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!
‘Free-to-play’ is a term that refers to games that do not have box or download fees associated with them and do not incur a mandatory subscription. Some have optional subscriptions and are more properly referred to as hybrid F2P. Most have cash shops and microtransactions.
In tossing out a screenshot challenge last week revolving around combat action shots, you’d think that this would be a piece of cake. After all, we do fight a little bit in MMOs, right? But it turns out that capturing a good-looking combat picture is really difficult in the midst of the chaos… unless your MMO is set up for it.
“I hardly ever take screenshots in combat,” said Zyrusticae. “Usually too busy being distracted by actually playing the game. But Warframe’s Captura tool certainly changes things in that regard. Wish all games had something on this level. I need to jump in and take more screenshots!”
It is pretty sweet! Definitely second the motion to port this over to all MMORPGs.
When it comes to text-based MMOs created in the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s, the sheer number of them would blot out the sky. There are certainly more multi-user dungeons (MUDs) than I’ve ever been able to get a handle on when I’ve tried creating lists of the most important to know, but I will say that there are a few that seem to pop up more than others. The original MUD1, created by Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw, was certainly a watershed moment for online roleplaying games. Learning about DikuMUD is pretty essential, considering its impact on graphical MMORPGs that we still play today.
But there’s another title that often goes unnoticed, unless you keep an eye out for it. It’s a MUD that keeps popping up when you look into the history of the MMORPG genre, one with ties to key players and design concepts that are still active today.
It’s the MUD that shaped the MMO industry, and it was called Sceptre of Goth.
Ah! Geez, you scared us, Devilian! We kind of… forgot you existed, for a minute there. What’s that you say? You’ve got a new patch to share with your friends? And a login promotion too? Good for you, little MMOARPG!
‘Tis true: Devilian rolled out its 7.0 Update this week, raising the level cap to 60 and giving players a set of new challenges and rewards. The Fallen Castle has received a hell mode, there’s the new Dimensional Fortress transcendent dungeon, and there’s an increased chance of success when enchanting gear.
If the patch isn’t enough to entice you back, perhaps some freebies will do the trick. Anyone who logs in by the end of the month will receive a bundle of goodies, including enough currency to buy some Morbid gear. But watch out, it’s morbid. New players also get some extra goodies on the side as well.
The good news for Secret World Legends players is that you won’t need to pay money for the game. You won’t even need to pay money for things in the game that would otherwise cost money. The game offered a new post today detailing the free-to-play model, which will allow players to exchange Aurum (the microtransaction currency) for Marks of Favour (earned through daily challenges and normal play) and vice-versa. So if you never want to drop a cent, you can avoid it.
Weapon unlocks, some vanity items, weapon upgrades, the auction house, cosmetic changes, and some undisclosed elements all require Marks of Favour. Aurum, meanwhile, is used for unlocking inventory slots, character slots, progression boosts, bank space, other vanity items, and so forth. Allowing you to exchange between the two means you can always get more Aurum without necessarily spending money, although only time (and player purchases) will tell how generous the exchange rate is.
Saying that “it was a long time coming,” the announcement marks a reunion between Thomas and LOTRO after many years apart. Thomas was one of the key composers who wrote music for the base game and its expansions up through Riders of Rohan, but he’s been absent from the project since 2012. In the livestream, Thomas said that the lawyers had to wrangle things out to make a way for his return.
The composer said that the Mordor expansion will be a “different feel” than what he’s done for the game in the past — and will be quite dark, indeed. He’s currently reading through the design document and looking at various pieces of Middle-earth art to help inspire his composition. Thomas has just now started writing the score but said that there will be live orchestral recording of at least some of it.
Thomas and Standing Stone teased a second special announcement that will come next week. You can watch the full interview after the break!
SuperData’s April worldwide digital video games market summary has arrived, and with it we get a glimpse into the top gaming studios. And only the tippy top.
Irritatingly, World of Warcraft has once again been split into east and west, contrary to every other game on the chart. SuperData had split the game for its January report, botched the entries in February and hastily repaired its graphic to rejoin the two, and for March, the WoWs were one from the get-go. Now they’re two again.
The upside for WoW is that its western branch pulled out ahead of World of Tanks in terms of revenue (Tanks was beating a combined WoW last month). Dungeon Fighter Online and New Westward Journey Online II have swapped positions, while the addition of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (and separated WoWs) has pushed Lineage I and Wildlands out of the top 10 entirely. Wildlands dropped down the console list as well; ARK Survival Evolved and Mass Effect Andromeda have dropped from the console chart altogether.
Also, Ceilarene was hot on the trail of the thieves who stole the crown of Neverwinter. Or somewhat warm on the trail, at least. The crown in question isn’t a magical artifact, though, it’s just a crown. I think it’s just a mark of office, anyhow; it might be magical after all. Either way, it does confer a certain degree of status and it looks really neat, so presumably I should actually chase after the jerks who stole it. That means heading to another district of the city, the Blacklake District. If that sounds like a bad part of town… well, yes.
The team recently updated its events schedule for the MMORPG, giving players an idea of what to expect over the next few months. The anniversary scavenger hunts will continue through July 14th, and the summer festival is scheduled for June 28th.
Speaking of the scavenger hunt, you definitely want to bookmark Department of Strategery, which has been publishing comprehensive guides to each of these scavenger cards every week, including the brand-new Week Seven quests today.
Well, now the team is allegedly surveying players on what they think about these proposed servers. According to a survey email that was sent out to some players, the team said, “In a recent RIFT producer’s letter, we announced our intent to release challenge servers in the future for RIFT. These fresh-start servers would feature the first 50 levels of the classic RIFT game. As a former player, we would appreciate your feedback.”
In other RIFT news, the MMO is throwing a “Shiny Shenanigans Weekend” that will conclude on May 29th. There are new sets to be found, artifact piñatas in every zone, special new rewards, and even a specific that can piñata only be spawned by one of the devs.
As promised, Allods Online has pushed Creation, its first patch of the Immortality expansion, live in the west today, complete with an Olympic-style athletic competition, the Dionic Archipelago, new insignias, new artifact gear, user addon tweaks, Maze rating adjustments, and a number of bug and balancing fixes.
But perhaps the most interesting bit is the addition of a brand-new fresh-start clean server.
“We have launched Equilibrium – the first Allods Online server with triple bonus on killing monsters. Until August 1, we invite you to participate in the server’s grand marathon, where you will also receive awesome prizes for leveling up your character: level 8 Runes, a riding Furnace, and many other valuables.”
This won’t be the first special server to launch for Allods; the Russian import is famous for having launched free-to-play and opening a subscription server in 2013.
“The Ascendant (Scion Ascendancy) class will undergo some significant changes that focus on making the class more powerful and on-par with the other classes,” the studio said on the forums. We’ve done this by taking some of the more build-defining features from the other eighteen Ascendancy classes and incorporating them on the Ascendant tree.”
This means that most of the skill trees for the Ascendant have been reworked, offering all sorts of new build possibilities and combinations. No doubt, the community will be experimenting with optimal builds during the summer Patch 3.0 beta test.
SMITE hopes so as it’s introduced Da Ji, The Nine-Tailed Fox, as a playable hero today. She’s a melee assassin toon who slashes and burns with her flaming claws. Today’s patch also has new skins for Camazotz, Medusa, Kuzenbo, Jing Wei, and Ganesha, and Hi-Rez has canceled plans to rescale player experience level, though it’s still working on the snowballing match play problem.
Hi-Rez has granted us a slew of keys for Da Ji and her special “vixen” skin. Read on to enter to win one!