Hey, you. Yeah, you, dude leeching candy from the bucket you bought “for the neighborhood kids.” And you, lady still trying to decide between “Princess Leia” and “lazy zombie” for your costume (go Leia, duh). Put all that aside and get into some MMOs instead! Halloween is only one night in real life, but in MMORPGs, it goes on for days or even weeks. Some studios will probably even forget to turn it off! Others will let you run around with a flaming pumpkin head mask for all eternity!
Here’s what we’re looking at this year for Halloween across the MMORPG verse.
Final Fantasy XIV
players in Europe have a great excuse to head over to Denmark next month, as the game is hosting its “first ever” fan gathering in Copenhagen
on November 25th.
The event will be rather small, with only 50 seats at a mini-bar somewhere in Copenhagen (the team is being secretive) available. The gathering will treat attendees to free drinks, snacks, and a chance at winning some goodies from a raffle.
So how do you get one of these exclusive tickets? “We will select the first 25 attendees on a first-come, first-serve basis. The remaining 25 slots will be raffled between all of those who showed their interest by sending an email by November 12th to the email address above.”
Here’s a musical episode that you can really sink your teeth into! Your… ear teeth? In any case, the Battle Bards are evaluating our Dark Masters this Halloween season to see which has the best music: vampires or werewolves. It’s a sinister, gothic show with several first-time MMO appearances for the podcast, so check it out!
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 108: Vampires and werewolves (or download it) now:
We all like making the occasional observation about the weirdness inherent in video games, but most of us also recognize that what we’re really doing is poking fun at the anthropic principle. The real reason NPCs tend to fight rather than just fleeing at the sight of us is, well, the alternative isn’t particularly fun to play. It’s part of an acceptable break from reality, and for most of us, we are willing to accept that fact with a bit of tongue-in-cheek prodding.
What I don’t see very often, though, is an appreciation of the really insane part: What all of this looks like from the perspective of the NPCs – because however many breaks from reality we accept from the game, we are the real breakers of immersion.
Consider, for a moment, that you’re an NPC. Imagine that you have full knowledge of the fact that this is a video game (there’s an old humor blog entry that sums things up nicely). Now imagine that you’re watching PCs. You would quickly come to the understanding that player characters are nuts. Why? Well…
Here’s an interesting thought for the day: Is there a gaming middle class, one that exists between those with plenty of money or time? In An Age posits that there is — and that this “middle class” is getting the raw end of the deal.
“If you fall somewhere in-between, then you essentially get the worst of all possible worlds: pwned both by the time-rich players able to dedicate more time than you, and the money-rich players who buy every advantage,” he writes.
While you digest that and perhaps come up with a response of your own, check out some of our other featured MMO blog essays. Thoughts and opinions concerning Dark and Light, FFXIV, DDO, and more await you below!
Bahamut. You know him, you fear him, you’ve gotten used to summoning and channeling him if you play a Summoner in Final Fantasy XIV
. And now he’s back to his place as the most challenging content in the game with the release of patch 4.11
, which introduces the Unending Coil of Bahamut to kick off the new Ultimate difficulty level. If you’ve already done everything else, you can now mash your head against this particular challenge to see how you do.
And we do mean that you have to have done everything else; the quest is open to only those who have already cleared the Savage mode of Omega. Successfully clearing the fight will reward you with a token for a high-end weapon, but the obvious intent is that not many people will be able to clear this, making it less a major step in progression and more a diversion and an amusing footnote. If you’re not up for the challenge, there are still some bugfixes in the patch, so it’s still an improvement to your overall quality of life; that’s something.
Final Fantasy XIV
patch 4.1 fell into a pretty solid cadence right away, from my experience. It’s not one of those patches where absolutely nothing has changed for most of the players (Twitter integration, anyone?), but it does feel like more or less the same patterns have held up in the wake of its addition. You’ve had another roulette added on to your routine, there’s a new dungeon, you want to hit Rabanastre at least once a week… it’s all good enough, but it’s not rewriting the basic structure.
Of course, if that’s exactly what you wanted from it, that’s all more than good enough. Still, while I hit most of the big points this week, I wanted to spend this week skirting around the edges a bit. So let’s dive back into the parts of the patch that are out but haven’t yet been discussed seriously, starting with the arguably biggest feature that I haven’t really touched on at all.
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 World of Tanks, Starfall Tactics, Mu Legend, Overwatch, FFXIV, EVE Online, Mu Online, Wakfu, Path of Exile, Aion, Warface, MechWarrior Online, Elder Scrolls Online, Revelation Online, Arena of Valor, Paladins, Conquer Online, Portal Knights, Elite: Dangerous, and Dauntless, all waiting for you after the break!
Massively OP’s Justin Olivetti has a provocative article on his personal gaming blog, Bio Break, this week on MMORPG housing.
“I once again wonder why open world housing is this holy grail that some players and developers seem hellbent on chasing,” he writes. “It’s an ideal, a beautiful mirage couched in the notion of players inhabiting the very world they play, allowing them to stroll through neighborhoods of fellow adventurer’s homes and basking in the connectivity of it all. Yet it’s a failed experiment, one that is proven time and again to have far more drawbacks than benefits.” After listing off his complaints with the mechanic, he ultimately concludes that “we simply don’t need fixed open world housing, even in sandboxes.”
But being Justin, he also asked for feedback on why the joys are worth the drawbacks – and how to fix the system so it works instead of running off the rails. That’s just what we’ll do in this week’s Overthinking. Is he right about not needing this type of housing? And if not, how would you fix open world housing?
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree navigate the dubious updates that dropped in several major MMOs (as well as a few other ones that seem to have gone off OK). It’s practically an all-patch, all-the-time show with the addition of a couple of interesting listener emails regarding accessibility and crafting!
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:
Let me make an agreement with you, dear readers: this column about Final Fantasy XIV
will not talk about the housing situation in Shirogane at all. If you’re wondering “why wouldn’t you cover that,” the answer is that I already did and you can read the whole feature on that
. (You can also read the follow-up
.) So for the remainder of this column, we’re going to talk about all of the other features of this particular patch, which seems like a better use of our time anyway.
Heck, the whole stupid housing mess was only released with this patch, it’s not like the mechanics or anything are new.
And hey, there’s some good stuff going on with this patch, along with parts that are well worth discussing for where they don’t work as well. So let’s dive right in, starting with the obvious centerpiece of every patch, the continued expansion of the game’s storyline… as perfunctory as it may feel sometimes. Some mild spoilers are possible, so be fairly warned.
Another All Saints’ Wake is approaching once more in Final Fantasy XIV
, and that means players will need to deal with the usual antics of the Continental Circus
and its associated void-based schemes. Of course, this year also sees the addition of a woman from Othard with an… unusual
set of traits. Given the year’s rewards, one may be certain that the Lupin are going to be involved somewhere along the line.
Yes, the latest set of festivities will award you the chance to dress up like a werewolf to terrify onlookers and irritate the heck out of any Lupin who are now being mocked by your getup. There are also housing decorations for those who prefer to fill their houses with pumpkins rather than dressing up in a costume; the game allows for either. The event starts on October 19th and runs through November 1st, so you can be dressing up with a tail and humming “Werewolves of London” before the week is out.
Last week, MOP’s Justin (friend to man and beast alike) posted his list of MMOs he would recommend people play. It was a pretty good list! It wasn’t the list I would have written, but that’s why we’re separate people and not a single fused mass pulling ourselves along on withered, inhuman appendages. That would cause lots of problems in our respective marriages, for one thing. Also, it’d probably render us ineligible to collect multiple paychecks.
One thing I did not ask, however, was why he didn’t include World of Warcraft as a game he would recommend, even though some of our readers wondered it aloud. I would think that the reason for that would be pretty obvious, given that it was a list of Justin’s recommendations. But because I do love being contrary, there’s a good list of reasons why no one, ever, should recommend World of Warcraft as a game to be tried. Under any circumstances. Let’s even make it a nice round dozen reasons… but then subtract two, for no good reason.