It turns out when players think they’re about to lose access to something, they get rather twitchy about making sure to get it. The official Sea of Thieves Twitter account noted that while some players are hoarding gold to get the Shark Hunter ship set, it will still be available even after the limited-time items from the Hungering Deep patch have gone away. Good news to those who hadn’t yet hoarded enough gold, too.
Meanwhile, the game rolled out a small patch to fix a number of outstanding issues with the game as well as adding in the option to dynamically change your crew between Open and Closed while on open waters. Athena’s Fortune should also offer players more valuable rewards, which will no doubt prove… well, valuable. So keep on sailing and earning the rewards that actually will no longer be obtainable in about a week.
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 Rend, Armored Warfare, Wakfu, Elsword, H1Z1, Conan Exiles, Dauntless, Sea of Thieves, Fractured Lands, Magic: The Gathering Arena, EVE Online, Orbus VR, RuneScape, Foxhole, Shot Online, Dark Age of Camelot, PixARK, TERA, and Final Fantasy XI, all waiting for you after the break!
Traditionally, piracy was chiefly concerned with finding other ships and taking the stuff on them for your own ship, but there’s no reason you can’t also indulge in a little bit of monster hunting on the side. Sea of Thieves will let you do just that with the launch of its Hungering Deep update today, with something big in the water that’s at least a little unfriendly. It’s big, it’s oceanic, and you just know you’re going to have to either fight it or carefully avoid it.
The centerpiece of the update is a time-limited line to explore the mysteries behind what happened to ‘Merry’ Merrick, with several items you can only get within a certain timeframe. Other additions will remain in the game over the long-term, but you’ll need to be actively searching to take part in the first rush of stuff. So hoist the sails and focus on tracking down some nautical rumors; it’s the pirate way, apparently.
The first major update for Sea of Thieves will be out in the wild soon, and as the newest development video shows off, the team behind it didn’t have much lead time. Heck, logic alone would make that clear; there was only enough time to work on the update from launch and after the initial launch haze faded, so you’re seeing the work of a team with very little lead time. Subsequent updates will have more, however.
The video just below also discusses some of the philosophy behind the game’s updates and how much players can expect to see; the plan is that each bit of content should have some time-limited components for players who are right there for something new as well as permanent additions for the game. So you’ll have challenges that need to be met swiftly and others that you can take on at your leisure. Check out the full video just below for the full discussion.
Fortnite had another record month of revenue in April, according to SuperData’s latest global revenue report. “Epic’s Battle Royale shooter made $296 million in April across Console, PC and Mobile, up from $223 million in March,” says the firm.
But the more interesting story is SuperData’s assertion that “Grand Theft Auto V is finally showing its age.”
“GTA V Online revenue declined 9% year-over-year, ending an impressive streak of 12 consecutive months with year-over-year growth. GTA V Online has declined sequentially every month since the start of the year, likely in part due to the continued rise of Fortnite as well as a dearth of significant content updates from Rockstar.”
If you thought that Sea of Thieves offered a fun but rather shallow gameplay experience, you may want to start putting on that diving bell to go down into the depths with next week’s Hungering Deep content update.
Before that happens, however, there’s today’s Patch 1.0.8, which is more focused on small but useful improvements to the game. The 800 MB patch includes the ability to abandon voyages, set aim sensitivity, toggle color blind options, find more lore books, and experience better visual effects. Also: “The unsettling sound of a squawking chicken whilst caged is now… more bearable.”
Rare is obviously priming the community for The Hungering Deep and is running a small event leading up to it. The studio released both a developer update video and a teaser trailer for the free DLC. There’s also movement toward resurrecting the pioneer testing program to get players into early patch builds and a “zero-tolerance” approach for cheaters using third-party apps to gain an advantage in the game.
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin delve into the future of Lord of the Rings Online, debate when a sub isn’t a sub, head on into Summerset, fly high with Worlds Adrift, and more!
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.
Listen to the show right now:
Worlds Adrift has been one of those games I’ve been closely watching but trying not to jump into until it was ready. I tried one of the alpha weekends, and while it was playable, I could tell I needed to wait, and wait I did. I had faith that once the game would hit Steam (“early access” shield be damned if you ask for cash to play your game), it’d be something that’d move me. In fact, I called it out by name when discussing possible future MMOs that could tackle griefing with a moral system.
Today, I’m here to eat my hat, good sirs and madams.
While Improbable has been trying to “save MMOs” with SpatialOS, this being the first big MMO that uses it doesn’t wholly impress me. Some things work well, and yes, there are some good ideas, but as a PvP fan, I think there are some glaring mistakes that are going to send a lot of MMORPG players heading for the hills. Let’s dig in.
It’s funny how we assume that there are monsters in the water. Sure, there are definitely big things down there, and some unusual things, but even when we know about all of that we still hold a feeling like there’s something even worse down there, something lurking and evil. Of course, Sea of Thieves is not constrained by the limitations of reality… and its trailer for the game’s first major content update, The Hungering Deep, hints that there’s more to this than just speculation and legend.
Of course, the grizzled pirate in the trailer is more than willing to sneer at the idea of these being “just stories,” but… well, we don’t want to spoil it. It’s only two minutes long, and if you’ve been needing a pirate to weave tales for you, this will deliver. Just… try to avoid bridges for the rest of the day.
Yesterday, Rare patched in a new feature into Sea of Thieves that was designed to allay the rampant griefing going on within player crews. The new open and closed crew feature allows players to select between pugging and only grouping with friends. A good first step, we suppose, except that the studio had to take the system offline due to errors.
“Due to a high volume of AllmondBeard errors we’ll be scheduling another emergency maintenance window at 16:15 PDT,” the studio posted on Twitter. “During this window we’ll temporarily remove the Open/Closed Crews feature as well as the invisible underwater gamer tags. We’ll post more information as we have it.”
This system, along with the disabling of underwater name plates, continues to be disabled this morning even as the game has been brought back online. “The game is still experiencing server instability and players may experience issues,” the studio said. Rare urged players to stay tuned to its Twitter feed for current information.
Yo-ho, Sea of Thieves captains. The latest game patch is giving you more control over who exactly is on your boat thanks to the “Open and Closed Crews” system implemented this morning. You’ll use “Open” when you’re game for a PUG and “Closed” when you just want to sail the seas with your mates with no intruders or replacements. Eventually, the game will even allow folks to block their own friends from joining (if you really need some serious alone-time, I guess) as well as flip between the types on the fly.
“We hope this mitigates one of the key reasons for people misusing the brig and will be monitoring this closely,” Rare says. (You’ll recall that brig-griefers claimed they were doing it because they wanted to bring their friends into their group, something easily rectified before by simply gathering said friends before queuing, so yeah, we’ll see.)
What else is in the patch? The studio’s added basic trading of items like bananas and cannon balls, fixed tags underwater, added new sound effects, tweaked some in-game prices, improved drops at higher ranks, and fixed a ton of nasty bugs, including the one that was delaying achievements and commendations.
A planned feature patch for Sea of Thieves will have to be delayed as Rare attempts to figure out an issue with the PC version of the pirate game. Thus, players will have to wait until next week to see the patch.
So what will players be waiting for with this update? Sea of Thieves is going to be introducing public and private matchmaking to assist with crew formation. Other features include hiding name plates while underwater, rebalanced drop rates, and handing off resources between players.
In addition to discussing the delay, Executive Producer Joe Neate talked about some of the feedback that Rare has received from the community. He apologized for incomplete patch notes and for “visually weak” and incorrectly priced store items. Rare has three teams internally that are working on separate major content updates for this year.
As a “shared world adventure game,” Sea of Thieves has a vested interest in promoting its multiplayer setting and encouraging players to partake in social gameplay. But when there will always be a segment of the community that would rather take off and do things solo, how does a developer deal with that?
This is why Rare made sure to include the small “sloop” ship so that soloers and duoers had a viable option for when they didn’t want to or couldn’t group up with others. This doesn’t mean that soloers are exempt from multiplayer battles, however. “It certainly changes the way you approach the game as well,” said the devs. “You might have to be a lot more cautious and stealthy on the ocean.”
Obviously, Rare doesn’t want you to stay in a sloop forever, even though it acknowledges that the challenge of solo play can be quite rewarding. Having the ability to team up with one other person is a “first step” toward manning a five-player galleon, but until and if they choose that, solo players have the freedom to experience the game in their own way.