Long ago when we were between MMOs, my guild went through several months of playing a new game every week thanks to the magic of free trials. But what if you wanted to do that and don’t already have a guild? In fact, what if you wanted to tour the best available MMORPGs in the modern era but didn’t want to have to find a new guild every time you switched?
That’s where the MMO Book Club can help. Like a real book club, this little Reddit community is selecting a new MMO every three months by popular vote and then heading in en masse, using the experience to discuss the game across Reddit and Discord
The first vote selected Lord of the Rings Online, and the whole thing kicks off on May 1st. The organizers have weekly events planned, including crafting and dungeoning nights.
May we recommend Justin’s recent LOTRO Legendarium: A guide to starting fresh in Lord of the Rings Online?
The other day, Bree was complaining about how so many screenshots from modern MMORPGs suffer from a bland and monochrome palette. Coming to the rescue, then, is our team of expert One Shotters, scouring online games for vibrant looks and colors!
Zulika Mi-Nam kicks us off with this delectable piece of Portal Knights scenery: “The last few days I have been playing Portal Knights. I guess it is like a Stargate/Minecraft combo? It scratches the same itch that EQ Next did for me, not that I was a builder. I just like exploring and some type of progression. This is more combat oriented though.”
How’s that doggy going to get down, Zulika? Throw that dog a bone already!
As Lord of the Rings Online
players revel in the varied activities of this year’s 10th anniversary celebration, the crew at the newly formed Standing Stone Games
has a huge task ahead of them: To capitalize upon this monumental milestone and prepare to shuttle players into the “endgame” of the books.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Executive Producer Rob Ciccolini to talk abut the anniversary, its hiccups, and upcoming Mordor expansion. As the page turns on a new chapter of both the game and its development team, it truly feels like we’re about to venture into the unknown in more ways than one.
Recently, Ravalation carried on an annual blogger tradition called Developer Appreciation Week. During this week, gamers would put aside their usual vitriol and criticism for devs to pen posts about the appreciated side of studios. It was certainly nice to see a bloom of positivity and praise, that’s for sure.
“If there’s something I’ve learned from my fellow participants during this year’s DAW it’s that 1) game developers work extremely hard purely because they love their games, 2) bugs frequently appear in complicated coding, and 3) devs are usually aware that bugs exist when content goes live and feel terrible about it,” she wrote.
Join us after the break for more MMO blog essays, including a tour of Star Citizen’s luxury ship, more thoughts on Secret World Legends, and the enduring love of a World of Warcraft fan.
What does a week where the news douses us in a shower of smaller stories look like? Bree and Justin wring out of their clothes, shaking loose tales of metropolises in the planning, console features, anniversary parties, and dance studios. Maybe it won’t flood the world of MMOs, but it definitely waters the lawns of our interest!
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.
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Lord of the Rings Online
is currently in the middle of its 10th anniversary celebrations, only somewhat darkened by the grumbling over the event’s inaccessibility for lowbies
. At noon EDT today, the Standing Stone
team is plotting an anniversary stream with “gameplay, developer chats, and giveaways” — and hopefully a look into the game’s future.
The stream begins at noon, and you can watch it down below, but in the meantime, take a peek at Massively OP’s LOTRO Legendarium column, in which Justin recapped his ten years in the game, or last night’s episode of the Stream Team, on which MJ took a peek at the festivities.
For 10 years fans have been able to wander through the beauty of Middle-earth thanks to Lord of the Rings Online — 10 years of Rivendell, 10 years of Bree, and 10 years of the Shire. That’s a whole lot of goodness! Today, Massively OP’s MJ is diving deep into the anniversary celebration. There are daily quests and even a scavenger hunt to enjoy. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to wish LOTRO a very happy birthday. (Yes, you can even sing!)
What: Lord of the Rings Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 24th, 2017
Just because you happen to be a humanoid frog doesn’t mean that you’ve lost at the lottery of life. On the contrary, you have all sorts of advantages, such as being able to install and replace light fixtures very high in your underground cavern. Also, you can eat flies.
Reader Finyar starts us out this week with a stunning interior location from a fan-favorite MMO: “I’m currently playing Guild Wars 2 again and I’m always impressed with how beautifully crafted the game world is.”
Art matters, people. Also, why can’t we play more frogs in online games?
While Lord of the Rings Online
players are flitting all around Middle-earth to complete the brand-new scavenger hunt cards, not everyone is happy with the anniversary event. Some of the community has raised an uproar over the hunt, saying that it discriminates against characters that haven’t hit the level cap and are restricted in travel options.
On the forums, the team emerged to address the controversy and offer limited reassurance:
The first I ever heard of Lord of the Rings Online
was flipping through the pages of some gaming magazine back in early 2007. At the time, I was neck-deep in World of Warcraft
and wasn’t really looking around for other MMO distractions, but something about the article caught my eye.
It wasn’t the use of the Lord of the Rings book franchise, which I had respected but wasn’t exactly the most rabid fan in the world. It was a mention of an online fantasy world that hewed to a low magic setting, where dazzling spell effects and typical classes weren’t the order of the day. Instead, the article poured over how much LOTRO was trying to hew to a more realistic and believable setting (albeit one in a fictional fantasy universe), and that made it stand out to me in a sea of upcoming MMORPGs.
Months later, I was in the two-week head start, experiencing Middle-earth in a brand-new way apart from the books or Peter Jackson films. Going through the Shire in those first few days was tranquil and deeply thrilling, as if I knew that this was the start of something special. Ten years later, and I know that my gut feeling was correct. While not a perfect game, LOTRO has nevertheless grown into a wide-ranging and impressive virtual world that still has so much to offer even in this modern age.
In the next week or so, Lord of the Rings Online will be kicking off its 10th anniversary with a new “scavenger hunt” that will come in the form of three quests every week. It make me think of how the game experimented with weekly quests from 2015 to 2016 with the 52-part Bingo Boffin series. I’m just now going through those, but I love the idea of having a quest chain gradually unlock on a weekly basis. Gives you something to look forward to playing and makes the game feel a bit like anticipating the next episode of your favorite TV show.
It’s not a terribly common thing in the industry, but there are examples of teams that attempted something like this. Asheron’s Call faithfully put out fresh story content on a monthly basis for most of its run, and the first season of Guild Wars 2’s living story revolved around a two-week update schedule (which would’ve been great except for no way to replay episodes you missed).
I’m curious if anyone else would want weekly MMO quest releases in addition to big content updates and expansions. These wouldn’t even have to be major quests, just something small and new that comes out on a frequent basis. What do you think?
Yesterday, Lord of the Rings Online
kicked off its momentous 10th Anniversary celebration
with fireworks, dragon kites, and a brand-new series of scavenger hunts that will run through mid-summer.
These scavenger hunts are very involved and time-intensive, involving a lot of criss-crossing Middle-earth on a nostalgia tour to end all nostalgia tours. While they’re mostly straight-forward, requiring players to travel to certain locations and perform certain actions, the sheer number of activities and scavenger hunt cards (30 cards in all) mean that there’s no shame in looking for some help.
Enter the Department of Strategery, a fan blog that has put together two well-done quest guides for the first six scavenger hunt cards (Year One and Year Two). The author not only outlines where to go for each but also provides a map of the world so that you can plan your tour in the most efficient manner possible. Cheers!
It might not be Lord of the Rings Online’s
technical birthday quite yet, but the 10th anniversary celebrations are all ready underway as of today. Players can go on the first part of the brand-new scavenger hunt quest series
right now and pick up their birthday gifts later in the day.
In response to concerns that the gift boxes didn’t initially impress, Standing Stone said that there’s more to this anniversary than meets the eye: “When developing for our 10th anniversary, we made a decision to focus on both items and content. What this means is that the 10th anniversary has far more playable content associated with it than any other anniversary we’ve had. We also have more than thirty items available in the scavenger hunt. We appreciate the feedback on the gift boxes themselves, though. I would caution that I’d wait until you see the fireworks before passing judgement, though, as they are pretty sweet.”