Brianna 'Bree' Royce

Editor-in-Chief

Bree is an unrepentant escapist with a predilection for MMOs. When not compulsively proofreading cereal boxes and newspapers, she can be found modding, PvPing on the auction hall, and touring the Next Big Thing with her guild on a quest for the elusive perfect game.

Working As Intended and Ask Mo are her pet op-ed columns, but she also pens Daily Grinds and compiles both Massively Overthinking and the Week in Review. You can hear her ramble about MMOs every week on the Massively OP podcast. If you're nice, she'll even talk about something other than Star Wars Galaxies.

Personal blog: Skycandy
Twitter: @nbrianna
Favorite MMOs: SWG, CoH, Glitch, GW2, GW1, WoW, MH

Make My MMO: The Star Citizen lawsuit and Camelot’s weed (December 16, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, eyebrows across the ‘verse rose as Crytek filed a lawsuit alleging that the studios behind Star Citizen and Squadron 42 were in violation of Crytek’s copyrights in regard to CryEngine. In a statement to Massively OP, however, CIG denied that it was still using CryEngine and said it planned to fight back. “This is a meritless lawsuit that we will defend vigorously against, including recovering from Crytek any costs incurred in this matter.”

Over on the Camelot Unchained blog, CSE is busy working on plot and item permissions tech, scenarios, combat, skill buttons (no word on that I-win button, sorry), NPC AI, large group UI, deflect animations, the place of power, armor, and weeds. No, actual weeds. And dead trees. What did you think I meant?

Meanwhile, OrbusVR hit early access, Albion Online tweaked Kay and updated its rewards, Elite’s Thargoids finally started fighting back, and Crowfall raised a bunch of new money from investors. And the much-anticipated Ashes of Creation and Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen launched their respective pre-alphas for elite and specially selected early backers.

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Massively OP’s Best of 2017 Awards: Best MMORPG PvP of 2017

Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Best MMORPG PvP, which was awarded to Black Desert and EVE Online in a tie last year, the first year we debuted this reader-proposed award. We’ve opted to include live, fully released MMORPGs launched in any year, as long as their 2017 PvP experience is what’s being judged. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for Best MMORPG PvP of 2017 is…

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Neverwinter’s Sword of Chult lands on console in January

Hey consolers. What are you doing in January? Back to the grind, right? Not in Neverwinter: You’re headed to the jungle in Swords of Chult, the update that PC players have already been rolling around in since October.

“A five-player skirmish, The Merchant Prince’s Folly, gives end-game adventurers dynamic new content to experience with multiple enemy, location and daytime combination possibilities leading to new rewards. Additionally, all competitive adventurers can now test their mettle in revamped PvP, featuring the addition of a permanent solo queue, Tenacity stat rework, armor penetration changes, control effect adjustments and new gear rewards. Swords of Chult brings more quality-of-life improvements to the refinement system, dungeon queuing and the campaign progression system for alts, offering a better in-game experience.”

Expect it to roll out on January 9th on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and do note that it’s a free update!

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Dark and Light rezones city slums just in time for Christmas

Winter has come to Dark and Light, quite literally. Players logging into the early access sandbox since yesterday are being treated to a blanket of snow, the Krampus world boss, and major cities decorated for the holiday. Oh, and if you want to ride a reindeer, now is the time:

“Reindeer have been spotted around Archos! These red-nosed creatures only show up when the weather is at its coldest, and they have the mysterious ability to fly, despite not having any wings! They seem to really enjoy eating carrots, and not much else, so be sure to stock up if you plan on taming one!”

This week patch also added new holiday home decor schematics, dye recipes, and carrots (what else would you make a snowman with?). And this is festive: The devs have moved the slums of every city to the outskirts of said cities. This is for real – take that, optics.

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Conan Exiles is still working on the full nudity patch for some Xbox One regions

What’s new in Conan Exiles since the devs announced a console price hike, a scale-back in launch features, and its actual launch date (May 8th of next year)? Oh, nothing much, just a whole ‘nother patch. In fact, update 32 rolled out this past Wednesday, the last stable one expected prior to the holiday.

“This update adds the weapon, tool and armor modification system, new dynamic weather, two new armor sets (Zamorian and Aquilonian), new thrall capturing tools, new weapons, new building pieces (ladders, folks!!), and the long-awaited sickle,” writes Funcom. “It lets you harvest a metric butt-tonne of Plant Fiber!” That was followed by a rollback and bugfix when items began disappearing thanks to an overzealous item purge script. Oops.

Funcom says it’s further working on the user interface, new clan and attributes panels, patch stability, double-jump, character animations and movement, target-locking, lighting shader bugs, voice chat, and of course, the new combat system. There’s also been movement on the console nudity front, which is a sentence I just typed. I’ll let the team explain:

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Star Citizen’s Around the Verse on alpha 3.0, atmo flight, and Squadron 42 info

Shake it off, Star Citizen: On this week’s Around the Verse, CIG says it’s “getting close to live release,” stress testing the current version of the game with 176 must-fix issues still to go. Is that too many to make it by 2018? Probably! Are they still trying anyway? Probably! The back half of the episode focuses on atmospheric flight (and yes, it’s just going to make Star Wars Galaxies fans sad) as the engineers explain how they’re making flying spaceships near the ground feel as real as possible for different sizes and types of vessels and atmo situations.

Meanwhile, as MOP reader Space Captain Zor pointed out yesterday, CIG has pegged December 20th for the Squadron 42 details promised for this month back at CitizenCon; that rollout will apparently include an exclusive newsletter, Mark Hamill teaser video, and report during next week’s streamed ATV. That’d be the same Squadron 42 over whose existence Crytek is currently suing CIG. 2018 is going to stretch our popcorn budgets thin!

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Massively OP’s Best of 2017 Awards: Worst MMO Business Model of 2017

Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Worst MMO Business Model, a dishonor bestowed upon Star Wars The Old Republic last year in this award’s inaugural year. As a counterpart to yesterday’s award for the best business model of the year, this “award” is intended to recognize an MMORPG of any age that has demonstrated a particularly awful business model specifically in 2017, regardless of its past performance. We expanded this award to include pre-launch MMOs with launched business models as well. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for Worst MMO Business Model of 2017 is…

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The Daily Grind: Which MMORPG has the best graphical appeal as of 2017?

We don’t give out a formal end-of-the-year award for MMO graphics at Massively OP. It’d be almost impossible to come to a consensus. As we wrote last year, “Where some people aren’t satisfied until games are hyperrealistic, others require fanciful and dreamlike artistic rendering and still others can look at a cutesy retro game and squee. Some people juggle geese.”

But that’s not going to stop us from working through which games deserve nominations. I’ve been entirely enraptured by Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire scenery, but the new A:IR screenshots that came out this week? Yeah, that’s gonna give existing MMOs a run for their money for sure.

If you were going to give out an award for best visual appeal in an MMORPG, new or old, as long as it’s live, which game would walk home with the prize?

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Massively Overthinking: Our favorite MMORPG articles of 2017

For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked the writers to do something most of them hate: brag! We’ve tried to isolate our favorite personal work from the year and talk about why we think it matters, then identify our favorite work from somebody else on the site this year and do the same. I always tell them it’s easy, but it never is!

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MMOs you’ve never heard of: Rogalia, Lazarus, Dead Maze, We Ride, and SOS

Welcome back to our intermittent series on MMOs and other multiplayer games you you’ve never heard of! Let’s run down five more floating to the top of the pile this month.

Rogalia

First up is a Russian indie MMO called Rogalia that I first heard of thanks to former Massively columnist Jeremy Stratton (heya Jeremy!). It’s cute and cartoony and will definitely appeal to old-school isometric sandbox players with its crisp cartoon graphics and detailed UI. Combine all that with the gameplay and it’ll remind you more of Ultima Online than most games that namedrop it! It’s currently $12 on Steam, though it’s set to launch out of early access at some point this month, when the price will likely increase.

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Elite Dangerous’ Thargoid aliens are finally fighting back

It turns out that when you mess with the Thargoids long enough, eventually even they get fed up.

Elite Dangerous players have been poking the ethereal aliens with the space equivalent of prodding sticks for months ever since they first started appearing in the game as part of its ongoing plotline. Players were divided over whether to communicate or fight; fighting was initially effective only until the Thargoids appeared to develop resistance to player tactics, and communication proved difficult.

But reports coming from the game today suggest that the Thargoids have had enough of being hassled and are fighting back in earnest, apparently attacking multiple player space stations and provoking emergency evacuation notices for players with ships docked there (you won’t lose your ships, mind you, as they’ll be moved some place more secure unless you intentionally fly back to the besieged station, but it’s some fun flavor).

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Massively OP’s Best of 2017 Awards: Best MMO Business Model of 2017

Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Best MMO Business Model, which was awarded to Guild Wars 2 last year, the first time we’d given out this reader-proposed honor. This award is intended to recognize a live MMORPG of any age that has demonstrated an exemplary business model specifically in 2017, regardless of its past performance. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for Best MMO Business Model of 2017 is…

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Gaming industry roundup: SWBG2’s poor sales, Gambling Commission, slot machines, and parody games

Don’t agree that lockboxes, lootboxes, and gambleboxes were the biggest story of the year? We’ve collected so many news tidbits just on that over the last few days that we’re resorting to rounding them up rather than spamming. To wit:

First, Merrill Lynch analysts have now lowered their expectations and profit estimates for EA thanks to the performance of Star Wars Battlefront 2, which the analysts believe will fall short of the 14M sales estimate by 2.5M. At least in big box stores, the game also performed relatively poorly on Black Friday.

On point: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Gambling is under $1 on Steam. “Do you love opening loot crates, but hate the tedious gameplay sessions in between? Our marketing department has the game for you! Unbox random items! Get stuff, but not what you really want! Skate legal and ethical lines! Remember kids, it’s only a video game, so grab your parents’ credit card!”

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