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The Daily Grind: Which MMO have you revisited lately?

While it might be more exciting to check out a brand-new MMO, I find that it’s often easier and requires far less energy to return to an old favorite instead. When you know the game and its systems, getting back into it is downright comfy. It’s also interesting to see how things have changed since you last visited and if the flames of interest you used to have in that game will roar once more upon your return.

I’ve revisited several faithful friends over the past month, including Neverwinter and World of Warcraft. Sometimes when I load up these games, I feel a twinge of regret that I left them in the first place, even though it was for the best at the time (burnout is the pits).

What MMO or MMOs have you revisited lately? How did it go?

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Black Desert impressions from around the MMO blogosphere

When a new game comes out, you can play it cautious by waiting for reviews or you can roll the dice and take your chances by leaping in right as the doors open. While it’s certainly fun to be among the first in a new MMO, sometimes caution — especially when one is on the fence — is the better approach.

At Massively OP we hold to the opinion that MMOs can’t be reviewed in full but that accurate observations and relatable experiences of the current game can be shared. If you’re still trying to figure out if Black Desert is for you after reading our new column, then here is a round-up of many impressions from MMO bloggers as they suss out the game in its first week in the west.

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Battle Bards Episode 70: MMO Ambience

While loud and brash music might be what often grabs our attention, the astute soundhound will keep an ear out for beautiful low-key pieces that weave through MMORPGs. Today the Battle Bards crew dials it back to look at tracks that exude ambience in all of its forms. From Final Fantasy XIV to Chronicles of Spellborn, interesting and noteworthy ambient tracks were unearthed, dissected, and returned to the soil for future blossoming.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin Olivetti co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Player.FM.

We’ve got Episode 70: MMO Ambience for you after the break!

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League of Legends previews the abilities and strategy for Aurelion Sol

The newest addition to League of Legends has been unveiled in his totality today: Aurelion Sol, the Star Forger, more informally known to people as “a space dragon who smashes stars.” And he more or less lives up to the reputation, even if he can’t actually just smash everything with intergalactic power due to balance concerns. Instead, Aurelion Sol’s impact is felt by making his simple presence a major threat to enemies in any lane.

Most of Aurelion Sol’s damage comes from his passive ability, a trio of stars which orbit him and deal damage to enemies caught in their path. The result is that Aurelion Sol provides a sizable threat to anyone nearby, and when coupled with his ability to fly over obstacles or nurse an exploding star as he carries it to its destination, he’ll require attention almost immediately when he shows up. Check out all of the details of his ability and how to make the best use of his kit on the preview page.


WildStar posts a fan-made preview video for the Arcterra patch

Are you eager to start exploring WildStar‘s next major patch? You have to keep waiting a little bit longer. You can, however, take advantage of a sneak peek offered by fan Quontom just below. Best of all, it’s not a lengthy video, so you won’t have to stammer out an explanation to your boss about why you’ve spent the past 40 minutes watching people slowly trudge through the snow.

The video in question hits the highlights of the patch in just two minutes, giving you a picture of what to expect when the patch goes live. Check it out below the cut and get ready for all of the chilling adventures to be found therein.

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Final Fantasy XIV explores the team behind the story of Heavensward

Final Fantasy XIV continues offering players a look behind the scenes of the game’s development with a second video today. The first one explored the sound design behind Heavensward, from ambient noises to the music within the game, but today’s video is all about the story and lore behind Eorzea. It’s a big part of development, making sure that not only do you have new bosses to fight but you know what the bosses are fighting for and why you have to push past them.

The video covers both creating the main scenario questline that moves the story along and fleshing out the world around that scenario, while at the same time discussing the localization and the back-and-forth for the Japanese and English teams. Check out the full video just below if you’re interested in how the game’s setting is crafted one piece at a time.

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The SEC has charged Rhode Island corps over alleged 38 Studios fraud

It’s been several years since 38 Studios collapsed in a pile of debt without an MMO to show for all of it, but the legal train has not yet finished rolling. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that it is charging the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and Wells Fargo with defrauding investors, claiming that both organizations knew that 38 Studios required more money to finish a game but did not adequately inform would-be investors.

Three of the executives involved in the deal were also charged in the suit; two have already settled out of court, resulting in a fine and a ban from participating in further municipal securities offerings. A local news station reported Curt Schilling as saying, “I’m not involved in ANY of the crooked crap, never was.”

Whether or not these charges will stick remains to be seen; it certainly indicates that there’s more legal pointing and blaming to be done even four years after the fact.


The Division’s launch night is plagued with server (and doorway) issues

Did you expect The Division to have issues on launch night with its servers? No? Well then why not? Also, you would be wrong, as last night’s launch was accompanied with exactly the same server issues that come from every single MMO’s launch. Letting all of the players onto servers at the same time produced errors (Errors Romeo and Sierra, in this case), but UbiSoft allegedly had the servers back up and running by early morning. It remains to be seen how it will handle the launch rush this evening.

The server issues are news but not surprising news, but the door issue that the game is having is a bit less excusable. In short, the game’s doors are wide enough for one person to pass through, and players are already taking advantage of that with the game’s collision detection to set themselves up as impromptu gatekeepers. Fortunately, you can bypass these players by just continuing to push through them, but you’d think slightly widening a few doorways would have come up.


Shroud of the Avatar shows off kobold style

As players venture deeper into the underground of Shroud of the Avatar, they’re going to run into kobolds. That’s just the reality of things. But the kobolds of the game aren’t simply bags of experience to be popped – they have their own style, their own technology, and their own way of building dwellings. The most recent developer dispatch covers the style of kobolds and the look of the race’s settlements.

Kobolds utilize a variety of technology to keep their underground living spaces functional, with hydroponics to grow various fungi underground and mine cart tracks to ship supplies hither and yon. There’s plenty of community news contained within the update as well, but if you just want a slice of the world’s style, you could do worse than getting a good look at how the kobolds lead their lives. Although you might want to turn up your monitor’s gamma a bit first (kobolds do not prioritize lighting, it seems).


Indie sandbox Sacrament heads to Kickstarter next week

Indie jack-of-all-trades sandbox Sacrament is planning a Kickstarter for March 16th, according to its recent podcast.

Ferocity Unbound Core Studios developers Steeldeal, Layenem, and Kraive discuss the rewards they are planning for the game. You’ll be able to pick up a copy of Sacrament as part of the $30 tier; tiers run all the way up to $10,000, which includes a launch party and lore-writing credit. “On Kickstarter, we can’t go over $10,000,” says Steeldeal. “If you’re a publisher looking to own all the rights to the game, sorry, but this game ain’t for you.”

The studio released its first in-game footage last month. The game plans raiding, multiple forms of PvP, solo content, and a level-less character design.

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Grim Dawn is getting sweet modding tools

Grim Dawn, the Kickstarted multiplayer ARPG newly launched from early access into the state of a finished product, has big plans in store for gamers who like to tinker under the hood of their games.

“First in line [is] the game’s modding tools, based on the same tools in fact that we used to create the game,” Crate Entertainment dev Zantai told forumgoers today. “I am currently in the process of preparing documentation for them so that you can not only dive right in to creating your own worlds and modifications for Grim Dawn when the tools are released, you might even have a clue of what you are doing as you go on your way to creating grim misadventures of your very own.”

Zantai shows screencaps of the toolset’s asset manager, world editor (above), quest editor, conversation editor, and database editor. “There is much potential here and we are eager to see what players will do with these tools at their disposal,” he writes, promising more on functionality in future reveals.


Wisdom of Nym: Odds and ends from Final Fantasy XIV’s patch 3.2

I spent all of the last column talking about Final Fantasy XIV‘s most recent patch, but boy, there’s still more to talk about. Who would have seen that coming? The answer is you, probably, if you read the end of last week’s column. I said that this was exactly what I was going to do. It wasn’t subtle, either. Obviously, we’re still going to be talking about the patch and what’s going on therein.

Last week, I hit several of the big points and the stuff that I’d had a chance to experience. There’s still more stuff to discuss, though, and there’s so much patch in general that it’s going to occupy the next several weeks of my thinking at the very least. Heck, there’s at least one very obvious addition that I didn’t discuss at all last week… due, at least in part, to the fact that it’s not actually in the game yet. But it will be in the game soon enough, and I think it’s never too early to start talking about PvP.

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The Division is datamined out with a bit more Brooklyn than expected

The Division is almost here full-time, all the way live, and so forth. Don’t want to wait until tomorrow, though? You can just jump in and see everything in the game right now. Perhaps not everything, really, but avid dataminers have already mined out a huge portion of the game including audio, ability descriptions, weapons, and so forth. There are, of course, a metric ton of spoilers contained therein, so keep that in mind before you dive in and feel cheated by audio revelations you weren’t meant to see yet.

If you don’t want to see everything but still want to see something, there’s a new character creation video stashed just past the break. There’s also the revelation that Brooklyn is included in the core game, albeit just a very small portion of it for the game’s tutorial. Whether or not that means that more of Brooklyn is coming sooner rather than later remains to be seen, but fans can take heart at the fact that there’s still more in the game than had previously been known.

And if you’re confused about when exactly the game unlocks for you, you’re not alone; it’ll be a staggered launch across timezones and platforms. Fortunately, there’s a handy tool telling you when exactly you need to set your alarm.

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