This guest Soapbox
was commissioned through Massively Overpowered’s Kickstarter campaign and is authored by Tyler F.M. Edwards
, who blogs at www.superior-realities.com
. The opinions here represent the views of our guest author and not necessarily Massively OP itself. Enjoy!
The concept of “stickiness” is always a hot topic in the MMO community — stickiness being the sum of those game qualities that ensure player retention and keep people coming back. Fans and journalists talk about it often, and I don’t doubt that MMO developers devote an enormous amount of time and money to making their games sufficiently sticky.
But this obsession with stickiness can do more harm than good, and when developers focus on retention, they risk losing sight of what really matters: making games that are fun to play.
Whether you’ve played through Guild Wars 2’s living story to date and haven’t kept every detail straight or you need some help in untangling the game’s narrative, there’s no shame in using ArenaNet’s new storyline refresher post to bring you up to speed in time for the Heart of Thorns expansion.
The article starts with the appearance of everyone’s second-favorite Sylvari, Scarlett, and takes the reader straight through the end of the events of season 2. Naturally, there are loads of spoilers, so if you haven’t finished the questline, you might want to hold off reading it until then.
[Source: The story so far
It’s no joke! MassivelyOP’s MJ is indeed returning to Guild Wars 2 to prowl the land and take in some new sights. As beautiful as it is, it’s time for her to really venture out of the forest of the Sylvari, and rumor has it there are lots of great things to see in the swampy jungles of the Asura, the frost mountains of the Norn, the plains of the Charr, and even the hills of the humans. Tune in live at 8:30 p.m. to join her on her trek (and even enter to win your own copy of GW2 in the process!).
What: Guild Wars 2
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:30 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015
Enjoy the show!
It’s April 1st, and in the MMO space that means that studios morph into merry tricksters and devious liars. But how will you keep track of all the goings-on today? With this article, of course!
We’ll be endeavoring to collect and link to all of the fun and wacky April Fools’ Day pranks that are going on in MMOs and on studios’ websites. If you know of one that’s not on the list, send us a tip or leave a comment below, as we’ll be updating this post all day.
A few weeks ago I asked the Massively Overpowered community if all MMOs should come with player music systems. In my opinion, at least, the answer to this is “almost always, yes.” Giving players tools and freedom to express themselves creatively through music is such an immersive and socially bonding element to a game, and yet such systems are more rarities than commonplace.
Today in Jukebox Heroes I wanted to flit around between seven different MMOs to deliver examples of how each included a player music system into its world. From the obscure to the popular, we’ve got an MMO symphony awaiting you after the break!
If you — like a certain unnamed but devastatingly handsome Massively Overpowered writer — have stalled out on the final stage of Guild Wars 2’s personal storyline, then this will make your day. The studio announced that it is changing the final two missions to allow it to be tackled by as few as one and as many as five players, allowing for a full solo run. Currently, the final mission requires a group of players to successfully complete.
ArenaNet Lead Writer Bobby Stein also said that the team is re-recording certain lines and restoring a mission that it had previously yanked: “To put it simply, we’re reactivating the ‘My Greatest Fear’ story steps and putting chapter eight content back in its original position in the overall narrative.”
[Source: Personal Story Restoration Update
; thanks Enikuo!]
To combat “account takeovers, fraud, and RMT,” ArenaNet is putting a hard cap on the amount of gold in Guild Wars 2 that can be sent by players through the mail or withdrawn from a guild vault. Starting today, players can transfer only 500 gold per week through these venues, although funds handled via the trading post will be exempt from the limit.
Why 500 gold? The team said that data derived from compromised accounts show that this will impact respectable players the least while serving as a deterrent to account thefts: “A large majority (98.228%) of those mails are being sent by RMT or compromised accounts (after selling off everything of value on an account).”
If you had told me that one of the big bits of news this week would be the release of Dungeon Fighter Online into beta testing for the second time, I wouldn’t have believed you. But here we are; people were super jazzed about that.
People have also been jazzed about the second wave of Skyforge CBT fun, with Justin taking the time to put together his first impressions while MJ showed off her own first impressions. And that’s barely even scratching the surface of all the stuff that took place this week in the test arena.
Our complete list of MMOs in testing is below.
Legendary weapons are something of a chore for Guild Wars 2 players, as they rely a fair bit upon luck just to get the necessary precursor weapon. Heart of Thorns is bringing in a much-requested addition by allowing players to craft these precursors via the Mastery system. A new development blog outlines how players can assemble their own Legendary precursor and unlock new skins along the way.
Mastery tracks are account-wide, so players choosing to pursue this goal will be able to craft their precursors only on a single character. Each weapon has a lengthy path of collections filled with appropriate activities for the weapon’s namesake and background; the Moot, used as an example, focuses around Norn values of hunting animals and partying as hard as possible. Players who have long wanted to seek out the Legendary weapons but wanted to see Precursors more reliably available should check out the development post for all the details.
One of the routinely stated design goals about Guild Wars 2 is that you should be able to wander out in the world and be happy to see others. Interacting and working with other players should be welcome. But it’s hard to welcome others when you’re playing a build focused around stacking bleeding effects on the target, since in the live game there’s a hard limit to how many stacks of that debuff can be applied, making your bleeding useless past a certain point.
Good news, though: That limit is being removed for Heart of Thorns, allowing players with condition-based damage to work together more comfortably with the expansion launch. Game design lead Jon Peters posted about this on the official forums, stressing that while there was a need for more balancing and testing, it was indeed an intentional change to make group play more satisfying for condition-based players. More information about how this system will work for other conditions and more potential balance changes is incoming, but it’s definitely a step toward making the bleeding cycle feel less exclusionary.
[Source: Official forums
Since my last edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, ArenaNet has released the eagerly anticipated camera patch, and I have been squealing with delight while enjoying the new character-specific perspective these controls have given me. The relatively simple new camera toolset makes me very excited for the future of Guild Wars 2, as familiar areas in Tyria now feel very different depending on which of my characters I play.
Before launching into my rather gushing rambles about the Lock to Character Height and First Person options, however, I should briefly highlight that the patch did cause a number of serious ongoing issues. I had anticipated the odd bug or two when the patch was initially delayed from its original launch date of March 10th; I’m very sympathetic to development delays and the occasional glitch since I work in game development myself (it’s not an MMO) and have been in this boat before. Having said that, this patch caused a surprising number of serious bugs that really should have been squashed before the patch ever was exposed to the masses.
For the most part, my MMO gaming world is pretty black and white. If I enjoy a game, then I’m playing it. If I’m not playing it, either it doesn’t interest me or I have negative feelings toward it.
But then there’s the weird case of Guild Wars 2, an MMO that I simultaneously love and hate. It’s a weird mixture born from being delighted by what the game does so well and frustrated by the many things at which it fails. I have a hard time talking about it in a purely positive light without letting criticism seep in, and I don’t know how healthy that it for my ongoing journey with it.
Do you have a love/hate relationship with an MMO? If so, what is it?
Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to play an MMO while affected by colorblindness? A guest writer over at Epic Slant penned an interesting piece about what it’s like to attempt to play games that don’t make allowances for those who can’t discern between sometimes-crucial colors and shades.
Fortunately, he says that studios are making progress: “Another example of a similar solution on the PC can be found in both League of Legends and World of Warcraft. Both of these titles have had graphical filters for years and, in the latest update, even more progress has been made in WoW to really help out players who need it. In fact, WoW took the idea of graphical filters and added text to help players further.”
Continue on to see what MMO bloggers have to say about Skyforge, The Secret World, and more!