Culture & Community Category

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

WildStar previews its free-to-play loyalty reward system

Free-to-play games have a rather predictable system in place – you spend money on things and then you have them. Simple and straightforward. WildStar is doing that, yes, but it’s also giving players the opportunity to earn more things from the game simply by spending money without actually buying anything. The Cosmic Points system offers rewards to players just for buying boxed copies of the game, subscribing for a few months, and buying microtransaction currency, even before any of that currency is spent.

Rewards are arranged in a tier structure, with six total tiers available at launch. Rewards range from access to guilds and experience boosts to new cosmetic items such as mount customizations and titles. There’s even a new style of house available for those who reach the higher tiers. For a full breakdown of the first three tiers, a look at how players can earn more cosmic points, and how Signature members will earn Cosmic Points, check out the full article.

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World of Warcraft weathers an assault from the DDoS legion

Last night was not a fun time to be playing World of Warcraft. Various game servers started going offline, and while the initial statement was a bit more vague in saying that the company was looking into the “issues,” forum posts shortly confirmed that the game’s technicians were working against a DDoS attack against the game servers. Several servers were brought offline by the attack.

Regular updates were provided by the tech support team behind the game as they worked to fix the issue. At the time of this writing, most of the servers brought down are back up and functioning normally, with a handful of servers still experiencing issues that the tech team is working to fix. No indications have been given as to which group may be responsible for the attack; while significant, this can be seen as one of the smaller such attacks to hit the game.

Source: Forum thread, Status thread, Twitter via Blizzard Watch; thanks to Madda for the tip!

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The Daily Grind: Could The Secret World survive as a single-player game?

Most MMOs would make terrible single-player games by virtue of their scope and design. Take multiplayer out of it and most of us would agree that these titles would be much less for the move.

However, I can’t help but think that I’d rather see a single-player adaptation of The Secret World than to lose it forever if Funcom truly does collapse. In fact, it could make one heck of an adventure game as long as combat was retuned so that a single player could solo through the entire game. Even without the raids and dungeons, it would be a title worth preserving in a SRPG format.

What do you think? Could and should The Secret World be thinking about a single-player variant to keep the code alive in the event of the studio closing?

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The Stream Team: Giving away the SWTOR Zakuul Knight armor set

Larry breaks out solo for this Star Wars: The Old Republic stream. MJ is on vacation and out of the country (jealous), but we can still give away some items from the SWTOR Cartel Market. How about the just-released Zakuul Knight Armor set? Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s generous Stream Team brings you…

What: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Who: Larry Everett
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Enjoy the show!

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR datamining and guild building

Usually, I don’t combine two topics into one article, but these two things are important and I don’t want to go another week without addressing either one of them. Unfortunately, both of these items are also completely unrelated. I want to talk about datamining and a Massively OP guild forming on the Ebon Hawk.

First, if you’re a part of the larger Star Wars :The Old Republic community, you’ll know that there has been a large influx of leaks and datamined information about SWTOR‘s upcoming expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire. I will admit that I’m highly conflicted about datamining, in general, and in this case I believe some lines have been crossed. And I’d like to clarify my position as well as probe your thoughts.

Secondly, as I mentioned in this week’s WRUP, I’ve taken over as leader for my SWTOR guild; I’m no longer just a placeholder. And I’d like to make the guild a semi-official SWTOR guild for Massively OP, which means that Massively OP readers will be welcome to hang out with us when they jump into SWTOR.

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PlanetSide 2 has potential patch features datamined

So what’s going to be in the next major patch for PlanetSide 2? Are you going to wait for official patch notes like some kind of animal? You don’t have to live that way; PS2 fan Shaql has been eagerly mining away in the game’s data files and has uncovered several potential new features for inclusion in the game’s next major update, including resource harvesting and additional vehicles.

Naturally, datamined information does not confirm anything that will be in the final patch. But it does offer some degree of insight into what the developers are doing regardless, and it does strongly hint in a direction. There’s even an unofficial trailer for the next patch down below. Whether or not it’s an accurate picture of the next patch is still up in the air, but all this stuff is hidden in the game files for some reason, after all.

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Funcom CEO discusses missteps and the future of the company’s games

It is a very unsettling time to be a fan of Funcom‘s titles with the news that the studio is actively looking for a buyer or investor. A recent interview with the company’s CEO, Rui Casais, discusses the company’s missteps in a frank tone. Casais discusses why LEGO Minifigures Online was not the financial windfall the company had hoped for as well as how the studio plans to move forward from this point:

We haven’t always made the right decisions and we haven’t always performed the best we should. We are all well aware of that. It means we need to make significant changes to how we do things, and that’s exactly what we are working on now. We’re turning a new leaf, we have fresh, new ideas in terms of how we can become a viable, profitable business, and we have a strong desire to see them realized.

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Not So Massively: Star Citizen demos live gameplay; Dota 2 team kicks member after $6m win

Last week, Star Citizen released impressive Gamescom 2015 demo videos showing live gameplay footage of players walking around a space port and a mission to board and steal a derelict ship. The SMITE community discovered that one of the game’s loading artworks looks suspiciously similar to a piece of League of Legends concept art. Beta signups have opened for Hi-Rez Studios’ new shooter Paladins, and Splatoon got a fun new Rainmaker game mode. League of Legends started preparing to move its North American servers and its first female professional player qualified for the LCS this week.

Following its $6 million world championship victory, Dota 2 team Evil Geniuses kicked one of its winning roster. Heroes of the Storm players found that average match lengths are on the rise, and nerfs are on the way for mage hero Kael’Thas. Diablo III revealed several new set and legendary items coming in patch 2.3.0 and gave us a sneak peek at its upcoming fourth game season. Infinite Crisis also officially closed its doors for good, and Descent: Underground showed off some gameplay at a recent convention.

Read on for detailed breakdowns of the stories above and other news from the wider world of online gaming in this week’s Not So Massively, and don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed for weekly updates!

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Elite: Dangerous brings back lifetime expansion passes before Horizons

The first expansion for Elite: Dangerous is on its way, but as a buy-to-play title there’s a bit of confusion about who gets what and when. An official post on the forums breaks down the precise pricing and availability for the various options for players who do or do not own the game now depending on what you want to access; the lifetime expansion pass is back after having been removed pre-launch, albeit at a higher price point.

Some players are upset that the lifetime pass has returned and that not everyone who backed the game on Kickstarter will get the expansion for free. The official post on who gets what makes it very clear that loyalty discounts are available for those who backed the game at a high level but did not get a lifetime expansion pass, but it’s still not free. The original Kickstarter also notes that future updates to the game will be released costing money.

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Star Trek Online invites the players to help hunt down bugs

Bugs. They plague every online game, no matter how hard the designers try to hunt them down. So Star Trek Online is seeking an obvious ally in the face of bugs by employing players to help hunt down these bugs as part of the new Operational Support Team. This team will be a select group of players working with the developers to submit and resolve bugs in the game.

Needless to say, this is a volunteer position, not a paid one; it’s just away for dedicated STO players to help make the game better for everyone. By locating and trying to reliably reproduce bugs, you can be unpaired QA for your favorite game as well! That will result in a more stable game overall in the end, so if you have the time and the will, it may be worth it to volunteer.

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Sword and Bored: Offline activities

I love the idea of an online world continuing while we are sleeping or doing other activities. Many MMOs have different implementations of that, including EVE Online, Age of Wushu, and most recently Project Gorgon. So Jef and I thought it would be fun to drop that into the MMO that Mo plays.

So which offline activities are available to Mo? Well, we will find out in this week’s comic…

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Devilian spotlights the Cannoneer

How would you like to play a character who looks like a 10-year-old with a short skirt and a large cannon? If your response is that you’d like that ever so much, then the Cannoneer is the class for you in Devilian. It’s not really one of those high-concept classes, it’s a lass with a huge gun and the willingness to use that huge gun on basically anything within shooting distance.

Cannoneers choose between three skill trees – Gunslinger (instant AoEs, traps, and snares), Demolisher (debuffs), and Opportunist (traps and more traps with a side helping of surprise attacks). It’s a class with a heavy emphasis on position, movement, and mouse control. Check out the full rundown on the class on the official site.

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Heroes of the Storm shines the spotlight on Kharazim

How much do you know about the newest support character in Heroes of the Storm? If you know less than you’d like, or if you look at his name and think that that was a raid dungeon back in the first World of Warcraft expansion, perhaps you should watch a handy-dandy new video spotlighting the monk Kharazim. It’s not just a look at his lore history but a look at his abilities and the best way to play him.

Many of Kharazim’s abilities work in both offensive and defensive forms: He can dash to enemies or allies, he can heal nearby allies and buff movement speed, and he can automatically heal allies on each successful auto-attack. Check out the video below to see the monk in action.

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