sci-fi

The Repopulation untangles its core issues and works on a new patch

Do you still hold any hope for The Repopulation? There seemed to be a decided dip in interest for this sci-fi sandbox following its change in ownership a while back, but that doesn’t mean that the project is DOA. The current owners have been posting a semi-monthly newsletter on the site to inform the community of upcoming developments, such as a patch that the team is finishing up for sometime this fall.

The new owners have been trying to figure out what key issues they inherited with this MMO: “The Repopulation has pushed the edges of what HeroEngine was designed to accommodate. That is not to say what in The Repopulation was done is ‘wrong.’ Rather, in addition to a much older version of HeroEngine, they pushed the envelope significantly further than we ever anticipated from a performance, storage and content perspective.”

The future update will contain weather changes, tweaks to the Plymouth Control Center to make it run smoothly for players, fixes for doors and lifts, and continual improvements to the starter island and the new world map. The team said that it appreciated patience during this “slow but fruitful” process.

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Warframe is rolling out the Revenant Warframe this week

You know how I know Warframe is kicking butt and taking names? Our tipsters are just nuts for this game, and the onslaught of updates just never ends. During this weekend’s devstream, for example, Digital Extremes announced that it’s angling to launch the new Revenant warframe this very week, complete with tie-in quest.

“We hope to release the Revenant next week! With him will come a mysterious mask. You will have to visit Nakak in Cetus to uncover it!” says the studio. “The Revenant Warframe will only be shipping with his shotgun. His melee weapon will follow soon after – it’s caught up with the Melee 3.0!”

Also on the DE’s plate? The hourly elite alert system, the major pass on melee combat, the release of the soundtrack, Nezha’s deluxe design, gore-based warframe Garuda, new customization for for K-Drive, new login rewards, the Nyx rework, and way more.

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The Daily Grind: Should all MMORPGs have EVE-style player councils?

A couple of weeks ago, Worlds Adrift announced that it was rolling up a player council, and I did one of those tilt my head to the side thingies and sighed. In my write up, I even pointed out these councils usually have all the power of a student council at a junior high school, which is to say, not much. I didn’t even bother to point out they can also be super corrupt, prone to leaks, and dominated by particular player factions; anybody who’s ever peeked into EVE Online’s CSM already knows that. The ego-inflation of the council members and cheap community appeasement without much dev effort seem to be the chief products.

Now, MOP’s Larry Everett, who served as a Star Wars Galaxies senator many years ago, might disagree with me; I’m sure he can point to instances when he and his fellows agitated for just the right thing at the right time and got SOE to implement something great. But simply having an embedded community team to call for and collect feedback would probably do just as much, without creating a tier of unpaid players who are a bit more extra than everyone else. I would far rather see that kind of effort poured into more useful player outreach anyway, like in a guide/mentor system.

What’s been your experience with these types of councils? Should all MMORPGs have EVE-style player councils?

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EVE Evolved: Ship fittings for EVE Online’s Secrets of the Abyss event

EVE Online‘s recent Into the Abyss expansion has been live now for several months, adding the first ever solo instanced PvE game mode in the form of procedurally generated Abyssal Deadspace dungeons. A turbulent underspace was discovered throughout the known universe, inhabited by a mysterious sub-race of humans known as the Triglavian Collective. You can use a new filament item to launch yourself in a cruiser into a stable pocket in this abyss, and then have 15 minutes to complete a three-room encounter with a random selection of enemies. The rewards can be very lucrative, but fail to complete the site within the time limit and the pocket will collapse and destroy your ship and escape pod.

Next week sees the start of the two week long Secrets of the Abyss event in which players will face a number of repeatable challenges relating to Abyssal Deadspace sites to earn Agency points. The rewards will include exclusive Singularity Storm Triglavian ship skins and valuable mutaplasmids that can enhance ancillary armor repairers and shield boosters. Now is the perfect time to dip your toe into Abyssal Deadspace if you haven’t tried it yet, but what kind of ship setups work in this new PvE mode and how accessible are they to newer players?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I break down four cruiser fittings (one for each race) that can tackle low-tier Abyssal Deadspace sites, and give some advice on how to use them.

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Perpetuum is back from the dead thank to the Open Perpetuum Project, all with the original developer’s blessing

One of the biggest losses to the MMORPG genre last year was sci-fi sandbox MMORPG Perpetuum Online. The Avatar Creations devs threw in the towel last fall, saying they could no longer afford to develop for the title given a lack of publisher and dwindling playerbase. While the company initially intended to keep the servers online, the expense was too great, and the database was moved to a semi-official private server in a last-ditch move at the turn of the year instead. The game was, for all intents and purposes, on its deathbed.

But there’s some good news and warm fuzzies this summer, as a tipster pointed us to a lone post on the game’s Steam page from a few weeks back: The community’s been given the go-ahead to continue the game and in fact launched a brand-new server a few months ago.

“The Open Perpetuum Project, a community run server and development initiative, has stepped up to host and develop features for their server for all players to enjoy,” Avatar writes in its heart-warming message.

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One Shots: Supporting characters

When you look for famous characters in your MMO, you may be looking for someone complete different than the rest of the crowd.

Lt. Commander Hikari gives us an example of that with this Star Trek Online pic: “In Star Trek, I’ve always been a fan of Janice Rand. An often underestimated member of the crew (and cast) she’s one of the things that really stood out for me through the series and movies. There are lots of reasons to be a fan of the actress and character that I would encourage people to find on their own. When Agents of Yesterday was released, Grace Lee Whitney had only just passed a year prior. It was lovely to see her with the rest of the crew, where she always belonged.”

I always cheered her appearance in Star Trek VI, myself!

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The Stream Team: Trying Warframe’s Frame Fighter minigame

Massively OP’s MJ seems to be all about games within games lately! Now, Warframe has a fighter minigame available on PC. She’s never played one of these types of fighters, but she’s willing to dive into Frame Fighter. Maybe she can even slip in a round of Happy Zephyr. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to face off against MJ.

What: Warframe
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 17th, 2018

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Star Trek Online encourages players to make Foundry missions for a free Tier 6 ship

The Foundry in Star Trek Online allows you to make almost any sort of mission you can conceive of, but most of those missions have a pretty specific set of assumptions. After all, the players writing these tales are probably going to assume that the players are taking the role of a standard Starfleet captain rather than assuming that the mission will be experienced by a Jem’Hadar warrior. But why not flip that on its ear? And why not do so when being bribed by the promise of a free tier 6 ship?

Yes, the developers are teaming up with the Foundry Roundtable podcast, and for this month’s competition players are being tasked with making a mission based around either a Cardassian captain or a Jem’Hadar captain. The winner gets a free pick of several tier 6 ships, so there’s plenty of motivation to think about what it would be like to make an adventure just for these two races. And if you already play one of them, hey, there’s some extra reward in it for you.

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A brand-new minigame and a bunch of rocks enter Warframe this week

Did you know that Warframe has minigames buried inside its code? That is indeed a thing, and in fact a new hidden minigame has been added to the world of Warframe with this week’s update as Frame Fighter joins existing games Wyrmius and Happy Zephyr.

“Challenge your friends to a side by side duel — Frame Fighter has arrived!” Digital Extremes says. “Inspired by long-time Warframe Fan LocoCrazy_, this no-frills arcade minigame will transform your Orbiter into a battleground! No quarters required! Visit Simaris and acquire the Ludoplex — a new home for all of Warframe’s minigames — through Standing. Choose from Excalibur, Volt and Mag, each with their unique Ability. Unlock additional Frame Fighter characters by discovering Fragments throughout the game. If the scanned Warframe’s Prime is in your Inventory, you can toggle to the Prime version of the acquired character.”

The patch also adds some new amp bits and… rocks and plants. No really, there are new flora pieces available as decorations for clan bases. Nifty! Not coincidentally, we’ll be streaming Warframe tonight; join us on OPTV at 9 p.m. EDT to see the some of the new content up close!

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WildStar brings back its home decoration event as the game languishes

Poor WildStar. These days all the attention and excitement that Carbine’s MMO generates is by recycling old events. One of these, the home renovation event, is coming back tomorrow and will run through August 24th.

The game seems to be on life support even as players wonder why this game wasn’t more successful. The last major content update, Destination Arcterra, came out in March 2016 (WildStar has seen lesser content updates since, to be fair). There have been no content updates in 2018.

This past January’s state of the game address promised that Carbine and NCsoft were going to “continue to support the game for the foreseeable future.” However, no specific plans for that future would entail were stated and the dev team has been remarkably quiet over the course of this year.

Source: Twitter

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Star Citizen shows off atmo moon landscapes, dishes on the studio’s dev process

In this week’s Around the Verse, Star Citizen’s Sandi Gardiner and Chris Roberts have a stack of gorgeous environmental pan shots for your to feast your eyes on – that’s because the design team has been working hard on the atmospheric moons. The devs are also focused on scramble races, the UI, props, and a pair of ships.

Meanwhile, if you’re curious about the development process behind the game, check out a new piece from Wccftech; the site’s got an interview with CIG’s Eric Kieron Davis. It’s pretty granular, but the writer hits on a few topics of note to the watchers of the game. For example, at one point they talk about the “technical debt” of a project, the legacy code that can trip up a project, but Davis says Star Citizen’s isn’t really that bad. Davis also addresses employee churn, suggesting it doesn’t affect the studio as much now that it’s grown so much larger.

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Rend’s Jeremy Wood on how Frostkeep borrows from Blizzard, Dark Age of Camelot, and PlanetSide

GameDaily has an interview with Rend’s Jeremy Wood this week that covers a bunch of meta topics of interest to MMO players and watchers of this oddball hybrid title. While Rend has no plans to suddenly become a battle royale title, Frostkeep is very much watching what the MMO subgenres and companies are up to in order to “fill the same psychological needs that are being filled by those games in [Rend].” Specifically, Wood says his team learned a lot from Blizzard and the MMO genre.

“Our biggest takeaway from our Blizzard experience is you can make a fantastically unique product without really inventing anything new,” Wood explained. “Blizzard got where they are by taking inspiration from all sorts of different great pieces of games in different genres.”

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Elite Dangerous’ Beyond Chapter Three launches on August 28, players take on massive effort to salute community helpers

The next phase of Elite Dangerous is en route – specifically, that’s chapter three of the Beyond rollout. In a brief tweet this afternoon, Frontier put a date on it – August 28 – and dropped a cryptic teaser video to boot.

Based on the game’s roadmap, we’re… actually still not entirely sure what’s in this episode because of how thin the copy is. Right now, new ships, missions, and scenarios are all that’s listed, as this is not expected to be a major update and Reddit seems anything but in hype mode.

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