elder scrolls online

See: The Elder Scrolls Online

The MOP Up: Hearthstone gets ready to banish dozens of cards (February 19, 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 Overwatch, League of LegendsEVE OnlineMabinogi DuelSpace EngineersIngressEternal CrusadeElder Scrolls OnlineFinal BladeHearthstoneGod Eater OnlineDrakensang Online, and EVE Valkyrie, all waiting for you after the break!

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The Elder Scrolls Online is headed to PAX East

Good news, at least if you're headed to PAX East in Boston on March 10th: ZeniMax announced this afternoon that Bethsoft is bringing The Elder Scrolls Online to the con, with the Morrowind expansha-campaign in tow. By our count, this'll be the last major convention for the game before the launch of Morrowind on June 6th (E3 begins the week after launch), so this'll be the best time for players to get their hands on it ahead of its arrival on the test server.

Morrowind was announced last month and is expected to include the new class and 4v4v4 PvP mode teased in the announcement tweet, in addition to the playable-from-level-1 Vvardenfell storyline and brand-new houses.

And yes, Massively OP will be there again this year!

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Massively Overthinking: Are MMOs designed for 'low-skill gamers'?

Ages ago on the MMORPG subreddit, a player made a bold statement: MMORPGs are designed for low-skill gamers.

"I remember being dazzled by EverQuest and Ultima as a child," he wrote, reminiscing about his memory of high difficulty old-school games. "I recently loaded up [Star Wars: The Old Republic] again, and I'm shocked. Piss easy. Everything. XP falling from the sky. Mobs dead in one GCD. Brainless. The same reason I quite every MMO. I never meet people, I never feel challenged. I just feel bored. 'Wait till endgame' isn't gonna cut it anymore. I'm over it. I'm done. I feel like I'm just hitting the 'Reward' button again and again and again, solitary and alone, like a stupid little rat in the cage." He then basically blames the perceived shift of the genre on people who don't want games to be "like a job": "The genre just seems to be fueled by mediocre, anti-social "consumers."

I wanted to pull this back out to see whether our staff and writers agree with the claims -- and whether we all have some advice for this fan, who concludes his rant by asking people to change his mind. Howsabout it, Overthinking fans?

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The trouble with master writs in Elder Scrolls Online

Probably the loudest complaint about the otherwise-nifty Homestead housing in The Elder Scrolls Online comes from the players who argue that acquiring the necessary master writs is an intentionally time-consuming and grindy process.

Master writs, ZeniMax explains in a dev piece this week, are high-end trade contracts for elite craftables, granted to master crafters completing difficult regular writs, at a rate boosted by the number of recipes the character already knows. The studio has promised to expand new motifs, traits, and crafted sets to the writ system.

But as players have argued, it could take months for even an above-average crafter, never mind a casual, to work through the system and acquire something genuinely useful for housing, making the writs more of a revenue-generating tool than a boon to crafters as many players will just put down a few benjamins in the cash shop to skip the ordeal.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 104: WoW Token resistance

Financial nerds ahoy! On today's show, Bree and Justin talk about the economics of WoW Tokens and earnings reports, encouraging listeners to break out their accountant books to play along. There's a secret message encoded for those who balance their checkbooks correctly!

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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Massively OP's guide to Valentine's Day around the MMORPG verse

Ready for sappy questlines, particle effects that look like hearts, and lots -- and I do mean lots -- of pink? Valentine's day has arrived in the real world and many of the pretend worlds inside MMORPGs (for some reason). And who are we to fuss when the events are all about candy and cheap romance? Nobody, that's who. Read on for our guide to Valentine's Day around the MMORPG verse!

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Elder Scrolls Online now boasts 8.5M players

At a press event today at ZeniMax Online Studios HQ, Elder Scrolls Online's Matt Firor announced something we rarely get out of any MMORPG studio these days: a headcount.

Firor says that Elder Scrolls Online currently counts 8.5 million players across all platforms. This number reflects unique players, not concurrent subscribers (the game is buy-to-play with an optional sub). It does not count beta players or free weekend players, just people who've purchased the game outright, so it might more properly be termed "boxes sold."

Massively OP's ESO columnist, Larry Everett, was on hand at the event to clarify that the number is an update to the 7M number released last year.

We received explicit permission to print this news ahead of the original embargo lift.

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Elder Scrolls Online's furniture crafting guide will help you spiff up your Homestead house

If you watched Larry's and my stream on The Elder Scrolls Online's new Homestead patch last week, you probably heard us speculate on how the furniture market might play out over time. Larry suggested that buying furnished homes might be a good idea, given that you get a ton of furniture for a relatively small increase in price -- and while the market is likely to be flooded with crafted furniture now, in a few months, it might be much harder to get your hands on it as fly-by-night carpenters retire (most likely to the shores of Vvardenfell).

Nevertheless, you might be considering giving furniture crafting a try yourself, and that's where ZeniMax's new crafting-walkthrough dev blog will come in handy.

"You can make all kinds of things! Tables, chairs, lanterns, treasure chests, coffins, thrones, and more are all possible," says the studio.

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Global Chat: Get over the lockbox debate already

One of the largest and most enduring arguments of the MMO genre is the purpose, legality, and profitability of so-called lockboxes in games. We've certainly railed against them pretty hard here on the site.

MMO Bro takes an interesting position this week by saying that, yes, lockboxes are annoying, but we need to move on from grousing about them: "If I may play devil’s advocate here for a moment, I think the time may have come for us to take a step back and examine whether all the furor over lockboxes is really productive. It’s clear that lockboxes are here to stay, so perhaps it’s time for us to learn how to live with them."

Agree? Disagree? That's why we have the comments section. Now that you're fully awake, why not check out the rest of our roundup from the MMO blogosphere, including essays on early access stumbles, costumes, multiplayer mounts, and -- everyone's favorite -- geography!

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Elder Scrolls Online fansite leaks epic Morrowind images and lore

If you were sad as I was that The Elder Scrolls Online's Homestead housing patch this past week didn't offer much for the provincial Morrowind fan, take heart: ZeniMax was as expected just holding back the good stuff for the Morrowind release. Spoilers follow!

Russian fan site ElderScrolls.net managed to get its hands on a leaked Game Informer article (Game Informer is owned by Gamestop) covering the Morrowind expansha-chapter, complete with some gorgeous images of what is clearly some of the iconic cities on Vvardenfell, from the towering mushroom towers of the Telvanni east coast and the sandstone Hlaalu dwellings to the Velothi cantons of Vivec and thatched-roof construction of the Bitter Coast. In fact, if you squint, you can see scaffolding surrounding parts of Vivec and what appears to be Balmora's canals. I don't spy any Redoran shells!

There are a few interesting tidbits in the translation, including the fact that there are five great houses (plus one) in play during this time period (presumably the extras are Indoril, Dres, and Dagoth) and the fact that there's a quest to become a skooma drug lord. See, mom, memorizing Morrowind lore did come in handy some day.

Check out the shots below!

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The Daily Grind: Which no-housing MMORPG needs housing the most?

During our Elder Scrolls Online housing stream earlier this week, Larry and I joked about World of Warcraft's half-hearted and ineffective attempts to satisfy player demand for housing over the years, from farms to garrisons to order halls. I certainly wouldn't call any of these "player houses," no more than I'd consider Guild Wars 2's home instances to be housing.

Interestingly, most of the other games I'd say are in the top tier of MMORPGs have housing now, many of them having only just added it in the last few years, from Final Fantasy XIV to SWTOR. Even Lord of the Rings Online recently reinvigorated its housing (stay tuned for an in-depth look at that this weekend). In my mind, the best trend of the year so far has been this renewed emphasis on player domiciles, not just because I enjoy that type of content but because it's clearly a money-maker for the games that implement and monetize it well.

So for today's Daily Grind, I ask you: Which no-housing MMORPG needs housing the most, and why?

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The Stream Team: The quest to find the perfect Elder Scrolls Online house

Massively OP's MJ hasn't accumulated the game riches that Larry has, so she can't acquire any fancy houses in Elder Scrolls Online. Luckily for her, however, there is a quest that allows everyone to earn his or her very own furnishable closet! So MJ is eager to dive in and claim a closet of her own. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to see how many minions she can stuff in it when she does!

What: Elder Scrolls Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

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Tamriel Infinium: Four reasons Elder Scrolls Online's Homestead tops other MMO housing

Traditionally, in this Tamriel Infinium column, I have been extremely critical of The Elder Scrolls Online, and I promise you, I'm sure I'll lob criticism at the game in the future too. But I also like to give proper praise to video game developers when they do something extremely right, and that’s the case with Homestead.

My first MMO experience with housing was probably very similar to every other old-school MMO gamer's experience with housing: Ultima Online. But I didn’t really play UO for a very long time, only a month or so. My first real experience was in Star Wars Galaxies. Unfortunately, that game is shut down now, so I can’t show you just how powerful and creatively flexible that housing was. Since then, I’ve experienced housing in a number of different MMOs. I’ve seen EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, WildStar, and of course, Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Although some of these housing systems have elements that I really like, I don’t think any of them reach the level that ESO reaches. And to help illustrate what I mean, I’ve compiled a list of four reasons that Homestead is better than those other MMO housing systems.

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