leaderboard

Leaderboard is a weekly feature in which the Massively Overpowered staff pitch a poll to the readership. [Follow this feature’s RSS feed]

Leaderboard: Are you playing Destiny 2?

I was super worried about losing my whole guild to Destiny 2’s PC beta last week, but after the beta fling, they’re back to chattering about Guild Wars 2 and plotting adventures there. I’m not sure it’s a slam on Destiny 2, either, just that we’re chiefly PC fans, so the console launch isn’t much of a draw, and the PC launch is still almost two months off. Meanwhile, Guild Wars 2 is very much live, with an expansion just a few weeks away.

For today’s Leaderboard, let’s see whether you’re like my guildies — are you playing Destiny 2?

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Leaderboard: Do the HTC Vive’s and Oculus Rift’s price cuts change your opinion on VR pricing?

When Oculus dropped the price of the Oculus Rift down to $400 earlier this summer, supposedly temporarily (but not its first drop), analysts were torn over the decision, suggesting that Facebook’s rumored cheaper wireless Pacific device might be the impetus.

Now this week, HTC joined in the price-slashing parade, reducing the price of the Vive from $799 to $599, a fee analysts said back in January was still too pricey for the Oculus. However, the president of the Viveport marketplace rejected the idea that the new price was a response to the Rift’s panic-mode. “I think we are the leader in the market, and the plan was always that high-end VR be available to everyone,” he told Polygon. “So of course there are a couple of components that need to fall into place … in order to reach the mass market, you need to have a lower price point. That’s been the plan all along. I think it’s good that other players in the market are making similar moves.”

For this edition of Leaderboard, I thought it would be fun to take stock of our core audience’s view of the price of VR here in 2017 to see whether it differs significantly from the 2014 vs. 2016 report, which suggested that while initial high prices had shifted many gamers’ expectations for a higher price, an even greater number still wouldn’t pay over $300 for a device. To the pollmobile!

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Leaderboard: Did Guild Wars 2’s preview weekend convince you to buy Path of Fire?

This past weekend, the gaming segment of my Twitter feed was positively dominated by chatter about Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire expansion free preview weekend. I even saw a few of my guildies dip back in, which shouldn’t have surprised me — quite a lot of our readers and friends told us in last week’s Leaderboard poll that they had plans to try the free weekend, many of them no doubt trying to decide whether to buy it and return to the game or even play it for the first time.

The question is, did it work? Did Guild Wars 2’s preview weekend convince you to buy Path of Fire? Let’s hit the polls and find out.

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Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire’s huge new in-game map and the promise of PvP

There’s a joke on the Guild Wars 2 subreddit that you don’t need to read anything about the game — you just wait for WoodenPotatoes to put out a 30-minute video on 2 minutes of content and explain it all to you and more. It’s probably true, but since you’ve some time to kill until Path of Fire launches on September 22nd, so why not fill it with WP?

His latest videos zero in on several big subjects. The first and most intriguing is the new map; it’s clear that the map has almost doubled in size as huge parts of the deserts southeast of Orr are now colored in and soon to be accessible. The scope of the map is compelling, maybe especially compared to the Heart of Thorns zone area, which is positively tiny to scale. He also raises some questions about why the developers would bother including empty but drawn-in areas to the east of Ascalon (like that big ol’ lake). Hmm!

The second video focuses much more on PvP and WvW, something ArenaNet has only lightly touched on since the big reveal. We’ve tucked both videos down below – and don’t forget to vote in our morning Leaderboard poll on whether or not you intend to play the freebie preview weekend in GW2 starting Friday!

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Leaderboard: Will you be trying Guild Wars 2 for free this weekend?

As part of its marketing push ahead of Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire expansion launch in September, ArenaNet is plotting a freebie weekend for the game. The base game is already free-to-play, of course, but this weekend, all players will be treated to a preview of the paid and unlaunched Path of Fire content, even if you’ve never put a dime into the game. Existing players and newbies alike can basically tour the first zone (Amnoon Oasis) before deciding whether or not to pick up the expack. If you’re a total newbie, all you have to do is register a free account and you’re good to go starting Friday through Sunday. The weekend after that, the expansion’s elite specs will be available in PvP and WvW, so you’ll get to sample those too.

The question is — will this work? Are you actually going to give it a go? To the pollmobile!

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Leaderboard: Did you go back to LOTRO for Mordor?

Before we begin, let’s just get the trailer thing out of our systems. It was bad. Really bad. OK? Good. That’s done.

Lord of the Rings Online launched Mordor yesterday, its first major expansion since the transfer of the game from Turbine to Standing Stone Games last year.

And while Justin’s busy diving in and cooking up some impressions of the expansion for us, I thought I’d open it up to the readers in a poll: Was Mordor enough to make you go back LOTRO or even pick it up for the first time?

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Leaderboard: Is our future in virtual reality or augmented reality?

MOP reader Sally recently pointed us to a series of articles on virtual reality and augmented reality tech that when taken together make for an interesting discussion on two terms most laypeople seem to use interchangeably.

  • In January following this year’s CES, Yahoo tech columnist David Pogue rolled his eyes at “gushing” over VR and argued that augmented reality was far more interesting.
  • In April, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg gave a speech suggesting that the future of VR is bright but that the equipment was a hindrance to socializing — that augmented reality, with transparent glasses, is the future.
  • Electronic Arts said basically the same exact thing just four days ago — that VR is still years away from mass-market consumers but that the company is focusing on AR in the shorter term.
  • And finally AltspaceVR, a startup that was offering a social VR chat aimed at businesses, is closing up shop, having run out of funding. Its userbase was only 35,000 people monthly, and it’s not even the only VR company to close down this year.

I have to say that I see much more utility and promise in a Shadowrun-like tech future of augmented glasses than in cumbersome game devices, but am I wrong — and are the money men wrong? Is our future in virtual reality or augmented reality?

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Leaderboard: Do you play Star Wars Galaxies’ emulator?

Welp, here we are: Star Wars Galaxies would be turning 14 years old today, had it been allowed to live.

SWG is much beloved around here, among our staff and many of our commenters, and the good news is that the existing emulators for the game have seemed pretty safe from the wrath of the copyright gods, which means you can put your mouse where your heart is and still play. But do you? And if not, why not?

That’s what today’s Leaderboard poll is meant to find out. (You can choose multiple answers on this one.)

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Leaderboard: Is Steam Direct’s developer fee too high?

Back in February, Valve announced that it would be sunsetting Steam Greenlight and replacing it with a new platform called Steam Direct, which would require fees from developers in order to “decrease the noise in the submission pipeline.” At the time, fees from $100-$5000 were floated by the company, causing significant consternation among game developers concerned that indies, students, and developing countries would be shut out of the program.

Last week, Valve posted an update on the program, announcing that it will be sticking with the $100 fee and working on other ways to fix the submission process — namely, with an expanded curator system that continues to offload de facto vetting work onto volunteers.

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World of Tanks pushes out Update 9.19 with improved equipment and directives

The new hotness in World of Tanks these days is ranked battles, which is getting ready to kick off a beta season to iron out the kinks. Along with these increasingly challenging battles comes new types of rewards: improved equipment and directives.

Improved equipment comes in six types, each offering permanent boosts to various tank and crew systems when they are equipped. The only downside is that normal and improved equipment of the same type cannot be stacked. Directives are far more temporary, offering single battle boosts and crew skill unlocks to give an advantage during a fight.

So how do you get all of these new toys? You collect bonds: “Bonds are rewarded at the end of each stage, with the amount you earn tied directly to the rank you’re at, as well as by the end of the Season, with the amount depending on your final standing in the leaderboard. If you finish a stage at, let’s say, Rank IV, you gain 400 Bonds. Rank III brings in 300, Rank II gives you 200, Rank V earns you 500, and finally, if you don’t make it past Rank I, you get 100 Bonds.”

Update 9.19 is now live, and you can get a brief overview of its salient details after the break.

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PWE posts summer event schedule for Neverwinter, Star Trek Online, Champions Online

“Sun’s out, guns out,” a PWE press blast quipped today — all because the MMO studio is kicking off a ton of summer events across its range of games, including some of the more relatively obscure ones.

In Neverwinter, for example, the titular city will be festooned in glitter for the 4th anniversary Protector’s Jubilee. Jubilee unicorns were mentioned. That’s June 20-27, while July will see the summer festival with feasts, contests, and snail mounts.

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Leaderboard: What’s the most important part of MMORPG character customization?

Valiance Online has a dev thread up this week asking backers and devs to propose hairstyles for the game’s characters, something that immediately yoinked my attention since I am notoriously picky about hair. As I’ve written before, I’m not against mohawks. Mohawks are cool. But when we open up a character creator and see 50 different types of mohawks and little else? Drives me bonkers. I’m exaggerating a little, but the variety in most MMOs isn’t so hot, and that’s partly down to clipping issues, I realize. Still, hair specifically is super important to me when I’m rolling a character. It’s definitely in my top three, probably right after gender.

How about you? What’s the most important part of MMORPG character customization to you? You can pick three!

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Leaderboard: Almost half of e-sports viewers don’t even play the games they’re spectating

It may sound crazy, but a huge number of people who pour eyeball time and money into e-sports don’t even play the games they’re watching. That’s according to gaming analytics firm Newzoo, which last week broke down its stats on the major e-sports franchises and who exactly is watching them in the U.S., Canada, Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden. Key takeaways?

  • 70% of viewers stick to one game.
  • 69% of gamers play only League of Legends, CS:GO, or DOTA 2 (the overlap of all three is 8%).
  • 42% of e-sports watchers of the big three games do not play any of them
  • 191 million people will tune in to e-sports “frequently” this year; an additional 194 million will do so “occasionally.”

Howsabout you? Do you watch, play, both, or neither?

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