Culture & Community Category

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

Battle Bards Episode 77: Spirit of Adventure 2

Steff has decreed the return of spirit of adventure — and so it shall be! In the second part of this theme, the Battle Bards explore adventurous and inspirational MMO tunes. Are we out of ideas or overflowing with incredible tracks? It’s definitely the latter, so grab your hiking stick and join us as we venture out into the great yonder!

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 Olivetti co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Player.FM.

We’ve got Episode 77: Spirit of Adventure 2 for you after the break!

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Player modder earns $5000 for War Thunder model

Here’s a sweet way to make 5000 bucks: Design a stellar 3-D model for a War Thunder vehicle.

That’s what Daniil “_Joy_Division_” Zaitsev did, anyway; he designed a 3-D model of German night interceptor He 219 as part of Gaijin’s Revenue Share Partner System, which will probably remind you quite a bit of Valve’s Dota 2 skin shop. As the studio put it,

“Exceptional work posted to War Thunder Live, the game’s own content sharing platform, may catch the developers attention and thus has a chance of being added to the game. Similarly, players that have already made progress in creating something truly impressive, like the 3D model of a vehicle, are invited to contact us directly.”

The He 219 is in the game and buyable by players as of this week’s update.

Source: Press release, official site


SWTOR might raise server character slots to 50 for Dark vs. Light event

If you’ve been following the Dark vs. Light event controversy in Star Wars: The Old Republic, you know that one point of contention is that players are being asked to roll a bunch of new characters to participate — and don’t have the server slots for all of them.

BioWare community boss Eric Musco has addressed that today by telling fans the studio is working out the technical details of allowing players more characters per server.

“One of the questions that came out of the Dark vs. Light Event announcement was the current maximum character limits per server,” he writes. “There are some players who have all 40 slots filled, and were concerned about participating in the event. I wanted to let you know that we are actively testing right now the possibility of increasing that maximum by 10. That would mean that a subscriber could have a server maximum of 50 characters. We are exploring if this is a safe change to make and I am hopeful that I will have an answer about this today.”

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What the Titanforged gear will mean for World of Warcraft: Legion

World of Warcraft players recently got an eyeful of information about Titanforged items and how the game’s item levels will work through Legion (and possibly beyond). That isn’t such a huge deal, really; it just explains how item upgrades works, walks through the process, and potentially changes every aspect of gearing in the game as well as assumptions about how players can get the best gear from content. Minor stuff, in other words.

The simple version of Titanforged gear and item upgrades is that item upgrades no longer follow the Warlords of Draenor model through which you might get an item upgraded by 10 levels at most. No, the new system is what tabletop veterans would call an “exploding roll.” If an item drops that would normally be item level 810, there’s a percentage chance that the item will be upgraded to 815. If it gets that upgrade, another random chance is generated for it to be updated to 820. If it gets that upgrade, another random roll can upgrade it to 825… and so on. The only limit on upgrades is a universal item level cap across all content.

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The Division’s Underground DLC is live for the Xbox One and PC today

There’s a secret war raging in the streets beneath Manhattan in The Division. You know, in addition to the very obvious war raging above the streets. Players who pick up the new Underground DLC will be able to take on the story content and pick up new gear sets while facing off against vicious foes, but everyone will be able to enjoy the latest major patch, which brings a decrease to SMG damage, nine new weapon types, and several quality-of-life fixes like more high-level enemies for level 30 players in free roam.

Everyone on Xbox One or PC can start enjoying the DLC and/or the patch today. PlayStation 4 users, on the other hand, will have to wait until August 2nd for the DLC… and at least until next week for the patch. No specific reasons have been cited for the patch delay, so all that players know is that the balance changes are going to be held in the wings. It’s kind of a kick in the teeth for any PS4 players, although the upside is that you can enjoy your soon-to-be-ending overpowered SMG build for a week more. There’s a video just below running down everything in the patch for players who don’t purchase the DLC.

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Landmark will introduce the Fantasy Appearance Pack at the end of the week

Landmark is a game in which you can make a wide variety of different things to suit your deepest desires. Want to make a fantasy castle? Go for it. Want a technological paradise? Have a blast. Want to make your character look nonhuman? Well… you’re kind of out of luck there. Or you were, anyhow; the upcoming Fantasy Appearance Pack will allow you to customize your character with a variety of new fantasy-themed options, giving a bit more choice to players who want to jump into the fantasy end.

Players who purchase the pack will have access to several new face options, skin tones, and eye types for each body size, with the usual small Lumen fee for changing your character’s appearance at the Crimson Parlor. The pack won’t be available to purchase for Lumens initially, although the designers are open to more options for purchase in the future based on feedback. It’s slated to go on sale around the end of the week, so you can nab it and play around with the options a bit during the weekend if it sounds like your sort of style.


No Man’s Sky developers thank players for their understanding of its delay

Those eagerly awaiting No Man’s Sky must continue to eagerly await a bit longer, as the game’s current delayed release is August 9th in the US and August 10th in Europe. Managing director Sean Murray penned an update to the fans apologizing for the delay recently, noting that the title is the hardest job he’s yet had while also stating that failing to deliver the game in its best state is not an option:

This is the hardest working, most talented team I’ve ever worked with, and I’m so proud of what we’re doing. For all our sakes though, we get one shot to make this game and we can’t mess it up.

Murray goes on to thank players for their understanding the reasons behind the delay even as he apologizes for such a delay being necessary. The development is apparently still on-track and producing a better game, so while you’ll have to wait a bit longer to get the finished product in your hands, hopefully the end result will be better for the wait.


Black Desert Online guilds lead a celebrity (picture) invasion in the game

Do you play MMOs to get away from the endless parade of celebrities in the media? Is one of your greatest joys in life being able to log into Black Desert Online without hearing anything about Kanye West or Donald Trump? Well, too bad, because the advent of guild territory on the Orwen server has led to players inserting celebrity pictures as guild logos. So… now it’s everywhere.

This means that the landscape of the game is now Kanye West and Taylor Swift battling for control of the continent while Kim Kardashian cleans up around the edges and people protest Donald Trump in the middle of a city. If you’d like to make some sort of commentary out of this, no one will stop you. If you’d like to get away from this invading your in-game space, we can’t actually help you with that. Oh, well.

Source: Reddit, Message board threads (#1, #2); thanks to Arktouros for the tip!


WildStar is gearing up to sell max-level character boosts

Are you eager to hit the level cap in WildStar without quite so much of that “playing WildStar“? In other words, would you like to be able to just hit the ground running with a new character already up at the cap? The good news is that you’ll soon be able to do exactly that with the new character boost arriving with the game’s next update. You can take one of the new class/race combos straight to the cap without a single day mucking about at lower levels!

No price point has been announced yet, although players will be able to test the functionality on the test server in the very near future. Boosted characters will be given a full set of gear for both Assault and Support, along with a mount, some Elder Gems, some money, and all of the other vital parts of max-level play. Then it’s just a matter of getting out there and diving into the max-level game.


Wisdom of Nym: The implications of Final Fantasy XIV’s E3 content

I am honestly fairly sure that I know where the entrance to to the Deep Dungeon will lie when it comes out in July. I can’t be certain, of course, but all of the signs point to it. And it’s one of the many bits of Final Fantasy XIV that I’m looking forward to over the next few months, especially with my not-so-sneaking suspicion that the next few months will be the “best” part of Heavensward. That alone deserves an article, but not today.

We’re a couple of weeks past E3, but the big revelations from the convention are still fresh and deserve some analysis. If you missed something before now, I wrote a bit about the facts back when it happened; no speculation or opinion in there, just the raw breakdown. Here is the space for speculation and opinion, starting with the implication of what the Deep Dungeon will mean for leveling across the game.

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Crash Course Gaming offers a quick primer on MMORPGs

What is an MMORPG? If you’re reading this site, you probably have an answer ready to go, but you probably know more than a few people who haven’t the slightest idea about what MMORPGs actually are. So why not let someone else explain it for you? The latest episode of Crash Course Gaming on YouTube covers the MMORPG genre, from the earliest days of online gaming to more modern titles.

Obviously, there’s only so much that can be covered in an eight-minute video, but it’s a good quick overview of the history and future of MMORPGs. So the next time your mother asks what MMORPGs are, you can tell her to sit right down while she watches an eight-minute YouTube video. Hey, you might even learn something yourself.

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Nostalrius team releases vanilla World of Warcraft survey summary

The Nostalrius team’s journey to Blizzard and back may be complete, but the details are still coming forth from the large player survey that the vanilla World of Warcraft group put out to its community.

Yesterday, the team released part of the survey results and its analysis of the data as a nine-page summary of the larger 80-page post-mortem document to come. Nostalrius apparently had around 220,000 active accounts at the time of its shutdown, and 30,000 survey responses were included in this report, of whom 30% played on the vanilla server.

One interesting detail that the team noted is that the largest age demographic was between the ages of 18 and 25, suggesting that a good number of those polled weren’t active during WoW’s vanilla era. Players were also polled about their favorite World of Warcraft expansions, with a majority pointing to pre-Cataclysm releases, as that expansion significantly changed the old-world experience.

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EVE Evolved: Can EVE be played casually?

We’ve heard a lot recently about huge territorial wars raging in EVE Online with thousands of pilots taking part, which some consider to be the ultimate endgame of EVE. PvP on that kind of scale and with real consequences and territory on the line is certainly one of the game’s primary draws in an MMO space that is getting more crowded every year. The problem is that the kind of time investment and commitment required to be an active member of a large territorial alliance that’s under pressure can be excessive. The average PvP operation in EVE lasts several hours, and some players even set alarm clocks to get up for battles in the middle of the night.

The demands placed on fleet commanders, corp organisers and community leaders are even more intense, to the point that they may spend all of their free time engaged in EVE-related matters. Those of you who remember my early EVE days from 2004 to around 2012 will know that I used to play EVE pretty hardcore, doing everything from helping to run a nullsec alliance and managing public corporations to running investment schemes, faction warfare groups, incursion fleets, and lucrative wormhole expeditions. I probably spent over six hours per day playing EVE during that time, but like many players, I’ve found my available play time each day has decreased over the years. Nowadays I find myself doing something that many people outside of EVE say isn’t feasible but that is actually far more common than they think: playing EVE casually and enjoying it.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at the split between the power players of EVE and its not-insignificant casual playerbase, and I discuss a few of the most casual gameplay activities that can fit into very limited play time.

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