tina lauro

Video game journalist infects hundreds of EVE nerds with insidious virus

A gaming convention turned into the banal opening scene of a zombie outbreak movie this week as a number of players who attended EVE Vegas 2017 suddenly came down with the symptoms of a cold virus after the event. The airborne virus was brought to the event by an anonymous video game journalist — let’s call him Drendan Brain — and is believed to have originated in the United Kingdom, where it’s been sweeping rapidly across the country this month.

We reached out to Drendan Brain for comment, but his phone always went to a busy tone and his emails keep getting returned to me. The cold may also have been brought to the event by 19 other attendees from the UK, the EVE: Valkyrie team from the UK, or literally anyone going through any airport, but that wouldn’t make a snazzy headline. However the outbreak started, hundreds of EVE Online players were potentially exposed and many are now crawling into bed with some chicken soup and a cup of hot lemon. Get well soon, space bros!

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EVE Evolved: Could achievements save EVE’s new player experience?

EVE Online has always been a very long-term game, with players setting goals that often take months to achieve and forming friendships over the course of years. This poses a real problem for new players, most of whom find the game slow and don’t stick with it long enough to become part of the community. People often hear about some awesome battle or read an interesting article on EVE and finally decide to give it a shot, only to discover that it plays very differently to other MMOs and doesn’t give them any direction. Even players who have been around for years will often admit that it took them two or three trial attempts to finally get into in the game and finding their place in the community. Faced with this problem, CCP has tried to revamp the new player experience several times over the years with limited success.

After the recent announcement that CCP will be letting players buy and sell skillpoints on the open market, I got into a debate with some friends on whether skillpoints represent a real barrier to new players and what CCP could potentially do about it. Practically everything you want to do in the game is locked behind a skillpoint barrier, and that’s assuming you can figure out what you want to do. There are career agents to introduce players to the various parts of the game if you know where to find them, but the majority of the new player experience occurs through an Opportunities system that guides the player through a series of achievement-like popups. I’ve begun to wonder whether these systems could be modified to produce something better: A Life Goals achievement system that rewards players with skillpoints for hitting major milestones.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I pitch an idea for a change to the new player experience that would help players invest in their characters and encourage them to settle in the community long-term.

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Massively Opinionated: Which is the best open-world PvP, WvW or FFA?

So far Massively Opinionated has kept its questions rather broad, but wouldn’t it be interesting to examine one title that has a particular take on a certain mechanic and pit it against another game with a different take on the same mechanic? That is what MO did today. It took the PvP in Guild Wars 2 and pitted it against the PvP in EVE Online. And our panelists are Tina Lauro, representing GW2, and Brendan Drain, representing EVE.

The rules are simple: our host, Larry Everett, sent four questions to the panelists and asked them to create an argument based around their answers to these questions. Whoever has the best argument will win a point, and the panelists with the most points at the end will win the show.

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Massively Opinionated: What’s the next big MMO buzzword?

In this episode of Massively Opinionated, the topic is public relations and communication. Sometimes marketing and consumer relationships in MMOs don’t always go the way game creators plan. So this week, we debate the ways MMOs should and shouldn’t handle their customers. Host Larry Everett invited two individuals who are very familiar with the inner workings of the games industry: From here at Massively OP and Predestination, welcome Brendan Drain and Tina Lauro. Enjoy the show!

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Massively Opinionated: Which MMO is the stickiest?

Unlike single-player games, MMO need a built-in reason for people to keep coming back, or better yet, stick around forever and ever. Some MMOs clearly have better staying power than others. Our panelists debate this week what makes MMOs the most sticky and which MMOs have done it the best.

The rules are simple: Our arbitrator, Larry Everett, gives our panelists four questions to answer. The panelists argue each question, and whoever has the best argument wins a point. At the end of the show, whoever has the most points wins.

The panelists this week are all champions from previous Massively Opinionated debates. From right here on MassivelyOP, Tina Lauro joins us. From his YouTube channel, it’s The Cosmic Engine. And an editor at MMO Bomb, Jason Winter, has again graced us with his presence. Check out the full debate show below.

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Massively Opinionated: Hearthstone vs Neverwinter vs LoL

On this week’s edition of Massively Opinionated, we’re talking about one of the biggest controversies to hit the western MMO market in the last few years: free-to-play. We asked our panelists which game has the best F2P model, what turns the western market off from F2P, and which F2P ad is the worst they have seen. We also ask them to build their own F2P MMO.

The rules are simple: Our host, Larry Everett, asks our expert panelists four questions prior to the show on our topic of the week. They come to the show prepared to defend their answers… to the death. Whoever has the best argument wins a point for each question, and the panelist with the most points at the end wins the internet.

Our panelists today are some of the best reporters on F2P games: From MMO Bomb, it’s Editor Jason Winter; from BioBreak and the Massively OP Podcast, Justin Olivetti joins us; and our own Tina Lauro from Predestination jumps on the panel once again!

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