So you’ve heard about MOBAs by now, right? Maybe you tried League of Legends, or the idea behind DOTA 2 was too confusing to inspire a download. Now there’s this Heroes of the Storm thing coming out and you find yourself oddly excited (or being badgered by friends to get in game). Plus, it’s Blizzard, and you can’t pass up a Blizzard game. What’s an MMO fan to do?
Worry not, dear reader! As someone who has played quite a few MOBAs, I’m here to give you a quick rundown of the genre, how Heroes of the Storm works, and some tips on surviving and thriving in the game.
If you’ve been taking part in the battles over Ashran in World of Warcraft, it’s understandable that you could be a little tired of the open PvP zone. That’s why the zone is getting a bit of an overhaul in patch 6.2, starting with a mechanical change that removes Conquest Point rewards from killing faction bosses and events. Instead, players will be awarded Conquest Points through new repeatable quests requesting some dead faction bosses and some event victories. It’s not functionally all that different, but there’s an added step.
The big addition, however, is the rush to the Ashran Excavation, which will pit both factions against one another in a race to collect more Apexis Marks of Redemption. Players are charged with cutting down Arakkoa ghosts to collect the marks, turning them in to a neutral ghost and collecting a powerful artifact for hitting 50 first. Take a look at the full preview for all of the details.
Many words have been spilled about World of Warcraft’s relative immunity to aging due to its stylized graphics. And while that art style is quite beloved, have you ever asked yourself what WoW would look like as a modern game?
Now you can. Fan Daniel Luchau has been slaving away rendering WoW’s Elwynn Forest in the Unreal Engine. The sights are instantly recognizable, if quite prettier than gamers might have expected. Luchau said that this is very much a work-in-progress, although he has plans to cover additional zones and release the project for others to explore via virtual reality headsets.
You can watch the full two-minute fly-through after the break!
Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!
Just in time for its first birthday, Carbine formally announced WildStar’s free-to-play transition this week; it’s due in the fall and is part of NCsoft’s stated intent of bolstering its Western roster. Our own WildStar expert Eliot Lefebvre, who’s been heavily critical of the game’s first year, thinks there’s still hope for the game.
Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.
So what knocked World of Warcraft‘s subscribers down so quickly between the launch of Warlords of Draenor and now? Most people playing the game will be quick to point out design decisions, update pacing, and other such culprits. A recent article on Marketplace.org posits a different theory, however – that the game’s decline coincides with the rise of mobile gaming as a more addictive option.
The article notes that the game hits its apex in 2010, around the same time that mobile gaming started to take off. Subsequent falls have been a result of mobile gaming successfully getting more and more addictive compared to Blizzard’s title. Whether you agree with the conclusion or not, it’s food for thought as you go about your day.
It is a truly difficult thing to create something completely new and original, especially in storytelling and setting. It’s perhaps impossible in this day and age, as we tell variations on time-worn tales. But what is almost as good of a substitute is to take two elements and put them together to make an interesting new mix — such as science-fiction and ancient Rome.
That was the premise for Mythic Entertainment’s Imperator Online, a fascinating project that was originally to be the follow-up MMO to the studio’s Dark Age of Camelot but instead was cancelled before it ever launched. Even so, players got hooked by the intriguing premise: “What if the Roman Empire never fell, but instead continued on to become a really radical futuristic online roleplaying game setting?”
This week’s Massively Overthinking question comes to us from Kickstarter donor Aldranis, whose query neatly dovetails with the IP-related question we answered on the podcast earlier this week. Aldranis writes,
Do you think IP-based games lead to an oversaturation of mediocre MMOs on the market? It seems for every Marvel Heroes or Lord of the Rings Online, there are one or two Matrix Onlines. I feel these types of games can not only stunt design/developer creativity but also introduce games that no one would really play, wasting a great IP. Similarly, I’m really bummed that World of Darkness didn’t make it to the light of day (pun very intended). That was an IP-based MMO I was really looking forward to, and now seems to be lost, at least in the short-term.
I posed Aldranis’ question to the Massively OP writers, and man, they took the diss on The Matrix Online as fightin’ words!
Fun hypothetical: Let’s say that all of us — including Massively Overpowered — were thrown back in time 12 years to 2003. There’s no World of Warcraft. No Star Wars: The Old Republic. And very, very little free-to-play anything.
What would you play?
Would you get into the truly classic era of EverQuest? Go PvPing in Dark Age of Camelot? Build a house in Ultima Online? Get in on the ground floor of EVE Online? Rejoice that Star Wars Galaxies was back? Or something else entirely?
Is the world ending? Is hell freezing over? It must be because Blade & Soul is actually coming to the west! On this week’s podcast, the hosts talk about this incredible development as well as progression servers, launch dates, and flying in Draenor. Get out your Bree Topic Bingo cards, as you’re guaranteed to be a big winner!
Join us on the podcast as we talk about what we’ve been playing in MMOs, the top news stories from the past week, and topics that listeners have submitted!
Too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!
Were you one of the three million people who ditched World of Warcraft earlier this year? Did you leave in part because you could fly virtually everywhere in the game but not the new expansion and found it irritating, illogical, and design-poor? Were you expecting to resub at some future point once Blizzard addressed the feature? Good news: Blizzard has nixed flying in Draenor forever; it doesn’t want your money, so you can now spend it on the hundreds of other MMORPGs on the market. You’re welcome!
Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.
Welcome along to Guild Chat, my own wee place in the ‘webs in which we can discuss all things guilds and club together to give advice to a reader in need. I’m rushed off my feet with not one but three questions to answer this month, so I do believe it’s some else’s turn to stick the kettle on! This edition of Guild Chat is focused on VOIP use in guilds, with all three questions tying back to problems with voice. Some of the scenarios presented are downright hilarious, so you’ll not want to miss this one!
The questions were submitted by Massively Overpowered readers Max, Rick, and SpirriX, and they focus on several different VOIP-related issues. First up, we have a discussion on how best to set up your VOIP channels, followed by whether or not it is worth leaving a guild that is heavily dependent on voice chat if you don’t join in yourself. My advice turns a wee bit ranty when we get to the issue of noisy push-to-talk haters who overshare when it comes to their eating and pottying habits – oy! Read each question in full below and don’t forget to pop your own advice in the comments for the good of the group.
I made my Crab Spider in City of Heroes primarily because I wanted to have someone as a spider. My character concept for her was sort of ridiculous. I did not think that she’d become my main character, have an immensely satisfying roleplaying arc, and wind up being a character I look upon with great fondness. But that’s exactly what happened, and I could still probably write a whole column about Rubi Sloane and her path from Arachnos to Longbow.
She’s hardly the only character, though. From my Shaman in World of Warcraft to my Smuggler in Star Wars: The Old Republic, I’ve made a lot of characters whom I expected to not care about but wound up loving. What about you? What characters have you made that you found yourself unexpectedly fond of?
World of Warcraft player pilots are officially grounded for the indefinite future.
Lead Designer Ion Hazzikostas said that while Blizzard was originally looking at turning flight on for Draenor, the studio has decided the drawbacks of flight outweigh the positives. He said that it made the world feel smaller and came at the cost of eliminating “targeted exploration.”
“At this point, we feel that outdoor gameplay in World of Warcraft is ultimately better without flying,” he said. “We’re not going to be reintroducing the ability to fly in Draenor, and that’s kind of where we’re at going forward.”