dota

Official Site: DotA (Wikipedia Entry)
Studio: PlayDota.com
Launch Date: 2003
Genre: Fantasy MOBA
Business Model: F2P
Platform: PC, Mac

The MOP Up: ARK's console editions get a hair-do (March 26, 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!

This week we have stories and videos from Destiny, Eternal CrusadeElder Scrolls LegendsHearthstonePokemon GoMU LegendLineage IIARKUltima OnlineSword of ShadowsGhost Recon WildlandsRagnarok OnlineHeroes and GeneralsElsword, and Dota 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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Perfect World sees mobile sales jump up in 2016

When it comes to financial reports, there's always one word that every investor wants to see: growth. And for those that read Perfect World's 2016 annual report, that's exactly what they saw.

The international publisher, which operates titles as diverse as Dota 2 (in China) and Star Trek Online as well as other media properties, reported that it had a very good year, raking in 6.1 billion yuan over the course of 2016. Its gaming division was responsible for over two-thirds of this revenue and an impressive 25% growth compared to 2015.

What's interesting here is that while PC game sales remained relatively stable and flat, it was the mobile market that was the driving force behind this increase in Perfect World's income. This means that we can expect to see the company put an even higher priority on developing and publishing mobile titles in the future.

Source: Superdata

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2013 MMOARPG Path of Exile hit peak concurrency in March thanks to its latest patch

Path of Exile just keeps getting bigger and bigger in terms of both players and team size, and it's actually providing the numbers to back it up.

A press release out from Grinding Gear Games declares that update 2.6.0 propelled the MMOARPG to a peak online concurrent player count of 112,800 earlier this month, with 65,000 of those playing concurrently through Steam, putting the game behind only Dota 2 and CS:GO during that chunk of time. According to the studio, that makes 2.6.0 the "franchise's largest and most successful to date with a 40-percent increase in the number of players online for the launch."

2.6.0 was big, but it's not even the biggest thing happening to the New Zealand-based game this year: It's got a huge expansion called The Fall of Oriath coming out in 2017. It most recently made headlines for creating a "transparent lockbox" with declared odds for the best stuff inside.

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Albion Online AMA on pay-to-win, free trials, and global servers

Sandbox Interactive ran an AMA for its in-development indie MMO Albion Online on Reddit last night, covering everything from the game's business model to how players in far-flung locations fare on its global server. Here are the highlights!

  • There are no plans for a freebie weekend or trial as a result of fairness to founders and botting issues -- as well as performance issues. "The game is extremely well populated as it is, and we'd be worried that free trial could slow down the servers."
  • Likewise, SI will be sticking to its original plan to reward founders with early access, though players have expressed concern over the potential for an ArcheAge-like land-grab.
  • In response to players bringing up pay-to-win and the game's $30 buy-in, SI explained the game's business model is based on EVE Online's and that while players can essentially gain an advantage by buying and then exchanging real-money currency for in-game currency, it won't afford players a guaranteed win. As for the currency exchange, it should be possible to play the market.

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The MOP Up: MMOs make math fun (March 5, 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!

This week we have stories and videos from FortniteWar ThunderArmored WarfareNeverwinterMabinogi DuelPokemon GoProdigyGuild Wars 2HellionIngressOld School RuneScapeWildStarDota 2, and Final Fantasy XIV, all waiting for you after the break!

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Valve is working on three VR titles, feeling effects of travel ban

Valve's Gabe Newell and Erik Johnson have confirmed that the company is working on a trio of VR-centric games, not cheapie experiments but full-scale games built in Unity and its own proprietary Source 2 engine. The discussion came as part of a press briefing in Seattle last night.

Newell also commented at length on the U.S. government's travel ban, which was once again blocked by the courts yesterday. He explained that Valve employees have been directly affected by the ban, people who've "been here for years" and "pay taxes" but can't leave the country to visit relatives or attend events overseas lest they become unwittingly entangled or trapped far from home.

Newell and Johnson further said that the ban (and the threat of its return in one form or another) also affects their ability to hire and their ability to host international e-sports competitions, as many pro players already had difficulty securing work visas. Consequently, the duo say they'd consider hosting the big-money Dota 2 The International tourney out of the U.S. if necessary.

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MMO lockboxes, keys, and booster packs: Gambling or gaming?

Lockboxes have become a hot topic over the last couple of years. Last month, both our writers and readers crowned SWTOR worst business model of the year in part over its lockbox shenanigans. And several business model and lockbox-related articles made it into our list of most-commented-on articles of the year, including the Daily Grind on lockboxes and gambling.

So where do we draw the line between gambling and hobby gaming? Why are lockboxes acceptable? Are they really something MMO developers should continue to use in order to monetize their games?

I've done some research and even gotten some expert legal opinions about this based on American law (and some international), and I can't say I'm entirely happy about my results.
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Steam sets new record with 14 million concurrent users

It seems like more or less everyone uses Steam at this point, yes? It's fairly ubiquitous? The service managed to hit a concurrency record on January 8th, with over 14 million people logged in and using the service at the same time. The most popular games being played at the time were Dota 2, Grand Theft Auto V, and Counter-strike: Global Offensive, all of which are online titles to some degree.

How you'd like to read these stats, of course, is up to you. You could, in theory, claim that this is a sign that Steam's online functionality is increasingly vital to the game industry; you could also claim that any stats on a title from Steam only come from a fairly small sample size. You could also just be happy about big numbers. Whatever floats your boat.

Source: Gamasutra

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The MOP Up: A marriage forged in hell (January 8, 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!

This week, we read the heartwarming story of a couple that found love in Diablo III, of all places. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from Black DesertLord of the Rings OnlinePath of Exile, and more, all waiting for you after the break!

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Dota 2, The Division list among the best-selling Steam games of 2016

One of my favorite things to do at the end of each calendar year is to read all of the "best of" lists that get posted all over the place. Steam is contributing to my delight, as it has posted its top 100 best-selling PC games of 2016. Plenty of MMOs, MOBAs, and online multiplayer titles dominate the list, which makes it interesting reading for those invested in our hobby.

The highest-revenue titles on the list (the "platinum" sellers) included The Division, Dota 2, and No Man's Sky. Gold sellers welcomed ARK: Survival Evolved, Warframe, and H1Z1: King of the Kill to the club, while silver sellers gave tribute to Elder Scrolls Online and SMITE.

And at the bottom of the top 100 sellers, the "bronze" titles, are games like Final Fantasy XIV, Tree of Savior, Path of Exile, H1Z1: Just Survive, Grim Dawn, and Elite Dangerous. Note that all of these titles only mark games that had the highest grossing revenue, possibly thanks to sales, and do not reflect how much time was spent among the community playing them.

Source: Steam. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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The MOP Up: Dota 2 goes on a new journey (December 18, 2016)

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!

This week, Dota 2 rocked out with its massive New Journey update. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from ArcheAgeRiders of IcarusNo Man's Skyand more, all waiting for you after the break!

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The Daily Grind: Are real screenshots critical to your MMO purchases?

Last week, Steam told developers that it will be cracking down on "bullshots" -- images that don't actually depict the game they're supposed to represent.

"We ask that any images you upload to the 'screenshot' section of your store page should be screenshots that show your game," Valve wrote. "This means avoiding using concept art, pre-rendered cinematic stills, or images that contain awards, marketing copy, or written product descriptions. Please show customers what your game is actually like to play."

The rule applies even to Valve's own Dota 2, which as Kotaku pointed out had to replace its own concept art with actual game shots following the decree.

I'm torn on rule myself. I completely understand why players would feel betrayed and confused over concept art posing as in-game screenshots, but at the same time, I also think most people can tell the two apart, and I'd like a mix of both. And as a blogger, I vastly prefer concept art for using on our site when the games aren't exactly easy on the eyes -- often the case with MOBAs and retro games. Plus it's often easier to get studios to provide quality concept art than quality screenshots.

What do you think? Is Valve solving a serious problem here? Are real screenshots critical to your MMO purchases?

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Battle Bards Episode 85: Desert Calling

The desert is calling the Battle Bards, but are they willing to make the trek across these vast wastelands to see if the music is worthwhile or not? Guest co-host Scott joins Syl and Syp for a listen through several desert tracks to see what can be sifted from the sand. Is there treasure below or sun-bleached boredom?

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.

We’ve got Episode 85: Desert Calling and the show notes for you after the break!

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