aventurine

Greek outfit known chiefly for sandbox Darkfall.

Massively Overthinking: Being Uncle Owen in MMORPGs

Ever since the tone-deaf SOE proclamation that nobody wanted to play Uncle Owen in an MMORPG, contrary me has consciously fought that very stupid idea. A whole lot of people wanted to play Uncle Owen, then and now, there and elsewhere. Star Wars Galaxies was a game half full of Uncle Owens. I spent a lot of time literally becoming a moisture farmer as my own form of rebellion. And yet, as I realized while debating with my husband a few weeks ago, the person I really wanted to be was freakin’ Lando. And most MMORPGs don’t allow that either — it’s Luke or GTFO.

Such is the argument made by a recent PC Gamer article, which in its own precious mainstream way argues that “MMOs need to let you be an average Joe” to get out of the clear “creative slump” they’re in.

“With their scale and permanence, MMOs give us the chance to be citizens in a make-believe world we create with the help of our fellow players. When it’s left up to us what kind of role we want to fill in that world, everybody’s immersion benefits from being surrounded by all types of characters with vastly different stories.”

For this week’s Overthinking, I asked the staff to chime in on the concept of Uncle Owen in MMORPGs. Do you play this way? Do you wish you could? And is it the way forward?

Read more

Massively OP Podcast Episode 116: Bree’s virtual garage sale

Is Ashes of Creation destined to be the Kickstarter event of the year? Today on the ‘cast, Bree and Justin talk about this crowdfunding tsunami, several MMO patches, a superhero preview, and even a launch. Also, Bree is selling the entire contents of her virtual garage. It was a busy week!

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:

Read more

The MOP Up: SMITE’s console mea culpa (May 7, 2017)

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!

This week we have stories and videos from Skyforge, EVE Online, IngressWar ThunderWorld of TanksWakfuLeague of LegendsSMITEGTA OnlineElsword OnlineWurm OnlineDarkfall: Rise of AgonWorlds AdriftCounter-Strike, SEAL Online, and Warspear Online, all waiting for you after the break!

Read more

Darkfall Rise of Agon is live today

Hardcore sandbox Darkfall: Rise of Agon officially launches this afternoon. The story of the game is a victorious one, as it’s one of two games being built by player-organized studios out of the ashes of Aventurine’s original Darkfall, which vanished without much of a goodbye just about a year ago. But don’t take our word for it: The Big Picture Games team has a 13-minute video out today taking gamers through the history of its development.

In conjunction with the launch, the Rise of Agon team joined up with OriginPC for a rather large giveaway for this type of indie game:

“We’re giving 1 fan a grand prize of an ORIGIN PC CHRONOS gaming desktop valued at $2,400, featuring an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti, 30 Days of Game Time in Darkfall: Rise of Agon, and a $50 Domino’s Gift Card! 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive 30 Days of Gametime in Darkfall: Rise of Agon, and a $25 Domino’s Gift Card! Seven runner-up winners will receive 30 Days of Gametime in Darkfall: Rise of Agon!”

The giveaway ends on May 18th, so go enter!

Read more

Exploring TellTale’s Guardians of the Galaxy ‘crowd play’: A dual group dynamic

I have sort of an odd relationship with “story” in gaming. JRPGs really got me into gaming and inspired me to focus on my writing voice(s). Though the quality of narration in MMOs are just bad, some of my early experiences with the genre (particularly Asheron’s Call‘s GM driven story arcs that gave players a way to interact with lore as a group) opened up the possibility of group narratives, especially for those who roleplayed. In fact, as odd as it may sound, I think RP PvP in general showed me just how strong of a feature it can be for someone like me, from virtual Darkfall pirates trying to steal my boat to Star Wars: The Old Republic Jedi fighting for alignment while my bounty hunter simply struggles to make the most money while making the fewest enemies.

Still, sometimes we don’t want to go grind through 20 mobs to get to the next part of the story, or suffer through a raid dance to choose the fate of a character we’ve been interacting with solo. It’s one of the reasons I figure MJ and Larry’s Choose My Alignment is so popular: You still get that story vote without having to be a member of the actual group. It’s odd, being an older MMO player who still sometimes struggles with accepting solo play in MMOs, but the story aspect is the part I get. It’s actually the main thing that kept me in SWTOR.

But there are other options for this kind of play, primarily through TellTale Games and its Crowd Play feature and new game, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series. Don’t worry story fans, as I’ll keep this article spoiler free!

Read more

Perfect Ten: Exploring MMORPGs from the far corners of the world

Have you ever noticed that while there’s an entire world out there, most all of the MMORPGs we discuss and play tend to either be ones crafted in the USA or imports from China or Korea? We even have a shorthand for this: “western” and “eastern” MMOs. We’re usually not talking about entire hemispheres with these references, but rather about categorizing three countries that are big into the MMORPG business.

But what about the rest of the world? Are all of these other countries so uncaring about this genre that they’ve never tried their hand at making an MMO? Of course not; as I’m about to show you, there are plenty of online RPGs that have been made in countries other than China, the USA, and South Korea. It’s just that for various reasons, those three countries ended up fostering concentrations of video game developers who knew how to create these types of games.

So let’s take a tour around the world and see if we can’t give some credit to other countries for their contributions to the MMORPG genre past, present, and future. Before you click the link, see how many you can name off the top of your head!

Read more

Darkfall: Rise of Agon is free to try for the next few days

As you might recall, Darkfall: Rise of Agon is set to launch in early May, which means that its beta program is currently winding down. Before the beta ends entirely, the team is inviting anyone who wants a look at the game to try it out for free. All you have to do is to create an account and download the game through Steam, and free play is yours until the beta shuts down on Monday, April 24th.

Free access isn’t the only topic on the table, not by far. Rise of Agon’s online store is now live, with subscriptions and currency on sale at 10% off. The standard subscription is set at $9.99 for 30 days of game time, with discounts for multiple months purchased. Players who previously purchased a Legend pack can now reserve their character name for the May launch.

Finally, the launch trailer and overview video are here, so give them a watch after the jump and see if it kindles your interest in the MMO reboot!

Read more

The Soapbox: Lessons Secret World Legends failed to learn from Final Fantasy XIV

I’ve mentioned many a time that I like Funcom quite a bit. I want to like Funcom quite a bit. Heck, I want to be excited about Secret World Legends, but every day or so I get reminded that such a course of action will be very difficult at the least. Because quite frankly, Secret World Legends seems to want me not to be excited about it, as evidenced by… oh, every single thing that Funcom is doing around it.

Which is odd, because Funcom literally has access to a playbook for a large-scale reboot.

Secret World Legends is coming off of The Secret World, which was a cult MMORPG classic with a mighty fan following. Final Fantasy XIV was coming off of… well, its initial version, which had a fan following full of people who admitted that it was halfway to Stockholm Syndrome. And yet that game managed to get people excited and earn fans, while Funcom seems dead-set on alienating people or making them just plain nervous.

Read more

Darkfall: Rise of Agon runs down its pre-launch checklist

With less than a month to go before flipping on the switch to its live servers, the Darkfall: Rise of Agon team must be crunching pretty hard to get everything ready for the launch.

In last Friday’s recap post, the team ran down a checklist of some of the last-minute projects that it is working on to prepare for release. One of these is getting new server tech into place: “Our new server hardware is currently on order and is getting set up by our supplier. Once the hardware is ready to go we will be configuring them with what is needed for launch. We plan to open up the servers for a short stress test before launch and will provide more details on this at a later date.”

The team said that it’s planning on rolling out a public test server post-launch and is striving to get player vendor stalls in place for release or shortly thereafter. Other countdown projects include scattering wilderness portals throughout the game world, getting the new task system into the game, revamping the economy and loot tables, and preparing a marketing campaign.

Comment

Darkfall: Rise of Agon deploys a major patch with new spawning mushrooms and Champions

The most recent patch to Darkfall: Rise of Agon does a lot of things for spawning. For one thing, it introduces the game’s dynamic spawning system, which is currently being tested by spawning mushrooms in appropriate areas. That means that things will spawn based on elevation and locale, rather than just all over the place. For another thing, it’s added in Champion spawn locations; while they’re not final locations, they’ll allow the developers to test the system and make sure there are no glaring balance issues.

Of course, that’s just scratching the surface of the extensive list of changes, which also include a large number of crafting additions and improvements, alterations to the game’s equipment system and changing gear, and ownership of mounts. A few spells have also been temporarily removed from the game to make sure that new players have an easier time understanding the game’s mechanics. There’s plenty of stuff in the patch, in other words.

Comment

What ever happened to Darkfall, Fallen Earth, and Runes of Magic?

It bears repeating that here on Massively OP, we cover an immensely wide field of live games — so many that it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of what’s happening in each one (which is why our readers are invaluable in winging us tips about their favorite MMOs!). And while there’s never any shortage of news and happenings in the field of MMORPGs as a whole, once in a while we realize that it’s been a good long time since we heard anything about certain games that we used to discuss a lot in the past.

When that happens to me, I’ll often head off on a little fool’s errand to scout the website, Twitter feed, forums, and Reddit to see what’s going on. I hate to be out of the loop on games, especially ones that used to be more prominent in the news, but more often than not, the lack of news is because there’s been a lack of news.

You ever caught yourself going, “What ever happened to the original Darkfall? Or Runes of Magic? Or Fallen Earth?” I totally have, which is why I went on expeditions to see what I could uncover. So let’s catch up with these three games and see what is up!

Read more

Massively Overthinking: That moment when your MMO looks like a ‘fire sale at an exotic pet store’

Massively OP Podcast listener John recently sent us a really great question that saw Justin and me sharply divided in terms of our responses, so naturally, we decided to kick it to the whole team and the readers too.

“When you walk through a city in WoW, you very rarely see two adjacent characters riding the same species of mount,” he wrote. “I just walk by, thinking, ‘Unicorn, griffin, dragon, wyvern, skeleton of a horse, motorcycle, floating-on-a-cloud, mammoth, turtle, rocket, sparkle pony, rancor, miniature TIE fighter,’ and so on. Once there’s a cash shop, special instance rewards and PvP mounts, a flood of new (and increasingly implausible) mounts hit the scene. It makes it hard, for me at least, to imagine that I am in any kind of a coherent setting. Why not add an optional checkbox for ‘Traditional Mounts’ that would cause other people’s mounts to render as normal mounts for their race? Everybody else would be able to see what they want to see, and cities wouldn’t look like a fire sale at an exotic pet store. I also propose the same solution for people who find female gear too revealing and impractical: Give me a ‘Sensible Armor’ checkbox as well!”

Why not indeed? Let’s hear it!

(With apologies to Trove, whose screenshot I just had to use above but is actually wholly justified in being wacky.)
Read more

Massively OP Podcast Episode 107: Dark Knight rises

This week on the show, Justin and Bree celebrate a couple of hearty MMO updates, argue about mandatory mount viewing, celebrate the soft launch of Revelation Online, and extol the virtues of the PC Master Race.

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:

Read more

1 2 3 7