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 Soapbox: Star Citizen is still worth the wait

Wow, it’s Star Citizen and Derek Smart in the same post! OK, now that I’ve stopped laughing (again), you can call me crazy because I remain optimistic about Cloud Imperium’s space sim opus. Yes, I’m still optimistic despite the verbal stylings of Battlecruiser’s creative lead and the dozens of MOP commenters who agreed with him about Star Citizen’s supposed fast-track to failure.

And frankly, optimism isn’t usually my thing. Why the happy face, then? I’m so glad you asked!

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The Daily Grind: Is the age of mobile over before mobile MMOs even got started?

In analyzing survey responses returned from more than 250 developers this year, the organizers of GDC Europe did everything but declare mobile dead. “PC topples mobile as the most popular platform,” read the PR blast. “[Sixty-two] percent of those surveyed said the game they’re currently working on will see a PC release,” compared to the 50% launching on mobile. The PC is certainly looking up from last year.

Coincidentally, Gamasutra just published a piece heavily critical of the bloated and profit-starved mobile industry. Developer Thomas Henshell argued that the excess of games flooding the market, the skyrocketing and unrecoverable costs of mobile development, and the casual, anti-brand-loyalty nature of mobile customers drove him out of the app development business. Where did he go?

The PC.

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Massively Overthinking: The MMO innovation we long for (or do we?)

This week’s Massively Overthinking topic comes from Kickstarter donor BigMikeyOcho, who wants to talk innovation:

“Sometimes when I play MMOs, I get the feeling that I’m just performing the same tasks as other MMOs, just with a new covering. What innovations would you like to see to prevent that ‘same as all the others’ feeling?”

I posed BigMikeyOcho’s question to the Massively writers and our July guest!

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Perfect Ten: Ten lessons I learned as an MMO healer

Back in my World of Warcraft and RIFT days, I spent an awful lot of time in dungeon runs as a healer. I even still function as a flashpoint medic in Star Wars: The Old Republic when our healer isn’t pulling his or her weight. It wasn’t that I sought out healing roles to begin with, but that my class selection (Shaman, Druid, Cleric, Operative) just so happened to include heals, and I guess that curiosity and peer pressure gradually convinced me to give it a try.

I won’t say that I was the all-time best healer you’ve ever seen, but I generally kept my group alive and pulled us through some incredibly tricky fights. I even enjoyed it, once I got past my initial jitters and embraced the lifestyle. These days I don’t heal as much, although I actually do miss it.

So anyway, here are 10 lessons I learned as an MMO healer (semi-retired)!

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The Daily Grind: Do you recommend Destiny?

I’ve been eyeballing Destiny lately, even before that shiny PS4 announcement and even though I was underwhelmed when I played the game on one of those beta weekends last year. I may pick it up with the new PlayStation bundle at some point, but I dunno. I’d also kinda like to get that Forza Xbox One bundle and I really shouldn’t do both.

What say you, MOP readers? Have you played Destiny? Did you recommend it? Why or why not?

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Massively Opinionated: Which MMO payment model is the best?

For today’s episode of Massively Opinionated, we decided it was high time to lay some of the eternal MMO genre questions to rest, so Larry invited the cast of the Massively OP Podcast and Stream Team to take on those arguments themselves. The classic battles of MMOs as a genre take place here again, and we decide which answers are the best… right? Right?

This whole panel this week is from Massively Overpowered — specifically, the Massively OP Podcast and the OPTV Stream Team. We welcome Editor-in-Chief Bree Royce, podcast host Justin Olivetti, and MOP streamer MJ Guthrie to this special-edition not-quite-a-vidcast vidcast that ought to make the podcast fans in the audience happy!

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Marvel Heroics: Ten Marvel Heroes resources to bring you from zero to hero

Before a few months ago, the time that I spent in Marvel Heroes was largely uninformed and aimless. I figured it was just a Diablo click-fest that required very little knowledge other than how to work my index finger. That led me to meandering through the story mode and experiencing leveling that was so painfully slow that it almost drove me away from the game.

This all changed when I decided to buckle down and do some actual research into how Marvel Heroes was set up and its different systems functioned. After a few days of this, everything started to “click” for me, and I found my excitement and enjoyment of subsequent game sessions skyrocket.

Since I ended up bookmarking half of the internet in this journey to get my Marvel Heroes diploma (I imagine that Mr. Fantastic is the one who gives it to me), I wanted to share those resources with you in the hopes of passing along some great information that could take you from zero to hero in no time at all.

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The Daily Grind: What keeps you from crafting in MMOs?

To this day, I’ve really only been a “crafter” in a small handful of MMOs: Fallen Earth, World of Warcraft, and Lord of the Rings Online. However, almost every time I start a new game, I have the best of intentions to take advantage of the crafting system. Those plans just never seems to coalesce.

If I’m honest with myself, I have to admin the reason that I bail on crafting usually has a lot to do with time. Time spent gathering and crafting is time not spent on (in my opinion) much more interesting activities such as questing and fighting. Plus crafting can be a huge moneysink and doesn’t always offer exclusive rewards that can’t be purchased or won elsewhere.

Some of you are crafters. But for those who aren’t, what keeps you from crafting in MMOs?

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Tamriel Infinium: Why I believe Elder Scrolls Online’s Veteran Ranks are here to stay

I am forever on the fence about gated content. One day I’ll find myself championing the idea that veteran, loyal players should have access to content that is meant for them and only them. The next day, I’ll remember that preventing players from being able to play with their friends is wrong, too. It’s wrong because when you design an MMORPG, it is meant to be played with your friends, and when your friends are stuck behind a gate, that is no fun for them and no fun for you either.

On ESO Live last week, ZeniMax Lead Combat Designer Eric Wrobel announced that with the introduction on the Imperial City, the Veteran Rank level cap for Elder Scrolls Online will increase to 16 from 14, gating its content from even more players. On top of that, the Imperial City is primarily a PvP zone, much as Cyrodiil is now but compressed into a tighter zone. And anyone PvPing at VR 1 who runs into someone a couple of VR levels above them will simply run the other way.

Unfortunately for those who were hoping that Veteran Ranks were disappearing with the introduction of the Champion System, they’re here to stay and may never never leave.

(To be clear, ZOS mentioned in ESO Live that removing VR is a long term goal, but even one of ESO‘s strongest supporters, Deltia, doesn’t believe VR is actually going away. And neither do I.)

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The Daily Grind: What’s the best storyline in an MMO?

Story is a polarizing word to MMO players: Either you love it or hate it, or maybe you just think it stinks or isn’t worth the money — yet. Today’s Daily Grind, posed to us by Kickstarter donor Spagomat, asks you to put aside your grievances with the idea of story and decide…

What’s the best told storyline (not overall story/lore) you’ve seen in an MMO?

I’m torn on how to answer this because the very best MMORPG storyline I ever saw was a player-written plot and story revolving around Penelope Yin and the Clockwork King as set up in City of Heroes. Seriously, it made me cry.

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Sword and Bored: Nerfs

We addressed something that is an important part of continuity in the Sword and Bored universe in this week’s comic strip: When the player is not at the keyboard, the character instantly falls asleep. We might use this little trope in a future comic. I can just imagine a dungeon where the whole raid is kicked offline at once, but the boss sees them as asleep — then has a tasty meal.

At any rate, enjoy today’s comic…

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Wisdom of Nym: The leveling dungeons of Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

Final Fantasy XIV takes you on quite a ride on the way to level 60. There are indisputably fewer dungeons than there are from 1-50 (or more appropriately, 15-50), but the actual dungeons are more involved and fun. They’re certainly more filled with loot, dropping a much higher number of items in a given run, which makes the greedy little monster within me very happy simply because I like getting things.

I realize that by this point most of the front vanguard has already gotten through these dungeons, so this week’s column won’t be just about strategies but about the dungeons as a whole as well as strategy for those who haven’t been through the dungeons yet. Also note that the names of some bosses have been redacted, and I’ll be making an effort to avoid spoilers as much as possible; that being said, there will be some minor spoilers here and there regarding locations. Fairly warned be ye.

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The Daily Grind: What’s the most addictive collection minigame you’ve played?

I’ve been playing a lot of Assassin’s Creed: Rogue here lately, and while it’s certainly no MMO, it has managed to remind me of the MMO space’s more addictive mechanics courtesy of its collection minigames. I’ve spent far more time sailing around the North Atlantic (and the rooftops of colonial New York) looking for floating musical shanties and glowing animus fragments than I’ve spent advancing the game’s storyline, and I shudder to think how many hours will be listed under the game on my Steam list when I’m finally finished.

But it’s a ton of fun, so there’s that.

What about you, MOP readers? Have you met an addictive collection minigame in an MMO that’s grabbed you like that?

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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