Hey, remember the MMO Book Club? That’s the Reddit-and-Discord group that allows members to vote on a game to play, then organizes a guild and events inside that game over the allotted time period, ensuring that folks who want to try out an MMORPG have a ready-made community of likeminded casual people who aren’t going to immediately scamper off to greener pastures. You scamperers, you.
To date, the Club has dipped into Lord of the Rings Online (which we streamed!), WildStar, The Elder Scrolls Online, and TERA, the reigning champ. As the group enters its second half-year, it’s opened the voting once again; that takes place in Discord to avoid brigading.
“The shortlist of games you can vote on to play with the Bookclub now are: Guild Wars 2, Secret World Legends, DC Universe Online, EverQuest, RuneScape, ArcheAge, World of Warcraft and TERA.” (Voting for TERA extends the current cycle another month instead of moving the crew to a new game.)
World of Warcraft: Legion isn’t quite finished yet. The green-tinged expansion has a few tricks left up its sleeve before players’ attention turns completely to the next chapter of the MMO’s lifecycle.
In addition opening up the new raid and adding in a few heavy story teasers for the upcoming expansion, Patch 7.3.2 is throwing in a new item that will allow players to upgrade their legendary items to ilevel 1000 for the first time. This is thanks to Awoken Titan Essence, which helps bootstrap legendary gear up 30 levels from 970. It probably won’t be easy to obtain; Blizzard Watch outlines a possible process for the upgrade with numerous bullet points that suggests a tad bit of a grind.
With four-digit ilevels becoming a reality, is it about time for Blizzard to consider another round of stat squishing? Or should the studio keep pushing bigger and more impressive numbers across the board?
One of the MMORPG industry’s more prominent designers is leaving one of the MMORPG industry’s more prominent games. On Friday, World of Warcraft Senior Design Producer Stephan Frost announced that he is departing from the title and the studio for an unnamed opportunity.
“Bittersweet day ahead of me today, it’s my last day at Blizzard,” Frost tweeted. “There’s a big opportunity I felt I had to take, but I’ll miss the people.”
Frost worked his way up to prominence at Carbine Studios, where he eventually became WildStar’s game design producer. He left in 2014, spent less than a year at Amazon Game Studios, and then joined up with Blizzard in 2015 where he became a senior producer on World of Warcraft.
In addition to game design, Frost is a voice actor (he did the WildStar “dev speak” videos) and the creator of a comic book called Mortifera.
The open question of “where are Alleria and Turalyon” was bouncing around in World of Warcraft pretty much as soon as players got to Outland and didn’t see them. Now they’re finally in the game, but the game also offers only hints and rumors about the transition between being in Outland at the end of Warcraft II and where they are now. We know they’re part of the Army of Light and that they’ve had some adventures, but what were those adventures?
Well, why not listen to about two hours of audio drama below? That’ll clear things right up.
Titled “A Thousand Years of War,” the audio drama gives a comprehensive look at what happened to the ranger and paladin when they first encountered the Army of Light, how they reached their current place, and what several of their offhand references to past events really mean. It’s a lengthy listen, but if you’re a lore fiend, you’ll probably enjoy all of it. Check it out just below, and don’t worry, as long as you keep listening, you don’t need to watch the actual video.
Did you drop $40 on a virtual ticket for BlizzCon 2017? You won’t have to wait until the convention starts in November to enjoy some of the benefits that come with such a golden pass.
Blizzard has started to post pre-show videos leading up to the show, and while the public can view some of them for free, others are exclusive for virtual ticket holders. Three videos can be access with the ticket, looking at casual and advanced cosplay as well as a trip into the Blizzard museum for memorable stories about the community.
Speaking of the community, World of Warcraft players are organizing another Running of the Gnomes on October 14th to raise awareness and money for the fight against breast cancer. While there is now an official micro-holiday spawned from this player event, this particular run is purely community-operated. Participants are urged to roll a pink-haired Gnome on the Scarlet Crusade server and have their guilds donate to charity.
Arrrr and assorted other pirate cliches. Yes, it’s Talk Like A Pirate Day, which means some MMOs are getting in on the fun. That includes World of Warcraft, as Blizzard tweeted this morning.
WoW players have but one day to take part in the event; run down to Booty Bay, grab your drink from the Dread Captain, and don your corsair outfit, which grants you The Captain’s Booty achievement – the one time every year you can do just that.
According to Wowhead, this year’s event has a fun new twist, which is probably what we’re seeing in the gif that Blizz has been tweeting: “The Bloodsail pirates are throwing a new beach party on the Wild Shore.” There’s a new buyable toy for folks who’ve completed the Avast Ye, Admiral! quest as well.
Inventory management in MMORPGs is critical — I can’t even imagine playing something like World of Warcraft
or Elder Scrolls Online
without inventory mods installed. And yet mods shouldn’t be necessary; game inventory should work properly and well right out of the box.
Such is Neverwinter’s philosophy. In a new dev blog today, PWE explains its major overhaul for character inventories in the game. Of note, the inventory settings menu will allow players to sort the stuff in their bags by item type, sell everything marked as treasure, and identify all unindentified items – a move that seems to mirror Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire additions. You can also filter items by property, something few MMOs offer by default, and convert items to refinement points in bulk, part of a larger (and contentious) move to rewrite the refinement system.
Irritatingly, the cash-shop option to buy a bag is the top button under settings, right next to the button on your inventory bar, meaning both can be visible at once, but ya can’t win ’em all. Feedback is currently still being collected on the official forums.
Ever pause during your day and find yourself wondering, “Whatever happened to that game?” With hundreds upon hundreds of online titles these days, it’s surprisingly easy for MMOs to fall through the cracks and become buried as more aggressive or active games take the spotlight.
Well, every so often we here at Massively Overpowered find ourselves curious what has transpired with certain MMOs that we haven’t heard from in quite a while. Have we missed the action and notices? Has the game gone into stealth maintenance mode? What’s the deal? What has it been up to lately?
That’s when we put on our detective hats and go sleuthing. Today we look at whatever happened to Black Gold, Order and Chaos Online, and Eden Eternal.
Not all e-sports tournaments have to do with players beating on each other’s faces, although to be fair, that seems like a vast majority of them. However, Blizzard is introducing a different type of tournament today in World of Warcraft with its Mythic Dungeon Invitational that draws more from the PvE side of the game.
During the invitational, 32 teams from across the world will be competing over the course of three weekends to work their way up in the rankings. How will they do this? By racing through set mythic-level dungeons in World of Warcraft, of course!
It sounds as though teams will be competing against each other to see which can clear a dungeon the best and fastest: “These teams will need to balance speed, skill, and strategy to claim their victory over their opponents. Keystone levels and affixes will be determined by Blizzard and all competition will take place on special tournament realms in which all players compete on an even playing field.”
Earlier this week, we wrote about Black Desert developer Pearl Abyss’ IPO and its grand plans for the future – among them, four additional MMOs. Sounds great, right? Except that the suspicion, at least in our comments, is that Pearl Abyss will just follow in the footsteps of Nexon, NCsoft, and Netmarble in that the games will mobile MMOs and not “real” MMORPGs at all. That may or may not be true; the games have fairly fast turnaround for a full-scale MMORPG, but then the company talked up the BDO engine for future games and expressed great ambition in the MMORPG market in the west and on console.
But the suspicion seems to turn off so many of us — the stigma is real. So for today’s Overthinking, I wanted to dig into that. Do you play mobile MMOs, especially any of the modern crop that are popular in East Asia and then ported here? What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs, and what would you want out of an MMO for a mobile device that would actually make you consider it a home MMORPG?
Is there anything really important between now and November 3rd, when BlizzCon 2017 begins? Probably not, so we might as well all start hibernating in our pumpkin spice caves.
However, it might behoove some Blizzard fans who can’t physically attend the two-day convention to check out the virtual ticket as a way to hang out at the show from home. It sounds like this package is even better this year. Running fans $40, the virtual ticket offers coverage of every stage, panel, and special event during the convention as well as a $10 discount on the Blizzard physical goody box, a customized viewing list, and replays up to a month after the convention.
The ticket also comes with in-game goodies, including a choice of either a either an Alliance Skychaser or a Horde Interceptor World of Warcraft flying mount that can be redeemed and used today. It also should be noted that everyone, even the most cheapskatiest of us, can view the opening ceremony and e-sports tournaments for free.
Lore! Huh! What is it good for? Understanding why you’re standing in the middle of a pack of angry people with fangs in MMOs, of course. It’s the thin line dividing your actions from being reckless, indiscriminate mayhem and discriminating, careful mayhem. Lore is how you know what the world is like beyond your front door, and it’s the difference between understanding that you face Ragnaros, lord of flame or just knowing that there’s a dude here made out of fire, so you should probably use water spells on him.
All lore, however, is not created equal. There’s lore that creates a detailed, vibrant world full of people with their own hopes and dreams, and there’s lore that creates a game where you know what you’re supposed to be doing but have no idea what people do for fun afterwards aside from waiting to die. So today, we explore the tiers of lore, arranged in a numbered list because that’s the entire premise of the column. It’s not Perfect Vague Assortment of Concepts. That’s not even a column.
We’ve got a fun roundup of Blizzard’s doings, so let’s get started! The studio is selling a new “Shadow” fox pet with adorably huge ears for $10 in World of Warcraft’s
cash shop. So why is this special? Because the studio is donating all profits to charity
to benefit the victims of the current hurricane season.
“For every Shadow pet purchased between September 12, 2017 and December 31, 2017, 100% of the adoption fee will be split equally between American Red Cross Disaster Relief and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Disaster Relief Fund to assist with relief efforts around the world,” the studio said.
Moving on to Overwatch, the devs are busy putting the final touches on the game’s newest map. Junkertown is coming on September 19th to all platforms, but you can get a preview of the map right now.