Opinion Category

Opinion pieces are by definition neither neutral nor subjective. Massively Overpowered’s writers’ editorials reflect their own opinions, not necessarily the opinions of the site or company. [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

The Daily Grind: Are MOBAs destined for a Great Crash?

Make no mistake, even with the recent launch of Heroes of the Storm, MOBAs are crashing and burning all over the place these days. We’ve seen titles like Transformers Universe, Solstice Arena, Infinite Crisis, Dawngate, and Wrath of Heroes flame out against the shared monopoly of League of Legends and Dota 2, and the consensus around the Massively OP office is that this is only the beginning of a possible Great MOBA Crash.

Of course, this could be trying to connect dots in the effort of seeing a trend. After all, games are born and die all of the time, so why should MOBAs be any different? What do you think: Are MOBAs destined for a Great Crash or is there enough interest and innovation to expand the field and keep current titles running?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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E3 2015: The Division’s Dark Zone demo does the game no favors

After covering the development of Ubisoft’s The Division since 2013, I finally got my hands on the game itself — and its PvP — at this year’s E3. It’s not exactly a true MMO, but it’s got online co-op, tablet-assisted play, and an “end of the world” setting free of zombies, all of which should translate to hype. [Apparently that tablet app has been canceled as confirmed earlier today.] New details on the Dark Zone may have scared some people off, but my interest was piqued.

For my part, I’m a big fan of organic, open-world PvP; instanced PvP doesn’t do much for me unless it’s about more than just accruing points or climbing ranks or even loot. Unfortunately, the Ubisoft PR rep at E3 began the demo by telling the participants our objective was to kill the other teams in a 3v3v3 “match.” Up until that point, I hadn’t realized that Dark Zone was being billed as an arena for loot gain. In fact, the official description of the demo implied a much more free-form experience.

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Punching dinosaurs in ARK: Survival Evolved

Five minutes after I logged into ARK: Survival Evolved, I punched a fish. A few moments later, I punched a tree. Shortly thereafter, I mustered the courage to punch a dinosaur, and while that didn’t go as well as I would have liked, I did in fact survive.

ARK is one of the ubiquitous early access survival sandboxes littering Steam these days, but because of some glowing recommendations and because dinosaurs, I opted to forego my usual bias against paying to test and dropped 25 bucks on the title.

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E3 2015: Torchlight Mobile is a new Torchlight, not Torch-lite

When Perfect World and Runic Games announced last week that Torchlight was stretching out into the mobile market, it caught many folks quite unawares. (It’s not often a studio can keep something under wraps so well in this industry!) So of course I was looking forward to meeting with these studios at E3 2015 to learn more about this little surprise. What I didn’t expect was to get my hands on a nearly completed version of the game and test it out!

Before I delve into my experience, I must preface this hands-on with the confession that with the exception of Fruit Ninja, I have never played — nor even been interested in playing — any mobile game. Well, unless Tetris counts! I am very much a PC gamer who wants the more in-depth worlds and experiences that come with that platform. That means I definitely have no bias toward or inclination to favor this genre of game. With that said, you can better appreciate this statement: I might very well start playing Torchlight Mobile on my own device when it launches!
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The Daily Grind: What was the MMO highlight of E3?

The last few years around convention time, I took a moment in The Daily Grind to ponder whether E3 had become irrelevant for MMO gamers in particular. This year, I can’t even ask that question with a straight face. While the con wasn’t swarming with true MMOs, the MMO announcements circling the expo were huge. Star Wars: The Old Republic is doing what to its storyline and factions? Guild Wars 2’s expansion is prepurchasable at what price? EVE: Valkyrie hasn’t been abandoned yet? (I kid, I kid.) Never mind that there’s an expansion on the way for Final Fantasy XIV, a patch for World of Warcraft next week, Blade & Soul en route and a F2P relaunch for WildStar, and oh yeah, Elder Scrolls Online console launch anyone? Almost every major MMO player showed up with something big this week.

But what was the biggest? What was the MMO highlight of E3? Bonus question: What was the highlight of E3 overall?

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Massively Overthinking: The value of MMO voice chat

This week’s Massively Overthinking question was shot over to us from Kickstarter donor Celestial, and it’s all about voice chat in MMOs.

Do you use a voice chat program while gaming, and if so, which one do you primarily use? Mumble, TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, RaidCall, Razer Comms, Skype, or some game-integrated solution (WoW, DCUO, LotRO, etc.)?”

And furthermore, do you actually like voice chatting, or is it just something you do because you have to for certain gameplay situations? Let’s discuss the pros and cons of voice chat vs. other types of chat in general!

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Why Guild Wars 2’s prepurchase deal has the internet raging

On the surface, ArenaNet killed it at E3, kicking ass with a much-wanted and huge expansion for Guild Wars 2, one of the biggest MMORPGs in the market. The studio unveiled a massive new guild hall system, one players have been begging for, one that will satisfy everyone from teeny tiny guilds to classic Guild Wars fans. Those devs were riding high. They built it all up, and then they surprise-announced prepurchase tiers for the expansion. Cheering! Expansion! Woohoo! Take my money!

But then gamers got a good look at the tiers and what’s in them and what they cost… and the cheering turned to something else entirely. By Wednesday morning, the faint hum of discontent that began at E3 had turned into a seething rage across Reddit. Our articles on the subject taken together have racked up well over 800 comments as I write this. A single thread on Reddit exhorting players not to prepurchase is nearing 3000 upvotes, more than the subreddit has ever seen on a single topic. The official forums were offline all day Thursday. And through it all, ArenaNet has stayed eerily silent.

Whether you side with the angry mob or have a more nuanced view, Guild Wars 2 is thoroughly bungling its expansion prepurchase.

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E3 2015: Cory Jones discusses HEX, lawsuits, and cake

I first saw MMOTCG HEX at E3 2013 at the same time the Kickstarter was revealed to the public, which was actually after it had been cancelled during its initial development. I was immediately impressed with the idea, but not always the execution. Why put PvP in first? Where’s the unique PvE? Where are the guilds? I sympathize with befuddled players: We hear a vision, we like it, and we want to see it too. We just have trouble visualizing the path there and sometimes get impatient.

At E3 2015, I have seen HEX anew. HEX Entertainment CEO and President Cory Jones summed up the bizarre development process:

HEX is unique. I had to roll out features as they come. Most big companies have enough money to say, ‘No no, we’ll wait till the cake’s baked, and then we’ll put it out.’ I’ve had to go, ‘Oh, this part’s baked; I’ll peel this off and serve it. Here’s some frosting on the side!’ I’ve had to piecemeal you this cake, which is not a good way to serve cake.”

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Perfect Ten: MMO terms that have overstayed their welcome

My original plan for this week – during the few moments that I was capable of coherent speech rather than just babbling about the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV expansion – was to give you lovely folks a drinking game. Each time you see certain things come up in indie MMO Kickstarters, take a shot. And I might still do that one day, but I decided against it for two reasons. One is that it feels a bit like punching down, which I don’t like to do.

But the second reason, and the more important one, is that not all of the fault can be laid at the feet of indie Kickstarters. The part where you expect to build a functional MMO on a budget that won’t pay for a single programmer, yes. Pretty much everything related to Greed Monger, that’s on you. But some of these terms come up over and over because they’ve been bludgeoned into formless masses now, and so it’s not really the fault of the indie folks that you can throw these terms in front of more or less everything.

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The Daily Grind: Would you play a Marvel Heroes clone?

It seems like at least half of the Massively Overpowered staff is obsessed with Marvel Heroes. I’ve played it a fair amount too, and I keep logging into it every day even though I no longer play it because of some silly need to get the various login rewards.

What I’d prefer, though, is either for Disney to make Star Wars Heroes or Warner Bros. to make DC Heroes while keeping the mechanics intact and replacing an IP that I don’t really care about with an IP that I do care about.

What about you, MOP readers? Would you play a Marvel Heroes clone, if there was such a thing? Why or why not?

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Jukebox Heroes: An exclusive journey through Aion’s Upheaval soundtrack

Aion is a game that’s well-renowned for both its visual and audio beauty. Among my fellow MMO soundtrack enthusiasts, the title’s many soundtracks stand out as some of the best in the business. So it goes without saying that we wouldn’t mind a bit more of it, right?

Happily, we got just that. With the advent of Patch 4.8: Upheaval, NCsoft added 18 new music tracks to the game, and for the most part they are spectacular. The score carries the task of selling the atmosphere and wordless story to several new regions and locales, and I had a difficult time picking just six tracks to share.

So here we are with an exclusive first listen to the Aion Upheaval soundtrack. Enjoy!

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Massively Opinionated: What’s the coolest Guild Wars 2 Elite Spec?

Massively Opinionated welcomes some very special guests today from ArenaNet to debate content from its first expansion for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.

Guild Wars 2 has obsessive fans who like to pick apart every little tidbit of information ArenaNet has to dish out. Well, GW2 fans, here’s your chance to comb through every word that they have to say about the upcoming expansion. Our host, Larry Everett, invited Content Marketing Manager Rubi Bayer and Narrative Designer Scott McGough to debate GW2 tropes with superfan and YouTuber Aurora Peachy.

Some secrets for the upcoming expansion might have slipped out, but you’ll only know what they are if you check out this week’s vidcast!

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E3 2015: Hands-on with Sword Coast Legends

I’m more an MMORPG player than a Dungeons & Dragons tabletop gamer, but I’m familiar enough with D&D to be intrigued by the addition of a third online game in the franchise to the market. Still, I wasn’t sure what to expect from my Dungeons & Dragons: Sword Coast Legends demo at E3 this year. We have two other D&D MMOs, and Neverwinter already has a way to let players build dungeons for other people to play and enjoy in the form of the Foundry. How could SCL be different?

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