standing stone games

American studio known primarily for Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online.

Lord of the Rings Online tested Dungeons of Naerband and the Court of Seregost this past weekend

Did you take part in the last dungeon testing on the Lord of the Rings Online test server? If so, you’ll have the context necessary to appreciate all of the changes that have been made to the two new dungeons coming with the next patch. If not… well, maybe you got to try out the Dungeons of Naerband and the Court of Seregost over the weekend. The developers were eager to see how the dungeons feel at level 115 and how everything shakes down with a new balance pass.

“We would particularly appreciate any feedback you may have on the difficulty of the instances at level 115 (tier 1 or tier 2),” wrote SSG. “On Friday evening(9/22), Saturday 9/23, and Sunday 9/24 members of the QA team will be looking for full groups running those instances (in particular the 6-person ‘The Dungeons of Naerband’) and will offer a lotro points code to a randomly selected player from those full groups a few times throughout the day.”

There were, of course, various additional game changes, balance adjustments, tier 11 crafted gear, and new UI options for players to explore, even if they headed to the test server without a full group.

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The MMO Book Club votes between Guild Wars 2, Secret World Legends, DCUO, EverQuest, RuneScape, ArcheAge, and WoW

Hey, remember the MMO Book Club? That’s the Reddit-and-Discord group that allows members to vote on a game to play, then organizes a guild and events inside that game over the allotted time period, ensuring that folks who want to try out an MMORPG have a ready-made community of likeminded casual people who aren’t going to immediately scamper off to greener pastures. You scamperers, you.

To date, the Club has dipped into Lord of the Rings Online (which we streamed!), WildStar, The Elder Scrolls Online, and TERA, the reigning champ. As the group enters its second half-year, it’s opened the voting once again; that takes place in Discord to avoid brigading.

“The shortlist of games you can vote on to play with the Bookclub now are: Guild Wars 2, Secret World Legends, DC Universe Online, EverQuest, RuneScape, ArcheAge, World of Warcraft and TERA.” (Voting for TERA extends the current cycle another month instead of moving the crew to a new game.)

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LOTRO Legendarium: Six places LOTRO could go after Mordor

It always seems a bit unfair, a bit impatient, and a bit premature to be asking that eternal question of an MMO: “What’s next?” This, perhaps, is doubly true when a recent meaty expansion is still providing an (exploded) mountain of content with an instance cluster on the way. You can almost hear the developers’ eyes roll and their exasperated sighs as they say, “Can’t you be content with where you are right now?”

No, not really. Speculating about the future is one of the exciting hallmarks of MMO fandom, and I feel it’s entirely possible to be both content with where you’re at while wondering what’s to come. So with that caveat out of the way… what’s next for Lord of the Rings Online when Mordor is said and done?

Before we dig into the possibilities (six of them, to be precise), we should acknowledge that Mordor itself will no doubt be the central focus of LOTRO through the end of this year and probably most of 2018 as well. There is a great deal of landscape left undeveloped and unexplored, and I have no doubt that the Black Book of Mordor could be expanded into a fat volume when all is said and done.

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DDO Players invites Massively OP to chat about gaming, news writing, and podcasting

Haven’t had enough of listening to your Massively Overpowered team yakking on and on in both the Massively OP Podcast and Battle Bards? Then we’ve got a bonus for you this week: DDO Players invited MOP’s Justin Olivetti to talk about his recent experiences coming back to Dungeons and Dragons Online.

Yes, I’m referring to myself in the third person. Justin finds this incredibly weird all-around, but Bree thought it was a good idea.

Anyway, check out the ‘cast after the break, during which the discussion covers tabletop gaming, DDO highs and lows, and what it’s like making podcasts and writing for an MMO news site. Thanks to our generous hosts for this invite!

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Jukebox Heroes: Music from Destiny 2, LOTRO, Absolver, Black Desert, and Champions Online

Apologies for being extensively absent from this column over the last few months! Every day the Massively OP offices are deluged with fan mail demanding, “Bring back Jukebox Heroes! Where is Jukebox Heroes? How can I survive without that epic MMO music to get me through the week?”

To which I can only mutter something about a classified mission to Paraguay, being adopted by a jaguar for six weeks, and subsequently finding myself co-starring with The Rock on his latest escapade. It’s all in the line of duty when you are an MMO reporter.

But I am back, and boy is there a lot of news to talk about this week! Let us catch up on the MMORPG music scene and see what is happening with Destiny 2, Lord of the Rings Online, Absolver, Black Desert, and Champions Online already!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 136: Westward ho!

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree saddle up for discussion on Wild West Online’s alpha, Star Citizen’s back-backlash on schedules, the miserable state of Phantasy Star Online 2, and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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LOTRO’s Ugrukhor isn’t too happy with the state of affairs in Mordor

The power vacuum created after the fall of Sauron in Middle-earth has wide-spread ramifications for Mordor (the country) and Mordor (the expansion). In its latest enemy leader spotlight video, Lord of the Rings Online checks in with Ugrukhor and finds a man who is not too pleased with his current position.

Aside from his unfortunate name, Ugrukhor feels passed over for glory and power as he’s left as a steward in Udun. Check out this Anakin Skywalker-wannabe and listen to his griping after the break!

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One Shots: A bridge too far

One more bridge. That’s what she kept telling me, even though I cautioned her that sooner or later our luck would run out. She would pause, then shake her head and urge us on. One more bridge.

That day, when we crossed a seemingly innocuous wooden bridge over RIFT’s gorgeous Scatherron Forest, our luck broke — as did six boards, sending us plummeting down into a gorge. As I fell, I wondered why I was taking orders from my talking mount anyway. Perhaps she knew that fall damage was a thing of the past and I could be pressured into recklessness.

After I pick myself back up and find another route onward, we’ll look at the rest of this week’s player-submitted screenshots and stories!

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Lord of the Rings Online invites players to test out two new dungeons

There was a bit of a problem with Lord of the Rings Online’s first attempt to test its next two dungeons on the test server. Combat music was causing the game to crash, which was most certainly not an intended feature of the design. But now that bug has been fixed, and players can log on to the test server to try out the Dungeons of Naerband and the Court of Seregost.

The Dungeons of Naerband (yes, it’s one dungeon) will require a full fellowship, while the Court of Sergost requires a light fellowship. These dungeons are the focus of this weekend’s testing, so the developers are eager for feedback about how the dungeons feel to play and how they’re tuned. If you already tried to jump in once and had issues, you can be assured that those issues should now be fixed, and if you encounter any other problems… well, that’s the point of testing, isn’t it?

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The Daily Grind: Do you like MMO quests with fail conditions?

In my recent forays into Dungeons and Dragons Online, I was forcibly reminded just how different this game in comparison of your standard MMORPG. For one thing, there seem to be many more quests and dungeons that are peppered with fail conditions which immediately terminate a run if certain actions are performed or fail to be executed.

Of course, this sort of thing isn’t exclusive to DDO; when you think about it, most MMOs feature fail conditions on occasion. Maybe it’s that escort quest that tanks if your bumbling NPC gets his or her butt shot up. Sometimes fail conditions come in the form of special achievements that offer an optional layer of difficulty for players looking for challenge.

Do you like MMO quests with fail conditions or do you resent them? What example would you use as a memorable mission with this sort of mechanic?

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LOTRO starts testing Mordor instance cluster, talks about its soundtrack and lore

Even though the doors leading into Lord of the Rings Online’s Mordor were busted wide open, not all secrets — and features — were revealed. The developers said that both the Mordor instance cluster and the expansion’s raid would come after launch, and now it looks like that moment is almost here.

The team announced on Twitter yesterday that it has begun testing Update 21.2, which contains the aforementioned promised content: “Bullroarer is being updated with a preview of 21.2, including instances, Allegiance quests, and more!”

Speaking of the Allegiance system, one of the game’s writers posted a lore piece about the Battle of the Five Armies that ties into the Dwarf storyline of the expansion. Or if music is more your bag, hang out with Mordor Composer Chance Thomas for an AMA this afternoon! When asked by Massively OP as to when the Mordor OST would release, Thomas said that there is nothing official yet but the publisher is aware of the demand.

Source: LOTRO, Twitter, Reddit

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Perfect Ten: The 10 tiers of MMORPG lore

Lore! Huh! What is it good for? Understanding why you’re standing in the middle of a pack of angry people with fangs in MMOs, of course. It’s the thin line dividing your actions from being reckless, indiscriminate mayhem and discriminating, careful mayhem. Lore is how you know what the world is like beyond your front door, and it’s the difference between understanding that you face Ragnaros, lord of flame or just knowing that there’s a dude here made out of fire, so you should probably use water spells on him.

All lore, however, is not created equal. There’s lore that creates a detailed, vibrant world full of people with their own hopes and dreams, and there’s lore that creates a game where you know what you’re supposed to be doing but have no idea what people do for fun afterwards aside from waiting to die. So today, we explore the tiers of lore, arranged in a numbered list because that’s the entire premise of the column. It’s not Perfect Vague Assortment of Concepts. That’s not even a column.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 135: PAX in the P.M.

On this week’s show, MJ arrives to give her report on PAX West and how much swag she smuggled back on the plane. Bree and Justin touch base with the major news stories of the week, including Destiny 2’s launch, ArcheAge’s mergers, and WildStar’s housing happiness.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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