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First impressions of Worlds Adrift: Innovation, Zelda, open-world PvP, and that sinking feeling

Worlds Adrift has been one of those games I’ve been closely watching but trying not to jump into until it was ready. I tried one of the alpha weekends, and while it was playable, I could tell I needed to wait, and wait I did. I had faith that once the game would hit Steam (“early access” shield be damned if you ask for cash to play your game), it’d be something that’d move me. In fact, I called it out by name when discussing possible future MMOs that could tackle griefing with a moral system.

Today, I’m here to eat my hat, good sirs and madams.

While Improbable has been trying to “save MMOs” with SpatialOS, this being the first big MMO that uses it doesn’t wholly impress me. Some things work well, and yes, there are some good ideas, but as a PvP fan, I think there are some glaring mistakes that are going to send a lot of MMORPG players heading for the hills. Let’s dig in.

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The MOP Up: Old School RuneScape puts the finishing touches on Theater of Blood (May 20, 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 HellionReign of GuildsSkyforgeOld School RuneScapeWar of RightsLineage MHeroes and GeneralsAurcus OnlineARK ParkDark and LightWild TerraCitadel: Forged With Fire, and Hearthstone, all waiting for you after the break!

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Legion: The Eternal War’s evil magic pits Elves against Humans

Here’s an indie MMORPG that you may not have known about before this week. Legion: The Eternal War is a small title that’s been in development for a while by Nexus Division, but as of late the project seems to have picked up pace.

The setting of the game involves a world where formerly united Elves and humans have become bitter enemies thanks to the introduction of magic by some sinister crystals into the world. “The game will be filled with entertaining stories, rewarding progression systems, and refined mechanics,” the team wrote. “All of this is presented to produce a memorable experience highlighted by social interaction and nail-biting tension.”

The dev team is staking the game’s future on systems such as player housing, an expansive fantasy world, PvP, character customization, a wide array of magic, wars with guilds, and alliances. Last December, the team showed off a few prototypes of the different biomes that players might find in the game.

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One Shots: A sense of place

Why do you play MMORPGs? What keeps you questing through these ever-growing worlds? I think a lot of us might answer like Zyrusticae in Blade and Soul here, as we enjoy inhabiting and exploring virtual fantasy worlds.

“See, this is the sort of thing I play MMORPGs for,” Zyrusticae writes. “That sense of ‘place.’ Being somewhere else, even if it’s only behind a computer screen. Old shots, yes, but still some of my favorites just for that. It’s a very pleasant feeling, really.”

Will you find your sense of place in the following player screenshots? Let’s find out!

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Guild Wars 2 tournament needs players to sign up and donate

Eager to watch — or even participate in — the next big Guild Wars 2 tournament? Then you’ll want to stay tuned to the Unity Gaming Organization 5v5 Conquest Tournament that’s kicking off this weekend.

UGO’s tournament is back from last year and prizes players who can adjust to the most recent meta for the MMO. Players can sign up for the tournament through this Saturday and tune in to watch others compete for a growing prize pool, gems, and in-game gold. In fact, the organization is asking fans to contribute gold and money to boost these rewards.

The North American tournie will take place on Sunday, May 20th, while the European version is coming a little later on June 3rd. Both can be viewed live on Twitch.

Source: Guild Wars 2

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Massively Overthinking: On slavery mechanics in MMOs

Polygon recently had an interview with Conan Exiles creative director Joel Bylos focused on the game’s slavery mechanics, a “feature” I had entirely forgotten about, probably because the game calls such NPCs – whom you are encouraged to capture and enslave – “thralls.” Bylos likens thralls to the ‘bots of Westworld: They serve multiple purposes, from dancing for entertainment to manning base defenses as “intelligent turrets.” Essentially, he argues, they’re a mechanic that allows a single human player to build out and staff a mini empire.

I thought it would be interesting to explore the subject of slavery in Massively Overthinking now that Conan is back in the headlines (and getting good reviews). Should slavery exist in MMOs and other online games? Does it get a pass because it’s NPCs, or does it make you uncomfortable to see your player potentially cast as a heroic slaveholder?

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The Stream Team: Gabbing all about Guild Wars 2

Success! Massively OP’s MJ has finally nabbed Bree for some GW2 adventures! What adventures? Does it matter: It’s Bree and MJ gabbing all about the game. It doesn’t matter where they go or what they do, they will still cause trouble. Don’t believe us? Tune in live at 6:00 p.m. as this dangerous duo take over…

What: Guild Wars 2
Who: Bree Royce & MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 17th, 2018

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Hyperspace Beacon: The SWTOR Summer roadmap might get you back into PvP

Star Wars: The Old Republic producer Keith Kanneg just dropped the next roadmap earlier today, outlining the features upcoming before September and a little bit beyond. Although he didn’t give much detail about the future of the story for the game, he gave us enough hints that we can speculate about the direction it’s headed.

At the very top of the roadmap post, Kanneg thanks everyone for such a great first year as producer of SWTOR and hopes that everyone enjoyed the traitor storyline. The story ends with a lot of questions unanswered, but unfortunately, those questions will not be answered until sometime after September according to the post. However, it’s possible that some of the setups this summer are pointing toward what the developers have planned.

Kanneg said the devs have been listening to players and “as a result, [they will] be making a lot of changes based on your feedback, beginning with our PvP plans this summer.” 2018 will be the summer of PvP for SWTOR, so let’s break down everything that the developers are doing.

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Perfect Ten: How MMOs can become more accessible

Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I was remarkably reluctant to enter into the field of MMORPGs despite being a perfect candidate (a gaming geek who loved fantasy and sci-fi RPGs). All of the reasons that I had at the time for stalling really could have been boiled down to a single word: accessibility.

MMOs back then looked — and probably were — very inaccessible. They had a payment barrier. They required a lot of setup and hardware. Their interfaces were cluttered and their gameplay interactions were obtuse. Frankly, I got the impression that a lot of them were a mess that was only understandable to those who had put in hundreds of hours to decipher the format.

When MMOs started to become more accessible, particularly with City of Heroes, World of Warcraft, and Guild Wars, I eagerly jumped in. Those three titles in particular made giant leaps forward in opening up these games to the first-time player. But that doesn’t mean that MMORPGs have arrived at universal accessibility just yet. Here are ten areas that studios could be improving in order to make their titles more appealing and understandable to outsiders.

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Returning to Conan Exiles: Praise for Funcom’s progress on PvE and PvP

As some of you may remember, I wasn’t terribly impressed with Conan Exiles when it first went into Early Access last year. It wasn’t exactly that the game was rough, but just more of the same: free-for-all PvP with people constantly zerg killing each other, now with slavery and some dragons!

But Funcom has done a lot to flesh out the game since then. My GDC look at the game gave me hope, and although the PvE conflict switcharoo is really upsetting, I actually have to say that, mechanically, Funcom has won me over. While I normally track my playtime, I have to admit that I spent far too much time playing Exiles. Sadly, I didn’t get to experience clans, god summoning, purges, teleportation, massive battles, or slavery, but it wasn’t from a lack of trying. In fact, Conan Exiles should give all of us, PvE players included, a reason to pay more attention to the survival genre.

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Guild Wars 2 game director talks about the free market and lootboxes

Convenience and cosmetics. These are the foundational pillars of Guild Wars 2’s microtransactions, and back at GDC earlier this year, Game Director Crystin Cox opened up about how ArenaNet monetized its game using these pillars along with the free market and lootboxes.

“Expressing yourself, relating to other people, showing off, making a visual representation of who you are, is hugely important to a lot of MMO players, so that was always very high on our list,” she said. As for convenience items, Cox emphasized how the studio “respected people’s time” and wanted to make items that could trade time and money if so desired.

As for the dual currency system, Cox said that it has turned out quite well for the MMO: “I think we’ve done incredibly well with the free market because it accurately represents the value of the things that people are purchasing.”

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 170: Mild West Online

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin do their darndest to shape the MMO industry by holding up Wild West Online as a cautionary tale and talking about how studios need to think before applying real-world labels to games.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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TERA’s third anniversary week features more doubled rewards and new employees with scarves

The only way to prove to future generations that you were present for TERA’s sixth anniversary is by acquiring an anniversary scarf. Never mind why you need to prove that for future generations; the important thing is that you need the scarf, and you’ll have a fresh set of chances to get that scarf as the third week of the anniversary celebration starts up. Employees will be on different servers at different times all week, and hunting them down is the key to proper adornment!

For the already bescarfed, there’s another near-full week of doubled experience and funds from Guild Missions along with special dungeon and battleground rewards this weekend. Heck, you can enjoy all of that even if you haven’t yet gotten your scarf. It’s nice to see the anniversary celebration rolling on for another week, unless you’re afraid of scarves and have no way of getting one. Then perhaps it feels like salt in the wound.

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