Over the past week, many MMO bloggers returned to the conspiracy-laden regions of Secret World Legends to see if they could answer the million-dollar question: Is this reboot and relaunch any good?
Today, we’re going to devote the full column to some of these impressions, starting with Ayren Sojourner, who identifies several problems with the launch of the game as a returning fan.
“I get that they want to walk new players through all the possible side-quest types. But man… I get thrown into a cutscene, then into a graveyard, then into some fragmented raid-something-something that I was familiar with, but would have been extremely confused by if I were a totally new player. Then more cutscenes. Then London. And now that Tokyo scenario that TSW used to start with. I’m still not out of cutscenes,” she wrote.
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.
Feedback is important for every MMO, and that includes Star Wars: The Old Republic
. But where does feedback come from? If the developers never ask you about your opinion specifically, how will they actually collect your feedback? Community manager Eric Musco
chimed in on the forums explaining where the development team looks for feedback
and how his job involves filtering and synthesizing that feedback from multiple sources, all of which serves different purposes and offers different inputs.
The official forums and Reddit, for example, offer the feedback of particular narrows slices of the game with a big time investment; Twitter, meanwhile, has much more breadth of feedback but less depth on individual issues. There are also focus groups and specific influential players courted by the development team just for feedback and information. Check out the full rundown if you’re curious about how the melange of feedback gets passed along to developers; this isn’t necessarily how every game does it, but it is how it happens for SWTOR.
Last week, Star Wars: The Old Republic
brought back the Nightlife event on Nar Shaddaa. In a nutshell, it’s a gambling event. After all, Nar Shaddaa is an underworld haven, and if mob movies have taught us anything, it’s gambling and casinos go hand-in-hand with the underworld.
The sad thing is that I kind of like this event. It’s not because of the activity of the event; that part is the most boring thing to watch because you’re literally just clicking on terminals. And it can’t be because of the cost; a player can literally go through millions of credits in just a few hours.
It’s because of the prizes. They really are some of the coolest things that you can get without having to touch the cash shop in any way.
I was watching Sechari from the Passionately Casual Podcast hang out with his Twitch chatroom as he was playing through the Nightlife event when I realized that it’s possible that not many people know how to maximize their credits for this event. I’m going to give you the same advice I gave Sechari, in three easy steps.
It’s time for a new expansion in Final Fantasy XIV, and that means for me that a lot of people are going to not know how to get through content. Heck, I don’t know how to get through all of the content; it’s new to me too. I’m still figuring it out, and while there are a few people who are progressing even faster than I am and know how to clear everything, they are in the decided minority. I mean, the expansion, counting early access, has only been out for five freaking days.
So that means I get to enjoy the old standby of offering advice when clearing group content. And some people are… let’s be polite and say that they’re better at it than others. An entire guide about how to give advice which will actually have a positive impact is a bit beyond the scope of this article, of course, but we can at least look at the advice that never, ever works. Or if it does, it is entirely by coincidence, not design.
It’s still very early to get excited about BioWare’s upcoming co-op shooter Anthem, but the game is bringing in veteran talent for development. Drew Karpyshyn has confirmed that he’s working on the title as a writer, although he’s been quiet about his degree of involvement and any actual details of the writing.
Which… seems pretty obvious, considering the title is still early in the reveal process. Obviously.
Karpyshyn is best known as the lead writer on Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, but he has a lengthy history with Star Wars: The Old Republic as well; he penned two novels for the game, wrote much of Knights of the Eternal Throne, and had major input on the Jedi Knight class story. Of course, we currently know next to nothing about Anthem’s story, but we do know it’s being shaped by experienced hands.
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, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 100: Centennial spectacular (or download it) now:
Last time in SWTOR’s
Choose My Alignment adventures, the audience made a big decision that will influence the story going forward. What choices will it have to make today as Massively OP’s Larry and MJ continue building up the resistance? It all starts off with a nice little chat with Lana Beniko (good thing MJ on her good side, eh?). Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to continue deciding the fate of the Chiss Agent as KOTFE’s
Chapter IX continues in…
What: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Who: Larry Everett & MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017
The so-called “Summer of SWTOR
” is officially underway now that BioWare
has pushed out Game Update 5.2.2
It’s not the biggest patch in the world, but it does reactivate the popular Nar Shaddaa nightlife event. Player gamblers are invited to descend upon the neon-tinted planet for some lighthearted gambling for some new rewards, such as the Gamorrean Guard companion. The event will keep the good times rolling through August.
The patch includes a few new legacy perks, such as higher tiers of speeder piloting and a command XP booster (yes, CXP is still a thing). You also can use crew missions to increase a companion’s influence, customize Shae Vizla and Theron Shan, and craft tier 4 gear. That should keep you busy for at least an hour or so!
For all of the changes, iterations, and evolutions that MMORPGs have undergone over the years, it still feels like we’re back in the 1990s when it comes to combat visuals. Other than mobs jerking or falling down when you hit them and the occasional game that throws in a puff of red blood, there’s little to show for our efforts until that seemingly fit and healthy mob abruptly falls down, dead.
I’m not a bloodthirsty gorehound by any means, but sometimes I wouldn’t mind if MMOs would go a little further in developing damage models for their mobs. It feels kind of ridiculous that I can be swinging away with my lightsaber in SWTOR and never even dent that droid that I just hit six times in a row. I sometimes prefer bow-users, just because some MMOs keep the arrows persistent when you hit a foe with them.
Do you want better damage models in MMOs? Would you like to see more happening in combat as you attack and perform spells?
Over the last couple of weeks, the monetization of unreleased games has become a pervasive and uncomfortable theme for the MMO genre. Just in brief:
The frustrating bit is I could go on, and this is just for games that aren’t even formally launched yet. So for this week’s Massively Overthinking, I want to take the temperature of alarm regarding these types of business models for unlaunched games. Is this all par for the course, in line with what we expect from the new MMO market? Have they gone too far yet? If not, what’s too far? How do we feel about this type of pre-launch monetization run amok?
has informed players that some of Star Wars: The Old Republic’s
advanced classes and disciplines will be getting some changes and love with this summer’s Update 5.3. While the studio listed which builds are being targeted
yesterday, it hasn’t yet posted all of the specifics of what these changes will be.
The list of classes and disciplines to be affected goes as such: Sorcerers (madness and corruption), Sage (balance and seer), Powertech (pyrotech), Vanguard (plasmatech), Assassin (hatred), Shadow (serenity), Sniper (virulence and engineering), Gunslinger (dirty fighting and saboteur), Mercenary (innovative ordnance and arsenal), and Commando (assault specialist and gunnery).
“Between data and player feedback, these are the disciplines that appear to be most in need of change,” BioWare said. “Whether that is that they are too good, or not good enough, these disciplines need attention first. If a class or discipline is missing from this list it doesn’t mean they won’t be receiving changes at all, it is just that they are not receiving changes in the near future.”
I have been head-over-heels for Elder Scrolls Online since One Tamriel, and the Morrowind chapter has only added to my enthusiasm for the game. I understand that this game now feeds into the things that I really like in my MMOs, but it didn’t always. And I know that other people clearly have different tastes from mine
What I would like to attempt to do today is to face some of the desires and questions people have for MMOs, to examine some of the common pitfalls afflicting MMOs to see how ESO Morrowind fares and avoids those it does. I’ll attempt to imagine that I am looking for a new MMO and stumble upon Morrowind – what am I going to look for and what are some other people going to look for in the game?