Runescape offers big summer update plans at a discount

Interested in having fun in RuneScape over the summer? The amount of stuff being added to the game over the next few months is pretty extensive, starting with the new world event pitting adventurers against the enormous Tuska. Take her out before she collides with Gielinor to earn a special warpriest set and ability to commemorate your victory. There’s also a new grandmaster quest and 10-player boss battles to enjoy.

Beyond even that, players can look forward to new dragons, new holiday getaways, new major quests, and further updates through the year. If you want to get in on the action, you can currently do so more cheaply than normal by buying three months of membership for the price of two months. More stuff to do at a discount — what’s not to enjoy?


Bethesda touts Elder Scrolls Online as ‘a full-fledged virtual world’

Are you on the fence about checking out The Elder Scrolls Online? If so, a new post on the official Bethesda blog might be worth reading. Or it might be marketing hype. Or both, you decide!

In any case, it’s basically a top seven list of things you need to know about ESO, including the fact that the game is “a trip back in time” as well as “a full-fledged virtual world, loaded with stuff to do, places to see, people to meet, and nasty beasties to slay with gleeful abandon.”


Massively Opinionated: Which MMO is the stickiest?

Unlike single-player games, MMO need a built-in reason for people to keep coming back, or better yet, stick around forever and ever. Some MMOs clearly have better staying power than others. Our panelists debate this week what makes MMOs the most sticky and which MMOs have done it the best.

The rules are simple: Our arbitrator, Larry Everett, gives our panelists four questions to answer. The panelists argue each question, and whoever has the best argument wins a point. At the end of the show, whoever has the most points wins.

The panelists this week are all champions from previous Massively Opinionated debates. From right here on MassivelyOP, Tina Lauro joins us. From his YouTube channel, it’s The Cosmic Engine. And an editor at MMO Bomb, Jason Winter, has again graced us with his presence. Check out the full debate show below.

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Albion Online’s latest feature video focuses on farming

If farming is your thing, then Albion Online may be your game. Sandbox Interactive has released a new video highlighting the feature and explaining its integral nature to the game. Even if you have no interest in conquering the world or participating in PvP, you can have a vital role. Robyn Henkys, the lead game designer, said, “The purpose behind farming in Albion is that it drives the economy. Everything in Albion depends on farming.” Everyone will need food, and players will gather at markets to buy and sell seeds, food, and even mounts.

Farms can be built on personal player islands or even in spots around the world. As farmers advance in skills from growing food and/or raising livestock and mounts, they will unlock buildings that will help in their endeavors, like mills, a butcher, and a cook. See it all in the video below.

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Chaos Theory: The lowdown on The Secret World’s motorcycles

Ever since The Secret World’s debut dev livestream two weeks ago teased motorcycle mounts, players have been abuzz with anticipation. The desire for vehicles in the game stretches way back; more than two years ago I mounted a campaign to bring scooters, bicycles, and even motorcycles to the game. I just knew it could be done, and now it is happening! From the moment that first screenshot was shown in the last minutes of The Steaming Ones accompanied by the promise “This is coming to TSW,” speculation has run wild. Perhaps the mounts will be scenario-based. Maybe they will be time-based, with the motorcycles effectively running out of gas and stopping. Some suggested that the bikes will be nothing more than an advanced sprint.

Amid the excited conjecture, a number of fans have also voiced concerns about how the machines will affect the immersion and player-experience in the game. Will the scenery fly by at a rate that players can’t soak up the nuance? Will the ambiance be ruined by the revving of hundreds of engines on the streets?

Now, much of that conjecture — and hopefully the concerns — can be laid to rest. I spoke with Lead Designer Romain Amiel to learn more about these new mechanics, which aren’t actually mounts. Better yet, Amiel says that players will be able to experience the feature, currently dubbed the Custom Sprint system, for themselves next week.

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Tree of Life sprouts up on Steam early access

The wait for the Tree of Life is over barely after it began! The survival sandbox is now available in early access form on Steam for either $19.99 for a settler pack or $24.99 for an adventurer pack. Those who spring for the adventurer pack (or buy it as an upgrade for $7.99) get an extra hairstyle each for male and female during character creation, eight additional item slots, and three helpful starting items: a matchstick, bread, and a bandage. Not sure if the game is for you? Check out what folks are saying on the Steam reviews.

Found out you can pick up livestock
Picked up a bull over my shoulder and walked down the coast
found some dudes learning to make a fire
they shouted “HEY LETS KILL IT AND EAT IT”
bulls are stronger than you’d think for a game
chase bull around for 5 minutes
die to a skeleton
cheery music starts playing and im a cute ghost
420/10 would carry bull into camp of strangers again
-Dudepile Meta Hype

Source: Steam Early Access. Thanks to Jasdemi for the tip!


Inon Zur to compose Sword Coast Legends’ soundtrack

Sword Coast Legends is getting a musical boost from legendary video game composer Inon Zur. The upcoming coop RPG announced yesterday that it had signed on Zur to create a fantasy score with the help of The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

Game Director Dan Tudge said that this match will benefit the title greatly: “It’s wonderful to see Inon return to Dungeons & Dragons and the Forgotten Realms setting, where I’m confident our deep story, compelling characters, and rich environments will inspire one of Inon’s most memorable works to date.”

Inon Zur has not only composed scores for MMOs such as EverQuest and RIFT, but was the key sound behind D&D classics like Baldur’s Gate II and Icewind Dale II.


Win a Stronghold Kingdoms gift pack from Massively OP [All gone now!]

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about Stronghold Kingdoms, a veteran MMORTS our writers have previously praised for its casual-friendliness, community, and stability. If you’ve been itching to give an MMORTS a try, then it’s your lucky day because we’ve got 100 Stronghold Kingdoms gift pack codes to give out to 100 readers, courtesy of developer and publisher FireFly Studios.

Gift pack codes will deposit a bundle of goodies into your account, including 100 card points, two seven-day premium tokens, and 20 packs: five apiece themed random, farming, industry, and research. Two caveats: You can’t use the code if you redeemed a “winter giveaway” code last winter, and you can’t stack more than one of these codes on one account.

All set? Click onward for your key!

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Beta testing starts for Elite: Dangerous’ Powerplay update

The next major update for Elite: Dangerous is going to really shake up how the game is played. The Powerplay update previewed a month ago updates the bounty system and adds two new ships, but the centerpiece of the update is the new factional metagame that gives the update its name.

If you missed earlier previews, here’s the scoop: The core of it is a power struggle on the galactic scale, with players championing factions of their choice through various assignments. Take out enemies of your chosen faction, deliver valuable resources, and generally serve as a paragon of your chosen group. Beta players can download the update today to test it out.

Source: Official beta post; thanks to Phoenix_Dfire for the tip!


TERA is releasing inactive character names

Names in MMOs are important. You want people to know who you are at a glance, after all. TERA has a lot of character names already taken, of course, since it’s been running for some time. So the powers that be are going to free up some names that have just been sitting there, unused, for a long enough period of time — i.e., a year.

All characters that have been inactive since June 22nd, 2014, will have their names changed to placeholders and the names thrown back in the active pool. If you’ve been taking a break and desperately want to make sure that your old character “Boner-Lord” doesn’t lose her name, take heart; the release is happening on June 25th, 2015. Log in once and your name is secure. Otherwise, you just might lose your name.

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


EverQuest is booting up another progression server

Remember when EverQuest launched a progression server and everyone rushed to it? Maybe not everyone, but the Ragefire server did launch to completely unexpected levels of player enthusiasm. There are obviously lots of players who at least want a taste of that old-school progression feeling, and that means that the developers need to move quickly to capitalize on it, hence why another server named Lockjaw is set to be added to the mix with the same ruleset.

The team’s hope is to have Lockjaw available and running by the weekend if at all possible while also rolling out more areas for players to use the /pickzone command to swap between incarnations of a zone. Ragefire was built to handle a much greater number of players, but even that apparently wasn’t enough. If you can’t handle the current crowding, you can take heart that more space is on the way.

Source: Ragefire Exceeded Expectations – What Now?. Thanks to Jay_Bird and squidgod for the tip!


The Secret World adds mini-dungeon, achievement vendor

On top of the big news about mounts, The Secret World is adding two other features in next week’s update. In a recent post, Lead Designer Romain Amiel announced a new mini-dungeon based on the penthouse in the Orochi Tower. This Nightmare group version of the final three fights in the penthouse will be extremely challenging and offer players unique rewards to help prepare for Issue #12’s dungeon. And for everyone who has been dying to learn more about Uta, the mini-dungeon will provide more information that can actually be traded to others who don’t run it.

The second feature is a new vendor in London stocked with exclusive rewards based on players’ current total achievement points. Additionally, this vendor will allow players to reclaim consumable rewards that were earned via achievements, such as the Blade of Inaba mould. While the dungeon is available only to those who have purchased Issue #11, the vendor will do business with all players.

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The Daily Grind: If it were 2003 again, which MMO would you play?

Fun hypothetical: Let’s say that all of us — including Massively Overpowered — were thrown back in time 12 years to 2003. There’s no World of Warcraft. No Star Wars: The Old Republic. And very, very little free-to-play anything.

What would you play?

Would you get into the truly classic era of EverQuest? Go PvPing in Dark Age of Camelot? Build a house in Ultima Online? Get in on the ground floor of EVE Online? Rejoice that Star Wars Galaxies was back? Or something else entirely?

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