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?
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.”
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.”
What defines an epic adventure? This is the burning question that Saga of Lucimia is tackling this week, starting with the derisive analysis of current MMO questing as “grocery runs.”
Instead, the dev team has looked to larger adventures for inspiration, including the ring and shawls quests from EverQuest and the quest to destroy the One Ring in Lord of the Rings. This is the kind of scope and involvement that Saga of Lucimia is striving to attain.
“You’ll have your major quests that require you to form a group or be in a guild to complete. The ‘destroy the One Ring’ type of adventures and campaigns,” the team wrote. “And along the way you’ll branch off from time to time and work on side quests and adventures with other people who aren’t part of your main group […] But at the end of the day, the campaigns and adventures that we want players to explore in our world are those which require time, effort, and teamwork to complete.”
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?
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.
Longtime MMORPG fans will know that the concept of player councils and senates, liaisons between the playerbase and the developers, have long been a part of the MMO landscape, be they in games like EVE Online and Star Wars Galaxies or Lord of the Rings Online. Longtime MMORPG fans will also know that the impact of these types of councils is about as weighty as a junior high student council. Worlds Adrift is now joining their number, according to a new Bossa Studios post this weekend.
The first batch of 10 on the “Community Cloud Council,” Bossa says, have been hand-picked to “help streamline feedback” from the playerbase. “These players have been very helpful to Bossa, time and time again giving very honest and constructive feedback on development,” the company explains. “These guys know every inch of the game, are aware of all the ins and outs of the mechanics, have provided thorough bug reports, and kept above board when dealing with some pretty bad exploits.”
The second council, however, will be subject to the vote of the playerbase. The Worlds Adrift team does note that members will be signing NDAs and will further serve as a sounding board for in-development content.
Just because it’s the middle of the summer doesn’t mean that Middle-earth can’t enjoy some frosty fun! Lord of the Rings Online
is bringing back its Yule Festival next week for a special encore that also contains a special surprise
From July 31st through August 7th, players can head back to Winter-home where a new quest and reward awaits them. Those participating should note that LOTRO is now limiting the maximum number of festival tokens to 40, so make sure you spend yours so as not to waste any!
“A new quest has arrived in Frostbluff called Stolen Sweets!” the patch notes mention. “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 quest is bestowed by the Frostbluff Stable-master. This new quest can be completed once during the run of the Vacation on Frostbluff event, and does not require visiting regions above level 50. Additionally, the other activities available during the Yuletide Festival are now available!”
Are you kicking yourself that you missed out on last weekend’s Weatherstock X in Lord of the Rings Online
? The tenth player music festival, which is one of the most well-known in the MMO community, raged for a good part of Saturday as several bands duked it out for audience approval.
There’s a good chance that our readers may have missed some or all of the show. In that case, welcome to the internet, where everything is recorded and nothing forgotten! We’ve got the full show for you after the break, and congrats to the Gallic Frogs for taking home first place!