Culture & Community Category

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

One Shots: The face of doom

What would you do if you went up against a giant face intent on bringing forth your personal doom? I don’t know about you, but I would finally use a wizard’s staff for its clear purpose as an oversized Q-Tip and make sure that the boss’ nasal passages were cleared out. Then we would become the best of friends and would never speak of the incident again.

Reader Wolfyseyes may have gone a different way with this confrontation from Final Fantasy XIV. “During the madness of fighting the Cloud of Darkness, I managed to snag a main tank position as well as this screenshot from the fight,” he said.” Not the cleanest shot I’ve ever snagged, but certainly one of the more thematic.”

We’ve got giant heads, great pictures, and a new surprise for you after the break!

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Crowfall is raking in the big bucks

Crowfall’s Kickstarter campaign is little more than a week old, but that hasn’t stopped the PvP MMO from racking up 10,000-plus backers and over $1 million in crowdfunding. The milestones will enable the hiring of an FX artist and the addition of female centaurs to the game.

The next stretch goal (at $1.3 million) is mounts and caravans, and ArtCraft has also decided to add backer-based rewards. “At 12,000 kickstarter backers, we’re going to give every backer a unique All-Father statue to display proudly in their Eternal Kingdom,” the firm says. “This will let other players know that you were here, and supported Crowfall, from the beginning.”

[Source: Kickstarter]


The Daily Grind: What’s the best MMO for actual roleplaying?

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a cantina rat.

I would spend the first part of my daily gametime emptying my crafter’s harvesters, flipping my factories, and stocking my vendors, but then I’d log into my smuggler and flit off to one cantina or another to roleplay, to hang out with (or join!) the entertainers, to banter with the patrons, to threaten enemies, to plan adventures, to fall in love, to start wars, and sometimes even to end them. Sometimes it was dramatic — I let a character be permanently murdered once, just for the powerful effect it had on our story — but most times, it was just witty and fun.

Nowadays, I seldom have time to invest that much of myself into a role, and besides, that world is long gone. But where would I go if I wanted to recapture that experience? What’s the best living MMORPG for actual roleplaying, right now, in 2015?

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!


Massively Overthinking: Meaningful MMORPG mentors

We grouse endlessly when MMORPGs omit mentoring or sidekicking systems — but what about real mentors?

Have you ever had a mentor in an MMO, someone who guided you through a game or helped you navigate a guild or learn your class? If you no longer keep in touch, what would you say to your mentor if you could? I polled our writers about their experiences with having — and being — real gaming mentors in this week’s Massively Overthinking.

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PAX East 2015: Trion Worlds is throwing a party

It’s been four years since RIFT came out and the Trion Worlds team hosted a party in Boston to celebrate the game, so it’s high time for another fan gathering. That’s the logic behind Trion’s upcoming PAX East party in Boston, which celebrates the game’s anniversary and the first day of the convention with a fan gathering, complete with a free Arclight Rider and some real-world loot while supplies last.

RIFT fans with no need for the various bits of swag might still want to attend, as the party will include face time with the developers and some announcements about the future. The party is a bit offsite, and space is limited, so head over promptly at 6 p.m. EST on Friday if you want to get in. There’s even a trailer for the party just past the break, for those who need a little more urging.

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Fan leads the charge to revitalize Graal Online

Graal Online is not a game that gets much press at all — nor ever did, sadly. And it’s perhaps because of this that the population for this 2-D MMO has dwindled. However, one dedicated fan has posted a heartfelt plea on reddit for others to check out the game, triggering a positive community reaction and prompting several guides to be made.

“As of late, since around 2010, there’s been a steady decline in players and the servers are slowly starting to die, which is a total travesty!” reddit user Sludgie writes. “This game has been underrated and shunned by many people who weren’t willing to give it a try when they didn’t realize that it was a pioneer in so many ways.”

Graal came out in 1998 and has been kicking around on various platforms (including mobile) and in various formats ever since. You can check out Sludge’s video tutorial for Graal after the break!

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Star Trek Online installs memorials for Leonard Nimoy and all those lost

The death of Leonard Nimoy affects everyone who has ever been engaged in the Star Trek franchise, whether you were a lifelong fan of the original series or knew him only from his work in the reboot film and Star Trek Online. But he’s not the first luminary of the show to be lost, and Star Trek Online‘s new memorials are meant to commemorate not just Nimoy’s contribution to the universe but that of several key cast and crew members over the years.

Cryptic Studios is erecting a monument on both New Romulus and on Vulcan, with the latter placed in the same spot on the planet where players gathered to pay their respects after Nimoy’s death. These locations will also host a memorial plaque for all those lost from the franchise, including Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett. Last but not least, black flags will be flown in all of the faction hubs for the next week, signifying that the Star Trek Online team mourns the loss of a great inspiration and a well-respected man.

We’ve included the Twitch video of the ceremony below.

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The Daily Grind: Should all MMOs come with player music systems?

While developing player music systems might seem like a superfluous effort, in my opinion it is a feature that should come standard in most all MMOs. Why? For starters, it’s a terrific outlet for player creativity, as it allows the community to generate entertainment for each other in infinite varieties. It adds to the feel of the world, is hard to twist into obscenity, and allows for the formation of groups to form bands and throw concerts.

But the real argument topper for the inclusion of such systems is that players go absolutely bananas for them. It’s one of the most-cited favorites of Lord of the Rings Online, even from haters of the game, and player concerts there have drawn so many listeners that it’s nearly crashed the server.

What do you think? Should all MMOs come with player music systems?

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!


The factionless WoW player dings level 100

World of Warcraft Shaman Doubleagent made headlines a year ago for leveling his Pandaren up to 80 and then 90 without ever choosing a faction. Now he’s pulled it off again post-Warlords of Draenor, this time barrelling up to 100, still factionless. Kotaku reports that he has been grinding away at the project by harvesting herbs and collecting exp through his other characters’ pet battles.

In other WoW news, Blizzard has posted up last week’s raid-and-dungeon Q&A video with Lead Game Designer Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas and Community Manager Josh “Lore” Allen Friday; we’ve embedded it below. Among the highlights? “NO troll dungeon next patch. No trolls in Draenor.” They also address the content gap: “Our focus is on reducing the gap in content between final tier and next expack. We know that Siege was too long — unacceptably long. We are committed to reducing that. […] Six to seven months is good for a large raid tier; 13 months is too long.”

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The Daily Grind: Are you prompt about unsubscribing from MMOs?

I am going to make a confession: I am terrible about remembering to unsubscribe from games I am no longer playing. Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World are nice for not asking me to subscribe in the first place, but odds are good that it’ll be at least a month or two between the date when I know I’m not going back to the game and when I actually remember to cancel my subscription. I vote with my wallet, but not always in a timely fashion.

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Former SWTOR bigwig dislikes the term ‘whale’

The latest salvo in the ongoing free-to-play culture war comes courtesy of former Star Wars: The Old Republic lead systems designer Damion Schubert. In a GDC talk titled “Embracing the Paradigm Shift: Converting a Premium Team to an (Enthusiastic!) Freemium Team,” Schubert advocates for a terminology shift from the word “whale” to the word “patron.”

“These people are very important, and we can start by treating them with some fucking respect,” Schubert told his audience. summarizes the presentation, which saw Schubert advance the narrative that F2P is the future. “Imagine if you will that EA and DICE manage to figure out how to make a true Battlefield 5 experience that is actually a good free-to-play experience,” he said. “They’ll have an increase in profits, they’ll claim the free-to-play first-person shooter experience, Call of Duty will have to flip, and then the whole genre will flip.”



Camelot Unchained preps for its alpha unveiling

[Update: Alpha is now live as of this evening! Thanks to Amber for the heads-up! More in the morning.]

Camelot Unchained had to delay the start of its alpha testing for everyone over the weekend, but it doesn’t seem as if it’s going to be pushing back very far. An update from yesterday evening announced that today will see a full-day stream running from the City State Entertainment crew, with the staff working hard to break the game during the display. If everything’s stable, the alpha will be left on overnight.

Compensation is still planned for the delay in testing, with the particulars to be determined once the decision is made to turn on access or wait a little bit longer. For those who want to watch the antics of the team trying to break the servers in any possible way, the stream will start today at 10 a.m. EST. A surprise is also promised for backers in the near future, although details haven’t yet been made available.

[Source: Evening Update for March 2nd, Twitch. Thanks, Will.]



The Daily Grind: What are the minimum criteria for an online game?

It’s pretty definite that Second Life is not a game in the strictest sense of the word, and by “the strictest” I of course mean “basically any.” It’s more of a toolbox in which you can make a game, sort of. But then, so is Landmark, and I don’t think anyone would argue that isn’t a game. You might argue whether it succeeds at its goals as a game, but that’s a different discussion.

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