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Star Trek Online teams up with Mixed Dimensions for 3D printed ships (again)

It’s been about a year and a half since Star Trek Online first announced that it would be offering 3D printed versions of player ships for players to buy, thus offering you the chance to immortalize your adventures in Starfleet as Captain John Startrek with your own miniature USS Dicksmash. (That is a real name from the game.) Unfortunately, that hope got dashed when the company that was supposed to handle the printing unexpectedly folded.

But there’s a third-act positive twist! The company has partnered up again with Mixed Dimensions, and custom-printed ships are back on the table, so you can once more look forward to your very own USS Dicksmash. You can check out a sample gallery just below, or you can keep your eyes peeled for a livestream discussion on the new merch at 6:00 p.m. EST. Obviously, the game doesn’t have the best track record with these plans at the moment, but the effort is being made once more!

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Secret World Legends posts a quick teaser of the agent system

One of the first new Secret World Legends systems is coming soon, and Funcom posted a quick video of it this week to whet players’ appetites.

In a minute-and-a-half, CM Andy Benditt walked players through the basics of the upcoming agent system. This system works much like World of Warcraft’s order hall missions, Star Trek Online’s duty officer system, and RIFT’s minions. The idea is that players will recruit and collect support agents that can be equipped for their passive ability bonuses (three max) and sent out on timed missions with the hopes of bringing back rewards. The strategy here is to match up an agent’s traits with the mission requirements in question in order to increase the chance of success.

Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments!

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Perfect Ten: The tabletop GMs behind MMOs

One of the advantages to computer RPGs, I’ve always thought, is that you don’t need a friend who you can alternately sucker or bribe into taking on 80% of the work that’s involved in making a tabletop RPG fun. You just turn on the game and it goes. The downside, of course, is that you also don’t have the advantages of having a GM in charge of the game, so you don’t get that personal connection and that sense of familiarity.

Except that’s not entirely accurate, is it? Yes, these games do not have a person eagerly perched behind a screen explaining how your characters have screwed everything up forever, but you still do get the same sense of a specific GM guiding the game over time. Because there are certain quirks, certain constants, and over time a feel to the game that informs what sort of GM you’ve got running the game. So let’s talk about the GMs running some games.

I warn you that if you’ve never played any sort of tabletop game, this column may not make a whole lot of sense. But if you’ve never played any tabletop RPGs I don’t understand how you live and thus cannot promise to target you reliably. Sorry.

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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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The Game Archaeologist: BBS door games

When you think of MMORPGs, I wouldn’t blame you if your mind stayed rooted firmly in the past decade or so, perhaps taking a brief vacation to 1997 before returning to today’s 3-D polygonal glory. But it’s not like people just woke up in the late 90’s, looked at each other, and said, “Hmm. Online multiplayer RPGs. Let’s make it happen!”

On the contrary, history had been building up to that moment for quite some time. Tabletop RPGs and computer MUDs (multi-user dungeons) were both important ancestors of modern MMOs, just as was a mostly forgotten piece of software lore: the bulletin board system, also known as the BBS.

In layman’s terms, BBSes were like pocket internets — host computers that allowed anyone to dial up and use special programs remotely. While BBSes weren’t (initially) tied together like the world wide web, they featured a lot of the elements that would make the world wide web so popular, such as email, forums, and, yes, online games.

Today’s special Game Archaeologist will take a brief look at the history of the BBS, as well as a couple of its games that could be considered “MORPGs” (the “massively” part would be a while in coming). Dial up, gentle readers, and make your hissing modem noises!

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Star Trek Online’s anniversary event heads to console next month

With all of the excitement and freebies surrounding Star Trek Online’s 8th anniversary celebration last month, it had to have been a particular bummer for console players not to be able to join in on the fun. They should have known better: Picard used a mighty PC, not a piddly Xbox, to fly the Enterprise.

At least this grievous wrong will be set right next month when the anniversary finally winds it way onto the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Cryptic announced that the event will kick off on March 6th, with giveaways and the chance to earn the Bajoran Interceptor.

In addition to the free stuff, the anniversary will also add the latest patch with two new featured episodes and the re-engineering system.

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MMOs get incredibly excited about Tesla’s Spaceman

No, you didn’t dream it up. Wednesday, the world was abuzz over Elon Musk’s Tesla company sending a rocket into orbit that was toting a roadster with a space suited manniquin (aka “Spaceman”) on board. The images were instantly provocative and captivating, and several MMO studios couldn’t help but jump on board the moment.

The Guild Wars 2 team suggested that a Quaggan in a space suit could join the fun, while Star Trek Online had a field day with an “Earth space dock traffic notification.”

And Dual Universe whipped up a short video showing its version of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket taking off, which you can watch after the break.

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Perfect Ten: RIFT features that deserve praise

Maybe it will be short-lived, but it is exciting to see attention and excitement return to the sphere of RIFT following the announcement of the upcoming Prime server ruleset. I’ve gone from not thinking much of this title in my absence to somewhat missing it to absolutely craving it within the span of a week, and I’m sure that’s only going to get worse.

Seeing friends and commenters talk about RIFT has reminded me of just how many incredible features and qualities this MMO has. Sure, it’s made a lot of missteps and just about nobody really loves the business model, but there is a genuinely good game here that has a feature set that most MMOs could only dream about having on the back of the box.

So whether you’re thinking about returning to RIFT this spring or perhaps taking it up for the first time, here are 10 features from the game that I feel deserve public kudos.

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PSA: Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, and Champions Online will be offline most of Wednesday

So we’ve got some mixed news for you, friends. The good news is that usual maintenance for Champions Online, Neverwinter, and Star Trek Online will not take place on Thursday as it usually does. Bad news? Well, it’s going to be happening Wednesday, running from 8:00 a.m. EST until… 5:00 p.m. EST. We sincerely hope you didn’t take time off from work in anticipation of a marathon gaming session when you would normally be at work.

No, we do not know why you make those plans when nothing was scheduled to be happening on Wednesday, but sometimes you just want to treat yourself, right?

Stuff is planned for social media during the extended downtime, and fans are assured that this is a series of necessary improvements and maintenance tasks being performed. So you’re just going to have to grit your teeth and bear through it without the game. Our condolences for those who had already scheduled that aforementioned all-day game session.

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One Shots: The jig is up

What will you when you embark on your pirate career in Sea of Thieves? I know that at least for me, the answer will be “nothing serious.” There are too many ways to goof off and embrace your inner buccaneer in this title, and so expect to find me with an accordion and a cranky parrot at your nearest port.

As for Cap’n Deekay_plus, he decided that doing a jig was the best use of his closed beta time: “I finally got a female avatar in the Sea of Thieves beta after spending all of alpha with a male avatar that too closely resembled my IRL visage. So to celebrate, I took a selfie while dancing!”

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The Stream Team: Celebrating eight years of Star Trek Online

Happy birthday Star Trek Online! Massively OP’s MJ has leveled her little alien captain up so she can participate in the party this year. That means there is stuff to do (and it might involve Q!). Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. to join in the celebration and wish STO well on its eighth anniversary.

What: Star Trek Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 2nd, 2018

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Star Trek Online braces for a mirror universe invasion on consoles

The Mirror Universe has been a persistent enemy in Star Trek Online since the earliest days of the game, because it sure is helpful to be able to repurpose Federation ships as enemies. Also, there are lots of episodes in which the crews of various ships have to deal with their evil mirror counterparts, so that helps to. And console players are going to need to work hard to repel another invasion by the Mirror Universe on the console version, which is kicking off today and running through February 8th.

Players will have to travel to various rifts and stabilize them before shutting them, stemming the flood of ships into the main reality (i.e., the one we live in). There’s an associated reputation project players can undertake that rewards extra Dilithium and Marks of your choice, along with new Mirror Universe Dual Pistols for successfully completing the project and fighting back the invaders. So get ready to face your dark mirrors on consoles… unless you play a Klingon captain, in which case it’s more a matter of blowing up people you already blow up but slightly meaner than normal.

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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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