Brianna 'Bree' Royce

Editor-in-Chief

Bree is an unrepentant escapist with a predilection for MMOs. When not compulsively proofreading cereal boxes and newspapers, she can be found modding, PvPing on the auction hall, and touring the Next Big Thing with her guild on a quest for the elusive perfect game.

Working As Intended and Ask Mo are her pet op-ed columns, but she also pens Daily Grinds and compiles both Massively Overthinking and the Week in Review. You can hear her ramble about MMOs every week on the Massively OP podcast. If you're nice, she'll even talk about something other than Star Wars Galaxies.

Personal blog: Skycandy
Twitter: @nbrianna
Favorite MMOs: SWG, CoH, Glitch, GW2, GW1, WoW, MH

The Daily Grind: What temporary MMO content do you wish would return?

Massively OP reader Guhracie emailed us a few weeks ago, upset about Guild Wars 2’s popular Super Adventure Box. SAB was technically temporary content that arrived in time for April Fools’ Day 2013 and resurfaced once later that fall, not to be seen again, leaving people like Guhracie — who’d purchased the SAB-specific infinite lives token from the cash shop — to forever clog their inventories with a useless item for a temporary event that may never return.

I loved SAB, the first version, anyway (the second was overscaled to discourage farming, which irritated a lot of folks and likely kept participation low). In fact, Massively-that-was named SAB the best content update of 2013. It was good. I’d like to see it return, though I know ArenaNet is busy working on other content.

Have you ever felt screwed over by temporary content in an MMO? What temporary MMO content do you wish would return?

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MMO Week in Review: Sadface (March 13, 2016)

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!

I hope this past week is the worst we have to see this year: Not only did Daybreak cancel EverQuest Next, but WildStar saw a massive layoff, shut down its China launch plans, and fielded rumors suggesting a sunset is imminent.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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Gloria Victis’ latest video is a flythrough of a wintry settlement

As announced early this week, Gloria Victis’ latest patch includes a major overhaul for the settlement of Mereley, a newbie area for the Ismir faction.

Redesigned Mereley, the main settlement of Ismirs, greatly improves the experience of newcomers who chose to play this nation. Not only does the location fit better to the Ismirs, gruesome warriors from the rocky and frosty North, but also impress the players with its scale and diversity – combined massive fort, plundered village and fishing docks are more than thrice larger than the old Mereley!

Black Eye Games released a new trailer with a flythrough of the landscape and forts of the area; we’ve included it below.

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The MOP Up: Nexon’s Legacy Quest (March 12, 2016)

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!

This week, MMO specialist Nexon launched Legacy Quest worldwide. It’s an action RPG with “3-D retro pixel” voxel-like graphics, 70 unique dungeons, seven levels of difficulty, and of course, mobile gameplay — it’s now on both iOS and Android.

Read on for more bits of gaming news we didn’t want to leave behind!

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Make My MMO: Elite Dangerous’ Oculus launch (March 12, 2016)

Frontier confirmed this week that Elite: Dangerous is indeed destined for the Oculus Rift; in fact, everyone who owns the game will be able to download the Oculus version at no extra cost and play it beginning March 28th, the day the Rift itself launches.

Meanwhile, we got an in-depth look at Shards Online’s skill system, Project Gorgon dropped a mega patch, and we prepare for the arrival of Sacrament on our list as it’s headed to Kickstarter next week.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!

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The Daily Grind: Does EverQuest Next’s cancellation change your MMO outlook?

By now you’ve surely read the news that Daybreak has canceled EverQuest Next. To many of you, it was likely not a surprise, but there’s a difference between suspecting something is coming and actually seeing it unfold before your eyes.

So today’s Daily Grind question is a simple one: Does it change anything? Does it shatter your faith in the MMO genre? Does it change your plans about what you’ll test, buy, and play in the near and far future? Does it make you worry for the fate of Daybreak and its other games? Or was it just another inevitable cancellation of an unfinished game with no impact on you at all?

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Marvel Heroes 1.05 patch brings Archangel team-up, Cosmic Hightown tweaks

Marvel Heroes’ latest patch, 1.05, has arrived, bringing with it Archangel as a team-up character who’ll be exclusive to team-up advance pack 2 owners until April.

“Warren Worthington III, aka Angel, was a founding member of the X-Men and spent his earliest years as a mutant training under Professor Charles Xavier. But as with all students, the original X-Men strove to make a way for themselves out from under their teacher. Masquerading as the mutant hunters X-Factor, they hoped to find young mutants that needed their help before more sinister forces could reach them. Under just such an operation, Warren lost both his wings. Sensing his desperation, the villain Apocalypse offered Warren new wings under the condition that he would serve him as his Horseman of Death. Agreeing to the terms, Angel was no more, and the violent Archangel was let loose upon the world to rain razor sharp death from above!”

The patch also tweaks the omega system UI, adjusts crafting output for consumables, and makes Cosmic Hightown less annoying: It has a stash in the landing zone and the loot table’s been tinkered with.

Source: Patch notes

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WildStar suffers major round of layoffs

Update: WildStar has allegedly suffered a massive round of layoffs as part of a “reorganization”; some sources suggest as many as 60 70 people may have been laid off from Carbine today. The update is at the bottom of the post.

WildStar’s CRB Hotspur is apparently no longer working for Carbine, according to Twitter. He was WildStar’s technical and systems designer.

We have not yet been able to confirm whether his departure is part of a larger wave of layoffs. Confirmed. We welcome more information from former employees. Multiplayer Systems Lead Brett Scheinert left last week.

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SWTOR posts storyline trailer for KOTFE: Disavowed

Star Wars: The Old Republic’s latest Knights of the Fallen Empire chapter, Disavowed, went live for regular players this week, and now BioWare has released a new trailer featuring Creative Lead Charles Boyd explaining the storyline and narrative setup of the chapter. “It’s gonna be a dangerous mission,” he says, “so good luck out there.” We’ve included the video and new screenies below.

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Daybreak has canceled EverQuest Next, Landmark is launching ‘this spring’

Daybreak has officially canceled EverQuest Next. President Russell Shanks just broke the news on the official site this afternoon:

To Our Daybreak Community,

I’m writing today to let you know that, after much review and consideration, Daybreak is discontinuing development of EverQuest Next.

For the past 20 years EverQuest has been a labor of love. What started as a deep passion of ours, as game creators, grew into a much larger passion shared by you, millions of players and Daybreakers alike. Watching EverQuest’s ability to entertain and bring people together has inspired and humbled us. It’s shaped our culture and has emboldened us to take aggressive risks with our game ideas and products. When we decided to create the next chapter in the EverQuest journey, we didn’t aim low. We set out to make something revolutionary.

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CCP’s VR mobile shooter EVE: Gunjack is launching on the Rift and Vive too

Late last year, CCP launched its VR-oriented mobile arcade shooter EVE: Gunjack on the Samsung Gear as just one of several EVE universe-based VR games the studio is building with the $30M in venture capital it raised in 2016. And today, CCP says Gunjack is expanding — to the HTC Vive later this year and to the Oculus Rift on March 28th, just in time for the Oculus’ ship date. That means it’ll be playable on PC, not just on mobile.

“For its debut on PCs, Gunjack adds higher-resolution graphics, an enhanced audio experience, vastly improved textures, models, and effects, achievements, leaderboards and more, but will keep the same price of $9.99,” says Executive Producer Jean-Charles Gaudechon.

Gunjack’s sister game, EVE: Valkyrie, will also debut with the Rift, bundled with the platform. We’ve included the trailer below.

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EVE Online’s Project Discovery netted almost half a million classifications in its first day

First announced back in 2015, EVE Online’s Project Discovery got underway this week. It’s a science collaboration that rewards EVE players in-game for playing a minigame that is actually a clever way to contribute time and brainpower to the Human Protein Atlas – real-world science.

CCP’s partner in the project, Massively Multiplayer Online Science, has announced that even in just one day, the research has been a staggering success:

“First of all 463.936 classifications! Let me put it down again: four hundred sixty-three thousand nine hundred thirty-six classifications. Amazing achievement – congratulations to all. The per minute classification number peaked at around 800!! A number like this was something that only came up in our wildest dreams. And the fact that we couldn’t pass the half-million limit is really on us with almost 4 hours of downtime of the service. 15.154 capsuleers gave a try to Project Discovery and got through the tutorial phase. 6.828 got even through the training phase: it is important, because without completing the training phase you can’t contribute to the actual research.”

In fact, so many people turned out that MMOS says it struggled to keep the servers up, and CCP is planning to boost its infrastructure too:

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The Daily Grind: How strictly do you hold MMO devs to their ‘promises’?

On this week’s Massively OP Podcast, Justin and I tried to tackle a question from MOP reader Serrenity, who wanted us to talk about MMO developer promises.

“I never treat anything a developer says as a promise — I treat it as a ‘vision’ or ‘best intention,’ because I know that things change. Development is a messy process and things you think were going to easy, are actually really hard (or borderline impossible). It flabbergasts me that people still consider communication from a developer as some sort of verbal contract about features being delivered when, and get all bent out of shape when something changes … and something always changes.”

I think Justin and I found it hard to pick a side because we agreed with Serrenity that some MMO players’ inclination to treat every “maybe” as a promise sealed in blood creates a culture of fear for developers as they shy away from transparency in an ever-changing environment governed by angry forum lawyers. Both of us agreed that flipping tables over a minor patch change is silly, and for my part, I would much rather a dev admit something isn’t working as planned and needs alteration than watch the game die on that hill. But on the other hand, we feel obligated as journalists to criticize games that deviate dramatically from their core principles.

What do you think? How strictly do you hold MMO devs to their “promises,” and does the nature of the “promise” change your mind?

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