MMO Round-Up 05.07.2013 – The Repopulation, EverQuest Next, Planetside 2, 7 Ways do Die & more!

;)

So considering this, the MMO Round-Up from now on will be a weekly, maybe bi-weekly column (depending on the news) and I’ll focus more on “out of the ordinary” and interesting news, rather than patch notes, holiday events and other boring stuff that you probably already know if you’re playing that certain game.

On a related note, this section (same as the Titan one) is still open to contributions. If you have an idea and a bit of summer free-time put aside, do let me know. :)

General News

Defiance [new video on the Volge, the main bad guys of the Defiance universe and the protagonists of the game’s newest event.]

Planetside 2 [I mentioned the new Battle Islands feature in a previous round-up. In an interview with ZAM, Matt Higby, PS2’s creative director gave ample details on this new addition.] – ZAM

In terms of the map itself, Matt explained what he thought Nexus would bring that would excite PlanetSide 2 players.

Compared to our current maps, it’s a lot tighter so it allows for a lot more tactical movement, especially within the facilities and outposts. There are a lot more underground areas, places to have very focused infantry fights. We have a few areas like that in PlanetSide 2, such as Bio Labs and a lot of the facilities that have been revamped have that within them.

Because Nexus is a relatively smaller map, the density of that is a lot tighter. So if you just want to play infantry and just go from outpost to outpost, your ability to do that and remain in the action pretty much non-stop is a lot better within Nexus.

Speaking of making broadcast gameplay exciting, I wondered what steps the team at SOE was taking toward making PlanetSide 2 more effective as an eSports experience for viewers. Matt was—as always—honest in his assessment that work still needed to be done.

I consider it to be our biggest challenge; contextualizing the action in PlanetSide 2 to make a compelling viewing experience is an enormous challenge. It needs two things to come together really well, that is the observer camera system; allowing you to see not only an overview of where the world is, but also first-person views of what the player is seeing. Being able to, at a glance, see a scoreboard and the mini-map, to understand where the players are moving and what they’re accomplishing, all those pieces are really important and that’s entirely on our end to develop.

Upcoming / Beta

Final Fantasy XIV [A new gameplay video, also showcasing the PC version.]

EverQuest: Next [This is a seriously awesome compilation of EVERYTHING we know about the game so far. Everything. 😮 ] – EQNexus

The largest sandbox in history

Direct quote from John Smedley at SOE Live 2012

Playable version by the end of the year

Players will get their hands on an actual release version of what we’re doing late [this] year – and I don’t mean a beta

Uses Forgelight game engine

Currently used in Planetside 2

Warhammer 40k: Eternal Crusade [The dev team has planned two 1-hour AMAs for today. One has already taken place (see the link to the right) and one will take place at 4pm EST (1PM PST, 9pm UTC). Live stream below. The answers from both sessions will be posted on the game’s subreddit] – Twitch VOD


Watch live video from 40kcrusade on www.twitch.tv

The Repopulation [PvP Overview – in a nutshell, EVE Online warfare with some interesting additions. Awesome.] – Official Website

PvP can range from enjoying combat in the contested regions, doing battle with your faction allies against the other main faction, or enemies as decided on by alliances with other nations in the game.The nation system is one of the core elements of The Repopulation. It can lead to numerous PvP opportunities such as the sieging or defending of cities, or battling for control of vital resources. Independent nations that we refer to as “Rogue Nations” can form their own alliances and become a bastions of peace, or a chaotic group of mercenaries attacking anything on sight.

Players begin the game as Reserve members of the military, which means that they may not attack or be attacked in Protected regions. Each of the two main factions has roughly a third of the world marked as owned and protected by their faction. Reserve military members may not attack or be attacked by rival factions while in these protected regions. There is a full complement of tiers in these protected regions, so players who wish to avoid PvP entirely, may do so on Normal servers.

You may switch to Active military at any time, but if you do so you will be unable to switch back to Reserve for a period of time. Active Military members can attack or be attacked by other Active Military members of hostile nations. Once you step outside of the protected regions and into the contested regions you are under the same rules of active military. Enemies of your faction or nation are able to attack you at will.

Nations can take control of plots of land in contested regions to build cities. Once a plot of land is taken, the nation and those in charge of the city can increase the size of the city by providing resources for the city and structures to help the city prosper and grow. As the city grows, it will be better suited to defend itself.

Cities can also be used to launch sieges on rival nations. We’ll cover sieges in detail in a future article, but suffice to say that the sieging process will require careful planning, and will be window based so you won’t wake up to find your hard work completely lost. The risk of losing a city is very real though. Nations would be wise to form alliances, and not alienate themselves from the rest of the server. Cities provide defense to friendly players, as well as being hubs for shopping, entertainment and missions.

Videos / Pics

Opinions / Interviews

10 Franchises that would make great MMOs [A pretty terrible list, but with a few gems on it like Fallout and Planescape Torment.] – Massively

7. Enter Player One

OK, Ernest Cline’s geek novel about a group of gamers in the near-future who compete online to become the successors of a massive software company might be the least-known item on this list. Still, it’s absolutely perfect for an MMO conversion because the book is about an MMO to end all MMOs. The online game, OASIS, is every game and virtual world and sandbox experience known to humanity, and the fact that it’s about leveling up, collecting loot, building forts, staging massive PvP battles, and fighting evil corporations makes this an irresistible notion.

Have traditional MMOs had their time? [In other words, have publishers and devs FINALLY realize that the WoW model is not a good bet for the future or even the present? About time.. Now I just hope they don’t go over-board with MOBAs and Shooters. What? Too late for that? Oh well.. ] – Eurogamer

“I don’t see the traditional MMO having much of a chance in the future, but games that bring tons of people together – they’re definitely going to exist. So you’ll have a subset of it, but I’m hoping it will diversify a little bit more,” he elaborates. “Definitely you’re not going to have the big subscription-based MMOs any more – those are dead.”

DayZ and Minecraft came from nothing. They were creations of one brain in each case, built quickly and cheaply. They blossomed because they were new, risky and built on the creativity and participation of their players more so than their creators; although they weren’t blank slates, they weren’t staid, monolithic theme park MMOs trying to please everybody either. They had what came to be acknowledged as a tightly focused appeal, despite their many players and shared worlds, and that is now catching; Camelot Unchained, for example, is a Kickstarter MMO with a budget of $5 million and an unwavering focus on a niche audience that wants a hardcore PVP game. In some respects it’s risky and uncompromising, but it seems wise to the lessons learned by its most recent peers, which is exciting.

Skybox pleasures [When’s the last time you looked up in an MMO? I remember being floored by Outland’s sky, but ever since I can’t really remember any other MMO world that impressed me with its background. Here’s a short look on the skyboxes of a few popular games.] – GamingSF

The MMO Round-Up feature is morphing a bit. While I’ve learned quite a bit from it already

MMO Round-Up 03.07.2013 – Wurm, Guild Wars 2, Firefall, Outcast & more!

:D They may not put much effort into marketing and hype, but make no mistake: Wurm is a unique MMO in many, many ways. For example, here’s a comment I found on Massively that gives you a hint of how much freedom and possibilities you can find in it.] – Massively

This is the only game where I found a cave full of gold, mined for a while, then logged back in to find myself trapped in a caved-in goldmine. I then succeeded in digging myself out and getting lost in a forest where I was devoured by ravenous spiders. This all while people rode horses by standing on top of them. I ended up putting the game down because I didn’t have enough time to really enjoy settling down with my shack and garden.

Age of Wushu (NA) [The release date for its first expansion, Legends of Mount Hua, has been pushed back a bit and is now set to August 8. Check the link for all the features that will be debuting with this new expansion, or watch the trailer below.] – Official Website

CCP [Interview with the company’s CEO and with their new Product Development lead, Sean Decker. Coming from EA, he created quite the commotion in the EVE community, so I guess they felt the need to clarify some issues, like EVE’s business model for example.] – Massively

Sean is to be the head of product development across all of CCP’s games, not just the free-to-play titles, but I wouldn’t worry about EVE going free to play any time soon. “I don’t think [free-to-play] is the be all and end all business model,” Sean told me, adding that he understands that the subscription model better fits some games.

Hilmar assured me that the plan for EVE is still the same plan that was discussed at Fanfest and that fans really latched onto. He promised that nobody will be “making any big kneejerk changes to EVE” and that CCP as a company won’t forget the lessons it has learned over the past few years. CCP is currently looking at options that let players “customise the game experience” without upsetting game balance. Options like ship paintjobs are still on the table, but Hilmar explained that the focus right now is on more ideas along the same lines as the dual character training option recently released in EVE’s Odyssey expansion.

This year’s EVE Online Fanfest included the reveal of a brand-new virtual reality dogfighter for the Oculus Rift named EVE-VR, which fans went absolutely nuts over. When asked whether this will be turned into a retail product, Hilmar confirmed that it will be one of the games under Sean’s new remit, but he clarified, “Right now there are no specific plans.” He added an optimistic note that CCP “took [EVE-VR] to Fanfest and E3 and the world is screaming for it.”

Hilmar went on to reveal that CCP’s plans to infiltrate the wide world of mobile gaming are well underway. Former EVE producer Jon Lander has taken on the task of managing the company’s mobile offerings, and this year will be mostly spent preparing for next year’s full-scale app development. The first apps to be released will be “cohort apps to the EVE universe,” explained Hilmar, describing them as companion apps to enhance the game experience.

TERA [interview with Patrick Sun about the new Corsairs’ Stronghold battleground.] – ZAM

Though the Stronghold is the most eye-catching aspect of the patch, it also lays the groundwork for the Alliance system. What do you think it will bring to the game for players?

The Stronghold patch brings a ton of changes to players, perhaps the biggest set of any patch to date. It contains a lot of class balances players have been asking for as well as some changes to leveling and dungeons. The Alliance system will come into play in an update later this summer, and it’s really going to evolve the political system in an awesome way. Your objectives as a player will change, even if you’re not in a dungeon or battleground. It’ll give you something to fight for and defend at all times, and I think the players will dig it.

Upcoming / Beta

Firefall [Trailer showcasing the newest instance added to the game, Blackwater Anomaly. P.S. The game is FINALLY going into Open Beta on July 9th.]

Wildstar [exclusive interview with Senior PvP Systems Designer Jen Gordy] – WildstarOnline.de

3. As the appointed „Queen of WildStar PvP“, what do you like most about PvP?

My favorite aspects of PvP:

Getting a friend or group of friends to strategize with you to take down the enemy or change the tide of a battleground.

The adrenaline rushes as I’m playing in a shared zone on the PvP ruleset server: avoiding large crowds, getting jumped, or picking fights.

11. Will players be required to do a little PvP in order to get certain resources needed for special epic gear that can be crafted (e.g. certain ore from a PvP zone)?

There are PvP specific crafting ingredients. Players will find these in loot bags (rewards for public events in the map), vendors, and through salvaging PvP gear.

14. Will the „Holy Trinity“ play a crucial role in 3vs3 matches?

Through all of our arena playtesting, in beta and internally, I have seen many different variations of team makeup. Because you can choose your ability loadout before the match, a team that consisted of a Tank, Healer, and DPS in one match, may be a Healer and 2 DPS on the next. During testing, I’ve seen successful DPS trios, Tank trios, 2 Healer + DPS, 1 Healer + 2 Tank.

Runescape 3 [Release date set for 22 July! Check the link for all the new stuff that this version will bring.] – Official Website

We can also finally reveal the centrepiece content for RuneScape 3: the Battle of Lumbridge. This will be a world event of epic scale where your decisions and actions will forever shape the story of Gielinor. The future of RuneScape is in your hands.

Guides / Tips / Giveaways

MU Rebirth [Closed Beta Keys Giveaway – 100ish keys left!] – MMOSITE

Closed beta will begin after maintenance on Wednesday, July 3 at approximately 7pm (Global Server Time).

The Elder Scrolls Online [Race Guide for the Aldmeri Dominion faction] – TenTonHammer

The Aldmeri Dominion was formed when word came down that human supporters of Molag Bal had taken control of Imperial City in Cyrodiil. Queen Ayrenn, the High Elf ruler, built the Aldmeri Dominion with the Wood Elves, who live in the Valenwood just northeast of the Summerset Isles, and the Khajiit, whom she aided during the recent Knahaten Flu outbreak that devastated the Khajiit homeland of Elsweyr.

Videos / Pics

General News

Wurm Online [Dev Diary with