Brianna 'Bree' Royce


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

Saga of Lucimia shows off its dynamic weather systems

Indie hardcore sandbox Saga of Lucimia has a brief video out today on its dynamic weather system. It’s dark — we’re beginning to think it’s always dark in Lucimia, even in “late afternoon” — and the scene is a cottage, windows aglow, in a wooded valley deluged by a gentle thunderstorm. And… that’s it. All teasing aside, hooray for weather systems in MMORPGs. All hail Guard Jim.

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Albion Online plans beta II for later this summer

In Albion Online’s latest developer video, Sandbox Interactive Game Director Robin Henkys and Creative Director Jörg Friedrich outline the studio’s activities since the March Cador update, plans for the Darion update, and the push toward the game’s second beta phase, which Henkys says is on target to begin later this summer.

Of note, the duo says the team has almost completed the swamp biome, one of five planned for the game, and spells will likely be reworked between the Darian patch and beta 2. They also show off some combat scenes and the ambiance and placeables of the Morgana faction.

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Giveaway: The Skies captain weapon keys from EFORB and MOP

Participating in the free early access beta for MMORPG The Skies? You aren’t alone: The game soared to #1 in the early access category on Steam the weekend it launched.

In celebration, EFORB has granted MOP 1500 keys that’ll unlock a special Captain Weapon on your account if so. Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to take home one of these keys!

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Enter to win a Neverwinter Xbox One boar mount from PWE and Massively OP

Just in time for this week’s Neverwinter: The Maze Engine release on Xbox One and its brand-new mount system, PWE has granted Massively OP 50 mount codes to give away to our readers during streams and right here in this giveaway!

The codes are for a badass boar mount, a bind-on-pickup mount that you can redeem only once per account until December 31st, when the keys expire. Critically, these codes are redeemable on Xbox One only, so if you’re a purely PC player, you can skip this one!

The keys will work for Xbox One players in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

Read on to enter to win!

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Black Desert’s second Mediah update brings new pirate events, cash shop buyables

Mediah part two launches in Black Desert today, bringing with it several class fixes, monster adjustments, the temporary removal of specific North American channels, and a ridiculous number of new mounts, pets, furniture, and gear in the cash shop. Nothing says MMORPGs like buying digital underwear with actual money. (No really, there’s a mystifying amount of underwear for sale now.)

Tungrad Forest, Hasrah Dungeon, Kuit Islands are also now unlocked.

Kuit Islands (Pirate Islands) – Adventurers brave enough t’challenge th’ wicked Pirates of Kuit Islands be returnin’ with fine booty if they be skilled enough not t’walk th’ plank

Tungrad Forest – Only th’ mightiest scallywags should enter Tungrad Forest, or rival landlubbers be eatin’ them faster than a bad case o’ scurvy

Hasrah Dungeon – A dark ‘n mysterious cavern filled with th’ broken remains o’ ancient golems that be sendin’ chills down yer spine soon as ye look at it

The patch likewise introduces a new round of Mediah events, including a Mother’s Day quest series for the “Motherlover” title and a pirate-themed quest to kill monsters and take their rum, which you can either drink or trade for house deco and pirate cosmetics. Bottoms up.

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Chronicles of Elyria’s Kickstarter is now live

The Kickstarter for Chronicles of Elyria has just gone live. Soulbound Studios’ goal won’t surprise anyone as the company told followers in March that it would seek a relatively modest $900k. The $25 pledge includes the complete game, running up to $10,000 if you want to play the game as a literal monarch. Stretch goals are not yet listed, but it’s safe to assume they’re forthcoming.

The indie sandbox touts a complex aging and death system that ties into its unique “earn-to-play” business model, plus destructible environments, offline leveling, and an emphasis on extreme realism.

“We’ve turned to Kickstarter to fund this project because traditional game publishers won’t take this risk,” says the studio of 16 employees so far. “They are incentivized to clone the latest success and merely re-skin it. But not all players want a WoW clone or to play the same game every time. Our innovative ideas come FROM gamers FOR gamers. WE want to play this game, so we turn to YOU to help make that happen.”

Soulbound says it’s already invested half a million dollars into pre-production and has an equal sum committed from investors.

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Daybreak scrambles new servers after DC Universe Online’s huge Xbox One launch

Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d be typing: DC Universe Online might actually be too successful for its own good.

Since the game’s launch on Xbox One last week, Daybreak has worked to bring online enough servers to meet the new demand. The servers were down this morning for maintenance “to upgrade server capacity” following several rounds of maintenance over the weekend.

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Crowfall’s castle siege video is appropriately brutal

Crowfall’s latest Siege Perilous footage is brief, but it digs into the flashier parts of castle sieges, with catapults loosing their missiles, explosions knocking people off walls (and those walls crumbling to the ground), and foot soldiers and horsemen breaching the gates.

Just keep in mind, it’s still deep in alpha. “In Pre-Alpha 2.0: Siege Perilous, participants split off as soldiers supporting Chaos or Order, either laying siege to or defending a castle,” the studio’s press release reads. “The castle destruction system allows players to tear down walls and topple towers with real-time server side physics.” Still, the combat is pretty impressive for a game that’s just a year past its Kickstarter. Onward to the vid.

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Elite: Dangerous features in a new Oculus Rift trailer

A new Oculus trailer this week is intent on reminding everyone that Elite: Dangerous is indeed available on the Oculus Rift VR platform.

“Frontier was one of the earliest Kickstarter backers and developed Elite: Dangerous with VR in mind,” gushes the VR company. “Elite supports cross-platform multiplayer, which means you can explore the galaxy with players across Oculus, consoles, PC, and Mac.”

Frontier is currently plotting the rollout of the Engineers content of the Horizons campaign across PC and console platforms. Check out the video below.

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Ryzom finally lands on Steam this week

Ryzom is really truly on the way to Steam — this week, in fact. May 6th is the big day.

The 2004 sci-fantasy sandbox MMORPG was greenlit in May of last year and is finally ready to go. Winch Gate says that it’s upgraded the game’s visual effects, rendering, textures, and security as well as implemented OpenGL 3D and support for 64-bit systems.

Winch Gate rather famously released the source code for the game in 2010, allowing other players and programmers to dabble with their own servers. In 2012, the company wiped Ryzom’s servers completely and started clean, which is a bold move for any MMO studio, never mind one with half a million registered players.

Looking to get caught up on the history of the game? Our very own Game Archaeologist covered it in full just a few weekends ago.

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The Daily Grind: Do your MMO choices actually reflect your playstyle?

Massively OP reader Leiloni tipped us off to a great blog post by MMO blogger Ethan “Isarii” Macfie, in which the author questions his understanding of his own playstle. “I’ve recently come to realize that my self-identification as a PvP focused player might not be entirely accurate,” Isarii writes. “I certainly enjoy PvP a lot – the more of it, the better, really, but when I think about my favorite MMO of all time, Star Wars Galaxies, it’s hard to reconcile how little PvP I did in the game with identifying primarily as a PvP player.” He ultimately concludes that the dichotomy might be faulty — that above all else, he’s a community player, and that FFA PvP games tend to offer the most opportunity for community — akin to the one experienced by so many MMORPG gamers in Star Wars Galaxies.

Personally, what I loved about SWG was the freedom players had to embrace critter-hunting, PvP combat, economic PvP, and socializing as their whims dictated from moment to moment. It was a special game specifically because it attracted people from traditionally oppositional playstyles. It doesn’t surprise me at all that a hardcore FFA players, hardcore crafters, hardcore dancers, and hardcore rangers would all think the game was all that and a bag of bofa treats.

And on the other end of that, I tend to think of myself as a hardcore economy MMO gamer, but some of my favorite MMORPGs — like City of Heroes and classic Guild Wars — had comparatively stilted economy play.

Think about the games you play — do they actually reflect your playstyle?
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Shroud of the Avatar flies through Brittany, kicks off fundraiser

Shroud of the Avatar’s spring fundraiser kicked off earlier this afternoon, which means it’s time to head to Twitch and pay the devs to go bonkers.

In the team’s weekly update, Portalarium also tauted the launch of Release 29, which includes 40 new scenes, a new playable storyline, a new targeting UI, and new player-run towns. Check out images of some of the scenes:

Level Designer Esteben Zaldivar put together a video flythrough of Brittany that’s worth a look too — watch it below.

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Former PlanetSide 2 Creative Director Matt Higby snapped up by Ubisoft Massive

Looks like former PlanetSide 2 Creative Director has landed on his feet and then some: He posted on Twitter today that he’s now working for Ubisoft game studio Massive Entertainment.

Higby left Daybreak in February of last year, not longer after SOE became Daybreak and about a month before the studio’s mass layoffs. He said at the time that he’d been considering the move for a while and that the “reorganization provided the right opportunity” for his departure. “Working on Planetside 2 has been the absolute highlight of my career,” he said last year.

Source: Twitter. Thanks, Kinya!


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