On this week’s show, Bree and Justin do a belly flop right into a big pool of superhero MMOs, news, and fan projects. City of Heroes may be dead and gone many years now, but its legacy still lives on in surprising ways!
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Although City of Heroes is not coming back (I think we all need to come to terms with that), many successors are waiting in the wings with their own vision of how a superhero MMO should be. Valiance Online, City of Titans, and Ship of Heroes all have claimed inspiration from City of Heroes and claim that they will be replicating some elements of what made that title work so well.
But what did work well about City of Heroes? Why did it succeed when Champions Online, a title modeled after it and created by the same studio, failed? Why is City of Heroes so beloved, even years after its demise?
Let’s hash it out today in the comments. Break down City of Heroes for us and see if you can’t put your finger on what made this particular MMO fly high.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar formally launched with the release of R52 this week, which might be confusing to gamers who’ve been playing the soft launch since mid-2016, but this one’s official. Richard Garriott-backed studio Portalarium has since published details for its first three post-launch updates.
Meanwhile, Star Citizen’s alpha 3.1 went live, a former WoW designer is Kickstarting a huge coffee table book, Ship of Heroes talked engine upgrades, Dual Universe founder JC Baillie made the case for Ready Player One as reality, we chatted with the Legends of Aria team at GDC, Star Citizen dinged up to 2M accounts, Chronicles of Elyria showed off its character creation, Valiance Online teased auras, and Swedish crowdfunding platform FundedByMe passed half a billion SEK (about 60 million USD) in crowdfunding across all its projects.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
It has been five years since comic book and City of Heroes fans threw $678,000 at Missing Worlds Media in the hopes of seeing a superhero MMO successor. Since then, City of Titans has been taking shape at a glacial pace, testing patience, and finding itself in a spandex race of sorts with Valiance Online and Ship of Heroes.
But could it have made a breakthrough? MWM announced this week that it has finally reached the point where it is proud to show off City of Titans’ character creator (or “avatar builder,” as the studio is calling it). The preview is still just pre-alpha, but it represents a huge step toward the MMO’s hopeful launch. Backers should be able to get their hands on the beta version of the character builder later this year.
“It’s taken us years to get here, but it will take a lot less than that to finish,” MWM said. “The ‘thousand program breaking bugs’ period is past for the chargen, and now visible progress will be more rapid. The biggest missing piece, currently, is female. Don’t think we’ve forgotten about the heroic women. Overcoming the final hurdles to bringing her in is the next big push. Perhaps she’ll be ready in time for next month.”
This week in MMO crowdfunding, online shooter Pantropy broke the 33% barrier on its ongoing Kickstarter. The game has half a month to go to get to its $92,000 goal. “We’re still working on a lot of improvements and bug fixes. We have made the crafting recipes less complex and discussed a few ideas to punish players that kill or raid their own faction,” the team says in its most recent Kickstarter update. Punishment includes hard time on “Troll’s Island,” where players must perform “repetitive tasks (like hammering ores) in order to be free again” – or have guildies willing to risk life and limb trying to bust them out! (It might just be easier on the devs to just… turn off friendly fire, yeah?)
Meanwhile, Dual Universe is vowing to step up its communication game, Shroud of the Avatar rolled out R51, we finished up our tour of Project Gorgon, Ship of Heroes previewed pieces of its alpha, and Elite Dangerous is prepping to roll out the first leg of Beyond next week. And Camelot Unchained is still riding high on its beta one announcement earlier this month; this week, it’s been testing a 100x100x100 scenario – a tiny sliver of the eventual battle size. Don’t click that link if you’re hungry!
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.
Filling out that superhero spandex isn’t just a job for the guys, although so far in Valiance Online, it’s certainly seemed that way. It won’t be for long, however, as the team is making significant progress toward getting female characters up and running on the test servers.
“The female character has been reskinned to the new character base rig that the male character uses,” the team reported. “We now have a singular character setup structure for all characters. We also now have new locomotion animations specific to the female character.”
Now where is our tiny, furry, anthropomorphic heroes with leadership experience? Mole Manager to the rescue!
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen devs gave a first look at game’s brand-new website, which is due to launch later in January. It’s good news for those of you who’ve argued the existing site doesn’t do enough to explain the game to newbies who haven’t been following the game for years.
High-end Star Citizen backers also have the opportunity to attend an exclusive shindig in May. “On Friday May 4th, we will host a private Concierge event, which will include an intimate tour of our LA headquarters, followed by dinner in the commissary and a sit-down Q&A with Chris Roberts and key devs from the Star Citizen team,” members of the Chairman’s Club were told via email this week. “The event will be filmed with highlights airing at a later date. It will be limited to 60 tickets, going on sale to Concierge members for $350 in three installments [beginning next Friday].” (Thanks, DK!)
Meanwhile, Crowfall talked parcels, Chronicles of Elyria wrote about identity, Elite players are busy rebuilding, and Ship of Heroes spoke to us about its hopes for the superhero MMO genre. Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Whenever we write about the current crop of City of Heroes-inspired indie superhero MMORPGs, some of our commenters nearly always ponder whether it would be better for everyone if the three bigger studios pooled their resources, talent, and playerbases into one big game. Surely it would be better if they weren’t all competing with each other – or so the thought goes.
But following a pair of our articles earlier this week – one an exclusive from Ship of Heroes, the other a preview of Valiance Online’s map – key developers from those two games as well as City of Titans chimed in on Twitter to attempt to dispel the idea that they’re in any sort of competition to begin with.
“I wouldn’t call what we’re doing a race or battle personally,” Valiance Online tweeted out.
Hunting down bugs in a video game is not the same as hunting down enemies. That’s true even if the bug is a severe one, like the one that Valiance Online is currently trying to fix up wherein sometimes the client crashes when projectiles strike an enemy. This is a rather significant bug in a game where you expect lots of characters to fight with eye beams, hand beams, and other forms of beam as necessary; the developers are hard at work tracking it down.
But herein lies the problem: Since it isn’t like tracking down enemies, the developers cannot use the previewed in-game map to go to the zone where all of the bugs are located and killed them. Game development does not work that way. You, however, can check out the map and get a gander at the street layouts, which will help you significantly if you’re in the current alpha test or just look forward to signing on later. Although perhaps you should just stick with good old-fashioned super strength if you do.
Polls are a quantitative sort of magic that we don’t often get from our other articles – at least when they aren’t being brigaded – which is why I love our Leaderboard column.
Let’s take a look back at our best MMO polls of the year! And if you want a few more, you can look back at our polls from 2016 and 2015 too.
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.
It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won’t be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year’s list to see how spot-on I was).
This year we’re changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of “will see a hard launch in 2018.” Instead, I drafted up a list of 20 MMOs that have the potential to do or be really interesting next year, whether that be a launch, a long-anticipated beta test, or some other significant development. Plus, hey, you get 20 for the price of 10, so no complaining now!
As an aside, this list isn’t going to cover some other exciting-looking multiplayer games that are arriving in 2018, like Anthem, Sea of Thieves, The Crew 2, Monster Hunter World, DayZ, Red Dead Redemption 2, Stardew Valley, Conan Exiles, and State of Decay 2. And you old school fans won’t want to forget that Ultima Online has a new free-to-play option coming this spring.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained’s weekly progress report is on the shorter side (for CSE) given that the game’s monthly newsletter just went out, but there are some interesting tidbits within, including the fact that the studio is considering uprooting the game’s hosting services and migrating elsewhere. The team’s also been working on battlegrounds and warbands, status effects, animations, female clothing, tech stuff, and boats.
In great news for anybody still lamenting World of Darkness, victory seems assured for vampire MMORPG Shadow’s Kiss, whose Kickstarter should conclude on Tuesday with more than double its ask.
Meanwhile, Elite Dangerous patched its patch, Shroud of the Avatar is hosting a Movember team, Valiance Online teased female toons, Project Gorgon is planning its next update early tomorrow morning, we spoke to Mark Jacobs about developer wages, Ship of Heroes prepped its combat alpha, and Star Citizen drove eyebrows to the sky by announcing the pre-sale of land claims in space.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.