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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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The Daily Grind: How should MMO studios handle game reboots?

Over the past several years, we have witnessed several MMOs being rebooted and relaunched, including Final Fantasy XIV, Secret World Legends, and, most recently, Defiance 2050. There are various reasons why studios would want to do this, including addressing key flaws in the original game, switching over to different business models, and benefiting from a new round of publicity and review ratings.

Looking at the above titles as case studies (and more if you can pull up examples), we see both positives and negatives of these experiences arise. Not many players are keen on starting over in MMOs after investing dozens or even hundreds of hours on their characters, and because of this, there is a heavy price to be paid if the relaunch isn’t significantly different and improved from the original.

How should MMO studios handle game reboots? What would you recommend be the steps that studios should take in handling existing accounts, upgrading the game, and starting everything all over again?

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Secret World Legends adding new South Africa and faction rank missions soon

The anniversary event has kept Secret World Legends players’ attention pretty rapt for the past month, but that distraction ending tomorrow. What will fans do then? Well they won’t get auxiliary weapons (bummer), but they will get to look forward to new missions coming soon. Funcom revealed that these free mission additions will not all be in South Africa but spread out: One will be in the newest zone while the other three will be new faction ranking ones. (Sorry folks, still no auxiliary weapons in the forecast.)

In South Africa, the new one with its accompanying achievement Land of the Dawn will be an action mission in South Africa. Titled Public Enemy Number One, it focuses on that mysterious assailant that hounds you in the Morninglight compound. The faction ranking missions bring Into Darkness, Venetian Missle Crisis, and Rogue Agent! back, all redesigned for SWL with scaling difficulties. Unlocking at level 50, these will increase faction ranks from level 11 through 13 and include rewards of faction uniforms, a faction specific agent, an additional agent slot, and faction-specific cosmetics. It doesn’t stop there: New legends to collect and new achievements to obtain are also included.

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Defiance 2050 performs better than its predecessor but hasn’t won the community over

With last week’s launch of the revamped and rebooted Defiance 2050, Trion Worlds was betting on players flocking back to the sci-fi MMO shooter now that it’s seen improvements and adopted a free-to-play model. However, it doesn’t seem as though the community is giving its approval for the latest version of this game, at least according to Steam, where Defiance 2050 is weathering “mostly negative” reviews.

One common complaint is that the relaunched MMO isn’t really that much different or better than the old game — yet players have to start over from scratch (in an eerily similar situation to last year’s Secret World Legends reboot). Other frequent criticisms include the proliferation of lockboxes, server instability, old bugs that haven’t been fixed, and not enough recognition or extras for players coming from the original game.

Site Kitguru ran Defiance 2050 through a series of benchmarks and compared it to the original game, stating that it “improves upon its predecessor with a more detailed experience.” It was also noted that there was a choppier frame rate on larger resoutions, better AI, and no apparent reason for the reboot on PC.

Source: Steam, Kitguru

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The Stream Team: Hot stuff in Secret World Legends

Massively OP’s MJ is so sick of the sun and heat! But she has 11 side missions and four investigation missions to complete before moving on to… the next part of the desert. Can she finally whip through these and get to the spookiness of Transylvania? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to see if MJ melts.

What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, July 12th, 2018

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Battle Bards Episode 124: Old MMOs, new music

It’s a catch-all, catch-up episode for the Battle Bards as they dig through new soundtrack releases from MMORPGs that they’ve covered in the past! You may be prepared for an eclectic and enjoyable mix of music — but there is no way that you can steel yourself for the raw and heartfelt confessions that take place on this show.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 124: Old MMOs, new music (or download it) now:

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Pokemon Go’s second anniversary report card sees high marks for content and innovation

Today is Pokemon Go’s second-year anniversary. Last year’s report card had to grapple with things like the game’s rapid rise and fall as a fad, its severe lack of promised content even with its first major update, crimes associated with the game, and being somewhat anti-social – and that was before the disaster known as Pokemon Go fest 2017. It was probably the worst way to start off a new year for your game, and it’s probably no surprise that our coverage of the game waned after the fallout.

But something happened. Whether it was because series Director/Producer Junichi Masuda was there to witness the horror or because some internal change in Niantic’s process changed, we’ll probably never know. But change came. Generation 3 became Pokemon Go’s One Tamriel. Suggestions I’d made previously happened and are still happening. The numbers are showing that the improvements are paying off, as the game’s playerbase is at the highest it’s been since its 2016 peak, after having gone through a brutal 80% dropoff. I thought I was being overly optimistic with my 2018 predictions for the game, but so far, so very good!
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The Stream team: Aiming for Angry Feet in Secret World Legends

The game may be Secret World Legends now, but it was The Secret World that started it all. And today is the original game’s sixth birthday so Massively OP’s MJ is going to celebrate. The anniversary festivities are still in full swing in SWL, but there are aspects she hasn’t been able to participate in — until now. After killing countless Talos golems MJ finally has a shard to try for the Angry Feet achievement. The only problem is that her shard is pretty common, and other instances are also placing theirs at the same time. Can she do it? Tune in live at 2:00 p.m.to cheer her on in this seemingly impossible task.

What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

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Secret World Legends community mod allows players to make their own in-game missions

No one likes a content lull in a game, but Secret World Legends players don’t have to take it lying down. They don’t actually have to take it at all, in fact, because there’s a community modification to allow players to create their own missions and play those made by others. Admittedly, it’s not going to allow you to create powerful new gear as rewards for those missions, but if you’re in the midst of a content lull that’s probably not your primary concern.

You can check out a trailer and a sample of a mission in action just below, if you’re interested in seeing how the mod works out in practice. Yes, it’s a bit of a stopgap solution for content lulls and doesn’t wholly address the main issue, but it means you can have all sorts of new mysteries to uncover… and other mysteries to create yourself. Isn’t that interesting enough on its own?

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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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Vampire MMO Shadow’s Kiss turns on its alpha servers

Six months after raising over $80,000 in its Kickstarter campaign, Shadow’s Kiss is drawing players into its dark alpha test.

The alpha servers are now online for this horror-themed MMORPG, which the team describes as a “modern Game of Thrones for vampires,” whatever that means. If you don’t have alpha access yet, the most straight-forward way to obtaining a key is to purchase one of the game’s housing packages (which range from $40 to $99).

Creative Director Thomas Sitch gives players an idea of what they’ll find in the alpha: “At this point players can create a character, choose story motivation, go through a full tutorial (complete with voice talent), and then explore various quests in the fictional city of San Cipriano […] We’re excited to show our fans that Shadow’s Kiss is a reality, and getting better with each update.”

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Chaos Theory: A year in the life of Secret World Legends

We’ve talked all about Secret World Legends‘ first anniversary party, but now it’s time to talk about the game’s first year. Fans can easily recall the fateful time of the reboot; some Secret World vets even say the game died that day (although technically the servers are still running and). But did it? No. I mean, TSW’s servers are still running, and thanks in part to SWL, profits are up. Secret World Legends has continued on, growing and developing. And by developing, we mean more content! So what all has happened since that infamous day last June? How well did the game follow its roadmap for the year? Let’s take a stroll through 12 months of memories to look at all the progress forward (or back) in our first SWL anniversary retrospective.

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The Stream Team: Happy first birthday Secret World Legends

Folks may have been partying all weekend, but today is Secret World Legends’ birthday. And what better reason for Massively OP’s MJ to spend more time at the party? (Like she needs a reason!) Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. for more Talos tickling, shem dancing, piñata bashing, and maybe even a Hatekeeper visit or two.

What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

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