So it turns out the developers behind Worlds Adrift have all melted in the midst of a London heat wave. It’s very sad, as they point out on the latest development entry on the official site. You may wish to stop reading this post and play an appropriate song on the bagpipes. Despite being reduced to a liquid, however, the team has continued working on the game and is hard at work finishing the new creature refactor while completing the loot accumulation on island for patch 0.24.
Work is also progressing on fixing the resources dropped by creatures across multiple biomes, as well as things like chat functions working properly on new servers and fixing various bugs. You can see the full rundown of things being developed on the official site, with a fair number of fixes and improvements slated for 0.24 and a few more features expected further in the future. Assuming that the now-melted team doesn’t evaporate, anyhow. (It’s a real risk.)
The little things make a big difference sometimes. You don’t necessarily need your character to mutter “ow” in reaction to falling a few hundred feet and then landing in a set of jagged branches, but that expression of pain does do journeyman service to making a game world feel more alive. Which is why the Worlds Adrift team went to the trouble of recording a new batch of audio assets headed to the game to give player characters some sounds when they’re injured, along with the various emotes getting some voices.
One of the big points for the developers was downplaying severity; the team didn’t want characters screaming in agony as bad things happened, but just expressing some degree of exertion and pain. The voice emotes also provided their own struggles, including the male voice actor being unable to burp on command (forcing a developer to step in and provide the vital belch). Check out the full rundown on voices as well as some of the raw audio on the official site.
After the launch of Worlds Adrift but prior to E3, we sent off an interview to Bossa Studios and recently received our answers, complete with current news about how the studio is trying to address griefing, adding countermeasures, and yes, “gitting good.” Maybe the phrasing there could be better, especially given the brutality of the Steam launch, but Bossa Studios Co-Founder Henrique Olifiers and Game Designer Luke Williams were kind enough to talk to us about why they pursue the seemingly less profitable PvP crowd, building PvPvE experiences, and the road to release.
Let me be upfront with my biases for those unfamiliar with my coverage: I love open world PvP as a concept, not as a ganker but as the guy trying not to get ganked. I love the concept of virtual worlds, but as Bill Roper and I discussed, players aren’t developers and don’t always understand the tech that gives them the games they love.
Don’t expect a patch this week in Worlds Adrift: Bossa’s delayed it to July 3rd. In its latest dev blog, the studio says it’s packing more into that patch than originally planned to compensate. In the meantime, the team is working on fixes for alliances, new raider gear, propellers, the character sheet do-over, an item exploit, new resource types, and bug fixing – including the grey screen issue, though apparently that’s not actually solved yet.
Meanwhile, The Guardian has done a rather dramatic piece highlighting the game and whether Bossa’s “billion-dollar tech [can] make it the next Fortnite.” The tech it’s referring to, of course, is SpatialOS, which has been a buzzword for the MMO genre for the last few years.
Automaton Games CEO James Thompson came along with Improbable, Bill Roper, and Mavericks to this year’s E3, where I got a second chance to see how everything in the battle royale/MMO hybrid is doing since GDC. I know battle royale is a hot topic around here, and the reaction we saw at GDC did have me worried about Mavericks’ potential audience.
Thompson was quite eager to talk about Mavericks, especially its battle royale side, but as someone who’s much more of an MMORPG player, I felt the one key thing we found common ground on was that Mavericks is aiming to be less of a simple genre game and more of a “platform” to build on, not because of any strength of the BR or even MMO genre but because of its ability to run a simulation. For virtual world fans, this is something I feel we should be paying more attention to.
For MMO players, Improbable brought some interesting ideas to GDC this past spring. It also brought some games I wasn’t expecting, and the ones I was expecting were kind of downplayed. On the ground floor, developers from some of our favorite MMOs hadn’t heard of SpatialOS, a platform that allows games to be “bigger” by running multiple game engines in an innovative way, with a few developers being exceptions. I was set up for a meeting with Improbable CCO Bill Roper to help figure things out, but soon into our physical meeting he was pulled away and we had to follow up with emails, which rarely goes as well.
Fortunately, Roper had time to sit and chat again with me at E3. With SpatialOS’s first game out in the wild and more on the way, I felt like there was a lot Roper could explain about SpatialOS, MMOs, and Improbable’s role in it all.
Still having a rough time in Worlds Adrift? Bossa Studios has a new humorous guide out to help players “git gud.” Among the tips recommended by players: Use the builder to drop construction objects on your enemies’ head, point your cannon backwards to make yourself look less threatening, always ask before entering other players’ space, and cover your awesome ship with crappy parts to hide its awesomeness. Basically, be the Millennium Falcon.
Most recently, Bossa updated the game with the 0.2.1.1 patch, which added crouching, rolling, and sneaking, as well as improved the cameras, implemented an emote system, tweaked climbing, and fixed a ton of bugs. “YES – instruments are planned in the game,” says the studio.
This weekend, the devs are plotting multiple fun summer events across all the servers – make sure you check out the rolling schedule because there are indeed some sweet prizes, including engine schematic, cosmetics, lootbags, and “your ship immortalised in Dan Lish art.”
Git gud below.
Who would have ever thought that the tranquil-looking Worlds Adrift would become a raucous griefer’s paradise? Apparently not the developers, who were, we guess, hoping that a sense of noble honor would run through this lawless PvP sandbox.
But now that the griefing situation in early access has gotten so out of control, Bossa Studios is being forced to address it. It won’t be fixed overnight, apparently, but the studio is says that it is “keen to get it right” and has already rolled out its first wave of improvements and fixes to make Worlds Adrift a friendlier place to play.
These changes include lowering the requirements to make basic ships (so griefers have to work faster to ground you at the start), making wood stronger and lighter, and automatically blowing up your ship if you die far away from it. The studio advised those struggling with griefing to “use your belt and random revivers.” So, you know, get good.
It was no e-sports bus, but Worlds Adrift really did send players, devs, and journalists skyward in a floating… well, it kinda looks like the bottom half of a shipping container suspended with a crane over London, but we’re sure it’s fine. The studio’s weekend video includes clips of the guests for some reason playing the game in that position instead of totally freaking out.
It also includes a recap of the game’s latest patch, which included 100 new islands and the Kioki region. Bossa Studios further teases a look at development over the next few months and gently reminds players to leave positive reviews if they actually like the game (recent reviews are still sitting in the “mixed” zone). The CMs don’t mention the ongoing discussion between the community and developers regarding the game’s unchecked griefing.
And no, in spite of the title, Prince Charles was not really at the event. But it’s amusing nonetheless.
In Andrew’s hands-on with Worlds Adrift published Monday, he expressed some serious concerns over the title’s approach to PvP. Even as a hardened sandbox PvP player, he found that the early game is overwhelmingly set up in favor of medium-tier players who are free to grief newbies all day long – and do. Worse, he worried that it would turn traditional MMORPG players off from the game, and that it might not be fixable thanks to the physics system that underpins the entire experience.
The good news is that Bossa Studios has been listening to concerns like Andrew’s and is promising to do something about it. The studio notes that the game is in early access and that the PvP system will see a big revisit.
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin delve into the future of Lord of the Rings Online, debate when a sub isn’t a sub, head on into Summerset, fly high with Worlds Adrift, and more!
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Worlds Adrift has been one of those games I’ve been closely watching but trying not to jump into until it was ready. I tried one of the alpha weekends, and while it was playable, I could tell I needed to wait, and wait I did. I had faith that once the game would hit Steam (“early access” shield be damned if you ask for cash to play your game), it’d be something that’d move me. In fact, I called it out by name when discussing possible future MMOs that could tackle griefing with a moral system.
Today, I’m here to eat my hat, good sirs and madams.
While Improbable has been trying to “save MMOs” with SpatialOS, this being the first big MMO that uses it doesn’t wholly impress me. Some things work well, and yes, there are some good ideas, but as a PvP fan, I think there are some glaring mistakes that are going to send a lot of MMORPG players heading for the hills. Let’s dig in.
There are only a handful of games you can celebrate launching by releasing an actual airship into the sky, but Worlds Adrift is one of them. And fortunately for the lighter-than-air flight crowd, that’s exactly what the studio did. Of course, it’s just an early access launch, but hey. Points along the way.
More beta news? I guess, all right.
- There are hints of more details coming about Amazon’s New World. Which is good, because boy, sometimes the beta field is thin upon the ground.
- Speaking of things getting thin upon the ground… yeah, if you had invested in long-term stocks in Just Survive, you may want to unload those investments. There’s another patch coming, but removing all paid lockboxes doesn’t scream “and good news to come.”
- Do you want to drive cars around? The Crew 2 will let you do just that when its closed beta starts up on May 31st. There are probably other mechanics, but… cars.
- The subscription plans for Bless Online have been adjusted and unveiled, but you shouldn’t call them subscriptions. Call them something else, like… happiness payments! Something light and airy, you get the idea.
- Last but not least, let’s just enjoy some stats from the Defiance 2050 closed beta. Stats are fun.
There are no stats included below in our testing list, but there is relevant and important information you can analyze, so that’s a good thing. Why not duck below and check it out? Of course, if you notice something that we missed, please do let us know down in the comments, whether it’s a changed test state or just something that soft launched without us noticing.