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Battle Bards Episode 126: Out of this world

It’s time to boldly go where no podcast has gone before — by exploring MMO space themes! It’s perhaps the flat-out goofiest and silliest Battle Bards episode to date, so you’re going to have to excuse a whole lot of diversions, arguments, and giggles. Because that’s what space does to people? We do not know. This episode is also notable for Syl’s all-time greatest quote, “Planets are usually in space.” Usually.

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 126: Out of this world (or download it) now:

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Global Chat: Everybody’s burning up about that Sylvanas thing

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.”

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Final Fantasy XIV has a new season of the Feast after the end of championship preliminaries

Fans of PvP combat in Final Fantasy XIV will be able to find out who is the best among them when the Feast finals take place, but if you were hoping to qualify for that competition… well, your time is up. The preliminaries have ended, and with that contest season 8 of the Feast has come to a close. The next round for would-be champions is the semifinals, with the North American finals taking place at this year’s Fan Festival.

Those who didn’t qualify or didn’t wish to in the first place can still find something new to fight over, though, with season 9 starting now and running until the game’s next major patch. There’s also new armor available to players who rank highly, so if you’d avoided striving before because you disliked the old armor or already had it, you can get new rewards now! Assuming you amass sufficient victories to climb to the top of the rankings, of course.

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Wisdom of Nym: Hunting the monster in Final Fantasy XIV

Patch 4.36 sure seems as if it’s has been dragged out. Realistically, that’s not what has happened at all; the time between patches has remained pretty consistent, and with the next big Final Fantasy XIV patch planned for September this is just about the right time. But something about 4.36 having big content just makes the whole thing feel overextended, as if we’ve been sitting and spinning our wheels for an extended time however untrue that may be.

My big plan for this week was to try out the Monster Hunter World crossover because I was honestly less interested in Pagos. (Yes, I like the idea behind Eureka, but there are only so many hours in the day.) I honestly found the experience a bit… not bad, necessarily, but just underwhelming. It was neutral. And I think some of it comes down to how the game has been increasingly handling its crossovers and whether or not those are, well, good things or less-good things.

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The MOP Up: Worlds Adrift makes room for PvE servers (August 12, 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 Old School RuneScapeWorlds Adrift, Destiny 2Starfall OnlineSurvived ByHyper UniverseElswordPirate101War of RightsRagnarok OnlinePerfect World MobileOrbusVRSMITE, and Prosperous Universe, all waiting for you after the break!

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One Shots: Selfie school

I certainly did not have to twist readers’ arms to get them to bring out a mountain of MMORPG character selfies set against interesting backdrops. Of course, everyone had their own definition of what that should mean…

“When it comes to character selfies the backdrop becomes less important if there is an important lore character in your picture,” said Ryuen. “Case in point: My humble Monk managed to snare Firiona Vie herself in EverQuest II for a quick pic before she had to attend to more pressing matters.”

She had more box art modeling to do. It’s exhausting, being one of the last of the Midriff Elves in the game.

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Final Fantasy XIV starts its anniversary fiction

The in-game events will arrive later, but at this point it’s as much of an event for Final Fantasy XIV to feature written fiction as it is to have a standard anniversary celebrations. Every year we get new fiction about the characters and stories we’ve been exploring for the past year, and it starts today with the first anniversary piece, “In Darkness Blooms the Lily.”

That title alone probably makes it clear what the story is about for anyone who’s completed the most recent portion of the MSQ, but let’s dispel any ambiguity: this is covering Doman viceroy and generally complex figure Yotsuyu. It’s not a happy story, in other words, but if you were curious about the course of events that led to this woman getting elevated to the position where players first meet her… well, here’s a peek into her past, a portion not explored otherwise.

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Massively Overthinking: Should MMORPGs incentivize exploration – and how?

Our Daily Grind on exploration last week sparked an intriguing follow-up from MOP reader Miol.

“When asking about sightseeing and exploration in MMORPGs, you also mentioned the lack of rewarding incentives for exploring those worlds, or worse, a poor implementation of such features, as you pointed out by Guild Wars 2’s vistas. Many of Wander’s mechanics also come to mind for me. You and many commenters in that article stated that their exploration mostly happened by their own initiative!

“So what features would you all wish in an exploration-heavy MMO? Is Trove’s Geode with its non-combat spelunking on to something? Would exploring other players’ curation and display of art already be enough for you, a la Occupy White Walls? What would an MMO need to simulate a fun road trip? Would looking for that one place with those until-then-unmatched resource stats, be a definite must for you, as in Star Wars Galaxies? Or is open-world housing more of a priority, so you can find that perfect spot for your porch? Purely just survival features? Or maybe even, as Andrew once mentioned, a certain mechanic for dying, as in Project Gorgon?”

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Massively on the Go: A guide to (re)learning how to catch Pokemon in Pokemon Go

So, you’re in Pokemon Go, and you just saw a Pokemon. You clicked the little beast and now are in the catch screen. Just straight flick those balls at the Pokemon and hope for the best, right? Wrong! I mean, you can do that, but with very little training, you can throw curveballs, drastically increasing your capture rates, allowing you to complete special quests/tasks. When you combine your new technique with new items to get more candy/dust for your effort, you’ll be amassing an army of digital beasties in no time!

Tracking Pokemon

Especially for those of you played in the very early days in America, Pokemon catching has changed. The “step” system is gone. Instead, Pokemon are often by PokeStops. You can click on the bottom right of the screen to see nearby Pokemon, click the one you want to track, and the game will highlight the area you should search for it. Pokemon with a grass icon can be, well, just about anywhere not near a Stop.

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Perfect Ten: 10 MMO features that deserve widespread adaptation

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.

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Final Fantasy XIV brings monster hunting with its newest patch

The latest patch for Final Fantasy XIV has arrived today, and it brings all of the monster hunting you could possibly want within the game. Yes, it’s the crossover with Monster Hunter World, complete with new cosmetic gear, new minions, and new Orchestrion tunes for everyone. If you’re not interested in that, though, you can take part in the new Eureka – Pagos expedition, which brings characters to a snow-covered area to take on greater enemies.

Players also get a variety of quality of life bumps with the update, including the option to purchase weapon upgrade materials for Gougan currency, new crafting recipes, an experience buff in the original Eureka areas, and the removal of restrictions on Sigmascape Crystalloids. Check out the full patch notes to get an idea of what you’ll be able to do with the patch. You could, of course, also choose to totally ignore the patch if you’re over on the Faerie server as players put together an epic scavenger hunt for plenty of gil.

Source: Official Site, Reddit; thanks to Alex for the tip!

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Final Fantasy XIV prepares for the Moonfire Faire and the Feast championships

The summer is at least theoretically waning, and that means it’s time for Final Fantasy XIV’s annual summer event, the Moonfire Faire. That, of course, means another new swimsuit, more house decorations, and even a new mote this year for those who wish to splash your friends regardless of the situation. It’s starting in Limsa Lominsa as always, so we may assume it also means a new round of beachside fun, although some acrobatics are promised for this year’s event.

Let’s face it, when you have a beach resort in a zone your summer event isn’t going to take place in the snows of Coerthas.

For those with an eye toward more competitive events, you’ll want to keep your eyes on the US Feast championships, which are still being fought over until early September. The current front-runners for US data centers are highlighted in the most recent entry from the team, but there’s still a month to go before the semi-finals, so there’s still time for a new challenger to sweep in with a spectacular record.

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Wisdom of Nym: Why Final Fantasy XIV’s role actions didn’t work

Tucked away in the latest live letter was a bit of information that seems like it’s more relevant than its rather humble placement would seem to indicate. In the not-too-distant future, Final Fantasy XIV is going to remove all limitations on role actions. You can use all 10 of them at the same time! Goodbye, literally any remaining shred of character customization, you will not be missed.

Or rather, you will, but not for what you did but what you were supposed to do.

The big problem with role actions, simply put, is that they never actually accomplished their stated goal at any point. It’s part of the game’s complex relationship with character choices and actions I’ve discussed before, but seeing as role actions are soon going to be altogether yanked from their current state, it seems worthwhile to examine why they didn’t work and what (if anything) would be helpful in replacing them.

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