It’s been a weird 2018 for Guardians of Ember. Back in February, Valve booted its publisher, Insel Games, off Steam, citing review manipulation in regard to another of its games, Wild Buster. Wild Buster was heavily affected, such that Insel transferred its publishing rights and rebooted it with a new name to get it back on the platform this past spring.
So what happened to the MMOARPG Guardians of Ember, the Runewaker game that was actually pretty decent at what it did? It kept on running through the studio’s own website and the Humble Store, but now, it’s upping its profile with a move to European mega-publisher Gameforge.
“Gameforge — the leading western publisher of popular Asian free-to-play multiplayer online games like SoulWorker, Elsword and NosTale — today announced that it has acquired the publishing rights to Guardians of Ember, the popular Hack’n’Slash MMORPG from Taiwanese developer Runewaker — creators of Runes of Magic and Dragon’s Prophet. […] Guardians of Ember will officially re-launch later this year in North America and throughout Europe through Gameforge. Currently, the game is being operated by Insel Games in the west; Information regarding how existing Guardians of Ember players will migrate their accounts and game data will be shared soon.”
At this point in MMORPG history, it might be hard to find titles that aren’t on Steam already. Late to the Valve party, however, is Runes of Magic, which is finally arriving on Steam some time this month.
Perhaps best known for being the most World of Warcrafty of all World of Warcraft clones, Runes of Magic has been operating for more than nine years now as a free-to-play MMO. The game unified its forums back in June and is no doubt hoping that it will get a boost in attention and play hours with the Steam debut. We did a recap of the last few years of Runes of Magic back in 2017 to bring readers up to the common era.
Any Massively OP readers still play Runes of Magic or have plans to pick it up on Steam? Let us know in the comments!
Continuing from my previous column, I’m going to be running through the second decade of graphical MMORPG launches and picking the best title to debut in any given year. From doing the first decade, I know that this thought exercise isn’t always fair; some years have several great contenders, while others see one mediocre one rise due to a lack of competition.
Still, it’s kind of fun to look back at MMO history and to see which game was really the best of that year. And if you ever felt sore that a particular title got overlooked, well, consider this a retroactive awards ceremony of some sort.
Let’s dive right in where we left off with 2007!
In peaceful villages and bubbly burgs, you just know that there’s bound to be an abundance of happy music! Whenever the Battle Bards regroup to lick their wounds and drink the terrors away, they often find that happy town music is perfect to soothe jangled nerves and re-center one’s heroism. There’s plenty of those tunes in today’s episode, so recoup with them as they listen to the songs of the common folk.
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 122: Happy town (or download it) now:
The impact of Myst in 1993 was akin to an atomic bomb going off in the PC gaming world. The leap forward in graphical fidelity (aided by the large storage capacity of a CD-ROM and all of the full-motion video and gorgeous images tucked into it) captured gamers’ imaginations and made this adventure title the best-selling PC game of all time, at least for several years. Brothers Robyn and Rand Miller’s story about a stranger who had to solve puzzles through a good-looking (if deserted) landscape was devilishly difficult, yet that challenge kept players coming back for months and even years.
The Myst franchise surged forward at that point, with several sequels, remakes, and ports selling like hotcakes through the final game’s release in 2005. Yet something interesting happened along the way when an offshoot of the series — Uru: Ages Beyond Myst — evolved into an MMO. With a focus on multiplayer exploration and puzzle-solving instead of non-stop combat, it may be one of the very few MMOs out there that eschews fighting for brainpower.
It’s an oddity, no doubt, and despite it being an incredibly niche title, it has fascinated me enough to pull me into a research rabbit hole. So let’s take a look at Myst Online: Uru Live!
With a dozen members of the all-star cast of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine returning to reprise their roles for this June’s Star Trek Online: Victory is Life
, one actress has the advantage over the others. Chase Masterson is back for at least her third stint in the MMO, having played fan favorite Leeta in past updates (including as a hologram and as a Mirror Universe villain
With the heavy Deep Space Nine focus on the game’s third expansion, it’s good to see the reunion of a cast from a show that’s now 25(!) years old. Masterson has since gone on to act in many TV shows and movies, perform as a jazz singer, and found an anti-bullying organization called Pop Culture Hero that uses film, comics, and TV to take a stand against bullying in schools and communities.
We sat down with Masterson to talk about reprising the role of Leeta, the continuation of Deep Space Nine, the benefits of maturity, and how we all can be heroes.
The final Deep Space Nine cast members reprising their roles for Star Trek Online: Victory is Life
were announced today, bringing the total up to an impressive 12 voice actors
from the series.
The full roster of DS9 vets that will be encountered in the expansion include Alexander Siddig (Doctor Julian Bashir), Andrew Robinson (Councilor Elim Garak), Armin Shimerman (Quark), Aron Eisenberg (Captain Nog), Bumper Robinson (Elder First Dukan Rex), Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun and Brunt), J.G. Hertzler (General Martok), Max Grodénchik (Grand Nagus Rom), Chase Masterson (Leeta), Nana Visitor (Kira Nerys), René Auberjonois (Odo), and Salome Jens (Female Changeling).
Can you believe that Runes of Magic has been operating for nine years now? That’s a long time. Like… well, like nine years, actually. The important thing is that it’s been running for a while, and you can reap the benefits for the anniversary. For one thing, you can take part in a screenshot competition with your guild; the three best submissions of anniversary parties within each game region will be rewarded with a variety of useful items.
Of course, you can also be rewarded with useful items just for logging in; a new present will wind up in the mailbox of the first character you log in with from March 16th to March 19th. There’s also a 200% boost to quest experience, a 200% boost to drop rates, and a whopping 500% boost to talent points from combat. So after nine years, you’ll be getting a big dose of progress improvement in a short span of time. Get in there and start celebrating.
Is your Valentine’s day about love, friendship, or free candy from mom? In MMORPGs, it’s about questing, murder, and free loot! So, yeah, kinda the same. Enjoy Massively OP’s guide to this very pink not-a-holiday across the MMORPG genre – and some not-quite-MMOs too!
Were you there?
Many of us were. Many weren’t. Either way, November 23rd, 2004 was a watershed date for the MMORPG industry and one watched and experienced by millions of gamers. It was on this day 13 years ago that Blizzard finally transitioned World of Warcraft from beta testing to live operation, ushering in an age of Azeroth, DKP minus, murlocs, and Leeroy Jenkins.
I was there, both at the end of beta and the start of launch. As time had made a mockery of my memories, I can only remember brief bits: The server downtime, the rise of the phenomenon, making footprints in Coldridge Valley with my Dwarf Hunter, and pretty much shoving every other game to the background for the next year or so.
I thought it might be worth the effort of dusting off the cobwebs of my — and your — memories by revisiting the first three months of World of Warcraft’s live operation, taking us from November 2004 through January 2005. What happened during this time? How did Blizzard respond to the floodgates of players pouring into this game? How different was it from what we play now? Let’s reminisce together!
Hey, you. Yeah, you, dude leeching candy from the bucket you bought “for the neighborhood kids.” And you, lady still trying to decide between “Princess Leia” and “lazy zombie” for your costume (go Leia, duh). Put all that aside and get into some MMOs instead! Halloween is only one night in real life, but in MMORPGs, it goes on for days or even weeks. Some studios will probably even forget to turn it off! Others will let you run around with a flaming pumpkin head mask for all eternity!
Here’s what we’re looking at this year for Halloween across the MMORPG verse.
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 Lawbreakers, Hyper Universe, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Pokemon Go, World of Tanks, DC Universe Online, Crossout, Monster Hunter World, Runes of Magic, Atlantica Online, Revelation Online, League of Legends, Crossfire, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, Path of Exile, and Dungeon Fighter Online, all waiting for you after the break!
Runes of Magic fans, get ready: Server merges are on the way.
Gameforge says it’s merging all of its English, German, American and Polish servers later this month — not all into one server, but there will be fewer overall when it’s over. It looks as if half the servers are going away, with one left for the US, one left for English-speakers in Europe, one for Poland, and four for the German language players. The French and Spanish combo server will remain as it is.
“We’re currently getting everything ready for the change – there’s nothing which you need to do,” Gameforges assures players. “If you have logged in over the past few months, your account will be moved to the new server automatically when the time comes. Full details to follow!”
We last checked in with Runes of Magic last spring; in the interim, the MMO has been focused chiefly on events, including a crafting festival and fairytale festival.