Battle Bards Episode 71: Ragnarok Online 2

Let’s get this out of the way up front: No, Ragnarok Online 2 isn’t the type of game that you’d think would have a terrific soundtrack, and yes, it totally has a terrific soundtrack. On this episode, the Battle Bards skip through renowned Japanese composer Yoko Kanno’s score, picking out their favorite tracks from this fantasy MMO. Will they convince you that this is a hidden gem? Listen and see!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin Olivetti co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Player.FM.

We’ve got Episode 71: Ragnarok Online 2 for you after the break!

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Step up and get your first look at Pokémon Go

Gotta catch them all? If you ever felt like the handheld worlds in the Pokémon games were ultimately too small, then get ready for Pokémon Go, the augmented reality title that uses the entire world as its playscape.

Pokémon Go uses iOS and Android apps to interact with surroundings, challenging players to visit real world locations to capture critters and battle with others. The Pokémon people said that they’ll be doing an initial playtest of the game in Japan with a global rollout in later 2016.

Curious how this game might function? Visitors to SXSW this month were treated to a short preview of a player capturing Ivysaur with the game — and naturally, someone recorded that preview for your edification. Check it out after the break!

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EverQuest’s progression server unlocks the Scars of Velious expansion

If you’ve been watching the site over the past few weeks, we’ve been having lots of discussions about the future of the franchise started by EverQuest moving forward. If you’re playing on the game’s progression server Ragefire, though, who cares? The Scars of Velious expansion just got unlocked, and you can party like it’s the year 2000 for the first time all over again.

The Scars of Velious expansion was the second expansion for the original game, giving players a chance to ally with one of three factions while exploring an icy wasteland. You’ll need an all-access subscription to take part in the antics on Ragefire, but if you want to turn back time and you have that subscription already, you can jump right in and turn back the clock a decade and a half.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 56: Ghillie nation

It’s post-Black Friday, and the MMO industry rebounds with scads of stories, trade shows, and updates — it’s almost as if these games weren’t dead, or something! Bree and Justin tackle a few of the big stories, including Landmark and Crowfall’s imminent plans, as well as catch up on a ton of listener mail.

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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Enter to win a SMITE 2016 Season Ticket from Hi-Rez and MOP (Ended – Winners drawn!)

SMITE has big plans for its birthday week and PS4 open beta, including game-wide promos every single day through Monday. Massively OP is joining in the festivities with our second of two giveaways, this one doling out 50 2016 Season Tickets, which’ll allow the user to earn fantasy points and unlock seasonal rewards as well as bet on pro league matches.

The tickets can be redeemed in-game across all platforms and in all regions as long as you’re playing on Hi-Rez SMITE servers (Tencent runs the Chinese servers, and LevelUp runs the Latin American and Brazilian servers, so the codes won’t work there). Just head to the store in-game and then click “redeem codes” from the main menu.

Read on to enter to win!

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Elder Scrolls Online’s Thieves Guild comes to consoles this week

After arriving on computers earlier this month, the Thieves Guild update has arrived for The Elder Scrolls Online console community. Xbox One players may enjoy the DLC as of today, while PlayStation 4 owners must seethe in envy for a full 24 hours until their turn arrives. The new content costs 2,000 crowns to purchase, although subscribers get it as part of their package.

PC players do have a reason to pay attention, however. The team released a smallish patch today containing various fixes and adjustments, including a reduction on the cooldown for daily dungeon rewards. Also there’s the promise of instant death, which is always a crowd-pleaser: “Enemy player characters that enter ‘home base’ locations in Cyrodiil will now be killed immediately.”

Source: Patch notes

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Dungeon Fighter Online celebrates its birthday by making you overpowered

You may have never paid attention to Dungeon Fighter Online before, but perhaps you should: It’s one of the biggest games in the world, clocking in behind only League of Legends and Crossfire in terms of PC revenue last year, mainly thanks to China and Korea (at least if you believe Superdata).

DFO’s western version has something to celebrate too: The first anniversary of its relaunch here, and it’s insane as is typical of Neople. Players will be showered with a treasure hunt and milk and honey rewards, plus an “Overpower Balance” event that quadruples AoE power and boosts traditionally underpowered skills to do 9999999 damage. Wheeeeee!

That last event begins today; catch Neople’s anniversary vid below.

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Eternal Crusade preps infographic for its launch outlook

Behaviour Interactive says Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade is at a “critical juncture in [its] development,” and the only solution is… an infographic.

Senior Producer Nathan Richardsson explains that staff setbacks and technical uncertainties led his team to prep a “conservative” infographic detailing the game’s launch outlook. “We added to it only what we believed we could deliver with high certainty,” he writes.

“As with any online game, we will continue post-launch development for years. We find it a very strange practice that in a game designed to play with friends, you can pay for a DLC that denies them from playing with you. Add a few more of that type of DLC, and none of you could play together at all. That’s not how we roll. We don’t want to segment the player-base, so you will all get new content, updates and an expansion every 3 months, for free.”

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Heroes of the Storm lets teams ban heroes from draft and custom play

Draft lobbies will soon be treated to a major overhaul in Heroes of the Storm, as Blizzard announced yesterday that it will be revamping the interface and functions in an upcoming patch. These changes include thematic looks, faster hero selection, an increase in the minimum roster requirement, and the ability for teams to ban heroes from matches. Hero bans will come to custom games as well.

“Ranked play will use the ‘mid ban’ method, which works in much the same way that bans do in official Heroes of the Storm tournaments,” Blizzard explained. “This method features two bans per team during each ranked draft: One round of bans before hero picks begin, and a second after three hero pick rounds have elapsed.”

There’s also a new patch on the test realm for the next week. Players can explore it to experience the Lost Cavern battleground and the Dehaka hero.

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Crowfall’s pre-alpha 1.3 update brings the Ranger into the Hunger Dome

The Crowfall team intends to put out the Siege Perilous update by the end of the month. That hasn’t changed. But some of the updates that were originally planned for that update are ready just a little bit earlier than expected, so to make a long story short, the Ranger is going live in a special 1.3 patch for the game’s current pre-alpha testing.

Rangers are ranged characters, but they also have a bit more complexity to them, since they swap back and forth between melee and ranged while using ammunition for ranged attacks. Players will be able to try out the new archetype in a familiar setting before moving onto sieges later in the month; this patch also includes netcode optimization and other engine improvements. You can check out the tutorial video for the Ranger just below.

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Hyperspace Beacon: The importance of pacing in a SWTOR roleplay event

Last time I talked about roleplaying in spite of game mechanics, I didn’t really get a whole lot of comments. I don’t know whether this was because people weren’t interested or you guys were so excited by what I had to say that you ran off to your game and did it yourself. I’m going to delude myself and believe that it was the latter!

Star Wars: The Old Republic will still be my focus this round, but it’s not the only themepark game where you can pull off some of these ideas. And although my ideas work best for me, they don’t necessarily work best for you in your game or even with you and your roleplay group.

Today, I will continue to illustrate how to tell an interesting story with your characters despite game mechanics. But this time instead of giving you an abstract idea and concept of the situation, I will dive into the nitty gritty of how I handled situations that arose in the roleplay scene I talked about a couple of weeks ago. And to make things better, I have pretty pictures to paint an image of what I did.

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Project Gorgon’s next patch introduces flower arrangement skill

Surely one of the best parts of being a tiny indie studio is that you can more or less do whatever you want. So it is with Project Gorgon, whose pre-alpha develops at the whims of its creator, Eric Heimburg, who’s been tricking out special weekend modes that are a bit different from the norm. Earlier this month, players tested an inventory bonus weekend, during which they got a bigger inventory — the better to craft with. More recently, players were treated to a travel speed weekend.

The game’s next patch is due out sometime this week, though Heimburg says he might postpone it from its Tuesday/Wednesday plan to upgrade Unity first. “It’s looking pretty likely that Ice Magic level cap will be raised in next update,” he writes, “Some new skills, some bug fixes, this and that.” And then there’s this — and we’re pretty sure he’s serious:

Source: Twitter

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Giveaway: Grab a Bellona unlock key from SMITE and MOP [All gone!]

Last week, Hi-Rez MOBA SMITE patched in Skadi, the goddess of winter, and kicked off the 2016 SMITE Pro League Season Ticket. Oh yeah, and the game is celebrating its second birthday too!

We’ve got two SMITE giveaways today to help you join in on the carousing. Here comes the first one! Hi-Rez has granted Massively OP a total of 6000 keys that will unlock Bellona and her alternate Battle Maiden skin — a bundle normally worth 300 gems.

Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to take home one of these keys!

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