The Daily Grind: How many MMOs are on your hard drive?

I got a new gaming computer last week, and I’m in the process of downloading a few MMOs. I’ve only got 300 GB to work with, though, thanks to Comcast, it’s godawful bandwidth restrictions, and the fact that it has a real live monopoly on internet service in my hometown.

I’ve already downloaded and installed GTA Online (60 GB), Star Citizen (25 GB), Lord of the Rings Online (20 GB), DC Universe Online (20 GB), Marvel Heroes (15 GB), Infinite Crisis (5 GB), and the Star Wars Galaxies EMU (5 GB). That’s half of my monthly allowance and it’s only May 4th!

Those titles will provide plenty of entertainment for the next 30 days, but there are several others I’d like to dabble in for both personal and professional reasons. Next month, I guess! What about you, MOP readers? How many MMOs are on your hard drive at the moment?

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!


MMO Week in Review: The future of EverQuest Next [May 3, 2015]

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

You know what scared me the most about Daybreak’s ongoing drama earlier this year? John Smedley stopped saying wild things in interviews and social media. But don’t worry, guys; the Smed is back. This week he told a mainstream gaming publication all about the company’s enthusiasm for “chang[ing] with the times” to embrace console, mobile, VR, and abbreviated play sessions in a modern world where “the days of the WoW-style MMO are over.”

This, of course, terrified players of Daybreak’s current stable of MMORPGs as well as those awaiting the arrival of someday-sandbox EverQuest Next. Smed assured the throngs on Reddit that Daybreak “plan[s] on continuing to support EQ and EQ2 for the very long haul” and clarified that while EverQuest Next will have raids, they won’t be grueling, eight-hour affairs.

Of course, almost no one does those in WoW anymore either, and I never did meet a WoW raid that wasn’t eclipsed by the fall-asleep-at-your-keyboard marathons invented by classic EverQuest, but who’s counting?

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

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EVE Evolved: Seven years of EVE Evolved

When I started writing about EVE Online for Massively back in 2008, the MMO genre was really hitting its stride, and emerging sites like Massively were starting to attract quite a bit of traffic. I was a young Computer Science student and massive EVE fanatic with just a few magazine articles and an amateur blog under my belt, equal parts excited to expose my favourite game to a wider audience and apprehensive about screwing it up. I cautiously penned my first EVE Evolved piece on April 27th 2008, a critical think-piece that set the tone for much of the column’s tenure. Now seven years and over 320 articles later, I’m very glad that EVE Evolved is still here to dish out a regular dose of insight into the often impenetrable world of EVE Online.

I think it’s safe to say that this has been one of the most interesting years in the column’s lifetime, especially with Massively shutting down back in February and the staff striking out on our own as independent MMO news site MassivelyOP. It’s been an equally interesting year for the MMO genre, with indications of paid subscriptions dropping across the board and EVE Online showing its first year of non-consecutive growth. As EVE approaches its 12th birthday next week, it’s worth looking back on some of the year’s highlights. We’ve seen the impact of EVE switching from two major expansions per year to ten smaller releases, a ton of improvements for new players, the exciting resurgence of the 2009 Sleeper storyline, and there’s the promise of a complete nullsec overhaul just around the corner.

In this anniversary edition of EVE Evolved, I look back at the past year of the EVE Evolved column and highlights from EVE‘s 12th year!

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Wargaming is celebrating National Military Appreciation Month

World of Tanks and World of Warplanes developer Wargaming is celebrating National Military Appreciation Month by giving a portion of its cash shop proceeds to several veteran organizations. Each week in May, 25 percent of the take from “dedicated in-game currency support packages” will be donated to one of the following organizations: AMVETS, Wounded Warriors Canada, the National Armor and Cavalry Heritage Foundation, and Operation Supply Drop.

You’ll need to purchase a specific bundle if you want to support a specific organization. Wargaming has also posted the dates and times that each bundle will be available.

[Source: Military Appreciation 2015]


Anarchy Online has full IP reset, new zones in the works

Anarchy Online may be fresh off its mighty 18.7.0 patch, but the team is not slowing down to congratulate itself. A new dev update letter by Gameplay Designer Henry Senger reveals that there are a few significant plans in the works to further improve the game.

First up is a mid-May patch that will contain a free full IP (improvement point) reset for all players. When this lands, players will be able to redeem the resets and rebuild their characters if so desired.

Senger said that the next steps for the game involve adding more mid- and endgame content, including new areas: “These new encounters will serve rather different purposes, but both should enrich the experiences of characters within those level ranges. This content will be primarily Rubi-Ka based, and will open up a couple new zones/instances to explore!”

[Source: Monthly development update. Thanks to Ogged451 for the tip!]


EverQuest II adds mercenary lockboxes

Even EverQuest II isn’t immune to the money siren’s call of lockboxes. The latest entry into the pseudo-gambling purchases came this past week with the new mercenary crates, which can be purchased for 799 Daybreak Cash (approximately $8) and contain random Inquisitor and Monk mercenaries. The most rare drop from these crates is Katastra Vilehex, who has a slim chance of appearing in both types of crates.

Many players have picked up on the fact that these mercs are “no trade” instead of “heirloom.” Daybreak said that if you don’t get the mercenary you want, you can trade it in for bonus status.

[Source: Dev diary. Thanks, Kinya.]


Brunelleschi is the staging ground for a ‘Mythic Renaissance’ civilization

Set in a “mythic Renaissance” that blends together history and fantasy, Brunelleschi: Age of Architects is an ambitious social builder that aims to give players tools to build an entire civilization from scratch.

The new title, which is currently shooting for approval on Steam Greenlight, not only contains player cities, but a wide variety of economic, social, and political activities. Players can construct cities, raise armies for war, generate fortunes from trade routes, engage in the free market, establish governments, choose a religion, and aim for one of the five Lordship positions to rule the game.

We’ve got a couple of trailers for you to evaluate after the break, so let us know if you think this type of game will work!

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One Shots: Pics or the beta didn’t happen

Stargate Worlds was one of those rare MMOs that progressed into the beta stage and was played by many yet never launched. Even today we’re still getting stories and screenshots back from testing, such as this one from reader Hicks.

“I hear you’re looking for some wacky screenshots from betas and alphas, so feast your eyes on this!” he submitted. “I dropped a few in here from Stargate Worlds closed beta. My time in it was very short before they pulled the plug on the game completely.”

All I can say is that I would get eyestrain working on a computer with a monitor that big. That’s Justice League of America-big, really.

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The Daily Grind: What MMO has benefited the most from free-to-play?

Back in the day, it used to be a running joke among the staff about which game would go free-to-play next. We don’t make that joke any more, chiefly because it’s no longer a joke and there are barely any candidates left anyhow. Buy-to-play, free-to-play, anything other than the old standby of box and subscription prices. That business model just isn’t working for more than a handful of titles.

But here’s an interesting question on that same theme: What game has gotten the most out of the shift? We talk a lot about the idea that most games are not using subscriptions as the only options any longer, but which out of the many titles with a business shift has gotten something good out of it? Are titles that converted like Star Trek Online the big winners, or does that honor go to other MMOs?

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!


Make My MMO: May 2, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Pathfinder Online made some noise about the future of its settlements feature. Goblinworks CEO Ryan Dancey also made headlines by imploring Pathfinder fans to recruit new blood from the larger MMO community.

In other news, Star Citizen summed up its April progress with a lengthy studio report and dropped a couple of interesting persistent world info nuggets in the process. You can read the rest of this week’s crowdfunding news roundup after the break.

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Here’s what Civ Online’s industrial age looks like

XLGAMES and 2K have released some new screenshots of Civilization Online (you know, that Civ title that currently has no plans to release in the western market!).

Steparu has posted the shots and frankly, they’re gorgeous, even if the game in question seems a bit out of our reach at the moment. Civ Online is a faction-based PvP MMORPG where players must work within their faction to progress through the game’s various eras. Like its offline namesake, Civilization Online will feature various win conditions apart from world domination.

[Source: Steparu]


The Stream Team: Finally fighting as a female in H1Z1

Finally! MassivelyOP’s MJ doesn’t have to run around hunting zombies in the skin of a guy; the first female model is live in H1Z1. Of course, this addition necessitated a full wipe, so she’s got quite a bit of scavenging to do in order to relearn all those recipes and build a new fort. Tune in live at 4:00 p.m. to join us in rebuilding the minion’s apocalyptic empire.

What: H1Z1
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

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Star Citizen’s April report contains some interesting persistent universe nuggets

Star Citizen fans, I hope you have a cup of coffee or some other caffeinated beverage, because it’s time for the space sim sandbox’s April monthly report. As per usual, Cloud Imperium studios from around the world have checked in to report on their progress over the past 30 days, and it makes for an interesting, if lengthy, read.

CIG Austin’s persistent universe design team teases their work on the upcoming social module. “Where does a player start when he/she logs in? What do they experience as they participate in various activities around a landing zone? What happens when they interact with REDACTED??? All very important questions that ultimately helped shape the design for shopping, storage, NPC setup, and more. We’ll continue to break these down even further as we progress into next month,” the team explains.

There are also a couple of interesting blurbs about Star Citizen’s occupations, including the Pioneer, the Mercenary/Escort, and the Bounty Hunter.

[Source: April report; thanks John and all our tipsters!]


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