WRUP: The story of the wombat edition


Once upon a time there was a wombat. This wombat’s name was Simon Birchson. Everyone thought this wombat was very cute and nicely rotund, and they told the wombat this when they observed him. This wombat could understand human speech and it made him a very happy wombat. Despite this, he never became arrogant and all the other wombats thought Simon was a fine fellow. He lived an appropriate amount of time for a wombat eating lots of nice wombat treats from the nice lady down the lane. When he passed away, he went to wombat heaven.

In wombat heaven, Simon discovered that he would now be fighting for the Galactic Queen of Settlron VII as part of the Divine Space-War. The end.

Editor’s note: I have no idea what this was supposed to be in reference to. Eliot has not stopped talking about Simon Birchson all week and insisted that this story would be “the best wombat story ever told” for some reason, and whenever anyone would ask about any part of it he would just start saying “fart crown” over and over until we changed the topic. Just… do whatever you normally do with What Are You Playing. I’m so confused here.

Bonus question: In this era of digital events and promos, what have you found to be the most disappointing digital event to watch or report on?

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): I’ll be doing the Pokemon Go Kanto Tour event, but my hype’s feeling nearly dead. The last-minute reveals/changes mere hours before the event started in New Zealand is infuriating and feels dishonest, especially for a 12-hour event. I’ll probably end up doing some Animal Crossing and Splatoon 2 as well to cool off.

I feel like most of the digital events have been disappointing to me, outside of GDC to an extent (I’m an info slut). The best part of events for me is being non-digital. I’d learned before the pandemic that I am not a work-from-home person. If I had to single anything out though, it’d probably be the anime/comic events like Anime Expo and Wondercon, simply because cosplay-from-home-for-social-media is boring, and I miss working as a volunteer to bridge content creators to fans. But I also don’t have to hunt down crazy people hiding in bathrooms trying to skip lines for big events, so it’s not all bad I guess.

Andy McAdams: So playing Vikings is really fun. Valheim is way more fun than it has any right to be. But I’ll likely be spending more of my time there with some forays into World of Warcraft for my Mythics group and social time.

Bonus Question: Uhhh, maybe all of the above? They all seem perfectly forgettable.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): So let’s see, I have my Star Wars Galaxies Legends fleet down on some sweet neutronium steel right now, so I know I’ll need to babysit those, and I’ve been dabbling in Farm Together with my kids (seriously), so I’ll for sure be in there – my first house will be built this weekend and I wanna mess with it. I think I’ll do a trip through my City of Heroes toons too.

I’d say the Steam game festivals have been the most disappointing, but there’s not really anything live there to cover, so it’d probably something we just skipped entirely. So many MMORPGs had already switched to digital events to avoid the high costs and low attendance of the big shows well before the pandemic, so it honestly doesn’t seem like a huge change.

Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): I am honestly not sure what I want to do in MMO land, which usually means I’m entering burnout mode, so I’ll likely be doing mostly single-player stuff like Prodeus, Robo Quest, Cyber Warrior or Dirt 5.

Most disappointing digital event? Can I just say “Everything Geoff Keighley”? That Summer Games Fest was just annoyingly spread out and I generally despise the VGAs. Runner-up, though, would be any event Devolver Digital hosts. Those things end up looking like failed Adult Swim programming written and directed by people that seem to despise being in games publishing.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): Mostly my usual antics in Final Fantasy XIV, maybe with some single-players stuff mixed in. Actually, that’s a lie; there will almost certainly be some single-player gaming mixed in, I just haven’t determined what just yet.

I’m so glad that my entries get to be the most recent on these columns simply because BlizzConline 2021 is shaping up to have taken what would have already been a kind of bland live event and leech all of the energy and vigor out of it with its presentation. Coupled with the leaks it’s almost a hilarious mismatch.

Sam Kash (@thesamkash): I don’t think I’ll make any gaming time this weekend, but all the buzz about Valheim (from MOP and other friends) really has me itching to give it a try. Also the Crowfall update has me very interested in checking out how the game is running so that’s on my shortlist too.

Digital events don’t really do it for me. So my answer must be all of them!

Pierre, patron: Good news: I’m back playing a MMO, Final Fantasy XIV. The hype for the upcoming expansion made me want to give it another try. The game is so full of content, I will probably find something to do that suits me. I’m also going through the amazing story of Persona 5; what a game! Every new turn on the road of this RPG story surprises me more with its maturity, and the cast of characters is unique. The voiceover is excellent. I really recommend this RPG if you never played it.

Bonus question: The most disappointing digital event for me is what I refer to now as the “scattered E3.” Instead of a short period of time, a few days, to discover and unite gamers around the new announcements from development studios as usual, E3 last year was replaced by what felt like a never-ending parade of events in dispersed order. I didn’t like it at all. And you MOP readers, I’m curious (as always some may say), what are you playing this weekend?

Every Saturday, join the Massively OP community and staff for What Are You Playing, our roundup of what MMORPGs and other games we’re hoping to play this weekend (with a bonus question or two for our amusement). Tell us what you’re up to! Go off-topic! And don’t forget to have fun!

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Malcolm Swoboda

Gonna be a short one here.

  • Genshin Impact – Am I quitting the game? No, but its been feeling like it, just doing logins while a major event is happening! Gotta at least do its essentials asap!
  • Last Cloudia – Mostly did the Devil May Cry event but I missed out on the challenge battle rewards and finishing the alchemy event weapon upgrades. Fine, I’m not into the collabs much anyway and it still gave me two characters. Doing well with the other character story event and started a training boost event. Lots of new content is coming soon, co-op mode, and a PC client.
  • Another Eden – Just logins/ad rewards :(. Again not treating AE with the love it needs.
  • Cookie Run: Kingdom – Stalled on map progress but doing well with current events, and they’re giving a lot of compensation for server problems heh
  • Princess Connect Re:Dive – New maps (with story scene unlocks) and gear ranks for characters released so I’m progressing those. Their first story event started so I’m doing stuff there too. It actually didn’t take very long to have 1 good team and I’m progressing well on my 2nd.
  • Dragon Quest Tact – My DQ1 team is now doing great and just can’t quite handle the highest difficulty content.
  • Distancing Hangouts – Nothing!
  • Logins: Tales of Crestoria, SAO:AR (a bit of story)

A little more Ring Fit. We’ve returned to playing Alan Wake: American Nightmare together. Feels like we’re half way through?

Partner has only one relationship still to max in Hades but I don’t know if he’s bothering to keep going for that luck. So he’s starting FFXII and I guess he’s as far as the .. Barheim Passage now? The place with the Mimic boss.

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Jack Pipsam

Wombats are the thicc creatures of the bush.
Well I’ve now officially started my annual leave from work after working for like two years without taking any really lol.
I’m meaning to play some things I never got around too and actually using my Xbox Series X. Control is high on the list for something to play, I bought it the other day and downloaded it so I’m really curious to give it a try as I’ve always heard great things about it and I’ve like Remedy’s past games, Quantum Break was fun!
Crash 4 is another one I can finally get around too, almost pretty much most games from the last while I haven’t been able to play really haha. Perhaps good time to play them now as well as a lot of the Series X patches are starting to come in fo some of these games getting upgrades, which is sweet.

For MMOs I might try getting into WoW Classic/em> again if my sleep breaks again, I won’t be hitting the top before BC, but I’d be interested in starting as Blood Elf again or something, the Blood Elf starting area is fantastic for its vibes and music, that kind of mystical but creepy at the same time.
I also need to get around to watching that anime
Demon Slayer as the movie is about to come out at cinemas here and I’ve been invited along and so I need to try and catch-up on that or maybe I’ll find it’s trash after like three episodes, that’s also the other possibility. I’m extremely picky about what I like in anime.

For films I finally got around to seeing Occupation: Rainfall.
It’s a local sci-fi film with a budget of $25 million without government support and which has made nothing at the box office because it has some random indie distributor and nobody here watched the original one, my understanding is the first one did well on American Netflix so that’s how this one got extra funding.

I will say this, it’s a hell of a step-up from the first one. COVID apparently helped with the effects, Australia does a lot of CGI for like Marvel movies and shit, so with Hollywood on halt, it allowed some of that talent to be used locally.
It’s a loud movie, ends on a cliffhanger and can be described as the end-sequence from Avengers: End Game, but done four times over and as the whole movie almost.
It’s not a masterpiece by any means, it’s popcorn junk, but I liked it and am in awe of what the director achieved as we rarely get to make popcorn junk.

Bonus Question – Digital Events: I’ve mostly given up on them. I suppose last years Microsoft E3 replacements were just frustrating, Inside Xbox has always been an over-produced show with little in it, but I think people were hungry for a lot more last year and it seems Microsoft is just saving a lot of it for when they can do an E3 again I guess.

Damon Anderson
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Damon Anderson

Well, Eliot’s wombat story was in fact the best wombat story I have read. Ever told? I don’t know, that was the only one I have read. I am sure I don’t need to state the obvious, but what others think is obvious, I do not know. I do know what I know, what I know, probably not obvious. What I do know, Eliot is a great writer with a great sense of humour (not a typo, Canadian spelling!)

Still playing Monster Hunter World, lots of fun. I’m in the Coral Highlands zone and trying to kill Legiana, so far every attempt, it left the zone before I could finish it off, so perhaps a different weapon and gear with better skills for damage. That’s it for gaming for me this weekend.

Thank you.


There is only Valheim


The problem with the references of Simon Birchson is just that you’ll ‘never see it coming, watch out!’… er…Sorry, the problem with Simon Birchson is that he’s ‘too fast for eyes!’… Let me try that again. The thing about Simon Birchson is that his ‘game’s so fast, so fine!’… Okay. Alright… One more try. The thing about wombats are that they cause Mass Destruction, so when one isn’t just ruining things people treat them like they are amazing-even other wombats. So with Simon Birchson? Yeah, because he’s…

Oooh yeah! Dada-dada Dada-dada, Baby Baby!

… I give up. Persona 5 Strikers came out, I’ve been playing that. I’ve also been mainlining the music, and its just… dug into me. It’s like I have a song stuck in my head, but not just one song, but several. A whole album’s worth. Multiples perhaps. Persona 3, Persona 4, Persona 5… All of them. And it’s a constant jam. A bopper. A real head-rocking showstopper. I’m a SMT fanboy, and especially with Persona in all of its incarnations the music is an immediate 10/10. Regular games? Got em, music is great. Expanded versions? Bought em too, even more great stuff. Spin-off fighting games? You know I have those. Music games based off Persona games? …. Do you even need to ask? And if it has Lotus Juice? Immediate listen to–like right now…

So… that’s about it. I’m faffing about in other stuff a bit, but… God, just the opener to Strikers has me addicted to the music again.

Bonus question? Uh… I literally don’t remember 90% of the past year’s digital announcements so… they’re already all doing rough. But, uh… Blizzcon this year is… meh? So the only one I remember recently otherwise is this past week’s Nintendo Direct and… Boy that was a sleeper. They opened strong, but that high vault landed face-first and kept… dragging. Project: Triangle Strategy looks good, but that name brings it down hard. And for their big Zelda announcement? Oh boy… Skyward Sword, yaaaay… I can’t wait to not play that title again.

Monster Hunter presentations are always a win though. MHW always had some well-produced and fun ones. So… let’s just say those win?

Danny Smith

More Relic questline in FFXIV, it feels like hearing the Shadowbringers writer is also the lead writer on Endwalker has everyone i know way more excited to play right now since there was some worry Endwalker would have a different lead and end up as a mists to warlords tonally dissonant right turn but after 5.0 being one of the best storys in an mmorpg and easily the best mainline final fantasy story since X if not better in some regards hearing shes sticking around rather than being moved off for the last hurrah to close the story is a good incentive to keep going when you might want to take a break for a while.

I also picked up Phantasy Star, as in the Master System original on the switch for a few quid and the sega analogue to Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior and Breath of Fire was a fun 12 hour jaunt. For an 8 bit game it does some stuff you would not commonly see till the 16 bit era with twice the horsepower and if you also missed that series -mega drive and earlier was kind of a none entity in the uk compared to the nes and commodore 64 in my case- but want something like Dragon Warrior you can breeze through in a couple of days its worth checking out for its blend of fantasy and sci-fi that you only really got in the late 80’s. Plus its on the switch which is a lot nicer right now than a few years ago where the current hardware option was a secret unlock on a mega drive collection you had to read about online.

Now i picked up a different collection on ps4 to play through the other 4 and own the others on gamecube and xbox from back in the day so the rest of the series is my weekend playing.

Maybe the uk/eu will get PSO2 someday.

Lethia Myune

This weekend I’m spreading my time between LOTRO and Allods Online p2p server.

Lotro is okay but i’m starting to feel a bit of fatigue seeing how much story i have ahead and how much grindddddd for the sake of grinding is scattered around. Anyway, Hunter is finally 50 so i can progress and saved a large chunk of story to enjoy in one go for a bit without the snore inducing grind.

Allods is genuinely the surprise of the year for me. As long as it’s played on the p2p server it’s such a wholesome old school+new age combo…. i have these long sessions when i play and forget about the misery of life lmao. The story is very interesting and i love how you follow multiple threads very diverse and in the end they all come together and make sense. I ended up in a very nice small guild that helped me with a good mount and lots of crafting materials so i’m settled. I think i will be here for a while…i need to see where is all going and roam around the astral with my ship haha.

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The announcement of Diablo II Resurrected at BlizzCon-line motivated me to fire up the original Diablo II. So, I’m working my way through Act 1 with a fresh new Bonemancer. It makes me wonder if I’ll find enough good and not bad about the remake to justify the hefty price tag.
I’m also leveling my RK alt in LotRO, which will remain fun until I hit level 70 and need to deal with their mounted combat system. I’ll probably fire up my WoW WotLK private server as well for some nostalgia-fueled grinding.
I’m also playing “time to do my taxes”. For the non-US-ians in the audience, we’re required to file forms outlining our earnings, taxes and financials goings-on once a year to the federal government, and the governments of the states we live in and/or work in … even though the governments in question know more or less to the penny how much we actually owe (or overpaid). To make things more interesting, the government requires these be done by April 15th, but it’s a good idea to do them ASAP if the government owes you a refund, since you’ll want the money back ASAP. Also, grifters may try to file your taxes for you and claim your refund. Seriously. Most years I do my own taxes, but this tax year has been hideously complicated, so I’m having a tax professional work with me on them.

Digital events: I don’t watch digital events – I read about them on MassivelyOP and go watch the trailers for anything that looks interesting. Have a great weekend all!

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GT Sport, Elder Scrolls Online and a smattering of Path of Exile. All the usual suspects for me and it will probably reman the same for a while.

More GT Sport than the others this week as it’s another good mix of daily races. Sadly the GTS penalty system seems intent on spoiling some of the fun but not a lot can be done about that other than shrug and move on.

Also the FIA endorsed weekly events start up again next week so I want to get some practice in for those.

Couple of short clips from my weekly racing adventures.

Racing at Monza the start is usually messy so even if I wasn’t at the back of the pack for the start I would have hung back. However sometimes GTS really wants to give you a penalty even if it has to magic a car in your way to give it.

Having a great race down the start finish line and things suddenly got a bit tight on the track leading into the first hairpin. Was a hairs breadth from a big crash but squeaked through.

Be safe, be kind and enjoy your gaming (wear your masks.)


This week: Not really that much…

“And you haven’t said much since that Orange Baf…”

…you know, the best way to deal with someone who always seeks gratuitous amounts of attention that’s mostly unwarranted, is best to put that person on /ignore and move on with life. And I won’t be saying anymore about this unless it’s clearly relevant and on topic. Until such time, just think of kittens and pigtails quietly swaying in a warm summer breeze instead…

Also this week: Moar GoblinCraft and Lyn & Soul.

Bonus Answer: Both the CBC and BBC coverage of the last Presidential inauguration. That is, note to the hosts and guest speakers: Will you shut up already! >.<

Have a great week and weekend folks! And please stay safe! /bows

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Funny – the wife and I were glued to the tube that day. Not so much that the material was compelling as much as it was a breath of fresh air…


To be clear though, after all that happened previous to this event, the last thing I wanted was the hosts plus guests of the broadcast yammering over the presentations and speakers, no matter how mundane and unimportant those points where. Everything was nuanced here. So I turned to the Washington Post where the hosts and guests mostly behaved themselves; and the New York Times, where they ran the broadcast without commentary. It’s weird that newspapers knew how to do this more appropriately than the staple broadcasters. o.O

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Consider that both reflect their respective audiences…