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!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Heroes of the Storm, Elder Scrolls Online, DayZ, EVE Online, Pokemon Go, Dota 2, City of Heroes, Final Fantasy XIV, Portal Knights, Lineage 2 Revolution, Wizard101, Ingress, and Reign of Guilds, all waiting for you after the break!
It’s almost that time again, when Final Fantasy XIV
gets a big patch full of story surprises and stuff for players to do. Specifically, “that time” will be May 22nd, and there’s even a trailer below to tease at it. And it’s teasing a lot of content, from the floors of Heaven-on-High to the new Main Scenario storyline to the bosses of the Ridorana Lighthouse.
The twitter thread from the Live Letter confirms a few more things, like a new mechanical system for rewards from Heaven-on-High (which will also be adapted to Palace of the Dead to make farming that for glamour more straightforward) and new instruments arriving for the Perform action. There’s also a promise of new filters for colorblind players. Check out the trailer just below, and get ready for the patch to arrive in just a little more than a week.
Do you like delivering stuff to places? Final Fantasy XIV
patch 4.3 has you covered, then. For starters, we have our first custom delivery target who is not
a cat; this time, it’s a lizard
. Kurenai over in Sui-no-Sato will be asking players to contribute goods, as is implied by delivery missions, and players who earn her appreciation will have the chance to dress her up.
Not interested in playing lizard dress-up, possibly because you already play an Au Ra and thus play that game all the time? That’s all right; you can also handle a new form of delivery content by handing in items to aid in the Doman reconstruction effort. Players will also have new quests to continue the Four Lords storyline and can queue up for Lords of Verminion battles or chocobo races from anywhere in the world, which will be nice. But neither of those things are deliveries.
Tabletop games and MMORPGs seem like they would go well together, but remarkably they often don’t. That’s true for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is that we have a lot more games adapting different source material separately. You can certainly run a Star Wars: The Old Republic-themed game with a Star Wars tabletop system, but neither one is based on the other. (Technically there was a supplement published for it, but that was covering the first two single-player games, which themselves were based on that tabletop system.)
But there have still been incursions from MMOs into the tabletop space, and MMOs which pluck that fertile ground for the seeds of inspiration. So let’s spend today looking at these games, when you can log off of your favorite MMO, gather around a table with your friends, and keep playing your favorite MMO. More or less.
When the next major Final Fantasy XIV
patch arrives later this month, we’ll be staring down the games eighth alliance raid. That might not seem like a whole lot, considering that each one takes about half an hour at this point in the roulette, but each one has been a pretty major step forward in design and offers a very different vector for content. Instead of the precision movements of smaller raids or the small-group dungeon tactics, Alliance Raids try to coordinate a whole squad of people to move as one.
I’ve taken a look at big chunks of dungeon content before, but at this point we have a sufficient quantity of alliance raids that I feel like talking about those. While I could rank them, it doesn’t seem as useful as just talking about each one and comparing their high points and low points. So all seven current raids in the roulette; which parts are good, and which parts are bad?
Sometimes I am just so proud of our One Shots crowd here at Massively OP. I keep coming up with ludicrous screenshot challenges and you all continue to rise to the occasion. Even when I ask for spiders. Giant spiders.
We got ever so many.
Vincent leads the arachnid parade with this pic from Final Fantasy XIV: “I give you Arachne Eve, the first boss in the Weeping City (aka ‘Wiping City’) raid. My alliance was not amused I was taking screenshots mid-battle — especially as I was the healer. But y’know… priorities.”
At least he has learned the important lesson that One Shots is more important than anything else in your gaming life. You should all be this devoted.
Massively OP reader Sorrior recently sent in a question about raiding, a topic we haven’t discussed in a while.
“I have noticed raiding tends to lead to more homogenization even without PvP and a bigger focus on numbers when making classes as opposed to their feel and style. I also see a correlation with a bigger emphasis on raiding and the decline of community quality. On a personal level, I feel like raiding should be about the joy of taking on foes you cannot defeat alone with allies/friends, but I feel many treat it as a chore or just see the numbers nowadays. Or they are just after the gear, which also seems to bring in a lot of people who focus on the numbers rather than the experience. I thought talking about why we raid and what we enjoy about it as MMO players while discussing ways to preserve the feeling of community might be fun.”
I think talking about that would also be fun, which is precisely why we Overthink it in this column. So let’s do it: This week I’ve asked the Massively OP staff whether they raid now or ever did, what they raid for, and how they feel raiding fits into the modern MMO from a mechanics and community standpoint.
One of the most pleasant surprises I experienced in a while came a week or so ago when Standing Stone Games announced that it had just posted the entire 28-track score
for Lord of the Rings Online’s
Update 22 on its YouTube page. It was surprising because the studio isn’t in a habit of doing this, but more so because this ended up being one of the best soundtrack additions to the game in a long time.
I’m not the only one to notice this, by the way; several of my friends who play LOTRO have commented on how beautiful and engaging the Northern Mirkwood soundtrack is. Composer Bill Champagne doesn’t take us back to the old sound of classic LOTRO, but I think he does crack into the spirit of wide-open worlds full of mystery and wonders. He gives Dale its own personality, and I loved every minute of listening through it.
Today I’ve chosen six of my favorite tracks from this update to feature here, and I truly hope that SSG (and other studios, hint hint) will continue to post update soundtracks as they are released.
When I talk about games that provide a whole lot of quality-of-life fixes, I generally point to Final Fantasy XIV
as a perfect example. Heck, when I want to talk about games that give a lot to roleplayers, the game still tops the list; it still impresses me that the game offers context-sensistive /sit commands and the ability to choose between multiple poses while sitting in chairs or on the ground, and you can even aim for the ground if the context would enforce a chair or bench nearby. That offers no gameplay advantage, it’s just nice.
The game does have some quality-of-life features that are conspicuously missing, though, and many of them are missing for no real reason at all. More housing wards with larger space, for example, would be a phenomenal quality-of-life boost… but it’s also demanding on the system and on finances, thus making it a more complex issue. But there are quality features that could be implemented with minimal effort that also still aren’t there, and it seems only fair to bring those up for the future.
South of Rabanastre, there is a lighthouse. It’s not a very good
lighthouse, because it’s surrounded by a yawning chasm that gets worse every year and the best option for boats is to just get nowhere near it at all. But that’s where you’re going for the next raid dungeon in Final Fantasy XIV
, and the preview site for the next patch
has a brief discussion of why you’re going to this awful tower. Aside from the long tradition of Alliance Raids in towers, that is. (It’s sort of a thing.)
The preview page also gives us our first look at the upcoming guestbook decoration for housing, allowing players to leave you feedback and let you know that they visited and liked your home. You can also try the new cross-world linkshell feature and the expansions to the glamour dresser, although the latter is a bit harder to display in graphical form. Check out some screenshots for the update just below.
It occurs to me that it is very difficult to find MMOs that I have literally never played before in some capacity. There are titles on the list, of course, but it’s a short list. Which amuses me, since anyone who listens to me on a regular basis knows that I have a small number of games that I consider “my” games, and usually there are just two that are fairly consistently on that list. But it’s part of the job; back when I first got this job in the time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth (the late aughts), my lifetime game count was at four. Maybe four and a half, if you want to count the Champions Online beta that talked me out of playing it at launch.
Of course, that’s one of the interesting elements not just of this job but about MMOs in general. You react differently depending on how many MMOs you’ve played, and considering that these games are big, long-term time commitments, that can produce some interesting dynamics. So let’s go ahead and take a look at what your personal lifetime count says about you and your understanding of the genre.
The next patch for Final Fantasy XIV
is something we should all watch closely. Because it’s going to tell us plenty about where we’re heading in the next expansion.
We haven’t yet been told that we’ll learn about a new expansion this year, but we have a fan festival on the calendar, we’re moving through the middle of the patch, and FFXIV moves on a content delivery schedule reliable enough to set your clock by. So we know that announcement is happening this year, and we can all bet on it coming out in June of next year. (If it’s running really late, maybe July.)
And this is the patch where we’ll find out where we’re headed. Not that we’ll be told yet, of course; we were never actually told in-universe that we were heading to Ala Mhigo until it happened, after all. But this is the point when threads need to start collecting into a useful form, and so it’s best to watch closely and see which elements are being picked up and tugged along for our next destination.
Thus far, Final Fantasy XIV
has run three gear design competitions for the community, inviting players to design gear for tanks, healers, and magical DPS jobs. The winners of all three have already shown up in the game, to boot; winning designs have been implemented in subsequent patches, expanded to fill all of the various roles (the caster DPS design is the design being added for dungeon gear in patch 4.3). So how would you like to fill out the remaining gear designs
The design contest for ranged and melee DPS has just kicked off, with the same rules as prior installments and a variety of prizes for players to enjoy. This time, players can enter for either category to be included, so if you have something in mind for Monk but not necessarily for Bard, you’ll submit it separately. No promises are made about when the designs will be added to the game after the contest, but our suggestion is to get drawing and put the designs out there if you’ve got a knack for costuming.