Every MMORPG player knows that there is something incredible and magical in the feeling that you get when you take your very first steps into a new game. It’s the fresh scent of the unknown mixed with potential, excitement, and energy.
Reader François knows this all too well as he documents an early moment from Final Fantasy XIV: “The trees of the Shroud meet the sky as Kan-E-Senna watches a young adventurer depart for the other nations of Eorzea. A familiar sight for anyone who started in Gridania.”
Small pet peeve, but when your city has a name like “Gridania” and your street patterns are all twisty-turny, you’re going to make my eye twitch. Elves need to buy better urban planners, IMO.
Really, when you think about it, MMOs are our grown-up toy chests. They have all of these attractive and fun toys to keep us occupied and happy as we pretend that we are heroes on great adventures while making a pit stop to play Barbie’s dream house. And that’s OK — we need to blow off steam and relax somehow, and this beats HALO jumping in the safety department.
This week, the Massively OP readership was all-too-eager to show off the toys within their toy chests, starting with Hirku’s trip to an amusement park. In a theme park MMO. There are layers upon layers of meta in today’s column, folks!
“World of Warcraft’s Darkmoon Faire is my favorite toy, and this week I get to play!” Hirku posted. “Wheeee!”
What will you when you embark on your pirate career in Sea of Thieves? I know that at least for me, the answer will be “nothing serious.” There are too many ways to goof off and embrace your inner buccaneer in this title, and so expect to find me with an accordion and a cranky parrot at your nearest port.
As for Cap’n Deekay_plus, he decided that doing a jig was the best use of his closed beta time: “I finally got a female avatar in the Sea of Thieves beta after spending all of alpha with a male avatar that too closely resembled my IRL visage. So to celebrate, I took a selfie while dancing!”
Last week, we got a well-intentioned email from a reader named Rick, who proposed a column in which readers tell us what they are looking for in an MMO and we offer up suggestions for just the right MMO. It’d be like Guild Chat, we imagine, only instead of dispensing guild advice, we’d be telling you folks what to play.
The email prompted some discussion among the MOP staff about whether that would be an effective column to write (or to read). We do answer some questions like that for the podcast from time to time, for example, but I seldom get the impression we’ve actually helped. Most times, the listener has already tried everything and is hoping for a game that simply doesn’t exist yet, so we’re destined to fail. And even then, it’s really difficult to recommend MMOs to people without really knowing their full history with every studio and game. Some of us can’t even find an MMO we want to play!
So we thought we’d open that discussion up for everyone. How do you go about recommending MMOs to other people? What are your criteria? When your sister says she’s done with WoW, your co-worker requests input around the watercooler one day, or Some Dude On Reddit asks for pointers – where do you start?
Massively OP Readers, you are clear for take-off. Please cross-check the cabin, assume flight positions, and break out the best aerial screenshots you have. Fair flying and Godspeed!
Rafael zooms into view for our headlining picture today from a game that he has only recently discovered: Blade and Soul. Oh, I josh, I josh. Rafael’s the site’s premiere B&S evangelist, so beware if he corners you in a crowded tavern!
“It wouldn’t be Blade and Soul if it didn’t have interesting outfits and Wushu gliding,” he said. “Case in point? My Gunner, Haliee, gliding around in her jammies. Yup. She can fly around in her cute night shirt complete with little cat patterns. Here she is as she approaches her landing. ‘The runway is clear zero-niner.'”
We are going to kick off this week’s exhibition of player screenshots with a few email submissions (yes, some of you still email them in, and bless you for it!).
It doesn’t take much of an excuse for a celebration to break out in Final Fantasy XIV, as Souseiseki notes: “A certain Miqo’te had a little too much fun celebrating Heavensturn (and too much to drink!). Although, I think she had more fun opening the bottles than actually drinking them! Fortunately, I had the foresight to hide the good stuff. Don’t worry, her chocobo was parked safe in the stables and we confiscated her saddle.”
Postscript: That chocobo was later seen perched high on top of a temple summit, wrapped in toilet paper and spray painted with an incomprehensible slogan.
One of the things that impresses me about the submissions to One Shots here is that so many of these pictures really could be blown up into high-resolution posters and be hung as honest-to-goodness art. I’ve always been meaning to comb through my screenshots folder and take the best of my best to a store and get that done, but I am a lazy man and figure that you all will keep my eyeballs entertained for one more week.
Here’s a good example of a poster perfect pic from Camelotcrusade, who shared this interesting shot from Star Wars: The Old Republic. “It feels like a galaxy far, far away now, but I really liked the title cards for Knights of the Fallen Empire,” he wrote. “Here is one of my favorites which transposed my character against a backdrop of galactic war.”
It’s a new year and a new you! Well, probably the old you a few days past the expiration date, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely useless. For example, you probably have enough mental cognition and digital dexterity to log into an MMORPG and create a new character before you dissolve into an unslightly mess of bones and goo.
To celebrate the debut of 2018, the Massively OP legion is out in force to create new characters with all sorts of crazy resolutions!
First up is CapnLan: “My first character creation for the new year is technically an old one. I recovered my old FFXIV character from 1.0 but they had me run him through the new character creator when I logged in for the first time. I touched him up a bit with some new options and went for a stroll around Ul’dah. Here’s a quick shot I took of him with all his hilariously outdated 1.0 gear in front of the New Year decorations on the main street.”
That’s it, folks. It’s time to put the wraps on the bumpy, odd year that was 2017 and get ready to flip our calendars to the pristine landscape of 2018. While the future of MMOs always holds uncertainy, one thing we know for sure: We’re going to screenshot the heck out of it.
To put a bow on 2017, I asked Massively OP readers to submit their absolute best screenshot from this past year — and the community took up the task with gusto. We’ll start things off today with Hugmonster showing us what a dignified, serious game Guild Wars 2 can be.
“My best screenshot of the year? Obviously me launching a stampede of rainbow unicorns!” he shared.
Well, that escalated fast.
A showdown with a Santa Claus raid boss in The Division led to BalsBigBrother attempting an unorthodox tactic of threatening Donner or Blitzen (we can never tell the difference) with a headshot. A standoff ensued, during which police negotiators came out with hot chocolate and candy canes, and everyone declared it the best-tasting hostage situation ever.
“Gimme all your presents or the reindeer gets lead poisoning,” he shouted to the other side. “Heh just kidding; no reindeers were harmed in the taking of this screenshot.”
Even when humanity is on the brink of destruction, even when all hope is lost, it’s good to know that people will still be taking selfies and posting them to Facebook so that all friends and family members won’t forget what they look like or how important they are.
Deekay_plus brings us this Destiny 2 selfie starring… Marilyn Manson? Good to know he’s putting his musical skills to work in the techno-apocalypse. Thumbs up for justice, you scary-looking fellow!
Oh, it only gets weirder from here. Think “Willy Wonka boat ride through the nightmare dream sequence” strange. That’s just how our readers screenshot.
It’s one thing to strike a pose and get a good-looking selfie in there, it’s another to coordinate a whole group of twitchy gamers and get them to take a group photo without someone jumping or facing the wrong way or forgetting to emote.
Vincent Clark has mastered this group pose in the formation of his new Final Fantasy XIV boy band album called “Ears over Eorzea.” We anticipate great things from this mostly shirtless crew of well-manicured rebels, as long as they don’t fall into that hot tub and drown.
You may hold Elves in high esteem, but the truth is that they are bonafide slackers. They live forever and can’t even be bothered to keep up with the weeding, so Elves make up some nonsense about communing with nature to cover for it while they binge on Netflix.
BalsBigBrother brings us our first pic of the day, this one from Lord of the Rings Online: “The one is from the High Elf starting instance, with this particular area the last part just before you are thrown out into the ‘real world’ of Middle Earth. Still amazed with how well the SSG folks do with their world building using such an old engine and saddened at times how divorced they often seem to be when it comes to actual player mechanics/fun.”