Culture & Community Category

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

An Ingress convention could happen in 2015

Augmented reality MMO Ingress could be heading for its own official convention this year, thanks to the mobile game’s popularity and growth.

Google’s Niantic Labs recently said that a 2015 convention is “likely.” The studio has already been holding player meet-ups in various cities, with a Tokyo gathering drawing 5,000 people. Ingress has been downloaded 10 million times since its launch in late 2013.

The game requires players to go to physical locations in the real world and claim portals in order to control territory. If you’d like a good overview of Ingress, check out the video after the jump.

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Sword and Bored: Health buff

Mo is off to a good start in his MMO. He’s picked his class; he has some sick armor. But before heading out into battle he’s got to buff himself up. What better way to do that than a good hearty breakfast?

This week, Jef and I would like to give a shout out to our editor-in-chief, Bree Royce, for lending her handwriting to the comic strip. As any graphic artist knows, the perfect lettering is really hard to find. Usually, we end up settling on the closest one to what we envision, but it’s rarely perfect. This week, I asked Bree to write out some words and letters on paper, scan them, and send them to me. It turned out perfectly. So the font that you see in Sword and Bored is based off Bree’s own handwriting, and Jef and I love it. Thanks, Bree.

Now on to the comic strip…

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO was better than you expected?

I’ve been dabbling in Ascent: The Space Game here lately, even though I keep telling myself that I’m done with early access titles. It’s definitely indie in terms of visuals, but the gameplay is strangely compelling, and I love the fact that it already lets you land on planets and fly through seamless atmospheric transitions unlike its high-budget genre brethren.

What about you, Massively readers? Which MMO was better than you expected?

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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One Shots: A clear commute

Sometimes simple can be beautiful. I don’t know what it is, exactly, that attracts me to this week’s title pic, but I think its simplicity is a huge draw. If you’ll pardon the expression, it is what it is, and even though I don’t much care for dragons, I like the setup of this shot.

This comes to us courtesy of Evan, who took it while airborn in World of Warcraft. “During the end of an expansion lull, I usually wind up flying through old zones reminiscing with about three pairs of rose-colored glasses layered on top of one another,” he said. “Caught this at one such moment.”

Well it’s clear flying through our weekly screenshot commute, although someone may have spilled a truckload of reptiles on the expressway. Be warned!

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The Daily Grind: What’s Funcom’s secret project?

When Funcom‘s Joel Bylos casually announced this week that he was moving on from his role as game director of The Secret World to a “new initiative within the company,” I got worried, especially once it became clear that he also wasn’t being directly replaced. But when he told Age of Conan players that he’d “been asked to work on something that is super exciting and totally not something [he is] allowed to talk about,” my worry turned to curiosity.

I didn’t have the impression that Funcom was doing spectacularly well after its recent quarterly report, so it hadn’t occurred to me that the studio might be working on something shiny and new. Speculation that Anarchy Online 2 might be in the works is running rampant.

What do you think? What’s Funcom’s secret project?

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 Game Archaeologist: Ten more facts of EverQuest life circa 1999

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you several stories from EverQuest veterans about what life in the game was like back then. Since the EverQuest we have now would be near-unrecognizable to 1999-era players, I felt it was important to preserve these tales for future generations of MMO gamers.

But EverQuest being EverQuest, players couldn’t just stop with a mere handful of accounts! Thus, I saved several of those submitted to share with you today. What were more facts of life that Norrathians had to deal with back then? Find out!

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The Secret World begins its epic forum game with a plea for help

A new forum game is afoot over at The Secret World, as one of the in-game characters, the Stationmaster, posted a cry for help with a mysterious MP3 attachment.

“This message came through today,” he wrote. “Garbled. Can’t make much sense of it. There was a number attached: 122635. Put on your best pondering hats. Give us a help. Yes?”

Funcom announced last week that it had been preparing an epic forum game for its fans. The community is already hard at work trying to figure out the meaning behind the number and the sound file. Listen to the message after the break and see if you can lend a hand!

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The Daily Grind: When’s the last time an MMO made you laugh?

There are few things that I love more in gaming than to have a genuine laugh-out-loud moment. Maybe something silly and stupid happens in a game (such as a Guild Wars 2 glitch that made dead sharks float above land), maybe it’s clever or weird quest writing, or maybe it’s just the game’s cheekiness coming through.

Kingdom of Loathing got more than a few chuckles from me for its absurdist grammarian humor, but I am equally fond of the black humor of Fallen Earth and The Secret World.

So cynicism aside, when’s the last time an MMO made you laugh?

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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EverQuest Next ditches lore and general discussion forums

Assuming that there will be a wealth of lore and backstory in EverQuest Next, you won’t be finding out about it on the official forums.

Daybreak announced yesterday that it is shutting down both the lore and general discussion forums for EverQuest Next as part of its “corporate realignment.” This leaves the upcoming fantasy title with only three sub-forums on the official site: News, Style Guides, and Workshop, only the last of which allows players to start threads. Threads in the other forums have been temporarily archived until March 31st for players to copy if so desired. Two forums now reroute players directly to Twitch and Reddit.

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The Daily Grind: What constitutes an ‘action combat MMO’?

In the course of organizing MOP’s new tag database, I found myself looking for input on games to include in the “action combat” tab. I had TERA, Age of Conan, DC Universe, and Vindictus, of course. “Don’t forget WildStar and The Secret World,” Justin said. “Haha, but seriously,” I laughed. “Seriously,” he said. And thus began a fascinating discussion in which we discovered that what we thought was a black-and-white category is actually not an easy call at all.

See, I think of WildStar’s combat as being only slightly more actiony than Guild Wars 2’s, which I’d never classify as an action-combat MMO like TERA or Vindictus. But for him, WildStar’s combat is very actiony and Guild Wars 2’s straddles the line. I think that I am mentally binning the games into “twitch” vs. “busywork,” but then I’m weird.

So what do you think constitutes “action combat” in an MMO? How much actiony combat does an MMO need to boast before you’d classify it an “action combat MMO”? And what other MMORPGs are contenders?

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: Which MMO has the worst patcher?

I went to patch my Elder Scrolls Online install yesterday. In and of itself, that’s not really news. Fifteen hours later, though, it’s still patching, and while that may not be news either, it’s frickin’ annoying. I mean, seriously guys? How can your patcher be this slow?

And while we’re chatting, how can you possibly need 20 GB on my hard drive for a single patch?

Anyhow, there are my ranty rhetorical questions for today. What about you, Massively readers? Which MMO patcher is the worst and why?

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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Leaderboard: Heavensward vs. Heart of Thorns

Two big MMO expansions are on tap this year, and you know what that means, right? Yep, Massively OP is going to pit them against each other in our Leaderboard column for fun and profit page hits.

In this corner, we’ve got Heavensward, the first expansion for Square’s Final Fantasy XIV. And in the other corner, we’ve got Heart of Thorns, ArenaNet’s first expansion for Guild Wars 2. Which is your favorite?

Vote after the cut!

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