Culture & Community Category

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

ArcheAge patrons perturbed at Trion’s gift to former players

When’s the last time we had a good ArcheAge controversy? Actually who cares, because Trion has stepped up to the plate with a new brouhaha that’s raging on Reddit and the game’s official forums right now. In a nutshell, the firm is doing what all MMO companies do by trying to bribe former customers into being current customers.

The bribe in question is a doozy, though, and it’s ruffled quite a few feathers among those players who are currently paying for patron status. Gifts include a rare dolphin mount, valuable sunpoints and moonpoints, glider wing customizations, and more. Disgruntled ArcheAge patrons have posted a petition in protest.

[Source: Forums, Reddit; thanks Clay and Kinya!]

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Final Fantasy XI halts updates this year with one last storyline

How long should a game last? Final Fantasy XI has had an impressive run, but its glory days are indisputably past. That’s why Square-Enix has announced that the game’s active updates will be ending this year following one final main scenario, releasing during three updates in May, August, and November. The game’s service will continue “indefinitely,” and small updates to improve balance and fix bugs will still occur, but November’s update will feature the conclusion to a main scenario drawing from the game’s full history and will serve as the final large update.

PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 support for the game will be “concluding” in March 2016, allowing the developers working on the game to enhance the Windows experience of those still playing as well as improve the mobile client. Yes, the game will be getting a mobile version through partnership with Nexon, along with a spin-off mobile game which is currently planned for release only in Japan. It’s the end of an era for Vana’diel, but the game is going out with one last hurrah, and it’s not shutting down, both of which should be cause for celebration.

[Source: FFXI forums. Thanks to Nyttyn and Matt for the tip!]

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite Elder Scrolls Online race?

I’m looking forward to some Elder Scrolls Online this month, but I may not use my max-level character. His guild is gone, and frankly I’ve forgotten how to play him, but he’s also a Redguard, which has always been my go-to race in the ES universe.

What about you, ESO fans? What’s your favorite race 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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Project Fan Faire needs your support

Remember that time when Daybreak bought out SOE, fired a bunch of people, and cancelled Fan Faire? Yeah that sucked, but a few fans aren’t taking all the bad news lying down. Project Fan Faire has its own website, Facebook page, and Kickstarter project. It also has hundred-dollar room rates at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from August 14th through the 16th.

“We need the cash equivalent of 175 tickets sold to make it happen so we have started selling tickets on Kickstarter toward our minimum,” writes Vettie on the SOE forums.

[Source: Forums]

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Elite: Dangerous names space station after Terry Pratchett

Fantasy comedy writer Terry Pratchett, who passed away last week at the age of 66, will be honored with a place among the stars in Elite: Dangerous.

Today’s 1.2.05 patch for the MMO adds a starport named Pratchett’s Disc. Terry Pratchett was best-known for his long-running Discworld series and now joins Leonard Nimoy in having a stellar structure named after him in the new space sim.

[Source: Patch notes]

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The Daily Grind: Were you playing MMOs 16 years ago?

This week, EverQuest is celebrating its 16th anniversary. That’s right: It was all the way back on March 16th, 1999, that the seminal title first came blinking into the world.

Like any birthday of a long-running MMO, it’s made me think about how much has happened between then and now. It’s also made me realize just how off my radar MMOs were in 1999. Back then, I was keen on The Matrix and just about ready to graduate college, but I had no regular internet connection in my apartment. So instead of being part of the old guard of MMO gamers, I was merely gaming on my PlayStation.

But that’s me; maybe you were different. Were you playing MMOs 16 years ago? Were you aware of them at the time? Were you even alive?

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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WildStar tells the tale of the Ravaging of Arboria

Ever wonder why WildStar’s floppy-eared Aurin are galaxy-hopping instead of staying at home and gnawing on carrots? It’s because of an event called the Ravaging of Arboria, and you can learn more about it by reading a new story update (which includes pictures for those who have a hard time with words).

Heck, you might even feel bad for the nature-loving race after finding out that their home was targeted by the Dominion to be churned up into fuel and other resources. However, both sides appeared to be wounded in the event, which is significant to setting the stage of what happens on Nexus in the game.

[Source: Lore post]

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Tamriel Infinium: Five reasons to return to Elder Scrolls Online

Gamers rarely give an MMO a second chance. Far too often, a game bears forever the impression it earned the first time we played it. When I first played the Elder Scrolls Online in beta, I saw its potential, but the game was far from anything resembling the single-player Elder Scrolls games that I’d played before. Still, the storytelling was there, and the character models didn’t require any mods to make them look halfway decent, so I was willing to give it a shot. In the end, the reason it turned me away had nothing to do with the game itself; it was the people making the financial decisions for the game. It seemed to me as it did to many people that ZeniMax was using its subscription fee to subsidize the final year of development.

I had to eventually ask myself whether the purpose of the subscription was enough to justify not playing the game. In the end, my answer was “yes.” My subscription fee wasn’t paid by the studio or the site; it was on me, and that’s the way it should be. If a writer doesn’t think the game is worth paying for, then it’s probably not going to be worth it for the reader either.

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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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