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

WildStar developers will be joining you… IN SPACE!

Very soon now, WildStar players will be scurrying about, collecting spaceship parts and enjoying everything that Expeditions have to offer. But why should the players be the only ones out in space? The developers asked themselves that question and could not come up with suitable answers, so the development team will be queuing up and joining players in the pursuit of deep-space style rewards. Developer characters will have the tag “CRB” at the start of their names, so they won’t be hard to spot.

The developers will be joining players on December 10th between 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. EST for North American servers (EU servers can expect developer presence between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. GMT). There’s no certainty that you will run into a developer while taking part in the space chase, but you have the chance to. So why not kick back and enjoy some space adventures with the development team?


Massively OP’s Best of 2015 Awards: Biggest MMO Story of the Year

Massively OP’s end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the MMO story of the year. This isn’t an award based on popularity as measured by hits or comments, and it’s not for a single article; it’s an award for an ongoing narrative or event of deep importance and significance for the genre in 2015. Last year’s award, you’ll recall, went to the ArcheAge melodrama.

All of the Massively OP writers weighed in on this one. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for biggest story of 2015 is…

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Sword Coast Legends adds fire, death, and deception just in time for the holidays

Most updates to a game around this time of year follow a rather predictable course, and we all know it. There’s some snow, there’s some presents, there’s putting hats on snowmen. It’s predictable. So praise is due to Sword Coast Legends not just for having a whole lot of new features in its second free community pack for players and content creators, but also for not having it all be holiday-themed. Frankly, it’s more themed around fire, destruction, and agony.

See, one of the marquee additions with this community pack is the Drow sub-race, which of course means subterranean evil and the blessings of the spider queen Lolth. Creators can also now add environmental effects like fire to maps, thus doubling down on the destruction. There are also new hardcore options that make stabilizing far more difficult in combat. Sure, there are also plenty of other improvements, like a new village map and quest engine improvements, but it’s still a boldly destructive update for the time of year. You can check out a full rundown of the features in the video just below.

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Sword and Bored: Rage quit

Well, it is the end of the year, and we have been doing this comic for 37 weeks. It has been an amazing ride. Before we close things out for now, I’d like to take some time to recognize some key players in making this comic possible. Personally, I’d like to thank Jef for doing this with me and giving me the support and writing chops the comic needed. And Bree certainly deserves thanks for letting us do this hair-brained idea in the first place. But in reality, this comic would not exist if it weren’t for you, the Kickstarter supporters and the readers. Thank you so very much.

For now, on to this week’s comic…

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s new kids on the block

I haven’t forgotten the fact that there were people on the first day of Heavensward early access sporting level 50 Machinist and Dark Knights. There was a period when the new jobs absolutely dominated low-level roulettes. Heck, they’re still more common than the others in leveling content. But even with all that having been said, being level 60 on one of the new jobs is no longer a badge of honor. You just are, at some point, after sufficient leveling.

So where does that leave Final Fantasy XIV‘s three new additions?

None of the new jobs introduced with the expansion is unusual at this point, but they all still occupy a unique place in player culture simply because they are new. Beyond that, however, all three of them have an odd place in player minds that may just be there until we get another set of new jobs with the next expansion. So let’s take a brief and highly unscientific look at where these jobs are as we steamroll toward the new year.

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Massively OP’s Best of 2015 Awards: Most Underrated MMO

Welcome to Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2015 awards series.

Every year, we poll our writers about the best and worst MMOs, stories, studios, and trends and assign awards to the winners (or losers, as the case may be). Last year, we broke with tradition and split our awards into smaller categories and individual posts so that we could consider them throughout the month of December, and it worked very well, so we’ll be repeating that format here. We’ll also continue providing our writers’ nominations and rationales (in some cases, we allowed them to choose two games to make the final decision easier); we think that’s helpful insight. And we’ll include a reader’s poll at the end. Let’s see whether you agree with our picks!

Today’s award is for the most underrated MMO of 2015, which was awarded to Elite: Dangerous last year. This time around, we opted to include pre-2015 MMOs, as long as they accomplished something truly notable in this calendar year.

The Massively OP staff pick for Most Underrated MMO of 2015 is…

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite voxel-based game?

Every time I play Space Engineers, or even write a post about it, I’m blown away by the recent planetary update. The sheer size of the new playfields, not to mention the fact that they’re all fully changeable by players, is one of the most impressive game industry feats that I’ve seen in quite a while.

I’m curious to see if other voxel-based titles can improve on Keen’s design, and as such I’m also curious to know about the MOP community’s affinity for these sorts of games. Aside from Landmark, there aren’t many playable voxel-based MMORPGs at this point, but what say you? What’s your favorite voxel game in general?

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Perfect World is running a bunch of holiday events

Perfect World Entertainment has brought back its annual winter holiday events to its stable of MMOs. We’ve mentioned the goings-on in Star Trek Online already, but you might also want to check in with Neverwinter for its Winter Festival of Simril for daily quests, starlight parcel gifts, and more. It starts on December 17th.

Perfect World International is hosting login bonus events beginning on December 18th, while Forsaken World gets a 12 Days of Giveaways promotion that starts on December 14th and runs through Christmas day. Finally, Champions‘ Black Harlequin and Holiday Event has already started, and it runs through December 31st. On December 11th, players can battle Clarence the giant teddy bear and Black Harlequin; on Christmas Eve, players can collect presents that contain random rewards.

Source: Perfect World press release



Choose My Adventure: Wrapping up my Guild Wars 2 adventure

Hello again, friends, and welcome to the fourth and final installment of the Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns edition of Choose My Adventure. You may have noticed that this column is a couple of days later than usual. Sorry about that; it’s been a busy time.

At any rate, you may remember that last week, I asked y’all to vote on which tradeskills I should take and which zone I should conquer next. Cook took first place in the tradeskill vote by a fairly significant margin, while weaponsmith barely beat out armorsmith for the second spot. Meanwhile, for the zone poll you all decided that I should go sightseeing in Sparkfly Fen. So over the course of last weekend, I did exactly that. Here’s how it turned out.

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One Shots: The pity violin

Screenshots often tell a story — or a part of one, at least. They invite us into a moment of a gamer’s journey, leaving us to empathize and speculate what we would do if faced with the same situation. I’ve seen a lot of brutal scenarios in my day, but this may be the worst of them all.

“Dealing with rejection is hard enough,” reader Zepheera submitted. “But when your medieval request for the innkeeper’s hand in Aion is met with the father’s stern stare to the accompaniment of sad music from the Lady herself… well, it’s enough to order up another ale. If only there was another pub in town.”

The woe! The pathos! The crossed arms of disapproval!

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The Daily Grind: What aspect of modern MMO testing bothers you?

Beta testing doesn’t bother me. Alpha-testing as a public thing doesn’t bother me too much either. But pre-alpha? You’re calling what you’re doing a pre-alpha, Crowfall? I love you guys, but this is just stretching definitions to the point of absurdity. What the heck is up with Star Citizen‘s “let’s release a tiny little part of the game isolated from surrounding environments” test scheduling? If you’re going to charge me money, H1Z1, you had better be ready to treat yourself as a launched title – because you’ve launched.

Don’t think I’ve forgotten your “soft launch” nonsense, Neverwinter. You’re still on thin ice.

This isn’t really indicative of quality in any way, but it’s an ongoing irritation that I have vis-a-vis testing phases. Part of this, I’m sure, is the fact that I write our weekly Betawatch column and thus have to sort out the mess on a regular basis. But is it just me? What part of the soup of MMO testing terminology bothers you? External alphas? Early access? Special hyper deluxe exclusive backer beta? (I might have made that last one up.)

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Skyforge shows off some incredible fan art

Want to see some incredible fan-produced MMO art? Look no further than Skyforge’s Pantheon Propaganda contest finalists. The sci-fantasy title from Allods Team and sponsored a competition for guild-related posters, and it has chosen a first, second, and third-place winner along with fourth- through 10th-place finalists.

Seighbrian Bulanadi from Celestial Storm took home top honors, followed by Shadow Core from Legion of Archangels and Jynn Sasaki of Lux Aeterna. You can view the top three finishers after the break.

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WRUP: Winning an argument with Susan five years after our divorce in a passive-aggressive fashion edition

Not many of you know this because I had no intention of really making a thing out of it, but I have been divorced from Susan for about five years now. Luckily, now I am a writer here and can dredge up our old arguments in article form, thus implicitly making everyone agree with me and disagree with her. So there. There is absolutely something wrong with putting the crackers on the third shelf instead of the second one, Susan. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You are insane, and your FPS games are stupid.

Wow! Dredging up that otherwise entirely irrelevant discussion made me feel a whole lot better about things. Now let’s all get down with What Are You Playing, wherein we’ll tell you what we’re playing and you can let us know what you’re doing in the comments. You can also feel free to say how Susan is totally wrong. Susan.

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