Culture & Community Category

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

One Shots: A new hope

Welcome back to One Shots, Massively OP’s weekly salute to excellent and interesting player screenshots! It feels good to be in our new home and able to post larger pics.

When we sounded the evacuation alarm from Massively, I forgot to rescue the remainder player screenshots from our One Shots email account. Fortunately, our EIC Bree was of a much more sound mind and grabbed them for me so that we could bring them over to the new site with the continuation of this column.

Our very first screenshot here is from longtime reader Dirty Klingon, who snapped this pic in Final Fantasy XIV: “My bro is a 1337 pro top d4wg, and when I play he runs me through dungeons. During one such dungeon run, I caught a duo-selfie with him, which he absolutely hates.”

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite winter zone?

In the northern parts of the US, we are currently in the grips of a particularly brutal winter. Snow, ice, frostbite, polar bear attacks, and tauntings by the seasonally superior Canadian military are all a part of life these days. And as much as I’m not a fan of continually shoveling my driveway, I have to say that I am a sucker for a good winter… zone in an MMO.

Forochel in Lord of the Rings Online comes to mind as one of my favorite. It’s not your typical Alpine ski resort zone, but rather a desolate, above-the-Arctic-circle landscape dominated by freezing cold, an icy bay, and the Northern Lights. Every time I’m there, it makes me feel as though I’ve truly traveled to a far-off land.

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EVE Fanfest to feature Worlds Collide server competition

Planning a trip to Iceland for this year’s EVE Online Fanfest? If so you’ll probably want to look at CCP’s latest blog post, which focuses on what there is to see and do when you’re not watching panels or consuming vast quantities of alcohol.

One of the main events is Worlds Collide, a PvP contest that pits pilots from EVE’s original server, Tranquility, against capsuleers from Serenity, the Chinese server launched in 2012. If you can’t make the trip, you can watch the competition on Twitch, and all active players from the winning server will receive a Victorieux Luxury Yacht.

[Source: CCP blog post. Our original article conflated the servers Serenity and Singularity and has been corrected with thanks to reader Seamus.]

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EverQuesting: Daybreak, SOE Live, and the resurrection of Fan Faire

It’s been quite a week! And not just for Massively Overpowered. Right as our original site was sunsetting, SOE announced that it was bought out and would be doing business under the new moniker Daybreak Games Company. Talk about shaking things up! Breaking free of Sony and going under the umbrella of an investment firm is just a wee bit of a change, and it is one that understandably had players nervous about future of the studio’s games. What will happen to the older titles like EverQuest and PlanetSide? What about those in development like EverQuest Next and H1Z1? CEO John Smedley assured players via Twitter that all the games will continue on. Time will tell. However, there was one immediate casualty in this whole changeover: SOE Live. And then in a huge punch to the fan gut came many more casualties in the form of multiple dev layoffs.

What will this all mean for players? As far as the convention side of things, a group of fans refuse to let 2015 go by without an annual gathering of SOE Daybreak Games players and is organizing a summer get-together. But will we even have games to celebrate come summer?

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The Daily Grind: Do you find some MMOs more relaxing to play solo?

You know, folks, I am all about getting my dungeon ride on in Final Fantasy XIV. I’m a roleplayer, to boot. I like being social in my games. And yet when I find myself playing World of Warcraft, I find myself actively preferring a bit of solitude far more often than I’d expect. This isn’t meant as a commentary on that game’s player culture or anything of the sort; I just like to have more stretches of not doing dungeons, just quietly doing my own thing and playing out the events in my character’s head.

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The EFF wants to exempt some emulated game servers from copyright laws

How many times have you dusted off an old game you used to love to play online, only to find that the official servers have long since been shut down? It’s an unfortunate fact that unprofitable online games frequently get the axe, often leaving it to the games’ communities to try to put together an unofficial server. Dozens of early multiplayer games now have emulated servers and even player-made patches, all in an effort to keep the games we love alive, but technically those servers are breaking copyright law.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation announced this week that it’s pushing for changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that would make it legal for players to run their own emulated servers in cases of a game’s abandonment by developers. The proposal would also make it legal to eliminate any server-based DRM in lawfully acquired copies of a game in cases where the DRM server has been shut down.

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Former PS2 producer: ‘Don’t hate on Daybreak’

After yesterday’s news it’s understandable that fans of Daybreak Games‘ software lineup might be somewhere between nervous and upset. Former PlanetSide 2 producer David Carey took to Reddit yesterday to caution against some of those feelings, stating that neither Daybreak nor Columbus Nova (the investment group backing the former Sony Online Entertainment) deserves the ire or animosity of players. Carey explains that far from being the villains of the piece, both groups are simply doing what they should be, upsetting though it may be.

“The fact is, there are no (or at least, extremely few) permanent gaming jobs,” says Carey, saying that while several people lost their jobs, many of them will be in new jobs in very short order. High turnover is simply one of the perils of the industry, he argues; Columbus Nova and the shakeup of what was once SOE was necessary, something that the ur-studio had needed for quite some time. He goes on to state that if you enjoy the games, you should continue subscribing and playing rather than place blame at a company’s feet.

[Source: Reddit, Via: EQ2Wire]

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The Daily Grind: What do you think about Daybreak Game Company?

You know, for some reason we didn’t have a whole lot of discussion about the Sony Online Entertainment buyout and name change when it first happened. We posted about it, but we never had a chance to ask our readers about it or have a round of staff opinions. That reason probably had something to do with our own huge and sudden changes that sort of forced their way to the forefront, so we’re hoping you can forgive us for that lapse in discussion. The world is a crazy, crazy place sometimes.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV endures

Don’t call it a comeback; I’ve been here for years.

Last week, I wrote a farewell, and I wasn’t happy to be doing so. I knew that I would still be playing and thinking about Final Fantasy XIV, but I also knew that I was done writing about it for the same reason that everyone else was done. I certainly didn’t imagine that a week later I’d be preparing a new column with a new name and a new lease on life on the same topic after you wonderful folks smashed the hell out of our Kickstarter goal.

But here we are, and I’m happy to be here again. I’ve got a new column, I’ve got a new lease on life, and it seems that today is the best possible time to talk about Final Fantasy XIV‘s fantastic endurance, and not just how it’s managed to take a game that was widely panned and bring it back as a surprise hit; that much is a given. No, I’m talking about how the game keeps winning converts, entrancing new people, and pulling players back time and again.

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The Daily Grind: What’s your one wish for Massively Overpowered?

Just over two weeks ago, I found out that Massively.com was being shuttered along with the rest of the Joystiq network. It’s been a convoluted and crazy road to get to the words you’re reading right now on the brand-new Massively Overpowered, but thanks to you, it’s happening, and here we all are, talking about MMORPGs and doing that thing we used to do.

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