MMORPG News: Ascent Infinite Realm, Kurtzpel Closed Beta, WoW Classic, Diablo Immortal and More!
This turned out to be quite the week. Not as many “releases” as previous weeks, but a hell of a lot more popcorn moments.
So.. if you don’t have any popcorn, then you might wanna run down to the store and prepare for some good – some bad – and some insulting news in this weeks Weekly Byte of MMORPG News!
World of Warcraft: Classic
Let’s kick this off with some positive news, first.
Blizzard announced that World of Warcraft: Classic will be launching in Summer 2019. WoW: Classic isn’t so much of a vanilla server like the old Nostalrius days, but rather, a modern reinterpretation of the vanilla days – featuring all of the back-end improvements made to the game over the years.
This will not affect gameplay itself, and Blizzard have stated there are ways of opting out of the modifications all together.
To end things, it was revealed that every player with an active subscription to World of Warcraft will be able to play World of Warcraft: Classic without any additional costs.
This means that players playing Battle for Azeroth can opt in to the new Classic server and vice versa without having to pay any additional fees, ever.
Good call with that one, Blizz. Very well played.
Shroud of the Avatar
Next up, we have news of another buy to play MMO going the free to play route – Portalarium, the Texas-based gaming developer released Shroud of the Avatar officially earlier this year as a buy to play MMORPG to.. to say mixed results would be an understatement.
After a plethora of updates, overhauls, and a completely revamped new player experience, Portalarium have officially confirmed that Shroud of the Avatar is now 100% completely free to play.
The free to play transition removes restrictions on land ownership, the ability to trade with other players, and provides players access to the entire story.
However, if recent reviews through Steam are anything to go off of.. Shroud of the Avatar isn’t looking too good, with 70% of reviews posted in the last month being negative. That’s.. almost as bad as Bless.
Shroud of the Avatar sold itself as the “spiritual successor” to the old-school MMO Ultima Online, and aimed to provide players with the ultimate old-school experience.. but it looks like it missed that mark.
A few days ago I posted an article stating that we finally have some news pertaining to Kurtzpel and their release in North America.
KOG Games, the company behind Elsword, Herowarz and Grand Chase announced on October 26th that they would begin opening closed beta registrations for the upcoming action Anime inspired MMO, Kurtzpel.
For those of you that are unaware of what Kurtzpel is, allow me to quickly elaborate:
Kurtzpel is a 3D Anime inspired action MMORPG that utilizes real time combat as seen in other games like Soul Worker or Black Desert Online, with a large focus on PvP.
While it does play a little more similarly to Soul Worker or Dragon Nest, Kurtzpel will still offer a large variety of story related PvE content – and – PvP content for players that are often emasculated offline.
That was a joke, by the way, for those of you that are pausing the video right this second to rage in the comments. Everyone knows we’re all neckbeards that live with our parents. But, I digress.
Kurtzpel offers the best character customization in an Anime MMO to date, has highly detailed graphics and supposedly has “balanced PvP”.
KOG Games have given no official ETA on when the game will launch or even be playable, but we were promised “additional information in the coming months”, especially with the confirmed Steam-release.
For players that are looking to get into the closed beta, Kurtzpel’s Facebook page posted a form you can fill out for the opportunity to get in which I included in my previous article, located over here. Secure your spot in testing the game out during the closed beta!
Ascent: Infinite Realm
The team over at Bluehole – the developers behind TERA and PubG have released some new information regarding Ascent: Infinite Realm.
People have been waiting for new information in relation to A:IR ever since its closed beta was delayed from December 2018 to some time during 2019.
Bluehole have been hard at work behind the scenes, and have released information on two features in A:IR: The first is in the form of a few images posted through their official Twitter account.
In those Tweets, they go on to mention that A:IR will offer a variety of PvP activities, with the screenshots in question showcasing the arena itself. According to the team, you will be able to engage in 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3 skirmishes – but that isn’t all.
There are other PvP game modes currently employed in-game and they promise additional information will be coming in the future.
Finally, Bluehole noted that there are various individual housing areas located throughout the Harth region and that Ascendants are able to move into empty houses at the expense of a few gold.
The Housing Area is conveniently located with easy access to Hunting Zones, and as always – you’re fully capable of decorating the home according to your own personal tastes. Houses are public so you can invite friends over to relax.
Still no ETA on when it’ll be available to play, though. But here’s hoping for news next year!
The amount of buzz this topic alone has generated is more than any other MMO in recent memory.
And that isn’t a good thing, as it’s all negative.
Blizzard-yes, the very same team that brought us the amazing announcement earlier regarding WoW: Classic, completely overshadowed the entirety of Blizzcon with a single announcement: We would be getting a new Diablo game – no, this isn’t about Diablo 4 – no, this isn’t a content update for Diablo 3, which, I might add, it is in desperate need of, no.
Instead, Diablo Immortal, the new game in question, is actually a mobile game built cooperatively with NetEase, the Chinese gaming titan known for publishing all of their games in China.
It is worth noting, however, that Blizzard went on to state that Diablo Immortal would be a “mobile masively multiplayer online action role playing game” – so an MMMOARPG that is not, at all, under any circumstance, ever, coming to PC, but it is a “true Diablo experience” nonetheless.
The game will take place between the end of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and the beginning of Diablo III.
One thing of note, however, is how bad the community backlash has been for this. As of right now, the cumulative total dislikes on all of Blizzard’s Diablo Immortal videos total well above 600,000 – with the total Likes numbering less than 10% of that.
I fully expect that to grow to over a million dislikes over the next couple days and player rage to intensify significantly.
Especially when you get websites like Mashable calling gamers “Entitled babies” for being vocally upset about having a Chinese developed Diablo mobile game.
While I don’t have anything against Mashable personally, it was interesting to see such a large news portal take to calling us gamers “entitled babies“, with another blog post saying that it “gives entitled gamers a new chance to look like asses“.
That feels a little personal, but hey – I don’t run a multi-million dollar professional news website, so what does my opinion matter?
Regardless, Diablo Immortal looks like it could be a mobile game that fans of the mobile genre might like, but fans of the PC genre – who are responsible for playing Destiny, Diablo, WoW, Overwatch, Starcraft, Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone are very vocally against it.
What do you think, though, are we a bunch of entitled babies crying over nothing? Do we need to grow up? Or do we have a right to be upset? Let me know as I’m genuinely curious of your views.
Warcraft III: Reforged
“We’re too late. This entire city must be purged” That quote still sends shivers down my spine. Okay, I know what you’re thinking. This game doesn’t belong in this list at all. It isn’t an MMO, and definitely isn’t an MMORPG, but holy shit if I ain’t excited for it nonetheless.
I loved Warcraft III, it’s actually the game that got me into the Real Time Strategy genre and eventually landed me with my very first World of Warcraft subscription.
So seeing everything completely remastered like this is just.. man, I promised myself I wouldn’t cry.
Old School RuneScape
In other mobile-related news, the company behind the incredibly popular free-to-play MMORPG RuneScape have launched Old School RuneScape onto mobile devices.
Jagex declared on October 30th that “Old School RuneScape had become the very first mainstream PC MMORPG to launch fully on iOS and Android devices.”
There are various Mobile MMORPGs on mobile devices, that’s not up for discussion. How many of those games allow full cross-platform play, however, between PC players and Mobile players?
The game does offer a “membership” model where players can opt for a “premium membership” of sorts, offering an expanded world map, more bank slots and other useful things.
Ultimately, Old School RuneScape is doing very well having hundreds of thousands of reported players sign in at least once since it launched onto mobile devices.
And finally, for the 2,000 of you playing the free to play version of Bless Online – this news may be of interest to you.
No, they haven’t fixed the performance issues. Yes, the game is still very desolate. No, they haven’t released the new classes yet.
What they are doing though is preparing to launch their next major update called “The Ruins of Shaqqara“, bringing with it a level cap increase from level 45 up to level 50, new zones like the Burning Desert, Shaqqara itself, and a new storyline and hunt quests to aid in hitting the new level cap.
Upon obtaining max level, players will be able to tackle a new dungeon; Zeeto’s Laboratory. The dungeon is a new five-man dungeon in the Forbidden Area of the Polluted Forest that players are able to enter once per day.
Unfortunately, my opinion of the game, and many players’ opinions of the game remain more or less unchanged: And that opinion is a solid – PASS.
And that pretty much wraps up this week in MMO news. I’m sure there’s something I missed somewhere but this is all the news that I personally witnessed and experienced – and not all of it is good.
So. With that all out of the way, what do you think of this week? Anything exciting? Still bored? Let me know!