turbine

American studio known primarily for Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, and the Asheron’s Call franchise.

The Daily Grind: What was the most disappointing MMO expansion of all time?

Best and worst, top and bottom: It’s fun to discuss video game in absolute extremes (at times). And I’ll bet that a lot of us only really remember the most excellent MMORPG expansions and the most disappointing ones.

So let’s grouse today and dredge up past heartaches. What was, to you, the most disappointing MMO expansion of all time? A few come to mind for me. Star Trek Online: Delta Rising was a narrative and structural mess that bogged down and made me desert it. I know that I was really let down with how RIFT: Storm Legion developed, faltering hard after a strong start. But probably for me, Lord of the Rings Online: Mordor took the cake. The publicity for it was atrocious, the actual expansion about as far from “fun” as I’ve ever experienced in an MMO, and the difficulty of moving and progressing was aggravating.

But that’s me. How about you? Which MMO expansion do you want to rag on today?

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Lord of the Rings Online talks Update 23, Mordor’s difficulty, lag, and more

Now that Lord of the Rings Online has emerged from Mordor, it’s preparing to go back in the future. SSG’s Rob Ciccolini and Jerry Snook opened up about next couple of updates with MMO Central, teasing an epic confrontation with the giant spider Shelob. Before this takes place, however, Update 23 is going to deliver what sounds like a new region and lots of new instances.

“Our next update will move towards the Grey Mountains, but as we expand we expect to have some reference or maybe even a short appearance because that will be the beginning of [Shelob’s] storyline,” said Ciccolini.

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Check out these jaw-dropping LOTRO panoramas

One of the true joys for many Lord of the Rings Online fans is being able to explore an intricate and often gorgeous-looking Middle-earth. While many screenshot folders have been filled with LOTRO vistas over the years, one player has taken it to the next level by piecing together spectacular panoramas of the landscape.

“Tolkien has put so much detail into creating Middle-earth. That’s why I decided to tag my screenshots with as much detail as to name of places, mountains, rivers, and the many things that Tolkien envisioned in Middle-earth that are present in LOTRO,” wrote Joego.

Check out several of these below, and for the rest, make sure to swing over to Joego’s Facebook page.

Source: Facebook. Thanks Joshua!

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Dungeons and Dragons Online meets the Disciples of Rage

The call for adventurers has gone out yet again in Dungeons and Dragons Online. Yesterday, the game pushed out Update 38: Disciples of Rage, a new adventure pack that starts in House Jorasco.

It sounds as though sinister dealings are afoot: “The Beacon that looms over Stormreach’s Harbor is known as the Emperor. For as long as humanoids have lived there, the Emperor has stood, and the beacon it holds has shone brightly both night and day. Meanwhile, a faction of the Cult of the Dragon Below plots.”

In addition to the new quests, Update 38 has made significant adjustments (read: buffs) to the Artificer and Druid classes. Players will find that dual-wielding weapons are going to function better while moving, meet new Eyelet companions, and just about a billion other things. Seriously, read the patch notes if you play, because this update has a ton of stuff to absorb.

Source: Patch notes. Thanks DDOCentral!

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Perfect Ten: Why trend-chasing doesn’t work at all for online games

Video games have always been a remarkably insular field; that’s the nature of development. Someone produces Super Mario Bros, and a few years later Sonic the Hedgehog sounds like a really good idea for some reason. But then you have games like The Great Giana Sisters, games that don’t try to just copy parts of what made the inspiration good but just copy the whole thing with one or two changes.

For normal video games, this can work out decently; a game that just doesn’t get much traction still sells some copies, hopefully. Just because Croc wasn’t Spyro didn’t mean that no one bought the former. But for online games, these trend-chasing games are almost always dramatic failures that litter the landscape. Why is that? Well, there are pretty good reasons, and today seems like a good time to talk about that.

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Lord of the Rings Online celebrates its eleventh birthday

Not that Hobbits need much of an excuse to throw a party, but it just so happens to be Lord of the Rings Online’s 11th birthday this month. That means that the super-charged anniversary celebration is back with its treasure hunt cards and other festivities.

Free gifts are for the taking, too, for any player who logs in between now and March 31st, 2019. That is not a typo; you actually have a full year to get these goodies.

The anniversary event came with Update 22.1, which adjusted the new fiddles, added a new Bardic fiddle as an anniversary award, fixed the Lake-town fishing deed, and fine-tuned the chat filter.

Source: LOTRO

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 165: Step into the Morninglight

On this week’s show, MJ and Justin get giddy over Secret World Legends’ season two, discuss what World of Warcraft’s launch date means for players, and cover a whole host of major updates that have arrived for the MMO community.

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:

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Jukebox Heroes: Five great YouTube channels for MMO music

As a collector and reviewer of MMORPG soundtracks, I owe a great debt to fellow music lovers who take the time to somehow extract files from the game directories and make these tracks available to the world at large. YouTube has been an invaluable treasure trove of MMO music, thanks to these devoted fans, and I thought I would give some of them props today for their hard and continuing work.

While there are plenty of channels where you might see a person post a playlist at one point for a single game, there are a handful of YouTubers who see their mission to continually post new music for ongoing online games. Today we are going to look at five channels and the game soundtracks that they cover. We’re talking hours and hours of music at your fingertips here, so set aside your plans for the rest of the day and get listening!

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One Shots: Fun with filters

You know all of those weird filter effects that you have in your photo editing software? There always seems to be a stigma against using them, mostly because they’re very noticeable and showy. But today, let’s cast off that stigma and just have some fun, eh? After all, this is a column that begins every week with a black-and-white version of the headlining photo.

And that photo this week is from Deekay, who showcases the lighter side of life in Sea of Thieves. “Finally a selfie of my pirate as she dances on the bowsprit!” he write.

One leg, choppy seas. There is no way that she didn’t fall overboard and drown about thirty seconds after that screenshot was taken.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 164: Shroud of the Heroes

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin have a hearty laugh over April Fools Day in MMOs, celebrate the launch of a couple of titles, talk about MMO body shape options, and more!

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:

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Global Chat: RIFT Prime numbers

RIFT’s new Prime progression server certainly has recaptured or recruited many MMO bloggers to the game as of late, and it is all anyone seems to be talking about. So how’s the word out on the web?

Nerdy Bookahs observed that Trion “chose a perfect time” to release the progression server. The Ancient Gaming Noob initially felt conflicted but soon fell into a groove: “There was the feeling of life in the game, with lots of people around and public groups to join and things just happening everywhere.” And GamingSF said that he’s “coming along swimmingly” on the shard.

It wasn’t all kudos and praise. Endgame Variable hedged his outlook by saying that RIFT Prime was “fun, but I don’t think it will last very long.” Inventory Full felt disillusioned with the way the original game was handled and said, “RIFT simply doesn’t have the depth or breadth of content of either of the EverQuest games, nor the nostalgia factor.”

Read on for the MMO blogosphere’s thoughts on other topics, including inventory woes in Guild Wars 2, the classic multiplayer dogfight sim Air Warrior, and the early access release of Project Gorgon.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO NPC do you love to mock?

Hell hath no sarcasm like MMO gamers who find a particular NPC to be a little too annoying, repetitive, or otherwise goofy. Then the memes crop up, ire is unleashed, and no one from that point onward can take that character seriously.

Some of the more notable MMO NPCs that I’ve loved to mock include Guild Wars’ boneheaded Prince Rurik (and his nutcracker mouth), the oh-so-very-very-slow Sara Oakheart in Lord of the Rings Online, and as of late, the “there’s much to be done” Khadgar in World of Warcraft.

Let fly your quips and quibbles today by ripping on one or more NPCs from MMORPGs that are completely mock-worthy. Why do they annoy you and what have you and your friends said about them?

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Dungeons and Dragons Online preps Disciples of Rage adventure pack

The next adventure pack for Dungeons and Dragons Online is undergoing testing and polish right now, as Standing Stone Games teases players with a broad overview of what’s to come for Update 38: Disciples of Rage.

The adventure pack will take the form of five dungeons, all of which can be completed either as level 14 or level 31. All of the quests will spawn in House Jorasco, making them Eberron adventures.

Progressing through the dungeons offers some choice. Players have to complete the “Night Falls on Stormreach” introductory quest, but then can go through the next three missions in any order. Once all four are completed, the “Toxic Treatment” capstone can be accessed.

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