MMO Week in Review: New World approaches, Blizzard faces the feds

Because we are no longer friends.

This week in MMOs, the feds opened investigations into Activision-Blizzard, we tested out Guild Wars 2’s second batch of End of Dragons elite specs, Funcom granted approval for a fan-led Secret World TTRPG, LOTRO gave away all the things, and Ultima Online turned 24 years old. Plus, Diablo II Resurrected launched, and… well, it did what most MMOs do at launch: It struggled.

Meanwhile, we’re anticipating the release of New World this week. Got your server name picked out yet?

Become a PatronRead on to catch up with the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions today as every Sunday (since 2010!) in Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

THIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES


Here are the exact launch times for New World across the globe – The launch is coming! The launch is coming! And while you run around like a chicken with its +4 head cut off, New World wants you to take a moment…


Funcom gave a player group its blessing to build a Secret World TTRPG – It hasn’t been the best couple of years for fans of The Secret World, thanks to the fact that both games are all but in maintenance mode and the community…


The feds are now investigating Activision-Blizzard as the SEC subpoenas execs including Bobby Kotick – Early on in our coverage of the Activision-Blizzard sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit scandal, we noted that the company’s response took some ineffective swipes at the state of California bureau…


Flameseeker Chronicles: Test driving Guild Wars 2 End of Dragons’ Vindicator, Bladesworn, and Catalyst elite specs – It’s time again for another End of Dragons elite specialization beta! It’s an exciting time for Guild Wars 2 players, who are learning what elite specs they will be playing as and…


Activision-Blizzard is now being investigated by four state and federal regulators as its top legal VP departs – Yesterday, we covered the news that the US Securities and Exchange Commission is now investigating Activision-Blizzard in the wake of its ongoing sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit and associated scandal.…


Rumor: Leaked file list suggests Star Citizen’s Theaters of War is being made into a standalone game – Allow us to provide a bit of context before we get to the news: This is all about Theaters of War, a 20v20 mixed arms PvP mode that was first…


New World’s latest trailer invites you to ‘carve a new destiny’ – We’re now just six days away from the launch of Amazon’s New World, with the hype charging waaaaay up as the MMORPG genre is getting what could well become the…


Ultima Online is 24 years old today, celebrating with its 111th update as New Legacy dev continues – Well well well, look what we have here: Somebody’s turning 24. It’s Ultima Online, broadly considered the grandfather of the genre and the coiner of the MMORPG genre, though of…


WoW Factor: World of Warcraft replacing sexualized artwork misses the point – So World of Warcraft has been on a bit of a tear with replacing achievement names, artwork, and so forth recently. At the time I’m writing this, the latest changes are…


LOTRO is once again giving away 26 quest packs and selling eight more for cheap – With Gundabad fast approaching this fall, Standing Stone Games is rolling out the red carpet for Lord of the Rings Online players who might be missing some earlier content. Today,…


Book of Travels will now hit early access on October 11: ‘Quality was our deadline’ – After multiple delays, Might and Delight has finally picked a new date for Book of Travels’ early access: October 11th. “Quality was our deadline and today we’ve met that deadline,”…


Playable Worlds’ Raph Koster on why avatars traipsing across the metaverse are a major tech challenge – Virtual worlds… how the eff do they work? Playable Worlds’ Raph Koster has an idea or two, and he’s dishing them out in a new blog series. The first focuses…


Blizzard races to address Diablo II: Resurrected launch week woes – It’s fair to say there’s been a whole lot more pressure on the launch of Diablo II: Resurrected than there would be during a normal year. With Blizzard rocked by…


Guild Wars 2’s WvW world restructuring beta ends early over to match-up issues – It’s been a long lead-up to a restructuring of Guild Wars 2’s world-vs.-world system, but now it finally arrived. And then left just as quickly. ArenaNet announced on Friday that…


The Game Archaeologist: Tanarus, Sony Online Entertainment’s first online game – While EverQuest is perhaps thought of as Sony Online Entertainment’s first online game, the truth of history tells us differently. Just as how Mythic Entertainment pumped out several other online…


EVE Online arrives to the Epic Games Store, lauds 24M players, and celebrates with a new event – EVE Online continues to try to roll out the red carpet for new arrivals once again thanks to the game’s official arrival to the Epic Games Store. The announcement shared…


Massively on the Go: Tips for making a comeback in Pokemon Unite – Another outlet recently published an article on how Pokemon Unite players don’t like to give up and then proceeded to say they should surrender more with basically no reason other than “it…


TitanReach’s angel investor says he funded it because the team is ‘passionate, hard working, and lucky’ – The latest weird chapter in the saga of TitanReach’s development has been the game getting fully funded with no strings attached by a single mysterious benefactor. If that story sounds…


Chronicles of Elyria’s subreddit reopens, promising ‘no more censorship from Soulbound Studios’ – Back in the middle of July this year, Chronicles of Elyria made the decision to shut down its subreddit, claiming a “torrent of abuse” and “daily threats of violence” that…


Massively Overthinking: Would you play your favorite MMO without its IP? – Nonameplease recently posed us an interesting topic, inspired by a thread on the Star Trek Online subreddit. “It seems most people don’t think the game itself is good enough to…


Perfect Ten: Ranking the Guild Wars 2 professions from best to worst – There are a lot of times when this column is not in any way a ranking, when it is just a list of things usually in a particular order but…


Fortnite might not be back on Apple’s app store for five years – or longer – You know how kids’ soccer teams line up after a match to give each other high-fives and “good games” in a show of sportsmanship? Apple is the one kid who’s…


Amazon on New World: ‘We really wanted to make sure that this time we get it right’ – The multi-million-dollar question of the hour is whether or not Amazon finally can pull off a successful launch of a major game. The studio has great cause to hope with…


Amazon is publishing Glowmade’s new ‘creative online co-op experience’ – What else does Amazon Games have cooking besides New World, Lost Ark, and that unnamed game from Smed? Apparently, it’s also publishing a game from English games studio Glowmade, whose…


Massively on the Go: How to actually have fun in Pokemon Unite as a new player – The mobile version of Pokemon Unite has landed as of today, and those of you who do not have a Nintendo Switch but wish to play will finally be able to…


Final Fantasy XIV players memorialize Stephen Critchlow, the voice behind Count Edmont de Fortemps – The Final Fantasy XIV community is in mourning this week as English actor Stephen Critchlow has passed away at the age of 54. Critchlow was well known for his theater…


New World posts the names of its 176 launch day servers – With less than a week to go before New World’s September 28th launch, there isn’t much time left for interested players to make plans for the first day of release.…


Diablo II Resurrected has begun preloading – here’s when it launches in your timezone – We’re fast approaching the launch of Diablo II Resurrected, and Blizzard would really like everyone to focus on that instead of on its ballooning culture and legal problems. This afternoon,…


Fractured invites MMO players to test its fall alpha starting tomorrow – As we’ve been covering, indie MMO sandbox Fractured is preparing its big fall alpha phase, which kicks off tomorrow, September 22nd, and runs through October 13th. “The update introduces a…


Choose My Adventure: The further adventures of a twin pistols gadgeteer in DC Universe Online – So, the powers that be said that keeping to my twin pistols in DC Universe Online was the way to go, and I have to say that I wholly agree…


Jagex attributes lag spikes during Old School RuneScape’s Deadman finals to ‘direct network attacks’ – Over the past three weeks, Old School RuneScape has been running its Deadman Reborn PvP competition, which hit its zenith this past Friday with a finals event to determine the…


The Daily Grind: Is Blizzard right to ‘desexualize’ art in World of Warcraft? – Last week, there was a big social media hubbub over World of Warcraft, as Blizzard quietly changed out a pair of obscure paintings in the game. Once changed a blurry…


Fight or Kite: Spellbreak’s wizardry battles wage on with new content – It’s been a hot minute since I spent any time playing Spellbreak. When it first launched, it was a nice part of my nightly gaming rotation. It has a lot…


Warhammer Online: Return of Reckoning finally adds capital cities that Mythic axed – So a little Warhammer Online history lesson for you today: Originally when Mythic Entertainment was developing the game, it had plans to include up to six capital cities that would…


Wisdom of Nym: Reactions to Final Fantasy XIV’s job changes from the live letter – One of the things that excites me every time about Final Fantasy XIV is the way that the game can tell you up-front exactly what it’s going to be revealing…

THIS WEEK’S CASTS & STREAMS


Massively OP Podcast Episode 339: Kitchen sinks and the Tao of MMOs


The Stream Team: A return to raiding in Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers


The Stream Team: Fixing to find a fight with the Phaelanx in Dauntless


The Stream Team: Another attempt at peeking into Voidtrain’s early access

Every week, get caught up on the MMO genre’s latest news and Massively OP’s best content in our MMO Week in Review! Want more roundups of content? Try Friday’s Betawatch for MMO testing highlights, Saturday’s Make My MMO for MMO crowdfunding updates, and Sunday’s The MOP Up, which mops up all the bits of news we didn’t cover anywhere else.

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