interview

Hyperspace Beacon: Future plot points for SWTOR and other unanswered lore questions

Last night, BioWare Creative Director Charles Boyd and Community Manager Eric Musco were guests on the Passionately Casual Podcast to discuss the lore of Star Wars: The Old Republic. And since I host a segment on that podcast regularly about roleplaying in the Star Wars universe, I got to sit in on that interview and pose my own questions about the current and upcoming lore for the game.

I realized after listening to the questions that I asked last night that some of them deserve a follow-up to help strengthen your understanding of where the question came from or understand why I put forth the question in the first place. I’d like to spend a moment talking about the answers that Boyd gave to my questions and what I think they mean for the MMORPG. Of course, there might be some spoilers for the latest additions to the game story, but if you’ve not played through it by now and are still reading this column, spoilers probably aren’t that important to you.

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Final Fantasy XIV could still arrive on Nintendo Switch if console companies decide to play nice

Naoki Yoshida of Final Fantasy XIV fame was at this year’s E3, and that means interviews with the man himself. One of those interviews from VGR brought up the question of whether or not the game could possibly arrive on the Nintendo Switch, which prompted some excitement about the idea that it might come to the platform. After all, Yoshida says that he would like that!

Except that this isn’t a new answer; it’s the same answer that fans have been getting since the last hardware generation when people were asking about the game arriving on the Xbox 360. It’s always been the same answer.

The team behind FFXIV insist on the game having full cross-play compatibility between all platforms it can be played on (so console players and PC players are on the same servers) and no additional monthly fees beyond the subscription. Those two requests long prevented it from appearing on Xbox consoles (as Microsoft didn’t like the idea of the game not requiring an Xbox Live subscription or cross-play with PlayStation users), and they’re likely the same things holding back any Switch port. So we remain in a world where you have to play on your PlayStation 4 or your desktop.

Source: VGR via Techradar; thanks to ChaosConstant for the tip!

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The MOP Up: Skyforge’s PvP revolution (June 17, 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 War of RightsClosers OnlineWorld War ZOld School RuneScapeThe Black DeathOrbusVRReign of GuildsSkyforgeAlchemiaStoryPath of ExileGrim DawnRevelation OnlineDefiance 2050, and DDO, all waiting for you after the break!

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Black Desert has banned another batch of almost 600 speedhackers and botters

Good thing Black Desert kept that banhammer from the Hystria bans handy because it needed it again this week – in fact, it looks like it’s about to become a recurring party favor, as Kakao says it’s banned another 599 cheaters: 402 of them speedhacking, 197 of them botting.

“With the partial success of the ban wave last week, we’ve been able to streamline our processes to ensure we can gather and analyse data much faster to roll out more effective and more frequent waves. We’re still a long way from 100% but we’ve been able to catch a considerable number that evaded last weeks wave and we’ll continue to go after not only people that are actively using 3rd party software but also historic cheaters.”

If you’ve managed to be an upstanding player not subject to the bans, you may be interested in this week’s update, which adds NPC dating to the game, as well as our E3 interview with Pearl Abyss, in which we discuss the plausibility of a Switch port.

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E3 2018: Nintendo thinks lockboxes are unfairly maligned, help ‘drive engagement’

You know how sometimes, when nosy press asks you a question with no good answer, you’re better off shutting up? And when they don’t ask you about a tricky subject, you probably shouldn’t go out of your way to run into it head-on?

Nintendo didn’t get that memo at E3, apparently, as during an interview with Bloomberg, it broke ranks with more diplomatic game studios to basically defend lockboxes and lootboxes.

“Loot boxes, broadly speaking, have gotten a bit of a bad rap,” Nintendo exec Reggie Fils-Aime told the publication (via GIbiz), in answer to a broad softball question about digital revenue.

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E3 2018: Square Enix says it hasn’t given up on bringing Dragon Quest X westward

In an alternate universe, Dragon Quest X got ported to western shores in 2012 when Square Enix launched the MMORPG in Japan. Sadly, we’re stuck in this crap universe, where that’s still never happened.

But it’s not off the table. According to a Game Informer interview from E3, during which Square was ostensibly there to talk Dragon Quest XI, the studio still hasn’t written off the idea of bringing the cutesy sub-based cross-platform MMO here.

“We wanted to release it in [North America; I still want to release it,” producer Yuu Miyake says. “However, with the MMO, it was based on a five-year plan of service, so if we were going to release it in North America, there’s the question of how we would rearrange that.”

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World of Warcraft releases pre-expansion novel, nixes Blood Trolls allied race rumors

We’re just (presumably) weeks away from the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch, and World of Warcraft fanatics everywhere are starving for a hit of the new expansion. To capitalize off of this period of time, Blizzard has released a new Warcraft novel that leads up to the events in the expansion.

Called Before the Storm, the prequel novel spans the time between the end of Legion and the start of Battle for Azeroth, focusing on Anduin, Sylvanas, and the relationship between them. “Anduin enacts a desperate plan aimed at forging a lasting peace between the factions. Azerite jeopardizes the balance of power, and so Anduin must gain the trust of Sylvanas,” the description reads.

The studio also clarified interview statements made at E3 about the possibility of Blood Trolls being an allied race. So sorry, troll fans: they are “not currently planned” to be playable.

Source: Amazon, Icy Veins

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Destiny 2 assures players that current high-end weapons will still be relevant with September’s expansion

The release of a new expansion for Destiny 2 might signal to most players that it’s time to bring their favorite guns to the nearest trash can while listening to “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes, but perhaps it’s not time to put old Vera out to pasture just yet. A recent interview on PC Gamer confirmed that players will still have a use for their existing top-end gear when Forsaken arrives, and hopefully not just to while away the time until a better gun shows up.

Details were not shared, but the assurance was that current stuff could be brought up to the same level as newer gear. It’ll likely be through some form of upgrade system and/or modifications, so whatever you’re doing right now you should keep on doing it. Of course, there’s always the possibility that you’ll still find an even better gun waiting for you… but at least then your old Legendary item will be replaced by something other than the launch of a new expansion.

Source: PC Gamer via Kotaku

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You can now ‘date’ some non-player characters in Black Desert

Way back in April, Pearl Abyss rolled out patch notes for the Korean version of Black Desert that included a dating system – dating as in romance options, not carbon or tree-ring dating. And today, that patch has ported westward.

Essentially, the game has a pool of romanceable NPCs throughout the game; your character can try to woo them with gifts. If the NPC accepts your “confession” of love, “you will become their lover and earn a special in-game title with a distinct color” for at least a week. Of course, you’re in competition with other players for these mighty fine NPC catches, so the NPC might break up with you for a sweeter suitor. There are additional titles for going through this process five or 10 times.

Today’s update also puts the finishing touches on Lahn with her last round of extra skills (Enhanced skills this time), plus tweaks the world boss schedule (again), buffed drop rate on Arsha (whose PvP rules have now been altered), removed mount purchasing time restrictions, tweaked the forward guard effect, and buffed the Tamer.

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E3 2018: Pearl Abyss’ CEO on Black Desert’s Xbox port, Switch considerations, and PvP

Pearl Abyss’ Kyungin “Robin” Jung isn’t just a CEO. He’s also got a background in engineering. He may not have developed any game-saving tech for Black Desert, but at least he’s the kind of boss that understands when his developers’ plans don’t quite work as intended.

Maybe that’s why he was also unaware of the Hysteria Hackers problem we’ve previously discussed. It’s something the community managers and customer support should be handling, rather than the CEO himself. Nevertheless, Jung and Senior VP (and translator) Jin “JJ” Jeonghee said they’d look into it after our interview. With the team preparing for E3 and the Xbox One beta, there’s a lot for a CEO to be dealing with.

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E3 2018: En Masse on TERA’s lootboxes, console port, PvE vs. PvP, and the June 26 Gunner class launch

It’s E3 2018, and you know what that means: covering hot new mobile games of IPs you wanted for PC/console!

No? Oh, well, that’s probably for the best, as En Masse Senior Product Manager Matt Denomme told me that he isn’t personally familiar with any “specific plans” to bring TERA M to the west, at least as published by En Masse. However, Denomme did do a lot of work with the console port, so during our E3 meetup, we talked about TERA‘s six years of life, lootboxes, the vanarch system (RIP), and more.

Console awareness

Denomme admits that TERA’s console launch was a lot of work. There’s some relief that the game’s been out in the wild, but the team knows there are some issues and nasty bugs to tackle, like Velika City on Xbox not running well. The update that’s bringing the Gunner launch should have a lot of those bug fixes and optimizations. Denomme couldn’t tell me the specific date for that update during our discussion, but we’ve since learned it’ll launch on June 26th!

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How the best devs are ‘fleeing in droves’ to escape the abusive games industry

My only nephew is something of a math prodigy, and the fact that he wants to be a game designer when he grows up (and has even been to game dev camp) fills me with the creeping horror that only someone who’s been living in or chronicling the game industry for years can know. The industry is awesome, and it is also a meat grinder that chews amazing people up and spits them right back out. He deserves a better future than that. Everybody does.

Such is the subject of a lengthy piece on Gamasutra this week. Author Simon Parkin interviews multiple developers about their experience making games – and their obvious relief when they finally escape. They’re not just talking crunch; they’re discussing relatively low pay, contract positions, nepotism, instability, post-launch exhaustion, sexism, and actual corruption driving people away.

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‘Hipster MineCraft’ Occupy White Walls patches in a new launcher and UI update

Ready to delve into the weird world of Occupy White Walls, which one outlet labeled as “hipster MineCraft?” The public alpha of the art-centric multiplayer game continues, with Patch 1.777 arriving on the servers this week.

The patch shores up some of the foundations of the game, such as a brand new launcher, an editing window for UI elements, the ability to place visitors at a certain spot when they spawn into your gallery, and “new awesome lasers assets, pew pew.”

The dev team attempted to describe the game in an interview by saying, “OWW is a new type of MMO for creative people in which the actual gameplay is creativity and self-expression. Different players will aim for different things; some will be all about in-game creativity — through building, designing and decorating their spaces — others will focus on discovering new art and curating their collections, while artists will aim to spread their own work around and directly interact with fans. All of this is happening within an abstract (and gorgeous) social experiment.”

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