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Dungeons and Dragons Online tells tales of the White Plume Mountain

Whether you’re chaotic evil or lawful good, there is always more adventure ahead of you in Dungeons and Dragons Online! Game Update 39 has gone live for the long-running MMO, adding an adventure pack that takes players through a variety of dungeons around the White Plume Mountain.

The adventure pack “includes five new dungeons, including the classic module White Plume Mountain, plus four additional all-new tales of mad Wizards and their works. The five quests are not part of a narrative arc, but instead tie thematically around Wizards run amok.”

The patch includes the new Falconry universal enhancement tree and preps for an updated Treasure of Crystal Cove event. There are also many class changes (when are there not?), so make sure to read the full patch notes so as not to be surprised.

Source: Patch notes. Thanks DDO Central!

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Perfect Ten: Best MMO debuts by year, 2007-2017

Continuing from my previous column, I’m going to be running through the second decade of graphical MMORPG launches and picking the best title to debut in any given year. From doing the first decade, I know that this thought exercise isn’t always fair; some years have several great contenders, while others see one mediocre one rise due to a lack of competition.

Still, it’s kind of fun to look back at MMO history and to see which game was really the best of that year. And if you ever felt sore that a particular title got overlooked, well, consider this a retroactive awards ceremony of some sort.

Let’s dive right in where we left off with 2007!

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Dungeons and Dragons Online tests patch with birds of prey and ‘wizards run amok’

It’s high summer, and in Dungeons and Dragons Online that means it is time to pack up, leave the city, and set a destination for the mountains! The White Plume Mountain, in particular.

A new five-dungeon adventure pack is on the way for the game and is in fact being tested right now. The devs said that this pack doesn’t contain a single narrative arc but instead is “tied thematically around wizards run amok.” We can get behind that.

The patch also contains the new Falconer enhancement tree, which will give an avian combat pet to any character that wants one: “It is designed to provide fewer big hits; the hunting bird swoops to attack seconds after you have made your weapon attack to provide extra damage and certain status effects.”

Favored Soul and War Priests are due for a revamp with this update, and Barbarians are going to be seeing their fair share of changes as well.

Source: Official forums. Thanks DDOCentral!

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One Shots: My name is Captain Vanity

As I’m off on vacation this week, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to cull through the previous One Shots comment section for great pics like I usually do. So I’m going to have to beg your forgiveness for a little indulgence here, because in this edition, I’ll be sharing nothing but my own screenshots. Feels like a cheat, because I do that all the time in normal news articles and columns, but why not?

First up is my tribute to the late, great Marvel Heroes. However sad it went out, I had some great times in that MMO and loved the crazy superhero encounters. Such as, in this instance, Captain Marvel giving Carnage a little something to think about before he swings that hand-axe around.

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Global Chat: A starting point for WoW Classic

The recent announcement of WoW Classic’s starting point — Patch 1.12 — started to make the prospect of this legacy server a lot more real to players, including many MMORPG bloggers.

“Fans of Captain Placeholder are no doubt disappointed, but it seems like a reasonable place to call Vanilla to me,” said The Ancient Gaming Noob.

“I do wonder whether Blizzard will ever take this idea to the logical next step, as other studios have already (both EverQuests and now RIFT), and make it into a progression server so that players can relive the highs of each new content release, patches, and expansions in turn,” mused GamingSF.

Inventory Full concurs: “A server that simply locks at a specific snapshot of the game risks stagnation. There is a market for an unchanging experience as can be seen by the number of ‘maintenance mode’ MMOs that still hold some kind of population but it’s easy to see why a company as large and successful as Blizzard might not consider that audience sufficiently large or profitable to encourage.”

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Perfect Ten: The best MMO debuts by year, 1997-2006

By now, many of you probably know that I’m the curator of the MMO Timeline on my personal blog. On this page, I’ve attempted to catalog the launches, expansions, business model shifts, reboots, platform transitions, and sunsets of MMOs by year. It certainly helps me to get a high-level overview of certain eras of online gaming history as well as to trace the development of certain titles.

For fun, because that’s a lot of what Perfect Ten is about, I wanted to start with the year that MMORPGs really took off and select one title per year over the next two decades that I felt had the best debut and was the most exciting title to launch that year. Some years it’s going to be really easy to pick, while others… man, I am setting myself up for some hate mail, aren’t I?

Let’s turn our time machine back to 1997 and get this show on the road!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 176: Guild Wars 2, The Crew 2, and Elder Scrolls too

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin agree that two is the best number in the world, especially when it comes to video games! It’s a hodge-podge of topics, including Guild Wars 2’s latest episode, The Crew 2’s launch, Trion Worlds’ Gazillion acquisition, and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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The Daily Grind: What are your summer MMO goals?

Now that most schools are out and the heat has begun in earnest in the northern hemisphere, it’s the perfect time to retreat into sunless rooms and pour yourself into MMORPGs. It’s also the perfect time to get stuff done and accomplish everything that’s been stacking up on your gaming backlog.

Getting everything ready for Battle for Azeroth is a high priority for me, although I’m pretty much ready right now. Past that, I’d love to get through Star Trek Online’s newest expansion, enjoy my weekly DDO group nights, and find my way out of Northern Mirkwood in Lord of the Rings Online. There aren’t any summer festivals that are particularly calling to me right now, but that may change.

So what are your summer MMO goals? What do you want to get accomplished by the end of the season?

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The MOP Up: Skyforge’s PvP revolution (June 17, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from War of RightsClosers OnlineWorld War ZOld School RuneScapeThe Black DeathOrbusVRReign of GuildsSkyforgeAlchemiaStoryPath of ExileGrim DawnRevelation OnlineDefiance 2050, and DDO, all waiting for you after the break!

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Global Chat: FFXIV re-reborn, State of Decay 2, and Dungeons and Dragons Online

With the rollout of Patch 4.3, Final Fantasy XIV is offering its players a nice big slice of content to enjoy as we head into the summer. It certainly seems to be a time in which many players are making their way back to the game — or through it.

For example, Harbinger Zero booted back up his subscription to give the game a second chance. Sounds like things are going well: “How can I not compliment the job system? It keeps the game fresh to know I can log in and with a button click change my playstyle while keeping my character and progress.”

Aywren Sojourner recently wrapped up Stormblood’s main storyline and has a few thoughts on the journey (with lots of spoilers, of course). “I hate to say it because there were some pleasant parts to Stormblood, especially in Doma,” she wrote, “but I’m actually just glad to get beyond this story arc.”

We’ve got more MMO blog essays, including ones on making alt-friendly MMOs, State of Decay 2 impressions, and the best and worst of Dungeons and Dragons Online!

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Neverwinter’s art team builds Castle Ravenloft block by block (and using a few tricks)

Now that you’ve seen (or maybe you haven’t) Dungeons and Dragons Online’s version of Castle Ravenloft, you can check out Neverwinter’s vision of this iconic vampire fortress that is coming in the next module.

The game’s artists penned a blog post to talk about how the visuals for the castle were drawn from the original D&D campaign and then modified to suit the game. It’s an interesting peek into the process of creating art for MMOs, especially if you’re doing so under a time restriction and with limited resources.

The team said that it had to pull out a few sly tricks to get all of the areas done: “Sometimes in the industry we don’t have the indulgence of existing concept or there may not be time for our concept artist to deliver an idea to us and that was the case for the interior of the castle. So with our limited time I re-purposed an older kit by updating the geo and materials, most noticeably the pillars.”

Source: Neverwinter

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 173: The Bless Mess

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin unravel the whole “Bless mess,” as it were — and boy is it messy. It’s a weird week of MMO news, with expansions, the apocalypse, and spyware conspiracies abounding. There’s also reader emails covering the eastern MMO invasion and open world exploration.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Perfect Ten: The unique pitfalls of licensed MMOs

Making a list of the “biggest” MMOs currently running is always an exercise in frustration. It’s easy to put a few things on the list – no one’s going to argue with placing World of Warcraft on such a list, for example – but then everything else always gets mired in opinions and controversy, and endless cycles of “why isn’t this game I love on there while another game I don’t like is there?!” I speak from experience.

Still, on our list of the healthiest MMOs at the moment, we’ve got only three licensed games: Neverwinter, Star Trek Online, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Those are by no means the only entries on the licensed game list, of course, but there does seem to be something of a dearth of those. And perhaps that’s more understandable than it seems. For all that we talk about how one setting or another would be perfect for an MMO, there are some unique troubles you inevitably run into when you get into the licensed MMO shuffle.

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