Legends of Aria is Going Free to Play

Legends of Aria is going free to play as it returns to its hardcore PvP roots in the New Dawn update. The new update will be coming sometime in November, though the exact date hasn’t been pinned down just yet. It was just a little over a month ago that the studio announced they were cutting the price of the game and introducing premium subscriptions. So it’s a little bit of a surprise that the game is now going free to play as well. We’ve been following this game since it was first announced and first had its Kickstarter campaign back in 2014. At that time it was called Shards Online.

legends of aria dev blog

 

Along with going free to play New Dawn is bringing back a fan favorite, The Wilderness. The update will also make changes to Warriors as well as Militias. Players will also be able to become citizens of one of the many towns in the world with the new Township feature. Stealing and Snooping are also going to now be viable options for those who want to master the art of thievery. New quests and missions have also been added including resource missions, quests for professions, and new episodic content.

On top of all of that there are a ton of quality of life updates, bug fixes, and a whole lot more to explore once the update launches. As I said before, the press release hasn’t given an exact date yet so if you want to catch it when it goes free to play you’ll have to keep an eye out on social media or add it to your wishlist on Steam.

 

Source: Press Release

The post Legends of Aria is Going Free to Play appeared first on MMOGames.com.

Worlds Adrift is Hosting an End of the World Event as the Game Shuts Down Tomorrow

Worlds Adrift is hosting an end of the world event for the last few hours the game remains online tomorrow. Beginning at 7 Pacific Time one final event will be running in the game which can be watched on Twitch if you can’t make it there in person.

The shutdown of this unique spatialOS MMORPG was announced back at the very end of May. In the FAQ about the shutdown they said this about the shutdown; “Making such an ambitious game was always going to be a challenge and we love the game we’ve built together with our community. However, Worlds Adrift has not captured the imagination of as many people as we needed to make it commercially viable.”

Unfortunately, the game was plagued with terrible griefing problems and the addition of PvE servers came a little too late. According to Steam Charts however, the game never really got an audience. Its all time peak number of players was just 2,031 and that happened back in May 2018. There was a little bit of a boost in October when the PvE servers were introduced, but that boost didn’t last.

On the bright side, this isn’t the end of Bossa. In their FAQ they make it clear that the studio will continue and that they always have 3 games in development. One game that we do know is in the works is Pigeon Simulator which will be on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and yes, it is exactly what you think it is.

 

 

Source: Official Site and Steam Charts

The post Worlds Adrift is Hosting an End of the World Event as the Game Shuts Down Tomorrow appeared first on MMOGames.com.

On the Precipice of the New World

I stand on the sandy shores of another world, one that is my new home, surrounded by men and women in battered cotton clothes. The tide rolls across the sand behind me, and a man in a fancy coat is pointing waving from the treeline. I am here in Tera Vitae Aeternum, this is the final slice of the unknown world, and all the men and women on the shoreline around me are here to carve their fortunes as they may in these shores.

 

Welcome to the New World

While my avatar, a young woman named Tara sits on the sand, flanked on all sides by men and women dressed in rags, I am in a quiet loft in downtown San Francisco. Several thousands of dollars worth of high-end monitors, capture cards, PCs, and gaming peripherals are spread out on tables down the length of the little loft. Men and women in New World sweatshirts are chatting amiably with the others who walk in, a large-screen television sits at the front of the room showing a splash image from the game. At the back of a room, a table spread of fruits, cookies, candies, and drinks sections off a bit of the back of the room, and several staff members are smiling and greeting everyone.

I am at a preview event for Amazon Game Studios’ upcoming MMO, New World. I was among the first to arrive, sitting next to one of the stations where the game is already open, and a lush-looking grassland is splayed out in front of the avatars.

After a bit of milling, more writers show up, and we’re called to the front where head of Amazon Game Studios Orange County, Patrick Gilmore, is standing in front of the large television. He explains that New World is a game set in alternate-history 17th century. The age of discovery is winding down, with just a tiny slice of Bermuda left uncharted in a world of now finite boundaries. In the last corner of the unexplored is the island of Aeternum, one final piece of unclaimed land.

Players take control of the island’s new residents, leaving their old homes, selling their possessions to afford to sail, and set off to make their fortune on this island with just the shirts on their backs and the sense of adventure in their hearts.

Amazon bills this game as a “Sandbox MMO,” explaining that it’s the neatest label to define what it’s about. New World is a game that has by design avoided scripted sequences and moments, instead letting player freedom and emergent stories be the driving vehicle that propels players to log on, to carve the world into the shapes of their whimsy, and to experience the construction of civilization.

Back on the island, I’m behind the eyes of Tara, and the other new residents are sprinting around the stand wildly, getting used to the controls, which were provided helpfully by a packed print-outs sitting on top of our multicolored keyboards, and throwing punches into the air, running in aimless patterns, and spinning around in graceless circles. After a bit of orientation, we find Mike Willette under the handle “Berserker Mike,” who teaches us the basic mechanics of putting down camp, crafting, and finding materials to build resources.

Our characters are all fantastically over-leveled. Although we lack high-level equipment and resources, we seem to have high crafting skill, great combat skill, nice combat durability, and a handful of other perks that would translate to being high-level in games with a traditional leveling system, which is something this game lacks. Instead of levels, players gain experience in specific crafts: blacksmithing gains players levels in blacksmithing. Fighting gives players levels in fighting. In short, each stat the game tracks has its own level system, rather than the character as a whole having that level.

Together, we’re directed north to a basic crafting area. Inside the walls of this little blacksmithing outpost, we’re in a what New World calls a Sanctuary: a place safe from any player-based combat. We’re introduced to crafting stations, shops, and the basics of stamina. Forges, tanning racks, and such placements are necessary to use those trades, and those stations come at varying levels. Ostensibly, higher level forges, tanneries, clothiers, and so on will not be found in the wild, and must be built by players.

Once everyone had time to bump into walls, climb railings, and hurl ourselves off of the parapets (where I quickly learned that I could take fall damage), Mike pointed us at our company’s base. We slogged through the swamp, slowing our travel, gathered some more resources in transit, killed a few wolves, and on arrival used the company’s armory to equip ourselves for combat.

We were told the combat we were arming for would be a demo of the game’s war system. Players can gather in companies, New World’s equivalent of guilds, in groups of up to 50 players. These companies could stake claims on certain portions of the map, in which players could build compounds including crafting stations, storage barracks, respawn points, walls, and other defenses to stave off attackers. Companies who wish to take over enemy positions would have to declare war. So, war was declared. While it normally comes with a 24-hour timer to give both sides time to shore up their defenses, our timer was accelerated to a handful of seconds. With some direction from Berserker Mike, we crept our way over to an enemy base staffed with other members of Amazon’s development team who were waiting on the parapets with bows and muskets. War on, we planted kegs of explosives next to the outer walls of their fortifications, and with a few seconds pause, detonations sounded the first beat of the war drum, and we flooded into the base.

What transpired during the skirmish was familiar territory. From the inner walls of the base, archers and musketeers rained hell from above, ground warriors with maces and swords flanked us from the sides, and we made war while our demolition team continued to plant bombs and punch holes in the enemy’s walls.

In motion, New World felt a lot like modern action MMOs. Despite being in alpha development, the actual nuts and bolts of the game felt fluid. Movement, dodge rolls, melee, and ranged weapons had good response times seemingly uninfluenced by communicating combat through the internet. Everything felt punchy, immediate, and violent. Attacks that connected illustrated the amount of damage dealt in crisp red, the third-person camera kept just enough distance to keep things clear without taking away from the immediate threats all around, and striking and being struck felt like it had weight as skirmisher fought and killed for glory.

Amazon let us win, I’m sure, but we managed to destroy the central pillar that secured their base, and plant ours in its place. The base was now ours.

After our little war demo ended, we were encouraged to forge our way north through a section of map called The Great Cleave, a frozen valley packed with undead-seeming settlers who’d settled in the wrong places, arctic wolves, and doubtlessly other aggressive dangers the deeper north we could manage.

Outside of combat, New World offers players some alternatives to raw swords-and-guns. Foraging resources seems to be a large part of how to craft high level equipment. The deeper in the island players push, the better the resources that can be extracted from the earth. So, in order to make high-level swords, shields, and spears, players will need to have high-level blacksmithing. In order to build the higher tier equipment, players need high levels of crafting to refine the raw, mined material into useful forms. In order to even create items with the high level materials, players need high level crafting stations. Skills are layered this way, but since companies are made up of many trades, each of these could be covered by different players. It seems in order to do high-level work, players will either need to keep many equally high-level friends, or commission high level tradesmen.

Weapons seemed to come in five flavors: Wood, Iron, Steel, Starmetal, and Orichalcum. Represented as Tiers I through V. As the tiers climb, the weapons and armor become better, both in terms of damage output or mitigation, and in durability. Higher level blacksmithing and refining increased the chances of pushing items to higher qualities—for example, a Good quality Iron Sword will be better than a Normal quality Iron Sword, and so on.

Although the game has some shared DNA with survival-crafting games, there is no way for players to dehydrate or starve. Hunger and thirst systems exist, but staying well-hydrated and well-fed offers buffs to the players stamina and health recovery respectively. It isn’t mandatory to keep their characters from dying.

One of the things integral to the apparent intent of New World is vulnerability. Most of what a player carries with them will be dropped at death. These items can be collected at any point after a player dies. Aside from Sanctuaries, players are at risk of death everywhere they go. Be that from wild animals, ghosts, corrupted settlers, or from other players. Players with the intent to become criminals can do so and attack any other player at will. However, this isn’t without risk.

Players can equip 3 weapons or tools at a time in their quick access slots, as well as four quick-use items (food, bandages, and such). These items are secure, and will not drop when players die, however, anything else they are carrying that is not equipped will fall. Criminal players, those who’ve assaulted other players with murderous intent, a manually toggled state, will gain criminal notoriety. Criminals are not safe in Sanctuary zones and drop all of their equipment on death, even the equipped items. Although being a criminal is a way to play, they have no respite at almost any point.

After eating a lot of cooked meat, drinking a lot of fresh water, and repeatedly getting killed by roving bands of skeletal corrupted settlers, I got the opportunity to chat with the developers.

The 17th century feels like an unusual choice for a setting, particularly for a game like this, so I asked the developers what about it drove them to it. One of the quotes that popped up was “the last gasp of the blade, the first breath of the gun,” a moment where swords hadn’t faded from use, but guns were beginning to become an inescapable part of the landscape. Scot Lane, game director, explained he and his team were stuck on the idea of building society, but didn’t want to feel nailed down to the collapse or post-apocalypse. “What if our game was about the opposite, the construction of society?” That way there would be both the structure of a civilized world, but also the freedom to let players make their own freedom.

Given that most of civilization seemed player driven, I had some apprehension about the nature of starting fresh later into the game’s life. Could a new player spill out onto the shores of the island only to find an oppressively colonized land, full of claimed area and strip-mined of resources? When I brought up these apprehensions, the developers seemed nonplussed. By design, the game was meant to have a bit of a race to capture territory. “There will be boom towns. There will be land rushes.” However, they explained, since players couldn’t form companies of over 50 players, it seemed unlikely that a single company to claim vast enough swathes of land to outright force out all competition.

Also, I learned during these chats, that building company territory was limited to a few predefined spots on the map, and there will always be unclaimed landmass for players to explore without having to step on any one company’s territory and toes.

Finally, I asked them what if they had any interesting stories to tell from playtesting. They offered me the story of a narrow thoroughfare that had been taken over by a criminal company. Any player that tried to make their way through it would be killed, their items taken, and if they returned, they would be killed again.

These players, fed up with it, formed up a company, and stormed the criminals. The result was a bloodbath. The criminals couldn’t face so many opponents at once, and given their attackers were not criminals themselves, could face their few casualties with their equipment intact, so they could swing back to combat quickly. The criminals, down to their underwear after their first death, could do little but throw punches and take fire as they respawned to die and respawn again. To die again.

After that, I said my thanks, and the event was over. Tara and I parted ways.

At its heart, New World is entering a crowded MMO landscape, and there’s a lot out there players can invest their time and focus in. With as much risk of loss as there seems to be, it can hard to delve into the island when the combat-focused players seem to hold all the power and face the least risk. Though there are a lot of options for non-combat roles, those with the power to punch hard seem to be in the best position to keep from being slaughtered while going about their business.

That said, I find myself wanting to return to the island to see if I can tinker with the systems, maybe explore the lush, swampy, arctic, and picturesque landscapes once again; even if I know it’ll be with a gun in my hand and a sense of adventure in my heart.

At least for now, I cannot promise I will want to settle here.

Disclaimer: Writer was flown out to the San Francisco event to preview New World at no cost.

The post On the Precipice of the New World appeared first on MMOGames.com.

The AlterVerse: A Crypto World Building MMO

Games are a creative medium with nearly infinite possibilities and dozens of ways in experiencing them. Every year playing and developing video games becomes more widespread and accessible as tools and systems become not only more affordable, but easier to grasp and understand. Since the early 2000’s developers have been making and sharing their games on websites like RPGMaker.net. One developer, Dog Star VR Studios, is looking to take that a step further and not only give gamers a community universe to explore, but developers the tools and universe to easily create their own aspiring games in. AlterVerse is intended to be just that project, hosted in a community developed multiversal landscape but built on the basis of Blockchain technology.

Blockchain is a term we’ve been hearing off and on in the Games Industry since 2014, but most people simply are unsure what it means, despite having accessed very similar systems for most of their internet careers. First digitally developed by a body known as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, Blockchain was then later implemented into popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin, and has since exploded onto the internet as a means of publicly recording and decentralizing transactions. Managed anonymously using peer-to-peer networks and distributed by a time-stamping server and secured cryptographically, Blockchain is used to log data (such as monetary transactions) by independent, self-interested users and managed by the same in a public and transparent manner. Much like a real-world economy this ‘public ledger’ ensures that the digital currency tallied within maintains its value and is open for any interested or invested party to inspect whenever they wish, meaning no one group could alter it for fear of social repercussions. Decentralizing it among a peer-to-peer network and a server means that if the server should ever go down, all its users still have a permanent copy of the data transmitted.

Now this is greatly oversimplifying the concept of Blockchain, and even in several hours of research I myself was not able to entirely wrap my head around so vast a concept. One of my personal colleagues explained the concept to me as, “Imagine a Wikipedia page, where every user’s account is logged when it interacts with a page. That way a community of contributors develops new content for that page, while that same community then verifies the information for accuracy. No one will really want to step out of line unless they want to get ejected from the community for mucking around with the page. No one will be able to muck around with other user’s accounts to make those changes, because it’s all secured thanks to a password only that account’s owner can decrypt!”

Blockchaining was first introduced into gaming in February 2014 with the release of Huntercoin. In this game, players earned a specific in-game currency by competing with each other in card battles. This HunterCoin(HUC) currency could later be exchanged for BitCoin securely due to the game’s inner BlockChain systems, but the game’s success was hampered by a wide exchange of issues. One of the game’s main abilities, Destroy, caused players to detonate like a nuclear warhead, killing players and scattering their HUC for other players to pick up. The game also suffered from a lack of moderation, its chat window open-sourced and rife for abuse and inappropriate content. Even the gameplay itself had fundamental design problems due to the core concepts of Blockchain.

Moving characters became intrinsically painful the more one played Huntercoin; as each individual player was registered on the Game User Interface of every other player, each player was forcibly rendered in real time by the Peer-to-Peer transfer. The biggest hitch of Blockchain decentralization is that only so many calculations can be done every second. Eventually, if you continue to scale your world and the actions done within it, you will hit a limit for what some people in the chain can reasonably render, resulting in massive slowdowns. Without a central server to register player movement and interaction, that burden was then placed on every computer currently playing Huntercoin and then slowed down by weaker members of the chain, resulting in mass slow-downs across the player base that took minutes to move a character just a few spaces forward.

Fast-forward a few years to AlterVerse: Disruption’s appearance on Kickstarter. Having been in development since 2009, the AlterVerse engine was designed to be a building block system for players; an MMORPG that players could develop content for other players to interact with in any genre or vein imaginable. According to our own past coverage creators can inject fully moddable game worlds into the AlterVerse, modifying terrain, jumping between genres and developing strongholds throughout the solar system. It’s clear from the beginning that the intent for AlterVerse is to be a world-built MMO in the most literal sense.

Players can be adventurers, raiding player designed ships and dungeons or developing their own storefronts and businesses in game. Turning each players computer into a P2P server, players host their content as they play reducing problems games such as Huntercoin faced previously in the past while players helm their own village, starship or war-table.

No matter the focus the AlterVerse runs on the Arn, its own form of cryptocurrency generated and mined through in-game activities in the AlterVerse. Players can exchange it much like its own currency, charging other players to access content they develop or barter between others for services. Intended to work on a Subscription model, AlterVerse’s main appeal aside from creating and playing one’s own worlds with the Pro Editor tool is indeed the hunt for Arn and the payout for crypto, as their advertisements look to draw in those looking for additional revenue and business to jump into the Alterverse.

One of several different monetization related adverts for AlterVerse, this one targeted at game asset creators.

AlterVerse would later emerge onto Steam Greenlight, Valve’s Community voting feature prior to its retirement in early 2017. Greenlit, AlterVerse then began beta-testing, allowing users to play an unfinished version of its first content module, AlterVerse: Disruption, as well as demoing the other in-game systems and generating their own world content. AlterVerse: Disruption later emerged onto Kickstater in August of 2018, looking for $3000 USD to finish off the first of nine content modules currently in development for the AlterVerse platform. There the main rewards were exclusive Citizenships, premium accounts that never had to pay their subscription fee which could later bought and sold on AlterVerse’s player-driven market.

Sporting full-fledged avatar creation and development, it appears that Dog Star VR is putting their best foot forward for their first major development project. Right now their main focus is Disruption, their Sci-Fi shooter model toting ship-to-ship dog-fighter combat, death match modes and more throughout its Kickstarter project listing. The scope is certainly concerning, advertising that AlterVerse could host almost any game mode imaginable on the game’s main Twitter page. However, to the game’s credit it may be the first to ever actually do such a thing; with user generated content to pad out its repertoire, Dog Star merely needs to show that engaging story-telling and level design can be done in the game’s somewhat limited engine.

Now aside from what AlterVerse is pushing as a Black Desert-esque, “live your life,” MMORPG, it’s hard to look past the surface positively. When one talks about studios developing multiple games at the same time, even on the same engine, there is bound to be shortcomings across the board between games. In examining AlterVerse’s official art the in-game models and textures are far below the acceptable standard that most players expect from an MMO in the last few years, let alone 2018.

In comparison, even the original models from World of Warcraft, an engine nearly 20 years AlterVerse’s senior, look far superior. With this game boasting Virtual Reality support, its hard to see what would attract players to even assembling a VR headset to enter this low-res world. In making up for poor art direction, Alterverse seems instead to be focusing on a variety of features; examining their Kickstarter page, the developers are attempting to pack in a whopping 29 separate gameplay features, 17 of which most MMO players would consider incredibly basic or fundamental to modern MMOs and only another 7 which others would consider to be extraneous depending on the genre of MMO. However, as AlterVerse is intending to literally cover every possible genre of fantasy its hard not to see why the breadth is potentially far greater than the depth.

Ultimately AlterVerse has a very specific crowd it’s trying to cater to, and its not the traditional MMORPG market in my honest opinion. In assembling its machine, Dog Star VR is really targeting those who want to work on creating their own content primarily while potentially exploring the world enough to economize and develop their horizons in a stiff MMO design. Economists and creators will, in my opinion, get the most out of adventuring in this universe; from maximizing profits on the in-game market to churning out content for other players to explore. In marketing to just this particular group, however, the AlterVerse feels as if it lacks any sense of major identity throughout. While there are screenshots of upcoming content packs there is only predominately advertisements of Disruption, and even then they hardly talk about what Disruption is all about. It leaves AlterVerse feeling as if its simply a shell for a greater monetization vehicle, and lacks any sense of charm or draw aside from that.

Frankly, there is a lot of economic promise in the vast galaxies and worlds of AlterVerse, if there’s a player base to be captured for it. But with a startling 9 content packs in development and their Early Access already slipping past its Q3 2018 launch, one can’t help but feel concerned that perhaps this universe might be a little too big for just one team to handle.

The post The AlterVerse: A Crypto World Building MMO appeared first on MMOGames.com.

What’s Going on With Albion Online?

The CEO and Founder of Sandbox Interactive, the team behind Albion Online left the company back in April and is now working for HelloFresh in Germany as the Director of Product Development. Stefan Wiezorek started his new job back in May without any public messages saying he would be departing the studio he helped to build. This, of course, raises a lot of questions as usually announcements are made when such a high position is emptied. It isn’t immediately clear on Linkedin who has taken over the CEO position. However, a post on Reddit has revealed that Albion Online Game Director Robin Henkys has taken over the role. Talking further on Reddit it was said that they didn’t go public with this information because there are users who would actively use it to discredit the game. This was also the reason they decided to stop releasing player numbers.

This comes as there has been a lot of concern recently about the state of the game. According to SteamDB, the population of Steam players is in massive decline since it released on Steam in May, 2018. According to the site, at its peak Albion Online had 2,829 Steam players and today it is down to 741. That’s a significant decline in such a short amount of time. SteamCharts shows very similar numbers for concurrent players. Meanwhile, Sandbox Interactive is saying that player numbers are fine. It should be pointed out that Albion Online’s client released first and is where the vast majority of players are. So they aren’t included in those Steam numbers, but there was a consistent decline in users when Sandbox Interactive was still releasing information related to player count.

In the past, you could look at the rankings for every person who had played that week. This meant that the players constantly had an accurate and precise count of how many people were playing Albion Online. However, it was also a disaster for player numbers as people could watch the population decline week after week, snowballing until…at least according to Reddit posts, the population dropped 90%. It was at that point Sandbox Interactive capped the number of rankings that would appear to include just the top 10,000. This change happened six months ago, long before the game was ever introduced to Steam. So there is no way to know what an accurate player count currently is.

On Steam Albion Online has received mixed reviews. Currently, 68% of the 622 reviews are positive. Many of the negative reviews point out that the game is laggy as well as being a grind that just isn’t fun to play. There are also a number of people who accuse the game of being pay-to-win. Positive reviews point out that there are a huge variety of things for you to do in the game, including ganking players in PvP; who doesn’t love to do that from time to time? The sandbox nature seems to be the biggest draw of the game, no need to do quests or follow a main story. If you want to spend your life working with hide, you can do that. They are very straightforward and accepting of the grind in the game and suggest that if you don’t like to grind it isn’t your kind of game.

On Metacritic, it has a Metascore of 72 based on 8 critical reviews of the game. The highest two are scores of 80 and those are from MMORPG.com and Game Revolution. The lowest score of 60 was given by three sites: DarkStation, Merlin’in Kazani, and The Overpowered Noobs. User Score is at 4.6 based on 85 ratings, and 8 of those reviews are a perfect 10 while 29 of them give a rating of 0.

Albion Online hasn’t had it easy. In August it suffered crippling DDOS attacks after it took action against gold sellers in the game. Sandbox Interactive was even blackmailed and served ransom demands! This issue plagued the game for several weeks before it was over. At one point in time emergency teleports had to be added to the main hub because too many people were trying to get in it at once and the entire area is surrounded by PvP maps. All in all, too many people is a good problem to have! In January the development team suffered a round of layoffs. During beta testing, the dev team increased to over 50 people and the layoff saw that number reduced to 31 with additional support from freelancers. This sort of thing is common right after an MMO releases as they brought on more people to get the game out the door and it doesn’t represent anything except the normal development cycle. However, there were many people attempting to claim otherwise.

There is actually a collection of people who go out of their way to make their displeasure about the things Sandbox Interactive does known. They can often be found wherever Albion Online is being talked about calling the developers liars and accusing them of moderating any negative comments about the studio or the game. They claim that the official subreddit for Albion Online is moderated by Sandbox Interactive employees who abuse their moderation powers. To combat this they made a subreddit of their own, which managed to get 79 followers in 7 months. The last post on the subreddit was made a month ago. One of the moderators of that subreddit seems to post about Albion Online on the MMORPG subreddit several times a day.

What should be the takeaway from all of this? Yes, Sandbox Interactive’s CEO left and yes, the game’s numbers on Steam aren’t amazing. That only tells a small portion of the story. Yes, Albion Online is unapologetically a grindy game and thus not for everyone. Albion Online has also had a hard time since it launched and is working with a small, indie team. If you’re interested in trying out Albion Online and deciding for yourself if it’s a game you want to play head over to the official subreddit where you can find trial keys that give you 7 days of gameplay.

The post What’s Going on With Albion Online? appeared first on MMOGames.com.

7 Multiplayer Mobile Games You Should Play in 2018

With all the talk recently about how mobile games are dominating the scene and the fact that summer vacation is right around the corner, we thought it was time to take a look at 7 multiplayer mobile games you should play in 2018.

 

Hearthstone


Release Date: March 11, 2014
Developer: Blizzard
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: Card Game

Hearthstone is a great game for anyone who only has 10-15 minutes to spare in between things, as well as a great game to play for long periods of time. Its one of the oldest games on this list but don’t let its age fool you. The game is still going strong with more than 70 million registered players as of May 2017. In August 2017 it was making as much as $70 million per month so it is safe to say that Hearthstone isn’t going anywhere any time soon. The most recent expansion to the game, The Witchwood was released in mid-April 2018 and included a single player mode called Monster Hunt.

 

Shadowgun Legends


Release Date: March 22, 2018
Developer: Madfinger Games
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: FPS

If you’re looking to get your Destiny fix while you’re on the road then Shadowgun Legends is the game for you. The game is gorgeous and constantly being compared to Destiny, with good reason! The game has only been live for a few months now but it spent quite a while in development and it’s also the third game in the Shadowgun series. It is incredibly well polished and a total blast to play. Thanks to it being the third game in the series it has a large, dedicated fanbase. This is another great game for when you’re short on time you can spend playing in one sitting.

 

Ingress

Ingress
Release Date: December 14, 2013
Developer: Niantic
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: Location-based AR

If you thought Pokemon Go was fun for a little while but found yourself craving more then you might want to try its older brother, Ingress. Ingress will take you to interesting locations all over the world as you fight on one side of a war that spans the globe. There aren’t any Pokemon to catch, instead, you’ll be catching memories. It makes a fantastic tool for sightseeing and you can even play it at the airport. It has a built-in chat system so you’ll be able to coordinate with locals wherever you go. The Ingress community is incredibly involved, with most large cities hosting weekly faction meetups. That makes it a great way to meet new people while you travel.

 

Minecraft


Release Date: December 19, 2016
Developer: Mojang
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: Sandbox

Its Minecraft, do I really need to say more?

Oh….my editor says I do.

Well, unlike other games on this list Minecraft isn’t free to play, you can pick it up in your device’s store for $6. It isn’t quite as good as the PC version, but if you’re hoping to lure your Minecraft addicted child away from the computer this is a good way to do it. It can be played alone or you can go multiplayer with your friends. Because of its sandbox nature, you can easily pick it up and put it down as much as you need to. Though if we’re being honest you’re more likely to end up getting sucked in for the whole day, so if your plan is to lay on a beach and play a bit of Minecraft you might want to put some sunblock on first. We wouldn’t want you to turn into a lobster. This is the sort of game that makes you wish you had packed your power bank.

 

PUBG Mobile


Release Date: March 19, 2018
Developer: PUBG Corp
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: Battle Royale

Ooooh, here we go being controversial by putting PUBG at number 3! This is a decision based purely on the numbers. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds doesn’t seem to be doing amazingly on mobile. That’s not to say that it isn’t popular, it really, really is. It just isn’t making as much money as their biggest competitor. The Battle Royale genre is the current fad for this summer and you can fully expect to see people playing one of the two biggest titles in the genre on their phone everywhere you go. As this game is a literal life or death kind of game, we can’t recommend you play it if you’re going to be distracted a lot or you only have a short time to play. But if you’re stuck in the backseat of the car or on an airplane then this game will do just fine to help you pass the time.

 

Vainglory


Release Date: July 2, 2015
Developer: Super Evil Megacorp
Platform: iOS, Android
Genre: MOBA

Remember a couple years ago when MOBAs were the big craze that every studio was chasing? Believe it or not, the MOBA scene is actually still going strong, and not just in esports. No one is making new MOBAs anymore, but we do have some older gems that are still worth playing. The best MOBA to be released on mobile was Vainglory and you can still play it right now.

 

Fortnite Mobile


Release Date: April 2018
Developer: Epic
Platform: iOS, Android (coming soon)
Genre: Battle Royale

If you’ve been following gaming at all this year, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Fortnite is number one on our list. The game has been dominating gaming since it released and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. At the moment it’s only available on iOS but it is set to release on Android sometime this summer. It’s free to play and has in-game monetization that fans don’t find annoying at all. In fact, on average Fortnite mobile players are spending more money than those playing PUBG, so Epic must be doing something right.

The post 7 Multiplayer Mobile Games You Should Play in 2018 appeared first on MMOGames.com.

Legends of Aria Open Beta and Early Access Launch Imminent

Citadel Studios talk about the road to the Legends of Aria Open Beta and Early Access launch in a new blog post, and we don’t have too much longer to wait now.

Legends of Aria Open Beta and Early Access Launch Imminent

In essence, this means that come June, you can play Legends of Aria for free. Citadel will be “very freely” handing out free trial keys throughout the month so that they can work through the issues that need a lot of people in order to find and fix before they launch Early Acess in July. This will be the final wipe, when Kickstarter backers and Founders begin their week-long headstart period, with rewards to follow.

Notably, this Early Access launch does not include Steam or even the big marketing push. It is hoped that will come around Fall time, if all goes to plan, though who knows what will happen over Spring and Summer, especially for an MMO launch, and Citadel are aware that there will be growing pains and say that they are prepared to work hard to make sure that no bug goes unbalanced and no problem unsolved. Basically, this will be the period to really polish Legends of Aria and they need you to make sure they get it right before the big launch.

You can read the full blog post here.

Our Thoughts

I have been following Legends of Aria for several years now and can’t wait to see what shape its living world will take. I’m so used to theme park MMORPGs that this will be a new thing for me and it’s exciting! Here’s hoping the bugs are minimal, the rollbacks unnecessary, and Legends of Aria launches for all sooner rather than later!

Source: Press Release, Blog

 

Other Articles Related to Legends of Aria

Legends of Aria at PAX East: Going Back to Basics
Legends of Aria Dev Blog Talks Combat and Skills
Shards Online Developer Interview
Legends of Aria Game Profile

The post Legends of Aria Open Beta and Early Access Launch Imminent appeared first on MMOGames.com.

Legends of Aria at PAX East: Going Back to Basics

Last year, Legends of Aria at PAX East was one of those games that had a smaller booth kind of tucked near a side wall. This year, their floorspace had expanded a little bit, which would lead one to think that the game, too, was going to expand. As it was explained to me by executive producer Jeffrey Edwards, however, the devs are taking a “less is more” approach.

Legends of Aria at PAX East: Going Back to Basics

As you’ll likely remember, Legends of Aria has already gone through a couple of iterative shifts; first as Shards Online, which let players put together their own smaller MMO worlds, and now as Legends of Aria, a full-blown sandbox MMORPG. The game was also working on a quest system, but it turns out that the quests weren’t that interesting to players and so they’ve removed quests entirely. Overall, the training wheels have been taken off.

What’s Old Is New Again

Legends of Aria definitely wants to take things back to the old school where you learn by doing. Considering the gameplay loop is still skill-based instead of class-based, it makes sense. While I was speaking with Edwards, I was online in a persistent build of the game, creating a character and wandering around to find things to do. Sure enough, there were no guiding arrows or even instructional pop-ups. Almost immediately, I just started clicking around, harvesting nearby rocks, attacking wolves and bears for the heck of it, and working out how to craft things. I also found myself going back to old MMORPG habits, talking with all the NPCs in the nearby town to see if there were any things that could be taken care of nearby.

That said, despite the lack of being given instruction, the team is going to work on making a new player experience. Legends of Aria is looking to arrive to Steam in June or July of this year and they want to be certain that they can toe the line between telling players how to play and not entirely holding their hand. As one would expect, it’s a challenge, but the devs believe they can figure it out.

The Balance Between “Risk” and “Fun”

Another thing that has me most interested in Legends of Aria’s upcoming build is how the game is handling its crafting. Of course, you get out into the world and start wailing on rocks, then take those gathered materials to an appropriate crafting station to put them together. What’s different here, however, is that you’re able to craft some useful gear from even the most basic of materials. The tradeoff is that you’re going to need a lot of those materials, which will mean it takes a long time. According to Edwards, it’s a way to make sure that Legends of Aria doesn’t conflate “risk” with “fun”; so many sandbox titles are forcing people to go into dangerous areas when they’d rather not, and Legends of Aria is granting those players their wish. As Edwards put it, they want all players to arrive to their game without feeling like interactions are forced.

Of course, there will be plenty of dangers for players to experience out in the world of Legends of Aria. PvP will, indeed, be a thing and there are going to be things for players to get into on the PvE side of things such as dungeons and the like. It’s all a matter of going out and finding said experiences as opposed to being on-the-rails. Players can speak with NPCs who might need to be taken somewhere, which will happen to pass by some interesting locations in the world. Or, ideally, new arrivals will see another person’s custom-built house or interesting gear and use those cues to see if they can get things like that for themselves. By and large, Legends of Aria’s content will be up to the players to discover and disseminate among themselves.

In spite of this scaled-back approach to design, Legends of Aria has still grown. The game’s world has expanded to include four major towns instead of the one, so there will most definitely be plenty of world for people to explore and learn about.

There seems to be a lot of sandbox MMORPGs coming down the pipeline, but Legends of Aria is one of the first that actually seems to care more about making players of all skill levels and interests feel valued, whether they’ve been behind the game from the very first crowdfunding drive or they’re arriving fresh from Steam. It’s taken a long and perhaps roundabout way to get there, but I might just have a new sandbox that will actually let me play in the sand at long last.

The post Legends of Aria at PAX East: Going Back to Basics appeared first on MMOGames.com.

Rend at PAX East 2018: More, But Bigger

Last time I was here with Rend at PAX East, I was trying to tie together the location of a fish restaurant with what the game was ultimately about. This year, not an awful lot has changed with the survival sandbox, but there is absolutely a lot more of it: more map, more biomes, more crafting trees, and more potential for things to switch up.

The first thing that’s grown in Rend’s current build is the map, which is now five times the size it was previously. With new biomes added to the game for a total of 12, each with a whole lot of new materials and, of course, new dangers. One of those biomes is a swamp region, which was shown to me in a friends and family build of the game. The region changed from a sunshine-soaked temperate forest zone to being a black and green, fog-covered expanse with new enemies to take on.

Of course, these new biomes aren’t just set dressing. It was explained that these biomes will have their own dangers in the form of environmental dangers. For example, harvesting a certain type of plant will inflict damage on you while you’re trying to gather it. So players have a couple of options: either cover their armor to protect themselves against the toxic elements they’re facing, or build up their Survivalist tree, or even hire the services of players in their faction if they’ve built a character that’s more specialized in crafting than they are in combat.

With all of this new map space and all of these new regions to explore, doesn’t this kind of put Rend’s aim of making survival sandbox games less of a long slog in danger? Not exactly; certain materials that are required to make items, such as copper, tin, and flux to make bronze, can only be found in enemy faction territory. There’s also the potential for random map-wide events to show up, such as a bright light that can be seen by nearly everyone on the map that signals a comet’s arrival to the land; a comet that could hold totally unique and powerful items or resources. The map will also have static capture points dotted around that could confer faction-wide bonuses so long as that area remains under control. Overall the devs are working to make sure that conflict still happens as often as possible in spite of the map’s new size.

One new feature shown off in the demo includes the addition of personal base-building on the land. While faction bases are still going to offer a lot of services, these personal locations are going to offer many of those same benefits without requiring you to run all the way back to your faction center. The building system is pretty similar to other base-building systems you’ve seen in games like Conan Exiles. The bigger difference is that, once a structure’s skeleton is built, other players can feed that structure materials in order to beef it up and upgrade it. This structure-building system isn’t just limited to personal housing, either; for example, players can build a bridge over a particular river or span to help move things across the map easily.

As for the core gameplay loop of Rend itself, it’s much the same way as before; survive by handling hunger and thirst, get materials and other items to bolster your faction’s standing, and build defenses at your faction’s primary location to survive the Reckoning wave that will send enemies to your doorstep. The biggest difference here is the fact that losing your base doesn’t mean your faction is entirely removed from the game as was previously said. Turns out, players don’t like being told they can’t play a game, so instead, your faction’s primary keystone will just bleed out soul energy that you have to recollect before enemy faction members do. The stakes are still high, but they’re not so high that you’re not allowed to at least perhaps recover.

There are a couple of other noteworthy additions being added to Rend too, including the ability to tame nearly every creature on the map to have along as companions and mounts, the introduction of mod support and a related toolset to let players tweak the title as they see fit, and a crafting system that is now tree-based and expanded to include literally a couple of hundred different crafting trees.

Rend is looking at kicking off in a matter of weeks with thousands of players being added to the game. It further illustrates Rend’s desire to make their game as fast-paced and focus-designed as possible while also making it scale upwards in practically every conceivable way it can.

The post Rend at PAX East 2018: More, But Bigger appeared first on MMOGames.com.

No Man’s Sky Announces “Next” Update and Xbox One Release

The No Man’s Sky Next update is going to be the next update for No Man’s Sky. If that sentence is a bit confusing, I’d just advise to pay close attention to the capitalization of “next” in this report. Hope that helps.

no man's sky next update

Developer Hello Games announced the intention to both kick out this latest free update for the exploration sandbox as well as bring the game in full to Xbox One players, complete with all of the most recent updates including Foundation, Pathfinder and Atlas Rises.

As for what the Next update has to offer, Hello Games’ Sean Murray is keeping pretty mum on the specifics while also going ham on the PR in his statement:

“We are calling this No Man’s Sky NEXT because it is an important next step in a journey for No Man’s Sky, for Hello Games and for our devoted community. Each update for No Man’s Sky has been more successful than the last; this was especially true of our last update Atlas Rises. It emboldens the team to push ourselves further. This journey is far from over, and it’s exciting to be working again on something you know will surprise people.”

That’s about all that’s available regarding this upcoming content update for now. Further details are expected at some point soon, while the Xbox One edition of No Man’s Sky can be expected to launch later this year.

Our Thoughts

Well, that’s not an awful lot to go on. That said, at least something is coming to No Man’s Sky next with Next. We’re be sure to provide more concrete details in the near future.

Source: press release

Articles Related to No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky Atlas Rises Update Introduces Multiplayer (Sort Of)
A Deeper Look at the No Man’s Sky Foundation Update
No Man’s Sky Game Page

The post No Man’s Sky Announces “Next” Update and Xbox One Release appeared first on MMOGames.com.