Culture & Community Category

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

Massively Opinionated: What is the biggest PR mistake an MMO’s ever made?

The Electronic Entertainment Expo presented a lot of opportunities for public relations mistakes, which led me to wonder about the biggest mistakes an MMO’s ever made, the topic of today’s Massively Opinionated debate vidcast! We also have multiple questions from the Patreon backers, and an interesting question about changing MMO systems mid-stream.

This week’s panelists hail from all over the internet: Mike Byrne is the Editor-in-Chief at MMO Bomb, Cosmic Engine can be found on YouTube doing video game reviews, and Tina Lauro can be found right here on MassivelyOP and the Predestination game website.

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Guild Wars 2 adds a canonically transgender NPC

Inclusion has always been a big priority for Guild Wars 2, and that cause has taken another step forward as of yesterday’s patch. A character named Sya is in the game now, and if you talk to her briefly, she reveals that you met her before in the Bloodtide Coast, but she was going by her birth name of Symon at the time. After the attack on Lion’s Arch, she realized that she both needed and wanted to transition.

Sya isn’t a major character and can be missed if you’re not paying attention, but her presence in the game is a deliberate and welcome nod to transgender individuals. It also confirms that transitioning is definitely a thing that happens in Tyria, above and beyond the mechanical side of letting you purchase and use Full Makeover Kits.

Source: GW2 forums; thanks to Kieran for the tip!


The Daily Grind: What’s the prettiest MMO?

Judging video game eye candy is one of the most subjective activities in our hobby, is it not? Everyone has a different standard (and tolerance) for beauty, which can extend to art style, palettes, locales, animation, and lens flares. We know which way J.J. Abrams will vote whenever he sees that last one.

There are a lot of good-looking MMOs on the market right now. I enjoy the colorful zaniness of WildStar, the gorgeous “painterly aesthetic” of Guild Wars 2, and even the old-school talent behind Lord of the Rings Online. But I think that there’s beauty in most online games if you look for it.

So in your opinion, what is the prettiest MMO on the market? Bonus points to your position if you post a screenshot to back it up!

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!


Lineage Eternal begins testing with a focus group

After a couple years of development, it’s easy to feel that we’re no closer to Lineage Eternal actually launching. But that’s not true; NCsoft is hard at work, it seems, and the game has just entered focus group testing. It’s not precisely a full beta, but darn it, it’s something. Work with us.

Focus group testing will last until June 26th, with students pulled from Seoul’s Sogang University in the Game Education Center. Said group reportedly contains some foreign students as well to help provide inside before the game’s eventual global release. If you’re not there, though, all you can do is watch and wait, but at least it’s enough to make it clear the game is moving forward.

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Bungie responds to Destiny’s ‘tone deaf’ DLC fiasco

Destiny has already launched some downloadable expansions for itself, and they’ve been cheaper than the upcoming The Taken King. In fact, they’ve been much cheaper than The Taken King‘s Collector’s Edition, which contains several bits of physical swag and some exclusive emotes, which has caused considerable uproar in the Destiny community, particularly veterans who feel they’re being asked to rebuy content they already own (sound familiar?). A recent Eurogamer interview with the developers focused around defending the price, which largely came down to saying that it’s a justified price for a very large amount of content.

Players didn’t like that either. Forbes called the entire interview “tone deaf.”

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The Daily Grind: What’s the best way to boost MMO populations?

An anonymous Kickstarter donor pinged us with this question for this morning’s Daily Grind:

With the breadth of niche MMOs available, how will companies resort to increasing players?

I presume our donor refers to the absolute deluge of smaller indie titles that we’ve seen crop up in development over the last few years thanks to Kickstarter. While some folks praise the creativity that these niche titles promise in a field of higher-budget WoW-style themeparks, others see only a future of flopped games and communities spread far too thin to sustain themselves. “Niche” can bring dilution as much as diversity.

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Sword and Bored: Teleport

I promised Jef that I would never publicly show the stick-figure sketches that he does for these comics before I draw them. And usually I understand exactly what’s going on in the sketches despite Jef’s saying that they are awful. However, when he showed me this one for the first time, I totally didn’t get it. It had nothing to do with the quality of the drawing; it had more to do with my ignorance.

I asked, “Is this a thing that happens in MMOs?” And he said that one particular MMO has this issue, and it’s hilarious to see how certain classes in that game handle it. That, of course, brings us to this week’s comic…

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TERA introduces recruit-a-friend rewards

Are you playing TERA? Do you have friends who are not playing TERA? Are said friends also swayed by the thought of both of you receiving shiny new stuff in the game? Then perhaps you’ll want to take full advantage of the game’s new recruitment drive, starting today and running until July 12th. It’s a chance to earn prizes for both of you just by getting them into the game, although the prizes are definitely tilted toward the new player.

Every player with a newsletter subscription and a TERA account active since May 1st will receive five referral codes. Players can send out these codes to whomever they wish, receiving items for players who sign up, reach level 65, join their guild, and so forth. Take a look at the full reward matrix and other restrictions in the official announcement; it’s a great way to try grabbing a huge duck to ride around on if that’s your major goal in the game.

Source: Official announcement; thanks to Ville for the tip!


Tree of Life dev explains crime system, prefers ‘2:8 wolf/deer ratio’

Take heart, sandbox PvE fans. Tree of Life developer OddOneGames is on your side and has added a crime system to its early access sandbox so as to avoid turning it into yet another PvP-focused gankbox. In a post on the game’s Steam forum, developer Chyaya says that the team’s primary goal is “to build up a well-running ecological system.”

He says that the preferred ratio of wolves to sheep (or wolves to deer, in this case) is 2:8. “It is not our direction for us to give all the freedom for the players to attack other players as a sport and not intervening and taking responsibility on our part,” Chyaya writes. “What we pursue is freedom not license. From now on, the act of harassing other players will have its consequences. We will be planning to continuously control the specific number of crimes as we monitor the crime numbers of all the players.”

Source: Steam; thanks Fnights!


Trion addresses Defiance players’ requests for more content

The newest set of answers from the Defiance developers to player questions is available now. The bad news (always start with the bad news) is that several of those answers come down to “we’ll consider it.” The good news is that those answers cover a lot of ground just the same. Case in point: The team is aware that it provides no rewards for players on the test server, but with upcoming releases that require a larger test, there are plans to reward those who take part in some fashion.

Backwards compatibility for the Xbox One is also being sought out, although there’s no word on whether or not that will happen. There are currently no plans to have the Omec appear in-game, although Omec-inspired armor is currently on the table as a possibility. Take a look at all of the answers on the official site.


City of Heroes is returning… as a chat client

The dream of seeing City of Heroes reborn is still just that — a dream. But through the hard efforts of fans of the superhero title, a portion of the game could soon be back online.

A team at CoH Titan is on the verge of releasing a new product called Soon™, which will allow players to interact, emote, and chat in City of Heroes zones. The software will only be for chatting and socializing, as there will not be any combat or enemy NPCs available. Even so, players should be able to bring in their characters and bios from Icon, an earlier effort from the team, and enjoy a return to their old stomping grounds. The devs said that friends list and chat channels are in the client and that they are working on mimicking travel powers for a future update.

The team will be making an official announcement of Soon™ and posting a FAQ in the near future.

Source: MMO Games, CoH Titan. Thanks to Psi for the tip!


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