on. These are things I’d love to really see discussed more online, and very few sites will actually touch it. But I think that MOP’s community is overall mature enough to actually have some discussions about this without it devolving into a fist fight.”
I’m sure you’ll prove him right! Right, guys? Guys? So let’s talk about MMO difficulty in this week’s Massively Overthinking. What do we really mean when we talk about “difficulty” in MMORPGs? Are games easier than they used to be, and if so, is there something studios should do to change that?
Personally, I don’t think MMO developers should ever become complacent about game systems and copying them from other titles because that’s the way they’ve always been done. It’s healthy to reexamine why games do what they do and to be looking for better ways to do them.
So in that spirit, death systems. In most MMOs these days, the standard death penalty is a mild corpse run, a repair fee, or both. It’s not even something that I think about unless it sets me back in my advancement through a tricky area.
But is there a better and more meaningful way that character death could be handled in MMOs without being annoying? One interesting idea I had a while ago was that of a daily permadeath system: Every game day, each of your characters could only die once, and you’d have to wait until the next day to access them again. Yet players could continue in that game session by accessing other alts, encouraging a more diverse play between characters.
If you had to brainstorm up more meaningful death systems, what would you create?
I love stories. Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I love stories not just for their raw entertainment value, but for their ability to teach. It’s not heavy-handed like being in class, but stories teach culture, customs, and character. We visit the past, the present, the future. We experience things through stories we might never get to experience for ourselves. War, I hope, is one of those things.
Andrew Barron, Director of Design at Bohemia Interactive Simulations, has seen war. And war stories. He’s also been in the game industry for awhile, both before and after his time as a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan. He knows war, but he also knows war simulators. It’s actually his job to help build them. So when he says our games our violent, he knows what he’s saying, but the context for that may not be easily understood. However, once it is, you’ll see that not only do we have some games getting war “right,” but that there’s room for us to grow, and some people are already working on that in a way that sounds, well, fun.
I didn’t play it, but I can’t be the only one who thought of the original tabletop when Funcom announced Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden. Well, if you haven’t heard yet, surprise! It’s based on the same IP.
However, I have some bad news, MMO fans: Apparently while there was a plan for Mutant Year Zero to have a multiplayer option, it got the axe. Good news, though: Developer and “First Lady” from The Bearded Ladies (the developers behind the game) David Skarin said nothing is stopping them from adding it in after launch. Normally CGI trailers without gameplay make the press side of me roll my eyes, but I have to admit that, after seeing some actual gameplay, I’d probably enjoy some hands-on time with the title.
A new year, a new batch of survival games! Yes, the genre has become so popular that one guide, no not even two guides could contain all of the survival goodness. More keep cropping up. I certainly can’t say as I mind, since this is the style of game that has been giving me the feeling of having an impact on my environment. And it’s not all the same collection of zombies, although there is still plenty of that. It is interesting to see what new takes developers are bringing to the table. Want to do a survival reality show? There’s a game for that! How about living like a viking? Yup. What if you want to be the psychotic killer that survivors are trying to, well, survive? Got you covered. Fell like upping the ante and surviving via VR? There are a few of those available.
If you are looking for a new survival to sink your teeth into, here’s the addendum for some newer games in development as well as some newly discovered ones since the last mega double guide. Note: This collection will be a mix of multiplayer and single-player titles with some uniques thrown in.