One Shots: The Soviet Summoner

Undoubtedly, our world is poorer in this post-City of Heroes era for the lack of pun-inspired superhero names that used to run, fly, and jump rampant through this game. Maybe NCsoft realized that the world as a whole was about to hit a pun shortage and pulled the plug on CoH before it could drain us of that precious resource.

In any case, BigAngry submitted this museum-quality screenshot as a reminder of the days when the name could make or break a hero: “In the waning days before the fall of City of Heroes, I took video of all my characters using their powers, so I took a screencap of the video of Soviet Summoner, who was a Demon Summoning/Trick Arrow Mastermind. Her demons, IIRC, were named after Russian cities, with the big demon named Chernobyl, of course! God I miss that game.”

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One Shots: This is too weird for even me

I like to think that I have a fairly open mind when it comes to accepting strange sights and races in fantasy MMORPGs, but Final Fantasy XIV seems hellbent on finding my breaking point. Literal cat-fish might just be that. It’s too weird for me, I’m out of here.

“Looking for NPC comic relief?” Vincent asked. “I give you the Namazu. Half-cat, half-fish (?) and I’m pretty sure the person who came up with the design was half-baked. The other shot I took on the way back to Castellum Velodyna (Beast Tribe quest hub) just as the fog was about to lift…”

When you’ve just made Moogles look normal and mundane, you’ve really accomplished something.

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One Shots: The Elvish temptation

I’m sorry to have to begin this week’s column with a public service announcement, but this has been a long time coming. Friends, beware of the Elves. Elves will only lure you into danger, tempt you down roads best left alone, and make a mockery of life insurance policies. Reject the Elf in all of its forms.

“Sadly I’ve been resucked into World of Warcraft because elves (only because Justin has such a hate on for them),” wrote Winter.

DARN IT, Winter. Did you not hear a word I just said? No matter. The Massively OP Intervention Unit (MOPIU) is on its way to your home as we speak. Put down the fake pointed ears and listen to them, won’t you?

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One Shots: First steps into a wider world

Every MMORPG player knows that there is something incredible and magical in the feeling that you get when you take your very first steps into a new game. It’s the fresh scent of the unknown mixed with potential, excitement, and energy.

Reader François knows this all too well as he documents an early moment from Final Fantasy XIV: “The trees of the Shroud meet the sky as Kan-E-Senna watches a young adventurer depart for the other nations of Eorzea. A familiar sight for anyone who started in Gridania.”

Small pet peeve, but when your city has a name like “Gridania” and your street patterns are all twisty-turny, you’re going to make my eye twitch. Elves need to buy better urban planners, IMO.

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One Shots: Toy chests

Really, when you think about it, MMOs are our grown-up toy chests. They have all of these attractive and fun toys to keep us occupied and happy as we pretend that we are heroes on great adventures while making a pit stop to play Barbie’s dream house. And that’s OK — we need to blow off steam and relax somehow, and this beats HALO jumping in the safety department.

This week, the Massively OP readership was all-too-eager to show off the toys within their toy chests, starting with Hirku’s trip to an amusement park. In a theme park MMO. There are layers upon layers of meta in today’s column, folks!

World of Warcraft’s Darkmoon Faire is my favorite toy, and this week I get to play!” Hirku posted. “Wheeee!”

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One Shots: Flying lessons

Massively OP Readers, you are clear for take-off. Please cross-check the cabin, assume flight positions, and break out the best aerial screenshots you have. Fair flying and Godspeed!

Rafael zooms into view for our headlining picture today from a game that he has only recently discovered: Blade and Soul. Oh, I josh, I josh. Rafael’s the site’s premiere B&S evangelist, so beware if he corners you in a crowded tavern!

“It wouldn’t be Blade and Soul if it didn’t have interesting outfits and Wushu gliding,” he said. “Case in point? My Gunner, Haliee, gliding around in her jammies. Yup. She can fly around in her cute night shirt complete with little cat patterns. Here she is as she approaches her landing. ‘The runway is clear zero-niner.'”

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One Shots: Poppin’ some bubbly

We are going to kick off this week’s exhibition of player screenshots with a few email submissions (yes, some of you still email them in, and bless you for it!).

It doesn’t take much of an excuse for a celebration to break out in Final Fantasy XIV, as Souseiseki notes: “A certain Miqo’te had a little too much fun celebrating Heavensturn (and too much to drink!). Although, I think she had more fun opening the bottles than actually drinking them! Fortunately, I had the foresight to hide the good stuff. Don’t worry, her chocobo was parked safe in the stables and we confiscated her saddle.”

Postscript: That chocobo was later seen perched high on top of a temple summit, wrapped in toilet paper and spray painted with an incomprehensible slogan.

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One Shots: Poster perfect

One of the things that impresses me about the submissions to One Shots here is that so many of these pictures really could be blown up into high-resolution posters and be hung as honest-to-goodness art. I’ve always been meaning to comb through my screenshots folder and take the best of my best to a store and get that done, but I am a lazy man and figure that you all will keep my eyeballs entertained for one more week.

Here’s a good example of a poster perfect pic from Camelotcrusade, who shared this interesting shot from Star Wars: The Old Republic. “It feels like a galaxy far, far away now, but I really liked the title cards for Knights of the Fallen Empire,” he wrote. “Here is one of my favorites which transposed my character against a backdrop of galactic war.”

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One Shots: To new beginnings!

It’s a new year and a new you! Well, probably the old you a few days past the expiration date, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely useless. For example, you probably have enough mental cognition and digital dexterity to log into an MMORPG and create a new character before you dissolve into an unslightly mess of bones and goo.

To celebrate the debut of 2018, the Massively OP legion is out in force to create new characters with all sorts of crazy resolutions!

First up is CapnLan: “My first character creation for the new year is technically an old one. I recovered my old FFXIV character from 1.0 but they had me run him through the new character creator when I logged in for the first time. I touched him up a bit with some new options and went for a stroll around Ul’dah. Here’s a quick shot I took of him with all his hilariously outdated 1.0 gear in front of the New Year decorations on the main street.”

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One Shots: Riding the unicorn charge into 2018

That’s it, folks. It’s time to put the wraps on the bumpy, odd year that was 2017 and get ready to flip our calendars to the pristine landscape of 2018. While the future of MMOs always holds uncertainy, one thing we know for sure: We’re going to screenshot the heck out of it.

To put a bow on 2017, I asked Massively OP readers to submit their absolute best screenshot from this past year — and the community took up the task with gusto. We’ll start things off today with Hugmonster showing us what a dignified, serious game Guild Wars 2 can be.

“My best screenshot of the year? Obviously me launching a stampede of rainbow unicorns!” he shared.

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One Shots: Hand over the presents or the reindeer gets it

Well, that escalated fast.

A showdown with a Santa Claus raid boss in The Division led to BalsBigBrother attempting an unorthodox tactic of threatening Donner or Blitzen (we can never tell the difference) with a headshot. A standoff ensued, during which police negotiators came out with hot chocolate and candy canes, and everyone declared it the best-tasting hostage situation ever.

“Gimme all your presents or the reindeer gets lead poisoning,” he shouted to the other side. “Heh just kidding; no reindeers were harmed in the taking of this screenshot.”

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One Shots: Thumbs up for justice

Even when humanity is on the brink of destruction, even when all hope is lost, it’s good to know that people will still be taking selfies and posting them to Facebook so that all friends and family members won’t forget what they look like or how important they are.

Deekay_plus brings us this Destiny 2 selfie starring… Marilyn Manson? Good to know he’s putting his musical skills to work in the techno-apocalypse. Thumbs up for justice, you scary-looking fellow!

Oh, it only gets weirder from here. Think “Willy Wonka boat ride through the nightmare dream sequence” strange. That’s just how our readers screenshot.

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One Shots: Boy band cover art

It’s one thing to strike a pose and get a good-looking selfie in there, it’s another to coordinate a whole group of twitchy gamers and get them to take a group photo without someone jumping or facing the wrong way or forgetting to emote.

Vincent Clark has mastered this group pose in the formation of his new Final Fantasy XIV boy band album called “Ears over Eorzea.” We anticipate great things from this mostly shirtless crew of well-manicured rebels, as long as they don’t fall into that hot tub and drown.

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