Over the last couple of days, we’ve been covering the Daybreak scandal – specifically, how concerns over the impact of government sanctions on Daybreak’s parent companies would affect the games, which spiraled into Daybreak publicly denying that it was ever owned by the company it said repeatedly bought it in 2015 and scrubbing its website and wikipedia of references to Columbus Nova’s acquisition. We’ve all watched on, eyes wide, dutifully recording gaslighting in progress.
But then I have that luxury: I don’t play any Daybreak games and haven’t played any of them seriously since SOE shuttered the best MMORPG ever made. So I can look at the whole situation as the dumpster fire it is, and not as the doom of my favorite MMO, since it already killed that.
Many of you are not in my position. You play DCUO, EverQuest II, PlanetSide 2, even EverQuest. You might even be playing H1Z1, although that’s less likely if you’re reading Massively OP. Or maybe the Standing Stone games Daybreak publishes, LOTRO and DDO, are your thing, and you’re not convinced by yesterday’s vague Twitch sidenote that everything’s probably fine. You are watching on in horror, wondering what will happen to your MMO homes if Daybreak implodes. You might even be pretty sure the games will be OK but aren’t so sure you want to put your own money into the mess.
Ever since Standing Stone Games started ramping up the prominence of Lord of the Rings Online’s
lockboxes following last year’s Mordor
expansion, the microtransactions have proved to be extremely controversial and divisive in the community.
And while LOTRO isn’t going to be ditching lockboxes any time soon, SSG is working on being more transparent about the system. On April 25th’s livestream, CM Jerry Snook answered a player concern about the topic.
“I have been working on a page in recent days that’s going to provide more transparency on both Hobbit presents and the seal-bound Gorgoroth lootboxes,” he said. “It’s going to talk about what you can get from these things, what’s considered rare, what’s considered common, what’s super-rare.”
Snook said that the page will come out in the next couple of weeks after it has been localized.
It’s been 11 years, and Massively OP’s MJ is no where near tiring of roaming Middle-earth in LOTRO
. (She’s also no where near finishing everything!) Today she celebrates the 11th anniversary by diving into the event. Can she get more done than she managed last year? Gather around the party tree and tune in live at 12:00 pm to wish LOTRO
the happiest of birthdays!
What: Lord of the Rings Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 24th, 2018
Best and worst, top and bottom: It’s fun to discuss video game in absolute extremes (at times). And I’ll bet that a lot of us only really remember the most excellent MMORPG expansions and the most disappointing ones.
So let’s grouse today and dredge up past heartaches. What was, to you, the most disappointing MMO expansion of all time? A few come to mind for me. Star Trek Online: Delta Rising was a narrative and structural mess that bogged down and made me desert it. I know that I was really let down with how RIFT: Storm Legion developed, faltering hard after a strong start. But probably for me, Lord of the Rings Online: Mordor took the cake. The publicity for it was atrocious, the actual expansion about as far from “fun” as I’ve ever experienced in an MMO, and the difficulty of moving and progressing was aggravating.
But that’s me. How about you? Which MMO expansion do you want to rag on today?
Now that Lord of the Rings Online
has emerged from Mordor, it’s preparing to go back in the future. SSG’s Rob Ciccolini and Jerry Snook
opened up about next couple of updates with MMO Central, teasing an epic confrontation with the giant spider Shelob. Before this takes place, however, Update 23 is going to deliver what sounds like a new region and lots of new instances.
“Our next update will move towards the Grey Mountains, but as we expand we expect to have some reference or maybe even a short appearance because that will be the beginning of [Shelob’s] storyline,” said Ciccolini.
One of the true joys for many Lord of the Rings Online
fans is being able to explore an intricate and often gorgeous-looking Middle-earth. While many screenshot folders have been filled with LOTRO
vistas over the years, one player has taken it to the next level by piecing together spectacular panoramas
of the landscape.
“Tolkien has put so much detail into creating Middle-earth. That’s why I decided to tag my screenshots with as much detail as to name of places, mountains, rivers, and the many things that Tolkien envisioned in Middle-earth that are present in LOTRO,” wrote Joego.
Check out several of these below, and for the rest, make sure to swing over to Joego’s Facebook page.
Not that Hobbits need much of an excuse to throw a party, but it just so happens to be Lord of the Rings Online’s
11th birthday this month. That means that the super-charged anniversary celebration is back
with its treasure hunt cards and other festivities.
Free gifts are for the taking, too, for any player who logs in between now and March 31st, 2019. That is not a typo; you actually have a full year to get these goodies.
The anniversary event came with Update 22.1, which adjusted the new fiddles, added a new Bardic fiddle as an anniversary award, fixed the Lake-town fishing deed, and fine-tuned the chat filter.
On this week’s show, MJ and Justin get giddy over Secret World Legends’ season two, discuss what World of Warcraft’s launch date means for players, and cover a whole host of major updates that have arrived for the MMO community.
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:
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!
You know all of those weird filter effects that you have in your photo editing software? There always seems to be a stigma against using them, mostly because they’re very noticeable and showy. But today, let’s cast off that stigma and just have some fun, eh? After all, this is a column that begins every week with a black-and-white version of the headlining photo.
And that photo this week is from Deekay, who showcases the lighter side of life in Sea of Thieves. “Finally a selfie of my pirate as she dances on the bowsprit!” he write.
One leg, choppy seas. There is no way that she didn’t fall overboard and drown about thirty seconds after that screenshot was taken.
RIFT’s new Prime progression server certainly has recaptured or recruited many MMO bloggers to the game as of late, and it is all anyone seems to be talking about. So how’s the word out on the web?
Nerdy Bookahs observed that Trion “chose a perfect time” to release the progression server. The Ancient Gaming Noob initially felt conflicted but soon fell into a groove: “There was the feeling of life in the game, with lots of people around and public groups to join and things just happening everywhere.” And GamingSF said that he’s “coming along swimmingly” on the shard.
It wasn’t all kudos and praise. Endgame Variable hedged his outlook by saying that RIFT Prime was “fun, but I don’t think it will last very long.” Inventory Full felt disillusioned with the way the original game was handled and said, “RIFT simply doesn’t have the depth or breadth of content of either of the EverQuest games, nor the nostalgia factor.”
Read on for the MMO blogosphere’s thoughts on other topics, including inventory woes in Guild Wars 2, the classic multiplayer dogfight sim Air Warrior, and the early access release of Project Gorgon.
Hell hath no sarcasm like MMO gamers who find a particular NPC to be a little too annoying, repetitive, or otherwise goofy. Then the memes crop up, ire is unleashed, and no one from that point onward can take that character seriously.
Some of the more notable MMO NPCs that I’ve loved to mock include Guild Wars’ boneheaded Prince Rurik (and his nutcracker mouth), the oh-so-very-very-slow Sara Oakheart in Lord of the Rings Online, and as of late, the “there’s much to be done” Khadgar in World of Warcraft.
Let fly your quips and quibbles today by ripping on one or more NPCs from MMORPGs that are completely mock-worthy. Why do they annoy you and what have you and your friends said about them?
Not quite a year ago, we covered a brand-new MMO community called the MMO Book Club, whose goal was to bring MMO players together to try out new games together. It’s a bit like a huge open-membership guild, albeit one that doesn’t stay in a game forever and instead moves on in accordance with the community vote. Since then, we’ve covered the group as it grew to more than 1400 members and romped through a total of 11 games.
And now it’s getting lootboxes, and that’s not an April Fools’ Day joke. But it’s also not the kind of lockboxes you’re thinking. For starters, they don’t cost anybody anything, and the prizes are actually games and apparel donated by the community.
“Players can now earn free lootboxes with actual cash value prizes just by playing games with the community and picking up achievements set at the start of every month,” says the group. “A custom-made bot, designed specifically for the Bookclub community, unlocks the lootboxes players have earned. After that, it’s up to the RNG gods as to whether loot hunters will win a common, uncommon, rare or legendary prize.”