Culture & Community Category

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

MMORPGs celebrate The Revenant’s Oscars

If your MMORPG has a Revenant class, you’d best not be missing the opportunity to plug it today, as the movie celebrates its three Oscar wins from last night: one apiece for director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, actor Leo DiCaprio, and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.

World of Warcraft kicked off the festivities this morning:

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Allods Online explains gearing changes for the New Order update

The New Order hitting Allods Online is going to be changing how players acquire gear in a big way, and it’s going to be all about keys and boxes. Surreal Keys are going away altogether, replaced with Astral Keys that get automatically rewarded to player every day in batches of 14 once the appropriate quest is completed. Every character can store up to 196 of these keys, and subsequently can use them on unlocking loot boxes to contain valuable high-end gear.

Boxes can be obtained through a variety of endgame activities and automatically unlock for players who have a key to unlock said box. Each box contains parts for a certain equipment slot, a piece of equipment that’s slightly less powerful than the parts for that equipment, gold, and various other small rewards. Epic and legendary boxes consume two keys at a stretch, making their powerful contents slower to acquire. It’s going to make for a different experience when you’re gearing up your next character once the patch goes live, but then, the patch is promising a new order after all.

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One Shots: I heart you

Valentine’s Day is already well behind us (and greatly before us), but the love among the MMO community never dies down. Today we have a headlining pic from Ralph the Wonder Llama, who reminds us that we are all deserving of flowers, kisses, and irrational armor.

“With the whole heart themed weekend coming up, I was reminded of this odd little topiary I found inside one of the treehouses at Blessing Basin in TERA,” he submitted. “Hugs and kisses from my Gunner!”

D’aww… can you feel the love tonight?

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Gabe Newell fires Dota 2 presenter, calling him ‘an ass’

Dota 2‘s Shanghai Major tournament got off to a shaky start this week with a slew of technical problems and controversy over presenter James “2GD” Harding being removed from the show. James has a long-standing reputation in the e-sports community as a popular but abrasive on-camera personality who often offends people live on air for entertainment value. He presented during the first day of the Shanghai Majors before being promptly let go, causing a lot of noise in the community as players demanded that he be brought back. Valve CEO Gabe Newell himself then took to Reddit himself to explain why James was let go, stating,

“We’ve had issues with James at previous events. Some Valve people lobbied to bring him back for Shanghai, feeling that he deserved another chance. That was a mistake. James is an ass, and we won’t be working with him again.”

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CCP is closing down EVE Online’s official EVElopedia

EVElopedia is soon to be no more. CCP Falcon told players yesterday that CCP has decided to shut down the EVE Online resource; it’ll go offline on February 29th. Says the studio,

“With the introduction of the new Help Center and the ever developing Flight Academy project from our Customer Support Team, as well as the amazing (and far more up to date) player run wikis out there such as the EVE University Wiki and the Brave Newbies wiki, plus the availability of more up to date static data from the EVE Universe via CREST, we feel that the EVElopedia’s life cycle has run its course, and it is now time to move on from hosting it.”

CCP has told players that they can download the entire archive, which should alleviate concerns that some material will be lost. Fiction and backstory information will eventually be relocated.

Massively OP’s Brendan Drain recommends the EVE University wiki in the alternative.

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Leaderboard: Which Black Desert server will you be calling home?

Massively OP reader Xijit thought it would be a grand idea to try to coordinate our community’s Black Desert servers, and we agree! Let’s do it:

According to Reddit, Edan and Alustin are leaning toward PvP, while Orwen and Jordine are leaning PvE, which is no real indication of anything at all except that if you want a good fight, go to the first two, and if you want to be ganked by people who can’t make it on those, go to the second pair.

Just kidding, maybe. Who knows! Which server will you be calling home?

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WRUP: Pamela, my love edition

Pamela, my love! I wrote you this missive on this “web-site” so that everyone may see it, especially the numerous men whose homes you have broken into for the purposes of armed and nonsensical assault. I fear I cannot contain my love for you any longer, and indeed my loins have burned for you ever since I set them aflame at the Fifteenth Annual Loin Immolation as Proof of Romantic Ardor Competition in Newark in December. Which, I might note, I really would have won if not for that guy with the flamethrower codpiece.

In short, I can no longer contain myself, and I fear that I may find myself overwhelmed by love for you in the near future. If this happens, Pamela, my love, if I can no longer keep my love for you caged within my breast, I wish you to know that it’s your fault, I completely blame you, and when they find me at my writing-desk they will know that it’s your fault. You will get the chair this time. Farewell, Pamela!

Note: for the entertainment of those assembled, a brief section known as “What Are You Playing” shall follow a brief intermission. Your entries are welcomed below, &c.

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The Daily Grind: What kind of MMO cities do you like?

I might be the very odd man out on this, but a large urban area (fantasy or otherwise) in an MMO is not a selling point for me. On the contrary, I really dislike big cities in MMOs and RPGs because I hate having to spend the first hour or so getting my bearings and trying to shrug off the feeling of claustrophobia. So my preference for towns in-game tend to lie with smaller villages and scaled-down metropolises, such as RIFT’s Sanctum. Give me all of my services in a compact area and then let me head out exploring, and I’m happy.

When it comes to cities in MMOs, what do you like? Big or small? Organized or sprawling? Do you like cities that feel alive with small details or do you only view them as centralized facility platforms? What about verticality, style, and secrets? What MMO city best exemplifies your preferences?

Lots of questions — and I bet you have lots of answers to this as well!

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Betawatch: Tree of Savior is going international soon (February 26, 2016)

Good news, Tree of Savior fans – the game is slated to hit the international stage soon. How soon? That’s still up in the air. But it does mean that the game is going to be coming over here after what seems like endless waffling and a long period of back-and-forth. Good news if you are super interested in the trees which saved people from… rivers, or something. (I am not actually clear on the game’s premise.)

It’s been a quieter week than the past few for betas, but still, there have been developments:

If none of that tickles your fancy, that’s all right, as we still have our full list of beta titles just below. Let us know if something has carefully snuck beneath our radar in the comments!

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Black Desert preorders close, headstart preload begins tomorrow

Who’s ready for Black Desert?

Daum reminds players today that preload for the headstart begins tomorrow, and the client is patchable for those who participated in the second closed beta.

While the Conqueror’s pack preorder for the game ended this morning, the Traveler’s and Explorer’s packages — without the headstart bonus — are naturally still available, and since this is a buy-to-play game, you’ll be needing one or the other to get in on launch day next week.

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Chaos Theory: The Secret World really needs player music

Sing us a song, you’re the piano man. Except, you can’t — not in The Secret World. That’s because there is no player music system in this conspiracy-rich horror game. How can that be? A world that is top-notch for ambiance and using sound doesn’t have a robust system in place to celebrate the awesomeness that is music? I’m here to say, it really does need one. We know it is possible to some degree: We already have some missions that utilize flute and organ playing in the game. So let’s expand it a la Lord of the Rings Online, or even ArcheAge.

Now, I can fully appreciate the argument that listening to the players pounding out out-of-tune pieces could very well ruin the ambiance the game has carefully cultivated. That’s true. But I believe there are ways that instrumental abuse can be mitigated.

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Valve pours millions of dollars into Counter-Strike e-sports

There’s no doubt that e-sports are starting to get very big, with many of the top tournaments now supporting prize pools in the range of millions of dollars. Valve currently holds the record for the highest-value e-sports tournament with a total of over $18 million US distributed among the winners of The International 5, last year’s Dota 2 world championship. Now it seems that Valve has turned some of that attention toward Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, as the company is promising to invest several million dollars into this year’s competitive scene.

The CS:GO Major Championship series of tournaments started in 2013 with each event’s prize pool capped at $250,000. Starting with the MLG Columbus 2016 tournament next month, those prizes have now been increased to $1,000,000 per tournament. The tournaments already had impressive twitch viewership ticket sales in previous years, and CS:GO is currently the second most played game on Steam with over 600,000 peak concurrent players each day. This investment in the competitive scene should go a long way toward re-establishing Counter-Strike in a competitive gaming scene that has been dwarfed by MOBAs in recent years.

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