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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s Stormblood dungeons in review

Have I really not talked about the dungeons of Stormblood yet? That’s unexpected. Usually I would have mentioned them by now, I talk about these things a lot. Yet here we are and I haven’t really given a deep look at any of the dungeons through the leveling experience up to the top. It is, frankly, a shocking realization, and it’s all the worse that I spent a lot of time thinking (and working on) columns on more esoteric elements of Final Fantasy XIV before remembering this obvious one.

So let’s correct this now and talk about these dungeons. The level range for things was adjusted after my initial preview, and we have a similar leveling arrangement to how things were in Heavensward, but I honestly like this batch more. Part of it is familiarity, sure, but I remember feeling like the first two dungeons in Heavensward were kind of clunkers even when they were new, compared to really enjoying the heck out of everything in Stormblood. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t high points and low points, but… well, let’s just get to it, yes?

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DC Universe Online prepares for the Riddled with Crime update on September 20

So for whatever reason, Batman isn’t patrolling Gotham City in DC Universe Online. That’s a bad thing under any circumstances, but it gets even worse when you realize that The Riddler and The Joker have teamed up to make the city an even more crime-riddled place to live. Fortunately, Nightwing, Batwoman, and Talia al Ghul are there to help guide players through the game’s newest burst of content, which sees players working against the two masterminds of Gotham’s underworld in several formats.

The content added ranges from open world missions on the Amusement Mile as players step into the middle of a gang war to the new eight-player raid at the Gotham City Zoo. Players who clear the most difficult content can get access to Riddler-themed rewards, a Batwoman mask, and the satisfaction of keeping Gotham City safe from itself again. Check out a preview video just below, and get ready to start beating up suited enemies on September 20th.

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Massively Overthinking: What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs?

Earlier this week, we wrote about Black Desert developer Pearl Abyss’ IPO and its grand plans for the future – among them, four additional MMOs. Sounds great, right? Except that the suspicion, at least in our comments, is that Pearl Abyss will just follow in the footsteps of Nexon, NCsoft, and Netmarble in that the games will mobile MMOs and not “real” MMORPGs at all. That may or may not be true; the games have fairly fast turnaround for a full-scale MMORPG, but then the company talked up the BDO engine for future games and expressed great ambition in the MMORPG market in the west and on console.

But the suspicion seems to turn off so many of us — the stigma is real. So for today’s Overthinking, I wanted to dig into that. Do you play mobile MMOs, especially any of the modern crop that are popular in East Asia and then ported here? What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs, and what would you want out of an MMO for a mobile device that would actually make you consider it a home MMORPG?

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Destiny 2 shatters PlayStation records and tops a million concurrent players for over a week

It sounds like the suits are pretty pleased with sales performance so far. In a press release, Bungie announced that the multiplayer shooter has already set a new record for the first day of sales in the PlayStation Store, overshooting its predecessor’s achievements in that area.

While the studio wasn’t giving specific numbers for units solid on either console, Bungie did say that Destiny 2 has racked up eight days of topping a million players enjoying the game concurrently. We do know that the game has topped retail charts in Japan, cranking out over 50K sales in its first week.

As for that unfortunate and now-scrubbed armor design that drew unintentional reference to hate groups, Bungie promised that it would be more diligent in its vetting process going forward.

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Final Fantasy XIV prepares for Shirogane housing while halting house demolitions

Looking forward to picking up a house in Final Fantasy XIV’s Shirogane housing district? The houses are planned to open up with the release of the upcoming patch 4.1, and the latest article on the official site details how players can move into a new plot from their old ones with a discount equal to 30% of the old plot’s price. All of your housing items will be deposited into the new Storehouse feature, allowing you to retain access to furnishings that otherwise cannot be removed from an estate.

Of course, if you’re a player in the regions affected by the recent hurricanes, your concerns are probably more focused on your real-world house than a house in FFXIV. The good news there is that the game is also temporarily halting house demolition timers, so you needn’t worry about anything happening to your house while dealing with the real-world crisis around you. It doesn’t help make the recovery easier, but it’s still a good thing.

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Global Chat: Not that impressed by Destiny 2

Destiny 2’s recent PC beta certainly brought out curious players in droves, and MMO bloggers couldn’t help but share their opinions on this next evolution of the sci-fi shooter franchise — even if those opinions weren’t too positive.

“It proved to be a deeply disappointing experience,” Superior Realities said. “Not because of anything wrong with the game, but because the beta offered such a small sliver of it as to be entirely pointless.”

Endgame Viable just doesn’t get it: “I know I’m going to regret this, but: What’s all the hype about? I didn’t hate it, but Destiny 2 looked and played like every other shooter.”

How would you respond to those observations? While you think about it, let’s look past D2: The Mighty Space Ducks to more essays on Elder Scrolls Online, EverQuest II, and the dinosaurs of ARK: Survival Evolved.

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The first Destiny 2 raid is already down

The first Destiny 2 raid is out in the wild, ready to challenge and delight players for some time, setting a new bar for difficulty while players – oh, wait, it’s already over? Well, never mind. Yes, the new Leviathan raid has already been beaten by a team from The Legend Himself, a clan on PlayStation 4 with some notable accomplishments under their belt already. It took about five and a half hours from its release.

In fairness, five and a half hours is about what it took for several prior encounters to be cleared in the original Destiny, so the speed of people pushing for first completion hasn’t changed all that much. You can check out a clip from the end and the official tweet celebrating the clear just below, but be warned that there are some spoilers included. (Seeing as it’s the end of the Leviathan raid, you probably expected that.)

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Perfect Ten: The 10 tiers of MMORPG lore

Lore! Huh! What is it good for? Understanding why you’re standing in the middle of a pack of angry people with fangs in MMOs, of course. It’s the thin line dividing your actions from being reckless, indiscriminate mayhem and discriminating, careful mayhem. Lore is how you know what the world is like beyond your front door, and it’s the difference between understanding that you face Ragnaros, lord of flame or just knowing that there’s a dude here made out of fire, so you should probably use water spells on him.

All lore, however, is not created equal. There’s lore that creates a detailed, vibrant world full of people with their own hopes and dreams, and there’s lore that creates a game where you know what you’re supposed to be doing but have no idea what people do for fun afterwards aside from waiting to die. So today, we explore the tiers of lore, arranged in a numbered list because that’s the entire premise of the column. It’s not Perfect Vague Assortment of Concepts. That’s not even a column.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 135: PAX in the P.M.

On this week’s show, MJ arrives to give her report on PAX West and how much swag she smuggled back on the plane. Bree and Justin touch base with the major news stories of the week, including Destiny 2’s launch, ArcheAge’s mergers, and WildStar’s housing happiness.

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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Valiance Online puts out a call for hurricane heroes for charity event

When real-life tragedy occurs, it’s perfectly OK to give priority to assistance over interest in video games. But what if you could do both?

Valiance Online has joined the growing club of MMOs and communities looking to do something to ease the suffering and assist in the recovery for those affected by the recent hurricanes in North America. For the duration of this Wednesday, September 13th, the superhero title will shunt all donations made on its website to hurricane relief instead of game development.

This puts Valiance in good company. Final Fantasy XIV’s community recently ran a blood and charity drive for victims of the hurricanes, Destiny 2’s Bungie organized charity events, and even Ultima Online chipped in by disabling housing decay while hurricane victims get back on their feet.

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Final Fantasy XIV players donate money and blood for charity

The Final Fantasy XIV community is large, diverse, and focused on a variety of different issues. But it does seem to be a community that likes being charitable, as evidenced by the results of the game’s Stormblood-themed blood drive. A new video is available just below showing off the themed bus itself and celebrating the estimated 1,200 lives saved by blood donated through that means lone.

But maybe that was just because it was an official outlet and was kind of visible? It doesn’t seem so, as the player-organized charity stream event from the weekend raised over $21,000 for disaster relief. That’s pretty cool, too. You can check out the blood drive video just below if you’d like to see more about how it looked… and if you missed either of the above, you could always just go donate some blood and money today. Hurricane victims will need both, and no one will stop you from muttering “for Ala Mhigo” while you do it.

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Destiny 2: Console sales numbers, 1.2M concurrent, and future content

So hey, Destiny 2 launched for consoles, and a lot of you bought it, if the 1.2 million concurrent player mark is any judge. We haven’t seen formal numbers from Activision yet, and though Bungie was talking about Destiny 2 preorders ahead of launch, sales so far in the UK haven’t surpassed Destiny 1’s as expected, in spite of topping the charts for the year.

Console players, meanwhile, will see the Leviathan raid unlocking on September 13th, Trials of the Nine starting up on September 15th, and many other challenges being presented in a slow roll for the next few weeks. So don’t worry if you’ve already plowed your way up to the top in the game right after release, you’ll have more to do soon.

The developers are also hard at work investigating known issues, working server queues in when necessary, and releasing the game’s official soundtrack. So it’s full steam ahead for Destiny 2 fans, there’s more on deck for the next several weeks, and you can count on some bugfixes incoming as well. Relax, listen to a soundtrack, and enjoy the ride. Or enjoy the wait, depending on your platform of choice.

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Final Fantasy XIV players to host in-game events, charity stream for hurricane relief Saturday

Hat tip to MMO blogger Aywren, who picked up on a Final Fantasy XIV-based Direct Relief charity event “to raise awareness and bolster hurricane relief efforts” — referring of course to Harvey, which ravaged the gulf coast of the US just a few weeks ago, and now Irma, which is already devastating the Caribbean with its sights set on the whole of Florida, never mind Jose behind them.

Streamer denm0 will begin the charity stream on Saturday at 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PDT) and asks players to roll up a potato-themed Lalafell toon to join up with what looks like an airship tour, leveling-up race, march across Eorzea, and a party, all in the service of raising money for disaster relief.

“The starting server is a secret that will be announced at the start of the stream. This way everyone begins at level 1. Getting through MSQ takes about 2-3 hours, so you have plenty of time.”

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