Meta Category

The category collects all of our more meta features and posts, like The Daily Grind, letters to the editor, and posts about the state-of-the-site. [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

WRUP: Don’t act all high and mighty because you have a face edition

Carol, listen to me, I’m tired of having this argument. We keep going back and forth over it, and it always comes down to a question of who is the better person. It’s crap, and I’m sick of it. Do you understand? Don’t act all high and mighty because you have a face, Carol.

Lots of people don’t have faces, you know. It’s not just me. And it’s really offensive when you put a mask over my yawning abyss swallowing meaning and claim that it’s like a face. I am happy with who I am, Carol. I’m happy that I don’t have a face. I don’t want a face. Don’t try to change who I am like this.

I’ll meet you halfway, I’m not being inflexible. I promise you, I will do my best to not speak in the tongue which rends the veil and made your brother weep tears of blood at Thanksgiving. But please, don’t act as if having a face makes you better than me. I mean, you don’t even leave your weekend plans in What Are You Playing. Who even does that? All the cool kids leave their plans there.

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The Daily Grind: Has a soundtrack ever inspired you to try out an MMORPG?

Massively OP reader Andrea has a fun question for us today. “I’ve been perusing through different MMO soundtracks these past days and some of them are so beautiful and atmospheric that they make me want to actually try the game although I had no intention otherwise,” she writes. “Has an MMO soundtrack ever inspired you to try out the game itself?”

You folks know we love our MMO soundtracks here on Massively OP — we keep Jukebox Heroes and Battle Bards’ Justin Olivetti trapped in a tower with nothing but a keyboard and an iPod, after all — so I’m guessing a lot of you have heard more scores than played games, and this question has a high chance of scoring hits. I’ve found some gorgeous music thanks to Justin for games I’ve never played, for example — I’ve been completely obsessed with The Repopulation’s released music tracks. (I’m a sucker for marimbas.)

Has a soundtrack ever inspired you to try out an MMORPG?

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Massively Overthinking: MMO monetization run amok

Over the last couple of weeks, the monetization of unreleased games has become a pervasive and uncomfortable theme for the MMO genre. Just in brief:

The frustrating bit is I could go on, and this is just for games that aren’t even formally launched yet. So for this week’s Massively Overthinking, I want to take the temperature of alarm regarding these types of business models for unlaunched games. Is this all par for the course, in line with what we expect from the new MMO market? Have they gone too far yet? If not, what’s too far? How do we feel about this type of pre-launch monetization run amok?

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Bless Online’s western version has been canceled over ‘quality standards’

The Neowiz statement that Aeria Games is no longer serving as the western Bless Online has now been backed up by Gamigo, Aeria’s parent company, though contrary to the translated reports from yesterday, Gamigo says it wasn’t a unilateral decision by Neowiz — and it appears that the game has been canceled for our region entirely, not simply shelved for a new publisher.

“gamigo announces that the MMORPG Bless Online will not be published in Europe and North America. The cooperation between the Korean games developer Neowiz Games and the gamigo group has been terminated by mutual agreement. Unfortunately, the collaboration had to be cancelled because after extensive testing the game did not meet the quality standards of both Neowiz Games and the gamigo group. Jens Knauber, COO of the gamigo group, regrets this development: ‘Together with Neowiz we have come to the conclusion that the technical difficulties cannot be overcome, so we agreed not to complete the game for our respective markets. This has not been an easy decision for us and we put a lot of thought into this step. On the other hand, we have a number of interesting new releases coming up to complement our already strong portfolio, so our players can look forward to several new games in the near future.'”

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Neowiz confirms axing Bless Online western publisher Aeria Games

Rumors that suggested Aeria Games has been dismissed as the western Bless Online publisher appear to have been confirmed today.

Korean gaming site Inven is reporting that Neowiz, the Korean-born developer and publisher of the MMO, has “canceled the service contract agreement between the two companies […] smoothly after consulation,” meaning that Gamigo and Aeria will no longer be publishing the game in the west.

We’ve seen a few headlines this morning suggesting that Bless’ western service has been entirely canceled, but we cannot confirm that. Neowiz says it will be focusing on the Japanese service “for now,” but does not say whether it has plans to find a new western publisher.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 120: Steaming into summer

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree welcome summer by talking about SWTOR’s roadmap, Black Desert’s amazing Steam debut, and a troubling Shroud of the Avatar announcement, as well as a mailbag question about casual gaming.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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The Daily Grind: Do you make a point of watching or skipping MMO cutscenes?

During this week’s podcast, Justin jokes about how Final Fantasy XIV literally has an interface pop-up to warn you before it deluges you with an extremely long series of cutscenes, on the order of half an hour of basically watching the game rather than playing it. That cracked me up because I admit I am not much of a cutscene-watcher to begin with. My instinct is to click through them in a lot of MMORPGs, especially when I’ve seen them before, but even sometimes when I haven’t. So let’s just say that while I appreciate that FFXIV reminds us to take a potty break before it goes all exposition monster on us, I probably still wouldn’t watch it.

Howsabout you? Do you still watch MMORPG cutscenes? Did you ever? If you skip them, do you do it out of habit or lack of time or anti-story principle?

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Rumor: Aeria Games no longer publishing Bless Online for western audiences

Rumors are flying this morning that Aeria Games has been dismissed as the western Bless Online publisher. reports that it received “fairly substantial information” from an anonymous source to that effect. “Gamigo representatives were in Korea last week where the agreement was cancelled due to quality confirmed,” writes the blog. “This has also apparently been confirmed via internal communication with employees coming from the Vice President of Product Sascha Zehe.”

This is not the first time we’ve encountered rumors about the state of Bless’ import. Back in December, the game’s official teaser site vanished abruptly, causing a panic that the game had been canceled. Aeria, however, said it was just a data center migration. Still, we haven’t seen much public progress on the game since last autumn’s announcement that Aeria was completing gutting Bless’ combat system for a do-over. It was intended to release here this year, but we’ve seen far more movement from the Russian and Japanese branches.

We’ve reached out to Aeria and Gamigo for a statement and will update when we know more.



The Daily Grind: Who’s the best villain ever in an MMORPG?

The past few weeks while I’ve been sick, I’ve been doing a rewatch of a couple of old favorite shows and fell into a TV tropes black hole while trying to sort out which trope best suited a particular villain in one of them: an antagonist who turns out to be far surpassed by (and excommunicated by) several far more evil antagonists over the course of the show’s run, to the point that he becomes an ally of the protagonists. I think he’s a combination of a Demoted to DragonDragon with an Agenda and The Starscream, and possibly also the Starter Villain turned Ex-Big Bad turned Token Evil Teammate. Turns out figuring out which trope a character fits is as hard as writing a good villain.

And that leads me to today’s Daily Grind, which is about MMOs, I promise. If villains are hard to do well in a medium that is explicitly designed to favor narration, what hope is there for online games? The best villains I’ve ever seen have been player villains (the actual roleplaying type, not the murderer-slash-con-artist type), but I bet you folks have some good ideas for PCs and NPCs alike. Who’s the best villain ever in an MMORPG — and what TV trope does he or she fit?

(Extra bonus points if you can figure out the show and character I’m talking about!)

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MMO Week in Review: Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood’s everything (June 4, 2017)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

This week, Final Fantasy XIV let the western press loose on the Stormblood expansion that’s until now been a bit buried by other summer releases. Not anymore, though! MOP’s Eliot Lefebvre posted nine in-depth previews and guides on what to expect from the content avalanche on the way.

Meanwhile, Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter funded many times over with $3.2M now banked, Black Desert scored big on its Steam launch, and NCsoft put a date on Master X Master. Read on for the rest of the best of this week’s MMO news and opinions!

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WRUP: Answering the greatest science mysteries edition

Man, science is so simple. All we really have to do is stop entrusting all of it to the scientists, right? We can just, like, make up answers to scientific questions, and then those will be the right answers and we won’t need any more science! This seems so easy. Here, let’s start, this page is about several unsolved mysteries. I can solve all of them quick!

Why is there more matter than antimatter? More matter bricks came with the kit, like with LEGO sets. Where is all the lithium? The Borg stole it. Why do we sleep? Because we’re tired, duh. How does gravity work? Magnets. Where is everyone? Out having a party you weren’t invited to. What is dark matter made of? Matter with lots of black paint. How did life begin? Magic. How do plate tectonics work? Underground robots. How do animals migrate? Time-traveling GPS systems. What is dark energy? A different sort of magic than the life-starting magic.

There, that was quick! Science is simple. Solve some more science for us down in the comments of What Are You Playing while you tell us what you’re up to over the weekend.

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Massively Overthinking: 2017’s MMORPG zeitgeist

This time last year, I polled the Massively OP writers for their opinions on which MMOs had had the best year, or half year, up to that point in 2016 — which games were the most influential and important specifically in that time period. I was pretty surprised at the spread of answers too. Since we’re nearing the midpoint of 2017, I thought we should renew that question and see whether anything’s changed. So as last time, I’m asking everyone to pick three games that represent the MMORPG zeitgeist, using whatever combination of criteria they wish – revenue, playerbase size, hype, anticipation, update cycle, and so forth. What should we be paying attention to? Which games are a sign of the times? And just who is dominating now in 2017?
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