Culture & Community Category

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

Warframe awards free frame and cosmetic to Twitch Prime members

Here’s the good news for Twitch Prime members: Warframe really likes calling things “prime” (almost as much as Transformers), so the game is giving away the desirable Frost Prime frame and the Vistapa Prime Syandana to Twitch Prime members totally free. The bad news for people who are not Twitch Prime members is… that exact same news. Those people get something neat and you don’t.

If you feel the urgent desire to correct this issue, the good news is that you have means of doing so. The promotion in question runs from June 29th to July 26th, and all you have to do to get this free stuff is link your Twitch Prime and Warframe accounts. So you should be entirely capable of getting these rewards if you really want them; the only question is whether or not you want them more than you want to not have Twitch Prime. Not that it’s a problem if you’ve already got it.

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Betawatch: Dark and Light enters closed testing (June 23, 2017)

One game enters the list and another leaves. Dark and Light has started its closed testing, although there’s a very small number of people currently invited to test the game, so you’re probably not on the list. Meanwhile, Master x Master has entered the shark-infested waters of launch, so it’s now as real as it gets. Hooray for changes on the list!

Boy, I’m so excited I’m just going to launch into several more list items. Come with me, will you?

And there’s still a whole list down below! What fun. Let us know if something in there slipped phases without us noticing, all right? We really like lists, if you haven’t noticed.

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Gloria Victis shows off the results of its combat upgrade

We don’t mean to surprise you, but Gloria Victis involves a whole lot of fighting things. You have various sharp bits of metal that you insert into some living creature or another, hopefully before they can do the same to you. So it’s important that combat feel as solid as possible, hence the new combat upgrade. You can watch the full trailer for the upgraded battle system below the break.

While the developers are still tweaking the specifics, the overall goal is for combat to feel more responsive, intuitive, and just plain fun. Hacking away at enemies should involve more skill and give players more options for how best to take on combat. It’s also worth noting that we are in the middle of the Steam summer sale, so perhaps you should take a gander at the trailer down below and then consider jumping in to do a bit of hacking-and-slashing of your own after all.

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The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind soundtrack is now available digitally

Did you enjoy the music of The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind? Then there’s good news, because you can now fill your ears with it wherever you go. The soundtrack is available via Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, and Google Music, so no matter what your preferred platform may be, you can make it the day-to-day soundtrack of your life. Be warned that you may get some funny looks if you spend an entire business meeting playing it, assuming you’re someone who has high-powered business meetings.

The official site also has an interview with composer Brad Derrick, who talks about the challenges involved in making sure the soundtrack was new and distinct while still reminding players of the history behind the game’s title and lore. Derrick marks the title theme as the hardest part to compose (since it’s the iconic song for the whole expansion), while also seeing the transition of one theme into another depending on player activities to be vital to making a good soundtrack. Check out the full interview if you’re curious about how the tracks got made.

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Em-8ER funds on Indiegogo and adds new stretch goals

If you were worried that Mark Kern’s Em-8ER (properly pronounced “eem-eight-er” for those willing to die upon snarky hills) wouldn’t fund on its latest Indiegogo push, good news! It’s already funded and looking toward stretch goals. Of course, one could argue that since the game has already had one successful Indiegogo campaign and is now having its second in a series of “serial crowdfunding” pushes, this is already a stretch goal, but let’s not split hairs. The point is that you can pay more money and get more stuff; that’s what the campaign is focusing on.

The newest stretch goals allow for model fights against a new beast, more emotes for players, and motion capture. “We will be modeling the ‘beast’ form of the Tsi-Hu aliens,” says the game’s newsletter. “This deadly creature is what Tsi-Hu can transform into for brutal melee combat. The next stretch goal is to animate it and have it fight the players! There are lots of great perks to unlock, including color changing CHROMA jumpjets, glowing Omniframe skins and even a full motorcycle. In response to player feedback, we also updated our $500 tier to include better rewards, like the Turret #2 Pet robot, and having NPCs salute and greet you by title.”

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Seattle police officer uses a Destiny livestream to discuss a controversial shooting death

Let’s see if you can follow the chain of logic here. Police officers in Seattle shoot and kill a alleged burglary victim, resulting in controversy over whether or not the officers made the right decision. All understandable. One of the officers of the department took to Twitch in order to deliver an update on the shooting and the reasons behind it; again, understandable, albeit perhaps not the best choice of platforms.

Of course, he was also taking to Twitch so he could stream while playing Destiny. A game where you shoot things. Like, that’s the whole game.

Saying “don’t livestream a game about shooting people while discussing an actual shooting your department is being criticized for” seems like it should be kind of obvious, but apparently not. The officer in question has stated that he felt failing to discuss the shooting would be seen as a cop-out, although that doesn’t really explain why he felt that was the ideal time to combine these two things. We should all just be happy it wasn’t Grand Theft Auto Online.

Source: Kotaku

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E3 2017: Why MMO players should be paying attention to Elite Dangerous

I sat down with Elite Dangerous Senior Designer Sandy Sammarco again at E3 2017, and while the information I’ve got in terms of game info may be a bit old hat for hardcore Elite players, I want to be clear on something: MMO players should take note of how Frontier is doing community eventsEven if you aren’t interested in the game itself, the design strategies and execution are things that are reminding this jaded MMO-enthusiast about what got me into the MMO genre in the first place. I don’t really do space sims, and haven’t touched my VR for months (though I could probably hop on normal PC or PS4 versions), but my time with Sammarco has gotten me closer to hitting the “buy” button on the game.

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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is everything you expect (and that’s outstanding)

In my mind, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is all about sticking the landing. After a few years of FFXIV being out, the game has consistently earned high praise from people who play it. Heavensward was recognized as a definite high point for the game, improving more or less everything in the game and adding more besides. So the question was whether or not Stormblood would continue down the same road or try to dramatically upend things, break down what once worked well and lose sight of what people enjoy.

The good news, then, is that it sticks the landing.

Everything that worked well in Heavensward has been brought forward and refined, and the parts that hadn’t worked so well have been trimmed away, repurposed, or outright removed. It feels very much like an expansion to the same core game, but in the process it manages to address almost every complaint I had over Heavensward almost incidentally. And it continues on in the high standards the game has set for itself over the years, resulting in an expansion which I’m already in love with after finishing the main storyline.

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Wild West Online asks players what sort of gambling they want to see

It’s just not right to think of the stereotypical wild west without including some gambling. Based on movies on the subject, cheating at poker and the penalties for cheating at poker make up the majority of most people’s pastimes. So Wild West Online knows players want some form of gambling in the game, and it’s going to be in there. The question posed to the audience is what sort of gambling you want.

Obviously, there are some options with a higher degree of historical accuracy, but the goal here is to pick games that are fun to play rather than necessarily adhering to the “right” sorts of games. It’s not a formal poll, so you can feel free to sound off on Twitter with the sort of card game you want to be playing. Although you can probably be confident that poker is going to be in there no matter what.

Source: Twitter

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Secret World Legends’ headstart launches today

Pack up your stuff, The Secret World fans: It’s movin’ day, at least if you don’t care about playing on Steam, as Secret Worlds Legends’ headstart period for veteran The Secret World players and beta testers begins today.

Funcom’s said the headstart hasn’t technically begun just yet — we still don’t know when the flag will drop — but that preloading is underway. [Update: Expect it live at 2 p.m. EDT per Funcom’s latest tweet nope, live at 4 p.m. EDT per Funcom’s latest-latest tweet.]

The studio outlined its legacy transfer system last night; your accounts should already be linked (don’t go making a fresh account) and allow you to reclaim and transfer your patron time, lifetime sub status, cosmetics, mounts, and other bits and bobs. You’ve got until August to take advantage of all that.

Stay tuned for Larry’s impressions and MJ’s stream later today, and in the meantime, check out our roundup of guides, interviews, and news leading up to today.

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Overwatch promises to reduce duplicate item rewards in lockboxes

Since the only real form of progress in Overwatch involves skins, there’s nothing more frustrating than opening a few dozen lockboxes and seeing every rare skin be the same one… for a character you don’t even play. The latest development update from director Jeff Kaplan notes that the team is aware of the problem, and steps are being taken to ensure that the number of duplicate items received will be dramatically reduced in the future.

You don’t need to worry about losing out on the buy-anything credits, though; the credits you get from loot boxes will also be increased, so you should find yourself getting more credits even as you get fewer duplicates of things you already have. How well this will map out in particular remains to be seen, but it’s an effort to mitigate the randomness that’s always underpinned the game’s lockbox structure. Kaplan also discusses ongoing improvements to the highlights feature; you can watch the full development update just below.

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The Daily Grind: How much realism is too much in an MMORPG?

In yesterday’s comments on the Shroud of the Avatar AMA article, MOP reader squidgod2000 drew everyone’s attention to an overlooked bit in the Q&A that discusses nutrition in the game. I knew that food was intended to be a big deal in SOTA, but I had no concept of how far the game might eventually go — apparently a complicated system of calories, fat, and salt that affects a player’s stats. Richard Garriott says it’s all still a work in progress and only slowly being addressed (that goes for barfing up your food if you eat too much too!).

I love playing cooks in MMORPGs — let’s be honest, games are the only place I’ll ever be a great chef — so I most definitely want to see game mechanics in my sandboxes that make such consumables matter. I didn’t mind the various versions of “stomach capacity” Star Wars Galaxies implemented, for example. But I’m going to have to draw my personal line at counting calories in a freakin’ video game. Sorry, SOTA, but most of us have to do that and worry about our health or our relatives’ health in the real world.

And that leads me to today’s Daily Grind. How much realism is too much in an MMORPG?

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Skyforge adds a new Distortion and new Prestige ranking with its latest patch

Prestige is an important indicator of power in Skyforge, and it just keeps growing over time. The problem is that as it grows ever higher, it becomes harder and harder to look at it at a glance and say “yes, that character is getting higher in Prestige.” Plus, there’s the simple reality that a ranking of nine billion Prestige doesn’t look nice. So the latest patch for the game adds in a ranking system wherein one’s Prestige Rank is a simpler and much smaller number. It’s almost like just leveling, but it’s certainly easier to read at a glance.

The patch also adds a new distortion to the game and a variety of quality-of-life improvements like the option to inspect equipment, market board improvements, and more face options for character creation. Check out the full patch notes for a glance at how the game has changed, and log right in if that’s all the motivation you need to start enjoying an easier-to-read ranking system.

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