rvr

RvR stands for “realm vs. realm,” usually a reference to faction-based player-vs.-player warfare, and frequently (though not always) in the context of more than two realms.

The Stream Team: Total War: Arena launches into open beta

Come on in, the battle’s fine! Total War: Arena opens its doors to all today as open beta launches. That means battles galore can be in your future. Massively OP’s MJ heads back in and tries out a couple of new commanders in honor of the launch. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to storm the battlefield with her. (Really, come and join in! It’s free!)

What: Total War: Arena
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

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WoW Factor: Why can’t Blizzard stop messing with everything?

It’s funny to me that people had such an aggressive reaction to the changes coming to Hunter pets and damage formulas in Battle for Azeroth. The latter in particular should be both invisible and completely immaterial for actual play; the only real change is that they now use weapon damage on abilities which were previously disconnected from weapon damage, but these formulas have always taken into account, say, the difference between two-handers and dual-wielding options. The former is, at its core, an opportunity to make pet families relevant again after most of the pets of Legion were more or less difference in appearance only, which is a far cry from the days when your choice of pet was significant.

To make it clear if it’s remotely ambiguous: Yes, these are changes I support and ones I think are good for the game on a whole.

And yet all of this does prompt a pretty salient question about World of Warcraft because even if these are intelligent choices, the weapon damage issue has existed for ages now. The time for fussing about with Hunter pets was also ages ago. It’s a big change to functionality being tossed into the mix more or less out of the blue with no other prompting, and that raises the question that’s been relevant ever since Cataclysm rolled around: Why is it that Blizzard can’t stop messing with everything?

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RIFT Prime progression server launches March 7, with pack preorders available now

Can you believe RIFT’s been around for almost seven years? Neither can we. Trion is celebrating by releasing the long-awaited progression server, RIFT Prime, on March 7th. The server will be open to players who pay for RIFT’s otherwise optional subscription fee, though you can get a jump on paying with the $29.99 Primogenitor Pack, also announced and preorderable today.

“The Primogenitor Pack contains 30 days of Patron and two additional 15-day Patron vouchers that can be given to friends to prep them prior to the server going live or used on alts. The pack also has a Cloak of the Void, a ‘Primogenitor’ prefix title, an Armored White War Tiger mount, and a Rift Prime portrait frame; these four items are specific to the Prime-created character and can only be used in RIFT Prime!”

While there isn’t a posted schedule of how the server’s content unlocks, Trion did say that it will last for about a year. The good news is that Prime characters will be transferred over to normal servers when the shard comes to an end, which is a change from the studio’s original stance of ending those characters at the conclusion.

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Dark Age of Camelot lays out the groundwork for new and more frequent RvR events

Another week, another grab bag community Q&A with the Dark Age of Camelot development team. This edition’s pressing issue was the promise of more frequent RvR events — and what these would look like when they arrived.

“It will be a combination of existing and new events,” the team said. “We aren’t ready to start talking about the details of the new events quite yet, but the big picture idea is a system that utilizes in-game leaderboards. These events would likely run for 1-2 weeks on a rotating schedule and would incentivize various aspects of the game (mostly relating to RvR).”

Other topics discussed included pet-class adjustments, a server select button, and a change to the damage potential of the Mercenary.

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EVE Evolved: Solving EVE Online’s botting problem

Practically every MMO on the market today has had to contend with botting and the range of issues that come with it, and EVE Online has always been a favoured target for bots. EVE‘s slow pace of gameplay and predictable PvE activities make it ideal for automation, and the nature of a persistent sandbox is that more time spent farming resources and currency will always be better. The issue seems to have escalated in recent months since the free-to-play upgrades expanded the range of ships and modules available to free users, and the community has been pushing CCP heavily for progress.

A team of bot-hunting players made the news last month when they took down eight ridiculously expensive supercarriers being controlled by bots, exposing just how big the scale of the problem is. The EVE security team responded with a ban wave hitting over 1,800 bot accounts in January and promises that they are “coming for the bots,” but one expert admitted in a recent interview that the war on bots may never be won. So just how difficult is it to tackle botting in EVE Online, and what could CCP do to improve things?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at the difficulties in detecting and shutting down botters, how extensive botting may be in nullsec, and some things developers might have to do in order to solve the problem.

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Whatever happened to Pirates of the Burning Sea, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and Puzzle Pirates?

Ever pause during your day and find yourself wondering, “Whatever happened to that game?” With hundreds upon hundreds of online titles these days, it’s surprisingly easy for MMOs to fall through the cracks and become buried as more aggressive or active games take the spotlight.

Well, every so often we here at Massively Overpowered find ourselves curious what has transpired with certain MMOs that we haven’t heard from in quite a while. Have we missed the action and notices? Has the game gone into stealth maintenance mode? What’s the deal? What has it been up to lately? That’s when we put on our detective hats and go sleuthing!

In this special pirate edition of the column, we’ll be visiting the fates ‘n’ fortunes of Pirates of the Burning Sea, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and Puzzle Pirates. Yo ho!

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The Stream Team: Collecting the Tear of Dhakaan in Dungeons and Dragons Online

Massively OP’s Justin & MJ are delving into another DDO adventure. They will be waging war against the Arzag-Khor tribe so that the hobgoblin Karnat Thaar can seize possession of the Tear of Dhakaan, an ancient relic from the Dhakaani Empire. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. take on this long quest.

What: Dungeons & Dragons Online
Who: Justin Olivetti & MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 16th, 2018 Read more

Conan Exiles is delaying mounts, pets, settlements, and sorcery to make its May 8 launch

Funcom is forging ahead with its plans to launch Conan Exiles for real and for true on all the things come May 8th. And, as the latest dev blog explains, to make that date, the company’s probably going to cut some features from that launch build.

“In the past couple of months, we’ve had to make some serious decisions as to what will be in for launch,” says the studio. “We’ve been going through every aspect of the game (including things still in development) and we have evaluated everything based on a range of criteria. Some features or content simply ended up not being good enough, some things have ended up not making sense for the game, some things have been replaced with other features and content, while some things just turned out to be out of reach from a technical or development capacity standpoint.”

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Massively Overthinking: Could bots save dying MMORPGs?

Last week, a reader named Chris, who is writing a paper on the MMO industry and revivifying sunsetted games, dropped an intriguing question into my inbox. It’s about bots – but not the sort of bots EVE Online is constantly fighting. The good kind.

“Do you think people would be interested in coming back to ‘closed’ MMO games if they were populated with AI bots instead of real players (to make them feel alive/populated)?” he asked me.

Let’s ponder that for today’s Overthinking. Certainly we’ve seen bots put to work in games like Camelot Unchained, which uses them to test massive numbers of players on the battlefield. Would you want to see them in live play? Would they help the feel of the world in ways that default NPCs simply would not? Is the AI even doable? Could AI bots take our place to make MMORPGs even better – or even to keep them viable and save them from destruction?

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Path of Exile: Gotta catch ’em all in the new Bestiary League and update 3.2.0, coming March 2

With a new Path of Exile challenge league every three months, you might wonder whether Grinding Gear Games can keep coming up with new themes for each one. And each quarter, it does! We’ve had leagues where prophecies add a random element to the gaming, where powerful rogue exiles turn on players, where secret golden chests full of loot are uncovered, and where portals open to a different dimension — just to name a few. The current league includes gaping fissures into the abyss. So what’s coming next?

For that answer, I sat down with Producer Chris Wilson to talk about PoE’s next update, which hits on March 2nd. If you’ve ever looked at any of the creatures in game and wished you could have have one of your own, the Bestiary league will give you that chance. Color me super excited! And if collecting creatures isn’t your forte, there is plenty more happening in content update 3.2.0. Read on for the whole run-down!

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MMO devs discuss the painful process of shutting down online games

Have you ever thought about what it is like for developers and community managers who handle online games that are being shut down? It’s certain just as painful (if not more) for them as it is for us, and it is not as easy as turning off a switch and walking away.

PC Gamer has a fascinating piece on the process of sunsetting titles from a studio’s standpoint, including looks at games such as Club Penguin and PlanetSide 1.

Former Club Penguin CM Bobbi Rieger shared the overload of details that the team had to sort out when the news broke: “My immediate reaction was, ‘Oh crap.’ Of course my thoughts went to the community and how we could make this as positive as possible. At the end of the day, it’s going to be hard. It’s gonna suck. I was just like, ‘OK, what’s the action plan?'”

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WoW Factor: How could multiclassing work in World of Warcraft?

Not so long ago, our editor-in-chief was talking about how World of Warcraft needs some form of multiclassing system. So let’s talk about how the game could do that, yes? That’s something we haven’t talked about.

It’s actually one of those weird things that has, for various reasons, never actually come up at all as a promised feature of any sort, especially as the various specs within a class have become more and more diversified. In the earliest days, an Enhancement Shaman and an Elemental Shaman both had the same tools and had talents to emphasized different ones; these days, they share a minority of abilities and mostly get their own unique kit. You can swap between specs pretty freely, but not between classes.

But that’s not to say we couldn’t get some form of multi-classing. Heck, it felt like the various spec-bending talents for Druids were already halfway toward this sort of support, and Druids themselves sort of lean into the direction of multiple classes under one roof. So with absolutely no indication that such a feature has ever been seriously discussed beyond fan theories, let’s look at how this could work in World of Warcraft.

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War of Rights’ Civil War battlefield is up to 16 maps

In case you haven’t been reading the newspapers hot off the wire, the Civil War is still waging (at least, on the test server). War of Rights continues to churn out updates for this North vs. South battle simulator, so let’s make a concerted effort to catch up with the latest!

Up to 150 players have been stress testing the game’s fights, and with January’s Update 93, the team was able to fix an audio bug that occurred with so much action. Update 94 added the Antietam: Skirmish at East Woods map and reworked the Bloody Lane skirmish area. Then moving into February, Update 95 improved the “morale loss scaling algorithm” and “reduced headbobbing by 50%.” Sounds good to us.

Finally, this week’s Update 96 added the Antietam: Cooke’s Countercharge and Antietam: Roulette Lane skirmishes, bringing the total number of maps up to 16.

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