piracy

Multiplayer survival sandbox Outpost Zero hits Steam early access

The super pretty survivalbox Outpost Zero has planted roots in Steam’s early access program. It’s currently $15.99; tinyBuild and Symmetric Games say it’s a fully featured version of the game, though the devs are still working on more mechanics and balancing, particularly in regard to PvP and base raiding. The full launch is expected early next year.

“This Early Access version is a fully featured version of the game. Animals, Pirate Raids, PvP combat, Base Building, Corporations, and Bot AI are all implemented to create a full cohesive survival experience. We will continue to polish and improve these systems over the course of Early Access release. […] In the final version of the game we will be introducing many more powerful and fun Bot AI classes to craft, many additional Pirate Raid mechanics, Flying Vehicles, Massive Battle Mechs, several additional game modes (like horde mode and team vs team base defense), and of course a ton more content, from Equipment and Weapons, Structure types, Animal classes, and more.”

Massively OP’s MJ has been touring the game this summer as part of her deep-dive into multiple survival games for her ongoing column; you can check those streams out below, along with the official quickstart tutorial and trailer.

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The Game Archaeologist: A history of EverQuest’s expansions

I don’t know if EverQuest holds the crown title for the MMO with the most expansions, but I’m sure it’s among the top three if not at the number one spot on that list. It’s astounding to count them up and realize that two dozen expansions have come out for that game between 2000 and 2017. That averages to a little more than one per year!

Today I want to pay tribute to the 24 expansions of EverQuest by going through them, one by one, and seeing how they grew and enriched the game over the past decade-and-a-half. I would also love to hear testimonies in the comments as to which EverQuest expansion you enjoyed the most!

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Arr! Puzzle Pirates: Dark Seas has fully launched on Steam

Arrrr! If Sea of Thieves isn’t doing it for you, maybe you should board a more classic ship, like Puzzle Pirates – specifically, Puzzle Pirates Dark Seas. Puzzle Pirates, of course, has been around for 15 years as an adorable puzzle-oriented MMORPG. Developer Grey Havens has been hard at work on a more PvP-centered version of the game with a new ocean map and a clean economy, and that version, dubbed Dark Seas, has just formally launched on Steam after a stint in early access. Notably, this version is Steam only, whereas the “classic” game also works in-browser; the devs have plenty of fun lined up to get the game’s initial economy rolling.

“In celebration of our Full Release Launch we’re going to have a series of blue grey tournaments and competitions. These festivities will culminate in the opening of the first large island, Melanaster, for blockade on July 14th. We suggest you start recruiting mates and making plans in Parley.”

Did we mention it’s free-to-play? You can dive in right now!

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The Stream Team: Working through Outpost Zero pirate invasions

Massively OP’s MJ can’t seem to get much base building done in Outpost Zero because she keeps being interrupted by rude pirates! She’s not about to let that deter her from building her compound and amassing a robot army. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to see how much progress she can (and the alpha itself has) made.

What: Outpost Zero
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

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Sea of Thieves’ Sunken Curse Event is live with today’s patch

Sea of Thieves is pulling another patch out of drydock today, this one with a fresh event for players of the pirate pseudo-MMO.

“Cursed Mermaid Statues are the latest addition to Sea of Thieves. Hidden in the shallows around island shores, they radiate, cursed with ancient magic. For this adventure, the Bilge Rats are challenging all brave pirates to seek out and destroy the statues. Not all statues are bound by the same curse but they all regenerate health over time and while some will require more firepower than others to destroy, no more than four players will be required to destroy even the toughest statue.”

Of course, there’s plenty more to the update, including new sunken items, new titles, new cosmetics (even a tattoo set), more useful loading screens, UI tweaks, crash fixes, and a few bug fixes too – for example, “cannonball knockback no longer causes unintended damage to fellow crew members.” Check out the developer update and other goodies down below!

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Interview: ArtCraft’s J. Todd Coleman on prepping Crowfall’s Artisan Engine for the broader industry

Yesterday, Crowfall studio ArtCraft announced it was spinning off a brand-new company dubbed ArtCraft Technologies that would basically turn Crowfall’s engine into a marketable product for other studios, “providing game developers with turnkey technology solutions for creating large-scale Massively Multiplayer Online games.” We had opportunity to chat with ArtCraft Creative Director J Todd Coleman about the move and what it means for the studio and genre. Read on!

Massively OP: So to start, we’re curious about the “why” behind the new studio. Is ArtCraft thinking of this venture as an extra revenue stream for the company? Or is it trying to encourage more MMORPGs – or maybe both?

J. Todd Coleman: This wasn’t originally part of our plan. In the last 12 months, we’ve had a few different studios contact us to see if we would consider licensing our technology. The more we looked into it, the more it made sense. The additional revenue stream is great, obviously, but that has to be balanced against the potential distraction. We wouldn’t have done this if we didn’t see it as a great strategic move for the company, and a chance to leverage what we’ve built into something much bigger.

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New Dawn, a survival sandbox set in the 1800s, has launched into Steam early access

New Dawn – not to be confused with Darkfall New Dawn or Osiris New Dawn or Star Trek Online’s New Dawn – is hitting Steam’s early access this week after a lengthy period in closed alpha.

We began watching the game two years ago, when we described it as a “survival sandbox that puts players in the role of South American natives in the 1800s who must fend off pirates while living off the land,” complete with “interesting mechanics, such as taming horses, being killed in your sleep while you’re offline, and a slavery system with the NPCs.” It ran an unsuccessful Kickstarter in 2017, which raised only 4.4% of its $82K goal before it was canceled by Italian developer e-visualsoft.

“At the moment, New Dawn is in Pre-Beta stage, many game mechanics are complete and we have a solid base in programming, which allows us to add new content quickly,” the devs told followers this weekend.

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EVE Evolved: Improving EVE Online’s organisational tools

Throughout most of EVE Online‘s lifetime, players have developed their own third-party applications (and yes, spreadsheets) to help organise and enhance their gameplay. We’ve got skill training calculators, websites for keeping track of structure fuel, databases full of information on items, and advanced industry and market tools that look like they belong to real world stock brokers. Most large alliances also now use Slack or Discord to organise out of game, have their own dedicated voice comms servers, and use tools like Jabber to notify members of important events.

CCP Games itself has added some brilliant in-game tools over the years that help players organise too. We now have a great in-game Calendar and event system, a customisable notification popup tool, corporation bookmarks, and an official smartphone app. We even have the ability to simulate and share ship fittings, and a new Agency panel that helps new players find content near them. These are all extremely useful productivity tools, but with a few improvements I think they could be even better!

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I discuss a few improvements I’d love to see for EVE Online‘s calendar, Agency interface, and official mobile app that would help players organise and work together more easily.

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Great, now Sea of Thieves’ skeletons have gotten into the gunpowder

Just when you thought that you could handle anything Sea of Thieves’ rascally skeletons could throw at you, now they have barrels of gunpowder and are perpared to blow you up along with themselves. After all, what does a bunch of reanimated bones have to live for in this crazy pirate world?

Gunpowder skeletons are keeping the game fresh with this week’s Patch 1.1.4. The fun part of all of this is that players can “borrow” the gunpowder kegs themselves to use on their enemies or enemies’ ships.

The current Bilge Rat event is continuing until July 10th, giving players a couple of weeks to earn as many dubloons as they can and buy the limited-time cosmetics on sale. Legendary commendations are also part of this event, going for 50 doubloons apiece.

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The MOP Up: Neverwinter’s five-year anniversary and Ravenloft campaign (June 24, 2018)

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 WarplanesWorld of Warships LegendsPlayerUnknown’s BattlegroundsSea of ThievesSkull and BonesOld School RuneScapeSMITEWar ThunderNeverwinter, and Pokemon Go, all waiting for you after the break!

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Sea of Thieves does a 180 on skeleton boats and is fine with it

With skeleton ships sailing, volcanoes erupting, rowboats rowing, and the three-player brigantine vessel tempting, Sea of Thieves is firing a publicity broadside following its E3 2018 showing.

The team admitted that it had changed its mind on a long-held stance against instituting skeleton ships. This was, apparently, due to player feedback: “Players have wanted it for a period of time and now we’re going to do it.”

The Sea of Thieves team got together to talk about the big changes coming to the multiplayer pirate simulator, and you can drop in on that chat with the latest Tales from the Tavern podcast after the break!

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E3 2018: Hands-on with Ubisoft’s open-world pirate PvP game Skull & Bones

So, you want to be a pirate, but Sea of Thieves isn’t your cup of tea? If the issue was PvP, well, you’re probably out of luck, as Ubisoft Producer Karl von der Luhe emphasized at E3 this year that one of Skull and Bones chief strengths is that it lets you decide what kind of pirate you want to be: the kind who backstabs and murders his fellow buccaneer, or a wolf running with a pack. There’s no room for pacifists who just want to share Earl Grey and crumpets, alas.

While von der Luhe admits that Ubisoft admires what Rare’s done with SOT, it’s been clear for a long time that the two games are different enough to co-exist. They’re different takes on the pirate lifestyle. Even with the new hideout system for off-ship… um, town interaction, my demo of the open PvPvE area, the hunt grounds, further confirmed my feeling that Ubisoft’s game is more about the ship than it is about the pirate, something that surely has its own audience.

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Sea of Thieves kicks off its recurring events with skeleton thrones

Running out of stuff to do in Sea of Thieves? The developers are trying to counter those summer duldrums with recurring in-game events, the first of which is going live today with Patch 1.1.2.

The Skeleton Thrones event will send players scrambling to declare themselves the rulers of the islands: “These thrones require a good sense of discovery to find, and for some an even steadier aim to reach. There are five small thrones and five large thrones, the small requiring just one pirate to sit on, but the larger requiring pirates to be sat on it from more than one crew. Look high, look low, and look within…”

The patch also made a lot of changes to the Bilge Rats faction (which ties in to the event), adding a dedicated progression screen, a unique currency, special cosmetics, titles, and a way to trade gold for rep increases.

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