Culture & Community Category

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

Massively Overthinking: The MMORPG wishes that go unfulfilled

This week’s Massively Overthinking question is a short and sweet one posed by Das Tal developer Alexander Zacherl.

“What’s the greatest unfulfilled dream of MMO players and why will it (not) be fulfilled in our lifetime?”

Let’s talk big picture! Let’s make the optimists and cynics fight! I posted Zacherl’s question to our writers this week. Read on and chime in!

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Perfect Ten: MMO novel tie-ins

When I was a kid and only slightly more nerdy than I am today, I used to read movie novelizations like crazy. I don’t know why, exactly, especially since I could have just watched the films themselves. I guess it was part of getting swept up with the transmedia hype of a good movie. I probably wore out my copy of Return of the Jedi because I loved that entry so much.

While movie novelizations have all but died out completely, tie-in novels are still going strong in other sectors — such as with MMORPGs. Believe it or not, several online games have spawned numerous book spin-offs, some from very popular authors.

Today we’re going to look at this interesting byproduct of MMORPGs for those of us who are both gamers and readers. Maybe even those of us who read the quest text!

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CCP grants EVE Online players skins, skill injectors for Iceland’s Euro 2016 soccer victories

Iceland-based MMORPG studio CCP Games is getting in on the football/soccer hype this week with an in-game EVE Online promo tailored around the success of the country’s football team, which has been steadily winning matches through the Euro 2016 tournament. On Monday, the Icelandic team upset England to advance to the quarterfinals. Did I mention this is Iceland’s first major football tourney? Reykjavik is freaking out right now.

“We’re going to start granting server wide rewards for every active EVE account to celebrate each Icelandic victory in Euro 2016 from here forward, so be sure that you’re cheering on Iceland as they attempt to battle their way into the history books!” exclaims the studio. “On the day of each upcoming match, make sure that you’re cheering on Iceland and posting pictures to show how you’re supporting the team on twitter with the #EVEONLINE hashtag, for the chance to win a few PLEX here and there too!”

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The Daily Grind: How well do you think you represent your main MMO’s average player?

One of the things that I remind myself of on a regular basis is that I am not the average player in an MMO. I am not middle-of-the-road. Even disregarding experience and my profession, I also know that I’ve been playing my MMOs of choice longer than the average person, I spend more time dissecting lore than the average person, and I certainly have a more fixed stake in these games than the average player. I do not fit the profile of the average World of Warcraft player or the average Final Fantasy XIV player or anything else; I am an outlier.

This is somewhat difficult for us to parse as human beings, because all of us tend to see ourselves as the default. It’s easy to think that if you like open PvP with free looting, the average player does as well. If you like sandboxes that heavily de-emphasize combat, most other players feel the same. If you’re a hardcore raider, well, that’s the norm; the people who don’t fall into that category are weird. And since you tend to make friends within the sphere of people who share your interests, it can easily become an idea that you reinforce for yourself.

Statistics, despite Mr. Twain’s opinions to the contrary, prove quite helpful here. Sure, they can be twisted to serve a point, but they also serve as a good barometer for how close you really are to the “average” player in an MMO. But we’re not worried about that today; we’re interested in the feeling. How well do you think you represent your main MMO’s average player? Do you think that you’re an average player? More or less devoted to the game? In step with what the majority of players do for content or entirely out of step? Where do you fall as a part of the average?

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The Secret World preps fourth birthday festivities with double AP and Guardians of Gaia event

Four years ago this month, Funcom released The Secret World into the wild. That calls for celebration! Indeed, Funcom is kicking off the festivities in-game today. Here’s what’s in store for fans of the world’s only horror MMORPG:

  • The Guardians of Gaia: Guardians spawning in major adventure zones will provide three tiers of rewards for participants in this multiplayer event. (This runs until July 13th.)
  • Double AP: Funcom says this bonus won’t work with AP Injectors but does work with Timed AP Boosters.
  • Cash shop goodies: The Bohemian Grab Bag and Party Sack return along with the Mythos Machine motorcycle.
  • Cross-promo: Players who log into Age of Conan starting on Thursday will pick up a new pet, also in AoC. So not really TSW-themed there; more like your kid brother getting himself a gift for your birthday. But hey, minipets.

Happy birthday, TSW!
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Flameseeker Chronicles: Re-engaging lost Guild Wars 2 players

I recently read an interesting opinion piece by Jason Winter that got me thinking about the general sense of apathy that he believes is trickling into the Guild Wars 2 playerbase because of the current content drought. After the Heart of Thorns launch, ArenaNet has been dedicating a significant portion of its man-hours to remedying some major grievances the community has been carrying, especially when it comes to WvW gameplay. Add to that the pressure to start on the second expansion, which is now well underway, and the usual patches that we players expect, and you can see how easy it is to let fresh new content fall to the bottom of the to-do list. Personally, I’m excited for Living Story Season 3 and hope that it revitalises players who have lost confidence in GW2, but I wonder whether ANet could be doing more to incentivise play and shorten those content gaps.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll put forward some ideas for improving the activity levels in GW2, covering both improvements to the existing ways in which ANet attempts to keep players engaged and some different tactics I wish the company could employ.

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Find out how to make the most of Guild Wars 2’s Ley-Line event

It’s been a while since Guild Wars 2 shook hands with its old friend the Living Story, huh? Well, the good news is that they’re getting back together, and there’s a new event to start kicking things into motion. The bad news is that a new event means that there’s a possibility you won’t be able to make the absolute most of out it by not knowing where to go or what to do. So why not jump in with the help of a guide from Dulfy regarding the event’s flow?

At its core, the event rewards player with a Mystic Coin, some vendored junk, and a few other bits of random loot once per day so long as players hunt down ley line anomalies. There are also some existing dynamic events through the world that have been changed along with the story developments, just to keep things interesting. Check out the full guide before you dive in, and get ready for more story developments.

Source: Dulfy; thanks to Kieran for the tip!


The Daily Grind: What have you never done in your MMO?

Sometimes we define our characters by what they we have done and accomplished with them. We’ve leveled them to the cap. We’ve gone on hair-raising raids. We’ve crafted enough goods to open a medieval Walmart. We’ve roleplayed a steamy romance for the entertainment of a rowdy tavern.

Except… maybe we haven’t. There are always those things you haven’t done in your MMORPGs. Maybe you haven’t seen certain areas and they remain mysteries to you. Perhaps your altoholic nature has kept you from ever seeing the final level on a character. And there is the sliver of possibility that you’ve never experienced the joy of doing a naked Gnome race (perish the thought).

So what have you never done in your MMO? Do you have a bucket list you’d like to accomplish?

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Global Chat: The verdict on Landmark

Landmark’s launch hasn’t gone unnoticed by the MMO blogging community. Several players have decided to use the game’s official release as an opportunity to check it out again (or for the first time) and render a verdict of thumbs up… or thumbs down.

So what do they think? MMOBro says that Landmark is not too shabby, commenting, “What I found was not the empty afterthought I expected, but a surprisingly charming and enjoyable little game.” Superior Realities thinks that his visit might be a short-lived one: “I don’t think it’s a game that’s going to keep me engaged for a super long time, but I am going to try to keep my claim up and running for as long as I can.” And The Ancient Gaming Noob noted that Landmark’s launch seemed to fizzle out quickly on the charts.

We’ve got plenty more thought-provoking articles on deck for you here today, including plenty of talk about Elder Scrolls Online’s new approach, the features for a perfect MMO, and more!

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Battle Bards Episode 77: Spirit of Adventure 2

Steff has decreed the return of spirit of adventure — and so it shall be! In the second part of this theme, the Battle Bards explore adventurous and inspirational MMO tunes. Are we out of ideas or overflowing with incredible tracks? It’s definitely the latter, so grab your hiking stick and join us as we venture out into the great yonder!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin Olivetti co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Player.FM.

We’ve got Episode 77: Spirit of Adventure 2 for you after the break!

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Player modder earns $5000 for War Thunder model

Here’s a sweet way to make 5000 bucks: Design a stellar 3-D model for a War Thunder vehicle.

That’s what Daniil “_Joy_Division_” Zaitsev did, anyway; he designed a 3-D model of German night interceptor He 219 as part of Gaijin’s Revenue Share Partner System, which will probably remind you quite a bit of Valve’s Dota 2 skin shop. As the studio put it,

“Exceptional work posted to War Thunder Live, the game’s own content sharing platform, may catch the developers attention and thus has a chance of being added to the game. Similarly, players that have already made progress in creating something truly impressive, like the 3D model of a vehicle, are invited to contact us directly.”

The He 219 is in the game and buyable by players as of this week’s update.

Source: Press release, official site


SWTOR might raise server character slots to 50 for Dark vs. Light event

If you’ve been following the Dark vs. Light event controversy in Star Wars: The Old Republic, you know that one point of contention is that players are being asked to roll a bunch of new characters to participate — and don’t have the server slots for all of them.

BioWare community boss Eric Musco has addressed that today by telling fans the studio is working out the technical details of allowing players more characters per server.

“One of the questions that came out of the Dark vs. Light Event announcement was the current maximum character limits per server,” he writes. “There are some players who have all 40 slots filled, and were concerned about participating in the event. I wanted to let you know that we are actively testing right now the possibility of increasing that maximum by 10. That would mean that a subscriber could have a server maximum of 50 characters. We are exploring if this is a safe change to make and I am hopeful that I will have an answer about this today.”

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What the Titanforged gear will mean for World of Warcraft: Legion

World of Warcraft players recently got an eyeful of information about Titanforged items and how the game’s item levels will work through Legion (and possibly beyond). That isn’t such a huge deal, really; it just explains how item upgrades works, walks through the process, and potentially changes every aspect of gearing in the game as well as assumptions about how players can get the best gear from content. Minor stuff, in other words.

The simple version of Titanforged gear and item upgrades is that item upgrades no longer follow the Warlords of Draenor model through which you might get an item upgraded by 10 levels at most. No, the new system is what tabletop veterans would call an “exploding roll.” If an item drops that would normally be item level 810, there’s a percentage chance that the item will be upgraded to 815. If it gets that upgrade, another random chance is generated for it to be updated to 820. If it gets that upgrade, another random roll can upgrade it to 825… and so on. The only limit on upgrades is a universal item level cap across all content.

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