WE GOT NEW MMOS COMING! Lost Ark Beta, Dragon Hound, Astellia, Blade & Soul 2
I’m a little more excited this week. Why? Because your two favorite Byte’s were actually being streamed over at G-STAR 2018. You know, one of the largest gaming conventions in South Korea? Yeah. Our faces were on the huge, mounted TV from DG Entertainment.
I’m just saying.. that’s pretty freakin’ cool, man. If you wanna take a look, head on over to my personal Twitter @ByteStix to see!
Anyway, this week we got some juicy news for all of you – so strap yourself in, and let me take you for a ride.
Let’s kick this off with a big one!
Dragon Hound, formally known as “Project DH” was first announced two years ago back at G-STAR 2016. At G-STAR 2018, Nexon took the stage and opted to show off gameplay footage of the upcoming monster hunting ARPG.
Dragon Hound is being built on Unreal Engine 4 and is being developed by the team behind the popular Vindictus action MMO, DevCat. The main selling point of Dragon Hound is the fact that they incorporate mounted combat – something not traditionally found in MMOs.
For those of you unaware, G-STAR is a large South Korean game show convention that takes place every year, bringing both Korean and overseas game developers together to showcase their latest titles.
The gameplay footage that players are shown appears to be tutorial-level gameplay set in a futuristic steampunk styled fantasy world with large mechanical turrets and weaponry mounted onto horses, taking on giant, overgrown beasts.
Players participating in the preview can be seen hunting various kinds of dragons with huge gatling guns and cannons.
From what was shown at G-STAR 2018, it appears as though combat focuses primarily at long-range – with both players and enemies alike attacking from a distance.
It does resemble Monster Hunter quite a bit so fans of the “monster hunting” genre like God Eater, Dauntless and of course Monster Hunter will likely feel right at home. Although it looks like it supports a significantly larger number of players, which could be very fun.
Yes, we finally have news on Star Citizen! The ridiculously crowd-funded sci-fi MMO that has an expected release date in 2037.
If you were unaware of what Star Citizen was, the game is a buy to play sci-fi themed MMO that puts together a persistent universe, space flight simulation and FPS genres together to make something that caters to a much larger genre of player.
The developers behind the game finally have their very first fully explorable planet – and in celebration of that, are launching a Free Fly event that will allow anyone to join the game and log in, free, from November 23rd to December 1st, 2018.
Players will also be given access to every single operable ship and vehicle currently in-game for 24-hour long tests. So what’re you waiting for? Jump into and test Star Citizen out, now!
If you thought this one was dead.. then you were kinda right. It’s dead, but not so dead that the playerbase has all but abandoned it.. yet. There are still a couple hundred players occupying the game and this update is aimed at them.
A month after celebrating its eighth anniversary, Nexon has announced that the hack-and-slash MMO Vindictus is receiving a new hero! The “warrior-turned-merciless-assassin” is named Grimden, and yes.. the character just so happens to be another male.
Which is good news, because let’s be honest here.. Vindictus has an over-abundance of titties – and while that’s all well and good.. look how other games turned out by catering only to gamers that wanted to play females. Here’s looking at you, TERA.
Grimden will be launching on December 11th, and until then, Nexon will have two ongoing events: One that boasts some leveling bonuses, and the other providing returning players some sweet bonus loot.
So if you’ve been contemplating going back.. now might be a good time to.
Blade & Soul
Sorry guys – you aren’t getting the Lyn Warden this year. Whoopsie!
Final Fantasy XIV
I’m still wrapping up Heavensward with my wife, MrsStix, but this little announcement got my nether-regions tingly.
Fresh off the success of their astonishingly successful Stormblood expansion, Square Enix have announced that Final Fantasy XIV will be receiving a brand new expansion titled “Shadowbringers”, slated for release in the early Summer of 2019.
The announcement trailer – or teaser, as they like to refer to it as, was probably one of my favorite cinematics for Final Fantasy XIV to date.
We had the flashback to the adventures of the generic Warrior of Light – showcasing every job from the 1.0 cinematics Archer to the 4.0 cinematics Samurai.
We also saw Thancred with a gunblade – a weapon type we don’t have in-game right now! Spoiler alert for one of the new jobs promised in the expansion? I think so!
Beginning with the 4.5 patch, players will be able to play as the new Blue Mage job with the official release of Shadowbringers bringing with it multiple jobs itself, and a new race – suspected to be the Viera – fans of Final Fantasy XII and Tactics know who they are.
Yes, we may finally be getting sexy bunnygirls.
Accompanying all of that is an increased level cap up to 80, a reorganized, re-examined, refined and improved combat system, new regions, a plethora of new story, and a merging of the MP and TP stats into a single resource.
For an in-depth look at everything being added – and believe me – there’s an absolute ton – you’d be better off looking at a recap of the event. Suffice it to say.. I’m hella pumped.
In Lost Ark news, the game finally entered open beta testing this month and players have flooded their servers.
So many players in fact that the team behind Lost Ark had to block IPs outside of South Korea from accessing the game.
This has resulted in a lot of non-Korean players ending up banned – but Smilegate have promised that this is solely to prevent Chinese players from connecting to and accessing the game through unauthorized methods.
This was also done in an attempt to assist with alleviating queue-time issues, having anywhere from 85,000 to 150,000 player queues to actually get in-game.
Smilegate have attempted to circumvent queue-times by adding additional servers, but the addition of new servers brings with it even more players that are spiking queue times ever higher.
So.. yeah. Good luck getting in-game, guys.
Echo of Soul
Aeria Games, who is known for making some of the worst, most heavily pay to win pieces of garbage the MMO genre has ever produced released Echo of Soul way back in 2015.
It did so bad that they had to shut it down and relaunch it under Gamigo as “Echo of Soul: Phoenix”. That was equally as bad, granted, but they had lost publishing rights in North America.
Fast forward to 2018, a completely unknown publisher, Blue Potion Games purchased distribution rights in North America and are preparing to launch the game into Early Access.
I highly doubt it’s going to do any better than it already did, but hey, go them!
Unlike Blade & Soul that isn’t introducing the Lyn Warden, TERA in their new Fiery Featherweight patch are introducing the Brawler class to the Elin race.
And a new dungeon, but hey! Elin Brawler, man! Who cares about anything else – we get to play as tiny little fisters of fury! There’s even an event going on that’ll grant players special shinies if you make it to level 65 before December 11th.
Warframe just rolled out their latest Fortuna update recently and with it hit a new concurrency record. The original record was of 129,000 players – which is absolute insanity. The new record, 132,000!
While a few thousand player difference doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, Neowiz believe Bless Online, which has a concurrent playerbase of 1,500 is a success, so if that’s anything to go off of.. Whew, go Warframe!
This is actually proof that the game is growing in size and momentum as the playerbase is continuing to climb with each new update they push out.
Do note though that only Steam players are counted here – console players, and players not launching through Steam are not included, so player numbers are likely to be inflated even further.
Speaking of Bless Online, Neowiz announced that a new dungeon will be released in the new update on November 21st, and two new DLCs: Dragon Knight and Serpent Squire will be available for purchase through the Steam Store.
However they’ll be available at a discounted rate upon initial release in an attempt to get as many sales as possible and make as much money as they can. Like always, Neowiz.. you are.. well, something I probably shouldn’t say in a video.
You keep milking that cash cow, Neowiz! You keep milking it!
For those of you eagerly awaiting any and all news pertaining to MasangSoft’s re-release of RaiderZ, you’ll be happy to know that they have released a gameplay video showing footage of the improved game systems in RaiderZ.
There have been various improvements made – changed – and cut from the game all together. One such change comes in the form of an overhauled skill progression system.
I’ve always thought that RaiderZ looked and played great and I’m glad to know that MasangSoft are still working on bringing it back to life. No ETA on a release has been given yet, but I will keep you all updated whenever something does in fact come to light.
Nexon had quite a few games to show off at this years G-STAR 2018 game conference. Astellia Online, a beautiful Anime-inspired MMORPG developed by Studio 8 & Barunson Games was revealed to be releasing on December 13th, 2018 in South Korea.
Astellia Online is an interesting new take on the MMO genre, blending a mixture of both MMO and TCG elements to provide players with an MMO experience like no other.
Astellia Online utilizes a unique card-based combat system that allows players to both collect and then combine various cards to call forth powerful companions to aid them in battle.
The companions in question are very crucial to the game as they carry with them a variety of effects: Some offer things like buffs, others offer debuffs to enemies, crowd control skills, can act as tanks, or even healers.
The game offers five unique classes to choose between: Archer, Mage, Rogue, Scholar, Warrior. The companions, referred to as “Astels”, come in four distinct types: Aide, Guardian, Savior, Servant, and thirteen different classes such as Fairy, Knight or Warrior.
Astellia has a lot of end-game content to offer players in the form of large-scale PvP and PvE within the same field of battle, a large PvP Colosseum, a PvE Tower, and Guild Wars to name a few.
Astellia does not have a confirmed Western release date yet.
Blade & Soul (Franchise)
Okay so we’re back to Blade & Soul but – like last week, this one will be a little different.
We’re discussing a single franchise here – Blade & Soul, but we’re also simultaneously discussing the 5 different games within the franchise currently in development.
The reason this is separate from the first Blade & Soul segment is because that was for the PC version only. These are all new titles in development.
Blade & Soul: Revolution is powered by Unreal Engine 4 and is based on the popular IP from NCSoft, “Blade & Soul”.
Blade & Soul was released on PC – whereas Blade & Soul: Revolution, like Netmarble’s Lineage 2: Revolution, will release onto mobile devices.
The game is expected to follow the original games story, including the conflict with Jinsoyun and the search for Twilight’s Edge.
Blade & Soul 2 is the official sequel to the original Blade & Soul PC title that NCSoft is hoping bridges players over to the next era of the MMORPG genre.
New areas to explore, new characters to meet, and an overhauled combat and graphical style are set to make Blade & Soul 2 perhaps the most stunning PC MMORPG to date.
Blade & Soul M, not to be confused with Blade & Soul: Revolution (also a mobile BnS title) hopes to be a faithful recreation of the PC Blade & Soul title with enhancements to the combat system, graphics, and an extenstion to the story we’re experiencing in Blade & Soul right now.
Blade & Soul S is actually a prequel to the Blade & Soul PC game however instead of utilizing the traditional graphical style that every other title here uses, they’re opting to go for a chibi-graphical style but – they’re also touting that they have a completely open-world experience.
So.. 4 Blade & Soul games are all under development. It’s unfortunate about the mobile titles and that NCSoft are likely to make the games complete pay to win messes like the original Blade & Soul but at least they have a future outlined for the franchise.
Finally, Lineage 2M, much like Lineage 2: Revolution, will take place on the continent of Aden but will actually be more of a faithful recreation of the original Lineage 2 game released onto PC, whereas Lineage 2: Revolution was a typical autopath mobile game.
NCSoft have made claims that this will actually be their largest mobile title to date – overshadowing everything else they’ve pushed out.
Fans of Lineage 2 may be happy – or disgusted by this new revelation. Time will tell how it pans out, but it’s NCSoft and if Blade and Soul and Aion are anything to go off of.. pay to win runs rampant.