master x master

Official Site: Master X Master
Studio: NCsoft
Launch Date: ETA is 2016
Genre: MOBA-OARPG Hybrid
Business Model: F2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

Perfect Ten: A dozen MOBAs that didn’t make it

With the insane success — both in terms of popularity and finances — that Dota and League of Legends spawned, you can easily understand why game studios latched onto the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) as a relatively quick cash grab. After all, with players providing the ongoing content (through PvP matches), developers were freed up to focus on balance tweaks and churning out new skins and characters to sell.

In a relatively short span of time, the market became flooded with many imitators that sought to grab that slice of the profitable pie. And while some, such as Hi-Rez’s SMITE, have endured, many games discovered the one key danger with this approach: If you could not generate and sustain a large, active playerbase, you were as good as dead. A critical mass was needed, and when it was not achieved, games started folding up left and right.

In today’s Perfect Ten, we’re going to look at a dozen MOBAs that tried and failed to make it. Perhaps they serve as cautionary lessons to other studios seeking to mimic League of Legends’ format, but we somehow doubt that the era of the MOBA is over just yet.

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The Stream Team: Farewell, Master X Master

It is never a happy day to see a game end. Perhaps inevitable in the grand scheme of life, but never happy. Today Massively OP’s MJ will be with MXM until its servers blink off for the very last time. Tune in live at 4:00 p.m. to share stories and say goodbye as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you the final hour of…

What: Master X Master
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

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Working As Intended: The MMOs we lost in 2017

It’s true that we lost a lot of MMOs in 2016 — bigger and more important ones than in 2014 and 2015. 2017, however, has been a different sort of beast. The list is long, and while it’s painful for those whose games are gone, the genre didn’t lose many major MMOs this past year. And that startles me.

Marvel Heroes was surely the most dramatic of all the sunsets, given that it shut down early without notice. Earlier in the year, we saw Daybreak put an end to Landmark after less than a year of live operation, while Turbine let the Asheron’s Call franchise go, Firefall formally closed, Club Penguin’s sunset broke the internet, and NCsoft called it quits with Master X Master. A number of other MMOs simply halted development – Perpetuum, Sword Coast Legends, and SkySaga being the most prominent of those. And on a more positive note, there were a few sunsetted MMOs that were revivified, including Otherland, Uncharted Waters Online, and RaiderZ.

Farewell, old friends.

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Exclusive: Ship of Heroes’ Casey McGeever on the superhero MMORPG genre

Ship of Heroes is super-jumping right into 2018 with two documents of note. The first is a retrospective of what the Heroic Games team learned from the community in the past year, including the fact that players want harvesting, crafting, and trading mechanics as well as crowd-control and pet mastery classes and Halloween. The team also says it understands the community’s desire for solid character creation and combat, details on character powers, and real gameplay video demonstrating development progress – particularly a mission video.

“A powerful character creator, and a positive community, are the two most important features of SoH, as judged by the voters in our polls,” writes the studio.

The second document, published here exlusively on Massively OP (not sponsored), is a reflection on the state of the MMORPG industry, particularly the superhero corner of it and how Ship of Heroes fits in, penned by Heroic Games’ Casey McGeever. We’ve included the whole piece below:

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MMO Year in Review: WoW Classic and the doom of Marvel Heroes (November 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

Blizzard took the month of November with huge announcements for World of Warcraft, specifically the Battle for Azeroth expansion and vanilla-flavored WoW Classic servers.

Meanwhile, we saw the sunset of Motiga, the sunset announcement for Master X Master, and the abysmally handled and abrupt end of Gazillion and Marvel Heroes.

In happier news, Kakao took the wraps off its next mega-MMORPG, Ascent: Infinite Realm, specifically targeting western players.

And lockboxes continued to drive conversations around the law, the cost of games development, the press, and gambling, and not just because of EA: Guild Wars 2’s mount lockboxes and Star Citizen’s land claims sales reminded MMO players that monetization problems aren’t just for mainstream gamers. Still, we doubt anyone will be forgetting the ol’ claim that lockboxes create a “sense of pride and accomplishment” any time soon.

Read on for the whole list!

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The most popular MMORPG conversations of 2017

Last week, we posted a rundown of the most popular MMORPG articles of 2017, calculated strictly by the number of pageviews they got. Today, we’re going to take a look at the most popular articles of 2017 as measured by comments, which provides an entirely different overview of the year and the genre.

This list is a little wonky as we couldn’t keep a lot of our January comments when we were booted off Livefyre. (Some of the old comments were restored, but others were simply lost because Livefyre wasn’t properly saving them back. Long story.) So technically, we lost a month. Still, I think we have a pretty good picture of what people really truly want to talk about (which isn’t always the same thing you like to click on!).

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Battle Bards Episode 112: MMO minigame music

It’s time to take a diversion to play — and listen — to the minigames tucked inside of our MMOs! The Battle Bards haul out their last show of 2012 with an eclectic and fun assortment of minigame soundtracks. While minigame-specific music might be hard to hunt down, this trio did their best and are reasonably satisfied with the result. Which is good, because no refunds on this podcast!

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 iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 112: MMO minigame music (or download it) now:

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The most popular Massively OP MMO articles of 2017

One of my favorite things to do every year is drill down the top articles on the site for our readers. I don’t mean the most controversial, the most fun, the most important, or the most commented-on; I mean the single articles that actually brought in the most hits. And what I find most interesting is that most “popular” aren’t always the ones we expect! As we’ve noted before, a well-timed link from a major website – Reddit, Fark, or a game dev – can elevate an entire month. (That’s why we’re so grateful when our fans share our work across social networks!)

Just remember that the list favors posts made early in the year (and in some cases, evergreen articles from earlier years) as later pieces haven’t had as much time to percolate, so when you do see big articles from December on a list like this, that means a popular post indeed!

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MMO Year in Review: City of Heroes necromancy in Master X Master (March 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

In March, NCsoft astonished MMORPG players by announcing it was resurrecting City of Heroes character Statesman… in MOBA Master X Master. It didn’t go over well, particularly among gamers still nursing grudges over NCsoft’s sunset of (and refusal to sell) CoH itself.

Meanwhile, Funcom finally revealed that the Secret World reboot it had been teasing would actually mean the death of the MMO and a reboot as more of a multiplayer RPG.

Read on for the whole list!

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Perfect Ten: The biggest MMO stories of 2017

One thing you can say for the MMO industry: It never ceases to surprise all of us. No matter what predictions we may make at the beginning of a year, by December we will all be proven fools who lack vision and foresight.

Although 2017 isn’t quite over yet, we here at Massively Overpowered wanted to count down the biggest news stories that crossed over into our neck of the woods so far this year. We witnessed controversies and delights, shockers and sadness. We saw launches and shutdowns, expansions and bugs.

So before we move into 2018, let’s take a look at the year that was and remember the biggest stories that dominated headlines.

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Perfect Ten: MMO things to be thankful about this year

It’s kind of hard to be thankful this year. Sure, some good things have happened this year, but we also have some things that, to put it politely, are unqualified messes. There’s everything around Star Wars: Battlefront II. There’s the shuttering of Master x Master and Marvel Heroes (the latter I actually flagged a year ago as being robust and healthy). There are titles like Lord of the Rings Online and ARK: Survival Evolved that have doubled down on methods to enrage players. And last but certainly not least, there’s still no sign of a sequel to the Warcraft film.

That one might be a grey area, actually.

But the year hasn’t been devoid of light, and there’s still stuff to be thankful for. So rather than being bitter and cranky about it, I want to focus on what we do have to be thankful for even while I hope for better in the future. Let’s talk about some stuff that’s good to be thankful for, even if it doesn’t tickle your particular fancy, and be a little more hopeful.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 145: Farewell Marvel Heroes and Master X Master

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree bid a sad farewell to Marvel Heroes (and Master X Master while we’re at it). It’s not all depressing news; Secret World Legends is killing it, there’s a new Path of Exile expansion, and Guild Wars 2’s fourth living world season is on its way.

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:

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