The Stream Team: Playing on Paladins’ test maps

Did you know that you could queue up to play on Paladins’ unfinished test maps? Massively OP’s MJ has never tried this, so today that’s her goal. She also feels the need to practice with new champions in preparation for the battlegrounds map that will limit her choices (often to things she has never played!). Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to try out the test maps.

What: Paladins
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Monday, February 19th, 2018

Enjoy the show!

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Prosperous Universe liberally borrows from Facebook for one of its systems

With so much going on while you attempt to manage your own space economic empire, you’re going to need a little help to stay informed. That’s why the small dev team behind Prosperous Universe is putting a priority on hacking out a useful notification system that will deliver regular updates on projects and events that impact the user.

The devs said that they’re taking a cue for this system from social media: “It pretty much looks and works as you’d expect from a site like Facebook… and that’s on purpose: Many smart people have thought a lot about this problem in the past and there is no point in reinventing the wheel.”

Another project in the works is to rebalance the game so that it rewards specialization strongly enough that it will tempt players away from creating self-sustaining bases that don’t require any external interaction.

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Wakfu targets the Huppermage for its next update

One of the hardest things to change in game design are elements that work but could be working better. The Huppermage in Wakfu serves as a prime example. It’s not that the Huppermage is useless or can’t be really good when played with skill; it’s just that the class has some issues with very rigid rune management, a lack of damage output at low levels, and small effects requiring lots of effort to set up. Hence why the team is rebalancing the class with the game’s next major patch, which you can test now.

Among the changes already open for testing are reworks of secondary elemental effects along with a more straightforward elemental mastery system, generating based on the last rune generated rather than all of the runes possessed at any given time. There’s also a smoother ratio of spell damage to cost. You can check out the full set of changes in the official patch notes, or you just download the test client and find out that way.

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Final Fantasy XI brings back its annual doll festival

For the many Japanese players of Final Fantasy XI, the annual doll festival feels entirely familiar and normal. For most of the international players, it feels kind of weird and unfamiliar. And yet everyone can enjoy it because it means that you have a chance to play with dolls in a video game. Who could be anything less than delighted about that? Hopefully not you, dear readers, as the game’s doll festival is coming back around on February 26th for everyone to enjoy.

Event moogles (those harbingers of antics) will be appearing in Bastok, San d’Oria, and Windurst, located in two districts and offering players festive items such as your very own doll display. Consider that this month’s login campaign also offers a chance to get your own Lilisette doll; it seems thematically appropriate. Collect your dolls! Display them for others! Do some research into this holiday that may be unfamiliar to you! It’s all in fun.

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Catching up with the Ultima Nostalgia project that’s rebuilding Ultima Online in Wurm

If you found last week’s community discussion on whether (good) bots could help save dying MMORPGs fascinating, then the video hereunder will suit you too. Last year we wrote about gamer and professional artist Andrea Fryer – you probably know her best as KatsPurr in the Massively OP community. She’s been working on a spectacular “Ultima Nostalgia” project to meld the worlds of Ultima Online and Wurm Online by recreating the former as a 3-D map inside the latter.

The project and server have come a long way since then, as her 10th episode shows; this particular one covers the creation of the isle of Nujel’m (one of my favorites as my guild used to use “Nuji bank” as our headquarters for a time). And during the episode, she discusses how empty some of these old sandboxes can feel.

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The Stream Team: A new day in Osiris: New Dawn

It’s been a while since Massively OP’s MJ shared her adventures in the sci-fi survival sandbox Osiris: New Dawn. How is early access coming along? She’s heading back into the harsh elements and hopes to explore some new areas. Of course, she has to stay alive long enough for that! Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. for a new day in…

What: Osiris: New Dawn
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, February 19, 2018

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Path of Exile video highlights upcoming Spectral Shield Throw skill

One of the new skill gems introduced for Path of Exile’s upcoming Bestiary update is Spectral Shield Throw. With this, players can throw the idea of a defense-only shield right into the faces of their enemies and knock their heads off. This unique method of dealing damage is flexible thanks to a variety of the special stats, making different shield types will be better for different things. For instance, armor and evasion found on tower shields, bucklers, and round shields heavy maximizes physical damage, whereas the energy stat on spirit shields increase critical chance.  Players can also mix and match other skills and gems to modify projectiles to creating chaining, forking, and more. Get more details on the official forums, and watch the skill in action in the clip below.

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Leaderboard: What kinds of MMORPG purchases do you consider pay-to-win?

I know I’m not alone in noticing that MMO gamers of late seem to have become sharply divided on how to define the term pay-to-win – indeed, the debate raged last week in threads about Black Desert’s player protest, Elder Scrolls Online’s cash shop prices, and the general consensus that ArcheAge is whale heaven. Recently Massively OP commenter Pepperzine recently wrote to us suggesting that we address it and try to sort it out.

“While there are proponents for all sides of the argument, I think it would be interesting to see where the bulk of people draw the line,” he wrote. “At the end of the day, individual perceptions are important but what is most important when it comes to this topic is what the majority perceives as pay-to-win.”

So let’s turn his proposal into the requisite Leaderboard poll, shall we? And yes, you can click as many as you want!

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Dark Age of Camelot lays out the groundwork for new and more frequent RvR events

Another week, another grab bag community Q&A with the Dark Age of Camelot development team. This edition’s pressing issue was the promise of more frequent RvR events — and what these would look like when they arrived.

“It will be a combination of existing and new events,” the team said. “We aren’t ready to start talking about the details of the new events quite yet, but the big picture idea is a system that utilizes in-game leaderboards. These events would likely run for 1-2 weeks on a rotating schedule and would incentivize various aspects of the game (mostly relating to RvR).”

Other topics discussed included pet-class adjustments, a server select button, and a change to the damage potential of the Mercenary.

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Wisdom of Nym: Actual mechanical issues for jobs in Final Fantasy XIV, part one

There are a lot of people who are quick to complain about issues with their personal favorite jobs in Final Fantasy XIV. No matter what job you’re playing, there are people that will eagerly point out all of the screamingly wrong things with the job whilst completely ignoring how well the jobs actually do work together. When you can seriously clear stuff with anything, someone is doing something right, and that’s why a lot of the complaints come down to “well, I don’t like it, so it’s bad.”

However, that doesn’t mean that the game’s jobs are devoid of mechanical issues. They’re pretty well balanced at the moment (not perfectly, but acceptably so), but each job does have certain mechanical issues that are probably going to need to wait until the next expansion to really be properly fixed up. So, while that next expansion is probably a bit more than a year away now (June 2019, I’d imagine), let’s take a look at the actual mechanical issues facing all 15 jobs.

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EVE Online balances ships and adds the Monitor to its March patch

Even if you’re not familiar with how battles work in EVE Online you can probably still guess at what “headshotting” means for the game’s large-scale battles. Command ships offer major benefits for fleets working with them, and trying to take out that command ship can often end the fight right then and there. The next patch is adding a new sort of ship designed for combat to prevent headshots, the Monitor. It fits no weapons or drones and can only fit a few modules, but it’s incredibly durable for its size and features several options to elude pursuit. It’s not the only option for commanding a fleet, but it should serve as an excellent way to mix up strategies.

The various other balance changes should also mix things up by extending the lock range on tech 1 battlecruisers and giving attack battlecruisers more maneuvering ability with micro jump drives, along with several specific balance shifts for specific ships. Check out the full rundown to see if you’ll need a new strategy for the ship you’re flying when the March patch lands. Whether or not this will address the game’s current enormous bot problem is another story altogether.

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Identity gameplay video demos your Breaking Bad fantasy

The central tenant of Identity’s concept is that this isn’t going to be your run-of-the-mill combat MMO, but a life simulator that will let you live out fantasies of all sorts of exciting lifestyles, such as being a cop or a drug dealer.

The team released a short but interesting gameplay video last week that showed one law enforcement scenario. In it, a police officer pulls up to a house in the country and confronts two players doing their best Breaking Bad imitation in an RV behind it.

Earlier this month, the dev team said that it was going “full steam ahead” on the formation of the playable Town Square module.

“We’ve begun working with another studio to hasten art development for Town Square and other parts of Identity,” the team said. “With the release of Town Square, all founder package holders are going to be issued a key to redeem Identity on Steam.”

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Shroud of the Avatar gives its shopkeepers a Victorian makeover

One fact you may not know about Shroud of the Avatar is that it allows players to stock and operate their own virtual shopkeepers to sell crafted and looted wares. These player vendors are about to get an upgrade from their former drab lives to a much more refined Victorian palate. The devs said that the male shopkeepers will be first in line for the makeover, followed by female NPCs in Release 52.

This week’s developer newsletter revealed the new in-game models for harvestable trees, which come in both pine and maple varieties. The team also continues to power forward with the design for the South Fetid Swamp, a location as charming as its name implies.

Portalarium also let players know that it extended the deadline to March 9th to confirm mailing addresses for physical goods from their pledges and backing.

Release 51 is scheduled for February 22nd.

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