So it’s not all bad.
Continue reading “Knockout City To Close, Private Servers Coming”
MMO news, editorials, and more.
So it’s not all bad.
Continue reading “Knockout City To Close, Private Servers Coming”
But we don’t have.
It’s adorable and kinda charming.
Continue reading “Hotcakes: This Bobygame Wiki Page Is Precious”
It’s a private server potentially with a cash shop.
Continue reading “PSA: Dragon’s Prophet Steam Appearance Is Not Licensed”
The Titan Network is in talks with NCSoft regarding a community-run City of Heroes server. Things are looking positive, so stay strong. We don’t have a timeline right now, but we’ll provide more updates as soon as we can. #SaveCoH https://t.co/zSq3nTEScM
— Tony V (@TonyV_CoH) April 24, 2019
City of Heroes is back! Or it was. In case you fell off the face of the planet over the past few days like yours truly did, you may have missed all of the hubbub surrounding City of Heroes, a game that’s getting a lot of widespread attention for a title that is dead six years running. The mishegas all began last week as we learned that City of Heroes doesn’t just have a functioning emulator, but it has been running in secret for the past six years now. Even worse, a fair few members of the press knew about it all along (Side note: The people operating the server are probably the same that do not like me and as such I was never cued in on the secret private server).
Fast forward a few days and the code for the private server was released online, leading to the launch of SCORE, a publicly playable server that went live over the weekend. Fast forward a couple more days, and the server went down due to what later turned out to be a fake legal threat. It remains offline. For more information on all of this, you can check out Massively OP’s Bree Royce who has meticulously covered all of the events.
Today, Tony V of the Titan Network announced via Twitter that there are negotiations going on with City of Heroes. Granted, there have been ongoing talks since the game shut down so make what you will of these “positive” developments.
Here’s a head scratcher: Should shuttered online games be exempted from Digital Millennium Copyright Act claims if the product is abandoned by its owners? The answer is yes, at least sort of. Under current US law, there are exemptions made for circumventing a game’s copyright protection if said servers have been abandoned by the owner and the game has a single player component. It does not protect against changes made to bring multiplayer games back online. It also does not protect people who alter their consoles to circumvent shuttered server authentication.
Well all of that may change, as the US Copyright Office is taking comments in regards to potentially adding exemptions for online services. This could pave the way for explicitly legal MMO servers for shuttered games, so if you have an opinion on the matter then now is the time to give it. The Copyright Office is taking comments until mid-December.
Perpetuum Online is a name that we haven’t heard around MMO Fallout in quite a while, so long that many of you might have assumed that the game had quietly shut down. It hasn’t, although we have learned that development has come to an end. In a post on the official website, detailed plans have been laid out for the future of Perpetuum Online, a rather niche sci-fi MMO. In the post, Avatar Creations announced that while Perpetuum had two major population spikes, the number of players never really remained sustainable to maintain proper development.
While development on the game is ending, that doesn’t mean that Perpetuum will be gone for good. The official server will remain online for an unknown amount of time, and a standalone server client is being created so that players will be able to continue on their own servers. The client is apparently small enough and requires little resources, meaning you could boot it up alongside the game and play on your own server if you want.
As expected, premium currency and DLC are going away, and the game will only be available on Steam:
A bigger change that some of you probably won’t like is that soon Steam will be the only place where Perpetuum will be distributed, including the standalone server. The reason for this is to ensure the availability of the game on a stable platform, as opposed to our own website that we cannot guarantee to be around forever. Another reason is that it’s uneconomical for us to keep our own payment platform, as purchases made via Steam outweigh our own store by far.
You can find the entire announcement at the link below.
(Source: Perpetuum Online)
Free servers are the MMO equivalent of regular game piracy, they’re likely never going to fully go away and developers have different approaches on how to deal with them. The gaming community is split on how private servers should be regarded, and there are plenty of legitimate and illegitimate reasons for their existence.
If Nostalrius has proven anything, it is that vanilla World of Warcraft continues to be the holy grail of a large number of MMO gamers. It proves that there is at least heavy interest in the concept. Whether or not those players, plus the unknown quantity of gamers who want vanilla WoW but won’t play on pirate servers, will translate into a profitable venture is unknown, but that’s just it: The number is unknown.
To not misquote Blizzard, they never really talk about profitability when it comes to classic servers. Rather, the answer is generally about artistic vision and supporting the live game going forward. I have little doubt that an official classic server with the Blizzard seal of “this won’t get shut down pending a lawsuit” would be profitable, and I’m sure that their bean counters have come to the same conclusion. So the only choices are artistic vision and technical feasibility.
On the technical side, it’s hard to argue that such a venture would be impossible. It’s been done, numerous times by people working out of their house, in fact it’s been done better. Nostalrius was capable of supporting a massive number of players in a server.
I suspect, and don’t hold me to this, that a classic World of Warcraft server is and for years has been on Blizzard’s potential project list. When Jagex launched RuneScape 3 along with the Evolution of Combat update and players began leaving the game, I suspected that if the population dropped enough that they would launch a classic version of RuneScape 2. Lo and behold, I was right. I feel that World of Vanillacraft doesn’t stray too far from that theory.
Because creative vision doesn’t mean jack when your subscriber numbers are falling and your customers are badgering you to please let them give you money. Right now, Blizzard is in a place where the ebb and flow of expansions and microtransactions are keeping that ace firmly placed up Blizzard’s sleeve. Should those sales dip, I have a feeling Blizzard will come across a functioning version from 2005-2006, and all of a sudden those claims of artistic vision will have been just a prank, bro.
And just as with Old School RuneScape, I suspect that WoW Vanilla would do amazingly well within its first months, enough to fund the hiring of dedicated developers and get the content train rolling in a way that didn’t diminish from the old school style of play. You’d gradually see small tweaks and bug fixes turn into regular content updates, kind of like Old School RuneScape, and who knows? In a few more months its population could rival that of the main game.
But, like I said, we’ll never know until Blizzard tries. Jagex has Old School RuneScape, Daybreak Game Company gave its blessing to Project 99, hasn’t sued the Star Wars Galaxies emulator, Lineage II has its classic servers, etc.
I’m not saying Blizzard is obligated to provide a classic server, but never say never.
Blizzard Entertainment is in the news today over its legal threats against one of the most popular classic server emulators available (or at least that was available). The server group, known as Nostalrius, played host to over one hundred fifty thousand active players and nearly one million accounts, shut down its servers after receiving a letter from Blizzard’s legal department, warning them of real legal action should the server remain in operation. The owners of the server have also promised to release the server code to the public to create more private servers.
The news of the server shutting down has rekindled public demand for a classic World of Warcraft official server, one that can operate without the threat of being shut down by Blizzard’s legal force. In the past, Blizzard has refused to open a private server over their devotion to the live game and belief that such a project would not bring in much in terms of revenue. Considering the number of people playing on the Nostalrius’ service, a number of gamers might disagree with that sentiment.