Ever pause during your day and find yourself wondering, “Whatever happened to that game?” With hundreds upon hundreds of online titles these days, it’s surprisingly easy for MMOs to fall through the cracks and become buried as more aggressive or active games take the spotlight.
Well, every so often we here at Massively Overpowered find ourselves curious what has transpired with certain MMOs that we haven’t heard from in quite a while. Have we missed the action and notices? Has the game gone into stealth maintenance mode? What’s the deal? What has it been up to lately? That’s when we put on our detective hats and go sleuthing!
In this week’s edition, we’ll look at three titles in development that seem to have gone quiet: Line of Defense, The Exiled, and Pathfinder Online.
The early access days of Conan Exiles are coming to a close. In less than a month, the survival sandbox will launch. At that time players will get to explore two new regions, experience the new combat, farm, dive into two new dungeons, worship a new god, and summon her avatar on the live servers. But luckily for me, I didn’t have to wait! I joined Creative Director Joel Bylos in the game for few hours of hands-on experience with the new features, then got to keep playing for the evening.
After a farming demonstration and a quick tour of the volcano, I got to witness a Purge, watch the brand-new starter cinematic, wander around the swamp and climb into treehouses, participate in a siege, look over the new attributes and perks, parade around in new armor, and test out the new combat with all the weapon types. My impressions in a nutshell? Most of the additions really up the fun factor and improve the game (the jury is still out on the eating-to-heal mechanic). I’m pretty excited for these features to go live, and not just because I want to build a treehouse base! While there I can’t offer an elaborate play-by-play of everything I experienced during this lengthy play session, I do have additional details for those who want more than one nutshell’s worth of impression.
Around the time I started working at Massively-that-was, there was an article that I quite liked talking about how four high-profile MMO failures were not necessary. It was a product of its time, but the point was made that these games didn’t have to wind up in the state they were in. The mistakes that were made were not unexpected problems, but entirely predictable ones that anyone could have seen. Heck, some people did see them and pointed them out, but nothing was changed.
I think about that a lot when I think about other MMOs and online games because there are a lot of titles that, even if not entirely failed, are in states they never needed to be in. These stories are, at the very least, stories of some failures where the failure was not an inevitable end state, nor are they messes that had to be made. The writing was on the wall, the warnings were given, and someone just kept on keeping on and ignored all of the signs. And here we are.
May 8th seems pretty far away to me, but I bet Funcom is feeling Conan Exiles’ impending launch is rushing up to meet it. In its most recent newsletter, the studio says its various teams are hard at work on memory leak repairs, UI fixes, the temperature system, new clothing and outfits, first-person perspective animations, engine optimizations, the monster revamp, and of course, the combat system.
“The old combat system was more like an MMORPG than an action game, where a creature would stand in front of you and attack. Under the new paradigm we plan to make creature attacks more varied, with better anticipation time and ‘tells’ so you’ll know what comes next. [… ] We have a vision of what Conan Exiles should be, which might differ from your vision of what Conan Exiles should be, and our job as a developer is to merge the two into a coherent whole. Game development is normally a closed process, but because we opted for Early Access we also had to make sure that the community had a voice. The new combat system is a direct consequence of this interaction that fits in with the Conan vision.”
Welcome to a special edition of Make My MMO, Massively OP’s regular recap of what’s going on in crowdfunded MMOs, which we do specifically for those of you who are convinced Kickstarter is the absolute worst (it’s not) and that no crowdfunded MMOs ever launch (they do). Plus, somebody’s got to keep an eye on what your money’s up to! Tonight’s edition isn’t going to be our usual recap of the last couple of weeks, however; we’re going to look at the most important MMO crowdfunding news of the entire year. Lock up your wallets and let’s get to it.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, I hope you’ve got your special black Star Citizen VIP card because CIG has invited concierge-level backers — sorry, space whales — to what it’s calling the first of many “pop-up parties” this coming Tuesday near its LA, Austin, Frankfurt, Wilmslow, and Derby bases. The studio’s also issued its monthly report, which coincides with the latest Around the Verse, during which it was revealed that the long-delayed alpha 3.0 is finally in the hands of the Evocati player testers. (Thanks Josh!)
Meanwhile, Valiance Online confirmed sidekicking, Crowfall discussed its soft launch checklist, Dual Universe hit pre-alpha, The Exiled extended its free-to-play trial, and Shroud of the Avatar delayed its launch.
Stay tuned for more from FrontierExpo as MOP’s MJ is there checking out Elite Dangerous!
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
So, how did The Exiled‘s Survival Mode experiment work out? Not well enough, according to the latest update from the developers. It was interesting, but not good enough. So the team is heading back to the drawing board to make plans for the future, but in the interim the game is open for everyone to play for free as long as you don’t want the supporter pack bonuses. So you lose out on multiple character slots and extra skins, but you can play for free.
The three-hour window for play is also being removed; the team found that far from encouraging encounters, it just stopped people from playing the game. What happens next is an open question, as there is currently no convincing plan for the future of the title. Until there is one, there will be bug fixes but no major changes; with no exact date for any convincing plan to emerge, it’s anyone’s question what will happen with the game from here on out.
Names and titles fascinate me. While sometimes they have no deeper meaning than to sound pleasant and be memorable, a label can indicate purpose, history, and connection. MMORPG names are, of course, as varied as the stars in the sky, with many of them slapping “online” or “age of” somewhere in there to designate their category. But every so often, we witness a game that changes its name as part of its development and business evolution.
Today I wanted to run down 10 MMOs (well, nine MMOs and one expansion) that received notable name changes over the years. I’m not going to talk about games that created a weird rebrand for a business model shift but mostly stuck with the original title afterward (such as DDO Unlimited or WildStar Reloaded), but instead games that had vastly different names than what they ended up using.
If you’ve been following The Exiled for a bit, you know the game has been struggling to reach a large enough audience to sustain itself. Let’s hope that the game’s new limited-lives survival mode provides exactly that; the testing will be running all month for about three hours a day, forcing players to try the game in a different way. Here’s hoping!
The week has also seen one launch and one launch date; LawBreakers has officially launched (and run into some problems), while Tree of Life has announced its impending launch on August 17th.
You want more beta news? Now you’re just getting greedy. But fine.
Well, that was fun. If you’re not ready to say goodbye to this weekly feature just yet, please, feel free to run an inquisitive finger over the list we have down below while noting any games which have changed their status in the comments. Or letting us know if a link doesn’t work. Hey, we’re happy just to let you chat about your current betas. Flexibility.
As The Exiled (formerly Das Tal) struggles to attract a large enough audience to sustain the game’s development and operation, the team turns to a new “survival mode” as a potential savior.
Starting tomorrow, The Exiled will only be operating for about three hours a day to encourage players to funnel into the game at the same time. While survival mode is active, all players will only have a limited number of lives and will need to drink from an oasis on a regular basis. If a player dies from thirst or combat too often, he or she will be booted from the game until the next day.
“If you run out of lives, you have to take a break from playing,” the team explained. “You’re out of the game. But of course we will make sure that lives are not suuuper scarce and that they refill over time (current plans: six lives max and you get three new lives per day).”
Climbing makes it formal debut in Funcom’s Conan Exiles today.
“You can climb almost anywhere in the game, so feel free to climb up mountain sides, ruins, walls or trees,” says the studio. “Just hit space when you reach a steep surface and you will start climbing. This climbing system allows you to explore the map in a completely different way, so now it will be much easier to enjoy stunning vistas of the Exiled Lands.”
Just, you know, watch your stamina lest you fall to your death from exhaustion. Maybe don’t wear your heaviest armor, either, and make sure you’re using the proper climbing equipment!
Today’s patch also includes the new exploration system with mappy points of interest, plus the upgrade to Unreal 5.15 and several bug and exploit fixes. You can also now build underwater!
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Frontier launched Elite Dangerous for the PS4, complete with relevant adjustments for touchpad controls and a “fast headlook” mode for wireless controllers.
Meanwhile, we hosted a double round of podcast interviews with MMORPG developers, all running crowdfunded games: Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif and Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott and Starr Long.
Oh yeah, and there was that mess with Star Citizen fending off claims that it had been sold to a bank.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.
Yes, it happened; Secret World Legends has launched for everyone, although it did have a bit of a problem with a whole lot of currency exploitation. If you’re on the fence about checking it out, you can take a look at MJ’s experience after a week, or you can take a look at Larry’s take on the title. Let’s see what happens next, yes?
Well, I know what happens next in this column: We go into a list. Let’s go down the list. It’s other beta news.
- Things got quiet for The Exiled for a while, but the developers are back on track and hard at work. That’s good, even if it does mean anyone hoping the game was a runaway success will be a touch disappointed.
- If you’ve got some interest in Transformers Online, it’s in open beta in China. It’s also very much like another title which rhymes with “Clover botch,” if that helps.
- The heart and soul of Crowfall is the campaign system, and the game is ramping up to test it. That’s really the core of the game right there, if it needs to be said, so it will be very interesting to see how that testing goes.
- Beta testing for Escape from Tarkov will start next month, although we don’t yet know when in July that’s taking place. Before the end, presumably.
- Last but not least, action MMO title Kritika Online has moved into open beta, so you can try that out for yourself if you have a need for some smash-happy action.
We’ve also got some more list for you down below, listing a whole bunch of other titles currently in various test phases. Of course, sometimes titles manage to slip from our notice, or they wind up soft-launching without us being aware of it. So please, let us know if that happened in the comments, all right? Thanks.