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]
WildStar has taken a drubbing in its first year of operation, and much as I don’t like saying so, it’s deserved it. The game had some really terrible habits that I discussed back on Massively-that-was (which I don’t want to link simply because, you know, that Frankengadget thing ain’t us), and it has watched its market share decrease to abysmal proportions. If there was ever a game that needed a salvation effort, it’s this one.
But I can see people arguing that it might be too little and too late. Sure, I’m writing this before the announcement has gone live, but I already know what’s being asked because I asked the same question. Does it even matter at this point what the game does? Has too much time passed? Is it time to just accept the fact that darn it, this game had promise, but it didn’t live up to that promise, so let’s pack it in and cut our losses.
I think I can answer that question. But to do that, I’m going to have to talk about Final Fantasy XIV.
For a writer on a multi-MMORPG news site, following pretty much every online game’s Twitter feed comes with the territory. It’s always interesting to me to see what “personalities” each feed develops over time, from the shy guy who posts only once a month to the toddler-esque accounts that repeat the same information every hour on the hour so that you can’t ignore it.
Most Twitter accounts are informative, but there is one that keeps catching my eye with — how do I put this nicely — how absolutely crazy-awesome it is. And that account is RuneScape.
Any time the official RuneScape Twitter account sends out a notice, there’s a 50% chance that it will be some nutty non-sequitur or appropriated meme that has only the vaguest connection to the game. Lots of the posts make game references that pass me by (which is to be expected), but the tone and weirdness of it all arrests my attention frequently. That’s why I need to share it with you today so that I’m not alone in bathing in the bizarre.
In the ongoing, neverending sandbox-vs.-themepark MMO debate, the folks on the side of sandboxes want one thing: more. Actually they want a lot more. They want more to do, more to see, more to experience. They aren’t content with linear, level-based, content-poor design tracks scrambling to be the next floundering WoW-killer. They definitely want more than just another online murder simulator. They want to cook and dance and explore and smelt and fish and argue and build and teach and fly and age and discover.
But there’s one thing almost no sandbox junkie asks for.
Almost no one asks for sex.
I have no doubt that Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is going to be big, both for the studio and its playerbase. It’s looking to add zones, new forms of progression, a new class, specializations for existing classes, and all other manner of goodies. Right now, it’s one of the hottest beta tickets in town.
And yet the more I hear about it, the less excited I’ve become. I used to enjoy Guild Wars 2 on a daily basis but for a variety of reasons have fallen out of love with it. I assumed that the expansion would rev my interest back up, but so far none of the features is really a “must play” to me. Plus, hearing that we’ll have even more platforming with the jungle zones is a real mood killer.
I’ve been playing Call of Juarez: Gunslinger here lately. It’s nothing special, really, but it is a competent wild west shooter that I picked up for pocket change on Steam quite a while ago.
While the gameplay is overly familiar, the setting is not, and the soundtrack is pretty great, too, if you’re into twangy atmospherics, slide guitars, and the like. I’d certainly like to see an MMORPG set somewhere on the American frontier, and frankly it baffles me that no studio has done so yet.
What about you, MOP readers? Would you play a wild west MMO? Vote after the cut!
Unlike single-player games, MMO need a built-in reason for people to keep coming back, or better yet, stick around forever and ever. Some MMOs clearly have better staying power than others. Our panelists debate this week what makes MMOs the most sticky and which MMOs have done it the best.
The rules are simple: Our arbitrator, Larry Everett, gives our panelists four questions to answer. The panelists argue each question, and whoever has the best argument wins a point. At the end of the show, whoever has the most points wins.
The panelists this week are all champions from previous Massively Opinionated debates. From right here on MassivelyOP, Tina Lauro joins us. From his YouTube channel, it’s The Cosmic Engine. And an editor at MMO Bomb, Jason Winter, has again graced us with his presence. Check out the full debate show below.
Ever since The Secret World’s debut dev livestream two weeks ago teased motorcycle mounts, players have been abuzz with anticipation. The desire for vehicles in the game stretches way back; more than two years ago I mounted a campaign to bring scooters, bicycles, and even motorcycles to the game. I just knew it could be done, and now it is happening! From the moment that first screenshot was shown in the last minutes of The Steaming Ones accompanied by the promise “This is coming to TSW,” speculation has run wild. Perhaps the mounts will be scenario-based. Maybe they will be time-based, with the motorcycles effectively running out of gas and stopping. Some suggested that the bikes will be nothing more than an advanced sprint.
Amid the excited conjecture, a number of fans have also voiced concerns about how the machines will affect the immersion and player-experience in the game. Will the scenery fly by at a rate that players can’t soak up the nuance? Will the ambiance be ruined by the revving of hundreds of engines on the streets?
Now, much of that conjecture — and hopefully the concerns — can be laid to rest. I spoke with Lead Designer Romain Amiel to learn more about these new mechanics, which aren’t actually mounts. Better yet, Amiel says that players will be able to experience the feature, currently dubbed the Custom Sprint system, for themselves next week.
Fun hypothetical: Let’s say that all of us — including Massively Overpowered — were thrown back in time 12 years to 2003. There’s no World of Warcraft. No Star Wars: The Old Republic. And very, very little free-to-play anything.
What would you play?
Would you get into the truly classic era of EverQuest? Go PvPing in Dark Age of Camelot? Build a house in Ultima Online? Get in on the ground floor of EVE Online? Rejoice that Star Wars Galaxies was back? Or something else entirely?
I love a really good superhero score. Some of my favorite pieces include John Williams’ Superman theme, Danny Elfman’s Batman introduction, Brian Tyler’s Iron Man 3 score, “Favela Escape” from Incredible Hulk, and of course the stellar, amazing, and unforgettable title to Condorman. What? I can’t be the only person who watched that as a kid.
So my expectations when it comes to superhero music is high: It has to be well-done, be highly memorable, and get me so pumped up that I can’t help but fantasize about gaining powers myself. Unfortuantely, I’ve found superhero MMO scores to be a much more mixed bag than their movie counterparts, with good tracks here and there but few consistently great OSTs. It took a MOBA, Infinite Crisis, to show the rest of the field how it should be done.
I’m deeply impressed with Infinite Crisis’ score through-and-through. It was composed by Turbine Audio Director Matthew Harwood and has an amazing amount of variety and personality, not to mention a few of those must-have pump-me-up pieces. I think it reflects well on the “anything goes” attitude of the game’s diverse roster, and it’s earned a spot in my superhero music library.
Is the world ending? Is hell freezing over? It must be because Blade & Soul is actually coming to the west! On this week’s podcast, the hosts talk about this incredible development as well as progression servers, launch dates, and flying in Draenor. Get out your Bree Topic Bingo cards, as you’re guaranteed to be a big winner!
Join us on the podcast as we talk about what we’ve been playing in MMOs, the top news stories from the past week, and topics that listeners have submitted!
I like to consider myself a measured person. I try not to give into overblown rants and statements that I cannot take back. Too often, I’ve been called on my mistakes, and I’ve had to retract some things that I’ve said. As much as it displeases me to be wrong, I will admit when I am. I make a lot of statements very publicly, and people have listened to the things I’ve said; I hate steering people wrong. So when gamers have asked me about the changes coming to Sentinel/Marauder in the next patch for Star Wars: The Old Republic
, I’ve been hesitant about giving an in-depth answer.
I consider myself an average player. I have not put in the tens of thousands of hours that some of the other players of the Marauder advanced class have. My game time with that class sits just under four thousand hours. But it was my main raiding and PvP class for the majority of the game. Prior to Update 3.0, I ran early Dread Fortress Nightmare content, and I have a valor rank of 80 on my Marauder. And the vast majority of the time my Marauder was Annihilation spec.
So I think I know the class well enough to make some educated statements about the upcoming changes in 3.2.1. And in today’s Hyperspace Beacon, that’s exactly what I’ll do.
This morning’s Daily Grind question comes to us from Kickstarter donor Specus, who asks,
I’ve seen many games where new players have trouble joining a game that’s been out for a while because the noob zones are almost completely empty. How can we keep the veteran players engaged with the new players?
This is one of the core problems of the genre, and solving it apparently isn’t easy. My favorite is sidekicking; nullifying level barriers (or better yet, not having them to begin with) seems the smartest way to bridge the experience gap between old and new players and get them into the same content. Non-combat gameplay can get people mingling as well; every time a newbie sells a stack of copper ore to a veteran, they’re engaging with each other. And let’s not forget overt incentives: Asheron’s Call’s monarchy system and Star Wars Galaxies’ skill-training system directly rewarded veteran players for taking newbies under wing and building them up.
What’s the very best way to design a game so that newbies and veterans can intersect without being bored at one end of the spectrum and overwhelmed at the other?
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…