halloween 2016

Secret World Legends posts roadmap for the next year

Funcom is making good on its promise to post a development roadmap for Secret World Legends, as it just put up the schedule of releases and events for the remainder of 2017.

Restoring content to bring SWL up to TSW’s level is the immediate priority, with additional Transylvania quests, the full Tokyo map, raids, and both the Halloween and winter events slated to unlock over the coming months. There will also be the new 40-player lair “mega-bosses” to fight come August.

Skipping to the end of the roadmap, SWL plans to progress past what The Secret World had to offer with a “Dark Agartha” and a new system that will allow players to recruit their own agents and send them out on missions by the end of this year or the start of the next. But what about the story?

“As a results of the events that ended at the top of the Orochi Tower, continue the main story mission and follow up on a lead which will send you on your way to a brand new continent,” the studio teased.

Source: Secret World Legends. Cheers, Missing Lynx!

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Jukebox Heroes: Six goofy RuneScape tunes

Over the past year I’ve nearly been bested by the unclimbable mountain that is the RuneScape soundtrack. With well over 1,200 tracks currently existing in the game, it’s sheer folly to try to listen to it all straight through. That, of course, is exactly what I’ve been attempting, yet with new tracks coming out all of the time, I feel that there’s no end in sight.

If I’m to be forever working my way through an MMO soundtrack, RuneScape is a great place to be. As I’ve been discovering, there is such a sheer variety of interesting and catchy tunes on display covering a wide swath of biomes, races, events, and situations. What I perhaps like best is how RuneScape’s score isn’t in the slightest self-conscious with being silly and bizarre. In fact, it seems to revel in it!

So today let’s take an odd musical interlude to listen to six goofy and weird RuneScape tracks before we all get serious again about our video games.

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LOTRO Legendarium: Mirkwood, the best zone no one remembers

The other day I was continuing on with my Bingo Boffin adventures in Lord of the Rings Online when Mr. Boffin decided he was going to sneak his way across battle lines and into Mirkwood Forest. Like most of his encounters, I don’t think he ended up loving it quite as much as he anticipated, but you know what? I did.

You see, ever since Siege of Mirkwood came out with LOTRO’s second expansion, I’ve always been quite partial to this odd little zone in Middle-earth. Perhaps this makes me the odd man out among the community; I rarely see anyone speak highly of Mirkwood (or, these days, speak of it at all). It seems like it’s forgotten, this strange cul-de-sac of the game world that only exists to be a stopping point on the epic story before players have to turn around and go back the way they came.

Yet as I was running all over the place trying to secure first AND second breakfastses for Bingo Boffin, I was reminded of how much I love this zone. I’d even say that Mirkwood is in my top five zones of the game as a whole (alongside The Shire, Forochel, West Rohan, and North Ithilien). It’s time this forgotten land got some recognition, so here goes.

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E3 2017: Destiny 2 is launching September 6 on consoles, October 24 on PC

The launch dates for Bungie’s highly anticipated Destiny 2 have been revealed, and PC players are going to need an extra-large dose of patience when they hear the news.

The scifi sequel is rolling out globally to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles on September 6th, while the PC edition is slated for nearly two months later on October 24th. Just because PC players are going to have to wait until almost Halloween to pick up the title doesn’t mean they can’t preorder it right now on the Blizzard Launcher. It’s so thoughtful of the companies involved, don’t you think?

To rub salt in the wounds, PlayStation 4 will be the recipient of “timed exclusives” at its launch, including a multiplayer map, a three-player strike, specialized gear sets, and an exotic weapon.

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Ultima Online fires employee over cheating scandal

You don’t need to be a brand-new and modern MMORPG to suffer major cheating scandals, something the nearly 20-year-old Ultima Online has reminded us this week.

In its most recent newsletter, UO studio Broadsword explains that an Event Moderator — one of the studio contractors paid to run live events for the game’s production shards — was caught cheating, generating what appears to have been large amounts of rare-dyed cloth and an unknown quantities of unique items, which were then circulated into the already beleaguered player economy. In UO, the so-called “rares market” involves the sale and display and items that exist only in tiny batches thanks to these types of customized events, and a large part of the game (and its bloated gold economy) revolves around trading legitimate rares. It goes without saying that mass-creating those types of items for personal gain is the worst offense for a studio contractor.

“The Event Moderator program has been going strong nearly 8 years now, and we have all worked hard to ensure its success,” Producer Bonnie “Mesanna” Armstrong told players in the newsletter. “Please know that this situation has not been taken lightly, nor is this behavior tolerated.”

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The Game Archaeologist: When Hellgate London got Flagshipped

It seems that it really wasn’t too long ago that I was filling in the time between night classes by boning up on video game news. I was drinking up all of the hot up-and-comers, such as Age of Conan and Warhammer Online, when I caught word that the maker of Diablo was trying to do the same thing again, only more online, in 3-D, and with a cool modern-day/futuristic/horror vibe.

There’s no better way to put it than to say that from the start, Hellgate: London looked all kinds of cool. Oh sure, you can scoff now with your perfect 20/20 hindsight, but I’m betting that more than a few of you thought the same with me around that time. Diablo but with guns and an online persistence — how could we not be intrigued? One of my most vivid memories was being torn between the idea of buying a lifetime subscription deal for $150 or not (again, this was before the free-to-play era, but also before the era of us spending the same money on alpha access. I’m just saying that you can’t judge me.).

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Dark Age of Camelot welcomes back old players, Ultima Online discusses summer updates

Broadsword’s keeping fans of its MMORPGs Dark Age of Camelot and Ultima Online busy this week!

Dark Age of Camelot is running a Come Back to Camelot campaign this spring — former players may already have gotten invites in their inboxes. The caveat is that your account must have been off for 60 days for you to pick up an invite, and you get your free 30 days only if you reactivate.

Meanwhile, Ultima Online has announced in its most recent newsletter that publish 97, which we wrote about just a few days ago and includes the huge overhaul for the popular animal taming skill set, is now set to go live on April 27th. In fact, work has already begun on publish 98:

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Maclaine Diemer opens up about composing Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns

Today we are sitting down with ArenaNet Lead Composer Maclaine Diemer, who players might best know from his work on Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns and Living World Season 3. Diemer picked up the baton from Jeremy Soule, the original composer for the base game, and has been pumping out terrific music for the MMORPG ever since.

Massively OP: At this point in your career at ArenaNet, how many pieces of music have you composed for Guild Wars 2?

Maclaine Diemer: I think about this from time to time, but I honestly don’t know. I’d say it’s in the “several dozen” range, between all the holiday festivals, Living World content, Heart of Thorns, and other miscellaneous stuff like cinematics and marketing videos. It’s exhausting just thinking about it!

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Ultima Online starts testing pet patch, teases 20th anniversary plans

Did you realize before you saw this headline that the granddaddy of all graphical MMORPGs is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year? Yes, we are all that old, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

This week’s Ultima Online newsletter is short but packs a punch. The team reports that it has loaded Publish 97 onto the test servers with a huge focus on animal taming and pets. There are a ton of new pets to gather, including dinos, beetles, and dragon wolves.

The Ultima Online team is planning a 20th anniversary celebration in meatspace this September in Virginia, but if you can’t make it, there’s plenty of in-game surprises coming too.

Producer Bonnie Armstrong teased what’s coming later this year: “We are starting the planning stage for Publish 98 that includes a 20th Anniversary Event arc, Halloween, and Anniversary rewards […] One small teaser I will announce is one of the new items we are offering for the 20th Anniversary — a jewelry box!”

Source: Newsletter

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One Shots: There’s nothing wrong with being childish

An interesting bit of fallout from last week’s One Shots challenge to submit a picture that captures a “childlike” spirit is that several commenters noticed that there is a fine line between something being innocent and childish and something belonging in a horror movie.

Why not start out with this shot from Zulika Mi-Nam, who brings back Halloween at the tail end of February? “I think everything in Dragon Nest looks childlike, so I found all of it kinda creepy. Just as I had heard though, the combat is 100% awesome — and no child’s play.”

I’ve occasionally heard that Dragon Nest is an underrated title in the same vein. Might have to check it out one of these days.

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Chaos Theory: The Secret World predictions 2016 vs 2017

It’s no secret that The Secret World had a rough year in 2016. I just really wish I could say differently. And it’s especially sad because I had such hopes for my favorite game. Granted, I knew it wasn’t going to miraculously get the funding and staff to give me all the story and things my heart so desired, but I did anticipate a bit more than what we actually got. When 2016 dawned, I pieced together our available clues to try and draw a map of where the year was going. A cartographer I apparently am not, and Google maps won’t be hiring me anytime soon. Perhaps for this year I shall consult with the Magic Eight ball? Here’s a look at the scorecard for my 2016 predictions, and a modest list of 2017 hopes, dreams, and predicted happenings. (We’ll just have to wait to see how those ultimately pan out!).

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Massively Overthinking: Breaking your immersions in MMORPGs

Veteran MOP reader and tipster Nordavind is going to break your immersions. Just kidding. He does have a question for us all on that topic, however:

“After the discussion about the recent Worlds Adrift article, I started to think about what my limit is when it comes to plausibility in games. I do not need a game to be realistic; I can easily accept no fall damage ‘because strong,’ shooting flames from your fingertips ‘because magic,’ and faster-than-light travel ‘because sci-fi,’ but things like those serial turbines in the article’s image [shown above] just utterly shatters the little immersion I bring to games. Don’t mess with the physics! Where do you guys draw the line? What odd things do you accept ‘because’ and what pet peeves can break your immersion in even the most fantasy world of them all? (And the answer “other players” does not count!)”

We’re gonna hold you all to that! We posed Norda’s question to the MOP staff for this week’s Massively Overthinking.

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Chaos Theory: The Secret World says sayonara to 2016

Have you ever had a year that you looked back on and all you could really say was, Hey, I made it through. I’ve had years like that, when many things either go wrong, go a totally different way than hoped/planned, or just don’t really go anywhere at all. But you know what? Not going anywhere is better than going away! It may seem sometimes like the only thing to celebrate is the fact that you are are actually still here, but that is reason enough to cheer.

The Secret World seems to have had just such a year. And by golly, it deserves three cheers just for hanging on. It may not have been the best year filled with fulfilled dreams and wishes, but it could have been worse. It could have been way, way worse: It could have not made it to 2017! So even though there were hiccups and disappointments, I am super glad I still have TSW to log into and play. And I am looking forward to 2017!

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