Planetary simulator ECO is surprising testers with an interesting twist that will be sure to keep them on their toes (and plugging their nose): garbage.
Any unwanted items and byproducts that are dropped in the game will gradually decompose, turning into either compost or pollution depending on the items in question. “This will be another negative resource that societies will have to plan for and handle (or don’t, and see what it does to the world), and the amount generated by players will ramp up as tech increases,” the team explained.
Before this stinky system arrives, ECO delivered Beta Patch 7.3 with a first pass at localization, world markers on the minimap, steel lighting fixtures, global markers, faster biting fish, and more.
MassivelyOp reader Bryan recently wrote to us with a fun question about emulators, a topic that will simply never die as long as MMORPGs do.
“I recently viewed some comments claiming that official era servers wouldn’t acquire much of the player base from private servers, due the benefit of private servers typically being free to play. After thinking about it though, I actually know many people who have donated money or purchased cash shop items on private servers. And I have been in guilds that paid for guild website hosting and guild voice chat hosting for their private server guild. Free stuff is always nice, of course, but it seems as though while the benefit of free to play private servers is there, there’s still a decent amount of people willing to pay out of their pockets for them. I am wondering, how many MOP readers have donated or would be willing to spend real money on a private server?”
So let’s tackle the emulator question in this week’s Massively Overthinking. Have you ever played on an emulator? Under what circumstances? Which ones are you OK with, and which ones do you stay far away from? Are you OK with emulators raising money, and for what purpose? And have you ever donated money to or spent money on an MMO emulator?
At long last, players of ECO will no longer be stuck having to walk from place to place like an animal, but will be free to tear across the landscape of this ecologically focused game in a smoke-belching SUV. Sure, the first vehicles previewed don’t fall under that header, but we’re certain it’s only a matter of time. Show the game what “player vs. environment” can really mean!
Jokes aside, the addition of a universal steam engine (previewed in a video below) and a variety of different vehicle types will allow players to explore more options for living in harmony with the environment or exploiting it for short-term gain. The initial lineup should give you the farming and transportation tools you’ll need. Players are also encouraged to vote on the next major development goals for the title; the vehicles are expected to be up for testing on April 6th, with a main Steam release not long thereafter.
For those who have forgotten, ECO is an environmental-themed sandbox title that’s been in early access since February. You can check that out for a look at the world and the game with the developers.
Have you ever noticed that you play it way too safe in your MMOs, especially when it comes to interacting (or not) with others? Aywren of Sygnus wrote an honest blog post lately in which she felt challenged to examine and even buck her “safe patterns” in life and gaming and to try to get out of her rut and try new things.
“On my gaming blog, I’ve talked about my struggles with grouping in MMOs, and how FFXIV specifically had to pick me up and forcibly throw me out of my safe zone if I wanted to keep playing it. This is something I still struggle with,” she admitted. “I do everything I can to avoid stressful dungeons, raids or classes. I’m still afraid of tanking and healing for strangers outside my FC.”
Join us for more thought-provoking blog posts from the MMO community as we fill up your screen with the latest in Global Chat!
The blocky world simulator ECO has bidden farewell to alpha and moved right into beta today. The beta transition also coincides with the title’s release on Steam early access, where ECO can be purchased for $30.
The beta launch comes with Patch 7.0, which adds definable districts, a more balanced world generation, redesigned plant simulation, password protected servers, reworked tutorials, a better-looking HUD, support for mods, and several new plant and animal species.
“We’re putting together a road map with what’s to come, and look forward to deeply involving the community as we keep development moving, tons more we want to do,” the team said.
Massively OP recently explored ECO with its developers. If you missed that stream, we’ve got it for you below!
ECO is a survival game unlike the others; you are trying to keep the entire planet alive! Not only that, but it is full of science! Massively OP’s MJ is excited to dive in and check this sandbox out ahead of its Steam launch. Even better, she isn’t heading in alone: Devs are joining in to discuss the unique elements and answer questions about the game. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for a look inside this new world.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Monday, January 29th, 2018
Wetlands are an important part of the ecosystem, and not just because they are chock-full of stinging insects, biting snakes, and muddy bogs. They also are important quest locations in MMOs, which is why it’s so important to preserve them as nature intended.
Thankfully, organizations like SOTA (Swamps of the Alliance) exist to save the unique qualities of the wetlands from becoming generic, cloned entities. The digital eco warriors are rebuilding the East Longfall Wetlands for (catch and) Release 49 as part of the Paths of Truth and Courage. We assume that those are national forestry trails.
The SOTA team has also been busy this month creating “hordes of barbarians and cannibals,” although we cannot for the life of us understand why they would do this. Perhaps a dare.
In some online games, player housing is mostly a way to show off personal creativity and set up a space of your own. In ECO, however, it will be much more than that.
The dev team introduced its new housing system, saying that setting up an abode will be an important way to help your character to grow. You know, before the end of the world and all that.
“The better furnished your house is with the more variety of rooms, the faster you’ll gain skill points,” the team said. “Adding furniture of matching categories to a room (i.e., bathroom, living room, bedroom) will provide a room bonus to the property owner, and having multiple rooms of various types will apply a ‘balanced house multiplier.'”
Of course, make your house too big to draw these benefits, and you’ll be putting the planet at risk. Shame on you. Player housing arrived in the Alpha 6.1 patch.
It is high time that we check back in with ECO, that multiplayer world ecosystem simulator, because there’s some major happenings going on in this game. The team recently dropped its Alpha 6 patch, bringing a ton of sparkly features to this in-development title.
One of the coolest new features that debuted in Alpha 6 is being able to customize your game worlds: “The new law system introduces a new way to construct laws for your Eco worlds. Build laws composed of many different conditional statements and effects, with a simple drop-down based interface.”
Other changes include “physical” mining that involves physics, the addition of durability to tools, additional plant and animal species (hope you like trout!), fishing (hope you REALLY like trout!), a contract board for jobs, reputation that players can give each other, player objectives, player credit, more skill options, improved graphics, better optimization, and debris when you chop a tree down.
So ARK: Survival Evolved is going to be the first big survival sandbox not named Minecraft or Don’t Starve to not only make it to launch but to get there from Early Access development. Leaving EA is something we rarely see, which is why readers may notice I’m quite critical of games that ask for your money, sell you an incomplete game, and then spend years defending their EA status while continually making money on an unfinished project. To hear that a company once known for making paid DLC for an unreleased game is willing to shake the security blanket that is Early Access fills me with joy and a little trepidation.
Normally, this is where I’d tell you I’ve written up the interview, which is still true. However, as this was in a small group setting, not only do we have a writeup, there’s also a YouTube video for the few of you who have thirty minutes to wade through the (mostly) raw interview. You’ll see ARK’s Community Manager Cedric Burkes in person, hear daring press try to ask hard-hitting questions, and cringe as my terrible hat hair makes a quick appearance at about the 27-minute mark.
It’s the end of the line for one long-running Japanese MMORPG.
Emil Chronicle Online, also abbreviated ECO (no relation), is closing down its very last server in August, MMO Culture reports. The anime MMO first launched in Japan back in 2005 and was gradually licensed out to other countries and regions over successive years. However, most of those other versions were subsequently shuttered (such as the English version back in 2010), leaving the Japanese server as the sole survivor.
The game went free-to-play back in 2009 and included some pretty wacky stuff, including the ability to morph into a marionette and the opportunity to roll as a machine race called (we kid you not) Deus Ex Machina. Check out a trailer below for a sample of Emil Chronicle Online’s flavor.
If you’re averse to politics, science, and education, you might want to give ECO wide berth. Otherwise, Strange Loop Games CEO John Krajewski hopes that you and the upcoming generation of students might learn a thing or two about the impact of humans on a closed environment through ECO’s 30-day cycle.
“Within the experiential power of games, I believe we can find some of the power to untie the political knots that wrap up climate change, creating an experience in a virtual world where climate change is a problem you can see in front of your face, and it immediately threatens you,” Krajewski wrote.
Krajewski said that by allowing players to experience first-hand how the environment reacts to siphoning off resources and changing the world itself, the players might come to a conclusion through their experience. “Within ECO, the processes of climate change and societal impact happen over the course of 30 days, with a few dozen friends or classmates, in a world small enough to see all of it,” he said.
Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya’ll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn’t as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.
I’m not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller — and oft times privately managed — scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we’re going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here’s a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.