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The MMORPG adventures you chose in 2015

When the Choose My Adventure column was first begun many years ago on Massively-that-was, it was an adventure entirely in the hands of the readers. The author, often different from game to game, left every decision to the whims of the voters, including the game itself. CMA has evolved over time to be less susceptible to community brigading and more an extended hands-on deep-dive into MMORPGs, but its core purpose is the same: You still nudge the author away from his or her comfort zones to really experience a game.

Mike Foster and Matt Daniel drove the Choose My Adventure bus this year. Here’s a look back at the games they played at your command.

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EverQuesting: A guide to EverQuest II’s Frostfell 2015

Ahh, ’tis the season: When goodies galore are hidden inside a magical closet and gigglegibber goblins give out gifts. Yes, it’s Frostfell time! And in EverQuest II, that’s quite possibly the most anticipated live event of the year. Whether you’ve been gone a while and just lured back by the or you’ve been counting down the days in Norrath since last Frostfell, there’s plenty to do during this holiday — almost too many to remember, in fact! Since the holiday’s inception in 2005, the festivities have grown with more quests, more crafting, and more items. Even the entire Winter Wonderland itself was revamped in 2013! As such, it makes perfect sense that it might be a little hard to keep track of everything. Hence this  Frostfell guide. You don’t want to miss a single thing, do you? And you’ve only got until 10:00 a.m. on January 7th, 2016 to get it all done! Read more

Elite: Dangerous offers training vids, support for Star Citizen

Elite: Dangerous is busy celebrating the launch of Horizons this week, but if you’ve never played before, you could probably use some training, and that’s exactly what Frontier has on deck in the latest newsletter. The studio has pubbed four “pilot training” videos to introduce players to the new season, covering everything from landing to settlements.

David Braben also says Merry Christmas, discusses the game’s pricing model, and commends rival Star Citizen.

Landing on planets seems to be ‘the new black’ as they might say in marketing circles… You can do it now anywhere on the surface of countless 1:1 scale simulated planetary surfaces in Elite Dangerous: Horizons and landing is coming in the future in No Man’s Sky, Star Citizen (as I heard just now – a major new future feature they announced last night), Infinity: Battlescape and many others. This is a great thing, as open world space games have now truly come back with a bang, and I look forwards to playing them – and also huge congratulations to Chris and the team for raising $100M for Star Citizen! What both Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous are trying to do is very hard indeed. Both games are incredibly ambitious. I am proud and excited about what we are doing, but what they are doing is ambitious too, and I am looking forward to playing Star Citizen when it is finished. What we are both doing is new; we are trailblazing. The scope of both is vast and quite different, and neither have been done before, so there is no right answer for either of the approaches. It is frustrating to see some of the criticism of Star Citizen online. We should applaud when someone tries something that is hard, that hasn’t been done, not discourage them.

Hear, hear. The training vids are below.

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Massively OP’s holiday gift guide for the World of Warcraft fan

Look, I know what you’re thinking, and I’m sorry to say there’s not much to be done. As great a gift as it would be, we cannot give you a key to the current expansion testing, nor can we help your favorite World of Warcraft player with a long content drought. There’s simply no technology available to prevent these unpleasant realities.

“Well, great,” you say with no small amount of irritation. “So what am I supposed to get my friends who are super into this game?”

Oh, frustrated reader, don’t lose hope so easily. There are always options. And as we’ve done before, we’ll help point you to some of those options. They might not be the non-content drought that players really want, but they’re something you can give that’s more thoughtful than a simple game time card and more effort-intensive than just printing out the game’s logo on a laser printer and wrapping it. (Don’t ever do that, incidentally.)

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Massively OP’s holiday gift guide for The Secret World and Funcom fan

It’s the holidays, and in the spirit of giving, I am going I’m going to give you ideas — for gifts! Instead of waxing poetic about the awesomeness of The Secret World or explaining the amazing things about it to folks who may not have tried it (yet), I’ll be highlighting awesome and amazing things you can get for your friends and family who already love the game! That’s right, today is a special gift guide edition of Chaos Theory, where discerning shoppers  — or those who just need to be hit with the +10 sword of inspiration — can search for that perfect something that says I get you.

But I won’t stop at just TSW: Funcom has other titles that also have dedicated fans. I’ll share a few gifts that might please the Age of Conan and Anarchy Online devotees in your life. And don’t think just because there is no more LEGO Minifigures Online to play that I have forgotten about those fans. Besides, we are talking LEGOs!

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Massively OP’s holiday gift guide for your guildmates

“Hi, my name is Tina and I have very real, very cool internet friends that I met in online games.” Say that sentence to a non-gamer and you might see more than one concerned raised eyebrow or receive several “You need to get out more, sweetheart… the voices through the headset aren’t friends” pep talks from your real-life friends and family, but we MMO players know the deal: You’ve pwned with them and wiped with them, died with them and cried with them. Our guild buddies share a significant amount of our leisure time with us, so unless you’re secretly a robot, you’ll have built up close bonds with them over the months or years of playing together. Heck, many of my guildies are real-life friends whom I also game with, so I certainly love those guys even when they’re not helping me out in-game.

If you’re particularly close to your guildmates, some of them might well be on your nice list this holiday season. Luckily for you, I’ve created this quick wee guide to gifting for guildies in order to keep you right in your shopping. Whatever your budget and giftee’s interests, I’m sure to have you covered, so scroll on down and get inspired!
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Massively OP’s holiday gift guide for the ‘Not So Massively’ gamer

The holidays are approaching, and that means there’s not much time left to get presents for your friends and lumps of coal for your enemies. At MassivelyOP this year, we’re putting together a series of themed gift guides highlighting some potential gift ideas for players of particular games. If you know anyone who is mad about MOBAs, shooters, sandbox games or dungeon crawlers and you’re having trouble finding gifts for them this year, hopefully this guide gives you a few ideas or at least points you in the right direction. Normal Not So Massively news roundups will resume next week.

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Massively OP’s holiday gift guide for the MMO hipster

I say this with nothing but love in my heart: Some of you guys are serious MMO hipsters. Heck, some of you guys were MMOs hipsters before the word hipster was popular again. World of Warcraft was the first MMO? Pff! You were there for the worst MMO launch of all time. You once camped jboots for 30 hours straight. You played Ultima Online on dial-up, for god’s sake. And now, you back only true indies on Kickstarter.

Oh no wait, that was me.

In celebration of MMO hipsters old and new, today I present you Massively OP’s holiday gift guide for that most discerning of indie hipster snob in your life – because you can’t just plop down a WoW gametime card on some people and expect gratitude!
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Perfect Ten: Where to get your MMO podcast fix

We’ll assume since you’re a savvy gamer reading Massively OP that you’re already well aware of the world’s best MMO podcast. But what do you do with your other 167 hours after you’re heard the new episodes? Communicate with other people like a chump? Perish the thought!

On a recent episode of the Massively OP Podcast, we received a listener email asking for other podcast recommendations. While we gave a few on the air, the truth is that there are plenty out there to hear, although you might not be quite as aware of them. To help you fill the audio void in your life, here are several other podcasts that tackle our favorite hobby.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2 Vale Guardian raid boss guide

I’ve been having a grand auld time smashing my toon against Guild Wars 2‘s first raiding tier recently, and since I’ve now (finally!) started to get some results, I thought it was time I brought you a more solid Vale Guardian boss guide than my general initial impression piece from when the boss was in beta testing. In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll break down Heart of Thorns‘ first raid boss fight for you, taking raiders right from preparation to, with luck, downing the Vale Guardian!
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Massively OP’s holiday gift guide for the space sim fan

Hello and welcome to Massively OP’s latest holiday gift guide. Today I’ll be talking about space sims and of course some of the peripherals that I use when pew pewing my way through Elite: Dangerous, Star Citizen, and other genre stalwarts.

Whether you’re looking for an affordable HOTAS solution or a way to increase your immersion while you wait for the virtual reality revolution to happen, you’ll find a few ideas for yourself or that space sim fan on your Christmas list by clicking past the cut.

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Massively OP’s holiday gift guide for the Final Fantasy XIV and Square-Enix fan

Saying that someone is a fan of Final Fantasy doesn’t necessarily say a whole lot. The series has been running for a long while, and each installment is pretty different. You have people who are fans of the whole thing, people who refuse to accept that the series continued after Final Fantasy VI, people who live and breathe Final Fantasy VII even now… you get the idea. There are even people who will legitimately say that the best part of the series was Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest.

Pity those souls.

When you’re dealing with a fan of Final Fantasy XIV, though, you can make certain assumptions about what that person will like. Being one of those myself, I can say safely that what I’d really like is available housing plots and more flexibility in upgrading house sizes in-game. Failing that… well, here are some suggestions about gifts that will not require you catching the ear of the development team and implementing large-scale patches.

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