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Massively OP Podcast Episode 158: We are all heroes

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin put on their voxel capes as they look ahead to Trove’s new expansion, LOTRO’s Hobbit fantasies, the ups and downs of Elder Scrolls Online’s outfit system, and more!

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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Elder Scrolls Online dataminers spoil the heck out of the upcoming chapter

Ever since ZeniMax promised a new expansion-scale chapter for The Elder Scrolls Online this year, dataminers have been champing at the bit to be the first to dig up all the details. It’s not even a secret anymore that the area is sure to be Summerset Isles, thanks to datamining we covered last month as well as a pretty big hint at the end of the Clockwork City DLC, but maybe stop reading if you don’t want to know more!

The latest UESP digging has revealed new music, new locations including Evergloam and Artaeum, the sload mobs, new loading screens (including one for Mephala’s Realm), quests revolving around the Mages Guild and Psijic Order, and the jewelry crafting skill.

Still grumpy over the focus on Summerset and High Elves? Our own ESO columnist Larry Everett recently penned a piece examining some other possible locations for future DLC. Also, Justin is right there with you.

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Elite Dangerous’ Beyond – Chapter One launches next week – here’s the trailer

We’re just a week away from the launch of Elite Dangerous: Beyond – Chapter One, that fascinating space abomination of colons and dashes! Frontier made the announcement this morning, pleasing commanders on all three platforms.

“The wait is nearly over as Elite Dangerous: Beyond – Chapter One arrives on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on February 27. Beyond, the third Elite Dangerous season will be free for all players, and will focus on community-requested enhancements to the overall player experience. Alongside those core foundational changes, new in-game content will progress the ever-expanding player-driven storyline and give pilots across the galaxy new tools to shape the ongoing narrative.”

As we’ve previously covered, the update buffs the criminal system, adds new notoriety levels, pulls GalNet news into the game, implements new brokers and contacts, and improves trading. And yes, it’s freeeeeeee. New pics and the trailer down below!

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Leaderboard: What kinds of MMORPG purchases do you consider pay-to-win?

I know I’m not alone in noticing that MMO gamers of late seem to have become sharply divided on how to define the term pay-to-win – indeed, the debate raged last week in threads about Black Desert’s player protest, Elder Scrolls Online’s cash shop prices, and the general consensus that ArcheAge is whale heaven. Recently Massively OP commenter Pepperzine recently wrote to us suggesting that we address it and try to sort it out.

“While there are proponents for all sides of the argument, I think it would be interesting to see where the bulk of people draw the line,” he wrote. “At the end of the day, individual perceptions are important but what is most important when it comes to this topic is what the majority perceives as pay-to-win.”

So let’s turn his proposal into the requisite Leaderboard poll, shall we? And yes, you can click as many as you want!

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Global Chat: What is the population of Guild Wars 2?

Does it matter how many people are playing your MMO? For some, yes, it does. It’s at least of passing interest to others, especially if players are looking for a “healthy” title or want a large number with which to impress their friends and argue that this MMO is besting another.

So don’t be too surprised that there is an effort to figure out what Guild Wars 2’s (undisclosed) population is at the moment. In An Age challenges one community estimate of 3.3 million players by looking at the available evidence and financial reports.

“Here’s my gut check: Guild Wars 2 probably has about 1.5 million monthly ‘players’ and many times less people who actually log on when there isn’t a holiday event/Living Story taking place,” he argues. “Ultimately though, I think Guild Wars 2 is actually uniquely well-positioned to survive regardless of whether it consists of a million actives or three million tourists.”

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The Stream Team: Recovering Warframe’s Stolen Dreams

After following events, alerts, and dreams of a kubrow pet, Massively OP’s MJ has neglected her other Warframe quests for a long while. Tonight she rectifies that. For one mission, she needs to find a thief named Maroo and uncover secrets of the Arcane Codices. Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. as MJ works on the Stolen Dreams quest.

What: Warframe
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 17th, 2018

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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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Elder Scrolls Online has been nonfunctional through Steam since yesterday

Elder Scrolls Online players on Steam woke up this morning to find that the game is still down for them. Apparently, the client through that platform is throwing up nothing but “internal error” messages.

“To reiterate, this issue is only impacting our players on Steam,” ZeniMax posted yesterday in the dedicated forum thread. “We’re actively working with Steam to get this resolved as quickly as possible.” The support Twitter said the team was on top of the problem 15 hours ago.

Why not just follow the workaround, which is to run the 64-bit client buried in Steam’s files? You can, but only if you’ve previously linked your ZOS account to your Steam account, only if your account is old (according to Reddit), and only if you’re not subbed; apparently, if you’re subbed, you’ll lose that sub. We’re pretty sure Bethsoft will sort that out eventually, but in the short-term, it’d suck.

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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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Elder Scrolls Online’s Dragon Bones DLC and update 17 are live – and the new outfit system is not cheap

Elder Scrolls Online’s paid Dragon Bones DLC and free update 17 are finally fully launched on PC. While technically the update rollout was yesterday, the EU and NA servers were up and down throughout the afternoon after an extra-long maintenance and an emergency downtime to fix a fairly major experience exploit/bug. Multiple storage bugs are also being reported on Reddit, so heads-up there.

The headline feature of update 17 itself is the new outfit system, but players are reporting it’s expensive to access indeed: You’re looking at 1500 crowns (roughly $15) for an extra outfit slot, and yes, that’s per character, though you do get one freebie per toon. Altering that outfit will cost you another 400 crowns (though you can also buy those with in-game gold). Incidentally, subbing to the game nets you 1500 crowns every month, but it’d take you a long time to deck out alts that way.

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Overwatch invites you to a free play weekend

Forget roses and chocolates; the best way to tell a friend that you love them is a masterfully executed kill shot. So for this Valentine week, why not take a loved one into Overwatch for a free date… with DEATH?

Blizzard is hosting a free play weekend for its multiplayer shooter this weekend from February 16th through the 19th. Players on the PC and consoles can jump into the game to give it a try for these four days. And this is no skimpy trial version, either, but the full-fledged product with all of its heroes and maps.

It should also be pointed out that players can level up and loot all they like during this period and that this progress will be saved should they decide to purchase the game. Console players will need to have Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus membership to access the promotion.

Source: Overwatch

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Elder Scrolls Online’s Dragon Bones DLC is here, but the EU rollout hit a snag

We’ve updated below with the chronology of what’s up with the servers.

Elder Scrolls Online’s paid Dragon Bones DLC and free update 17 are live today on PC, at least if you’re on the North American server. Apparently the EU server hit a snag.

“During today’s Update 17 & Dragon Bones maintenance, we encountered a technical issue with the patch deployment on the European PC/Mac server,” ZeniMax writes. “Specifically, this is a server configuration issue that affects only the European server patch. Due to this issue, we are extending the maintenance on the European PC/Mac ESO server. We expect the extended downtime to last approximately 12 hours, and anticipate the European PC/Mac ESO server to open around 1am GMT on Feb. 13.” It does not appear at this time that any compensation will be doled out.

The content rollout includes the outfit customization system, new housing storage upgrades, and a pair of dungeons to boot. Check out our complete coverage of the patch from announcement to now, along with our playthrough of Dragon Bones with the ZeniMax team last week!

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