Although the modern MMOG era is usually regarded as having begun less than two decades ago, the category has come a very long way in this time span. It has gone from a tiny, virtually unknown niche to a genre that counts millions of regular players and generates billions of dollars in revenue. There's also every reason to anticipate continuing growth. That said, the future isn't completely clear. What lies ahead will be determined by how various questions and issues are addressed.
Read more of Richard Aihoshi's The List: Five Pointed Questions on the Future of the MMOG Genre.
The Skyforge site has been updated with a new preview post for the Crucible of the Gods update that is scheduled to go live later this month. of particular note is the topic of "prestige scaling" that will allow players to work together to earn prestige. Groups will scale down to the lowest prestige group member and awards all players appropriate rewards for prestige.
The method of joining an Adventure remains the same, however the Interface’s functionality has been slightly altered to accommodate this new feature. Selecting Join functions the same as its current form, allowing participation by a solo player or a pre-formed group but the groups will remain limited by how far apart their member’s prestige currently is. Additionally, the difficulty can be manually chosen. Selecting Group Finder allows participation with a random or pre-formed group of players. The varying prestige is not taken into account and lower prestige members will receive the enhancing effect and the difficulty will not exceed “Normal”.
Read the full post on the Skyforge site.
I have a confession to make. My Engineer in Guild Wars 2 was the first character I leveled to 80. It was also the first character I stopped playing at the cap, because I realized I just didn’t like not having a melee focus in GW2. Silly right? It took me 80 levels and then some to figure that out. But Heart of Thorns could change all that, with one simple thing: a big ol’ two-handed hammer.
Read more of Bill Murphy's Guild Wars 2: Me & My Hammer - A Heart of Thorns Engineer's Wish List.
Hi-Rez Studios has announced Paladins, a squad-based first person shooter for both consoles and PC. Set in a fantasy realm, the game is preparing for beta with potential players invited to sign up. Check out the video below and let us know what you think!
EverQuest II producer Holly Longdale has posted the most recent state of the game letter on the official forums. In it, Longdale gives players the first information about server consolidation and indicates that this is not "evasive language" but that it is the approach of Daylight Game Studio.
We think our best path is to consolidate some lower population servers into a new server and build a brand new server community from those players.
Those players moving will get a title naming their original server that can be worn with pride! And we will run a vote for the servers being consolidated to choose a new name for the new server based on the recent submissions we've had. We don't know which servers yet, but that's our next task.
In addition, the team is hard at work on the next campaign update and is currently in the bug squashing stage. According to Longdale, the update is on track for fall deployment, with the prelude events starting as early as September.
Read the entire letter on the EverQuest II forum.
Browser-based Chrono Wars developers have announced the addition of two new systems in the game that will be of keen interest to players. First is the wedding feature that unlocks at level 52 and from which players can benefit through completion of in-game activities and wedding ring upgrades.
After the players reach 52, "partner systems" is unlocked and you can marry by presenting a wedding ring to another unmarried heterosexual player. If accepted, the marriage relationship will be established. Husband and wife can team up, build up intimacy by completing campaigns together, and elevate wedding property. To build up even more intimacy with the token of love, you can use ring update stones to upgrade the wedding ring when you reach to a certain level of intimacy (similar artifact). Ring update will enhance the wedding ring attributes and unlock more skills.
The second feature, the Cavalry system, can buff basic player stats of Attack, Defense, HP, Hit, and Dodge when used.
Find out more about each of these new additions on the Chrono Wars site.
Eighteen teams from countries around the world are in Seattle, Washington as the The Main Event portion of the 2015 International Dota 2 Championships kicks off with over $18 million dollars in the prize pool. The tournament will run through August 8th.
The event is being held at the Key Arena and is sold out, though fans can check out the action at over 400 theater venues around United States.
Watch live through Steam Broadcasting, YouTube, Twitch or WatchESPN. Get real-time stats and graphs with Steam chat as part of the new DotaTV Live Streaming experience.
Find out more about the tournament on the DOTA 2 International page.
Developing MMO, Chronicles of Elyria, has soul, err Souls to be exact. In this design journal learn more about why CoE chose to give characters Souls & how it ties into lore, the permadeath feature, and skill advancement.
Read more of Jeromy Walsh's Chronicles of Elyria: Design Journal #1 - Introduction to Souls.
Shards Online is a game that in its understated way is going to change the way MMOs are developed by bringing the community to bear in a way that has never been done before. Citadel Studios is committed to creating something different and unique that places the powers of creation into the hands of the people who love MMOs so they can provide experiences to players who are oftentimes disappointed by the genre these days.
Read more of Suzie Ford's Shards Online: It's a Revolution in MMOs That is All About Freedom.
'Royal Brightwing' has leaked the Diablo 3 Monk on Twitter, apparently the next character coming to Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm.
Last week, long time Blizzard community manager Micah "Bashiok" Whipple announced he was leaving the company after over a decade. In a new Twitter post, Whipple posted a photo of one of WildStar's plush goats on his dashboard with #FirstDay as his hashtag.
This comes shortly after former WildStar designer Stephen Frost announced that he was leaving Carbine to head to Blizzard.
It's a great big family, no?
The second quarter revenue reports for NCSoft have come in a few weeks early, and the results are pretty much positive across the board. I know this is the part where I'd normally add "unless you play Wildstar," but I'm not going to do that this month. Given the figures presented in this quarter's report, I'm going to guess there aren't a whole lot of people left that such a message would actually apply to. So instead, I'll say that it's positive across the board unless you work on Wildstar.
Read more of Connor Wack's NCSoft's Q2 Financials - Lineage Still Going Strong.
Everquest Next is working in concert with Landmark players to create some of the locations within Halas. The newly announced contest features a fantastic Style Guide on The Workshop forum to help guide creationists along as they prepare for the contest.
You can learn more in the most recent Workshop Show and by checking out the link above.
The finalists in the Create a Boss contest have been revealed on the Trove site. Players are encouraged to visit the site to check out the background information and the creative thought behind each of the named finalists. Once done, players can head to the special voting site to voice their opinion on which should be included in Trove at a later date.
Check them all out on the Trove site.
The Neverwinter team has posted a brand new Q&A with fans of the game. The focus of the discussion is the forthcoming Strongholds module that is set to go live on August 11th. Questions range from Stronghold customization to tracking personal donations to the guild structure to long term viability of strongholds once other modules come out.
Kreatyve: What happens when you’re kicked from a guild when you’re in the stronghold?
Though you’ll lose access to that stronghold map, and any associated boons, you will not lose anything you personally acquired during the process of building up your stronghold. So you’ll keep any guild marks, loot items, equipment, etc. that you might have collected.
Read the full Q&A on the Neverwinter site.
Ex-Blizzard Chief Creative Officer Rob Pardo is featured in a short but interesting interview at Develop-Online.net. In it, Pardo talks about today's MMOs and the struggles they face when compared to industry-leader World of Warcraft. Pardo even goes further by saying that if WoW came out with its initial feature set today, it would be crushed by WoW today.
Pardo talks about how developers and publishers have begun to shy away from the term MMO to try to find their specific niche in the genre to show that it is a different type of game and to avoid comparisons to World of Warcraft. How many times has the term "WoW-killer" been tried and failed by games over the past decade?
One major factor holding many MMOs back is also what made the genre popular. Pardo says its rare to see a breakout hit in a genre ever replicated, though shooters have become an exception to the rule. He identifies Riot Games’ League of Legends as an example in the MOBA genre. It’s a space even Valve has had trouble replicating in terms of sheer scale.
Read the full interview at the link above.
UPDATE: A retraction regarding the "remake of FFXII" by composer Arnie Roth has been issued:
"I want to rectify a statement made from the stage Saturday night at our Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy concert in Pittsburgh," Roth wrote on Distant Worlds' official Facebook page. Distant Worlds is a concert series showcasing music from Final Fantasy's soundtracks.
"Following conversations with composer Hitoshi Sakimoto regarding new concert arrangements of music from Final Fantasy 12, regrettably, the term ‘remake' was used in error during one of the announcements that took place from the stage during the concert," Roth said. "We sincerely regret any confusion this has caused."
Rumors have been swirling and partially confirmed that Final Fantasy XII will be getting either reworked / updated or completely remade after a Distant Worlds concert in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this past weekend. During the concert, composer Arnie Roth stated that the game would be getting 'remade', though it is unclear whether this is indeed a fact, or if it will be a reworking of the beloved title.
It’s abnormal for a composer to be making random announcements like this, so there’s reason to be skeptical, but RPG fans have long predicted that a FFXII remake would be en route after the success of Final Fantasy X HD on PS3, Vita, and PS4. Prediction: Square denies this is true on Monday, then announces it on Wednesday.
Read more at Kotaku.
Set in the larger EVE universe, CCP has announced a new arcade shooter called Gunjack. The game is being developed for the Samsung Gear VR platform and is based around "mining operations and pirates". Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think!