fantasy

Wanna try new MMORPGs? Join the MMO Book Club

Long ago when we were between MMOs, my guild went through several months of playing a new game every week thanks to the magic of free trials. But what if you wanted to do that and don’t already have a guild? In fact, what if you wanted to tour the best available MMORPGs in the modern era but didn’t want to have to find a new guild every time you switched?

That’s where the MMO Book Club can help. Like a real book club, this little Reddit community is selecting a new MMO every three months by popular vote and then heading in en masse, using the experience to discuss the game across Reddit and Discord

The first vote selected Lord of the Rings Online, and the whole thing kicks off on May 1st. The organizers have weekly events planned, including crafting and dungeoning nights.

May we recommend Justin’s recent LOTRO Legendarium: A guide to starting fresh in Lord of the Rings Online?

Source: Reddit

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One Shots: Through the portal?

The other day, Bree was complaining about how so many screenshots from modern MMORPGs suffer from a bland and monochrome palette. Coming to the rescue, then, is our team of expert One Shotters, scouring online games for vibrant looks and colors!

Zulika Mi-Nam kicks us off with this delectable piece of Portal Knights scenery: “The last few days I have been playing Portal Knights. I guess it is like a Stargate/Minecraft combo? It scratches the same itch that EQ Next did for me, not that I was a builder. I just like exploring and some type of progression. This is more combat oriented though.”

How’s that doggy going to get down, Zulika? Throw that dog a bone already!

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Camelot Unchained’s Seattle studio finally has an office

Remember last June when Camelot Unchained startled everyone by announcing it was opening a second studio in Seattle? The team out west has been working on the game for many months now, but finally, it’s getting a home.

“The crew out in Washington now have an office space they will be moving into at the start of next week,” the game’s latest newsletter reveals. “After quite a journey, the lease is signed, the moving can begin, and maybe we’ll even convince them to appear on our streams a little more often.”

Also, may we say that this particular developer has impeccable taste in vintage 2015 t-shirts featuring a mascot rather near and dear to us:

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LOTRO Legendarium: 10th anniversary interview with Standing Stone’s Rob Ciccolini

As Lord of the Rings Online players revel in the varied activities of this year’s 10th anniversary celebration, the crew at the newly formed Standing Stone Games has a huge task ahead of them: To capitalize upon this monumental milestone and prepare to shuttle players into the “endgame” of the books.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Executive Producer Rob Ciccolini to talk abut the anniversary, its hiccups, and upcoming Mordor expansion. As the page turns on a new chapter of both the game and its development team, it truly feels like we’re about to venture into the unknown in more ways than one.

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EverQuest II delays The Menagerie, grants 3X experience all weekend

EverQuest II players know the game suffered some unanticipated and lengthy downtime this week. Daybreak says it was dealing with “technical issues with [its] servers” and thinks it has those licked, but it’s delaying GU103: The Menagerie (as well as the planned level 100 boost promo) to May 9th all the same.

The good news is that today and tomorrow, the game is making up for all that with a massive experience buff.

“To thank you for your patience and support, we’ll be activating Triple XP (AA, Adventure, Tradeskill) for ALL players and ALL servers starting now. This will run until Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 11:59PM PDT (07:00 UTC),” Daybreak writes. “In addition, we’ll be activating Double Ascension Scrolls starting on Monday, May 1, 2017 at 12:01AM PDT (7:00 UTC). This will run through Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 11:59PM PDT (07:00 UTC).

Have fun!

Source: Official site. Cheers, Katriana and Bhagpuss!

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Chronicles of Elyria answers player questions in a two-hour video

The Chronicles of Elyria team hosted a public community Q&A session, and players had questions. And those questions… well, they were answered. Extensively. The resultant stream was just shy of two hours long, which means by all rights it should have its own trailers and a cast poster. And now you can watch the whole thing just past the break.

You will probably not wish to do so if you are at work, however. Your boss will probably notice two hours of video.

Of course, as you might expect from a lengthy video, the topics range far and wide, from PvP penalties to combat systems to elaborate conspiracy theories regarding the shooter on the grassy knoll. (All right, that last one’s a fib.) Strap in, grab some popcorn, and if you want to do some voiceover work for the trailer you’re workshopping in your head… well, don’t tell us.

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World of Warcraft breaks a popular add-on for world quests to fix performance issues

The current flow of clearing World Quests in World of Warcraft is pretty straightforward. You see that there’s a world quest out there offering a reward you want, you head for it, you’ve got an hour left. You reach the location, then you find other people killing everything around you and not letting you get a hit in. Well, unless you were using World Quest Group Finder, which allowed you to auto-form and auto-join ongoing groups, ensuring that you were always in the right group to take on group or solo quests as you arrived.

You know where this is going. The addon’s functionality has been prevented with the latest update by Blizzard.

Lest you think this was a purely malicious act, the official rationale is that the addon was causing serious performance issues affecting everyone in the game, and by forcing manual prompts rather than automatically forming groups players will enjoy a smoother play experience. At the same time, it was a popular addon which shored up a major weakness in the world quest structure, so players are quite unhappy that it’s not working. The most recent update to the addon alters its functionality to still provide utility despite the changes, but it’s still going to require more work than just showing up and teaming up from here on out.

Source: Official Forums, Addon Page; thanks to Sally for the tip!

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Final Fantasy XIV’s latest live letter discusses inventory, benchmarks, and housing in Stormblood

The anticipation for Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is pretty high among the game’s players at this point. It’s just under two months away, and there’s still so much left to learn about what it’ll be like. The latest live letter from producer and director Naoki Yoshida certainly does answer some questions, though, like how much players can expect in terms of inventory expansion: Basic inventory will add 40 more spaces, and 10 more slots will be added to each Armoury Chest category.

Moving your housing (which will not be available at expansion launch) will be a matter of buying the new land and then indicating you wish to move; if you buy a larger plot of land than your existing spot, you’ll have your furniture stored for convenience. Players can also look forward to receiving the full set of artifact armor in a box for the level 70 job quests, and there should be a benchmark available in the near future… like, say, right now. There’s a lot to digest from the live letter, so feel free to take a look at GamerEscape’s point-by-point summary while you wait for the benchmark and figure out what to do with 130 new Armoury Chest spots.

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Pantheon shows the class you’ll never be allowed to play

There was a lot of buzz swirling about Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s hour-and-a-half developer livestream yesterday, thanks to a truckload of information shared and gameplay that showed off the visual and animation improvements that the team has added.

Of particular note was the reveal of the Monk class and how this melee class handles, the new zone of South Saol Peninsula, and the acclimation system. Due to Pantheon’s hardcore design, even the environment will be a challenge to overcome due to debilitating effects (such as freezing winds, scorching fire, and deep sea pressure). To be able to survive in these areas, players will need to use “infusions” to acclimate their characters’ bodies.

While players will be able to eventually get their hands on all of the content shown in the stream, there is one aspect that will forever remain hands-off. Brad McQuaid apparently made his own class, a War Wizard, that can be played only by him. Because why not exercise your power and position if you’re making a new MMO?

The full developer livestream awaits you after the break.

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World of Warcraft walks back claim that 7.2 is the ‘biggest patch ever’

In a livestream Q&A sessionWorld of Warcraft’s Ion Hazzikostas admitted that the studio probably shouldn’t have slapped the label of “biggest patch ever” on Patch 7.2. The game director said that this was an objective measurement of all of the content that was included, but not every player would experience all of it due to the variety.

Hazzikostas fielded several questions about the gradual unlocking of Patch 7.2’s content, including the still-to-come raid. He said that the unlock schedule for Tomb of Sargeras will come in May, with the raid opening up sometime in mid-to-late June. Another raid is reportedly in the works for Patch 7.3 on Argus.

Other topics discussed were the cross-realm zone lag, why Blizzard isn’t scaling players for the artifact challenge, paragon emissary chest rewards, the Legion assault schedule, and why the studio isn’t awarding Legionfall rep for the assaults (spoiler: It’s a dumb reason). You can watch the full Q&A below!

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The Daily Grind: Why is MMORPG server downtime still a thing?

Massively OP Kickstarter donor John has a very simple question to kick off our morning: Why the heck is server downtime still a thing?

“How can any modern MMO still have server downtime after something like Guild Wars 2? Are we bad consumers? Do we not care? Obviously doable and I work for a company with a web frontend and plenty of places easily have the same without (planned) planned downtime.”

I’ve always found that curious too. I can understand why pre-Guild Wars 2Guild Wars 1, really — games would be locked into their server downtime/uptime paradigm, but new MMOs? What’s your excuse? Why don’t all MMORPGs have a rolling patch system like GW2’s? Why is MMORPG server downtime still a thing?

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Massively Overthinking: Are MMORPG players a minority in their own genre?

Deep in the comments of the MMOs-vs.-survival-sandboxes thread from last week, reader miol_ produced a beautiful comment about how MMO players have become a minority in their own genre, which he then expounded upon for us in this provocative email.

“I’ve reached the opinion, that since the launch of WoW and its clones, the ‘original’ MMO-playerbase became a minority in their own genre. Before, we were but hundreds of thousands of MMO players, but then came Blizzard with WoW and its legions of fans in the dozen of millions at its peak, starting to dictate what the new success of MMOs should look like. Even if we others tried to vote with our wallet and feet, we became a minority, having only a fraction of our initial influence, while many devs tried desperately time and again to find ways to get at least a portion of the new Blizzard playerbase.

“Am I wrong with that perception of history? Am I totally missing something? Or are ‘we’ are slowly becoming a majority again, now that WoW and its clones are seeing steadily declining numbers (instead of us winning more players to ‘our side’)? How do we lobby better for ‘our cause’? Or can we only wait and see, until the genre is small enough again? Or is it too late? Have we ourselves grown too far apart into our even more niche corners of personal taste since SWG, while production costs and our demands for production value have skyrocketed at the same time? How could we come closer again?”

Let’s tackle miol_’s questions in this week’s Massively Overthinking.

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Path of Exile issues Patch 3.0 manifesto

Does anyone not get a little excited and cynical when they hear the phrase “game manifesto” these days? It’s such a loaded term, fraught with seriousness and import. And yet sometimes, just sometimes, it can be used to discuss something as seemingly trivial as damage-over-time skills in MMOs.

The Path of Exile team published the first part of its Patch 3.0 “manifesto” series, talking about the design philosophy and changes that will come to the game with this fall’s expansion. And yes, this initial post has to do with the different types of DoT effects and how some will be buffed, some nerfed, and some both buffed and nerfed.

Another significant 3.0 change (now in testing on a server near you!) are some tweaks to the popular Cyclone skill. The improved skill will use pathfinding to move around obstructions so that you don’t have to stop being the Tazmanian Devil. See it below!

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