Culture & Community Category

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

WRUP: The definitive tier list for the old men hanging out at the corner deli edition

Garbage Tier: Jim-Bob
None of Jim-Bob’s rants go anywhere, his grandchild pictures are severely lacking, his accent is grating, and worst of all is that all he ever orders is black coffee and a pickle. Completely worthless in any competitive match.

Bottom Tier: Moishe, Andy, Piotr
Moishe is basically Hiram with slower speech and an ugly walker with halved tennis balls, while Andy and Piotr both have fun stories but only a handful of them. In addition, Piotr’s mid-range control options are weak enough that he does poorly in several matchups.

Mid-Tier: George, Jimmy, Junior, Hiram, Joey
People have argued that George and Junior should really be down at bottom tier, because when they get a bad matchup against, say, Carl or “Boats,” they really have a hard time holding up. But they can all hold their own, and George especially is so dominant against Piotr that it feels wrong putting him in the same tier. Plus, all of them always have candy.

Top Tier: Petey, Carl, “Boats,” Lou
No one would argue with Lou or “Boats” being here. Lou has so many great stories about being in public works for 47 years that he almost gets up to perfect tier, and Carl and “Boats” have a few dominant matchups and no really bad ones. Also, Petey and Carl both have those really nice walkers.

Perfect Tier: Malone, Gus
Not only are these two the undisputed kings of the deli, they even show up for comments in What Are You Playing. What a pair of guys, am I right?
Read more

The Daily Grind: What skills would you like to see added to MMOs?

One of the features that captivates and draws players to Project Gorgon is the quirky indie MMO’s design of infusing the game with a wide and bizarre assortment of skills that you don’t typically see in other online RPGs. After all, this is a game that includes such skills as Flower Arrangement, Beast Speech, Psychology, Civic Pride, Holistic Wellness, Poetry Appreciation, and Howling.

It has me excited because I’ve grown tired of what I see as a limited skill set that inhabits most combat-centric MMOs. I want games to remember their pen-and-paper roots and come up with skills that go beyond “the best and fastest way to murder.” And if that takes the form of poetry, then so be it.

If you were able to add skills to an MMO, what would they be? What skills would enhance your gameplay experience and make your title that much more interesting and immersive?

Read more

Betawatch: The beta for mobile MMOARG Maguss is about to begin (February 16, 2018)

Remember Maguss, the Harry Potter-esque ARG everyone was buzzing around right up until Pokemon Go company Niantic said it was making Harry Potter: Wizards Unite? It’s just about to launch its open beta; you west coasters will want to wake up early on Saturday indeed to make the 8 a.m. EST starting time on Android and iOS. The game originally raised almost half a million dollars on Indiegogo, so its popularity seems assured!

What else happened in the world of MMO testing this week?

  • Camelot Unchained finally has a beta date: the fourth of July. Fortunately, nothing else important happens on that day. Our interview all about how beta will work is pretty great if we do say so ourselves.
  • Dead Maze officially launched! No more beta! Free at last!
  • Villagers & Heroes seeks iOS beta testers ahead of its launch at the end of this month.
  • Project Gorgon laid out the details of its upcoming Steam beta.
  • Stardew Valley promised multiplayer beta this spring.
  • Soulworker Online is inching ever closer to testing here; forums for NA and EU arrived this week.
  • Ashes of Creation dazzled again with more footage of “alpha zero” gameplay.
  • Staxel landed on our sandbox radar; it’s currently in early access.
  • Bless Online is anticipating that when it starts, its early access open beta will run half a year.

We’ve tucked whole list of games temporarily and very much permanently in test stasis right on down below.

Read more

World of Warcraft is using new damage formulas in the Battle for Azeroth alpha

It’s going to be easy to ignore new formulas in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth for a little while. After all, you’re dealing with a big across-the-board numbers squish along with a new expansion, so you’ll probably be focusing more on your individual abilities feeling like they do the right amount of damage per hit. But there’s been what appears to be a pretty major under-the-hood change in the game’s damage calculation. Whereas previously abilities that didn’t use your weapon didn’t care about weapon damage, it appears that everything in Battle for Azeroth uses weapon damage as an important component of its overall damage.

How does this affect you? From a moment-to-moment standpoint, it might not, but it does important work in addressing the disparity between classes like Warriors and classes like Monks. Most Monk abilities were not weapon strikes, so weapon damage didn’t actually affect their overall damage heavily and more attack power was the only real factor; by contrast, most Warrior abilities scaled with weapon damage all along. Going forward, if both classes scale based on weapon damage, it means that they’ll both need to assign roughly the same amount of weight to getting better weapons. It’s not something you’d notice unless you paid a lot of attention to damage formulas and specific gear importance, but it’s still an interesting change.

Source: Wowhead

Comment

Choose My Adventure: Wrapping up our adventures in Project Gorgon

There’s a familiar situation to players of tabletop games wherein a sidequest becomes more important than the main quest, and you wind up taking further sidequests on in order to advance the original sidequest. And if things go egregiously awry, you start asking yourself what you’re actually pursuing the sidequest for in the first place. The first arc of Darths & Droids does a pretty good job of illustrating this phenomenon.

Anyhow, that’s where I wound up with my last week of Project Gorgon. It wasn’t that I didn’t have self-determined goals, it’s that most of them required a sidequest to complete a sidequest to complete a further sidequest so that I could… start grinding. It was all functional, but it kind of felt like staring at the bottom of a cliff knowing that I had a limited amount of time to actually scale that cliff, and not being able to quite muster the enthusiasm when I know that I’ll never get all the way up the cliff in time.

Read more

Final Fantasy XIV announces an end to congested worlds and restricted housing sales

The launch of Final Fantasy XIV’s new housing plots came with an additional restriction: Players weren’t allowed to purchase these new plots as individuals, just for free companies. Similarly, the launch of Stormblood brought a similar restriction, as players on designated “congested” worlds could not make new characters on those worlds or transfer characters to those worlds. But on February 20th, both of these restrictions will be lifted. Players can once again transfer to congested worlds, buy individual houses, and dress up in moogle outfits as tanks.

Actually, players could do that last one before.

Players will still be restricted to only owning one house per server on a given account, so the opening of plots doesn’t change that; similarly, there will still be preferred worlds for character creation, and if population disparities rise again the same countermeasures will be put back into place once more. However, for the time being, players will be able to get together and play more easily. In the end, isn’t that all anyone really wants?

Comment

SWTOR’s spring content: Cash shop overhaul, conquest revamp, new flashpoint – but probably not a ‘traditional expansion’

Star Wars: The Old Republic’s had a couple of rocky months with the greater MMO community, following ominous rumors reportedly from inside BioWare that EA was internally debating the MMORPG’s future. While not everyone bought into the rumors, and the studio itself teased 2018 plans, the recent refer-a-friend promo didn’t exactly quell the growing concern that the game may be in trouble.

But maybe the roadmap will. As promised, BioWare posted the roadmap yesterday, and it’s happening as a living document in the forums from BioWare’s Keith Kanneg himself, as he says, to “not make it seem like [the devs] disappeared into the ether.” So here’s what we’re looking at for content in the short term. In March, expect GU 5.8: Command Authority; it features

  • big (unspecified) changes to the cash shop based on feedback;
  • the return of companions Ashara Zabros and Vector Hyllus;
  • a romanceable Arcann companion;
  • new companion gifts to boost influence levels to 50 (not something you can just buy outright, however);
  • a fifth boss (with two modes) for the Gods from the Machine Operation (though not all bosses are getting that Master mode, note);
  • and a major revamp to the Conquest system.

Read more

Star Citizen’s new $185 Aegis Vulcan support ship is so ugly it’s cute

On this week’s episode of Around the Verse, Star Citizen’s Sandi Gardiner and Chris Roberts bookend segments on the ship pipeline in the game. Did you know Star Citizen has introduced 114 ships, vehicles, and variants since the start of development? Neither did I. Here comes another one: the Aegis Vulcan. The adorably ugly and chunky ship is essentially a utility starter support spacecraft that packs in repairing, refueling, and rearming. Says CIG,

“It’s a versatile support ship. It’s there to support other ships. It’s not great at combat. It’s not great at transport. It’s not great at racing. It’s there for helping out with other ships. So if you’re that sort of person that is interested in the not more active combat side but helping others, then this is a really great entry into that, because it does allow you to help out massively for ships that run out of fuel, ships that have minor damage, ships that run out of ammo and any of these ships could be stuck out in deep space. They can call for your help, and you can go out there and give them just enough to get them where they need to go to. It’s sort of like the space AA or AAA for America. You call them up. They give you just enough to get to where you’re going, and then you can do your full repairs, rearm, refuel there.”

It’s also for sale as part of the early VIP optioning system. It’s $185 right now (warbond price), and it is actually scheduled to no, it won’t make it into the 3.1 alpha (thanks Dividian).

Read more

Stardew Valley multiplayer beta is due out for the spring

If you’ve long looked forward to farming with and marrying your friends in Stardew Valley, the day is inching ever closer. While the game’s multiplayer side has been delayed on multiple occasions, it’s aiming for a beta test starting this spring, so players can take advantage of all the patch features included therein. That includes playing together, new crafting features to distinguish belongings, and yes, the ability for players to marry one another instead of town residents.

No word yet on whether or not multiplayer will also allow you to have illicit marriage affairs after marrying your fellow players, but we’re going to go ahead and say that falls a bit outside of the game’s scope.

The patch will also add language support for French, Italian, Turkish, and Korean, so further players can enjoy more localized languages in addition to all of the multiplayer functionality. Again, nothing is certain quite yet, but if all goes according to plan the testing of multiplayer is just around the corner.

Comment

The Daily Grind: Which MMO is the absolute best if you’re a whale?

At the end of every year, I always do a Daily Grind on the most expensive MMO to play at that exact moment, with the implication being that expenses are bad for the average MMORPG. What I don’t think we’ve ever done is flip it around and ask which MMO is actually best for the whales. That’s what MOP reader Arsin wants to know.

“I’ve got the money to win at pay-to-win,” Arsin wrote. “What pay-to-win MMO gives me the most bang for my buck?”

I’m positive the temptation will be to point at Star Citizen or some other Kickstarter game that lets you pile thousands of dollars in for content – but that content hasn’t actually arrived and probably shouldn’t constitute bang for buck just yet. So let’s consider live MMOs only and imagine that money is truly no object. Which MMO is the absolute best if you’re a whale?

Read more

Massively Overthinking: Could bots save dying MMORPGs?

Last week, a reader named Chris, who is writing a paper on the MMO industry and revivifying sunsetted games, dropped an intriguing question into my inbox. It’s about bots – but not the sort of bots EVE Online is constantly fighting. The good kind.

“Do you think people would be interested in coming back to ‘closed’ MMO games if they were populated with AI bots instead of real players (to make them feel alive/populated)?” he asked me.

Let’s ponder that for today’s Overthinking. Certainly we’ve seen bots put to work in games like Camelot Unchained, which uses them to test massive numbers of players on the battlefield. Would you want to see them in live play? Would they help the feel of the world in ways that default NPCs simply would not? Is the AI even doable? Could AI bots take our place to make MMORPGs even better – or even to keep them viable and save them from destruction?

Read more

Allods Online outlines the upcoming Spark Talents system

Why should you stop advancing your character in Allods Online just because you’ve hit the level cap? The game’s next major update is going to let you keep advancing with the introduction of new Spark Talents. Your Spark Level is unlimited, increasing steadily as you earn more Spark Experience; each level requires an escalating amount of experience, but the rate of acquisition is also slowly improving over time.

So how do you get this experience? By doing stuff, naturally. Daily adventures, winning rated combat, completing daily quests, and several other repeatable activities earn you more experience. You can also assign rubies to talents as your level increases, unlocking bonuses to item acquisition, special toys, and of course various bonuses to stats and special abilities. Check out the full rundown if you can’t wait to level up your character, only even more now that you finished the first round of leveling.

Comment

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has a roadmap for 2018 coming soon

So what’s actually going on for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds? Most of the news we’ve heard about the game this year has been focused around jumping to more platforms or adding more anti-cheat measures, not actual balance tweaks or anything of the sort. The good news is that there does appear to be a plan, and players can rest assured that it’s going to be talked about very soon. Community manager Sammie Kang has promised players that it will be released jut as soon as the details are finalized.

Meanwhile, the game’s numbers on Steam have dropped for the first time since launch, which prompts all sorts of speculation about what might have caused the sudden drop. It could be the lack of development communication, or it could be the anti-cheat measures, or it could be the approach of the game in a localized version in China, or the mobile version of the game (also in China). It could even be coincidence. But we can all start trying to build a narrative about it now, just to occupy ourselves.

Read more

1 2 3 4 5 451