A couple of months ago, Lifehacker ran an article that might just save somebody: It’s titled How to Cut Back on Playing Video Games, presuming, of course, that you play so much that you’re finding your real life affected. Lifehacker recommends a bunch of methods for assessing whether you overplay and how to check it, including tracking your game time, picking less time-consuming or addicting games, ditching your hardcore gamer ego, and just watching other people play rather than engaging yourself.
Personally, I figured out I was spending too much time playing MMOs a long time ago when I started literally falling asleep on my keyboard and ultimately decided I liked sleep (and health and money, but honestly, mostly the sleep) better than raiding Sebilis for the hundredth time. I took a break for a while and came back to MMO gaming refreshed and with a new perspective on why I was playing, what I wanted to get out of it, and what I would and wouldn’t do during my precious free time.
Have you ever felt the need to cut back on your MMORPG playtime? How did you go about it, and did it work?
Pokemon Go players are buzzing today over the release of legendary Pokemon Mewtwo at the Yokohama, Japan, event, which according to Niantic allowed “thousands” of players to grab the critter.
“In the coming weeks, you, too, will have the opportunity to battle and catch Mewtwo with the new Exclusive Raid Battle feature,” Niantic says.
“Exclusive Raid Battles are similar to existing Raid Battles, with a few notable differences. Exclusive raids will periodically appear at Gyms around the world; however, unlike existing raids, Trainers will be invited to join an Exclusive Raid Battle. To receive an invitation to participate in an Exclusive Raid Battle, Trainers must have successfully completed a raid recently, by defeating the Raid Boss, at the Gym where the Exclusive Raid Battle will be taking place. The invitations will include advance warning of when the Exclusive Raid will take place, giving them ample time to coordinate with other Trainers before taking on the powerful Raid Boss.”
It’s been a while since Massively OP’s MJ and the gang have done a Broodmother raid in ARK, so the team might be a rusty when it heads in. Add to that the fact that the fight was tweeked a bit and who knows how things will turn out? But thanks to the raid event hosts, there will be plenty of rexes and gear for folks to take part in the fun. There’s just no guarantee of survival! Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. for a fresh look at the first raid and see who gets squished: the team or the spider!
What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 12th, 2016
Ever since Secret World Legends went live earlier this summer, there’s been a large, Tokyo-shaped hole in the reboot’s content offerings. Part of this gap, at least, will be filled this next week.
On Wednesday, August 16th, Funcom will be pushing out the first of three batches of Tokyo content. This patch will contain six story missions, 11 main missions, and several side missions, but it won’t be seeing the return of the controversial AEGIS system (at least for now). The devs said that the update will also make several changes to spirit blades, add a tougher scenario difficulty level, and give players the opportunity to collect and use weapon skins.
Coming in the near future are the second and third parts of Tokyo, a reworked New York City raid with a “story” mode, and revised Tokyo dungeons. Past that, the Agent system and Dark Agartha content are in the works for the end of the year, and the team also hinted that it is giving some attention to a new gear manager, lair megabosses, and additional PvP modes.
Gamasutra has an unusual piece from an Ubisoft developer this week arguing that co-op gameplay is the industry’s rising midcore trend, one that he believes will ultimately outstrip team competitive games. “It’s all about all the big data and stats that are finally available and can be mined,” author Andrii Goncharuk says, “and no surprise that it’s showing that players who played co-op mode have much more play hours, and players who played co-op with friends have even more play hours.”
He may be right, though first you’d have to believe co-op ever went anywhere to begin with (and console players would probably tell you nope!). But as I read the article, I couldn’t help but see MMOs in most of the arguments he’s making about what makes co-op games sticky, and yet MMOs are being edged out all the same. And while I don’t like to think of the MMO genre’s space in the industry as a zero-sum situation, the reality is that when people tire of MMORPG baggage but still want social play, co-op is exactly the sort of game they retreat to.
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our writers to reflect on the rise of co-op PvE games outside the MMO label. Do we play them? Do we prefer them, and when? How can we learn from them? Is the popularity of smaller-scale co-op hurting MMORPGs?
is continuing his huge Guild Wars 2
infodump on ArenaNet’s
behalf with a few more videos you might want to peek at ahead of the Path of Fire preview weekend that begins tomorrow
. Of note, he’s covered a couple of new features coming with the expansion, one of which was only rumored: the new identification system. As teased, gear drops will begin as unidentified, meaning gear of the same quality tier (we’ve seen just greens so far) will all stack (to 250) until you’ve ID’ed it (at a heart NPC). It’s a neat throwback to classic Guild Wars
, but more importantly, it’s a huge boon for anyone who was frustrated with inventory bloat (and newbies just joining the game who don’t necessarily want to shell out for a ton of bag slots). Moreover, it appears we’re getting a reduction in the amount of crap being salvaged when we salvage-all.
There’s also a bit on the expansion maps’ repeatable hearts (akin to those in season 3) and the new bounty system, also a throwback to Guild Wars, which he suggests might be designed to appeal to more casual folks who already prefer large-scale open world events to organized raiding.
Short of taking a blow to the head, there’s very little I can suggest in the way of experiencing a familiar MMORPG for the first time again. That new car smell eventually fades away, that initial head-over-heels enthusiasm settles into routine, and a vast world full of mysteries gradually gives way to familiar knowledge over time. It’s not a terrible thing, mind you; relationships change and develop with games as they do in real life.
But I find that every so often I come to a point when I don’t want to give up a game that I’ve greatly enjoyed, yet I’m also a bit burned out and feeling like I am hemmed in by a daily routine and the same-old, same-old. That’s when I start to employ a series of tactics and approaches to inject fresh experiences and perspectives.
So if you’ve been playing an MMO for too long and need to change things up to keep from getting stale and restless, what can you do? Here are 10 suggestions that I found quite helpful in my own gaming career.
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree dive into the Guild Wars 2 expansion reveal, the first steps into Mordor, an alt-friendly World of Warcraft, the problem with raiding 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:
Maybe it slipped under your radar, but WildStar has been quietly and diligently at work preparing the next two content updates for the game as well as activating several events for the month of August.
According to this month’s Dev Connect, Patch 1.7.3 is “nearing completion” with its new communities feature, a “Residential Renovation” monthly event, and a couple of prime difficulty dungeons. Following that later this year is Patch 1.7.4, which will roll out the Genetic Archives Prime Level 1. This raid is currently on the test servers.
So what will this Residential Renovation event include? The team briefly discussed it in a recent article: “Players will help housing designer and renovator extraordinaire, Sara Conavius, by completing a variety of activities to earn currency which can be traded for rewards.”
Next up for events in WildStar is Sim-Chase from August 14th through the 21st, followed by a double XP weekend on August 25th through the 28th.
In the middle of the conversation spawned by yesterday’s financial news that Guild Wars 2 had seen its worst revenue quarter since launch, several of our commenters sidetracked into discussion about raiding in Guild Wars 2 compared to the rest of the genre. One commenter suggested Guild Wars 2 treated non-raiders as second-class citizens (especially given that GW2 was originally sold as a game that eschewed traditional raiding). But the way I see it, pretty much every MMO with raiding treats non-raiders this way, and it’s a huge problem for that whole raid-centric segment of the genre. And Guild Wars 2 is no exception.
Some gamers suggested games without raiding (like Trove), older games with NPC aid (like classic Guild Wars), games with solo raiding (RIFT), and games with difficulty sliders (like City of Heroes). Several commenters offered up MMOs like World of Warcraft and Elder Scrolls Online and Final Fantasy XIV because they offer plenty of raiding (or raiding-adjacent) content for casuals, which is something GW2 still strangely doesn’t do.
So today’s Daily Grind is two-fold: What’s the best MMORPG for gamers who are sick of raiding period, and which MMORPG-that-has-raiding treats non-raiders the best?
Have you met Flappy? If you haven’t yet, you might want to do so very soon else you’ll miss your chance. That dirty bird has made its appearance in Secret World Legends
as the star of the much-anticipated The Whispering Tide event, but unlike its Secret World
counterpart, this event lasts only two weeks. And like any event, it also brings exclusive loot! But with such a condensed time frame to participate, if you want to get your hands on the loot and the lore you’ve got to jump in ASAP. This guide will help you make the most of your time.
What is The Whispering Tide, and why does it matter? More than just an excuse to get goodies, the appearance of Flappy — technically named Bird of the Zero-Point Pathogen — heralds the imminent opening of the Tokyo portal in Agartha. And sometime after Tokyo comes the next season of story! Veterans of the previous event will be familiar with the Flappy raid, but folks who’ve never played The Secret World are at a disadvantage in knowing what is going on. Even those who’ve participated in the original will find that there are some significant changes to The Whispering Tide. Some of these changes, most notably how the loot is dispersed, are much improved from the TSW version; some aspects, unfortunately, are not.
It’s a fascinating place to begin an expansion, really. Most games like to set up a new threat, pit players against impossible odds, and have them struggle toward a final boss in some distant raid somewhere. Lord of the Rings Online, however, enjoys bucking trends now and then, and no more so than with its new Mordor expansion.
The first few minutes revisit the conclusion of the Quest of the One Ring, with the surprising triumph of the Battle of the Black Gate, the eagle air-lift of Sam and Frodo, and the destruction of the Ring. Everyone is taken to a peaceful glade to lick their wounds, reconnect with friends, and savor the victory. Even the epic book, which we’ve been working on completing for 10 years now, has come to a conclusion. Shortest expansion ever, right?
It might be the perfect time to take that vacation to Telara that you’ve been talking about for ages!
RIFT is currently running a login promotion to give away free goodies every day from now through August 15th. These include a pair of raid item upgrades, individual reward charges, a glimmering bag of sparkles, and a pretty snazzy lightning costume cape.
Things are hopping right now in this fantasy MMO. Summerfest is raging (with new rewards) through August 11th, and last month the team pushed out its Celestial Storm update that contained a brand-new zone and four additional Primalist souls.