riot

See: Riot Games

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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Battle Bards Episode 100: Centennial spectacular!

After four years and over 700 MMORPG music tracks, the Battle Bards have arrived at their 100th show! For this centennial spectacular, Syl, Steff, and Syp reminisce about the most notable shows, their best soundtrack discoveries, and their favorite tracks. This super-sized show gets wrapped up with a bout of listener emails and a promise of another amazing hundred episodes!

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, TuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 100: Centennial spectacular (or download it) now:

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Massively Overthinking: MMO monetization run amok

Over the last couple of weeks, the monetization of unreleased games has become a pervasive and uncomfortable theme for the MMO genre. Just in brief:

The frustrating bit is I could go on, and this is just for games that aren’t even formally launched yet. So for this week’s Massively Overthinking, I want to take the temperature of alarm regarding these types of business models for unlaunched games. Is this all par for the course, in line with what we expect from the new MMO market? Have they gone too far yet? If not, what’s too far? How do we feel about this type of pre-launch monetization run amok?

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Old School RuneScape players threaten to riot over LGBTQ pride event

Old School RuneScape’s playerbase isn’t showing its best side this week.

Motherboard reports that following the announcement by a Jagex employee that a small gay pride quest will be implemented in the game, Old School RuneScape players have flocked to Twitter and Reddit to complain (the latter with over 6000 upvotes, though the original poster has since updated to note he no longer wants the event removed because of the inevitable “media backlash” that could tank the game’s rep). Objections range from reasonable (the event wasn’t put to a community poll in accordance with the server’s guidelines) to tedious (no politics in my games! think of the children!) to overt homophobic screeds that I won’t reproduce or dignify here. Just imagine really bad stuff, then crank it up to 11.

In fact, some players are plotting to riot (their word) in-game while the event is live, not against the LGBTQ community (they say) but “in support of keeping this game free of any agenda.”

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League of Legends NA e-sports league reorg means $75K pro player salaries, revenue sharing, and player association

Riot Games is in the midst of a major reorganization of its League of Legends e-sports organization, at least in North America. The company is replacing relegation with a different system for punishing underperforming teams and making selected teams permanent partners in the league – at least if they can afford the $10M buy-in. The takeaway is that pro player salaries within the LCS will start at a staggering $75,000, with a proper revenue-sharing scheme for both players and teams to share the wealth. Perhaps even more importantly, Riot is helping players set up a Players’ Association this year, initially funded by Riot but eventually to be taken over by the pros.

“Players will vote on independent reps to be their voice in league decisions and the Association will provide easy access to core resources like skills training, financial planning and legal help. We’ll be funding the launch of the Association, however the representation that the players vote on and elect is responsible solely to them. The goal is that this Association is an independent voice of the players to work with Riot and the teams. It’s our hope and expectation that as the association grows, the players assume full financial control over the organization.”

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A UK university will offer e-sports business coursework, and this is a truly good thing

Most of the people playing e-sports are exceptional gamers, and to get that good at anything, you miss out on a whole bunch of other learning — like how to not be taken advantage of by game companies, how to negotiate fair wages, how to avoid getting caught up in a doping scandal, how to not be screwed over by your own thieving coaches, and above all else, how to freakin’ unionize so that you’re not killing yourself and your body for minimum wage while living in a filthy team house in order to put tremendous sacks of cash into the hands of overseas investors.

In short, you need to know a whole lot more than when to stay in your lane, and nobody inside the business has a vested interest in teaching you any of that.

One might hope that e-sports degrees, like the one recently announced by the UK’s Staffordshire University, might help young talent navigate the entirety of the e-sports business without their being preyed upon and then tossed to the curb with no future when their wrists go bad.

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The Daily Grind: What makes an MMO community toxic?

I sincerely do not envy the task of MMO studios and community managers when it comes to wrangling their crowd of diverse, fickle, and often very loud-spoken players. Trying to communicate and guide passionate fans is a neverending task, with the accomplishments of one day being instantly erased at a perceived slight the next.

(As an aside, I love it when a dev refers to the community as “passionate,” because it’s almost always code for “more hot-tempered and irrational than a badger in a paint shaker.”)

Lately I’ve been thinking about how some studios seem to do a better job encouraging their playerbase to be civil and friendly (comparatively), while others seem to reign over a prison riot full of flaming posts, incomprehensible swears, and sheer contempt for fellow gamers.

We all can think of a game that seems to fall into the latter category, so my question is, what makes an MMO community toxic? Are there certain types of games that seem to attract malcontents? Is it a failure on the part of the CM team? What do you think?

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Leaderboard: Almost half of e-sports viewers don’t even play the games they’re spectating

It may sound crazy, but a huge number of people who pour eyeball time and money into e-sports don’t even play the games they’re watching. That’s according to gaming analytics firm Newzoo, which last week broke down its stats on the major e-sports franchises and who exactly is watching them in the U.S., Canada, Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden. Key takeaways?

  • 70% of viewers stick to one game.
  • 69% of gamers play only League of Legends, CS:GO, or DOTA 2 (the overlap of all three is 8%).
  • 42% of e-sports watchers of the big three games do not play any of them
  • 191 million people will tune in to e-sports “frequently” this year; an additional 194 million will do so “occasionally.”

Howsabout you? Do you watch, play, both, or neither?

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Wild West Online announced for later this year, Kickstarter coming soon

If you’ve been wishing for horses and western MMORPGs, then saddle up par’dner — we’re about to ride off into a glorious sunrise.

PC Gamer got the exclusive scoop on a brand-new MMO in development called Wild West Online, which is slated for a late 2017 release. In a nutshell, WWO is Red Dead Redemption made massively multiplayer, a project tackled by devs who were frustrated that this sort of game hadn’t happened yet. It will be an open-world PvP title with lawmen, bandits, gambling, prospecting, bounty hunting, and bank heists.

The game is being developed by a brand-new studio, 612 Games, which contains veterans from League of Legends and Crysis. So far, only broad strokes are being used to describe the game and its features, as some parts (like how progression will be handled) haven’t been decided yet. It does sound as though Wild West Online will be far more PvP-oriented and not a cookie-cutter MMO, lacking elements like fights against NPCs and any announced questing system.

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Russian Pokemon Go player sentenced over blasphemy law

The 22-year-old Russian vlogger convicted of playing Pokemon Go inside a church has been hit with a 3.5-year suspended sentence.

Ruslan Sokolovsky was found “guilty of inciting hatred, violating religious feelings and illegal possession of special technical means – a pen with a video camera” for recording himself playing Pokemon Go on his phone in the Church of All Saints in Yekaterinburg last summer while carrying a piece of crap pencam from whatever the Russian equivalent of SharperImage is. He was detained and charged by authorities when the video of his mundane prank went viral.

“I believe that there is no reason to exempt the defendant from liability,” the Russian prosecutor said last month. “There is also no reason to sentence him to a fine … I request that the court sentence him to three-and-a-half years in a penal colony.” The judge apparently agreed to the max sentence, but ordered it suspended. Sokolovsky has already been sitting in prison for seven months.

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The MOP Up: SMITE’s console mea culpa (May 7, 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 Skyforge, EVE Online, IngressWar ThunderWorld of TanksWakfuLeague of LegendsSMITEGTA OnlineElsword OnlineWurm OnlineDarkfall: Rise of AgonWorlds AdriftCounter-Strike, SEAL Online, and Warspear Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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Analyst suggests Tencent’s new global games service will compete with Steam

If you’re not a big fan of Steam’s dominance of gaming trends in the west, maybe you think a competitor will do the service some good — and a competitor does indeed to appear to be on the way.

A tweet lobbed by Niko Partners games industry analyst Daniel Ahmad on Easter sent games journalist scurrying to cover his claim that Tencent is planning a relaunch of its existing games platform as a global Steam-competitor dubbed WeGame. The existing service, Tencent Games Platform, already has 200 million users in China, but when relaunched, it’ll service the west too, beginning with a release of 100 games from primarily western developers. Gamasutra reports that Stardew Valley and Don’t Starve are already on the platform, the latter having sold a million copies there in its first month.

Tencent is already the largest gaming company in the world and according to Bloomberg is currently the 10th largest publicly traded company on the planet. Massively OP readers know it best as the company that owns League of Legends studio Riot Games.

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Greg Street discusses balancing League of Legends for all skill levels

How do you balance a video game? It’s kind of an ongoing question, but it’s also one that Greg Street (aka Ghostcrawler) has been answering for years with work on both World of Warcraft and League of Legends. He gave a panel on exactly that topic for League of Legends at this year’s GDC, and you can now watch that hour-long talk in the video just past the break. And it’s a worthwhile topic from the start because he’s talking about balancing not for the best players or the worst, but for everyone.

This is important; balancing for new and inexperienced players only produces a game that doesn’t have the depth needed for long-term play, while balancing solely for veterans creates a game that’s impenetrable for newcomers. So how do you make a game that’s fun for people getting into the genre for the first time as well as people who eat, sleep, jungle, and repeat? Check out the video below (courtesy of Gamasutra) for one possible answer.

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