maplestory 2

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Battle Bards Episode 99: Tropical resort

The Battle Bards are on vacation at a tropical beach paradise! In the team’s 99th episode, they examine beach, resort, and island music cues from MMORPGs. Can it still be a resort when everything around you is out for murder? As long as the music is this good, who cares?

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 99: Tropical resort (or download it) now:

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MapleStory 2 struggles in Korea

All might not be so dandy for MapleStory’s sequel in Korea. MMO Culture is reporting that MapleStory 2 is struggling overseas even as it eyes a western release in the future. Nexon is pushing out an update that it’s calling the Restart patch with significant changes to the title.

The main thrust of Restart is to act on community concerns for the MMO. Big changes with the patch including a nerf to dungeon difficulty, a reduction in feature requirements, and more bonuses for all.

Even if you don’t speak Korean (and you’re amazing, so you probably do), you can get a feel for some of the changes coming with this patch in a video after the break.

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Perfect Ten: All the MMORPGs coming in 2017

Right now we are in a strange place in MMORPG history. Following the backlash of WoW clones and several high-profile titles that underperformed, major studios are becoming extremely risk-averse to creating big-budget titles the way that we saw not five years ago. Many former MMO teams are diversifying with shooters, MOBAs, and other safer and trendier titles.

Yet all is not lost! MMO features continue to ripple out into all types of game genres and new titles continue to be produced — just not from the usual suspects. Instead, most of what is on our immediate horizon comes from either crowdfunded indie teams or eastern giants. The good news is that 2017 should see the culmination of many of these long-brewing projects and adaptations, hopefully resulting in a bumper crop of interesting online RPGs for us to play.

So let’s run down the list of games that either are or possibly could be coming to you in 2017. We will provide an overview of each title, why you should care about it, and our best guess at the odds of its officially launching during the calendar year. If an upcoming MMO is not on the list, then it is our opinion that while we’ll see it eventually, a 2017 release isn’t happening.

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MapleStory 2 is seeking a production manager

A healthy indicator that MapleStory 2 is still happening and coming to the west is that Nexon America is seeking a production manager for its SoCal studio.

Do you have what it takes? Nexon had some fun whipping up a list of the qualifications that it is seeking: “The hallowed halls of the industry ring loud with your name. You have been around the block and it shows in your work. You have picked up a trick or two along your journey (maybe even PMI Certification.) You are battle tested and capable of strategically managing your team’s resources in order to accomplish your goals.”

If you need a refresher what MapleStory 2 looks like, from character creation into the game itself, then check out the following 13-minute hands-on video from this cute title.

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New report says South Korean MMORPG companies are ‘facing a crisis’

The Financial Times blog has a doom-and-gloom report out this week on the gaming market of South Korea, specifically the MMO genre.

“The country’s online game makers have long dominated the global market for massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) but have lost their edge as gamers have increasingly embraced playing on their smartphones,” writes author Song Jung-a in a piece suggesting online games studios in the region are “facing a crisis” in part because giants like NCsoft and Nexon shifted attention to mobile — unsuccessfully.

A lack of mobile isn’t the only problem, either; it’s also the focus hardcore MMORPGs Korea is known for. “Analysts say South Korean companies have focused too much on graphics-heavy role-playing online battle games that are now losing their appeal among gamers, overshadowed by simpler, more speedily paced offerings,” Song writes, contrasting the success of U.S.-born Overwatch and League of Legends with NCsoft’s last “big new online title” Blade & Soul in 2012 and Nexon’s MapleStory 2.

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The MOP Up: The Dota 2 forum hack (August 14, 2016)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we learned that Dota 2’s forums got majorly hacked back in July to the tune of two million accounts. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from Neverwinter, Age of Conan, World of TanksHearthstone, and more, all waiting for you after the break!

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The MOP Up: RuneScape Chronicles’ beach party (July 17, 2016)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week’s headline story is word that a beach party has arrived in Chronicles: RuneScape Legends as part of a patch that also contains a new legend and 37 additional cards. But wouldn’t those cards get soggy at a beach?

We’ve got plenty of other news tidbits for you after the jump, including stories from Age of Conan, Pantheon, Guild Wars 2, and Star Trek Online. What are you waiting for?

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Nexon slips a little in first quarter but has confidence in its future

Nexon has come out of the gate in 2016 looking strong. The MMO publisher posted its Q1 financial report this week, stating that the company is up 11% in revenue year-over-year, although it is down from Q4 2015. It’s crediting “better-than-expected performance” from PC and mobile games as a cause for its income bump. The company did post a net loss for the quarter but said that even this was below its outlook.

China (45%) and Korea (39%) account for most of Nexon’s income, compared to the miniscule 4% from North America. PC sales are still dominate at 78%, but mobile is a strong growth segment for the company, with titles like DomiNations and Legion of Heroes under its belt.

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The MOP Up: PlanetSide 2 gets a promotion (February 21, 2016)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This past week PlanetSide 2 got a level cap increase, League of Legends posted its world championship schedule, Albion Online got us to bone up on its world history, and more!

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The MOP Up: RuneScape’s TCG wraps up closed beta (February 7, 2016)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This past week we celebrated the end of Chronicle: RuneScape Legends’ closed beta test, took a closer look at the Warcraft movie, celebrated Valentine’s Day in oh-so-many titles, and more!

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Check out MapleStory 2’s Rune Blader and piano jam

Hungry for more glimpses of the adorably colorful MapleStory 2? Steparu posted a new video from the game’s beta that shows the Rune Blader class going through its prologue (including cutscenes).

There’s also a look at a character jamming out on a piano using the in-game music system. MapleStory 2 allows players to easily whip up tunes with pre-rendered music sheets or by creating their own songs from scratch.

Music. Blades. Large eyes. The third dimension. What more could you want from a game? You can gorge your eyes full with these videos after the break.

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Be a guitar hero with Maplestory 2’s new instruments

MapleStory 2 fans can now rock around the clock thanks to the gifting of new guitars and pianos to players. And there’s no need for lengthy lessons: You can start making some beautiful music using the free random Mabinogi music sheets acquired from an NPC. However, for those who are more musically inclined, players can also create their own music in game. Check out Steparu.com’s jam session in the video below, then jump in game and grab a guitar and start strumming or pull up a bench and tickle those ivories for yourself!
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Maplestory 2 gets Chinese publisher, shows off Rune Blader class

MapleStory 2 looks to be quite the different beast than MapleStory, most notably with its 3-D cube-dominated visual style. Hey, what can you say? Gamers are cray-cray about cubes these days. Another area in which it is veering off from its predecessor is that MapleStory 2 will be run by the a different Chinese publisher, Tencent Games (MapleStory is handled by Shanda Games).

The sequel also welcomed a new class to the game today in Korea, the Rune Blader. This sword-using class harnesses many of the classic video game elements (fire! ice! heart! …er, dark magic!) to cut through the opposition. You can check out the Rune Blader’s brief trailer after the break.

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