Culture & Community Category

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

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen gets a new website and new team members

It would be fair to say that Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen has had something a checkered development history, but it seems to be back to full steam ahead with a brand-new website. Said site features a great deal of concept art, an overview of the game’s races and classes, and of course official forums for would-be fans of the game.

The studio has also upped its membership by a bit with a few lost members returning to the development team and some new members coming on board. This coincides with public appearances by COO Brad McQuaid and other team members at Gaming Insiders and Cloud Gaming Summit, discussing both the state of the game and the development process in Unity.

Source: Official Site, News; thanks to Reht and Matt for the tip!


The Daily Grind: Will you play Bless or Black Desert?

I’m looking forward to both Bless and Black Desert. I typically like Korean MMOs, for one thing, and for another they’re both gorgeous in terms of world and character design. While Black Desert seems more up my alley thanks to its open world and sandbox elements (and assuming that those traits survive the Westernization process), Bless looks like it could scratch the themepark itch that I get from time to time.

What about you, MOP readers? Do you have any plans to play Bless or Black Desert? Why or why not?

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Choose My Adventure: Pointy sticks and lunacy in Trove

Hello, friends, and welcome once again to Choose My Adventure. This week, our time with Trove is drawing to an end, but we’re not finished just yet. When we last met (a whole two weeks ago), I gave y’all the opportunity to vote on which class I should unlock with my hard-earned cubits to finish off this run.

Though Tomb Raiser and Boomeranger — the two classes that were not available as starting choices — put up a valiant effort, pulling in 30% and 12% of the vote, respectively, it should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that the far-and-away winner of the contest was the Lunar Lancer, which pulled in a solid 58% of the total votes. The most recent addition to Trove’s already impressive roster of classes, the Lunar Lancer, was added to the game just last week, and I — like many of you, apparently — was quite eager to find out what new goodies it brings to the table. As fortune would have it, that’s exactly what I did.

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Massively Opinionated: Which MMO would be the most innovative if launched today?

MMO players are always concerned about innovation. Who doesn’t want his game to be the latest and greatest? Inspired by two of our Patreon supporters, Duane and Viking, this week’s Opinionated panel discusses innovation and its application in the realm of MMORPGs.

On this episode, host Larry Everett has invited two veteran MMO pundits to the debate: Troy Blackburn from Gamebreaker and Jason Winter from MMOBomb.

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Divergence Online adds consensual PvP server stretch goal

Yesterday, we published a detailed interview with Ethan Casner, one of the devs behind Star Wars Galaxies-inspired Divergence Online. The response was more or less as expected: a comment section debating the merits and flaws of its open PvP system, something SWG very definitely didn’t have. More than one of you was heard to say you’d be interested in the sandbox (and its crowdfunding) but for those plans for open PvP.

And by “was heard to say,” I literally mean heard. Stained Glass Llama has announced that in response to this feedback, it will add a stretch goal for its Indiegogo campaign that if met will enable a second server with a TEF-based (temporary enemy flag) consensual PvP server akin to SWG’s. The stretch goal is $20,000, $5000 more than this particular campaign’s overall goal.

Casner explained the decision to our commenters:

“As much as I don’t consider myself a businessman, I’m also not a complete idiot, and with as many people essentially saying “I would contribute but.. open-pvp”, it would be silly to completely discount the potential to bring in funding to the game that it definitely needs, while simultaneously proving to those new to the project that here is a developer who listens to the community. […] We round-tabled about it for a good part of today, reading comments, spitballing ideas and figuring up what all would be entailed in a hypothetical scenario where we ran two servers simultaneously. The result was that we decided to take the advice of one of your commentators, Mr Quincha, and indeed framework a stretch goal for our campaign that would, in fact, result in the creation of a secondary server with consensual (TEF) pvp.”

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Shroud of the Avatar is getting at least one novel

There’s a Shroud of the Avatar novel in the works, and it’s being credited to both developer Richard Garriott and author Tracy Hickman. Publisher Macmillan’s website lists the book’s title as The Sword of Midras, A Shroud of the Avatar Novel. The site also says that the book is the first volume of the Blade of the Avatar trilogy.

Hickman is a bestselling author of popular fantasy novels including the Deathgate Cycle and various excursions into the Dragonlance universe.

Source: Macmillan; Via: Mogsy


The Daily Grind: What details do you want to know about World of Warcraft: Legion?

World of Warcraft’s newest expansion will undoubtedly be a major topic of conversation at November’s BlizzCon. While Blizzard has unveiled the larger brush strokes of what Legion will entail, there are plenty of details yet to be revealed — and perhaps a surprise or two waiting in the wings.

If you could get an all-access pass to Blizzard and find out anything you wanted to about Legion, what details would you want to uncover? Would it be the making of the expansion, the full list of skills and talents for the new Demon Hunter class, or what the developers were thinking when they denied Ravenholdt to the Rogues?

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Global Chat: The death of hope for Pathfinder Online

Pathfinder Online might not be completely dead, but hope for it has certainly gone down the drain following the announcement of the studio’s mass layoffs and the game’s financial straits.

Blogger Lord Tridus argues that the project never really stood a chance the way that it was made: “The core problem here? This is not Pathfinder. This is an open world PvP sandbox MMO that happens to have the Pathfinder name. It’s not going to attract many people interested in Pathfinder, because the game is so far afield of what Pathfinder is about. It also won’t attract many other people based on the name, because Pathfinder as a brand doesn’t have tons of appeal outside of its playerbase.”

We’re getting our downer discussion out of the way early for this week’s roundup of interesting blogosphere posts, so stay tuned as we look more at Asheron’s Call, favorite MMO memories, and another look at Dragon’s Nest!

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TERA wants to put your artwork on its loading screens

Listen up, artists and TERA fans. En Masse wants you to submit an original piece of autumn-themed TERA artwork by Tuesday, October 13th for its Autumn loading screen contest. You could win 5,000 EMP to spend in the game’s cash shop, as well as the opportunity to see your creation displayed on the game’s loading screens along with your character and server name.

Submissions must be original art (i.e., no screenshots). En Masse will announce the winners in late October, after which it will reward both the top five entries and honorable mentions.

Source: Announcement


EverQuest axes enforced raid rotations

Daybreak is ending enforced raid rotations in EverQuest. The firm says that doing so serves the best interest of its Ragefire and Lockjaw progression server community. While the company admits that some aspects of rotation “may have increased access” for certain players and guilds, it also allowed some EQ players to exclude other players from accessing content “that they would normally be able to enjoy with a few of their friends.

Enforced raid rotations on the progression servers have been a thing since the summer, and the practice was not without controversy.

Source: Forums; thanks Bob!


Battle Bards podcast debates The Crew’s soundtrack

Battle Bards, the world’s first and only MMO music podcast, is back this week with a look at The Crew’s soundtrack. The album was composed by Joseph Trapanese, who is well-known for his work on feature films such as Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.

This high-octane score has the three co-hosts debating its merits and pitfalls, each choosing their favorite tracks to showcase. There’s also a contest for listeners to identify a snippet of MMO music to win a free game!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. It’s available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Player.FM.

Looking for the Massively Speaking podcast? We’re taking a week off due to Skype’s worldwide issues this past Monday, but stay tuned as we’ll return next week!


Skyforge shares server firsts and details the catch-up system

There’s no real winning in an MMO over the long term, but being listed as the first person to clear something on a server is something of a feather in your cap. The first groups through Skyforge‘s latest progression content have been recorded on the game’s official site, giving credit where it’s due for these players who fought their way through unknown challenges.

It is, of course, eminently possible that you aren’t up to that tier of content yourself and aren’t even anywhere near it. Would you like to catch up? Well, that’s what the game’s appropriately named catch-up system is all about. The official site also has an explanation of how that system works and how players can use the system to become more powerful that much faster. So perhaps you can be in the next batch of server firsts.


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