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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: A marvelously spooky tale edition

As you all know, today is the horror day in which all of the scary things come out. So in today’s very special edition of What Are You Playing, it’s my duty to make you so scared that you scream very specific things. Like, “I am very scared as I read this story!” And maybe, “This is truly the face of horror!” Are you ready? If not, just read the opening paragraph again.

Once upon a time, a man was alive and enjoyed breathing with his ordinary human lungs. Then, one day he found out that he owed a large amount of money in property taxes. The man was very angry, so he went out back to his gun shed. He found that having long conversations with his guns, which were safely stored in a locked cabinet and were not loaded, really helped him come to terms with unpleasant situations. At that point, with no prior warning, something came out of the darkness!

It was a moth. Not even a big one. Let us know what scary stuff you’re up to in the comments after you see our spooky plans for the weekend!

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Grab an Armored Warfare collector’s edition key (All gone, thanks everyone!)

Get your clicking fingers ready! Thanks to Obsidian Entertainment and My.com, we’ve got 30 collector’s edition keys for tank MMO shooter Armored Warfare to hand out today.

Here’s what’s in the Operation Emperor collector’s edition packs:

  • Two exclusive tanks: Mowag Taifun II and RDL/LT
  • Three premium tanks: LAV 150-90, FV433 Abbot, and Object 430
  • 120 days of premium account time
  • 6,000,000 credits
  • 6,500 gold
  • “Emperor,” “Typhoon,” and “Lightning” achievements
  • +25% credits & experience for 2 weeks

Yep, good stuff, and just in time for open beta! Onward to the keys!

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The Daily Grind: Have you ever been in a relationship with someone you met through MMOs?

A week ago, a Reddit user posted a casting call for a new reality show that will attempt to follow romantic relationships formed inside of MMORPGs that spill into real life.

“Have you found true love in an MMO?” reads the flyer sent to us by the production studio. “Are you having a relationship with someone you met in an online game? But haven’t yet met in the real world and are ready to take that next step? An Emmy winning production company is looking for gamer couples who want to share their story and come together for the first time IRL!”

It took about five seconds for jokes and “catfish” accusations to begin because, you know, Reddit, but even if you’re not into reality TV, it’s still a neat question.

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Massively Overthinking: Let’s take the classic Bartle test

Here’s something you probably didn’t know: Online worlds researcher Dr. Richard Bartle didn’t actually write the Bartle test.

His original research explored, analyzed, and defined the four player archetypes — killer, socializer, achiever, and explorer — but the test based on that paper was created a few years later by Erwin Andreasen and Brandon Downey and named in his honor.

We’ve been talking a lot about Bartle’s ideas’ relevance to modern MMOs in the last month or two, so I thought it would be fun to ask the Massively OP staff and readers to take the test, share their results, and talk about what it all means in this week’s Massively Overthinking.

There are, of course, some caveats.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 35: Expansions galore

What happens when not one, but two major MMO expansions drop on the same week? The world goes insane and players freak out in a good way. Also, it gives the podcasters plenty to talk about! This week Larry and Justin discuss the launches of Heart of Thorns and Knights of the Fallen Empire with a dash of Halloween tossed in for flavor.

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.

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Massively OP’s guide to MMO Halloween 2015

Halloween is an unstoppable force in the MMO industry and will not be denied to developers and their players. It’s that time of year where spooky, creepy, and delightfully nightmarish events erupt across games worldwide, allowing players to indulge in trick-or-treating and costume parties regardless of age.

In the spirit of the holiday, Massively Overpowered is proud to present its ultimate guide to MMO Halloween. Read on for details on all sorts of events, promotions, and contests!

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The Daily Grind: Do you prefer soloing or grouping in MMORPGs?

As we belatedly covered yesterday, the developers of upcoming indie MMO Saga of Lucimia believe that group-centric play is the solution to a problem supposedly created by the deluge of “solo-friendly” MMOs that offer “the instant gratification that the entitled hipster generation of ADD players need in order to stay subscribed.” Yikes.

Without getting into whether soloing belongs in MMORPGs — an eternal debate of its own — I want to ask you which one you, personally, prefer to do.

I tend to favor games that support both and scale well between them; City of Heroes and classic Guild Wars spring immediately to mind as being games that scaled beautifully to accommodate whatever party size. Party when my mates are on; solo or LFG when they’re not!

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The Daily Grind: What’s the best early access MMO you’ve played?

I’m afraid that early access is here to stay, and as I look over the icons on my desktop and the entries on my Steam games list, it’s distressing to see how many of them are some form of pay-before-the-game’s-done.

There’s been at least one gem, though, and that’s ARK: Survival Evolved, which has more features than most “feature-complete” MMOs, and which has a crazy frequent patch schedule that both fixes bugs and adds all kinds of new stuff to the dino survival sandbox on a regular basis.

What about you, MOP readers? I know you probably dislike early access as much as I do, but have their been any early access games that you were proud to support? Which one was the best?

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MMO Week in Review: 2015’s MMORPG zenith is now (October 25, 2015)

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!

Welcome, everyone, to the biggest week of MMO gaming of the year. The high point of 2015? You’re standing on it, so enjoy the view. Guild Wars 2 launched Heart of Thorns on Friday, celebrating 7 million accounts — check out MOP’s Tina Lauro’s ongoing launch diary for the scoop. Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion released for early access subscribers, followed up by an impressions piece and spoiler-heavy video by our SWTOR expert, Larry Everett. And hot on the heels of its controversial skillpoint trading announcement, EVE Online leaped into its Las Vegas con, where MOP’s Brendan Drain is reporting back on the upcoming Citadel expansion.

Oh yeah, and because that’s not enough insanity for one week, Halloween is right around the corner, so expect an avalanche of Halloween events in all your favorite MMOs, plus our traditional roundup of all the festivities. In the meantime, read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions!

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The Daily Grind: What’s the most annoying bit of randomness you’ve experienced in an MMO?

Randomness has been a part of most computer games since the beginning because computers can do math very quickly and randomness is exciting. Oh, is it ever exciting. After all, who doesn’t like to watch a big critical hit pop up when fighting a boss, followed by the boss dropping exactly what you want on your first run? It’s gloriously satisfying. The down side, of course, is that it’s random, and you could just as easily fail to even hit the boss randomly.

And sometimes random chance is just awful. Like with Final Fantasy XIV‘s randomly dropping Atma, or World of Warcraft‘s wildly random loot combined with a bonus roll system (which doesn’t really fix bad luck), or sometimes just the randomness of your partners in a League of Legend match. So what’s the most annoying bit of randomness that you’ve experienced in online gaming? Elusive drops? Unreliable percent chances? Or something else?

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WRUP: The secret life of Harry, metaphorical construct for your journey of self-awareness edition

Hello, hello, what a joy it is to meet you. My name, as you’ll not momentarily bother to pause even a moment to learn, is Harry. I’m here solely to facilitate your journey to a greater understanding of yourself and the world around you, not to be treated as a person in any way whatsoever. I’d say “don’t worry about it, I’m happy to perform this important function,” but let’s be real here. You wouldn’t listen if I wasn’t happy anyhow, so I may as well just act out my part in your psychological puppet show, yes?

Oh, you are listening and you’re wondering where you might find me in your game of choice, hmm? Well, that’s just it — I take many forms. Perhaps I’m the mentor who dies in order to fulfill your need to be educated whilst conveniently removing myself before the possibility of correction. Or perhaps I’ll be the man or woman of your dreams who asks absolutely nothing of you, simply stands there mutely and approves of your rote actions and overly tailored gestures that you’re reading out of a strategy guide. I may even be a monster, something placed in your journey for you to overcome to derive the sense of self-worth for your unreal effort.

I may also be something else, some mindless task of tedium like planting and harvesting digital grapes that you may use to convince yourself that you’re above goal-focused play whilst demonstrating that you’re not above performing tasks that the computer’s processors can easily accomplish without your input. But I’m always there, you see. So tell me, dear reader, What Are You Playing this weekend? Read more

The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite obscure MMORPG?

Even at a site like Massively OP, we still run across MMOs we’ve never, ever heard of, obscure little gems (or trainwrecks, depending) that just never got the attention or acclaim they deserved. In the hopes of hearing about more today, I’m hopping aboard /r/MMORPG for our Daily Grind. Redditor Cicero asked fellow MMO fans,

What is your favorite obscure MMORPG? And by obscure MMORPG, I mean one that isn’t often talked about, or just isn’t that popular anymore.

Glitch would probably top my list. Though it’s closed now, and though it received a flurry of positive press early on thanks to the credentials of its studio, it somehow managed to wallow in obscurity, such that every time we mention it, our readers pipe up to say they’ve never heard of it. Runner-up for me goes to Zentia, an adorable and bizarre little import that probably turned off most MMO players because of its aesthetic but was actually the cleverest MMO I’ve seen to date out of China (it also was initially hardcore PvP) (and you could play a baby) (I told you it was weird).

How about you? What’s your favorite obscure MMORPG?

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Massively Overthinking: WildStar, Guild Wars 2, and MMO raiding in 2015

Here we are in October, sandwiched between WildStar’s F2P conversion and Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns launch, and it seems as if we’re getting some very mixed messages from the MMO industry with these titles.

WildStar went F2P as a result of flagging sales and plummeting subscriptions, brought on — if you ask the commentariat — by the game’s insistent focus on hardcore, endgame raiding to the near-exclusion of other content. Today’s more well-rounded WildStar isn’t very much like what launched in 2014, presumably having learned that lesson.

Guild Wars 2, on the other hand, will introduce with its expansion tomorrow a brand-new raiding scene, and a particularly challenging one at that.

So what’s the deal here? Is ArenaNet out of touch or calculatedly gambling for a niche it doesn’t already have? Is raiding over or on the way back? Let’s talk about the state and importance of MMO raiding in 2015 for this week’s Massively Overthinking.

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