Unlike some indie MMOs that keep an intentionally vague timeline of development, the team at Novaquark has mapped out the development and testing of Dual Universe from now through launch. Even better, the studio has announced that all Kickstarter backers of the sci-fi sandbox will be granted alpha access by the end of this year.
Alpha 1 is scheduled to dominate the rest of this year with world building, the ability to save designs, and harvesting. Alpha 2 will take place in the first half of 2019 with markets and character progression, followed by Alpha 3’s PvP combat and ship combat over the rest of that year. Then a much bigger beta test is going to arrive in the first half of 2020 with territorial warfare and a full galaxy to explore. Finally, the official launch is slated for the second half of 2020, complete with character customization and pets.
Dual Universe recently raised an additional $3.5 million to help fund the project, which makes the total budget to date $11 million. These new funds will be used to hire additional staff and “accelerate development.”
Hey, kids, did you know that players feel more like a community when they’re working together rather than constantly fighting one another? Of course you did, you’ve paid attention to more than two decades of MMOs teaching this exact lesson. But it appears that Rare was absent during those days of design school. A recent interview on the post-launch environment for Sea of Thieves reveals that the game’s team more or less completely changed the plan for the game once it became clear that, gasp, communities form when people work together:
We looked at the game just after launch and thought: players want to enjoy the fantasy of broadsiding other ships, so it makes sense for AI to take the brunt of that: if you’re giving people the creative outlet of attacking a common foe, it’s going to reduce the wish for dominance over other players.
Dynamight Studios has released a development roadmap for its would-be crowdfunded MMO Fractured, which is currently sitting at $66,907 US of its goal of $116,762 with 12 days to go on its Kickstarter campaign. The roadmap lays out the studio’s plans for the game’s development and testing phases, which have been split into four parts: alpha 1, alpha 2, beta 1, and beta 2. Fans will also be excited to know that the first test for the current development phase (alpha 1, of course) will be coming in December of this year. The full roadmap spans from this year into the farflung future of 2021, when the game is slated for release in the third quarter of the year.
Most of the focus, however, is on the game’s current development phase and what players can expect when the first round of testing rolls around in December. At first, the only playable area will be the planet of Syndesia, and players will likely be limited to playing as Human characters, though the post notes that over the course of the alpha 1 development phase (which is planned to conclude around Q3 of next year), the devs plan to give life to all three of the game’s planets and races. In addition, the official post highlights some details of the game’s crafting system, player-run towns, and the unique knowledge system. You can see the full roadmap and get all the details on the aforementioned features over at the game’s official site.
Curious where the survival sandbox Rend is at in its alpha development? The dev team posted a roadmap on the site that shows current (control points, the Reckoning, taming) and future (UI polish, character rework, more biomes, talents, perks, high-tier crafting, social systems) feature goals.
The team also shone a spotlight on another one of the game’s biomes, the Highlands. This wild are will be full of “stony fields and sloping foothills,” marked also by huge monolithic pillars that can be seen across the landscape. It’s these pillars that form part of the mystery of this biome, which players will uncover as they rush to build an outpost and defend it from other factions.
Get to know what Rend is about with our extensive look at the title from E3, in which we said that we were “optimistic about what Rend brings to both the MMO and survival genres.”
Could the acquisition of GamersFirst — including APB Reloaded and Fallen Earth — be what actually saves these games? Players of these long-abandoned MMOs are holding onto a fresh hope that Little Orbit is going to actually give these titles support, marketing, and development.
For the first time in literally years there is movement on the Fallen Earth front. New forums under the Little Orbit management have opened up with additional features, security, and discussion areas. But that’s not all! Little Orbit CEO Matthew Scott told the Fallen Earth community that he not only personally enjoyed the game but feels that it deserves the publisher’s help in rebuilding it.
Development roadmaps aren’t everything, but it’s helpful to know if the next few months of a game are going to be an absolute trash fire before you fall in love with it. So let us offer our thanks to Closers for providing an updated roadmap on the official site that lists its goals for the next three-month intervals. Especially since none of those goals are “adjust the game in a way that the majority of players will absolutely hate.” That shouldn’t be an accomplishment, but it sort of is.
There’s still a little time for the first block of updates (server time, for example, is slated for June 5th), but more interesting are the plans for July-September and October-December. Violet is joining up in the former block of time, while Soma and Luna join up in the latter; there are also more characters getting the Special Agent treatment, more dungeons and events, and other fun activities planned for each block of time. Check out the full roadmap if you want to know what the next several months hold for the game, either as a potential new player or an existing player who wants to see the future.
The release of Warmind
means that Destiny 2
players are due for another roadmap on the game’s development, and guess what’s shown up? Exactly that
. That… was sort of obvious. The developers are looking forward to the end of May, July, and September, with plans for new seasonal events, more adjustments to exotic armor, new gameplay modes, and various other plans that have yet to be revealed.
Of particular note are the Crucible Labs slated for release on May 29th, which promise to be part of an effort to bring players into a more active development process for PvP. Players will get to try out experimental forms of PvP before they become a regular part of the game, with feedback playing an important role in determining what gets upgraded to be a regular part of the game. We don’t yet know exactly what those experimental forms will be yet, of course, but the new content should offer some interesting previews of the future.
With a combat alpha under its belt, the superhero MMORPG Ship of Heroes turns its attention to the challenges that lay ahead. The team has posted up a detailed roadmap that included a visual plan of the first half of 2018, including what’s to come over the next three months.
The aggressive development schedule for the near future includes a login and network test, more enemies, more powers, more costumes, a day/night cycle, the addition of PopcornFX, an initial look at Controller powers, and better outdoor lighting are all on the table.
Past that, the team hopes to accomplish a raid test in the third quarter and then move out of alpha testing into the beta by the end of the year. Ship of Heroes’development plans and a talk with its lead designer, check out our PAX East interview with Casey McGeever.
The path ahead for RIFT’s thriving new progression server
has been revealed, as Trion Worlds finally laid out plans
for what’s to come on Vigil — as well as the live servers.
The first batch of new content since the server’s release is about to be unlocked later this month with the Greenscale raid. Players can already start working on the life and death sagas in preparation for this. Several expert modes of dungeons are coming as well as nerfs to some standard mode dungeon bosses. The Port Scion PvP warfront is due to be opened, and PvP in general is getting a lot of attention and adjustment from the team.
Past that, players can anticipate the River of Souls update, a 20-player looking-for-raid tool, new world events, and the Gilded Prophecy and Drowned Halls slivers. Work has started on the game’s Summerfest 2018 event with a new theme for both live and Prime. The team also said that it is trying to tackle ability lag, class balance, and bolstering in PvP.
The veil of secrecy has been lifted from Worlds Adrift, and now every Tom, Dick, and Jane will be able to know what the team is working on, thanks to the new public roadmap posted on the website.
Soon-to-be-released projects include male haircuts, beards, an updated hotbar, beginner assistance, the Kioki region, alliances, and a public test server for all founders.
Another bit of good news is that an improved version of climbing is now in the game. So how is this new version of climbing better than the old one? “It doesn’t kill you,” said the devs. “We had to make people feel confident that they weren’t going to die.”
Turn-based MMO Stash, which officially launched back in early January, continues to grow into its big boy britches. On February 20th, the game rolled out its fourth tier, a massive content update that contained content across the gamut.
For starters, the level cap has been increased to 40 and additional abilities have been added to the game, which should give players more carrots to chase. Players can also level up crafting to 40, explore new regions and dungeons, and face off against additional bosses. The title also added an armor cosmetic system to allow for the customization of a player’s appearance.
So what’s actually going on for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds? Most of the news we’ve heard about the game this year has been focused around jumping to more platforms or adding more anti-cheat measures, not actual balance tweaks or anything of the sort. The good news is that there does appear to be a plan, and players can rest assured that it’s going to be talked about very soon. Community manager Sammie Kang has promised players that it will be released jut as soon as the details are finalized.
Meanwhile, the game’s numbers on Steam have dropped for the first time since launch, which prompts all sorts of speculation about what might have caused the sudden drop. It could be the lack of development communication, or it could be the anti-cheat measures, or it could be the approach of the game in a localized version in China, or the mobile version of the game (also in China). It could even be coincidence. But we can all start trying to build a narrative about it now, just to occupy ourselves.
It’s fair to say that Destiny 2
has had a bit of a rough go over the past few weeks, what with the dropping player count
riot, yes? It hasn’t been smooth sailing. But the developers are trying to address that with the newest roadmap
, which takes a bit of time to explain how the game’s content is supposed to be divided between expansions (things you buy) and seasons (things you get for free). The developers are also looking into fixing any XP discrepancies players have noticed, so that would be a good thing.
“We recognize that the scales are tipped too far towards Tess at the moment, and Eververse was never intended to be a substitute for end game content and rewards,” Bungie writes. “So, we’ll be making three changes for upcoming Seasons: We’re shifting the balance of new content in favor of activity rewards over Bright Engrams. This includes adding Ghosts, Sparrows, and ships (to date found only in Bright Engrams) to achievement reward pools. We’ll provide a gameplay path to earn Bright Engrams and all contained rewards (including Event Engrams). We’ll give players more direct purchase options and make adjustments to Bright Engrams to allow players to get the items they want more often.”