sci-fi

Battle Bards Episode 97: The sound of magic

“Magic can be ANYthing!”

The forces of magic run deep within MMORPGs, casting shadows of wonder wherever we look — and listen. In today’s show, Syl sparks a musical revolution as her fellow Bards struggle to rise to the challenge of defining what, exactly, constitutes a “magical” track and evokes that particular feeling. Did we nail it? You’ll have to join us for the journey to find out!

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 97: The sound of magic (or download it) now:

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Global Chat: Which MMO developer do you most appreciate?

Recently, Ravalation carried on an annual blogger tradition called Developer Appreciation Week. During this week, gamers would put aside their usual vitriol and criticism for devs to pen posts about the appreciated side of studios. It was certainly nice to see a bloom of positivity and praise, that’s for sure.

“If there’s something I’ve learned from my fellow participants during this year’s DAW it’s that 1) game developers work extremely hard purely because they love their games, 2) bugs frequently appear in complicated coding, and 3) devs are usually aware that bugs exist when content goes live and feel terrible about it,” she wrote.

Join us after the break for more MMO blog essays, including a tour of Star Citizen’s luxury ship, more thoughts on Secret World Legends, and the enduring love of a World of Warcraft fan.

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Star Trek Online’s Season 13: Escalation arrives with war games and a new episode

Just when one war seems to wrap up in Star Trek Online, the devs seem to scrounge up another. Today, Cryptic pushed out Season 13: Escalation for the PC version, with the console update to come at a later date.

The free content update contains a new featured episode (“Mirrors and Smoke”), improved matchmaking, class-specific gear, a rebalance pass, and a lot of ground and space action against the Tzenkethi. Another big addition is STO’s War Games system, which allows players to face off against each other in competitive PvE scenarios. To start off with, there is one space scenario and one ground one for players to enjoy.

Star Trek Online is celebrating the update’s launch with a sweepstakes to hand out a berth on a Star Trek cruise (not to mention 150 STO ships) to a lucky player. While we’re talking about giveaways, why not enter into our own raffle for a Romulan ship on Xbox One?

Check out Season 13’s launch trailer below.

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Video: Story vs. lore, Star Wars: The Old Republic vs. The Elder Scrolls Online

In the ultimate battle for your dollar in the MMO industry, two MMOs with rabid fan bases duke it out by serving you a deep and engaging narrative. Star Wars: The Old Republic and The Elder Scrolls Online both want to draw you in with the worlds they have to offer, but each does so in a unique fashion: One gives you interesting characters build up your ego by making you the most power being in the galaxy, while the other tempts you in with a wondrous world to discover.

In Massively OP’s latest video, we’ll examine these two games and ask which is more appropriate for an MMORPG: story or lore. It’s a tough question — there might not be a satisfying answer!

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Enter to win a Star Trek Online Tal Shiar Adapted Battlecruiser for Xbox One

In honor of the launch of Star Trek Online‘s season 12 Reckoning for console, PWE has granted Massively OP five Tier 6 Tal Shiar Adapted Battlecruisers to raffle to our readers!

The Tier 6 Khlinae-class battlecruiser is one of the many ships used to great effect by the Tal Shiar. It utilizes an insidious variant of Borg technology to subvert the weaponry of an enemy vessel – the Enhanced Indoctrination Nanite Dispersal System. This starship features a Lieutenant Tactical/Intel bridge officer station and a Lieutenant Commander Science/Command bridge officer station.

Read on to enter to win!

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Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind will not blow your mind, but it will tickle your nostalgia

Over the last week or so, ZeniMax Online Studios opened up parts of The Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind test servers to the press and public, allowing us to hop in and take a long and unfettered look at the developing expansion. In fact, that’s why I shied away from saying anything about the Elder Scrolls Online patch notes controversy — I’ve been buried in the real thing all week. Although I can now talk about the negative, I can also finally talk about the positive bits Morrowind has to offer.

I want to be fair about my analysis of ZOS’ depiction of the island of Vvardenfell and the Dark Elf culture, so I will have to put aside some of my nostalgic feels and take the experience for what it is: a solid entertaining MMORPG with a handful of flaws. I’m not going to pull any punches, but I should let you know that I really like this next chapter for ESO.

I’m not going to give everything away, but there is an interesting story involving a god, a priest, and a giant crab.

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The MOP Up: Aion has spring fever (April 23, 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 EVE OnlineWurm OnlineGloria VictisBrawl of AgesTERAWorld of Warships, H1Z1Champions OnlinePortal KnightsFinal Fantasy XIAionWakfu, and The Black Death, all waiting for you after the break!

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One Shots: Lights, camera, frogs!

Just because you happen to be a humanoid frog doesn’t mean that you’ve lost at the lottery of life. On the contrary, you have all sorts of advantages, such as being able to install and replace light fixtures very high in your underground cavern. Also, you can eat flies.

Reader Finyar starts us out this week with a stunning interior location from a fan-favorite MMO: “I’m currently playing Guild Wars 2 again and I’m always impressed with how beautifully crafted the game world is.”

Art matters, people. Also, why can’t we play more frogs in online games?

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Star Citizen’s Around the Verse deep-dives the Banu, begins referral contest starring Star Kitten

Still reeling over the last Star Citizen infodump? You’re getting a breather with this week’s Around the Verse as the bulk of it is centered on… lore. Specifically, the Banu, one of the alien groups in the game initially based on elements of Persian culture and the first to make contact with humans. There’s also a check-in with the Los Angeles team (recently expanded to 74 peeps); they’ve been working on ship temperature and cooling systems, the game’s control manager, shopping systems, character gear, and the Anvil Terrapin.

But the best bit is the studio’s new referral program contest, which aims to entice followers to bring in new players and backers in return for a chance to everything from a free trip to this year’s Gamescom in Germany to Star Kitten-themed in-game merch. Star Kitten, by the way, appears to be an in-lore knock-off of Hello Kitty, so expect to see her everywhere.

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SWTOR expansion trailer is nominated for a Webby

Here’s a welcome shot of publicity for Star Wars: The Old Republic this week. Knights of the Eternal Throne’s “Betrayed” trailer was nominated for a Webby Award for the Long Form (Branded) category alongside companies such as BMW and Chipotle. The public can view and vote for whichever short film they think is the best, so obviously SWTOR would appreciate your help in propelling it to the top.

The trailer, created by Blur and directed by Dave Wilson, was released to promote last fall’s expansion. It shows the backstory of a powerful Force-using family and the separate paths that certain members took over the course of their lives. Also, it has a girl Force-crushing an armored soldier like he was a soda can, so that’s pretty awesome.

If you need a refresher on the trailer in question, we’ve got it for you after the break.

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The Stream Team: The end of act one in SWTOR’s KOTFE

Massively OP’s Larry and MJ have reached a major culminating part of the story in the SWTOR Choose My Alignment adventure — the end of Knights of the Fallen Empire’s first act. The duo are on the way to talk to the Scion of Zakuul, Heska. How will things unfold? That all depends on you, the viewer! Join us live at 2:00 p.m. to direct the choices during this act one conclusion.

What: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Who: Larry Everett & MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

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Perfect Ten: Time travel in MMORPGs

Over the years, I’ve been fascinated with the concept of time in MMORPGs. It’s one of those things that developers probably don’t want you thinking about too closely, since it could create a crack in the world illusion that they’ve created. But really, how does time work in these games? Are you forever frozen in the same fixed point in history, advancing only to a new era when a patch or expansion releases? Does the timeline advance only as you go through new quests and hit arbitrary milestones?

Even more fascinating is when developers decide to have a little fun with their storytelling by throwing players into the past and future via time travel. It’s not even strictly for science-fiction games, either; plenty of fantasy MMOs work in time travel at one point or the other. It can be a great way of expanding upon the game’s lore and giving players an insight into events that led up to the modern era.

Today we’re going to look at 10 instances of how MMORPGs have used time travel with reckless regard to paradoxes and splintering the world into millions of alternate universes.

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Tamriel Infinium: Why I changed my mind about Elder Scrolls Online

When I took the trip to ZeniMax Online Studios to check out Morrowind a couple of months back, I was sitting at a table with other games press and a handful of ZOS developers, including Creative Director Rich Lambert and Lead PvP Designer Brian Wheeler. The conversation wasn’t exactly off the record, but it wasn’t really an interview setting either. We were just talking, mostly about our lives: how Brian had to leave soon because he might get in trouble with his girlfriend and how Rich spent many overnights at the same hotel that the press had been staying in because he was at the office late and had to be there again early the next day.

During the course of the conversation, we ended up talking about how the press had originally received the Elder Scrolls Online and how it received it since the console launch. It’s not a big secret that I said some pretty critical things about ESO shortly after its PC launch. Rich pointed out during the conversation, possibly not knowing the outlet I was from, that he was surprised at how the opinions had turned around, especially Massively’s. And when he said “Massively,” I don’t think he realized that it was specifically my opinion that had that changed, drastically, since I’ve been the site’s ESO columnist since before the game’s launch.

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