Do you like Guild Wars 2? Do you like PvP? If you answered yes and yes, the fact that ArenaNet has announced its third Tournament of Legends PvP event may interest you.
Or it may not, in which case you can safely skip the remainder of this post.
The tourney is open to players of all skill levels and it features five-person teams in a best-of-three single-elimination format. The Euro version of the event happens on May 23rd, while the North American version is scheduled for May 30th. Prizes include legendary weapons, components, gems, precursor weapons, and more.
[Source: ANet announcement
Players are not getting a level cap bump with Heart of Thorns; the apex of power in Guild Wars 2 will remain Level 80. But there will be new progression in the form of Masteries, which a new article explores in some depth. The difference is that rather than represent universal power growth, Masteries are entirely contextual character improvements that allow characters to better navigate, explore, and handle content that the player is doing anyway. So all of the movement tricks like gliders aren’t just fun ways to explore the jungle; they’re ways for players to access parts of the jungle that would otherwise be cut off.
Players, meanwhile, are a little miffed that all the mastery in the world won’t allow them to access the Super Adventure Box again. A parody video by Eexa expresses annoyance in the only possible way: in the form of a song! It’s probably not going to fully send the message either, but when you’ve already got a history of making musical parodies about building golems and being a genius in Lion’s Arch, it’s at least consistent.
This week’s Massively Overthinking question is posed by Kickstarter donor Winterskorn, who wants to talk about something getting less and less love in MMORPGs lately: PvE.
“There are currently a lot of PvP-centric MMOs cropping up. But when companies talk analytics, they always indicate PvPers are small percentage of the population. So the question is why are there no PvE centric MMOs — solely PvE with no PvP attached?”
I polled the Massively OP writers for their take. Is Winterskorn’s perception accurate, and if so, where are the purely PvE MMOs?
Every MMO represents a journey, starting with an idea, progressing to a fledgling beta, launching as a production title, and growing thereafter. All of the games we know now aren’t exactly the same as they were one, two, or more years ago by virtue of change.
Thus, it’s often easy to remember that many MMOs launched without what we would consider fairly important features, particularly those specific to the game’s vision or name. I list these today not to make fun of the games (well, not just to make fun of them) but to illustrate how features are often sacrificed in the pursuit of getting a title out of the door — and how far these titles have come.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Scott McGough, a Guild Wars 2 narrative designer who is currently working hard on Heart of Thorns content, about two new Hylek tribes that we’ll be meeting in the Maguuma Jungle. In this special edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, we have all the juicy details about how the two tribes come together to survive in the hostile jungle environment, with hints galore about how those races are equipped for combat and how they might perceive the players’ characters.
The Itzel and Nuhoch Hylek tribes are very different from each other, yet the Heart of Thorns narrative has deeply tied them together in their mutual battle against the dangers the jungle holds, especially the Mordrem. The Itzel are happy-go-lucky iridescent tree dwellers based on treefrogs that believe the jungle provides for all their needs, and their Nuhoch cousins are goliath bullfrogs that prefer to use brute strength and epic belly flops to solve their problems.
McGough will be publishing a blog post about the Hylek tribes on the official Guild Wars 2 website on Thursday, and this will be supported by a Points of Interest show this Friday that will give us a first glimpse of some of the places where players will interact with the Nuhoch and Itzel as well as some of their combat moves. Points of Interest will air on the Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel at 12 p.m. PT. Read on for the mammoth full interview, but be careful if you are worried about spoilers!
Today we welcome on the show our first Kickstarter guest hosts, Ben Ebaugh and Tyler Johnson of Red Mountain Concepts. Together we forge a new future, solve world hunger, and figure out how to end the scourge of lockboxes once and for all! Or we just talk about the weird, sad, and wonderful news of the week.
Join us on the podcast as we talk about what we’ve been playing in MMOs, the top news stories from the past week, and topics that listeners have submitted!
You can play Guild Wars 2‘s upcoming expansion PvP mode right now! The Stronghold public beta is today! And then it closes up shop again tomorrow, so if you don’t play it today, you’re going to have to wait. You should probably do that now if you can. Maybe not if you’re at work; your boss probably wouldn’t appreciate your running off to play instead of doing your job. You know what we mean.
Are you nervous because you don’t have the slightest idea how to play the map beyond the universal points of not dying and doing damage to other players? Not to worry; there’s a helpful video guide available from the preview events that should give you a clear picture of how to play. And if all else fails, you can always fall back on the defense of this being a beta wherein no one is an expert just yet. The old standby.
It’s been a long tradition (from before my tenure) to use a black-and-white version of the first picture of the week for the header here at One Shots. It’s interesting to me to see how much a screenshot changes when the color is stripped from it; sometimes it becomes more interesting and sometimes you lose the lustre that color imbues.
This is my roundabout way of saying that today’s EverQuest II picture goes from being so-so to vibrant when you transition into the colorized version. Reader The Lurker says that he took this on during a sunrise ride: “Here I am heading to Qeynos early in the morning and taking a shortcut over the fields. Hopefully no angry farmer will see it and give chase — it’s a gamble!”
So what does it look like when our Massively OP interns get finished coloring inside of the lines? Let’s find out!
What? Massively OP’s MJ has another copy of Guild Wars 2 to give away, you say? And this is a deluxe edition? Well hot diggity dog, that’s more than enough reason for her to delve deep into the lands of Tyria! Not only that, but there are tons more sights for her to see, vistas to experience, mobs to introduce herself to, and more than a little trouble she can get herself into. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you…
What: Guild Wars 2
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 11th, 2015
Would you like to talk about Black Desert? Stuff’s happening with the game. You can learn how to hunt whales, white or otherwise, and you can learn about the game’s next class. Or you can read a fandom rant about the issues that have cropped up with the game during its testing phases, although as always you might want to take that rant with a grain of salt or two. It’s a good habit to get into.
Elsewhere in the MMO space, meanwhile:
You want more? Ah, all right, jump on past the break and check out our full list as always.
This week’s Massively Overthinking question comes to us from Kickstarter donor JakeDunnegan, who is worried about the future of MMORPG guilds.
When EverQuest came along, I was introduced to the concept of guilds, which was a bit different from league play in Tribes. Voice chat in EQ wasn’t really a thing unlike the need for Roger Wilco in Tribes. And guilds added so much to playing. Since grouping was so critical in EQ, being in a guild was a must for effective play for anyone but Necros and Druids, who were the only effective solo players at the time.
Requirements for getting in some guilds were extremely stringent, yet the real-world rewards were unlike much we see today. It wasn’t uncommon at all for people to be in the same physical area to get together or folks travelling to stop in and have dinner with fellow guildies. I did this on many occassions, even planning a small weekend stop-over at a guild leader’s house about a half a day’s drive away.
All this and I played EQ for only about two years. We eventually started our own guild, and it would ebb and flow as new MMOs came out, but the game that really, effectively, killed off the concept of guilding — for me, anyway — was the ironically named Guild Wars 2.
NCsoft West has laid off a number of support staff and is moving its customer service operation to a third-party provider, according to Polygon. Today’s layoffs are apparently the final phase of a corporate restructuring announced in October of 2014.
Sixteen staffers at NCsoft’s Austin location were let go, which was basically that office’s entire support team, according to an anonymous tipster who was among the affected.
The official statement from the company is below.
Two days ago, World of Warcraft launched the WoW Token service, which will kill the game forever. It thus joins the list of every expansion and change to the game since launch as a herald of certain doom.
Joking aside, it’s understandable that players would be a wee bit apprehensive, since this is a bold new direction for the game. Sure, people have always traded real money for in-game currency, but before it was usually under the table, shady, and generally the sort of thing that resulted in bans and accounts being stolen. Now it’s totally legitimate. Plop your credit card on the table and get some game money.
But while it’s new territory for World of Warcraft, it’s not new territory for MMOs. There are a lot of titles that have, in various ways, codified the idea that you can drop some real coin and pick up virtual coins. To the great surprise of no one, none of these games has erupted in flames as a result of it.