Leaderboard is a weekly feature in which the Massively Overpowered staff pitch a poll to the readership. [Follow this feature’s RSS feed]
I’ve always been curious about you folks who forgave Funcom for 2017. I’m not sure that, were I a hardcore old-school Secret World player, I could so easily let slide that whole “yeah so we’re gonna reboot the game and you can’t bring the toons you spent the last five years building” thing. But given the reboot’s apparent success last year and the ongoing attention on the game by the MMORPG community, a lot of you did forgive the studio and jumped right back in, including our own Secret World vets here on staff. Wherever their breaking point is, that wasn’t it.
Massively OP reader Pepperzine is wondering about that breaking point too and where the game stands in the community since the relaunch nine months ago and the new content that’s finally launched. “Now that around nine months have passed since The Secret World Legends has launched, I think it would be interesting to do a follow-up poll on if the community here at MOP is playing it, quit playing it, or returning for the Africa content!”
Great idea! Let’s do it.
With the launch of Ultima Online’s Endless Journey free-to-play conversion this week, a whole lotta old-school MMORPG players are turning their attention back to the 20-year-old MMORPG that started it all. If you could make or connect to your account – easier said than done, as our own writers and streamers found out – then you were treated to a Throwback Thursday to end all Throwback Thursdays.
I’ve actually had my old account running on a sub for the better part of the past year, and while I’m happy that the game is moving forward (and still getting love!), I’m also a little bit exhausted from the anticipation – as well as skeptical of the relatively pay-to-win new offering in the cash shop. I’m sort of looking forward to the game getting back to normal after the influx of visitors is done!
How about you? Are you giving Ultima Online’s Endless Journey a try? Let take it to the polls!
Earlier this month, Overwatch made headlines when a player posted up a behavioral therapy chart his wife – who happens to be a therapist – made him fill out after he complained about his game losses. The idea is that you write down your “negative thoughts” about the game experience, then reflect on that to see how your temporary emotion has distorted your opinions, then craft a positive frame instead. It’s funny – but also pretty useful, and even Overwatch Redditors were asking for a blank sheet so they could try it themselves.
That brings us to today’s Daily Grind: How do you deal with your anger in an MMO? Do you complain to guildies, log out, bang your desk, go work out to burn off some steam? Are you handling it as well as the Overwatch Redditor and trying to learn from what went wrong? What do you do, exactly, when your teammates turn out to be “hot garbage”?
Is Call of Duty the next Activision franchise to migrate to Battlenet? Very likely. As Eurogamer broke earlier this month, players are now able to link their Call of Duty accounts to Battle.net – no doubt in anticipation for Black Ops 4.
I bring this up to MMO players because of the potential impact on World of Warcraft – specifically, token prices – as WoW players buy and sell their tokens to spend down their Blizzard balance to buy up the new CoD title (or cash in on the flurry). Redditors are current speculating about the incoming speculation, arguing that tokens prices have been relatively stable over the past few months, spiking for the Battle for Azeroth hoopla but ultimately settling back down. In fact, just covering the potential for a spike can cause a spike, one poster points out. Gamers will recall a similar situation last year when Destiny 2 landed on Battlenet, sending the token to record heights.
And that leads us to some Leaderboard fun. Do you speculate on WoW Tokens or other legal MMO RMT currency (like PLEX, C.R.E.D.D, etc.), or do you stay the heck away from that noise? Multiple responses are allowed!
A few months ago, we ran a Leaderboard poll asking players what kind of live studio-led events they want out of MMORPGs. By way of example, I compared the types of GM-run live events I saw in Ultima Online and EverQuest. In Ultima Online, we often saw long-running plotlines, mysterious NPCs, decorated special locations, dungeon crawls, and weddings galore. In EverQuest, I saw weddings, yes, but also GMs running around massacring newbies to get the highbies to come take them out (which wasn’t such a grand time as you lost experience on death). In Asheron’s Call, well, don’t take my word for it – just listen to Andrew talk about some of the biggest MMO events that ever took place in the genre.
Such GM events – the good ones, at least – are the subject of Saga of Lucimia’s weekly dev blog, which ought to make the majority of you who voted for plot, roleplaying, and activities other than endless murder in your event happy.
“Over the years, that type of interaction faded away as it became too ‘cost prohibitive’ for companies to maintain the type of staff required to create such unique events, and these days you are hard-pressed to find a GM logged into any game, much less get customer support to answer your emails in a timely fashion,” Lucimia Creative Director Tim “Renfail” Anderson maintains. “Cash shops and loot boxes are the name of the game these days. Game masters? What are those?”
, Trion Worlds
opened up Vigil, the RIFT Prime
server that offers a unique progression pace for subbers as well as an environment relatively free of cash shop annoyances. Like most studios that give alternative or progression servers a go, Trion is surely hoping to attract old school players as well as those feeling a bit of nostalgia or just sick of modern business model contrivances.
But did it work? I’ve seen a lot of buzz on Twitter, but buzz is buzz, not players. Did the new server get you back in Telara – are you playing RIFT Prime? To the pollmobile!
The original Lead Systems Designer for Star Wars: The Old Republic
was a man named Damion Schubert
. A friend of mine used to call him my nemesis because he seemed to be in charge of everything that I disliked about SWTOR
. At community cantinas and other interaction with fans like the Guild Summit, he said that he is work on SWTOR
would not be done until he was able to give guilds their own flagships. He was true to his word. On May 11th, 2014, BioWare launched Galactic Strongholds
, and with it guild flagships. Shortly after, we found out that Shubert had moved onto a different project.
Now, Shubert isn’t really my nemesis, but Strongholds in many ways have been a point of love and contention for me, especially when it came coupled with Galactic Conquests, a system that never really lived up to its potential.
With Update 5.8, the BioWare team is looking to revamp Conquests. As promised in the 2018 roadmap, BioWare Community Manager Eric Musco gave us a more detailed update on Conquests on the forums. But the changes to Conquests won’t be as meaningful to you unless you understand where Conquests are currently.
The Conquest system is getting some pretty big changes
with the next patch for Star Wars: The Old Republic
, and it all came about because of some UI polishing. Yes, the designers went in to separate solo and guild conquests, and in the process the whole system got overhauled to provide a much smoother experience for individual players as well as overall guild projects.
Conquests have had their goals rearranged, for example, and solo goals offer command XP, credits, and experience for players. There are also changes to stronghold bonuses, with each individual stronghold providing a 25% bonus for a maximum of 150% (sorry to those with strongholds full of chairs for the conquest bonus). Guild conquests, meanwhile, have been restructured to make the leaderboard less mandatory for smaller groups just pursuing smaller goals. Check out the full rundown of changes ahead of the next patch arriving.
To celebrate the latest class to be added to En Masse’s TERA
, the studio released a short trailer of a gauntleted fist beating the stuffing out of a panda. It’s a bold marketing strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for them.
The panda-punching class in question is the male Brawler, who is arriving in the March 13th Counterpunch update (the action MMO previously added the female Brawler in a past patch). Mechanically, the male Brawler is identical to his female counterpart, although he will sport different skill animations.
TERA’s Counterpunch is also bringing back a slightly reworked Ruinous Manor dungeon, throwing in a leaderboard system for monthly seasons, and triggering a series of free giveaways. There is an additional character slot (March 13th through the 20th), a free special lootbox (March 17th and 18th), and a level up box for male Brawlers (March 13th through April 10th).
I’ve been playing a lot of Monster Hunter World when time permits, and while I’m enjoying the game, I’ve noticed it’s been, well, oddly silent. Initially, I thought maybe it was just a PlayStation 4 thing. Then a friend who roped me into playing with her told me she felt the Overwatch PC crowd was much worse than the console crowd, but since she’s not much of an online gamer (and lacks a PC), I shrugged that off too.
However, as I’ve spent more time in online games that aren’t MMOs lately, I’ve noticed that I don’t really use voice chat with strangers, even when it’s built into the game – maybe even especially when it’s built into the game, depending on how I feel about the community. I didn’t bother in World of Warcraft, and apparently EVE players aren’t into it much either, yet Heroes of the Storm is going to get it years later despite uproar. It’s not that I dislike voice chat; I’ve just been around the internet and feel that most randoms can’t be trusted with unmoderated chat.
What about you, readers? Do you use default voice chats? Maybe only with fellow PC users or to help keyboardless console users? Let’s take it to a poll…
I know I’m not alone in noticing that MMO gamers of late seem to have become sharply divided on how to define the term pay-to-win – indeed, the debate raged last week in threads about Black Desert’s player protest, Elder Scrolls Online’s cash shop prices, and the general consensus that ArcheAge is whale heaven. Recently Massively OP commenter Pepperzine recently wrote to us suggesting that we address it and try to sort it out.
“While there are proponents for all sides of the argument, I think it would be interesting to see where the bulk of people draw the line,” he wrote. “At the end of the day, individual perceptions are important but what is most important when it comes to this topic is what the majority perceives as pay-to-win.”
So let’s turn his proposal into the requisite Leaderboard poll, shall we? And yes, you can click as many as you want!
Last week was a flurry of excitement over World of Warcraft’s Battle for Azeroth’s preorders – and the news that the game will probably launch that expansion in September. In fact, so many people were lining up to buy it (and get immediate access to perks) that many players, including some of our writers, were put into multi-hour wait queues.
Were you among them? Are you sold on the expansion’s features? Did you preorder WoW’s Battle for Azeroth expansion? To the polls!
Age of Conan’s Saga of Zath server officially launched yesterday, drawing fresh attention back to the game that Funcom maintenance-moded by proxy last year but apparently just isn’t done with. Zath has a ruleset similar to the base PvE server’s, only you have to create a new toon to zip through a “saga quest,” which will give you special rewards that you can then take with you back to Crom when the time limit is up.
According to the comments on our articles so far, Age of Conan hasn’t got quite the traction RIFT (to say nothing of WoW) has with the expansion-progression server or vanilla server idea, but then, this isn’t exactly like those; it’s a little bit more like Diablo III’s seasonal servers, right down to keeping all your loot at the end, but it’s still something new for fans of the original Conan MMO. Future saga servers, Funcom has said, will come with ruleset tweaks.
Let’s take it to the polls for another Leaderboard: Will you be playing Age of Conan’s new server?