The floodgates officially open at 1 p.m. EDT this afternoon, but until then, we’ve rounded up all our coverage and streams of the game to now, plus a few of the game’s latest prep vids. Happy launch day!
As June continues to roll along, so do the PvP-related updates in Guild Wars 2. So far ArenaNet has updated Tyria’s world-vs.-world content and skirmishing with the first part of the Competitive Feature Pack, followed by the start of PvP League season 4. Today’s update is live now and includes the new 2v2 team deathmatch map, Hall of the Mists; the retooled Heart of the Mists PvP lobby; and 5v5 automated tournaments: “The pinnacle of competitive combat. Compete in daily tournaments to qualify for a monthly tournament to earn rewards, glory, and the chance to see your winning team honored with statues in the lobby!”
The patch also has a bit for cosmetic junkies; Dulfy reports that the new cash-shop dyes appear to include the brightest white shades released to date.
During this week’s Massively OP podcast (live this afternoon!), Justin and I tackled a detailed question about MMO group makeup, the trinity, and combat, and we took the opportunity to tangent a bit into praising City of Heroes, which not only managed to smash the trinity but did so in a way that increased the number of combat roles in a group over the standard, provided flexible difficulty modes at a time when that was unheard of, and scaled content to group size, meaning that you didn’t really need to take a full group of eight into most of the instanced content. You took what you had and that was enough. It was brilliant.
And while I’m not much of a fan of huge, methodical raids anymore, that’s more because I dislike them as the Only Thing To Do At Endgame. I do love massive group sizes, however, which is why I lamented the loss of the 20-man group in Star Wars Galaxies and adore the casual swarms of Guild Wars 2. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem to matter whether the formal group size is four or five or six; my guildies always seem to be one body short of what we need, and I constantly find myself wishing for City of Heroes’ ruleset.
What do you think is the ideal group size in an MMORPG? And do you base that on social balance or typical class configurations or something else entirely?
Guild Wars 2 is warning players about a “modest uptick in account thefts related to phishing,” according to a post on the official forums this weekend. ArenaNet’s Gaile Gray writes that the scammers are skipping out-of-game email and running their tricks inside the game itself.
“One of the more common phishing attempts today is coming from within the game,” she says. “The in-game message claims to come from ArenaNet or the Guild Wars 2 Team or it may be signed by someone who purports to be a member of our GM team.” Double-check that any mail you get in-game really is coming from ArenaNet (there’s gold text notifying you if it isn’t), click no links, and give out no personal information. Legit game companies don’t operate that way.
Locking down your account with the mobile authenticator is always a smart idea too. Yeah, it’s mildly annoying when your IP changes or you left your phone in your bag, but it’s a whole lot less annoying than having to beg customer service for the restoration of your hacked account.
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 we have stories and videos from Twilight Spirits, The Black Death, Conqueror’s Blade, Worlds Adrift, Ragnarok Journey, TERA, Wakfu, ARK, Guild Wars 2, and Destiny 2, all waiting for you after the break!
If you’re playing Guild Wars 2, chances are you’re quite aware that this month’s update will be all about the “competitive” game — namely, PvP and WvW improvements. One of the big features comes in the form of skirmishes, which are meant to make the world-vs-world scene more accessible to the average player.
“Skirmishes are intended to make two-hour chunks of playtime within a much longer WvW matchup feel meaningful,” ArenaNet explained, “and the new Skirmish reward track lets combatants earn pips toward rewards for their efforts on the battlefield […] The team is also scaling down the time required, so players will start earning the bonus pip after one week instead of three.”
Among the many rewards that players can work toward in their competitive career is a new WvW-exclusive legendary backpack called Warbringer. The “intimidating” backpack is themed around siege weaponry.
I ask for “camp” from all of you — and camp is what I got, although not necessarily what I envisioned. Sometimes it’s better than that! So what did Rees Racer immediately go to when I requested pictures of summer camp?
“There’s no pretending TERA is an open-world sandbox,” he said. “It is straight-up themepark. This means there are plenty of towns (large and small) along with various and sundry other quest hubs cleverly disguised as camps. I’m having good fun leveling the newest Valkyrie class, and here she is during a brief respite at the Desert Research Station in Val Aureum.”
May I float the suggestion that saddling a lion and pulling on its mane while shouting “GIDDYUP!” only has one logical and unfortunate conclusion?
“Automated tournaments are the new peak of player vs. player competition in Guild Wars 2,” said ArenaNet. “You’ll be able to compete in three different daily single-elimination tournaments as part of a five-person team to earn gold and qualifying points — the latter of which can land you a spot in the monthly tournament.”
Prizes for these tournaments include mystic coins, llama minis, and the Glorious Hero’s armor set.
Between bouts, players can hang out in the redesigned PvP lobby. The studio was quick to stress that the new lobby will have all of the same vendors as the old one but with an updated look and a “few surprises.” There will even be a special lounge for the best-of-the-best in the PvP community.
After four years and over 700 MMORPG music tracks, the Battle Bards have arrived at their 100th show! For this centennial spectacular, Syl, Steff, and Syp reminisce about the most notable shows, their best soundtrack discoveries, and their favorite tracks. This super-sized show gets wrapped up with a bout of listener emails and a promise of another amazing hundred episodes!
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, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
We’ve had many chats here on Massively OP concerning the best and most flexible player housing systems in MMORPGs — and lamented games that lack such systems entirely. But today I would like us to discuss housing systems that ultimately let us down.
Last weekend I jumped through a ton of hoops to finally get a small apartment in Final Fantasy XIV, only to find myself let down by the end product. The prerequisites were annoying, the cost prohibitive, and the decoration tools basic and weirdly difficult to use. Although perhaps the biggest let down in this category came with Guild Wars 2’s home instances, which during the lead-up to launch I had envisioned as being a much larger housing system. Now I know the truth, that the only customization I can put into these areas is a big hunk of candy corn to mine.
Which MMO housing system disappointed you? For a bonus topic, would you rather a lackluster housing system over no housing at all?
I’ve been asked several times for my opinion on how best to handle the influx of non-WvW Guild Wars 2 players to the game mode in the wake of the reward system update. As you’ll all know, I am not a committed WvW player and tend to play the mode only when I have a specific need to or when I’m helping out a friend, but nevertheless, I have compiled some helpful advice for those who wish to start skirmishing now. Make no mistake about it: WvW can be as entertaining as it is intimidating when you get into the groove, though to get the best out of the game mode you’ll need to pick up on WvW etiquette fairly quickly.
In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll help you navigate the rapid-fire world of WvW, giving you advice on keeping commanders happy, getting the best out of your efforts, chatting strategically, and setting your toon up for WvW success.
One of the indie highlights of this weekend’s pre-E3 show was Ashen, a beautiful survival sandbox with a former Guild Wars 2 artist on board at studio Aurora44. It’s not quite an MMORPG, but it’s promising what it’s calling “passive multiplayer” in a “seamless multiplayer” mode — a bit like what No Man’s Sky promised and failed to deliver — though you can opt to play solo too. It’s reminding me more of the Myst franchise or Wander in that it’s a survival sandbox framed by mystery and open-world exploration and relationship-building, not so much by the now-tropish parade of murderous zombies, dinosaurs, or other players (which is not to imply it’s not stuffed with danger, mind you!).
It’s expected to be a Microsoft exclusive, meaning PC and Xbox One release only, and that includes the newly announced Xbox One X. Peek at the trailer down below.
Ahh… smell that? Smells like a new batch of EverQuest nostalgia, served up to us as a fresh progression server. For some of the faithful, the chance to get a hit of that nostalgia is absolutely irresistible.
“I love EverQuest,” blogger Stargrace writes. “I love the excitement that comes with playing on a progression server. I love how busy they are, and watching chat channels fly by. I love the community and the fuzzy feelings I get when I think about that time in my life.”
Kaozz explained why this server was in such high demand: “My son was baffled how many people want to play on this type of server. I’ve been waiting on one for years and keep up with the requests in the forums I have seen for so many years.”
And The Ancient Gaming Noob finds it baffling that Blizzard isn’t cashing in on these kinds of servers with World of Warcraft. “Nostalgia sells, these servers are popular, they offer something people want and, more importantly, something people are willing to pay for,” he said.