So I’ve been thinking. (A dangerous pastime, I know!) And I have actually been formulating an idea. And that is using a survival game like Conan Exiles to run a guided player campaign. You see, way back when as I was first playing D&D and other tabletop campaigns, I dreamed of the ability to play them in virtual reality. Can you imagine it? Instead of saying, “I cast a fireball,” you actually just do it! It is still a dream; a VR experience is not quite possible yet, but when I found MMORPGs I felt it was one step closer. I could see my actions play out in an adventure. However, for the most part it was an already scripted adventure according to the game devs. In some cases there were tools for players to make their own adventures (and boy, have I celebrated those!), but there were still more like story vignettes in a larger world out of the game master’s control. To really have a fully-crafted experience, you need greater control than what the MMORPGs afforded.
And then came survival games. Now there is a whole world you can take control of and run a story campaign. Granted, they aren’t perfect, but survival games offer more tools for creating a robust visual player campaign a la tabletops. And that’s exactly what I am planning in Conan Exiles.
Many fans, including me, are talking about still riding high after Warframe’s
amazing TennoCon 2018 announcements this past weekend. That was some pretty epic stuff (I have to admit I wonder how on earth they will manage to top themselves next year!). I was excited to share the news about Fortuna and Railjack
with you as fast as I could; the only downside of that was it was too brief to add in many of the deeper details. I couldn’t include the insights and commentary that Game Director Steve Sinclair
and Live Operations and Community Producer Rebecca Ford offered when I chatted with them. If only there were a way to impart that extra goodness to you and add in my own impressions. Oh wait!
While there’s certainly more to learn about the upcoming expansion/updates, here’s a bit more information about the underground all that cool stuff we can’t wait to experience for ourselves.
What better way to celebrate freedom than in a game that is all about freedom to do and create as you want? Shroud of the Avatar allows players the chance to create their own content with cities, events, plays, bands, sports, and much more. Massively OP’s MJ is also free to wander the world and explore cool cities and zones, seeking out cool vistas and creatures. She’ll be doing just that while looking for some trouble to get into, so join us live at 7:00 p.m. to celebrate independence from themeparks.
What: Shroud of the Avatar
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 4th, 2018
GDC 2018 back in March was good to Defiance 2050, at least in terms of making people aware of the goals of the game. It doesn’t necessarily mean people like what they’ve seen or heard, but Social Influencer and Community Manager Scott “Mobi” Jasper and Community Specialist Coby West feel that particular reveal has done the best for the game.
At this year’s E3 followup, there wasn’t any huge new reveal, aside from the launch date itself – just more tweaks. There certainly seems to be a bit of a disconnect between the overall MMO sphere and the 2050 fandom the devs are used to, with the devs somewhat understandably being more connected to their fans. After all, those are people who are willing to pay to play, and especially for a free to play game, that’s what you need. I got my hands on the game for the second time this year, and while it’s a solid play experience, I worry that, created in a vacuum, its potential for growth beyond the original Defiance experience is limited.
So there was an update in EverQuest II recently. It was major enough it had a real name. But honestly, that barely garnered a blink from me. Then devs announced a new Othmir-centered Norrathian festival, and I am all excited! That’s right, throw a party with otters and I am so there. And that’s exactly what the Othmir are doing: partying. They are shaking their tails, tossing up fireworks, and dancing like nobody’s watching. What they aren’t doing is offering any involved quest hoops for players to jump through to join them. (Yes, the game has officially eschewed its name for this event.). They are just being chill and enjoying themselves, and they invite the rest of Norrath to do so as well.
Wait, what? No quests? This is EverQuest II: How will I know what to do? you may ask. That’s where this guide comes in handy. Find out the what, why, and where right here. Just be sure to jump in before 2:59 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 19th, because that’s when the party stops. If you’d rather see a video guide walkthrough, we also have that too!
MOP reader Joel recently wrote into us with a link to a Dark Legacy Comic (#634) that succinctly captures the problem of content lulls in MMOs. It features a bored World of Warcraft hero character staring at his friends list full of buddies who haven’t logged on in weeks (“wake me for prepatch,” one friend’s tag reads); he then becomes super excited at a newly delivered mail, only to find out it’s an automated brew-of-the-month club missive telling him to share his drinks with his friends. Womp womp.
“I can’t speak for everyone but this episode really spoke to me as there have been a lot of times I’ve felt exactly this way in quite a few MMOs that have hit a lull,” Joel wrote.
I thought it was particularly relevant this summer for MMORPG players; World of Warcraft is in a bit of a lull right now ahead of the launch of its expansion, while Guild Wars 2’s next big patch has been delayed so significantly that I heard the word “drought” being kicked around yesterday.
So how do you handle content lulls in MMORPGs? Do you stick it out, play alts, grind cash? Or do you wander away to play something else?
Welcome back to another mobile MMO roundup, those MMOs that obviously don’t count because they are played on a small screen instead of a massive screen, and we all know that’s what the M stands for, am I right?
First up is MapleStory M, the mobile edition of MapleStory, which soft launched in multiple regions over the holiday weekend; Canadians and Aussies can hop in, but those of us in the US and Europe are still waiting. Nexon is calling it a “real” MMORPG on mobile, and did I mention it’s cute as a button?
Ready to delve into the weird world of Occupy White Walls, which one outlet labeled as “hipster MineCraft?” The public alpha of the art-centric multiplayer game continues, with Patch 1.777 arriving on the servers this week.
The patch shores up some of the foundations of the game, such as a brand new launcher, an editing window for UI elements, the ability to place visitors at a certain spot when they spawn into your gallery, and “new awesome lasers assets, pew pew.”
The dev team attempted to describe the game in an interview by saying, “OWW is a new type of MMO for creative people in which the actual gameplay is creativity and self-expression. Different players will aim for different things; some will be all about in-game creativity — through building, designing and decorating their spaces — others will focus on discovering new art and curating their collections, while artists will aim to spread their own work around and directly interact with fans. All of this is happening within an abstract (and gorgeous) social experiment.”
With the ever-developing, ever-growing nature of MMORPGs, the expansion truly has a life of its own. By now we are well acquainted with the cycle that runs from gestation to obsolescence and can usually point to where any particular expansion is on this chart.
The Lazy Goldmaker outlined the typical progression of MMO expansion packs with a six-step cycle that focuses heavily on the economy and raiding: “After the final raid of the expansion we will enter the last content drought. This is typically the longest period with nothing exciting added to the game. We are in the middle of this phase of Legion currently. Most of the markets from the live expansion will still be viable, but profit margins will be decreasing, as will prices on all goods.”
Read on for more MMO blog essays, including ones that cover EVE Online, Wizard101, SWTOR, and LOTRO!
If the survival genre is any indication, Early Access is a nigh indestructable beast! Time and time again we’ve seen where so many have failed to defeat this end boss. But that all changed when one mighty barbarian came along and did just that. Conan Exiles strangled the last breath out of the Early Access beast with its bare hands and cast it aside, then strode straight into the waiting arms of launch this week.
Now there is lots to say about this launch, and a good chunk of it is pretty glowing. However, no launch is without some troubles. And sadly, there is also a despicable element as well. Here’s my look at the good, the bad, and the barbaric of the first couple of days of Conan Exiles’ launch.
Back in April, we first covered in-development MMORPG Occupy White Walls, a “PC sandbox-building, AI-driven MMO where people play with Art” rather than wander around as genocidal axe-murderers, complete with gobs of actual historical art, architectural assets, and a mysterious AI on the loose throughout the strange museum setting. Developer Stikipixels has made available only a solo building mode so far, with plans to develop for “guilds of people” and an anti-lootbox, “fair-to-play” business model.
Most recently, the game has patched up to version 1.666, which is “filled to the brim with fixes, improvements and new assets for you to play with,” the devs write in their email blast. The patch reportedly includes new concrete walls and doorways, turntable assets, trees, modular grass floors, neon text, cabinet assets, and bars – but “no drinks (yet).”
closed open alpha, so you can sign right up on the official site to go check it out right now.
Brand-new content just opened up today in AQ3D, and Massively OP’s MJ is excited to jump in and show it off. But even cooler than that, you get to meet the mind behind the World Tree. MJ will be joined by Slifsgaard, the backer whose generous pledge and design ideas made this whole area possible! Oh, and Artix will be there, too. Fun times are in store, so join us live at 3:00 p.m. for a look at this fully fan funded content that all players get to enjoy.
What: AdventureQuest 3D
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 6th, 2018
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.