historical

The MOP Up: Warface celebrates its birthday in Chernobyl (October 22, 2017)

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 World of TanksStarfall TacticsMu LegendOverwatchFFXIVEVE OnlineMu OnlineWakfuPath of ExileAionWarfaceMechWarrior OnlineElder Scrolls OnlineRevelation OnlineArena of ValorPaladinsConquer OnlinePortal KnightsElite: Dangerous, and Dauntless, all waiting for you after the break!

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MMO Halloween: Dark Age of Camelot, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm

Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to… play?

Halloween 2017 continues unabated in online games, so let’s see what goodies and surprises are in store for players today. First off, there’s the return of Dark Age of Camelot and its haunted festival. There’s pumpkin patches, encounters with the Mournful King, and a ghostly harvest quest to complete.

MOBA’s more your speed? Drag your corpse over to Heroes of the Storm and its Hallow’s End holiday. You can earn some special rewards, such as a headless horseman spray, simply by playing a handful of games during the event’s duration.

Hallow’s End extends to Blizzard’s Hearthstone as well. Every week there’s a free gift for logging in, and players can participate in a “tricky” tavern brawl and dual class arenas.

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Chronicles of Elyria picks up former Revival lead developer

Has enough time gone by to start erasing memories of Revival, that ambitious but troubled horror MMO that was canceled back in March 2016? While the project is dead, its developers have forged on — and one has made the jump to another indie MMORPG.

Chronicles of Elyria announced this past week that it picked up Adam Maxwell to become the game’s new lead designer. Previously, Maxwell worked on RIFTStar Citizen, World of Tanks, and Revival (in addition to almost a dozen other titles). Hopefully this new berth will be a good fit for him and Soulbound Studios.

Maxwell says that it was an easy jump from Revival to Elyria: “Half my fun getting to know everyone here has been in asking questions like, ‘So how did you all handle…’ and then randomly picking a feature from Revival. Weather, NPC memory, narrative dynamics… every answer is different from Revival, but they always hit the same mechanical goal. I feel like the two projects are siblings separated at birth. It’s both awesome and eerie at the same time.”

Source: Press release, Chronicles of Elyria. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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The MOP Up: Speedrunning World of Warcraft (October 15, 2017)

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 Project Gorgon, Star Trek Online, BlessSkyforgeWakfuRobloxWar ThunderAionElite: DangerousNew DawnTravianAstroneer, and World of Warcraft, all waiting for you after the break!

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Massively Overthinking: Three-way RvR and ‘fair’ PvP in modern MMOs

MOP reader Sally Bowls is on a roll with the good questions lately! She lobbed us one this past weekend that seems a good follow-up to a comment thread discussion about the problems inherent in unregulated three-way factional PvP/RvR (and how a game like Camelot Unchained will regulate it). By way of example, she noted that a certain MMO griefer famously argued in favor of strategy that basically made the opponent not want to log in, using tactics like creating timesinks and hassles in a sandbox. “Should the dominant faction on a RvRvR server ‘camp’ the smallest to try to drive them off?” she wondered.

“If it’s about fair PvP, then that is anathema. But if you see the game as being about your faction being at war with other factions, then not doing your utmost to win that war is incompetence. Neither is bad design per se, just a conflict in understanding of the goals. And will Camelot Unchained really be RvR, doing everything legal for your realm to win? Or will it be about PvP battles, with the RvR rhetoric being more marketing fluff than von Clausewitz and Machiavelli? If camping a mine hurts your kill/death ratio but makes the opponent weaker due to hassles or crafting, is that winning or losing? Is an RvR game really about realms vs. realms or is it just another BG?”

I’ve pitched Sally’s comments to the team for consideration in this week’s Massively Overthinking. Is RvR just a more carebear-friendly way to market FFA PvP? Do you play RvR or factional PvP to win or to have fun, and how does that differ from a more open FFA sandbox? How would you design three-way factional PvP to keep people from quitting and stop griefing before it starts?

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World of Warplanes 2.0 introduces conquest mode, bombers, and respawn

Live in World of Warplanes this week is a 2.0 reboot that’s striving to be more than just another patch. Wargaming is calling it a “massive overhaul” with “core gameplay changes,” in addition to a new game mode, bomber class, and revised warplane types.

“Introducing the Conquest mode, World of Warplanes’ gameplay banks a steep turn from dominating in team deathmatch to achieving tactical superiority over a land area divided into key sectors. The outcome of a battle is not determined by personal skill, but by the well-coordinated efforts of a team consisting of several different warplane classes. To emphasize the roles of various classes, each of them has been redefined to fulfill specific roles in combat, with highly distinguished advantages and disadvantages. Finally, the aircraft fleet welcomes Bombers, a long-awaited class that will have specific objectives in every battle.”

There’s a new respawn system too, so downed pilots can jump back into the fray. Definitely worth a peek if you’re into war games! And don’t miss the trailer down below.

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The MOP Up: Black Desert’s Taiwan meet-and-greet (October 8, 2017)

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 HellionHand of the GodsWakfuHyper UniverseDark Age of CamelotBlack DesertDragon ProjectStardew Valley, and EVE Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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Grab a Total War: ARENA closed beta key from Wargaming and MOP

At the tail end of last year, Wargaming’s then-new publishing label, Wargaming Alliance, announced it was picking up SEGA’s Total War: ARENA, a “free-to-play, real time tactical strategy game featuring epic scale 10v10 multiplayer battles led by historical commanders from the past.” In fact, you’ll recall that we spoke to the studio about at E3, where we discussed its historical roots and what MMO players might appreciate in it.

While you could grab a founder pack to play right now, you might prefer to check it out while it’s in testing first, and that’s where the current closed beta test — and the beta keys Wargaming has kindly granted us for our readers — come in! This leg of the closed beta runs until October 20th and is open for accounts in North America only. Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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Dark Age of Camelot welcomes players back with a free month for its birthday

Happy birthday Dark Age of Camelot! This month, Mythic’s (now Broadsword’s) classic realm-vs.-realm MMORPG celebrates its 16th birthday following its 2001 launch.

The team raised a glass at this moment: “Sixteen Years! Dark Age of Camelot has been a wonderful home, escape, playground, refuge, and of course, battlefield since day one on October 10th, 2001. We’re celebrating fifteen glorious years with all of you — including many who’ve been with us from the start.”

To celebrate this anniversary, Broadsword is offering a free month of play to anyone who wants to come back during the month of October. There is a lot to see and take advantage of this month, including the new currency conversion, 1v1 tournaments, RvR bonuses, the Halloween season, Chapter 7 of the Dragon’s Curse campaign, and various client updates.

Were you there at the beginning? Let us know some of your favorite DAOC memories in the comments below!

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Wild West Online shows off the old-timey guns coming with its beta

Here’s a grand surprise for you: Wild West Online will feature old-timey weapons. It will, in fact, involve a fair amount of shooting things. Animals, gankers, bottles, sure, but most likely the broad sides of barns. But seeing as how the name of the game implies a certain degree of fidelity to a period of history, it would look a bit weird if these cowpokes and bounty hunters pulled out futuristic ray guns and NERF rifles.

Thus, the designers of the game are dedicated to putting weapons in the game that match the historical era and what weapons were genuinely available at the time, with a helpful gallery on Facebook (replicated below). If you were wondering what sort of guns you could use while either working for or against the law, well, now you know that you’ll have several options. Some of them more successful in a real-world context than others, but hey, video games lets inefficient but cool weapons have another day in the sun.

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Are MMOs and video games fulfilling our need for productivity?

Here is a question for you to ponder: Do MMOs make you feel more productive than your main job or school? If so, it might not be an accident.

In an essay over at the Talk Amongst Yourselves Kinja, author @CleonWrites notes how video games have started to fill people’s needs for productivity and world fulfillment when they can’t get it in the real world. And you might be getting a hit of this emotional high when you jump into your favorite MMO.

“Using MMORPG’s as an example, [game designer Jane] McGonigal notes that games can offer a certain satisfaction in doing work,” the essay says. “‘Work’ in games commonly take the form of quests, or objectives, which the player is asked to complete. On completion of these tasks, players can be rewarded through experience points, better armour, and in particular, more quests. This constant repetition of easily completable tasks, and increasingly common rewards, drives home a feeling of productivity in the player.”

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Battleground Europe brings vintage WWII warfare to Steam

Even an old dog can find itself a fresh young pup in the right circumstances. Battleground Europe, originally known as World War II Online, finally made the jump to Steam last week as one of the newest full-scale MMOFPS games on the platform. This, despite the title being over a decade and a half old at this point.

It looks as though the title has reverted back to the original World War II Online title for the Steam launch. As of September 22nd, the game saw an increase of 45,000 players sign up for new accounts, which is no doubt sorely needed for this aging MMO. The small indie team is using this momentum as an opportunity to push out more improvements, such as newer art models and a streamlined tutorial.

“Population levels remain substantially higher than we have seen in years, routinely around the clock,” the team posted. “We’re very happy to report this progress and these production items coming (more not listed here) are intended to help bolster that success even further.”

Source: Steam

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Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs on guilds, groups, and the social systems that make an MMORPG go ’round

Over the weekend, the studio behind crowdfunded RvR MMORPG Camelot Unchained released a hefty chunk of its ongoing beta one document, revealing extensive insight into the way the game’s social systems will be laid out. Parts of those social systems will look familiar to MMO players, such as groups (Warbands), guilds (Orders), and raids (Battlegroups). But there are more layers to contend with, including perma-groups or mini-guilds (Permanent Warbands), as well as project-oriented raids (Campaigns), all designed in the service of an ambitious RvR-centered MMO that makes space for soloers and small guilds by not over- or under-privileging the largest teams in the genre. That’s the goal, anyway!

CU boss and MMORPG veteran developer Mark Jacobs, whom many of you know personally thanks to his ubiquity in our comments section, gamely answered about a thousand of my questions over the weekend, which we’ve compiled into an absurdly long interview about how to properly smush together all these groups into a social system sandwich that makes everybody happy. There’s even a Star Trek quote and a bonus question about Warhammer Online’s development and CU’s budget at the end!

I strongly urge you to check out the original doc first, as the interview assumes knowledge of the basic terminology and structure of the game. Fair warning: While Camelot Unchained’s document is almost 6000 words, this interview itself is close to 4000. You put Jacobs in a virtual room with me and my questions go on forever, and damn if he doesn’t answer them exhaustively. It’s a whopper, but it’s worth reading for a glimpse into what could be the future of MMO community planning.

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