At last week's Fanfest event, CCP and the mayor of Reykjavik unveiled a giant monument to EVE Online. At the base of the sculpture are thousands of names—a tribute to the pilots that make EVE what it is. Unfortunately, four days after its reveal, one of those names was vandalised—a tribute to the fact that some EVE players really don't like each other. CCP have now found those responsible, and, in addition to any criminal charges that may be issued in the real world, have also taken steps to remove them from the game.
The winds of change soon arrive upon Azeroth. By custom, Blizzard introduces major system updates ahead of an expansion's release, and the sweeping overhauls of the pending Warlords of Draenor are the vanguard of the upcoming patch 6.0. In an official post, Blizzard described what the patch brings for Alliance and Horde players, including the much-publicized slimming down of stats and a reworking of raid difficulty tiers.
When news surfaced that Facebook had agreed to buy up Oculus VR, it became clear the headset maker had big plans for its virtual reality technology. Now we have an idea of just how big. Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe says the Rift headset could potentially serve as the platform for an MMO with "a billion" people, according to a report at The Verge.
Don't bring an AK-47 or a fire ax to a rave, unless it's DayZ. With millions of players buying into the early-access, standalone alpha of the zombie survival sim, it's safe to say a DayZ flash mob group was bound to surface. Founded back in February, the Steam group has been releasing videos of its meetups in recent days. You can check out one example below.
If you have anything more than a passing interest in Wildstar, then it's likely you've already picked up one of the many beta keys Carbine left lying around on the internet's floor. If you only have a passing interest in Wildstar, then even that may have been too much effort. In which case, your turn to play comes this week, when the upcoming MMO enters a short pre-launch open beta phase.
When your Kickstarter fails and your money runs out, two options present themselves, if you're determined to get your game made. You could try to fund the project through other means, or persevere regardless, paying the bills in other ways while you work on the game in your spare time. After the Kickstarter for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen drew up short back in February, designer Brad McQuaid tried the first approach, bypassing Kickstarter's safety nets with his own Kickstarter-like crowdfunding campaign that would keep every cent pledged, even if it wasn't enough to make Pantheon a reality (or to attract the attention of potential investors, which is mentioned as a goal in the latest update). That money, inevitably, ran out, and development of Pantheon soon ground to a halt. For most developers that might mean the end of it, but McQuaid is so determined to make Pantheon happen that he's now recruiting a team of unpaid volunteers to develop the game.
Andy provided a few details on EVE's upcoming Kronos update in yesterday's EVE Fanfest diary, and now CCP have added a few more, revealing that the spacey MMO's next expansion will arrive June 3rd, which isn't very far away at all. Industry is set to get a "huge overhaul" in Kronos, and there are details about just what this means below.
Last night I watched a procession of CCP developers wrestle with undefeated MMA fighter Gunnar Nelson. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t win, but it certainly was a spectacle—especially when the last guy, who looks like Zangief and towered over Nelson—arrived in in the arena from above, suspended in the air by ropes. CCP know how to have fun, but Fanfest is also, as players often say about EVE, serious business. Throughout the day fans join developers in round table meetings to steer the direction of the game based on their own experiences. It’s a remarkable community event as well as a way for people like me to see what new projects, and updates of existing ones, the company is working on.
If it's good to be the king, then being emperor must be a pretty nice gig, too. The Elder Scrolls Online's first player-emperor goes by the name "Morkulth." He has his own battle cry and a horse named Moonbeam. In a new interview at the official ESO website, Morkulth says he relied on his guildmates, early access to the game, and a lot of trail mix to make it to the top.
The very first virtual world ever created by humans—the ancestor to every online chatroom, MMO, and multiplayer lobby—has been acquired by the librarians at Stanford University. The creators of the Multi-User Dungeon (MUD for short) have generously given Stanford permission to make the source code public, which the Stanford Library plans to do in the future.
Oh yeah, Defiance! For all its cross-media promises, neither the TV show nor its related MMO shooter made a compelling case to visit the future Earth it depicted. We've danced the dance of MMO indifference before, and so at this point know the steps: Trion Worlds have announced that the game will relaunch as a free-to-play title next month.
From intrigue and assassination to all-out war, EVE Online is a game rich with stories. But these systemic, player-driven narratives come at a cost: it's a complex game to learn. For CCP that posed a problem: how to introduce EVE's universe to new players, without further increasing the complexity of an already expansive MMO. The answer, CCP say, lies in games like EVE Valkyrie and Dust 514—titles that are still connected to the EVE universe, but present a separate and more accessible set of systems.
"For the longest time we were in the process of adding features to EVE in a way that made it horizontally complex," said CCP's CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, in an interview with PC Gamer. "It was a bad complexity. We want the game to be complex and challenging, but it shouldn’t be difficult to understand. Your achievements should be overcoming obstacles and collaborating with players, but it shouldn’t me managing too much complexity."
Last night I watched the mayor of Reykjavik, Jón Gnarr, unveil a monument to EVE Online on the city’s waterfront. "I don't believe in reality." he said, inexplicably, as he swung a giant knife at a rope, dropping a sheet and revealing the sculpture by artist Sigurður Guðmundsson. Thousands of EVE pilots' names are inscribed at the base of the sculpture; a fitting tribute to a game that is defined by its player base.
The first month of existence for the sprawling lands of The Elder Scrolls Online is fast approaching. By the Tamriel calendar, that day falls this Sundas of Second Seed. (No, I'm not crazy: The Elder Scrolls series has a full calendar system.) For many adventurers, it'll simply be another turn of the sun to foil Molag Bal's plots, steal various food items off tables, and fend off swarms of mudcrabs. But for ZeniMax, it's the beginning of its update guideline for the upcoming Craglorn adventure zone and beyond as explained in a post by game director Matt Firor.
I applaud Sony Online Entertainment's transparency lately. The MMO developer and publisher has been extremely forthcoming with new details on H1Z1, its in-development zombie apocalypse MMO. CEO John Smedley has addressed lots of community questions on the game's subreddit, and we're bound to learn a lot of info from the 12 hours of livestream that the development team is doing today.
Wildstar doesn't seem interested in revolutionising the MMO. Instead, Carbine are overhauling some of the genre's most entrenched systems and attitudes. At a recent press event for the game, we had the chance to sit down with game design producer Stephan Frost, to talk about Wildstar's end game content, and how the team are preparing to support all corners of the player-base after they've hit the level cap.
The Old Republic's Galactic Strongholds expansion adds player housing and a bunch of other stuff, giving bounty hunters a place to hang their boots, their Wookies and their sarcastic Han Solo-style grins between missions. If you're a subscriber you were probably looking forward to the expansion's Early Access period on June 24th - so you'll be disappointed to hear that it's been delayed to August 19th, just one month before Preferred Early Access begins in September, and the content launches for free-to-play players in October. As a reward for your patience, the DLC will be getting a new stronghold location (Tatooine), conquest events and a few other things, as detailed in this announcement post. Hey, remember when games/expansions had a single release date? Simpler times.
As a story generator, EVE: Online is nearly peerless. But for every individual player, there's still the vastness of the MMO's universe to contend with. Andrew Groen, a games industry journalist, wants to tell the story of EVE through its own grand, narrative history. And now that his Kickstarter project to document that history has been funded, it appears he'll be able to do just that.
Inside the social economy of The Elder Scrolls Online, almost everything is up for sale—even vampirism. But House Annunaki, an Ebonheart Pact vampire guild in TESO, wants to turn that economy on its head by offering the precious vampire bites for free beginning May 1, according to the most recent issue of developer Zenimax Online's Tamriel Chronicle.
While heroes across Tamriel journey to reclaim their souls from that jerk Molag Bal in The Elder Scrolls Online, the MMO's devs have kept to their own quest to vanquish lingering glitches and loopholes such as a pretty serious duping exploit and the dreaded Spell of Disappearing Bank Items. In a message posted today on the official forums, director Matt Firor addressed these issues and other problems in a general evaluation of TESO's current state and the studio's plans for improving it.