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Massively OP Podcast Episode 113: Avatar vs. toon

Do you want to date my space avatar? She’s a star and she’s hotter than a supernova by far. Or maybe you’re a loony tooner? What’s the socially acceptable way to reference your character in an MMORPG without coming across like some weirdo from another gaming era? Bree and Justin will devote their lives to figuring out this question.

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:

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One Shots: Screenshots big enough to wallpaper your house

Obviously due to column width limitations, we have a fixed pixel size for screenshots here at Massively OP. But that doesn’t stop some of you from playing a game called “Let’s see if we can crash Justin’s photo editor by sending in the largest file size ever.” Today’s headliner is from Melissa, who sent me a “small” high-res capture of ARK at 12K x 7K resolution. The five-year-old laptop I was working on thanks her for this.

“Great picture I think, the Spinosaurus posed perfectly before noticing me and eating me!” she wrote. “If you guys like this and want to see one I can take a truly massive (several GB) ANSEL shot for you from ARK. Only a few games support it. The detail when you zoom in can be unbelievable.”

Yes. Please. Send them bigger. I will phone up the local university to schedule time on their supercomputer for it.

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Newzoo analysts weigh in on virtual reality adoption

Remember last week when SuperData published a report on virtual reality, predicting a “steep rise” in VR adoption as we roll toward 2020? Competing analysis firm Newzoo is a bit more reserved and focuses more on the existing market rather than the future one. In its recent blog piece, it points to mobile VR being the current arena of growth opportunity, echoing SuperData’s point that the Samsung Gear has outsold everything else and dangling the idea that an Apple VR system might disrupt the market and bring in wider adoption.

“There are several factors that will contribute to the mass adoption of mobile VR, including improvement in the quality of the VR experience offered by relatively affordable mobile VR devices such as Google Cardboard, overcoming compatibility issues, and a boost in content that caters to people’s great variety of interests,” Newzoo says. “Additionally, the business model needs to be a good match. An example of this, coming from sports, that could potentially spark the mass market breakthrough for VR: the NBA wraps up its live VR experience in their subscription model. Not offering a single purchase option is a missed opportunity and limits uptake. Another factor at play is the fact that many people have their first VR experience with someone else’s device. The need to own a personal headset is not yet big enough to justify the purchase. ”

Source: Newzoo via [a]listdaily

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The Survivalist: Massively OP’s guide to survival games, single-player and beyond

As Massively OP is centered on the “massively” part of gaming, it makes sense that my first guide to survival games was focused on multiplayer titles. Similarly, The Survivalist will mostly (but not always!) concern itself with the multiplayer games in the survival genre. However, after researching this topic, I felt that not highlighting the single-player offerings would be a serious disservice to the genre. There are occasions when you want to test your survival mettle without the interference of other players; sometimes you just want to live or die on your own merits and not at the hands of someone elses decisions. Besides that, some of these titles — like Subnautica — offer an awesome premise you can’t get elsewhere.

Ready to survive on your own? Here’s a a taste of a number of games you can dive into when you want to scratch that survival itch in private.

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Battle Bards Episode 96: SWTOR expansions

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”

With those words, you know you’re in for a rollicking good adventure — and some impressive and spellbinding music to match! On today’s episode, the Battle Bards return to Star Wars: The Old Republic to look at the music of the recent expansions. Has the Force been with this MMO’s soundtrack? I’ve got a bad good feeling about this!

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, TuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 96: SWTOR expansions (or download it) now:

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 112: Heroic measures

Since it takes a superheroic effort to put on a podcast every week — so many words! so many Star Wars Galaxies references! — Bree and Justin consider themselves in equal company with this week’s superhero news and discussion. From Ship of Heroes to Marvel Heroes to City of Heroes, it’s 300% of your RDA of spandex in one hour!

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:

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Heroes of the Storm crowns a dorm champ, catalyzes a wedding

Congrats are due this week to the University of Texas at Arlington, whose Heroes of the Storm e-sports team pretty much walked away handily with the Heroes of the Dorm trophy given at the Las Vegas National Championships on Saturday. UT Arlington finishes its competitive year with a 29-0 record and blots out its huge loss to Arizona State last year.

The five students pick up free college tuition for up to three years (up to $75,000 total) as their prize, so not a bad deal at all. Google says tuition at UT Arlington is just under $10,000, which is dirt cheap in the States, in case you’re wondering, so Blizz got away easy!

In other Heroes of the Storm news, Kotaku has a whimsical report out on two lovebirds who met while playing Heroes of the Storm, and against really all the odds everywhere, married each other last week. They didn’t cosplay at their wedding, in case you’re wondering, but they considered it!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 111: Secret World’s Destiny

Justin goes away to Disney for a week and the MMO world explodes with news, which is to be expected. From a controversial reboot to a controversial superhero return to a controversial patch, there’s no shortage of ruffled feathers and quirked eyebrows at this past week’s news roundup!

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:

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The Soapbox: Why is Pokemon GO still a tech demo?

I’ve been a bit frustrated with Niantic lately. I love some of its ideas, but I watched someone else play Ingress prior to Pokemon GO’s release, and I noticed very similar problems between the two games after release — problems that the company should have noticed and corrected in its followup.

Recently I decided to try out the former. Both are totally unintuitive. You have to search the UI for the tutorials, though Ingress’ can be accessed only near objectives. You’re asked to join a faction sooner there than in PoGO and with no context beyond 2-3 sentences. The game throws jargon with little to no context at you throughout the tutorial, making it difficult to follow. I walked around, clicking things and used items that I don’t fully understand, not because I’m too lazy to read but because I wanted to understand a game without consulting google. I saw portals get taken without anyone around me as I stood by an objective near a government-restricted area where standing still longer than it takes to read “No Trespassing” could trigger security. I couldn’t get into it, not just because it was simple but because it was poorly designed.

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Beta signups for new Pirates of the Caribbean MMO are live

In case you weren’t sick of looking at Johnny Depp’s face, here comes another stab at a Pirates of the Caribbean MMO. No, it’s not Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and it’s not the player emulator for Pirates of the Caribbean Online either; this is Pirates of the Caribbean: Tides of War, a Disney-sanctioned mobile MMORTS by South Korean studio Joycity. And it’s got Depp’s smarmy mug all over it.

“In-game, players will become pirates in the world of the Pirates of the Caribbean and will experience different playstyles with various strategies through building and ship construction and troops training. Furthermore, players can form an alliance to battle against each other or defeat common monsters floating the sea. Equally, players will encounter familiar characters from Pirates of the Caribbean, including Jack Sparrow, Captain Barbossa and Will Turner.”

You won’t find her on the official site, but there’s a picture of some girl buried in Google Play, but it’s not like she’s super important or absurdly famous or anything, so let’s not mention her for some reason.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 110: Legends of Aria’s Derek Brinkmann

Join us in welcoming today Citadel Studios’ Project Lead Derek Brinkmann from Legends of Aria (fka Shards Online) for an hour-long interview about the game’s rebranding, new MMO focus, and upcoming alpha tests!

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:

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The Survivalist: Massively OP’s guide to multiplayer survival sandboxes

Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya’ll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn’t as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.

I’m not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller — and oft times privately managed — scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we’re going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here’s a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.
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Massively OP Podcast Episode 109: We are all Dragonborn

Roll for initiative! Bree and Justin are getting all kinds of nerdy with this week’s show, in which they talk about Dragon-people, the return of a long-abandoned sci-fi game, a momentous anniversary, and the viability of sandbox MMOs.

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:

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