xbox 360

Choose My Adventure: Farewell to Project Gorgon

Out of all the titles that I’ve played for Choose My Adventure, Project Gorgon is probably the earliest in its development cycle. It’s also, by a sizable margin, the best in show. If you’re looking for a quick ringtone-style clip to take away from this column, that would be the one.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot of criticisms of the game, nor does it mean that this is a game which will delight and amaze everyone who plays it. I have a somewhat biased starting point anyway because I talk about this subgenre for a living, and thus I have certain tastes that not everyone is going to share. That isn’t meant as a brag; that’s meant as a self-admonishment because these are things no one should really care about all that much.

Still, here I am, here this game is, and I am happy to pronounce it the best of all the Choose My Adventure games that I’ve played for this feature so far – albeit with the slight caveat that it won’t be able to hold onto that title forever if it doesn’t actually address some of the issues that I noticed while playing.

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Destiny 2 team revises its update roadmap

No development plan survives first contact with the community, and Bungie freely admits that its previous Destiny 2 roadmap was subject to change at any moment for any reason.

Hence, an updated and revised roadmap was published this week that takes players from next week’s Patch 1.1.3 through May’s Patch 1.2. A few features have been shuffled around, such as the delay of what would have been 1.1.3’s Nightfall Strike unique weapons to March’s Patch 1.1.4.

“We also have a big addition we’re eager to share,” Bungie said, “Rumble will be joining 6v6 Iron Banner and Mayhem in our new rotating weekly Crucible playlist in 1.1.4. We want to make sure players have a more diverse set of game modes available in both Crucible and Private Matches. Doubles is also planned to return, but we do not have an exact release date just yet.”

Take a gander at the latest development roadmap after the jump!

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Final Fantasy XI brings back its annual doll festival

For the many Japanese players of Final Fantasy XI, the annual doll festival feels entirely familiar and normal. For most of the international players, it feels kind of weird and unfamiliar. And yet everyone can enjoy it because it means that you have a chance to play with dolls in a video game. Who could be anything less than delighted about that? Hopefully not you, dear readers, as the game’s doll festival is coming back around on February 26th for everyone to enjoy.

Event moogles (those harbingers of antics) will be appearing in Bastok, San d’Oria, and Windurst, located in two districts and offering players festive items such as your very own doll display. Consider that this month’s login campaign also offers a chance to get your own Lilisette doll; it seems thematically appropriate. Collect your dolls! Display them for others! Do some research into this holiday that may be unfamiliar to you! It’s all in fun.


The Stream Team: Love is in the ARK

Besides turning various animals bright pink or red, the Valentine’s event in ARK is a mating and breeding extravaganza! Massively OP’s MJ and the crew are taking advantage of it to increase their packs. That’s right, MJ is spending the weekend breeding. Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. to watch.

What: ARK: Aberration
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 17, 2018

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Massively Overthinking: Could bots save dying MMORPGs?

Last week, a reader named Chris, who is writing a paper on the MMO industry and revivifying sunsetted games, dropped an intriguing question into my inbox. It’s about bots – but not the sort of bots EVE Online is constantly fighting. The good kind.

“Do you think people would be interested in coming back to ‘closed’ MMO games if they were populated with AI bots instead of real players (to make them feel alive/populated)?” he asked me.

Let’s ponder that for today’s Overthinking. Certainly we’ve seen bots put to work in games like Camelot Unchained, which uses them to test massive numbers of players on the battlefield. Would you want to see them in live play? Would they help the feel of the world in ways that default NPCs simply would not? Is the AI even doable? Could AI bots take our place to make MMORPGs even better – or even to keep them viable and save them from destruction?

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Ubisoft investor presentation highlights the profit benefits of ‘games as a service’

Have you wondered why it is Ubisoft is so dedicated to putting out a continual string of games as a service, even its ostensibly single-player offerings? Actually, as an MMO fan you probably haven’t wondered, but the latest investor presentation for the company makes it absolutely clear why this model is favored by the company. Specifically? Because it means money. So much money, for such a long time.

Ubisoft has found that games like The Division and The Crew wind up generating much more revenue over the long term, meaning that a yearly game released as a service makes a lot more money over the long term than simple single-player launches. Of course, long-time MMO fans are probably familiar with this principle, and it doesn’t exactly address the question of whether or not it produces better games. But if you needed confirmation, here it is.

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Perfect Ten: The tabletop GMs behind MMOs

One of the advantages to computer RPGs, I’ve always thought, is that you don’t need a friend who you can alternately sucker or bribe into taking on 80% of the work that’s involved in making a tabletop RPG fun. You just turn on the game and it goes. The downside, of course, is that you also don’t have the advantages of having a GM in charge of the game, so you don’t get that personal connection and that sense of familiarity.

Except that’s not entirely accurate, is it? Yes, these games do not have a person eagerly perched behind a screen explaining how your characters have screwed everything up forever, but you still do get the same sense of a specific GM guiding the game over time. Because there are certain quirks, certain constants, and over time a feel to the game that informs what sort of GM you’ve got running the game. So let’s talk about the GMs running some games.

I warn you that if you’ve never played any sort of tabletop game, this column may not make a whole lot of sense. But if you’ve never played any tabletop RPGs I don’t understand how you live and thus cannot promise to target you reliably. Sorry.

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Wisdom of Nym: What cosmetic features could other jobs get in Final Fantasy XIV?

About a month back, I got a comment in this column with an absolutely spectacular question. We’ve got two cosmetic systems that basically only concern two jobs in the game, Bards and Summoners. What could other jobs get for similar systems, stuff that’s going to be fun to play with but wouldn’t actually affect any sort of gameplay?

This question almost immediately struck me as marvelous, because one of the things I love about Final Fantasy XIV is its attention to detail with stuff like this. A music system can be added to the game that only works for Bards, because that’s a thing Bards do and you can just be a Bard if you want to. So why shouldn’t other jobs get similar toys?

It was also the first time that I’d really thought about egi glamours as being in the same category, and that category has somewhat suffered from a lack of updates lately. So let’s talk about these sorts of enhancements, more character options for out-of-combat customization.

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The MOP Up: Black Desert’s Ninja arrives in Southeast Asia (February 11, 2018)

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!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Vendetta OnlineWorlds AdriftMonster Hunter WorldHellionRustSkyforgeBlade and SoulPortal KnightsFinal Fantasy XIDreadnoughtPUBGHyper UniverseCrossoutBlack DesertDark and LightH1Z1DauntlessRobocraftFortniteWar of RightsCosmos InvictusUltima Online, and Vendetta Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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Destiny 2 empowers players to set Nightfall strike challenge levels, prototypes raid features

Destiny 2’s Nightfall strikes are in the wings, waiting for their turn to receive some love and adjustments. This should happen soon, as Bungie plans on getting rid of the pass-fail timer and replacing it with other criteria that will score varying degrees of success. Also, players can pick up challenge cards with handicaps that add a score multiplyer to their runs.

“Fireteams of any size should be able to participate, from organized clan groups to skilled solo players,” promised Game Director Christopher Barrett. “Players should be able to determine their own challenge level, by going slow and steady or fast and wild, with elective modifiers to test the most hardcore veterans.” Read more

Activision Blizzard boasts ‘record quarter, record year’

With revenues and net bookings up, Activision Blizzard is riding high going into 2018. CEO Bobby Kotick introduced the Q4 2017 report by saying that it was “a record quarter to cap off a record year for Activision Blizzard.”

The studio’s net revenues shot up 6% to $7.02 billion and its revenues were up 1%, bringing in $2.04 billion during the quarter. The company’s stock price took a dip that it attributes to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, however. More than $4 billion of that net revenue came from in-game microtransactions, half of which came from the company’s PC and console titles.

Destiny 2 and Overwatch did its part to push earnings, with the former being the second-highest-grossing console game for 2017 in North America. Overwatch has witnessed “higher engagement” since its Overwatch League began. And while Blizzard continues to not report on the population of any given game, the studio said that it had 40 million monthly active users during the quarter.

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Destiny 2’s new Crimson Days event says the couple that slays together stays together

It takes two in the new Destiny 2 Crimson Days event. Specifically, players are tasked with taking on a 2v2 Clash and a new Burnout variant in which two players must group together in order to keep the light from fading completely. In other words, you’ll need to work together with a partner in order to earn rewards and pick up new mounts, emotes, and decorations. It’s about as romantic as you can get in a game that’s chiefly concerned with shooting one another, let’s be real.

Should that not work with you, it’s important to note that the official forum rules are being changed somewhat, so you might not actually be able to complain about it on the official forums. If you haven’t yet reached the Farm in Destiny 2, for example, you won’t be able to post in that game’s Feedback, Gameplay, or Off-Topic boards. So you’ll actually need to play the game a little bit before getting a platform to talk about it. That seems fair.

Source: Event page, forum restrictions; thanks to Sophisikai for the tip!


The MOP Up: Overwatch rings in the Lunar New Year (February 4, 2018)

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!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from EVE OnlineCSGOFortniteEverQuest IIStar Wars Battlefront IIBlack DesertWar of RightsArmored WarfareDota 2HellionElder Scrolls OnlineOverwatchFortniteFinal Fantasy XI, and Pokemon Go, all waiting for you after the break!

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