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

Massively Overthinking: Impressions of Crowfall

We’ve got crows on the brain this week since Crowfall launched its Kickstarter. As of this afternoon, the game is just about 100k shy of its goal, a goal it will surely reach with 27 days to go, and confident of that, ArtCraft is already releasing stretch goals. The first promises an FX upgrade and female centaurs, while the second is a push for mounts and caravans.

For today’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve polled our writers to ask them what they think about the PvP-centric title. Did they back it? Will they play it? Or are they running for the hills?

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Guild Wars 2 will implement first-person POV in March

File this one under things we didn’t see coming: ArenaNet has just announced that it will fulfill a long-running fan request by adding a first-person point-of-view to Guild Wars 2. The new feature goes live on March 10th and will be accompanied by a field-of-view slider, over-the-shoulder vs. vertical position sliders, camera snap collision sensitivity, and camera tracking by character height.

First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any restrictions on where first-person can be used.

Field of View: A much requested feature, the field of view slider is a setting that will allow players to adjust how much can be seen in the game world. Players can use a slider to shrink or enlarge the field of view.

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The Daily Grind: What canceled MMO do you wish had been made?

MMO players are forever bemoaning the overabundance of fantasy titles in our genre. But truthfully, we have lots of sci-fi and zombies games nowadays too. Superheroes too. Vampires? Westerns? Steampunk? Not so much.

And what about Imperial Rome? I remember really looking forward to Imperator, a Mythic MMO that rose in 2002 and fell in 2005 before it ever launched, canceled ostensibly because of Mythic’s acquisition of the Warhammer IP for Warhammer Online (here’s Justin’s writeup from a few years ago). It was a nifty sci-fi spin on a classical setting, and I was bummed when it was nuked and I never got to wear a space toga.

What canceled MMO do you wish had made it to the finish line?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Champions Online is fiddling with costume prices

Champions Online is still alive! How do we know? It’s fiddling with its cash shop prices come March 5th. A forum post explains the situation:

Starting on 3/5, we’re going to be re-aligning the prices of costume sets in the C-Store. Some will have their prices reduced, while others will be increased. Our goal with this is to match the dev work with the final price. Over the past five and a half years, our costume designers have raised the bar for costume set quality, and better costume sets take more work for us to produce. If you look at the detail and polish in their latest sets, it’s clear we’ve come a long way. These pricing changes allow us to keep spending more time and effort to make items that good.

Creating tiered prices also gives us more flexibility to make some sets more available to new players. A number of sets will have their prices cut down to 375 ZEN, so a new player who’s looking for something to try out will find the C-Store friendlier.

Older sets, like the Swamp King set, will see their prices go down, whereas “hyper-exclusive” sets like the Power Armor Bundle will be 1000 ZEN.

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Non-combat sandbox Wander reveals new video

Remember Wander, the unique, upcoming sandbox that eschews combat for exploration? Creator Loki Davison has posted a new video for the game today along with a new creature, character renders, and an amusing reveal on skydiving and flight.

For those of you who’ve ever gazed into the infinite depths of the sky and thought: “Man, I’d sure like to fall like, a really long way down, and maybe land on a friendly griffin while I’m at it”… well, soon you can! You’ll be able to skydive! I don’t know about you all, but I think that’s freaking rad, and a really good incentive for you to make friends with some griffins. “But, Crystal,” you say. “I just want to take a regular, non-death-defying ride on a griffin!” Well, to this I reply: why do you hate joy? And also, you can totally do that! If you’re a hira, and you have a griffin pal who is willing, you can ask them if you can “hop on” for a jaunty ride! This is an awesome way to get places faster, especially if one of you really wants to show the other one something amazing. Just don’t be too offended if your offer is refused. Maybe the griffin just thinks you’re not ready to move to that stage in your relationship yet, so just chill, bro.

We’ve got the video below, and you can check out the renders on the official site.

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Final Fantasy XIV’s gold saucer patch is live

In its bid to prove that it’s got wacky in spades, Final Fantasy XIV has launched the much-anticipated 2.51 patch, an unassuming name for an update that inserts an entire amusement park into the MMORPG.

Insider the newly installed Manderville Gold Saucer, the denizens of Eorzea can participate in chocobo races, the Triple Triad card game, the Cactpot casino games and lottery, and multiple “GATE” minigames. Expect new outfits, titles, recipes, and quests gallore.

We’ve included the gallery below.

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Datamining suggests The Division’s alpha test is en route

Dataminers on Reddit have unearthed publicly accessible but undisplayed code on The Division’s website that suggests alpha is on the way.

There’s no official announcement, but if set live, the code appears to link to what will eventually be the game’s alpha signup page.

Earlier this month, Ubisoft confirmed that The Division is still on track for a 2015 release. Last spring, developers delayed the game from 2014 to 2015, citing a desire to fully finish the game rather than shove out an incomplete concept piece. It’s being billed as an open-world online shooter with RPG elements.

[Source: Reddit via VG247]

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Crowfall is launching a Kickstarter campaign tomorrow

“Throne war simulator” Crowfall has been tick-tocking its way down a 40-day timer for the last, well, 39 days. Now ArtCraft Entertainment has foreshadowed tomorrow’s big reveal by announcing the Kickstarter campaign we all suspected was coming.

We also need your financial support. Three weeks ago, we announced our intention to crowdfund this game. Our kickstarter campaign begins tomorrow morning– at 9am EST/6am PST. We sincerely hope that you will support Crowfall, and let us build this game for you! […] There will be some limited tiers available for our “core following”, i.e. the people who spend the most time on (and have been the most vocal on) our forums. We know you guys will be the first to see the campaign — as an FYI, backing early could pay off!

The team is also promising pre-alpha game footage (“so you can see Crowfall is more than just design documents and concept art”) and super sekrit info to be released on “major game news sites.” Guess you’ll know where to be at 9 a.m., eh?

[Source: Crowfall site]

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The Daily Grind: What’s the best game-within-a-game in the MMO space?

Jef and I were talking this past weekend about something Star Wars Galaxies got really, really right: the Jump to Lightspeed expansion, which brought joystick-driven free-form space exploration and combat to the sandbox. More importantly, it brought multi-person ships to a genre that simply had nothing like it. Imagine bringing your ground-based party to a totally different place where the holy trinity was pilot, gunner, and mechanic and the endboss was a star destroyer. It was awesome.

Jef told me that after JTL launched, he spent almost all his time in space. And that got us debating games-within-games — not timewastey /gems or card games, mind you, but the kind of large-scale game systems that are so rich and entertaining in their own right that they create entire subcultures dedicated to them and attract players who do little else in the game but that one thing.

We’re trying to think of others in today’s TDG. What’s the best game-within-a-game in the MMO space?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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MMO Week in Review: February 22, 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!

Up-and-coming PvP MMORPG Crowfall has been counting down a 40-day timer that ends next week, biding its time with announcements about its destruction-oriented voxel-based tech, physics engine, and new classes. Any guesses as to what’s happening when that timer runs out?

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

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO boasts the best bard?

A player on Reddit recently asked one of the most pressing questions in the MMO genre today: “Where can I find a fun Bard-like class?” Though often posts on the MMORPG Reddit aren’t heavily populated, this one elicited dozens of responses and ideas. I’m telling you: Bards are awesome, and everyone knows it.

Naturally, the thread quickly devolved into bragging about just who could twist the most songs as a Bard in classic EverQuest.

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Betawatch: February 20, 2015

What do you get when you combine the the quirkiness of Glitch or Wakfu with the voxelboxiness of Trove? That’d be SkySaga, the UK sandvox that’s finally opening its alpha doors to those of us in North America. Act quickly, though; the offer ends February 26th. What else is new in the land on MMO testing?

Our complete list of MMOs in testing is below.

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