There are MMOs that have been around a while, and then there is EverQuest. It’s so old school it is old enough to be out of school! Yup, EQ turned 19 years old yesterday. That’s 19 years of the iconic music, 19 years of Qeynos, and 19 years of Fippy trying to storm that gate! So much has happened in Norrath between March 16th, 1999, and March 16th, 2018 – more than one single restrospective could cover. So we’ll just look at a single year!
As is tradition, I’ve sat back and looked over the previous year, remembering the highlights and goings on of the game. How did the 19th year play out for one of the oldest MMOs? Sadly, this year was of the leaner variety; not much happened across Norrath. You wouldn’t know that by all the anniversary offerings, though! Take a stroll down the cobbled lane of memories, but don’t get lost in the nostalgia; there are oodles of anniversary quests to fill your schedule with during the celebration, going on now through Thursday, May 10th, 2018.
The last big ARK expedition Massively OP’s MJ took was to the surface. What goes up, must also go down, right? So this time, she delving the depths of a cave. The gang is on the hunt for new light pets, the elusive glowtail lizards. Will this journey end better than the first time MJ wandered into this cave? (Hint: She was lured to her death by a once-trusted tribe member!) Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to see how successful this second trip into the cave is.
What: ARK: Aberration
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, March 17th, 2018
Dipping your toes in to test game content is for wimps; true heroes dive right in and go deep. A new event has arrived in DC Universe Online
that takes players to the bottom of the ocean to face off against Starro and unravel a mystery at Spindrift Station.
The Deluge event takes place as both a low-level activity and high-level elite raid, depending on your skills and daring-do. In this episode, players will meet more of the Aquaman family and explore a pair of new Atlantean locations under the sea.
By going through this content, players can earn underwater suits and a gearset inspired by Mera. Check out the Deluge developer livestream below!
What do you give a game that is turning 19? Massively OP’s MJ is not sure, but she’s not about to miss EverQuest’s birthday party! Whether or not she can find all the new anniversary quests is another matter, but there is always the anniversary Brasse Dwarf to hang out and drink with. Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. to join the celebration with us.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 16th, 2018
One of the concerns that some players have held about Sea of Thieves, especially after its public betas, is that the pirate game appears to be a little light on content and goals.
Fortunately, Rare has a lot more tricks up its sleeve for both launch and beyond. In a developer livestream, the studio discussed more content than it had previously been promoting, including different kinds of PvE skeletons to fight, hidden lore books to discover (with special rewards attached), and the pursuit of legendary status. This endgame activity will give player pirates access to their own secret hideouts and a new faction that has its own types of voyages.
Also in the works? Player-owned ships, pets, campaign events, and the ability to save favorite pirate characters on the random generator.
Rare released the launch trailer for next week’s release, so give that a good gander after the break!
Can you believe Xsyon has made it to seven years? We haven’t heard anything about the game in a long, long while, but the servers are still there so Massively OP’s MJ is popping on to take a look around. Join us live at 1:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a seventh anniversary show of…
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 1:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 16th, 2018
anniversary event, Carnival
, is now raging across the game’s live servers — but not on the new Prime progression server. While the latter does have a vendor that sells some Carnival items for void stones, the team has decided not to bring the event to Prime “in keeping with the early days of RIFT
But for those on the other servers, Carnival offers plenty of fun games, activities, and rewards, including the new pegasus pet Celeste, more masks, weapon runes, a raid tier 2 earring, and the 7th anniversary cape. If you are looking for a festival guilde, Rift Gate has one that’s only two years out of date. Carnival will last through April 5th.
The RIFT team is also taking a look at the latest PvP warfront to be added to the game, Tenebrean Prison. You can check it out on the live servers or by watching today’s developer livestream.
This week, The Ancient Gaming Noob posted up an image of RIFT Prime, where Trion asks people to… play nice. “Just a neighborly reminder that 1-29 chat is for RIFT chat, ideally things relevant to level 1-29 gameplay,” the UI HUD reads. “Please be good to each other. We’ve muted some and shall mute again. Have a great evening!”
Meanwhile, over in Trion’s Trove, I’ve had to report-and-block dozens of fellow players just in the last few days for disgusting slurs in multiple languages, stuff the filter doesn’t catch. For a free-to-play game that’s also on console, yeah, I guess I expect no better from the playerbase. But but but RIFT Prime is subscription-based. Surely that means a strong community, where such polite warnings from developers aren’t necessary? Yeah, not so much, as anyone who played old-school MMORPGs can tell you. This is a problem even in games whose devs prioritize community and care a whole lot.
So this week, let’s talk about in-game chat. Do you use it? Do you watch it? Do you turn it off? Is it really terrible everywhere, or just in some games? Which one is the worst and the best, and what should developers do about chat specifically?
After a brief delay, Fortnite’s 3.3 patch is in with a bang, literally, thanks to new explosives and supply llamas added to battle royale mode. Epic says it’s improved server performance too. Save the Worlders will find a new St Patrick’s Day themed questline and gear to keep them occupied.
In other Fortnite news,
- The game helped set a new Twitch record last night for concurrent watchers on a single string when rapper Drake hopped on stream with Tyler “Ninja” Blevins for some Fortnite talk. This is real life.
- VG247 has a piece arguing that Fortnite is a “true next-gen game” for the first generation of kids raised on free games, crossplatforminess, and hand-me-down hardware.
- And Gamasutra posted a Q&A with Epic Games on the development of BR mode. “Because our timeline was so short, and we wanted to create a playable version immediately, it wasn’t ‘hey we could do all these crazy things,’ it was ‘what can we do, and how can we get it done as quickly as possible,'” Epic’s Eric Williamson says. “It wasn’t pie-in-the-sky land. Naturally, that meant that lots of ideas we had didn’t really get fully explored.” Now, of course, there’s time.
Ready for Star Wars: The Old Republic
Patch 5.8’s arrival next week
? It’s OK if not, because the developers are here to bring you up to speed on the latest chapter of this MMO’s journey.
The team popped on a livestream yesterday to cover a half-dozen features that are coming with the update, including the return of two companions (the Inquisitor’s Ashara and the Imperial Agent’s Vector), some screens of the improved conquest user interface, an embedded trailer for Izax, and the lore behind the Gods of the Machine operation.
BioWare said that it is slating class balance tweaks for 5.9, not 5.8, so you’ll have to wait a little while to see what these utility changes will bring.
Massively OP’s MJ may not be in town for tomorrow’s Project Gorgon Steam launch, but she’s excited about it just the same. She’ll just be celebrating a day early! MJ is back continuing her beginner island adventures with her newest character. What awaits behind that locked door she discovered last time? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to see.
What: Project Gorgon
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 12th, 2018
Shroud of the Avatar’s official launch may be a bit later this month, but the launch party is this week! Massively OP’s MJ is excited to go, and so she’s soaking up all the SOTA she can before she leaves. Hop aboard the hype hot air balloon and join us live at 7:00 p.m. for more Forsaken Virtues adventures.
What: Shroud of the Avatar
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 12th, 2018
Whether or not you agree that Shroud of the Avatar is already soft launched, it is most definitely hard launching on March 27th, meaning there’s just a few weeks to go until the big day. That makes the next couple of weekly newsletters extra important, given that they are previewing content that’s going into release 52 – in other words, brand-new launch content.
Portalarium’s latest offering teases two new companions, representing Truth and Courage, along with their unique art, plus progress on the town of Northwood and Blood River Forest adventure zone. Devs also answered a few more questions that didn’t make it into the previous Q&A; they say they’re working on DPS, crit rate, recipes, loot, and performance. They’re also “expanding the number of craftable houses” – there’s a craftable inn in R52, so MJ will be happy.
Additionally, SOTA is seeking out players for its “Ambassadors Program,” which’ll remind old-school MMO players of guide systems from games past.