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Veteran Norwegian studio behind The Secret World, Anarchy Online, Age of Conan, and LEGO Minifigures Online.

The Stream Team: Sunshine and Scorched Desert adventures in Secret World Legends

Is that sunshine Massively OP’s MJ sees outside? Maybe Secret World Legend’s Scorched Desert is bleeding out into the real world. No matter: She intends to stay safely indoors to continue working her way through Egypt. Join us live at 4:00 p.m. for more sizzling adventures in the desert sands.

What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 15th, 2018

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Chaos Theory: Do you need to sub to enjoy Secret World Legends?

A question I am asked quite a bit about free-to-play games is whether or not one needs to sub to really play. It is a fair question: We’ve got enough examples in the industry where not subbing can cripple you to the point that it is less than no fun and not worth even trying to play. So how about Secret World Legends? You’ve heard how great that story is and your interest is piqued, but you’ve been burned before. Do you need to pay for patron status to have a worthwhile experience playing? No. And yes.

The answer actually depends on what you want from the game and your preferred style of play. Can you play SWL and have a blast immersed in the amazing atmosphere and story without paying a dime? Absolutely! To get the most out of the game if you play more hardcore, however, you definitely want to become a patron.

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Secret World Legends posts a quick teaser of the agent system

One of the first new Secret World Legends systems is coming soon, and Funcom posted a quick video of it this week to whet players’ appetites.

In a minute-and-a-half, CM Andy Benditt walked players through the basics of the upcoming agent system. This system works much like World of Warcraft’s order hall missions, Star Trek Online’s duty officer system, and RIFT’s minions. The idea is that players will recruit and collect support agents that can be equipped for their passive ability bonuses (three max) and sent out on timed missions with the hopes of bringing back rewards. The strategy here is to match up an agent’s traits with the mission requirements in question in order to increase the chance of success.

Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments!

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The Stream Team: Converting to Set on Age of Conan’s Zath server

After starting another Priestess of Mitra on Age of Conan’s new Saga of Zath server, Massively OP’s MJ had a change of heart. She converted to Set! Now she is running around Tortage as a Tempest of Set, blasting everything with lightning. Now it’s time to take on the tasks on White Sands Isle. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. for the electrifying adventure.

What: Age of Conan
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Monday, February 12th, 2018

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Ashes of Creation shows off 52 minutes of pre-alpha gameplay

Open world dungeons, node tending, and other pre-alpha adventures were all part and parcel of Ashes of Creation’s developer livestream last week. The team showed off 52 minutes of uninterrupted gameplay that included exploration, various features, and a ton of action combat.

The team answered many community questions on the livestream, including how the current build was tailored specifically for testers: “We wanted people who were coming in to test to actually be able to kind of do stuff solo. So, it’s not what it was really built for. All the group content right now is just in our dungeons. And that’s totally going to change when we go live.”

Other topics discussed was Ashes of Creation’s stealth system, account-bound player housing, caravans, diminishing returns on crowd control, animal husbandry (woo), and cosmetics. Check it out below!

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The Stream Team: Enjoying more Egypt in Secret World Legends

Massively OP’s MJ can ignore the snow outside as she basks in the sunshine of Egypt in Secret World Legends. (Never mind that she dislikes sunshine and actually loves the snow!) She’s off to finish up more adventures and clear out the missions and bosses of the Scorched Desert zone so she can move on. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to leave winter behind and frolic in the sand with her.

What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 8th, 2018

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Massively Overthinking: Which MMORPGs should stay away from legacy servers?

Legacy, vanilla, classic, progression – call them what you like, but alternative server rulesets, particularly of the nostalgia-driven kind, are all the rage in 2018. Just since the dawn of the new year, we’ve gotten a new server type for Age of Conan, with RIFT’s on the way – not to mention World of Warcraft’s looming in our future. And those are just the new ones! Games like RuneScape, EverQuest II, and Ultima Online already run similar servers.

That said, does every MMORPG need one? Aren’t some MMORPGs already in pretty good shape without needing a spin-off for nostalgia’s sake? Is it in every MMO’s best interests to prioritize, on some level, the very older ideas it intentionally left behind? That’s the question I’ve posed to the writers this week: Are there any MMORPGs that should stay far, far away from legacy servers, and if so, why?

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The Daily Grind: What would you pay for an MMO subscription in 2018?

Here’s something you probably didn’t know about Camelot Unchained: Yes, it’ll have a sub, but it won’t be $15. Mark Jacobs re-confirmed that it’ll be less than the industry standard down in our comments a few weeks ago. It’s been rattling around in my head since then as subscriptions just keep popping up in the news. Star Citizen has an optional sub in alpha. Age of Conan just lowered its subscription rate. And the biggest subscription MMO in the world seems to have no problems moving a bajillion expansions, driving token prices to fluctuate. Did we hit rock bottom? Are we just watching the price reset in a new era?

I’m currently paying $13 a month for an old-school game because nobody else has content that even comes close. I wouldn’t hesitate to pay more for an MMO I couldn’t wait to play. In fact, I was prepared to pay more than $15 for CU. Would you? What would you pay for an MMO subscription in 2018? And what would you expect from an MMORPG charging a subscription?

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Global Chat: To RIFT or not to RIFT?

Everyone’s talking about RIFT’s new Prime server idea — and whether or not it will get us playing Trion Worlds’ fantasy MMO once again. Naturally, the blogosphere had a few thoughts about this.

Stargrace said that it was “highly unlikely” that she’d return for this: “While I am drawn into progression servers for EverQuest and EverQuest II due to a heavy nostalgia factor, I don’t get those same warm fuzzy feelings about RIFT.”

“If anything induces me to give RIFT Prime a try it will be the extent to which the experience doesn’t accurately replicate the original,” Bhagpuss said. And Endgame Variable takes a look at it from the perspective of a former player: “Do I want to pay a subscription to play old content in RIFT — a game I’ve already played to death — or pay a subscription to play new content in FFXIV or WoW?”

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Massively Overthinking: What are your criteria for recommending MMOs?

Last week, we got a well-intentioned email from a reader named Rick, who proposed a column in which readers tell us what they are looking for in an MMO and we offer up suggestions for just the right MMO. It’d be like Guild Chat, we imagine, only instead of dispensing guild advice, we’d be telling you folks what to play.

The email prompted some discussion among the MOP staff about whether that would be an effective column to write (or to read). We do answer some questions like that for the podcast from time to time, for example, but I seldom get the impression we’ve actually helped. Most times, the listener has already tried everything and is hoping for a game that simply doesn’t exist yet, so we’re destined to fail. And even then, it’s really difficult to recommend MMOs to people without really knowing their full history with every studio and game. Some of us can’t even find an MMO we want to play!

So we thought we’d open that discussion up for everyone. How do you go about recommending MMOs to other people? What are your criteria? When your sister says she’s done with WoW, your co-worker requests input around the watercooler one day, or Some Dude On Reddit asks for pointers – where do you start?

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Age of Conan rolls out brand-new forums, with Secret World Legends and Anarchy Online to follow

It’s been a big week for the supposedly-in-maintenance-mode Age of Conan: First it got a new time-limited progression server, then it lowered its sub fees and loyalty rewards for subbers, and now it’s gotten new forums.

“With the new start of the Saga Server we also want new beginnings of fresh and modern forums; it will seem pretty different from what you’re used to here, but these new forums offer a much better community experience. You’re able to keep better track of threads you are interested in and follow, personalize your profile, give feedback to comments, and have easy access to news and updates. It also includes a trust system; the more active or helpful you are in the community, the higher your trust level increases, allowing you access to more features.”

Worth noting is that old comments have not been ported over, but the old forum is still open until February 14th, at which point posts there will be archived (but still viewable).

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Battle Bards Episode 114: Vroom vroom!

Yes officer, these Battle Bards were well above the speed limit and violated many noise complaints in the local neighborhoods. But it was for a good cause, sir! This music from vehicular MMOs is just way too good to keep quiet! What’s that? You’ll let them go with just a warning? You only know they’re going to peel out and look for another score to settle!

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 iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 114: Vroom vroom! (or download it) now:

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The Stream Team: Checking out Age of Conan’s Saga of Zath server

Massively OP’s MJ is curious about the “saga quest” being offered on Age of Conan’s new Saga of Zath server. That means she has to make a new character, but don’t worry — creation will be done ahead of time! Will life still start in Tortage with a few tweaks, or will it be something different? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to check things out on this new server.

What: Age of Conan
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

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