Protests in the real world dominated this past weekend's news, and while I surfed around for an in-game equivalent to cover, I couldn't find much of one (though I found people selling themed accessories in Second Life!). That said, protests in MMORPGs aren't unheard of, and I mean actual protests, not memorials and vigils. World of Warcraft players will remember multiple protests throughout that game's history, mostly against the design of the game, but sometimes against Blizzard's policies. How about the Million Gnome March, for example, which caused game outages and threats from the studio claiming protests were "griefing"? Or the 2006 protests against Blizzard's stance on LGBT guilds -- which the studio reversed? How about the multiple Occupy SAB protests in Guild Wars 2, which ArenaNet allowed to transpire without much fuss?
I've never been to an in-game protest that I recall [Edit: I'm wrong. I have! See comments!], but I did stage my own one-woman protest in Star Wars Galaxies, where following the pronouncement that "no one wanted to play Uncle Owen" because moisture farmers were boring, I promptly rolled a character whose primary role was moisture farming on her permanently installed moisture farm. I made a lot of credits and had a lot of fun selling water on that character, right up until the day the servers were sunsetted. Silly? Maybe, but it gave me some life to prove that the suits were full of shit and didn't really understand the first thing about their own playerbase.
Have you ever participated in a protest in an MMORPG?
While there are plenty of similarities among magic systems in MMOs (hey, how about you cast another fireball? There you go, champ!), there is a lot of variety as well. I'm always attracted to systems that put some though into their design, such as Guild Wars 2's illusion-based Mesmers, the mix-and-match Necromancers of Vanguard, and Lord of the Rings Online's wordy Rune-keepers.
At the very least, I have to applaud developers who at least put in the effort to gussy up the same mechanics in a new outfit. But when a team eschews the tired magic tropes and starts to get imaginative with spellcasting? That's when I perk up and pay attention.
What's your favorite MMO magic system and why?
The world is gearing up for Chinese New Year, which is technically January 28th, but that means the party is just getting started -- in China and in MMOs. As is tradition for the franchise, Guild Wars 2 is getting in on the action with so-dubbed Lunar New Year festivities and rooster loot, from minipets to backpacks.
"Every year, Tyrians gather to celebrate the Canthan tradition of Lunar New Year in Divinity’s Reach. Visit the Crown Pavilion today to play Dragon Ball, and open Divine Lucky Envelopes for treats and good fortune!"
New themed cash-shop items abound too, include a Celestial Rooster harvesting tool and new themed dye kits. Those of you watching the lockbox rotation will likewise notice the addition of a "Divine Lucky Envelope" in the seasonal item slot.
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!
This week, Black Desert Online started rewarding loyal players with all manner of goodies. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from Guild Wars 2, Overwatch, Defiance, and more, all waiting for you after the break!
I was surfing the Guild Wars 2 Reddit (because I'm a glutton for punishment) yesterday and bumped into a thread mocking some of the game's inventory problems. Actually, one specific problem: A whole bunch of identical items in the game just will. not. stack. Why do a whole bunch of identical reward bags have different item ID numbers? Because of reasons. It doesn't matter. It drives people bonkers because not only do you waste a ton of inventory space -- which costs actual money to increase, mind you -- but you waste a ton of time repeatedly clicking and trying to make stuff stack that never will.
That got me thinking about other inventory pet peeves, like the lack of gridification in The Elder Scrolls Online. So tell me: What's your biggest MMORPG inventory pet peeve? I won't even make you turn it into a gif!
Massively OP patron Duane is kicking the new year off right: with a brawl over combat types in MMOs.
"Tab-target, action, or hybrid combat, for many MMO gamers the combat system, regardless of whether it is a well-made, is a deal maker or breaker," he writes -- I like to imagine he wrote it with a mischievous glint in his eye. "What is the superior combat system, and why is it superior (please give examples)? Let the battle-lines be drawn!"
I posed his question to the MOP writers for this week's Overthinking. Here we go!
I spent quite a while poring over a recent gem of a video that served as a fantastically nostalgic trip down memory lane through its condensed retelling of the Living World season 1 story
. The cleverly constructed movie was made possible by the historic work of several Guild Wars 2
enthusiasts, with several contributions being knitted together in a coherent order by Youtuber Dreamy Abaddon
in an almost 3-hour delight. Although much of the content has not been voiced over or personally recorded by Abaddon, the amount of effort that has gone into creating the piece has to be commended. It's fantastic to remember the roots of the Living World system in this way since we can no longer revisit what many would consider it the best season to date.
In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I'm going to take you through a lighthearted list of particular moments or sentiments I'd forgotten about in the haze of all that story content, which I hope will inspire you to check out the full movie for yourself, especially if you missed out on Season 1. My list is a little spoilerific for those who aren't up to date with Scarlet's story, but since it's such old content I doubt any of you will shout over that. In any case, I hope you enjoy my list of forgotten favourites from Season 1 and will collate your own best moments in the comments below.
While Guild Wars 2 is right now in the middle of its third season of the living world campaign, there's always a chance that you've missed out on the story and action from the first season way back when.
Fortunately for you, the community has assembled a massive season one movie that includes all of the quests, cutscenes, and stories as a way to catch up on the narrative (or just go through a refresher course). It's a pretty long video, clocking in at two hours and 40 minutes, but then again, it was a pretty long season.
Clear your Monday schedule and give the following movie a watch, all under the guise of "research!"
One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It's way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.
But all the same, for tonight's Massively Overthinking, we'd like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2017 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.
Sometimes you have to exclude something from a list. I could, for example, praise World of Warcraft: Legion for being a really good expansion yet again... but I already did that. Heck, we already did that. It won an award and everything. And it deserves that award, but let's be real, we did not suffer at all from a paucity of updates over the past year. So it's time to honor some of the other updates that were great this past year that haven't gotten enough recognition.
Of course, this is my own curated list, so if you're looking for objectivity combined with a subjective rating like "best," you may be looking for love in all of the wrong places. Let's take one last look through 2016 at all of the really cool game updates that made the onslaught of deaths and tragedy at least slightly more pleasant.
How much money can you hold at any given time in Guild Wars 2? You might be the type of player who struggles to hang on to 10 gold without blowing it on the trading post, but one gamer, Numerix, made it a goal to save up as much cash as possible. In so doing, Numerix discovered Guild Wars 2's previously unannounced gold cap: 200,000.
"Today I reached 200,000 G, and with it, the maximum you can store in your wallet," the player told Reddit. "But I'm not really happy about it, because my target [was a] million. And the worst of all is the fact that there is no hidden achievement or title if you reach the end of the wallet."
Numerix provided screenshot proof of this event along with tales of other achievements in the game. Now how about spreading some of that gold around, eh?
. Thanks Kieran!
Every week for the last few years, we've expanded on our "Daily Grind" theme with a Leaderboard poll. I've had a blast taking over Leaderboard; Daily Grinds always get lovely qualitative answers, but numbers! tallies! bar graphs! Polls are a quantitative sort of magic that we don't often get from our other articles -- at least when they aren't being brigaded.
Let's take a look back at our best MMO polls of 2016!
Massively Overpowered's end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for MMORPG the Year, which was awarded to Final Fantasy XIV last year.
Recall that in 2014, we couldn't reach consensus on an MMO of the year. In fact, enough of us voted "nothing" that "nothing" is exactly what won, which was a depressing way to end the year. So last year, we took readers' advice and opened this category up to all MMOs, provided they did something noteworthy this year. We've done the same this year, though as you'll soon see, we needn't have.
All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end, and congratulations to all of this year’s nominees and winners.
The Massively OP staff pick for MMORPG of 2016 is...