It’s true that we lost a lot of MMOs in 2016 — bigger and more important ones than in 2014 and 2015. 2017, however, has been a different sort of beast. The list is long, and while it’s painful for those whose games are gone, the genre didn’t lose many major MMOs this past year. And that startles me.
Marvel Heroes was surely the most dramatic of all the sunsets, given that it shut down early without notice. Earlier in the year, we saw Daybreak put an end to Landmark after less than a year of live operation, while Turbine let the Asheron’s Call franchise go, Firefall formally closed, Club Penguin’s sunset broke the internet, and NCsoft called it quits with Master X Master. A number of other MMOs simply halted development – Perpetuum, Sword Coast Legends, and SkySaga being the most prominent of those. And on a more positive note, there were a few sunsetted MMOs that were revivified, including Otherland, Uncharted Waters Online, and RaiderZ.
Farewell, old friends.
Better buy Sword Coast Legends while you still can: It appears that Wizards of the Coast and Digital Extremes will be ending the publishing contract for the Dungeons and Dragons-based co-op game at the end of 2017. The good news that the servers will stay up for those who already own it (or who purchase it before December 31st).
“Purchase Sword Coast Legends now at 67% off and receive the Rage of Demons DLC for free,” the devs posted to the official forums. “Our publishing contracting is ending, but although Sword Coast Legends will no longer be available to purchase after December, its multiplayer servers will remain live indefinitely.” (It looks to be $14.99 on Steam as I type this, so the sale doesn’t appear to be live yet.)
We’ve been following the game since 2015 when we first heard about this odd multiplayer-slash-single-player game, which allowed one player to step into the gamemaster’s shoes to run campaigns for a team. It officially launched in October of that year after an initial delay, then rolled out an expansion in May of 2016, followed by a double console launch in July of 2016, but it’s been relatively quiet since then. In the middle of it all, the original developer, n-Space, was shuttered, leaving further development to Digital Extremes.
Players who have been eagerly anticipating the console launch of Sword Coast Legends will no longer be able to anticipate that launch. It’s happening today, you see. You can’t anticipate what is already happening. You can, however, take advantage of this fact to actually play Sword Coast Legends on your PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which should be a great advantage to anyone trying to run “dungeon adventures” on the console by just decorating it and dropping it in the middle of a miniatures layout.
Hey, everyone uses different props for tabletop.
The console release of the game comes with the Rage of Demons DLC included, but it does not include the DM Campaign Creation mode of the game. If that’s something you can live without but the rest of the game is an urgent part of your console gaming life, you can pick the game up for $19.99 on the PlayStation Store today. Check out some screenshots and a trailer just below.
Sword Coast Legends is launching new free DLC for its players today. Called Rage of Demons, the update includes a new Drizzt-themed campaign, the new tiefling race, and the warlock class.
“Dungeon Masters can also look forward to fresh and exciting campaigns, as the world of Sword Coast Legends just got larger,” says Digital Extremes. “New dungeon and town areas, creatures, decorations, and tilesets from the all-new Rage of Demons campaign promise to bring custom adventures and campaigns to life like never before.”
The update will be comforting to anyone still worried about the fate of the game after one of its partner studios, n-Space, shuttered. At the time, Digital Extremes told Massively OP that it was still working on Sword Coast Legends but did not expound on whether it would be directly impacted.
We’ve updated below with the statement issued to us by Digital Extremes.
According to former n-Space artist Ben Leary, n-Space is closing down following a number of layoffs “over the past few months.”
Sword Coast Legends has just announced that it’s launching on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this spring.
“Sword Coast Legends will be available for purchase via the PlayStation®Store and Xbox Live at $19.99 USD for the Standard Edition and will come with all new content added to the game following its PC debut. Some new features include: the drow as a new playable sub-race, additional character skill trees, hundreds of new placeable objects for DMs, new areas, new visual effects, hardcore gameplay options for the most rugged of adventurers, and much more.
The Standard Edition also includes special in-game items, such as: Tome of Knowledge, an Order of the Burning Dawn Cloak, Armor and Weapons, Beholder, Lost Mines dungeon tile set, and Wisps (DM use cursors).
Console and PC players can also look forward to the Rage of Demons DLC for free when it ships later this year.”
The modular multiplayer title launched for PC on Steam last October. Last month, it postponed its planned freebie update in favor of the Rage of Demons expansion mentioned above.
Development schedules are tricky things. From the outside it’s easy to look at them as promises, contracts made between players and developers, but in reality they’re more like educated guesses wherein the developers are simply stating their plans and hoping that everything works. This is all a roundabout way of saying that the development plans for Sword Coast Legends changed, and players waiting for the third community pack should probably stop waiting, as the free update has been put on the back burner in favor of the upcoming Rage of Demons expansion.
The expansion will feature a new playable race (tieflings), a new class (warlock), new objects, new creatures, new spells, new WASD controls, and a variety of other additions that can be prefaced with the word “new.” What this means for the community pack in the long run remains to be seen, although it has been confirmed that some of the features which would have been in that pack are now being rolled into the expansion. Players will need to keep their eyes peeled for future developments.
The number of games our wee little Stream Team covers in the span of a year is staggering. If you ever wanted to know what an MMORPG looks like and how it plays before you shell out money or download a mega-client, the Stream Team is your best bet.
We’ve put together some of our favorite streams from the year, from launches to first-looks and beta deep-dives.
Honorable mention to the 12+ streams that Larry and MJ put together for their Twelve Days of TOR extravaganza, during which they played all the way through the SWTOR Agent’s storyline under your direction!
It’s the holiday season! A time for cuddling up before a cozy fire, enjoying loved ones, sharing memories, and… just kidding. It’s time to raid Steam’s sales and get some vidya games dirt cheap!
Here’s some of the stuff most useful for MMO players this round.
Sword Coast Legends had a bumpy start earlier this fall, with delays and mixed reviews upon release. However, the title has been patching in content and fixes fairly regularly since then, and the developers are hoping that the larger community will come give it a second look to see how far it’s come.
Thus, this weekend anyone can play Sword Coast Legends for free from the 17th through the 22nd. N-Space said that right after the free weekend is over, the game will go on sale for $20.
Sword Coast Legends has racked up over 1,500 player-made modules so far.
Most updates to a game around this time of year follow a rather predictable course, and we all know it. There’s some snow, there’s some presents, there’s putting hats on snowmen. It’s predictable. So praise is due to Sword Coast Legends not just for having a whole lot of new features in its second free community pack for players and content creators, but also for not having it all be holiday-themed. Frankly, it’s more themed around fire, destruction, and agony.
See, one of the marquee additions with this community pack is the Drow sub-race, which of course means subterranean evil and the blessings of the spider queen Lolth. Creators can also now add environmental effects like fire to maps, thus doubling down on the destruction. There are also new hardcore options that make stabilizing far more difficult in combat. Sure, there are also plenty of other improvements, like a new village map and quest engine improvements, but it’s still a boldly destructive update for the time of year. You can check out a full rundown of the features in the video just below.
Sword Coast Legends continues to make good on its promise to provide free DLC patches to shore up the core game. The D&D title released its first community pack last week that includes several new “enhancements” that should enrich players’ experiences.
Last week, the update adds companion skill trees which are accessed through special quests, more monster abilities, a nature-themed dungeon master set, the option to respec abilities, bug fixes, and (drumroll please) a player stash.
The good news about the player stash is that the 100-slot vault is shared across one’s account, allowing for gamers to transfer goods between characters with ease.
Sword Coast Legends is not without some muscle in the soundtrack department, as the game was scored by industry legend Inon Zur. And today the soundtrack is available to purchase on both iTunes and Amazon, although players who purchased one of the deluxe versions of the game will receive it for free.
Zur said that the soundtrack is steeped in feels: “In music, it’s all about feeling, describing something you cannot really describe in words. You try to be open to a world that has no explanation, just feeling, just emotion. Sword Coast Legends has a lot of that emotion. The story, the visuals, the whole set-up was very inspirational for me because I came from this world. My first few games were mainly RPGs, and composing the soundtrack for Sword Coast Legends felt like a natural return to form.”
You can listen to one track of the game, “The Path of Destiny,” after the break.