Culture & Community Category

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

Leaderboard: Stock MMO soundtracks vs. custom playlists

I like music. I like MMOs. I like MMO music, and really most game music in general. I don’t always listen to an MMO’s music, though. Sometimes it’s because I’ve heard it hundreds if not thousands of times already. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes it’s because it sucks. And sometimes it’s because I just want to throw on some of that down home devil music while I’m smashing space rocks or orc faces.

What about you, Leaderboard readers? Do you roll with with the stock MMO soundtrack when you play, or do you make your own? Vote after the cut.

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Massively Opinionated: Was ESO’s console release worth the wait?

The Elder Scrolls Online just launched on consoles yesterday, but the game has been riddled with controversy since its PC launch last year, so it makes for a great topic for debate.

In this week’s Massively Opinionated, our host Larry Everett invited three gentlemen from the TESO Nation Podcast to argue the worthiness of the console release of the game — and whether gamers should actually buy it. We welcome Troy Blackburn, Andrew Desmond, and Lee Enke to discuss the hot topics of ESO.

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World of Warcraft to allow flight in Draenor in a post-6.2 patch

If you had given up on flight as a lost cause in Warlords of Draenor, there’s good news. World of Warcraft‘s developers posted a new development update today explaining the team’s philosophy about flying once again while noting that players clearly do want to be able to fly.

The compromise reached is that players will be able to fly… if they work for it. In a post-6.2 patch, players who have achieved several pathfinding achievements, earned Revered reputation with the new 6.2 reputations, and collected all of the treasures on Draenor will be able to fly once again. The achievement is also account-wide, so earning it on one character will allow alts to fly as well. More details will be forthcoming, but it’s still a victory for the players extremely displeased by the removal of flight.

Source: Dev Watercooler; thanks to Jose for the tip!


Elder Scrolls Online console newbie? Bethsoft’s got a guide for you

So, how do you transition from playing Skyrim to The Elder Scrolls Online? Well, first you log on, which can be a bit of a challenge in and of itself. From there, though, you have a lot of similarities and differences from the traditional single-player offerings in the series. A new post on the official Bethesda blog offers a simple guide to playing the title even if you’ve never stepped into an online game before.

If you’ve been playing the game online for quite some time, you will be familiar with all of the changes. But if you have a friend who loved playing offline and might want to get in on the MMORPG action, you could do worse than pointing to this guide as a starting point.


Ask Mo: Why MMORPGs still need traditional chat

I dug this intriguing question out of our brimming-over letters-to-the-editor bin, and it’s particularly timely given the recent launch of Wander, notable for its curious glyph-based chat and language system. Massively-that-was reader NerdWithABigStick wrote in to ask about MMO chat, calling back the decision made by the devs of Divinity: Original Sin to shut down global chat within a few minutes of launch.

This resonated with me. The first thing I do when joining a game is seek out general chat and immediately turn it off. It’s only in the last six years or so that I’ve noticed an increase in the amount of “snark” in chat. There was definitely a time when chat was fun, helpful, and yes, even entertaining. People shared their positive excitement, and while the occasional asshole did show up, it was the exception, not the norm. That time is long gone, sadly. After working a full day at the office and signing in to a game that I am loving, the very last thing I want to do is to have that happiness and the joy of the experience ruined by reading negative remarks and armchair designer opinions full of Family Guy-style “humor” and poop-slinging. So I’ve gotten into the habit of turning those channels off, sometimes even hiding the chat window entirely.

So I keep wondering whether more game studios, particularly MMO studios, will ever embrace D:OS’s attitude? Will they ever say, “You know what, this really isn’t helping our game — or our community — at all. It’s not adding anything to the game experience or the social experience. In fact it’s detracting from both. Let’s shut it off.”

Heck, I hope not!

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TERA is getting region-locked on Steam

If you want to play TERA in Russia, you certainly can, as the game has a Russian publisher. The game is also available on Steam there. However, that’s caused a bit of an issue because the version of the game on Steam links up not to the local publisher but to the American version of the game published by En Masse Entertainment. The net result of this issue is that players in Russia and some parts of Europe will be unable to download the game from Steam starting on June 11th.

Players who already have the game downloaded will not be forbidden from playing, but deleting the game may prevent those players from re-adding the game to their Steam libraries. The official news post makes it clear that players who wish to keep playing on American servers will not be locked out and that the client may still be downloaded directly; only the ability to do so from Steam will be affected.

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


The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite unusual MMO weapon?

Maybe I’ve been around for a little too long and have become jaded at the same-old weapons that we see in every MMO, but I will jump up and shout praises out of the window of my house if I get to try out something unusual in a game.

While I never stuck with WildStar’s Medic for terribly long, I did appreciate the strange dual resonators that the class used. My Guild Wars Reaver had a wicked-looking scythe that was pretty cheeky, and I’ll forever be fond of my repeating crossbow in Dungeons and Dragons Online for its fft-fft-fft-fft rapid fire attacks.

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Reddit’s Button is over

On April 1st, Reddit’s big gag for the year was “The Button.” It was a button that started a 60 second countdown, and when someone else pressed the button, the countdown reset and started over. With no information about what happened when the button would finally tick down, what followed was… well, kind of out of control.

And now the countdown has finally run down to nothing. Guess what? Absolutely nothing happened. After two months of keeping the gag running, the community was finally out of Reddit accounts to push the button, and it ticked down to zero. You can read a full recap and marvel at the fact that a single April Fools’ Day gag managed to produce and destroy an entire community in two months. What you can’t do, though, is press the button.

Source: Kotaku


EU team disqualified from Guild Wars 2 world tournament

One aspiring Guild Wars 2 PvP team will be sitting on the sidelines when the world tournament comes to a conclusion later this year.

ArenaNet has announced that the European team Majestic Capricorns have been disqualified from the event due to misrepresentation and unsportsmanlike play: “After a thorough internal investigation it has become very clear that the players who signed up to play on the roster of ‘Majestic Capricorns’ in the European World Tournament Series Invitational Qualifiers were not the ones who actually participated in the event, violating a number of rules regarding eligibility.”

The disqualified team’s opposition will move on to the series finals instead, and ArenaNet promised to consider additional penalties against those involved in the deception.

Source: Official forums. Thanks to Siphaed for the tip!


Hearthstone teases a new mode via Twitter

When you first fire up Hearthstone, the little title screen offers you three options. That hasn’t changed and no one has really expected otherwise; you can play the main game, enter the arena, or take on a solo adventure. Of course, when the official Twitter account for the game posts an animated GIF of a fourth menu option popping into place, you start to wonder what that option will mean.

Realistically, it means a new way to play, especially since the text on the button is deliberately blank and it wouldn’t be something as simple as “Options” or “Exit.” But what will it be? We have no idea. But you can join in on the speculation yourself.

Source: Twitter via TouchArcade


The Daily Grind: Is truly dynamic content still possible in MMOs?

This morning’s Daily Grind comes to us from a Kickstarter donor at (who by the way is still linking to Old Massively! Gasp!). The donor asks one of those lovely simple questions that unravel into intriguing threads of thought:

Why do many MMO players complain about the static nature PvE content in MMOs when they are against PvP and the many non-static, interesting experiences it can bring about?

The donor is right that PvP is one way of adding non-static content to MMOs. But some players really don’t think that seeing their characters murdered is interesting and don’t really want to serve as other people’s “content” under any circumstances, dynamic or not. And frankly, gankbox gameplay has become a bit of a crutch for low-budget games that can’t afford other types of content at all. Even people who like PvP in general don’t want to see it become the only kind of dynamic content in town.

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Tweet your way to victory in Final Fantasy XIV’s Twitter chocobo race

Square is hosting a Final Fantasy XIV chocobo race… on Twitter. You can compete with thousands of FFXIV fans around the globe in an event that features a single grand prize winner and “several” smaller prize winners.

You can enter the contest at its dedicated website, and once the races begin, you can spur your chocobo toward victory by replying, retweeting, and answering “boost” questions. You can also watch a related video after the break.

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Shroud of the Avatar on mines and minigames

Having the ability to move things in a game world usually leads to player inventiveness. It’s how Shroud of the Avatar community member Bambino invented Gustball, a game in which players try to use Gust to shove a player character designated as “the ball” across a field and into a goal. It also does mean that someone has to be the unlucky soul not only picked last for a team, but picked to be the ball… hence why the developers have added an actual ball to use in the game for Release 19. Hooray for fictional in-game sports, then!

Of course, that’s not the only thing in the most recent community update for the game, which also shows off the upcoming Etceter Crag Mines through a series of screenshots. There’s also an invitation to a Release 18 postmortem discussion on June 11th and community guides to building your deck in the most recent update. Check out the full dispatch for all the community and game news you could want.


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