arenanet

Seattle-based studio responsible for Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2.

Massively OP Podcast Episode 153: It’s a whole New World

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin sift through early 2018 news, including a possible leak of Amazon’s New World, a touching player memorial in RIFT, warnings of alien attacks in Elite: Dangerous, 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 Stream Team: Saving the city from undead in Guild Wars 2

There’s a new event of sorts happening in Guild Wars 2, and it involves saving the city from undead. The trick is, you don’t know which major city will be attacked when! So Massively OP’s MJ is heading in to try and defeat the undead… assuming she finds them. But hey, if they don’t attack, she still saved the city, right? Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. and experience a part of the GW2 story as it develops.

What: Guild Wars 2
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EST on Monday, January 15th, 2018

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One Shots: Poster perfect

One of the things that impresses me about the submissions to One Shots here is that so many of these pictures really could be blown up into high-resolution posters and be hung as honest-to-goodness art. I’ve always been meaning to comb through my screenshots folder and take the best of my best to a store and get that done, but I am a lazy man and figure that you all will keep my eyeballs entertained for one more week.

Here’s a good example of a poster perfect pic from Camelotcrusade, who shared this interesting shot from Star Wars: The Old Republic. “It feels like a galaxy far, far away now, but I really liked the title cards for Knights of the Fallen Empire,” he wrote. “Here is one of my favorites which transposed my character against a backdrop of galactic war.”

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LOTRO Legendarium: My LOTRO wish list for 2018

Ever since I’ve been writing this Lord of the Rings Online column — which spans back to 2010, if you can believe it — I’ve started out every year with a little tradition of making a wish list that I’d like to see happen for the game. This year, I actually debated whether or not to do it, because Standing Stone Games has already sort of laid out its big plans for 2018 (or at least some of them) and I know that the studio’s smaller stature means that we probably can’t expect as much as we once did.

But then I thought, hey, it’s tradition. And why is it a bad thing to aspire to greater things and encourage the studio to reach for those? Should we just roll over and give up on this title that we love? Far be it! So I’m dusting off some old ideas and tossing in a few new ones to give to you my list of 11 things (for 11 years) I want to see happen in 2018 for LOTRO. Let me know what some of your wish list items in the comments too!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 152: Allied races and superhero sprints

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin dig into the allied races that are coming soon to World of Warcraft, the non-race of the City of Heroes spiritual successors, meaty early 2018 patches, 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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Guild Wars 2 overhauls its lockbox mechanics and adds gardening plots

We don’t often cover cash shop updates for MMOs, and lockboxes are not our favorite thing, but Guild Wars 2’s cash shop and lockbox update today is worth noting all the same because of the lockbox changes and new mechanics going live. For starters, ArenaNet has patched in a new buyable in the cash shop called the Black Lion Garden Plot Deed. For 1000 gems ($12.50), you can add a garden plot to your home instance and grow harvestable plants from nodes akin to those purchaseable separately. Each plot allows four plants, and it appears you can purchase two plots. It sounds as if seeds will drop from nodes in the world as well. Good news for people who like to garden or those really into decking out their home instances, but maybe a steep price for a couple of nodes in a not-housing-system.

Perhaps more importantly, ArenaNet has redesigned (again) some of the features of the lockbox system itself, perhaps in part due to ongoing criticism of that element of the business model throughout the industry (and surely in response to backlash faced by ANet in particular last autumn). The devs are adding a “guaranteed seasonal item,” which this round appears to be a glowy minipet, plus the random drops, plus what they’re calling a “black lion statuette” currency. Collect enough currency, and you can trade that for specific items.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: 2018 Guild Wars 2 predictions

I adore looking back on last year’s predictions about what’s to come in Guild Wars 2 in the next twelve months: Even when my predictions are totally wrong, they stand as an excellent marker of how I was feeling about the game and what the gaming climate was like at the time the predictions were made. I love making new predictions each year and it’s a key part of my annual MMO checklist, alongside setting my personal gaming goals for the year ahead to look back on at a later date too. This year’s predictions blend safe bets based on where development is currently at with some more far-reaching points of note.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll look back on my old predictions and appraise them retrospectively, and I’ll also set new ones for 2018. This article will be spoilerific by nature if you’re not caught up with current developments, so skip for a while it if you’re behind.

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Guild Wars 2 is hiring a writer and narrative designer

We regret to inform you that while ArenaNet is definitely hiring a Writer / Narrative Designer for Guild Wars 2, it is also a job you are probably not qualified for. (This is in a general sense, mind you; if you’re a regular reader and have shipped two AAA games, by all means, go forth.) But it’s still interesting for those of us who are not qualified for the position, as it offers a hint about how much more writing is going to be coming out of the studio with upcoming patches. (And also that Riot Games just picked up the former holder of that job, Michael Yichao.)

Obviously, it doesn’t hint at all about the content of those stories, but it’s a senior position that indicates a need for more words, more characters, and more narrative. If that’s your favorite part of the game in the Living World, you have reason to be happy. But you probably don’t need to send off your resume, although if you do, make sure to check out the twitter feeds of ANet’s Bobby Stein and Tom Abernathy, which are stuffed full of advice for aspiring applicants.

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One Shots: To new beginnings!

It’s a new year and a new you! Well, probably the old you a few days past the expiration date, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely useless. For example, you probably have enough mental cognition and digital dexterity to log into an MMORPG and create a new character before you dissolve into an unslightly mess of bones and goo.

To celebrate the debut of 2018, the Massively OP legion is out in force to create new characters with all sorts of crazy resolutions!

First up is CapnLan: “My first character creation for the new year is technically an old one. I recovered my old FFXIV character from 1.0 but they had me run him through the new character creator when I logged in for the first time. I touched him up a bit with some new options and went for a stroll around Ul’dah. Here’s a quick shot I took of him with all his hilariously outdated 1.0 gear in front of the New Year decorations on the main street.”

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Global Chat: Love the farm, hate the farm

How do you feel about grinding in MMOs? What about farming? These questions can elicit a wide variety of answers, from shrieks of dismay to enthusiastic head nods. Depending on the situation, grinding and farming can be something to be enjoyed, to be endured, or to be avoided at all cost.

The Game Freak Show says that he has a love/hate affair with grinding and farming, and it presents all sorts of muddled emotions, especially when gated mechanics are thrown into the mix: “While I have forgiven the grind in many RPGs for sucking away my time, this disturbing trend of games that do not have a harsh grind because they’re flawed or made for a different audience, but to force people to drop more cash on the table is something I can’t.”

Continue on for a look at Kritika Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online’s Ravenloft, the best solo MMOs, and more!

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Massively Overthinking: Our MMO hopes and wishes for 2018

One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It’s way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.

But all the same, for tonight’s Massively Overthinking, we’d like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2018 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.

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Food and video games, two great tastes together at last!

If you thought that the World of Warcraft official cookbook was a stupid idea, then you may not be the target audience for the plethora of sites devoted to helping you cook up a true taste of the game you’re playing. But they’re still out there, and after we talked about them on the podcast this week, we couldn’t not hunt some down. Fans of Guild Wars 2 have a whole blog devoted to making the recipes from the game into real food, while Final Fantasy XIV Culinarians can level up in the real world with a similar blog.

Yes, the authors of these blogs are well aware that you have to make some substitutions for the lack of raptors and drakes. It’s done with care and thought.

If you’re more of a generally video game sort, there’s also the Moogle Pie blog (which is devoted to various game treats or themed treats from games). And you can always check out the Earthbound cookbook once it finishes publishing after a successful Kickstarter. In other words, with some patience and dedication, there are lots of ways to make your real-life food into the same stuff you eat in-game.

Maybe not Delicious Cave Mold, though.

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Choose My Adventure Year in Review: DC Universe Online, Shroud of the Avatar, Guild Wars 2, and Secret World Legends

As our review of the past year of Choose My Adventure rolls onward (a bit longer than originally planned), we enter what I think of as the trifecta of disappointment. Why? Well, the word “trifecta” is fun to say. Try it a few times. Also, because the were three titles among the back end that were pretty notably disappointing.

There are always going to be titles with Choose My Adventure that don’t connect as much with me; after all, the games that I play on a regular basis are not chosen based on a random number generator. But these titles in particular are disappointments, each for their own reasons. And then, in the middle, there’s a game that is far closer to “not mine, but not bad,” which is a different matter altogether. Life, in short, is a rich tapestry.

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