The Elder Scrolls Online may not quite have become the all conquering juggernaut fans (and most likely the developers) were hoping for since it’s initial release in 2014, as evidenced by the move to a subscription free model a year later. However, the game has recently garnered a lot of attention and traction as a result of the upcoming expansion based in Morrowind. Fans of the Elder Scrolls series will instantly recognise Morrowind as the setting of the well loved and highly successful third game in the main series, and as such anticipation for our long awaited return has been rampant.
The good news is that the day for the return to Vvardenfell has finally come, as PC players of ESO now have access to an exclusive Early Access event. This is only available to those who have pre-ordered the expansion already. For those of you who are interested but haven’t yet taken the plunge you can pre-order it for yourself here.
Morrowind brings a whole host of new gameplay features most notably a new PvP mode, known as Battlegrounds where three teams of four battle in a variety of gametypes including Capture the Flag, Deathmatch and Domination. Even more excitingly, Morrowind brings the first new class since the game’s launch, in the Warden. Billed as a mix between the classic druid and ranger archetypes, there is a wide array of new skill lines to follow, but the best is undoubtedly the Animal Companion ability, allowing you to summon a swarm of bees or even a bear to aid you in combat. The full release of Morrowind is due out on June 6th.
Originally announced in PC Gamer a mere 11 days ago, Wild West Online immediately got people talking about it’s potential AAA quality and ability to stand out in a very crowded genre. So high was the quality that the leaks were even thought to be from Red Dead Redemption 2! Its Kickstarter was proving very popular, ratcheting up pledges extremely quickly. Almost too quickly in fact, as the initial response to the game proved so popular that WWO’s initial investors have been convinced to stump up all the cash they needed up front, negating the need for Kickstarter at all.
The studio issued a press statement saying that the “overwhelming response” to the official release prompted the game’s initial investors to commit fully to the game and completely bypass the need for crowdfunding at all. 612 Games CCO Stephan Bugaj made the following statement:
“We’ve been fortunate enough to have our initial investors step up and provide additional funding to make the game we wanted, without having to raise money via crowdfunding. Westerns are lacking on PC so we can’t wait to release the game to the public.”
The even better news is that 612 have now committed to including all the original stretch goals from the Kickstarter campaign so Wild West Online looks set to be a real player in the MMO world. The official website has a tonne of new information if you’re interested in learning more and keep up to date throughout the development. There will be an alpha and closed beta over the summer which you can sign up for over the front page.
The ambitious and fascinating MMORPG Ashes of Creation has smashed through it’s original target on Kickstarter, and already gone through several of it’s stretch goals. As of the the date of this article the game has raised more than $2.1 million, promising a whole host of additional features. The game is developed by Intrepid Studios, an independent studio based in San Diego, and featuring developers with a high pedigree, having worked on classics like Everquest II and XCOM: Enemy Within. It describes itself an an “open-world, non-faction based, no P2W, high fantasy MMORPG” and is eschewing the popular F2P model for a more traditional subscription model.
AoC features many classic MMO features, across PvP and PvE, including group and solo quests. Where it attempts to set it itself apart is in the flexibility and ever changing nature of the game world. Through a system known as ‘Nodes’ players within a certain Zone of Influence can effect those nodes and level them up alongside themselves, turning a hamlet into a village into a town into a city and onwards! By tying in player development to world development Intrepid are trying to create an immersive persistent world, that changes to suit the needs and experiences of the players.
Worlds develop in massively different ways on different servers: whilst a volcano might remain dormant on one, it could erupt on another destroying large swathes of developed territory and characters, and this is entirely down to player agency. As a result of this, consequence is also very important. If that volcano erupts those towns aren’t going to magically re-appear. Such a level of player agency is impressive and surely a massive part of the draw for backers.
Ashes of Creation is due out for PC only in December 2018, and there will be an Alpha test in the next few months to help push things along. Anyone who’s interested can register here.