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

Dark Age of Camelot welcomes back old players, Ultima Online discusses summer updates

Broadsword’s keeping fans of its MMORPGs Dark Age of Camelot and Ultima Online busy this week!

Dark Age of Camelot is running a Come Back to Camelot campaign this spring — former players may already have gotten invites in their inboxes. The caveat is that your account must have been off for 60 days for you to pick up an invite, and you get your free 30 days only if you reactivate.

Meanwhile, Ultima Online has announced in its most recent newsletter that publish 97, which we wrote about just a few days ago and includes the huge overhaul for the popular animal taming skill set, is now set to go live on April 27th. In fact, work has already begun on publish 98:

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Snag a Mu Online, Flyff, C9, or Rappelz key in honor of Webzen’s 8th anniversary

Webzen is celebrating 8 years of MMOs today, kicking off multiple events and patches across its games: MU Origin has posted its 1.7 update with multi-server “Battle Core” events and two new dungeons, while MU itself has opened up part one of its 12th season of play, which features the Nixies Lake map, new gear, and the Vanaheim server.

In honor of the anniversary, the studio has granted Massively OP 1000 keys that can be applied to one of four of their games (Mu Online, Flyff, 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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Elder Scrolls Online offers a new video glimpse of Morrowind’s Vivec

The greatest city on Morrowind’s island of Vvardenfell is Vivec — and in The Elder Scrolls Online’s expansion timeline, Vivec is still being built by the god-poet who gave the town its name.

The city is the subject of a new video from ZeniMax out today, narrated in-character by Morag Tong assassin Naryu Virian and featuring plenty of swoopy fly-throughs of interiors and exteriors of the town. “But did he have to build it under that big, ugly rock?” Virian snarls. Unfortunately for us, he did! Check it out below, and if you’re digging Elder Scrolls videos, make sure to check out Larry’s lore piece from earlier today.

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Conan Exiles patches in 50 emotes, exploit fixes

Update 25 has landed for Funcom’s in-early-access survival sandbox Conan Exiles, bringing with it 50 new emotes as promised. You’ve got the basics, like shrug and point and dancing, and then you’ve got “laying [sic] seductively,” “spank,” and “belly dance,” which is totes what you should be doing in a brutal world where everyone wants to kill you.

The update also fixes several ongoing exploits, including a dupe issue and that pesky problem of “accidentally” falling through the game world and raiding people’s bases.

And this line in the notes is cryptic: “Seeing dead people can now lead to great rewards.” Hmm.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go over here and emote sleeping on the ground. I’m sure it’s safe to sleep here. What could go wrong?

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Guild Wars 2 announces Flashpoint living story episode, price drop for Heart of Thorns

Super Adventure Box departed Guild Wars 2 last week, so you had to expect we were on the brink of seeing another episode of the living story. Indeed, ArenaNet has just announced that very episode: It’s called Flashpoint, it’s apparently the next-to-last episode of season three, and it’s launching in just one week on May 2nd.

“Flashpoint finds the forces of good fighting a battle on two fronts. The fight against the now more powerful Elder Dragons seemingly has turned in their favor with news that Taimi’s research has resulted in a machine that can stop them with a single decisive blow. Meanwhile, the powerful mursaat Lazarus – who returned mysteriously purporting to be an ally – has been revealed to be an imposter. Marjory Delaqua attached herself to him to investigate and is now headed back to Rata Novus without discovering much about the truth of his identity. Both paths converge as Lazarus is on his way for a confrontation; in Flashpoint, players will uncover shocking secrets and come face-to-face with a threat unlike any they’ve seen before.”

ArenaNet is also permanently dropping the price of Heart of Thorns by 20 bucks, meaning that the cheapest buy-in for the game’s first expansion is now $29.99. (Maybe it’s another hint that the under-construction expansion isn’t that far away, eh?)

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Lord of the Rings Online celebrates 10 years with stream at noon

Lord of the Rings Online is currently in the middle of its 10th anniversary celebrations, only somewhat darkened by the grumbling over the event’s inaccessibility for lowbies. At noon EDT today, the Standing Stone team is plotting an anniversary stream with “gameplay, developer chats, and giveaways” — and hopefully a look into the game’s future.

The stream begins at noon, and you can watch it down below, but in the meantime, take a peek at Massively OP’s LOTRO Legendarium column, in which Justin recapped his ten years in the game, or last night’s episode of the Stream Team, on which MJ took a peek at the festivities.

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RuneScape plans Menaphos update for June 5, addresses Spring Fayre uproar

RuneScape’s been teasing its Menaphos: The Golden City update for what seems like months, but today, the expansion’s getting a hard date: June 5th. Jagex says it’s just the first in a series of free expansions on the way for the game, spaced out every three months. This one comes with a level cap bump, new raids, and new quests.

“Menaphos is full of untold riches and stories waiting to be unearthed by the game’s millions of players. However, players will arrive in the city as unknown outsiders and must build their reputation within the city to become both exalted and legendary among the inhabitants. As they explore the city, it won’t be long until they discover the dark secret of corruption spreading through the metropolis. In addition, there will be new quests, a constantly shifting network of tombs that can be raided for their ancient riches and a new Slayer Dungeon, which will see the Slayer Skill level cap raised from 99 to 120 for the very first time.”

The update announcement is getting a bit lost on Reddit, however, where players are still fuming over the newly released Spring Fayre, which apparently rolled out with rather hefty microtransactions (MTX). Jagex, however, posted this morning that it plans to change how the Fayre works, increasing rewards and making play periods fit a global audience.

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The Daily Grind: Do you believe MMO studios release overpowered new classes on purpose?

Yesterday’s Elder Scrolls Online press embargo drop allowed us to talk a bit more about the overpowered state of the Morrowind Warden class — in fact, Larry flat-out called it a Mary Sue. What surprised me about the ensuing discussion was how incredibly cynical our readers were in response to that (and to the general community uproar over the class). Quite a lot of you (and other highly engaged gamers) seem to believe that ZeniMax is releasing the Warden totally overpowered intentionally as part of its marketing strategy, and to some extent, it makes sense — you want to create hype for your game and get people to buy it, so make sure to pack in a badass, solo-friendly class that encourages fence-sitters to make that leap.

On the other hand, you risk ticking off a couple million existing players who don’t want their characters falling to the bottom of the heap or who don’t want to feel as if they have to reroll.

Do you believe studios like ZeniMax, Blizzard, and ArenaNet intentionally release overpowered new classes, planning to nerf and balance them later? And if so, is it the smart call?

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Osiris: New Dawn teases planetary changes coming in this week’s update

We’re inching ever closer to the release of survival sandbox Osiris: New Dawn’s “massive” next patch, all set to include new dungeons, better graphics, a new class (the Ranger), and a Proteus II biome and location update.

The Proteus update is, in fact, the subject of the game’s latest most recent trailer, which zips through the updated map and hitting the highlights from underwater craters to soaring skyscrapers.

Osiris has been live on Steam’s early access program since September of last year. The update should go live on Thursday. In the meantime, check out the video!

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Overwatch pro player sees career ended over racist diatribe

It’s probably not the best idea to start shouting racial abuse in the middle of a live stream if you’re public figure with a pro gaming career.

That’s the lesson to learn from Toronto Esports player Matt “Dellor” Vaughn, who apparently started shrieking the N-word repeatedly (“for 26 uninterrupted seconds while his teammates sat in stunned silence,” PVP Live writes) over voice chat during an Overwatch stream, which one of his viewers then uploaded to YouTube for posterity.

The diatribe caused Toronto Esports to end Vaughn’s contract:

“Toronto Esports is an organization built on inclusivity, and we have always had a zero- tolerance policy for any forms of discrimination. Immediately upon learning of the incident, the player was interviewed, admitted to the offence, and was notified that his contract with the organization was being terminated.”

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This in-game Elite Dangerous event will affect the game’s novelization

Cancel your plans for Saturday, folks: You’re gonna want to be in Elite Dangerous. That’s because Frontier has a big event planned that day that ties into the upcoming Premonition novel. In fact, what players do during the event to hunt down (or defend!) accused assassin Salomé will actually affect the book — and the “NPCs” could be killed off permanently.

“I am inviting all of you to take part in an in-game event, the outcome of which will decide how this chapter in the Elite Dangerous storyline concludes,” writes author Drew Wagar. “The book will be written by your combined actions, for good, or for ill…”

In other Elite news, Frontier has recently announced it’ll release Elite as a boxed console-oriented “legendary edition” at brick-and-mortar stores.

In still other Elite news, players have finally discovered one of the original 70,000 Generation sub-light ships that are part of the game’s foundational lore. It’s floating near the Alaunus system, but I’m sad to report that it doesn’t look like any of the colonists escaped the epidemic that ravaged the ship all those years ago — but it’s still pretty cool.

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Academics and addiction experts weigh in on ‘pay-to-loot’ gambleboxes and lockboxes:

“Pay-to-win” is old news now — game designers’ new plan for hoovering all the cash out of our wallets is “pay-to-loot.”

According to IGN’s Nathan Lawrence, who dives into the topic today, that’s the term game psychologists are using to describe what online gamers have been derisively referring to as gambleboxes and lockboxes for years: You’re essentially buying chances at a thing, paying to roll the dice and let the RNG gods determine your reward, padding the game’s coffers all the while.

The gambling references aren’t accidental; one expert calls lootboxes a “poker machine-like experience,” while another points to the phenomenon as an exploitation of human nature:

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Enter to win a Star Trek Online Tal Shiar Adapted Battlecruiser for Xbox One

In honor of the launch of Star Trek Online‘s season 12 Reckoning for console, PWE has granted Massively OP five Tier 6 Tal Shiar Adapted Battlecruisers to raffle to our readers!

The Tier 6 Khlinae-class battlecruiser is one of the many ships used to great effect by the Tal Shiar. It utilizes an insidious variant of Borg technology to subvert the weaponry of an enemy vessel – the Enhanced Indoctrination Nanite Dispersal System. This starship features a Lieutenant Tactical/Intel bridge officer station and a Lieutenant Commander Science/Command bridge officer station.

Read on to enter to win!

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