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

Hey Alexa, where’s Blind Mary? Activision and Amazon put game advice on personal assistants

Among hardcore MMORPG players, particularly vets of a certain age, there’s a longstanding grudge against the shift toward being able to look up every single thing about the game on some website somewhere. If that describes you, you’re definitely not going to like the evolution of that – you won’t even have to type your dumb questions, just shout them into the air.

We’re talking about the ubiquitous branded personal assistant, of course – specifically, Amazon’s Alexa, which in partnership with Activision is now beta testing a “personal voice-controlled reconnaissance scout” in Call of Duty that” grants the player “critical intel, personalized instruction and essential after-action reports in real-time so you can take your game to the next level.”

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Albion Online is adding respecs and a GvG training system next month

May 2nd is destined for glory thanks to the planned arrival of Albion Online’s midseason patch.

“On May 2, we’ll be launching a new patch that will bring several new features and updates to the world of Albion,” Sandbox Interactive explains. “It will bring numerous updates to the metagame and combat, including adjustments to the value of siphoned energy, the removal of GvG mage bonuses, a rework of siege camps, and a wide range of weapon and armor balancing changes.”

Don’t like your build? You’ll be able to take advantage of the new re-spec system that allows players to “trade skill masteries between different skill paths” at the cost of combat fame.

One of the more original features in MMOs is the GvG training system.

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Grab a Mu Online, Mu Legend, Flyff, C9, or Rappelz key in honor of Webzen’s 9th anniversary

Webzen is celebrating 9 years of MMOs today, and in honor of that anniversary, the studio has granted Massively OP 1000 keys that can be applied to one of Webzen’s online games (Mu Online, My LegendFlyff, C9, or Rappelz) so you get to pick what you’re getting!

Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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Black Desert’s latest update is for the birds; includes renown, gear purification, and PvP tweaks

This week’s Black Desert update is officially upon us. Its key feature is a new guild boss, the Ahib Griffon, plus “several new Balenos Hunting Quests and Monsters for players to engage in the pursuit of fame and glory.” The Gear Purification NPC is also brand-new today.

“Revisions to the gear enhancement system are underway, the first to arrive is the much anticipated Gear Purification NPC, allowing players to downgrade equipment for a nominal fee. In addition to this, the recently introduced Renown Score system has been included, granting a variety of new bonuses to work towards. To make finding your equipment even easier, we’ve added the ability to view all individual storages at each city from local Storage Keepers.”

Players should also expect the new “renown score,” new titles, storage conveniences, new dailies, new baddies, easier guild kicks, a big boost to PvP damage and crowd control skills, and bird meat for you folks who fancy eating seagull.

Source: Official site, patch notes. As for the title, I regret nothing.

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EVE Online’s ‘million dollar battle’ set a Guinness World Record for PvP battle concurrency

Last January’s much-hyped “million dollar battle” in EVE Online may have been a $3300 bust in terms of the value of the ships destroyed in the chaos, but that doesn’t mean the battle was for nothing. As The Ancient Gaming Noob himself noticed, the folks at Guinness World Records have determined that the event set a new record in online PvP.

“Fans of space-based video game EVE Online have helped set a new record after achieving the Guinness World Records title for the Most concurrent players simultaneously involved in a single multiplayer PvP videogame battle. A total of 6,142 players took part in an enormous battle – the Siege of 9-4 – in January 2018.”

At Fanfest, where CCP accepted the award, CCP Guard fittingly said, “This award is yours; we’re just its stewards.”

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Giveaway: Snag a Stronghold Kingdoms loot code from Firefly and MOP!

MMORTS Stronghold Kingdoms is counting seven million players across all platforms this week as well as preparing for the launch of a brand-new European map tomorrow, and it’s celebrating with – you guessed it – a giveaway!

“Join thousands of players online on PC, Mac, and Mobile as you expand your medieval village and construct a mighty castle to protect it: farm peacefully, engage in political mind games, seek vengeance on your sworn enemies or lead your armies to glory across the country, Europe or the entire World. Rule as you desire and become a feudal Lord! Siege other players, battle AI opponents, research new weaponry, forge alliances in player Factions and fight for the eternal glory of your House.”

Firefly Studios has granted Massively OP a stack of promotional codes that will unlock a ton of goodies for your account: 5 Random packs, 1 Super Random Pack, 1 Ultimate Random Pack, 5 Army Packs, 200 Card Points, and 2 7-day Premium Tokens.

Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to take home one of these keys!

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Elder Scrolls Online’s new video summarizes the snobby elves of Summerset

Just as Morrowind was much more than elves, so is Summerset, but it’s hard for the elves in this elven kingdom not to take center stage. ZeniMax is demonstrating just that with its latest Elder Scrolls Online video and dev blog, which describes the Altmer as stereotypically pretentious, vain perfectionists who are traditionally isolationist. In other words, they aren’t all going to welcome your outlander self just because their Queen has opened the borders.

“When building Summerset, the primary thing that we were trying to show was the history of the people who live there,” ZeniMax explains. “Players can explore the ruins of ancient Elven architecture throughout the zone, and see in the cities how the more recent High Elf civilization has continued to build on top of those ancient foundations.”

You can check out that video down below, then hit up today’s earlier piece, which includes some of the new bits that just hit the test server!

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Conan Exiles just patched in farming, fast travel, The Purge, and the combat revamp on both platforms

It’s a big day over in Conan Exiles, whether you’re on PC or Xbox One, as Funcom’s just rolled out a major patch ahead of the official launch next month. The highlight is assuredly the complete overhauled combat system, which revamps weapon type attacks, chain attacks, dodging, backflips, stamina, kicking, status effects, and maybe most importantly, targeting locking. Players will also be encountering the first edition of The Purge mechanics, whereby the game will spawn baddies attack your base depending on your combat and base strength. The fast travel maproom, new HUD, and farming are in too.

“By obtaining seeds from plants and making compost through the compost heap, it is now possible to plant and harvest your own crops. In order to craft fertilizer in the compost heap, you will need plant-fiber, rotten meat and bonemeal, which can be obtained by grinding (amongst other things) bone, claws, fangs or ivory in the grinder. For certain plants, you may need potent fertilizer, for which you will need to add ash and blood to the mix. By planting seeds and fertilizer in the planters, your crops will grow over time. In addition to this, should you want to decorate your land, a selection of potted plants have been added to the game, which are much less costly than the planters.”

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Bot-maker Bossland’s legit game flops, Germany rejects Blizzard’s US court victory and won’t enforce damages

Are you surprised to be hearing about Bossland again? We’re surprised to be reporting on it. The German-based botmaker made headlines for the last few years thanks to ongoing litigation provoked by its sale of cheat, bot, and hack programs for multiple Blizzard games. Blizzard had pursued Bossland across multiple continents in an attempt to shut down the cheat programs, which Blizz argued violated its copyrights and cost it significant amounts of money to fight – money it was therefore not spending on its own games and customers. The drama finally culminated in 2017 with victories for Blizzard in a German Supreme Court ruling and a California federal court case that awarded Blizzard $8.5M in damages.

Though the German courts recently ruled not to enforce the US court’s decision (on the grounds that it considered the minimum statutory damages awarded to be excessive and punitive), Bossland ended sales for almost all of its hacks at the end of last year; as of today, the only ones remaining are for non-Blizzard games, specifically Final Fantasy XIV and Path of Exile, though according to the group’s latest newsletter, there’s a PUBG one tucked on the forums too.

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Tencent is bringing mobile OARPG Raziel westward for your clicking pleasure

If OARPGs with Torchlight-esque graphics are your thing and your mobile device packs a punch, then feast your eyes and wallet on Raziel. Gaming behemoth Tencent has apparently picked up the title from developer Indra to port to phones and tablets in the west this year. It’s already out in Australia.

Raziel is a fast-paced, hack-n-slash style RPG with a range of multiplayer and guild gameplay modes. Featuring advanced Unity 3D graphics, fast and flexible gameplay, and a diverse collection of characters and maps, the visually stunning adventure sets a new standard for mobile gaming.”

The game boasts four playable toons (with more as you go), a companion system so you can drag an NPC along with you (a la Diablo), more than 60 singleplayer dungeons. Tencent is calling this a “revolutionary MMORPG,” for what it’s worth, but the “massive” seems to focus on basic co-op and 1v1, 2v2, and guild battle-style PvP.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the dumbest armor?

Back in February, PC Gamer put out a piece on the absolute dumbest character armor in gaming history. There’s more than one MMORPG in the list, including World of Warcraft (Arthas’ Lich King armor) and Lineage 2 (Dark Elf string armor). Bizarrely, City of Heroes made the roster too for that one dude from The Lost faction with a TV helmet. The best part is the commentary from an actual real-life armorer (they’re basically all the equivalent of “you’ll shoot your eye out, kid”).

I thought it would be fun to dig further into MMOs for even more dumb armor. Me, I’ll vote for anything where the shoulders would poke me in the eye, anything I would legit wear clubbing, and anything that proves definitively that the designer has no idea how actual boobs work.

Which MMO has the dumbest armor? Post pics if you have them!

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SuperData examines the lootbox controversy’s effect on EA and the gaming industry

How big a deal with the lootbox controversy that finally hit the mainstream last year? Pretty big, SuperData argues. In a new blog post, the analytics firm argues that “the loot box controversy hampered Star Wars Battlefront II out of the gate” as shown by the game’s monthly active users compared to its predecessor’s, and that the resulting dumpster fire has caused publishers to rethink lootboxes and self-regulate or at least modulate their greed – an effect we’ve already seen in the MMO industry too.

“At the upcoming E3, we’re likely to see presenters announce ‘no loot boxes’ or that paid content is ‘cosmetic only’ in order to get on the good side of creators and hardcore gamers,” SuperData predicts. “Loot boxes won’t disappear anytime soon given their success in games like Overwatch (over $600M of loot boxes sold through February 2018). In the short term, though, ‘No loot boxes’ will be the game industry’s own ‘gluten free water’ — and we’re likely to even see this slogan used to market titles where loot boxes would not make sense such as adventure games.”

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Next year’s EVE Fanfest won’t be in Iceland, obviating your efforts to properly spell Reykjavik

Last autumn, when CCP Games began dumping assets and studios and VR holdings overboard, it also sent almost all of its EVE Online community team packing too. At the time, it caused some players to wonder about the fate of EVE Fanfest as well as its spinoff versions like EVE Vegas, so we were all relieved to hear that this year’s Fanfest would go on as planned.

But CCP is apparently planning a shakeup of its gatherings. Next year’s event won’t be held in Reykjavik, Iceland, breaking a 14-year tradition to hold it in CCP’s own back yard. The company says it’ll instead hold 2019’s events across the continents, so there will be one in Europe, as well as Australia and the US (Vegas and one on the east coast too). CCP further says that’ll hold one event inside one player’s home, which is definitely something I do not want to have to clean for, so I will not be entering the video contest for that, but you folks definitely should. We’ll bring the popcorn.

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