Upcoming MMO "Project BBQ", "Population Zero", A:IR News, "Atlas" fails
It’s been two weeks since my last news article, ’cause.. y’know, Christmas and all. Knowing this, I would like to point out that there’s probably more news here than normal.
So, you might want to take a few extra minutes to sit back and get ready for 2018’s last Weekly Byte of MMORPG News!
Let’s start this off with December’s biggest dud: Atlas.
Atlas is Wildcard Studio’s newest game, supposedly being the “MMO version of ARK”, with Wildcard both boasting breathtaking graphics and vistas, and claiming they can hold a whopping 40,000 concurrent players per server.
People were very, very excited for this news. And they had every right to be. My wife MrsStix and I both thoroughly enjoy ARK and I have to say.. a pirate-themed version of it would be great fun.
However, after repeated delays over the week leading up to its launch into Early Access, the game finally became available for select streamers to show off to their viewers.
All that was shown was.. blank login screens, time-outs, bugged server selections, the same textures as ARK and, somehow, worse combat and optimization.
If you played ARK when it originally became available for players to try in Early Access you may recall that it was a buggy mess as well. Or, a.. buggier mess than it is now.
So this was no surprise to me, and to a lot of players that were on the fence about trying it out. However, Atlas’ population continues to rise day after day – even despite the lag making it almost impossible to play.
The population peaked at 53,000 concurrent players last night which is insane. Reception has been very, very, critically even, negative, with almost 80% of Steam reviews claiming it’s absolute garbage.
What this should teach people though is when a game launches into Early Access – Atlas included, which is scheduled to remain in Early Access for up to 2 years.. instead of throwing your money at a barely-functional game, give them time to fix it.
They’ll need it, like most Early Access games do.
In surprising news, Lost Ark has found a Russian publisher.. before finding an English publisher. Mail.RU, the Russian Internet giant has recently been revealed as Lost Ark’s publisher in Russia.
ArcheAge, Perfect World, Dragon Nest and even Allods Online are all published in Russia by Mail.RU, so it came as no surprise to me, personally, that they would be the publisher Smilegate went with.
While Smilegate have signed a contract however, no specifics have been given pertaining to a scheduled Russian release.
Closed Beta is scheduled for next year, and Founder’s Packs have even gone on sale in preparation for their launch but that’s all we’re currently privy to.
No information on a North American or European release yet, though, much to the dismay of the Western populace.
Ashes of Creation
Now to upset more fans of Ashes of Creation with some.. unsettling, very disconcerting news.
I’ve talked about how I think putting time into the Battle Royale; Ashes of Creation: Apocalypse was a step in the wrong direction to me.
Intrepid Studios, the team behind Ashes of Creation launched Apocalypse for players to participate in almost two weeks ago now. However, as of the 27th, Intrepid shut down the Battle Royale stating that they had a good “test phase”.
No information on the shut down was given on their forums, website, or even their Twitter, instead, keeping the announcement directly on Discord and Discord alone.
This upset players – a lot of players. Intrepid introduced a functional cash shop in-game and then shut the game down without warning most the playerbase. The game will remain offline until January 11th where they have plans for “controlled test weekends” only.
Now I’m not hating on Ashes of Creation here, nor Intrepid Studios. I’m merely claiming that they’re devoting time and money to continue developing the Battle Royale – including introducing a cash shop into a “test phase”.
The official forums for Ashes of Creation also abruptly went offline on the 18th and as of writing this on the 28th, the forums have yet to come back online.
I’m not claiming that the forums were taken offline as well to.. I guess mask the discontent, the dissatisfaction, that the playerbase were showing during the test and after the test concluded.
I’m merely saying that it’s quite the coincidence that the official forums are unable to have players complain on.
Either way, I’m curious where both the official Ashes of Creation MMORPG and the Apocalypse Battle Royale will end up.
Yes.. Project BBQ, as in.. Barbecue. This is probably the stupidest acronym they could’ve come up with but do note that that isn’t the final name for the game. Just like Project DH was Dragon Hound, I’m sure BBQ is something equally as.. well thought out.
But I digress. Nexon actually revealed Project BBQ a couple days ago and I have to say.. it looks incredible.
If you’ve ever played En Masse’s Kritika MMO, then you’d notice quite a few similarities. Although it also looks a lot like Dungeon Fighter Online.. which coincidentally shares the same developer, Neople.
Project BBQ, which doesn’t sound any better regardless of how many times I repeat its name is a 3D action MMORPG being built on Unreal Engine 4.
However the game doesn’t have any estimated South Korean release, let alone any form of international release so.. other than the amazing action combat shown in the trailer and amazing graphical style, not much is known about the game.
Enplex Games, the Moscow-based game developer recently revealed that they are currently recruiting pre-Alpha and Alpha testers for their new upcoming Sci-fi themed survival MMO: Population Zero.
Population Zero has a lot of common survival features such as housing, gearing, harvesting, crafting and more that are learnable through a “technologies” tab, similarly to how ARK: Survival Evolved handles theirs.
Not much is known about the game yet other than what I just mentioned so here’s hoping Enplex reveal additional information and an actual, finished trailer sometime in the near future.
Ascent: Infinite Realm
For those of you that have been eagerly anticipating any and all news pertaining to Ascent Infinite Realm.. well, you’re in luck. Kinda. Bluehole have released new information regarding dungeons, or more specifically, “solo dungeons”.
This is a new, innovative feature targeted specifically at today’s MMO gamer mentality: solo play.
We all know that the majority of MMO gamers these days prefer solo-play over group-content, so, Bluehole have introduced dungeons for solo players in mind.
So.. yup. That’s it for the next couple months.
Final Fantasy XIV
In preparation for Final Fantasy XIV’s upcoming 4.5 patch, Square have went ahead and updated their website to reflect the changes and additions being made to the game.
These include things like an extension to the main scenario, the Return to Ivalice dungeon, the new Blue Mage job, the new events surrounding the job, side story quests, Doman Mahjong, a new Air Force One mini-game, a new dungeon called “The Ghimlyt Dark”, the new Custom Deliveries feature, new mounts, new minions, new hairstyles and new emotes.
So if you’re interested in Final Fantasy XIV and want to learn more.. head on over to their website!
Guild Wars 2
I don’t even remember the last time I did a Guild Wars 2 piece. Regardless, ArenaNet have announced that the next Living Story, titled “All or Nothing”, will be going live on January 8th, 2019.
ArenaNet describes the update by saying “As the Commander heads toward the ultimate showdown with the Elder Crystal Dragon Kralkatorrik, Tyria’s entire landscape stands to be reshaped”
Included in the update is the new Thunderhead Peaks map, the legendary longbow Pharus, a new mount mastery, Bond of Faith, the new Diviner gear set, Siren’s Reef, a new fractal for players to complete, and the new Dragonsblood weapon set.
And.. actually, that was it. There wasn’t as much news over the last 2 weeks as I thought there had been.
Regardless, we had some juicy little tidbits for games yet unreleased – hopefully that’s enough to satiate people’s appetite going into the new year. If not, then tune in next week for another “Weekly Byte of MMORPG News” video.
I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas. I got to celebrate it with my wife, MrsStix, got some cool presents, ate a lot, y’know.
Here’s looking forward to what 2019 has to offer us!