Columns Category

Enjoy a run-down of our recent long-form pieces, both game-specific and more general. You might also be interested in our list of all of our columns and recurring articles. [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

Choose My Adventure: Setting up Camp in Trove

Welcome, friends, to another episode of Choose My Adventure: Trove edition. Last week, as you may recall, I took my first steps in the cubist dreamscape that is the world of Trove and settled into my new life as a savagely sweet Candy Barbarian, mostly by way of wandering the land and leaving a trail of voxelated devastation in my wake. This week, however, you folks decided to send me in an entirely different direction by voting for me to take some time to beautify — though as you can probably tell by my screenshot above, I’m using that term loosely — my cornerstone.

So, perhaps out of some sense of cosmic balance, I spent my weekend making up for my previous acts wanton destruction by putting my efforts toward creation. I mean, sure, I may have ravaged entire biomes of their natural resources, upset the delicate balance of the ecosytem, and left the land a barren husk of its former self in the process, and yeah, I may have done those things in the pursuit of what ultimately amounted to a mostly-empty, one-room building that has virtually no artistic merit or visual appeal, sitting atop a tiny, amateurish floating island. But hey, I built something, so it all balances out, right?

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Jukebox Heroes: My top six favorite MMO soundtracks of all time

In ranking MMO soundtracks, there are a lot of ways to do it. You can pull out individual tracks or praise a game for its sheer quantity of musical material. You could even give props to well-known composers such as Jeremy Soule and Inon Zur. You might point to certain game soundtracks as triggers for powerful nostalgia.

Today I want to share my top six favorite MMO soundtracks, but I want to make it clear that the biggest criteron here isn’t whether I’ve played the game or like the composer or have a fondness for a specific track. No, each of these six (and it was agony to choose) is on the list because the overall quality and breadth of each soundtrack has impressed me. Track for track, these OSTs offer a higher ratio of hits to duds and have acquitted themselves well over time.

So what are they? In no particular order, my favorite six are…

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Wisdom of Nym: The state of Final Fantasy XIV’s melee DPS

I main melee DPS on my main character in Final Fantasy XIV, but it was never really by design. Originally I was quite happy playing her as a tank most of the time, it’s just that character traits developed over the source of the game, and by the time Ninja was released, I had regular run partners playing a Paladin and a Scholar. So everything lined up perfectly, and here we are.

Regardless, melee is usually sort of my thing; I prefer being in the paint to being out of it. So as I did a few weeks ago with tanking, let’s take a look at the melee jobs in the game, what they can do, and what they can’t do so well after all. And if you’d like to argue about which ones provide the best DPS in the game… please, do so over there, away from me; I don’t actually care. (But the answer is probably “not Bard at the time of this writing.”)

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WoW Factor: Wild guessing about Demon Hunters

So what’s the deal with World of Warcraft’s Demon Hunter? We just don’t know yet. But the space to speculate is pretty awesome.

I mentioned in my last column that in some ways, Legion feels like an expansion that should have been launched back in the post-Wrath of the Lich King space. Certainly the design elements seem a little odd, bringing in a lot of bits and pieces that had all but vanished from the game since that much-loved expansion was done with. There’s speculation to be done there, but the more immediate speculation is about the game’s second Hero Class and what it means for the game as a whole.

We don’t know yet how the class will play in any detail; we know a handful of abilities, we have some idea of the class resource (but not its real mechanics), and we know that in all likelihood they’re going to just be carting around a specialized weapon for the whole expansion because of the Artifact system. But we can still make some guesses based on that.

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The MOP Up: Another stab at Game of Thrones

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. See any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we’ll look at another attempt at working the Game of Thrones franchise into an MMO, get a sneak peek into Colonies Online’s alpha, rejoice in Elsword’s new guild housing, and more!

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Guild Chat: Finding MMO fun without your guildmates

Good news, everyone: I’m back with an unexpected edition of Guild Chat for you! Observant Massively Overpowered readers might have noticed that I rotate this column with MMO Mechanics and it should, in fact, be the latter’s turn this time. However, I had a great reader submission fly its way into my inbox very shortly after publishing the last Guild Chat and just couldn’t leave it waiting around gathering e-dust for a month. Get comfortable and pop your reading glasses on, dearies: This time around, we’re discussing the loss of great guildmates to IRL commitments and how to recapture the spark of the guild that once was great.

To summarise, reader Rekoor has written in about how he misses the spark of enjoying an MMO with a group of people he truly “clicks” with. Real life and the usual drop-off and break taking we see in MMO communities has left Rekoor short on the quality in-game friends front, but his gaming time has become even more precious as his time is at a premium due to full time work and a young growing family. He now needs a way to capitalise on his gaming time without hurting his friends when they do get to pop on, which also means perhaps putting the final nail in his old guild’s coffin.

Keep on reading for Rekoor’s full submission and my advice to him below, and be sure to pop your two cents into the comments!

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One Shots: Pin-up calendar

Here’s an interesting idea: using screenshots to make a calendar! Reader Elana was part of a team that did just that in The Secret World: “Earlier this year, Radio Free Gaia DJ Psywarrior proposed the idea of creating a ‘pin-up calendar’ on the RFG forums, from which I ended up covering 10 months of players out of the 12 months as their screenshotographer.

“Each player signed up for a Miss or Mister January/February/etc. slot, from which they would have to DM me to generate ideas of where they could have their images taken, and schedule what could run up to an hour at a time posing and going through all sorts of emotes and weapon abilities together.”

DJ Psywarrior added that the project took “long, long hours” and that she is already hard at work preparing for the 2016 calendar, the proceeds of which will go to charity. It was incredibly hard to pick just one of the pin-ups for today’s headliner, but I really liked the rich gold hue in this one.

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Nexus Telegraph: Five ways to get ready for WildStar’s F2P

WildStar’s free-to-play transition — with the accompanying massive feature patch — hasn’t gotten a set date yet, but with the update in closed beta testing I think it’s a safe bet that we’re looking at a September or early October launch. That puts WildStar in the middle of all of the fall MMO craziness, which is fine since I doubt that it will get overlooked. Carbine’s putting a lot of work into making this do-over count, and that means a lot of press, player previews, and marketing.

So with a month or two until free-to-play, current, former, and potential players have to be asking themselves what they should be doing to prepare. It’s always better to be ready than to be scrambling to catch up, in my opinion, which is why I’ve jotted down five things anyone interested in WildStar’s F2P should be doing right now to get ready.

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Betawatch: August 28th, 2015

Project Gorgon‘s latest run on Kickstarter is over, and it was a pretty big success for the title, hitting almost $75,000 in funding. That means the game is moving forward with improvements, and it also means that players are going to need to start paying money to get into the test client. Hey, it had to happen eventually.

So what other beta news do we have before this weekend’s convention?

Plus we’ve got our usual list of games just past the break. Did we miss something? Is another game further along than we know? Let us know down in Ye Olde Commente Sectionne.

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EverQuesting: Can EQII’s paid prisons keep problem players in their place?

Huh. That sentiment pretty well sums up those days when despite thinking you’ve heard or seen it all, something pops up that takes you by surprise, something you never would have expected. EverQuest II just recently pulled that off with its latest announcement of a separate prison server for all the marauding miscreants. The news has actually been quite thought-provoking; I personally am still not quite sure what to think about this development. Upon first hearing about it, my opinion didn’t immediately polarize one way or the other. Instead, I’ve been pondering it from various angles. Is the idea the best thing since sliced bread or the heralding of the apocalypse? Is it even possible to pull off? Can paid prisons keep problem EQII players in their place and out of the hair of the rest of the population?

Producer Holly Longdale called this little endeavor an experiment, so time will tell what the actual results will be. But while we wait, we can analyze and attempt to prognosticate on this fascinating idea!

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The Soapbox: The fun and frustration of SWTOR’s housing system

When I was a kid, I had far too many Star Wars action figures, vehicles, and playsets. And when I say kid, I actually mean 25-year old man. Then I discovered girls and the merits of a clean and clutter-free house. I also discovered MMOs, which are basically virtual playsets with digital action figures tailor-made for scratching sci-fi collectible itches in a socially acceptable fashion.

So, instead of stalking eBay or the aisles of my local toy store, I spent 20 hours decorating my Nar Shaddaa sky palace in Star Wars: The Old Republic this week. That’s right, 20 hours without a single blaster shot. And 20 hours sans the telltale snap-hiss of my lightsaber(s).

It’s been both fun and frustrating, which is basically SWTOR in a nutshell.

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Perfect Ten: Amazing MMO cosplay

I have nothing but deep respect for cosplayers because on two levels they are performing activities that I cannot. First of all, they put together incredible outfits that must take hours and hours of painstaking research and skill (not to mention money!) to assemble. And second, they go out in public and subject themselves to a nonstop barrage of stares and pictures.

As with any other geeky field, MMOs have attracted their fair share of cosplayers over the years. Today we’re going to look at 10 amazing outfits and the people who both put them together and wore them proudly.

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Massively Opinionated: Which in-game system is most beneficial to an MMO?

Most of us probably suspect that some of our most anticipated MMOs have concentrated on precisely the wrong systems and mechanics. So to find out which games systems are the most important to an MMORPG, our host Larry Everett invited the guys from to battle it out. Larry welcomes Andrew Desmond, Troy Blackburn, and Chuck Dunmire to the ring.

The rules are simple: Each panelist was given four questions before the show, each debates his argument, and then our host awards a point per question for the best argument. The panelist with the most points at the end wins the game and love of every MMO gamer everywhere.

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