MMORPGs are massively multiplayer online roleplaying games, our core focus here on Massively OP. MMORPGs are traditionally differentiated from mere multiplayer games by their persistent worlds, massive playerbases and/or servers, customizable character development, and always-online status. [Follow the MMORPG category’s RSS feed]
It was the mid-’80s, and I was just a kid in love with his family’s IBM PC. Not having a wealth of capital at the time, I relied on hand-me-down copies of software that rolled in from friends and family and probably the Cyber-Mafia. Practically none of the disks came with instructions (or even labels, sometimes), and as such I felt like an explorer uncovering hidden gems as I shoved in 5 1/4″ floppy after 5 1/4″ floppy. Some titles were great fun, some were so obtuse I couldn’t get into them, and some were obviously meant for those older and wiser than I.
One game that fell into the latter category was a brutally difficult RPG that smelt of Dungeons & Dragons — a forbidden experience for me at the time. It was just a field of ASCII characters, jumbled statistics, and instant death awaiting me around every corner. I gave it a few tries but could never progress past the first level, especially when I’d keep running out of arrows, so I gave up.
Then I had my first brush with Rogue, an enormously popular dungeon crawler that straddled the line between the description-heavy RPGs and arcade titles like Gauntlet. Rogue defined the genre when it came out in 1980, spawning dozens of “Roguelikes” that sought to cash in on the craze. Not five years after its release, Rogue got a worthy successor that decided it could bring this addicting style of gameplay to the larval form of the Internet. It was called Island of Kesmai, but you may call it “Sir, yes sir!”
Crowfall fans are in for a long, tall drink of information this weekend, poured straight from the minds of creators J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton. The pair sat down for a lengthy Reddit AMA on Friday, tackling dozens of questions from the community.
Coleman said that the team is currently working on the core of Crowfall: “Our next milestone is focused on making the foundation of the MMO work: large scale world(s), persistence across days (…then weeks, then months), scalability of the game service. There are some new systems coming online (harvesting and crafting, revised chat, revised skills), but MOST of the next milestone revolves around the theme of ‘laying the foundation for the real game.'”
We all lose things over the course of our lives. Some things are small, almost incidental – pieces of paper, movies, favored dishes, keys, and the like. Others are more important – organs, limbs, eyesight, hearing. And then there are the losses we experience that are less physical but no less acute, like the loss that it seems most of us must go through, that moment when we realize that we are not the hero.
In our minds, we are the protagonists of our own stories, always. But being the protagonist is not the same as being the hero. At some point in maturation, we realize that we are not the hero of our own story, that we may not in fact be the hero of anyone‘s story. We are simply individuals playing our part in a tapestry stretching far beyond us in either direction. Simply acting in our own best interests does not make us heroes, it makes us neutral at best and a villain at worst.
In short, there comes a time when you realize that what separates us from those we find distasteful is merely our tricks of perception. Anyway, What Are You Playing is down below, let us know what you’re up to.
Looks like Blizzard has lost more than just Chris Metzen this week; MMO Champion reports that World of Warcraft Lead Quest Designer Craig Amai has departed that team. Adding to that are departure tweets from Senior Director of Story & Creative Development James Waugh and WoW Lead Character Artist Tyson Murphy.
Lest you think they’re all going to a startup — like, say, Pardo’s — do note that Murphy says he’s headed to Riot Games, and Amai says he’s just leaving WoW, “not necessarily Blizzard.”
Boss fights in MMORPGs are often slapped with predictable labels: tedious, challenging, interesting, technical, difficult, or face-roll. Yet one that I’m always looking for is the simple “fun.”
Can a boss fight go beyond being an obstacle between me and my precious loot to actually be a fun experience? I think so, indeed. Every so often it seems like developers put in extra effort to create a boss encounter that is exhilarating from start to finish.
The other night I was fighting this giant toothy boss in RIFT when we got to a stage where we did a massive leap onto its shoulders to start smacking it about the head. It’s a small change, but it did turn the fight from a dull slapping of the giant’s shins to a grin-worthy experience.
What do you think?
Half of H1Z1 was supposed to be launching on September 20th, but much like the game’s console plans that has been rolled backwards. The developers are keeping King of the Kill in early access for a bit longer, although the game will still receive a very large update on September 20th. When will the game actually launch now? Who knows?
Moving on to other beta news from the week:
- Eternal Crusade is smashing its way into launch on September 23rd, complete with a big pre-launch patch to accompany the change in status. PvE is coming back, lots of balance is being addressed, there’s all sorts of fun stuff to entertain players in the works.
- The latest addition to the swelling survival sandbox category, Osiris: New Dawn, is hitting early access on Steam on September 28th. If you had been eagerly awaiting another game of this style on Steam… well, you’ll have one more, although you seem to have already had a variety of options.
- Atlas Reactor is hitting launch itself on October 4th, with headstart planned to start on September 30th. It’s a busy month for early access and launches, in other words.
- AdventureQuest 3D joins the ranks of games launching or functionally launching in the near future with its plans of open beta in October. It’s a pretty quick turnaround for the game.
- Boy, is everything launching? Not quite; Aeria has delayed the localization testing of Bless for the future. More changes are coming to the title, but the developers want to make sure that the game is in an ideal state to be a long-term success.
And you know there’s a whole list down below full of games in testing or remarkably test-like states. Do let us know if something in there slipped between phases without letting us know, will you? Usually it’s some rascally localized free-to-play game that quietly launched without saying anything, those lovable scamps.
If you have totally forgotten that Champions Online
is currently in the ecstatic throes of its seventh anniversary, it’s to be forgiven. Lots of stuff going on in gaming, the iPhone is ditching the headphone jack, the Olympics are over and there’s a void in your life, etc.
So consider this a friendly reminder that Champions is giving away a lot of free stuff to players who log in every day, with new stuff coming in every week. There’s only two weeks left, with this week’s freebies including a couple of action figures.
If you’re headed to BlizzCon this year — virtually or in the flesh — you’re surely anticipating the swag, much of which comes in digital form. I know I use my old murloc portrait border in Diablo III with pride! Here’s what you can expect this year:
- a choice between a Horde- or Alliance-themed Murky minipet in World of Warcraft;
- a BlizzCon-skinned Bastion for Overwatch;
- a Dark Lord minipet in Diablo III (but only if you’re playing on PC or Mac;
- a con-themed card back for Hearthstone;
- a Nexus Tiger mount in Heroes of the Storm;
- and unannounced portraits and “mystery goodies” for StarCraft II.
E-sports fans should also take a look at the full schedule of competitive events during the show.
This year’s BlizzCon runs November 4th and 5th in Anaheim, California. Virtual tickets for folks who want to watch the festivies from the comfort of their PJs at home are already on sale for $39.99 US.
So let’s walk back through this procedure. You had to choose a name for yourself on Battle.net because you wanted to play World of Warcraft, and this was back several years ago. You thus decided to name yourself ThreeWolfMoon because you were absolutely certain that reference wouldn’t look intensely stupid in seven years. Now your name makes you look like an idiot when you play Heroes of the Storm. But the good news is that you can change your name on the service now… for $10 per change.
To be fair, it’s $10 per change after the first one, so you get a free chance to alter your name if you made a typo or had second thoughts. Subsequent changes will require $10 each, and as before, the name does not need to be unique. It’s a good option if you want to go by something different or more personalized, although we recommend that you think twice and remember your first hypothetical name before you change your tag to “Harambe.”
“I’m hip-deep in changes to all kinds of systems,” says Project Gorgon’s Eric Heimburg in a blog post this week, “and still trying different things out.” And he means it! Of note, power management is going through a heavy balancing phase as armor bonuses are being adjusted and armor types will more dramatically affect how much power you can regenerate in combat, which in turn should allow cloth wearers more power to use high-power skills more often.
Heimburg is also focusing on food in the indie sandbox. “I’ve come to feel that the ‘food issue’ needs to be addressed now rather than later,” he admits. “If food is going to be an important part of every player’s game experience, now is a great time to make that happen, since I’m looking for places to give players more Power! But just making food ‘work better’ isn’t enough, because players won’t know to use it.” Consequently, the Gourmand skill is due for tweaks to make it more useful and make meals and snacks themselves more necessary and obvious. A food slot akin to EverQuest II’s might be one solution, he says.
Testers should further expect future adjustments to gear swapping, legacy effects, the possible resurrection of the Dark Geology skill, and Necros and pets in general.
Hey kid! Want a little MOBA in your MMO? It won’t be the first time that something like this has happened, but Skyforge has just added a new PvP mode that sounds suspiciously similar to all of those lobby battle games with “lanes” and “jungles” and “fog of war.” Tomorrow’s forecast? More fog! Always foggy in these games.
Anyway, in this week’s content update, Skyforge introduced Golem Battles to the game. Players will take on the role of MOBA champions, rushing to destroy enemy towers, er, repeaters that are constantly spitting out minions, er, golems. Rewards, fame, glory, and bragging rights are all up for grabs with this mode.
The patch has a few other things in case you’re not interested in the MOBA life. Players can take on the new Metal and Chitin storyline quest, get more rewards for participating in the Inghar Test Area, and experience quest dialogue in a different (and hopefully better) way.
It’s Friday! MassivelyOP’s MJ doesn’t need another reason to celebrate, but here’s one anyway: ArcheAge
turns two years old today. Ah, those terrible twos. MJ is diving in to partake in revelry and random shenanigans (and possibly cause some trouble). Part of the anniversary festivities include building a nest! Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to see what that is all about!
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 16th, 2016
I’ve now made my way through all of the zones in World of Warcraft: Legion twice. There’s something to be written about that, which I think is at once a success and a failing of design. Zones never become irrelevant or boring, but alts never get to bypass zones or do things differently, just in a different order. And it’s always ending with Suramar. But as relevant as all of that may be, it’s not what I want to talk about this week.
Whenever I’m in a new expansion, part of what I think about are the individual zones. Especially for this expansion, the individual zones matter a lot. You’re going back to them regularly, exploring, taking on new world quests, exploring more lore, and so forth. We’ve got only five new zones in this expansion, but they’re large and they’re important. So let’s step back and look at the zones of the Broken Isles, moving around in a logical and vaguely clockwork fashion. It makes sense to me, anyhow.