The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite MMO meme?

Despite its long-term status as a meme generation machine, World of Warcraft is actually a game. It’s just a game where some of its memes have become part of the general MMO landscape. Stuff like the JP Button from Final Fantasy XI never went beyond their games of origin. But they were still memes; I can tell people in Final Fantasy XIV that I’m doing Raubahn EX, and they know what I mean. Tell a former City of Heroes player to go and hunt, and they’ll know exactly what you mean.

Of course, sometimes the memes either wind up referencing a part of the game that’s less than fun or just flat-out wrong. And some of them just aren’t very funny (Leeroy Jenkins never made me even crack a smile). But of all these silly memes, dear readers, which one is closest to you? What’s your favorite MMO meme? And do the people you tend to play with still remember it?

Also, yes, CoH players, I know the formatting up there is wrong. You got my meaning.

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Leaderboard: Will you be trying Guild Wars 2 for free this weekend?

As part of its marketing push ahead of Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire expansion launch in September, ArenaNet is plotting a freebie weekend for the game. The base game is already free-to-play, of course, but this weekend, all players will be treated to a preview of the paid and unlaunched Path of Fire content, even if you’ve never put a dime into the game. Existing players and newbies alike can basically tour the first zone (Amnoon Oasis) before deciding whether or not to pick up the expack. If you’re a total newbie, all you have to do is register a free account and you’re good to go starting Friday through Sunday. The weekend after that, the expansion’s elite specs will be available in PvP and WvW, so you’ll get to sample those too.

The question is — will this work? Are you actually going to give it a go? To the pollmobile!

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The Daily Grind: Is there any hope for WildStar?

It’s no secret that WildStar has, for the duration of its existence, underperformed and struggled to find a large and steady audience. Even with the free-to-play transition, multiple updates, and a softening up of its super-duper hardcore approach, WildStar has not been able to succeed in the way that the studio and its community had hoped.

In fact, it surprises a lot of people that it hasn’t been given a pink slip by parent publisher NCsoft, especially after seeing the MMO slip in revenue consistently over the past couple of years. Yet it survives, and for as long as it does, there might be hope for a future for this sci-fi game.

What do you think? Is there any hope for WildStar in 2017? Do you think that NCsoft is holding off on the execution order because it has actual plans for the game? What do you think Carbine needs to do to grow and nurture this title so that it may escape the shadow of perceived doom?

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Global Chat: What Asian MMOs can learn from the west

Usually when it comes to discussing world hemispheres of MMO game design, comments and observations are made about what western studios can learn from their eastern counterparts. MMO Bro, however, flipped that discussion recently to share four things that eastern MMOs can (and perhaps should) learn from western games.

“The problem, though, is that in most eastern games I’ve played, the story still feels like kind of a background element,” he writes. “There isn’t a lot of effort put into developing it or helping the player experience it in a dynamic way. It’s usually bland quest text. In the west, we’ve seen MMO games make great strides toward better storytelling in recent years.”

As we continue with our visits to MMO blogs, we’ll hear musings on Guild Wars 2’s direction, Standing Stone Games’ missteps, speed-leveling in World of Warcraft, and more!

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The Daily Grind: What’s the best MMORPG for gamers who are sick of raiding?

In the middle of the conversation spawned by yesterday’s financial news that Guild Wars 2 had seen its worst revenue quarter since launch, several of our commenters sidetracked into discussion about raiding in Guild Wars 2 compared to the rest of the genre. One commenter suggested Guild Wars 2 treated non-raiders as second-class citizens (especially given that GW2 was originally sold as a game that eschewed traditional raiding). But the way I see it, pretty much every MMO with raiding treats non-raiders this way, and it’s a huge problem for that whole raid-centric segment of the genre. And Guild Wars 2 is no exception.

Some gamers suggested games without raiding (like Trove), older games with NPC aid (like classic Guild Wars), games with solo raiding (RIFT), and games with difficulty sliders (like City of Heroes). Several commenters offered up MMOs like World of Warcraft and Elder Scrolls Online and Final Fantasy XIV because they offer plenty of raiding (or raiding-adjacent) content for casuals, which is something GW2 still strangely doesn’t do.

So today’s Daily Grind is two-fold: What’s the best MMORPG for gamers who are sick of raiding period, and which MMORPG-that-has-raiding treats non-raiders the best?

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The Daily Grind: What’s the most important feature of MMO inventory systems?

A couple of weeks ago, we ran a story on ARK Park that included the image above, which just cracked me up. I mean, I get that VR games have an extra challenge when it comes to how they’re going to display your inventory in a believable and immersive way, but I was figuring that would manifest as a bag you can virtually rifle through, or store shelves at the merchant. I didn’t figure on a 3-D view on a panel within your field of view — it seems like a step backward for immersion.

That got me thinking about what I want out of MMO inventories in general. I’m playing Guild Wars 2 right now, and I have to say that the basic inventory right out of the box with even just a few option tweaks is one of the best in the genre, full stop, thanks to good color coding, a wallet, sorting bags, a “one bag” feature, the automatic compact option, and above all else, that “deposit all materials” clicky. I have to use several mods in top-end MMOs like World of Warcraft or Elder Scrolls Online to get my character inventory to this level, and even then this is just slicker. And that’s before I get to the shared bank and crafting — for me, the ability to craft without hauling crap out of my bank or bag is the number one thing I look for when it comes to MMO inventories (and I’m so glad to see it becoming more and more common!).

How about you? What’s the most important feature of MMO inventory systems?

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MMO Week in Review: To Elona via bunnies in Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire (August 6, 2017)

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!

This week, Guild Wars 2 took the lid off its next expansion: Path of Fire, a nostalgia-driven, story-oriented trip back to the deserts of Elona. With bunnies.

Meanwhile, Lord of the Rings Online successfully launched us all into Mordor — read our recap here! — and Funcom successfully ported Secret World Legends over to Steam.

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

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The MOP Up: SMITE’s bad news bears (August 6, 2017)

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 Villagers and HeroesAionDark and LightPokemon GoGuild Wars 2DefianceWurm OnlineDC Universe OnlineChampions OnlineDark Age of CamelotElder Scrolls OnlineSMITE, and Dota 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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One Shots: Sacred space

Anyone a little excited about Guild Wars 2 these days? Probably not, but on the off-chance that there’s a glimmer of hype and hope alive, here’s a reminder that there’s some stuff that was put out for the game and other stuff that’s coming for the game. Deserty-stuff.

“I don’t want to spoil much about the latest Guild Wars 2 episode, so here is just a shot from inside of Divinity’s Reach palace temple, where it begins!” Miol submitted.

I wish I could un-spoil myself from that screenshot, because now I know the game’s design plans for the next seven years, all from the subtle clues that are contained in those stained glass windows. How I wish I could erase that knowledge and experience it as a wide-eyed child would!

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The Daily Grind: What was the funniest group you ever had in an MMO?

There are lots of things that I love about dungeons in Final Fantasy XIV, but one of the many is the way that you can often get groups willing to be flat-out hilarious. At one point, I had a group with a Roegadyn Summoner who helpfully informed me “I GOT U BAE” when he used Mana Shift on my Paladin. Another time we were grouped with a character dressed up as what I can only describe as the Lalafell Pope, prompting a number of jokes through the dungeons about His Holiness the Lalafell Pope. I’ll never forget my group with someone named Viewing Catscene. And so forth.

Of course, this is not unique to that game; I have also had funny groups in World of Warcraft, and City of Heroes seemed tailor-made for people to kvetch and be dumb in chat whilst laying waste to city blocks. But today, it’s not about my stories, it’s about yours. Share with us, dear readers. What was the funniest group you ever had in an MMO? What anecdote of good-natured humor do you still share years later?

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen 3.0 progress report, Albion Online DDOSed after RMT crackdown (August 5, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen posted its monthly studio report along with its updated 3.0 production report as it works on the “User Experience Polish Pass.” Players tracked only two delays in this report: the UI and the mission system AI. Cross your fingers that the Evocati test access begins next week as planned (it’s actually looking pretty good).

Elsewhere, Albion Online was slammed with a DDOS attack yesterday, which the devs say was “most likely in response to [SI’s] recent actions against gold sellers to coerce [SI] to not interfere with their illegal business.”

Meanwhile, Camelot Unchained teased testing for beta 1 backers, Path of Exile launched its latest expansion, Crowfall profiled a dev, Dogma Eternal Night tinkered with its mission system, Descent Underground released a demo on BrightLocker, City of Titans returned to Twitch, and Global Adventures successfully funded on Kickstarter.

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’re following.

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WRUP: Horrible movies edition

The hush calls over the movie theater, but even before then, you all have that feeling. It hangs in the air like the scent of ozone, a faint urgency to every whispered conversation. Then the screen lights up, the theater goes dark. The previews go through. And the screen is… text, that dreaded opening of any film which does not start with the words “Star Wars.” Things are exposited, then the movie cold-opens in a place you don’t know.

You clench your teeth. It’s happened. You’re watching a horrible movie.

You know now that the rest of the run time will be filled with aborted arcs, unclear plots, idiotic decisions, and no characters whom you can identify with. At this point, your question becomes enjoying the rest of your popcorn or cutting your losses and just bringing the popcorn home, at which point it gets weird. Let us know what you’re playing in this week’s What Are You Playing, or just let us know about horrible movies you’ve seen or will see soon. We are all trapped together.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best fashion design?

Don’t pretend you’re all about the stats and are above venal preening over your looks in games. You secretly spend hours grinding dungeons, scouting through outfit blogs, and loitering over paint samples in the hardware store to assemble the best possible outfit for your MMO character.

But as we all know, not every MMO is created the same or has the same sense of fashion. Some games’ armor and cosmetic design are lacking while others only frustrate by giving you so many great options that you don’t know which to choose first.

Which MMO has the best fashion design? Which is easiest to reach that point where your character looks less like a hobo rooting through thrift store castoffs and more like he or she is ready to star in an action movie alongside Dwayne Johnson or Charlize Theron?

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