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Massively Overthinking: Why doesn’t video game marketing reflect our demographics?

This week’s Massively Overthinking topic comes to us from Steve, and it’s a frustration for our team as well, I promise.

“If the following statistics industry execs and analysts put out are true – that online multiplayer games are most profitable, that the average age of gamers is 35, that over 40% of gamers are female, and that ‘women’ and ‘over 35’ are two of the fastest growing demographic segments – why are virtually all major online multiplayer games designed primarily (in fact, almost exclusively) for males aged 15 to 35? I can’t speak for women, because as a straight, white male, I am aware 97% of the world exists to obey my whims and desires. However, as someone in my 40s, I notice that video games increasingly tend to be the exception, and it’s pissing me off more daily. So I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for women (40% of gamers, but just one Overwatch pro, for example, has to be infuriating). For an industry that wants every cent it can get its hands on, ignoring these groups (particularly the affluent 35+ age group) seems like a massive oversight.”

Yep! Let’s dig in.

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Destiny 2 team revises its update roadmap

No development plan survives first contact with the community, and Bungie freely admits that its previous Destiny 2 roadmap was subject to change at any moment for any reason.

Hence, an updated and revised roadmap was published this week that takes players from next week’s Patch 1.1.3 through May’s Patch 1.2. A few features have been shuffled around, such as the delay of what would have been 1.1.3’s Nightfall Strike unique weapons to March’s Patch 1.1.4.

“We also have a big addition we’re eager to share,” Bungie said, “Rumble will be joining 6v6 Iron Banner and Mayhem in our new rotating weekly Crucible playlist in 1.1.4. We want to make sure players have a more diverse set of game modes available in both Crucible and Private Matches. Doubles is also planned to return, but we do not have an exact release date just yet.”

Take a gander at the latest development roadmap after the jump!

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Wisdom of Nym: Actual mechanical issues for jobs in Final Fantasy XIV, part one

There are a lot of people who are quick to complain about issues with their personal favorite jobs in Final Fantasy XIV. No matter what job you’re playing, there are people that will eagerly point out all of the screamingly wrong things with the job whilst completely ignoring how well the jobs actually do work together. When you can seriously clear stuff with anything, someone is doing something right, and that’s why a lot of the complaints come down to “well, I don’t like it, so it’s bad.”

However, that doesn’t mean that the game’s jobs are devoid of mechanical issues. They’re pretty well balanced at the moment (not perfectly, but acceptably so), but each job does have certain mechanical issues that are probably going to need to wait until the next expansion to really be properly fixed up. So, while that next expansion is probably a bit more than a year away now (June 2019, I’d imagine), let’s take a look at the actual mechanical issues facing all 15 jobs.

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The MOP Up: FFXIV’s Eorzean Symphony (February 18, 2017)

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 RuneScapeTERAEVE OnlineWorld of Warships Blitz, Path of ExilePUBGFinal Fantasy XIVVaingloryPath of Exile, and MU Legend, all waiting for you after the break!

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One Shots: First steps into a wider world

Every MMORPG player knows that there is something incredible and magical in the feeling that you get when you take your very first steps into a new game. It’s the fresh scent of the unknown mixed with potential, excitement, and energy.

Reader François knows this all too well as he documents an early moment from Final Fantasy XIV: “The trees of the Shroud meet the sky as Kan-E-Senna watches a young adventurer depart for the other nations of Eorzea. A familiar sight for anyone who started in Gridania.”

Small pet peeve, but when your city has a name like “Gridania” and your street patterns are all twisty-turny, you’re going to make my eye twitch. Elves need to buy better urban planners, IMO.

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Final Fantasy XIV announces an end to congested worlds and restricted housing sales

The launch of Final Fantasy XIV’s new housing plots came with an additional restriction: Players weren’t allowed to purchase these new plots as individuals, just for free companies. Similarly, the launch of Stormblood brought a similar restriction, as players on designated “congested” worlds could not make new characters on those worlds or transfer characters to those worlds. But on February 20th, both of these restrictions will be lifted. Players can once again transfer to congested worlds, buy individual houses, and dress up in moogle outfits as tanks.

Actually, players could do that last one before.

Players will still be restricted to only owning one house per server on a given account, so the opening of plots doesn’t change that; similarly, there will still be preferred worlds for character creation, and if population disparities rise again the same countermeasures will be put back into place once more. However, for the time being, players will be able to get together and play more easily. In the end, isn’t that all anyone really wants?

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The Daily Grind: Which game is the best MMO ambassador?

The other day I was listening to a podcast in which the host was making a case that Final Fantasy XIV was one of the best MMO ambassadors out there right now. That is, it was a “gateway” title that served to lure in and introduce players to MMORPGs who might not otherwise ever try them.

I’ve heard this concept bandied about before, and honestly, I like it. I think it’s important to make converts of outside players to keep the MMO community from getting too stale and complacent. We need new lifeblood to keep these games from dying out, and even past that, if we love these games and see their virtue, we’ll want to introduce a friend or family member to what makes them special!

So which game do you think makes for the best MMO ambassador? If you were to try to woo a friend to MMOs, which title would you use to suck them into the genre?

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 157: Lunar Valentines

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin overdose on candy hearts as they look at Valentine’s Day in MMOs — as well as the Lunar New Year. From expansion alpha testing to a new MMO launch to unifying a game globally, it’s a pretty upbeat and positive week of podcast chatter.

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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Perfect Ten: The tabletop GMs behind MMOs

One of the advantages to computer RPGs, I’ve always thought, is that you don’t need a friend who you can alternately sucker or bribe into taking on 80% of the work that’s involved in making a tabletop RPG fun. You just turn on the game and it goes. The downside, of course, is that you also don’t have the advantages of having a GM in charge of the game, so you don’t get that personal connection and that sense of familiarity.

Except that’s not entirely accurate, is it? Yes, these games do not have a person eagerly perched behind a screen explaining how your characters have screwed everything up forever, but you still do get the same sense of a specific GM guiding the game over time. Because there are certain quirks, certain constants, and over time a feel to the game that informs what sort of GM you’ve got running the game. So let’s talk about the GMs running some games.

I warn you that if you’ve never played any sort of tabletop game, this column may not make a whole lot of sense. But if you’ve never played any tabletop RPGs I don’t understand how you live and thus cannot promise to target you reliably. Sorry.

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Wisdom of Nym: What cosmetic features could other jobs get in Final Fantasy XIV?

About a month back, I got a comment in this column with an absolutely spectacular question. We’ve got two cosmetic systems that basically only concern two jobs in the game, Bards and Summoners. What could other jobs get for similar systems, stuff that’s going to be fun to play with but wouldn’t actually affect any sort of gameplay?

This question almost immediately struck me as marvelous, because one of the things I love about Final Fantasy XIV is its attention to detail with stuff like this. A music system can be added to the game that only works for Bards, because that’s a thing Bards do and you can just be a Bard if you want to. So why shouldn’t other jobs get similar toys?

It was also the first time that I’d really thought about egi glamours as being in the same category, and that category has somewhat suffered from a lack of updates lately. So let’s talk about these sorts of enhancements, more character options for out-of-combat customization.

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Final Fantasy XIV shows off the Forbidden Land of Eureka

Players of Final Fantasy XIV are still knee-deep in exploring the game’s most recent patch, but you won’t have to wait until the next major patch for some new content. The most recent live letter from producer Naoki Yoshida covered a large number of player questions, but it also showed off the upcoming exploration content of the Forbidden Land of Eureka. It’s a whole zone to explore, but it’s also a very different sort of zone compared to other regions of the game.

Players will be tasked with exploring the region and gathering powerful items to enhance gear and unlock new gear, including appearances based on familiar items from veterans of other titles. Doing so will also allow you to improve your elemental properties based on the new Magia Melder system, which lets players steadily improve elemental affinities whilst bringing different properties into battle. Check out the full letter translation for more details, or take a look at the archived video from the livestream just below.

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Destiny 2 empowers players to set Nightfall strike challenge levels, prototypes raid features

Destiny 2’s Nightfall strikes are in the wings, waiting for their turn to receive some love and adjustments. This should happen soon, as Bungie plans on getting rid of the pass-fail timer and replacing it with other criteria that will score varying degrees of success. Also, players can pick up challenge cards with handicaps that add a score multiplyer to their runs.

“Fireteams of any size should be able to participate, from organized clan groups to skilled solo players,” promised Game Director Christopher Barrett. “Players should be able to determine their own challenge level, by going slow and steady or fast and wild, with elective modifiers to test the most hardcore veterans.” Read more

Activision Blizzard boasts ‘record quarter, record year’

With revenues and net bookings up, Activision Blizzard is riding high going into 2018. CEO Bobby Kotick introduced the Q4 2017 report by saying that it was “a record quarter to cap off a record year for Activision Blizzard.”

The studio’s net revenues shot up 6% to $7.02 billion and its revenues were up 1%, bringing in $2.04 billion during the quarter. The company’s stock price took a dip that it attributes to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, however. More than $4 billion of that net revenue came from in-game microtransactions, half of which came from the company’s PC and console titles.

Destiny 2 and Overwatch did its part to push earnings, with the former being the second-highest-grossing console game for 2017 in North America. Overwatch has witnessed “higher engagement” since its Overwatch League began. And while Blizzard continues to not report on the population of any given game, the studio said that it had 40 million monthly active users during the quarter.

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