Culture & Community Category

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

WRUP: Eorzean power couples edition

Usually, my introduction to our weekly What Are You Playing feature is a testament to the things I find funny. It’s not meant to make a great deal of sense, and in fact in those cases I usually try to back off if it feels like I’m piecing together too much of a narrative or something. Other times, I just have a really nice picture of my character and her wife in Limsa Lominsa and I decide that I just want to use that as the header without any larger joke.

It’s a good picture, that’s all. I think they look like they’re posing for a movie poster.

Anyhow, you probably know what I’m playing (because it’s always the same things) but you don’t know what the rest of the Massively Overpowered staff is playing. You can find that out down below. You can tell us what you’re playing in the comments, too! We find that stuff genuinely interesting.

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The Daily Grind: The best MMO ever will be announced tomorrow

Tomorrow, it will happen.

Tomorrow, the curtains will be pulled back and the greatest MMO ever will be announced. Millions will gasp. Thousands will swoon. Pre-orders will be swamped. Competitors will quake in their crocs.

Tomorrow, we will discover what this incredible game will be. It will be everything you have ever wanted in an MMO, and it will be perfect. It will please not only you but the larger internet community. It will be an instant hit and endure for decades to come.

But we don’t want to wait until tomorrow, so why don’t you tell us right now what this game will be?

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UK authorities arrest teens with suspected Lizard Squad ties

Variety reports that British authorities have arrested six teenagers connected to Lizard Squad and suspected of playing a role in 2014’s Xbox Live and PlayStation Network attacks. The UK’s National Crime Agency tracked down six males ranging from 15 to 18 years of age who purchased DDoS-enabling software using bitcoins in an attempt to remain anonymous.

The NCA said that the individuals launched DDoS attacks against gaming companies, e-retailers, a national British newspaper, and a school. While the organization did not identify the affected companies, Variety cites unnamed sources linking the group to the Sony and Microsoft attacks.

Source: Variety


Leaderboard: Which MMO devs would you like to see in an epic rap battle?

Sometimes the MMO industry is so absurd that all we can do is laugh at it. OK, not sometimes, most of the time, and especially when the names Chris Roberts and Derek Smart appear in the same news article. Fortunately, MassivelyOP commenters have a good sense of humor, and today’s Leaderboard is shamelessly inspired by Ghostmourn, who recently suggested that Roberts and Smart settle their differences in an epic rap battle of history.

Frankly I’d pay a lot of money to see that, but are there any other dueling dev duos who should pick up a pair of mics and throw down? Vote after the cut!

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Marvel Heroes brings out War Machine, updates Cable, and teams up with Carnage

Much like the comics it’s based upon, Marvel Heroes is always moving forward and changing. For example, the game has just revealed its level 52 review of Cable, updating that ’90s comic poster boy with a new set of abilities, better effects, and better balancing. If you’re not into a telekinetic man with guns, of course, you could just play an armored man covered in guns with the addition of the aptly named War Machine, or you could pay homage to a different part of the ’90s by teaming up with Carnage of all the characters in the world.

The game has also updated its S.T.A.S.H. system and added in a new costume for Cable based on his Marvel NOW! appearance. If you’re wondering how you’re going to pay for all of this stuff at once, there’s a sale for the game running this weekend, so you have a whole bunch of new toys to play with and the chance to get it just a little bit cheaper.

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EverQuesting: Can EQII’s paid prisons keep problem players in their place?

Huh. That sentiment pretty well sums up those days when despite thinking you’ve heard or seen it all, something pops up that takes you by surprise, something you never would have expected. EverQuest II just recently pulled that off with its latest announcement of a separate prison server for all the marauding miscreants. The news has actually been quite thought-provoking; I personally am still not quite sure what to think about this development. Upon first hearing about it, my opinion didn’t immediately polarize one way or the other. Instead, I’ve been pondering it from various angles. Is the idea the best thing since sliced bread or the heralding of the apocalypse? Is it even possible to pull off? Can paid prisons keep problem EQII players in their place and out of the hair of the rest of the population?

Producer Holly Longdale called this little endeavor an experiment, so time will tell what the actual results will be. But while we wait, we can analyze and attempt to prognosticate on this fascinating idea!

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Hi-Rez Studios CEO teases something coming for Tribes: Ascend

Tribes: Ascend has been in maintenance mode for a while now. It was never the moneymaker that SMITE proved to be, and while it hasn’t been shut down, players were told quite some time ago that it was on the back burner. But that may be changing. The studio’s CEO tweeted earlier this month that next month would bring “something new for something old,” and two further tweets tease at an upcoming reveal of information for Tribes fans.

Unfortunately for fans now eagerly sitting on the edges of their seats, a tease is all that’s provided. Several responses already suspect that the game is being shut down, but others are hopeful that the tweet earlier this month indicates good things just around the bend. Perhaps this is something we’ll find out over PAX Prime this weekend, or perhaps it will wait until early in September.

Source: Tweet 1, Tweet 2, Tweet 3; thanks to Sorenthaz for the tip!


Massively Overthinking: Making MMOs more social from the inside out

This week’s Massively Overthinking topic from an anonymous Kickstarter donor asks us to set aside our criticisms of the social environment of MMOs and figure out what we, as players, can do about it.

“We criticize MMO devs for making our MMO experience less social, but are they the only ones to blame? I think our (the players’) behaviour to others and within the games themselves has also changed. I’d like to know if you can think of ways we players could improve that situation – from behaviour, less game or guild hopping, ways to grow our friends lists – to make our MMO experience more social again.”

Is he right? Have we changed, too? And how do we solve the problem from the bottom up in an MMO genre that increasingly thinks social media shares are all the social we want and need?

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Path of Exile devs answer 187 player questions

Did you see that movie 187 starring Mace Windu? It was directed by the same guy who directed Rapa-Nui. Now that today’s film history lesson is over, I should point out that Path of Exile’s devs recently fielded 187 questions from the game’s player community. And they answered all of them, too!

As you might expect, the topics cover quite a bit of ground, from game industry employment opportunities to the possibility of upgrading from DX9 to Grinding Gear’s financial situation.

“We’re making enough to keep developing Path of Exile and to create more expansions over time,” GGG says. “Our team is currently at the largest size it has ever been. We’re actively hiring. We’d be able to work faster and to keep expanding with more funds, so please don’t stop buying those supporter packs!”

Source: Q&A


Perfect Ten: Amazing MMO cosplay

I have nothing but deep respect for cosplayers because on two levels they are performing activities that I cannot. First of all, they put together incredible outfits that must take hours and hours of painstaking research and skill (not to mention money!) to assemble. And second, they go out in public and subject themselves to a nonstop barrage of stares and pictures.

As with any other geeky field, MMOs have attracted their fair share of cosplayers over the years. Today we’re going to look at 10 amazing outfits and the people who both put them together and wore them proudly.

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Star Trek Online: Heading for a New Dawn

The last major arc in Star Trek Online meant saying goodbye to the Iconican threat that had been looming in the background of the game more or less forever. Every enemy race, ever dangerous scheme, every stubbed toe led back to the Iconicans. Most stubbed toes, anyhow. So now that the Iconicans are being consigned to the trash can of history and a new dawn is breaking over the galaxy, what lies in store for the game?

We had the chance to ask a few more questions of executive producer Steve Ricossa, and we asked about both the narrative impact of leaving behind so many years of development and the mechanical impact of introducing a major new feature with this patch, the Admirality system. The latter is a feature long requested by players, a use for the many ships that Captains outgrow over their careers. Read on to shine a little light even before the dawn hits.

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H1Z1 patch brings quality-of-life improvements and a wipe

Good news for the players of H1Z1, as the game’s newest patch allows you to enjoy a game with fixed radio textures and smaller notification fonts! And you can explore all of this completely fresh, as the most recent patch also included a wipe. Which is a little baffling, as wipes usually coincide with major game changes rather than minor quality-of-life fixes and client improvements.

Speculation in response to the patch is that the wipe was to ensure that decay on larger structures works properly, starting everyone with a fresh slate as a result. There has been quite a bit of discussion about whether this will change the game for better or worse, with players arguing that the added decay keeps higher-end players active in the game rather than giving them an excuse to be passive. You can decide which view you support for yourself, but you’ll be supporting either view in a post-wipe environment.

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Guild Wars 2 reveals the Thief elite specialization, the Daredevil

How can you make a Thief in Guild Wars 2 be even more thiefly? Perhaps you could give Thieves the ability to steal things that don’t actually exist, like your sense of self-esteem, but that would be difficult to manage from a game mechanics perspective. No, a better option would be to make the Thief even more mobile and flexible on the battlefield, which is exactly what the new Daredevil elite specialization will bring to the class in Heart of Thorns.

It’s clear just from the screenshots that the Daredevil liberally employs a stick for hitting people and jumping on. This sums up the specialization in a way, though, with a definite emphasis on mobility and enhanced dodge rolls. You can find out more on the official diary about what the specialization is capable of, and you’ll be able to play with the elite specialization when the game’s next beta weekend opens up in early September.

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