changyou

A Chinese publisher responsible for multiple games, notably Zentia. ChangYou on Wikipedia

The Game Archaeologist: Shadowbane

Way back when I used to haunt the corridors of Gamestop and had yet to shun the place due to its stinky evil, I remember being enticed with these fancy-pantsy "MMORPG" boxes when I'd see them on the shelf. I must have picked up Shadowbane a dozen or so times to check out the blurbs on the back, mentally weighing whether or not this would be the one to introduce me to online gaming, but ultimately it was not to be.

It's probably for the best, considering that Shadowbane was primarily PvP and I'm a PvE guy at heart. Plus, the title never really took off the way that publisher Ubisoft had hoped, spending most of its six years of operation lurking in the background of the MMO industry instead of sharing the spotlight.

But still, six years! That's not the worst run we've ever seen from an MMO. Considering that its creator has gone on to make Crowfall with some of the same ideas, it's as timely as ever to take a look back at Shadowbane and what it brought to the table.

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The Daily Grind: What's your favorite obscure MMORPG?

Even at a site like Massively OP, we still run across MMOs we've never, ever heard of, obscure little gems (or trainwrecks, depending) that just never got the attention or acclaim they deserved. In the hopes of hearing about more today, I'm hopping aboard /r/MMORPG for our Daily Grind. Redditor Cicero asked fellow MMO fans,

What is your favorite obscure MMORPG? And by obscure MMORPG, I mean one that isn't often talked about, or just isn't that popular anymore.

Glitch would probably top my list. Though it's closed now, and though it received a flurry of positive press early on thanks to the credentials of its studio, it somehow managed to wallow in obscurity, such that every time we mention it, our readers pipe up to say they've never heard of it. Runner-up for me goes to Zentia, an adorable and bizarre little import that probably turned off most MMO players because of its aesthetic but was actually the cleverest MMO I've seen to date out of China (it also was initially hardcore PvP) (and you could play a baby) (I told you it was weird).

How about you? What's your favorite obscure MMORPG?

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Echo of Soul announces China closure too

Any way you look at it, Echo of Soul is taking a beating lately. Following the announcement earlier this month that the game will be closing in Korea, publisher ChangYou released a statement saying that Echo of Soul's Chinese server will be sunsetting on November 17th.

Aeria Games told Massively OP last week that it remains committed to supporting Echo of Soul in North America and Europe.

"Aeria Games is committed to the enthusiastic North American and European players of Echo of Soul. While Echo of Soul will be discontinued in Korea by the Korean publisher of the game, this does not affect the future of Echo of Soul in Europe and North America. Developer Nvius will continue to create fantastic new content for Echo of Soul and Aeria will keep delivering a great game experience to all players. We’re currently ramping up towards the release of some long-anticipated content, which we will be excited to announce within the next few weeks."

The MMO is currently available via Steam in the west and is in open beta with no plans to wipe once it transitions to launch.

Source: MMO Culture

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Global Chat: Does the 12X leveling speed hurt or help SWTOR?

I love seeing interaction and cooperative projects between MMO bloggers because what fun is there in being an island? Especially when we talk about massively multiplayer games! Anyway, two writers have been conducting a weekly series called Dual Wielding in which they give their takes on the same topic.

The topic that caught my eye was the value and effect of the 12x leveling boost that's currently running in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Party Business thinks that it's too fast: "I prefer 2x -- it gives a faster levelling experience without rendering everything outside of class missions 'useless.'" Waiting for Rez concurs with this assessment, saying, "I think it's a fix applied to an outdated system; the system itself should be better."

We've got a doozy of a group of community blog posts for you to peruse in Global Chat today. Dragon Nest Oracle? LEGO Worlds? Board games? Hell levels? They're all here, my friend.

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Take a look at God Slayer Online's first beta test

Are you doing most of your god slaying offline at this point? You might be able to benefit from God Slayer Online, then, because it's all about the slaying of gods but it allows you to do so with others. Or perhaps you won't benefit at all; the game is currently in its first closed test, and the folks at Steparu took it for a whirl. The verdict thus far? A resounding "eh."

As it stands, the game features three gender-locked options for players, an open world that largely seems segmented off into square blocks, and an action gameplay setup. The article admits up front that the game didn't leave much of an impression; it wasn't bad, but it also wasn't particularly arresting. Still, if you're curious about the action title and want to see it in action, you can check out the full article.

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