Culture & Community Category

The softer, gentler side of MMORPG life. [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

One Shots: The cream of the shuttercrop

What do you get when you ask MMO players with bulging folders of screenshots to pick their very, very best to show off? An absolutely amazing array of visual delights, that’s what.

Zyrusticae kicks off our look at the MOP community’s best-of-the-best screenshots with this view of what I think is Blade and Soul: “Just one? Really? Just the one? Boy, you really know what to say to induce absolute decision-making paralysis in me, don’t you? Well, after much deliberation, I just realized that it had to be this one. There is no other shot that gets my attention as much as this one does. The absurdly saturated, bright blue color palette in contrast with the autumn colors… yes, it does my heart good.”

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best in-game cosmetic options?

With the changes made in Legion, World of Warcraft wound up with a pretty great system for cosmetic outfits. Unfortunately, it also has some notable problems, starting with the fact that there is a fairly narrow range of different cosmetic options actually available in the game. Every robe, for example, has the same basic geometry as every other. The expansion helpfully adds a few more bits and bobs, but it kind of points to the fact that the best cosmetic system in the world doesn’t help if the game’s cosmetic options are lacking.

Of course, that simply raises the question of which MMO has the best cosmetic options. But more than that, which MMO has the best in-game cosmetic options? It’s all well and good if you love the costumes in Black Desert Online, but if you feel like all of the good ones are available only on the cash shop, it rather cuts down on your practical choices. So which game do you vote for the best options available just through the game, regardless of the cosmetic system?

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WRUP: Back in my day the dump was dangerous edition

Let me tell you something, you young’uns, everything you do these days is different from how it was when I was your age. Based on my hazy half-remembered childhood from some 70 years ago, keeping in mind that my memory is doubtful in its accuracy because I argued with you for a quarter of an hour that the host of Jeopardy was named Alan Trebek, everything was better when the only place you could play as a kid after school let out was the city dump. Back in my day, the dump was dangerous! And we liked it!

There were old fridges that could lock you inside if you climbed into them and some of your friends shut the door! There were dogs, I assumed! There were… did I mention the fridges? There were fridges! But these days, you all sanitize your dumps by encouraging children not to play in them! What with your video games and your rock music and your video games about rock music and your What Are You Playing and your rock music about video games and your Internet comics about rock music…

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best mount selection?

Lately my attention has been arrested by all of the news coming out about Battle for Azeroth’s mounts. I know it’s totally dorky, but I’m really intrigued by the notion of riding a giant bee. Seriously, I want that bee mount yesterday. Yes, it’s completely impractical and bordering on farce, but it’s right down my alley.

There have been many opinions over the years about mount selections and varieties in MMORPGs. Some people enjoy the diversity and creativity that these exude while others find them annoying and immersion-breaking. I can appreciate how LOTRO keeps its mounts somewhat more practical while still having a blast with RIFT’s eclectic array (racing snail, awayyyy!).

Which MMO has the best mount selection — and why?

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Betawatch: Dauntless strides into open beta (May 25, 2018)

It’s certainly a daunting task to launch a game into its open beta, but the developers of Dauntless are undaunted as the title does just that this week. Now everyone can daunt gigantic monsters, daunting the local townsfolk into upgrading gear while forging names like “Daunter of Behemoths.” Without paying a dime!

In other news, I’ve now been forbidden from using the word “daunt” any further in this particular post. Also, there’s other beta news worth covering.

That’s some beta news, huh? Don’t fret, there’s also a list below if you want to look for other titles in testing. As always, if you see something there that shouldn’t be there or should have a different test state listed, please let us know. If you appreciate overuse of the word “daunt,” also let us know there. Just for funsies.

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Fortnite shows off development plans for limited-time modes and quality of life

Development continues on Fortnite, and that means the developers have lots of things to show off for the future. The latest development post is covering all of the things the developers are working on, including more limited modes like Playground Mode allowing you to focus on building while the match is going on. Don’t worry, though, the developers are also aware of how many people enjoy the 50v50 mode and are considering bringing it into a more permanent place in rotation.

Meanwhile, development is working hard on improving the feel of playing the game with a controller and improving performance across the game. There are also new plans for improvements to the minimap, improvements to spectator mode, and new markers to direct your group members to specific locales. Check out everything that’s coming in the latest post. There’s a lot of it and some of it is some ways off, but it’s all being worked on.


RIFT increases experience and sells mounts for the long weekend

It’s Memorial Day weekend here in the US, a time for people to… well, theoretically remember something, but in practice it’s a long weekend when everyone celebrates the imminent summer. But RIFT wants you to instead focus on all of the fun you can have indoors with video games with a number of new promotions, starting with increased experience all through the weekend on both RIFT Prime and the main game.

If that’s not enough, you can pick up the previously datamined Blood Raptor pack for $20, which offers a mount, a 40-slot bag, 15 days of Patron status, and a new minipet. There are also rolling sales of rare mounts all through the weekend as well, so you’ve got plenty of stuff to pick up if you’re so inclined. Or, again, you could just enjoy the doubled gains all the way through. Whatever sort of celebration suits you best.


Sea of Thieves developers talk about the work on the Hungering Deep and subsequent updates

The first major update for Sea of Thieves will be out in the wild soon, and as the newest development video shows off, the team behind it didn’t have much lead time. Heck, logic alone would make that clear; there was only enough time to work on the update from launch and after the initial launch haze faded, so you’re seeing the work of a team with very little lead time. Subsequent updates will have more, however.

The video just below also discusses some of the philosophy behind the game’s updates and how much players can expect to see; the plan is that each bit of content should have some time-limited components for players who are right there for something new as well as permanent additions for the game. So you’ll have challenges that need to be met swiftly and others that you can take on at your leisure. Check out the full video just below for the full discussion.

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Crowfall shows off the features of its 5.6 build

The next big milestone build for Crowfall is patch 5.6, and it’s a big one. It has the first pass of the vassal system, for example, which is one of the major elements of the game. It has the first steps toward procedural world generation. It has a first pass for a skill revamp. It has a more dangerous world. It has a lot of stuff, in short, and you can get an idea of all the stuff that’s in it with the video overview of the patch contents.

Players will also have more character options even aside from skill revamps with the inclusion of the Fae along with male Wood Elves and High Elves. If you need a bit more detail, jump on below to check out the trailer to show off all of the things brought into the latest build, which is looking even closer to being a finished, playable title.

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Champions Online brings out the vehicle-centered Circus Malvanum event

The heart and soul of Champions Online is either playing a superhero and taking out dastardly villains or flying vehicles around. The event hitting the game’s live servers right now is focusing more on the latter; help Jo finish her flying steam bike to earn it as a special vehicle and take part in the Circus Malvanum air race! You’ve got until May 31st to take part, or until November 16th, 2017. (The official page lists both dates, but we’re pretty sure the one from last year is a typo.)

If you think steam bikes are lame, flying or no, you can opt to just buy your way into the vehicle side of the game for slightly less cash; all vehicles are 20% off. That is, off the purchase price, not someone taking a hacksaw and chopping off a fifth of a given vehicle. Although that could mean a convertible.


Warframe teases new story content by way of a recommended quest guide

The story of Warframe is always there, but it has lain fallow for some time now. The developers have had other things to focus on, and players have been happy to explore other aspects of the game. But you’ll want to be ready when the next portion of the game’s storyline shows up, and that appears to be sooner rather than later based upon the recommendations provided on the game’s official site.

For those of you who don’t have the game’s entire quest storyline memorized for some strange reason, the recommended quests cover the game’s main story through your first steps into the game up to the mostly cinematic quest from December of last year. No word yet on when more will be coming, but considering the context, you may probably assume that more story is on the way and soon. So if you’ve got quests just about to be finished but haven’t yet bothered… now would be a good time to do so.

Source: Official Site; thanks to sophiskiai for the tip!


Data show that battle royale gamers tend to spend more money on games

So, how are battle royale fans different from any other sort of competitive gamer? A recent study put out by market intelligence firm Newzoo finds that they’re more dedicated. In basically every metric, too. Battle royale fans tend to be more likely to spend money over other competitive gamers (88 percent vs. 75 percent), more likely to invest over six hours of time in games a week (30 percent vs. 25 percent on console, 40 percent vs. 32 percent on PC), and more likely to watch several e-sports events per month (28 percent vs. 19 percent).

It also confirms once again that Fortnite is eating PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds players, but you already knew that.

Of course, this particular report uses the somewhat fuzzy metric of “competitive gamers,” which could mean a lot of different things. Still, it means that there’s definitely engagement and dedication on that side of the fence, something that does tend to justify the amount of money being poured into the subgenre. Check out the full report if you’re curious about the details of how running around and shooting people in a box stacks up compared to more traditional options.


Choose My Adventure: Two milestones at the start in Final Fantasy XI

If I have to summarize, in brief, how much Final Fantasy XI has changed since its launch in the United States? In half an hour before leaving the house I made a character, started the first nation mission, and reached level 6 in the process of smacking six bees. Most of the way to 7, at that.

This may not seem like much of an accomplishment, but if you played the game before your remember it primarily for being insanely brutal and slow. The idea of reaching the limit breaks in the course of a month would require hardcore play and persistence along with lots of high-end help, which is why I specifically stated I’d be getting none of that. My playtime with this characters sits at around 9 hours right now, which is a fair chunk of time, but it’s not much when spread over the course of four days.

But yes, I am now ready to pick up my advanced jobs helped significantly by the fact that my adventure started in Windurst. So let’s start talking about the mechanics of the game, how you can end-run so many parts of the system now, and how bad the game still is about telling you these things.

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