cryptic studios

A PWE studio known primarily for Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, and Champions Online.

Secret World Legends posts a quick teaser of the agent system

One of the first new Secret World Legends systems is coming soon, and Funcom posted a quick video of it this week to whet players’ appetites.

In a minute-and-a-half, CM Andy Benditt walked players through the basics of the upcoming agent system. This system works much like World of Warcraft’s order hall missions, Star Trek Online’s duty officer system, and RIFT’s minions. The idea is that players will recruit and collect support agents that can be equipped for their passive ability bonuses (three max) and sent out on timed missions with the hopes of bringing back rewards. The strategy here is to match up an agent’s traits with the mission requirements in question in order to increase the chance of success.

Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments!

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Perfect Ten: The tabletop GMs behind MMOs

One of the advantages to computer RPGs, I’ve always thought, is that you don’t need a friend who you can alternately sucker or bribe into taking on 80% of the work that’s involved in making a tabletop RPG fun. You just turn on the game and it goes. The downside, of course, is that you also don’t have the advantages of having a GM in charge of the game, so you don’t get that personal connection and that sense of familiarity.

Except that’s not entirely accurate, is it? Yes, these games do not have a person eagerly perched behind a screen explaining how your characters have screwed everything up forever, but you still do get the same sense of a specific GM guiding the game over time. Because there are certain quirks, certain constants, and over time a feel to the game that informs what sort of GM you’ve got running the game. So let’s talk about the GMs running some games.

I warn you that if you’ve never played any sort of tabletop game, this column may not make a whole lot of sense. But if you’ve never played any tabletop RPGs I don’t understand how you live and thus cannot promise to target you reliably. Sorry.

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Neverwinter’s Lost City of Omu improves upon the Chult campaign

Don’t wash your hands of Neverwinter’s Jungles of Chult campaign just yet. Cryptic’s upcoming Lost City of Omu will flesh out the fun and content offerings of this primal setting with more advancement and quests.

The conclusion to this campaign setting will include new weekly repeatable tasks that will unlock after the previous Jungles of Chult campaign is completed. There are also additional boon points that can be attained and some fun new rewards, such as artifact gear and body paint. Nothing says “formal wear” like slathering paint on your torso and challenging the local decency laws.

“Exploring the ruins of the Lost City of Omu to discover the source of the death curse plaguing the lands will allow you entry into the Cradle of the Death God, a brand new trial which will require solid teamwork and daring adventurers to succeed,” Cryptic said.

Source: Neverwinter

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One Shots: Toy chests

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!”

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Star Trek Online’s anniversary event heads to console next month

With all of the excitement and freebies surrounding Star Trek Online’s 8th anniversary celebration last month, it had to have been a particular bummer for console players not to be able to join in on the fun. They should have known better: Picard used a mighty PC, not a piddly Xbox, to fly the Enterprise.

At least this grievous wrong will be set right next month when the anniversary finally winds it way onto the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Cryptic announced that the event will kick off on March 6th, with giveaways and the chance to earn the Bajoran Interceptor.

In addition to the free stuff, the anniversary will also add the latest patch with two new featured episodes and the re-engineering system.

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MMOs get incredibly excited about Tesla’s Spaceman

No, you didn’t dream it up. Wednesday, the world was abuzz over Elon Musk’s Tesla company sending a rocket into orbit that was toting a roadster with a space suited manniquin (aka “Spaceman”) on board. The images were instantly provocative and captivating, and several MMO studios couldn’t help but jump on board the moment.

The Guild Wars 2 team suggested that a Quaggan in a space suit could join the fun, while Star Trek Online had a field day with an “Earth space dock traffic notification.”

And Dual Universe whipped up a short video showing its version of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket taking off, which you can watch after the break.

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Perfect Ten: RIFT features that deserve praise

Maybe it will be short-lived, but it is exciting to see attention and excitement return to the sphere of RIFT following the announcement of the upcoming Prime server ruleset. I’ve gone from not thinking much of this title in my absence to somewhat missing it to absolutely craving it within the span of a week, and I’m sure that’s only going to get worse.

Seeing friends and commenters talk about RIFT has reminded me of just how many incredible features and qualities this MMO has. Sure, it’s made a lot of missteps and just about nobody really loves the business model, but there is a genuinely good game here that has a feature set that most MMOs could only dream about having on the back of the box.

So whether you’re thinking about returning to RIFT this spring or perhaps taking it up for the first time, here are 10 features from the game that I feel deserve public kudos.

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PSA: Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, and Champions Online will be offline most of Wednesday

So we’ve got some mixed news for you, friends. The good news is that usual maintenance for Champions Online, Neverwinter, and Star Trek Online will not take place on Thursday as it usually does. Bad news? Well, it’s going to be happening Wednesday, running from 8:00 a.m. EST until… 5:00 p.m. EST. We sincerely hope you didn’t take time off from work in anticipation of a marathon gaming session when you would normally be at work.

No, we do not know why you make those plans when nothing was scheduled to be happening on Wednesday, but sometimes you just want to treat yourself, right?

Stuff is planned for social media during the extended downtime, and fans are assured that this is a series of necessary improvements and maintenance tasks being performed. So you’re just going to have to grit your teeth and bear through it without the game. Our condolences for those who had already scheduled that aforementioned all-day game session.

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Neverwinter details the rewards of the Lost City of Omu

There’s no pretense that the real treasures in Neverwinter are the friendships you make along the way. The real treasures are treasures. They are powerful artifacts that lie thick upon the ground in the game, and you will be able to get more treasures when you can start venturing inside of the Lost City of Omu. The latest development update goes into depth about all of those treasures, starting with a brand-new artifact from the Cradle of the Death God.

There are also new artifact weapon sets available for purchase from multiple sources (including for Seals of the Brave or campaign progress), new enhancements for primal gear, new mounts, and new infusions available for existing gear. Those are the real rewards for doing all of this content. Sure the friends you make along the way are nice and will be welcome, but it’s also reassuring to know that the true treasures are the treasures which allow you to hack your way through your enemies.

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Neverwinter has a free fashion bag heading your way

While it’s not one of the greatest examples of such a system, Neverwinter’s wardrobe does allow players to swap out their characters’ armor visuals for a different ensemble. The small problem with this is that any outfits took up inventory space.

Well, no longer.

Cryptic announced this past week that a new fashion bag is on its way to the game for the upcoming Lost City of Omu module. The fashion bag will be added to the inventory window and will start out with 24 slots for outfits. This limit can be expanded for Zen, of course. And it should go without saying, but only fashion items can be thrown into this bag. No trying to stuff a horse into it; he will just say, “Neighh.”

Source: Neverwinter

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The Stream Team: Celebrating eight years of Star Trek Online

Happy birthday Star Trek Online! Massively OP’s MJ has leveled her little alien captain up so she can participate in the party this year. That means there is stuff to do (and it might involve Q!). Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. to join in the celebration and wish STO well on its eighth anniversary.

What: Star Trek Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 2nd, 2018

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Neverwinter talks about game fixes, puts the final touches on the Cradle of the Death God

Cryptic’s state of the game livestream came out earlier this week for Neverwinter… and it was not quite as groundbreaking as you might have hoped.

The studio admitted that random queues still aren’t working well and require more adjustments, such as possible level scaling tech. They also discussed the foundry on the PlayStation 4, fixes for the Throne of the Nine Gods challenge, love for PvP, and answered questions from the community.

Meanwhile, Cryptic continues to prepare the community for the Lost City of Omu module. Part of that content update will be the Cradle of the Death God epic trial, which as its name may suggest, is not going to be a walk in the park. “This time around the battle won’t be taking place in a single room,” the studio said. “Instead, your adventuring party will be descending even further into Acererak’s Tomb, with the encounter taking place in three major acts.”

This month, the MMO Bookclub has elected to play through Neverwinter. Check out the subreddit for more info if you want to join the community.

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Star Trek Online braces for a mirror universe invasion on consoles

The Mirror Universe has been a persistent enemy in Star Trek Online since the earliest days of the game, because it sure is helpful to be able to repurpose Federation ships as enemies. Also, there are lots of episodes in which the crews of various ships have to deal with their evil mirror counterparts, so that helps to. And console players are going to need to work hard to repel another invasion by the Mirror Universe on the console version, which is kicking off today and running through February 8th.

Players will have to travel to various rifts and stabilize them before shutting them, stemming the flood of ships into the main reality (i.e., the one we live in). There’s an associated reputation project players can undertake that rewards extra Dilithium and Marks of your choice, along with new Mirror Universe Dual Pistols for successfully completing the project and fighting back the invaders. So get ready to face your dark mirrors on consoles… unless you play a Klingon captain, in which case it’s more a matter of blowing up people you already blow up but slightly meaner than normal.

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