Culture & Community Category

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

World of Warcraft gears up for WoW Tokens and arena championships

Can you part with real money more easily than you can part with hours of time to farm up gold in World of Warcraft? If so, you’re probably excited about the new WoW Tokens, which will work akin to EVE Online‘s PLEX as consumable items that can be sold to players for gold. While a date still hasn’t been announced, the price for the tokens has been pegged at $20, with region-wide exchanges set up to ensure that the game automatically adjusts the gold value of these items to match market demand. Those of you with more gold than real money can also benefit from this, of course; pay your gold, get your token, enjoy a month of subscription for free.

But maybe you don’t worry about that, you just want to take on the best opponents in the arena for the championship title. Good news there as well, since the game will be hosting another world championship this year at BlizzCon 2015. Qualifying rounds will be held soon, so now’s the time to start brushing up on your skills even though the convention isn’t until November.

[Source: WoW Token Coming Soon, 2015 WoW Arena Championship announcement]

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Players seek world record for longest Hearthstone turn

By setting up a chain reaction of around 240,000 arcane missiles targeting a player who cannot be killed at the moment, two players have engineered a Hearthstone turn that is currently running and will last approximately 40 hours and will hopefully net them a Guinness World Record.

The turn uses a combination of Arcane Missiles, Velen’s Chosen, Prophet Velen, and Ice Block to produce the hundreds of thousands of automated damage-dealing strikes without eliminating the second player. Until the next turn, that is, which should happen sometime on March 25th. You can watch the turn in progress live on Twitch.

[Source: PC Gamer, Twitch]

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Sword and Bored: Newbie zone

We’ve all been there: Stepping into a new game is frightening and exciting at the same time. We don’t know what to expect, especially when other players are involved.

Just like stepping out with this comic strip, it’s a scary prospect. I’m glad you guys have enjoyed it so far. Jef and I have been working really hard to make it interesting and funny for you.

So far, the comic has just been about Mo, but now we get to meet our first player characters. Now that is a scary prospect.

Our friend Mo has stepped out of the tutorial zone and is ready to take on the open world…

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite game to decompress with?

Moving is absolutely awful, as we all know, and I would be very happy to never move ever again. Once my computer was all set up and I had confirmed that the internet worked, I was happy to take a spare moment to game a little. Based on my history and my state of mind, you might assume that I picked up Final Fantasy XIV for a little while… but you’d be wrong. I opted to play some low-level World of Warcraft. All I really wanted was to decompress.

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Shroud of the Avatar talks dev events, a community app, and more

Shroud of the Avatar’s latest update is typically meaty. It features the usual footnotes related to in-game tweaks and changes as well as blurbs about a new community-driven mobile app, a chance to name streets in the game; a recap of appearances by Richard Garriott, Starr Long, and Tracy Hickman at SXSW; and details about an upcoming Ultima Online postmortem at Classic Game Fest 2015, also hosted by Long and Lord British.

[Source: Update of the Avatar #117]

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Revival says it will feature ‘graphic sex’

Those of you with sex on the brain may find the latest Revival dev post enlightening. Before we get to the bumping and grinding, though, it’s important to remember that Illfonic is building a virtual world.

“We are not a theme park game. This is a living world that moves on without you,” the devs explain. “This also means we want total and complete immersion. You won’t see ultra hot tiny women with white teeth, perfect hair, and skimpy armor running around fighting evil creatures. This isn’t realistic in the world of Revival. This is a medieval time period. It is dirty, it is gross, and the people are gross within it.”

So gross, in fact, that things like “taking a shit, pissing, having sex, slavery, serial killing abilities, and more” will be in-game activities. Illfonic says that you can have “graphic sex” in Revival, and characters with healthy sex lives will have “strong perk bonuses.” As for the deed itself, it’s a cooperative minigame with appropriate animations that continues as long as both parties can “maintain.”

Would you like to know more? Come on, be honest!

[Source: Blog Update #18; thanks Paganrites!]

[Please note that the comment section hereunder is really, truly NSFW.]

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One Shots: Memories of those long lost

Sometimes we start silly, and sometimes we start weird, but today we’re going to start somber and reflective. Reader Becca made a discovery that touched upon the passing of real-life players, which I’ll let her explain.

“I recently joined a new guild in EverQuest II and was checking out its wonderfully decorated hall,” she sent in. “I came across a cemetery — which is fairly common in guild halls — except when I clicked on the player written book, I found it was actually an area dedicated to some of their members who had passed. It was incredibly touching as I also lost a gaming friend last year and a ‘feelsful’ reminder of the wonderful communities we have in MMOs.”

Enjoy your brief trip to a western MMO because from here on out it’s going to be all eastern titles, all the time. Well, at least for this week.

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The Daily Grind: Did you play Cabal Online?

I’ve got a question. It’s not a burning question, mind you, but it’s one I’ve been meaning to ask for a few days now. The question is: Did you play Cabal Online?

Now, before you look at me like that, let me explain. Cabal II is a thing, which means that someone — perhaps even many someones — played Cabal Online. But I’ve never seen or heard from any of these players, and it’s not a game that’s referenced in our comments or on any of the MMO forums I frequent.

It’s probably just my bias showing, but Cabal and its sequel are examples of those oddly distant MMORPGs that I know are out there but that seemingly exist in some sort of bizarre netherworld alongside Aika and ArchLord and dozens of others. But I’m rambling. Did you play Cabal? If not, do you know anyone who did?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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The Daily Grind: How important are different body types in MMO character creation?

I know it’s a pain for the art team to have to figure out how to get gear and weapons to fit different shapes, but I will come out and say that it having the option to select a body size is very important to me. Even if it’s just to make my character a little rounder, a little shorter, or a little stranger, the shape of my avatar’s body is as much a part of my connection with him or her as the face.

Some MMOs provide a wonderful range of body customization, some a nominal effort, and some none at all. I loved how City of Heroes would let you be this teeny tiny pixie or a mobile boulder of a person depending on your preference (and the hero’s theme, of course). Such variety in the world felt more real to me than carbon-copy bodies that we get elsewhere.

How important are different body types to you in MMOs?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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The Secret World begins #IAMTSW contest series

The Secret World’s forum game is finally upon us, and as promised, it looks to be a doozy. Funcom will be running several weeks of contests under the banner of #IAMTSW to cater to different skills and interests among the community, and over 35 player groups have signed up to host prizes for the winners along with the studio’s own rewards.

“[The contest series] is a way for us, as a community, to recognize the great players that comprise The Secret World player base,” the team explained. “In addition to giving away cool prizes, we’re also showing the world what you can create — be it an audio file, cosplay, PvP, RP, and more.”

The first round of the contest series will be focused on audio recordings. Players are encouraged to record themselves discussing why they love TSW and post it on the forums.

[Source: Contest overview, FAQ, prizes, rules, the audio round]

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EverQuest Next opens up the Qeynos Foundation Museum contest

EverQuest Next is getting ready to lay the groundwork for the city of Qeynos, and the design team is turning to Landmark to make that happen. Players can now take part in a contest to help craft the Qeynos Foundation Museum, with winning entries promised a permanent space on an island for others to visit and a potential place within Qeynos once EverQuest Next goes live.

The contest thread contains several design templates and suggestions for players to ensure that their designs meet both the visual and practical requirements of the setting for each of the given Qeynos districts. Submissions are open until April 5th, and there’s no limit to how many submissions a given individual may make. So if you want your architecture to make a permanent mark on Norrath, jump into Landmark and start crafting those voxels like you mean it.

[Thanks to Dean for the tip!]

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WoW Factor: The design slide from start to present

After more than a decade of operation, a curious thing has happened to World of Warcraft: It’s circled back around on an awful lot of its design principles, not in the sense that Warlords of Draenor is only a hop and a skip away from the game’s original incarnation, which is demonstrably untrue, but in the sense that a lot of what has changed over that original incarnation has slowly wound up coming back to the same place.

This is something that I think has been cycling around for a while, due in no small part to the simple fact that designers are people too, and the people designing WoW are big fans of the game’s original design without understanding the iterative improvements that happened over the years. Whether or not these changes are good or bad depends on individual taste, but it’s educational insofar as understanding why the game is what it is now.

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Trion says it ‘missed the mark’ with ArcheAge promotion

Yesterday’s revelation that Trion was handing out significant gifts to former ArcheAge players to entice them to return to the game — gifts in some cases worth $100 — didn’t sit well with current subscribers; some of them even started a petition to demand that Trion grant them the same gifts. Last night, Trion admitted that it “missed the mark” with this promotion and is currently discussing how best to rectify the situation now and in the future. Producer Khrolan penned this explanation on the official forums:

I’d like to be transparent about what’s happening with our recent win-back program to encourage returning players and what we’re doing for our active ArcheAge community.

It’s our job to continually evaluate what we can do to stimulate the health of ArcheAge. Part of this process is to bring new folks into the game and also find ways to re-engage players who contributed to the game in the past and may be interested in playing again. We’ve seen success with folks coming back to the game with the release of Secrets of Ayanad and wanted to reinforce this trend.

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