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]

Sword and Bored: Ninja Loot

Our hero, Mo, has finally found a group of friendly players, and although they might have lost their first big battle, they will eventually prevail. Perhaps our hero has found some people he could actually play the game with. After all, many MMORPGs are all about the group play — or at least, having the possibility of having other players to quest with.

Let’s find out what our adventurers are up to in this week’s comic…

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV is ready to expand

There’s a phrase that gets passed around my house frequently these days, and the phrase is “expansion mode.” I have two characters locked into it in Final Fantasy XIV. My wife has one. Our constant companion has one. I suspect many of my readers have at least one, possibly more. This is a bit upsetting because you get to that point only if you’re a pretty big fan of Final Fantasy XIV, but it sort of shuts down your prospect of playing the game for a while.

Expansion mode is that state where your character is as ready for the expansion as you care to be. Sure, you could run more dungeons in theory, clear another piece of content or two… but what’s the point? You’re not trying to catch up. You can get into Ishgard. You are, for all intents and purposes, done with the majority of the game as it stands now. That means that by definition you are not the person that the last incremental patch is designed to address.

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The Daily Grind: Did the Blade & Soul announcement improve your outlook on MMOs?

So, Blade & Soul! Huzzah, and stuff. I don’t know about you, but NCsoft’s heading-west announcement has reinvigorated my inner MMO fan, at least for a little while. I’d basically given up on the game since news of an American version has been hard to come by in recent years, so last week’s surprise was a welcome one.

What about you, MOP readers? Did the Blade & Soul announcement improve your outlook on MMOs for 2015?

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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MMO Week in Review: Blizzard doesn’t want your money (May 24, 2015)

Too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

Were you one of the three million people who ditched World of Warcraft earlier this year? Did you leave in part because you could fly virtually everywhere in the game but not the new expansion and found it irritating, illogical, and design-poor? Were you expecting to resub at some future point once Blizzard addressed the feature? Good news: Blizzard has nixed flying in Draenor forever; it doesn’t want your money, so you can now spend it on the hundreds of other MMORPGs on the market. You’re welcome!

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

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Guild Chat: The layout, usage, and manners of voice chat

Welcome along to Guild Chat, my own wee place in the ‘webs in which we can discuss all things guilds and club together to give advice to a reader in need. I’m rushed off my feet with not one but three questions to answer this month, so I do believe it’s some else’s turn to stick the kettle on! This edition of Guild Chat is focused on VOIP use in guilds, with all three questions tying back to problems with voice. Some of the scenarios presented are downright hilarious, so you’ll not want to miss this one!

The questions were submitted by Massively Overpowered readers Max, Rick, and SpirriX, and they focus on several different VOIP-related issues. First up, we have a discussion on how best to set up your VOIP channels, followed by whether or not it is worth leaving a guild that is heavily dependent on voice chat if you don’t join in yourself. My advice turns a wee bit ranty when we get to the issue of noisy push-to-talk haters who overshare when it comes to their eating and pottying habits – oy! Read each question in full below and don’t forget to pop your own advice in the comments for the good of the group.
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The Daily Grind: What MMO characters have you unexpectedly loved?

I made my Crab Spider in City of Heroes primarily because I wanted to have someone as a spider. My character concept for her was sort of ridiculous. I did not think that she’d become my main character, have an immensely satisfying roleplaying arc, and wind up being a character I look upon with great fondness. But that’s exactly what happened, and I could still probably write a whole column about Rubi Sloane and her path from Arachnos to Longbow.

She’s hardly the only character, though. From my Shaman in World of Warcraft to my Smuggler in Star Wars: The Old Republic, I’ve made a lot of characters whom I expected to not care about but wound up loving. What about you? What characters have you made that you found yourself unexpectedly fond of?

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LOTRO Legendarium: Eight years, eight pictures, eight stories

I might be a little tardy in doing this, but every spring since I started to write about Lord of the Rings Online, I’ve done a column in honor of the game’s anniversary. When I began, LOTRO was only a few years old; now it’s two years shy of a full decade.

In the past I’ve discussed the history of the game and some of the grander milestones, but today I’d like to engage LOTRO’s anniversary on a smaller, more personal level. As with many of you, I have a screenshot folder that is practically bulging with pictures taken of my adventures over the years. While some of those are just pretty vistas, others have significant stories attached.

So I’m going to share eight of those pictures with you, starting with the header up there. Back in the first few years, there was nothing as breathtaking — or screenshotted — as the descent into Rivendell. It’s definitely long in the tooth today, but I’m still impressed with the tranquility, beauty, and design that the devs conveyed in this remote outpost.

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WRUP: My only raiding story from Star Wars: The Old Republic edition

A friend asked me to come with her guild to run some endgame raid or another. I don’t remember what it was. Whatever raid had this guy as an end boss. The only thing I remember about it was that this guy was there, and then I said that everyone should stand back while my Jedi defeated him with the power of rock.

Then we all died like five times before clearing him. I had no emotional connection to any of this other than the screenshot.

What’s that you say? It’s time for What Are You Playing? Huzzah, I say! I have a deep emotional connection to that. Jump on down below to see what we’re doing over the weekend, and then let us know what you’ll be up to down in the comments.

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The Daily Grind: Do you feel alone in your games?

As one or two people have pointed out, MMOs are multiplayer by their very definition — and massively so. Yet even if you’re in a large crowd, you can still feel very alone. I was reading a post by a blogger in which he was expressing how lonesome he often felt in-game and frustrated by not being able to combat that.

Sometimes I do feel a little alone in a game, especially if I’m not part of a guild, but more often than not gamers waiting to talk and group are right at my fingertips. Even seeing another player run by or lend a quick hand in a fight makes me feel like I’ve had a dose of companionship.

Do you feel alone in your games? Are you looking for advice how to get out of that rut?

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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Ultraviolence, virtual worlds, and why I hate myself for loving GTA Online

OK, maybe that title is overly dramatic. Still, I feel guilty for liking Grand Theft Auto Online. I’ve touched on this before, as have a number of you in the comments of a previous article, but as it’s the only video game that’s holding my attention here lately, I’m loathe to let it go even though it forces me to run rough-shod over pixelized policemen.

It’s not just the violence, either. Rockstar delights in provoking pretty much everyone, whether you’re a leftist, a libertarian, or somewhere in between. There’s so much irresponsibility assaulting you from every angle courtesy of the game’s NPCs, its radio disc jockeys, and its highway billboards that it’s hard to know where my facepalming should begin.

So I guess I’ll just go back to the violence.

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The Daily Grind: Would you play a World of Warcraft progression server?

Classic servers and progression servers are on my mind lately. EverQuest just got yet another progression server; it had launch issues, but it’s up now. Lineage II is getting a classic server. RuneScape has one already. Darkfall’s considering it. Ultima Online… well, UO has Siege Perilous, which is old school only harder-core. We’ve even argued that Lord of the Rings Online would benefit from one.

But the elephant in the room is always World of Warcraft. Most of the people who have ever played WoW no longer do, and if the former WoW players in our comments are any guide, many of them long for the days of a previous setting. For some, it’s Burning Crusade. I preferred Wrath of the Lich King myself. And some peeps would just like to live in Vanilla forever. In fact, some do just that on illegal servers.

And all of those people would be paying Blizzard a monthly sub if Blizzard would just do what itty-bitty classic MMOs like EQ have done and opened some classic or progression servers. Would you join them? Would you play on a World of Warcraft progression server?

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Massively Overthinking: Nasty labels for players in MMOs

This week’s Massively Overthinking topic comes to us from an anonymous Kickstarter donor, who wanted to talk about excessive namecalling jargon as it pertains to groups of players in MMOs:

Regarding sneering terms for players (whales, carebears): Why is it considered inherently superior to prefer to play for free, and to think smashing other players’ heads in is fun?

Of course, it’s not just PvP players and F2P players generating rude epithets for their enemies; we have nasty terms like “freeloaders” and “sociopaths” clogging up discussion too. So what’s up with the namecalling and tribalism in gaming? And why are we so obsessed with how people pay for things and what type of thing they like to kill in video games? I posed these questions to the MOP writers this week.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s endgame dungeons, from launch to present

It’s crazy to realize that Final Fantasy XIV has added more dungeons via patches in a year and a half than World of Warcraft has added via patches in the game’s decade of existence. Sure, a lot of those are hard modes, but considering that every hard mode completely redoes enemies, maps, and such, I’d say they’re functionally new dungeons all around. But which one is the best and which one is the worst?

We’ve got less than a month now until Heavensward early access starts. So just as I talked about the game’s dungeons shortly after launch, today I want to talk about all of the options at level 50. These are rated purely based on the fun of the dungeon, not rewards, and in all cases I’m talking about the factory-fresh version rather than, say, the downtunings that Pharos Sirius and Amdapor Keep have seen. So let’s start at the bottom and work our way up.

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