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Perfect Ten: What I discovered after returning to Dungeons and Dragons Online

When I look back at last year, the most surprising turn in my MMO gaming career was staging a successful return to Dungeons and Dragons Online. Initially I had only planned to revisit this old flame for a couple of runs and a quick blog post, but before I knew it, I had been sucked back in to this unique and flavorful MMO.

Over the past four months I’ve been slowly progressing through the early and mid game, taking my scrappy Gnome Artificer up to level 10 and through more odd stories than I ever recall being a part of the game (to be fair, the last time I had played regularly was 2010).

Now that I’ve had time to experience and reflect upon playing Dungeons and Dragons Online in this day and age, I wanted to share with you 10 observations that I’ve gleaned from this fantasy roleplaying game.

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The Daily Grind: What is the best-designed MMO class you’ve ever played?

There are good MMO classes and bad classes. There are well-designed ones and ones that just never gelled. But every once in a while, you come across a class that clicks on every level and works so well that it goes right to the top of your favorites.

Among the many MMOs I’ve played over the years, only a small handful of classes in these games had that effect on me. City of Heroes’ (well, City of Villains’) Mastermind was one of these, cementing itself as the best pet class I’ve ever tried. And I’ve always been somewhat in awe of Lord of the Rings Online’s Captain, who really nailed a great hybrid build while remaining thematically distinct.

What would you say is the best-designed MMO class you’ve ever played? What about that class put it heads and shoulders above the rest?

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 158: We are all heroes

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin put on their voxel capes as they look ahead to Trove’s new expansion, LOTRO’s Hobbit fantasies, the ups and downs of Elder Scrolls Online’s outfit system, 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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Get a bird’s eye view of LOTRO’s new Mirkwood map

Sometimes you can learn an awful lot from an in-game map.

Take for example Lord of the Rings Online’s Northern Mirkwood map, which testers have accessed during the Update 22 beta. It shows a truly huge zone that is divided between the dense leafy forest and the eastern Dale-lands. Not only can you get a sense of scale here, but also there are many tantalizing landmarks on display for future exploration.

YouTuber Andang took fans through this map and its highlights while moving on to the new larger Rhovanion map that might contain clues pointing toward future zones and expansion. He notes that Northern Mirkwood is truly disconnected from any other zones (being situated far north of the existing Southern Mirkwood) and that it has map markers pointing toward regions like the Iron Hills, Fields of Celduin, and the Mountains of Mirkwood.

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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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The Stream Team: Collecting the Tear of Dhakaan in Dungeons and Dragons Online

Massively OP’s Justin & MJ are delving into another DDO adventure. They will be waging war against the Arzag-Khor tribe so that the hobgoblin Karnat Thaar can seize possession of the Tear of Dhakaan, an ancient relic from the Dhakaani Empire. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. take on this long quest.

What: Dungeons & Dragons Online
Who: Justin Olivetti & MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 16th, 2018 Read more

Lord of the Rings Online starts testing Northern Mirkwood

With the beta for Lord of the Rings Online’s Update 22 on the test server, players eager to escape the clutches of Mordor are able to see greener pastures in the north — Northern Mirkwood, that is.

The zone of Northern Mirkwood is split into two regions: Eryn Lasgalen (Wood-elf forest) and the Dale-lands. “A new Lake-town has been built, Dale has been re-settled, and the Kingdom under the mountain thrives, but change has not lessened its pace,” the devs said.

Quality-of-life improvements are also in the works for Update 22, as noted by Lina’s Biscuity Burrow. And musicians are going to flip over the fiddle, which all players will be able to enjoy.

LOTRO Players took players on a tour through the new area with several videos, including a look at the Elfking’s Hall, Lake-town, Dale, the Lonely Mountain, Raven Hill, and Erebor. There’s even a trip to Smaug’s bones, if Hobbit history is important to you. Go there and back again after the jump!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 156: Downfalls and uprisings

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin mull over the fate of MOBAs, investigate Alganon’s nebulous state, talk about why subscribing to an alpha test might not be the smartest thing in the world, 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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Global Chat: To RIFT or not to RIFT?

Everyone’s talking about RIFT’s new Prime server idea — and whether or not it will get us playing Trion Worlds’ fantasy MMO once again. Naturally, the blogosphere had a few thoughts about this.

Stargrace said that it was “highly unlikely” that she’d return for this: “While I am drawn into progression servers for EverQuest and EverQuest II due to a heavy nostalgia factor, I don’t get those same warm fuzzy feelings about RIFT.”

“If anything induces me to give RIFT Prime a try it will be the extent to which the experience doesn’t accurately replicate the original,” Bhagpuss said. And Endgame Variable takes a look at it from the perspective of a former player: “Do I want to pay a subscription to play old content in RIFT — a game I’ve already played to death — or pay a subscription to play new content in FFXIV or WoW?”

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LOTRO Legendarium: The 10 best pages on Lotro-Wiki

Earlier this week, one of my online friends and fellow Lord of the Rings Online player put out a notice that there was now an official Lotro-Wiki Discord channel. In addition to giving players another place to hang out and discuss the game, this channel reminded me of the invaluable benefit that this wiki has provided to me and many, many others over the years.

In a game as insanely big and complex as LOTRO where there are systems upon systems, numerous expansions, dozens of zones, and so many bizarrely named characters to keep track of, it is helpful to have a central repository of knowledge when trying to figure things out. Lotro-Wiki is great for both the newbie and the veteran with answers to pretty much everything you could ask about what you need to do, where you need to go, and how to get those rewards you desire.

To tip my non-existent cap to this site and its hard-working volunteers, today I want to point you in the direction to 10 of the best and most useful resources that Lotro-Wiki has to offer.

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Lord of the Rings Online patch adds plenty of attractive loot — in lockboxes

The lockbox movement continues to cover the entirety of Middle-earth in shadow as Lord of the Rings Online’s Update 21.3.3 focuses more on moneygating attractive loot than on other content.

Now players who spring for keys to open the Mordor lootboxes might find an Osgiliath travel mount (which can also be obtained via an Ashes vendor), earrings with a “cosmetic effect,” or a Lasgalen Owl vanity pet. The small patch also worked in a fix for a launcher crash issue and adjusted the challenge requirements for Abyss of Mordath’s first boss.

Destructoid recently published a piece in which the game’s endurance and fun factor were singled out for praise. “It nails the wanderlust that is inherently tied to frolicking around a rendition of Middle-earth,” the author said.

Source: Patch notes


Dungeons and Dragons Online plans on bringing a 1979 module to life

This year promises to be a busy one for the developers and playerbase of Dungeons and Dragons Online, at least if this week’s producer’s letter is any indication. There’s a whole lot packed into a handful of paragraphs, but perhaps the most intriguing is a plan to bring a classic D&D module from the ’70s into the game in 2018.

“It’s White Plume Mountain, a classic 1979 dungeon that was also recently brought to 5th Edition in the Tales from the Yawning Portal book,” the studio said. “We’ll be giving this intense test of skill the DDO treatment later this summer in an adventure pack that will also feature several other stand-alone dungeons themed around wizards and their arcane environments.”

Other plans on tap for this year include a return to Eberron with this spring’s Update 38, the 12th anniversary event, third Artificer and Favored Soul trees, an overhaul of the Druid, an update to the Treasure of the Crystal Cove event, and more support for sentient weapons. The studio also hinted at a “big announcement” that it was saving for later this year. Any guesses as to what this may be?

Source: Official forums. Cheers, DDOCentral!


Perfect Ten: Major MMO expansions and updates to expect in 2018

Now that we’re almost 1/12th of the way through 2018, it’s probably about time to stop anticipating the year and start experiencing it. We have already looked at MMOs coming this year, multiplayer titles on the way, the current healthiest MMOs, MMO predictions, and the best value games on the market. So what’s left?

Expansions. Expansions and major content updates are what’s left. It might seem a little presumptuous to try to outline what’s coming this year, since many studios still have their long-range plans under wraps, but when we sat down in the MOP office to talk about it, we ended up with a much larger list than anticipated.

So here’s a look at the major MMO expansions and content updates we are expecting and anticipating over the course of this year. After this? You’re on your own, kid.

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