MMORPG Category

MMORPGs are massively multiplayer online roleplaying games, our core focus here on Massively OP. MMORPGs are traditionally differentiated from mere multiplayer games by their persistent worlds, massive playerbases and/or servers, customizable character development, and always-online status. [Follow the MMORPG category’s RSS feed]

WoW Factor: World of Warcraft’s Battle for Azeroth feels like Cataclysm all over again

It took me a long time to identify what felt off about World of Warcraft’s upcoming expansion. Something was definitely bothering me, but the thing was is that we know exactly what an expansion with the bare minimum effort looks like now, and it sure as heck didn’t feel like Battle for Azeroth was Warlords of Draenor But Again. Yet something kept nudging at me, some comparison that was just slightly eluding me as I dutifully tested new quests, now system revisions, and so forth.

Then I realized that the whole thing was basically Cataclysm and it clicked.

Mind you, I say this not as an indication that the expansion is nearly as bad as Cataclysm was. (There’s still far too much of the actual game to see, for example.) But far from my own optimistic excitement, it feels like the expansion is making a lot of the same missteps as that particular black mark, and it doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.
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Crowfall improves performance by changing terrain

It’s far too early in Crowfall’s testing to worry about optimizing the game’s frame rate and overall performance, but there’s a difference between “optimizing” and “improving.” The latest change made to the game exists precisely in that space, as the game should now perform better just because the game’s terrain is now being rendered using custom-built meshes instead of built-in Unity meshes. That… had a pretty distinct improvement on the rendering and overall performance!

Why? Well, the game’s engine no longer has to convert from default options before rendering things, which cuts down on processing power and results in terrain that should look identical but just render more smoothly. There’s also a new way of handling the grass rendering that significantly cuts down on processing as each chunk of the landscape is rendered. All of which should result in an improvement you see in terms of frame rate, but the game itself shouldn’t look different… which is a performance upgrade for you, really.

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Star Citizen is working on the AI patrols to make griefing much harder, reveals medical concept ship sale

On this week’s episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse, Sandi Gardiner and Chris Roberts recap “emergent gameplay” events recorded by the community, including a humorous take on the Cry Astro protest we wrote about last week.

“The mission team has been working to implement FPS AI into persistent universe locations, and they’ve recently started testing AI patrols around Cryo Station,” Roberts says, hinting an end to the protest fun may eventually be coming when the NPC lawmen show up even if players can’t break the lines themselves. “This is the first step to bringing a more robust law system to the EU, which will eventually make it harder for players to throw their weight around like they’re doing at Cry Astro right now.

Meanwhile, CIG has revealed the RSI Apollo, a medical concept ship that will run $225 to $270 depending on variants chosen. That’s in real dollars.

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Black Desert dives down into underwater dungeons

You know where’s a really great place to build a dungeon? Under the ocean. Sure, there’s the bends, flesh-rending sharks, and a severe lack of daylight with which to contend, but you can get some really great deals on real estate down there and won’t have to worry about sewage bills.

Black Desert is thinking along these lines with its brand-new underwater dungeons. Currently debuting this summer in Korea (and coming to a continent near you… sometime!), the trio of dungeons take players through aquatic-themed caves to (spoiler) fight bosses and gain loot.

Get a glimpse of the Mysteries of the Ocean update after the break and then plan on going swimsuit shopping soon afterward!

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Trion Worlds has been hit with layoffs, loses ArcheAge associate producer

Trion has confirmed the layoffs – we’ve updated below.

Trion Worlds in general and ArcheAge in specific are going through a turbulent time this week as the studio has levied layoffs in the studio that have affected an unknown number of employees. Among those affected include ArcheAge Associate Producer Seraphina Brennan and Customer Support/Environmental Artist Jessica Pate.

“My heart is in danger of bleeding out over here,” Trion’s Linda “Brasse” Carlson wrote in response to Brennan’s inquiry about a new position on Facebook. “Seraphina is one of the best colleagues I have ever had the pleasure to work with, and there is NOTHING she cannot do. Hire this woman, she is a worthy investment in skill, dedication, grace and personality.”

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World of Warcraft Hunters launch #SaveHati campaign

With this week’s World of Warcraft pre-expansion patch, Blizzard has made one group of players deeply unhappy by putting down their pet dog.

Some — but not all — Beast Master Hunters are mourning the loss of their Legion companion Hati, who disappeared with the de-powering of their artifact weapon. Players who had grown attached to the blue pet over the past two years have taken umbrage with the studio for callously stripping it away with Patch 8.0, and the BM community has rallied together to launch a #SaveHati campaign on the forums and Twitter.

“For many hunters Hati is a person, a friend, a companion who has been part of our story for months. Years?” one player posted. “To many hunters, pets are more than just a weapon. To me, Hati is a full-blown character who is tightly bonded to my hunter,” said another.

Blizzard fielded a question on Hati during this week’s livestream, teasing the possibility of the pet’s return in some form in the future — but no plans and no promises were made in this regard.

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite non-awful gaming subreddit?

I want to flip the tables on the whole toxicity/Reddit thing a bit. Earlier this week, we talked about some of the problems Reddit has. But not every gaming subreddit – or every subreddit, for that matter – is a cesspit of drama. I can never write off the whole platform because I’ve had really enjoyable experiences on the subs for some of my other hobbies, for single-player games, and even for niche groups for MMOs.

For example, have you ever checked out /r/GuildWarsDyeJob/? You guys, it’s basically a fashion show in there. It reminds me of the old Guru forums where people would post up their awesome outfit/dye combos for classic Guild Wars, only this one’s got much more Guild Wars 2. People are super creative, and the commentary is constructive too.

What’s your favorite non-awful gaming subreddit? Which one truly deserves an epic shout-out?

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Massively Overthinking: What important lessons are MMORPGs failing to impart?

MOP reader and Patron Brett has a burning question about the lessons we’re learning (and not learning) from playing MMORPGs.

“In his book Theory of Fun, Raph Koster suggests that games are really just systems of learning things in a way that we enjoy with fewer consequences. In his words, ‘That’s what games are, in the end. Teachers. Fun is just another word for learning.’ If that’s true, then modern MMORPGs and their narratives would seem to be a pretty mixed bag of lessons – individual power can be accumulated like wealth; evil can be conquered through solo and group acts of courage; violence is a feasible solution to almost every problem; your race, nation or profession defines a lot about who you are; and accessorizing with the most expensive bag is possibly the most crucial decision to make before leaving home.

“So with so much opportunity at the moment for our real-world societies and communities to be better, I’d like to know what you think is the most important lesson or lessons that MMORPGs could be teaching us, but currently don’t? How could these games leave us wiser or more richer people for the experience?”

I’ve posed Brett’s questions to the team for the resurgence of Massively Overthinking this week.

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ArcheAge’s July content update adds sport fishing, expands fresh start server content

Despite the slightly awkward name — “Phase 4: Reign, Part 1,” really, Trion? — this week’s ArcheAge content update is chock-full of fun for both fresh start servers and those on the well-worn shards.

Fresh start servers have increased the level cap to 55, finally received both the Dwarves and Warborn, and rolled out cars, boats, and farm freighters.

Players can attempt to tackle Mistsong, which the team says is “absolutely the hardest dungeon” in the game. Lots of risk, lots of gear rewards, you know the drill! The patch also updated the trade pack system, made some big gear updates, and fiddled with the Kraken. Fiddling only makes him upset, though.

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OrbusVR hosts another free weekend starting today

We should warn prospective players of OrbusVR ahead of time that the game’s new free weekend will not include a free VR headset. If you want to play the game, you will need to already have a headset to do so. However, if you already have your set but haven’t yet tried the game out, you can do so for free starting… why, today!

All right, the official listing says “Friday, July 19th,” but we’re going to assume that’s a typo. [Update: Yep. It was. Live now!]

Players can explore the game freely for the duration of the free weekend, which comes to a close on July 22nd at 3:00 a.m. EDT. The game has had some recent patches, so if you’d been holding off on playing the game for whatever reason, this is a perfect opportunity to see what’s on display and consider making it a fixture of your VR library.

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EVE Online is planning to weaken Force Auxiliaries

It’s just too easy for Force Auxiliaries to heal other ships right now in EVE Online. That’s the reason behind the balance proposal put forth on the official forums for a rebalancing pass. Essentially, the numbers are just too high and the counterplay options for FAX are too limited, so the plan is to reduce the numbers and see if that balances out. And they’re significant numbers, lowering healing output at all ranges while increasing capacitor costs across the board.

The estimation is that it would lead to an overall 37% reduction in potency, a significant change that seems to be warranted pending more general player feedback. To that end, feedback on the proposed change is being solicited now. One can imagine the effect this might have had on the game’s latest big conflict at UALX-3, which the community has dutifully summarized for those wondering what was lost in the latest stellar dust-up.

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World of Warcraft answers pressing prepatch questions in its latest video Q&A

The prepatch for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is out now, but the expansion is still a bit further off, so players have questions about it. For that matter, players have questions about the changes made since the prepatch hit. The latest Q&A video just below covers a number of questions, but if you don’t want to watch the whole thing, you can get caught up with the summary of events. And several of the issues with the prepatch are ones that will be remaining in place. For example, Legacy loot mode? That’s working as intended and shouldn’t be available for Legion dungeons and raids in BfA.

The issue with artifact appearances changing your offhand as well as your main-hand is also a limitation of how Artifacts are coded; that having been said, transmog limitations are being examined, especially for Fist weapons. The developers have also considered doing a level squish instead of just a stat squish, partly in response to the perception of more levels without much actually happening during them (there’s a desire not to add more talent bars, for example). Check out the full video below or the full summary on Wowhead.

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The Stream Team: Solving Scorched Desert mysteries in Secret World Legends

It’s time to give her brain a workout! Massively OP’s MJ left the best for last in Secret World Legends; she still has five investigation missions to complete in the first half of Egypt. Today, she’s picking one or two to complete with you. Will she have to work out all the answers from scratch, or will she remember enough from TSW to skate through them? Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. as MJ puzzles her way through the rest of Scorched Desert.

What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, July 19th, 2018

Enjoy the show!

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