SWTOR is on sale at Amazon for May 4

Am I the only Star Wars fan who realizes that May 4th is a dumb day to celebrate the saga? I get it, someone thought it was a clever pun and the same people who greenlighted the prequels agreed. But guess what, it’s not terribly clever and more importantly, nothing of Star Wars consequence happened on May 4th!

Whew. Now that that’s off my chest, here’s the news I actually came into this post to deliver. Star Wars: The Old Republic is on sale at Amazon. You can get a bundle that includes the base game, the Rise of the Hutt Cartel and Shadow of Revan expansions, 60 days of subscription time, and 2400 cash shop coins for $29.99. Ordinarily Amazon sells this digital download for $39.99.

[Source: Amazon; thanks Crow!]

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Sword and Bored: Hide helmet

One of the first concepts for the comic strip that we had was this particular comic. It was just an idea at the a time of something that would be funny to happen to Mo, but there wasn’t an arc to put it in.

Now the concept that we created way back in Update #15 for the Kickstarter is now a fleshed out comic. It’s interesting to look at the differences between then and now and how Mo has changed.

Without further ado, here’s this week’s comic…

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Guild Wars 2 hints at bow-using Guardian elite spec

The next elite specialization for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns may be out of the bag, as ArenaNet posted a new piece of concept art this morning that shows what appears to be a Guardian wielding a bow. The character also has a pair of bright wings sprouting from between his shoulderblades. We’ll put in our official guess for the name of this specialization right now: the Cupid.

If this is a preview of a new class build, this will be the second elite specialization announced from the expansion, following the Chronomancer, a Mesmer build that uses a shield that stops time.

[Source: Facebook]

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Empyrean Rule combines RTS gameplay with a persistent world

You can’t accuse the makers of Empyrean Rule of thinking small. Instead of trying to just create a persistent fantasy sandbox for $40,000, the team is trying to create a persistent fantasy RTS sandbox, with players taking the role of a general commanding vast armies and fighting for dominance. It would be ambitious at any budget, really.

The game is currently up on Kickstarter with the aforementioned target funding, promising players the ability to customize armies, freely mix and match units from different races, and a completely player-driven economy. If that sounds like the sort of project you’d like to back if it succeeds, toss some money at it; you have 24 days remaining as of this writing.

[Source: Kickstarter; thanks to Dylan for the tip!]

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Meta: Gaiscioch Magazine chronicles Massively OP’s comeback

Here’s a bit of meta for your afternoon: Massively Overpowered isn’t just covering the news; we are the news!

After Massively OP’s whirlwind spring, renowned MMO clan Gaiscioch invited us to tell our resurrection story in the Live Epic: Leading a Memorable Life of Epic Adventure & Wonder edition of its massive volunteer magazine, which is on virtual newsstands as of this past weekend. The 6,838-member multi-gaming guild-family took the time out of its busy schedule of running dozens of gaming chapters, charity events, and sports activities to interview us on just how we — and you! — brought Massively OP to life. All of that and the magazine is free. MMO players are singularly awesome.

You can check out the full spring 2015 issue of Gaiscioch Magazine on Issuu.com or scope out just our feature article on the Gaiscioch website. By the way, it’s pronounced “gosh-kia.” Now you know.

With many thanks to Gaiscioch’s Benjamin “Foghladha” Foley for featuring us!

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Shroud of the Avatar adds first player-run town in release 17

Release 17 for Shroud of the Avatar has landed, bringing with it one of the most revolutionary additions to the game yet: paver decorations for decks and patios! OK, maybe “revolutionary” is a strong word for it, but for those looking to create a stunning backyard, it can’t but help the effort.

The new patch came out last week and contains far more than paving stones. Release 17 added in the game’s first player-owned town, eight improved adventure scenes, additional crafting events, the Summon Phoenix skill, player titles, and more. Players who take the Release 17 tour can earn themselves an exclusive (to this release) fez hat.

[Source: Update of the Avatar]

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Win an Echo of Soul closed beta pack from Massively OP [All gone!]

Free-to-play Korean action-MMO Echo of Soul lands in North American closed beta today. If you’re eager to play, then you might just get a chance today, as publisher Aeria Games has granted Massively Overpowered 10 closed beta keys and “dungeon legend” founder packs to give away to you.

The first 10 folks to clicky the key distro button below will score a key. Read on for a key and full instructions, and good luck!

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Wisdom of Nym: Benchmarks and lore for Final Fantasy XIV

Maybe it’s just me, but with the steady drip of information that we’ve gotten about Final Fantasy XIV‘s first expansion, I find myself sometimes having trouble keeping track of what has and hasn’t been discussed to death. There’s a lot of stuff! And it’s almost universally interesting stuff, at that. At least, it is if you’re almost pathological in your fixation on this game’s lore and such, which I feel I can safely assume you are if you’re reading this column on a weekly basis.

I can also assume that you’ve probably grabbed the Heavensward benchmark by now and played with it, which I certainly have (Extremely High on Maximum, for the record). So let’s talk about that marvelous program with its character creation, and let’s also discuss a bit of that lore we got on the official site not too long ago. It’s all fascinating stuff.

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EverQuest’s newest progression server gets a name

The voters have spoken, and EverQuest’s newest progression server will be named Ragefire.

“While the vote is still live in-game, Ragefire is ahead by a SIGNIFICANT margin and that’ll be the name of our new time locked progression server,” Daybreak said.

The studio is continuing to take in player polls for various details on the progression server, although you can read about what decisions have been made so far on the official FAQ. Daybreak recently made an agreement with the EverQuest 1999 emulator to recognize the project in exchange for making sure that the emulator wouldn’t interfere with the release schedule of the progression server.

[Source: Forums #1, #2. Thanks to Squidgod for the tip!]

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SkySaga opens up the desert for Alpha 4

A new biome is coming to SkySaga with its fourth alpha test: the desert. Of course, this being SkySaga and all, the desert promises to be a pretty cute and adorable place to visit, apparently drawing inspiration from the American southwest.

The team’s been dropping hints about what kind of flora and fauna players will encounter in the desert, including an “odd-looking” cave critter. In addition to the desert, windows will be coming with this update to allow for even more varied structures. Alpha 4 is scheduled to go live “really soon,” and you can get an advance glimpse at it in the trailer after the break.

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Elite: Dangerous generates its galaxy with NASA data

Elite: Dangerous is a work of science fiction; that’s not under discussion. So as in all science fiction, the developers just created a galaxy by selecting random areas and dropping in planets or stars. By which we of course mean that the game has based as much of its space as possible on NASA data about what’s out there in the galaxy.

Obviously, NASA has only a picture of what’s present in a small portion of our galaxy. The game uses a bit of technology called Stellar Forge to take what data is available about points of the galaxy, however, and match it to in-game representations. So if you’re gliding through a system with four planets, one covered in ice and one a breathtaking gas giant, that’s meant to be as close as possible to what you’d see in the real world, assuming you could get there. Ain’t science grand?

In other Elite news, PC Gamer reports that space destruction derbies are back, so you can stop spamming Twitter with goat pictures now.

[Source: Gamesradar]

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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!

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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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