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

MMOTCG HEX’s $100k international tourney kicks off today

MMOTCG HEX: Shards of Fate begins its multi-month, multi-phase Hex Invitational Tournament today, and all you have to do to have a chance at entering is… play the game. (And not suck at it.) Playing daily will ensure you can claim qualifying tickets for the later phases.

The best players from the first round will subsequently play off against one another in fixed qualification tournaments for the HEX Invitational. Requirements for participation include a qualifying deck, which includes the starter decks, and 10 Qualifying Tickets. Players surviving this knock-out phase will then travel to the USA for the grand offline final to determine the ultimate winner of the tournament.

The tournament will employ the Swiss system and then a knock-out, single-elimination format to select finalists to compete at the offline finals in California and their $100,000 prize pool.

The official tourney vid is below.

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The Daily Grind: Does your MMO archetype reflect your personality?

A few months ago, blogger Tipa on West Karana wrote a post wondering whether the roles we play in MMOs reflected on our roles in real life — and vice versa. Specifically, she talks about how her deliberate decision to play tanks in video games dovetailed with control over her own life and translated into leadership skills in the present day.

I played primarily healers and bards my first few years and deliberately chose to start playing a “puller” character to force myself out of my comfort zone too, but gosh if I don’t gravitate back to the same few archetypes in every game unless I consciously play against type (it’s shamans, crowd control bards, archers, and shield tanks for me). When I look around at my guildies, they tend to follow patterns too: The leaders pick tanks, the go-getters play berserkers, the tricksters like rogues, the contrarians play underdogs, the nurturers love healers, and so on. Some of them overlap, of course!

What do you think? Does your favorite MMO playstyle or archetype mirror your personality type in the real world?

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World of Tanks’ Rubicon update is on a rampage

World of Tanks’ October Rubicon update is introducing a brand-new game mode for Wargaming’s flagship tank game: Rampage.

In this latest and permanent addition to World of Tanks, Rampage mode will feature a series of new mechanics set to take the challenge to the next level. New in-game additions such as respawns, garage battles, repair spots and capture the flag will force commanders to adapt their gameplay in order to claim victory. Players will also have the new abilities Artillery and Airstrike available to inflict major damage against their opponents in battle. These two Rampage variants have unique victory conditions and different team setups, letting players choose one to their liking and embark on the quest of collecting more Victory Points than their opposition—offering a new spin on standard tank warfare.

The update further includes a new PvE tutorial and improved tank customization system, framed by alternative history Rampage maps of Paris and Berlin. Check out the preview video below.

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Jagex preps new RuneScape client, takes beta apps for Chronicle TCG

Jagex made bold declarations about the future of RuneScape at this past weekend’s RuneFest in London.

2016 will be a big, big year for RuneScape. There will be no overarching theme – instead, our objective is a simple one. We want every update in 2016 to feel essential. We want you to be wowed by everything that we release, and that means a couple of significant changes.

Specifically, in response to player polling, the studio plans to switch to monthly major releases in addition to “smaller, regular” updates (sound familiar?). Those updates will include content voted on by the playerbase itself, beginning with a fresh solo-oriented God Wars Dungeon, a mining and smithing rework, a new storyline, more raids, a new invention skill, and a new game client, among about a zillion other features.

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Revival’s tags support ‘elements of role playing that many still believe are impossible in an MMO’

Just in case you thought Revival was all sex and gore, IllFonic’s latest dev blog is here to discuss something relatively dry and technical: tags.

Interestingly enough, the tagging system is also one of the most simple systems in the game. It’s a “moment of beauty” for a designer when a elegant solution to a problem is found and tags was one of those moments for us. You see, at their heart a tag really isn’t much more than a word, with a macro attached to it, but that simple thing makes possible elements of role playing that many still believe are impossible in an MMO – things like having a legitimately personal story, or making it possible for everyone to experience content others won’t ever experience or see in the same way. Tags really are the source of Revival’s magic.

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Reforge Orsinium in Elder Scrolls Online’s new DLC, due in November

Landing on The Elder Scrolls Online’s public test server today is the game’s next DLC, set in Orsinium, the ancestral home of the Orcs. Says Bethsoft,

Orsinium, the ancestral home of the Orcs, is being rebuilt deep in the Wrothgar Mountains, and King Kurog has sent out a call across Tamriel for intrepid adventurers to assist in its rebirth. The latest DLC game pack for the award-winning The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited takes you to the mountains of Wrothgar, and to the Orc capital itself, to unravel plots and counter-plots, and encounter all-new enemies and allies. Orsinium, ESOTU’s largest game pack to date, features a colossal new zone to explore, new quests and mysteries, a new single-player arena, new public dungeons, and much more!

The studio promises over 20 hours of content and a staggered launch: PC/Mac on November 2nd, Xbox One on November 17th, and PlayStation 4 on November 18th. If you already have an ESO Plus membership, the DLC is included, but if not, you can snap it up for 3000 crowns in the cash shop. Check out the new trailer below!

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MMO Week in Review: WildStar Reloaded (October 4, 2015)

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!

WildStar relaunched as a free-to-play title this past week, running into the usual conversion and launch stumbles: queues, discons, and downtime. Carbine nuked region locks, added new temporary servers to mitigate the load, and wouldn’t rule out a journey to consoles, but it did admit today that the queues aren’t quite at an end yet:

While we’re hard at work increasing the number of players we can let into the game, and we’re making continual improvements that are allowing us to raise concurrency, due to the number of people looking to play we expect the queues to continue for a few more days.

Here on Massively OP, we streamed some chunks of launch week, took the community’s temperature, and pointed our monthly Choose My Adventure at the revitalized MMO.

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

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The Daily Grind: What kind of physics-based gameplay do you expect in a next-gen superhero MMO?

When I first read Massively OP Kickstarter donor MagmaFist’s Daily Grind submission, I suspected him to be a big fan of Gravity/Force Fields Controllers in a past life. He asks,

What kind of physics-based gameplay should be or do you expect in a next-gen superhero MMO?

City of Heroes’ infamous combo leaped to mind because as annoying as some people found those powersets, their physics and animations made the game feel real. When you’re throwing around cars and watching them bounce off walls, or using force powers to propel thugs across the road, you master and immerse yourself in the space as much as the mechanics. Superhero games in particular take advantage of that, and I’d like to imagine that next-gen games can do so much better.

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Massively Overthinking: Graceful MMO free-to-play transitions

In honor of WildStar’s free-to-play transition this week, Massively Overthinking is about to overthink the very best F2P transitions ever. Even if you don’t like F2P, you probably can still name one that was pulled off well, one that was done particularly gracefully. I’m pretty sure you can think of some terrible ones too!

Intriguingly, after I posed this question to our team, Justin reminded me that technically, the last major subscription MMO to go F2P was RIFT in 2013. Everything else is either B2P or a minor game — or F2P or hybrid F2P from the start. Puts the question into perspective, doesn’t it?

Follow along to hear some of our writers’ thoughts and propose your own most graceful MMO F2P transition.

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What you need to know about Patreon’s data breach

Patreon, the platform we use for ongoing crowdfunding of Massively OP, recently suffered a data breach. We do not have any reason to believe that usable sensitive data were yoinked at all, let alone from our specific Patrons, but we wanted to keep you apprised. Here is the email we were sent this morning:

Dear Massively Overpowered,

Yesterday we learned that there was unauthorized access to a Patreon database containing user information. Our engineering team has since blocked this access and taken immediate measures to prevent future breaches. We apologize to you for this breach of trust. The Patreon team is working especially hard right now to ensure the safety of the community.

There was unauthorized access to registered names, email addresses, posts, and some shipping addresses. Additionally, some billing addresses that were added prior to 2014 were also accessed. We do not store full credit card numbers on our servers and no credit card numbers were compromised. Although accessed, all social security numbers and tax form information remain safely encrypted, and all passwords securely hashed. No specific action is required of you, but as a precaution we recommend that all users update their passwords on Patreon.

For further details, we encourage you to read this update from our CEO and reach out to us with any additional questions at security@patreon.com.

Sincerely,
The Patreon Team

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Chronicles of Elyria dev blog: Character aging in MMORPGs

Announced earlier this year, Chronicles of Elyria is a startup sandbox in a sea of such sandboxes, but some of its features are rare even within the MMORPG genre.

Massively OP will be hosting a series of exclusive dev diaries from the CoE team at Soulbound Studios over the next few weeks to further explore the game and solicit feedback and questions. The second such blog written by the devs themselves is presented below and homes in on character aging, a game mechanic that is central not just to the game’s atmosphere but to its business model as we learned last week. Enjoy!
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The Daily Grind: How often are your MMO goals thwarted?

I logged into Ultima Online over the weekend absolutely determined to achieve a very specific thing: imbue some gear for my Tamer. But first I wanted to finish off my Arms Lore, which meant finishing the last few points of my Tailoring and Blacksmithing grind. But I ran out of ingots, so I needed to go mining first. But before I could do that, I needed to move my Mining skill back to my Blacksmith, which meant I first needed finish up some maps on my Treasure Hunter. That meant cleaning her inventory out of plants. And while I was doing that, I figured I’d plant a few more on my Paladin, so I needed to pull out my Bard to scrounge up some peculiar seeds…

Two hours later, I was somehow on my boat, salvaging shipwrecks on my Fisher, and I never did actually get to my imbuing.

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MMO Week in Review: WildStar’s second chance (September 27, 2015)

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!

WildStar’s relaunch as a free-to-play MMO is bearing down on us this Tuesday. This week, Carbine introduced new quality-of-life changes, gussied up its lighting, put the auction hall on hold, and opened the beta for everyone. If you’re thinking of giving the game a second chance, don’t miss either the studio’s checklist or our own tips for new and returning players.

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

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