kids

The Stream Team: Win a Wizard101 Battlemage Keep bundle

It’s time for another MOP giveaway of awesome Wizard101 goodies! Massively OP’s MJ has gotten her hands on a few Battlemage Keep bundles and she’s ready to dole them out to viewers. What does this bundle include? A house, mount, pet, armor, and more! More specifically, there is:

  • a havox mount
  • a wargoyle pet
  • Battlemage Armor
  • Battlemage staff and shield (with several different color options)
  • a Battlemage Keep castle
  • an additional castle space elixir
  • 100 bonus crowns for stitching your Battlemage staff and shield
  • 5000 crowns

Sounds spiffy, no? If this looks like something you’d like to get your hands on, join us live at 6:00 p.m. for your chance to win!

What: Wizard101
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 21st, 2018

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Global Chat: The MMO expansion lifecycle

With the ever-developing, ever-growing nature of MMORPGs, the expansion truly has a life of its own. By now we are well acquainted with the cycle that runs from gestation to obsolescence and can usually point to where any particular expansion is on this chart.

The Lazy Goldmaker outlined the typical progression of MMO expansion packs with a six-step cycle that focuses heavily on the economy and raiding: “After the final raid of the expansion we will enter the last content drought. This is typically the longest period with nothing exciting added to the game. We are in the middle of this phase of Legion currently. Most of the markets from the live expansion will still be viable, but profit margins will be decreasing, as will prices on all goods.”

Read on for more MMO blog essays, including ones that cover EVE Online, Wizard101, SWTOR, and LOTRO!

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The MOP Up: Diablo levels up in Heroes of the Storm (May 13, 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 Heroes of the StormElder Scrolls Online, DayZEVE Online, Pokemon Go, Dota 2City of HeroesFinal Fantasy XIVPortal KnightsLineage 2 RevolutionWizard101Ingress, and Reign of Guilds, all waiting for you after the break!

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Wizard101’s Doctor Who event is bigger on the inside

Someone over at KingsIsle is obviously a big Doctor Who fan, because Wizard101’s current event is a thinly veiled homage to that sci-fi series. Players are challenged to seek out the Professor and his five B.O.X.E.S., which look suspiciously like red-themed TARDISes.

“Besides a new journey though the Spiral, what does your Wizard have to gain from the Five B.O.X.E.S.?” the devs ask. “How about the first craftable mounts, the Digmoore Pogo Stick and Ravenwood Pogo Stick! You should also visit Rose Piper to learn crafting recipes for exclusive furniture items. Plus the Professor will lead you to epic rewards for your Wizard.”

Meanwhile at its sister game, Pirate101 is offering a discounted deal on a year subscription. From now through May 6th, you can secure 12 months of sub time for $60, which comes out to $5 a month. Not too shabby, even for penny-pinching pirates!

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The Daily Grind: Do you make an effort to be positive and friendly in MMORPGs?

Despite concerns about the pervasiveness of toxicity in gaming, most gamers are not toxic. Outside of extremely social MMOs, I suspect most people probably just play their games peacefully in their own little bubble and don’t really interact much with other players at all, either negatively or positively. Ever run a PUG five-man in World of Warcraft? Yeah, most people are just playing along, not making a big effort to socialize, just teaming up when they have to, answering when spoken to but not going beyond. I’m not judging anybody for this, mind you; if you’ve been playing online games for over two decades as some gamers have, you can kinda see why the shine of being everybody’s friend 24-7 has worn off.

And then, I hear stories like this one. Game dev @MotleyGrue recently tweeted, “There’s a kid across the road who clearly plays Overwatch with his window open. You can hear him calling strats down the block. Thing is, he’s totally supportive and wholesome. ‘YOU’RE DOING GREAT REIN!’ ‘YO TRACER THAT WAS SIIIICK.’ You go loud kid.”

And I wish I were that kid! I love this kid. I hope my kids grow up to be this kid. It’s such a little thing, being kind and supportive. It costs nothing and makes all the difference in the world.

Do you make an effort to be positive and friendly in MMORPGs?

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World of Warcraft needs you to babysit again

Oh great, you’re here. We’ll be out late, at least until 11, so make sure that the kids are in bed by 7:30 with a glass of water and a bedtime story. No juice for Jimmy and no Frozen karaoke for Jamie. If you need us, we’ve left emergency contact numbers on the fridge. And you’re still charging $4 an hour, right? Good. See you later.

Face it, babysitting is in your blood, which is why you’re going to be logging into World of Warcraft for the current Children’s Week event. Through May 7th, players can take little tykes on tours through war zones — but it’s OK, they’re orphans. No permission slips needed for potentially life-threatening excursions.

Aside from achievements, rewards for the event include 10 different adorable pets. They’re actually some of the most personable critters in the game, so expect to see a lot of babysitting happening this week.

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Kids these days: Fortnite fights a 14-year-old in court, signs 13-year-old to e-sports team

Epic Games is still doggedly pursuing supposed Fortnite cheaters. As we reported back in November, one of the defendants in Epic’s many lawsuits is a 14-year-old boy who stands accused of streaming and promoting cheats on his YouTube channel. At the time, his mother sent an informal letter to the court, arguing that her son didn’t actually develop cheats, that Epic had unlawfully released his name (as a minor), and that Epic was unfairly scapegoating him.

As TorrentFreak (via GIbiz) noted, the court took that letter as a motion to dismiss (the family hadn’t responded officially otherwise). Epic has since refiled its complaint as a reply to that motion, claiming that it didn’t know the kid was a minor and that he had agreed to the EULA.

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‘We all can be heroes:’ An interview with Star Trek Online’s Chase Masterson

With a dozen members of the all-star cast of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine returning to reprise their roles for this June’s Star Trek Online: Victory is Life, one actress has the advantage over the others. Chase Masterson is back for at least her third stint in the MMO, having played fan favorite Leeta in past updates (including as a hologram and as a Mirror Universe villain).

With the heavy Deep Space Nine focus on the game’s third expansion, it’s good to see the reunion of a cast from a show that’s now 25(!) years old. Masterson has since gone on to act in many TV shows and movies, perform as a jazz singer, and found an anti-bullying organization called Pop Culture Hero that uses film, comics, and TV to take a stand against bullying in schools and communities.

We sat down with Masterson to talk about reprising the role of Leeta, the continuation of Deep Space Nine, the benefits of maturity, and how we all can be heroes.

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Massively Overthinking: What we really mean when we talk about ‘difficulty’ in MMORPGs

Massively OP reader Steve wants us to revisit the Daily Grind on making death more meaningful without making it more annoying. His letter was long, so let me paraphrase a bit:

“It feels to me like underlying point was, ‘MMOs are too easy, so how do we make them harder?’ The question of video game difficulty is something that is seldom ever tackled head-on, as it tends to draw out a somewhat vocal minority. There are so many worthy topics about how people define difficulty, twitch skills vs. depth, easy vs. hard, difficulty vs. accessibility, easy vs. engaging, shallowness vs. depth, and so on. These are things I’d love to really see discussed more online, and very few sites will actually touch it. But I think that MOP’s community is overall mature enough to actually have some discussions about this without it devolving into a fist fight.”

I’m sure you’ll prove him right! Right, guys? Guys? So let’s talk about MMO difficulty in this week’s Massively Overthinking. What do we really mean when we talk about “difficulty” in MMORPGs? Are games easier than they used to be, and if so, is there something studios should do to change that?
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The Soapbox: Three augmented reality game problems (most) MMOs don’t have – and one thing they do so much better

I’d like to think that I’m kind of a healthy gamer. While MMOs take a lot of time, the nice thing is that their downtime can lead to forming bonds, or give you time to exercise. Augmented reality games can give you both at once, especially Pokemon Gosince it’s the best-known ARG we have (and the mountains of merchandise make it easier to stand out as a fellow player).

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, and I’m not just talking about game mechanics that have plagued Niantic games since at Ingress. I remember playing that title and thinking, “Man, this game is dangerous! There’s no way they’ll just clone this for POGO, right?” And yet, here we are. But I can’t put all the blame on Niantic, especially after my time with ARG competitor Maguss. Some things just seem inherent to the genre.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV and the horror of the Live Letter

It’s easy to miss one of the worst bits of news about the next Final Fantasy XIV Live Letter because it’s tucked in the very bottom of the announcement. But there it is, plain as day. No more translations on the forums, just the important points on Twitter. That isn’t going to be annoying as hell from start to finish, I tell you what. It’s not like we don’t already have hasty and inaccurate translations floating around with at least something to point to, but now we can be sure that there’s even less to offer a common reference point!

The irony is that the next Live Letter is coming about a week after the PAX East panel in which one of the major points of discussion was in ensuring that the experience for all players across the world have the same reaction to the game. For the most part, that’s correct; it’s something that Square-Enix in general and Naoki Yoshida in particular has worked hard to ensure. But when it comes to the Live Letters, it’s a principle that doesn’t even pretend to get followed, and it leads to a simmering frustration that might be best served by leaving the whole thing out for good.

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Jukebox Heroes: Five great YouTube channels for MMO music

As a collector and reviewer of MMORPG soundtracks, I owe a great debt to fellow music lovers who take the time to somehow extract files from the game directories and make these tracks available to the world at large. YouTube has been an invaluable treasure trove of MMO music, thanks to these devoted fans, and I thought I would give some of them props today for their hard and continuing work.

While there are plenty of channels where you might see a person post a playlist at one point for a single game, there are a handful of YouTubers who see their mission to continually post new music for ongoing online games. Today we are going to look at five channels and the game soundtracks that they cover. We’re talking hours and hours of music at your fingertips here, so set aside your plans for the rest of the day and get listening!

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GDC 2018: Bridging and embedding cross-platform online communities

As this year’s GDC coverage is winding down, I am finally coming to the topic I saved for last: community. MMOs are more than just multiplayer. We attract the “alone together” people more than the “FPS hero” crowd in our comments section for a reason; MMOs are virtual worlds. They’re a digital space inhabited by other people. We may not talk to them, but we watch and listen. Maybe we engage, maybe we group, maybe we guild. We do stuff in a shared environment because we think, or hope, we’re part of a larger system.

And this is why we need to talk about cross-platform communities and the strength of in-game, embedded community tools. As social media rises and mobile crashes against our PC fortress, increased console cross-play should be a reminder that we’re all gamers, and (some) developers are finally getting that.

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