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Lord of the Rings Online hypes up dragons, 64-bit client, and Minas Morgul

Last week’s GenCon in Indy turned out to be a surprising source of information for fans of Standing Stone Games. First we found out that DDO is working on a Sharn expansion, and now we have received even more information on Lord of the Rings Online’s future projects.

The next big patch for the game is the Grey Mountains update, which MMO Central reports will be “more instance-heavy” than usual. The dev team also talked about making some cool dragons, Minas Morgul, and “eventually” the region of Harad.

“The other thing I like about Grey Mountains, it really talks about Dwarven lore,” said Executive Producer Rob Ciccolini, “so it’s a big area for Dwarves, you see bits and pieces of ancient sort of dwarf architecture there which is kind of interesting because he haven’t done as much of that since Mines of Moria.”

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 181: Some devs just want to watch the world tree burn

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin sift through the ashes of World of Warcraft’s burning developments, make sense of Chris Roberts’ “You win by having fun!” mantra, get cozy with werewolves and tieflings, 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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Dungeons and Dragons Online announces Sharn: City of Towers expansion and Tiefling race

At GenCon this weekend, Standing Stone Game announced a special surprise for Dungeons and Dragons Online fans: a brand-new expansion.

Sharn: City of Towers is coming to the game sometime in 2019, bringing with it the much-requested Tiefling race as a character creation option (including animated tails!). Players will get “the opportunity to hobnob with high society in Sharn” while also heading down into the Cogs to seek adventure.

SSG said that it wanted to do a new urban exploration setting, and Sharn was perfect with its floating towers and the dichotomy between high and low classes. Some of these adventures will even be “James Bond-like” due to stealth and spy approaches. Players should expect far more in the way of explorable areas with mini-dungeons and other discoveries.

Get the full scoop directly from the game’s producer after the break!

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Perfect Ten: The best expansions for specific MMOs

Looking over the past two decades or so, MMORPGs have grown by leaps and bounds with regular releases, events, and (of course) expansion packs. Hundreds of expansions have now flooded the scene, with some of the longest-running titles seeing upwards of two dozen or more.

That got me thinking: Which expansion was the best? Not overall, I mean, but the best for each game that it serviced? Every MMO player harbors strong feelings about which was the best expansion for the titles they enjoy, and I have read many articles in which expansions were ranked, reviewed, and debated.

For this week’s Perfect Ten, we’ll be trying to put a finger on the best expansion for 10 specific MMOs. I’ve taken the additional step of polling the Massively OP staff to give me input on MMOs that they have played extensively over the years. So what’s the best? Let’s find out!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 179: MMO parenting fails

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin celebrate MMORPG communities with how fantastic and passionate they can be (when they’re not complaining, that is!) and how disturbing children can be (when they’re not cuddling with you, that is!). There’s a lot of praise in this episode for the redemption of No Man’s Sky, better subscription values, and plenty of MMO updates.

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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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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