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Massively OP Podcast Episode 145: Farewell Marvel Heroes and Master X Master

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree bid a sad farewell to Marvel Heroes (and Master X Master while we’re at it). It’s not all depressing news; Secret World Legends is killing it, there’s a new Path of Exile expansion, and Guild Wars 2’s fourth living world season is on its way.

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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The Stream Team: A look at Secret World Legends’ anima allocation

Secret World Legends just released its new anima allocation feature, and Massively OP’s MJ is checking it out. Does it really remove the need for multiple gear sets? And the bigger question: Will MJ actually be able to clear out her bag of the multiple sets she has been upgrading?  Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. to explore anima allocation before setting out to explore more Egypt.

What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EST on Friday, November 17th, 2017

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Choose My Adventure: It’s all the same in Secret World Legends

I was a bit disappointed to see that last week’s poll for Secret World Legends went to the Illuminati. I played the Illuminati my first time through, you see, and while I quite like the Illuminati, it does rather give me a dearth of new experiences, yes? But then, the point was that this was all supposed to be new experiences, so I shrugged it off. We’re back to the organization that treats secret lore like corporate data points, spectacular.

That may sound a bit dismissive, but it’s not really meant to be. And hey, this will provide a useful point of comparison when contrasted against my original experiences. So I start up, click through the character creator, and find myself thinking that it used to be a fair bit more flexible. Maybe not leaps and bounds, but at least somewhat, right? There used to be more options for hair color and facial features, yes? Or am I deluding myself?

Then I log in, and it’s the same damn game as it used to be.

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Funcom continues its streak of profits thanks to Secret World Legends

The money scene continues to progress generally well for Funcom, which reported a third consecutive quarter during which it made a tidy sum. Funcom reported raking in $6 million in revenue (a little over $1 million in profit), thanks in part to “a very strong launch” of Secret World Legends earlier in 2017.

“[This year] represents a significant improvement from previous years, with the new strategy of more titles with shorter development time proving successful,” the studio said in its Q3 2017 presentation.

Funcom revealed some of its plans for Secret World Legends, such as a refer-a-friend system, a smaller initial download size, a winter event, and new content coming next year. “For Q1 2018,the focus will be on major gameplay and story content release to improve retention and provide a more complete experience for the players.”

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Secret World Legends drops a hefty quality-of-life update with ‘anima allocation’ system

It may not be season two, but today’s update might get Secret World Legends’ playerbase excited even so.

Update 2.1.4 adds plenty of quality-of-life improvements for the horror title, most notably something new called Anima Allocation. This interface is meant to streamline the gear system and allow players to set a ratio between attack, healing, and survivability. As long as players aren’t in combat, they can experiment with the ratio on the fly and have their gear stats adjust accordingly. This system opens up at level 20 and costs nothing to use.

Connected to Anima Allocation is a change to talismans, as they now have a single “power rating” that informs the adjustable stats. Other improvements with today’s patch include a greater transfer of XP when players empower items, some love for Elementalism, more loot types in chests, and a temporary discount on glyph and signet recovery.

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One Shots: The party at the end of all things

Do not be alarmed.

Your brain is now under our control, but that is a good thing. You no longer have to worry about the mundane tasks of life; all you need to do now is party. Party hard, party with a purpose, party until you collapse and feed all of your life’s energy to our party vampire!

You know who loves to party? Skoryy loves to party: “Here, have last night’s Extra Life 2017 party in Secret World Legends’ Agartha, complete with dancing CMs and giant Dreaming One mascots!”

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The Stream Team: Slipping into Secret World Legends’ Scorched Desert

Bye-bye Blue Mountain, hello Scorched Desert! Massively OP’s MJ is finally leaving the (awesome) gloom of Secret World Legends’ Solomon Island behind and moving into the searing bright light of Egypt. Different dangers await in the desert sands, but so do Said and Nassir. She’s excited to see those old friends again as well as find out how The Last Train to Cairo adventure is integrated into SWL. Grab your shades and join us live at 9:00 p.m. as MJ heads in to beat the heat into submission.

What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 9th, 2017

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EVE Evolved: EVE Online’s CCP Games is gambling with the livelihoods of employees

Last week we broke the story that EVE Online developer CCP Games is backing out of the virtual reality games market, closing its Altanta office and selling its VR-focused Newcastle studio. The long-held Atlanta office was acquired in the merger with White Wolf in 2006 and has been hit with several rounds of layoffs over the years, with a major hit in 2011 after the Monoclegate disaster and another 2014 when the World of Darkness MMO was cancelled. The Newcastle studio was the development house responsible for CCP’s VR dogfighter EVE: Valkyrie, and both Valkyrie and CCP’s new VR game Sparc will now be maintained by the London office.

Around 100 staff were laid off in the restructuring, roughly 30 of whom worked in CCP’s headquarters in Reykjavik, Iceland. Though we were informed at the time that these changes would not impact the development of EVE Online, it since became apparent that more than a few non-development staff were cut. In addition to the EVE PR staff and others that were stationed in Atlanta, all but two members of the EVE community team in Reykjavik have also been let go. There are reports that several GMs and the localisation manager for EVE have departed too, and the mood on twitter from staff in Reykjavik recently is best described as sombre and a little shaken.

In this extra edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into CCP Games’s history of taking risks with staff’s jobs, look at some of those affected by the layoffs, and ask whether there is more fallout to come.

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Dungeons and Dragons Online begins testing Mists of Ravenloft

With a December release window for the expansion beginning to loom large in Dungeons and Dragons Online’s future, the team at Standing Stone Games pushed forward to get Mists of Ravenloft’s test underway.

The first preview test for the expansion is running from now through Friday, November 10th. It includes all three public spaces, the new Barovia wilderness area, seven dungeons, and the racial AP tome. However, the team informed players that the test will not be covering any raids, the other five dungeons, sentient weapons, favor rewards, and landscape-specific loot.

The expansion will take players to the horror-themed realm of Ravenloft for the first time, becoming the third (or fourth, depending on how you count it) Dungeons and Dragons campaign setting that DDO has used since its launch.

Source: Official forums. Thanks DDOCentral!

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The Stream Team: Onward into MU Legend’s open beta

MU Legend opens its beta doors today, and ends its Halloween event. Did Massively OP’s MJ miss a Halloween celebration? The horror! She’s racing inside to see if she can catch any festivities. If she can’t, she can still check out what has changed in the game since the last time she played, which was the second closed beta. Tune in live at 5:00 p.m. to waltz into the open beta with us.

What: MU Legend
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 5:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 143: BlizzCon strikes back

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree dig into the exciting news from BlizzCon, mull over the troubles at Marvel Heroes, mourn the passing of a great studio, and cover a handful of MMO updates.

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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Secret World Legends is changing how you use and upgrade talismans

Tired of building up multiple gear sets in Secret World Legends? The winds of change will be whipping through soon. Friday’s dev stream introduced some new features and changes related to using and upgrading talismans. A big departure from the current system is the new anima allocation feature. Talismans will have a power score, and starting at level 20 players can choose where on the spectrum of DPS/defense/healing they want to be and the power will be doled out to those stats proportionally. This can be changed anytime except during combat.

Other talisman changes include special weapon belts dropping as loot (as caches do), previously upgraded gear fed into another piece will transfer 40% of that XP into the new item, and the cost for signet removal is being reduced.

On top of that, the update will include new anima leaps to the hubs and the Museum of the Occult, an equal-footing fight club in Seoul, an item that allows you to call summon a vendor to you to sell items or buy potions, and the much-desired build manager. You can get even more details by watching the embedded stream below.

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Chaos Theory: Farewell Samhain, hello Secret World Legends Season 2 hype!

Do I love Halloween? Yes, yes I do. And while the season was in full swing, my mind was fully focused there. This season is a great diversion, especially in Secret World Legends. But with the awesomeness that is Halloween winding down and with Samhain now over, my mind can finally settle on other matters. Now I know for some, that means Christmastime and Krampusnacht. (One staffer here even declared/warned us of all out Christmas festivities starting November 1st!)

As cool as Krampusnacht is, my mind has turned instead to Season 2. Without my favorite holiday to distract me, I am keen on embracing the big awesome that we’ve all been waiting a long, long time for. New content! New stories! All new zone! Yes, Season 2, I am waiting for you. And the latest little teases coming from Funcom give me hope that we can get it sooner rather than later; the devs’ flaunting it more openly and allowing us to focus on it really has revved up my hype train. It’s almost like there is nothing else in the way and this is their complete focus. Oh yeah! *insert Kool-Aid Man here*

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