one shots

One Shots is a Massively Overpowered feature in which we highlight cool MMORPG screenshots from readers. You can send your screenshots into us at justin@massivelyop.com. [Follow this feature’s RSS feed]

One Shots: First steps into a greater world

Do you miss Vanguard? It’s been a while now since that particular fantasy world closed its doors to players, but warm memories of the game continue to persist among former fans. Reader PJ sent in several screenshots of Vanguard, although he says that he unfortunately lost most of his pictures.

I like this one because of the perspective. It’s not only pretty, but when you see the tiny character on the right, you develop a whole new appreciation of the scope of this area.

We’ve got a great tour of the sights of MMOs for you today, so let’s get this party started!

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One Shots: Abstract art

Every once in a while I receive a One Shots email that makes one of my eyebrows climb super-high while the other one dives down my forehead. Then I have to go lie down for a while and call a loved one to talk through the confusing image that I saw. This is one such screenshot.

“One of the features in Trove I was really excited to discover was a slash command for time-lapsed screenshots,” reader James explains. “However, in practice I’ve found that the end result isn’t always the action shots during boss fights or shadow arenas that I was looking for. Instead, I often get these abstract images of particle affects. Most of them aren’t worth saving but every now and again I get a screenshot like this one, which I think is quite beautiful.”

Pretty lights. Swirly colors. You like? Be nice. Read on!

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One Shots: Aerodynamically impossible

Back in the late ’70s, the first Superman flick had the tagline, “You will believe a man can fly.” Well, I look at the following picture from Final Fantasy XIV and I think, “I do not believe a bird can fly.” And yet it does.

“Look at this glorious, pudgy, yellow butterfly, soaring through the skies using only the power of want for cake, and tell me it doesn’t put a smile on your face,” grins reader Wolfyseyes.

There’s even more after the cut! Pictures, not cake. Can you think of something other than your stomach for two minutes?

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One Shots: Holding a torch for City of Heroes

No, you’re not seeing yet another ancient screenshot from the late, great City of Heroes. No, this is something far more recent and special. I’ll let reader Ben introduce it!

“Here we are standing around the new Ascendant memorial in Paragon Chat (the City of Heroes chat client) the first night it was released,” Ben reported. “Ascendant is the NPC talking on the phone near the center, in blue white and gold. Everyone was happy to see the game with people in it again.”

I bet! It brings a sniffle to my nose to see CoH continue in some form, even though it’s a mere shadow of what it once was. Keep on going to see the new chat client in its full-color glory!

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One Shots: Blinded with science

Skyforge is becoming a hot property for bored summer gamers looking for something new to explore. Reader Tyler reports in from the recent closed beta, saying that the game is “incredibly gorgeous” to behold.

“I’ve mainly been playing the Alchemist, which is very fun and unusual,” he sent in. “Basically a lot of using the mobs as guinea pigs in various chemical experiments that usually end with things exploding and/or melting. I can’t stop singing ‘She blinded me with science!’ the whole time I’m playing it.”

I’m all for irresponsible science in video games and any dinosaur-related sectors of the private industry. Speaking of which, we’ve got Cretaceous visitors, demon girls, and more for you in this week’s round-up of player-submitted screenshots!
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One Shots: Impossible architecture

When you construct your buildings out of pixels and polygons, you don’t necessarily have to worry about what’s physically possible and what isn’t, just what looks interesting and believable. I always check out the structures that developers come up with because there are always artistic architectural details that often go unnoticed.

Reader Zepheera saw something special in this Dungeons and Dragons Online view: “I’ve always loved the way the enchanted pylons float under the harbor inn. It’s subtle magic; there’s practicality, though it’s more for effect and might escape someone’s notice the first time. It makes me think if I could really be a wizard, I might go into city planning.”

Wizard city planners. That’d be awesome.

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One Shots: Gazing at potential

Major props to reader John, who somehow managed to finagle screenshots from his PlayStation 4 to bring us this stunning Destiny vista. Back when I was a kid, we had a foolproof method to capture console screenshots. It was called “stand in front of the TV with a Polaroid camera.” That’s how I got my Activision badges.

“Here’s my character standing in The Reef, the area that is involved in the second DLC, House of Wolves,” John said. “I enjoy Destiny for what it is. For me, what is most disappointing is that there is so much potential in the IP/lore that is just going to waste.”

At least the visuals aren’t going to pot! Speaking of, we’ve got an array of arresting aspects for you to assess after the aperture.

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One Shots: Primitive GPS

There’s no shame in being lost, especially if your MMO doesn’t include an on-screen map. Anyone remember the olden days of using graph paper to keep track of where you were, especially in dungeons? That single-handedly kept the graph paper industry in business, it did.

Reader Krieglich decided to make the most of his bewilderment by taking a screenshot of the moment. “This isn’t a map but one of the nice little gimmicks of Elder Scrolls Online. Whenever someone is looking at his map, all around him know that he/she has to look where to go. AGAIN.”

But don’t you worry, fair reader, you’re not lost! You’re right where you need to be: At the beginning of a journey through exciting and thought-provoking screenshots in One Shots!

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The Daily Grind: Which classic MMO would you like to try running?

Hey guys! Did you hear about this Darkfall thing? If we all pool our allowances together, we could buy and run our very own MMO! Of course, even though you all chipped in for it, I’d still be the one calling the shots, which means that I’d make it a server-wide rule that all warriors would have to wear pink tutus and fight with foam pool noodles.

OK, so nobody in his right mind would ever play an MMO that I was running. But what if you ran it? What if you could pick any game, operating or deceased, and be the one in charge of it all. What would you do with it?

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One Shots: Bagpipes in the woods

I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of bagpipe music, although I do harbor a certain fascination for any musical instrument that looks like the innards of a monster. Still, how often do you see bagpipes in MMOs? I’ve spied them only in Lord of the Rings Online, and there only rarely.

Reader Ratstew took this photogenic shot of his character bleating out a jam in the middle of the woods: “This is one of my LOTRO favorites, though of course I have hundreds more I could fill your mailbox with. It’s like potato chips — can’t take just one!”

Will you be able to look at only one picture after the break? I doubt it!

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One Shots: The infinite summons

One of the stranger Final Fantasy tropes is that the more powerful a summoned creature is, the longer it would take for any given game to play its animation. By the time I left the series around Final Fantasy X, summons were getting ridiculously long (like, make yourself lunch and go to the bathroom long). I can only imagine how patient that Reader Jay Bird had to be when he pulled the following whopper out of his pocket.

OK, so it’s a boss, but still. Jay says, “Tonight my Free Company in Final Fantasy XIV took down Twintania, the final boss of the First Coil of Bahamut. This was a huge achievement for us, and afterward we were all treated to this beautiful money shot in front of the head of Bahamut. We must have spent about 20 minutes taking screenshots in there.”

Selfies in front of good-looking corpses — this is why funeral homes don’t allow gamers. But we allow it, so head on in to this week’s collection of player screenies!

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One Shots: Reflections of me

One fun in-game photography trick is to use reflections, mirrors, and glass to offer a different — and sometimes more artistic — vision of a scene. I have to applaud reader Jake’s use of the water’s reflection in this piece because it makes it beautiful times two!

“I’m leveling a Sylvari Ranger for the upcoming Guild Wars 2 expansion, and I found this beautiful little nook off the beaten path in Brisban Wildlands,” Jake wrote. “There is no vista or point of interest in this location; you just have to be nosing about to find it. That’s one of the things I like about this game: The map was designed with exploration in mind. And jumping (sigh).”

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One Shots: My imaginary friends

Here’s a fun thought: What if we aren’t actually playing MMOs? What if we’re just sitting in front of blank screens, creating fantasy worlds with our imaginations and keeping ourselves company with phantom figments? What if they’re about to cart us away right now?

Oh, probably not. Probably. Either way, reader Mjcbarnes has great fun with her imaginary friends in-game. “Attached is a screenshot from Neverwinter’s alpha,” she submitted to One Shots. “For a time there was a bug where you could have more than one of your companions out at a time. It was awesome running around with two companions like a proper party. Here’s my rogue Nora with her dire wolf and a kobold companion. I took so many screenshots of the three of us. It was the best bug for cool screenies.”

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