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Star Trek Online patches in Season 13.5 today

Soon, Star Trek Online will be heading to the next big Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, with big announcements for the future of the game and what comes next. For the moment, however, the game is going to be keeping its players entertained with the Season 13.5 patch. This patch sees a new featured episode, Brushfire, sending players to seek one of history’s greatest Klingon generals to deploy against the Tzenkethi threat.

Players will also be able to take on a new set of weekly challenges with the new Endeavour system, which are limited-time challenges running for two to three days for bonus rewards. There’s also a new Ferengi Admiralty project for players to work on and the usual quality-of-life improvements you’d expect from a patch. Check out a video down below explaining the broad strokes of the patch, or just jump into the patch notes if you prefer reading to watching.

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One Shots: Man of Tungsten

Look there! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… Mysecretid!

Who among us hasn’t played a video game at some point and decided to create his or her favorite fictional character? At least Mysecretid is being honest about it: “DCUO sets up this idea that the players can be proteges of existing DC heroes and villains. Although many players ignore this possibility, I decided to make my character a clear Superman fan — as I am.

“I realize that Superman is often terribly written, but when someone ‘gets’ the character, he’s golden. I re-created my main from the PC on my PS4. I’ve been having a lot of fun, despite the game’s flaws.”

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How to find the right MMORPG as a couple

People seemed to quite like my piece last week about how my wife and I wound up married in no small part due to World of Warcraft. Of course, I also alluded in the column to the fact that World of Warcraft was hardly our final destination, and we’re currently playing Final Fantasy XIV quite happily together. We’ve also gone into Final Fantasy XI, City of Heroes, Guild Wars, Fallen Earth, Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic… a lot of different games, in other words. And I’m just counting the ones we’ve tried together.

I don’t think that there’s any one surefire way to always find the right game for a couple to enjoy, but I have had a fair amount of experience with it now, and it’s helped that we’ve both spent a lot of time working on finding what works and what doesn’t in this field. So here’s some (hopefully) helpful tips about finding a game that you and your romantic partner of choice can enjoy together.

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Massively Overthinking: Consumer protections in the MMORPG industry

Veteran Massively OP reader Miol says he’s exhausted by a recent string of stories in which MMO companies screw gamers over, one after another: ARK Survival Evolved, Albion Online, Skyforge, and now Black Desert all figure into his list, just from the last week.

“I want to ask what more can gamers do to protect themselves and everyone else as consumers than speak up? It feels exhausting to always stay vigilant and feel upset all the time, since games, as an everchanging medium, give devs so many opportunities to screw us over with every single patch or update. And the worst immediate consequence seems many times a meek apology for what they’ve done, only for them to try out something different that maybe could go over unnoticed.

“You guys have reported about this UK watchdog group ASA, who investigated No Man’s Sky, but even they dismissed the tons of complaints about false advertising. Steam did declare some changes to advertising on their platform, but I still don’t see them taken place. If even those big negative stories don’t have that much of an impact, what hope is there for all the smaller communities, spread thin globally? There was a recent wave of gamers imploring each other to not pre-order, but that ebbed away fast enough, when the next shiny pre-order advantages over other players were presented. But even so, this still can’t protect you from what may happen after the launch!

“As said by Bree many times: Merely quitting won’t help either, as the studio will never know why most of the times. But also sending feedback for nine whole days didn’t help Skyforge players to make its devs to scramble! So what else could we do? Or should we just take rotating shifts to call them out?”

We’ll take the first shift right here in Overthinking.

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One Shots: R.I.P. Firefall

Do not go gentle into that good night forever,
Old MMOs should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the server.

Now that I’ve well and truly butchered a classic poem, I’ll turn the funeral proceedings over to Ralph the Wonder Llama, who has these kind words to say about the recently deceased: “Well, at least it’s finally official. Rest in peace, Firefall. You will be missed. Ares 35, signing off.”

Is it just me, or is anyone else getting Tabula Rasa flashbacks?

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One Shots: Moonglow

I don’t say it enough: I am truly impressed by how our readership manage to bring out the beauty in MMORPGs through their screenshots. It takes an eye for detail and a feel for a good shot that elevates certain pictures above the rest.

As an example of this excellence, I present Toy Clown’s headlining shot from Black Desert: “One of the reasons I enjoy the game is because of the ocean content. Here is my character releasing a lantern from her fishing boat.”

Small moon, go up and meet big moon! I think the two of you will be very happy together.

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Star Trek Online rolls out Season 13.5 on July 18

Things are getting escalated again in Star Trek Online with the release of season 13.5 on July 18th. Players will be tasked with breaking the legendary Klingon general (and former chancellor) Martok from a Son’a prison. This marks the addition of veteran Star Trek actor J. G. Hertzler to the game’s cast after originating the role of Martok on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. You can even check out an interview with Hertzler just below.

This update also includes the new Endeavor system, putting challenges before players to complete on a regular basis for rewards. There’s also a new Ferengi Admiralty campaign for players to work through, offering another avenue of rewards for players with plenty of ships under their command. You’ve got a couple more weeks to go before everything comes on to the live servers, but at least you can be assured it will escalate appropriately once it arrives.

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Perfect Ten: MMO zones I love to hate

Let’s be frank: Not every MMO zone can be a masterpiece of art, design, quest flow, and navigability. I mean, they totally should be, but that’s not how it shakes out in actual games. Sometimes regions get rushed, or the developers get a little too crazy with level design, or someone with a doomsday device in the office threatens to set it off unless an area made up of nothing but jumping puzzles is included.

The end result? “Those” zones we love to hate. We all have them. They’re the ones we seem to relish whining and complaining about to anyone who will listen, often instigating an echo chamber of like-minded grudges. We’ve been there, done that, and felt that our psyche took a hit as a result.

Today I want to look back at 10 MMOs I’ve played over the years to pick out a zone from each that, honestly, I really, really disliked. Perhaps the fact that I still remember them so vividly means that they were more important memories than the well-done zones that escape me at the moment, but I’m not going to think on that too much. Let the gripe session begin!

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Massively Overthinking: Forced socializing in MMORPGs

Massively OP Patron Jackybah has a question for this week’s Massively Overthinking that’s probably going to kick up some dust. He wonders whether MMO developers recognize and “serve” a particular subgroup of their players enough — specifically, the group of players that do not want to actively participate in social grouping (for dungeons) or social banter (in guild chat) but still want to contribute to and participate in an online world.

“In quite a number of games I feel that the game forces a player to group up to be able to see content and/or get higher-level gear,” he writes to us.

There’s a lot of layers to unpack here — non-social gamers in social spaces, the current state of MMO group content, and even the fundamentals of MMORPGs. Is our Patron right, and if so, is it a problem studios should be addressing? Let’s get to it.

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Choose My Adventure: Cryptic’s Neverwinter in review

My time with Neverwinter is done, and it’s a game I find myself in an odd relationship with. It’d be fair to say that despite what some members of the audience expected, I never went into disliking the game; even when I was getting a little bit bored, I didn’t find myself desperately wanting to play something else just to be free of the scourge of the game itself. But at the same time… it never really got its hooks in me, either.

And some of that, I think, is that I’ve played it before.

I’m reluctant to say that every game Cryptic Studios makes is the same because every single one has very clear pieces that stand apart. Star Trek Online’s space combat, Neverwinter’s action combat, and Champions Online’s status as the last relic of a forgotten time. (Probably other things, too.) They’re not the same game. But they do all share the same gameplay loop, which is different… and despite my best efforts, there’s a certain point when all of that just winds up getting a wee bit tedious.

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The Stream Team: Starting summer off with a bang (and giveaway) in Star Trek Online’s Lohlunat festival

How do youbneat the heat of the summer solstice? In space! Massively OP’s MJ is celebrating the start of summer by dipping into Star Trek Online. There’s a special summer festival going on right now called Lohlunat that MJ may or may not have a captain experienced enough to partake in, but she’s willing to try and crash said party! She also has presents to give away: Some Fluidic Antiproton Wrist Lances (for Xbox One only). Join us live at 7:00 p.m. to beat the heat and for your chance to win.

What: Star Trek Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

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Ship of Heroes reveals the cyborg Prometheans

Since Ship of Heroes is not shy about promoting itself as “superheroes meets Star Trek,” it stands to reason that the Borg would somehow get tossed into the mix, too.

In Ship of Heroes, the Borg are actually the Prometheans, a faction of deadly cyborgs that were created when a scientist combined magic and cybernetics to great effect. It worked well enough until, you know, the killings began.

The dev team said that it’s not slacking off in its design for this faction: “The manufactured arms, legs, eyes, etc. of the Prometheans were all created specifically for Ship of Heroes.  For example, a player can see through the legs of the Promethean Firebrand below because her legs are sophisticated props — we did not begin with human legs and just dunk her lower body in cyber paint and call it good.”

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Battle Bards Episode 100: Centennial spectacular!

After four years and over 700 MMORPG music tracks, the Battle Bards have arrived at their 100th show! For this centennial spectacular, Syl, Steff, and Syp reminisce about the most notable shows, their best soundtrack discoveries, and their favorite tracks. This super-sized show gets wrapped up with a bout of listener emails and a promise of another amazing hundred episodes!

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 100: Centennial spectacular (or download it) now:

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