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

Kickstarter Overpowered: Week two’s new video

The Massively Overpowered Kickstarter campaign is now half over: two weeks in, two weeks left to go. We’re tickled to now have over 1400 backers who’ve busted through our goal, Kool-Aid Man style. Oh yeah!

In honor of the occasion, we have a new video! I present to you the Massively Overpowered Kickstarter Mid-Point video, once again crafted by our very own Jef Reahard and this time narrated by Larry Everett. We’re pretty sure you’ll get the reference.

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Massively Overthinking: The best MMOs for duoing

A Massively Overpowered reader by the name of DaBruuzer posed a great question to the team, one I thought we’d have a better time answering as a group since many of us play with spouses, significant others, or dear friends in duos.

“I would love to see some coverage about MMOs that are couple-friendly. My wife and I have been playing MMOs as a couple for many years now, always trying out new games that make duoing fun. Since the sunset of City of Heroes/Villains, we just haven’t found a new home. I have seen lots of stuff about soloing and grouping, hence my ‘couples’ angle. I don’t necessarily mean about a game’s marriage features — more like MMOs that complement a two-person group set-up.”

For this first installment of the reincarnation of our old Think Tank, I asked the MOP crew about the very best MMOs for duoing.

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Yes, you can push people off cliffs in Crowfall

The folks behind “throne war simulator” MMORPG Crowfall have released two new archetypes today. The first is the Elven Frostweaver, a ranged DPS reminiscent of Drow; the second is the Guinecean Duelist, an adorable dexterity-oriented melee character who will have the Ratonga fans in our audience squeaking with glee.

ArtCraft has also posted a new game physics FAQ that covers everything from collision detection to friendly fire on the Voxel Farm tech platform it announced earlier this week. Collision detection, by the way, is totally happening.

Can players block other players from moving? Yes they can, which should allow for some interesting battlefield formations. However, not all characters will have the same mass, so a larger character like a Centaur will have no trouble pushing a much smaller Assassin out of the way. Also, some characters may have special powers that enable them to teleport past other players, while others may have powers that prevent players from passing them. Controlling the battlefield will be a key strategy to master!

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Leaderboard: Which Daybreak MMO is most vulnerable?

Are you over the Daybreak Game Company layoffs shock yet? Nope, neither am I. But my shock is compounded by dread over the fate of the studio’s games. While Daybreak has reassured players that it’s still got teams working on most of its MMOs (and I myself argued yesterday that most of the games are probably safe), some of the studio’s titles seem more vulnerable than others, especially given last year’s infamous purge. Of course, getting H1Z1, PlanetSide 2, and Landmark players to agree on who’s in the most trouble is a daunting task. Let’s put it to a vote in our shiny new poll: Which Daybreak title’s future seems the most in jeopardy to you?

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Minsc and Boo will headline Neverwinter’s sixth expansion

Perfect World has just announced that Neverwinter’s sixth expansion, Elemental Evil, is set to launch on March 17th.

In what PWE is calling the game’s largest update since its original release in 2012, players will be able to roll up a character from the new Paladin class, level up to the raised cap of 70, and tinker with new quests, feats, and special class powers (“slottable class feature powers”).

But the best news is that the update will feature Baldur’s Gate’s beloved ranger/hamster duo Minsc and Boo. “The fan-favorite duo will be assisting players on their journey to discover the true nature of the Elemental Evil cults,” says the studio.

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Crowfall thinks you play games to crush… voxels

Crowfall developer ArtCraft Entertainment has announced today that the game will employ the Voxel Farm technology platform. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Voxel Farm is licensed to several other high-profile MMORPGs, including Landmark and EverQuest Next.

The best part is how the studio leads describe what they’re doing with the tech. “We want to create hundreds of unique worlds, with unique maps — mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, dungeons, ruins — for players to explore and destroy,” says ArtCraft president Gordon Walton. Sounds peaceful, right? Wrong! Creative Director Todd Coleman says ArtCraft is out to subvert that trope: “Most games are using voxel technology for creation — effectively, giving players a sandbox to build things. We’re using them for a very different reason; we are using Voxels for destruction. We’re creating sandcastles for the players to kick over.”

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MOBAs dominate Raptr’s January rankings as WoW playtime falls

According to a Raptr press release posted today, MOBA League of Legends dominated the service’s January rankings with just under 20% of total playtime share. World of Warcraft held onto second place with not quite 11% of total playtime share, but it “lost 5.28% of play time in January compared to December.”

DOTA 2, SMITE, and Hearthstone scored well; Diablo III, in particular, saw its playtime rise 77.27% percent month-over-month, likely a result of the 2.12 patch.

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite MMO character for PvP?

I’ve been spending my gaming time lately PvPing in Guild Wars 2 in an attempt to reinkindle my old obsession with World of Warcraft battleground-style gameplay. It’s working: I really love the GW2 maps, and it thrills me that it’s one more fun facet of a game I already enjoy more than most titles still alive today.

(Of course, there’s no more disgruntled a group in GW2 than PvPers, and I’m sure I’ll get to that same point in a few months. But for now, while everything is still new to me, I’m actually *gasp* having a good time.)

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MMO Week in Review: February 15, 2015

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

Daybreak dominated the headlines during MOP’s first week back online, with layoffs, resignations, and DDOS attacks that had former devs defending the team and players hoping for reassurance. Our own MJ Guthrie discussed the fate of SOE Live, and Jef Reahard pondered F2P’s impact on the studio.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week’s top MMO stories.

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WRUP: The first WRUP

It feels so great to be back. Plus I get to introduce some new folks to you. Former Massively columnist Tina Lauro has returned to helm more columns, and we’ve brought on Rhys Yorke to handle all the things no one else understands. Fresh meat!

What MMOs are you lovely readers playing this weekend? We’ll show you our WRUPs if you’ll show us yours…

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The Daily Grind: Do MMO players actually want social media integration?

World of Warcraft‘s upcoming publish, we learned this week, will boast Twitter integration. Welcome, WoW, to the year 2011 when we were already complaining about the rise of embedded social media in MMOs from Champions Online to RIFT. Hooray!

I kinda like social media. I particularly like following interesting people and gaming personalities on Twitter. I use it for work and play. And yet I still don’t think I’d want to Tweet to my followers from inside an MMO. It’d be an immersion-breaker, a distraction, and possibly even an etiquette faux pas. I can see it now: “Why didn’t you get out of the fire?” “I was trying to attach a pic of our raid for my Twitters!”

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