Roll for initiative! Bree and Justin are getting all kinds of nerdy with this week's show, in which they talk about Dragon-people, the return of a long-abandoned sci-fi game, a momentous anniversary, and the viability of sandbox MMOs.
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:
We were remarking in the Massively OP office the other day how weird it was that Club Penguin's shutdown was getting mainstream news attention in a way that many more important and long-running titles (Asheron's Call anyone?) were not. One reason why this might be, apart from its Disney connection, is that for some players, Club Penguin was their introduction to online worlds and they still retain a strong emotional connection because we tend to fondly remember our first everythings. Never underestimate nostalgia!
MMORPGs as we know them today weren't really around when I was growing up, but I have no doubt that many of our readers cut their teeth on titles at a much younger age. How young were you when you played your first MMO? Was it a kiddie title like Wizard101 or an all-ages pick like World of Warcraft? Were you one of those who picked up RuneScape because it was free and you didn't have access to your parents' credit cards?
Massively OP reader and frequent tipster Gibbins wants us to play match-maker.
"I love the wonderful world that Bethesda created with the Fallout franchise, not too bleak but very post apocalypse with a very kitsch '50s feel from the time of duck and cover educational films, but I wish it were multiplayer. The huge volume of mods for Fallout is also is a massive bonus, giving the game great variety and replayability. On the other hand, I also love the satirical in your face style of GTA Online and its no-holds-barred multiplayer experience, but I wish there were more to the story and more support for mods. Both games offer so much, and I would love to see how each studio would add to the other's game. Which two development teams would you like to see married... and which game would be their love child?"
Let's complicate Gibbins' request and say that the love child game must be an MMO! I've posed his question to the team for this week's Massively Overthinking.
Expecto MMOsium! The Battle Bards have donned their robes and taken to casting nasty spells on each other with their wands, all in the spirit of today’s soundtrack — Wizard101. This surprisingly expansive kid MMORPG visits a wide range of genres and has a score to match. But was the experience magical or mundane?
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
We’ve got Episode 90: Wizard101 and the show notes for you after the break!
For an avid fan of video game soundtracks, and of MMO soundtracks in particular, the most frustrating aspect of collecting and listening to these scores is how shabbily the OST is often treated. For every game like World of Warcraft or Aion that gives great respect to its music by creating and selling albums, there are two or three titles that have never seen a single official release at all.
This is such a shame and an aggravation that I need to call some of these titles out this week. I need to wag my fanboy finger in their direction and ask, "What gives?" There's so much great music that is put into these ever-expanding games... and the fact that only a fraction of it is ever made widely available to the public to purchase and enjoy outside of the game is a loss (moreso if the game shuts down). I can only imagine how frustrating it is for the composers to see their work bottled up in a product that might go offline forever at any time.
Here are six such MMOs that drive me nuts every time I think about how awesome it would be if their studios would ever consent to an official soundtrack release.
Wizard101 has grand, sweeping plans for 2017, starting with the upcoming release of Mirage, its Arabian Nights-themed world.
According to the team, Mirage will be on the bigger side and one of the game's "most cinematic worlds yet." Players will enjoy new quest animations, a magic carpet ride, and the Thieves' Den homage to Star Wars' cantina scene. It also sounds like there will be faction grinding with the patch, allowing players work toward rewards offered by major forces in the city.
"We’ve already been talking about what’s coming to the Spiral in 2017 and we’re super excited to get started on it," said Senior Producer Leah Ruben. "You may get by with a little help from some new friends. You may be inspired to travel the worlds of the Spiral again with renewed purpose. You will certainly have new foes to battle, new allies to collaborate with, and new powerful items to seek out. We’ve been scouring the forums for feedback, and are already working on the initial stages of our devious plan to create lots of fun content and improve the game next year, so stay tuned."
When it comes to a great holiday event, what would you rather have more: in-game activities, giveaways, or cash shop sales? If you said, "All three!" then KingsIsle agrees with you. Both Wizard101 and Pirate101 are currently in the midst of so many Christmas promotions that it's kind of hard to keep track of them all.
Let's start with the 12 Days of the Spiral, a calendar promotion in which players can get free and discounted goodies every day from now through December 20th (make sure to pick up your free housing items and pony!). Wizard101 also has a brand-new Krampus dungeon for players to tackle while the season lasts.
There's plenty of other things to do as well, such as enjoying the Yuletide event and entering in a holiday art contest.
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!
This week we were fascinated with the inspiring tale of two Overwatch players who wanted to be the best at being the worst in the game. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from Wizard101, Final Fantasy XI, Conan Exiles, and more, all waiting for you after the break!
Many of us may be descending into another long, cold, and hotpants-lacking winter, but over in Wizard101, the players are positively sweltering with excitement. That's because the game's newest expansion, Mirage, is taking them into an Arabian Nights-inspired desert world.
The team set the scene for this new region: "Step into Mirage, a world of shifting sands and shifting allegiances, where ancient treasures and ancient dangers were buried in the hope they might never again see the light of day."
Mirage has a lot in store for players, including a level cap increase to 120, two more training points, level 120 henchmen, craftable legendary weapons, an additional spell power, and even a two-tiered apartment. The expansion covers six zones which are being priced at 1,995 crowns apiece for non-subscribers.
Are you leery about heading out to shop this week (especially Friday!)? Massively OP's MJ understands. That's why she has some new Wizard101
bundles to give away right here. Called the Mirage Raider's bundles, these packs are sold exclusively at Gamestop, but you can win one without leaving the comfort of your own couch. Tune in live at 5:00 p.m. for your chance to win:
- a nomad camp house
- a desert racer mount
- a sultan's monkey pet
- a set of mirage dunerunner's gear
- a desert lodestar staff weapon
- 1 month or 5,000 crowns
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 5:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016
You simply can't have a good and proper Halloween without a perfect soundtrack to back you up. Sure, you could just pop in one of those tired old sound effects cassette tapes (kids: ask your history teacher what cassette tapes are) and call it a day. Me? I prefer some genuinely atmospheric tunes straight from the games I love.
Today I'm going to put together a mix tape for your darkest dreams and your silliest spooks. It's Halloween, done MMO-style, and the only way to get to the dawn is to dive deep into the terrors of the night with gleeful abandon. Take my hand and walk with me, and don't worry if you start hearing voices murmuring just behind your left ear. That means they like you.
Shiver me timbers, it's a birthday! Pirate101 is celebrating its fourth birthday today, and Massively OP's MJ is joining in on the swashbuckling fun. As part of the festivities, everyone gets some birthday gifts. From now until November 2nd, players can claim a birthday pack containing a tribal crew pack, a parrrrty hat, a birthday eyepatch, a 12 Flavors of Hawkules pet snack, and a Cupcake Pet Snack. With a a birthday so close to Halloween, the gift pack also includes a Halloween pony mount (7-day rental) and a trick or treat banner housing item. To claim your gifts, visit the main site and enter spooky4thbday. Then join us live at 4:00 p.m. to wish Pirate101 a very happy birthday.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, October 15th, 2016
Who said you can't celebrate a birthday early? Certainly not MassivelyOP's MJ! It just stretches out the celebration and gives her more time to party. That's exactly what MJ is going to do one day ahead of Wizard101's
8th birthday. So grab your party hat and join us live at 1:00 p.m. to sing and toss around some spells in honor of the game's special day.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 1:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 1st, 2016