Ask Mo: The absurd advantages of MMO guilds

A Massively OP reader named Ohnix recently sent us a question just perfect for Ask Mo. Let’s debate guilds!

I play EverQuest II quite a bit (and EverQuest before that) and have come to ponder if guilds are unintentionally dividing the membership base by making guild-specific achievements for raid-level content. This mechanic appears to focus a select few players from a single guild into a specific goal and that does not allow for mixed guild raids to form and perform the same raid to gain the same achievement. In the long term this mechanic isolates the members of each guild from each other and therefore diminishes the opportunities for individuals or smaller groups to participate. There are not always exactly enough players to fill each raid for the folks who would like to raid.

I’ll go a step further: I’ll say that guilds and guild achievements divide MMO communities and playerbases period.

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Pantheon has a playable core build

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s first newsletter is up, and in it Brad McQuaid has given an update on the team, its finances, and its progress. The really good news for Pantheon fans is that there’s an early playable build of the game already.

“We also finished a major development milestone last month and have a playable version of the game at its core,” McQuaid posted. “You can create a character, choose from up to five classes, and play in one of five zones from levels 1 to 10.”

The build is significant, McQuaid says, because his team can use it to show the game off to potential investors. Next up on the docket are the rest of the classes along with more features, zones, and functionality. He also promised that there will be monthly newsletters going forward and frequent website updates.

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Black Desert confirms regional IP blocking

Bad news for those hoping that Daum Games would see the light and keep Black Desert’s borders open to all nations: The publisher will indeed be slapping IP blocks on the upcoming sandbox that will keep gamers from outside countries from playing.

Daum posted a statement on the matter: “Our territory license agreement with the developer Pearl Abyss is limited to the following areas: Europe (excluding Turkey and a part of Russia) and North America. In other words we will not provide service to players outside of our territory.”

Daum said that Pearl Abyss might be pursuing other markets and that Daum did not want to interfere with that. Daum told MMO Culture that it is striving to provide “clarity” on countries affected by this decision.


WildStar’s Cryo-Plex arena and second arena season are live

WildStar’s Arena Season 2: Enter the Cryo-Plex update is officially live today. Headlining the patch is a brand-new PvP arena of the same name, which is really good news if you’re a talented PvP arena player after some beautifully skinned loot.

The update also includes a boatload of bug fixes, including adjustments to mounts, housing, the UI, cinematics, the auction hall, class skills, dungeons, battlegrounds, and zones. The prestige cap has also been buffed.

Enjoy the pics!


World of Warcraft outlines the changes coming to Shaman and Warrior in Legion

Big changes are coming to every single class in World of Warcraft when the next expansion goes live. The official site has already shown off six of the game’s extant 11 classes, but the series of redesign entries continues with an examination of Shaman and Warrior changes.

Restoration Shaman is remaining in much the same place, but Enhancement and Elemental are both receiving big overhauls starting with a new resource called Maelstrom. Elemental will play similarly, with a smoother rotation but similar functional play; Enhancement, meanwhile, is being thoroughly retooled with a greater emphasis on melee abilities, more control over random spikes, and fewer low-impact buttons in exchange for more high-impact ones.

Warriors, meanwhile, are going to be far more reliant upon talent choices to define a given playstyle, with Arms and Fury in particular gaining a number of new talents to tailor the class to the player’s preference. The core identities of Arms as a spec of precision strikes and Fury as a raging berserker remains intact. Protection, meanwhile, has a more varied setup of abilities to mitigate incoming damage. There’s also a new community recap of BlizzCon available to watch just below. That’s not a Warrior thing, just a WoW thing.

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The Daily Grind: What do you look for in a sandbox MMO?

Sandbox lovers must be in heaven lately with so many new choices arising in MMO circles. It seems as though most of the newer titles announced have widely embraced sandbox elements, even if integrating them with a more theme park structure.

And I’ve watched as a segment of the community has rejoiced over the resurgence of sandbox games, although I’ve also seen consternation and debate over how these MMOs are made. Should they have PvP? If so, how much? What about housing? What type of economy should it run? Should there be any developer-created story or should it be left fully in the players’ hands?

Good luck trying to get any consensus there because the only constant I’ve witnessed is how people will say, “I want New Game Online to be practically identical to Nostalic Old Game I Used To Play Online.” Whatever that may be.

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World of Tanks’ next update adds two unique maps

The forthcoming 9.12 patch for World of Tanks will add a couple of “unique” maps, according to the game’s latest website update. The Ravaged Capital and Berlin zones are a combination of street blocks and open spaces which resemble the landscape of the meatspace areas on which they’re based.

Wargaming says that Ravaged Capital and Berlin are the first World of Tanks maps to be created specifically for the new rampage game mode.

Source: New maps


Are gamers too cheap for VR?

A new report by research firm GreenlightVR says that only 11 percent of people are willing to pay the projected $1000 entry fee to get started with virtual reality gaming in 2016.

The $1000 figure factors in the cost of a PC that will power hardware like the Oculus Rift, though the company says that roughly 60 percent of those surveyed would not pay more than $400 for a VR headset. Other data points include the fact that racing game enthusiasts are the most excited to try VR, followed by action gamers and sports gamers.

The survey also says that minorities are more interested in VR than whites, which the authors chalk up to the fact that older age groups aren’t as ethnically diverse as their younger counterparts. You can pick up GreenlightVR’s full 134-page report when it goes on sale tomorrow, if you fancy spending $795 to read it.


PSA: GuildPortal is shutting down this month

If your guild’s web presence depends on GuildPortal, you may want to start looking for a new home. The long-running web host, which first opened its doors way back in 2001 and which provided everything from forums to rosters to raid calendars for those of us who lacked web development skills, “will be going offline (permanently) by the end of the month,” according to a tiny notice at the top of the main page.

Source: GuildPortal; thanks Duane and Robenix!


World of Warcraft outlines the Death Knight changes coming in Legion

The next World of Warcraft expansion is adding the game’s second hero class to the lineup, but that doesn’t mean the first one has been forgotten. Death Knights have been around for six years now, but they’ve always had something of a mess of a resource system even while they have a strong core fantasy. The latest development overview for the class explains that the resource system will be overhauled to use six generic runes, with a maximum of three recharging at any one time.

Blood will be gaining new methods to generate Bone Shield charges and more active health recovery, while Frost is losing some of its awkwardness with Killing Machine and some slight ability refocusing. Unholy is receiving the most substantial overhaul, making Festering Strike more appealing and changing how the disease-centric playstyle works in practice. Check out the full entry to see how the class is shifting, and stay tuned for further updates on the remaining five classes in the game as the week continues.


Lineage Eternal and Peria Chronicles are skipping G-Star

Steparu reports that a couple of big-name titles with MMO ties are no-shows at this week’s G-Star 2015 gaming megacon in Korea. NCsoft will forego new Lineage Eternal info in favor of Master X Master and Blade & Soul stuff, according to a company press release.

Similarly, the Nexon team responsible for anime sandbox MMO Peria Chronicles will be skipping G-Star. Steparu says that the dev team is purportedly focusing on the game itself instead of showcasing it to the public. You can click past the cut for a couple videos that introduce both Peria Chronicles and Lineage Eternal.

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DOTA 2’s Korean server shutting down, Valve to take over

Nexon will no longer be handling Dota 2 in Korea, as the publisher announced that it will be shutting down the MOBA’s server in the country soon. The last day for Dota 2’s operation on Nexon’s servers will be Thursday, December 10th.

Fortunately for Korean Dota 2 players, this will not spell the end of their game experience. Nexon said that over the next month it will be working with Valve to transfer all accounts and information to Steam’s own server so that players can continue to enjoy the game through that digital platform.

Source: MMO Culture


Paladins has founder’s packs

I guess founder’s packs are the new early access, that being the developer weapon of choice for separating gamers from their money in the age of free-to-play. The next man up is Paladins, a team shooter from Hi-Rez that was announced last summer.

The good news is that these particular founder’s packs aren’t too outrageous, since their pixels cost a relatively paltry $19.99. Hi-Rez hasn’t started selling them as of press time, though they are marked with a big “coming soon” sign on the front of the game’s official website.

Beta access with a founders pack begins on November 17th.

Source: Paladins; via: MMO Culture


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