grinding gear games

New Zealand studio responsible for Path of Exile

The MOP Up: Monster Hunter World merch (January 14, 2018)

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 RendSea of ThievesThe Black DeathWarframeHEXFragmentedMU LegendFinal Fantasy XIMonster Hunter WorldPlayerUnknown’s BattlegroundsDota 2Wurm Online, Ultima Online, and Path of Exile, all waiting for you after the break!

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LOTRO Legendarium: My LOTRO wish list for 2018

Ever since I’ve been writing this Lord of the Rings Online column — which spans back to 2010, if you can believe it — I’ve started out every year with a little tradition of making a wish list that I’d like to see happen for the game. This year, I actually debated whether or not to do it, because Standing Stone Games has already sort of laid out its big plans for 2018 (or at least some of them) and I know that the studio’s smaller stature means that we probably can’t expect as much as we once did.

But then I thought, hey, it’s tradition. And why is it a bad thing to aspire to greater things and encourage the studio to reach for those? Should we just roll over and give up on this title that we love? Far be it! So I’m dusting off some old ideas and tossing in a few new ones to give to you my list of 11 things (for 11 years) I want to see happen in 2018 for LOTRO. Let me know what some of your wish list items in the comments too!

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Path of Exile on the unstoppable monsters that almost made it into the game

Here’s an interesting peek into game development from the pens of Grinding Gear Games. The studio shared a story about one of Path of Exiles’ failed experiments in the spirit of enlightening players as to the choices and consequences that ambitious ideas create.

The story in question concerns a monster created for Act Three called the City Stalkers (later changed to The Undying). These were practically invincible undead mobs that dwelled solely in the shadows of buildings and couldn’t be killed until later in the act when players found a special support gem that would disable the mobs’ regeneration.

While the concept was cool, the implementation brought up numerous issues. The devs said that the lethal encounters were “too aggressive” considering permadeath modes, that the mobs could be kited to the edge of sunlight, the new gem would mess up players’ builds, and more.

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Perfect Ten: The best MMO updates and expansions of 2017

Last year was positively stuffed with updates, expansions, and cool stuff. A lot of years I struggle to remember which major updates happened in the past year, due partly to my own faulty memory but due largely to the simple fact that not a lot of them really stuck out for me. This year? We were awash in updates. Some games literally gave me multiple choices about which update I thought was “the best” just because, well, there were so many.

So the list that follows is, honestly, a fragment of what could be chosen. At least one of them is something you will probably disagree with. And that’s fine, because thankfully, last year (as mentioned) contained tons of great updates for people to enjoy. So without further ado, let’s delve into the best updates of 2017 and gush for a bit about how many cool things got added to games last year.

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Steam’s best-selling 2017 games include ARK, Warframe, and H1Z1

With 2017 officially over and done, Steam’s taking a moment to report on its best-selling games over the course of the whole year. While there are no specifics shared as to which title sold how many copies, Valve does roughly rank games according to overall sales.

In the “platinum” category are several familiar online titles, including ARK: Survival Evolved, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, H1Z1, Warframe, and Dota 2.

Moving down into “gold,” we find Elder Scrolls Online crowing happily. “Silver” sellers mark Conan Exiles, Black Desert Online, War Thunder, and Path of Exile among the third-tier titles. The list is rounded out with other MMOs and MOBAs like Paladins, Elite: Dangerous, and The Division.

Steam’s Winter Sale, which contains many of these games and more, is ending on January 4th.

Source: Steam

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The MOP Up: Multiverse makes a comeback (December 31, 2017)

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 Record of Lodoss War OnlineAge of WushuFortniteEVE OnlineARMSPath of ExileDark and Light, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, all waiting for you after the break!

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Path of Exile offers up some stats on the Abyss League, three weeks in

Do you like math? If not… well, you’re not going to like the latest dispatch from Path of Exile because it’s all math. It’s a bunch of important stats about how players are tackling the game’s Abyss League after three weeks of operation. Spoiler warning: Most players have gotten past the first challenge, but there’s a steep dropoff in terms of players who have completed a second challenge on top of that. (It would be easier to read that if someone remembered to label the Y-axis on the graph, though.)

The post also contains stats on the most-used items, passives, and keystones. The unique item lists are based on the challenge type, and some items show up repeatedly; Tabula Rosa, for example, shows up in every type except the bottom layer, while Wildfire and Atziri’s Promise both show up in several lists. If you enjoy looking at stats, this is going to be a fun ride for you.

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Massively OP’s Best of 2017 Awards: Best MMO Studio of 2017

Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2017 awards continue today with our award for Best MMO Studio of 2017, which was awarded to ZeniMax last year. We asked our writers to consider major MMORPG studios in 2017, not just their pet favorites, and judge the studios on what they did within the MMORPG genre this year specifically. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for Best MMO Studio of 2017 is…

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Apple now demands lootbox odds disclosures from Appstore games

No matter what type of mobile device you run as your daily driver, you’re probably going to be surprised to hear that Apple is the one getting out in front of the whole lockbox gambling thing. Turns out the company has updated its app guidelines to demand odds disclosures from games with lockboxes and lootboxes.

“Apps offering ‘loot boxes’ or other mechanisms that provide randomized virtual items for purchase must disclose the odds of receiving each type of item to customers prior to purchase.”

Given how many mobile games use these tactics – Hearthstone is coming immediately to mind – that’s going to make for some interesting spreadsheet crunching in the coming months.

As multiple people have pointed out, Apple rather likes doing business in China, and China is well-known for strictly regulating odds disclosure on gacha games and those similar. Companies like Blizzard and Grinding Gear Games have previously done the same.

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Perfect Ten: The MMOs with the best value at the start of 2018

Let’s talk about value. A couple of weeks back, I did an article on the healthiest games at the end of the year; today, I’m talking about the best value for the money. Isn’t that the same thing?

No, it isn’t. Because health is about “what games have the most robust community and are most likely to be around next year,” but value is about “where can you get the most for the least money on a reliable basis.” And while there is a fair amount of overlap, it isn’t a one-for-one comparison.

You may recall we did this last year as well. This year, there have been some pretty significant shakeups, due in no small part to the fact that the value-for-your-money in some titles has gone down, and at least one title from last year’s list has outright closed. So let’s take a fresh look at the games giving you solid value for your dollars. Let’s even say ten of them, arranged in list format.

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Path of Exile: War for the Atlas releases on Xbox One

A couple of weeks after the PC version launched, Path of Exile: War for the Atlas has finally arrived on Xbox One. The MMOARPG expansion adds 32 maps, four new skill gems, and the Abyss challenge league.

On both platforms is a new lockbox that Grinding Gear introduced — and the studio revealed an interesting surprise about it. The Fire and Ice Mystery Box includes 38 items, and some of these can be combined to create entirely new items and effects.

“While the primary motivation of this system is that it offers some extra value for players who buy boxes,” the team said, “it also has the helpful side effect of mopping up some duplicate microtransactions. While the existence of duplicates is priced into the model we use for boxes, we’re open to carefully adding some fun methods like this to remove some.”

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Path of Exile updates players on the team’s current projects

So the most recent major update for Path of Exile is out now. You can enjoy War of the Atlas and the Abyss League right now… on PC. The console version is going to take a little bit longer, with a target date of somewhere between December 18th to the 22nd. But there’s more stuff going on behind the scenes, and before the team heads off for a holiday vacation, they took the time to let players know what to expect in the near future.

Players can expect several small updates for things like the Abyss crack visuals, with a skeleton crew maintaining operations during the holiday to fix any urgent bugs. A complete list of what is being examined and fixed shows a long list of troubles under observation, ranging from quality-of-life improvements to ability bugs. And, of course, there’s another major update planned for March of next year. So go forth and let your enemies explode around you with joy over the holiday season; there’s more good stuff to come.

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Path of Exile is adding a map stash tab

Where are you going to store all of your maps in Path of Exile? There are too many maps, and you have no place to store them. Picture your character tripping over maps, sighing in frustration, looking at the screen and exclaiming, “There’s got to be a better way!” You know, like an old infomercial.

Good news! There is a better way! Specifically, it’s the addition of a new map stash tab, allowing you to… well… stash your maps. In that tab. You can put maps there. It pretty much does what it says on the tin.

While technical limitations had long made it difficult to have a stash tab for non-stacking items, those limitations have been solved, and players will be able to benefit from a more useful storage method. Check out the video just below to get a more in-depth overview of the new feature. Now you don’t have to cram dozens of maps into your pants! (It is assumed that was your previous storage method.)

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