On this week’s show, Justin and Bree sort out the pile of expansions and updates that developers are scrambling to get out of the door before the holiday break. From vampires to kobolds, there’s something for everyone this month, and it only looks to get nuttier with the new year!
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:
It always seems such a shame that Champions Online’s
free-to-play model leans so hard on preset archetype builds instead of allowing everyone to build the superhero that they want, but Cryptic’s in too deep at this point to change course. And so it is that the studio has added yet another prebuilt character to the game in the form of The Blazing archetype
The Blazing isn’t one of the 10 free archetypes but will be sold through the game’s store as a less expensive option than a freeform character slot. So what does this class do? “The flames of justice rage on. As The Blazing use your short to medium range attacks to apply Clinging Flames to your enemies. The more the flames rage the more you can heal the injuries inflicted on you and your allies. You control the devastating element of fire, creating and shaping it to your will. Whether hurling flaming projectiles or erupting into a deadly firestorm, you leave a blazing swath of destruction in your wake.”
Champions Online kicked off its winter event yesterday, which will culminate in another misfit toy attack starting December 20th. Participating players can earn a free Chiller archetype, a super-snowball device, or a toy robot head costume piece (among other rewards).
With so many Christmas events popping up this month, there’s no time nor space to spread them out. Perfect World Entertainment seems to think so, too, because it sent out a press blast with a list of what’s going on in all of its MMORPGs. Let’s run down all six live games:
Neverwinter: The Winter Festival of Simril is running from December 14th through January 4th, with free Starlight vouchers, sled racing, ice fishing, bonuses, and the possibility of earning sled mounts.
Star Trek Online: Q’s Winter Wonderland is back through January 18th, giving players plenty of time to compete in crazy activities to earn a free T6 starship and Wesley Crusher’s ski outfit (seriously).
As Counting Crows told us, it’s been a long December, although the fact that it has also only just started being December speaks to something unpleasant in the makeup of this particular month. But it also means that this is a good time to check in on the overall health of various MMORPGs and see which ones look to be in the healthiest state at the end of the year.
This is, I hasten to point out, not a scientific process; last year I pointed to Marvel Heroes as a not-quite-MMORPG title that was still in a very healthy and robust place, and it later turned out that this was entirely not true and had been built upon a foundation of lies. But we’ll cross that bridge if and when we come to it in 2018. What are the healthiest games running right now?
Daybreak has big plans for H1Z1 — that’s the game formerly known as H1Z1: King of the Kill, you’ll recall, as it was rebranded earlier this fall. The battle royale game’s latest update rolls out a new action-oriented 2×2 km map that boasts a shooting range, instant respawn after death, and no parachute drop – “players start fully equipped to get into fights immediately.”
The game is likewise addition new dailies with difficulty modes and Skull rewards that can be swapped for skins, plus balancing updates for specific ranged weapons. Oh yeah, and e-sports.
So Marvel Heroes has about six weeks to live thanks to the impending shutdown of the game following Disney’s decision to drop Gazillion as a business partner. That’s going to leave some superhero MMO players once again without a home, and though the game’s current Steam numbers can’t hold a candle to the number of players affected by the City of Heroes closure five years ago, we’re left with the same situation – and a similar roster of games vying for refugees.
The big superhero MMORPGs are still DC Universe Online and Champions Online, the former of which is certainly better supported with content, the latter of which may have more of that Marvel feel. There’s also three strong crowdfunding superhero MMOs still trying to fill the CoH vacuum: Ship of Heroes, City of Titans, and Valiance Online. Which MMO would you recommend to Marvel Heroes refugees? Would it be another superhero MMO, another superhero game or ARPG altogether, or something else? If you’re a former MH player, where are you getting your fix?
Hang in there folks: The relentless onslaught of MMO Halloween events
still has another couple of weeks to go before we emerge with our treat bags full and a desire to never see another Jack-O-Lantern again.
For now, let it suffice to say that Champions Online has activated its annual Blood Moon event, flooding the game world with zombies who need a good walloping. While there’s no new activities this year, Champions does have a few cool rewards to chase, such as the bat mask, neck bolts, spooky aura, or a machete costume.
Need a refresher course on what Blood Moon entails? Take a trip back in time to watch a 2009 developer diary on the event after the break!
First, if you’re hoping this is going to be an article hating on server merges and declaring them the ruination of an MMO community, then prepare for disappointment. I believe that server merges when done correctly are more beneficial to the health of a game than attempting to over segregate the playerbase. In fact, if I haven’t written about it here, I have mentioned multiple times in other forums that I think a single-server is probably one of the best things to happen to MMOs. EVE Online
and Champions Online
were a couple of the first MMOs to embrace this idea, and I know I’ve applauded them for it.
Although Star Wars: The Old Republic isn’t going down to one single server for its whole game, it is greatly reducing the number of servers. On November 8th, BioWare will reduce the servers to one server for each of the major English-speaking regions: US West Coast, US East Coast, and Europe. Then one server for each of the other languages represented in the game: French and German.
Surprisingly, most of the community is reacting positively to the idea of combining the servers. While the studio hasn’t actually used the term “server merge,” it’s been clear that everyone’s being moved into combined servers once again. However, there is one hold-out community that takes issue with how the merges are being handled. There are pros and cons, and there is really no way to combine servers without someone losing something, but the hope is that the overall gain will outweigh the losses.
Welcome back to our intermittent series on MMOs and other multiplayer games you you’ve never heard of! Today we have four fresh titles to take a look at.
Gamigo announced Savage Hunt – Dragon’s Prophet this week, the successor to Dragon’s Prophet, which Gamigo is calling “one of the most successful MMORPGs ever launched.” MMORPG players will recall that Daybreak sunsetted the US version of the original game in 2015, though it continued on overseas. The company says the free-to-play title will launch on September 28th in English, German, and French, and yes, you can still “hunt, train, and fight with […] dragons.” Over 600 of them, in fact, though you’ll probably be distracted by “4000 exciting quests and events” and PvP battles. The official site doesn’t appear to be live just yet.
“Savage Hunt – Dragon’s Prophet is the newest release after the long-standing success of Dragon’s Prophet. Discover new and epic adventures and find your own path in Savage Hunt – Dragon’s Prophet. Explore a fantastic world that combines classical MMORPG elements with unique features. Search through forests and mountains for rare dragons, items and always be prepared for the fight. In the new Book of Dragons, you can collect your dragons and plan your journey. Find, hunt and tame over 600 dragons with individual strengths and skills. Only the best hunters and collectors can improve their dragons and items.”
What else have we got?
Apologies for being extensively absent from this column over the last few months! Every day the Massively OP offices are deluged with fan mail demanding, “Bring back Jukebox Heroes! Where is Jukebox Heroes? How can I survive without that epic MMO music to get me through the week?”
To which I can only mutter something about a classified mission to Paraguay, being adopted by a jaguar for six weeks, and subsequently finding myself co-starring with The Rock on his latest escapade. It’s all in the line of duty when you are an MMO reporter.
But I am back, and boy is there a lot of news to talk about this week! Let us catch up on the MMORPG music scene and see what is happening with Destiny 2, Lord of the Rings Online, Absolver, Black Desert, and Champions Online already!
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 Master X Master, Blade and Soul, EVE Online, RoboManiac, Hearthstone, Hyper Universe, The Black Death, Pokemon Go, RuneScape, TERA M, Champions Online, Wurm Online, Final Fantasy XI, Gigantic, Allods Online, Hellion, League of Legends, Diablo III, and Path of Exile, all waiting for you after the break!
Can you believe Champions Online
is eight years old? Yep, it’s true, and the festivities are underway
! In honor of the celebration, PWE
has kindly granted Massively OP 50 Champs
goodie bags in two flavors to give away to our readers:
- Level 1-39 Anniversary Pack: 30x Healing Devices, 5x Costume Change Tokens, 5x XP Boosters, 1x Temporary Sidekick (One Hour), Full set of leveling gear. (“Veteran players can use the entry level pack to create a new character or share with a friend,” PWE suggests.)
- Level 40 Anniversary Pack: 30x Healing Devices, 5x Costume Change Tokens, 5x Triumphant Recoveries, 1x Temporary Sidekick (One Hour), Full set of Level 40 gear
- Both packs also give players an opportunity to win gold vouchers (redeemable for various items in the Collector Store), an extra character slot or an additional costume shot.
The codes can be redeemed only once per account and expire at the end of 2020. Read on to enter to win!
taking another stab at MMORPG e-sports, this time with Blade & Soul
, which will serve as the focal point of the company’s tourney at this weekend’s PAX West.
“The best North American Blade & Soul Esports teams will compete in the Blade & Soul Regional Championship at PAX West in the PAX Arena on Sept. 3. Matches will be all day with finals beginning at ~6:30 p.m. PDT. The winner and runners up of the tournament will – for the first time in Blade & Soul’s history – secure their invitation to represent North America against 16 other teams from around the globe to be crowned the best of the best in Blade & Soul’s World Championships.”
There’s quite a bit of cash on the line for this event, too: $170,000, half of the total pool. “Top finishers in the tournament will get their share of the $340,000+ prize purse raised by Blade & Soul fans via purchasing a special in-game item,” says NCsoft. “The two North American qualifying teams will join European champions Bad Intentions and runner up xdddd at the World Championships in Seoul.” Catch the fun on Twitch on Sunday!