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


MMO Round-Up restarting on Friday, July 19th at the latest, in the new by-weekly format.

The MMO Round-Up feature is morphing a bit. While I've learned quite a bit from it already and I'm having fun doing it on a daily basis, the reward over time spent ratio is far from ideal so it's hard for me to justify this being a daily thing. For example, it occupies more than half of the time I usually allocate for doing stuff on TF each day. I'm certain I can use those hours more efficiently, especially on some long-term features I've been looking at for a while now.  ;)
 
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. :o ] - 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. RIFT
Rift has some very beautiful backdrops, the view from Meridian across towards Lantern Hook in the Droughtlands for instance. The game makes very good use of night and day cycles, plus some impressive weather effects (e.g. blizzards in the Iron Pine Peaks). The most spectacular use of the skybox though is the River of Souls ‘Milky Way’ style effect that featured in the first post launch live event and since in the Raid / Chronicle of the same name.

 
MMO Design
 

Player Controlled Progression [random vs controlled upgrades to a player's char. Which is better in which situations.] - Gamasutra

In the past I've talked about progression in game design by defining it as short-term and long-term. Where short-term represented minor or constant changes like new equipment. And long-term were major changes that affected how the player continues to play such as runes in Diablo 3.
 
However we can further break down progression based on the amount of control the player has over it and as always, there are specific advantages and disadvantages to consider.

 
Misc / Off-Topic
 

7 Ways To Die [A Survival Horror Open World Crafting Sandbox Game. :O I'm pretty sure they managed to hit every buzz word there is in this space. It's hard to say how close to this description the game will land (it's still in Alpha), but it's interesting nonetheless and definitely worth keeping track of.] - Official Website with more info

 

 

Blizzard's San Diego Comic-Con Schedule [A sizeable presence, with heavy focus on World of Wacraft and with panels on Blizzard's art, storylines and licensed products.] - Official Blog

World of Warcraft Tribute Signings (UDON booth #4529)
A selection of top-flight artists will be on hand to sign and maybe even sketch in your copy of World of Warcraft Tribute. Tribute artists scheduled to appear include Justin Bechtold, Kevin Cameron, Sean Galloway, Matt Grigsby, Dax Gordine, Gregory Higerd, Don Ho, Edwin Huang, Arun Naina, AJ Nazzaro, Laura Rivera, Emmanuel Fuentes, Patrick Scullin, and Arnold Tsang. (Subject to change)

Blizzard Licensing Panel (Hall 6BCF)
Chris Metzen (Blizzard Entertainment SVP Story and Franchise Development) and a team of esteemed guests reveal never-before-seen licensed products and plans for 2013/2014. Talk to the designers, writers and artists as we dig into toys, novels, comics, statues, and more. Panel and extended game Q&A session moderated by Kat Hunter (host of BlizzCon coverage on DIRECTV).

 
Community Pulse
 

 

Daily AMA: Got any questions about today's news or MMOs in general? Leave them in the comments. You'll probably get quick and awesome answers from TF's members, but if not, I'll give it my best to give you an answer in tomorrow's article.

 

 
Stream Highlight: PingWingTV - WoW raiding, good music and awesome rants. 
 
Featured TF Forum Thread: Is Blizzard being unfair?






3 Comments

If you knew how many different WoW characters I have had, you would die. I am serious.

 

Another nice article Mynsc, well done.

I fully support your decision to slow it down a notch :) Also this was great as always! ^^

weekly, maybe bi-weekly column (depending on the news)

 

sounds good to me!