electronic arts

Megacorp known to MMO gamers primarily for its ownership of BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic. EA has previously been the steward of Mythic Entertainment (which in turn once controlled Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot) as well as The Sims Online, Warhammer Online, and Dawngate.

SWTOR’s Update 5.4 will add a new flashpoint and player housing on a moving train

Now that Star Wars: The Old Republic players have mastered their emotions and the 5.3 update, it is time to gaze to the galaxy and prepare for what’s coming. BioWare realized that it had been a little vague on what August’s Update 5.4 would contain and rectified this with more elaboration on the patch’s contents in a forum post.

Update 5.4 will kick off with a completely new flashpoint called Crisis on Umbara. With three difficulty levels (including master), players will need to bring their A-game (and A-gear) to whip this instance. If players beat the flashpoint a few times, they can gain access to the Umbara stronghold, which is held on a moving train.

The update will also contain more companion customization, the ability to summon companions while moving, higher graphics settings, and the end of Season 8. Discipline balance tuning is scheduled to continue with changes to Lethality, Ruffian, Concealment, Scrapper, Medicine, Sawbones, Fury, Concentration, Carnage, and Combat.

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Hyperspace Beacon: The sexual harassment problem in SWTOR

As most of our readers probably know, I consider myself a member of the roleplay community in Star Wars: The Old Republic. I have been a part of MMO roleplay communities since 2004, and there isn’t a lot that I haven’t seen. However, there is a problem in the online communities, in general, that I have been quiet about, but I feel that something needs to be said about it before it hits a breaking point. And the gamemasters of the SWTOR world are stretched too thin and have to take extreme action — an action that will likely limit those who are innocently trying to have fun. The problem is harassment against women.

In my community, we have some very strong women, and I don’t want to call them out because I don’t what to make them targets. But I do want to thank them for their effort, and I would like them to know that their extra work has not gone unnoticed.

I myself merely play female characters sometimes, and many times when I’m on those characters, people assume that I am a woman in real life. Although I know that my experience only scratches the surface of what a woman gamer goes through, even I can see that it’s a problem. So I would like to touch on what I’ve seen and why I see it as a growing issue.

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MMORPG veteran Richard Garriott decries ‘space tourist’ label

If you haven’t figured it out, Shroud of the Avatar and Ultima Online’s Richard Garriott is on a press tour lately for his new memoir, Explore/Create, in which he talks about his interesting life of video game development, adventuring, and even space travel.

As part of that tour, Garriott penned a piece for NBC news in which he goes more in depth about his stint as an astronaut that was sent up to the International Space Station in 2008. While the game designer paid a large sum of money for the privilege of the space flight, he pushed back hard against any suggestion that he was nothing more than a tourist.

“Please don’t call me a ‘space tourist,'” he wrote. “I was not a tourist. I got the same training NASA (and Russian) astronauts get. In orbit, I worked hard to complete those experiments both to offset the high cost of my flight and, more important, to build the businesses that will take me (and you) back to space and ultimately help humanity escape the cradle of our existence.”

Source: NBC News

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 127: EVE walks no more

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree recount the odd history of Walking in Stations, debate the Mordor pre-order, tackle a trio of MMO updates, talk with ARK’s soundtrack composer, 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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The MOP Up: Crash Force offers arena fun at a discount (July 16, 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 TERAMaster X MasterEternal CrusadeWarfacePortal KnightsMapleStoryCrash ForceDroneNeverwinterElswordEVE OnlineWarframeFinal Fantasy XIVEverQuest IIWorld of WarshipsPath of Exile, and Eternal Crusade, all waiting for you after the break!

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How to find the right MMORPG as a couple

People seemed to quite like my piece last week about how my wife and I wound up married in no small part due to World of Warcraft. Of course, I also alluded in the column to the fact that World of Warcraft was hardly our final destination, and we’re currently playing Final Fantasy XIV quite happily together. We’ve also gone into Final Fantasy XI, City of Heroes, Guild Wars, Fallen Earth, Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic… a lot of different games, in other words. And I’m just counting the ones we’ve tried together.

I don’t think that there’s any one surefire way to always find the right game for a couple to enjoy, but I have had a fair amount of experience with it now, and it’s helped that we’ve both spent a lot of time working on finding what works and what doesn’t in this field. So here’s some (hopefully) helpful tips about finding a game that you and your romantic partner of choice can enjoy together.

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The Stream Team: Diving into SWTOR’s new Manaan stronghold

SWTOR just introduced a new stronghold, and this one will help Massively OP’s Larry and MJ cool off a bit in the summer heat. Well, it could if it were real! Manaan, the home of the Selith, is a water planet, and the duo will be diving in to show it off. After that, they’ll return to their Choose My Alignment adventures in KOTFE. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. to decide the Chiss Agent’s fate as the war against Arkann continues.

What: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Who: Larry Everett & MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

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Hyperspace Beacon: Star Wars The Old Republic’s mid-term report card

You would probably expect me to cover the new Star Wars: The Old Republic Manaan stronghold because it just released yesterday, and indeed, I will be covering that in my livestream with MJ this afternoon. But if you came here for my elevator-pitch impressions of the new stronghold, I can only say that it is mixed. There are some really great things about the new stronghold and some really bad things about the new stronghold; the base would have a bigger impact if there were visuals connected with it. I will lay that all out in the livestream with MJ.

Here, I would like to give my impressions of where Star Wars: The Old Republic sits in the middle of the year. As always, I like to use the Bartle Taxonomy to see how it appeals to different types of players. Bartle’s archetypes are Socializers, Achievers, Explorers, and Killers. I’ll get more into the details of what that all means in a bit. No one will fit any one of these archetypes 100%, but people will tend to lean heavily into one category or another.

Massively OP writers took a test based on Bartle’s Taxonomy a while back, and although it doesn’t cover everything that players are interested in, I believe it gives a good impression of what players of MMORPGs are looking for. Below, I have pulled apart the key features that each archetype is looking for in SWTOR and measured them with a letter grade scale.

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SWTOR addresses legacy weapon tuning exploit

In a rare example of informing the community about the details of an exploit, Star Wars: The Old Republic put up a post on the forums to inform players about a “loophole” allowing for players to circumvent the cartel market and legitimate gameplay to copy weapon tunings and crystals across accounts.

“What happened is some players would add the tuning to a legacy weapon, send to an alt, remove it on that alt, re-add it to the weapon, which would then incorrectly unlock it in collections on that toon,” the devs explained. “They would then send that weapon to all of their toons and perform the same process, thus circumventing the entire collection system and obtaining weapon tunings for their legacy without having to pay for it. As everyone has pointed out, crystals sold via the cartel market could also be collection unlocked this way, and in fact, as players have clearly stated in this thread, they’ve been doing that for a very long time.”

The exploit was fixed yesterday and can no longer be used in this fashion. However, with August’s Update 5.4, the team is including a change that will allow players to transfer crystals and tunings using legacy weapons at no cost.

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World of Warcraft announces $100K prize pool for Mythic Dungeon Invitational e-sports competition

World of Warcraft is giving e-sports another go. In a blog post going live this afternoon, Blizzard has announced the Mythic Dungeon Invitational, an e-sports competition themed around Mythic Keystone dungeons with a $100,000 prize pool.

“Teams aspiring to battle on the global stage must first push themselves through a gauntlet of Mythic Keystone dungeons, taking on increasingly difficult Mythic Keystones and earning the best scores on the Proving Grounds,” says the studio. “Top scoring contenders will be invited to join as one of 32 outstanding teams from around the world, competing for a share of the $100,000 prize pool—and ultimately claiming bragging rights of the #1 spot. Once chosen, 8 teams from the Americas, 8 from Europe, 8 from China, and 8 from Asia-Pacific will be tapped to face the challenge, proving they have what it takes to go all the way to the finals.”

Would-be participants should complete Mythic Keystone dungeons between July 25th and August 8th, submitting their best score to Blizzard, which says it will be “be judging performance across the 5 dungeons in which the team achieves the highest Keystone Level during those two weeks.” The top groups will be welcomed to a single-elimination bracket invitational event around in September. And yes, the rest of us will get to watch.

Source: Press release

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Star Wars: The Old Republic’s 5.3 is live today with Sisters of Carnage, class updates, and new housing

Star Wars: The Old Republic’s 5.3 patch is rolling out today, bringing with it the new underwater Manaan Stronghold home, the Sisters of Carnage raid bosses, and Lana and Koth companion visual appearance customizations. Already have too many homes? No biggie; now you can have a total of six of ’em, so you can squeeze in the Manaan Retreat too.

Pretty much every class has received a balancing pass this round too, as teased rather ominously over the past month.

Plus? “Tanno Vik has been convinced to put clothes on and will no longer appear naked in Knights of the Fallen Empire cutscenes.” So there’s that.

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The MOP Up: SMITE sees a Divine Light (July 9, 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 Pokemon GoSplatoon 2Blade and SoulDragon’s Dogma OnlineClosers OnlineOverwatchVindictusMu OnlineWurm OnlineAstellia OnlineDofus PetsHellionSMITEStarCraftAionFinal Fantasy XI, and League of Legends, all waiting for you after the break!

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SWTOR team explains the need for ‘sweeping and severe’ class changes

Is there anything more dread-inducing for an MMORPG player than hearing that massive class changes are incoming? You never know if you’re going to come out of such an event unscathed, buffed, or nerfed to the ground.

The SWTOR team took to the forums for a lengthy explanation post about the “sweeping and severe” class changes coming in Update 5.3 and 5.4 this summer. While the devs say that they are “very sensitive” to the effects of nerfs, sometimes such decisions are needed to improve the game as a whole. And apparently SWTOR’s health isn’t the best right now, as much-needed balance adjustments were held off following Knights of the Eternal Throne until now.

“We had quite a few big changes to make, and that’s what you’ve been reading the last few weeks,” the team posted. “It is going to be rough for some disciplines as they are way over target, but it is important that we bring them in line. Additionally, we may have missed the mark with some of the changes and if we went too far or not far enough, you can expect to see additional adjustments in the future.”

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