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Destiny beta now open to all (sorta)

Betas, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items

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Bungie has expanded Destiny's beta to include everyone regardless of console (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360) and regardless of whether or not you've landed a beta code. There is a catch, though, and that catch is that you must have either an Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus subscription.

The firm plans to stress test its servers this weekend, and it will also be giving away an in-game emblem for players who help out on Saturday, July 26th.

The Daily Grind: Do you suck at MMOs?

Culture, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

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WoW
That's a serious question.

Back in February, our sister site WoW Insider published an editorial called You're bad at WoW, and so am I. Author Olivia Grace argued that no one is perfect at any game, that everyone makes mistakes, and that the worst mistake is not admitting those weaknesses because then you'll just keep on sucking. Reading our comments sometimes, you'd think that everyone reading here is a world-class player who's better at ALL OF THE GAMES than professionals and certainly than the developers, when the reality is most of our readers are probably above-average gamers slacking off at work. Ahem.

Personally, I'm pretty good at the psychological warfare of economic PvP and general PvE dungeon-running, but man, jumping puzzles and platforming -- I'm horrible at these things. What about you? Do you suck at MMOs? I promise I won't laugh at you if you won't laugh at me.

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Darkfall creates a new customizable user interface

Fantasy, Darkfall, Patches, PvP, Subscription

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darkfall
Today's patch for Darkfall brings a major revamp to the user interface that's long been in the making.

"We started changing things with the revisions we did to windows like chat, feats, and roles, and as it was expected, the time had come to give some attention to what we call internally the 'Front of Darkfall,' aka the Action Mode HUD (Heads-Up Display)," Aventurine posted.

The action HUD has several new components including crosshair, healthbar, and target information. This then can be customized in regard to location, opacity, icon selection, and size.

The Think Tank: Saying farewell to Vanguard

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Vanguard, Massively Meta, The Think Tank, Sunsets

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Vanguard is being retired forever next week, and this time there won't be a studio waiting in the wings to rescue it from doom. Today, Massively's staff hopes to give it a fond farewell. Join us in sharing our thoughts about the world of Telon.

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SWTOR will charge a cool 50 million credits for guild ships

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Economy, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic

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We hope Star Wars: The Old Republic players have been saving up their credits for a rainy day because that rainy day is here and it wants its money. BioWare Community Manager Eric Musco announced on today's livestream that guild ships, expected in next month's Galactic Strongholds expansion, will cost a whopping 50 million credits, making it arguably the most expensive single item in the game as it surpasses the cost of the ST-7 Recon Walker and Dathomir Rancor.

Massively's SWTOR expert Larry Everett notes that while it's not uncommon for a lone player to have a tenth that amount and the 'wealthy' title is granted for amassing 10 million credits, small guilds might struggle summoning the funds for these ships.

Star Trek Online throws bonus dilithium ore weekend

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play

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sto
Live long and mine on! To boldly mine where no one has mined before! The needs of the mine outweigh the needs of the newbie... or the vet! Whatever your Star Trek Online mining credo, prepare to use it this weekend for Cryptic's bonus dilithium ore event.

From today through Monday, July 28th, players will be able to mine 100% extra ore from the Vlugta asteroid field and the fleet dilithium mine. There will be a 50% bonus for gaining dilithium elsewhere in the game.

Hearthstone opens up the first wing of Naxxramas

Fantasy, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Miscellaneous

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Make quick werk of... wait, that's a different wing.  Never mind.
Are you ready to take on Naxxramas in Hearthstone? Good! You can start now. The first wing of the new adventure is available to players today; it'll send you through the Arachnid Quarter in a trip down a spider-filled memory lane. If you're on the fence about trying it out, you can take on this wing for free now through early September (the exact date for the end of free access will be announced later on).

Players will be able to purchase further wings of Naxxramas with either in-game currency or real money, with discounts available for bulk purchases. But you don't have to just hope you'll enjoy the adventure; you can log in and try it for yourself right now.

World of Warcraft shows off revamped Tauren ladies

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Races, Subscription

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No word on whether or not their portraits will finally open their eyes.
As Warlords of Draenor approaches release, the art team behind World of Warcraft continues finishing the revamped models for the game's races. The latest race to get a revamp is the female Tauren; while male Tauren have been in the beta client for quite some time, players have until now seen only quick shots of what the new female model would look like. Now you can see her in all her glory, and even at a glance it's a massive improvement.

The original model was extremely angular and low-detail due to the technology available when the game was first made, but the revamped model has much more definition in her fur and body shape. The only big silhouette change is a shrinking of her hands, with the official design blog calling the original model's hands "out of control." Take a peek at the official preview for more details on the updated ladycows.

Neverwinter unveils the Dragonborn Pack

Fantasy, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Races, Neverwinter

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FUZZ ROW D'AWW!  Please don't sue.
Were you worried that Neverwinter's fourth major update, Tyranny of Dragons, would feature too few dragons? We're not sure how you could have been worried about that, but the good news is that you can bring even more dragon into your play experience by playing a Dragonborn. No, not that kind of Dragonborn; the kind that's literally half-dragon. Or all dragon, but... humanoid dragon. You get the idea. And you can play one.

Buying the game's Dragonborn Legend Pack unlocks the new race as well as a set of cosmetic armor for your new man-dragon, the special Heart of the Red Dragon artifact, and a variety of other rewards including a race change token. The pack is on sale until August 18th, allowing players a chance to get in on the race at a discount. Whether you want to just one-up roleplayers claiming to be half-dragon or can't get enough lizards in your gameplay, you can pick up the pack now if it's your sort of fun.

Get a good (and hilarious) overview of Trove with this video

Betas, Fantasy, Free-to-Play, Guides, Sandbox, Trove

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Trove
Have you ever caught yourself wondering what Trove is, exactly? Is it a sandbox? Is it a Minecraft clone? Is it a bizzaro pixelated version of Second Life? It's certainly hard to adequately describe what this quirky Trion Worlds title is going for, which is why it's simply better to see it.

TheHiveLeader created a four-and-a-half-minute video in which he touches on Trove's selling points, from its existing classes to what players can do with cornerstones. It's also pretty funny and moves along at a brisk pace, which is why it's earned today's Massively Seal of Community Approval. Check it out after the break!

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Shroud of the Avatar's Release 8 is here, and so are its tutorials

Betas, Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Shroud of the Avatar, Buy-to-Play

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It's time for Shroud of the Avatar's Release 8. No really, it's time right now, as you're reading this. Portalarium has published instructions and a lengthy list of features (both included and not included) in this particular build.

The focus is on PvP this time around, and to that end both Scott Jennings and Chris Spears have posted tutorials. Jennings' takes the form of a PvP deck-building guide that's hosted on the SotA forums, while Spears narrates a 24-minute video that you can watch after the break.

Release 8 started at 11:30 a.m. EDT this morning and it runs until 11:00 a.m. EDT on Monday, July 28th.

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Chaos Theory: The value of The Secret World's DLCs

Horror, Real-Life, Expansions, Patches, Opinion, The Secret World, Chaos Theory, Buy-to-Play

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Chaos Theory: The value of The Secret World's DLCs
This question was posed to me recently by a few different readers and stream viewers: Are The Secret World's DLCs a good value? As I pondered the question, I decided that instead of answering each query personally, it would be a good topic to explore here in Chaos Theory. Besides, the answer is definitely not a short one! (It can't even fit in a single column!)

So why can't I just fire off a simple yes or no to this question? The biggest problem is trying to provide an objective answer to a very subjective situation. While the meaning of value itself is clearly defined, said definition emphasizes that the judgment is individual to whoever is involved. How each player defines value is very personal, so I can't really answer for anyone except myself. What I can do, however, is provide as much of the objective information that I can so you can make your own subjective judgment on the value. Are TSW's issues and sidestories packs worth it? Let's look at the value from various viewpoints and you decide!

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Play Destiny this weekend, get an exclusive beta emblem

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

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In case you needed a reason to log into Destiny's beta this weekend, Bungie is offering an incentive in the form of an exclusive in-game emblem. You'll need to be online at 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 26th, to qualify.

Black Desert's NA and EU publisher is Daum

Betas, Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Black Desert

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Black Desert's search for a Western publisher has made news on more than one occasion in recent months. As it turns out, though, the fantasy sandbox MMO will be published in North America and Europe by the same company publishing it in its native Korea.

That company is Daum, one of South Korea's largest internet conglomerates. News of the deal was confirmed by Steparu via an email exchange with a representative of Black Desert development studio Pearl Abyss. While there is no information available regarding Western beta dates, Pearl Abyss began working on an English client over seven months ago. Black Desert Korea will kick off its third closed beta sometime in late August or early September.

Skyforge to premiere at Gamescom

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, Skyforge

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SkyForge
Skyforge, the upcoming MMO from Obsidian Entertainment and the team that brought you Allods Online, will be making its debut at this year's Gamescom in Cologne, Germany.

Along with World of Speed and Armored Warfare, Skyforge will be presented by My.com at its booth in the business hall and as a playable demo for press. This will be the first reveal of two of Skyforge's classes and brand new locations. Interested players can also sign up for the closed beta for all three games at the official websites linked below.

[Source: My.com press release]

The Daily Grind: What MMO company has given you good customer service?

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Bugs, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, The Daily Grind

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So, a couple of Lord of the Rings Online's Inn League deeds are broken, which is unfortunate because the main reason I showed up for this year's Summer Festival was to finish the Inn League stuff on my newest character.

I submitted a customer service ticket and after having it closed with no action because I was offline (Turbine CSRs can't email, I guess?), I opened another one and remained online for a couple of hours so that I could be told that there is nothing to be done about broken deeds.

All of this is a long-winded way of saying that I find Turbine's customer service off-putting. It's also a prelude to today's Daily Grind question. What MMO company has given you good customer service, and what was the circumstance?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Final Fantasy XI previews Alluvion Skirmishes

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Patches, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Subscription

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So I had this great new shield, I put it down in here for a minute, and now it's gone!
Alluvion Skirmishes are the next evolution of skirmish battles for Final Fantasy XI players, pitting adventurers against a changing layout and shifting foes. Why would you take it on? Well, for a chance at great items and shields, naturally. Did you really expect otherwise? And, you know, for content that accommodates a variety of different party sizes and roles, that's nice too.

Players can take on Alluvion Skirmishes solo or in groups containing up to six players; Alter Egos are usable to fill out a party's ranks. The NPC Oston will assemble a special statue called a eudamon for players who can then enter through the pre-existing Augural Conveyers, with Rala Waterways and Cirdas Caverns being the first pair to function with Alluvion Skirmishes. For more details on time limits and inscribing shields with Arcane Glyptics, take a look at the full preview on the official site.

World of Warcraft posts details on the Arena Invitational World Championships

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Events (Real-World), PvP, News Items, Subscription

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Just chlling.  Hey.
This year's BlizzCon will feature a no-holds-barred fight to the finish. Sadly, that doesn't mean that an official MMA tournament event will be taking place; it just means that the World of Warcraft Arena Invitational World Championships will be going down, pitting teams against one another for glory, honor, and the satisfaction of taking home up to $120,000 dollars. Who wouldn't like that?

The eight teams selected for play will be fighting in a best-of-seven format, starting with the Nagrand Arena and moving on to other maps at the selection of the losing team. The matches will last until elimination or until 15 minutes have passed, whichever happens first. Those unable to attend BlizzCon on November 7th and 8th will be able to stream the matches online, although no details on doing so are yet available. If you are attending, though, get ready to watch the best of the best mix it up in the arenas.

Anarchy Online introduces tradable subscription item

Sci-Fi, Anarchy Online, Business Models, Free-to-Play

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ao
Anarchy Online has added a new subscription option into this 13-year-old game, allowing players to buy and sell game time in addition to its free-to-play and standard subscription packages.

Patch 18.6.14 added GRACE (Grid Access Credit Extension), which is a $14.95 item that can be purchased and sold on the in-game market. When used, GRACE adds 30 days of subscription game time to a player's account. Unlike other items on the market, GRACE cannot be taken out and mailed separately. Also, since free players can't access the market, they'll be unable to purchase GRACE from other players.

Funcom has a FAQ covering the ins and outs of this new system.

Elder Scrolls Online publishes video of its QuakeCon panel reveals

Fantasy, Video, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

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ESO
If you missed the hoopla of last week's QuakeCon, you lost out on some startlingly cool Elder Scrolls Online announcements, including news about an "active world PvP" system for thievin' and murderin' that makes the game feel just a bit more like a true Elder Scrolls title. Fortunately for you, ZeniMax has today released a video of the entire Future of The Elder Scrolls Online panel, which runs almost two hours and covers everything from PvP to the veteran ranks overhaul. Enjoy!

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