sci-fi

The Stream Team: Recovering Warframe’s Stolen Dreams

After following events, alerts, and dreams of a kubrow pet, Massively OP’s MJ has neglected her other Warframe quests for a long while. Tonight she rectifies that. For one mission, she needs to find a thief named Maroo and uncover secrets of the Arcane Codices. Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. as MJ works on the Stolen Dreams quest.

What: Warframe
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 17th, 2018

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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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Citadel Studios and Nexon are recruiting talent

If studio job postings get your blood pumping with the thoughts of what could be, here are a couple of tantalizing tidbits that perhaps hint at future development.

Legends of Aria developer Citadel Studios posted a job listing for both a digital marketing specialist and a game programmer. By the way, if you happen to be testing Aria right now, you should know that the NDA was lifted earlier this week.

Nexon — which you may have heard of — put out a notice with the hopes of recruiting a game director for its Nexon OC Studio. The specific game in question was not mentioned, although the description does ask for candidates that have worked on previous AAA titles.

If that last post sounds a little familiar, perhaps it is because you are remembering that former WildStar and World of Warcraft developer Stephen Frost went to work as a game director at Nexon OC last year.

Source: Gamasutra, Legends of Aria. Thanks Pepperzine!

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SWTOR’s spring content: Cash shop overhaul, conquest revamp, new flashpoint – but probably not a ‘traditional expansion’

Star Wars: The Old Republic’s had a couple of rocky months with the greater MMO community, following ominous rumors reportedly from inside BioWare that EA was internally debating the MMORPG’s future. While not everyone bought into the rumors, and the studio itself teased 2018 plans, the recent refer-a-friend promo didn’t exactly quell the growing concern that the game may be in trouble.

But maybe the roadmap will. As promised, BioWare posted the roadmap yesterday, and it’s happening as a living document in the forums from BioWare’s Keith Kanneg himself, as he says, to “not make it seem like [the devs] disappeared into the ether.” So here’s what we’re looking at for content in the short term. In March, expect GU 5.8: Command Authority; it features

  • big (unspecified) changes to the cash shop based on feedback;
  • the return of companions Ashara Zabros and Vector Hyllus;
  • a romanceable Arcann companion;
  • new companion gifts to boost influence levels to 50 (not something you can just buy outright, however);
  • a fifth boss (with two modes) for the Gods from the Machine Operation (though not all bosses are getting that Master mode, note);
  • and a major revamp to the Conquest system.

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Star Citizen’s new $185 Aegis Vulcan support ship is so ugly it’s cute

On this week’s episode of Around the Verse, Star Citizen’s Sandi Gardiner and Chris Roberts bookend segments on the ship pipeline in the game. Did you know Star Citizen has introduced 114 ships, vehicles, and variants since the start of development? Neither did I. Here comes another one: the Aegis Vulcan. The adorably ugly and chunky ship is essentially a utility starter support spacecraft that packs in repairing, refueling, and rearming. Says CIG,

“It’s a versatile support ship. It’s there to support other ships. It’s not great at combat. It’s not great at transport. It’s not great at racing. It’s there for helping out with other ships. So if you’re that sort of person that is interested in the not more active combat side but helping others, then this is a really great entry into that, because it does allow you to help out massively for ships that run out of fuel, ships that have minor damage, ships that run out of ammo and any of these ships could be stuck out in deep space. They can call for your help, and you can go out there and give them just enough to get them where they need to go to. It’s sort of like the space AA or AAA for America. You call them up. They give you just enough to get to where you’re going, and then you can do your full repairs, rearm, refuel there.”

It’s also for sale as part of the early VIP optioning system. It’s $185 right now (warbond price), and it is actually scheduled to no, it won’t make it into the 3.1 alpha (thanks Dividian).

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO is the absolute best if you’re a whale?

At the end of every year, I always do a Daily Grind on the most expensive MMO to play at that exact moment, with the implication being that expenses are bad for the average MMORPG. What I don’t think we’ve ever done is flip it around and ask which MMO is actually best for the whales. That’s what MOP reader Arsin wants to know.

“I’ve got the money to win at pay-to-win,” Arsin wrote. “What pay-to-win MMO gives me the most bang for my buck?”

I’m positive the temptation will be to point at Star Citizen or some other Kickstarter game that lets you pile thousands of dollars in for content – but that content hasn’t actually arrived and probably shouldn’t constitute bang for buck just yet. So let’s consider live MMOs only and imagine that money is truly no object. Which MMO is the absolute best if you’re a whale?

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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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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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Secret World Legends posts a quick teaser of the agent system

One of the first new Secret World Legends systems is coming soon, and Funcom posted a quick video of it this week to whet players’ appetites.

In a minute-and-a-half, CM Andy Benditt walked players through the basics of the upcoming agent system. This system works much like World of Warcraft’s order hall missions, Star Trek Online’s duty officer system, and RIFT’s minions. The idea is that players will recruit and collect support agents that can be equipped for their passive ability bonuses (three max) and sent out on timed missions with the hopes of bringing back rewards. The strategy here is to match up an agent’s traits with the mission requirements in question in order to increase the chance of success.

Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments!

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Battle Bards Episode 115: EVE Online

Forgettable ambient noise or entrancing space sounds? This is the debate that’s at the core of today’s episode, as the Battle Bards take on EVE Online’s beloved and perhaps misunderstood soundtrack. It’s a journey that goes far beyond our galaxy to one full of intrigue, industry, and space discotheques!

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 iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 115: EVE Online (or download it) now:

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SWTOR kicks off ‘share the love’ refer-a-friend promotion, gifts speeder and armor to subbers

What’s Star Wars The Old Republic got up its sleeve for Valentine’s Day? How about a “share the love” event for new and returning players?

BioWare announced today that it’s re-energizing its invite-a-friend campaign with a new SWTORSHARETHELOVE promotional code that’ll get you rewards, including a speeder, droid minipets, and other perks if your buddies actually subscribe.

Existing subbers are getting something too: “The SWTOR team is Sharing the Love with our Premium Players by giving everyone the Chiss Talon Interceptor Airspeeder and the Force Veteran’s Armor Set – these rewards will be available beginning March 1, 2018 through in-game mail.”

If you’re a former subber, you can also make sure of the share the love code if you reactivate, and you’ll also pick up that sweet airspeeder and armor Set. These promos all run through February 27th.

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EVE Online brings the Guardian’s Gala and balance changes for its February patch

It’s not exactly love that’s in the air in EVE Online for the Guardian’s Gala. For one thing, there’s not really any air out in deep space; for another, it’s more about celebrating treasured business relationships and people who haven’t stabbed you in the back much. It’s also one of the centerpieces of the game’s February release, patching in several new paint jobs for ships as a reward. Check out the Agency menu to find out what events are available to celebrate the season in that uniquely EVE fashion.

The patch also brings a variety of quality-of-life improvement for Upwell structure owners and players piloting assault frigates, so even if you’ve got no time for love you should have something new to enjoy. There are even new moon mining mechanics to improve that particular style of gameplay. Whatever you choose to engage with for the rest of the month, you can really feel the love.

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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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