If you have ever played more than one MMORPG, the thought has probably crossed your mind that you would love to see your favorite features from all of them put together. It hurts when one game has great housing and another has some of the best group content that you have experienced. Why can’t you just create the best of both worlds?
Zeriah spent some time wishing for exactly this as she drew up a list of features from both World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV that she’d love to see merged together.
“If I could take a bit from each game and combine it into one, I think I’d be in heaven,” she said. “FFXIV has some of the most amazing outfits I have ever seen in a game and while it has transmog system but I feel it would be made truly amazing by the addition of the armor journal WoW has brought in.”
At this year’s E3, Ubisoft creative director Julian Gerighty said team behind The Division 2 tried to learn “everything” from The Division to help make the sequel better. As he reminded me, the original game’s final DLC was especially meaty in terms of PvE content and PvP balance, but it’s the first impressions of the game that mattered most: The initial Dark Zone iteration is still what gamers remember best, and that’s not necessarily a compliment. I myself was not impressed with the original demo back in 2015.
But based on my preview of The Division 2 at this year’s E3, I can say that Gerighty’s team obviously learned quite a bit – and absolutely improved on the original.
I was a wide-eyed, naive kid when I first stepped into Ultima Online in 1997, and as it turns out, the developers were too.
That’s my takeaway from reading through the Ultima Online chunk of Raph Koster’s new book, Postmortems. Koster, as any dedicated MMORPG fan will recall, went by “Designer Dragon” back then as the creative lead on the game. Having come from a MUD background, he and his wife Kristin Koster were instrumental in shaping Richard Garriott’s seminal MMORPG and therefore the genre as we know it.
Koster kindly sent us a preprint of the book, unwittingly robbing himself of $35, as I was going to buy it anyway, and it’s massive, folks: over 700 pages spanning three decades and the majority of the online games Koster’s worked on during his long tenure in the gaming industry. Some of those games are definitely of more interest to our readers on Massively OP, in particular Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies. It’s the Ultima Online chapters I aim to cover today.
Sometimes I know that I may be a bit too old-school because there’s a little twitch in my eye whenever I have to refer to a given class as a Rogue. That’s become my go-to replacing Thief, and it really does make a fair amount of sense: Rogue skillsets are usually more covering a variety of skulky activities, which incorporates but is no means limited to thievery. Not to mention that calling someone a “Thief” seems like it’s underselling the situation.
Especially when the party is frequently engaged in the act of assault, murder, destruction of property, and unnatural acts with corpses.
A while back, I talked about how to understand the lifestyle of the MMO Warrior, because there’s always a Warrior. Just as surely, there’s always a Rogue, or a Thief, or if you have to go a little further afield, a Scoundrel or Stalker. So in the spirit of understanding these conventions, let’s talk about understanding MMO Rogues.
MOP reader Joel recently wrote into us with a link to a Dark Legacy Comic (#634) that succinctly captures the problem of content lulls in MMOs. It features a bored World of Warcraft hero character staring at his friends list full of buddies who haven’t logged on in weeks (“wake me for prepatch,” one friend’s tag reads); he then becomes super excited at a newly delivered mail, only to find out it’s an automated brew-of-the-month club missive telling him to share his drinks with his friends. Womp womp.
“I can’t speak for everyone but this episode really spoke to me as there have been a lot of times I’ve felt exactly this way in quite a few MMOs that have hit a lull,” Joel wrote.
I thought it was particularly relevant this summer for MMORPG players; World of Warcraft is in a bit of a lull right now ahead of the launch of its expansion, while Guild Wars 2’s next big patch has been delayed so significantly that I heard the word “drought” being kicked around yesterday.
So how do you handle content lulls in MMORPGs? Do you stick it out, play alts, grind cash? Or do you wander away to play something else?
Waiting for a Living World release you know is coming eventually is one of the more frustrating parts of playing Guild Wars 2
for the chronically impatient like me, but when you add a delay announcement on top of that, community frustration can quickly accelerate. Cue a minor online panic
: Content creators making parody trailers, prominent accounts announcing indefinite breaks, and general fear that we’re headed back to the Heart of Thorns
content drought days! I want to slow down for a minute, though, keep my admittedly thin patience intact for a moment longer, and ask if we really need to worry just yet though.
In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I will dig into what we know about the delay to the next episode’s release and will consider if this is the start of a worrisome pattern or a justified blip on the radar. I’ll also consider why even small delays cause the degree of frustration they do, giving some ideas for how to minimise the impact of cadence shifts in future.
I love how in the Star Trek universe, the universal consensus on what makes for an ideal vacation spot is a planet that looks a lot like Miami Beach. I mean, there’s a whole galaxy out there, people! Is it possible that there are any slightly more exciting, exotic, and thrilling vacation destinations than Jimmy Buffet’s island paradise?
Junior Ensign JonBuck doesn’t think so: “In Star Trek Online, there’s only one good place for vacations: Risa!”
Yes, I want to go to the place where humanoid cats are getting jiggy with it while wearing a two-piece. Wait, I thought cats don’t like water?
Massively OP reader ichi_san has a burning question about the state of the industry.
“Lots of people seem to be looking for an MMO they can get into – consider the rush into Bless as an example. Lots of games are being released, but most (or even all) have some glaring issues, like pay-to-win, lockboxes, ganking, poor optimization, heavy cash shop, horrible gameplay, and so on. There’s the WoW model and other semi-successful formulas, and a lot of unexplored territory. The market seems hungry, and there is a bunch of history to build on and new territory to explore, but either gaming companies don’t understand their customers or greed/laziness/expediency get in the way, such that we see release after release that fails to scratch the itch. Am I missing something – are there fun MMOs with good graphics and fair monetization that I’m missing? Or is there a gaping hole in the MMO scene, and if so, why isn’t someone filling it?”
I’ve posed his question to the writers for their consideration in Overthinking this week. We’re long past bubble-bursting here when all of the still-major MMORPGs are four years older. What exactly are we looking at? Why is the obvious demand for MMOs not being met?
The slow rollout of Guild Wars 2’s
season 4 is starting to severely tax the patience of the MMO’s community and content creators. It’s now been three months since episode 2, and it might be longer than that, as ArenaNet admitted to a non-specific delay
in the production of episode 3.
One content creator, that_shaman, publicly announced that he was walking away from his efforts for now due to the delay: “Alright, It’s clear I need a break from #GW2 content creation stuff.. Hopefully I’ll see you people around in 2038 when episode 3 is released!” Other fans have taken to creating parody videos like the one that you can see after the cut.
There is one thing that ArenaNet is doing this month, however, and that is changing its logo to a rainbow variant to mark Pride Month.
Fans seem to be having a lot of fun with the puns on this one. Here’s Noxxi’s “totally legit” trailer to make the wait go faster.
When Radical Heights launched, I was inspired to put together a whole Perfect Ten about why trend-chasing doesn’t work for online games. Obviously, my chief focus was on games that wind up being developed at a rushed pace to cash in on trends and then run face-first into problems with chasing momentary trends, which… you know, you can just read the article; it’s linked right there. But it also prompted a follow-up question by longtime reader Sally Bowls asking why, with all of these issues, why the same rules don’t apply to MMOs.
The answer? Well, there isn’t one answer. There are three answers, all of which are part of the same set of considerations. For one thing, there’s the difference of development time and depth. For another, there’s the time before grinding. And last but not least, well… they do apply, really. But let’s take this piece by piece to talk about why trend-chasing for MMOs doesn’t quite provoke the same immediate reactions as it does for, say, MOBAs.
Possibly due to the delay
of the next Guild Wars 2
living world update, certain store assets have been added to the game’s files that were not activated quite yet. However, dataminer that_shaman quickly unearthed a run-down of what’s incoming
and shared among it the community.
In addition to a pack full of convenience upgrades and several new weapons, there are mentions of “awakened mounts” that should be coming to the game soon. The pack that you might be able to buy soon includes new golden-clad skins for the griffon, raptor, springer, jackal, and skimmer.
As players continue to wait for the patch, at least they’ll have the next season of the PvP league to anticipate. The twelfth season begins on June 12th and concludes August 8th. As for the next living story episode, that’s been delayed, and we’re still awaiting news on when it’ll drop.
With all of the talk and revival of interest in classic Guild Wars, it’s certainly been a great time to celebrate this beloved MMO (yeah, I’m calling it an MMO, what are you going to do about it?). I’m certainly happy that the game is still providing a fun playspace for fans and is even getting improvements in 2018.
So here’s a pie-in-the-sky question: What if ArenaNet decided that there was enough of a community for Guild Wars 1 that it commissioned an actual new expansion or campaign for the game? I know, I know, it will never happen. For all I know, it can never happen because of technological limitations and whatnot.
But… what if it did? Would you play it? Since we’re dreaming here, what kind of classic Guild Wars expansion would you love to see made?
Get all the “haha people game on Macs?” out of your system right off the bat because this one isn’t funny. MOP tipster Apparition pointed us to a GamingOnLinux thread yesterday in which Linux and Mac gamers worry over Apple’s recent decision to deprecate OpenGL as of the next macOS release. OpenGL is basically a programming interface for graphics rendering, and it’s used heavily in gaming, particularly for supporting games on Macs.
Apparition’s, and our, first thought was for MMORPGs that might be affected. There are plenty of large MMOs that utilize this tech for Mac support, including Elder Scrolls Online, but it’s probably the smaller ones who might not be able to afford to switch to updated codebases. According to GOL, plenty of smaller devs, though not for MMOs, have already announced their intention to simply stop supporting OSX altogether rather than migrate to new tech.
As for MMOs, Guild Wars 2 may be affected, Lord of the Rings Online is reportedly already working on the problem, and of course, World of Warcraft has already migrated. We’ll be digging around for more clues from Mac MMOs. If you play on a Mac and your MMO of choice has made a statement about its security or its plans for the client, sound off in the comments and we’ll try to keep this post updated.