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A fluffy casual’s starting perspective on World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

Let me tell you a bit about me and how I play MMORPGs. Between two jobs and a family, my gaming time is relegated to the deep evening hours where peace descends upon our household. If it’s a good night, I can get in two full hours of adventuring through virtual worlds before I grow too tired to continue. Some nights it’s less.

It has been a long time since I was able to sprint alongside the pack when a new expansion or game launches, so you have to picture me as the slowpoke waaaay in the back who keeps getting distracted by small details, stops to read the quest text, and takes screenshots like I’m putting together an art book.

That’s me, the fluffy casual, and while plenty of folks have devoured vast swaths of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth this week (including our own excellent Eliot), I’ve been rotating through my roster of characters and experiencing this engaging expansion at my own tempered pace. Does that mean that I lack a perspective or any observational details? Absolutely not! In fact, here are some things that I’ve been thinking about and looking at this week from the position at the far back of the pack.

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The Stream Team: All your base are belong to Rend

One of the best things about Rend is its emphasis on teamwork and cooperation. And although Massively OP’s MJ is only one person, she knows her contributions help. She’ll be heading out into the wilds and continuing to collect resources for her faction base while she explores. Of course, all this will also help get her a step closer to making portals so she can raid the spirit realm and get a pet. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to check out the Conclave base.

What: Rend
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 17th, 2018

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WoW’s Battle for Azeroth: Secret quests, island rewards, bug fixes, and cinematic tomfoolery

Done everything already in Battle for Azeroth? Oh, you lie, but when you are done, you might want to keep your eye out for a super-secret quest line that Blizzard confirmed exists somewhere in this new World of Warcraft expansion.

The studio also incentivized the new island expedition mode by saying, “There are so many things in the rewards bucket that chances are, you’re gonna get something today, which makes it pretty exciting for your first 300 islands or so.”

Meanwhile as everyone is in the fun trenches of the leveling process, you might want to be aware of a cinematic bug that kept some players from seeing an intro cutscene. Also, Blizzard has been hotfixing some minor issues as the week’s progressed, so hopefully that’s leading to a smoother experience.

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Wild Buster is back as Champions of Titan under a new publisher

Remember Wild Buster? Back in February, Valve booted its publisher, Insel Games, off Steam, accusing it of review manipulation after a dev leaked a damning letter from the company boss seemingly coercing employees to buy and review the game on the platform. At the time, Insel Games denied wrongdoing, but the loss of Steam clearly hurt; it resurfaced this past spring to announce that it had struggled without Steam and would instead be transferring publishing rights to IDC Games, which would relaunch the title as Champions of Titan.

That brings us to today, when IDC has announced that Champions of Titan is rolling into open beta ahead of a “full commercial release” later this year.

“Open Beta is available from today and players can start exploring the new world, conquer fierce monsters, challenge the rival faction in PvP and enjoy grouping with their friends. Champions of Titan MMORPG combines a fluid and fast combat with a world full of adventures, challenges and an original graphic design set in Sci-Fi environment. Developed by Korean studio Nuriworks and published by IDC/Games, Champions of Titans offers full PvE and PvP features: solo content, group content, raid content, 3v3, 5v5 and 10v10 battlegrounds, Battle Royale PvP map and free for all PvP.”

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Massively on the Go: Our basic guide to Pokemon Go gameplay and questing

Pokemon Go has come a long way since its early days of just catching and gym battling. Those are still core gameplay elements, but there’s a bit more to it now. It’s not just about catch and release, but catching specific Pokemon, catch several in a row, catching with a specific kind of throw, and more, mostly thanks to questing.

Yes, there are quests in POGO now, including dailies. I’m not just talking about the old system either. Now, at the very least, you want to catch one Pokemon, spin one PokeStop, and do one “Field Task,” the game’s equivalent of dailies. If you understand that, you can probably stop here, but for those looking to dig a bit deeper, keep reading.

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The Survivalist: Excited for ARK’s Extinction

I finally broke down and watched ARK: Survival Evolved’s Extinction trailer. It’s not that I didn’t want to! On the contrary, I was very interested to get that glimpse; I just wanted to wait until we had even more info about it so I could really delve into it. But since that doesn’t seem to be coming about, I couldn’t hold out any longer. It is the conclusion of the multi-expansion story arc after all, and we’ve just gotten all excited about ARK’s story!

After watching the trailer, my anticipation level inched up a few notches. The teaser hints at answers to some long-held questions, and I am excited to take on the all-new survival challenges. Helping to amp that enthusiasm up are the monthly Extinction-themed content drops: Say hello to some bionic dinos! (They even lay tek eggs!) Perhaps Extinction will be quite a grand finale. I definitely look forward to learning, and sharing, more as we learn about the expansion.

All that said, there’s still that little bit of nagging disappointment at the lack of attention older maps get, especially the original game. Who knows though, perhaps once the final game is out and done the devs can turn some attention back to fixing those issues with the island.

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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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No, World of Warcraft’s warfronts won’t go live with Battle for Azeroth

One of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth’s key features won’t go live when the expansion launches this coming week. Blizzard announced players are going to have to wait a while to experience Battle for Stromgarde.

“Similar to other types of endgame content such as raids and rated PvP, the Battle for Stromgarde will not be immediately available at launch,” the studio said. “Instead, it’ll open a few weeks later.”

Blizzard went on to explain how the Horde and Alliance will take turns controlling the keep and assaulting it, offering players on both sides a rotation for the PvE scenario. Warfronts remain one of the lesser understood new systems in this expansion despite Blizzard hyping them strongly during last year’s Battle for Azeroth reveal.

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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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Endless Trials seeks $66K on Kickstarter to build a semi-hardcore endgame PvE MMO that omits grind

Here’s a new one for us, and if you like it, you can throw money at it right now: It’s called Endless Trials, and it is gunning for some of the more tedious and repetitive tropes of MMORPGs. With graphics that look more like FML than WoW, Endless TrialsET – bills itself as “an MMO without the boring parts,” which to the three-man Danish dev team means a focus on endgame instead of “tedious leveling and grinding.”

“We all love a good challenge, something fun, something that pushes us and affords us a sense of accomplishment. The leveling and grinding part of the game, however, that is where boredom can creep in. With that in mind, we have set out to create a new, semi-hardcore MMO that focuses on endgame content. We are calling it Endless Trials, and it is our attempt at making raiding great again! Each new character will follow a brief introduction quest, and when we say ‘brief’ we mean exactly that: it will take just an hour to finish. From there, you get some basic gear and get in on the real action, battling dungeons with your friends, completing daily quests for rep and rewards, farming for crafting materials, and hanging around the space station with other players. This is a game in which leveling plays a minimal role. The key here is excitement. We want Endless Trials to feel fresh every time you play, not like a job that you are doing half the time just to get to the real fun!”

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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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The Daily Grind: Is ‘god mode’ fun for MMO play?

Unlike some console and PC titles, online RPGs don’t typically offer “god mode” (despite what you may have heard about certain classes). We don’t get to flip a switch and suddenly be invincible and uber-powerful to rofflestomp all over our enemies.

Except… sometimes we do, thanks to over-leveling. The other night I had a great amount of fun revisiting World of Warcraft’s Northrend raids, steamrolling through these old endgame instances without any challenge. Seeing hordes of enemies die at a single spell while not being able to touch me at all was pretty amusing, but I enjoyed the ability to explore and experience these raids far more.

Do you think that god mode is fun for MMO play? If so, when and how should it work in games — and to what purpose?

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Hands-on with Monster Hunter World on PC: ‘A quick and dirty port’

So you’ve probably heard some news about the Monster Hunter World port. PC performance issues, keyboard and mouse issues, random crashing. I wish I could tell you differently, but I can’t. No joke, MHW is one of those games I really wanted to see do well on PC and wanted to tell you all to go out and buy. I still argue the series is MMO action raiding boiled down into a tight, fun, formula filled with the treasure hunting you like and less of the downtime and dice rolls you hate, without so much of the synchronized combat dancing we see in the genre, but I have some serious reservations about this port.

Granted, Capcom has already made improvements during the media testing phase I participated in. It seems like the bug that caused the game to hard crash has been fixed in single player experiences, but the game’s somehow carried over some console oddities, and as PC media doesn’t seem as hyped as the console media was (I never found people to group with because so few were playing), I can’t talk about multiplayer.

I can, however, make some comparisons to the PS4 version I reviewed earlier this year.

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