The Daily Grind: What canceled MMO do you wish had been made?

MMO players are forever bemoaning the overabundance of fantasy titles in our genre. But truthfully, we have lots of sci-fi and zombies games nowadays too. Superheroes too. Vampires? Westerns? Steampunk? Not so much.

And what about Imperial Rome? I remember really looking forward to Imperator, a Mythic MMO that rose in 2002 and fell in 2005 before it ever launched, canceled ostensibly because of Mythic’s acquisition of the Warhammer IP for Warhammer Online (here’s Justin’s writeup from a few years ago). It was a nifty sci-fi spin on a classical setting, and I was bummed when it was nuked and I never got to wear a space toga.

What canceled MMO do you wish had made it to the finish line?

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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SMITE adds the warrior Bellona to the fray

SMITE has taken another giant step forward as the MOBA has introduced its first true female warrior to the champion pantheon.

Bellona is a take-no-prisoners fighter who wields several different giant weapons (including sword and hammer) depending on the attack. The more Bellona hits or gets hit, the faster she moves and the more protected she becomes, making her an agile tank.

The recent patch also added new champion skins, emotes, voice packs, and a new god rotation. You can watch the patch overview video after the jump.

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Spacetime making ‘bite-sized’ MOBA Call of Champions

Does the world need another MOBA? We’re going to find out, as Spacetime Studios is the latest game developer to hop on the bandwagon. The mobile studio responsible for MMOlikes Arcane Legends and Pocket Legends, has announced Call of Champions, a 3-on-3 MOBA with five-minute game sessions.

Touch Arcade reports that Call of Champions is attempting to pare down MOBA mechanics into “bite-size” portions minus minions, jungles, and cash shops. Click past the cut for a teaser trailer.

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The Stream Team: Touring Qeynos in Landmark

Who says Landmark isn’t very EverQuest-y? In fact, a stroll through the sandbox right now will yield quite the assortment of Qeynos buildings thanks to the latest building theme. Join MassivelyOP’s MJ as she tours houses, towers, blacksmith shops, and more — all with a Qeynosian flair that would fit right into Norrath.

Don’t touch that dial! OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team is live at 7:00 p.m.!

What: Landmark
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Enjoy the show!

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BioWare prepping SWTOR ‘Operation Victory’ tourney

BioWare has partnered with e-sports company ESL Gaming to host a competition dubbed Operation Victory. It involves speed-running eight-player story mode operations from Star Wars: The Old Republic’s recent Shadow of Revan expansion, and qualifying heats start next Tuesday, March 3rd.

Prizes include cash, in-game items, and a trip to the Star Wars: Celebration convention. BioWare says that further contest info is forthcoming.

[Source: SWTOR forums]

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City of Titans shows old test environment before scrapping it

New games don’t spring into being overnight; they take lots of work and incremental steps to a finished product. That goes double for a small indie team, which is why it’s perfectly OK to get excited over seeing City of Titans’ test environment, even in a primitive state.

City of Titans’ art team posted a new dev diary last week, showing off the old test environment before it got shut down to make way for the new one. The team is particularly excited to display details from trash on the ground to the reflections in puddles and on shiny surfaces.

“Everything we, and hopefully you, make, can be color changeable, even the materials and textures, so be prepared for a brave new world of customization options,” the devs teased. The post stresses that these pictures aren’t the game proper but a “tribute” to what will come.

[Source: Official site. Thanks to Byron for the tip!]

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Global Chat: Business model first, game construction second

Welcome back to Global Chat, the column where we reach out and give props to interesting and well-written articles from the MMO blogosphere. Today we’re going to kick off with a positive piece about Crowfall, as Kill Ten Rats’ Ravious is particularly pleased with the decision to announce its business model up front.

“One of my favorite devs, Jeff Strain, wrote way back in 2007 some of the most important words for MMO creators,” Ravious posted. “He said, ‘Decide on your business model first, and then build your game around it.’ So simple.”

Was this a good move for Crowfall? Read the rest of this week’s entries and then debate it in the comments!

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Champions Online is fiddling with costume prices

Champions Online is still alive! How do we know? It’s fiddling with its cash shop prices come March 5th. A forum post explains the situation:

Starting on 3/5, we’re going to be re-aligning the prices of costume sets in the C-Store. Some will have their prices reduced, while others will be increased. Our goal with this is to match the dev work with the final price. Over the past five and a half years, our costume designers have raised the bar for costume set quality, and better costume sets take more work for us to produce. If you look at the detail and polish in their latest sets, it’s clear we’ve come a long way. These pricing changes allow us to keep spending more time and effort to make items that good.

Creating tiered prices also gives us more flexibility to make some sets more available to new players. A number of sets will have their prices cut down to 375 ZEN, so a new player who’s looking for something to try out will find the C-Store friendlier.

Older sets, like the Swamp King set, will see their prices go down, whereas “hyper-exclusive” sets like the Power Armor Bundle will be 1000 ZEN.

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League of Legends adds Bard, the Wandering Caretaker

Do you like roaming around and picking up random junk on the ground? Then you might be the perfect player type to handle League of Legends’ newest champion, Bard, who gains “meep” pets by snagging chimes hidden around the playing field.

According to his reveal, “Bard is League’s first support to gain advantages solely from moving around Summoner’s Rift. By constantly collecting his unique chimes, he covers plenty of ground at all stages of a game, and offers his team both solid sustain with his health packs and unrivalled team mobility with his long range portals.”

In addition to introducing Bard, LoL has updated to Patch 5.4, which includes a semi-locked camera option, a DJ Sona skin, and a bunch of mage love. Speaking of DJ Sona, you can catch a quick concert of hers after the break!

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DCUO cracks down on Hades raid exploit

Players who took advantage of an exploit in the new DC Universe Online Hades raid faced the ire of the Daybreak Game Company this past week.

The raid, which was part of the new Amazon Fury Part II DLC, apparently had a loophole that allowed players to beat it in a much easier manner than intended. The dev team disabled the raid for a couple of days to fix the exploit and have since turned it back on in live.

Daybreak said that it will be removing looted gear and feats achieved via this method and threatened account termination to those “purposefully abusing an exploit.”

[Source: Actions to be taken]

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Leaderboard: Camelot Unchained vs. Crowfall

It’s a good time to be a fan of MMO sandbox PvP, as Camelot Unchained and Crowfall are both poised to bring AAA production values and a wealth of industry experience to bear on that particular playstyle.

I’m interested to see how they both turn out, but in terms of which one I’ll be playing, it’s probably Camelot Unchained (not a fan of Crowfall’s resetting world mechanic, sadly).

What about you, Massively readers? Assuming you’re interested in fantasy MMO PvP, which game do you plan on playing, Camelot Unchained or Crowfall? Vote after the cut!

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Path of Exile has plans for ‘years’ of expansions

A rather extensive (and we do mean extensive) Path of Exile developer Q&A revealed that the game and studio is growing nicely. “There are many years of Path of Exile expansions lined up,” the team posted. “We’ve expanded up to 57 staff at our office and are hopefully moving to a larger office location in the next couple of months!”

There are many questions regarding the spring expansion for the game, which is currently referred to as Act 4. In addition to more content and improvements, Grinding Gear will be adding localizations for German, French and Brazilian Portuguese (as well as a South American data center).

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