Let me tell you a bit about me and how I play MMORPGs. Between two jobs and a family, my gaming time is relegated to the deep evening hours where peace descends upon our household. If it’s a good night, I can get in two full hours of adventuring through virtual worlds before I grow too tired to continue. Some nights it’s less.
It has been a long time since I was able to sprint alongside the pack when a new expansion or game launches, so you have to picture me as the slowpoke waaaay in the back who keeps getting distracted by small details, stops to read the quest text, and takes screenshots like I’m putting together an art book.
That’s me, the fluffy casual, and while plenty of folks have devoured vast swaths of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth this week (including our own excellent Eliot), I’ve been rotating through my roster of characters and experiencing this engaging expansion at my own tempered pace. Does that mean that I lack a perspective or any observational details? Absolutely not! In fact, here are some things that I’ve been thinking about and looking at this week from the position at the far back of the pack.
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!
There are some bugs in Monster Hunter World on PC, if you haven’t noticed. A lot of them have been addressed, but one of the more egregious ones remains and tends to crash the game when you alt-tab out of the title… which is a problem, since everyone in the world does that. Fortunately fan-made mods are here to save the day, fixing the issue with alt-tabbing by correcting an error in the engine that handles fullscreen mode incorrectly.
The mod also adds in higher-resolution graphic support, the ability to hide the interface for screenshot purposes, and a few more technical additions like tricking the game into ignoring certain CPU cores for performance issues. Of course, given that the game is meant to be played online there’s a limit to how much can actually be modded, but it’s nice to see that the issue is being fixed… by an unpaid modder rather than the company releasing the game, but still.
Last week, Trion Worlds was forced to take MMORPG Trove offline for more than a day
on PC thanks to what was clearly a massive duping exploit that saw players dumping stacks of currency into the wild, destroying the game’s economy in minutes
. Fortunately, Trion was able to scrub the game without the need for a serious rollback (in fact, the company’s warned players to stop asking for one); it also disabled some of the problematic items and banned the “very small number” of players who started the mess in the first place. Thank goodness because I am flat out of sad-faced voxel worm screenshots to use here.
As for everyone else? We’re getting some compensation y’all. Console players, who were largely unaffected, are getting a lustrous gem box, adventure reliquary, and empowered gem box. PC players, on the other hand, get three lustrous gem boxes, a three-day patron (subscriber) pass, three 50% adventuring experience potions, an adventure reliquary, and a legendary dragon mount – which is actually extremely generous!
There’s a catch: “To be eligible for these rewards you just need to have logged in between the time we came back online after the patch on August 7 through 10:00 PM PDT on August 8. If you’re in the EU this will be 5:00 AM UTC on August 9.”
It’s never too early for an expansion, right? OrbusVR is still in early access, but it’s already planning its first major expansion with the upcoming OrbusVR: Reborn planned for Q1 2019. And it’s as much a reboot as an expansion; the game is updating its visuals across the board as well as doubling its playable classes to eight, including the new Bard and Shaman options.
Players can also explore new dungeons and regions and face off against improved enemy AI, which will use more advanced tactics like dodging projectiles, running for help, and coordinating attacks. There are also plans for more avatar customization, a smoother overall leveling curve, and new community events like racing your dragon pets. In short, it’s going to be a pretty big update for the game as a whole. Current players can take part in testing starting later this year, but you’ll have to wait until 2019 for the whole thing.
I certainly did not have to twist readers’ arms to get them to bring out a mountain of MMORPG character selfies set against interesting backdrops. Of course, everyone had their own definition of what that should mean…
“When it comes to character selfies the backdrop becomes less important if there is an important lore character in your picture,” said Ryuen. “Case in point: My humble Monk managed to snare Firiona Vie herself in EverQuest II for a quick pic before she had to attend to more pressing matters.”
She had more box art modeling to do. It’s exhausting, being one of the last of the Midriff Elves in the game.
Taugrim raises a very interesting question this week on his blog. Namely, is it really worth your time to alpha test MMOs these days? For him, at least, fickle players and unresponsive developers don’t make it a beneficial activity.
“A decade ago, I used to get super excited about upcoming MMORPGs,” he said. “And then I experienced those games losing their playerbase in droves while the developers/publishers failed to meaningfully address the concerns of the community.”
If you’ve been burned one too many times by alpha, beta, and early access testing, perhaps you can relate. Read on for more essays from the MMO blogosphere, and don’t forget to check out this month’s exciting Blaugust Reborn event that’s raging across blogs!
Trion’s voxelbox Trove
was down most of yesterday
thanks to what screenshots clearly identified as a massive duping exploit that positively trashed the game’s economy overnight. Bonus, I got the fun task of explaining to my young kid why his favorite game was down (this is why we can’t have nice things, etc.).
At the crack of dawn today, Trion finally got the PC servers back online after what appears to be extensive clean-up of the game’s economy and the accounts participating in the exploit. In the current build of the game, Megaflux Tanks have been all but disabled on multiple fronts, and tradeable versions of lootboxes have been stalled too.
“We agree that this was a rotten and awful event, but unfortunately not something that we could have predicted or tested for,” Trion says. And no rollback is happening: “We appreciate [player] feedback on the concept of server rollbacks, but we will not be doing this for this issue.”
Picture this: an underground dungeon that gets progressively more challenging — and rewarding — the deeper you go, and there is no end. Not no end in sight, but no end. An infinite dungeon. Does this sound like a dream come true to you? Well go ahead and smile because Path of Exile
is delivering just that on August 31st (unless you play on Xbox One, then you have to wait until September 3rd). The next league is aptly called Delve, and its all about descending into a never-ending mine shaft, reaping rewards while staving off the dangers in the darkness — with the darkness itself being one of those dangers!
While that info alone might be enough to keep you entertained for a bit, we know you want more. So I had a little chat with Producer Chris Wilson to learn more about this intriguing idea with its new mechanics and features to pass it all on to you. And who knows? This might be just the beginning: Wilson called this “Path of Exile’s first infinite dungeon,” which would lend you to believe that more numbers could follow.
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.”
If you’re still figuring out what you’re going to play in Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, you’ve gotten the last of your options revealed. The last three classes of the game have been officially revealed now: Summoner, Wizard, and Enchanter. Both Summoner and Wizard take the roles of providing utility and magical damage, while Enchanters provide far less damage but are quite good at controlling crowds.
Obviously each class has different flavor, but you probably guessed the Summoner’s basic deal from the name of the class. It involves summoning.
The last batch of classes is happily announced in the most recent newsletter from the developers, which also looks eagerly forward to starting in on the next important milestone by showing off the game’s gallery of enemies.It’s also worth noting that all of the classes planned for launch will be available starting with the next test phase, so players will have plenty of chances to try out their classes of choice… assuming they’re in the test, of course.
Bless Online is rolling out a hefty content update today as promised, including the Siege of Castra PvP battleground, the faction-based open-world Capital War, and of course, the sneaky Assassin class. We had a chance to speak with Neowiz – specifically, Lead Game Designer Junyoung Hwang, Combat Designer Seongil Ma, and Chief Creative Officer Jangchoel Rhee – about both the update and ongoing concerns in the game. Read on!
Massively OP: First, regarding the Assassin: I’ve yet to see a rogue class in an MMO that wasn’t overpowered in some way in PvP, and that goes double for a class newly added to the game – studios just can’t seem to stop themselves from making the new toon a bit too appealing. How is Neowiz working to avoid all that, while still making the class something people want to roll up as a new toon?
Against the backdrop of yet another massive, hyped-up in-game gang war, EVE Online’s
propaganda machine is constantly churning, sowing chaos not just for players but for developers and journalists trying to cover the drama. And while most of it is obnoxious trolling, the propaganda art that emerges is often spectacular. (Maybe it’s just me, though – I have a penchant for propaganda art history. At a London guild meetup years ago, I dragged everyone to a propaganda exhibit at the Imperial War Museum. My guildies are the best.)
Anyway, if you don’t want to crawl Reddit or Google looking for examples, take a peek at CCP Games’ recent propaganda contest, which announced and posted up all the winners this weekend. My pick would’ve been the second-place finisher, personally, but they all hold a sort of bizarre fascination. CCP’s top picks, however, will see their posters sold at EVE Vegas, and all the finishers get huge stacks of EVE cash. Check ’em all out below, and congrats to the winners! (I’d love to see a “losers” thread too but couldn’t find it!)