Massively OP Podcast episode 189: Time traveling to 2004

    
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We hated when our parents told us to get a haircut, or told us to stop pursuing a major in professional drumming in favor of a law degree, or that we shouldn't get married to someone we'd only met three times and once in decent lighting. And we really hated them a month later when we got a haircut, got a divorce, and enrolled in law school.

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin travel back to 2004 with the coming demo of World of Warcraft Classic, fight to save Pirates of the Burning Sea, prepare for the wonderfully adorable MapleStory 2, steel themselves for the end of WildStar, 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.

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Paragon Lost

Password Managers Justin! I can’t stress that enough in today’s world.

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Mia.

I am always astounded to hear people talk about how dumbed down WoW is now. I played it for maybe 6 months when it was first released and decided that it was too dumbed down for me compared to what I was used to. (“EverQuest for Dummies” was my description at the time.) I went back to EQ for another 3 years. It was snobbish and stupid, maybe, but it was a long time ago, and I quit video games entirely for a number of years in between.

I keep thinking I should give WoW a serious try, beyond a couple of hour s here and there messing around in the free trial, but now all my friends that played WoW are either at endgame or moved on to other games (and generally away from MMOs) a long time ago. I am encouraged by the podcast and some friends still playing, but I am also still feeling intimidated by the thought of being a newbie in a game full of 10+ year vets.

The other issue for me now is that I am used to action combat, fast gameplay, and all the streamlining of the games I have been playing since my return to MMOs. I hate to admit it, but I have some mild resentment when a game makes me manually pick up loot, for example. I don’t know if I can really enjoy a traditional MMO now.

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NeoWolf

On the issue of losing that sense of power due to scaling content I am someone who shares the view of not liking it.
I used to think scaling content was the answer to most issues involving cross level play but losing that sense of growth and progression you have earned by scaling content making you always vulnerable to everything is significant and very noticeable.

I think more games should have done it the way COH did it back in the day where you can synchronise your level up or down to someone else in order to play thier content while you are with them, but when you are not you can go back to your low level or high level self afterwards.
In this way you can enjoy other content and lower or higher groups irrespective of your level but do not lose your sense of growth and progression overall.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

I think the way COH did it is the best overall solution too.

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NeoWolf

I concur.

It has surprised me greatly that over the years noone else has done it that way when it was so ideal, all round.

Dantos
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Dantos

I think that’s because it ultimately relies on another person wanting you to tag along and you are ultimately tied to that person for the content. Alot of players seem to like the ‘alone together’ type of shared world experience.

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NeoWolf

I’m predominantly a soloer, so I get what you are saying.

But I also think there is some benefit in a system that rewards progression. Scaling content takes that reward from you as you lose entirely any sense of growth.

We earned our power, through time and trouble. Being able to one shot the trash mobs and not get dismounted by everything in every zone because everything now sees you as a credible threat is one of the perks of levelling up.

You don’t see Darth Vader being apprehensive about fighting every rebel trooper..for a reason. :)

The Hero of the story which is the role every players character is put in in these games should not constantly be dreading trash mobs. They SHOULD outgrow them. And earning the right to quest in a zone should be a rite of passage earnt through play, I miss that.. I enjoyed that.

I am not so bothered about having access to lower level content I may have missed or outlevelled that I am happy to lose that sense of growth to be able to do it. Much better we be able to synch down to some lower level party OR zone (as it could be done via zone level too) by choice (emphasis on choice) on a temporary basis should we want to go do that stuff, rather than bring every mob temporarily UP to our level so we are always on par with everything always, and therefore lose that growth entirely.

Dantos
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Dantos

Oh, I agree with you in terms of power progression, I’m mainly a progression minded player, and the news about horizontal progression in the new torchlight is confusing and a bit worrisome to me, especially in an ARPG, I like growing to a point where I’m a literal whirlwind of death so I can farm faster, again, in an ARPG.

The main benefit I do see with some scaling, however, is that it eliminates the leveling path, and allows skipping around to zones that you like, rather than being railroaded with maybe a few branching paths. I think served to help open up ESO’s world a whole lot.

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NeoWolf

ESO is a wierd one. YEs the scaling opens up all zones.. but really it only opens up the OTHER two factions Zones as your own faction story already took you through all your own zones.

And when you consider does it really make sense to do the other factions content and zones in a game where the three factions are at war…scaling content for that purpose seems kinda silly :)

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Minimalistway

Playing WoW now as a new player can be fun, depends on what you like, if you like exploring, learning about the lore and the stories, maybe make up a story for your characters, if you like collecting things like pets and mounts and transmog, if you are achievement junkie … WoW can offer a lot of that.

For the power imbalance, you have to think of experience too, people who played a game for years know a lot about how to play their class or role, they can do more than a new player.

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Weilan

I played WoW since Vanilla and for me Retail is casual dumbed-down empty shell of what WoW was. Like it’s a different game with the same name and some of the same assets and locations. The latest expansion I tried to play was WoD and I couldn’t stand it. The latest I can stand playing is WoTLK. But mostly I prefer Vanilla, because it has most of the aspects that I like, despite there also some annoyances in it, but not as much as in Retail.

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Castagere Shaikura

Fallout 76 is the only Bethesda game i have zero interest in. I just have burned out on the whole Fallout thing.

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sophiskiai

This popped into my head when Bree was talking about the SWG emulator economy, and I couldn’t resist sharing.

~cue ABBA music~
“Bree is the merchant queen,
Stocking vendors
On Tatooine.
She is the merchant queen,
Keeping her harvesters
Fuelled and clean!”

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

It’s beautiful. :D

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McGuffn

Worst thing about trying to log in to something is everything that removes log in options. What do you mean I can’t log in with my username anymore and instead need an email that was never a requirement before?

Also, I haven’t bothered with anything star citizen related since I bought in all those years ago, but I remember they make you sign up for multiple different usernames for no discernable reason. And its not that they don’t state a reason, it just makes very little sense. You’ve got a username, a character name, a forum name, a handle (?), a moniker(?!). Is there overlap there? most certainly.

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ChaosConstant

Thanks for answering my question! I didn’t think you were making fun of me at all! I’m one of only a few people I know who have played multiple MMOs but not WoW. I’m weird, I know. When it first came out, I was a teenager without any income, and my parents wouldn’t pay the sub. By the time I got a job, other MMOs were coming out that looked more interesting to me (LotRO, STO, SWTOR, etc.), and then later every other game went free-to-play or buy-to-play and WoW just didn’t seem worth it.
Anyways, since I wrote in, I downloaded the free version of the game (up to level 20), and I have to say, the low level experience isn’t grabbing me. I think I’ve played so many WoW clones that it doesn’t seem special. I’ve played enough MMOs to know that you can’t truly judge a game until you hit the higher levels, but I’m still kind of on the fence. Your arguments are good ones, though, so I’m considering it again.
Thanks again!

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Ironwu

I would skip WoW, as a new player to the game. It really is not the same game as it used to be, and the community is one of the most toxic and unfriendly in the genre.

If you have not tried it yet, ESO is really a fine MMO, with a super good community. The F2P version will give you the full basic game that would certainly last you a long, long time before you would need to decide to sub or not.

If you do choose to try ESO, do play AD, as that faction has the hands-down best NPC in the game! :)

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ChaosConstant

ESO is my main game right now, actually! I wasn’t a fan at launch, but I went back a few months ago and was really impressed, and now that’s pretty much all I play.
And yes, Raz is the only thing that gets me through all the snooty high elves that infest the AD :)