I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal for the first time in my life this month, and it turns out that it’s freaking hard. Why? Because it’s humbling beyond belief. The list of things I need to be grateful for is endless. Even if I limit it to just Massively OP, I could go on thanking the writers all day. Instead of doing that again, this year I want to thank the spouses and roommates and SOs and other familial enablers of our writers, without whom this site probably would not exist. The reality is that in many cases, their love, support, financial maneuvering, and childcare behind the scenes allows us to keep writing. So thank you, to all of them – Paul, Joy, and Elaine especially – for helping us live this weird dream.
Now let’s turn it to the genre itself. What are you grateful for in the MMORPG genre?
Stately resting between the gaudy purple and orange of Halloween and merry red and green of Christmas is the earth tone-saturated Thanksgiving. While no one’s favorite color scheme, Thanksgiving does give us a nice in-between holiday with family meals, an awkward dance around politics, a work day for football teams, and the occasional MMORPG holiday event.
While not every online game has decided to embrace the American holiday, enough pop up every year that need corralling. And since we just got turkey certified here at Massively OP, we’re going to lay out all of this week’s event options for you on a platter. So enjoy the festivities and dressing up like a Pilgrim for two days maximum before deeply questioning that fashion sense. Now jingly sleigh bells, size XXXL red suits, and reindeer antlers, that’s a smart look indeed!
It’s kind of hard to be thankful this year. Sure, some good things have happened this year, but we also have some things that, to put it politely, are unqualified messes. There’s everything around Star Wars: Battlefront II. There’s the shuttering of Master x Master and Marvel Heroes (the latter I actually flagged a year ago as being robust and healthy). There are titles like Lord of the Rings Online and ARK: Survival Evolved that have doubled down on methods to enrage players. And last but certainly not least, there’s still no sign of a sequel to the Warcraft film.
That one might be a grey area, actually.
But the year hasn’t been devoid of light, and there’s still stuff to be thankful for. So rather than being bitter and cranky about it, I want to focus on what we do have to be thankful for even while I hope for better in the future. Let’s talk about some stuff that’s good to be thankful for, even if it doesn’t tickle your particular fancy, and be a little more hopeful.
Some MMO studios waste entire Fridays streaming about their upcoming patches, but not Bungie
: Bungie’s wasting two
whole days on Destiny 2’s
Curse of Osiris. Only they’re not Friday. They’re Tuesday. Which means if you missed last week’s
, you can grab this week’s right now. And even if you don’t care to watch live, there’s a new trailer in it for you because again Bungie has literally put out a trailer for its stream – it’s weird, right? But not unwelcome?
“In this livestream, the Bungie team will debut the activities awaiting you on Mercury including traveling into the Infinite Forest, a brand-new Public Event, and more.”
The stream begins at 2 p.m. EST as this post goes live; we’ve tucked it and the trailer down below.
It’s time to smash up some robots with other robots in Final Fantasy XIV
. There’s more to it than that, sure, but the core of the game’s new Rival Wings PvP encounter
is that you are leading a team of robots (mammets) against another team of robots (mammets), and sometimes you get into a robot (machina) and use them to smash cores. It’s all of the robot action in the game you could possibly want, and if you’re familiar with the mechanics of MOBA combat, you will likely find this pretty familiar. Try it out for yourself; patch 4.15 has just gone live today.
The new Perform system, on the other hand, is less robot-based. It’s entirely based around making music as a Bard, and that means hitting a whole lot of different notes to make your own original music. (And the patch notes even warn you that you had better be making your own music, thus making the game a place where saying “anyway here’s Wonderwall” might literally get you in trouble.) So you can make your own song after stomping robots for a while. What more could you ask for?
The Armoury System places a certain unique burden on Final Fantasy XIV
. Any new job doesn’t just need to have a distinct mechanical identity, it needs to have a distinct weapon. Which worked well for the first expansion and a half or so; after all, there were a lot of obvious weapons that existed in the game in some abundance but didn’t necessarily have jobs associated. A bit of massaging and we had a job for daggers, a job for great swords, a job for… spinny card-balls…
Yeah, this analogy falls apart pretty quickly. But the point is that it’s still just as viable as a means of predicting new jobs as looking at past titles, especially as Yoshida has stated on multiple occasions that he’d like to have a job that was unique to FFXIV. So let’s look at some weapons we’ve seen in the game, ones that show up in other titles, and ones that make a certain degree of sense as a prediction method.
In a new paper released last week, University of York researchers sought to examine whether research that strategy gaming (like chess and arcade games) correlates with intelligence holds true in the modern games like MOBAs. “In our current paper we extend their findings by asking whether we can establish a link between intelligence and performance in widely-played, commercial, team-based videogames with global reach,” the authors explain.
The researchers examined League of Legends and Dota 2 players, comparing their ranks to their results on a fluid intelligence test and attempting to disentangle all of that from teamwork ability, practice, and age by comparing the results to those from more twitch-oriented games like Destiny and Battlefield 3 – easier said than done, since apparently there aren’t a lot of “olds” playing some of these titles – and the general population’s performance on fluid intelligence tests by age. The result?
I do think that we, as a culture, have become disturbingly obsessed with selfies, but I will always make an exception for anyone who finds himself standing in front of an enormous gas giant.
“I wanted to share my screenshot for One Shots for the first time,” sent in Stormheim. “The screenshot is from Destiny 2. I don’t still have cool stuff and gear, but its kinda awesome to take a selfie with Jupiter behind you.”
If nothing else, Jupiter has the effect of making the subject look thin and light in comparison. Kind of like standing next to Jabba the Hutt or a YouTube content creator’s ego.
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.
So Marvel Heroes has about six weeks to live thanks to the impending shutdown of the game following Disney’s decision to drop Gazillion as a business partner. That’s going to leave some superhero MMO players once again without a home, and though the game’s current Steam numbers can’t hold a candle to the number of players affected by the City of Heroes closure five years ago, we’re left with the same situation – and a similar roster of games vying for refugees.
The big superhero MMORPGs are still DC Universe Online and Champions Online, the former of which is certainly better supported with content, the latter of which may have more of that Marvel feel. There’s also three strong crowdfunding superhero MMOs still trying to fill the CoH vacuum: Ship of Heroes, City of Titans, and Valiance Online. Which MMO would you recommend to Marvel Heroes refugees? Would it be another superhero MMO, another superhero game or ARPG altogether, or something else? If you’re a former MH player, where are you getting your fix?
Are you tired of MMOs providing you with bland and predictable finite
forests? Thank goodness that Destiny 2
is here to show other MMOs how it’s done with the infinite
forest coming along with the Curse of Osiris
DLC. Sure, it’s a virtual simulation, but that only matters to the people in the world.
All of this is tied to the lair of the eponymous Osiris, of course; the Vex are trying to use the Infinite Forest to find something, and Osiris is hoping that the PCs will help him stop that effort. There’s also more of Mercury to explore, which winds up being a desert wasteland in sharp contrast to the aforementioned infinite forest.
The DLC is also adding in a new raid lair, which is a different way of extending raids than the original game; rather than a whole new raid, this adds new parts on to the existing raid. You can check some of it out in the video clip down below, if you’re not content to simply dream of a forest that’s just… forever.
When you’ve got a club full of penguins overseen by the Mouse House itself, you know things are going to get both wacky and weird! Club Penguin may not be everyone’s go-to MMO for music, but its wide array of simplified genres certainly give the Battle Bards a lot to discuss on this week’s show.
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 iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 109: Club Penguin (or download it) now:
This morning, the DC Universe Online
servers went down
to apply the game’s next major patch. They may or may not be back up by the time you read this, but they’re expected to be up no later than 4:00 p.m. EST today. And when they are up again? You can take a trip to the land of evil opposites, Earth-3
What must Earth-3 residents think of the rest of the multiverse, though? Technically Earth-1 would be the world with their opposites. Is that a thing there?
Regardless of existential musings on the nature of evil doppelgangers, players can explore a variety of new bits of content on Earth-3, ranging from an open-world exploration of the new world’s Gotham City to an elite raid in which players rail against the Crime Syndicate that threatens the world. So go forth, find your evil opposite, and beat the living snot out of that villain. Or hero, we suppose, if your character is already a villain. It’s complex.