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Choose My Adventure: Cryptic’s Neverwinter in review

My time with Neverwinter is done, and it’s a game I find myself in an odd relationship with. It’d be fair to say that despite what some members of the audience expected, I never went into disliking the game; even when I was getting a little bit bored, I didn’t find myself desperately wanting to play something else just to be free of the scourge of the game itself. But at the same time… it never really got its hooks in me, either.

And some of that, I think, is that I’ve played it before.

I’m reluctant to say that every game Cryptic Studios makes is the same because every single one has very clear pieces that stand apart. Star Trek Online’s space combat, Neverwinter’s action combat, and Champions Online’s status as the last relic of a forgotten time. (Probably other things, too.) They’re not the same game. But they do all share the same gameplay loop, which is different… and despite my best efforts, there’s a certain point when all of that just winds up getting a wee bit tedious.

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The Stream Team: Starting summer off with a bang (and giveaway) in Star Trek Online’s Lohlunat festival

How do youbneat the heat of the summer solstice? In space! Massively OP’s MJ is celebrating the start of summer by dipping into Star Trek Online. There’s a special summer festival going on right now called Lohlunat that MJ may or may not have a captain experienced enough to partake in, but she’s willing to try and crash said party! She also has presents to give away: Some Fluidic Antiproton Wrist Lances (for Xbox One only). Join us live at 7:00 p.m. to beat the heat and for your chance to win.

What: Star Trek Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

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Neverwinter deploys the Shroud of Souls update to consoles today

It’s time for console players to head to the River District in Neverwinter. The game’s latest patch for the console editions of the game has been released, and it sees players contending with the foes stepping out of the shadows following the fall of the Cloaked Ascendancy. That means more stuff to deal with in the River District and a new event to take part in, with a new siege and storyline to explore as they rail against these new foes.

Players on consoles will also be able to take advantage of the Loadout feature and customizable guild halls, so even if the story doesn’t grab you there’s still new stuff to do. Jump into the console edition right now to try out everything, or if you’re stuck at work, you can check out screenshots just below.

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Neverwinter takes you on a tour of Port Nyanzaru

The eponymous city is obviously the main port of call for players in Neverwinter, but there are other cities worth visiting. The next major update, Tomb of Annihilation, will see players heading to Port Nyanzaru, a very different city from the one Neverwinter’s adventurers are accustomed to experiencing. So why not take a tour of all of the best parts of Port Nyanzaru, seeing the sights to catch (and the important vendors to chat up) before you go there in the summer?

But perhaps you’re not interested in the lore tour, just the art side of things. Good news; there’s a new piece about exactly that, covering the challenges of making the city look distinct and novel with a very short amount of pre-production time. It’s useful for lovers of game production and concept art, and it shows how all of the locales you’ll visit on your tour came into existence.

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Neverwinter celebrates its fourth birthday with events and unicorn mounts

Neverwinter is prepping the celebration of the anniversary of its hard launch on PC way back in 2013. The festivities, dubbed The Protector’s Jubilee, begin on June 20th and run for week, closing on June 27th.

“In celebration of this year’s Jubilee, Lord Neverember seeks to refill his coffers after months of austerity by slashing trade tariffs to encourage visiting traders. As a result, traders from far and wide are making their way to the city to ply their wares. Of course, the Sword Coast is a dangerous place, and these traders need the help of brave adventurers to make it safely to Neverwinter. Blacklake, Ebon Downs, and Whispering Caverns are rumored to be pretty dangerous. Look for some to also attempt deliveries to your Stronghold if you’re in a guild.”

Expect the city decorated to the hilt, special quests, a secret zone, a scaling skirmish event, traveling merchants, and loot — lots of it, including a unicorn mount and some bits and bobs from jubilees past.

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Massively Overthinking: The best MMOs and multiplayers of E3 2017

E3 is drawing to a close, with its reveals over and done with — all that’s left is processing our interviews and hands-on pieces. But in the meantime, we decided to take this week’s Overthinking to consider the field. MMORPGs haven’t shined brightly at E3 in a long time, so our expectations are usually low — the con is interesting to us more for what’s happening on the multiplayer front.

So that’s what we asked our staff: What’s the most interesting or grabby-hands MMO or MMO-ish thing from E3 this year? Which game would get your best in show and why? There’s also an extra bonus section on the con itself courtesy of our writer on the floor.

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Choose My Adventure: Finishing up in Neverwinter

I’m going to be honest, before playing Neverwinter I had a very different picture of this game in my head in some ways. Not because I didn’t expect the game’s core gameplay loop; I’d gotten that from demo events. And it’s not because I thought the game would feature a different set of mechanics or a different aesthetic. I did think that the animations wouldn’t be quite so dreadfully stiff for poor Ceilarene, but even that’s not enough to really throw me off of my game.

No, what I really pictured differently was the eponymous city of Neverwinter. I pictured, well, a city. What Neverwinter more closely resembles is a superheroic hometown after the most recent event storyline. There’s exactly one district that seems to actually be suitable for human habitation, and everything else is crawling with stuff that wants to kill you for various reasons. Also, every single part of the game is filled with people insisting that the city will soon belong to them.

In other words, it’s Paragon City without the superheroes.

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Neverwinter jacks up enemy difficulty, gear levels

It makes sense that in an update where some of your enemies are going to be bona fide dinosaurs, the difficulty of combat encounters is going to increase somewhat. Neverwinter players are officially on alert that enemy mobs are about to get more challenging when this summer’s Tomb of Annihilation drops.

“It’s been some time since the difficulty of enemies outside high level dungeons has increased, even in dungeons increases have been limited,” Cryptic warned. “For the detail-oriented, all enemies in Module 12 will feature increased hit points, defense, attack power, and armor penetration. For enemies and bosses in dungeons these enhancements will be on top of existing enhancements.”

Players won’t be left to face these terrors wearing paper bags and bunny slippers; higher levels of gear is coming with the update as well. Item level 460 and 480 equipment will help to feed the ever-hungry gear treadmill, and players will be able to use seals to buy new relic armor.

Source: Neverwinter

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Cryptic’s Magic the Gathering RPG: Speculating on the lore and game systems

An RPG based on Magic: the Gathering is one of those things I have both long wanted and long assumed was just never going to happen. Now it’s happening, and it’s happening at the hands of Cryptic and PWE. That doesn’t necessarily make me enthusiastic about the business models, but it does mean (based on the studios’ other games) that it’ll be good solid fun to play just the same.

It makes me especially happy because it’s possible to play a lot of MtG without ever knowing anything about the setting, too. Now you sort of have to.

My time with MtG as an active player is definitely in my rear-view mirror, but it’s possible to have a passing familiarity with the game but not really get what in the world is there to base a non-card game upon. Since I tend to absorb this stuff, though, my mind was immediately set aflame with visions of teleporting between planes, summoning creatures, and collecting artifacts. So let’s take a look at the lore behind the cards and speculate a bit on systems, shall we?

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Battle Bards Episode 100: Centennial spectacular!

After four years and over 700 MMORPG music tracks, the Battle Bards have arrived at their 100th show! For this centennial spectacular, Syl, Steff, and Syp reminisce about the most notable shows, their best soundtrack discoveries, and their favorite tracks. This super-sized show gets wrapped up with a bout of listener emails and a promise of another amazing hundred episodes!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 100: Centennial spectacular (or download it) now:

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 121: Tap for Magic MMOs

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree talk about the huge revelation of Cryptic’s Magic: The Gathering MMO, the premature demise of Bless Online, World of Warcraft’s new launch, and more!

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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Enter to win a Star Trek Online Fluidic Antiproton Wrist Lance for Xbox One

In honor of the launch of Star Trek Online‘s season 13 Escalation for console, PWE has granted Massively OP a stack of Fluidic Antiproton Wrist Lances, a rare ground weapon, to raffle to our readers!

“Undine weaponry utilizes cohesive antiproton streams to damage foes. These streams are known to sometimes knock their opponents away while dealing additional physical damage. The primary fire of this particular wrist-mounted antiproton lance is similar to those adapted into Assault weapons that use this same energy technology. The secondary fire is radically different however, incorporating something akin to the ‘focused beam’ technology sometimes seen in use on Undine starships. It can charge up a massive blast that will scar the surface of whatever the foe is standing on, sending out antiproton energy ripples that cause additional damage to anything they cross paths with.”

Read on to enter to win!

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Neverwinter’s Jungles of Chult has better daily tasks and more reward options

On some level, all Neverwinter really needs to do for Jungles of Chult is to remind you how you’ll get to fight dinosaurs. That’s really all the motivation anyone should need. But the campaign actually does include several functional differences, starting with the changes to repeatable tasks which will allow you to complete certain tasks a fixed number of times per week. Instead of being stuck logging in for daily activities, you can choose how much time you have each day and structure your play appropriately.

Players can also look forward to more flexible boon rewards at the lower tiers, unlocking new pieces of armor from the campaign store, and a tracker for weekly currency rewards. You’ll have a fairly low cap on weekly currency to start, but progress through the campaign will increase that limit over time. So if the prospect of fighting dinosaurs alone doesn’t motivate you, better rewards might help sweeten the pot a bit.

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