Culture & Community Category

The softer, gentler side of MMORPG life. [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

Pokemon Go 2 Day Community Event for Eevee, tons of content this weekend and on the horizon

It looks as if the upcoming Pokemon Let’s Go games are affecting Pokemon Go once again. I doubt it’s a coincidence that the next Community Day Pokemon is Eevee, the second, non-Pikachu version of the upcoming Switch games. Even better, Niantic may finally be listening to players (including our staffers), as Community Day will be held on two days this time: August 11 and 12.

As some people have noticed, the text mentions that Eevee and its evolutions will receive a new move, in addition to the longer lures and bonus stardust for catching Pokemon. There’s just one problem: Umbreon, the Dark-type Eevee, can be obtained only through the naming trick during the day. Espeon and Umbreon are normally earned by walking an Eevee 10 kilometers or more and evolving it when it’s your buddy, but the time of day matters: It becomes Espeon during the day and Umbreon during the night. As Community Day is only three hours long and still seems to be during its usual hours (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the west coast), that sounds like Umbreon won’t be available.

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WRUP: Offending the God of Rabbits has worked out pretty much fine edition

So as you know, last week we managed to direly offend the God of Rabbits, which is remarkable partly insofar as I had expected us to offend more deities. This is actually better than we could have hoped for. Still, the rabbit god was very mad, and he wrought a mighty curse upon us.

Except, well… it was a curse for rabbits. So, for example, the curse to have predators never fail to see you when you’re still? That part was really kind of a wash, my cats saw me then anyway. I’m not sure if the part of the curse wherein I will never enjoy the taste of clover is even working or not. And since I don’t live in a burrow, having a damp burrow doesn’t appear to have actually happened.

In short, offending the God of Rabbits has worked out pretty much fine. Let us know how any deific curses you’re working through are going in this week’s What Are You Playing, or just let us know what you’re up to for the weekend.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO system or feature is needlessly complex?

Probably one of my greatest and ongoing criticisms of the MMORPG genre is how developers populate these games with systems that are often cumbersome, complex, and needlessly obtuse. And what frustrates me is that they apparently can’t see it, because they’re often working with these systems day in and out (and have created them), so the systems are second nature to them.

MMOs already have a lot of moving parts and continually add on systems, so there is absolutely no need to make any of it harder than it has to be with bizarre progression mechanics, indecipherable statistics, and other game systems that some dev loved but makes players scratch their heads in confusion.

Have you experienced this? Which MMO system or feature — and feel free to list more than one — is stupidly complex and poorly designed?

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Betawatch: Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen kicks off character creation (July 13, 2018)

It’s important in an MMO to feel like you own the bundle of stats and spells that you lovingly refer to as a character. Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen has taken a step toward improving that feeling with the first version of its character creator, just patched into the game’s test client. Hooray for making characters!

Meanwhile, Defiance 2050 has moved out of its test phase and into full-on relaunch territory. Hooray for launches!

There has been some other beta movement, too. Some of it is rather silly. Cases in point:

So, somewhat silly, but rather quiet. Not a bad week! We’ve got our usual list of games in development just below, and as always we appreciate anyone letting us know if something swapped phases without us noticing down in the comments. It’s very kind of you.

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Twin Saga patches in a new class, new zones, and new chibi companions

At a glance, Twin Saga does not seem like a game that would be replete with firearms. It does not look like a setting in which you gun down your foes. Yet the new Cannoneer class is all about blasting things to pieces, so we must conclude that looks can be deceiving. It’s one of the big new additions with the newest patch, but it’s hardly the only one; players will also be able to explore two new zones in the northeast of the map, Black Hill and Moonlight Valley.

Players can also take on a new dungeon, Boreas Tower, whilst picking up two new Senshi (those are the cute little chibi things in the header, for reference). Add in new story quests and a new level cap of 80, and players will have plenty to do with the latest patch. Including blasting adorable monsters and scenery into bits with cannons, if necessary.

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Today in why we can’t have nice things: Roblox players were banned after ‘raping’ little girl’s avatar

Please note, this article covers a sensitive subject – please skip it if the title is already crunching up your stomach.

If you’ve got kids, you probably know all about Roblox, a gaming platform that essentially allows players to build their own maps and open them to the public. But with that freedom comes responsibility – and griefers. According to the BBC, earlier this month a couple of Roblox players used their avatars to essentially gang rape the avatar of a 7-year-old girl, backed up by screenshots shared by the mother who saw it happening and took action.

Roblox Corp., for its part, said it had “zero tolerance for this behaviour,” stressing its goal to be a safe platform and banning the “bad actors” involved.

The Roblox subreddit has a couple of discussions on the topic; barring some trolls crying clickbait and false flag (seriously), most people seem a bit embarrassed about the incident as it relies on a known exploit of experimental game mechanics that could conceivably be fixed by developers. In the meantime, parents of kids playing the game should tighten their security settings, as wee tots probably shouldn’t be allowed into experimental mode games where this sort of thing is technically possible.

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Economy-breaking Old School RuneScape bug results in unprecedented server rollback

Old School RuneScape had a bit of a hiccup this week as the game was suddenly taken offline to allow Jagex to investigate a potentially economy-breaking bug, ultimately resulting in an unprecedented server rollback. Although the bug in question was initially unspecified while the team set about fixing it, Jagex has since provided some details on what exactly went wrong. The short version is that the code for the pickpocketing update, released earlier today, included an undetected logic error that allowed players to use pickpocketed coin pouches to convert other items into massive amounts of coin. Because the effects of this bug were so far-reaching, the devs had no choice but to initiate a server rollback, the first in Old School RuneScape’s history, which the devs describe as “an immense undertaking.”

Jagex acknowledges that, although the bug was its fault, it quickly became aware that a number of players were exploiting it to line their coffers with ill-gotten gains, with many using the funny money to buy bonds to redeem for membership subscriptions. As such, Jagex will be removing these illegitimately purchased memberships from players’ accounts, and those players “will also see action taken against their accounts and will temporarily be removed from the game.” The servers have since been brought back up, though the devpost notes that some players may be temporarily unable to log into the game. The devs are working hard to remedy the issue on affected accounts and ask that players remain patient while they iron the problem out.

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Exploring Pokemon Go’s real-life communities: MOP staffers revisit the game from opposite corners of the world

It’s year two of Pokemon Go. While there’s always room for improvement, enough has changed that I feel comfortable recommending the game to at least pre-World of Warcraft MMO fans. Why them and not the greater MMO community? Glad you (hopefully) asked! Unlike most true MMOs, POGO is still in its early infancy in terms of in-game community. Much as in early online games, players may be able to have a friend’s list, but not only is basic chat lacking but so is guild/clan support. There’s no party system, which means no group finder, let alone instanced content that lets you join in with little to no effort.

Like old school MMOs, POGO players have to use a lot of out of game tools for their communities, but there’s enough going on that fellow Massively OP reporters Brendan Drain and Tina Lauro Pollock have renewed their interest in the game. While Brendan had previously attempted some casual raids, both he and Tina had quit entirely. As the game just had not one but two events this weekend as part of its second year anniversary, we decided to try moving out of our comfort zone and looking at the game’s community from new perspectives. Brendan and Tina tried jumping in for the events for the first time, while I tried playing outside my usual community, with mixed results.

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Black Desert takes nodes and conquest offline for a new ruleset

When Black Desert updates on July 18th, new rules for Node and Conquest Wars will be getting rolled out along with the other changes. In order to facilitate this, the developers are ending the current battles for conquest on July 14th, which is this Sunday. The conflict will remain unavailable until July 22nd, when players can once again resume the fine art of smashing one another in the face to gain control of the landscape.

The official announcement does not mention what these changes will be, but as an international game players already suspect that it’s going to be the ruleset Korean players have been dealing with for some time. The down side is that these rules are almost universally reviled on the Korean servers, so the thread is full of people begging the developers to not make this change. So this may not be a case of players eagerly anticipating the wars resuming on July 22nd, in other words.

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth pre-patch arrives on July 17

Say goodbye to your artifacts and hello to War Mode, because World of Warcraft’s expansion pre-patch is almost here. When July 17th rolls around, players will no longer be able to earn artifact power or have access to artifact traits; the plus side will be that your artifact will automatically power up for new characters leveling through Legion. Players can also access War Mode, benefit from PvP talents, and even start exploring some new content that’s meant to be time-limited until the launch of Battle for Azeroth. Onward!

Of course, one subgroup of players will be a little more negatively affected by the change, as it turns out War Mode will disable the /follow command and make multiboxing less viable in PvP. Those of you who don’t multibox will likely be unaffected, but it’s useful to note that this is a notable change when Blizzard has previously been fine as long as it’s not automated. New policy, or just a War Mode-specific quirk? We’ll see over time.

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Battle Bards Episode 124: Old MMOs, new music

It’s a catch-all, catch-up episode for the Battle Bards as they dig through new soundtrack releases from MMORPGs that they’ve covered in the past! You may be prepared for an eclectic and enjoyable mix of music — but there is no way that you can steel yourself for the raw and heartfelt confessions that take place on this show.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 124: Old MMOs, new music (or download it) now:

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TERA launches the Phantom’s Keep update with more challenges to test your might

The newest update for TERA encourages you to revisit old things to test yourself anew. Have you made your way through the Dreadspire before? Because it’s revamped now, with new challenges and a tighter focus on your ingenuity and focus. Have you explored the depths of Manglemire? It has also returned, and it promises a fresh round of deceit and tricks from the cyclops Manglemore.

Of course, it’s not all repetition of familiar challenge; you can also take part in the new Dragon Hunt for the Guardian Legion, which respawns every hour and works similarly to the other Guardian Legion missions. Yes, you can argue that hunting dragons is the sort of challenge that the game has long offered, but hunting dragons is also challenging in and of itself. So in short, the patch is here, and it has all sorts of ways to challenge your skills.

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Trove celebrates three years with the interplanetary Sunfest event

If you were looking for a reason to get back into Trove to check out Geode, this week is it. Trion’s voxel sandbox is celebrating three years since launch with the return of its annual event, Sunfest, although this one is a bit special since it involves Geode too.

“Residents of Trove and Geode alike will join together to celebrate the luminescent power of the Sun Goddess during our first ever interplanetary Sunfest,” says Trion. “[Eight] new adventures will take you on a journey across Trove and beyond! That’s right, you’ll be able to complete several of the celebratory adventures on either Trove or Geode. Complete them all and earn your very own Golden Vale Dragon Pup ally.”

Keep a eye out for special Shadow Piñata Invaders with sweet loot across all open-world biomes, plus extra daily login rewards. Trion is also offering a stat reroll event, so hardercore players ought to at least pop in to take advantage of that. On Monday, we checked out the anniversary in person, so take a peek at that too!

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