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Massively OP’s guide to MMO Thanksgiving 2017

Stately resting between the gaudy purple and orange of Halloween and merry red and green of Christmas is the earth tone-saturated Thanksgiving. While no one’s favorite color scheme, Thanksgiving does give us a nice in-between holiday with family meals, an awkward dance around politics, a work day for football teams, and the occasional MMORPG holiday event.

While not every online game has decided to embrace the American holiday, enough pop up every year that need corralling. And since we just got turkey certified here at Massively OP, we’re going to lay out all of this week’s event options for you on a platter. So enjoy the festivities and dressing up like a Pilgrim for two days maximum before deeply questioning that fashion sense. Now jingly sleigh bells, size XXXL red suits, and reindeer antlers, that’s a smart look indeed!

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Trove’s freebie Turkeytopia boxes drop sweet turkey mounts for Thanksgiving

My favorite thing about Trove is that its developers feel absolutely no shame whatsoever about leaning into utter absurdity, hard, and frankly, I think that’s exactly what this particular holiday week deserves.

“Turkeytopia is a two-week long event that brings Dream Gobbler invaders to the Dragonfire Peaks biome. Fry these turkeys for a chance to earn seasonal Turkey Stuffin’ Boxes. Opening these limited time items will rarely grant the Trotting Turkey mount or the glorious Wings of Unexpected Ascension! We’re also giving daily login rewards throughout the event. Claim free Chaos Chests, Gem Booster Boxes, Dragon Coins, Diamond Dragonite, and more!”

The whole thing doesn’t even end until December 4th, which means my kid is going to be begging me to log in and get him a turkey mount for the next two weeks. Thanks, Trion. Behold.

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ArcheAge kicks off a festival of cooking

The Festival has arrived in ArcheAge. What’s it a festival about? Good question. Most festivals have a title of some sort, like “the harvest festival” or “the cooking festival.” Just calling it “the Festival” makes it sound like the villagers are mumbling about the Festival and how it will please the Old One. Luckily, it seems to just be your regular cooking festival, at least insofar as you can call any festival in which you can earn a shield shaped like a frying pan with an egg “regular.”

Yes, players can earn cooking-themed weapon skins, along with home decor, achievements, and special buffs. Take part in festival daily quests and timed quests for a variety of crafting and gathering chores, feed hungry cats, and cook special festival dishes. There’s something of a food-based holiday coming up later this week for players in the United States, so hopefully you’ll still have the appetite for a bit more cooking.

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Here’s the full list of Trion Worlds’ Black Friday deals

As you plan your Black Friday shopping strategy (ours: sleeping in and lazily shopping on Amazon Prime), Trion Worlds wants to help out by giving you a heads-up on all of the deals that the studio is throwing for its games next week. Here’s the rundown:

  • Trove: All starter packs will be 50% off during Thanksgiving week. All Class Packs, plus the Creators Pack, Collectors Pack, and Battle Pack will be 70% off, while the Essentials Edition and Double Dragon pack will be 80% off, through November 27th.
  • RIFT: Premium mounts will be 25% off from November 22nd through the 29th, and some previously lockbox-exclusive mounts will become available for direct purchase.
  • ArcheAge: Sales up to 80% off on certain items. Also, here thar be lockboxes.
  • Atlas Reactor: All packs will be 75% off and Golden Age skins will be discounted from the 22nd through the 28th.
  • Defiance: Players can get up to 65% off on Titan bundles and gold editions. Also, more lockboxes.
Source: Press release

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Paladins goes full auto with Vivian

Would you rather have a trove of ancient technology at your fingertips or a modern arsenal of rapid-fire weaponry?

Paladins’ newest champion, Vivian, doesn’t have to make this nail-biting choice. The multiplayer title’s 14th character comes onto the scene toting drones, deflector shields, and a no-nonsense machine gun. “Vivian’s abilities are all about outwitting her enemies with ancient technology then destroying them with a relentless barrage of firepower,” the team posted.

Vivian arrived in Paladins’ Open Beta 63 patch this past Wednesday. The update includes an improved daily quest rewards system, a new type of victory spray that shows off your stats, and a new category of chest that allows players to roll to obtain full skin collections.

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Hyperspace Beacon: Assessing SWTOR one week after the big server merges

Many people believe that server merges are innately bad because in games like ArcheAge (or even all the way back to Star Wars Galaxies), they were done completely wrong or the game itself wasn’t designed for its servers to ever consolidate. However, other MMOs – RIFT comes to mind – have nearly perfected server merges. And for the most part, server merges help the game and its population. Because many of the smaller servers combine together with larger servers, there are more people around, group-finder queues tend to pop faster, PvP is more dynamic, and roleplayers can reach the all-important critical mass.

If I were to just look at the Star Wars: The Old Republic server merges from the perspective of the overall benefits of combining different server communities, I would have zero issue with them. SWTOR is one of those games that has no innate issues with combining server save for players losing character names. It could be done without losing character names, and I will get into the flaws of that system in a bit.

Now, let’s talk about my specific perspective having experienced two server merges by BioWare, then we will get into the details of how this latest one affected those in my community.

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Former SWTOR dev talks about designing ethical lockboxes

An extensive Twitter thread from former Star Wars: The Old Republic lead systems designer Damion Schubert grappled with the timely and touchy topic of lockboxes and microtransactions from the perspective of one who designed them.

Schubert said that designers can make lockboxes that aren’t pure evil: “I’ve been working in free-to-play games for four years, and lootboxes are pretty crucial to that business model working. But it is possible to do them ethically, and they are super easy to f**k up.”

“Good [microtransactions] design is an art,” he continued. “It requires designers to be equal partners with product managers to come up with something that is perceived as fair and is celebrated […] MTX will fail if it doesn’t feel good to spend. It will fail if it creates a poisonous environment around the game instead of excitement.”

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The Stream Team: A Trove Club crawl

Have you heard of a pub crawl? Well this is a Club crawl! Trove’s big club update is live today and Massively OP’s MJ is excited to dive in. Besides being able to easily tour clubs and go on their adventures, she is looking forward to exploring the new Asian biome (which is filled with some of her favorite architecture, not to mention dragons). Tune in live at 3:30 p.m. and come clubbing with us!

What: Trove
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

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Trove’s Adventures expansion is live now with a new biome and huge club upgrades

Cutesy voxel sandbox Trove has just pushed out its long-awaited club update to PC, Xbox One, and PS4, and yep, it’s free for all players, with new adventures for guilds, a brand-new East Asian-themed biome called Forbidden Spires, the new tutorial, new building frameworks, plasma fishing, and new blinking LED blocks.

“Clubs can now level up! Clubs gain experience through participation in the new Adventure system,” Trion explained last month. “As a club’s level increases, slots are unlocked to support new types of structures called fixtures. These fixtures provide stats, boosts, and bonuses, some that have never been seen before in Trove. […] At the release of the update, we’ll include 18 different fixtures, each of which can be upgraded twice, creating a ton of different combos. It’ll be up to your club’s leadership to decide which fixtures are placed down at a given time and in what order they are upgraded!”

Massively OP’s MJ Guthrie chatted with Trion last week all about the expansion and how it’s breathing new life into these massive guild worlds, so get caught up on the details there, and then stay tuned for this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. EDT, when we’ll stream the expansion ourselves and take a tour of player creations. In the meantime, the brand-new trailer is below!

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RIFT’s fall festival lockboxes rankle players

The latest batch of lockboxes in RIFT isn’t making friends among the playerbase.

The current Autumn Harvest lockboxes seem to contain more exclusive items than in years past, which has upset some players who wanted to have the option of purchasing these cosmetics through the in-game store. Of particular note is the Green Budgie mask and Raven wings, both of which are lockbox exclusives.

“The ONE item I was most looking forward to in this event were the wings. I am severely disappointed they are only available in a gambling box, as that means I will not get them,” a player wrote.

“Personally my problem isn’t even in the boxes, or the RNG itself,” another noted. “It’s in the fact that not only you have to basically gamble for everything, paid or not, but your chances are also so terrible that you end up losing to the system most of the times. So instead of being a system of surprise rewards, what we have now is a system of surprise frustration that doesn’t even surprise anyone at this point.”

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Going clubbing with Trion in Trove’s new update

When you are invited to go to a club with Trove’s devs, you’d best get ready for fun time! Of course, I mean a Trove club: a place where you can design build your own special world with friends. And clubs are getting some serious attention in this week’s update. Earlier in November, I sat down with Trion Art Lead Robin Luera and Animation Lead Ted Sanger for a tour through the voxel’s games upcoming club-errific features. Here are some of the highlights!

One important and awesome change is that clubs will now have six different permission levels. And there are tons of permissions! This will allow leaders to customize who can do what in the club, which will really come in handy with the new building and adventure features. Leaderboards have been also changed up. The top 50 average power rank and level will be displayed (the PR will be calculated of each member’s highest pr character, not add them all together). Mechanics like using or destroying the most blocks, however, have been removed.

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The Daily Grind: How old should an MMO be to consider classic servers?

Last week, Justin and I were chit-chatting about legacy servers in MMORPGs when he said that Trion should really get moving on classic servers for RIFT. My first reaction was what, really, that game is way too young to need vanilla servers! But then I remembered playing on Ultima Online emulators within a year or two of launch. RIFT, which came out in 2011, isn’t exactly old, but it’s not brand-new either. It’s old enough to have weathered a lot of changes, some of which were probably wide-ranging and contentious enough to have created plenty of players who’d rather see them undone and the game returned to a more primordial state.

What’s the cut-off – or is there one? How old should an MMO be to consider classic servers? And if age isn’t the determining factor, what exactly is?

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