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The MOP Up: Seal Online embraces a cartoony spirit (April 15, 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 Seal OnlineTrovePokemon GoSea of ThievesTales of GaiaBattleriteWar of RightsPUBGWorld of WarcraftCity of HeroesWill to Live Online, and Prosperous Universe, all waiting for you after the break!

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Global Chat: Giving Project Gorgon a try

With Project Gorgon now out on Steam early access, many first-time visitors to this strange game are feeling out the world and its systems. So what are they discovering?

Tales of the Aggronaut said that he was “hooked” when he put in a good weekend: “Part of the charm of this game is that it plops you into the game with no real warning or advisement about what you should be doing.”

“There’s never any doubting the sheer personality evident in every aspect of the game,” recommended Inventory Full. “The enthusiasm and good nature of the tiny development team sweeps all cynicism away.”

Project Gorgon not your cup of tea? Join us after the break for blog essays on Second Life, RIFT Prime, Shroud of the Avatar, and even Dungeons & Dragons!

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One Shots: How to go blind in one easy step

As someone who only has one functioning eye, I find that my vision is paramount to my quality of life and personal enjoyment. Plus, it would make playing MMORPGs slightly more difficult if everything was dark.

But I’m not everyone, and I have to allow for the possibility that there are gamers out there who are desperate to lose their sight but at a loss as to how to do it. With that in mind, I present SmugglerSteel’s one-step process to going blind in 10 seconds or less: Find the largest sun you can in Star Wars: The Old Republic and stare at it from about 20 feet away.

At least the last thing you’ll see will literally brighten your day!

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The Daily Grind: How diligent are you about making money in an MMO?

No one believes me when I say that I’m bad about making money in my main games. It’s true, though; compared to the people who put a whole lot of effort into doing so, my moneymaking skills are sub-par. Yes, I own a mansion in Final Fantasy XIV, but that’s a result of frugality and building up resources over time. Yes, I’ve got an extensive heirloom collection in World of Warcraft, but I’m not playing the markets (or at least, not playing them well).

Of course, I also might be comparing myself to the wrong people, considering I know other people who would fall over themselves for the moneymaking engines I already have running. So what about you, dear readers? How diligent are you about making money in an MMO? Do you enjoy playing the economic games and live for the big windfalls, or do you mostly treat money as something to slowly accumulate rather than a thing to chase after?

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Make My MMO: PAX’s hands-on, Star Citizen’s free-fly, and Camelot’s weekend tests (April 14, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen is running a free-fly this weekend, as teased yesterday. The game’s currently testing alpha 3.1.2, which also rolled out last night. (Thanks DK!)

At last weekend’s PAX East, we got hands-on with several crowdfunded MMORPGs, including Pantheon and Ashes of Creation, whose demos our writer thought were solid indeed. We also spoke with Ship of Heroes’ Casey McGeever to catch up with its progress!

As for Camelot Unchained, it’s been working on improving its tech and working on new assets, including “placeable decorations on a plot, new animations, and new scenario gameplay and environments.” Today and tomorrow, CSE is running player tests on the Dragon Fang map, so check those out if you’re a hardcore backer!

Meanwhile, Albion Online patched up its GvG mercenary system, Orbus is planning a free weekend next week, and the EVE Online sequel book has already funded. Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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WRUP: How to speak to a cat edition

When the cat is doing nothing: [Cat’s name], hello! Hello, [cat’s name]!

When the cat needs to be fed: [Cat’s name], nummers! Nummy-nums! Kitty, num-nums, here kitty.

When the cat is sitting curled up and looks cute: Sir.

When the cat does not respond to being called sir: Excuse me, sir.

When the cat is being particularly ridiculous: Sir!

When the cat is walking on you: Sir, really? Really, sir? Is this necessary, sir? Do you [pause briefly to allow cat to step on your chest] require assistance, sir? Your call is very important to us, sir. What do you need, sir? Sir? Sir?

When it is time to write in this week’s What Are You Playing but the cat is preventing you from reaching the keyboard: Really, sir? Sir?

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The Daily Grind: Who is the best MMO villain?

Setting up and establishing a memorable villain is tricky business, especially in online games where players barrel through them like dominoes. We’ve fought so many bad guys and gals over the years that the rogue’s gallery would stretch to the horizon.

Yet some of these dastardly bosses rise above the rest in their machinations. Maybe it’s a truly captivating backstory, wickedly funny one-liners, or shocking actions that cement them in our minds as villains for the ages.

Looking back at all of the villains you’ve faced in MMOs in your career, who would you say is the best, the baddest, and the most memorable of them all?

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Betawatch: Radical Heights springs out to predictable lows (April 13, 2018)

Good news, Boss Key fans! After the studio pretty blatantly gave up on LawBreakers, it turned around and quickly launched its next project, a battle royale title dubbed Radical Heights. It sprang to life on Tuesday, and then it… sort of limped right after that. The numbers do look at least slightly better after the rest of the week, so hooray? Maybe?

Looking back, I started that paragraph with “good news.” I’m not sure why I did that.

Other beta news? Hey, sure.

Other beta titles? Oh, listed below, as we do. If you notice something jumped test phases without our noticing, do let us know down in the comments. We really appreciate it.

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Massively Overthinking: The best of PAX East and GDC in 2018

The past couple of weeks has been wild as we dispatched writers to GDC in San Francisco and PAX East in Boston to gather up and bring back everything they could on the MMORPGs large and small on the spring convention circuit. In fact, as I type this, we’ve got Brendan in Reykjavik for EVE Fanfest too! So for this week’s Overthinking, we’re rounding up our coverage and then reflecting on the best and worst as we pick out what most excites, surprises, and disappoints us: First the roundups, then our thoughts. Read on!

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The Daily Grind: Do you have a ‘guilty pleasure’ MMO?

As comments and tweets and nastygrams in my inbox have repeatedly demonstrated over the years, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve put in years of play in brutal gankboxes and done more than your fair share of time in endgame raiding and PvP: An hour in a guilty pleasure MMO renders you irreversibly contaminated in the eyes of a certain segment of the gaming population. You’re a filthy casual (or worse!). I don’t actually buy that idea for a second, but I can’t help but find it colors my ability to enjoy and willingness to gush over cutesy games, silly MMOs, and retro titles.

Case in point? Trove. I’m consistently surprised by the depth I’ve found in Trove (in fact, the overall gameplay loop reminds me more of City of Heroes than Minecraft or Cube World), but the fact that people see neon voxel graphics and smirk it away as a kiddie game both irritates and squelches me. And yet it’s the MMORPG that’s got me logging in every day the last month or so, something I haven’t felt like doing anywhere else for quite a while.

Do you have a “guilty pleasure” MMO? Do you keep a secret any of the MMOs you play? Don’t worry; we won’t tell!

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The Daily Grind: How long is too long for early access?

Let’s be real here, there’s no question in anyone’s mind that DayZ has been in early access far longer than it should be. By the same token, I don’t think anyone would begrudge Radical Heights for still being in early access. But somewhere between those two extremes lie a large number of games, some of whom have been in ostensible early access for months, some of which have been there for years, and so forth.

In many ways, early access is like the new version of the game in perpetual open beta; there were many free-to-play games that never technically launched, just stayed in open beta forever until they finally shut down. And yet those games were selling things normally, making the distinction between launch and open beta into a very blurry and nebulous thing. Early access is already blurry, since it asks for money for a game that is decidedly early in its development cycle.

So what do you think, dear readers? How long is too long for early access? Is there a clear limit beyond which games should just bite the bullet and launch, or is it entirely down to the specific game?

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The Daily Grind: How could death be more meaningful in MMOs without being annoying?

Personally, I don’t think MMO developers should ever become complacent about game systems and copying them from other titles because that’s the way they’ve always been done. It’s healthy to reexamine why games do what they do and to be looking for better ways to do them.

So in that spirit, death systems. In most MMOs these days, the standard death penalty is a mild corpse run, a repair fee, or both. It’s not even something that I think about unless it sets me back in my advancement through a tricky area.

But is there a better and more meaningful way that character death could be handled in MMOs without being annoying? One interesting idea I had a while ago was that of a daily permadeath system: Every game day, each of your characters could only die once, and you’d have to wait until the next day to access them again. Yet players could continue in that game session by accessing other alts, encouraging a more diverse play between characters.

If you had to brainstorm up more meaningful death systems, what would you create?

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Leaderboard: Are you still playing Secret World Legends?

I’ve always been curious about you folks who forgave Funcom for 2017. I’m not sure that, were I a hardcore old-school Secret World player, I could so easily let slide that whole “yeah so we’re gonna reboot the game and you can’t bring the toons you spent the last five years building” thing. But given the reboot’s apparent success last year and the ongoing attention on the game by the MMORPG community, a lot of you did forgive the studio and jumped right back in, including our own Secret World vets here on staff. Wherever their breaking point is, that wasn’t it.

Massively OP reader Pepperzine is wondering about that breaking point too and where the game stands in the community since the relaunch nine months ago and the new content that’s finally launched. “Now that around nine months have passed since The Secret World Legends has launched, I think it would be interesting to do a follow-up poll on if the community here at MOP is playing it, quit playing it, or returning for the Africa content!”

Great idea! Let’s do it.

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