Over the past several years, we have witnessed several MMOs being rebooted and relaunched, including Final Fantasy XIV, Secret World Legends, and, most recently, Defiance 2050. There are various reasons why studios would want to do this, including addressing key flaws in the original game, switching over to different business models, and benefiting from a new round of publicity and review ratings.
Looking at the above titles as case studies (and more if you can pull up examples), we see both positives and negatives of these experiences arise. Not many players are keen on starting over in MMOs after investing dozens or even hundreds of hours on their characters, and because of this, there is a heavy price to be paid if the relaunch isn’t significantly different and improved from the original.
How should MMO studios handle game reboots? What would you recommend be the steps that studios should take in handling existing accounts, upgrading the game, and starting everything all over again?
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin mull over how necessary it is to actually provide MMOs with those icky, wonderful girlie-types. They deliberately deliver a light-hearted episode after last week, full of funky fresh frivolity. Will gaming ever be fun again? It has to be!
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With last week’s launch of the revamped and rebooted Defiance 2050, Trion Worlds was betting on players flocking back to the sci-fi MMO shooter now that it’s seen improvements and adopted a free-to-play model. However, it doesn’t seem as though the community is giving its approval for the latest version of this game, at least according to Steam, where Defiance 2050 is weathering “mostly negative” reviews.
One common complaint is that the relaunched MMO isn’t really that much different or better than the old game — yet players have to start over from scratch (in an eerily similar situation to last year’s Secret World Legends reboot). Other frequent criticisms include the proliferation of lockboxes, server instability, old bugs that haven’t been fixed, and not enough recognition or extras for players coming from the original game.
Site Kitguru ran Defiance 2050 through a series of benchmarks and compared it to the original game, stating that it “improves upon its predecessor with a more detailed experience.” It was also noted that there was a choppier frame rate on larger resoutions, better AI, and no apparent reason for the reboot on PC.
Trion has a big launch on its hands today as it pushes Defiance 2050 out of beta into a live state on PC and both core consoles. As we’ve been covering, Defiance 2050 is set to be a “completely from-the-ground-up recreation” of Trion’s original Defiance that “overhauls the exciting story and groundbreaking gameplay of the original, reimagining the San Francisco-based sci-fi shooter experience for current gaming hardware.” Classic Defiance, which sparked widespread use of the term “transmedia synergy” buzzword across the MMO genre when it launched alongside a SyFy TV series of the same name, will continue on for those who prefer it as well.
If you’ve previously picked up a founder pack, you’ve already been in the beta, but as of today, the game is free-to-play and everyone can hop on in. Launch time is technically 1 p.m. EDT this afternoon, so if you’re reading this in the morning, you’ve got just a few more hours to wait. Why not check out some of our coverage while you do? We recommend our hands-on experiences from E3 and GDC!
In her first foray into Defiance 2050 during its closed beta, Massively OP’s MJ peeked in to try and see what what was different. The audience didn’t see much change. Could that be different this time around as she dives into the headstart of the open beta? Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a second first look at…
What: Defiance 2050
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, July 9th, 2018
Ever since Trion Worlds announced that it had snapped up all of the remaining assets from Gazillion
and Marvel Heroes
, we have wondered what the studio was planning to do with them. Now we know at least in part, as Trion is handing out free MMO promotional packs
to Marvel Heroes
refugees as a way to welcome them to the fold.
This promotion is a “limited-time offer” and only applies to former Gazillion players who register to Trion Worlds with the same email address that they used for Marvel Heroes. If this applies to you, you can pick up a promo pack to one of the five games that Trion is running.
Pick Trove and you’ll get both a super starter pack and a square necessities pack. Go with ArcheAge, and you’ll enjoy 30 days of patron time, a mount, and other goodies. RIFT’s deal is pretty good, with a month of subscription time, all of the game’s souls, two more bag slots, and a mount. Alternatively, you may choose Atlas Reactor (and get all freelancers the game has and ever will make) or Defiance (which includes a legendary shield and chip).
The time has come for Defiance 2050 to enter the wild… in a limited sense. Head start access begins today, although the general “anyone can jump in” of the full launch won’t kick off until July 10th. But if you’re a founder, you can start playing this updated rebuild of the game right now on your platform of choice.
To go along with this particular event, players who are only passingly familiar with the title might want to take a gander at the rundown of the classes available on the PlayStation Blog, which covers all of the various ways you can shoot things in the game. (It’s a game about shooting things, you knew each class was going to have a focus on shooting.) The title is available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and of course the PC.
You there! Will you watch an official developer livestream of Defiance 2050 on July 13th? Perhaps you might say no right now, but would you still say no if you knew that doing so could drop a free Gemini XIII outfit just for watching? Does that change your mind?
Because if it doesn’t, well, this promotion is not going to affect you very much. That’s what it is. Watch the livestream and you get a Twitch drop, that’s the thing.
Of course, there’s stuff going on aside from the drop itself, as there will be other giveaways taking place as well; that’s just the central promotion. Watch the stream for at least 15 minutes after linking your Twitch and Defiance 2050 accounts to get the costume, nice and easy. But the stream will also feature other giveaways, so you can always jump on that as well. Free stuff! Who doesn’t like that?
After it looked like H1Z1 was being rendered obsolete by last year’s rise of PUBG and Fortnite, having lost 90% of its playerbase by February of this year, the battle royale title is making a surprising comeback on both PC and console. In fact, Daybreak announced this week that H1Z1 has seen over 10 million PlayStation 4 users since the game went into open beta on the platform back in May.
Here’s another big number: 102 million hours, which is how much time PS4 players have put into the game so far. Daybreak is so pleased with the response that it is gifting current and former PS4 players with a free Darkfire pickup truck and Sunrise parachute.
H1Z1 wants to bring its Revive game update to the PS4 this week, which includes the titular mechanic, an airstrike carpet bomb throwable, and aim acceleration options. Some issues have arisen and the team said that it is working on them and hoping to get the patch out soon.
All hands on deck, people! We are at Maximum Battle Royale this summer and the bubble hasn’t burst – at least not yet. Maybe it only ends when we have a battle royale game in which 50 battle royale games fight each other for supremacy. In any case, let’s catch up on all of the news of this weird and popular PvP sub-genre!
Making sure that the Sanhok event pass is working properly is at the forefront of the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds team this week. The event pass increased its daily XP limit and lowered some other requirements to progress through it.
Hi-Rez’s Realm Royale has a new alpha pack for sale and patched in a update designed to “improve the feel and gunplay of weapons.” The studio said that it focused on the responsiveness and unique qualities of each weapon to make them feel more satisfying.
“Realm Royale by Hi-Rez Studios hit 3 million players in just 3 weeks of early access. The hit new fantasy class-based battle royale game broke into the top 4 most-played games on Steam during its release week, and has been the #1 most viewed game on Twitch and Mixer. Today, an Alpha pack was introduced, the first purchasable content in the free-to-play game.”
This week, Daybreak is grieving over the loss of one of its key developers, David “Sarge” Carter. Carter worked as an animator on a couple of the MMOs for the studio and was instrumental in the industry over the last quarter-decade.
“You probably haven’t heard his name but if you played PlanetSide 2 or H1Z1 you’ve seen his work,” said Twitch’s Jimmy Whisenhunt. “Incredibly talented animator. We worked together for a few years at SOE, tremendous dude.”
“This really made me sad,” said former Daybreak CEO John Smedley. “David was amazing to work with. Always an optimist and a true pleasure to work with. He will be missed!”
Did you see this one coming? VentureBeat has a piece out this morning interviewing Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman, who’s apparently just revealed that Trion’s bought up all of Gazillion Entertainment, or what’s left of its assets, anyway.
Gazillion, of course, infamously shuttered along with its core MMORPG, Marvel Heroes, last autumn following weeks of missed content, an apparent failed contract renogotiation, a sexual harassment scandal, and ultimately Disney’s rescinding of the Marvel license, driving the studio into bankruptcy. At the time, we called it the worst-managed MMORPG sunset of all time.
It looks like the goal for Trion here isn’t necessarily to save or remake Marvel Heroes (although that would be fun, and VB notes Trion has picked up an isometric game engine as part of the package) but to bolster its publishing for MMOs specifically, something MMO players will recall Trion’s been working on for the last few years with Glyph, where Trion’s existing games – including RIFT, Trove, ArcheAge, and Defiance – currently dwell.
Trion is running yet another beta round for Defiance 2050 as the reboot heads to open testing on PC this weekend, starting tomorrow afternoon and running through Monday.
“Players taking part in the Open Beta will have the opportunity to check out the game’s new base classes, weapon enhancements and progression systems ahead of its release on PC, Xbox One and PS4 on July 10. Progress from Open Beta will not carry over into the full game at launch.”
As we previously reported, that launch will take place on July 10th, with a headstart set for July 6th, on all platforms. It’s a free-to-play game, though of course founder packs sweeten the pot.