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]
Hey MMO developers, have you ever wondered why players are driven away from your games? Two bloggers took a stab at a list of features repulse them personally when they encounter them in-game.
“Oh man, the pain… the cringe that shoots through my body whenever MMO devs talk about adding more jumping puzzles to their game as if that was somehow a great thing,” MMO Gypsy posted. “Jumping puzzles will make me swear off a title quicker than tankinis — if I want to jump around like an obsessed monkey I am gonna play platformers, thank you!”
“Asian MMOs like TERA and Aion like you to hear your characters use their abilities,” Gaming SF added. “Such games make group gameplay somewhat annoying over time. How many times do I need to hear ‘YAAAARRRRGGGH!’ in one dungeon?”
Knights of the Fallen Empire
, the latest expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic
, launched early access today, and SWTOR
fans are elated. They have been waiting for months, wondering why this expansion was so important for the MMO. Now we might have our answer.
BioWare proclaims that choice is paramount for this expansion, more than it has been previously in the game. At TwitchCon, BioWare would not let streamers play beyond to the dialogue choice when your character speaks to Emperor Valkorion in his throne room. Since the game is now available to the public, we can show you both outcomes and discuss the illusion of choice.
Warning: This video contains major spoilers.
It was a largely upbeat week for the MMO industry, and the Massively OP podcasting team is back to bring you the good word. New games? More content? Massive rollbacks? Studio independence? We have it all this week!
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.
The final day of 12 Days of TOR is here, and we are doing a little twist in today’s Star Wars: The Old Republic playthrough. Larry will be helming a fresh level 60 character in the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion. But what class, advanced class, and gender will this character be? That will be up to you, the chatroom.
MJ will man the voting booth for the stream, tallying your votes for not only the choices mentioned above but also the other major dialogue choices that will ultimate determine this character’s place in the galaxy.
Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you…
What: Star Wars: The Old Republic, Knights of the Fallen Empire
Who: MJ Guthrie and Larry Everett
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015
Enjoy the show!
For the last few days, I have been playing the Star Wars: The Old Republic
expansion Knights of the Fallen Empire
. My expectations going into this expansion were low. I believed it would just be more of the same. I had been burned by Makeb and to a lesser extent Shadow of Revan
, but ultimately, I wondered how in the world BioWare
could change its formula. For the last couple of years, it’s been producing SWTOR
in a very similar way to its original launch plan. I assumed that BioWare was content with how it was doing and believed that it would continue on the current path that it was on. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right?
But the advertising for the KOTFE expansion suggested that choices really would matter and that as a whole the game was headed back to its roots in Knights of the Old Republic.
I have recorded about 10 hours of footage that I will be sifting through this week, putting together a video or two about the content. In that time, I played through the entire nine chapters that come with the expansion, and I can say without a doubt that KOTFE has surpassed all my expectations.
One quirk of some early MMORPGs was that character names weren’t always unique. It was possible to roll multiple characters with precisely the same name and appearance, and whatever unique identification system the game did have was completely hidden from the players.
Hijinks ensued, as you might imagine, when unsavory types rolled characters to trick their fellow players. I was fooled once myself way back in the early days of Ultima Online, when an outcast former guildie rolled up a perfect clone of our recruiting officer and managed to bluff his way into our castle and safehouses until we figured out the scam.
Modern MMOs usually prohibit reuse of character names, or at the least they’ll append some other unique signifier to help players avoid mistaken identity. But there are plenty of scams in MMOs still, particularly in lowbie areas, where naive newbies and trusting kids (like I was back then!) swarm. Maybe the most widespread is the lottery scam, so virulent that some games, like World of Warcraft, outlaw player-run lotteries entirely.
Have you ever been scammed in an MMO? What’s the worst scam you’ve ever seen, and in which game did it take place?
This comic doesn’t need a long introduction: We’ve all experienced the annoyance of clipping in one form or another, but certain MMOs are infamous for making clipping and falling through the seams of a world a fate worse than death, with mechanics that actually work against the player trying to fix his buggy situation.
At any rate, I know that nearly everyone who is reading this comic has been where Mo finds himself. What’s your worst experience with this video game phenomenon?
One of the damage dealers in the party can’t stay out of damaging effects because moving interrupts his casts, and he thinks finishing a cast is more important than not getting killed. The other DPS seems to think that she’s winning if she can pull threat off of the tank, usually by pulling groups that the tank hasn’t even seen. And the fact that the tank is wearing nothing but Slaying accessories and hasn’t even broken 13,000 HP as a Warrior doesn’t help matters either.
But the dungeon still gets cleared successfully. Why? Because of the healer.
Healers in Final Fantasy XIV are fairly involved as roles go, given far more tasks than simply desperately clicking on party members while making health bars go back up. Oh, sure, that’s a big portion of what they do, but there’s respectable damage and support to go along with it. So now that we’ve covered the other roles, it’s high time to give the healers their due.
I don’t know what was going on with me during the week of September 16th, but I completely missed the news about fantasy sandbox MMO Wurm Online repackaging itself as a sort of modernized Neverwinter Nights. Wurm Unlimited is not only coming to Steam on October 21st, but it’s offering up the chance for players to run their own private servers and use GM tools while customizing the experience for themselves and/or their friends.
This is basically my MMO holy grail, as I can skip life-wasting progression grinds and ruinous cash shops and get right to the roleplaying, the city building, and all the other fun virtual world stuff that I used to enjoy before MMOs turned into skinner box monetization experiments.
What about you, MOP readers? Will you try Wurm Unlimited?
‘s realtime skill training system has been a major point of contention throughout the game’s lifetime, being a boon for those with little time to invest but often stunting players who prefer to work toward goals. While you could grind your way to your first billion ISK and can play the market freely, skill training will slow your progression. The system made a lot of sense back in EVE
‘s early life when subscriptions were the only game in town, as you’re guaranteed to make progress even if you don’t have time to play. EVE
quickly got a reputation as an MMO that rewards careful planning more than hours sunk into grinding content, and it settled in that niche for quite some time. For new players, however, skills represent roadblocks lasting anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on what ship you want to fly or what role you want to play.
The inability to grind for skillpoints has been a common complaint among today’s prospective players, who believe they’ll never be able to catch up to veterans no matter how good they become at the game. Those complaints may soon be silenced, however, as CCP has announced plans to let players extract skillpoints in unwanted skills and sell them on the open market as Transneural Skill Packets. You’ll be able to respec your character by extracting skills you don’t use and re-assigning their points to other fields, and players who grind their way to riches will be able to buy skillpoints to boost their characters. The player reaction to the announcement has been oddly mixed, with over 150 pages filled with doomsday predictions on the forum but more cautiously optimistic responses from the EVE blogging community and subreddit. So what’s the big deal with selling skillpoints, and does it make EVE pay-to-win?
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at EVE‘s skill system, what will change with the introduction of the Transneural Skill Packet system, and whether this makes EVE pay-to-win.
I really, really enjoy roleplaying. It’s one of the biggest ways that I enjoy a game. I like coming up with elaborate character backstories and living the lives of these people, which invariably turns into some combination of mundane drama spiced up with the supernatural. Yes, my main character in Final Fantasy XIV is an assassin with magical knowledge who had her entire body reconstructed at one point, but a good portion of her life is still having tea and enjoying a night out with friends and family.
But not everyone roleplays, and even those of us who do sometimes find something holding us back (lack of available partners, for example). So what keeps you from roleplaying? Is it a lack of desire, a complex schedule of availability, fear, or something else altogether?
With the free-to-play launch calming down somewhat (look man, I can log onto the server!) and fall events kicking off in WildStar, I’ve been enjoying watching a new crowd come into the game and coo over all of the little details that make this game special.
While we can never get a completely fresh first look at any particular game after that initial run, there is the next best thing of looking at it through someone else’s eyes. In all of the discussion and questions and excitement of the past few weeks, I’ve noted that this enthusiasm is having a revitalizing effect on the veteran community.
Of course, it’s not as if we can’t get out of our rut and take the effort to notice the small things that make WildStar a great place to be. Today I’m going to list, in no particular order, six little elements that I love about this game. Just because I’m that much of a fanboy.
The other day I was watching through a YouTube channel of an MMO player who loves lists as much as I do. And while I enjoyed said lists, I noticed that there was one disquieting trend: The creator had an obvious grudge against Star Wars: The Old Republic for what he considered a severe letdown following the launch and massive hype.
It frustrated me because he kept stating that the game had failed, period, even though he ended his relationship with it well before free-to-play and SWTOR’s subsequent rise after that initial fall. I wanted to know if the player was simply nursing a grudge and ignoring the present reality or if he considered the game dookey based on its current state.
I understand how hard it is to forgive MMOs and studios for past wrongs, real or perceived. I had a chip on my shoulder about World of Warcraft for many years after I left it. Now I’m at peace with the good memories I had with it rather than dwelling on those final days.
Can you ever forgive MMOs? Will you?