Making a list of the “biggest” MMOs currently running is always an exercise in frustration. It’s easy to put a few things on the list – no one’s going to argue with placing World of Warcraft on such a list, for example – but then everything else always gets mired in opinions and controversy, and endless cycles of “why isn’t this game I love on there while another game I don’t like is there?!” I speak from experience.
Still, on our list of the healthiest MMOs at the moment, we’ve got only three licensed games: Neverwinter, Star Trek Online, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Those are by no means the only entries on the licensed game list, of course, but there does seem to be something of a dearth of those. And perhaps that’s more understandable than it seems. For all that we talk about how one setting or another would be perfect for an MMO, there are some unique troubles you inevitably run into when you get into the licensed MMO shuffle.
The latest patch for Star Wars: The Old Republic
is doubling your rewards
. Your experience? Doubled. Command XP? Also doubled. Other things? Doubled. Incoming damage? Probably not doubled, because that’s not a reward
, that’s an impediment
to a reward. But the ongoing events of the game are also
doubled, as the patch turns on the Nar Shadda Nightlife event as well. So you still get more doubling. Double everything.
And it can continue. For example, guess how many fixes were added for The Nathema Conspiracy? Double that number, there are a lot of fixes. (If you guessed the right amount initially, please halve that number, then double it. We have a theme going.) It all coincides nicely with the latest movie to hit the screen, so enjoy some extra rewards, have fun in Nar Shadda, and have fun repeating the word “double” until it loses all meaning.
Polygon recently had an interview with Conan Exiles creative director Joel Bylos focused on the game’s slavery mechanics, a “feature” I had entirely forgotten about, probably because the game calls such NPCs – whom you are encouraged to capture and enslave – “thralls.” Bylos likens thralls to the ‘bots of Westworld: They serve multiple purposes, from dancing for entertainment to manning base defenses as “intelligent turrets.” Essentially, he argues, they’re a mechanic that allows a single human player to build out and staff a mini empire.
I thought it would be interesting to explore the subject of slavery in Massively Overthinking now that Conan is back in the headlines (and getting good reviews). Should slavery exist in MMOs and other online games? Does it get a pass because it’s NPCs, or does it make you uncomfortable to see your player potentially cast as a heroic slaveholder?
Star Wars: The Old Republic
producer Keith Kanneg
just dropped the next roadmap
earlier today, outlining the features upcoming before September and a little bit beyond. Although he didn’t give much detail about the future of the story for the game, he gave us enough hints that we can speculate about the direction it’s headed.
At the very top of the roadmap post, Kanneg thanks everyone for such a great first year as producer of SWTOR and hopes that everyone enjoyed the traitor storyline. The story ends with a lot of questions unanswered, but unfortunately, those questions will not be answered until sometime after September according to the post. However, it’s possible that some of the setups this summer are pointing toward what the developers have planned.
Kanneg said the devs have been listening to players and “as a result, [they will] be making a lot of changes based on your feedback, beginning with our PvP plans this summer.” 2018 will be the summer of PvP for SWTOR, so let’s break down everything that the developers are doing.
Into the Void just became Out of the Vault! Massively OP’s Larry and MJ are trapped in a SWTOR
vault and need to find a way out before the now-smiling Valyn finds them. Yah, no one wants to see that! The KOTET’s
Chapter VII journey continues, so join us live at 6:00 p.m. to make all those big decisions in our Choose My Alignment adventure.
What: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Who: Larry Everett & MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 16th, 2018
With the ever-developing, ever-growing nature of MMORPGs, the expansion truly has a life of its own. By now we are well acquainted with the cycle that runs from gestation to obsolescence and can usually point to where any particular expansion is on this chart.
The Lazy Goldmaker outlined the typical progression of MMO expansion packs with a six-step cycle that focuses heavily on the economy and raiding: “After the final raid of the expansion we will enter the last content drought. This is typically the longest period with nothing exciting added to the game. We are in the middle of this phase of Legion currently. Most of the markets from the live expansion will still be viable, but profit margins will be decreasing, as will prices on all goods.”
Read on for more MMO blog essays, including ones that cover EVE Online, Wizard101, SWTOR, and LOTRO!
Tabletop games and MMORPGs seem like they would go well together, but remarkably they often don’t. That’s true for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is that we have a lot more games adapting different source material separately. You can certainly run a Star Wars: The Old Republic-themed game with a Star Wars tabletop system, but neither one is based on the other. (Technically there was a supplement published for it, but that was covering the first two single-player games, which themselves were based on that tabletop system.)
But there have still been incursions from MMOs into the tabletop space, and MMOs which pluck that fertile ground for the seeds of inspiration. So let’s spend today looking at these games, when you can log off of your favorite MMO, gather around a table with your friends, and keep playing your favorite MMO. More or less.
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin look ahead at the next generation of MMORPGs in development while saying farewell to a couple of the old guard. It’s a podcast full of conspiracies, time magic, debates over subscriptions, and way too much talk about Farscape!
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:
May the fourth be with you, Massively OP readers. I hope you are having a wonderful unofficial Star Wars holiday. And if you’re thinking about jumping back into Star Wars: The Old Republic
to celebrate, then I would highly recommend that you drop down enough subscription money to play through the recent storyline.
I’m rarely surprised by a SWTOR storyline anymore. Even if there is a nice twist, it’s not totally unexpected, and it can usually be predicted that your character will play a side role in whatever conflict is happening in the galaxy at large. But it seems to me that BioWare has taken that criticism to heart and shifted focus in its storytelling in a big and surprising way.
In order to get into the depths of what I mean by SWTOR returning to form, I will have to spoil the storyline, but I also would like to help encourage people to play through this storyline. So I will compromise: The first part of this article will be a spoiler-free discussion of the long flashpoint that makes up the majority of Update 5.9, The Nathema Conspiracy. But the second part will be completely hidden under spoiler tags and will discuss what sets this storyline apart from the previous two years of storylines.
If you’ve always thought that there was a conspiracy over at BioWare, it turns out you were right. It also turns out that it’s a good thing there is one, because The Nathema Conspiracy is making Star Wars: The Old Republic
Game Update 5.9 is here with a brand-new flashpoint that wraps up the traitor saga and brings back the companions of Felix Iresso, Akaavi Spar, and Mako. In honor of the patch, double rewards are running and point games for repeatable objectives have been increased.
You’ll also want to log in tomorrow, when the May the 4th holiday will grant you a free astromech pet (and if you’re a subscriber, a speeder as well).
The patch notes are just the beginning — tune in tomorrow, when Massively OP’s Larry will bring you his first impressions of this game update!
Things are certainly getting interesting for Massively OP’s Larry and MJ in their SWTOR
Choose my Alignment adventure. Arcann no longer wants to kill our heroes and has joined the rebellion, whereas his sister Vaylin (who still very much does want to kill them) is off trying to undo her conditioning. Of course, the Larry and MJ can’t allow that to happen. Or can they? The decisions depend on you, the viewers. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to determine which way the Chiss Agent’s alignment swings in Chapter VII!
What: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Who: Larry Everett & MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018
When aliens discover the cratered ruins of our planet in the distant future and study the records from our civilization, they will undoubtedly come to the conclusion that we, as a race, were infatuated with creating so many fake holidays so that we would never get work done. And also something about bitcoin.
It’ll be easy to identify your Star Wars fans this week as May the 4th (get it? GET IT. YOU MUST GET IT.) arrives. Star Wars: The Old Republic has had the tradition of giving out freebies on Star Wars Day, and this year is no exception.
Double XP and command XP is running during this month, and if you log in by May 7th, you’ll get a free red-tinted astromech pet. Subscribers will also get a TF-4 Rampage speeder delivered to their inventory as a bonus gift.
It occurs to me that it is very difficult to find MMOs that I have literally never played before in some capacity. There are titles on the list, of course, but it’s a short list. Which amuses me, since anyone who listens to me on a regular basis knows that I have a small number of games that I consider “my” games, and usually there are just two that are fairly consistently on that list. But it’s part of the job; back when I first got this job in the time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth (the late aughts), my lifetime game count was at four. Maybe four and a half, if you want to count the Champions Online beta that talked me out of playing it at launch.
Of course, that’s one of the interesting elements not just of this job but about MMOs in general. You react differently depending on how many MMOs you’ve played, and considering that these games are big, long-term time commitments, that can produce some interesting dynamics. So let’s go ahead and take a look at what your personal lifetime count says about you and your understanding of the genre.