Global Chat: Getting a hit of that EverQuest nostalgia

Ahh… smell that? Smells like a new batch of EverQuest nostalgia, served up to us as a fresh progression server. For some of the faithful, the chance to get a hit of that nostalgia is absolutely irresistible.

“I love EverQuest,” blogger Stargrace writes. “I love the excitement that comes with playing on a progression server. I love how busy they are, and watching chat channels fly by. I love the community and the fuzzy feelings I get when I think about that time in my life.”

Kaozz explained why this server was in such high demand: “My son was baffled how many people want to play on this type of server. I’ve been waiting on one for years and keep up with the requests in the forums I have seen for so many years.”

And The Ancient Gaming Noob finds it baffling that Blizzard isn’t cashing in on these kinds of servers with World of Warcraft. “Nostalgia sells, these servers are popular, they offer something people want and, more importantly, something people are willing to pay for,” he said.

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One Shots: Walk of shame

From Zulika Mi-Nam’s Adventures in Tale of Toast:

  1. Log into a game to do some play testing.
  2. “Hey, look at these cutsie graphics and those childlike animations!”
  3. Kill some level 1 and level 2 bunnies rabbits and some loot drops right on the ground from time to time.
  4. Find a treasure chest with a level 5 baddie guarding it.
  5. Make that baddie chase me around a tree and out run him back to that chest and loot it and get away: “Haha this is easy and I got a badass level 5 sword… gonna save that for later.”
  6. Go to town sell my trash loot and head back out.
  7. Take on a level 3 mushroom: “Pfft no problem.”
  8. Gonna go for this level 4 bat: “Woah this could go either way… depends on who lands the next hit….yah! Loot sound! Wait, he is bouncing away… I’m dead… then what was that loot?”
  9. Respawns and looks at inventory: “That… that was the sword I was saving, and it is just laying out there on the ground now.”
  10. Do the walk of shame to retrieve my sword and turn to shake my childlike fist at that bat. “I’ll be back! You… you fooled me with your cutsieness.”

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The Daily Grind: What leveling experiences do you dread in MMOs?

If you talked to Final Fantasy XI players, the Valkurm Dunes were the most dangerous place to be in the game. Really, it was just where everyone went to level from 10-20 or so… but that level band was where you’d find yourself with players who still knew little to nothing about the game, bored people just putting in their time, no option to Raise dead party members… lots of bad things, in short.

That is not, however, the only dreadful experience band in MMO history. I always dreaded bringing alts through the 80-85 band in World of Warcraft, simply because it meant some decently designed zones that were all part of a very disappointing expansion. (And they never really linked up or flowed nicely.) For that matter, I hate bringing classes through the 40-50 band in Final Fantasy XIV, and 10-20 in City of Heroes always struck me as kind of dreadful.

But that’s just a small sampling, and I have no doubt you have your own examples. What leveling experiences do you dread in MMOs? When do you feel you really have to steel yourself to get through the blander portions of the leveling process?

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Make My MMO: Broke Protocol launches early access after failed Kickstarter (June 10, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Minecraft-meets-GTAO MMO Broke Protocol’s Kickstarter ended unsuccessfully on Thursday, but the good news is that the game launched its early access program anyway. The better news is that early access is free. “The last few updates have seen the focus shift to enable more roleplaying opportunities,” writes the team. “Cylinder Studios has now pushed updates to Police, Paramedics, and in this latest update: Firefighters. Demolished vehicles now leave a burning inferno that has to be taken care of by the city’s loyal Fire Department.” Good times.

Meanwhile, Gloria Victis previewed its map expansion, Project Gorgon delayed part of the Serbule revamp, Albion Online launched its Hector update, ROKH rolled out a new build with salvaging and chat, and Elite Dangerous opened the 2.3.10 beta and prepped players for the PS4 debut later this month.

Finally, we spoke to Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott about his studio’s equity crowdfunding announcement.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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WRUP: Don’t act all high and mighty because you have a face edition

Carol, listen to me, I’m tired of having this argument. We keep going back and forth over it, and it always comes down to a question of who is the better person. It’s crap, and I’m sick of it. Do you understand? Don’t act all high and mighty because you have a face, Carol.

Lots of people don’t have faces, you know. It’s not just me. And it’s really offensive when you put a mask over my yawning abyss swallowing meaning and claim that it’s like a face. I am happy with who I am, Carol. I’m happy that I don’t have a face. I don’t want a face. Don’t try to change who I am like this.

I’ll meet you halfway, I’m not being inflexible. I promise you, I will do my best to not speak in the tongue which rends the veil and made your brother weep tears of blood at Thanksgiving. But please, don’t act as if having a face makes you better than me. I mean, you don’t even leave your weekend plans in What Are You Playing. Who even does that? All the cool kids leave their plans there.

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The Daily Grind: Do we deserve better damage models in MMOs?

For all of the changes, iterations, and evolutions that MMORPGs have undergone over the years, it still feels like we’re back in the 1990s when it comes to combat visuals. Other than mobs jerking or falling down when you hit them and the occasional game that throws in a puff of red blood, there’s little to show for our efforts until that seemingly fit and healthy mob abruptly falls down, dead.

I’m not a bloodthirsty gorehound by any means, but sometimes I wouldn’t mind if MMOs would go a little further in developing damage models for their mobs. It feels kind of ridiculous that I can be swinging away with my lightsaber in SWTOR and never even dent that droid that I just hit six times in a row. I sometimes prefer bow-users, just because some MMOs keep the arrows persistent when you hit a foe with them.

Do you want better damage models in MMOs? Would you like to see more happening in combat as you attack and perform spells?

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Betawatch: Secret World Legends opens the beta doors (June 9, 2017)

If you’re an active player of The Secret World, you can get into the Secret World Legends beta at this point. Really, you can! The NDA is still in full effect, though, so this is different from the game’s headstart kicking off on June 23rd. You can also catch up on the current state of the various weapons, and take a look at both parts of MJ’s impressions about the title.

There was, of course, other beta news. How could we avoid it? The world is always in motion.

The fact that we have a whole bunch of games down below, though? That’s not a rumor. That’s a fact. There’s a list right down there, and if something has slipped into a new test phase without us noticing, we trust you to tell us. We also trust you to tell us about betas you’re enjoying. We trust you with lots of stuff.

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The Daily Grind: Has a soundtrack ever inspired you to try out an MMORPG?

Massively OP reader Andrea has a fun question for us today. “I’ve been perusing through different MMO soundtracks these past days and some of them are so beautiful and atmospheric that they make me want to actually try the game although I had no intention otherwise,” she writes. “Has an MMO soundtrack ever inspired you to try out the game itself?”

You folks know we love our MMO soundtracks here on Massively OP — we keep Jukebox Heroes and Battle Bards’ Justin Olivetti trapped in a tower with nothing but a keyboard and an iPod, after all — so I’m guessing a lot of you have heard more scores than played games, and this question has a high chance of scoring hits. I’ve found some gorgeous music thanks to Justin for games I’ve never played, for example — I’ve been completely obsessed with The Repopulation’s released music tracks. (I’m a sucker for marimbas.)

Has a soundtrack ever inspired you to try out an MMORPG?

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Massively Overthinking: MMO monetization run amok

Over the last couple of weeks, the monetization of unreleased games has become a pervasive and uncomfortable theme for the MMO genre. Just in brief:

The frustrating bit is I could go on, and this is just for games that aren’t even formally launched yet. So for this week’s Massively Overthinking, I want to take the temperature of alarm regarding these types of business models for unlaunched games. Is this all par for the course, in line with what we expect from the new MMO market? Have they gone too far yet? If not, what’s too far? How do we feel about this type of pre-launch monetization run amok?

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite unorthodox MMO weapon?

I’m never going to fail to be amused at the weapon of choice for Medics in WildStar. “Medic” is an odd class choice anyway, but the fact that they wield shock paddles as a weapon just tickles me in the right way. I’m also fond of the scythes used by Dervishes in Guild Wars and Dark Knights in Final Fantasy XI, and everyone who has been able to listen to me ramble about it knows how much I loved Staff Fighting in City of Heroes.

Basically, I like unorthodox weapon choices. I like swords and guns too, but I also like it when games let me pick up something rather unusual and rampage around with violent intent. So what about you, dear readers? What’s your favorite unorthodox MMO weapon? Is it something listed above, or a normal weapon that just looks inherently odd or silly? And is it a weapon you love in actual play, or just one that you find conceptually fun?

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The Daily Grind: Are social hubs and chat windows enough for your MMO needs?

The other day I was reading up on how the upcoming Dauntless will feature a social hub where players congregate en masse and do their business before heading off for much smaller co-op missions on instanced maps.

It’s certainly not the first game to do this sort of lobby multiplayer setup; Destiny, Hellgate London, and Guild Wars are just some of the other online games that use this format. Heck, Secret World Legends is about to reshape and reboot the game to be just that.

It got me thinking: Is this enough for my MMO needs? If I have a social hub and a chat window wherever I go, do I really need maps with dozens of random players possibly crossing my path? Honestly, I kind of like that massively multiplayer world experience, but as long as I’m connected to other players in some respects, I can still enjoy these more limited multiplayer games.

What do you think? Are social hubs and chat windows enough for your MMO needs?

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The Daily Grind: Do you make a point of watching or skipping MMO cutscenes?

During this week’s podcast, Justin jokes about how Final Fantasy XIV literally has an interface pop-up to warn you before it deluges you with an extremely long series of cutscenes, on the order of half an hour of basically watching the game rather than playing it. That cracked me up because I admit I am not much of a cutscene-watcher to begin with. My instinct is to click through them in a lot of MMORPGs, especially when I’ve seen them before, but even sometimes when I haven’t. So let’s just say that while I appreciate that FFXIV reminds us to take a potty break before it goes all exposition monster on us, I probably still wouldn’t watch it.

Howsabout you? Do you still watch MMORPG cutscenes? Did you ever? If you skip them, do you do it out of habit or lack of time or anti-story principle?

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