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The Stream Team: An Allods Online anniversary

How is Allods Online six years old already? Massively OP’s MJ can’t believe how fast time has flown: She hasn’t gotten to try this whimsical MMO yet. And after seeing how adorable the Gibberlings are, she just has to dive in before any more time gets away from her. What better time than on the anniversary, right? Join us live at 6:00 p.m. for MJ’s first ever look at…

What: Allods Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

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The Stream Team: AQ3D adventures and Mo capes

Every time Massively OP’s MJ logs into AQ3D, she has a whole lot of fun. Whether it’s the devs reading with funny voices or just the little quips and jokes in the scripts, there’s always a reason to chuckle. And after so much traveling lately, MJ really needs a good laugh. She’s excited to dive back in so she can read more punny dialogue. And do you know what else makes MJ smile? Giving things away! So tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to for the fun and a chance to win your very own Mo cape.

What: AdventureQuest 3D
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 25th, 2016

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 114: Moving to the big city

What does a week where the news douses us in a shower of smaller stories look like? Bree and Justin wring out of their clothes, shaking loose tales of metropolises in the planning, console features, anniversary parties, and dance studios. Maybe it won’t flood the world of MMOs, but it definitely waters the lawns of our interest!

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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Lord of the Rings Online celebrates 10 years with stream at noon

Lord of the Rings Online is currently in the middle of its 10th anniversary celebrations, only somewhat darkened by the grumbling over the event’s inaccessibility for lowbies. At noon EDT today, the Standing Stone team is plotting an anniversary stream with “gameplay, developer chats, and giveaways” — and hopefully a look into the game’s future.

The stream begins at noon, and you can watch it down below, but in the meantime, take a peek at Massively OP’s LOTRO Legendarium column, in which Justin recapped his ten years in the game, or last night’s episode of the Stream Team, on which MJ took a peek at the festivities.

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What’s John Smedley building for Amazon Game Studios?

Here’s the million-dollar question of the day: What is John Smedley making for Amazon Game Studio’s San Diego branch? Ever since being handed the reigns of a new sub-studio back in February with a bulk of his Pixelmage team, we’ve been intensely curious about whether Smedley is staying close to his MMO roots in his new project.

Perhaps we might glean a few details from the job listings on Amazon’s site. The studio is looking for several positions for art, combat systems, and engineering, and there are a few bullet points in the job descriptions that hint at the project in question.

One of the job descriptions has the best hint yet, with the position being tasked to “architect and develop the real time combat system for a cutting edge action multiplayer game.” Another intriguing entry mentions a “real time terrain deformation system based on physics simulation.”

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The Stream Team: Lord of the Rings Online turns 10!

For 10 years fans have been able to wander through the beauty of Middle-earth thanks to Lord of the Rings Online — 10 years of Rivendell, 10 years of Bree, and 10 years of the Shire. That’s a whole lot of goodness! Today, Massively OP’s MJ is diving deep into the anniversary celebration. There are daily quests and even a scavenger hunt to enjoy. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to wish LOTRO a very happy birthday. (Yes, you can even sing!)

What: Lord of the Rings Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 24th, 2017

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Overwatch pro player sees career ended over racist diatribe

It’s probably not the best idea to start shouting racial abuse in the middle of a live stream if you’re public figure with a pro gaming career.

That’s the lesson to learn from Toronto Esports player Matt “Dellor” Vaughn, who apparently started shrieking the N-word repeatedly (“for 26 uninterrupted seconds while his teammates sat in stunned silence,” PVP Live writes) over voice chat during an Overwatch stream, which one of his viewers then uploaded to YouTube for posterity.

The diatribe caused Toronto Esports to end Vaughn’s contract:

“Toronto Esports is an organization built on inclusivity, and we have always had a zero- tolerance policy for any forms of discrimination. Immediately upon learning of the incident, the player was interviewed, admitted to the offence, and was notified that his contract with the organization was being terminated.”

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The Stream Team: Practicing with Paladins’ new healer, Seris

With the release of Paladins’ Souls and Shadows update, Massively OP’s MJ has a new champion to play. She’s really looking forward to checking out Seris, the newest healer. Even better, she has codes to share that include both Seris as well as her Taboo skin set. Want to win one? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. EDT for your chance to collect her.

What: Paladins
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

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Secret World Legends still hopes for a spring release, will expand beta to include Egypt soon

Our latest glimpse at the reworked universe of Secret World Legends came yesterday courtesy of an hour-long livestream on Twitch. For those of us on the outside of the NDA-slathered beta, it’s pretty much the only glimpse we have into what’s going on as testing continues.

A post on Reddit contains a helpful summary of talking points from the stream. Funcom confirmed that it is still aiming for a spring launch, saying that the testing pool will be widened with more invites and that Egypt is coming soon to the beta. The team discussed the fluid nature of testing changes, including reticules (which can be adjusted), quality-of-life improvements, hints of a “clothing closet,” dungeon lockout timers, and the elimination of the least-used combat skills. Rewards for subscribers (patrons) are still being figured out, so no official word on that yet.

You can watch the stream after the break!

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The Stream Team: Watch and win SMITE Tactics beta access

Tired of being left out of betas? Want the satisfaction of prying a set of beta doors open so you can get in? Massively OP’s MJ has a crowbar right here to help you get into SMITE Tactics! She’ll be playing and giving away a bunch of beta codes, so tune in live at 10:00 a.m. for your chance to get in and check the game out for yourself.

What: SMITE Tactics
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 10:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

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The Stream Team: Fighting through HEX’s Fort Romor

Those filthy humans have taken over Fort Romor, the next dungeon along the path of HEX’s PvE campaign, and Massively OP’s MJ needs to clear them out. Her deck has been tweaked with some new battle bunnies, so she’s better prepared for the fight this time around. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to see if MJ can make it through this dungeon with her new collection of killer bunnies.

What: HEX
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 21st, 2017

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Leaderboard: Are you part of SuperData’s cohort of ‘gaming video content viewers’?

SuperData released a report this week arguing that the video gaming video content business is booming, even “outpacing earnings from some traditional sports leagues.” The whole paper is a mere $2,499 if you want to read it all, but the summary includes everything from Twitch to YouTube and intriguingly suggests that the viewing audience is almost half female.

“Additionally, gaming live streams are replacing primetime TV viewing with 27% of live stream viewers watching most often during weekday evenings. The Gaming Video Content audience on YouTube and Amazon’s Twitch, 517 million and 185 million people in 2016 respectively, surpasses mainstream channels like ESPN and HBO, further shaking up the traditional media landscape.”

E-sports and stream viewers, the analysts claim, “watch more than four hours of content per week,” while almost half of US gaming video content viewers are hooked to “walkthroughs, trailers and humor videos,” meaning that both the casual and hardcore audiences are being served.

Are you among them? That’s what today’s Leaderboard means to find out.

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Funcom’s Joel Bylos on the difference between MMOs and survival sandboxes

Funcom’s Joel Bylos features in a Twitch interview on Gamasutra this week talking up Conan Exiles and explaining the core difference between server-based survival games versus Funcom’s “old MMOs,” as the interviewer put it. Bylos’ answer actually makes a lot of sense.

“[In] The Secret World, we focused very strongly on making really cool and interesting content and story, and the idea was to make it interesting to play. The thing is, with an MMO, a lot of focus goes into repeatable content. A lot of focus goes into things like ‘I’m gonna run this dungeon six times’ or 20 times or 200 times, right? So we need reward systems that give you tokens, that let you build or buy better items. There’s a lot of itemization discussion in MMOs. In a game like Conan Exiles, people are going to lose stuff, and we know that. We need to make it so that they can keep rebuilding stuff, keep creating stuff, keep progressing in the game, but not necessarily wanting them to go, ‘Oh, I want you to go grind this dungeon 50 times so that you can do the next dungeon – slightly harder.’ So [Conan Exiles] is not so much about this very small percentage of power increase to increase your character’s progression. That’s what I would say is a big difference in these type of games.”

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