Culture & Community Category

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

One Shots: Welcome to the party, pal!

“You have to love randomly running across a band when you enter a building in Bree,” reader Yrys said in conjunction with this picture from Lord of the Rings Online.

I have to agree. Players congregating to perform music, put on plays, referee games, or otherwise doing mass social activities that aren’t revolving around murdering giant beasts always brings me to a screeching halt in MMOs, for these are almost always worth checking out.

It’s a virtual party today in One Shots! Grab some of those delectable colors, take a tall drink of perspective, and party like it’s 1999 and there are only three MMOs on the market!

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The Daily Grind: What MMO do you doubt you’ll ever play?

I never cared about EverQuest. The first game came out before I was even remotely interested in an online game, and the sequel wasn’t World of Warcraft, so I wasn’t there on the ground floor. Thing is, people have told me that there are things I would enjoy about the aforementioned sequel, and I believe them, but at this point I have a large enough number of games and enough stuff to do in general that odds are near-absolute I’ll never actually play it.

I suspect we all have games like that, ones that we never played before and don’t have enough of a reason to try now, even if we’re curious about them as a whole. Maybe you just slightly missed the train for Star Wars: The Old Republic and feel you can’t dive in now, maybe you just didn’t ever find that spare weekend to try Lord of the Rings Online, or maybe you don’t own a console and have too much to do even if Destiny ever releases on PC. So what MMOs do you doubt you’ll ever play regardless of their potential merit?
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WRUP: Foxman edition

How did we get here? This place is crawling with too many games. Smells like ozone. I never thought we’d be here for this long. We’ve survived shutdowns of games, the site shutdown, crowdfunding, commenters, personal crises, even that stupid hurricane. How many different ways can you get someone to sit in front of a computer for hours, weeks, months at a time?

Lots, apparently. Maybe we should have written that screenplay about the sassy robot.

It doesn’t matter, though; you’re the original. A big-shot writer, remember? You can fly! Or at least you can write about people who know how to fly. So the next time you type “What Are You Playing” and ask the community to respond to all of the stuff the Massively crew is getting up to over the weekend, it’ll light up a million monitors.
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The Daily Grind: What are your favorite MMO NPC quotes?

“You are wrinkly manager man. It’s your job to be old and die so we can learn and be sad. Also you pay for gas.”

I love The Secret World’s Nassir so much. I declare that Funcom’s next spin-off game needs to be a road trip with Nassir and Said getting into wacky situations and spouting off more terrific one-liners.

Anyway, today’s discussion is all about the MMO quotes that totally made your day, whether they were written or spoken. What are your favorites?

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Leaderboard: Do you like MMO developer livestreams?

I’m not a big fan of livestreaming. I get why it’s popular: people gravitate to magnetic gaming personalities the same way they gravitate toward likable television talking heads. Personally, though, I’ll just play games myself rather than watch — and listen to — other people play them.

While developer livestreaming is a different beast, I don’t care for it, either, mainly because it forces me to sit through an hour’s worth of awkwardness in order to hear the one piece of info that interests me. I prefer developer blogs, diaries, patch notes, and forum posts because they don’t waste as much of my time!

What about you, MOP readers? Do you like developer livestreams? If so, why? If not, why not? Vote after the cut!

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Heroes of the Storm championships are live this weekend, with more championships coming at BlizzCon

Which team in the North American region is best at playing Heroes of the Storm? You can find out this weekend with the American championships for the game. Eight teams enter as competitors, but only one will emerge victorious. If you can’t make it to Las Vegas to watch the events live on Saturday and Sunday, you can watch the official stream on the game’s Twitch channel, with streams starting at 1:00 p.m. EDT both days.

This championship serves as the prelude to the BlizzCon world championships, which will be kicking off for HotS as well as Hearthstone, StarCraft II, and World of Warcraft during the week of October 28th. The best teams from this competition are the ones that will be representing the region in the final contest of skill, so there’s all the more reason to keep your eyes peeled this weekend.


TERA holds a week-long piratical event

Talk Like a Pirate Day, for those of you unfamiliar with the point, is the day of the year when it’s entirely appropriate to behave like a caricature of pop culture’s distorted idea about naval privateers. It’s also a day that TERA is embracing with vigor with its pirate-themed week running until September 22nd.

So what sort of piracy can you get up to? Pirate-themed items are all half-price in the game’s microtransaction store through the week, so you can look the part. You’ll also be automatically made to look the part in the Corsairs’ Stronghold battleground with a pirate or ninja costume (ninjas being recognized as the natural enemy of pirates for reasons unknown to man). Last but not least, loot drops in the Shattered Fleet dungeon are doubled, so you can pick up additional booty along the way.


Grab a Gigantic beta key from Massively OP and Motiga (All gone!)

Gigantic isn’t exactly an MMO, a MOBA, or an FPS: It’s somewhere in between, with incredible stylized graphics, gorgeous art, and an impressively enthusiastic studio behind it.

Wanna take it out for a spin? Be one of the first 50 folks to snag a key in our giveaway today and you can jump right into the game’s closed beta, which got underway just a few weeks ago. Onward to the giveaway!

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Skyforge gets invaded by robots, expands the Ascension Atlas, and holds a race

The world of Aelion in Skyforge can’t stop being invaded for two minutes, it seems. Mechanoids are invading, and you know that means smashing a whole lot of robots to ensure the safety of the world’s inhabitants. Being a deity is a lot harder than it looks, apparently. The good news is that you’ve got an edge in doing so with the expansion to the game’s Ascension Atlas, adding in Vectors and Nodes of Destruction, Balance, and Creation to fine-tune your stats.

Players also have the opportunity to take part in a new racing event, the Grand Prix, which has prompted some consternation from players due to the purchases involved in playing competitively. If you want to see all of this stuff on display without having to log in, the game’s development team is also hosting a livestream at 2 p.m. EDT today, showing off the most recent update for everyone to see.

Source: Mechanoid Invasion, Livestream, Ascension Atlas, Grand Prix; thanks to Ekl for the tip!


Final Fantasy XIV is creating its first European data center

Final Fantasy XIV is not a game with action combat, but you can still be pretty thoroughly screwed whilst trying to play the game if your connection is bad. This has been a major problem for European players, since the game’s server clusters are located in North America and Japan. So European players will likely be happy to know that the game is moving one of its data centers to Europe, allowing players on the Chaos server cluster to have a more local and less laggy play experience.

The down side is that players on those servers will be experiencing several days of downtime; players who had characters on those worlds before today and have an active subscription will be compensated for lost play time, which is expected to be anywhere between three to five days. Players on those servers will also be given the option to transfer off for free. You can check out all of the the details on the official site, but the practical upshot will hopefully be a more pleasant play experience for European players.


The Daily Grind: Should MMO studios host their own forums and wikis?

Massively OP Kickstarter donor DPandaren wants to talk about something every MMO player likely uses but most of us take for granted: forums and wikis.

“Do lore forums actually matter when there are first- and third-party lore wikis?”

I suspect DPandaren is referring to Daybreak’s unpopular March decision to close down a ton of its forums, including its lore forum, and tell people to just go post on Reddit. But I think the question can apply to all forums and wikis — how much do we really need them? Who should host them? Is it really that important for studios to do it themselves?

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Darkfall Unholy Wars adjusts its economic rebalance

At times, it seems like the entire history of Darkfall is one major adjustment after another. It hasn’t been long since the game completely reworked and rebalanced its economy to make rare resources harder to acquire, after all. The game’s most recent small patch isn’t rewriting all of that, though; it’s tweaking values carefully so that players will have more ready access to resources through the rare mineral golems and various monsters in the world.

This patch also adds in some hotbar improvements to make said bars easier to use. Last but not least, two new Chaos Outposts have been introduced with high-end crafting facilities and no protections for players, which means lots of opportunity coupled with plenty of risk. Check out the changes for yourself with the patch notes.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Sendog for the tip!


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