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One Shots: En garde!

It’s hard to deny that one of Final Fantasy XIV’s newest classes marries style and substance, particularly if you’re into a certain swashbuckling aesthetic.

Skoryy took time out of playing Stormblood to share his new Red Mage with us: “More character screenshots this week as Eorzea’s version of Skoryy, Skory’a, reveals himself as a defender of the weak, the innocent, and candy drops! En garde!”

Now, be careful with that sword there! It’s not just a prop to make you look good at historical reenactments; it can stab your way into a felony charge if you’re not careful.

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Massively Overthinking: Forced socializing in MMORPGs

Massively OP Patron Jackybah has a question for this week’s Massively Overthinking that’s probably going to kick up some dust. He wonders whether MMO developers recognize and “serve” a particular subgroup of their players enough — specifically, the group of players that do not want to actively participate in social grouping (for dungeons) or social banter (in guild chat) but still want to contribute to and participate in an online world.

“In quite a number of games I feel that the game forces a player to group up to be able to see content and/or get higher-level gear,” he writes to us.

There’s a lot of layers to unpack here — non-social gamers in social spaces, the current state of MMO group content, and even the fundamentals of MMORPGs. Is our Patron right, and if so, is it a problem studios should be addressing? Let’s get to it.

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Seattle police officer uses a Destiny livestream to discuss a controversial shooting death

Let’s see if you can follow the chain of logic here. Police officers in Seattle shoot and kill a alleged burglary victim, resulting in controversy over whether or not the officers made the right decision. All understandable. One of the officers of the department took to Twitch in order to deliver an update on the shooting and the reasons behind it; again, understandable, albeit perhaps not the best choice of platforms.

Of course, he was also taking to Twitch so he could stream while playing Destiny. A game where you shoot things. Like, that’s the whole game.

Saying “don’t livestream a game about shooting people while discussing an actual shooting your department is being criticized for” seems like it should be kind of obvious, but apparently not. The officer in question has stated that he felt failing to discuss the shooting would be seen as a cop-out, although that doesn’t really explain why he felt that was the ideal time to combine these two things. We should all just be happy it wasn’t Grand Theft Auto Online.

Source: Kotaku

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How Star Citizen uses science to build out its galaxy

This week’s episode of Star Citizen Around the Verse sees Cloud Imperium’s Chris Roberts and Eric Kieron Davis bookending Foundry 42, Ship Shape, and solar system segments. From the Foundry 42 Frankfurt office, Development Director Brian Chambers checks in to discuss new hires, level design work, landing zones, atmosphere mapping, buddy AI, enemy reactions, planet surfacing, outpost lighting, environment art, and multiplayer persistent universe gameplay testing (yay!), while Ship Shape is aimed at you motorcycle lovers.

“Being able to see your footsteps in the snow or have your vehicle kick up dust while speeding across the desert are those little details that’ll make you believe that you’re really in those environments and be much more immersive, and you know me – I love immersive,” Roberts chimes in.

The best bit is easily the solar system segment, but I’m biased – I married an astrophysicist. The devs explain how they use the Solar System Ed (SolEd) to build out the parts of their galaxy in the service of the Star Map, making use of volunteer astronomers and other scientists to vet their ideas for scientific plausibility. Fun!

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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is everything you expect (and that’s outstanding)

In my mind, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is all about sticking the landing. After a few years of FFXIV being out, the game has consistently earned high praise from people who play it. Heavensward was recognized as a definite high point for the game, improving more or less everything in the game and adding more besides. So the question was whether or not Stormblood would continue down the same road or try to dramatically upend things, break down what once worked well and lose sight of what people enjoy.

The good news, then, is that it sticks the landing.

Everything that worked well in Heavensward has been brought forward and refined, and the parts that hadn’t worked so well have been trimmed away, repurposed, or outright removed. It feels very much like an expansion to the same core game, but in the process it manages to address almost every complaint I had over Heavensward almost incidentally. And it continues on in the high standards the game has set for itself over the years, resulting in an expansion which I’m already in love with after finishing the main storyline.

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Choose My Adventure: Cryptic’s Neverwinter in review

My time with Neverwinter is done, and it’s a game I find myself in an odd relationship with. It’d be fair to say that despite what some members of the audience expected, I never went into disliking the game; even when I was getting a little bit bored, I didn’t find myself desperately wanting to play something else just to be free of the scourge of the game itself. But at the same time… it never really got its hooks in me, either.

And some of that, I think, is that I’ve played it before.

I’m reluctant to say that every game Cryptic Studios makes is the same because every single one has very clear pieces that stand apart. Star Trek Online’s space combat, Neverwinter’s action combat, and Champions Online’s status as the last relic of a forgotten time. (Probably other things, too.) They’re not the same game. But they do all share the same gameplay loop, which is different… and despite my best efforts, there’s a certain point when all of that just winds up getting a wee bit tedious.

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Perfect Ten: MMO grouping advice you shouldn’t bother giving

It’s time for a new expansion in Final Fantasy XIV, and that means for me that a lot of people are going to not know how to get through content. Heck, I don’t know how to get through all of the content; it’s new to me too. I’m still figuring it out, and while there are a few people who are progressing even faster than I am and know how to clear everything, they are in the decided minority. I mean, the expansion, counting early access, has only been out for five freaking days.

So that means I get to enjoy the old standby of offering advice when clearing group content. And some people are… let’s be polite and say that they’re better at it than others. An entire guide about how to give advice which will actually have a positive impact is a bit beyond the scope of this article, of course, but we can at least look at the advice that never, ever works. Or if it does, it is entirely by coincidence, not design.

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Final Fantasy XIV is hit by a DDoS attack causing network difficulties

Is there any better time for DDoS attacks than right after the launch of a new expansion? Apparently not; Final Fantasy XIV reports today that it has been getting hit with attacks for several days now, causing network difficulties that the engineers are working as hard as possible to counteract. The official announcement is that the attacks have hit on June 16th, June 18th, and June 20th, with the attacks considered to still be ongoing.

This may account for some of the game’s server issues over the past few days; countermeasures are still being worked on. The game has also had a minor patch to address other technical issues and bugs, so players should have a better Stormblood experience waiting once they log on if the DDoS attacks don’t make it unplayable. (And if they get through the queues, but that’s just to be expected.)

Source: DDoS attacks, Hotfixes; thanks to David for the tip!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 122: This Stormblood’s for you

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree talk about FFXIV: Stormblood’s early access launch, Destiny 2’s PC delay, Elder Scrolls Online’s next DLC drops, breaking up the trinity in MMOs, and more!

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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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood has launched today

The time is finally here. While pre-ordered players were able to play from Friday onward, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood officially launches today. Players of all sorts can log in and start fighting for the liberation of Ala Mhigo and Doma beneath the heel of Imperial occupation; the developers have even officially confirmed that the instance issues hitting the game at the start of Early Access have been largely resolved. (Most players were able to solve those issues on Sunday, but the official statement is still nice.)

Not currently a subscriber? You can take part in the game’s Welcome Back campaign to take a trip in and see what all of the fuss over Red Mage and Samurai is about. Planning to remain a subscriber? You can take part in the game’s first subscription loyalty campaign to pick up a mount based off of the Falcon in Final Fantasy VI. Just want to catch a roundup and the launch trailer again? Jump on down below, friends.

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Wisdom of Nym: The Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood early access experience

There have basically been two attitudes throughout the past weekend with Final Fantasy XIV’s early access to Stormblood. Here, we’ll run it like a Tumblr meme; tag yourself appropriately in the comments:

  1. “Wow, all of this stuff is really cool!”
  2. “A system error occurred during event movement.”

I spent Friday and Saturday stuck in the latter, but Sunday I moved on the the former. But I can’t really talk about this early access period without talking about the server errors, what may have been causing them, and what should be considered when discussing them.

Because, make no mistake, this was not a fun weekend to be trying to play FFXIV much of the time. It was often dizzying in its frustration, and it was made all the worse because there’s always a communication gap with the game despite the best efforts of the staff. This in and of itself is something I really should write a column about, but that’s not today’s column.

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Final Fantasy XIV team updates players on congested worlds, instance issues

There is no question that the early access launch of Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood has been a rough and bumpy ride. At least the team is talking to players, even if it isn’t all good news.

Regarding the congested worlds and long queues, Square Enix explained that it has to function this way: “The following worlds have consistently had the number of players logging in reach maximum capacity, with queues of 1,000 to 5,000 players waiting to log in during peak hours. When the number of characters logged into a world has reached its limit, a player can only login when another player has logged out, in order to avoid worlds crashing.”

The team is working on ways to increase the population limit of worlds and urges players to consider transferring to lower-pop servers. In the meantime, the current crush of players is being blamed for the game’s congestion and server crashes in connection with instanced content and the duty finder (which has caused a severe bottleneck in one part of the main scenario questline that requires players to jump into an instance).

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The MOP Up: Destiny 2’s class roster (June 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!

This week we have stories and videos from Twilight SpiritsThe Black DeathConqueror’s BladeWorlds AdriftRagnarok JourneyTERA, WakfuARKGuild Wars 2, and Destiny 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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