This week in crowdfunded MMO development, Dragon of Legends’ Kickstarter ended successfully, netting over $15,000 US for the OARPG studio; Star Citizen released alpha 2.3, complete with the long-awaited and gorgeous Starfarer; and Shroud of the Avatar previewed the once-glorious kingdom of Valhold.
Meanwhile, we peeked at Grim Dawn’s modding tools, watched as Greed Monger was abandoned (again), saluted Project Gorgon’s flower arranging patch, and considered whether William Shatner should voice all the things and not just Elite: Dangerous.
Don’t forget to drop by our Q&A collection thread for Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs, who’ll be a guest on the Massively OP this week and needs at least a few thousand more questions to tackle. Then read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the rumors were true: Flower arrangement has come to Project Gorgon, along with a related skill called nature appreciation. You can scoff at this “flower power” all you like, but it actually sounds as if picking daisies in the game will benefit the player greatly.
“Using flowers now requires a new skill called nature appreciation,” explained lead developer Eric Heimberg. “This was done because flowers are actually intended to be very important at high levels of play, and it didn’t make sense to gate their use on a different skill. Unfortunately that means in the short term you won’t be able to use your flowers until you level up this skill.”
This week’s patch fixed a metric ton of bugs, increased the ice magic cap to 60, and nerfed chicken egg production. Bummer if you were making omelettes. There has been a lot of other things added to Project Gorgon over the past couple months, and if you’d like a short and entertaining recap of these additions, check out Rogue Ocean Gaming’s video below!
Surely one of the best parts of being a tiny indie studio is that you can more or less do whatever you want. So it is with Project Gorgon, whose pre-alpha develops at the whims of its creator, Eric Heimburg, who’s been tricking out special weekend modes that are a bit different from the norm. Earlier this month, players tested an inventory bonus weekend, during which they got a bigger inventory — the better to craft with. More recently, players were treated to a travel speed weekend.
The game’s next patch is due out sometime this week, though Heimburg says he might postpone it from its Tuesday/Wednesday plan to upgrade Unity first. “It’s looking pretty likely that Ice Magic level cap will be raised in next update,” he writes, “Some new skills, some bug fixes, this and that.” And then there’s this — and we’re pretty sure he’s serious:
Frontier confirmed this week that Elite: Dangerous is indeed destined for the Oculus Rift; in fact, everyone who owns the game will be able to download the Oculus version at no extra cost and play it beginning March 28th, the day the Rift itself launches.
Meanwhile, we got an in-depth look at Shards Online’s skill system, Project Gorgon dropped a mega patch, and we prepare for the arrival of Sacrament on our list as it’s headed to Kickstarter next week.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!
When Project Gorgon adds a patch, watch out: This game does not mess around. The March 8th update is absolutely enormous, with big adjustments to the game world and the combat systems.
Where to begin? The game added a new zone (South Serbule) and city (Rahu) that are in “a state of half-assed-ness” as they’re being built. The team’s included the ability to toggle on special weekend modes, such as bonus XP, a larger inventory, and extended transmutation. Loot rarity, especially in dungeons, has been adjusted radically.
But perhaps the bulk of the patch’s changes deal with the combat system itself. There’s a new type of XP called “combat wisdom” that players will eventually be able to spend on upgraded versions of skills. The patch also slowed combat leveling, made fights last a bit longer, lowered the spawn rates, tweaked how taunting works, and yanked away some of the more annoying mob abilities like evasion and regeneration.
Most important patch note? “More NPCs in Serbule notice when you kill their domestic animals — and hate it.”
In real life, when you die the penalty is… death. You just get that one go at things. But in MMOs, player characters are imbued with immortality, able to come back time and again from mortal peril. From a player perspective, this is great, since it allows a chance for persistent development and encourages the exploration of the world without dire fear.
But a little fear is perhaps appropriate, to keep the stakes high during adventuring and combat and increase fun by introducing some risk. After all, if you can just pop right back into being without any punishment, then death means absolutely nothing and a sense of accomplishment is lessened. Creating the right type of death penalty for an MMO is a tightrope that devs must walk. Make it too lenient or too harsh, and a game could suffer for it. If you ask the community, players are often split on whether or not MMOs should have strong death penalties.
Today we’re going to cover the major types of death penalties that MMOs have implemented over the years. As with many things MMO, there used to be a lot more experimentation in this regard, but it’s still a relevant topic considering the crop of up-and-coming games in this field.
This week we’ve been abuzz about Smed’s Hero’s Song Kickstarter cancellation – the KS more than the game, mostly because the game is happening regardless, but the Kickstarter might be more a window into the genre and the wider gaming industry than the game itself.
Our audience has seemed particularly prickly lately about so-called “rockstar devs” taking “AAA games” to Kickstarter for “no-strings” money and promotion instead of to investors or publishers, which might be leading to the corporatization of Kickstarter and squeezing out of smaller studios. We talked about that last month too when we asked our readers whether they planned to Kickstart anything in the new year.
So let’s talk about the present and future of crowdfunding. Are you over it? Is it dead? Is it being killed off by so-called “rockstar” devs, or is that sour grapes? If you’ve backed games, how many have delivered? What are your criteria for backing games in 2016? These are the questions I posed to the team for this week’s Massively Overthinking.
I’ve seen a lot of desperate requests in my day in which players are asking for games outside of the normal sphere of popularity and MMO mainstream (such as it is). We all know what the big games are, the ones that get the lion’s share of the publicity, press, and popularity. But all of that attention can easily blind us to those titles that are quite good if not as well-known, and I believe it’s those MMOs that many players are seeking when looking for an alternative to the games they’ve been playing for years.
So today we’re going to explore a list my top 10 recommendations for “obscure” MMOs. These are games that might not be on the tips of everyone’s tongues but have earned a solid reputation in some way and might offer a different experience than the same-old that you’re used to seeing. For this list I’m mostly sticking with released or playable titles that have good word-of-mouth behind them, are still in operation, and have generally run under the radar for most of their lifespan.
Would Bree or Justin spend $600 on an Oculus Rift? Probably not in this universe, but it certainly won’t stop them from talking about this new VR platform and its implications for MMOs. Is virtual reality the future of the online RPG genre or merely a fad?
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.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, the Oculus Rift, once a crowdfunded venture, is now asking a whopping $599 for its final product, befuddling market analysts.
Meanwhile, Greed Monger returned from the dead, Divergence Online staggered to Steam early access, and TUG picked up a cool $8.5 million in funding to start over in a new engine, meaning a year’s delay to content updates.
Check out the rest of this week’s MMO crowdfunding news below.
It’s a very happy new year in Project Gorgon, as this week’s patch brings not only a home for animal players but also free gifts through the new item delivery system.
By logging in and typing “/redeem Happy2016” players will be gifted with a party supply pack (one per account). Players with accounts made in or before 2014 can additionally type “/redeem IAmSoOld” for another goodie bundle. Additionally, many NPCs will now give gifts to characters who have taken the time to befriend them.
The January 3rd patch includes the first version of Animal Town on Sun Vale’s beach, where NPCs won’t even talk to you unless you’ve been transformed into a beast. Cows and deer characters can now level up to 60, and cows have a new tough hooves ability.
Source: Loader patch notes
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, crowdfunding is dead. Just kidding. But a whole lot of you said you’re not planning on Kickstarting anything in 2016. We’ll see, won’t we!
This week, Crowfall delivered on its teases and revealed its crows and vessels system for account-based character development.
Meanwhile, Pathfinder Online might have a new investor, Project Gorgon delayed its latest patch for animal town, Spatium’s Kickstarter was unsuccessful, Life is Feudal patched in weather, Dogma Eternal Night forged onward, City of Titans hinted at 2016 testing, and The Repopulation rejected blame for the Hero Engine mess.
Check out the rest of this week’s MMO crowdfunding news below.
This week wasn’t just the end of a year, it was the start of a long string of news from Crowfall before testing resumes on January 6th. The game’s staff revealed the interlocking system of vessels and crows, allowing players to unlock skills and abilities at the account level rather than per character, and introducing all sorts of interesting possibilities with crafting characters. There were also reminders to get your 2015 founder’s packs before the end of the year, but that deadline is passed now.
And yes indeed, there was other beta news. Not much, though; most game studios were watching some movie or another and sleeping off holiday meals.
And, of course, there’s our list down below. See something we missed, let us know! We also have a movie to catch right now, you understand. It involves some awakening or another.