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The All Purpose MMO Thread
So I stayed up until 2 a.m. playing STO last night, both my new Delta recruit and my level 50 commander. Starting to get into all the new content, but I'll have to go to third parties if I want to learn how to properly do things like R&D, duty officers, upgrading (seriously, there's an entire "Upgrade" system that I have no idea how to use, or what you can even upgrade). Basically I just want to know if there are systems I need to be benefiting from that I'm currently not.

Also, is there anything in the real-money store worth buying other than cosmetics? Quality of life improvements?

Also, STO in widescreen:

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The upgrade system raises the item level of ground and space gear, up to Mk XIV.  (This may be the only way that gear can get that high; the highest level random drops that I've seen have been Mk XIII common whites).  There's also a chance to improve the quality of the item, from white to green to blue to purple to "ultraviolet" to gold.  

The consumables that the upgrade system uses can be crafted, and it usually takes a bit of dilithium to use as well.  If you've got the Admiralty minigame figured out, where you can send ships out on something similar to duty officer assignments, the Tour of Duty assignment chain from the Romulan Republic Admiralty awards some dilithium-free item upgrade doodads every time you complete their ten mission assignment chain.

If you want to tinker with this, I recommend upgrading weapons first.  The jump in base weapon damage from Mk XIII to Mk XIV is pretty terrific, and is a large part of the reason why older and more established characters are able to carry new characters with Mk X gear in the queues.

There's also a new salvage system, which I haven't played with at all yet.  The gist, as I understand it, is that you can break down the vendor junk gear that you find in loot drops and use the resulting currency to reroll the stats on the gear you want to keep - stats meaning the extra accuracy, crit chance, crit severity, that sort of thing.

They've been commendably honest about keeping item upgrades and salvage out of the store and in the actual game, preventing a "pay to win" situation.  About the only quality of life improvement that feels mandatory to me is the one that increases the size of your duty officer roster, but that's just because I'm a hoarder.

I got a late start today, and just finished lunch.  I'll be Elder Scrolls Online in time for Saxon's planned meetup at 3 PM EDT today, if any of y'all are reading this right now.
Thanks Reasor! Did my first few Admiralty missions last night. Where do those ships I send out come from, and is there a way to acquire more? It's so weird how these games can pull you back in to these rabbit holes of minor improvements to what you have. 

I didn't even know there were item levels above purple. Great. Even more stuff to lust for.

Had a blast in ESO yesterday with the gang, and having fun with it again too. As with all MMOs, my enthusiasm waxes and wanes with the tides.

The cards that you get to deploy on the Admiralty missions are based on your ship collection. Players had asked for ages for some form of multi-ship command gameplay ("let us promote our bridge officers to Captain and they can command our other ships as combat pets" turned up a lot on the forums), and making a variant of the duty officer system was what they went with. It's a trivial enough system that players won't feel pressured to buy ships for it.

If you own ships on your account that aren't showing up in your Admiralty list, especially ships that are in the store, you can reclaim copies of those lower level ships any time after level 52 (when the Admiralty system kicks in) and the ships will be added to your Admiralty list.


First day of Blizzcon 2019, and the hype train for next year's World of Warcraft expansion has officially launched.

And also:

So will the Lich King be the Illidan of this expac? And Sylvanas the Garrosh/Gul'dan?

Battle for Azeroth felt like a watered down extension of Legion, and I am guessing this one will be slightly better, but more of the same.
I can see the wheel not being reinvented on the mechanics front - it's obvious that the four Covenant factions will be the source of the expansion's four Allied Races, for example - but the lore that Blizzard has dropped so far looks like someone's been putting thought into it for quite some time.

The four factions that players will be able to ally with represent different and conflicting models of what happens to souls in the afterlife, allowing multiple religious frameworks introduced in the game's stories over the years to coexist as each of the four has something different that they do with the souls that arrive on their respective dimension's shores. There's a holy faction that refines souls into something angelic through repentance and redemption, a sinful faction that seems to feed on the souls of the wicked, an undeath magic faction that is the source of the Scourge's armies, and a Life magic faction that holds and heals the spirits of Druids and other champions of nature until they're ready for rebirth.

I'll play this when it launches. It won't be the expac that finally makes a raider out of me, most likely, but I'll hit as much of the story as a solo player and filthy Group Finder casual can.
Sucks there is no new class. There isn’t really a hook to the expac, feels like a massive patch. Pretty underwhelming to imo
The current "Battle for Azeroth" expansion has been enough of a poorly received mess that a few of the live panels this weekend seem to have been about how Blizz sees the feedback and will be correcting course with Shadowlands.  I'm looking at the coverage on, and one of the slideshows up now is just about removed class abilities that are being brought back after players have spent a year or two complaining that the last round of pruning oversimplified classes or chipped away at class identity.  Old Shaman totems, Paladin seals, Warlock curses, and Rogue poisons are prominently displayed in one slide.

The really interesting (to me) art and lore content aside, it sounds a lot like what NFL coaches call a "building year" on the game mechanics front.

ETA: It looks as though the expansion will use scaling to clean up the leveling experience for new characters, as another example of just fixing what previous expansions have wrought. They're adding one new level 1-10 zone as an option for all new characters going forward (you can still use the old zones instead, supposedly); at the end of that, Chromie will send you to the past expansion of your choice for the next forty levels. At level fifty, you move on to Shadowlands, with level sixty as the new cap. Death Knights and Demon Hunters will start at level one when the expansion launches, with the option to use their signature class starting zones.
Sounds like quite the complicated mess. Battle didn't really hold my attention, but we'll see.
As a given example of how convoluted the leveling picture is now, the Horde goes through four different Warchiefs between level one and the game's current content, and their respective reigns are out of chronological order because the Cataclysm expansion replaced the world of Vanilla WoW but left the maps and quests of the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions untouched. If you don't skip content now, you end up being a time traveler anyways.
A relatively jargon-free look at the improvements coming to ESO's Vampire skill line this year:

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