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 Dragon Nest, TERA M, Mabinogi Mobile, Icarus M, Summoner’s War, Star Trek Online, Osiris New Dawn, Lord of Vermilion Arena, PUBG, Stardew Valley, Warframe, Overwatch, Path of Exile, Astroneer, KurtzPel, RuneScape, Dota 2, Second Life, and Renaissance Kingdoms, all waiting for you after the break!
This week’s Massively Overthinking topic is a submission from reader and commenter camelotcrusade, who takes the industry’s current fight over monetization in a different direction from lockboxes. “Are modern games too cheap?” he asks, probably slowly reaching into a can of worms with a wicked gleam in his eye.
“When you think about it, many other things we buy have increased in price over the last decade but AAA games are still expected to be a maximum of $60, with many of us waiting for sales (or for free-to-play). Meanwhile, games everywhere are adding shops, post-release content, and DLC galore with increasingly aggressive pricing models. How much of this is to make-up margins they can’t capture up-front? How much should an AA game cost in 2017? $75? $90? Is there a price point where lockboxes, gambling, and in-game stores could focus on value-add instead of survival? And how did we get here? Whose fault is it? And how do we get out of this, or is ‘would you like a game with your store’ the future as we know it?”
Let’s talk money!
Destiny 2 who? Overwatch is aiming to lure in as many of Blizzard’s players as possible with another free weekend. The best part? It’s already here, complete with the newest character Moira, so if you’ve never purchased the team shooter, you can download it from the Blizzard launcher and give it a try right now.
The free weekend is running through the 20th and is available to players on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It isn’t a limited experience, either; the studio is allowing everyone to play any of the 26 heroes across all maps and game modes.
Of course, Blizzard hopes to make a few sales from this weekend, which is why it said that any progress made during the event can be carried over if a player decides to purchase the game.
One of the persistent complaints about Overwatch is that for all of the animated shorts, comics, and CGI trailers that Blizzard has released, the story has been in arrested development pretty much since the minute it released. This could all change, however, if Activision Blizzard decides to go ahead with a full-length movie.
Activision’s Tim Kilpin said that an Overwatch movie is something the company “would like very much” and could be “a way to expand the audience and expand the opportunity and then e-sports.”
The prospect of an Overwatch film brings to mind 2016’s Warcraft, which was a critical bomb but a box office success.
As we wait for this to happen (or not), at least we have all of the cinematic trailers compiled together in a convenient video. Check it out below and let us know in the comments if you’d love to see an Overwatch flick on the big screen!
Last weekend, even Massively OP was obsessing over BlizzCon, and we thought it would be fun to poll the writers, including those who watched from the sideliness rather than diving into the liveblogging, on their assessments of the event, particularly as they pertain to the MMORPG industry. What were the highlights and lowpoints? Where do we stand on World of Warcraft’s new expansion and classic servers? Let’s dig in!
Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan gave an interview on Reddit this week that provides an interesting perspective from an original World of Warcraft developer who defected to Overwatch.
“I think classic is a great idea,” he says. “I have great nostalgia for what the game was. I think people need to be careful about what they think the magic was versus what it actually was. I don’t think what made the classic servers great was the shitty quests. I’m allowed to say that because I wrote all of them.”
Indeed, he stresses the importance of community and lauds the absence of the dungeon finder, but he also points out that some of vanilla’s problems: the lack of server transfers, the lack of well-distributed auction halls, and the smaller servers.
Fans of certain Blizzard games are going to be waiting a while – possibly even a year – to start playing the cool stuff revealed at BlizzCon. Others will have less time to wait. Overwatch fans, for example, can jump on the game’s test server right now to take Moira’s chemical onslaught for a spin, mixing up both damage and healing in a different fashion. If you’ve been waiting for the chance to assemble your perfectly balanced Talon team, now you can do that.
Of course, there are other elements being tested with this patch, including several balance tweaks for Ana and Mercy and general bug fixes. But Moira’s the big centerpiece right here. If you missed seeing her reveal trailer, we’ve embedded that past the break; otherwise, go ahead and get the test server installed to see what she’s capable of.
Toxicity in online gaming is easily one of the biggest stories of the year, particularly in Overwatch, where Blizzard has been focusing its anti-toxicity efforts with such persistence that it’s almost become silly. And yet here we are, with the problem unsolved and a whole lot of people sure it’s unsolveable or content to direct victims to just “ignore” it.
So how bad is it? Eurogamer collected clips of female gamers and streamers being harassed via voice chat in Overwatch and toted them to BlizzCon, showing them to attendees who agreed to be interviewed about their reactions and their own experiences. Forewarning if you’re going to watch the video below: The clips are awful and will make you angry once you realize they aren’t parody. The worst part? Most of the men and women Eurogamer interviewed basically all have that same stony look on their faces that I currently have on mine because it’s par for the course – and it’s just the misogyny brand of toxicity. The video doesn’t even touch on racism or homophobia.
A cat sporting a rocket-powered backpack. A hang gliding alligator. A flamethrower-sporting monkey. A decked-out hockey player. A bowler. A flaming head.
These were among some of the (thankfully) rejected ideas for Overwatch heroes. At BlizzCon this past weekend, the dev team revealed some of the hero concepts that never made it off the drawing board along with others that ended up morphing into the characters that players enjoy today.
Characters such as Jetpack Cat and Flying Alligator proved to be “too ridiculous for Overwatch,” a game that, as we must remind you, sports a superintelligent talking ape from the moon.
At BlizzCon, Overwatch announced a Scottish mad scientist hero and a new “BlizzardWorld” amusement park map. You can see some of the concept art for these rejected characters after the jump.
Ah, here we go again. It’s time for our final liveblog of BlizzCon 2017, and it’s the World of Warcraft Q&A. And they’re live questions, which means that there are going to be several questions about the new expansion (that will not be answered because all of the information that can be shared right now has been shared), several questions about lore (that will be laughed at), and several questions about when we’ll get Jaina’s hair (it does look nice).
At this point, who knows what could happen? They announced World of Warcraft: Classic. They could do anything. Blizzard badger don’t care, apparently. Of course, if you don’t want to watch all of that, why not just watch our liveblog down below? It’s still speeding along at a fair clip, and it’s what we’re doing here. You can catch up past the break if you missed the start.
Remember how last year, we got an enormous amount of art discussion during a panel that really should have been about systems? Or was it the year before? These things blur together sometimes. If you spend a whole lot of time liveblogging about World of Warcraft at each installment of BlizzCon, at some point you just start letting it all push together into a melange. What stands out most are the hunted, harried looks during the Warlords of Draenor era.
Still, all of the liveblogging beats an actual west coast trip. And reading it is probably even more fun, especially when the art panel is actually labeled as the art panel! Let’s learn all about the art in the comments below, or by catching up with the recap just below. Fun for the art-focused family!
The gameplay and systems panel is always very important to World of Warcraft. You found out long ago (well, a few hours ago) about the existence of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, and now you have to find out how long it is down that leveling road. And, for that matter, what will be along the way. Dungeons and quests, sure, but how many? What sort of mechanics will they include? How will classes play? Do Rogues get swirly balls back?
Yeah, that one’s just trolling. You’re never getting swirly balls again.
Fortunately, all of these questions are going to be addressed, at least in passing, by this BlizzCon 2017 panel. So let’s find out more about the mechanics that we’ve got now, what’s coming around the bend, and what will be here in the future as we sit through another liveblogging session. As always, catch up past the break!
Blizzard made several major announcements for World of Warcraft today that you probably need to know about if you’re a current or even a former player who’s been trying to decide whether or not to go back. Let’s recap the highlights!
- The expansion is called Battle for Azeroth. We don’t know when it’s launching or when it’ll go into beta. You can, however, opt-in to the beta through Battlenet as always. We’re guessing it’s a ways off as there’s no preorder yet.
- The level cap is lifting to 120. The official site boasts a level 110 booster as a catch-up mechanic.
- Allied races (not sub-races) are happening. We’ll start with six: Void Elves, Dark Iron Dwarves, and Lightforged Draenei for Alliance and Nightborne, Highmountain Tauren, and Zandalari Trolls for Horde. We can quest to make them allies, then we can roll them ourselves from level 20 (or race-change into them), though there are extra gear rewards for those who level the hard way.