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

Star Wars Battlefront 2: The AMA, Wall Street, and the Belgian gambling commission

In case you ever wanted to sniff the distinct scent of internet dumpster fire, you probably should’ve gone to the Star Wars Battlefront II DICE developer AMA on Reddit yesterday and watched that EA world burn. Almost 30,000 comments later, EA’s handpicked community masseuses didn’t walk back any of the specific business model shenanigans or the “sense of pride and accomplishment” blither, and players are actually madder now than they were when they downvoted EA’s comments 677,000 times on Monday.

Meanwhile,

  • Wall Street is freaking out over the potential stock hit to EA should the game launch poorly thanks to angry gamers.
  • Belgian authorities are reportedly investigating SWBF2 (via GIbiz) to determine whether its design amounts to a money-fueled game of chance, in which case it would be subject to gambling laws and potentially be fined or censored.
  • Players have assessed that it’d take over 4500 hours of play or $2100 to unlock everything in Star Wars: Battlefront 2 as the game’s monetization is currently set.
  • Finally, that “EA dev” who claimed he’d received death threats? It’s no longer clear he’s an EA dev, let alone that he received death threats, and he disappeared from social media after Kotaku went digging. Astroturfer? Hmm.
Source: Reddit. With thanks to Sorenthaz and Miol.

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Earth Eternal’s player-run emulator just patched in tons of new stuff

Scroll back in your brain a decade to 2007, when Sparkplay announced it was building an MMORPG called Earth Eternal, a free-to-play, microtransaction-based MMO (yes, that early) notable for its purely anthropomorphic races, PvP, and clan-centric gameplay, which actually had a solid if small following and earned plenty of praise. Following an open beta in 2009, Sparkplay went bankrupt and sold the game to Japanese company Sankando, which operated a beta version with spotty uptime in 2011 and apparently closed down at the end of that year.

Since then, fans have put together several other emulators and communities that I can find, the most recent of which is Earth Eternal: The Anubian War. In fact, the srver apparently came online last year and has been steadily updating since. Most recently – this past weekend – the player team updated with the Valkal’s Shadow patch and infrastructure tweaks to boot. The update boasts a new region, new quests, new dungeons, a new town, a new storyline, a new book system, near gear, and on and on. Not too shabby!

Source: Anubian War, Wikipedia. Cheers, Johnathan!

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Ride to Black Desert’s Kamasylvia part 2 on your ‘dream’ horse

Happy Kamasylvia day! Yep, the second half of the massive Kamasylvia expansion has dropped on Black Desert today, though it’s not been without its issues; Kakao has noted both connection issues and unintended mob buffs that are being worked on post-launch. Plus? Another sweet horse.

“The next dream horse Diné will breeze its way into Kamasylvia Part 2, the Healing Light. Feast your eyes on Grána City, the glorious capital of Kamasylvia filled with new, aesthetic residences and bustling lifeforms. Venture out in the vast, open fields and dense forests like Polly Forest and Gyfin Rhasia Temple where facing off against mystical yet fierce foes will prove to be a challenge. Kamasylvia Part 2 will be filled with immersive quests, areas, and newly added challenging monsters to enhance your PvE experience to the fullest. Kamasylvian Alchemist 2 event will get you scavenging out vast steppes and forests again and also, please welcome back the familiar events like Black Spirit Adventure and Mount EXP bonus event. Go out there, explore the fairy tales, and have a shot at looting high-grade items like the Lemoria gears!”

The patch notes also rattle off a bunch of bug fixes, XP bonuses, new badges, new workers, new mobs, and a handful of class changes. It’s a big patch! And my favorite: “Toggle key for Walking has been changed from CapsLock to ScrollLock.”

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Bungie posts Destiny 2 Curse of Osiris trailer, kicks off expansion stream

MMO studio streams are so common that we seldom report on them until after the fact and then only if they’ve actually revealed something newsworthy. We’ll make an exception for Destiny 2, however, as Bungie’s prefacing its Curse of Osiris stream with an “official tune-in trailer” today. Call it the carrot-on-a-stick.

“Join Bungie for an introduction to Osiris, the most notorious Guardian in history. Learn about the mysteries, explorations, and battles that await you in ‘Curse of Osiris,’ the first expansion to Destiny 2.”

The first stream begins at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday, which is not coincidentally just 30 minutes after this post goes live. Watch it down below!

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Disney has canceled Marvel Heroes, Marvel has ended its relationship with Gazillion

We can now confirm this as real, following a statement made by a Marvel representative to Massively OP. We’re updating below.

According to Kotaku, Disney has canceled Marvel Heroes – on all platforms – and nuked its business partnership with Gazillion. Here’s the message Kotaku says it received:

“We regret to inform our Marvel Heroes fans that we have ended our relationship with Gazillion Entertainment, and that the Marvel Heroes games will be shut down. We would like to sincerely thank the players who joined the Marvel Heroes community, and will provide any further updates as they become available.”

The news will not come as a shock to MMORPG players, as we’ve been chronicling the mess over at Gazillion for weeks now. We’d gone an entire month since the last formal update from the team, social media accounts have lain dormant, Halloween was bungled, negative Steam reviews were flooding in, the PC playerbase shrunk to its smallest size in four and a half years, the Thor Ragnarok promotion never happened, two community reps for the studio departed, and accusations flew from former studio employees in regard to “inappropriate conduct” toward female employees on the part of current CEO Dave Dohrmann, whose removal from the studio became the goal of some activist players.

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Netmarble mobile MMO Lineage 2 Revolution has officially launched

As the Google Play app on my phone frantically notified me this morning, Lineage 2 Revolution has officially launched itself right on out of open beta and into the wilds of western app stores in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania. In fact, 1.5M players apparently signed up for those same frantic notifications. We’re frantic notification twinsies!

Lineage 2: Revolution is a free-to-play mobile MMORPG based on the popular PC online game IP Lineage 2, which has entertained more than 30 million players since it first debuted. Lineage 2: Revolution stays true to its PC roots, displaying a stunning open field, raids, 200-player castle sieges, character re-designs and classes, all in a mobile environment. A fully-featured MMORPG provides seamless open-world environments, real-time 3vs3, 5vs5, 20vs20 and 50vs50 PvP battles, as well as lifelike fantasy world with dazzling graphics backed by the Unreal 4 engine.”

Netmarble is rather hoping the game does as well globally as it already did in Asia, where the title became “the top grossing game on Google Play and App Store in 11 additional Asian territories”; in Japan, it apparently “became the top grossing game on the App Store in just 18 hours.” It’s a high bar, peeps. Get to downloading!

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Yeehaw, Wild West Online’s early access alpha has begun

The Wild West Online early access alpha has officially begun, at least if you shelled out for the higher tiers of founder pack. According to 612 Games’ Facebook page, Pioneer ($50) and Collector ($80) edition players were welcomed in last night, while other buyers – that’d be those of you at the $30 Townie level – will hop in around 3 p.m. EST today.

We realize the founder pack page is a bit confusing as it says you’ll have access to closed alpha but not the early access, but it wouldn’t be the first time this game has muddied the waters of what test phase it’s in and whether or not it’s been delayed.

612 Games has previously touted this test round’s multiple quests, historical guns, public events, character progression and customization, and of course, female toons. The studio has also said the game will fully launch (on Steam) “later this year.” Make sure you take a peek at the latest patch notes, especially if you’re returning after time away! We’ll be streaming the game later this afternoon (yesterday’s run was botched by server downtime), so keep an eye out on OPTV!

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Trove’s Adventures expansion is live now with a new biome and huge club upgrades

Cutesy voxel sandbox Trove has just pushed out its long-awaited club update to PC, Xbox One, and PS4, and yep, it’s free for all players, with new adventures for guilds, a brand-new East Asian-themed biome called Forbidden Spires, the new tutorial, new building frameworks, plasma fishing, and new blinking LED blocks.

“Clubs can now level up! Clubs gain experience through participation in the new Adventure system,” Trion explained last month. “As a club’s level increases, slots are unlocked to support new types of structures called fixtures. These fixtures provide stats, boosts, and bonuses, some that have never been seen before in Trove. […] At the release of the update, we’ll include 18 different fixtures, each of which can be upgraded twice, creating a ton of different combos. It’ll be up to your club’s leadership to decide which fixtures are placed down at a given time and in what order they are upgraded!”

Massively OP’s MJ Guthrie chatted with Trion last week all about the expansion and how it’s breathing new life into these massive guild worlds, so get caught up on the details there, and then stay tuned for this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. EDT, when we’ll stream the expansion ourselves and take a tour of player creations. In the meantime, the brand-new trailer is below!

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Grab a MU Legend starter pack key from Webzen and Massively OP!

Have you checked out MU Legend’s open beta yet? Apparently you’re in a quickly dwindling group. Webzen announced today that it’s had so many downloads that it’s “opened additional servers dedicated to EU, US and SEA regions in order to provide space for everyone to play the game.” In fact, Webzen has granted Massively OP starter pack keys to get even more people in and playing. The starter pack includes three days of Platinum Service, a three-day Type A Costume, a set of three-day Constellation wings, and 10 Holy recovery potions.

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

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NCsoft’s 3Q 2017 financials: Lineage M drives record profits, Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire isn’t too shabby either

NCsoft had an exceptionally good third financial quarter this year, reaching a record high in sales and operating profit for the company, and it’s almost entirely thanks to the mobile MMORPG Lineage M, which didn’t even bleed the rest of the Lineage franchise as you might have expected (Lineage and Lineage II held remarkably steady this quarter compared to last, as did Aion and Blade & Soul).

Good news for Guild Wars 2 as well; NCsoft notes that ArenaNet’s flagship brought in over $20B Won, “an increase of 49% [quarter-over-quarter], driven by the second expansion pack sales” that saw US and European sales figures in particular increase 13% QOQ “on the back of Guild Wars 2 performance.” $20B Korean Won is about $18M US. So Path of Fire at least performed well enough for NCsoft to gloat about it, twice, and it’s a big boost to GW2, especially considering Q2 2017 was the game’s worst ever – but it didn’t top Heart of Thorns’ huge showing two years ago.

Before you ask, no, we don’t know how well WildStar is doing; NCsoft doesn’t report it separately anymore. But it’s still flying. That’s enough.

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Guild Wars 2’s fourth living story season is set to begin November 28

ArenaNet just announced that the fourth season of living world content will kick off in Guild Wars 2 on November 28th. The teaser provides basically no other information, stating that “season 4 will continue the epic story of Tyria, seamlessly transitioning from the events of Path of Fire.” Which is helpful, since the larger part of the new trailer is actually clips from last year’s season – until you get to the part with ol’ Balthy and his ruination of the desert.

It does appear that the living story will maintain the two-to-three-month cadence and be available only to those who own Path of Fire, though we assume you can still “claim” the episodes without owning it. Trailer inc!

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The Daily Grind: Where do you stand on WoW’s proposed new PvP system?

Buried in the World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth reveals earlier this month was the huge PvP news that eventually, PvP servers, like the dying one I’ve been stuck on for half of forever, will be quietly converted into PvE servers. Instead of being constantly subjected to lowbie ganking while out questing in the world, PvP server players will join PvE players in taking part in what is akin to the Star Wars Galaxies-esque TEF system, only stricter. As you leave a major city, you’ll flag PvE or PvP, and that’s that. Flag for PvP and you’ll get a chance at things like extra rewards and faster reputation. The details are still up in the air, but as Blizzard Watch’s Ted Atchley points out, the rewards will have to be pretty sweet to entice most players to paint a target on their backs.

I’m not all that sad; PvP on PvP servers was basically pointless ganking for jack-all rewards, but there was just no way to convince a dozen friends to pay to move their entire stables elsewhere, so we soldiered on and put up with the random ganks on our leveling alts. I can still see taking the risk of being ganked if the rewards are huge, and the move will allow Blizzard to continue condensing its server groups too.

Where do you stand on WoW’s proposed new PvP system?

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Blade & Soul teases Dawn of the Lost Continent’s sights and storyline

When Dawn of the Lost Continent drops in Blade & Soul next month, the upgrade to level 55 will be accompanied by a “sweeping story of epic proportions,” or so NCsoft says. Indeed, a new dev blog highlights some of the highlights of the storyline – and some of the places you’ll go and gear you’ll get along the way.

“The Twilight’s Edge has been stolen by Mushin and Yura, with potentially world-shattering consequences. Meanwhile, Jinsoyun is still trapped in eternal slumber. But not all is lost as the recently captured Dark Vicar willingly revealed a cure in the lost continent of Solak—a distant land twisted by Dark Chi. The lost Yun city of Valindria will be the only safe harbor and your next destination in Solak.”

Thinking about returning? Last week MOP comment veteran Rafael noted that NCsoft has streamlined questing such that you can basically progress and pick up your legendary weapon along the main quest line with no need to grind. There’s some incentive, eh?

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