What’s the fastest way to ruin your house? Throw a free party to people with no inhibitions, of course. So what’s the fastest way to break an online video game? Drop the price to zero for a weekend and throw the doors open wide.
This is the current plan of Lazarus, the early access space shooter with a Groundhog Day complex. From today through Sunday the 15th, the game is running a stress test with the intent to “break the game” so that the team can prepare it for a global launch in the future.
It might be a challenge to break Lazarus, as the team has made significant server improvements to handle the load. Other recent changes include upgrades to the NPC AI, a streamlined tutorial, and an anonymous data logging tool to help diagnose connection issues.
Sick of the same old holidays
every year in MMOs? World of Tanks
is fond of plucking really good ones out of the void and finding a way to use them in-game. Today’s event is in honor of the International Day of Human Space Flight
, probably better known as Yuri’s Night
, the celebration of the first manned spaceflight by Yuri Gagarin on April 12th, 1961.
“This double occasion inspired Wargaming and the International Space Station to create a project called Stellar Bonus,” says Wargaming. “On April 12, the ISS will beam holiday boosters full of goodies down to earth. To get your piece of the pie, log into World of Tanks and play one battle during the event.” Loot includes a stack of XP and credit boosters, usable even after the event is over tomorrow morning.
We’ll be streaming the game today at 3 p.m. EDT on OPTV in honor of the game’s anniversary, so check back this afternoon to see how far the game has come!
Faster-than-light travel may be an impossible dream of our time, but for the three-person crew piloting the Prosperous Universe development ship, it’s all but a reality. The small team announced that it is almost ready to introduce players to how the space sandbox will handle FTL travel and turn over the flight controls to testers to see how they handle it.
We expect mass casualties.
“When jumping into a destination star system, the ships will not arrive directly at the destination planet anymore,” the team explained. “Instead, they appear in a safe distance (0.5 astronomical units at the moment) of the planet and will have to do a short slower-than-light flight to the target.”
Other projects that the team is working on this week include notification alerts that will inform players when something important is happening with their in-game business and laying out a strategy for marketing.
Curious about astrophysics? The Massively OP Podcast brought on a special guest for a fun holiday bonus ‘cast back in 2015 to answer a ton of listener questions on the topic
Don’t call him a space tourist, but if you want to pick his brain, Richard Garriott is all yours for the afternoon.
Lord British himself will sit for a Reddit Ask Me Anything this afternoon on /r/space as space enthusiasts ask him all about his experiences being a private astronaut. The AMA’s being promoted by NBC’s science wing, which last week hosted a long-form piece by Garriott in which he discussed his lifelong space flight dreams and how he finally realized them, though he shut down the “space tourist label” pretty hard.
Garriott is of course best known to MMO players as one of the founding fathers of the genre thanks to Ultima Online; he’s currently leading Shroud of the Avatar at the helm of his company Portalarium. Most recently, he published a memoir and publicly committed SOTA to Neverdie’s peer-to-peer online money trading venture.
The AMA kicks off at 3 p.m. EDT today, just as this post goes live.
If No Man’s Sky didn’t exactly scratch your itch for multiplayer interplanetary exploration, mining, and crafting, then Astroneer is suiting up right now to take a stab at this format with all sorts of lovely soft pastel visuals and a quirky feel.
The team posted its development roadmap this week that traces the project’s main goals from Astroneer’s current pre-alpha status all of the way to launch. Currently, the team is tackling some of the large, essential “boulders” that will make up the core systems, which are broken down into more manageable “rocks” to allow for progress.
There were also hints dropped about possible features, such as themed spacesuit designs: “Without giving too much away, one can already begin to speculate about all the ways planet-themed unlockable suits might add to multiple areas on this roadmap, like the research system, crafting, customization, and others.”
If you care at all about space (and you should, because we’re all in it), you probably heard about NASA’s discovery of the Trappist-1 system with seven rocky exoplanets at the right range for water and life. It’s incredibly cool news, and it’s made even cooler by the fact that Elite: Dangerous is adding in the data for a system at the right location and distance to ensure that you can fly out there and explore it for yourself.
Of course, that’s less of an accomplishment than it might seem, because it turns out the star and the planets were already there.
All right, that’s not exactly true, but Elite: Dangerous did have a star system in just about the same place, with almost the same star and close to the right number of planets. It’s all based on the game’s predictive system, which tries to guess at what’s out there in the void even when we don’t know about it. The location will be brought in line with what we now know to be true in the next patch, but still, how nifty is it that the two line up so well?
What’s a good way for Massively OP’s MJ to test out her death counter? By playing a survival game! And there just happens to be another new survival game in the making she’s eager to check out — Osiris: New Dawn. Can MJ stay alive long enough after crash landing on a toxic planet to make a a new ship and head back into space? Or will she have to be content with making a new life for herself on the inhospitable world? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to learn these answers to these questions.
What: Osiris: New Dawn
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
Here’s a surprise entry into the mobile MMO market: Space Legend. Not to be confused with Spacetime’s Star Legends, this title is being made by Novarama as a streamlined and stylish space sim for mobile devices.
In Space Legend, players will build up fleets of ships out of 40 different designs and head out into the galaxy for trading, transport, research, and both PvP and PvE combat. The game promises over 200 planets to explore and a battle system that can be either experienced in manual or automatic modes.
Currently, Space Legend has soft launched on iOS devices in New Zealand and the Netherlands, with an eye to a larger global rollout at a later date. There was no mention of an Android version. We’ve got some screenshots and the trailer to help you evaluate this as a potential future app on your device.
If you’ve ever perused lists or searches of MMOs on mobile platforms, you might have run across a sci-fi title with the intriguing name of The Infinite Black. This single-shard universe hosts thousands of players exploring, forming alliances, and fighting — all of the things you’d expect in a space sim.
While The Infinite Black has been an exclusively mobile game to date, that’s about to change. The game is preparing to make the jump from mobile to Steam in the imminent future. It is not live as of yet, although you can keep tabs on the Steam page to see when this will change.
“Everything is done and ready to go!” the studio posted. “We’ve submitted the final build to Steam for approval. It can take one to five days for them to approve, but will launch immediately once that happens. We expect an influx of hundreds or thousands of new players. Please try your best to not murder them in the crib!”
Do you want to head off into the depths of the galaxy and forge your own path in a spaceship? That’s kind of the gold standard for space games, really. Add Legends of Azulgar into that grouping when it hits Early Access tomorrow after being voted into the Stream Greenlight service; the game is boasting a procedurally generated universe, your own ship and crew, lots of different build options, and so forth.
Currently, the game appears to have more single-player features than multiplayer, but a persistent universe for multiple players is apparently on its roadmap. When those features will actually arrive is another story, but it’s still nice to have another flavor of space explore-and-dominate game on the market, right?
The next big Final Fantasy XIV
patch is bringing us flowerpots and new housing plots. These are both good things. The housing plot prices are being normalized across all servers, which is also a good thing. And considering the intense amount of work and care that’s going into every single patch for the game, complaining about the quality of life within Eorzea sometimes feels intensely
unkind. There are games that I can only dream of getting this level of attention from their development teams, regardless of size.
But at the same time, it’s hard to ignore some issues that have just… persisted. Housing changes just sort of shoved this into higher contrast. So with all due respect, I think it’s fair to look at some quality of life issues and mechanics that have glaring issues which still aren’t being addressed, even though these are not new or surprising issues for developers or players by now. We all know about this stuff, but outside of vague acknowledgement we could use some actual words. We got some on egi glamours, at least.
The world of Gloria Victis has gotten larger with the most recent patch, a great deal of additional space available for players to tromp about. This is partly in an effort to make sure that the game can account for additional players when it launches on Steam’s Early Access service in the next few months, but it’s also going to give more space for bandit camps, deserters, and other challenges for more experienced players. Like bears that are more dangerous than regular bears. Boss bears.
It’s not just bears who have bosses, as players will also find older aurochs, wolves, and perhaps other animals. These are the examples of the species that seem to have barely changed from the days when humans were huddling in caves, massive beasts whose powerful hides can be used to craft equipment of exceptional might. Check out the full patch notes if you like, or just start hunting down some big old bosses; you’ve got more ground to cover, after all.
Curious what Star Conflict has been up to over the past 12 months? The developers put together a new video to summarize the major events and updates that took place in this space MMO, including invasions, the tutorial, the test server, and new ships. Even if you haven’t been playing the game, it’s a neat montage of Star Conflict’s visuals and combat.
The devs said that the new year will see the open space portion of the game expanding, “bringing the game even closer to open world space simulators.” You can watch the 2015 review video after the jump.