halloween 2017

Hearthstone enters the Witchwood on April 12

Is it Halloween already? In Hearthstone, it might as well be, as Blizzard is about to unleash the game’s creepiest expansion to date in just a week.

The Witchwood is coming out on April 12th, bringing players to the haunted realm of Gilneas, where a nearby witch has cursed the city with all sorts of doom and gloom. The expansion set is to be the first of three that Blizzard will roll out this year and includes 135 new cards, the “echo” card mechanic, and a new solo dungeon run called Monster Hunt.

Don’t forget to log into Hearthstone next week when the expansion launches to get three free card packs. Get caught up on The Witchwood with our extensive GDC preview and the cinematic trailer!

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Wild Terra runs a free weekend, discount, and Fools’ Day event

Looking to throw caution to the wind and get a little wild this April Fool’s Day? Wild Terra is opening up its European-based server to anyone who wants to give the game a go without putting any money down.

The free trial weekend is being run in conjunction with a 30% discount, which takes the fantasy sandbox down to a pittance.

There’s another good reason to check in with Wild Terra this weekend, as Fools’ Day is going on. The animals are acting “very strange” and players can down a special Wodwose Miner mob to earn a fool’s chest with unique hats (which are Halloween-themed, but nevermind).

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Grand Theft Auto Online just hit peak monthly concurrency – and it’s five years old

There aren’t many online games that can honestly say they’re still growing and setting records years and years after their launch, but that’s exactly what Grand Theft Auto Online – which launched way back in 2013 – is doing.

Earlier this week, Rockstar announced the good news in a blog post, stating that “2017 was the biggest year of GTA Online yet, capped off by an epic December that saw more players in the game than ever before.”

The news won’t surprise anybody who’s been watching Superdata’s monthly reports, as the game’s been sitting toward the top of the console charts for a long time, peaking at #1 for several months in the summer of 2017.

Rockstar’s blog post further notes the introduction of the Lampadati Viseris as well as sales and bonus events running through this weekend.

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Exclusive: Ship of Heroes’ Casey McGeever on the superhero MMORPG genre

Ship of Heroes is super-jumping right into 2018 with two documents of note. The first is a retrospective of what the Heroic Games team learned from the community in the past year, including the fact that players want harvesting, crafting, and trading mechanics as well as crowd-control and pet mastery classes and Halloween. The team also says it understands the community’s desire for solid character creation and combat, details on character powers, and real gameplay video demonstrating development progress – particularly a mission video.

“A powerful character creator, and a positive community, are the two most important features of SoH, as judged by the voters in our polls,” writes the studio.

The second document, published here exlusively on Massively OP (not sponsored), is a reflection on the state of the MMORPG industry, particularly the superhero corner of it and how Ship of Heroes fits in, penned by Heroic Games’ Casey McGeever. We’ve included the whole piece below:

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LOTRO Legendarium: Looking back at the road we traveled in 2017

“The road goes ever on” is one of the most well-known phrases from Lord of the Rings, alluding to the ongoing journey of the characters, life in general, and even the fandom that poured out of this franchise. That road took us through 2017 and one of the most interesting years for Lord of the Rings Online since the MMO’s debut in 2007.

After all, this was the first year that saw Standing Stone Games handling the title since the studio’s formation in 2016. We lived through the 10th anniversary, went to Mordor, and lived to tell the tale. It was a year of ups and downs, of mistakes and successes, and one of continued life for LOTRO.

As we walk down the road and get ready to cross the border from 2017 into 2018, I felt it would be appropriate to look back at the year that was and the road we traveled. What great memories did you make in the game — or the game made for you — this year?

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The ultimate guide to The Game Archaeologist’s MMO archives

When we moved over here to Massively Overpowered, some of us transplanted our long-running columns to the new space. I perhaps felt most devastated that I was going to lose all of the Game Archaeologist articles that I had painstakingly researched over the years. So my mission with this space became two-fold: to rescue and update my older columns while continuing to add more articles to this series on classic MMOs and proto-MMOs.

I’ve been pleased with the results so far because TGA is a series that I really don’t want to see vanish. As MMORPG fans, we should consider it important to remember and learn about these older titles and to expand our knowledge past the more popular and well-known games of yesteryear.

Now that we have quite a catalogue of Game Archaeologist columns, I thought it would be helpful to end the year by gifting this handy guide to you that organizes and compiles our continuing look at the history of the genre. Enjoy!

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On the tenth day of Christmas, Warframe gave me ghastly ghouls and personal quarters

Is this Christmas or Halloween?

One can never quite tell with Warframe, which activated its holiday update yesterday with a bounty on ghoul packs. These critters sound like they could move right into Santa’s workshop: “repugnant Ghouls that overrun their victims in a gruesome mass of limbs and toxin.” Ho-ho-ho boy.

This holiday update also contains housing with brand-new personal quarters. Players can customize their quarters with toys, wallpaper, and even fish tanks. Aw. Fishies.

“Tenno can now personalize and decorate their own personal quarters with an assortment of cool items,” Digital Extremes said. “Customize the landing craft with a mini-stage, then select from posable Warframe figures, companion toys and beds, wallpaper, a fish tank and more to create a mini diorama of one’s own making. Plus, players can now invite a friend inside to visit!”

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Secret World Legends patches in winter event, barbershop, and plastic surgeon

Even with Tokyo completely reinstated into Secret World Legends, this reboot is still finding more content to add back in after starting over from its The Secret World roots. Will today’s patch, which adds back in the cosmetic barbershop and plastic surgeon, be the last of the “old vanguard” before it’s all new? Probably not; there are plenty of Halloween quests that are waiting for a return.

In addition to the cosmetic tools, Update 2.1.5 starts this year’s winter event, starring all sorts of special critters to attack, world raids, Christmas cosmetics, seasonal achievements, a new winter lockbox, and a free pet to players who log in by January 2nd.

The patch also adds the option to change your name (for a price), fixes several issues, and tosses in new animations for when players unlock emotes and titles.

Source: Patch notes

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Shadow’s Kiss devs interview vampires as their Kickstarter nears finish line

Even though it’s looking more like Christmas than Halloween around these parts, Shadow’s Kiss is taking its Kickstarter all the way to the bank. The blood bank.

The indie vampire MMO is about to finish a successful fundraising campaign, having raised over $67,000 of its initial $25,000 goal. This means that the community has unlocked a number of stretch goals, such as crafting, a ritual magic system, a soundtrack from Midnight Syndicate, and demolitions.

“We’re honored and a bit overwhelmed by the support from the community,” said Clockwork Throne President Thomas Sitch. “This Kickstarter is going to allow us to finally bring the world a vampire-themed MMO, with gothic story elements, horror, and the ‘coolness factor’ of being a vampire set on ruling the night.”

Flush with all of that future cash, the team apparently funded a trip to the city to interview real vampires during which all of the devs were killed. Or so the following mockumentary videos would have you believe.

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LOTRO Legendarium: They’re taking the Hobbits to Erebor!

With some depressing news bouncing around the MMO genre as of late, it was particularly welcome to read an upbeat and exciting producer’s letter from Lord of the Rings Online this past week. And surprising as well — I don’t think many people were expecting a “state of the game” post in late November, of all times. That’s sort of a “new year” thing. I’m not complaining.

Because you all are my fellow Hobbits, there is no one else who I would rather chat with about all of these reveals. Probably no one else would tolerate me doing this, anyway, so here I am and here you are. What did you think about this letter? Here is my takeaway, but I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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Massively OP’s guide to MMO Thanksgiving 2017

Stately resting between the gaudy purple and orange of Halloween and merry red and green of Christmas is the earth tone-saturated Thanksgiving. While no one’s favorite color scheme, Thanksgiving does give us a nice in-between holiday with family meals, an awkward dance around politics, a work day for football teams, and the occasional MMORPG holiday event.

While not every online game has decided to embrace the American holiday, enough pop up every year that need corralling. And since we just got turkey certified here at Massively OP, we’re going to lay out all of this week’s event options for you on a platter. So enjoy the festivities and dressing up like a Pilgrim for two days maximum before deeply questioning that fashion sense. Now jingly sleigh bells, size XXXL red suits, and reindeer antlers, that’s a smart look indeed!

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Lord of the Rings Online is heading to Northern Mirkwood, Erebor, and Minas Morgul

Don’t get too comfortable in Mordor just yet, because Lord of the Rings Online is preparing to send its players to the far reaches of the explored map come 2018.

Executive Producer Rob Ciccolini dropped a juicy letter today that went into detail about the studio’s plans for LOTRO over the next year. It all begins with Update 21.3’s Abyss of Mordath raid, coming before the end of 2017. Then in early 2018, Update 22 is taking players to Northern Mirkwood, Dale, Laketown, and Erebor. Following that is Update 23, which returns to Mordor for a trip into Minas Morgul and a confrontation with Shelob.

Ciccolini sprinkled in some other additions and improvements coming to the game, including Elk mounts(!), a playable fiddle, updates to the festivals, the continuation of the Bingo Boffin storyline from last Halloween, and avatar updates to Dwarf and Hobbit models.

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