Ahh… smell that? Smells like a new batch of EverQuest nostalgia, served up to us as a fresh progression server. For some of the faithful, the chance to get a hit of that nostalgia is absolutely irresistible.
“I love EverQuest,” blogger Stargrace writes. “I love the excitement that comes with playing on a progression server. I love how busy they are, and watching chat channels fly by. I love the community and the fuzzy feelings I get when I think about that time in my life.”
Kaozz explained why this server was in such high demand: “My son was baffled how many people want to play on this type of server. I’ve been waiting on one for years and keep up with the requests in the forums I have seen for so many years.”
And The Ancient Gaming Noob finds it baffling that Blizzard isn’t cashing in on these kinds of servers with World of Warcraft. “Nostalgia sells, these servers are popular, they offer something people want and, more importantly, something people are willing to pay for,” he said.
A lot of new things are arriving in Final Fantasy XIV
early access kicks off next week on June 16th. New jobs, new levels, new areas, and all of that will be available. But the real question was always going to be about what spectacular new stuff you can buy at the Gold Saucer, and the answer to that question is a set of new weapons themed after the casino’s mascot, Senor Sabotender himself
These new weapons will be available to purchase and glamour after the 4.0 launch, which means after the end of the current Make it Rain promotional event. However, that also means you can use the event running now to earn up MGP for spending on these weapons in the future, so it’s safe to say they’re at least peripherally connected. Why not get in there and earn a little more money? You could use it to stab your enemies with a cactus, and isn’t that all anyone really wants?
PvP is changing even more than you might think in Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
. It’s been discussed before now, but a new article from the community team
examines just how it’s changing in a bit more depth. You probably already know that each job will have a PvP-specific hotbar and a trimmed set of actions, for example, but the article examines how Protect itself is now a cooldown spell with an instant cast time and a short direction in PvP rather than a static buff everyone is expected to always maintain.
Players can also select two specific actions from a pool of shared actions, including the PvP equivalent of Sprint, and three specific PvP traits. Do you want increased health? Increased MP regeneration? Lower damage taken? Faster actions? It’s an interesting series of questions, and one that should make the PvP experience feel very different for players, especially since you’ll be able to earn experience in PvP maps with the expansion as well.
Meanwhile, the Stormblood launch trailer is out now. It’s just below, but be warned, it may well contain spoilers. Awesome spoilers.
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree welcome summer by talking about SWTOR’s roadmap, Black Desert’s amazing Steam debut, and a troubling Shroud of the Avatar announcement, as well as a mailbag question about casual gaming.
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
Remember back in April when a group of Redditors decided to put together an MMO Book Club — a community of MMO gamers who band together in a game for a few months before voting on a fresh game to move to? Lord of the Rings Online took the first popular vote at the beginning of May, and the group was intended to stay there for three full months, but now organizers say they’re adjusting that plan.
“When we selected LOTRO and voted to play 1 game for 3 months there were only about 300-400 people in the community. Today we near 2,000 members – and obviously the opinions of the group may have changed a bit,” mod Laezur writes. “A rather significant number of people have expressed interest in playing another game for various reasons (LOTRO didn’t work for them, they didn’t enjoy LOTRO, they feel like they missed the boat on LOTRO, etc), and it is important to me that everyone is able to enjoy being a part of The MMO Bookclub.”
During this week’s podcast, Justin jokes about how Final Fantasy XIV literally has an interface pop-up to warn you before it deluges you with an extremely long series of cutscenes, on the order of half an hour of basically watching the game rather than playing it. That cracked me up because I admit I am not much of a cutscene-watcher to begin with. My instinct is to click through them in a lot of MMORPGs, especially when I’ve seen them before, but even sometimes when I haven’t. So let’s just say that while I appreciate that FFXIV reminds us to take a potty break before it goes all exposition monster on us, I probably still wouldn’t watch it.
Howsabout you? Do you still watch MMORPG cutscenes? Did you ever? If you skip them, do you do it out of habit or lack of time or anti-story principle?
Whew. All right. Last week had a big old release of news
about Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
, and now I’m far more relaxed because I can actually talk about all of the things I saw. This has been gnawing at me since I got back from San Francisco, and while there’s a certain amount of fun in knowing things other people don’t, it’s much more fun to talk about how utterly cool pretty much everything looks. Even the jobs which I’m not specifically more excited about look like they’re getting lots of cool toys along the way.
Unfortunately, we’ve already started seeing people crying that the sky is falling and that Stormblood will be the worst thing ever, because now we know about the abilities. And… yeah, that’s downright bad.
Look, you all know how much I love speculating about things. I speculated about which abilities various jobs were losing or getting compressed (and wound up at about 65% accuracy, which I think is pretty good), I’ve speculated about what we’d hear at the various fanfests, I’ve speculated about jobs we’re likely never to get. But there’s good speculation and bad speculation, and your speculation about what the jobs will look like in terms of performance at 70 right now? It’s bad. Let’s talk about why.
Whatever you want to accomplish in Final Fantasy XIV
, you had best do so before the servers go down for maintenance for 24 hours on June 15th
. That’s a fair bit before Stormblood
releases, but it’s also timed to coincide with early access for Stormblood
pre-orders starting on June 16th. So what takes place during early access? Why, the first wave of players getting into the expansion, naturally. So you’d better be prepared, which means that it’s a good thing a full breakdown is available on the official site
Players will be able to access all of the expansion starting on June 16th with no restrictions on content or discussing content, although it’s considered polite to refrain from spoilers. You will need to finish the MSQ through Heavensward to take part in most of the Stormblood content, although any character at level 50 or above will be able to access Red Mage and Samurai. Your early access code will also enable play of the game through June 23rd, at which point you’ll need to register the full expansion code to continue playing. So start counting down; you’ve got about two weeks left to get ready.
It’s hard to look at an MMORPG and imagine them without dungeons. For some people, these instances are the core of their game experience, offering challenging (well, hopefully) and rewarding group experiences that can be repeated for fun, profit, and optimal performance.
Dungeons and I have a strange history in MMOs. For me, it all depends on the game in question. There are MMOs that don’t really feature compelling or rewarding dungeons (Guild Wars 2), or make grouping up and getting into them difficult, or what have you. Yet in other games, I’ve run dungeons so many times that I could probably pathfind through each one blind. If done right, they can be really fun and offer me a chance to show off my stuff and feel like I’m part of a team.
For today’s list, I want to share with you my favorite MMO dungeons. I’m going to limit myself to one per MMO for diversity’s sake, which might make it a little challenging, but there you go!
This time last year, I polled the Massively OP writers for their opinions on which MMOs had had the best year, or half year, up to that point in 2016 — which games were the most influential and important specifically in that time period. I was pretty surprised at the spread of answers too. Since we’re nearing the midpoint of 2017, I thought we should renew that question and see whether anything’s changed. So as last time, I’m asking everyone to pick three games that represent the MMORPG zeitgeist, using whatever combination of criteria they wish – revenue, playerbase size, hype, anticipation, update cycle, and so forth. What should we be paying attention to? Which games are a sign of the times? And just who is dominating now in 2017?
Yesterday was a big preview for Final Fantasy XIV
fans about the upcoming Stormblood
, full of details on the abilities of every single job, one of the dungeons, and so forth. Did you miss it? You can catch up on the whole thing from our landing post right here
. But it didn’t include a real look at the areas where you’ll be using all of these new abilites. What’s the actual landscape going to be like?
Good news: the new Tour of the East video can be watched just below, and it should give you an idea of the regions you’ll be exploring around Ala Mhigo and in Othard alike. At six minutes long, it’s a quick watch, but it should help whet your appetite for the expansion’s early access launch on June 16th. Consider it a look into your future of exploration.
You are no doubt staring at the title image above and thinking to yourself that it really does not look like a Neverwinter screenshot. And you would be right; it doesn’t look like a Neverwinter screenshot because it isn’t a Neverwinter screenshot. My schedule has been hectic enough that rather than trying to cram in a rushed play session without much meat in it, I elected to have a brief delay and push the next Neverwinter installment back a week. Not to worry, though; it’s an extension, not a cancellation, and Neverwinter still will get its full four weeks in the spotlight.
Instead, I wanted to be a bit more meta and discuss a few things I see coming up in the comments from time to time as well as covering some ideas for the series moving forward. And yes, it contains polls for the compulsive voters in the audience, you charming folks.
The Battle Bards are on vacation at a tropical beach paradise! In the team’s 99th episode, they examine beach, resort, and island music cues from MMORPGs. Can it still be a resort when everything around you is out for murder? As long as the music is this good, who cares?
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 99: Tropical resort (or download it) now: