The Daily Grind: Do you still have ‘passion’ for MMORPGs?

Over the weekend I saw an interesting Twitter discussion about how much game-playing game-designers actually need to do, and whether those passions are even the same to begin with. One of the MMORPG genre’s founding fathers, Raph Koster, argued that it’s as different as playing music vs. listening to music, and that for MMOs, the passionate player’s pickings are slim anyway.

“Certainly no one has ever accused me of being non-passionate about online worlds or non-innovative with MMOs… and yet I don’t enjoy most of them these days. My inspirations for better ones mostly comes from outside what has become a stagnant field…”

Yikes, a stagnant field. But he’s not wrong. I certainly feel passion for the genre, but more for what it once was and what it could be, not necessarily for what it is this very moment, and far more as a chronicler and journalist than as a modern hardcore player. I spent this past weekend playing a dead MMO’s emulator, for example, not a modern MMO in all its modern lootbox/endgame/themepark glory.

Do you still have “passion” for MMORPGs? Is it the same passion you’ve always had, or has it changed over the years, and is it as a fan of the genre or as a gamer specifically?

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MMO Week in Review: WoW’s seventh go-round on the expansion carousel (July 22, 2018)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

As MOP’s Justin Olivetti reminded me this week, there’s are good reasons behind Blizzard’s plan to pre-launch World of Warcraft’s expansion mechanics before its content, and some of those reasons manifested this week – let’s get the rough start and comparisons to old expansions out of the way now, while it doesn’t fully count and before the real hype begins, right?

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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The MOP Up: Gnomeland Security orders EQ2’s Tinkerfest (July 22, 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 HearthstoneDC Universe OnlineElswordEverQuest IIWild TerraRiders of IcarusDauntlessRealm RoyalePokemon GoEscape from TarkovWar of Rights, and EVE Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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One Shots: Party animals

Apologies for the disruption in the normal One Shots schedule over the past couple of weeks, but we’re back and freakishly abnormal! Everyone behave themselves while I was gone? Good.

I don’t exactly know what’s going on in our headlining picture this week, but it looks like it is both the most exciting and unsafe party ever held in Secret World Legends. Of course, it’s all taking place on platforms without handrails that are standing over bottomless pits, so it’s not like a couple of baseball bats are going to make that much of a difference. Swing away!

“You can’t have a party with strangers without mentioning all the Megaversary fun in Secret World Legends as we all mob giant Beehemoths,” posted Hikari. “This event has been so much fun, it really captured the soul of The Secret World we remember.

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The Daily Grind: Are you less inclined to enjoy an MMO in beta testing?

Writing is not a matter of having no bias, it’s a matter of being aware of your bias and attempting to correct for it. That comes up for me when I write about MMOs in betas, because my default assumption is to do less and have a slightly harsher view. Considering my love of persistence in MMOs, this is probably not a surprise. I don’t want to play the lesser version of the game when all of my progress is going away! Save me for launch, please. Especially for expansions for World of Warcraft, which I have no doubt I am going to actually play anyhow.

This is not a universal feeling. Some of my friends prefer playing in beta titles, simply because while the game is in beta you can test things freely without worrying about spending your points wrong or anything similar. It’s like friends who used to play on the City of Heroes test server most of the time, partly because everything got reset every so often and thus never got stale. So what about you guys? Are you less inclined to enjoy an MMO in beta testing? Do you actually prefer it?

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen in small claims court, Fractured nearing the finish line (July 21, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Fractured ramped up its Kickstarter dev blogs as it nears the finish line of its crowdfunding effort, which ends in just four days. As I type this, it’s less than $10,000 away and I think it’s looking good. The studio posting up the details of its Star Wars Galaxies-esque player city system probably helped.

Meanwhile, Albion Online teased its upcoming crafting changes and recapped its largest battle ever, Elite Dangerous saw a teensy patch, Shroud of the Avatar prepped the upcoming patch, we took a look at Legends of Aria’s closed beta, and Star Citizen had a dose of drama as a backer took CIG to court over its refund policy and effectively lost, having been sidelined to arbitration. It capped off the week with a fresh concept ship sale, too.

Finally, Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs did update backers last night on the current state of the build, as the game’s beta was delayed an additional few weeks over its crash rate. “Testing overall has been great,” he says. And yes, the crash rate is still coming down – higher than he says he’s seen in some live games, but not good enough for him.

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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WRUP: Introducing the Not-even-good-at-one-formers edition

Introducing the hottest toy line to debut near SDCC (not at, we don’t have money for a booth there), it’s the Not-even-good-at-one-formers! They’re less, significantly less than meets the eye! Featuring the heroic No-knee-bots against the evil forces of the Separate-parts-bolted-together-icons!

Children and adults with the minds of particularly slow children will enjoy trying to make these toys change from their default form of A Dude With Vehicle Bits On Him to A Dude With Vehicle Bits On Him Lying On His Back And With An Unconvincing Mask On! Both forms are poorly painted and feature bad paint applications, shoddy stickers, and gimmicks that snap off in your hand!

Collect all of your favorite characters like Optional Pilsner, Bormblebrew, Sideswept, Mortgage-tron, Storescam, and The Tape Deck Dude! Let us know how you’re looking forward to it down in the comments, or just let us know What Are You Playing if you’d rather.

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The Daily Grind: Which expansion helped out an MMO the most?

We have talked a lot about great and terrible MMO expansions in the past, but most often, we approach such conversations from our personal enjoyment. However, there’s another way to look at expansions, and that’s to evaluate them in hindsight and point to ones that gave their titles the greatest boost and added the most value and useful features to the game.

Now that we have the advantage of being able to look at expansions over time, which would you say helped out an MMO the most? Which gave that game a great bump in population, interest, and long-term success?

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Betawatch: Legends of Aria wants you to break it (July 20, 2018)

Please, break the servers for Legends of Aria. The developers want you to break the servers. There’s a big event this weekend and everyone is being encouraged to go hog wild and log in until the servers buckle under the strain. You probably should not whisper that it’s been a naughty, naughty server as you do your best to break it, but we suppose you should follow your bliss.

Other beta news? Aw, heck, just because we’re friends.

Are those stories strange enough for you? Perhaps you’ve got some strange stories of your own to share down in the comments, or perhaps you’d just like to let us know if something slipped into a new test phase without us noticing. Both are neat!

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite non-awful gaming subreddit?

I want to flip the tables on the whole toxicity/Reddit thing a bit. Earlier this week, we talked about some of the problems Reddit has. But not every gaming subreddit – or every subreddit, for that matter – is a cesspit of drama. I can never write off the whole platform because I’ve had really enjoyable experiences on the subs for some of my other hobbies, for single-player games, and even for niche groups for MMOs.

For example, have you ever checked out /r/GuildWarsDyeJob/? You guys, it’s basically a fashion show in there. It reminds me of the old Guru forums where people would post up their awesome outfit/dye combos for classic Guild Wars, only this one’s got much more Guild Wars 2. People are super creative, and the commentary is constructive too.

What’s your favorite non-awful gaming subreddit? Which one truly deserves an epic shout-out?

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Massively Overthinking: What important lessons are MMORPGs failing to impart?

MOP reader and Patron Brett has a burning question about the lessons we’re learning (and not learning) from playing MMORPGs.

“In his book Theory of Fun, Raph Koster suggests that games are really just systems of learning things in a way that we enjoy with fewer consequences. In his words, ‘That’s what games are, in the end. Teachers. Fun is just another word for learning.’ If that’s true, then modern MMORPGs and their narratives would seem to be a pretty mixed bag of lessons – individual power can be accumulated like wealth; evil can be conquered through solo and group acts of courage; violence is a feasible solution to almost every problem; your race, nation or profession defines a lot about who you are; and accessorizing with the most expensive bag is possibly the most crucial decision to make before leaving home.

“So with so much opportunity at the moment for our real-world societies and communities to be better, I’d like to know what you think is the most important lesson or lessons that MMORPGs could be teaching us, but currently don’t? How could these games leave us wiser or more richer people for the experience?”

I’ve posed Brett’s questions to the team for the resurgence of Massively Overthinking this week.

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Grab a Survived By closed beta key from Digital Extremes and MOP

Digital Extremes’ retro permadeath/bullet-hell MMO Survived By entered closed beta yesterday and rolled out a patch with a new 10-man raid, hardmode dungeons, UI buffs, and a graphics upgrade. But what good does that do you, person reading this who has no closed beta key?

We can fix that: In celebration of the CBT, DE has granted Massively OP 2000 keys to get our readers into the game right now. Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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The Daily Grind: Where are the spots you most identify with in MMOs?

It’s going to be most relevant next week, but honestly I’m not even a little bit sad at the thought of Darnassus burning in World of Warcraft. Seriously. I’ve hated that city and the tree it’s sitting on since the game launched, and if Battle for Azeroth delivers me nothing else I like I’ll consider it a net positive because Darnassus has burned. But if something happened to Ironforge? I’d be sad. I already was sad when my beloved Wetlands got pretty trashed back in Cataclysm.

Any MMO you play for a while has certain locales you get more or less attached to. After years in Final Fantasy XIV there’s a whole lot of feelings for me attached to Mor Dhona and Ul’dah; by contrast, I wouldn’t really miss chunks of Gridania. I have never cared about the faction stations in Star Wars: The Old Republic, but I loved Dromund Kaas and I want to live on Voss in real life, much less in the game. What about you, dear readers? Where are the spots you most identify with in MMOs?

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