In case you missed it over the holiday break, but the World Health Organization announced it would be adding “gamer disorder” and “hazardous gaming” to the latest edition of its International Compendium of Diseases, a move many academics treated with skepticism. According to WHO, “Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour, which may be online or offline, manifested by: 1) impaired control over gaming; 2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”
The industry isn’t taking this classification lightly, with the Electronic Software Association predictably pushing back against the move and saying that it misrepresents a hobby billions enjoy.
“The World Health Organization knows that common sense and objective research prove video games are not addictive,” the ESA said in a statement. “And, putting that official label on them recklessly trivializes real mental health issues like depression and social anxiety disorder, which deserve treatment and the full attention of the medical community. We strongly encourage the WHO to reverse direction on its proposed action.”
There’s no more perfect time to reflect on the last twelve months than when you’re ringing in the new year, so that’s precisely what I plan on doing in this edition of Guild Chat. More readers in need have been helped than ever before by both my musings on the topic at hand and the useful perspectives offered in the comments, and some of the submissions have really stretched my MMO agony aunt credentials! It’s been a whirlwind of officer meltdowns, guild fragmentations, adapting to new content types, and deciding when and how best to leave an unsuitable guild, and I’m very glad I have the MOP community with me to weigh in on these issues too.
In this edition of Guild Chat, I’ll take a look at some of my favourite 2017 entries and will showcase the brilliant ways in which MOP readers have enhanced the article with their insightful comments, adding new perspectives or simply approaching the submitter in a way that makes the advice make sense. Here’s to a wonderful 2018!
Even Warhammer 40K Eternal Crusade might be jumping on the battle royale bandwagon. That’s according to Behaviour Interactive’s latest pair of player-directed Q&A posts.
“We already have a series of Battle Royale game mode ideas, since it’s one of many ‘standard’ modes today,” says the studio. “Ours are of course adapted to fit with the 40K universe, and with the lore limitations. I also think PUBG showed how execution and nuances to a mode can really kick off something big. Just like LOL. It’s lower down the list of game modes we’ll prototype, as we already have some half-finished modes we’re applying to current maps, part of current maps (cutouts) or unfinished maps.”
The studio also notes it is indeed aware of the “brick wall of boredom” at rank 6 and is working on fixes, maps and storylines are under discussion now, and that a lot of game tweaks are doable – the team “just need[s] engineers” to make them happen. As for Steam Workshop integration – a ton of questions are about this feature – Behaviour says that weapon creation won’t be coming to the core game and that it has its eye on abuse such that it’ll be reviewing all submissions.
Do you long to get your Eldar on in Eternal Crusade? We’re unsure of exactly how the Eldar get themselves on, but we assume that’s one of the topics covered in the Eldar campaign from the game’s most recent patch. The Autarch Eldar Hero will be introduced after the campaign along with other associated rewards, so by all means, get your Eldar on. Better yet, make your Eldar happen to other people.
The game has also introduced Challenge, so we can only assume that “get your Eldar on” is one of said challenges; the system is all about repeatable goals rewarding you with requisition points. There are also combat balance updates, improved tutorial points to help new players acclimate to the game, and all of the various bugfixes you would expect. Check out the full set of notes for details on all of the changes that have come to the game.
Welcome along to another edition of Guild Chat, the column through which we all band together to help a reader in need solve their guild-related dilemma. This time, reader Cee is wondering how best to handle one person who doesn’t seem to settle into the rank and file of his guild without ruining the solid working dynamic with the offending party’s friends. Cee feels that almost everyone else in the guild finds this person funny and friendly, but after a couple of complaints and uncomfortable exchanges, Cee doesn’t feel the same. The member came into the guild as a part of a group of friends during the guild’s initial recruitment phase, and although this member was initially affable with Cee and his officers and slotted in well, there has been growing friction between a small group in the guild because of more raucous behaviour.
Read Cee’s full submission below along with my take on the problem, and don’t forget to leave your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.
Welcome along to another edition of Guild Chat, the column through which Massively Overpowered readers can air their guild issues and get help solving them from the article and its comments. This time, guild leader Ry has asked for advice on using trigger warnings and dealing with sensitive topics within the guild environment after one of her members left the guild over a difficult topic was discussed in the guild and took members with him due to the public nature of the conversation. Ry wants to know whether or not guilds have any sort of responsibility for the conversations held within them and the content that players might see there, and she also wants to know how to deal with similar scenarios should they ever come up again.
Ry’s full submission better outlines the issue at hand, though anything specific about the trigger incident has been removed so as to protect the dignity and privacy of the person who left the guild. Even though Ry ensured that he is not identifiable by her submission content, I’d hate for that person to perhaps stumble across this article and see that context spelt out here. Read below for my advice on the issue and don’t forget to add your thoughts on the matter in the comments below. Remember that I am in no way qualified to give advice on dealing with mental health issues or supporting friends through trauma and that all advice given here is purely supportive.
Welcome along to Guild Chat, the column through which readers in need can source some solid advice to help them solve their guild-related issues. This time, an anonymous reader is wondering how to approach returning to a guild after being offline for some time. The submission asks for our tips on rejoining a once-friendly guild that was the reader’s in-game home before she took a long break from her MMO of choice. While she enjoyed the vast majority of her time spent with her guild, it was in part because of some tension in the guild that she fell out of love with the MMO for a while. Now that she’s back, our anonymous reader is wondering whether or not to accept the guild invite that winged its way to her when she logged back in, and if so, how to reintegrate with her old guildmates.
Read below for the full submission and my thoughts on coming back to a guild after a long hiatus.
The EVE Online
community is aflame this week after alliance leader gigX was permanently banned
for making threats of real-life violence against another player following possibly the biggest betrayal in EVE history
. Some players don’t want to accept that gigX crossed a serious line and deserves his ban, and others have been asking why The Mittani’s similar actions in 2012 resulted in only a temporary ban. CCP’s official stance
is that its policies have become stricter since 2012, but it’s still not entirely clear exactly where the line is drawn.
Another side to the debate is that the internet itself has evolved over EVE‘s 14-year lifespan, and a lot of toxic behaviour that was accepted or commonly overlooked on the early internet is now considered totally unacceptable. Many of us have grown from a bunch of anonymous actors playing roles in fantasy game worlds to real people sharing our lives and an online hobby with each other, and antisocial behaviour is an issue that all online games now need to take seriously. The lawless wild west of EVE‘s early years is gone, and I don’t think it’s ever coming back.
So what’s the deal? Does EVE Online tolerate less toxic behaviour today, has the internet started to outgrow its lawless roots, and what does it mean for the future of sandboxes?
Considering that Eternal Crusade takes place in a very far-flung future, you could be forgiven for thinking that the game was set long after the point when firearms had become the only real method of hurting people. But it seems wrong to give your Space Marine a bunch of cool hacky tools like chainswords without making wading into melee the right choice at least some of the time. So it’s good news for players who like to hit things that the game’s most recent patch brings a lot of additional balance to all of these pointy bits of metal.
The patch also includes several matchmaking improvements as well as new map routes to allow more flanking opportunities. That’s in addition to various other balance tweaks, like ensuring that strafing isn’t as fast as running straight forward. Check out the full list of changes to get a sense of how the environment has shifted, and keep your eyes peeled for upcoming announcements today about the next major additions to the game.
Welcome along to another edition of Guild Chat, the column through which the Massively Overpowered readership can band together to help a gamer-in-need with his or her guild-related dilemma. This time, an anonymous reader dubbed ‘R’ has written in with a matter of the heart that threatens his or her MMO enjoyment: While R is very much enjoying the MMO and guild he or she is part of, the demands of the guild are fairly steep and R’s girlfriend is feeling second-best. R is in a predicament where the guild leader doesn’t want to give R any sort of preferential treatment and expects him or her to show up just like everyone else does, but R’s girlfriend is getting more and more upset with how much time the guild demands of her partner. The situation between the couple has become so heated that the girlfriend has given R an ultimatum and wants to see her partner quit the game entirely.
There are more details to R’s tale, so check out the full submission below and my thoughts on the matter before you weigh in with your advice in the comments.
Welcome back to our intermittent series on MMOs and other multiplayer games you you’ve never heard of! Tonight we have four titles to highlight.
Remember NosTale? Yeah, we didn’t either, but it’s a super old anime MMO that Gameforge is resurrecting and plopping down on Steam, apparently at some point in September.
“Swordsmen, Archers and Mages – each class offers a unique flavour and the opportunity to create your own personalised character. Tame wild animals, train them and use them tactically in battle. Other players and partners can also join you on your adventures. Take some time out from adventuring in your very own Miniland, a place where you can build your own home, look after the garden and party with your friends.”
Cute! What else have we got here…
Welcome along to Guild Chat, the column through which we all band together to help someone get on top of his or her guild-related issue: While I give my two cents here in the article, plenty of useful advice and different perspectives on the matter at hand emerge in the comments section. This time, reader Michael has a rather challenging issue to deal with that hinges on his guildmates’ drug use. Michael’s guild centres around an online friendship group that began in MOBAs and has recently been adversely impacted by the behaviour of several members of the group who live close to one another. These members have, for as long as Michael has known them, taken recreational drugs while gaming, but recently Michael has noted some personality changes and volatility that is uncharacteristic of his friends. He wants to know how best to deal with the issue and bring back positive relations in his guild.
You’ll find my two cents in the comments, but this is a massive topic that needs a measured approach. The submission does not include specifics of what drugs the friends are consuming and whether or not those substances are controlled or otherwise legally restricted in their country. I am in no way qualified to give professional advice about drug consumption and all advice given is in support of seeing a medical professional who specialises in drug dependence and addiction. Add your own thoughts in the comments, of course, and see Michael’s full submission below.
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 TERA, Master X Master, Eternal Crusade, Warface, Portal Knights, MapleStory, Crash Force, Drone, Neverwinter, Elsword, EVE Online, Warframe, Final Fantasy XIV, EverQuest II, World of Warships, Path of Exile, and Eternal Crusade, all waiting for you after the break!