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Massively OP Podcast Episode 50: Happy birthday MOP!

One year ago, the sky fell on the Massively crew and a desperate, last-minute plan was hatched to save the site by remaking it as Massively Overpowered. One Kickstarter, 12 months, 50 podcasts, and over 5,700 posts later, MOP is kicking butt and reserving character names in the MMO industry! Join us today as we celebrate the first year of MOP in style.

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.

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Neverwinter’s Underdark lands on consoles, Maze Engine is prepped for PC

It’s getting very dark for Neverwinter players on the Xbox One. One might even argue that it’s getting underdark. Why one might argue that is something of a mystery, as it wouldn’t make a heck of a lot of sense, you don’t say that things are “underdark” when they’re really dark. But the important part is that the game’s Underdark update is going live on the console today, we’ve even got a trailer and some screenshots for you just below.

Players on the PC version have already finished up with tromping through the Underdark, of course, and thus have become the subject of the latest entry on the game’s official site. It commemorates all of the things that players have accomplished of late (and possibly spoils some of it if you’re still mid-story), but it notes that somewhere in the depths of the Underdark there are still plans in motion. It’s a celebration of where the game is at the same time that console players are catching up to the present state of the game.

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Take a look at the endgame setup in Bless Online’s current beta

The level cap is going to be where you spend the lion’s share of your time in any online game just by the nature of the games; there’s no real way around that. So what does the endgame currently look like in Bless Online? Steparu has taken on the role of intrepid explorer and compiled a look at the game’s current PvE endgame dungeons as well as what the max-level PvP looks like.

In the former case, the game currently doesn’t have any sort of group finder in place, so successful completion depends not just upon knowing the mechanics but also upon knowing the culture of loot distribution. All bosses drop crafting materials rather than gear, which means many runs are necessary to actually craft something. Meanwhile, the 100 v. 100 PvP battlegrounds seem to be very lag-heavy for little reward, but the game’s open PvP earned Steparu’s praise and enjoyment. Check out some of the (many) videos on this content just below.

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EVE Online patches in a new camera and skill point trading

The developers behind EVE Online work very hard to make sure that the game is pretty to look at. That’s important. But you can respect that prettiness only if you can get a good look at it, which is why the developers rolled out a new camera setup in several stages. Making that new camera system non-optional and permanent is one of the two big changes for this month’s newly deployed game patch; you can see some of it in action in a video just below.

Players will also now have the option of extracting and selling skill points from their characters, allowing newer players with money to catch up to older veterans. The pricing on the devices needed was revealed just last night. So if you want to have a better look at the galaxy around you or just want to buy and sell knowledge in bulk quantities, this patch should make you very happy.

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Trove’s new character power ranking system rolls out today

What level is your favorite character class in Trove? There are rather more answers to that question than you might think. Sure, there’s the straightforward answer of character level, but then you get into things like mastery rank and equipment and it becomes more ambiguous. What you really need is some sort of decisive ranking to make it clear what your power level is, something like a unified power rank system that takes all of the supplementary factors into account. You know, like the Power Rank system rolling out today.

A character’s Power Rank is based off of that character’s level, equipment, mastery rank, and unlocked dragons to produce an overall picture of power. Adventure portals will now check your Power Rank rather than your character level to ensure that you can handle the challenges of a given region, providing a more comprehensive look at your character’s ability. You also get a snazzy icon over your head indicating your power rank if you want to broadcast it to onlookers. Or even if you don’t want to advertise it, really.

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SWTOR continues the expansion story with today’s Anarchy in Paradise release

It’s time to get angry, break things, and start some fires in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Patch 4.1 Anarchy in Paradise arrives today, and it brings with it a new chapter of Knights of the Fallen Empire, which centers around the known anarchist and constant rabble-rouser Kaliyo Djannis. Players who were subscribed on February 1st will be able to jump right into the story, while those who were not will have to wait until Thursday to get in on the action.

The patch also brings along major crafting changes with a boost to the crafting skill cap, an overhaul of gathering missions, and several new crafting schematics. Players can also enjoy an increased stack limit for items (9,999 per stack) and the usual quality of life changes that accompany any major patch. Maintenance for the patch is currently expected to run until noon EST, but after that you can jump in and start the aforementioned process of breaking things.

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Shroud of the Avatar previews structures, templates, and regions

The Shores of Malice are currently being designed for Shroud of the Avatar, but they don’t look particularly malicious on a whole. Unless you find evergreen trees and lovely coastal vistas malicious, anyhow. Still, there are dungeons, traps, and the usual assortment of threats to any adventurer’s well-being on the shores; it’s just that the primary focus with the most recent community update is on the look of the place, which is less “doom awaits you” and more “gorgeous landscape photography.”

Players who aren’t as in to coastal regions can also check out a preview of the Entrance to Artifice, a secluded and mysterious location hidden in the crags of the Rumor Peaks. The community update also previews some of the new player town templates and the new greenhouses available for use in the game. The greenhouses, to the best of our knowledge, are not in any way meant to be malicious. Depending on what you grow in them, probably.

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Pocket Guild offers pocket-sized MMORPG action without the first three letters

If you’re fond of MMORPGs and you have an Android device, Pocket Guild is hoping you’ll give it a go. It’s everything you could want in a portable massively multiplayer online game, just without the “massive” part. Or the “multiplayer.” Or “online.” But it’s definitely portable. It’s all of the fun of an MMORPG without all of that MMORPG, in other words.

So, yes, this is meant as more or less a single-player RPG, just with the added layer of abstraction wherein you are supposedly playing an MMO. It is meant to include things like guild drama, farming dungeons, and managing loot distribution within your guild. There’s no release date planned just yet beyond “soon”; you can check out a trailer for the game just below.

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Star Trek Online previews the new Tier 6 flagships

The Odyssey-class cruiser, the Scimitar-class warbird, and the Bortasqu’-class battlecruiser serve as the flagships for each of their respective factions in Star Trek Online. So it’s kind of silly that the versions of these ships in the game are still tier 5 while the game as a whole is up to flying around tier 6 ships. What can you do about it? Well, you could fly something else… or you could pick up the upcoming tier 6 versions of the same ships from the game’s cash shop.

As is standard, each of the tier 6 ships provides a new starship trait when mastered and comes with a specialized console. Players can purchase the ships individually, as part of factional bundles, or in one megabundle filled with all nine ships. If you really want to fly the best possible versions of these ships, or if you never bought them before but want to now, you’ll soon have your chance.

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Skyforge releases Marsh of Knowledge patch notes

Skyforge is bringing you March in February. Specifically, it’s bringing the March of Knowledge. The patch is called March of Knowledge, anyway, which seems like a joke that would work much better if they could just wait out the remaining days of February. Then again, the game does keep its update on a regular schedule, and this year is sporting a long February. Maybe the team just couldn’t wait that long. Considering the bulky list of additions for the March of Knowledge patch notes, you can sort of see why; there are the big additions that have been specifically previewed on the site, and then there are plenty of minor changes like a rearrangement of keybinds for group members and a new disassembly mode to speed up the process of disassembling items.

The patch is arriving on February 10th, but if you can’t wait that long to see it in action, you can check out a stream with the development team today at 3:00 p.m. EST. The preview is planned to run for about an hour and a half, complete with photos in the new Photomode and exploration of the new regions added in the patch. It’s the next best thing to just skipping ahead two days, really.

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WildStar’s new game director Chad Moore on the state of the game

Chad Moore is moving up the ranks in Carbine Studios; after a long tenure as the lore expert, Moore is now the director behind WildStar. What does that mean? Well, that’s all to be found in his letter to the community on the state of the game. Moore looks back over the past year of updates and development for the game and provides a picture of what the game will look like, starting with Destination Arcterra, the game’s first major patch following the free-to-play transition.

The development team is also working on the game’s next big raid (The Redmoon Terror) and taking players beyond Nexus proper with a trip to the Halon Ring. There’s also another Expedition in the works alongside an item upgrading system and the vague promise of more work going into the game’s PvP. It’s an optimistic letter and should hopefully give players awaiting more content reason to look forward to the future. We’ve also taken the liberty of reaching out to NCsoft concerning the status of product director Mike Donatelli in the wake of Moore’s new position.

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Wisdom of Nym: The Warring Triad and what it means for Final Fantasy XIV

The Warring Triad is a big deal in Final Fantasy VI. We don’t actually know if it’s a big deal in Final Fantasy XIV, but I’m tempted to believe it is because we haven’t been told about it much at all.

It’s not hard to find the Triad in the game right now; you can fly past them in Azys Lla if you want. They’re referenced by the plot, even, and they form a major part of the conclusion to the expansion, but they’re not specifically called out as such. The game obliquely mentions what’s going on with them, and later confirms the connection between the final MSQ boss and the Triad, but it always leaves any crucial bits of joining to be drawn by the player.

I think this is a pretty big deal, bigger than it might seem at a glance. So for those of you who don’t have games from two decades ago stuck in your brain, let’s talk about what the Triad was and what its presence might imply for the future of Final Fantasy XIV. There will be spoilers, but I’ll do what can be done to hide them behind our fancy-pants spoiler tags as possible.

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Valiance Online’s pre-alpha is available for testing

Do you feel a burning desire to get in and try out one of the intended spiritual successors to City of Heroes? Because you can do exactly that right now with Valiance Online. The pre-alpha client is available for downloading and testing with no NDA, no restrictions, and no certainties about when the server may go down for patches and/or maintenance. Still, you can share your experiences freely with the world at large.

The pre-alpha patch notes have a pretty long list of improvements as well; players who’ve tested earlier versions can look forward to improved combat, improved enemy AI, improved power sets, and improved missions. The game is still obviously in an early state, so it’s far from feature-complete, but players can still get a sense of where the game is going by downloading the installer and getting the client running.

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