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The Stream Team: Converting to Set on Age of Conan’s Zath server

After starting another Priestess of Mitra on Age of Conan’s new Saga of Zath server, Massively OP’s MJ had a change of heart. She converted to Set! Now she is running around Tortage as a Tempest of Set, blasting everything with lightning. Now it’s time to take on the tasks on White Sands Isle. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. for the electrifying adventure.

What: Age of Conan
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Monday, February 12th, 2018

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Bless Online interview: Soft launch plans, why Gamigo bowed out, and avoiding pay-to-win

Bless Online is one of the biggest MMORPGs we’re expecting to launch in the west in 2018. Over the last six years, we’ve watched it blossom in South Korea, switch publishers, and even go back to the drawing board for a revamp before Neowiz pushes it westward. That’s left a lot of gamers, including us, with questions about the game’s future. And to get answers to those questions, we spoke with Game Director Jae-hoon Jeon all about the game’s planned monetization, early access, and just what sets Bless apart in a field of high-quality import MMORPGs. Read on for the details!

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The MOP Up: Black Desert’s Ninja arrives in Southeast Asia (February 11, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Vendetta OnlineWorlds AdriftMonster Hunter WorldHellionRustSkyforgeBlade and SoulPortal KnightsFinal Fantasy XIDreadnoughtPUBGHyper UniverseCrossoutBlack DesertDark and LightH1Z1DauntlessRobocraftFortniteWar of RightsCosmos InvictusUltima Online, and Vendetta Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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Massively Overthinking: Which MMORPGs should stay away from legacy servers?

Legacy, vanilla, classic, progression – call them what you like, but alternative server rulesets, particularly of the nostalgia-driven kind, are all the rage in 2018. Just since the dawn of the new year, we’ve gotten a new server type for Age of Conan, with RIFT’s on the way – not to mention World of Warcraft’s looming in our future. And those are just the new ones! Games like RuneScape, EverQuest II, and Ultima Online already run similar servers.

That said, does every MMORPG need one? Aren’t some MMORPGs already in pretty good shape without needing a spin-off for nostalgia’s sake? Is it in every MMO’s best interests to prioritize, on some level, the very older ideas it intentionally left behind? That’s the question I’ve posed to the writers this week: Are there any MMORPGs that should stay far, far away from legacy servers, and if so, why?

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Netmarble weathers a slightly down quarter while Lineage 2 Revolution drives revenue

South Korean games publisher Netmarble posted its financial report for the last quarter of 2017, ending the year on a bit of a down note. While revenues were up, net profits and operating profits saw a decline during that period.

The company continues to make inroads around the world with more revenue coming from outside Korea than within. South Korea only accounts for 32% of the revenue right now vs. 69% in the first quarter 2017. Mobile MMORPGs continue to be its biggest seller at 45%, with titles like Lineage 2 Revolution (39% of game revenue) and Tera M (5%) paving the way.

The studio hopes to have a strong 2018 with upcoming titles such as Magic: The Gathering Project M, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery for mobile, and Seven Knights for the Nintendo Switch.

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Blade & Soul heeds the Call of the Deep update today

Hope you don’t have any fears about nasty things with sharp teeth swimming in the ocean under your feet because Blade & Soul’s Call of the Deep update isn’t going to coddle you with water wings and kiddie pools.

Today’s update takes players below the waves to the Drowning Deeps, a six-player heroic dungeon that comes in both normal and hard mode. It involves an investigation into a mysterious song by a sea monster that is luring people into its lair.

PvP fans can take out their aggression in the 6v6 Nova Core battleground. This one is almost like a sports game, as the teams attempt to move energy orbs to the opposing goals.

And if you’re only in the mood for love, the patch also marks the return of the Blade and Soulmate Valentine’s event.

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NCsoft Q4 2017: Guild Wars resurges as Blade & Soul and Lineage M drive profits

NCsoft has money to cheer about this past financial quarter, as it posted another year of solid growth. Revenue and operating profit were up 87% and 86% respectively year-over-year, though of course the quarter doesn’t quite compare to the blockbuster that was Q3 last year when Lineage M hit Asia.

Lineage M continued to drive good mobile sales for the company even after its shine wore off, accompanied by Aion, Lineage, and Lineage II, which are down YOY for the quarter and the year. Blade and Soul is outperforming everything but mobile at this point and this quarter held even YOY, at least globally.

And as for Guild Wars 2? Well, no surprise there: The Path of Fire expansion was quite a boon, more than doubling the game’s quarterly revenue YOY and pushing total revenue past 2016’s (though not past 2015’s, when Heart of Thorns launched at a price two-thirds higher). (Recall that SuperData just included GW2 on its top 10 list of premium PC games by revenue [at an annual figure slightly higher than what’s represented here] and that Q2 last year was the game’s worst quarter ever, so this is a comfortable comeback.)

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 156: Downfalls and uprisings

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin mull over the fate of MOBAs, investigate Alganon’s nebulous state, talk about why subscribing to an alpha test might not be the smartest thing in the world, and more!

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.

Listen to the show right now:

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The Daily Grind: What would you pay for an MMO subscription in 2018?

Here’s something you probably didn’t know about Camelot Unchained: Yes, it’ll have a sub, but it won’t be $15. Mark Jacobs re-confirmed that it’ll be less than the industry standard down in our comments a few weeks ago. It’s been rattling around in my head since then as subscriptions just keep popping up in the news. Star Citizen has an optional sub in alpha. Age of Conan just lowered its subscription rate. And the biggest subscription MMO in the world seems to have no problems moving a bajillion expansions, driving token prices to fluctuate. Did we hit rock bottom? Are we just watching the price reset in a new era?

I’m currently paying $13 a month for an old-school game because nobody else has content that even comes close. I wouldn’t hesitate to pay more for an MMO I couldn’t wait to play. In fact, I was prepared to pay more than $15 for CU. Would you? What would you pay for an MMO subscription in 2018? And what would you expect from an MMORPG charging a subscription?

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Blade & Soul previews Nova Core PvP battleground, new Call of the Deep patch video

Will you heed the Call of the Deep in Blade & Soul when it launches February 7th? If you do, it might be for the new 6v6 battleground on the way. It’s called Nova Core, and it’s not your average PvP matchup.

“Nova Core is a large 6v6 battleground where you’ll work with your team to guide massive orbs of energy, known as Pulsars, towards your own ‘Gateway’ to gain points,” NCsoft explains. “There are two main paths leading to each team’s goal from the center point, and throughout the battle Pulsars will spawn in the center and travel along a path towards either Gateway. The key to guiding the Pulsars to your Gateway lies at the three Switches along each path. […] This being a battleground, the added difficulty of course comes in the form of players entering combat to stop Switch changes, misdirecting away from their own changes, and racking up the points that come from kills.”

The studio also released a new patch preview video at the tail end of last week; we’ve tucked it down below. Who’s excited?!

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DC Universe Online is killing Superman (again)

How many times must Superman die? The iconic superhero met his end in the highly publicized 1992 comic book arc before being brought back to life, because this was a comic book arc. It was kind of a Big Deal at the time, and so we can’t blame DC Universe Online for wanting to take a crack at this historic event with its own take on the demise of Supes.

Daybreak announced that it’s preparing two huge updates for this spring as a way to celebrate Superman’s 80th anniversary. First up is a first-ever trip to the realm of Atlantis called “Deluge” in March that will feature both single-player and multiplayer content. And yes, Starro will be involved.

Then in April, the anniversary celebration will begin in earnest with a series of free updates that will retell the Death of Superman storyline. “Doomsday is coming,” Daybreak teased. “A Doomsday like you have never seen. Like the Justice League has never seen. This monster is an unstoppable force. It may be that not even Superman can stop him this time. Can you?”

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Global Chat: To RIFT or not to RIFT?

Everyone’s talking about RIFT’s new Prime server idea — and whether or not it will get us playing Trion Worlds’ fantasy MMO once again. Naturally, the blogosphere had a few thoughts about this.

Stargrace said that it was “highly unlikely” that she’d return for this: “While I am drawn into progression servers for EverQuest and EverQuest II due to a heavy nostalgia factor, I don’t get those same warm fuzzy feelings about RIFT.”

“If anything induces me to give RIFT Prime a try it will be the extent to which the experience doesn’t accurately replicate the original,” Bhagpuss said. And Endgame Variable takes a look at it from the perspective of a former player: “Do I want to pay a subscription to play old content in RIFT — a game I’ve already played to death — or pay a subscription to play new content in FFXIV or WoW?”

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Massively Overthinking: What are your criteria for recommending MMOs?

Last week, we got a well-intentioned email from a reader named Rick, who proposed a column in which readers tell us what they are looking for in an MMO and we offer up suggestions for just the right MMO. It’d be like Guild Chat, we imagine, only instead of dispensing guild advice, we’d be telling you folks what to play.

The email prompted some discussion among the MOP staff about whether that would be an effective column to write (or to read). We do answer some questions like that for the podcast from time to time, for example, but I seldom get the impression we’ve actually helped. Most times, the listener has already tried everything and is hoping for a game that simply doesn’t exist yet, so we’re destined to fail. And even then, it’s really difficult to recommend MMOs to people without really knowing their full history with every studio and game. Some of us can’t even find an MMO we want to play!

So we thought we’d open that discussion up for everyone. How do you go about recommending MMOs to other people? What are your criteria? When your sister says she’s done with WoW, your co-worker requests input around the watercooler one day, or Some Dude On Reddit asks for pointers – where do you start?

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