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Not So MMO: How to Make Military Shooter MMOs Better

By Beau Hindman on July 04, 2015 | Columns | Comments

How to Make Military Shooter MMOs Better

I often wish I could enjoy realistic military shooters like World of Tanks. I have tried them before, and the closest I came to joy was when I was piloting an old aircraft over a massive battlefield... then I was shot down. Because these games are skill-based shooters, it’s often the case that when you die you just stay dead; there’s no room for error. The last time I played World of Tanks I grew so impatient I just logged out. I probably appeared to be the world’s most sore loser.

There are a few things that, I think, could help the gameplay.

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First, allow players to live inside their tanks. Allow them to decorate a little bathroom, kitchen and bed-space so that, between fights, they can hang cardboard signs on the side of their tanks that read stuff like “Fort Cool”.

Second, we need to be able give our tanks outrageous and unique abilities. Think the tank in Tank Girl. That thing could come rollin’ when called! (Horrible movie, but good example.)

Third, we need to be able to choose from more and different play-modes. Sure, the gritty realism of WWII battlefields are always attractive to some (to me, they are sort of scary and sad at the same time) so why not offer a racetrack sort of arena where players design their tanks (including the inside!) and then race them around a track while trying to destroy each other.

Fourth, if a player is knocked out, they are then airlifted to a repair facility and can then jump back in. Don’t make me wait around like I am in MechWarrior Online. I want to fight – even get destroyed – not wait.

Let’s get to the news.

Interceptor Entertainment, Apogee Software and 3D Realms showed off their new isometric game called Bombshell. It will be released on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 later in 2015.

You’ll play as a mercenary named Shell “Bombshell” Harrison. The game will be powered by the Unreal Engine and you’ll be tasked on grinding your way through four planets in order to rescue the president. If you like gritty – and possibly funny – top-down shooters, you might check this one out.

Find out more on the Bombshell official site.

Bungie's Luke Smith, Creative Director for The Taken King, issued an apology to angry Destiny fans (wait, angry shooter fans? What?!) for a recent announcement that said current players had to re-purchase the full game and the expansion in order to get the collector's edition perks. As a result, those in-game perks will now be able to be purchased by players for $20.

Here’s the apology:

I am Luke Smith, Creative Director on Destiny: The Taken King.

Many, many years ago, I wrote to you each week in this spot. We talked about Battle Rifles, we talked about stuff we weren't going to talk about, and at some point I did a horrible hand-drawing of an upcoming map and teased you with it in the Weekly Update.

Anyone who knows me knows I can be sarcastic, anyone who remembers podcasts I've done knows that I can be pretty blunt, and anyone who’s watched me in a ViDoc knows I'm pretty unpolished.

However, most of you don't know me.

Reading my interview with Eurogamer and imagining it came from some random developer of a game I love - that random developer looks like an Asshat.

But that Asshat was me - and those words rightfully anger you.

I'm sorry.

My words made it sound as if Bungie doesn't care about their most loyal fans.

We do care. We are listening. And we will make it right.

Here's what we're doing about the Collector's Edition of Destiny: The Taken King...

We’re actively working to make the digital content from the Collector’s Edition available in a $20 upgrade bundle (suggested retail price), available on 9/15/2015. If you purchase a stand-alone version of Destiny: The Taken King, or already have, you'll be able to pick up the digital items as soon as they are available.

There is more on the Destiny site. Check it out.

Wargaming will finally be launching World of Tanks on the Xbox One on July 28th. Both the One and the 360 will be able to play against each other. Cool! Here’s a quote:

“We’re very excited to expand the World of Tanks experience to the Xbox One. There’s a lot of cool and exciting new features designed to bring out the best on that console,” said TJ Wagner, Executive Producer at Wargaming Chicago. “The introduction of some first-ever features including cross-platform multiplayer and voice between Xbox 360 and Xbox One and the exciting new PvE mode is going to give gamers, whether they’re already players or not, a whole new World of Tanks experience.”

Read more about it on the World of Tanks site.

More tank news! More testing dates for Armored Warfare!

The next play test will run from Wednesday, July 1st through July 14th and will prominently feature the new Tier 8 tanks. The Armored Warfare site features a long list of changes that will be present in the next event, so be sure to head to the official site to check them out.

(I was hoping they were announcing some new tank wallpaper. You know, for the inside.)


Blizzard just released several videos showing off some of the characters from Overwatch. This time around we see Winston, Zarya and Widowmaker. Pretty awesome! Check out the videos below!

Widowmaker:

If you are someone who likes to kill orcs, then the new Orcs Must Die Unchained PvE map release might just toot your whistle. Robot Entertainment and Gameforge recently put out a new closed beta client that featured a brand new PvE mode. In addition to that, it also included core game features that were tuned to keep things fresh.

From our write up:

“A well-organised team can now also profit from another new mechanic in PvE: the Unchained Meter. A barometer fills up as you eliminate enemies through combos, i.e. in a combination of traps and hero attack damage. Once charged, the group enters Unchained Mode and unleashes a greater level of destruction. All heroes get a health and mana bonus as well as reduced cooldowns for their skills. The difficulty rises in spite of all advantages however, rising from wave to wave and demanding the whole team’s attention during special boss waves. New bosses, such as Dread, a heavily armoured orc, or Sarge, a plate-armoured soldier, ensure that groups soon start to feel the heat.”

Supreme performances will be rewarded with a high ranking in the leaderboards, on which players can compare their results with others.”

Check out the official site for more information.

See you all in two weeks!

Beau

Beau Hindman / Beau is a writer, artist, PR/CM, game designer and pro moderator, and he's been blogging since 2002. He lives it up in Austin, Texas with his community manager wife. He's also the author of Anna the Powerful, a sci-fi book about the world's only superhero. Buy it here: http://my.bookbaby.com/book/anna-the-powerful