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The Game Archaeologist: Seven MMOs operating on borrowed time

Most everyone who knows me well will acknowledge that I’m not generally a cynical, dark person. I’m not rooting for games to fail, for the industry to crash, for developers to be banished to the wastelands for their sins, or for the cultural return to Parcheesi. So while you might read the title of today’s piece as rather grim, understand that this is more a public service announcement than a cantankerous gamer dancing on the yet-to-be-dug graves of online RPGs.

Every MMO will die, and some of those much sooner than others. Right now there are seven games that are probably not long for this world, although in this industry you never quite know, do you? But if you have any interest in the following titles, I would recommend getting in to play them now — before it’s too late and you end up posting tear-laden nostalgia pieces on Reddit, wishing for one more day in that world. OK, that might be too grim. I’m not saying that all of these are on the verge of being shut down but that they’re operating on borrowed time and have a very uncertain future.

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Marvel Heroics: Six leveling tips for Marvel Heroes

Welcome to Marvel Heroics, my look at the superhero exploits of Marvel Heroes! Just about half of Massively OP has gotten hooked on this title, so it felt right to devote some space to talking about this OARPG. And what better place to begin than grappling with the leveling game?

While dealing with around 50 heroes, legendary items, omega levels, and prestiging (re-level those characters for added benefits), there is no shortage of leveling to be done here. It might seem like a herculean task at the start — even with one character — but the game is designed to accelerate the process so that subsequent trips up the level ladder go faster and faster.

Here are six tips that I’ve discovered and others have shared with me to make the most of my efforts in leveling my roster of comic book wonders!

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A guide to Heroes of the Storm for MOBA newbies and MMORPG fans

So you’ve heard about MOBAs by now, right? Maybe you tried League of Legends, or the idea behind DOTA 2 was too confusing to inspire a download. Now there’s this Heroes of the Storm thing coming out and you find yourself oddly excited (or being badgered by friends to get in game). Plus, it’s Blizzard, and you can’t pass up a Blizzard game. What’s an MMO fan to do?

Worry not, dear reader! As someone who has played quite a few MOBAs, I’m here to give you a quick rundown of the genre, how Heroes of the Storm works, and some tips on surviving and thriving in the game.

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Rockstar publishes tips for making the most of GTA’s editor

Are you overwhelmed with the possibilities inherent in Rockstar’s GTA V and GTA Online editor? If so, consider reading yesterday’s tip article focused on capturing footage. It’s the first in a series designed to walk you through the basics of capturing, creating, and uploading using the in-game editor, and it offers advice for the neophyte filmmaker ranging from setup ideas to sequence planning to using the action replay feature to retroactively record spontaneous gameplay moments.

And don’t fret, console players. Rockstar previously announced that while the editor is currently a PC exclusive, it is in fact coming to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One either “sometime this summer” or “as soon as it is ready.”

Source: Editor tips

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s endgame dungeons, from launch to present

It’s crazy to realize that Final Fantasy XIV has added more dungeons via patches in a year and a half than World of Warcraft has added via patches in the game’s decade of existence. Sure, a lot of those are hard modes, but considering that every hard mode completely redoes enemies, maps, and such, I’d say they’re functionally new dungeons all around. But which one is the best and which one is the worst?

We’ve got less than a month now until Heavensward early access starts. So just as I talked about the game’s dungeons shortly after launch, today I want to talk about all of the options at level 50. These are rated purely based on the fun of the dungeon, not rewards, and in all cases I’m talking about the factory-fresh version rather than, say, the downtunings that Pharos Sirius and Amdapor Keep have seen. So let’s start at the bottom and work our way up.

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Wargaming releases guide to World of Warplanes’ war cache

Wargaming has published a dev blog on World of Warplanes‘ new war caches, which are basically an opportunity for players to finish challenging missions and earn new equipment, consumables, and warbird decorations.

The missions are “quite complicated and will require both a lot of skill and a lot of luck,” which is why Wargaming has tabbed its localization integrator — and one of RU’s best players — Evgeny “Matty” Guziy to write a guide for running the gauntlet.

Source: Let’s complete War Cache together

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Tamriel Infinium: A guide to Elder Scrolls Online’s combat basics

I was looking back through some of my posts about the Elder Scrolls Online, and I noticed that I’ve mentioned combat quite a bit. I talk about how it feels, how it’s action-oriented. I even have a couple of articles about different class builds. My favorite thing to talk about is how that your class really doesn’t determine your role in a group. But somehow, I’ve never really discussed the basics of ESO combat.

ESO’s combat is a bit slower-paced than some other games, like DC Universe Online which actually has a very similar system. I think it has a slower system than Guild Wars 2, but that might just be an animation difference. ESO‘s combat is far less clunky than The Secret World, and the hits definitely feel as if they have more weight.

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An aircraft spotter’s guide to GTA Online, part deux

I was going to talk about the best GTA V mods this week, but then I realized how bad an idea that was on multiple levels. For starters, you can’t shouldn’t use mods in GTA Online, which is what I should stick to covering on this website as opposed to the decidedly single-player GTA V campaign. Oh, and then the Rockstar modding brouhaha happened, though apparently it was all just a big misunderstanding. Either way, it’s a bit outside of our wheelhouse.

So let’s go for part deux of last week’s GTAO aircraft spotter’s guide.

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR’s 12x XP leveling guide and Ziost’s finale

Happy Revenge of the Fifth! Because this column comes out on Tuesday, I’m a wee bit behind on wishing you a happy Star Wars day, but that said, some very important things happened yesterday. Not only was there exciting news in the Star Wars theatrical universe, but Star Wars: The Old Republic started its 12x XP and opened up the rest of Ziost.

I’d like to cover those two areas today. First, I want to give you a guide on how to prepare yourself properly for 12x XP so that you get the most out of it. Believe it or not, if you do 12x XP “wrong,” it can kill some of the fun. And I’d also like to talk about the second part of Ziost. If you saw my livestream yesterday, then you saw the spoiler, but I will try not to spoil anything that hasn’t already been spoiled by the Shadow of Revan expansion.

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An aircraft spotter’s guide to GTA Online, part one

I love airplanes. I love the Grand Theft Auto series. A big reason I love the Grand Theft Auto series is its airplanes, and more specifically, the way they’re basically comic book analogues of real-world craft. GTA has always been more of an arcade game than a sim, at least when it comes to control inputs, but developer Rockstar has nonetheless done a bang-up job with what I like to call pseudo-realism.

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EverQuesting: A guide to EverQuest II’s dungeons

It’s no secret that EverQuest II has a plethora of quests. The moniker surely fits: There are so many quests that it’s impossible to do everything in a zone before out-leveling it. But you could just as well call it EverDungeon! Unlike many games that have a dungeon or two per zone or level range, EQII has an abundance of them; a player of literally any level has a selection to choose from when preparing to go for a dive. There are many different types to cater to different whims, be it open public dungeons, instanced group dungeons, raids, mini zones, and even two-man solo instances. There are even small instances within other dungeons! Now top it all with the ability to mentor or chronomentor (which opens up all the dungeons you’ve already leveled past) and the repurposing of lower-level dungeons to level 95+ Fabled Dungeons and there’s a seemingly endless supply of them to do.

With so many, how do you know where to go? If you are looking for a certain type, level, or just want to make sure you don’t miss a single one, this guide is for you — it lists out the available dungeons to help you decide where you want your next trip to be.
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Tamriel Infinium: The 18 words an Elder Scrolls Online newbie needs to know

One of my favorite things about the storytelling in Elder Scrolls Online is that the quest-givers don’t fill their dialogue with exposition regarding Tamriel lore. For instance, NPCs will throw around terms like Ayleid and Dwemer as if you are just supposed to know what that means. That’s not to say they don’t share a lot of expository dialogue; it just usually contains the information that you need in your quest, not the story behind the story.

I thought it fitting to give you a list of terms and names that you will run into while playing the Elder Scrolls Online that you need to know, especially if you’re a novice to the franchise. I’ve run into most of these myself, and I reluctantly admit that I wasn’t sure exactly what they meant. For instance, what’s the difference between Tamriel, Nirn, and Mundus? The Prophet seemed to use these terms interchangeably in his dialogue, but they certainly mean different things, and he’s not using them arbitrarily.

So this week, I’m going to do something different from what I usually do. I’m going to make a lexicon of sorts. I have 18 terms that I think you should know going into ESO in order to understand the deeper meaning behind some of the quests that you will be running.

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