cosmetic gear

Massively Overthinking: How will Star Citizen make money after launch?

During this week’s Massively OP Podcast, Justin and I attempted to tackle a question sent in by commenter and listener Sally Bowls – specifically, she wanted us to speculate on what a post-launch monetization plan for Star Citizen might look like.

“Assuming they have a lot of overhead and expense, are they going to fire most of their employees at launch? Keep them and support them with subscriptions? DLC? Cosmetics? A stream of new ships would be my first guess – but new ships good enough that people spend $50M-$100M per year withouth causing old customers to think the new shiny invalidates their previous purchase? That seems to me a non-trivial tightrope to walk.”

Put away your instinct to joke that it won’t matter because Star Citizen is never coming out. Let’s just reasonably assume that it does eventually launch into something the studio will call more or less ready. How do you think Star Citizen will make money after launch? That’s the question I’ve posed the Massively OP team for this round of Massively Overthinking.

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Secret World Legends reactivates legacy transfers

Hey grandpa, get off that couch! You’re being called back into service, since you still have some purpose left in those old bones.

The original Secret World has one final (?) hurrah left in it, as Funcom reactivated the legacy transfer service today for a second round of imports to Secret World Legends. This transfer doesn’t apply to characters, unfortunately, but it does allow for an emergency airlift of players’ emotes, sprints, cosmetics, and pets from the original game to the reboot.

Anyone who previously linked his or her TSW account to SWL can use this round of transfers. While it can only be used once, the good news is that there is no time limit (in case you’re on vacation or waiting for a special occasion).

“This means that you can go back to TSW and grab anything you may have missed before transferring the first time around,” Funcom noted.

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PAX West 2017: Chronicles of Elyria’s monetization philosophy, tribe evolution, and the PvP sandbox stigma

What is Chronicles of Elyria? We first learned about the game and its goal to redefine the MMORPG genre back in 2015. Since then, CoE has been developing steadily, especially after the huge influx of capital gained through Kickstarter and then on-site crowdfunding. Folks could follow the progress through numerous dev blogs, videos, and even the chance to test bits of gameplay at various PAXs. Some bits of that development, however, have raised questions; prospective players have voiced concerns about the pay-to-win and gankbox stigmas, the complex tribe system, and the admittedly broad scope of the game.

I sat down with Executive Producer Vye Alexander and CEO/Creative Director Jeromy Walsh at PAX West to discuss these issues and more.

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Chaos Theory: Funcom can still fix Secret World Legends’ Aurum fiasco

Mere days after the exciting news about Secret World Legends being made into a television show, we finally hear about the game’s long-awaited Aurum conversion. Only it wasn’t especially great news — not all of it. Instead of the Funcom Points just transferring over to Aurum (which ends September 4th by the way), there are limitations and restrictions that essentially have a number of folks feeling cheated out of money they spent with every intention to use on The Secret World.

After speaking up in dismay, players were told they could still spend the nontransferrable Funcom points in Age of Conan or TSW. No. Just, no. There are people who bought those points long ago specifically to use for new content in The Secret World. It is not the player’s fault there was no new content to spend it on for so long! Those points should absolutely be able to benefit players in SWL as it is the only real game going forward.

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Dauntless holds AMA covering free-to-play, Steam, wipes, and Monster Hunter Online

Yesterday afternoon, the 40-odd-member Phoenix Labs team held a Reddit AMA on Dauntless. Let’s run down the highlights!

  • There are no hard dates attached to the different phases of beta and no details on wipes are available yet. The devs aren’t saying whether test progress will transfer to launch.
  • Zero plans to come to Steam.
  • Ranged weapons “and something else” are under construction. Phoenix wouldn’t talk about more except to say hammers are “getting love.”
  • Damage and efficacy display, especially for combos, is something the devs are considering and seeking feedback on. Ditto hunting/gathering balance, flares, consumables, and weapon appearance evolution.
  • A question about hardmode was met with a vague response.
  • Housing and a replay feature are “possible in the future,” but the devs made no promises.
  • “We are definitely looking froward to supporting guilds and know they will be an integral part of the community. More details at a later date.”

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World of Warcraft goes all Project Runway this weekend

One of World of Warcraft’s newer micro-holidays is raising fashion awareness this weekend, as the Trial of Style puts the spotlight on transmog creations by players.

The event, which runs from August 17th through the 21st, tosses five-player groups into private instances where they’ll be showing off for each other. Two of the players will have a limited time to create a transmog outfit according to a specified theme, with the remaining three voting on the results. The themes range from “dark and deadly” to “fun and flirty” to “faction pride.”

Winners — and even the losers — will get tokens that can be spent on (what else?) more cosmetic gear. The micro-holiday also makes use of the barber and transmog services in the game completely free, which turns this into a great time to give yourself a makeover without worrying about cost.

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TERA announces the Elin Gunner, tees off Argon Assault event

We guess TERA was feeling left out of the Asian “little girls with big guns” club, because Bluehole announced this week that the Elin will be able to take on the role as a Gunner. How does she hold a weapon that’s three times her size? With willpower and hernias, we assume. The developer also teased the upcoming male Brawler as an additional combination.

Meanwhile in the western game, TERA’s Argon Assault event is poised to begin. Starting August 15th, players will attempt to repel the Argons in daily and weekly invasions. Mobs and bosses from this event have a chance to drop boxes with some choice loot, such as mounts, weapon skins, and cosmetics.

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Chaos Theory: Guide to Secret World Legends’ Whispering Tide event

Have you met Flappy? If you haven’t yet, you might want to do so very soon else you’ll miss your chance. That dirty bird has made its appearance in Secret World Legends as the star of the much-anticipated The Whispering Tide event, but unlike its Secret World counterpart, this event lasts only two weeks. And like any event, it also brings exclusive loot! But with such a condensed time frame to participate, if you want to get your hands on the loot and the lore you’ve got to jump in ASAP. This guide will help you make the most of your time.

What is The Whispering Tide, and why does it matter? More than just an excuse to get goodies, the appearance of Flappy — technically named Bird of the Zero-Point Pathogen — heralds the imminent opening of the Tokyo portal in Agartha. And sometime after Tokyo comes the next season of story! Veterans of the previous event will be familiar with the Flappy raid, but folks who’ve never played The Secret World are at a disadvantage in knowing what is going on. Even those who’ve participated in the original will find that there are some significant changes to The Whispering Tide. Some of these changes, most notably how the loot is dispersed, are much improved from the TSW version; some aspects, unfortunately, are not.

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AdventureQuest 3D cracks open its deadly bank, teases seven incoming classes

Leave it to AdventureQuest 3D to turn one of the safest and most innocuous places in MMOs into a deadly struggle to the death. This week, the team has opened up its new “master vault” adventure in the bank, giving players a solo, two-player, or five-player adventure.

The instance can be run by characters as low as level six and awards all sorts of cosmetics — and even a free bank slot if you’re able to beat it. The team said that the reason for releasing the master vault now had to do with a temporary code-freeze: “The bank was mostly done — it is a small but really fun adventure. Exactly the size of something we could finish before the temporary code-freeze.”

Meanwhile, the team hinted that there are a lot of classes being designed for the game, and as such, explaining the philosophy behind its one-character-can-do-it-all class design was important. Once the base classes are finished, the team will turn its attention to cranking out the Pirate, Necromancer, Paladin, DragonSlayer, Ninja, Cleric, and Shaman.

“Trying out new classes is fun and leveling them up is rewarding,” the team said. “Especially since we are planning a storyline for each major class.”

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Chaos Theory: To Steam or not to Steam your Secret World Legends account

To Steam or not to Steam, that is the Secret World Legends question — now that the horror game has relaunched on that platform, that is. For those who have never played this game or The Secret World before, that could be an easier question to answer. However, anyone who has a TSW account or who has played SWL already will have to make some decisions as to which platform to utilize going forward. There’s a chance that the choice might also have an time limit on it, though none has been expressly stated, so putting it off too long may become a problem in and of itself.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of each choice, and what is the process to switch if desired? We’ve got some answers right here to help you untangle that web. Speaking of the Steam launch, how has that gone? We’ll discuss that here along with our Secret World Legends Steam/No Steam guide.

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WildStar’s space chase is on

Ready, set, go join WildStar’s Space Chase event for the next week! From now through August 7th, players are being tempted to run expeditions for the chance to earn limited-time housing decor and cosmetics. The decor in question are parts of a (non-functional) spaceship that you can build in your own housing lot.

“During the Space Chase, every time you complete an expedition that’s within your level range you’ll earn Eko Particles that you can trade with or sell to other players,” the studio explained. “You can then bring them to Exchanger Beno, who will exchange them for valuable Eko Chits that you can then trade with Collector Torio for exclusive spaceship housing décor items, as well as all-new rewards this time around!”

There are three varieties of Space Chase cases, each which will only be available during a two-day period. It’s a pretty inclusive event, as players levels 6 through 50 can access expeditions to participate.

Source: WildStar

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Massively Overthinking: How should MMOs make money in a world without lockboxes?

Earlier this week, MOP’s Justin expressed frustration over lockboxes, feeling especially provoked. “As both a player and a journalist, I find it insulting when an MMO studio wants me to get excited about its lockboxes,” he tweeted. “They are poison.”

MOP reader and gamer Iain (@ossianos) wants to hear more about poison! “I’d be interested to read an article on your thoughts, and those of the MassivelyOP staff, on how MMOs could otherwise make money,” he tweeted back.

Challenge accepted! And perfectly timed for this week’s Massively Overthinking topic. Imagine (or just remember) a world without lockboxes. How would MMOs and other online games survive without lockboxes here in 2017? What should they be doing instead, and what might they have to do when the inevitable gachapon regulation comes westward?

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Blade and Soul announces server merges, hypes upcoming patches

Major events are in motion over at Blade and Soul, illuminated by the game’s newest producer’s letter from Jonathan Lien. While Lien spent a few paragraphs touting the team’s progress over the past year, he had a few bombshell announcements that followed.

The first is that server merges are incoming for August 9th. These will impact both North American and European servers, taking the server count down to two for NA and three for EU. Server transfers are scheduled to be taken offline on July 26th, so if you need to move your character for some reason, you’ll want to do it today.

Lien also outlined the game’s upcoming summer updates: “Immediately ahead of us is the new Fortune Falls update. You’ll be able to explore a new event dungeon, where you can snag an awesome swimsuit set and valuable upgrade materials for a limited time! And on the horizon, you’ll be able to explore a new major update named Dark Origins. It’s got two brand new high level raids, a continuation of our story quests, a new dungeon, systems updates, and LOADS of new gear and cosmetics.”

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