Roll for initiative! Bree and Justin are getting all kinds of nerdy with this week's show, in which they talk about Dragon-people, the return of a long-abandoned sci-fi game, a momentous anniversary, and the viability of sandbox MMOs.
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:
We were remarking in the Massively OP office the other day how weird it was that Club Penguin's shutdown was getting mainstream news attention in a way that many more important and long-running titles (Asheron's Call anyone?) were not. One reason why this might be, apart from its Disney connection, is that for some players, Club Penguin was their introduction to online worlds and they still retain a strong emotional connection because we tend to fondly remember our first everythings. Never underestimate nostalgia!
MMORPGs as we know them today weren't really around when I was growing up, but I have no doubt that many of our readers cut their teeth on titles at a much younger age. How young were you when you played your first MMO? Was it a kiddie title like Wizard101 or an all-ages pick like World of Warcraft? Were you one of those who picked up RuneScape because it was free and you didn't have access to your parents' credit cards?
Massively OP reader and frequent tipster Gibbins wants us to play match-maker.
"I love the wonderful world that Bethesda created with the Fallout franchise, not too bleak but very post apocalypse with a very kitsch '50s feel from the time of duck and cover educational films, but I wish it were multiplayer. The huge volume of mods for Fallout is also is a massive bonus, giving the game great variety and replayability. On the other hand, I also love the satirical in your face style of GTA Online and its no-holds-barred multiplayer experience, but I wish there were more to the story and more support for mods. Both games offer so much, and I would love to see how each studio would add to the other's game. Which two development teams would you like to see married... and which game would be their love child?"
Let's complicate Gibbins' request and say that the love child game must be an MMO! I've posed his question to the team for this week's Massively Overthinking.
Expecto MMOsium! The Battle Bards have donned their robes and taken to casting nasty spells on each other with their wands, all in the spirit of today’s soundtrack — Wizard101. This surprisingly expansive kid MMORPG visits a wide range of genres and has a score to match. But was the experience magical or mundane?
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
We’ve got Episode 90: Wizard101 and the show notes for you after the break!
For an avid fan of video game soundtracks, and of MMO soundtracks in particular, the most frustrating aspect of collecting and listening to these scores is how shabbily the OST is often treated. For every game like World of Warcraft or Aion that gives great respect to its music by creating and selling albums, there are two or three titles that have never seen a single official release at all.
This is such a shame and an aggravation that I need to call some of these titles out this week. I need to wag my fanboy finger in their direction and ask, "What gives?" There's so much great music that is put into these ever-expanding games... and the fact that only a fraction of it is ever made widely available to the public to purchase and enjoy outside of the game is a loss (moreso if the game shuts down). I can only imagine how frustrating it is for the composers to see their work bottled up in a product that might go offline forever at any time.
Here are six such MMOs that drive me nuts every time I think about how awesome it would be if their studios would ever consent to an official soundtrack release.
Wizard101 has grand, sweeping plans for 2017, starting with the upcoming release of Mirage, its Arabian Nights-themed world.
According to the team, Mirage will be on the bigger side and one of the game's "most cinematic worlds yet." Players will enjoy new quest animations, a magic carpet ride, and the Thieves' Den homage to Star Wars' cantina scene. It also sounds like there will be faction grinding with the patch, allowing players work toward rewards offered by major forces in the city.
"We’ve already been talking about what’s coming to the Spiral in 2017 and we’re super excited to get started on it," said Senior Producer Leah Ruben. "You may get by with a little help from some new friends. You may be inspired to travel the worlds of the Spiral again with renewed purpose. You will certainly have new foes to battle, new allies to collaborate with, and new powerful items to seek out. We’ve been scouring the forums for feedback, and are already working on the initial stages of our devious plan to create lots of fun content and improve the game next year, so stay tuned."
It's time to get all snuggly in front of a crackling fire, roast up some chestnuts, down a gallon of hot chocolate, and log into your favorite online RPGs for seasonal festivities! Or you could "bah humbug!" your way through the season and ignore all of the silly, free, and rewarding events if you so desire. We're not here to tell you what to do, after all!
With extra time off of work and school, many gamers have the opportunity to take advantage of all of the winter holiday events that are running across MMORPGs, MOBAs, and other online games. Feeling at a loss about where to start? Board the Massively OP sleigh and join us as we take you on a tour of all of the Christmas events going on right now!
When it comes to a great holiday event, what would you rather have more: in-game activities, giveaways, or cash shop sales? If you said, "All three!" then KingsIsle agrees with you. Both Wizard101 and Pirate101 are currently in the midst of so many Christmas promotions that it's kind of hard to keep track of them all.
Let's start with the 12 Days of the Spiral, a calendar promotion in which players can get free and discounted goodies every day from now through December 20th (make sure to pick up your free housing items and pony!). Wizard101 also has a brand-new Krampus dungeon for players to tackle while the season lasts.
There's plenty of other things to do as well, such as enjoying the Yuletide event and entering in a holiday art contest.
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 were fascinated with the inspiring tale of two Overwatch players who wanted to be the best at being the worst in the game. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from Wizard101, Final Fantasy XI, Conan Exiles, and more, all waiting for you after the break!
One of the most common questions that I'm asked from my adoring throngs on the street is, "Justin, where oh where can I get some of these marvelous MMO soundtracks that you talk about all of the time?" OK, that just never happens (on the street, that is), but people are often curious how they can go about starting to amass an MMO soundtrack collection or where to find their favorite album.
The sad truth is that so much music from these games is never officially released in any capacity, which is why I scour YouTube for fan rips of the music files. However, every so often I do discover a studio release somewhere, and I try to keep an up-to-date log on these to help others in their quest for video game scores.
So in the spirit of Christmas and sharing, today I'm going to show you how you can get your ears on more than 120 soundtracks and scores from MMOs, MOBAs, and other online titles -- some of which are free and legal for the taking. You're welcome; don't mention it!
Many of us may be descending into another long, cold, and hotpants-lacking winter, but over in Wizard101, the players are positively sweltering with excitement. That's because the game's newest expansion, Mirage, is taking them into an Arabian Nights-inspired desert world.
The team set the scene for this new region: "Step into Mirage, a world of shifting sands and shifting allegiances, where ancient treasures and ancient dangers were buried in the hope they might never again see the light of day."
Mirage has a lot in store for players, including a level cap increase to 120, two more training points, level 120 henchmen, craftable legendary weapons, an additional spell power, and even a two-tiered apartment. The expansion covers six zones which are being priced at 1,995 crowns apiece for non-subscribers.
Are you leery about heading out to shop this week (especially Friday!)? Massively OP's MJ understands. That's why she has some new Wizard101
bundles to give away right here. Called the Mirage Raider's bundles, these packs are sold exclusively at Gamestop, but you can win one without leaving the comfort of your own couch. Tune in live at 5:00 p.m. for your chance to win:
- a nomad camp house
- a desert racer mount
- a sultan's monkey pet
- a set of mirage dunerunner's gear
- a desert lodestar staff weapon
- 1 month or 5,000 crowns
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 5:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016
"Two things I did on Hallows Night: / Made my house April-clear / Left open wide my door / to the ghosts of the year." ~ "All Hollows Night" by Lizette Woodworth Reese
Is your door open to the ghosts and ghouls of MMORPGs this season? They are definitely shambling up your walkway, looking to tell you of the grim delights of the holiday in your favorite online games. Indeed, Halloween season is upon us, which means that MMOs have an excuse to break out their favorite yearly festivities.
With so much to look at and do, you might be in a terrible fright trying to figure out what to do first. We consulted our Massively OP gravedigger Bram (he's on retainer), who offers surprisingly good advice for sorting out the Halloween season in MMOs and getting the most out of the holiday. We recorded his words in this guide, although beware to the soul that reads them all -- Bram might be seeing you before the week is up. MUAHAHAHA.