Daybreak has lavished the EverQuest and EverQuest II websites with community letters from producer Lauren “Mooncast” McLemore. Both MMOs just came off a pair of expansions, but you’re probably wanting to know what’s next. And I’d like to be able to tell you, but the studio is being coy, especially with the classic game, though you can be sure anniversary content is on the agenda.
“While I can’t divulge too much yet, I wanted to let you all know that the team is deep in planning and content creation. We’re committed to delivering another year of fun, challenging content to all of you!” McLemore says of EverQuest. “The year is just getting started and before we know it, we’ll be celebrating EverQuest’s 19th Anniversary! Look for anniversary content in March, and we’re excited to have you join us for the in-game festivities.”
As for EverQuest II? Apparently that team is “in the midst of figuring out what’s in store for this year.”
A comment on Reddit about the current size and viability of Kritika Online got me thinking about MMO playerbases in general lately. We all know that there’s a stigma attached to little games; the big games with big servers and millions of players feel safer, and nowadays people just assume a small MMO has one foot in the grave. But it isn’t always true. We could also rattle off some smaller MMOs that seem to be moving along just fine, with bills paid. Sure, they’d like to be bigger, but they’re holding steady and know how to work the playerbase they do have rather than constantly alienate their current customers in search of new customers. And some MMO gamers actually prefer those sorts of titles. After all, if the game has just a few thousand people, it’s much easier to get to know a large slice of them, plus have your voice heard by the developers and actually influence the gameworld.
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked the writers to reflect on the smallest MMOs they have played, and then consider how big an MMO has to be in terms of playerbase that they’d consider playing it now. What’s the smallest MMO you’re willing to play, and why?
Even with all of the discussion going on about lockboxes these days, it doesn’t seem to be slowing down the release of such packs in some MMOs. EverQuest, for example, is preparing a new Iksar Heritage Crate on the marketplace for January 17th.
This lockbox retails for 799 DBC and contains a chance at several different lizard-themed items, including Iksar armor, familiars, teleport items, a mount, and even a music box. Keep buying and buying and buying these lockboxes, because if you can get all of the teleport items or familiars, you’ll also net a (drum roll) NEW TITLE. Can you feel the goosebumps?
Daybreak is giving subscribers the option to grab a lockbox instead of their normal monthly stipend of 500 DBC. There’s an expiration period on this box, as it’ll disappear from the marketplace on April 17th.
Fresh off of its “largest” alpha test to date, Saga of Lucimia and its team are gearing up for a busy 2018. In a new video (complete with ambient bird noises), the project lead outlined some of the target goals for this year, starting with an intention to widen the pool of testers on a monthly rather than quarterly basis.
Other upcoming plans include more regular developer diaries, more streaming, work on the tabletop edition of the game, and finding a publisher for the official Saga of Lucimia novel.
The team also posted a manifesto on its “play nice policies” that it intends to enforce during testing and post-release. These policies are drawn from the olden days of EverQuest and its contemporaries, where social mores were upheld by the community and the GMs.
“Players will be expected to play nice with each other, respect camps, and generally ‘get along’ and treat each other with respect,” the team said. “Toxicity will not be accepted in any form, and we will absolutely be holding players to a certain standard of general niceness when it comes to playing alongside their fellow gamers.”
How do you feel about grinding in MMOs? What about farming? These questions can elicit a wide variety of answers, from shrieks of dismay to enthusiastic head nods. Depending on the situation, grinding and farming can be something to be enjoyed, to be endured, or to be avoided at all cost.
The Game Freak Show says that he has a love/hate affair with grinding and farming, and it presents all sorts of muddled emotions, especially when gated mechanics are thrown into the mix: “While I have forgiven the grind in many RPGs for sucking away my time, this disturbing trend of games that do not have a harsh grind because they’re flawed or made for a different audience, but to force people to drop more cash on the table is something I can’t.”
Continue on for a look at Kritika Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online’s Ravenloft, the best solo MMOs, and more!
One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It’s way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.
But all the same, for tonight’s Massively Overthinking, we’d like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2018 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.
Time is running out for Massively OP’s MJ to beat that slippy-slidey race and get the achievement in EverQuest II. No pressure! She has gotten pretty close, but still missed the finish line. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to cheer MJ on as she aims for this final Frostfell achievement.
What: EverQuest II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018
Polls are a quantitative sort of magic that we don’t often get from our other articles – at least when they aren’t being brigaded – which is why I love our Leaderboard column.
Let’s take a look back at our best MMO polls of the year! And if you want a few more, you can look back at our polls from 2016 and 2015 too.
Snow? Check. Good cheer? Check. Catchy tunes everywhere? Checkity check. Goblins and gigglegibbers in goofy get-ups? Great big check. New guide? Er…
Yes, it’s Frostfell time EverQuest II. And right about now is when I offer a guide to this wonderful winter event. Unfortunately, this year I won’t be. Actually it’s more of I can’t: I’m not being stubborn, there just isn’t anything to guide you through that hasn’t already been covered between the 2015 and 2016 guides. When the devs were passing out 2017 content, Frostfell was unfortunately skipped — or maybe it was out back recovering from too much celebrating last year! Whatever the scenario, there isn’t anything new to do, though there are a few new things to acquire or buy (eight new items at Santa Glug, five new ones at Gerbi Frostfoot, and three crafting scrolls.)
I have never been one to make specific resolutions in my gaming. I might plan from month to month, but mostly I go where the wind blows me. But some folks on our team do have a map and a plan, so this week for our last Massively Overthinking of 2017 (as last year!), I’ve asked the Massively OP writers to share their own gaming resolutions or just basic MMO goals for 2017. Won’t you join us?
Did you enjoy the MOP MMO Christmas Album? DO you wish there was a live version you could sing along with? What if we told you massively OP’s MJ created one just for you? Would you give a listen? Well then, sit back with a warm drink and tune in live at 3:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you…
What: The MOP MMO Christmas Album
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, December 26th, 2017
Do you like to sing carols? That’s one of my favorite things about this time of year! Christmas time is the best time for music to permeate everything. There’s not a moment that goes by that I’m not thinking of or singing a song. Instead of sugarplums dancing in my head, I usually have lyrics. You may have heard a tune or two while watching The Stream Team adventures on OPTV (and you just might hear more again sooner than you think!).
Of course, my songs aren’t always of the traditional sort; they tend to have a twist or three. It’s inevitable that two things I love — gaming and music — are intertwined in interesting and/or strange ways. My first Christmas carol concoctions came back in 2011 in my Solorius medly album. The next year, a second batch was born, and I was pretty much totally hooked. Chaos Theory got in on the action in both 2013 and in 2014. But I play so many more games now that the tunes aren’t contained to any one title. Here is a smattering of holiday music from Warframe, The Secret World, The Lord of the Rings Online, EverQuest II, ARK, and Aion that you can sing along to this season. Go ahead, no one’s listening!
If someone — and we are not necessarily suggesting you — were to create an MMO Christmas carol album, what songs would be included? “Raiders from the Realms of Glory” would definitely be one. “The 12 Dailies of Christmas” is a possibility. And if “Grandma Got Run Over By a Wildly Oversized Mammoth Mount” got cut, then the album might as well pack it in and call it a day.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about making this happen, because MMORPGs already contain a surprising amount of winter holiday music. These range from the traditional Christmas ballads to adventurous tracks that incorporate the sound of the season.
So as you make some gaming time this holiday week, here’s a half-dozen Christmas tunes from MMOs to keep you company (even if you’ve been naughty this year!).