On this week’s show, Bree and Justin put on their voxel capes as they look ahead to Trove’s new expansion, LOTRO’s Hobbit fantasies, the ups and downs of Elder Scrolls Online’s outfit system, 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:
Over the last couple of years, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has been petitioning for changes to the DMCA to help preserve old video games – to eliminate server-based DRM and legalize emulators for games that had been abandoned. As of 2015, the Library of Congress granted the request, but the exemption very specifically didn’t cover closed-down MMORPGs.
Then, in October of 2017, the US Copyright Office effectively renewed the exception and reopened the argument, in part because of a Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) proposal to consider even massively-multiplayer games on the table for archival purposes. Even if you have no interest in playing on an emulator for an ancient MMORPG, surely you can see the value in allowing future historians the opportunity to see these worlds first-hand instead of through blurry YouTube videos. The code still exists, after all; outdated laws simply keep them closed to all of us.
Not so fast, says the good ol’ Entertainment Software Association.
Ever since ZeniMax promised
a new expansion-scale chapter for The Elder Scrolls Online
this year, dataminers have been champing at the bit to be the first to dig up all the details. It’s not even a secret anymore that the area is sure to be Summerset Isles, thanks to datamining we covered last month
as well as a pretty big hint at the end of the Clockwork City DLC, but maybe stop reading if you don’t want to know more
The latest UESP digging has revealed new music, new locations including Evergloam and Artaeum, the sload mobs, new loading screens (including one for Mephala’s Realm), quests revolving around the Mages Guild and Psijic Order, and the jewelry crafting skill.
Still grumpy over the focus on Summerset and High Elves? Our own ESO columnist Larry Everett recently penned a piece examining some other possible locations for future DLC. Also, Justin is right there with you.
I know I’m not alone in noticing that MMO gamers of late seem to have become sharply divided on how to define the term pay-to-win – indeed, the debate raged last week in threads about Black Desert’s player protest, Elder Scrolls Online’s cash shop prices, and the general consensus that ArcheAge is whale heaven. Recently Massively OP commenter Pepperzine recently wrote to us suggesting that we address it and try to sort it out.
“While there are proponents for all sides of the argument, I think it would be interesting to see where the bulk of people draw the line,” he wrote. “At the end of the day, individual perceptions are important but what is most important when it comes to this topic is what the majority perceives as pay-to-win.”
So let’s turn his proposal into the requisite Leaderboard poll, shall we? And yes, you can click as many as you want!
Does it matter how many people are playing your MMO? For some, yes, it does. It’s at least of passing interest to others, especially if players are looking for a “healthy” title or want a large number with which to impress their friends and argue that this MMO is besting another.
So don’t be too surprised that there is an effort to figure out what Guild Wars 2’s (undisclosed) population is at the moment. In An Age challenges one community estimate of 3.3 million players by looking at the available evidence and financial reports.
“Here’s my gut check: Guild Wars 2 probably has about 1.5 million monthly ‘players’ and many times less people who actually log on when there isn’t a holiday event/Living Story taking place,” he argues. “Ultimately though, I think Guild Wars 2 is actually uniquely well-positioned to survive regardless of whether it consists of a million actives or three million tourists.”
Elder Scrolls Online
players on Steam woke up this morning to find that the game is still down for them. Apparently, the client through that platform is throwing up nothing but “internal error” messages.
“To reiterate, this issue is only impacting our players on Steam,” ZeniMax posted yesterday in the dedicated forum thread. “We’re actively working with Steam to get this resolved as quickly as possible.” The support Twitter said the team was on top of the problem 15 hours ago.
Why not just follow the workaround, which is to run the 64-bit client buried in Steam’s files? You can, but only if you’ve previously linked your ZOS account to your Steam account, only if your account is old (according to Reddit), and only if you’re not subbed; apparently, if you’re subbed, you’ll lose that sub. We’re pretty sure Bethsoft will sort that out eventually, but in the short-term, it’d suck.
Elder Scrolls Online’s
paid Dragon Bones DLC and free update 17 are finally fully launched on PC. While technically the update rollout was yesterday, the EU and NA servers were up and down throughout the afternoon
after an extra-long maintenance and an emergency downtime to fix a fairly major experience exploit/bug. Multiple storage bugs
are also being reported on Reddit, so heads-up there.
The headline feature of update 17 itself is the new outfit system, but players are reporting it’s expensive to access indeed: You’re looking at 1500 crowns (roughly $15) for an extra outfit slot, and yes, that’s per character, though you do get one freebie per toon. Altering that outfit will cost you another 400 crowns (though you can also buy those with in-game gold). Incidentally, subbing to the game nets you 1500 crowns every month, but it’d take you a long time to deck out alts that way.
We’ve updated below with the chronology of what’s up with the servers.
Elder Scrolls Online’s
paid Dragon Bones DLC and free update 17 are live today on PC, at least if you’re on the North American server. Apparently the EU server hit a snag
“During today’s Update 17 & Dragon Bones maintenance, we encountered a technical issue with the patch deployment on the European PC/Mac server,” ZeniMax writes. “Specifically, this is a server configuration issue that affects only the European server patch. Due to this issue, we are extending the maintenance on the European PC/Mac ESO server. We expect the extended downtime to last approximately 12 hours, and anticipate the European PC/Mac ESO server to open around 1am GMT on Feb. 13.” It does not appear at this time that any compensation will be doled out.
The content rollout includes the outfit customization system, new housing storage upgrades, and a pair of dungeons to boot. Check out our complete coverage of the patch from announcement to now, along with our playthrough of Dragon Bones with the ZeniMax team last week!
Really, when you think about it, MMOs are our grown-up toy chests. They have all of these attractive and fun toys to keep us occupied and happy as we pretend that we are heroes on great adventures while making a pit stop to play Barbie’s dream house. And that’s OK — we need to blow off steam and relax somehow, and this beats HALO jumping in the safety department.
This week, the Massively OP readership was all-too-eager to show off the toys within their toy chests, starting with Hirku’s trip to an amusement park. In a theme park MMO. There are layers upon layers of meta in today’s column, folks!
“World of Warcraft’s Darkmoon Faire is my favorite toy, and this week I get to play!” Hirku posted. “Wheeee!”
If you enjoy playing Elder Scrolls Online
, you are likely looking forward to the Dragon Bones DLC
that will be released next week. But what if you can’t wait until then to check out the new dungeons? You can either dive into them on the test server, or join Massively OP’s MJ and ZeniMax devs as they delve into them for you. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to vicariously experience either Fang Lair or Scalecaller peak. And bring your questions for the devs!
What: The Elder Scrolls Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 9, 2018
Coming with next week’s Dragon Bones DLC launch in The Elder Scrolls Online
as part of the freebie update 17 patch is an update to the tactical angle of combat
in the game. For starters, ability synergies are going to be a lot more obvious, all in an effort to encourage teamwork during combat. Some have been buffed or fixed, while all now have “clear visual indicators” for these tools and for their cooldowns.
There’s more. Area-of-effect damage caps are gone, giving big groups more incentive to let loose (and spread out!); blocking should be easier with a reduced stamina cost and buff to block cost enchantments; and PvP movement speed penalties have been reduced to “better support the quick pace of battle.” And finally, heavy attacks no longer dispel boss off balance debuffs, meaning players have more than half a second to plan their next move when they see it pop up.
The update launches on February 12th for PC gamers.
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!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from EVE Online, CSGO, Fortnite, EverQuest II, Star Wars Battlefront II, Black Desert, War of Rights, Armored Warfare, Dota 2, Hellion, Elder Scrolls Online, Overwatch, Fortnite, Final Fantasy XI, and Pokemon Go, all waiting for you after the break!
Everyone’s talking about RIFT’s new Prime server idea — and whether or not it will get us playing Trion Worlds’ fantasy MMO once again. Naturally, the blogosphere had a few thoughts about this.
Stargrace said that it was “highly unlikely” that she’d return for this: “While I am drawn into progression servers for EverQuest and EverQuest II due to a heavy nostalgia factor, I don’t get those same warm fuzzy feelings about RIFT.”
“If anything induces me to give RIFT Prime a try it will be the extent to which the experience doesn’t accurately replicate the original,” Bhagpuss said. And Endgame Variable takes a look at it from the perspective of a former player: “Do I want to pay a subscription to play old content in RIFT — a game I’ve already played to death — or pay a subscription to play new content in FFXIV or WoW?”