It’s that time of year again where the airwaves of certain radio stations are clogged with the same songs from the 1950s, television broadcasts are filled with specials about the nature of giving, and dozens of people exclaim that Die Hard is a holiday film due to its timeframe. Yes, it’s the holiday season, and whatever you celebrate, you cannot retreat into your favorite MMO without seeing plenty of red suits, white trim, and all sorts of associated antics.
So, where will you hang your gaming hat this year? Probably in much the same place as usual, but if you’re curious about which games are running which events, we have you covered with our roundup just below.
Let’s talk about value. A couple of weeks back, I did an article on the healthiest games at the end of the year; today, I’m talking about the best value for the money. Isn’t that the same thing?
No, it isn’t. Because health is about “what games have the most robust community and are most likely to be around next year,” but value is about “where can you get the most for the least money on a reliable basis.” And while there is a fair amount of overlap, it isn’t a one-for-one comparison.
You may recall we did this last year as well. This year, there have been some pretty significant shakeups, due in no small part to the fact that the value-for-your-money in some titles has gone down, and at least one title from last year’s list has outright closed. So let’s take a fresh look at the games giving you solid value for your dollars. Let’s even say ten of them, arranged in list format.
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin throw snowballs, beat up grinches, unwrap presents, and generally save Christmas the way they do every year. It’s our last pre-holiday show, so listen in and get on top of all of the last-minute activity from studios before they go on break!
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:
Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Biggest MMO Industry Blunder of 2017, which we awarded to the industry’s VR obsession last year, and I just need to point out that some of you mocked us for that pick, but we’re feeling mighty vindicated this year, and you’ll soon see why. This isn’t an award we particularly enjoy giving, but I think it’s a fitting complement to praising trends and big stories: We must consider the mistakes of the year so we don’t make them again and so we can be prepared for how they’ll affect us in the future.
The Massively OP staff pick for Biggest MMO Industry Blunder of 2017 is…
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 Outer Stories of Wulin, ArcheAge Begins, The Black Death, Wakfu, Dark Age of Camelot, RuneScape, Pokemon Go, SMITE, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, Battlerite, Ragnarok Rush, Wild Busters, Final Fantasy XI, and Twin Saga, all waiting for you after the break!
Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Best MMO Housing, which was awarded to WildStar last year. MMORPGs eligible for this award can have launched in any year as long as they are still alive and still offer player housing; nominees should be judged based on the quality and depth of that feature and that feature alone. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!
The Massively OP staff pick for Best MMO Housing of 2017 is…
Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Worst MMO Business Model, a dishonor bestowed upon Star Wars The Old Republic last year in this award’s inaugural year. As a counterpart to yesterday’s award for the best business model of the year, this “award” is intended to recognize an MMORPG of any age that has demonstrated a particularly awful business model specifically in 2017, regardless of its past performance. We expanded this award to include pre-launch MMOs with launched business models as well. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!
The Massively OP staff pick for Worst MMO Business Model of 2017 is…
Well, that didn’t last long. RIFT
has already yanked its controversial $100 random mount packs
from the game store following strong opposition from the community. “We put a tremendous amount out for the holiday season. As always, we follow player feedback and LISTEN. We’re also pretty agile, so when the resounding feedback on the Orphiel’s Mount Crate came in, we took it down,” the studio posted
Lest we become seasonal grinches, we want to pass along the word that Trion is throwing a lot of promotions and giveaways in its MMOs this month. RIFT players who log in before January 4th have a chance of winning a collection of 40 mounts, can enjoy the Fae Yule event, and buy a year of patron status for $99 (which is one mount’s worth! Too soon?).
Trove has login rewards and a Snowfest event, ArcheAge has a prize giveaway for people who poke their head into the game, Defiance is selecting a few players for a jackpot bounty, and Atlas Reactor is doubling up on its XP and discounting its freelancers and skins. Good stuff!
Trion Worlds is reporting “intermittent” attacks
on its Dallas hub over the last day that are causing connectivity issues for some of its online games, such as ArcheAge
. The team is working with the local ISP providers to counter the attack and stabilize the servers for play.
“Please keep in mind that DDoS attacks are all too common and, for the most part, they don’t impact gameplay,” Trion said. “Our network engineers have setup substantial protections that allows us to mitigate the vast majority of these types of attacks. Without these efforts, taken by all game companies, any game under an attack such as this would simply be offline.”
It’s especially important for this to be resolved for ArcheAge, as today is the official launch of the game’s Maelstrom update. This patch contains a new raid organizational system, a non-RNG gear upgrade system, cross-server arenas, title collections, a redesigned folio, limited-time events, and the introduction of the Bloodsalt Bay naval combat arena.
Get the full scoop on Maelstrom with Massively OP’s interview on the update and its offerings!
Batten down the hatches because a big storm hits tomorrow! ArcheAge’s
Maelstrom, with its cross-server navel arena, launches on December 13th. We got to see some of the 4.0 expansion and learn more about it during our demo
and interview at PAX West
this last fall. And on the cusp of launch, I sat down again with Trion Associate Producer Seraphina “Celestrata” Brennan
, Executive Producer Merv Lee Kwai
, and Community Manager Joe “Muzzy” Brogno
to chat more about the upcoming changes. What I learned is that the changes have changes! Lunagems, the raid finder bulletin board, streetlights, and some of the arenas updates have been updated. And one change — the addition of the new turtle ship — will actually not be happening.
If you don’t have time to sit through 46 minutes
stream, you might want to check out two minutes of YouTuber Niver instead. He’s rounded up the key points, including the fact that players should expect compensation for the EU server DDOS outages that were still going on last week.
As far as 4.0, the final build should hit the PTS soon, with new changes to gems (old gems won’t be salvageable but will be socktable), old buffs will be usable (but not craftable), you can’t get lunarite from sunken treasure, and cargo will see a nerf (to be rejiggered later). Beyond that, Trion doesn’t know when 4.5 will port westward, and the Riches From the Depths event isn’t on the docket yet either. Christmas will land after 4.0, however.
Also of note is that Trion says the ArcheAge remastering announced for Korea last week is not planned for the western version of the game.
Trion also put up a new post detailing changes to the lunagem system as overhauled in 4.0 Maelstrom; the key bit is that they will socket every single time with no chance to fail thanks to RNG that makes you want to punch a hole in the wall.
Would it be fair to say that XLGAMES has “mastered” ArcheAge? The developer behind it has been working on the live version for five years now, so there’s some familiarity with the project, but that does raise some entertaining questions about what “mastery” entails. What’s important was that either way, the studio has managed to master the game once again, as a remastered version of the game is apparently due to launch in January of 2018.
This newly remastered version will only be playable on one new server (Orchidna) and will supposedly reflect the years of work done on the live version of the game, so it will have no small number of balance adjustments and improvements. Whether this works more like the various fresh start servers for the localized version or involves significant game changes remains to be seen. What is definite, though, is that the title would be difficult (if not impossible) to master again, as this effort clearly denotes a large amount of mastery.
Step aside, turkey and fambly rage: It’s time to buy stuff. Because we don’t already unload our wallets the rest of the year on MMOs! Oh wait, yes we do. In any case, here’s a quick roundup of all the best MMO Black Friday 2017 sales on Steam and elsewhere.