diablo

Official Site: Diablo (Wikipedia)
Studio: Blizzard Entertainment
Launch Date: December 31, 1996
Genre: Gothic Fantasy OARPG
Business Model: B2P
Platform: PC, Mac, PS1
See also: Diablo II, Diablo III

Happy 20th birthday, Ultima Online! Here’s how to get caught up on the OG MMORPG

Just about 20 years ago, my boyfriend and I were wandering through Media Play (heh) when he picked up this box for some new online subscription video game with a cheesy Hildebrandt cover. I was skeptical. He bought it anyway. The next morning, after I’d played all night and totally bogarted his new game, we figured we should probably get a second account. And so we did, in spite of being clueless teenagers who could barely afford one sub, let alone two.

That game was Ultima Online, and it’s the game that birthed the term MMORPG and quite literally dragged me into the realm of virtual worlds. Without it, I wouldn’t be right here where I am talking to you today, having married that dude in the interim. And as of yesterday, that game is 20 years old.

Last autumn, when the game was turning 19, I did a fairly in-depth video on the coolest parts of UO, the parts you can still play today, as I do frequently dive back in and am playing this month too! It’s Massively OP’s best-performing video to date, proving that the game is very much not dead and done. Pretty much everything in the video is still accurate, except for the part on the business model (spoiler: UO is kinda going free-to-play), so I’m going to include it below, but then I’ll recap some of the important bits from the last year and answer a few questions anybody reading is sure to have.

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Diablo III seeks smoothness and balance with Patch 2.6.1

It may not be as sexy as a new expansion or class, but sometimes it’s a worthwhile thing for developers to sit down with a determination to polish and shine a game until it feels and plays better better than before.

This is the two-part goal of Diablo III’s Patch 2.6.1 according to the devs: “We wanted each class to have multiple builds with different styles that can play in similar difficulties. […] Secondly, we want to smooth out the overall endgame experience. This means making sure each build plays well in high-density situations and group play.”

To accomplish these tasks, the devs are buffing up some neglected skills and evaluating a whole bunch of player feedback. Some of the specific tune-ups include the Barbarian’s Whirlwind build, improvements to the Necromancer’s Dayntee’s Binding, a better Jade Harvester for the Witch Doctor, and buffs all around for Wizards.

The team said that it has “locked down” the big changes from now on to allow for more polish and testing prior to the patch’s rollout at an undetermined future date.

Source: Diablo III

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Global Chat: Not that impressed by Destiny 2

Destiny 2’s recent PC beta certainly brought out curious players in droves, and MMO bloggers couldn’t help but share their opinions on this next evolution of the sci-fi shooter franchise — even if those opinions weren’t too positive.

“It proved to be a deeply disappointing experience,” Superior Realities said. “Not because of anything wrong with the game, but because the beta offered such a small sliver of it as to be entirely pointless.”

Endgame Viable just doesn’t get it: “I know I’m going to regret this, but: What’s all the hype about? I didn’t hate it, but Destiny 2 looked and played like every other shooter.”

How would you respond to those observations? While you think about it, let’s look past D2: The Mighty Space Ducks to more essays on Elder Scrolls Online, EverQuest II, and the dinosaurs of ARK: Survival Evolved.

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Destiny 2: Console sales numbers, 1.2M concurrent, and future content

So hey, Destiny 2 launched for consoles, and a lot of you bought it, if the 1.2 million concurrent player mark is any judge. We haven’t seen formal numbers from Activision yet, and though Bungie was talking about Destiny 2 preorders ahead of launch, sales so far in the UK haven’t surpassed Destiny 1’s as expected, in spite of topping the charts for the year.

Console players, meanwhile, will see the Leviathan raid unlocking on September 13th, Trials of the Nine starting up on September 15th, and many other challenges being presented in a slow roll for the next few weeks. So don’t worry if you’ve already plowed your way up to the top in the game right after release, you’ll have more to do soon.

The developers are also hard at work investigating known issues, working server queues in when necessary, and releasing the game’s official soundtrack. So it’s full steam ahead for Destiny 2 fans, there’s more on deck for the next several weeks, and you can count on some bugfixes incoming as well. Relax, listen to a soundtrack, and enjoy the ride. Or enjoy the wait, depending on your platform of choice.

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The MOP Up: Skyforge gets a dark rush with the Revenant (September 10, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Master X MasterBlade and SoulEVE OnlineRoboManiacHearthstoneHyper UniverseThe Black DeathPokemon GoRuneScapeTERA MChampions OnlineWurm OnlineFinal Fantasy XIGiganticAllods OnlineHellionLeague of LegendsDiablo III, and Path of Exile, all waiting for you after the break!

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Destiny 2’s Curse of Osiris DLC confirmed, Bungie responds to shader controversy

Yesterday, we touched on the controversy brewing in Destiny 2, where Bungie has begun selling one-use consumables dubbed shaders (akin to dyes) – items that were free in the original game. Now the studio’s responded to the criticism.

“Shaders are earned through gameplay: leveling, chests, engrams, vendors. We expect you’ll be flush w/ Shaders as you continue to play,” Bungie’s Luke Smith tweeted. “When you reach level 20, Shaders will drop more often: vendor rewards, destination play and endgame activities. Shaders are now an ongoing reward for playing. Customization will inspire gameplay. Each planet has unique armor and Shader rewards. With D2, we want statements like ‘I want to run the Raid, Trials, or go back to Titan to get more of its Shader’ to be possible.”

There are worse responses, I suppose. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

What else is going on in the world of Destiny since its launch? Oh, nothing much. Just a patch for the promised clan progression features and confirmation that the first DLC will indeed bear the “Curse of Osiris” title — that last last bit thanks to the Xbox Store:

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Destiny 2’s console edition has officially launched around the globe

Did you stay up last night until midnight, waiting for your turn at Destiny 2? Were you watching the Bungie feed as it posted launches around the globe, its social media intern hopelessly confused about which countries constitute Central Europe? Did you take a “sick” day today only to wait in queues all night and be unable to form your guild while griping on Reddit about pay-to-win? Or were you vicariously watching the hoopla through streamers who’ve already beaten the game in just 12 hours?

Welcome to the launch of an MMO!

We’ve rounded up all our Destiny 2 news, plus the official launch trailer, the epic dance trailer from Japan, the launch message from Bungie, and our hands-on with the game from earlier this summer. PC players, you’ll have to keep dancing until October 24th. Sorry dudes and dudettes.

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Destiny 2 has begun its official console launch around the globe

Destiny 2’s console servers are beginning their staggered opening today, starting with our friends down under in Australia and New Zealand, where the clock’s just struck midnight and the streaming hoopla is now underway.

Multiple outlets are reporting that you may be able to sneak in anyway if you happen to have received your physical disc already, as the servers are already up. Digital folks, you’ll be waiting until the designated time. And PC players, you’ll have to contend with mere beta for now; it launched last week, at least for those who’ve purchased a copy ahead of the final October 24th PC launch.

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Massively Overthinking: Female characters and gender-locked classes in MMOs

One of the reasons I gravitated to and stick by the MMORPG genre in spite of its many ups and downs (oh, so many downs) over the last two decades is the fact that I can play more or less exactly the character I want to play, which is usually female characters. Other genres, even RPGs, have been relatively slow to catch up to what we’ve had here in MMO land right from the start. The idea of a serious MMORPG launching without female toons of some sort is almost unheard of.

I bring this up because of Quantic Foundry’s latest blog post, which delves its Gamer Motivation Profile for data on how gamers feel about being able to play female protagonists. Unsurprisingly, three-quarters of female gamers and a third of male gamers, irrespective of age, consider that option very or extremely important!

For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our mixed-gender staff three questions: what they think about Quantic’s findings, whether they stick to the gender they personally identify as when rolling toons in MMOs, and whether the lack of gender options — or in MMOs’ case, things like gender-locked classes — drive them as nuts as they drive me.

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World of Warcraft tokens reach record prices thanks to Destiny 2

Remember back in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, when a shave and a haircut cost you a nickel and a WoW token was selling for about 35,000 gold? Those days are long over, my friend, and it looks like it’s only going to get pricier from here.

Blizzard Watch reports that the cost for a WoW token is on the rise once again, nearly topping 166,000 gold on the North American auction house this week. This is most definitely due to Destiny 2’s PC beta — and it is not the first time that this upcoming Blizzard Activision game has rocked the WoW token economy.

WoW tokens took an expected uptick at the launch of Legion, but they didn’t really start shooting up astronomically until back in February when Blizzard allowed players to redeem them for store currency in addition to World of Warcraft gametime.

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Gamescom 2017: Destiny 2’s European dead zone and Rolling Stone interview

Destiny 2’s European dead zone sure sounds festive, right? Well, it looks pretty, anyway. Bungie revealed the open world environ in a new video from Gamescom yesterday. The new trailer shows players stalking through ruined cathedrals and swampy caves and tech camps, highlighting adventures, quests, loot boxes, the rep screen, exploration, lore acquisition, and endlessly shooting baddies. Really, it’s mostly that.

Meanwhile, Destiny 2 project lead Mark Noseworthy is featured in a long piece on Rolling Stone, in which he points out – without using the word – that accessibility was a problem in the original game that D2 is meant to rectify.

“It was a game that became difficult to recommend. It got to this point where, you know, your brother-in-law or someone would ask you, ‘Hey, should I be playing this Destiny game?’ And my first instinct would be like, ‘Mmm, I don’t know if I’ve got enough time to carry you for that period of time, where I’m gonna have to explain everything.'”

Notably, Noseworthy says he’s already requested time off after launch — to actually play the game.

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Xbox One X announces ‘select enhanced titles’ that include many online games

At its pre-Gamescom press conference this Sunday, Microsoft revealed more about its upcoming Xbox One X and its glorious 4K gaming capabilities. As part of the conference, the company listed several games that would benefit from the enhanced performance and power of the console when it arrives this November.

MMO players should take note, because this list contains many games in our sphere of interest. The select enhanced titles include BioWare’s Anthem, ARK: Survival Evolved, Astroneer, Black Desert, Conan Exiles, Dark and Light, Diablo III, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Portal Knights, Roblox, Sea of Thieves, SMITE, State of Decay 2, The Crew 2, Elder Scrolls Online, The Division, Warframe, and World of Tanks.

The Xbox One X boasts six teraflops of processing power, 4K Ultra Blu-Ray, and 12GB GDDR5 graphics memory, and will retail for $500. Interested players can pre-order the Project Scropio edition right now for as long as supplies last.

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The MOP Up: Black Desert shows pet love (August 20, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from NeverwinterElder Scrolls LegendsElite DangerousSWTORMapleStoryHyper UniverseSMITETravian OnlineDiablo IIIFigureheadsPokemon GoHeroes and GeneralsRappelzUltima OnlineSoulworker OnlineBlack Desert, and Gigantic, all waiting for you after the break!

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