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]

EverQuest II’s prog server isn’t as fun as the real thing

I’ve been playing the crap out of EverQuest II for the past week. Funnily enough, the vast majority of said playtime hasn’t been on the new progression servers. I hit Stormhold hard when it launched last week, and I got multiple characters up to level 10ish and firmly ensconced in a post-Isle of Refuge quest line or two.

And then I realized how much better I like the current version of the game.

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The Daily Grind: Has multiguilding hurt MMO communities?

Earlier this week, several Massively OP staffers were debating the best way to set up MOP guilds in games where we were already in guilds. It’s easy in a game like Final Fantasy XIV, which has both free companies and linkshells to help people connect to multiple groups, but not so easy in an MMO like Star Wars: The Old Republic, where you’re either in the guild or you’re just not.

And that led to discussion on multiguilding in MMOs. Some of our writers embrace multiguilding — that is, being about to join multiple MMO groups at the same time — as the best way to make a game sticky; the more people you know and the more groups you bond with, the more likely you are to stick around. But others believe that multiguilding has helped destroy MMO communities by eroding loyalty to a single guild and creating a wide, casual network of people to whom no one has any allegiance.

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Massively Overthinking: Whither went the classic PvE MMORPG?

Today’s Massively Overthinking question was sent via e-pigeon from Kickstarter donor Apollymi. No e-pigeons were hurt in the writing of this article.

“Have you heard of any MMOs that will not be PvP-oriented — by that I mean, have completely consensual PvP — that may be coming out in the near future?”

Let’s draw out Apollymi’s question a bit and talk about the PvE/PvP divide in our genre. What PvE/consensual-PvP/classic PvE games do we love, which future ones do we have our eyes on, and why is the industry so focused lately on PvP MMOs? The MOP writers are discussing all that and more in today’s entry.
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WoW Factor: Speculating on WoW’s next expansion

On August 6th, we now know, we’ll be hearing the name and some details on the next World of Warcraft expansion. What we don’t know is what that expansion will actually contain. The space after this expansion is a blanker space than usual, with lots of possible directions and an absolute dearth of information indicating what direction the story will go in from here.

More to the point, the next expansion is going to be judged pretty harshly simply by virtue of coming immediately after an expansion best described as “maybe worse than Cataclysm.” It’s an uphill battle all around. Now that we know for certain that we will be hearing about the next expansion in a little over a week, let’s look a little bit at what we might be exploring in the next expansion in both story and mechanical terms.

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The Daily Grind: How much money have you spent on MMOs this month?

I bought EverQuest II’s latest expansion yesterday, and along with my SOE Statio… er, my Daybreak All-Access pass and my Star Wars: The Old Republic subscription, that brings my total MMO expenditures for the month of July to USD $75.00.

That’s 75 bucks for unlimited access to five triple-A MMORPGs, any one of which could easily fill up 200 hours of my month if I let it. My point is that MMOs are one of the cheapest hobbies around, even if you pay multiple subs and buy $45 expansion packs.

What about you, MOP readers? How much money have you spent on MMOs this month, and how much entertainment value have you gotten for your money?

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Massively Opinionated: Which MMO should never have existed?

The MMO industry, much like any other entertainment industry, is full of wonderful people as much as it’s full of really odd people. And our host Larry Everett has pulled in some long-time gaming journalists to talk about some of the fun and odd things that have happened in the industry.

Larry asked Jason Winter of MMOBomb and our own Brendan Drain to debate industry shocks and the things — and games– that should never have happened in the MMO genre.

The rules are simple for this debate: Our panelists were given four questions to consider before the show. The host will award one point per question for the best argument, and the panelist with the most points at the end wins… the internet!

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Choose My Adventure: Dungeons, soloing, and PvP in FFXIV’s Heavensward

Hello again, everyone, and welcome to week three of Choose My Adventure. If you’re tuning in for the first time, allow me to bring you up to speed. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been adventuring my way through Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. At the behest of the first week’s poll, I transformed my dear Miqo’te into an Au Ra of the Xaela clan and cast off my robe and wizard White Mage hat and donned the vestments of an Astrologian, which, as it happens, are pretty much the same. But I do get a spinny-ring-card-orb thing — star globe, whatever — so I suppose it balances out.

At any rate, last week I outlined my initial impressions of the Astrologian and asked you lot to vote on how I should go about leveling him up. It was a massacre; there were no survivors. Even the combined forces of PvP, which fell dead last with 9% of the votes, and open-world content (quests, leves, FATEs, etc.), which barely trumped it with 28%, couldn’t stand against the might of dungeon-delving, which won by such a margin that “landslide victory” doesn’t quite cover it. However, a few of you pointed out in the comments that you would have preferred for me to do a bit of everything, and since I so thoughtlessly neglected to provide that as an option in the poll, I decided it was only fair that I do so. Consider it penance for my indiscretion.

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The Daily Grind: What makes an MMO’s inventory system special?

MMO inventories are often ignored systems unless they’re either annoying or exceptional. Some hate the limitations they impose while others appreciate the tough choices that bag space presents. I always appreciate inventories that go the extra mile with search and sort functions.

In fact, one of my all-time favorite MMO inventory systems is found in Fallen Earth. Not only was the player given a fixed number of inventory slots but a weight limit as well. Weird as it is to say, assigning weight to objects gave them more significance in my mind. Ore “felt” heavier and I was often torn between keeping a lot of cheaper items or a few weighty, lucrative finds.

What makes an inventory system special to you?

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Global Chat: Do you crave human interaction in MMOs?

I’ve long been an advocate of “playing alone together” in MMOs. While I enjoy grouping and teaming up to a degree, mostly I want to be off soloing while enjoying a world populated by colorful personalities and the other perks that come with a massively multiplayer title.

Bhagpuss has a downright poetic and soul-filled post in which he struggles with why he likes about — and what he’s lost from — playing alongside and with others in MMOs. “Did we love the games because of the friends we made in them or make the friends we did because we loved the games? Was life better before Trammel, before PoP, before the NGE, before dungeon finder, because the games were better then, the interactions closer, more meaningful, more real? Or was it just because we were younger, less worn-down with responsibility or failure or ennui or cynicism?”

When you’re done with that read, head onward, because the deep thoughts don’t stop there! In this edition of Global Chat, bloggers discuss the virtues of RP servers, the storytelling of Final Fantasy XIV, the grey market of Star Citizen, and more!

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Massively OP Podcast: Episode 23

What will the MMO industry do now that John Smedley isn’t part of the day-to-day business? Bree and Justin deal with the fallout of this bombshell announcement before going on to talk about SWTOR’s new race, Project Gorgon’s crowdfunding revival, a touching DAoC tribute, and more.

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.

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Tamriel Infinium: Imperial City revitalizes Elder Scrolls Online’s PvP

I’ve always found it odd that one of Bethesda’s biggest showings at a convention every year is QuakeCon. Elder Scrolls Online, especially, has always treated QuakeCon as the best place to make the biggest reveals for the game. Of course, the total audience for QuakeCon is bigger than those who actually show up because it’s broadcast on Twitch at the same time, but for the last two years QuakeCon brought in between 9,000 and 10,000 actually-in-the-convention-hall people. This, admittedly, is more than would show up at the Larry Everett convention, but at the same time, it’s significantly fewer than the number who attend E3 (50,000 this year) or Gamescom (335,000 last year). Yet ESO’s presence at most other cons is minimal.

And just as the past couple of years, ESO released some significant, though not completely brand-new, information at its presentation at QuakeCon 2015 this past weekend.

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The Daily Grind: What immersive RPG elements are missing from the modern MMORPG?

This morning’s Daily Grind inquisitor is Kickstarter donor Nepentheia, who wonders about the “RPG” in MMORPG:

What RPG elements that create a more immersive experience do you feel are missing from (more recently released) MMOs?

Hunger and thirst spring first to mind, followed by meaningful travel and day-and-night cycles. Very few MMOs include these elements at all.

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