MOP reader Nibbana has a great question for The Daily Grind today. “So I just picked up Shadow in order to run my favorite MMOs at max settings on my three-year-old Macbook Air (don’t judge). My question is this: What MMOs are almost a different game when played at max settings vs lowest settings?”
Nibbana’s query couldn’t have come at a better time. MOP’s Justin and I were just discussing Lord of the Rings Online in the context of game age and new clients; his screenshots of the environments in the new patch, for example, are jaw-dropping, but videos of the low-poly critters… yikes, not so much. Likewise, I’ve been immersed in a Star Wars Galaxies emulator this summer, without without all the texture settings boosted to the max (plus a player-made texture pack mod), it would look much closer to the 2003 MMO that it actually is. Ultima Online is another contender in my mind; its most modern client and models actually bring it into this millennium, which I cannot say for its original (and still in-use) 2-D client from 1997.
Which MMORPGs are nearly different games with max settings and all the bells and whistles turned on?
When you look for famous characters in your MMO, you may be looking for someone complete different than the rest of the crowd.
Lt. Commander Hikari gives us an example of that with this Star Trek Online pic: “In Star Trek, I’ve always been a fan of Janice Rand. An often underestimated member of the crew (and cast) she’s one of the things that really stood out for me through the series and movies. There are lots of reasons to be a fan of the actress and character that I would encourage people to find on their own. When Agents of Yesterday was released, Grace Lee Whitney had only just passed a year prior. It was lovely to see her with the rest of the crew, where she always belonged.”
I always cheered her appearance in Star Trek VI, myself!
At GenCon earlier this month, Lord of the Rings Online
studio Standing Stone dished on some of the goodies coming to the game in Update 23
, dubbed the Grey Mountains update
. As we discussed on the podcast, that means good stuff for fans of the dwarves – maybe even lady dorfs too, though that’s apparently still up in the air.
What’s definite, though, is the regions appearing (and reappearing) in the update, as LOTRO Players lays out in a trio of videos today. First up is a trip through the Grey Mountains – aka Ered Mithrin – themselves, encrusted with dwarven ruins, mines, and dragon bones but also a glacier biome and a unique forest too. The second video covers the Iron Hills, with more Easterling towns and functioning dwarven mines and fortresses, but YouTuber Andang notes that the zone is mostly empty right now. Finally, the Lonely Mountain of Erebor is getting some love!
We’re still running our regular LOTRO Legendarium column here at Massively OP; most recently, columnist Justin Olivetti pondered just how well the game is aging.
Yes, just about every MMO blogger was sharing heated opinions about last week’s World of WarCraft WarCrime. “It’s such a sad event and I’m particularly mad at Blizzard at the way they chose to write this,” wrote Aeternus.
Moonshine Manor was equally appalled, saying that she was “not sad at the story, but at having to mourn my fandom.”
“The storyline strips players of agency, it’s not a good feeling,” wrote Mmosey.
And Leo’s Life couldn’t make sense of it: “The lore nut in me sees no logic in this.”
In An Age sympathized with the outrage but noted, “This cinematic short is amazing in isolation.” And Atheren doesn’t want this to be the beginning of the end of Sylvanas: “I hope she gets a redemption arc.”
And Wolfy felt that the community reaction was too much for an outsider: “The level of the freak-out was above and beyond what I’ve had the misfortune of experiencing as someone barely remotely associated with the WoW playerbase.”
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin geek out over the confirmation of a Torchlight MMO, salute the late, great RuneScape Classic, prepare for Battle for Azeroth, and more! Also, we read some really great listener haiku because you guys are awesome like that.
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:
Probably one of my biggest bugaboos (that’s a technical term) in MMO play is when I get bogged down trying to progress through a certain point in the game. Maybe it’s a difficult to navigate zone or a frustratingly tough area, but there’s nothing that kills my enthusiasm to log in than when I’m making slow-to-no progress in my gaming sessions.
Recently I had to make a concerted effort to push myself through Northern Mirkwood in Lord of the Rings Online. While it was spot-on with its dark, eerie atmosphere, the visual difficulties coupled with the challenging terrain made questing a plodding affair. At least I got out and saw the daylight again!
Where have you gotten bogged down in MMO play? Have you ever hit a wall that was difficult to pass? Did you make it through or just give up?
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
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.”
You know what gets me excited about upcoming MMOs? It’s certainly not the list of expected systems and features that have since become standard for most games in this genre. Good-looking fantasy online RPG? Neato, that’s terrific, but what else are you selling?
No, what truly grabs my attention is when a dev team uses its imagination and comes up with a creative feature that makes me sit back and say, “Wow, I wish they all had this!”
It’s a shame that we have seen plenty of these systems over the years that were tried maybe once or twice but never adapted into the greater sphere. Today we’re going to come up with 10 examples of such features that truly did try something revolutionary (or at least pretty cool) but haven’t seen follow-ups in games since.
This is a day for lasts. LOTRO
has opened the Yule Festival up so folks can escape the heat of summer, but it is ending tomorrow. More importantly, the chance to get an adorable little bunny companion ends with it! Massively OP’s MJ really needs that bunny, so she’d jump in quick before she loses out. Hop on in and join us live at 8:00 p.m. to get one of your own.
What: Lord of the Rings Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, August 6th, 2018
By now, to me, Lord of the Rings Online
is a comfortable, well-worn friend that always offers a very predictable and enjoyable experience whenever I return to the game. It’s absolutely bizarre to me to consider that we’re now in the Post-Ring era of the MMO’s storyline, yet it is all still going strong in its own way.
One thing I cannot deny is that LOTRO is what most people would consider to be an “older MMO.” It’s been in live operation ever since April 2007, and once the game tipped over the decade mark, it joined other long-running titles that had long since shed their youth for maturity and stability.
As I was exploring Northern Mirkwood and going through the new Christmas quest recently, I found my thoughts had turned to evaluating the game’s status as an aging MMORPG. I mean, all MMOs age (if they’re fortunate enough to launch), and not every title can remain young, hot, and popular forever. But that doesn’t mean that they become irrelevant and unengaging when they’ve entered into the middle age of their lifespan. So, I thought, how is LOTRO aging as an 11-year-old product? What is going for it at this point and what is starting to show signs of wear and tear?
About nine people showed up at a GenCon Pathfinder Online panel this past weekend, during which Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens gave an update on the status of this struggling sandbox MMO.
Stevens said that with 15 major updates under its belt to date and two employees working on the game, Pathfinder Online is on the final stretch to open enrollment. This means a marketing push to get more people into the game, thanks to the hiring of a new marketing director at Piazo with experience promoting games like LOTRO and ArcheAge.
Future milestones for Pathfinder include an enchanting system, various cool factions (river pirates? Sign us up!), deity groups, a new player experience, new art, 30 or 40 additional monsters, more classes (Paladins, Barbarians, and Sorcerers were floated as possibilities), upgrading to the latest version of Unity, rules from Pathfinder 2.0, and a free trial option.
Our headlining picture today comes with a request for some help, so we’re calling all Warframe players to give their aid!
“So I finally decided to check out Warframe,” said reader Ryuen, “but I was wondering if anyone has any tips on how not to get motion sick while sliding/bullet jumping/etc through the levels to an objective? *Tenno slides away*”
I am not the person to ask this. I get motion sick spinning my chair slowly with a child on my lap. I have been forbidden from going on Disney’s spinning tea cup ride. Doctors tell me that I still need training to master this “walking” thing.
Looking to keep out of trouble in Middle-earth? Lord of the Rings Online
is field-testing a brand-new Christmas quest
for the next week — and bringing back its Yule Festival content during that period for anyone who wouldn’t mind snagging more tokens and rewards.
“A new quest has arrived in Frostbluff called Stolen Sweets,” SSG said. “Visit snowy locations throughout Middle-earth to recover stolen treats for the poor children of Winter-home, and earn the rewards of a white Yule Rabbit and the title ‘Bringer of Sweets!'”
The small update also fixed a pesky chat issue, handed out a new mount for completing an Isengard meta deed, placed a cap on
festival Festivity tokens, and allowed for even more diacritics for chat and names.