Massively OP Podcast Episode 106: Ready to relaunch

Call this episode “tangent city,” because it doesn’t take much to send Bree and Justin down conversational rabbit holes! From discussing why Champions Online failed to pick up City of Heroes’ refugees to going on epic rants against gankboxes, you’ll need a flow chart and a five-dimensional mind to follow all of the topics of today’s show. Good luck!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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15 Comments on "Massively OP Podcast Episode 106: Ready to relaunch"

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ZenJitzu

Could always rename Tips to Leads. As in ‘Have a lead for us to follow up on? Click Leads!’

I have also wondered about the Champions Online/CoH thing. I was in the beta and still check in once in a while, with more than a dozen characters in the 20s through 30s (can’t bring myself to get to 40).

I suspect it’s a combination of things, ranging from art style to animations to story to voice acting. They tend to be cartoony/over the top/goofy. I think it’s the uneven tone and inconsistency that lends to not taking it seriously. Throw in an odd and at times confusing loot/crafting system, and it just increases my disengagement because it feels more like work than fun.

Thanks for another great podcast!

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

That would be a good option… if we didn’t use “leads” to refer to lead editors for emails and PR and such! :D We inherited some odd terminology!

Reader
Ken from Chicago

For years I thought it was an online “tip jar” where you tip then Massively.com with Paypal or Bitcoin or something, until Shawn mentioned on the then Massively Speaking podcast it was for users to give “tips” about mmo news.

— Ken from Chicago

P.S. How about “News Tips”?

Reader
ZenJitzu

Then they just become Heads or Managing/Supervising. :D And put a Donate option next to Tips to differentiate.

Okay, this well is getting too deep. Good luck! :)

Reader
TomTurtle

I’ve thought the same way about the “Tips” button. Not a big deal, but it irks me just enough.

There’s a rumor that the GW2 expansion announcement is planned for this month, meaning it could still be delayed beyond. Of course it and other rumors I’ve read have come from a braggart so I’m not getting overly hopeful.
I’ve noticed so many leakers who act pompously. It’s grating to see how they react when people “dare” to question their legitimacy.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Esoteric Coyote

After playing HoT, I have zero interest in a GW2 expansion. Don’t get me wrong, I like gliders and the elite crap. But I feel it ruined most of my favorite activities in GW2. Even the new vendors offering “cheaper” ascended gear doesn’t interest me, and it should because a set of ascended gear would help with my issues, stat changing the gear would be cheaper than building entire new sets… then again only because they effed up leather prices(costs have halved so far, but are still too expensive) and added unbalanced recipes in HoT. Also I get a kick out of the fact cloth prices have tanked. Can’t wait to see their fix for that…

Ex-hubby wanted to get into ESO, so we bought it on sale. And I tried to do my normal sneaky thief character… that’s a terrible idea in a group setting. I’d sneak to back stab and he’d unload, kite the mob around, and I’d never get to stab it. Happened in WoW too. It was that point when I realized “My play style… is entirely solo focused.” And whenever I’m in a group I always send up in the tank/support/healer role because no one else wants to step up. I don’t get to play the way I enjoy it, because of other players. Coupled with my odd play times, I don’t see any reason to pay to play any MMO.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Bionicall

To answer @Balsbigbrother, I would suggest instead of changing your playstyle/play time, work it into your own personal lore. I myself have had to “head-cannon” the existence of other players into the games that I play. Use that mob of other players sweeping through as a point in your own personal narrative, “while my approach was subtle, the teaming mob of peasants proved more effective, carving a deep swath that I could just casually follow.”

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

That is incredibly clever!

Reader
strangesands

We need to learn more about what Funcom means by free story content. My prediction: they are referring to the Main story mission and select other missions (enough to advance). All the other quests could certainly be bundled into DLC unlocks for the entire zone or region.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Legend Of Vinny T

I think CO’s ultimate problem was that it was never, at any stage of its life, stable. Cryptic chose to hide its initial development from NCSoft, who then kept a bunch of developers to form Paragon Studios while the remnants of Cryptic got kicked to the curb. They had Marvel’s license yanked out from under them. Microsoft bailed on publishing them. Atari had no idea how to manage an MMO. Perfect World completely overturned their monetization model and used them to import lockboxes to America.

CoH’s shutdown was really the breaking point. Cryptic obviously couldn’t control when NCSoft pulled the trigger, but they could certainly control their own project schedule. They were caught with their pants down by CoH’s closure because that was the exact same time they locked the Lone CO Intern in the janitor’s closet. Everybody else was pulled into simultaneous crunches on Neverwinter’s PC launch and STO’s Legacy of Romulus expansion.

And still, nothing was stabilized. Those former CO developers never came back. CO was finally moved out of the closet to Seattle when Cryptic North was formed. CN used the game as an engine tutorial before flipping it back to the closet in Los Gatos while they started the failed Jurassic World game. And now, after years of overall brain drain, so few Cryptic employees understand CO’s meta, they had to hire a player to fix the mess left by layering F2P archetypes over the Freeform system.

It’s amazing that the game is still running. Cryptic keeps wondering why they’re shooting themselves in the foot, yet they refuse to put the gun down.

Which loops back to Funcom, if you think about it, and how they seem to have neglected The Secret World to launch Conan Exiles. Hopefully, this new-contentless relaunch is a chance for devs who are coming back from Conan Exiles to get back on solid ground for future work in TSW.

borghive
Reader
borghive

Why are you guys so against PVP MMOs? Doesn’t the world have enough PVE focused MMOs? I think Albion would totally be just another boring themepark without it’s PVP.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Speaking for myself here: I’m not against PvP. I’ve been PvPing in MMORPGs since the days of UO, and I am a huge proponent of TEF PvP. I side-eye “MMORPGs” where murder is the expected outcome of the majority of encounters and the end result is either rampant newb ganking or stagnant territorial uberguild detente. Been there, done that, doesn’t work, next please. Set aside the design, and the business is a problem too: Most gankboxes are also not particularly content-rich (there’s usually not much else to do in the world; the “players are the content”) or well-attended (most players don’t feel like being ganker content, so they won’t play), so the sub-genre winds up being absurdly niche, unless they market as survival sandboxes, where they get a pass for honesty and brevity.

There are obvious exceptions, like EVE, which has its own problems to be sure. Some of the bigger PvP MMOs on the horizon, like CU and Crowfall and Elyria, are trying to solve the poor reputation of these types of games as well by actually remembering to include the “RPG” part of MMO. We’ll see how they do. I backed Crowfall, and CU has been my most-anticipated game for the last few years.

This is from Old Massively, but not much has changed with my position:
https://www.engadget.com/2014/08/08/working-as-intended-the-unfortunate-conflation-of-sandboxes-and/

Reader
Nathan Aldana

I mean. champions failed to pick up refugees for the same reason it failed to attract us away from CoH when CO launched. CO always had seemingly no idea what it wanted to be , took the ham and cheese to a leverl that wasnt quite gloriously parodic but was too over the top to be taken seriously, and the fact they day 1 nerfed everything without warning basically said it was gonna be early CoH part 2, complete with Jack Emmert’s insane balance decisions

the fact CO kind of stagnated contwentwise after that didnt help matters when CoH went under and most CoH vets were used to a pretty steady content stream

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Yeah we didn’t even touch the kitchen-sink-patch tainted launch. Or the fact that if you liked CoH, it was probably because the stuff you didn’t like left with Cryptic. That was the case for me anyway; I didn’t fall in love with CoH until after the studio split and a lot of the leftover grind decisions were chucked. There’s so much to unpack there.

Reader
Crowe

I liked CoH before and after the split. But I was in the CO beta and (like many others) posted my head off trying to get them to make changes. They didn’t listen and CO flopped. I’m shocked it’s even still around.

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