family

Guild Chat: Should MMO guilds use trigger warnings?

Welcome along to another edition of Guild Chat, the column through which Massively Overpowered readers can air their guild issues and get help solving them from the article and its comments. This time, guild leader Ry has asked for advice on using trigger warnings and dealing with sensitive topics within the guild environment after one of her members left the guild over a difficult topic was discussed in the guild and took members with him due to the public nature of the conversation. Ry wants to know whether or not guilds have any sort of responsibility for the conversations held within them and the content that players might see there, and she also wants to know how to deal with similar scenarios should they ever come up again.

Ry’s full submission better outlines the issue at hand, though anything specific about the trigger incident has been removed so as to protect the dignity and privacy of the person who left the guild. Even though Ry ensured that he is not identifiable by her submission content, I’d hate for that person to perhaps stumble across this article and see that context spelt out here. Read below for my advice on the issue and don’t forget to add your thoughts on the matter in the comments below. Remember that I am in no way qualified to give advice on dealing with mental health issues or supporting friends through trauma and that all advice given here is purely supportive.

Read more

The Soapbox: NCsoft’s bizarre silence on Aion’s server merges says everything you need to know

NCsoft done messed up. Again. Yes, I know the studio has already had a few black eyes for other things throughout the years, but this recent punch hit closer to home. So close, it involved multiple family members. What happened? A debacle called Aion server merges. Yeah, I know all server merges tend to feel pretty rotten and are fraught with troubles by default, but there is a right way and a wrong way to go about them. And boy does it ever feel like NCsoft was all gung-ho for the wrong.

For example, as much as the ArcheAge server evolution affected me negatively, it was still is a shining beacon of doing more right — and that’s saying something! That merge left me feeling as if I could return to regular play sometime. The way the whole thing played out for Aion has chased an eager paying player away as well as a long time vet from the game, and who knows how many others who will be affected.

If nothing else, another black eye does not bode well for goodwill and trust, things NCsoft was pretty short on anyway.

Read more

Hyperspace Beacon: 10 things you need to know about SWTOR’s Chiss

Star Wars: The Old Republic will launch its sixth major update since Knights of the Eternal Throne at the end of November. It will include an additional operation boss fight and another flashpoint to continue the Alliance traitor storyline. And even though the update is well over a month away, we know that storyline will continue on the Chiss-occupied world of Copero, once again tying author Timothy Zahn to the game.

But who are the Chiss, and why are they so important to the Star Wars universe? Besides being the species of the Imperial badass Grand Admiral Thrawn, the Chiss are very much a mystery to the galaxy at large. However, thanks to the many books, comic books, and video games, we do know a thing or three about this secretive species. Here are 10 things that you need to know before jumping into the new content.

Read more

Guild Wars 2’s Halloween event heralds new mount skins and new content

Guild Wars 2’s Halloween festivities have officially begun! The Mad King’s gala has a few new additions this year, including new themed guild decor, new daily achievements, new Halloween minis, a new race event in the Labyrinth (and yes, mounts are allowed), and new armor. Expect quite a bit of polish and bug fixing for Path of Fire zones as well, plus a new mounts tab.

Why would you need a new mounts tab? Well! The mount skins rumors swirling earlier this week appear to have been proven true, as the cash shop’s been updated with this:

“Spooky Mounts Pack: Help your new buddies celebrate their first holiday in style with these gruesome-yet-family-friendly costumes. They come in a five-pack so nobody’s left out, and you can even dye them to match…whatever you’re supposed to be dressed as.”

Now there’s an interesting precedent, I think you’ll agree! Datamining has revealed even more - click for spoilers!

Read more

Smart Social Gaming: Why people play social games and other topics non-gamers don’t get

While those of us who write for MassivelyOP do try give you all the scientific resources we can to help you fight back against your family, friends, and co-workers who may still not get your hobby or why you may let your child participate in gaming culture, it’s not our primary function – that’d be covering and analyzing the MMO genre.

Enter SmartSocialGamers.org, an “online resource that provides guidance, tips and expert advice for everyone to have a positive social games experience.” While I’d normally smirk and wonder who really thinks he or she has the clout to do something like that, in digging through it I found that Dr. Rachel Kowert, of The Video Game Debate fame, penned several of the top tips, including one that starts off using Quantic Foundry’s Gamer Motivation Model. That’s some clout. Let’s take a look!

Read more

Boat mounts, Halloween, and Billy the Kid blast into Wizard101 and Pirate101

As Pirate101 celebrates its fifth birthday this month, there is no shortage of things to keep budding buccaneers occupied in this strategy MMO. New boat mounts, a practice PvP mode, emojis, more quests, a team-up ledger, and automatic companions have all arrived thanks to the latest update. Additionally, Billy the Kid — a cowboy goat, get it? — has joined the roster of companions that players can collect.

Over in Wizard101, Halloween is more pronounced as Spooky Bob and his crew return for another creeptastic event. “Dworgyn and Jack Hallow will again offer their spooky quests to wizards new and old. You may even catch the ink-hungry Vampire Squid in Cyclops Lane if you’re lucky,” the team cackled.

Additionally, KingsIsle has signed up to be part of this year’s Extra Life charity gaming marathon. Players can help out by joining the KI team and raising funds for local hospitals.

Read more

Free Realms ‘Sunrise’ emulator prepares for second alpha test

Last year, almost three years after SOE shut down Free Realms for good, a group of players announced that it was resurrecting the title in emulator form. Last March’s alpha test came and went, and now a second test is on the way, expected to include character creation and customization, NPCs, female toons, and a new spawn location. The player devs are also celebrating 5000 members organizing on Discord.

“This Discord server has reunited a decent portion of the community that was nearly lost after the game closed. The continued support from both the FRS staff team who work as volunteers, and the community makes it apparent that the sunset of Free Realms was not left ignored. All the community support for the revival of Free Realms really motivates us as a team to keep moving forward! Things have been a bit quiet lately, but don’t fret. We are still hard at work preparing Alpha 2, and once that happens, we’ll open the game up to a lot more people! We would like to thank everyone here who is supporting this project and being patient with us while we continue to develop the game.”

It doesn’t appear Daybreak has given its legal blessing on the project, but the studio has traditionally turned a blind eye to emulators for all of its games and indeed has endorsed one for the EverQuest franchise.

Read more

League of Legends dev who insulted streamer is no longer with Riot Games

Two days ago, we reported that a League of Legends developer had landed himself in hot water after he went grossly overboard in insulting a banned troll and streamer while using a Riot tag in a public Discord channel. The dev, Aaron “Sanjuro” Rutledge, publicly suggested that it’d be “gucci” if the streamer would die from “a coke overdose or testicular cancer from all the steroids,” after likening him to a “humunculus,” incidentally causing a spike in searches for the word “humunculus.”

This triggered a quick and harsh response from both the community and Riot Games. Riot and Rutledge apologized for the comment and said he was taking some time away from the community, but now it looks as if they’ve severed ties completely.

Rutledge has since posted the following comment on his Facebook page: “Heads up to friends and family. I no longer work at Riot Games. Please call or txt me for more details.” There is no confirmation as to whether he was fired or voluntarily left the studio, as neither party has yet addressed the circumstances.

Read more

Star Trek Online lets you work miracles with Season 14

The next major patch for Star Trek Online is here today, and as the game frequently does, it kicks off with a new featured episode. “Melting Pot” brings Captain Geordi LaForge and Captain Kuumaarke together with the player captain to investigate the new joint colony between the Lukari and the Kentari. Discover problems, try solutions, and see if this colony can work out in the long term. Fun for the family, assuming the family enjoys colony politics.

You can also pick up a new specialization, Miracle Worker, which focuses on feats of engineering to improve weaponry and heal damage; if your captain should be able to turn your ship into a perfect engine of battle, this is the specialization for you. And you’ve got new queues and red alerts to try the specialization out within, along with a new fleet holding to build up on the aforementioned joint colony. So what are you waiting for? Warp in and get engaged.

Read more

Choose My Adventure: Into the desert of Guild Wars 2

My first week of playing Guild Wars 2 again was interesting, in no small part because it’s rare for my playtime to be so devoted to being able to play what the vote indicates. Yes, it’s true, I did not actually get much playtime in for Holosmith with this first week, simply because… well, how could I? I had to unlock the elite spec first, and that requires a fair bit of doing, enough that it inspired a completely different article.

So that was some frustration, and it leads to more polls this week, but I don’t want people to come away thinking that I’m already not having fun with the game. Quite the opposite, in fact; while there are frustrations in how things are designed for unlocking elite specializations, there’s enough to like about the game on a whole that I can’t complain too much. But let’s start at the very beginning, which I’ve heard is a very good place to start.

Read more

Armored Warfare deep-dives the role of Armored Fighting Vehicles

The latest development diary on the Armored Warfare site is trying to answer a remarkably unclear question: What are Armored Fighting Vehicles? It sounds like a pretty strange question to ask, but that broad designation could include everything from tank destroyers to light tanks in a real-world context. Here, however, the AFV family consists of vehicles whose primary purpose is using their increased mobility and special ability to designate targets to serve as scouts and spotters across the battlefield.

AFVs are further divided into light and heavy categories; the former is faster and has an easier time serving as a pure spotter, while the latter is a bit more oriented toward fighting and works well at killing the former. In all cases, AFV players will need to make use of their mobility to stay alive, avoiding drawn-out gunfights in favor of zipping in, spotting, and zipping back out. Check out the full rundown for more on the battlefield role and several minor planned improvements for the AFV class in the future.

There’s also a trailer for the next episode of the game’s storyline campaign below. That’s unrelated aside from the fact that you may be exploring it in an AFV, but it’s still relevant.

Read more

Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs on guilds, groups, and the social systems that make an MMORPG go ’round

Over the weekend, the studio behind crowdfunded RvR MMORPG Camelot Unchained released a hefty chunk of its ongoing beta one document, revealing extensive insight into the way the game’s social systems will be laid out. Parts of those social systems will look familiar to MMO players, such as groups (Warbands), guilds (Orders), and raids (Battlegroups). But there are more layers to contend with, including perma-groups or mini-guilds (Permanent Warbands), as well as project-oriented raids (Campaigns), all designed in the service of an ambitious RvR-centered MMO that makes space for soloers and small guilds by not over- or under-privileging the largest teams in the genre. That’s the goal, anyway!

CU boss and MMORPG veteran developer Mark Jacobs, whom many of you know personally thanks to his ubiquity in our comments section, gamely answered about a thousand of my questions over the weekend, which we’ve compiled into an absurdly long interview about how to properly smush together all these groups into a social system sandwich that makes everybody happy. There’s even a Star Trek quote and a bonus question about Warhammer Online’s development and CU’s budget at the end!

I strongly urge you to check out the original doc first, as the interview assumes knowledge of the basic terminology and structure of the game. Fair warning: While Camelot Unchained’s document is almost 6000 words, this interview itself is close to 4000. You put Jacobs in a virtual room with me and my questions go on forever, and damn if he doesn’t answer them exhaustively. It’s a whopper, but it’s worth reading for a glimpse into what could be the future of MMO community planning.

Read more

Perfect Ten: 10 MMORPGs with playable fairies

Probably my greatest and most constant gripe about fantasy MMORPGs is that for all of the freedom and imagination that this genre supposedly boasts, game designers keep going to the same boring well of tropes and limit themselves instead of exploring possibilities.

Nowhere do you see this more than in races. Dwarves and Elves? We’ve got bushels and barrels of them, all on sale at discount prices. There are regular humans, of course, and Slightly Bigger Humans, and Half-Sized Humans, and Blue Humans. But what about getting outside of this been-there-played-that cookie cutter design to offer some interesting playable choices?

Like fairies, perhaps?

I could never understand why we don’t see fairies more in MMOs. They are widely recognized in the fantasy genre, they seem to have popularity, and they even share some cross-over with Elves. But the poor fae have been unrepresented, so much so that it took a lot of digging to come up with a mere 10 MMOs that allow you to play as one, whether it be as a race or class. Let’s take a look!

Read more

1 2 3 24