Game designer and blogger Psychochild posited an interesting question recently: How can you tell the difference between a good raider and a bad one?
He acknowledged that rating raid performance can lead to exclusion and bragging but can also help a group improve as a whole. In his post on the subject, Psychochild notes that raid performance can be measured as DPS, tanking, healing, hybrids, within disciplines, and the group entire.
“The right answer is probably some balance,” he concludes. “A carefully designed equation that balances all the measurements of the different roles and overall performance.”
This is just the start of our exploration through the MMO blogosphere. Join us today as we look at goofy fashion, first impressions, and — yes — more chatter about raiding.
Did you miss Shroud of the Avatar’s Friday update? I did; I was too busy stuffing my face with leftover turkey and dressing to pay attention to MMO industry news. Thankfully the internet never forgets, so we can go back and peruse Update of the Avatar #153 even though it’s a couple of days old at this point.
It features a behind-the-scenes look at designing a demon, courtesy of lead character artist Geoff Mellon. There’s also a Release 24 postmortem and a writeup (with pics) of how a player named Athanil managed to construct an impressive in-game arena.
Those of you who picked up SOTA on Steam over the holiday weekend should peruse the incredibly long and detailed list of player-run events already going on during the beta; there’s something there for everyone.
The other day I got into a conversation with friends about which upcoming MMOs were catching our eye. While I have more than enough gaming on my plate right now, I am fairly sure that Devilian will get some of that time when it goes live, and I am being weirdly tempted by Tree of Savior of all things. Project Gorgon always remains on my list although I’m waiting for a beta edition to really jump into that game.
Blade and Soul and Black Desert appear to be two of the more hotly anticipated titles on the horizon, although I’ll wait to see if there’s a huge wave of positive personal testimony when they come out. I own Shroud of the Avatar, so whenever that comes out I’ll owe it to myself to get my money’s worth there. As for Star Citizen, I am firmly in the neutral wait-and-see camp.
What upcoming MMOs are on your to-play list?
Crowdfunded fantasy sandbox Shroud of the Avatar has made its latest patch available to backers as of this morning. Originally, Release 24 was supposed to be fairly light in terms of content and focused instead on bug-fixing, polishing, and performance optimization. As producer Starr Long explains in his Release 24 instruction post, that’s not exactly what happened.
It’s a lengthy read, and it has to be to cover additions as diverse as new weather types, combat balance adjustments and new skills, new creatures and musical instruments, NPC renaming, and more.
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, Dark Age of Camelot tested a new RvR map, Perfect World International launched a new expansion, TERA released creepy cat mounts, EVE London is a go, and a ton of games dumped trailers at G-Star. Read on for the complete roundup!
Portalarium published Update of the Avatar #151 this morning. It dives deep into Shroud of the Avatar, and it offers readers a look at everything from the making of the North Naryad Pinelands zone to the new flute musical instrument to clockwork pets and a hot air balloon.
There’s also a video postmortem of Release 23 featuring Richard Garriott, Starr Long, Scott Jennings, and other members of the fantasy sandbox’s dev team. You can view that after the cut.
Shroud of the Avatar’s design team has been going crazy with world-building as of late. In the game’s most recent newsletter, a couple of new zones are previewed as the game barrels toward Release 24.
The team showed off the final look of Nightshade Pass, complete with the fantasy requirement of a bridge and its troll. Next on the docket is Mariah Overlook, a former mountain entertainers’ commune that’s fallen on hard times: “Generations ago, visitors to the Grand Amphitheater would take in plays, witness feats of skills, or enjoy tricks performed by exotic animals. Now, visitors are lucky to escape the area with their lives.”
Finally there’s a look at the North Naryad Pinelands, a heavily forested area that used to be an active logging area. Now, like Mariah Overlook, it’s been abandoned, and players will have to uncover the reason(s) behind the desertion.
This week sees a big Halloween sale over at Steam, which includes several MMOs that you might want to pick up while they’re at a discount. The sale ends on November 2nd.
Both The Secret World’s basic and ultimate editions are half-off at $15 and $30, respectively. The ultimate edition includes all of the content from issues 1 through 11, making it a much better prospect than buying the DLC piecemeal.
Other sales include ARK: Survival Evolved, H1Z1, The Park, TERA, Shroud of the Avatar, War Thunder, EVE Online, Otherland, and Eldevin. Speaking of things to play for Halloween, check out our guide to all of the events running rampant through MMOs right now!
It’s nearly the end of the month, and Shroud of the Avatar players know by now that that means a new release for the game. This month’s release has a bit of the holiday spirit for the end of October, with a plethora of spooky content promised for players who log in and play. This comes along with some re-evaluations about what goes in the game store and what is freely available for players; while there’s a preference toward the former as the studio is still raising funds, the goal is to keep a fair balance.
Release 23 also includes a lot of other elements, though, including updates to fishing and taming, new starting scenes, updates to certain questlines, and balance adjustments for combat progression. It’s a meaty update for the end of the month; if you’re eager to get in and start playing, check out the full set of release instructions.
Water is about to get a lot more interesting in Shroud of the Avatar. Starting with Release 23, the game is experimenting with advanced ocean effects in limited areas. These effects include more realistic waves and the ability to intensify if bad weather arrives.
The studio also relocated to new offices recently in order to conserve backer funding. Fans of the game flocked to help pitch in for “the big move” on October 17th and 18th.
You can check out a couple of videos of the new water system after the break.
Shroud of the Avatar’s latest weekly update is a meaty deep dive into everything from the fantasy sandbox’s musical system to its zones to the exploits of its dedicated community. One of those community members, YouTuber Eniko, put together both the ABC and MML code library that SotA uses for its music system as well as a video that showcases said music system. You can see that clip after the break.
Elsewhere in this week’s Update of the Avatar, there’s a look at the elven settlement of Vertas courtesy of several screenshots, as well as the port of Etceter, with more of the same.
Shroud of the Avatar is the most recent game that Richard Garriott has worked on, so why not spend your time in that game playing the oldest game the man worked on? The next major update for the game includes Garriott’s first game, titled DND1, as a playable game on the in-game teletype machine. No word yet on whether or not an option has been added in that game to allow your character in DND1 to fire up a copy of Ultima Exodus and continue jumping along the ladder.
There’s new stuff in release 23 even if you don’t feel like going recursive, though, with new landscapes as well as a new town, Jannaford. Players will also have new crafting options such as skull candle holders for that extra touch of class. Check out all of the details in the official dispatch and prepare for the update’s launch on October 29th.
Update of the Avatar #145 is out for Shroud of the Avatar, and it is leading players right into the holidays. There’s Halloween goodies a plenty, from a Plague Doctor Mask grand tour reward to spider webs, jack-o-lanterns, and grim reaper statue house decorations. And those of you wanting to take advantage of super deals don’t have to wait until after you are stuffed with turkey; the Black Friday bonus starts now! New purchases on pledges, pledge upgrades, add-on items, player-owned towns, and player-owned town upgrades get an additional 15% added to store credit until December 1st.
There’s much more filling out this update, including a highlight of a new single -player scene called Highvale Village Battle, a new lute and piano, invitations to hang out and chat with the devs, a schedule of community events, and more. Be sure to check the notes for all the details (and get a look at that cool new mask!).