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- EVE’s Oceanus laying the groundwork for visual ship customization
- Mortal Online sets out territory control in a new patch
- Trion clarifies ArcheAge’s head-start housing situation
- Xsyon now has cooking and farming
- Albion Online’s closed beta trailer promotes player cities and maps
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Category Archives: Mortal Online
Cities alone would be a welcome addition, but the patch also brings with it a variety of improvements to quality of life. The game's mail system has been rebuilt, several UI elements and chat commands have been implemented, and the world map has seen some trimming and adjustments. The patch is live now, so you can check out the notes for all the details or just log in and start staking your guild's claim.
[Thanks to Zakiyya for the tip!]Permalink | Email this | Comments
In all seriousness, the team has pinpointed the issue as related to the new armor models and is beginning to work on a solution. "We have made a very exciting breakthrough in how to handle player performance cost," a team update reads. "We have identified one big thing that does indeed add quite a bit of drop on client performance when the client sees many players."
In addition to fixing the performance drop, Star Vault announced that the territory control system is "progressing very smoothly" and that the team has added a new concept artist to flesh out the world and lore.
[Thanks to James for the tip!]Permalink | Email this | Comments
With its big show on Steam just over the horizon, Star Vault has laid out how the hardcore sandbox MMO will make its way to gamers worldwide. Before Mortal Online is allowed to release, however, Star Vault is implementing a number of updates and fixes. In the latest press release, Star Vault has laid down just how the Steam rollout will happen.
Each block, according to the release, has a lead time of about one month, noting that multiple blocks may run in parallel.
? Block 0 – Unreal Engine update
? Block 1 – Territory Control
? Block 2 – Territory Control Testing and release
? Block 3 – Continent Support
? Block 4 – Continent support testing and release
? Block 5 – STEAM API release on STEAM
Henrik Nystrom, Star Vault’s CEO, made the following comment (translated):
We continue our focus on working towards STEAM, it looks we all look forward to the team, but I also believe that our current players see the value in this. We will increase communication about the development work currently involves about 40 resources in our global development team. For transparency to our shareholders, we have teamed up with Axier, specialists in communication to the stock market. They have produced an analysis of Star Vault. I hope you find it interesting
(Source: Star Vault Press Release)
Filed under: Sci-Fi, Dark Age of Camelot, Darkfall, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, Endgame, Opinion, Ultima Online, Shadowbane, Mortal Online, EVE Evolved, Perpetuum, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, SubscriptionEVE Online, I can usually be found huddled over my computer typing lines of code into a compiler and chipping away at bugs that make varying degrees of sense. Designing my own hardcore space game is a really fun challenge and very fulfilling work, but I have a dirty little game dev secret: I've actually always wanted to make a fantasy game. While the budget and personnel required to take on a project the scale of an MMO remain quite far outside my grasp for the moment, it's still fun to think about how I might design such a game if the opportunity arose. The MMO genre seems to be heading for a sandbox revolution this year, and there's no bigger sandbox than EVE Online, but could all of EVE's gameplay translate to a fantasy game?
EVE is probably the most atypical MMO out there, maintaining a subscription-based single-shard PvP sandbox in a genre that's typically headed in the exact opposite direction. There are several new sci-fi sandboxes on the way that may or may not qualify as massively multiplayer titles, but the vast majority of MMO gamers still prefer to keep their feet on the ground in fantasy lands. I often find myself wondering how much of EVE Online's core gameplay is possible only because of its setting -- and how much could actually be applied to a fantasy MMO. Not only should it be possible to adapt most of what makes EVE great to a modern land-based game, but many of the mechanics sandbox gamers now attribute almost solely to EVE actually started life in classic fantasy MMOs like Ultima Online.
In this week's unusual EVE Evolved, I'd like to start a game design thought experiment as I delve into the hypothetical world of EVE Onland.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Star Vault has released their third quarter finances, and odds are if you are taking the time to read this, you already have an idea of what is coming next. The good news is that, according to Henrik Nyström, third quarter subscription numbers saw a rise compared to the previous quarter, although net sales dropped slightly and net profit dropped approximately thirty percent. The number of registered users on the forum has also increased over last quarter, the financial report shows.
The other good news is that Mortal Online may be set for an infusion of new players. In September, Mortal Online was officially greenlit for release on the Steam platform. In response to this news, the board conducted a private placement of 2.6 million shares to several private investors to increase development toward a Steam release.
Our hearts also go out to the family and friends of Ulf Nyström, father of Henrik Nyström, who recently passed away due to illness. The board has decided not to fill his position immediately, but to wait until the 2014 Annual General Meeting.
Star Vault has announced the private placement of 2.6 million SEK in shares to allow for greater development and hone in on a launch on Steam. The issue includes ten million B-shares among several private investors at a price of .26 SEK per share to Markus Hodell, Magnus Uppsäll, William LW Nock and Joan Mir. According to the announcement, obtaining the capital required to bring Mortal Online to Steam was not possible with a simple rights issuance.
Henrik Nystrom commented on the placement, noting his enthusiasm that the revenue will spur development and prepare Mortal Online for a boost in traffic once it is available on Steam.
An example of major updates that many players looking forward to for months is a developed territory-system we call Dominion. This will give players many new play features where one can design their own cities and provide various services to other players. This is a long-sought systems that require large playing surfaces then it’s up to the players to be creative in designing their cities. We estimate that these areas will begin to be launched beginning in October 2013 and continue accelerating until the first quarter of 2014.
You can read the entire announcement at the link below.
(Source: Aktie Torget)
Star Vault has announced that Mortal Online has finally been approved by Valve for release via Steam’s Greenlight program. The sandbox MMO has sat near the top of Valve’s list for a good while now, seemingly passed over with every month’s release set. Well the good news is that players will soon be logging in and running around buck naked or clothed if you’re into that sort of thing.
Thank you to our awesome community for voting us up to the very top of 15,000 game titles and earning our place on Steam, the worlds largest online PC game distribution platform. More information concerning our plans for Steam will be announced shortly; we just wanted to shout out a big “thank you” to our incredible community. Mortal Online’s future is getting more exciting by the day!
Hopefully the influx of new Steam players will bring much needed profit to the Swedish developer.
(Source: Mortal Online)
As an indie developer, Star Vault solicits donations from its community to help fund any updates that would require outside assistance including licensing or contracting programmers/audio/art/etc. The system, despite claims from several outside of the community, was created due to demands from inside of the community, and so far has been helpful in getting a number of new features created. With the previous donation goal, being toward improving art features, almost complete, Star Vault is looking at improving animations go along with the new skins.
With the completion of this new goal, we will be hiring an experienced AAA animation studio to overhaul the majority of all character movement animations including running, walking, sprinting, jumping and more. These animations will all be incredibly realistic and believable. In addition, both male and female characters will now have independent animations instead of sharing the same generic animation as it is now.
The team hopes to have the animation package released at the same time as the new character art, meaning that your hairier-than-Robin-Williams character will be able to run around completely nude in glorious higher definition in the near future.
(Source: Mortal Online)
Star Vault has released their Q1 2013 reports and things are looking up, somewhat. The Swedish developer notes a combination of increased subscriptions since last quarter as well as the introduction of the ability to donate money for development, as contributing to the company’s revenue growth in 2013. Star Vault’s net sales for Q1 2013 amounted to slightly over $100 thousand USD, or a 45% rise since Q4 2012. Net profit has come closer to reaching profitability with a similar 47% rise to just over seventy grand in the red.
Henrik Nystrom commented on Star Vault’s outlook:
We are cautiously optimistic about 2013, and we may for the first time in a long time see that the increase in player activity begins to appear in our quarterly report. Revenues from our movement has grown and we have achieved a positive cash flow. I would add that the figure includes a bridge loan 394 000 SEK, which in turn is related to a private placement.
Star Vault is still aiming to get Mortal Online approved via Steam Greenlight.
As for game development in the first quarter of 2013, we have mainly focused on fixing bugs and polishing the Mortal Online since we are high listed on STEAM Greenlight, called the list for the U.S. distribution channel STEAM, which we plan to release our game in the near future. Before this game release is done, we need to prepare for increased traffic both game code-wise but probably also the size of the physical game area. We continue to make the first gameplay in Mortal Online as well and smooth as possible for the players can more easily get into the game and quickly start developing their characters.
(Source: Star Vault Q1 2013 Finance Report)
Star Vault has released their fourth quarter releases for 2012, and the news isn’t all bad. Net sales lowered to 463,307 Krona ($72 thousand, approximately) from 501,252 Krona ($78 thousand) in the third quarter. Net profits continued deeper into the red at -895,699 ($140 thousand, approximately) from 706,844 in the third quarter ($110 thousand).
The fourth quarter saw the release of both Mortal Online’s free to play as well as the the launch of a donation system. Overall, according to the report, the model has compensated for the loss of license sales and Star Vault has seen positive development in all areas.
The number of subscriptions in the fourth quarter was approximately the same as in the third, with a slight increase following free to play. Sale of licenses will no longer be reported due to the new business model, as they have been discontinued.
In Henrik Nystrom’s notes, he discusses that the expansion Awakening went well, but did not increase sales as expected. Nystrom references 2012 as a transitional year, noting donations as important to continued development. The company is still working to be listed on Steam, and while the new cash flow has been positive, it has had no effect on the fourth quarter. Star Vault expects to break even in 2013.
(Source: Aktie Torget Press Release)
There is no denying that the citizens of Nave have faces only a mother could love, and in many cases a body of hair that even Robin Williams would be impressed by. Not too long ago, Star Vault set up a donation system where players are able to throw a little extra into the coffers. The idea, of course, is that while Star Vault does not receive 100% of revenue from subscriptions (I’m guessing much of it goes to licensing), they are able to keep 100% of the donations, which they put toward extra development goals.
The latest goal to be announced comes in the form of $6,000 toward the “character build” update, aiming to bring a brand new look to Nave’s player folk, both in the face and armor departments. The update will also allow several other features to be put into place, including general optimizations and a few other graphical improvements. The whole list of improvements is as follows:
- Much better looking player characters (rebuild of all races and genders).
- Better looking character face customization; more support for scars, tattoos etc.
- Rebuild of all armor meshes/materials/shaders parts making them look much better.
- Allowing us to add more and new armor parts in the game.
- Almost all resource material gets its real and unique look.
- Much better control over the dye system.
- Better performance on player characters, no more 1-2s freeze lags when loading a bunch of players.
- Removal of the texture merges system which means a big memory optimization on the client and better overall performance.
- More players on the screen will not add cost on the client as it did in the old system.
- A full new armor set will be included in this package; new types will arrive in the future now since the new system will allow it.
The donation system has drawn some controversy, although from outside the Mortal Online community rather than inside of it. The concept may seem surprising to players outside of the game, but the community hasn’t just embraced the donation system, they are the ones who demanded it be put in place to begin with.
(Source: Mortal Online)
It’s been a while since Star Vault released Mortal Online’s latest expansion, Awakening. While current development focus is aimed directly at squashing the numerous problematic bugs that have caused problems, John VanderZwet has posted an update on the Mortal Online website to detail some upcoming changes, including a donation system set up on the request of the community:
After a community forum thread got us thinking about a donation system, we’ve decided to run with it. Very soon we’ll be opening up a new section on our website allowing you to contribute to Mortal Online’s development outside standard subscriptions. It’ll work something like Kickstarter does, only we’ll be handling it on our own. You’ll receive cool perks for donating. The more you wish to donate the more you’ll receive. We’ll unveil just what these things are shortly, but we will NEVER introduce anything that will give you an advantage in the game. We’re talking cosmetic and just simply cool things here.
Additionally, Mortal Online will be updated to include a new system to accomplish two tasks: Aid new players, and introduce more casual options that do not detract from the overall game experience.
(Source: Mortal Online)
Games like Mortal Online provoke questions like "Why is nudity an option at all?" and "Why is there stamina (and other realistic features) alongside magic and no permanent death?" I've learned to forget those questions and just take each specific FFA MMO as it is. Mortal Online stands alone in many ways. Unfortunately, being known as a buggy mess is one of those. I've played many buggy MMOs in my time but have enjoyed myself immensely in some of them (remember, I hosted an early Vanguard: Saga of Heroes podcast!), so I wasn't scared of jumping into an MMO that was supposed to be rough to say the least.
What did I find? Well, I found a ton -- and I mean a ton -- of bugs. But I also found a pretty cool community (yes, I just said that) and some grand adventure. Let me break it down.
Gallery: Mortal Online revisit screenshots
Some of the UI changes include an easier system for making use of workbenches, the addition of slash commands and macro functionality for abilities, and a new method for determining the direction of strikes in combat. Players will also have access to new combat skills, new out-of-combat skills, and a rebuilt taxation system.
The update also contains several bugfixes, but the patch notes warn players that the large update will be a bumpy ride at first. Players are asked to petition the customer support team only when absolutely necessary. But even with the likelihood of bugs, there's a lot for Mortal Online players to appreciate in this expansion.
[Thanks to Chris for the tip!]Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mortal Online turns two years old today! After a very buggy launch Starvault the developers of Mortal Online patched and tweaked there game into a decent hardcore pvp sandbox. Everyone here at Sandboxer.org would like to wish Mortal Online a happy birthday.