meta

The Daily Grind: Are you an impulse buyer in MMO cash shops?

During last week’s podcast, Justin and I were discussing MMOs that seem to make it hard for us to give them money, which led us to talk about a cash shop tactic that drives me nuts: limited-availability items. I understand why MMOs put these types of items in the cash shop; as MOP reader TomTurtle noted, in Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet’s “limited availability tactic works better for impulse purchases” because “a good number of players make purchases that they probably wouldn’t have made otherwise.”

I know he’s right. But I am so not one of those people! As I was saying, I am a lister. I made endless lists of things I want to buy and do, and I let them stew a while before acting on them. I try to avoid impulse anything, and I have a system and a hard budget so that I can plan everything to avoid waste and regret. Guild Wars 2’s system of rotating things in and out of the store to try to get me to buy them just in case doesn’t work for or on me.

So because I cannot plan very well for Guild Wars 2’s sales and (more specifically) which costumes will be available at any given time), I spend far less on the game than I otherwise would. If the thing I want isn’t for sale, I’m not gonna just buy something else, and I’m not gonna buy something I didn’t plan on either. I guess enough impulse buyers make up for my particular type that ArenaNet doesn’t care, but it’s still annoying to me.

Are you an impulse buyer when it comes to MMORPG cash shops? Or do you plan your purchases? And what’s your stance on limited-availability items in cash shops?

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MMO Week in Review: The best MMOs of E3 and the summer sale (June 24, 2018)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

It’s been a meta week for MMOs: We posted our E3 awards, counted up the good MMOs in the Steam summer sale, kept an eye on the latest leg in the spyware scandal, and booed the WHO’s attempt to stigmatize gaming.

Meanwhile, WoW offered a rare freebie weekend, and the Guild Wars 2 community is finally getting new content this week.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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The MOP Up: Neverwinter’s five-year anniversary and Ravenloft campaign (June 24, 2018)

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!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from World of WarplanesWorld of Warships LegendsPlayerUnknown’s BattlegroundsSea of ThievesSkull and BonesOld School RuneScapeSMITEWar ThunderNeverwinter, and Pokemon Go, all waiting for you after the break!

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One Shots: I have had just about enough of you!

There are certain locales and cutscenes in MMORPGs that I’ve noticed get screenshotted more than most, and none seem to be quite as popular as the fisticuffs/rebar scene from Secret World Legends. Are we all so bloodthirsty or is it just such an epic moment of vengeance that we can’t help ourselves?

Hirku sure couldn’t: “Off-topic this week because I played SWL’s Last Train to Cairo storyline for the first time last night and wanted to share my pics of kicking Saddur’s ass.”

That poor guy’s been impaled more times than a YouTube video of a girl telling us her opinion about cutoffs has gotten comments. That analogy totally ran away with me. MOVING ON.

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite MMO social hangout?

There was always something happening in Pocket D in City of Heroes. You can expect to see people talking it up in Deep Space Nine in Star Trek Online. There are swarms of people hanging out in Ul’dah in Final Fantasy XIV. For various reasons, every MMO has its social hubs, places where players choose to congregate in numbers for roleplaying, talking, or otherwise just hanging out.

All of these hubs are not created equal. Sure, the fleet starbases filled this purpose in Star Wars: The Old Republic, but they were always kind of gray little nothings that didn’t have a heck of a lot of character. By contrast, I always liked Jeuno, which was the main hangout spot for a long time in Final Fantasy XI; the look of the city really worked for me. So what about you, dear readers? What’s your favorite MMO social hangout? Is it still a busy place now, or was it more from the early days of the game? And is it from your game of choice, or was it just a place to congregate that you really liked regardless of your overall playtime?

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Make My MMO: SOTA sees layoffs, Crowfall sees delay, Star Citizen sees shade, and Camelot Unchained sees beta on the horizon (June 23, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained is in the home stretch before open beta. Yes, really, open beta. This is happening, people! Clear your 4th of July!

As for live Kickstarters, TemTem is up to $320K and counting, far past its original goal with still a week left to go. Most recently, donors unlocked Nintendo Switch play and the replay system. Clubs (guilds) are set to unlock at $400K. And yes, the game is now registered on Steam.

The Flower of Knighthood, on the other hand, abandoned its Kickstarter in its final hours, seeing it would not complete. The devs haven’t commented on their next move just yet.

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar was hit with layoffs, EVE Online got its revenge on Star CitizenChronicles of Elyria posted lore, Albion Online rolled out a small update, and Crowfall admitted it’s delaying soft launch into 2019 but showed off its procedural world generation. Finally, Fractured prepped for Kickstarter – get ready to see that name a lot in this column!

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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WRUP: Tips to having a great date when you’re both just sitting in your car for four hours edition

So actual dates are stupid and gross, right? Not necessarily! You can trick your date into having a great experience when the whole night just consists of you sitting in your car for four hours! Here’s how to probably make that happen, why not, it could happen.

  • Remove any vermin from the car before the date. Look, if you’re just driving to the restaurant, she might not notice the cockroach fighting with the rat in the backseat. But if you’re in the car the whole time? Ask the roach and rat to leave until the date is over. Drop them off someplace nice.
  • Say “this is nice, huh?” every fifteen minutes. Your date will not think it’s remotely nice, but contradicting you would be rude.
  • Have a minimum of two bottles of Snapple in the glove compartment. You don’t want your date to think you’re just avoiding actually going somewhere, so having a full cooler is right out. A couple of beverages, though, help speed the time away.
  • You can get away with making three “wrong turns” that result in 10-minute long detours. Any more than that and your date will suspect you intend to drive toward the nearest pier, jam down the accelerator, and then leap from the moving vehicle whilst shouting the name of a professional wrestler.
  • Do not drive toward the nearest pier, jam down the accelerator, and then leap from the moving vehicle whilst shouting the name of a professional wrestler. Doing this can ruin your chances of getting an OBE.

If this process worked, please don’t tell us about it in What Are You Playing. Just let us know what you’re playing this weekend. That’s what the name means.

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The Daily Grind: What are your summer MMO goals?

Now that most schools are out and the heat has begun in earnest in the northern hemisphere, it’s the perfect time to retreat into sunless rooms and pour yourself into MMORPGs. It’s also the perfect time to get stuff done and accomplish everything that’s been stacking up on your gaming backlog.

Getting everything ready for Battle for Azeroth is a high priority for me, although I’m pretty much ready right now. Past that, I’d love to get through Star Trek Online’s newest expansion, enjoy my weekly DDO group nights, and find my way out of Northern Mirkwood in Lord of the Rings Online. There aren’t any summer festivals that are particularly calling to me right now, but that may change.

So what are your summer MMO goals? What do you want to get accomplished by the end of the season?

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Betawatch: Release keeps on slippin’ into the future for Crowfall (June 22, 2018)

Oh, Crowfall, you really looked like you were going to make it to soft launch this year. But it’s not happening; the studio has outright said that soft launch is just not going to be doable before the end of the year, because it’s more important to get the game to the right place. A shame, but on the plus side, we can find out more about the day/night cycle. That’s… similar?

It’s really not. Let’s move on to other beta news.

  • If you want to be among the first to beta test Fallout 76, you’re going to need to be on Xbox One. Everyone else will have to wait a little bit. To test the game, that is, so perhaps that’s not the “exclusive” the console would like.
  • Being a part of the early access community for Bless Online seems like a fun ride. Is the influencer program being scaled back to avoid negativity or negative conduct? Are server merges for the still very new game going to happen? Is there a 3v3 mode in the game? (The answer to that one is yes, incidentally.)
  • It’s open beta time for The Crew 2, and the reviews are… not good! They’re actually mostly negative! And the “not fond of this game” sort of mostly negative, not the “we’re a bunch of people angry about something else and want to complain about this” sort of mostly negative.
  • The latest patch for Star Citizen is up for testing on the PTU. Can you dig it? Because it’s about mining, you see. Digging is involved. Just test the patch.
  • Last but not least, you can check out the Defiance 2050 build this weekend as the game heads toward launch (or should we say re-launch) on July 10th.

And that’s everything, but you know, we do have a list of things in testing down below. Is something missing? Has something jumped phases? Do let us know down in the comments below, we always appreciate it.

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The Daily Grind: Do you take the lead in MMO groups?

There are many different sorts of leaders in group content. There are the people who are “leaders” in the sense that they set the pace and communicate with the team, but they aren’t pushing people to do things. There are people who are writing out a long enough list of commands to create an entire novel. And there are people who think that having a little indicator of being the party leader makes you the unquestioned lord and master of the group. This is true in pretty much every game.

But today, we’re not asking about your leadership style (no one ever says “I’m an imperious dillweed who isn’t half as good as I think I am” in response to that, after all). No, today we just want to know if you are a leader. After all, if a party in Final Fantasy XI has one leader, it by definition has five followers. So do you take the lead in MMO groups? Do you gravitate in that direction? Or do you much prefer to be the one doing the following?

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The Daily Grind: How much dough have you dropped on Steam in its lifetime?

VentureBeat noticed this week that it’s possible to figure out just how much money you’ve blown on video games, at least through Steam, by using Valve’s “account spend tool.” A lot of people clicking that tool are about to get a sobering reminder that they’d better stay on Valve’s good side if they don’t want thousands of dollars’ worth of games whisked away into an account black hole.

My own number… well, let’s just say that it’s not nearly as bad as I was fearing. I’ve spent far more money on World of Warcraft than I’ve spent on Steam. But that’s probably because most MMORPGs I’ve paid into for so many years aren’t there, and most of what I do buy on Steam is deeply on sale. And my husband and I have our accounts linked too, so we don’t double buy much. I escaped easy – less than the VentureBeat writer!

How about you? How much dough have you dropped on Steam in its lifetime? Does the number give you pause about just how inured to digital distribution we’ve all become?

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The Daily Grind: Do you carry a torch for any MMOs that were killed in development?

Maybe I’m alone on this, but the more I examine MMO history, the more it troubles me how many potentially great games never even got a chance to launch. There have been so many promising titles over the years that, for various reasons, were killed off in development prior to release.

I would have absolutely loved to have seen what Project Copernicus would have become, especially with the talent behind it. It kills me that I’ll never be able to play Ultima X Odyssey. And let’s face it, Privateer Online might have actually delivered the satisfying space experience that Star Citizen’s been promising for years now.

Do you carry a torch for any unreleased MMOs that met an early end in the development phase? What do you imagine might have happened if those games launched?

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