The Stream Team: Sharing a stash of Trove summer festival stuff

Massively OP’s MJ doesn’t need a festival to log in and play Trove anymore, not since Geode. And she doesn’t need a reason to give things away to you, either! Thanks to piñata popping during that event and donations from fans, she has a stash of summer festival stuff to share. If you’ve really been missing a piñata head to wear, tune in live at 8:00 p.m. for your chance to win. There might also be a special mount and/or wings to win!

What: Trove
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Enjoy the show!

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Broke Protocol is currently free on Steam to celebrate its first birthday

Remember Broke Protocol, the funky sandbox that’s basically a mash-up of Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto, with voxel graphics bolstering cops-and-robbers gameplay? It’s apparently celebrating its first anniversary on Steam today, and in celebration, it’s free. Free as in free beer. But only if you grab it really quickly. Quickly as in this week.

“Starting August 15th 10am PST (5pm UTC) Broke Protocol will be free to keep forever (100% off). No trial, limitations, or strings attached. But act quickly because the offer is only available during this 100-hour promotion.”

The Cylinder Studios devs note that the game has changed quite a bit over its first year of life; it can now support over a hundred players simultaneously and has shifted focus to better support roleplaying with more civilian and “enforcer” jobs as well as player housing, vehicles, and third-party admin tools to balance out all the crime and mayhem. Merchants and a map editor are still on the way too.

Source: Steam. Thanks so much, George!


Trion’s compensation for Trove’s exploit-driven downtime is absurdly generous

Last week, Trion Worlds was forced to take MMORPG Trove offline for more than a day on PC thanks to what was clearly a massive duping exploit that saw players dumping stacks of currency into the wild, destroying the game’s economy in minutes. Fortunately, Trion was able to scrub the game without the need for a serious rollback (in fact, the company’s warned players to stop asking for one); it also disabled some of the problematic items and banned the “very small number” of players who started the mess in the first place. Thank goodness because I am flat out of sad-faced voxel worm screenshots to use here.

As for everyone else? We’re getting some compensation y’all. Console players, who were largely unaffected, are getting a lustrous gem box, adventure reliquary, and empowered gem box. PC players, on the other hand, get three lustrous gem boxes, a three-day patron (subscriber) pass, three 50% adventuring experience potions, an adventure reliquary, and a legendary dragon mount – which is actually extremely generous!

There’s a catch: “To be eligible for these rewards you just need to have logged in between the time we came back online after the patch on August 7 through 10:00 PM PDT on August 8. If you’re in the EU this will be 5:00 AM UTC on August 9.”

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 182: Follow the Torchlight

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin geek out over the confirmation of a Torchlight MMO, salute the late, great RuneScape Classic, prepare for Battle for Azeroth, and more! Also, we read some really great listener haiku because you guys are awesome like that.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Fallout 76 reveals more about perks, PvP, and proprietary platforms

This past weekend was a treasure trove of information for fans of Fallout 76. Bethesda ran some panels and Q&A discussions at QuakeCon, giving special attention to the game’s character growth system and limitations on PvP.

Perks and mutations are going to be the key methods of character progression, although with players receiving packs of perk cards every now and then, the devs hope that they will experiment with different builds instead of getting locked in to just one thing.

As for PvP — which certainly has some fans worried — Bethesda is attempting to limit the griefing through special mechanics. Players who don’t respond in a PvP encounter won’t receive as much damage, and if they’re killed without firing back, then their murderer will become a marked player with a bounty on his or her head. Oh, and if you’re under level 5 or engaged in fighting a mob, you’re off-limits for PvP entirely. The studio also said that players can easily rebuild their bases via blueprints if they’re hit by a nuke.

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Crowfall shows off the behind-the-scenes magic of the Clusterizer

As cool as it may sound, unless you’re actually working on developing Crowfall, the odds are you will never see the Clusterizer in action. You will only ever see what it’s done, and you won’t even know that it was the work of the Clusterizer. But what does the Clusterizer actually do? It helps link zones together, according to the latest article on the official site showing off the intentionally somewhat ugly interface and the mechanics behind this map-linking tool.

Yes, the Clusterizer is a way to put multiple zones into a coherent whole and keep track of each specially developed map, so players can explore, have multiple areas to visit, and avoid retreading the same ground. So it’s pretty technical, but it should be fascinating for anyone excited about seeing the technical side of making the game’s areas in a given campaign fit together. It’s also just fun to say. The Clusterizer.


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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Trove is back online after major economy exploit; Trion to offer compensation, ban perpetrators

Trion’s voxelbox Trove was down most of yesterday thanks to what screenshots clearly identified as a massive duping exploit that positively trashed the game’s economy overnight. Bonus, I got the fun task of explaining to my young kid why his favorite game was down (this is why we can’t have nice things, etc.).

At the crack of dawn today, Trion finally got the PC servers back online after what appears to be extensive clean-up of the game’s economy and the accounts participating in the exploit. In the current build of the game, Megaflux Tanks have been all but disabled on multiple fronts, and tradeable versions of lootboxes have been stalled too.

“We agree that this was a rotten and awful event, but unfortunately not something that we could have predicted or tested for,” Trion says. And no rollback is happening: “We appreciate [player] feedback on the concept of server rollbacks, but we will not be doing this for this issue.”

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Trove has been down since the crack of dawn thanks to an economy-breaking dupe exploit

Bad stuff is happening in Trove. Or was happening. Right now, nothing’s happening at all because the servers came down early this morning, and the game probably won’t be back up for PC players until late this afternoon. It’s apparently because of a bug/exploit following Tuesday’s update that was wrecking the economy.

“Yes, we will be compensating players for this downtime,” Trion tweeted. “However, all focus is on getting the economy cleaned up, so the details will be worked out after it has been completed.”

Trion hasn’t definitively posted what exactly the bug was, but as MOP tipster Tanek pointed out, players have some pretty good guesses: It looks as if was some sort of extreme duping related issue that saw miscreants sharing the wealth via community chests, which brought the player market to a screeching halt as the value of everything went bonkers with bajillions of currency flooding the game world. Players were anticipating a rollback too, but perhaps the extended downtime will be enough to remove the ill-gotten currencies without disrupting honest players further.

Source: Official site. With thanks to Tanek!


Crowfall’s latest community Q&A covers skinning coins and equipment mitigation

Why does skinning something in Crowfall currently result in getting coins? That makes absolutely no sense. Well, according to the latest Q&A video, the developers are well aware that it makes no sense. It’s not supposed to make sense; it’s supposed to be a stopgap at the moment to give you something for skinning while the infrastructure for doing so gets set up. Yes, in the final version of the game you’ll have to do more work to convert things into coins, but for now? Get that core gameplay loop in.

The video also discusses other issues in the game, like how all of the damage mitigation is on chestpieces and thus players are equipping plate chestpieces to reduce damage and leather everywhere else. The developers had originally played with penalties on some pieces, but the work is still being done to figure out just how to arrange bonuses on equipment to make sure that you don’t always want “plate chest and leather everything else.” A bug in armor disciplines is also making things a bit more difficult; check out the full video below for more on this and on other player questions.

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The Stream Team: The search for Trove dragons continues

Boy oh boy are there lots of dragons Massively OP’s MJ needs to find in Trove. She still hasn’t found Luxion yet, and now there are two new ones added just today! And that’s on top of all the others still skulking about throughout the lands. Perhaps she should focus on one dragon at a time, finishing her search for Luxion before heading out to discover the two newest ones. As dragonkind herself, she owes it to them to find them all. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. for the dragon hunt.

What: Trove
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 7th, 2018

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Trove is adding 162 player-designed wearables in tomorrow’s update

Trove is gearing up for what it’s calling a major quality-of-life update tomorrow. Bomber royale – that’s the voxelbox’s battle royale mode – is getting the most movement, as Trion has “tuned [it] to award more active, aggressive play.”

“Some experience is now granted based on damage done to other players, and the amount of experience granted for just staying alive has been reduced. Experience for each kill has also been reduced since it is now easier to get credit for kills on players who die from lava or falling. Average experience gain may be lower, but very aggressive and accurate players will be more rewarded.”

Personally, I’m most interested in the changes to club worlds, which are basically the game’s guild halls, except that they’re actually enormous maps on which a club/guild can built anything at all. The patch introduces a system for replacing AWOL club leaders and tweak some of the club-centric aventures. There are also new craftable dragon mounts, a huge rebalance for the Ice Sage class that will hopefully make it viable again, and a bunch of new player-created gear pieces – we count 162 in the list.

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LOTRO Legendarium: Is Lord of the Rings Online aging well?

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?

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