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]

Enter to win a copy of Wild Terra from Juvty and Massively OP!

Indie sandbox MMORPG Wild Terra (official site, Steam) has been in early access since December, a nostalgia-driven medieval sim that allows players to build up settlements (and then tear them down!). Most recently, it’s released update 8.35, which introduces what the team is calling turnkey, ready-built player home kits to make town and fort setup that much easier.

Developer Juvty Worlds has issued Massively OP 270 keys for the game, worth $14.99 apiece on Steam, to distribute to our readers. There are no regional restrictions, other than the caveat is that the game must be available to you on Steam for you to use the key. Read on to enter to win!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 134: You are my… Destiny

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree deal with a hodge-podge of interesting MMO news, including ARK’s launch, Destiny 2’s PC beta, and what some studios are doing to help players in response to the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey.

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: Which MMORPG is the worst at balancing difficulty?

Justin’s LOTRO Legendarium article on whether or not Mordor is too difficult struck a chord wth me. “I do not envy devs and their monumental task of creating world content that is somewhat balanced for players of varying skill and gear levels,” he wrote. “Make it too easy, and players get apathetic and drift away from your game. Make it too hard, and players pound their keyboards and ragequit.”

That’s a balance many MMORPGs have struggled with over the years as new patches are rolled out, from World of Warcraft’s Cataclysm to Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns, and as Justin argues, some games take “wild swings” from too hard to too easy and leave us frustrated and hunting for a new online home.

Set aside the specific’s of the LOTRO issue for now and consider the question more broadly: Which MMORPG is the worst at balancing difficulty — and why?

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The Daily Grind: What MMOs do you wish would come to Steam?

I was poking through my Steam library this weekend hunting for an old game I wanted to install to see whether it still worked when I noticed something that’s never struck me before: Most of my Steam games are not MMOs, even if I count orbiting genres (like survivalboxes) in with them. In fact, I realized some very prominent games (like World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2) as well as some littler, older titles I play (like Ultima Online) have never migrated to the platform. Which is mildly annoying as it would be nice to see things like play tracking, achievements, and friends lists in the platform where I store all my games (you know, that I buy and don’t play).

What other MMOs What MMOs do you wish would come to Steam?

Bonus question: What percentage of your Steam library is MMOs?

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WRUP: New euphemisms for eating edition

Stashing the carbs. Scarfing down the pre-byproducts. Making the mashy-mash with my bitey-bits. The great British chew-off. Food breathing. Taking an eat-load in the face port. Cramming ingredients together, extreme mode. The cook’s conclusion. Poop loading. Super happy chew-chew excitement delight experiment (only recommended for Japanese cuisine). Gobbleworking the lip bones (only recommended for Australian cuisine). Chewing on expired meat (only recommended for expired meat).

Chewy drinking. Bread gargling. Fueling this disgusting meat-prison of a body with stolen calories that are themselves drunk on the power of the almighty day-star until the moment that our black emperor’s cloak of night robs these feeble lives once more. The whole-mouth workout with added tongue exercises. Cheek largening surgery. What Are You Playing. Sneating (snake eating).

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Snag an Amazing Eternals closed beta key from Digital Extremes and Massively OP [All gone!]

Digital Extremes’ new shooter/TCG hybrid The Amazing Eternals (fka Keystone) launched its founders program this week, rolling into closed beta with a new trailer to boot and bringing the whole show to PAX for lucky attendees to play in person. If a founder pack isn’t in your future but you still want to check out the beta, then you’re in the right post, as DE’s granted us a bundle of keys providing standard access to the closed beta game.

Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys and check out the PAX trailer!

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Enter to win a Champions Online 8th anniversary pack from PWE and Massively OP

Can you believe Champions Online is eight years old? Yep, it’s true, and the festivities are underway! In honor of the celebration, PWE has kindly granted Massively OP 50 Champs goodie bags in two flavors to give away to our readers:

  • Level 1-39 Anniversary Pack: 30x Healing Devices, 5x Costume Change Tokens, 5x XP Boosters, 1x Temporary Sidekick (One Hour), Full set of leveling gear. (“Veteran players can use the entry level pack to create a new character or share with a friend,” PWE suggests.)
  • Level 40 Anniversary Pack: 30x Healing Devices, 5x Costume Change Tokens, 5x Triumphant Recoveries, 1x Temporary Sidekick (One Hour), Full set of Level 40 gear
  • Both packs also give players an opportunity to win gold vouchers (redeemable for various items in the Collector Store), an extra character slot or an additional costume shot.

The codes can be redeemed only once per account and expire at the end of 2020. Read on to enter to win!

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Bungie, MMO vloggers organize charity events for Harvey victims

If you’re sitting in your comfy gaming chair right now wondering what you can do to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, which is continuing to sink cities on the Gulf Coast even still, we have two ideas for you.

The first is quick and easy and will appeal to Destiny fans: Bungie is awarding Destiny 2 goodies to those who donate $14.99 to its foundation, which benefits victims. “Your purchase will benefit Direct Relief in their mission to support the people of Houston, Texas,” says the studio. The rewards include a physical pin and an in-game code for a special emblem.

The second is closer to home: MMO vlogger TheHiveLeader is planning a charity stream event through GlobalGiving — the stream itself begins tonight at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

If you know of others, please drop ’em down in the comments.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 133: Gaming Gamescom

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree shovel through the mountain of Gamescom reveals, including a trip to World of Warcraft’s Argus and Star Citizen’s elaborate Alpha 3.0 tease. The duo also mourn the premature demise of SkySaga, a promising-looking MMO that got a raw deal from its publisher.

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: What do you actually expect to get out of MMORPG lockboxes?

MMO blogger Bhagpuss has an intriguing multi-angle post out this week criticizing, rightly in my mind, Guild Wars 2’s lockboxes, but not the way you’re thinking. See, unlike a lot of MMO players who read blogs and think about the way our games are put together, he says he doesn’t mind lockboxes, at least the kind you needn’t pay to open. He even likes RNG. What annoys him is that the game’s cash-shop lockboxes are usually crap, such that the freebie ones he gets are so unappealing that he can’t even imagine how anyone feels compelled to buy keys.

“The only remotely interesting thing I got was a dye,” he laments. “Everything else was embarrassingly dull. […] I’d have thought it might be worth rigging the odds on these infrequent freebies so that everyone gets at least a halfway decent item. The dye would do it. A mini, perhaps. Nothing amazing, just not a Bank Express and a 30 minute booster.”

I thought his article would prove a fun jumping off point for today’s Daily Grind. What do you actually expect out of a paid lockbox in an MMO? Are there MMOs whose lockboxes are so stingy that you just skip ’em entirely?

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The Daily Grind: How often do you play non-human MMORPG characters?

This weekend, I was toying around with my fancy Path of Fire-induced new character slot in Guild Wars 2. I have one of every class, so I’ll be making a duplicate, a race/class combo I don’t have. And as I’m thinking it over, I realize that I am really drawn to the Charr in this game, in spite of the terrible armor clipping. My chief soloing Ranger is Charr, and I love her particular armor set, her look, her name, her voice actress, and even the Quaggan-obsessed backstory I set up for her. When I play her, I feel like a badass.

This is a pretty unusual thing for me; outside of Ithorians (which are the best species in any IP ever), I seldom play races other than human or whatever flavor of human-with-pointy-ears is available, and here I am in GW2 with my two main characters being a plant and a lioness. Maybe you could count gnomes (or their Tyrian cognate, Asura), but in most games, they’re really just short quirky humans. It’s weird for me to play 1) critters and 2) tallbies, and yet here I am. Something about how GW2 does these non-humans grabs me.

How often do you play non-human MMORPG characters?

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WRUP: We want bones edition

Hello and thank you for calling the Bone Collectors, Thomas and Edward Bone. We want bones. To be absolutely clear, our last name is Bone, and we also want bones. If you have bones, we will buy them. We will buy bones you have lying around. We will buy bones that are in your body or the bodies of your pets. Unless you have a pet shark. Sharks do not have bones. Please do not try to sell us shark bones.

Do not ask us what we will do with the bones. Do not ask us why we drive the Bone Wagon through town playing our cheerful tune about putting your bones inside of the bone wagon. Just sell us your bones. No one will pay more money for bones. Leave your bones for sale in this week’s edition of What Are You Playing to make sure we know the bones are out there. Bones: We want them. We want bones.

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Massively Overthinking: The survivalbox vs. the MMORPG

A few weeks ago in Massively Overthinking, the team discussed the resurgence in popularity of small-scale co-op games and whether that has impacted the MMORPG genre negatively or positively — if at all. This week, I’d like to aim that same question at the survival genre, so everything from ARK: Survival Evolved to Citadel Forged With Fire.

The question was sparked in part by a VentureBeat piece that points out SuperData’s numbers: Non-massive survivalboxes pulled in $400 million in the first half of the year. This is a lot of money that is not going into MMOs and MMORPGs that could be, which was the same thing we suggested about online co-op RPGs — only this subgenre is attracting builders and PvPers. Is it attracting them away from MMOs directly? I’ve asked our writers to reflect on the rise of survivalbox games: Do we play them? Do we prefer them, and when? How can we learn from them? Is the popularity of smaller-scale co-op hurting MMORPGs?

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