tiny speck

The studio that built Glitch.

Overwatch deals with ‘ban bug,’ publishes Zarya comic

Here is a fun bug indeed: Overwatch has a glitch that’s been accidentally slinging seasonal bans at players who did not deserve them. It’s not a particularly widespread issue, having only impacted about 200 accounts, but it has concerned Blizzard and stirred the team to resolve it and restore affected players to their glory.

“We recently identified a bug that, in extremely rare cases, can cause players to lose their skill rating progress and receive a seasonal ban from competitive play without any prior penalties for leaving early or being kicked for inactivity,” Game Director Jeff Kaplan posted in the forums. “This bug is a high priority for our team, and we’re working on a fix to prevent further instances of it occurring as we speak. In the meantime, we’ll be removing the seasonal ban for all players affected by this bug as well as restoring their skill rating.”

On a happier note, Blizzard published a new 12-page comic starring everyone’s favorite Russian heavy hitter, Zarya. Keep your eyes open; another Overwatch hero or two might be popping in to say hi during this one.

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Camelot Unchained designs beta siege battles

It’s not hard to imagine the Camelot Unchained fan as a curious and excitable prairie dog popping up whenever the word “beta” is mentioned. The wait has been long, the promises many, and the development of this RvR MMO seemingly never fast enough for both the fans and the devs.

But could the Beta 1 test actually be nearer than we think? There are certainly a lot of mentions of the test itself in this week’s newsletter, including a revised Beta 1 document on the official site. The team also discussed how it’s drafting up designs for siege battles to take place during the test and provide an important stepping stone to the future: “These battles are being designed primarily to be fun, and importantly, to test our work in Beta 1 and beyond.”

It saddens us to report that Camelot Unchained has killed Superman. Well, the “Superman” bug, that is. Apparently there was a glitch that kept player characters stuck in a falling/flying pose while moving around, but now that’s a funny memory rather than an awesome reality.

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Perfect Ten: The 10 saddest MMORPG stories

Every MMO tells a story through the run of its life. A lot of those stories are pretty happy, too. Ultima Online may not be the most happening place in the world right now, but its story is about launching a genre and then running for two solid decades. That’s a pretty great story. However much it’s become a tale of mismanaged expectations, World of Warcraft kind of became the most popular thing for a long while and brought in tons of new people to the hobby. Even titles with sad endings often have bright stories; the end bit for City of Heroes sucks, but everything leading up to that was a gas.

And then you have these 10 titles. These are titles where the whole story is a tragedy, start to finish, and in many cases the tragedy isn’t necessarily over, but the story is still just plain sad. There are reasons, of course, maybe even good ones, but the result is that the narrative for these titles is pretty sad all the way through.

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Destiny 2 is fixing a lot of bugs for its PC beta

The down side for players looking forward to Destiny 2 on the PC is that they have to wait a little longer for pretty much everything. The good news? Sometimes that wait means things like getting a beta less full of bugs. Bungie is fixing several bugs from the console beta including the infinite supers glitch, the infinite grenade glitch, and the Warlock glide glitch (which the designers enjoyed, but was ultimately a glitch and thus needed to be fixed).

The PC beta will also feature faster charging for supers across the board, more damaging grenades, more power ammo drops, and an issue with Warlock melee having more range than that of other classes. So it’ll be a more balanced experience when PC players get to jump in, proof that good things do indeed come for those who wait.

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Fortnite devs apologize for unintended base demolition

When money is put down on the counter and the word “launch” is used, it doesn’t matter if you say your game is in “early access” or “alpha” or what have you — customers will complain, loudly, if an update or glitch wipes out their progress. And this is exactly what happened with Fortnite this past week.

The situation came about when the team uploaded a new patch that, among other things, made changes to three maps that also reset any bases put on those maps. While the resources used to make the bases were refunded, the time and effort spent was lost. To make matters worse, there was no advance warning given to the community, a fact which the team regretted and for which it apologized on the forums.

“We messed up in missing a HUGE part of our patch notes,” the studio posted. “We know that the time it took to create your base can’t be replaced, we hope that opportunity to rebuild with all your resources and past experience will allow you to make an even better base.”

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One Shots: The one where we mention Michael Bay

Warning: This column will contain GRAPHIC and EXPLICIT references to film auteur Michael Bay. You may find yourself cutting away in excitement every two seconds and subject to unnecessary explosions and pixelated cleavage. Try to remain calm.

Siphaed had “super fun” in Citadel: Forged With Fire lately and wanted to share a vista from his new house. But what’s the best part? “Explosions!” he wrote. “Michael Bay would be jealous of the graphical fidelity of Citadel. And yet still aesthetically pleasing to the eye.”

Now that we’ve gotten our gratuitous Michael Bay reference out of the way, let us push forward and try to forget the man who single-handedly ruined two 1980s franchises. We are not bitter.

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The Game Archaeologist: Where are all of the open-source MMOs?

Recently we had an interesting question come in from reader and Patron Rasmus Praestholm, who asked me to do a little investigating: “What (if anything of substance) exists in the MMO field that’s not only free, but open source? The topic of open source came up briefly in a recent column, where Ryzom was noted to have gone open source at some point. But have any serious efforts actually gotten anywhere starting out as open source?”

As some graphical MMORPGs pass the two-decade mark in video game history and are being either cancelled or retired to maintenance mode, it’s an increasingly important topic when it comes to keeping these games alive. Not only that, the question of open source MMOs involves the community in continued development, with the studio handing over the keys to an aging car to see what can be done by resourceful fans.

But has anything much been done with open source projects in the realm of MMORPGs? Is this something that we should be demanding more of as online gaming starts using more accessible platforms such as SpatialOS? Let’s dig a bit into this topic and see what we turn up.

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Perfect Ten: MMORPGs that died too soon

Your favorite game is going to die. I wrote about that. Some games are never even going to get to launching in the first place, unfortunately. But then there are these titles: games that went the distance when it came to development, marketing, promotion, testing… but somehow didn’t quite manage to stick the landing past that. These are the games that, in Transformers terms, are the hi-then-die cast of the MMO space.

That doesn’t always mean the games are bad, mind you. Some of these games were great fun. But through a combination of business model issues, publisher issues, player population, and just general weirdness, these titles couldn’t make it to a year and a half in the wild. Heck, some of them couldn’t even make it to a year and a quarter. And if you want to peruse this list and wonder why all of these titles are gone but Alganon is somehow still operating… well, we’re just as confused as you are.

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The MOP Up: SMITE’s console mea culpa (May 7, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from Skyforge, EVE Online, IngressWar ThunderWorld of TanksWakfuLeague of LegendsSMITEGTA OnlineElsword OnlineWurm OnlineDarkfall: Rise of AgonWorlds AdriftCounter-Strike, SEAL Online, and Warspear Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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The Daily Grind: If you could live in an MMO world, which one would it be?

As much as we complain about MMORPGs, with their grinds and their boredom, even the most kill-or-be-killed ganker paradises would probably be better to live in than the real world with all its troubles and highly inconvenient implementation of permadeath. With rare exceptions, most MMOs let you return over and over to keep on trying forever, and you can always grab a mining pick or kill some trolls to make money and survive.

Me, I’d pick Glitch: Not only was the cutesy Tiny Speck game devoid of conflict, but I spent most of my time creating quests for players, wandering around, and stuffing my face with delicious food so I wouldn’t die. It was a good life. And if I did die? No biggie; hell was actually kinda fun — and critically, not permanent.

How about you? If you could live in an MMO world, which one would it be?

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Jukebox Heroes: Your top six favorite MMO music themes

After over a month of voting and counting down, we’ve arrived at the final six picks for your favorite MMORPG theme songs of all time. It’s been absolutely illuminating seeing the formation of this list and the placement of certain tracks, and I’m glad that everyone who wanted to got to participate.

Before I reveal the top six themes, here are a few honorable mentions:

  • Glitch by Vexia: “”As proof this is the ‘main theme’ since the game is closed, my soundtrack CDs have some variations of the Groddle Forest music that are titled ‘Glitch Theme (Demo),’ ‘Glitch Theme (Rook’s Woods),’ etc.”
  • EVE Online: Empyrean Age by Alex: “EVE has, like, DOZENS of theme songs. They make a new one for each expansion. It should win on variety alone. Or be in a different category. If I had to choose one, it would probably be the Empyrean Age login theme.”
  • Phantasy Star Online by Totakeke: “Boom, nothing can beat PSO’s theme. Period.”
  • City of Villains by Colonel Zechs: “Who wouldn’t like this song?”
  • SkySaga by Socontrariwise: “Just so cheerful!”

Are you ready? I know I am! Here we go!

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Global Chat: The fallout over Secret World Legends

The fallout over The Secret World’s reboot into Secret World Legends has spread far and wide over the MMO blogging community, with many expressing dismay while others signal intrigue.

“This is bad in pretty much every way that it possibly could be,” laments Superior Realities, while Through Wolfy’s Eyes said that the reboot “seems like a solution that isn’t doing a great job of communicating its intent too well, which makes me feel a tiny bit worried.” GamingSF doesn’t know if he has it in him to repeat all of the content, saying that it is “too big of an ask at the moment.” And Inventory Full calls the move “an act of desperation” on the part of the studio.

“I am also really hoping that stripped of MMO shackles that this title can truly excel,” I Has PC notes on the other hand, and Endgame Viable comments that Legends “sounds like a good thing.”

We’ve got more MMO blogger essays to share with you this week, including a requiem for Club Penguin, a judgment on SWTOR’s galactic command, and a summation of the average LOTRO player.

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Black Desert’s St Patrick’s Day patch brought its own beer

It is written in The MMORPG Code that MMOs, especially those of foreign pedigree, must indulge our most silly faux holidays. I’m sure that’s the case, else why would an upstanding game like Black Desert insert St Patrick’s Day into your immersions?

Yes, today’s patch sees not only the return of the dice-rolling Black Spirit’s adventure and new craftables for the Dark Knight but also beer. The Cold Draft Beer event, to be exact.

“To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, all players will receive beer on 3/17. Please check your in-game mail on this date to find your delivery of beer!”

That’s where I get all my beer for sure.

By the by, maintenance this morning was extended slightly for North American players and quite a bit for EU players; Kakao apologized for the extra downtime and told EU players that compensation is on the way, though everything is back up now.

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