opinion

Opinion pieces are by definition neither neutral nor subjective. Massively Overpowered’s writers’ editorials reflect their own opinions, not necessarily the opinions of the site or company.

Wisdom of Nym: The Final Fantasy XIV beast tribes, bottom ranks

I have mentioned before that I’m a big fan of the beast tribes of Final Fantasy XIV. Final Fantasy XI, too; there’s a charmingly alien and exotic quality do them that hits a perfect balance for me, a race of adversaries and allies both that’s painted in far more complex shades than you might otherwise expect. But alas, not all of the tribes are created equally, and while FFXIV might not have quite caught up to the diversity of FFXI, we still now have a large number to choose between.

We aren’t likely to see any new tribes until the next expansion, but that doesn’t mean now is a bad time to talk about the various tribes and which ones are really cool, and which ones are… not. Thus, we start our ranking at the bottom and work our way up. So let’s kick things off with the worst tribe that’s currently in the game, but you’ll have to click past to see what it is. Go on, take a guess.

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The Daily Grind: Are you an impulse buyer in MMO cash shops?

During last week’s podcast, Justin and I were discussing MMOs that seem to make it hard for us to give them money, which led us to talk about a cash shop tactic that drives me nuts: limited-availability items. I understand why MMOs put these types of items in the cash shop; as MOP reader TomTurtle noted, in Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet’s “limited availability tactic works better for impulse purchases” because “a good number of players make purchases that they probably wouldn’t have made otherwise.”

I know he’s right. But I am so not one of those people! As I was saying, I am a lister. I made endless lists of things I want to buy and do, and I let them stew a while before acting on them. I try to avoid impulse anything, and I have a system and a hard budget so that I can plan everything to avoid waste and regret. Guild Wars 2’s system of rotating things in and out of the store to try to get me to buy them just in case doesn’t work for or on me.

So because I cannot plan very well for Guild Wars 2’s sales and (more specifically) which costumes will be available at any given time), I spend far less on the game than I otherwise would. If the thing I want isn’t for sale, I’m not gonna just buy something else, and I’m not gonna buy something I didn’t plan on either. I guess enough impulse buyers make up for my particular type that ArenaNet doesn’t care, but it’s still annoying to me.

Are you an impulse buyer when it comes to MMORPG cash shops? Or do you plan your purchases? And what’s your stance on limited-availability items in cash shops?

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EVE Evolved: Will EVE Online’s Abyssal Deadspace ever be expanded?

EVE Online‘s recent Into the Abyss expansion has managed to grip me in a way that few expansions have, providing a challenging new solo PvE feature that’s as addictive as it is lucrative. Now that players are starting to figure out ship fittings and strategies for taking on abyssal deadspace and it’s being farmed at an increasing rate, the question on many players’ minds is “what comes next?” The Triglavian storyline is far from resolved, and these new size-restricted instances could be expanded on in dozens of different ways to spark a virtual renaissance for small-scale PvE and maybe even PvP.

CCP Games has a long history of making impressive “first steps” like these in new areas of gameplay, but sometimes those ideas don’t go much further and the first steps are the last. Abyssal deadspace could easily become another one shot feature that joins EVE‘s permanent gameplay, just like the Sansha incursions that are still in the game years after they probably should have ended. I seriously hope that CCP doesn’t abandon the feature this time though, as further work on abyssal deadspace has the potential to open up whole new types of gameplay that aren’t available anywhere in EVE right now.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I theorise about some of the different ways abyssal deadspace could be expanded and how the story of the Triglavian Collective still has a long way to go.

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One Shots: I have had just about enough of you!

There are certain locales and cutscenes in MMORPGs that I’ve noticed get screenshotted more than most, and none seem to be quite as popular as the fisticuffs/rebar scene from Secret World Legends. Are we all so bloodthirsty or is it just such an epic moment of vengeance that we can’t help ourselves?

Hirku sure couldn’t: “Off-topic this week because I played SWL’s Last Train to Cairo storyline for the first time last night and wanted to share my pics of kicking Saddur’s ass.”

That poor guy’s been impaled more times than a YouTube video of a girl telling us her opinion about cutoffs has gotten comments. That analogy totally ran away with me. MOVING ON.

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite MMO social hangout?

There was always something happening in Pocket D in City of Heroes. You can expect to see people talking it up in Deep Space Nine in Star Trek Online. There are swarms of people hanging out in Ul’dah in Final Fantasy XIV. For various reasons, every MMO has its social hubs, places where players choose to congregate in numbers for roleplaying, talking, or otherwise just hanging out.

All of these hubs are not created equal. Sure, the fleet starbases filled this purpose in Star Wars: The Old Republic, but they were always kind of gray little nothings that didn’t have a heck of a lot of character. By contrast, I always liked Jeuno, which was the main hangout spot for a long time in Final Fantasy XI; the look of the city really worked for me. So what about you, dear readers? What’s your favorite MMO social hangout? Is it still a busy place now, or was it more from the early days of the game? And is it from your game of choice, or was it just a place to congregate that you really liked regardless of your overall playtime?

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Chaos Theory: A guide to Secret World Legend’s first MEGAversary

Next week marks one year down for Secret World Legends, but the party has already started! From June 20th through July 17th, 2018, players can smash piñatas, scoop up goodies galore, and celebrate. There is tons of loot to get, all new lore to find, and even new Gaia golems to meet. (And by meet, we mean beat down and collect a reward from).

So what does this anniversary event entail? How does it compare to the anniversary events of yore in The Secret World? I’m glad you asked! There are some similarities, but even those are adapted to fit this incarnation. The giant golems are back, but with the SWL raid twist. And remember their shem pets? They are easier to get this time around; no need to pray for good RNG from the bags. And that is just the beginning. I can understand why it has been billed as a Megaversary; there is a whole lot more to this anniversary event than expected, so here’s a guide to help you keep from missing out on any of it.

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The Daily Grind: What are your summer MMO goals?

Now that most schools are out and the heat has begun in earnest in the northern hemisphere, it’s the perfect time to retreat into sunless rooms and pour yourself into MMORPGs. It’s also the perfect time to get stuff done and accomplish everything that’s been stacking up on your gaming backlog.

Getting everything ready for Battle for Azeroth is a high priority for me, although I’m pretty much ready right now. Past that, I’d love to get through Star Trek Online’s newest expansion, enjoy my weekly DDO group nights, and find my way out of Northern Mirkwood in Lord of the Rings Online. There aren’t any summer festivals that are particularly calling to me right now, but that may change.

So what are your summer MMO goals? What do you want to get accomplished by the end of the season?

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The Daily Grind: Do you take the lead in MMO groups?

There are many different sorts of leaders in group content. There are the people who are “leaders” in the sense that they set the pace and communicate with the team, but they aren’t pushing people to do things. There are people who are writing out a long enough list of commands to create an entire novel. And there are people who think that having a little indicator of being the party leader makes you the unquestioned lord and master of the group. This is true in pretty much every game.

But today, we’re not asking about your leadership style (no one ever says “I’m an imperious dillweed who isn’t half as good as I think I am” in response to that, after all). No, today we just want to know if you are a leader. After all, if a party in Final Fantasy XI has one leader, it by definition has five followers. So do you take the lead in MMO groups? Do you gravitate in that direction? Or do you much prefer to be the one doing the following?

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Hyperspace Beacon: Future plot points for SWTOR and other unanswered lore questions

Last night, BioWare Creative Director Charles Boyd and Community Manager Eric Musco were guests on the Passionately Casual Podcast to discuss the lore of Star Wars: The Old Republic. And since I host a segment on that podcast regularly about roleplaying in the Star Wars universe, I got to sit in on that interview and pose my own questions about the current and upcoming lore for the game.

I realized after listening to the questions that I asked last night that some of them deserve a follow-up to help strengthen your understanding of where the question came from or understand why I put forth the question in the first place. I’d like to spend a moment talking about the answers that Boyd gave to my questions and what I think they mean for the MMORPG. Of course, there might be some spoilers for the latest additions to the game story, but if you’ve not played through it by now and are still reading this column, spoilers probably aren’t that important to you.

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The Daily Grind: How much dough have you dropped on Steam in its lifetime?

VentureBeat noticed this week that it’s possible to figure out just how much money you’ve blown on video games, at least through Steam, by using Valve’s “account spend tool.” A lot of people clicking that tool are about to get a sobering reminder that they’d better stay on Valve’s good side if they don’t want thousands of dollars’ worth of games whisked away into an account black hole.

My own number… well, let’s just say that it’s not nearly as bad as I was fearing. I’ve spent far more money on World of Warcraft than I’ve spent on Steam. But that’s probably because most MMORPGs I’ve paid into for so many years aren’t there, and most of what I do buy on Steam is deeply on sale. And my husband and I have our accounts linked too, so we don’t double buy much. I escaped easy – less than the VentureBeat writer!

How about you? How much dough have you dropped on Steam in its lifetime? Does the number give you pause about just how inured to digital distribution we’ve all become?

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The Daily Grind: Do you carry a torch for any MMOs that were killed in development?

Maybe I’m alone on this, but the more I examine MMO history, the more it troubles me how many potentially great games never even got a chance to launch. There have been so many promising titles over the years that, for various reasons, were killed off in development prior to release.

I would have absolutely loved to have seen what Project Copernicus would have become, especially with the talent behind it. It kills me that I’ll never be able to play Ultima X Odyssey. And let’s face it, Privateer Online might have actually delivered the satisfying space experience that Star Citizen’s been promising for years now.

Do you carry a torch for any unreleased MMOs that met an early end in the development phase? What do you imagine might have happened if those games launched?

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 175: Virtual heartbreakers

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin get a little bit crazy and weird as they date MMO NPCs, throw themselves into the middle of studio fights, take a ride on the delay/launch whiplash train, and more!

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.

Listen to the show right now:

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