The Daily Grind: What’s keeping you from going back to a favorite MMO?

It’s weird to think that I’ve been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic on and off since its release. Seems like such a long time ago. I’ve had great memories in that game and still appreciate the work that the team put into the cinematic stories, voice acting, and the occasional moral choice.

But as of late, it’s been more “off” than “on,” especially following the most recent expansion. I don’t like the subscription-locked endgame system, and pretty much everyone keeps advising me just to finish the story and then ditch the game. That’s disheartening to me. So I’ve been waiting to see what BioWare has in store for the long-term future. Depending on the direction that the game goes, I could see going back. Just not right now.

What’s keeping you from going back to one of your favorite MMOs? Is it a change, a lack of friends, or something else entirely?

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Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris brings an infinite forest, Mercury, and new raid lairs

Are you tired of MMOs providing you with bland and predictable finite forests? Thank goodness that Destiny 2 is here to show other MMOs how it’s done with the infinite forest coming along with the Curse of Osiris DLC. Sure, it’s a virtual simulation, but that only matters to the people in the world.

All of this is tied to the lair of the eponymous Osiris, of course; the Vex are trying to use the Infinite Forest to find something, and Osiris is hoping that the PCs will help him stop that effort. There’s also more of Mercury to explore, which winds up being a desert wasteland in sharp contrast to the aforementioned infinite forest.

The DLC is also adding in a new raid lair, which is a different way of extending raids than the original game; rather than a whole new raid, this adds new parts on to the existing raid. You can check some of it out in the video clip down below, if you’re not content to simply dream of a forest that’s just… forever.

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Traditional ‘tier’ sets are not planned for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

If you’ve never played World of Warcraft, you may be unfamiliar with the concept if not the visuals of tier sets. Tiered armor is the ultimate class-specific reward from each given raid level, so the upcoming Antorus raid awards Tier 21 armor for those lucky enough to get the necessary drops. Wearing several pieces of tier armor also awards set bonuses. But it looks like the time has passed on all of that, as a recent interview stated that tier sets are not planned to return at all in Battle for Azeroth.

Designer Ion Hazzikostas explains that tier pieces tend to “lock down” certain gear slots and feel like more of a hindrance than anything, so the team is experimenting with different ways to award gear and appearances. How that will work remains to be seen, but the suggestion of no more tier sets alone is a major departure from how World of Warcraft has always structured its endgame raids. We’ll hopefully learn more about these changes as the expansion gets closer to testing and release.


Perfect Ten: A list of all the MMORPGs I supposedly hate

Did you know about all the MMOs I hate? I sure as heck didn’t! I mean, I knew there were a few games I hated (Scarlet Blade, Alganon) and some that I have pretty poor feelings toward for various reasons (Star Citizen, EVE Online, League of Legends, H1Z1: Kash of the Kow), but those are also games I discuss only in particular circumstances.

Yet thankfully, I have been informed over the near-decade of writing about MMOs that there are a number of games I thought I liked but that I do, in fact, hate. This was a surprise to me, but I think that for purposes of comprehension, it’s best for me to list for reference all the games that I apparently utterly despise. It’s all very confusing to me, but I’m confident that by sharing and making the occasional off-color joke, I’ll be able to decipher it all.

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Global Chat: World of Warcraft BlizzCon reactions

Whether you play it now or not, chances are that your paths have crossed with World of Warcraft in the past. This is true of pretty much every MMO blogger I know, and as such, all of them have emerged over the weekend to offer their thoughts on BlizzCon’s classic server and Battle for Azeroth announcements. So what do they have to say?

On World of Warcraft Classic:

“Meanwhile, a lot of what Blizz said about WoW Classic was set in the future tense.  It sounds like they had a small group do some research and found a viable path forward.  Everything else, however, seemed to couched in ‘we will,’ ‘we’re going to,’ and ‘we want to.'” (The Ancient Gaming Noob)

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Citadel: Forged With Fire has some meaty endgame content coming your way

Twiddling your thumbs after having conquered and subdued the world in Citadel: Forged With Fire? You’ll soon have more than enough challenge on your plate with an upcoming release that will add endgame dungeons and bosses.

The team said that the three new dungeons will present an “extreme combat challenge” for groups, but simply accessing them is going to be difficult in and of itself: “Unlocking access to the dungeons themselves will require the unraveling of an ancient mystery. Three soul stones, each imbued with the essence of an ageless evil, have been shattered and dispersed across the land of Ignus. It is up to you, intrepid wizards, to find and repair these soul stones, use them to enter the domain of three legendary beasts, and banish them back into the darkness.”

The game’s November 3rd patch added the ability to upgrade structure materials, attack towers, and defensive towers without the need to tear down and rebuild. Citadel also included a new raid warning screen to give players a heads-up if someone is attacking their base.

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BlizzCon 2017: World of Warcraft gameplay and systems panel liveblog

The gameplay and systems panel is always very important to World of Warcraft. You found out long ago (well, a few hours ago) about the existence of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, and now you have to find out how long it is down that leveling road. And, for that matter, what will be along the way. Dungeons and quests, sure, but how many? What sort of mechanics will they include? How will classes play? Do Rogues get swirly balls back?

Yeah, that one’s just trolling. You’re never getting swirly balls again.

Fortunately, all of these questions are going to be addressed, at least in passing, by this BlizzCon 2017 panel. So let’s find out more about the mechanics that we’ve got now, what’s coming around the bend, and what will be here in the future as we sit through another liveblogging session. As always, catch up past the break!

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Black Desert revamps endgame PvP with new militia system

All right, my PvP dudes. If you love PvP in MMOs but aren’t into cheapo ganking over prime farm spots, you reallllly need to take a look at what Black Desert is up to with its new militia system, which is basically a new warfare-scale endgame mode for the sandboxy MMORPG.

“Militias are open to any guild and make one of Black Desert Online’s more prominent late game features a lot more accessible. Militia participants will have to choose sides and join either the challenging guilds that are on the offense or the ruling masters who are defending their castle. Any adventurer who is affiliated with any guild and meets the requirements can enter in either the Offensive or Defensive Militia. For each area, a total of 100 players can join a Militia, with 50 players on each side. The longer a guild successfully maintains a territory, the larger the amount of available Offensive Militia will grow each week.”

Interestingly, Kakao has also added what it’s calling a “platoon” system that’s sort of like a PvP raid group feature. Check out the video guide to the whole shebang down below.

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WildStar patches in Primetime and preps November booster events

The most recent patch for WildStar is Primetime, and it is indeed all about making it the time for Prime. The Genetic Archives raid is now available in Prime difficulty, Protogames Academy is available in Prime difficulty, and both Space Madness and Infestation have been available for Prime challenges. That’s a raid, a dungeon, and two expeditions. But that’s not all, as the dungeons and expeditions can now go to prime level 15 with accordingly better rewards. Plus, there are new rewards available for renovating your housing plot, which isn’t exactly a Prime difficulty but does get your home plot ready for primetime.

The patch should get you primed for the various events coming in November, as detailed in the latest DevConnect dispatch. A free level 50 boost will be available through November 5th, Residential Renovation will run from November 10th to November 17th, and doubled experience is available from November 24th to the 27th. There are also new pets from Madame Fay and new items coming to the shop this month, so check out the full rundown to prime your engines.


PSA: WildStar is giving out free level 50 characters in preparation for next week’s raid

Time to skip over all of that meaty, pesky leveling content and enjoy an express pass to the endgame in WildStar… if that is your desire, of course. Carbine announced that it is once again giving out free level 50 characters to anyone who claims them by November 5th by logging into the game.

There is a big caveat here, which is that if you took advantage of this boost the last time WildStar did a giveaway, you can’t get another one this time around. The boost comes with a load of freebies, including gear, a mount, a housing teleport, path rewards, and a port to your faction’s capital city.

There is a sinister and devious reason behind Carbine’s attempt to shoo everyone to level 50, which is that WildStar is dropping a major content update next week. The update will raise the prime level cap on instances to 15 and open up the Genetic Archives Prime Level 1 raid. OK, maybe not so sinister or devious.

Source: WildStar


Final Fantasy XIV patch 4.11 introduces the Unending Coil of Bahamut

Bahamut. You know him, you fear him, you’ve gotten used to summoning and channeling him if you play a Summoner in Final Fantasy XIV. And now he’s back to his place as the most challenging content in the game with the release of patch 4.11, which introduces the Unending Coil of Bahamut to kick off the new Ultimate difficulty level. If you’ve already done everything else, you can now mash your head against this particular challenge to see how you do.

And we do mean that you have to have done everything else; the quest is open to only those who have already cleared the Savage mode of Omega. Successfully clearing the fight will reward you with a token for a high-end weapon, but the obvious intent is that not many people will be able to clear this, making it less a major step in progression and more a diversion and an amusing footnote. If you’re not up for the challenge, there are still some bugfixes in the patch, so it’s still an improvement to your overall quality of life; that’s something.


Kritika Online posts updated roadmap, starts testing Psion class

Now that Kritika Online has a half-year or so of live operation under its belt, the team is starting to get a handle on its direction and what needs to be done to drive the MMO forward. This called for an updated development roadmap, which takes players from November through early 2018.

The Psion class is coming in early November, and testing has begun to iron out any bugs or issues with it. The rest of the month will contain ranked PvP rewards, a Thanksgiving event, and personal trading. Past that, the community can look forward to fishing, holiday decorations, an overhaul of PvP progression, guild-based endgame activities, and a fleshed-out pet system. The devs also teased two new classes (Prodigy and Monk) and a level cap increase to 70 sometime in “the future.”

The team also indicated that it will be slowing down in its pace of content releases due to the need for more testing: “One of our biggest lessons over the past few months was in regards to our development and release cycles — they were just too quick. While we want to get you guys new stuff to do as soon as possible, we need to make sure it’s bug free and high-quality, and we just didn’t hit the mark in those first few updates.”


The Daily Grind: What one character option would you remove from your favorite MMO?

Good news, MMO fans! You’re getting to redesign your favorite MMO’s entire combat system. The bad news is that you’re doing so by removing one character option and that’s it. One class from World of Warcraft, one job from Final Fantasy XIV, one profession from Guild Wars 2, one ship type from EVE Online. You get the idea. There’s no adding; there’s just removing one thing and possibly giving some of its abilities to other classes.

And no, you can’t remove a role or drastically rearrange how roles work, either. If there are a dozen DPS options, you can remove one. That’s it.

So what would you pick and why? You can’t completely rewrite the game’s balance, but you can remove one thing from the game. What character option would you remove from your favorite MMO to revamp the combat? And do you think it would make enough difference for a major revamp to the game’s mechanics?

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