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Tamriel Infinium: Three key takeaways from the Elder Scrolls Online Murkmire teaser

Hopefully, everyone saw the Elder Scrolls Online presentation at Quakecon. If not, I’ll have that whole video just past the break. Game Director Matt Firor and Community Manager Gina Bruno stood on stage to give an overview of what ESO has in store for the rest of the year. Of course, Wolfhunter launched a couple of days ago, but I was definitely more interested in the Murkmire presentation.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I believe that Black Marsh is the area of Tamriel that ESO will ultimately be known for, and that’s because no other game in the Elder Scrolls series has touched that area of Tamriel with any significance. Firor explained what we would discover in Murkmire, but I believe his last line explained it best: “Along the way you’re going to get a really deep dive into Argonian culture, philosophy, and religion — really, what drives them, and what makes them so weird.”

During the presentation, Firor and Bruno gave us our first look at the Murkmire DLC in game. During this one-minute clip, we didn’t see much, but I’ve pulled it apart. And I’m going to hopefully reveal some things that you didn’t notice.

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The Stream Team: What comes after SWTOR’s Knights of the Eternal Throne?

Now that Massively OP’s Larry and MJ finished SWTOR’s KOTET story, what’s next? MJ has no idea really. Surely the story must go on somehow, but on what tangents? What awaits — and more importantly, what choices await? Not that MJ can make them, mind you; the audience does! Join us live at 2:00 p.m. as the we move beyond the Eternal Throne to new adventure in…

What: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Who: Larry Everett & MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

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Global Chat: Is it worth your time to alpha test MMOs?

Taugrim raises a very interesting question this week on his blog. Namely, is it really worth your time to alpha test MMOs these days? For him, at least, fickle players and unresponsive developers don’t make it a beneficial activity.

“A decade ago, I used to get super excited about upcoming MMORPGs,” he said. “And then I experienced those games losing their playerbase in droves while the developers/publishers failed to meaningfully address the concerns of the community.”

If you’ve been burned one too many times by alpha, beta, and early access testing, perhaps you can relate. Read on for more essays from the MMO blogosphere, and don’t forget to check out this month’s exciting Blaugust Reborn event that’s raging across blogs!

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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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SWTOR’s Rishi stronghold and PvP tweaks are live today with the 5.9.2 update

Multiple goodies are coming to Star Wars The Old Republic today via its previously delayed but now launching 5.9.2 update. The headliner content is assuredly the Rishi stronghold, which our own SWTOR columnist is so excited about that he’s covered it in-depth. Twice. It certainly looks like one of the most spectacular player structures BioWare has added to date, and it’s far more than just a house.

“Escape the daily grind of galactic life by traveling to your own personal slice of paradise! This Stronghold features multiple customizable structures, a flying Patrol Carrier, a cliffside apartment, and its own private beach. Plus, for the first time, Player versus Player gameplay is fully supported inside the Stronghold, allowing for 1-on-1, Team Deathmatch, and even Huttball scenarios!”

The new Mandalorian Battle Ring arena is live too, as are hefty tweaks to warzones, matchmaking, PvP rewards, and cartel market reputations. Those of you whose characters have romanced Lana Beniko should probably pay close attention to the fixes for the marriage bug introduced a few patches ago.

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BioWare explains more about Anthem’s split between MMO and single-player portions

Is Anthem a single-player game or an open-world MMO? The short answer is that it’s both, but the split is a bit different from what you may be expecting. Rather than the social hub being a shared space for all players, the latest mid-summer update from the studio explains that the “safe” spot will be where players experience the single-player story, build relationships, and so forth. It’s the open world where the shared experiences will happen for everyone.

A panel is promised for this year’s PAX West that will go into more details on the division between formats, so if you’re still curious about how the split will work you can look forward to that. There’s also a promise of new features on the horizon for Star Wars: The Old Republic that should make for an exciting year, so that’s some reason for fans to be hopeful on that front, yes?

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR is testing huge changes for the Rishi stronghold

I know I took more than a moment to explain why I liked the new Rishi stronghold coming to Star Wars: The Old Republic in the next big update. It seems that the development team has a little more freedom to really listen to its fans and add items to this stronghold to move it from being a good stronghold to a great one.

I’ve clearly been critical of many of the things SWTOR has done over the year, and I rarely give it amazing scores on my yearly reviews. But I’m still a fan, and it’s improvements like the Rishi stronghold that help keep me interested in what BioWare developers are doing. On a scale that includes jumping the timeline forward 5 years and killing off major characters, creating a PvP stronghold ranks rather low, but I’m surprised at how much it actually helps to create an enjoyable game.

The final round of PTS changes hit this past weekend, and I spent some time goofing around and diving into these additions. Let me highlight some of the changes.

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Hyperspace Beacon: Making roleplay events deeper in SWTOR (or any other MMORPG)

From time to time, I like to break from talking about the latest news from Star Wars: The Old Republic to talk about what I enjoy most about the setting that BioWare provides: a roleplay platform.

Of course, I’ve talked about the good and the bad of the game as a roleplay platform on many occasions, so I’m not going to dive into that today. Let me say up front that it’s not a perfect platform for roleplay, but I love roleplay in MMORPGs. I also love Star Wars, and this is the platform we have right now. Hit me up in the comments if you’d like to continue that conversation.

This week, however, I’d like to take apart how I construct an event for whichever SWTOR RP guild I happen to be a part of now. For anyone that might have taken part in an event that I created, you would know that I usually handle them similarly to a tabletop RPG event. I like to use a dice system to determine certain outcomes. The type of dice system usually does not matter because ultimately it’s the story and character choices that make for a great event, not the dice system.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic bumps its next patch to August 7

Public test servers exist for a reason. Not just because unleashing your players on the game gives you access to a free and experienced group of testers; it also helps identify issues before things go live, not after. Star Wars: The Old Republic is delaying its upcoming 5.9.2 patch until August 7th based on test server feedback, which means waiting a little bit longer, but it also means incorporating new features into the patch based on feedback.

Players will have access to a more comfortable space in the Rishi Stronghold, the Overlook, thanks to added time put in by the team. There will also be corrections to various line-of-sight issues with decorations, and players can toggle PvP on or off throughout the entire space. The additions will require some extra testing time, obviously, but it should make for a better experience across the board for when the patch actually goes live.

Source: Official Site via Dulfy

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The Stream Team: SWTOR’s KOTET plot twist

Plot twist! This was the only thing Massively OP’s Larry and MJ could say after the revelation that ended the last episode of SWTOR’s Choose My Alignment. Things have really gotten weird as MJ’s Chiss has “become” Darth Jar-Jar himself. She’s got a bit of a mess to get herself out of, so join us live at 2:00 p.m. to help her do just that.

What: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Who: Larry Everett & MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

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Perfect Ten: The best expansions for specific MMOs

Looking over the past two decades or so, MMORPGs have grown by leaps and bounds with regular releases, events, and (of course) expansion packs. Hundreds of expansions have now flooded the scene, with some of the longest-running titles seeing upwards of two dozen or more.

That got me thinking: Which expansion was the best? Not overall, I mean, but the best for each game that it serviced? Every MMO player harbors strong feelings about which was the best expansion for the titles they enjoy, and I have read many articles in which expansions were ranked, reviewed, and debated.

For this week’s Perfect Ten, we’ll be trying to put a finger on the best expansion for 10 specific MMOs. I’ve taken the additional step of polling the Massively OP staff to give me input on MMOs that they have played extensively over the years. So what’s the best? Let’s find out!

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Former BioWare lead James Ohlen regrets not pushing SWTOR towards ‘Knights of the Old Republic Online’

Earlier this month, BioWare’s James Ohlen announced that he was retiring from the company where he’d worked for more than two decades, part of that as the creative director and lead designer for Star Wars The Old Republic, in addition to his work multiple other titles, including Anthem. At the time, he said he was taking a break from the video gaming industry to write RPG sourcebooks, which let’s be honest sounds like a lot of fun. He’s gone into more detail on Game Informer this week, explaining that he misses doing the “creative work.”

“[I]t was the early days of Star Wars: The Old Republic that I was really involved hardcore in the story design, game design, and all that,” he says. “I just wanted to get back to designing stories and designing games and doing things that I’m passionate about. When I look back at my career, the most fun I had from a professional standpoint was when I was designing stories, levels, worlds, and the game itself.” The bigger teams of BioWare weren’t leaving him the kind of space he wanted. “Working on the development of Star Wars: The Old Republic, I was the game director, which meant I had the most power, but I often felt like I was the captain of the Titanic and I could just steer it a teeny tiny bit if I put all my efforts into it.”

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Star Wars: The Old Republic lists Season 9 ranked PvP rewards

Grab that lightsaber or blaster and get to making war on your fellow player, because Star Wars: The Old Republic is about to finish off its current season of ranked PvP. The season will conclude on July 31st, at which time a rich bounty of rewards will be poured out on the heads of the best-of-the-best.

What rewards will be causing these cranial concussions, you ask? BioWare posted a list of the Season 9 Ranked PvP rewards, separated into different tiers based on a player’s final rating.

There are a lot of interesting but somewhat expected goodies here, such as battle flags, portrait flair, titles, frame decorations, and — most importantly — tokens. These tokens can be spent on desired rewards, so if you want your holo-rancor mount or stronghold trophies, you know where to go.

Source: SWTOR

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