perfect world entertainment

A major Chinese publisher with a large branch in the US, known here primarily for its stewardship of Cryptic Games’ MMORPGs, including Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, and Champions Online.

The Daily Grind: What made City of Heroes work so well?

Although City of Heroes is not coming back (I think we all need to come to terms with that), many successors are waiting in the wings with their own vision of how a superhero MMO should be. Valiance Online, City of Titans, and Ship of Heroes all have claimed inspiration from City of Heroes and claim that they will be replicating some elements of what made that title work so well.

But what did work well about City of Heroes? Why did it succeed when Champions Online, a title modeled after it and created by the same studio, failed? Why is City of Heroes so beloved, even years after its demise?

Let’s hash it out today in the comments. Break down City of Heroes for us and see if you can’t put your finger on what made this particular MMO fly high.

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One Shots: First MMO loves

What was your first? Not necessarily the first MMORPG you ever played, but the first that made you fall in love with that game and the genre at large? Probably for me, that would have to be City of Heroes, a title which just clicked on all levels and ushered me into a new age of gaming.

I’ll let Katriana tell you hers: “My first MMO, and first MMO love it’s probably fair to say, was EverQuest. I have many memories of my time there, but sadly I don’t have many good screenshots from that time still that aren’t just character selfies. The image below was taken circa early 2003 and is one of the better ones I still have. It represents the crowning achievement of the guild I was in there, the slaying of the first-born dragon Klandicar. It was far from being new or even necessarily notable content at the time, but it was quite an achievement for our little guild.”

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Neverwinter gets bitten by Ravenloft’s gothic horror

Dungeons and Dragons Online isn’t the only MMO that’s vacationing in the moonlit lands of Barovia. Cryptic announced this week that it is bringing Neverwinter into the Ravenloft campaign with a special module that is coming next month.

The Ravenloft update, Neverwinter’s 14th module, will introduce that game’s playerbase to a gothic horror setting. It will include a new adventure zone, tarot card readings by Madame Eva, a day/night cycle, heroic encounters, and a challenging Castle Ravenloft dungeon.

“The mists of Barovia pull adventurers to the Domains of Dread and into the land of the mighty vampire — Strahd von Zarovich,” the press release said. “In the darkest corners of this foreign land, adventurers will find new stories from quests and instances; all-new repeatable adventures with newly designed monster hunts and heroic encounters, where the creatures of the mist must be destroyed; and expanded endgame progression with a new campaign culminating in a journey into Castle Ravenloft itself. Heroes of Neverwinter must work together to free this cursed land from Strahd’s control.”

You can check out the extremely brief teaser trailer after the break.

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Champions Online releases brand-new content with the Save the Earth alert

Champions Online is really not going to stop reminding everyone that it’s become the “longest running superhero MMO of all time,” chiefly by simply refusing to close down as the playerbase and content dried up (and not ever having to either since Cryptic wisely bought the IP rather than licensed it). It’s earning its keep a bit today, however, as well as some deserved respect, by actually releasing some new content in the form of a new alert. It’s called Save the Earth.

“In this epic adventure, your Champion’s personal nemesis has commandeered a satellite high above the orbit of Earth! You’ll have to fly there and do battle with them to… wait for it… Save the Earth! Are you up to the challenge, Champions? Complete this new Alert to gain exciting rewards like the Threaten Emote, a Ray Gun, many different visors and more!”

Cheesy, yes, but what do you expect from a superhero MMORPG? Good on ya, Champs. Let us know if you’re going to be checking it out!

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Perfect Ten: You got your MMORPG in my tabletop RPG

Tabletop games and MMORPGs seem like they would go well together, but remarkably they often don’t. That’s true for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is that we have a lot more games adapting different source material separately. You can certainly run a Star Wars: The Old Republic-themed game with a Star Wars tabletop system, but neither one is based on the other. (Technically there was a supplement published for it, but that was covering the first two single-player games, which themselves were based on that tabletop system.)

But there have still been incursions from MMOs into the tabletop space, and MMOs which pluck that fertile ground for the seeds of inspiration. So let’s spend today looking at these games, when you can log off of your favorite MMO, gather around a table with your friends, and keep playing your favorite MMO. More or less.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 169: Farscape and RuneScape

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin look ahead at the next generation of MMORPGs in development while saying farewell to a couple of the old guard. It’s a podcast full of conspiracies, time magic, debates over subscriptions, and way too much talk about Farscape!

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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Star Trek Online previews the upcoming Gamma Task Force for Victory is Life

You’ve always known that there’s going to be a new reputation coming along with the next Star Trek Online patch, because of course there is. When Victory is Life launches, players can begin earning reputation with the Gamma Task Force by taking part in the new “Swarm” queue or the sector battlezone. Use those reputation marks, start in on projects, and assemble yourself a new set of equipment along with new traits.

So what sort of rewards do you get? Players can enjoy impulse engines designed for high maneuverability at low power alongside a core system that boosts auxiliary outputs, with a stacking team-wide bonus to drains and control. You also have new weapon sets available, new ground kits, and new traits to help resist control effects while improving your own. Plenty of fun toys for experienced players, in other words, especially if you like locking down your enemies.

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The MOP Up: Battlerite royale (May 6, 2018)

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 TERANeverwinterBattleriteThe Black DeathRoyal BloodSaga of LucimiaSkyforgeProsperous UniversePokemon GoOcean Legend, Ultima OnlineReign of GuildsDofusFinal Fantasy XIDestiny, and Osiris: New Dawn, all waiting for you after the break!

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Star Trek Online is discontinuing monthly subscription purchases

There’s a business model shift taking place for Star Trek Online, although you could argue it’s a somewhat lateral shift. The game will no longer be offering monthly subscriptions from its website, replacing them with a “starter pack” that allows you to permanently unlock most of the same perpetual benefits for a one-time fee. Lifetime subscriptions will remain as they always have and will offer the same benefits as always, while veteran rewards will still be available to those who have earned them.

Players with an existing subscription will also retain the subscription and won’t need to do anything extra to keep it; it can still be cancelled at any time, although presumably that will prevent you from re-subscribing. There will also be no more subscriber locks on test server access. So it just means no new subscribers to the game, just everyone playing free. Or, you know, the same price as always.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Jake for the tip!

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Battle Bards Episode 120: Short stuff

Look down — and it’ll be the last thing you’ll ever see! That’s because fury and death arrive in the form of short character races in MMORPGs. Even if they hit below the belt, their music is sweet to the ears! In this episode of Battle Bards, the crew take on themes from Gnomes, Halflings, Dwarves, and other short races in MMOs.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 120: Short stuff (or download it) now:

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Unpacking the Star Trek mission crate (with Star Trek Online)

When it arrived, my administrative assistant in my day job — who just so happens to be a die-hard Star Trek fan — brought a Next Generation-era shuttlecraft-shaped box into my office with wide eyes. “What is this?” she said. “I’m dying to rip it open!”

And so we did. The box in question was a Star Trek Mission Crate from one of those services where you sign up, pay a monthly fee, and receive a box full of themed swag every 30 days. Massively OP was sent one for promotional consideration because Cryptic had just signed a deal to team up with Loot Crate and include Star Trek Online codes.

It was pretty neat, all things considered. I’ve never opened a loot crate before, but I do love convention swag, and this box ended up being a low-stress version of collecting goodies from cons.

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Perfect World is sunsetting Swordsman Online and Jade Dynasty as teams move on to ‘bigger and better things’

Perfect World announced two sunsets yesterday: Four-year-old Swordsman Online and nine-year-old Jade Dynasty will close down in June. Here’s the official announcement for Swordsman players posted yesterday evening.

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the shutdown of all Swordsman (SWM) servers on June 5th, 2018. On that day, your SWM character will no longer be accessible. This was a very difficult decision to make, but we are grateful for everything that you have put into the game and all the wonderful communities that have come from SWM. We no longer feel there is room for SWM to grow, but the development teams are moving on to bigger and better things! As amends to our most dedicated fans, we are making sure to offer refunds for the last few months.”

The Jade Dynasty announcement is nearly identical, with the same shutdown date and promise of refunds. Cash shop currency is no longer available for purchase; currency purchases made since February 1st will apparently be converted into Arc credit for your account.

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Perfect World Mobile takes to the skies

Perfect World perhaps doesn’t get the recognition and popularity in the west that it enjoys overseas, but this franchise may get another shot at glory when the mobile edition arrives on the scene.

PWE just announced the creation of Perfect World Mobile, a fantasy MMO based in the same world and using many of the same races as its bigger sibling. MMO Culture confirmed that there are six races, although many of the other details have yet to be unveiled. One thing we do know is that the title is going to have an aerial focus, with combat in flight a possibility. That will be interesting to see how it works on a smaller screen with touch controls.

This mobile title is scheduled to come out later in 2018. Check out the teaser trailers below!

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