convention

Three games you've never heard of: Lothgar Online, Little War Online, Age of Rivals

When I add news to our newsroom for our reporters to pick up, I often add links that just say "such-and-such a game exists" -- because just existing is what's new, or at least new to us. Today, we had three of those, and I'm combining them all for this quick look at three MMOs and orbiting games that you've probably never heard of: Age of Rivals, Lothgar Online, and Little War Online.

Lothgar Online

Lothgar Online (Asylumsoft) launched yesterday. Let me warn you upfront: If you aren't into retro pixel graphics and hardcore gameplay, you probably won't like this MMO. The devs, who are also the folks behind the similarly styled Elderlands, call it an "Online RPG built in a classic style, paying homage to 1980s RPGs," and yes, that means PvP, corpse looting, and attunement in addition to a giant world, guilds, skills, and questing. On the other hand? There's no cash shop either. Old school isn't always a bad thing! (via Reddit)
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Massively OP Podcast Episode 109: We are all Dragonborn

Roll for initiative! Bree and Justin are getting all kinds of nerdy with this week's show, in which they talk about Dragon-people, the return of a long-abandoned sci-fi game, a momentous anniversary, and the viability of sandbox MMOs.

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:

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Snag an AQ3D 'GDC blade' from Artix and Massively OP

Back at GDC, AdventureQuest 3D whipped up a special in-game sword for folks who stopped by the booth: the GDC Blade. But as Artix's reps told me, the studio felt bad that regular players -- who couldn't attend GDC -- weren't able to pick up the blade.

That all changes today, as the studio has granted Massively OP 1000 codes for these exclusive swords for our readers! Click the Mo button below (and prove you're not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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Conan Exiles on this week's patch, The Purge, and a 'partial wipe'

DualShockers has a new interview out with Conan Exiles' Joel Bylos. It's from GDC, but it's still worth a look given that it includes info on this week's patch. For starters, expect to see the new decay system (it's been renamed as the "ruins system" now), the planned dye system, new weapons, and the promised thrall updates -- eventually, players can expect alchemists, engineers, sorcerers, and beastmasters as thralls. Don't expect mounts until summer, though. Crafters, a heads-up for you: Since crafting progression is getting a revamp, "players will get to repick all of their recipes."

The Purge is also a hot topic for future updates -- basically, it'll be a massive AI invasion with special thralls and an eye toward wrecking your server's best stuff. Can't let that happen, now can we.

Meanwhile, following player outcry over the excessive duping and exploiting going on there, Funcom has announced it will partially wipe the official servers.

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League of Legends on LGBT representation and pro team mistreatment allegations

League of Legends will probably introduce non-straight characters eventually, a new interview on Polygon with Riot Games' Greg Street suggests. The publication asked Street questions about LGBT representation during GDC 2017, noting that Blizzard's Overwatch (particularly Tracer) has proven that it's a hot topic and something millions of gamers want to see. League of Legends currently has over 130 characters to Overwatch's 24, but Street says that Riot has to be careful what it adds lest one region or another blockade the game.

"We owe it to the players and, I think, to the world to do something like that. [...] What I don't want to do is be like, 'Okay, team, next character, whatever you do, has to be lesbian.' I don’t think we’ll end up with something good there.... From the beginning, it has to be the character's identity. I’m sure we'll do it at some point. I don’t know which character or when it will happen."

If and when it does happen, Street says, it'll likely be in "storytelling outside the game."

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EverQuest turns 18 years old, throws birthday bash with free heroic characters for everyone

One of the most famous and longest-lived MMORPGs is celebrating its 18th birthday today. Back on this date in 1999, EverQuest released to a much different gaming world than what we have today. Since then, it has released 23 expansions, switched to a free-to-play business model, and endured when many of its contemporaries have sunsetted.

Daybreak is cranking up the anniversary festivities with loads of activities, starting with the completion of two player-designed missions that were drafted up back at SOE Live in 2014. There are new rewards and marketplace items, as well as the return of all of the anniversary content from previous years. Gotta get your gnome race on!

Even better, the studio is handing out free heroic toons. "All players who have ever played the game will be granted a heroic character if they log in between March 16th and March 31st," Daybreak says.

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Global Chat: Fare thee well, Landmark

Believe it or not, there were actually people who played and enjoyed Landmark -- and were saddened to see it taken offline. To kick off this week's roundup of interesting MMO blog posts, we turn to those who knew and remembered Landmark with their words.

"The game, once just a bullet point on the EverQuest Next announcement at SOE Live, has been shut down," The Ancient Gaming Noob said. "The web site and forums have been hidden away and the domain resolves to the Daybreak main page. The few remaining fans have had their final look at the lands of… erm… <does Google search>… Lumeria! That was the name of the place."

Superior Realities took a tour on its last day: "That, really, is what was special about Landmark. You could go to any map, walk in any direction, and in no time flat you’d be sure to find something beautiful, fascinating, or awe-inspiring. The traditional wisdom is that if you give players the tools to make their own content, the vast majority of it will be utter crap, but Landmark was stunning refutation of that notion."

Continue our roundup as bloggers dissect problems with The Secret World's combat system, share tips on how to grind LOTRO points, mull over why it's hard to go back to the "olden days," deliver an early access review of Revelation Online, and pontificate on why theme park MMOs simply work.

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Tamriel Infinium: Battlegrounds will change Elder Scrolls Online PvP forever

I've read all the impressions from the PAX East show that I could find, and they were all overwhelmingly mild -- including ours. As you hopefully know by now, Elder Scrolls Online showed off its instanced PvP battlegrounds, and the media consensus is that they are... coming. And that's it. This really surprised me. It's superficially hard to tell whether people have come to expect one thing from battlegrounds (because so many other games already have them) and ESO really isn't changing the formula -- or the battlegrounds really aren't anything to write home about.

If you were to take Lead PvP Designer Brian Wheeler's word for it, battlegrounds will change PvP in ESO forever because they're a type of PvP that ESO has never had before, which is true. Personally, I do believe not only that battlegrounds will bring something special to Elder Scrolls Online but that other games should pay attention to ESO because it's actually doing something innovative without drawing too much attention to it.

Battlegrounds aren't perfect; there will be some drawbacks, but let's take an honest look at what this new PvP type means for Elder Scrolls Online and maybe other MMOs in the future.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 108: PAX East power-up

As Massively OP is on the scene at PAX East this year, we've got plenty of juicy news and interviews to discuss on the show! What game is coming to console this year? What secret is Eliot hiding? Which MMO just got a name change? Find out in today's episode!

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:

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The Stream Team: An AQ3D afternoon with Artix in Ashfall

Did someone say story? AQ3D recently released its big Ashfall update, the game's first big story-driven saga, and you know Massively OP's MJ is all about the story! She's excited to pop into the new dragon-filled lands of lava and explore. Even better, she's bringing Artix along as a guide (or as someone to get her killed -- you never know with him). Join us live at 3:00 p.m. for a fun time exploring and chatting about the game. Maybe Artix will have some GDC stories to share!

What: AdventureQuest 3D
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 14th, 2016

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BlizzCon 2017 to be held on November 3-4

There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and another BlizzCon every year even if Blizzard has absolutely nothing new to announce. Then again, we don't know if Blizzard has nothing new to announce yet; it's only March, and BlizzCon isn't until November. The event page has just been updated to indicate that this year's event will be on November 3rd and 4th in the usual convention center in Anaheim, CA. Tickets will go on sale on April 5th and April 8th.

Of course, we don't yet have information on virtual tickets, associated digital swag, or anything else. But we know it's happening, and you can start blocking out the time for it. Meanwhile, we'll get our liveblogging posts ready well in advance of the actual event, as you know we'll have coverage is you can't make the actual convention. Feel free to join us in the official drinking game: Every time someone says e-sports, you can take a shot, and oh dear you now have alcohol poisoning.

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PAX East 2017: The Elder Scrolls Online's battlegrounds are exactly that

My absolute first appointment at PAX East 2017 was to stop by The Elder Scrolls Online display to check out the new battlegrounds coming up with the game's Morrowind expansion. This should not have been difficult to do, but it was made quite difficult by unnecessarily awful traffic. Seriously, it was bumper-to-bumper through long stretches of the Mass Pike, despite the fact that there was barely any snow falling and no road accumulation. I was a little bit late, in fact.

Why am I telling you this story? Because the reality is that it's the most interesting story that I have beyond the title line.

I don't mean to imply that I was disappointed by The Elder Scrolls Online's battleground gameplay because I wasn't. It was solid! I would go so far as to say it was exactly what your mind pictures when you put the game's title and "battleground" into the same sentence. The problem with describing it is just... well, again, it's exactly what your mind pictures. It is a battleground, and it is in The Elder Scrolls Online. That's it.

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