The Daily Grind: Do you like starting over in MMOs?

I used to think I had a sickness, or at least a weakness, as I was constantly rerolling characters in MMOs. While friends were hitting the level cap and becoming all uber, I was puttering around with yet another alt in the starting zones.

Sometimes this was to try out different classes or perhaps because I simply didn’t like the race or look of my character. But over the years I’ve come to realize that one of my favorite parts of MMOs is starting out in them, and it makes sense to chase that feeling. I like taking a fresh character with nothing in his or her pockets and helping them grow into a formidable hero. I also enjoy the rapid progression of the early levels and the extra care that often goes into newbie zones.

Do you like starting over in MMOs? Do you have an embarrassing array of low-level characters as evidence of your weakness?

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Jukebox Heroes: The top 10 EVE Online music themes

One of the great things about the EVE Online soundtrack, other than its perplexing popularity despite being mostly an ambient synth score, is that CCP Games has made all of it free to listen and download on SoundCloud. I truly wish more studios took the effort to continually release music that goes into each update like this.

I got inspired the other day to listen through the entirety of EVE Online’s login themes from each of its major expansions and releases. And boy, let me tell you: There are a lot of them. EVE’s had many releases since its 2003 launch and virtually a different theme for each one. Some, I found, are pretty forgettable, but there are more than enough interesting ones to fill up a top 10 list.

So today I want to share with you my personal top 10 favorite EVE Online themes (in no particular order).

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The Stream Team: Hurrying to finish more EverQuest II Heritage Quests

Now that all the holidays and festivals are over, MassivelyOP’s MJ and the Of Mice and Minions crew can get back to completing all those Heritage Quests. Currently they are working on Hadden’s Earring, War and Wardrobe, and A Missing Mask! Each sends the group off in a different direction; the latter one even necessitates a return to Nektropos Castle! Can they stomach another run through the Everling home? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to see how many quests the crew can pound out tonight.

What: EverQuest II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

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Naval Action heads into early access on January 21st

Right now the Age of Sail title Naval Action is prepping the release of its early access version on January 21st. This means that if you haven’t gotten the game yet, you can snag it this Thursday when it becomes available to buy on Steam.

Current owners of the game, however, are invited to participate in Naval Action’s head start, which begins today. There was a wipe from the previous round of testing, but a two day jump on the rest of the crowd is nothing to sneeze at, right?

The devs acknowledged that these dates are always subject to change: “We know that most plans don’t survive when the meet reality. We do not discount the possibility that something might change. The riskiest date is the release date itself. If Valve is slow the date will be moved forward.”

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Nintendo’s shooter Splatoon gets its final piece of weapon DLC

When Nintendo launched its quirky online shooter Splatoon on the WII U last year, the game had only a handful of maps, weapons and cosmetic clothing options. In order to keep the game fresh, Nintendo began releasing free DLC with new items and playable stages along with its regular balance updates and gameplay tweaks. In the past seven months we’ve seen 40 new weapons, 10 new playable maps, and several entirely new game modes added to the base game.

This week the game officially got its final piece of weapon DLC with the release of the Custom Hydra Splatling. The only major update still to come will be the addition of the Ancho-V Games map, at which point the game will essentially go into maintenance mode. Fans of Splatoon will be glad to know that the game will still get periodic balance and bugfixing updates, and the regular Splatfest events will continue to run for the foreseeable future. Splatoon has been a very successful new IP for Nintendo, selling over 2.42 million units in its first four months and winning multiple awards.

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Pilfering pants and PvP in Shards Online community roundtable and January tourney

It’s all fun and games until you lose your pants! If you’ve been wondering what is up with Shards Online lately, the answer is naked villagers. During Derek “Supreem” Brinkmann’s community round table this week, the Citadel CEO revealed that one of the latest sports players have developed in pre-alpha 3 is pants collecting. Brinkmann goes on to talk about development priorities and answer questions from the community, but how could he top a reveal like that? You can watch the entire recorded stream on Twitch for all the details.

Later that day, the villagers got a reprieve as the January tourney pit players versus other players. Four guilds took to the ring in 2v2 matches to see who could claim the PvP title for this month. Check out the warriors, mages, warrior-mage hybrids, and even fighting wolves in the embedded video below.
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Rappelz players will undergo ‘the final awakening’ next month

MMO characters are always growing, evolving, and looting corpses for ever-better gear. But where’s the end goal with such a project? When does a character go, “I’m as buff as I’ll ever be and I’m totally fine with that?” This will perhaps occur only after a monumental awakening, ascension, or some sort of endgame transformation.

Rappelz will be introducing such a mechanic with next month’s Epic 9.3 patch. By adventuring through a quest line and tackling a new dungeon, Remains of the Ancients, gamers can undergo a the final awakening “that boosts players’ skills like never before.”

Epic 9.3 will arrive on February 2nd and include the new dungeon, awakening system, additional monsters, and more.

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Check out MapleStory 2’s Rune Blader and piano jam

Hungry for more glimpses of the adorably colorful MapleStory 2? Steparu posted a new video from the game’s beta that shows the Rune Blader class going through its prologue (including cutscenes).

There’s also a look at a character jamming out on a piano using the in-game music system. MapleStory 2 allows players to easily whip up tunes with pre-rendered music sheets or by creating their own songs from scratch.

Music. Blades. Large eyes. The third dimension. What more could you want from a game? You can gorge your eyes full with these videos after the break.

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World of Tanks launches on PlayStation 4

There’s just no stopping the Wargaming blitzkrieg, is there? The PlayStation 4 is the latest platform to be host to World of Tanks, which launches on the console today.

Executive Producer TJ Wagner gave a speech to the troops: “The team is very excited to launch World of Tanks on PlayStation 4 and bring the game to a new audience. The support we have received so far has been overwhelming and we can’t wait to share what we have in store for PlayStation 4 in the upcoming months. We hope you enjoy playing the game as much as we enjoy making it.”

To provide a little incentive to downloading a popular free game (because the joy of playing a proven product isn’t always enough for today’s jaded population), Wargaming is promoting the launch by giving away free T1E6-PS US premium light tanks with special camouflage, and the “Girls und Panzer” Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H Elite tanks. PlayStation Plus members get additional goodies as well.

Source: Wargaming press release

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 47: The sky’s the limit!

You can’t take the skies from these podcasters! Today’s show will see Bree and Justin plowing through the big MMO news of the past week, including the welcome addition of gliding in Tyria, an unfortunate producer’s letter, and a name reservation controversy.

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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Check out the customization options and race selection for Bless Online’s open beta

Customization for your character is important in any MMO. After all, you don’t want your character to look exactly like every other character do you? Of course not. So you should be happy that Steparu has previewed the Bless Online customizations for two races within the game along with a general preview of the races and job-specific armor sets.

The races previewed are the Masku (short vaguely furry race) and the Lupus/Panthera (the divide is based on the faction chosen for the feral animal-people). There’s another race that was supposed to be implemented in open beta, but it’s still not available for players. Check out the previews just below if you can’t wait to see what your options are for making characters and standing out in the world.

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Dungeon Fighter Online patches in major Season 2 update

Dungeon Fighter Online went down for maintenance earlier to apply a major patch. How major? Well, it’s the start of a whole new season for the game’s patch content, that’s pretty significant. The patch is billed as a general rebirth for the whole game, and even just glancing at the patch features, that’s hard to argue against. There are major system-wide changes to loot, dungeons, and combat, new awakenings for three classes, major balance changes for all of the classes… it’s extensive.

The title is also hosting a number of events starting today running through early and mid-February. It’s a major shift for the game to bring it closer in line to its Korean version, which should be good news for the fans. Check out a trailer for the update just below.

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Pixelart OARPG Dragon of Legends launches on Kickstarter

Smed’s not the only one launching a pixelart OARPG on Kickstarter today: Thrive Games has just revealed Dragon of Legends.

Dragon of Legends is an online action RPG for PC, Mac, Linux, and Mobile devices, that is heavily influenced by Gaelic and Norse mythology. Enter the ever-evolving lands of Hávámal, where the lights of faeries border the realms of darkness.

Work on the 2-D game has been ongoing for the last year and a half, Thrive says in its Kickstarter pitch; it’ll include a detailed character class and skill system, crafting mechanics, boats, an achievement journal, twitch combat, and user-generated content. It’s also crossplatform: You’ll play it on PC, Mac, Linux, and tablet. The studio’s goal is $41,318, and thought stretch goals are planned, they aren’t revealed just yet.

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