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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]

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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The Daily Grind: What makes a really great MMO community manager?

When Funcom hired new community managers a few weeks ago, some readers questioned why we’d cover it. Big whoop, community managers are glorified retweeters, right? Yeah, not so much. A talented community manager can work a playerbase and keep everyone happy even in dark times. “Sinking, panicking games dump their CMs overboard first, not realizing their CMs are the best at bailing,” I argued at the time. “Hiring good CMs is a good sign in a lot of ways.”

But as I think more on it, I have a hard time pinpointing a single common-denominator quality for the CMs I think are particularly wonderful. Some of them win affection by seemingly responding to queries around the clock. Others “tell it like it is” or climb down into the trenches of the game with the players themselves. Some will buddy up to vocal gamers, while others stay professional and honest. Personality clearly has a lot to do with it — and so does the nature of the game’s playerbase. I suspect that the community team for LOTRO has it a bit easier than the team for EVE Online (although maybe not much!).

What do you think makes a really great MMO community manager? And whom would you hold up as the ideal CM in the MMO genre?

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Sword and Bored: Dye job

Sometimes I question the artistic prowess of some MMO designers, especially in games where the original artists have moved on to other projects. Many times, I’ve jumped back in to a game after a year or so after its launch, and I’ll question whether the current team did anything other than just reuse old assets for new content. I don’t think any MMO is immune to bad post-launch design.

It looks like the artist’s intern might need to find a new career in Mo’s MMO…

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Grab a Wild Terra early access key from MOP and Juvty Worlds [All gone now!]

If you missed out on our giveaway for survival sandbox Wild Terra back in September, then today marks a second chance.

Juvty Worlds has granted MOP 50 Wild Terra early access keys to pass along to our readers; they come with five premium days included.

Clicky the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys and get started!

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Massively OP’s holiday gift guide for WildStar fans

One of my most prized possessions in life is a WildStar rowsdower plushie that sits behind me at work, always giving me the eye. I got it at a convention and know that it’s slightly rare, as Carbine has yet to take the obvious route of mass producing and selling these critters to be the toy smash hit of holiday 2015.

In fact, the studio and its publisher hasn’t done much to merch out WildStar (not even a soundtrack release, alas), which makes buying a special game-themed gift for yourself or a loved one extra difficult. However, I came up with a few possibilities that you can check out in today’s gift guide!

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The Daily Grind: Did you find any MMO deals over the weekend?

So Black Friday has come and gone, and now I guess it’s Cyber Monday, or something like that? I don’t know; I don’t pay attention to the marketing terms and instead I just buy the games I want when I want them. It’s hard to ignore some of the Steam sales, though, and I spent about 50 bucks over the weekend and got a load of titles that will probably sit on my personal need-to-play list for the next year!

What about you, MOP readers? Did you buy a bunch of games over the weekend due to sales or whatever? Did you find any MMO deals?

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MMO Week in Review: Guild Wars 2 is a study in contradictions (November 29, 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!

Attention, those of you who survived Turkey Coma and Black Friday 2015: We now return you to your regularly scheduled MMOs. This week, Guild Wars 2 overtook holiday headlines and hits by talking up its continuing e-sports push and then saying farewell to its WvW dev while simultaneously promising love for WvW. Wheee!

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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Massively OP’s holiday gift guide for EverQuest franchise and Daybreak fans

It’s that time of year again: when you realize half-way through your indulgence of in-game festivals that you totally forgot to go out and pick up gifts for all the EverQuest franchise and Daybreak Games fans on your list. Or maybe you didn’t forget, but you’ve been totally stumped as to what to get that certain someone that already has everything in game. Never fear, MOP is here to help! And we’ve got the answer for you: Gift them something outside the game. You’ve already got some good ideas regarding DC Universe Online, so here are a few for fans of the other titles that caught my eye.

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WRUP: Entirely too much about bears edition

I am legitimately fascinated by bears in video games. Not just because I love bears, although that’s true too. I’m fascinated because in the real world, bears are the closest thing we have to an end boss. They’re enormous piles of claws and muscle that can knock your head off without even trying very hard. And yet most games treat bears as just whatever, not tremendously dangerous, often low-level enemies.

I’m just saying, if I see a guy walking around with a pet bear, my reaction should not be “ah, that’s a Hunter pet, excellent tank choice.” My reaction should have more to do with being aware that any gentleman with a bear as a walk-around pet is no one to mess with.

What Are You Playing is not an exercise open to bears, chiefly because very few bears are able to operate keyboards. But I’m guessing most of the people reading right now are not bears, and you are more than welcome to let us know what you’re playing down in the comments. If you are a bear, you can still let us know, but please be aware that sleeping for 36 hours and then snurfling at a beehive is not a “game” in the strictest sense. Read more

Massively OP’s holiday gift guide for Marvel Heroes & superhero MMO fans

If you’re a superhero fan or close to someone who is, you are certainly not lacking for options as to where to spend gobs of cash this holiday season. Between the movies, comics, TV shows, and (especially in our case) the games, superpowered entertainment is bursting to both thrill you and ask you for a minor financial donation.

Today I’m going to run you down a few ways that you could buy a present for that loved one (which includes you, because you’re so lovable) who is into superhero MMOs that ranges from the affordable to the rather pricey. From Marvel Heroes to DC Universe Online (and, um, those… other games?), here’s what I would recommend!

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The Daily Grind: So what’s SWTOR’s big announcement?

Wednesday, BioWare hinted that something is brewing in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

BioWare was asking for feedback about subscriber rewards just a few weeks ago, so while some players have their fingers crossed for Chapter 10 info and love for PvP, it seems more likely that the studio has a new plan for tweaking subber bonuses or vet rewards. But what? What do you think BioWare is up to?

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Massively OP’s holiday gift guide for the shooter and console MMO fan

Well, I’m still playing the hell out of Star Wars: Battlefront, despite its many (many) faults! It may just be the Star Wars feels, but this is the first shooter that I’ve enjoyed in quite a while.

I used to play shooters all the live-long day, both for Massively-that-was and for fun, and if nothing else, Battlefront is making me reconsider my view of the genre as a young man’s hobby. If you’re a fan of online shooters, console MMOs, or MMO-likes — or you know someone who is — allow me to suggest a few gift ideas that you may find useful.

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The best MMO deals of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

You could give thanks on Thanksgiving, or gorge yourself on festive food alongside your bickering family members, but we say there’s nothing like shopping from the comfort of our gaming chairs and basking in the company of our favorite guildies! Today, in celebration of the overwrought annual event that is Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, we give you this guide to the best MMO gaming deals (and a few themed events too) that we could find. Go forth and buy all the things.

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