Welcome one and all to Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards series.
Every year, we poll our writers about the best and worst MMOs, stories, studios, and trends and assign awards to the winners (or losers, as the case may be). For the last three years, we’ve been splitting our awards into smaller categories, a format we mean to stick with in 2017 as well. We’ll also continue providing a sampling of our writers’ nominations and rationales from award to award, although this year we debated more to try to reach a consensus before locking in winners, a task at which I think we were pretty successful. And we’ll always include a just-for-fun reader’s poll at the end to see whether you agree with our picks!
Today’s award is for the Most Underrated MMO, which was awarded to Final Fantasy XIV last year. Once again, we’ve opted to include pre-2017 MMOs for many of these awards, including this one, as long as they accomplished something truly notable in this calendar year.
The Massively OP staff pick for the Most Underrated MMO of 2017 is…
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.
As you plan your Black Friday shopping strategy (ours: sleeping in and lazily shopping on Amazon Prime), Trion Worlds wants to help out by giving you a heads-up on all of the deals that the studio is throwing for its games next week. Here’s the rundown:
All starter packs will be 50% off during Thanksgiving week. All Class Packs, plus the Creators Pack, Collectors Pack, and Battle Pack will be 70% off, while the Essentials Edition and Double Dragon pack will be 80% off, through November 27th.
- RIFT: Premium mounts will be 25% off from November 22nd through the 29th, and some previously lockbox-exclusive mounts will become available for direct purchase.
- ArcheAge: Sales up to 80% off on certain items. Also, here thar be lockboxes.
- Atlas Reactor: All packs will be 75% off and Golden Age skins will be discounted from the 22nd through the 28th.
- Defiance: Players can get up to 65% off on Titan bundles and gold editions. Also, more lockboxes.
Source: Press release
Hey, you. Yeah, you, dude leeching candy from the bucket you bought “for the neighborhood kids.” And you, lady still trying to decide between “Princess Leia” and “lazy zombie” for your costume (go Leia, duh). Put all that aside and get into some MMOs instead! Halloween is only one night in real life, but in MMORPGs, it goes on for days or even weeks. Some studios will probably even forget to turn it off! Others will let you run around with a flaming pumpkin head mask for all eternity!
Here’s what we’re looking at this year for Halloween across the MMORPG verse.
If you haven’t heard already, tomorrow marks the start of a massive gaming marathon called Extra Life
that will help raise much-needed funds to aid sick kids at the Children’s Miracle Network hospital. Among those forming teams and playing titles for this charity is Trion Worlds, which is encouraging its community to rally around this worthy cause
Trion’s Extra Life marathon begins tomorrow afternoon, during which the dev team will stream non-stop for 24 hours. To encourage and entice players to join the team in this fundraising effort, Trion is offering a bounty of virtual goods based on the amount of money raised.
Did someone say birthday? Yes they did! Atlas Reactor
turns one year old today. Massively OP’s MJ is headed in to the party, ready to celebrate. And she’ll get gifts just for attending: Folks who log in between now and October 9th will receive
- 1 Year Celebration Meridian “Thumbs-up” Emoji
- 1 Year Celebration Banner Emblem
- 3 Freelancers: Asana, Blackburn, Helio
- 3 Skins: Hardlight Asana, Eliminator Blackburn, Moonwalker Helio
- 9 Loot Matrices: 3 Asana, 3 Blackburn, 3 Helio Loot Matrices
- 7 days of Lancer Enhancer (2x Freelancer experience)
- Double Flux Weekend: Gain 2x Flux currency from matches October 6 to 8
Besides just getting gifts, MJ is excited to try and play Isadora, the hybrid Freelancer in a hamster ball. Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. for an anniversary edition of…
What: Atlas Reactor
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, October 4th, 2017
Whoa, has it been a year since Atlas Reactor
launched already? Indeed it has! And Trion’s
marking the occasion with hoopla and presents and all the good stuff
: a half-off sale for tons of stuff in the cash shop, free toons, free skins, and free boosts, all running through October 9th.
“The past year has been fantastic for Atlas Reactor and its players, ranging from launch up through the most recent Fourlancer update, which introduced a game mode that allows players to experience 1v1 matches while controlling all the lancers on their team, adding a completely new feel to the gameplay,” Trion says. “The Fourlancer mode has taken off with the game’s fans, and is a smash hit with players looking to experience a more intense and fast-paced take on the game and is just one of the awesome modes that players have been engaging in.”
Following the anniversary on October 10th, the game will kick off Halloween events and its fourth season, intended to be a “tighter experience” than past seasons, with weekly missions and lore, plus challenges will be replaced with an all-new “alerts” system.
We’re streaming the game in honor of its birthday tonight, so check back in on OPTV at 7 p.m. EDT!
There’s a tendency for all of us to claim that it’s our teammates holding us back in online games. Any raid leader, for example, will probably opine at least once or twice that the rest
of the raid is what’s holding back progress. Atlas Reactor‘s new Fourlancer mode
lets you put your money where your mouth is, though; in this new mode you control the entire four-person team and face off against another player controlling a full team, with an extended decision timer and no one else to blame if you screw up. If you’ve ever said that your teammates are holding you back? Prove it.
The same patch also brings in Isadora, who is protected by a lot of shields but has very little health beneath that. She switches gameplay modes if her shields are destroyed, but she can also re-activate her shield as an ultimate ability, allowing her go charge back into the fray. Combine that with a double ISO weekend running from September 8th to the 10th and you have plenty of reason to get in there and play.
Atlas Reactor has come a long way since it first opened its doors. When I very first tried the alpha back in February, there were only 13 freelancers to choose from. Now, that number has more than doubled. I talked with Lead Designer William Cook at PAX West about the game’s growth, including the 30th freelancer, the community-requested freelancer that will be making its appearance, a new game mode, and lore.
The evil genius hamster
Although I have never been one to play a frontline character, I think this newest freelancer joining the ranks next week may be my first. Isadora is actually the first hybrid freelancer (though likely not the last) for the game; she alternates between frontline and firepower. But that’s not what is drawing me to her.
Summertime does seem to be ripe territory for MMORPGs to release sizable content updates in the hopes of keeping players occupied and luring back in the bored and nomadic in the larger community.
Making a pitch for your attention today is RIFT, which has just released the latest segment of its Prophecy of Ahnket expansion cycle with Patch 4.2: Celestial Storm. As players head into the newest endgame zone of the MMO, what will they discover?
A few words on that: Beauty. Challenge. Epic feuds. Rewards. And a crapton to do.
Hula-hoops and cats — they go together like cats and anything else that cats aren’t especially known to do. But somehow Atlas Reactor is making it work with NEV:3, a catgirl character who uses Tron-like hoops for ranged damage. Plus, she’s got a cat face emoticon in her name, so you know she means business.
NEV:3 joined the game’s cast yesterday in the Chapter 3 update: “With her custom-made catarangs, NEV:3 can prove to be quite catastrophic to her enemies. Her catarangs can be dished out to deal damage and will stay out for a turn. Afterwards, the catarang returns to NEV:3 dealing reduced damage along the path to her.”
Whether you’re on board with this catastrophe or not, Atlas Reactor is activating a double ISO weekend from July 14th through the 16th for everyone, so it might be worth setting aside some time to rack up extra advancement.
There’s been a reshuffling in Trion Worlds’
ranks this past week, as ArcheAge
Senior Community Manager Seraphina “Celestrata” Brennan announced on the forums
that she has been bumped up to become the game’s associate producer.
“I’m really happy to let you all know that I’m your new associate producer,” Brennan said. “I’ll be joining Khrolan and Amary on the production team side of things, so don’t worry that someone’s going to go somewhere. You’ll still see me posting on the forums and Reddit too, though perhaps not as much as I use to. My time is going to have to go towards behind-the-scenes work and planning, after all!”
Taking over for Brennan as senior CM is Joe “Muzzy” Brogno, who transferred over from the Atlas Reactor team back in June.
Hey, you there! If you didn’t already know it, Atlas Reactor appreciates your playing. As a reward for all of that appreciation, players can get some free stuff this weekend, which is a pretty great sign of appreciation. Players who log in between July 6th and July 9th will get an item pack containing three freelancers (Aurora, Elle, and Titus) along with a skin for each, three loot matrices for each, and a Mega Lancer Enhancer to massively improve Freelancer experience for seven days.
Players can also look forward to more experience and Flux earned from matches during the event, so even if the items themselves don’t delight you, the overall incentive might. And while there’s a little bonus for those who already own the item pack containing every single freelancer, you can grab these items even if you’ve never downloaded and played before now. That’s the sort of generosity you can appreciate, especially if you stop in for the event.