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RuneFest tickets on sale this week

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

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If you're a RuneScape fan and you'll be in London on October 11th, you might want to know that tickets for this year's edition of RuneFest are now on sale. Passes are £99 each, or you can get in for free (and even get a hotel room!) with RuneScape's in-game bonds.

The event starts at 10:00 a.m. local time and runs through 7:00 p.m., with an afterparty and late-night gaming scheduled through 11:00 p.m.

Leaderboard: Which dead MMO is your favorite?

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Leaderboard

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Since Vanguard is closing down this week, I'm in sort of a morbid mood.

Sorry.

Anyhow, today's Leaderboard poll will tread some unfamiliar territory when it comes to pitting MMOs against one another, mainly because all of these MMOs are dead. Vote for your favorite past the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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A whole lot of you played Destiny's beta

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

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Destiny's beta phase was what you might call successful, according to a Bungie press release. The company says that 4,638,937 players participated in the testing period that began on July 17th.

"Hosting a beta at this scale is an incredible feat, so we're thrilled to see the phenomenal response. But the beta is just a taste of what's to come," said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. "This is the biggest beta of this console generation by a wide margin and the largest console beta ever for a new video game IP to date."

[Source: Bungie press release]

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Elite's Beta 1 starts today, here's a new trailer

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

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Frontier has released its Beta 1 build of Elite: Dangerous. It "covers a greatly expanded 38,000 cubic light-year volume of Elite: Dangerous' accurately modeled Milky Way galaxy centered around the Boötes constellation."

Beta 1 also introduces new features including fuel consumption, player communication, docking computers, mission system functionality, and friend management/matchmaking capability. There's more, including a new trailer, which is embedded along with the official press release after the break.

[Source: Frontier press release]

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Neverwinter coming to Xbox One in 2015

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, Neverwinter

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Perfect World is porting Neverwinter to the Xbox One in China this year followed by a worldwide release in "the first half of 2015," according to IGN.

The site interviewed lead producer Andy Velasquez who says that a consolized Neverwinter will boast "all the same races, all the same classes, [and] all the same maps. The content will be there with some minor exceptions."

The Xbox One version of Neverwinter will not feature cross-play with the PC version, and Perfect World offered no comment on plans for other platforms.

The Daily Grind: Do you prize MMO stability?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Sunsets

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wow
Will your MMO be there tomorrow? How about next year? How about in five years?

As often as we consult the Massively office oracle about such matters, the answer is always, "Outlook hazy, ask later." Predicting whether or not a game is going to be around for a while yet to come isn't as easy to do, especially considering that we've witnessed a few surprise shutdowns over the past couple of years. But I've seen many gamers accept or reject the notion of playing an MMO based on how long those gamers perceives it lasting. In other words, they're trying to play the odds if they're going to sink time into a game.

I can sympathize and certainly relate. Do you do this? Is it a dealbreaker if you think an MMO is likely to go under within a few years? Is it an added incentive if a game's been around a while and probably will be around for a while yet?

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!

Avalon Lords gears up for its Kickstarter campaign

Fantasy, Video, News Items, MMORTS, Crowdfunding

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It sounds like the area around Camelot is really going through a dark age.
How do you feel about the MMORTS genre? The folks behind Avalon Lords don't have many nice things to say about it, which is why they're making an MMORTS game that, in their own words, is meant to elevate the game beyond free-to-play titles with microtransactions. The game launches its Kickstarter today, and it's put a trailer into the wild so potential backers can get a sense for what the game will look like.

Backers are being asked for $150,000 for the base game, a fairly humble sum considering other titles. The official support page for the game includes stretch goals starting at $250,000 and moving up, including fully customizable cities, NPC armies, and at the high end, a full-access mobile application. You can check the trailer out past the break, and if you like what you see and think the title will go all the way, you can toss in a few dollars.

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Jukebox Heroes: Lord of the Rings Online's housing music

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Housing, Jukebox Heroes, Music

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lotro
One of the interesting features (but by no means unique) of Lord of the Rings Online's housing system is the option to slot a music box item so that visitors can enjoy your favorite tunes while they check out your pad. Like the rest of the housing system, music boxes haven't been added to or expanded much over the years, but I still think they're pretty keen.

Most of the music boxes contain a medley of three or so similarly themed tracks. Most of these are pulled from all over the game, but some are rarely heard outside of houses, so I thought these deserved another look. Plus, the original music for LotRO is quite gorgeous in spots and holds up very well over the years.

For those looking for a buyer's guide to these ambient themes, may I point you to CSTM? For the rest of us, I have six favorite music boxes waiting for you after the jump.

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The Stream Team: Family MMO night with the Super Hero Squad Online devs

Super-hero, Video, Patches, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Kids, Family, Livestream, The Stream Team

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The Stream Team: Live with Super Hero Squad Online devs!
Super Hero Squad Online has been a favorite for several of Massively's writers, Larry Everett being one of them. Today, Larry and his son, Zach, will show off the new SHSO Recharged. And for extra fun, they've invited the developers along. (Maybe they'll have free stuff for you!) Join us at 7:00 p.m. to find out just how awesome this family MMO is for both kids and adults.

Game: Super Hero Squad Online
Hosts: Larry Everett, Zach, and the Gazillion devs
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Camelot Unchained reveals BSC survey results

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, Livestream, Camelot Unchained

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cu
Camelot Unchained has put the wraps on its "BSC Week," which was a four-day infosplosion of the upcoming game's mechanics, lore, and ideas. Today City State Entertainment CEO Mark Jacobs went on Twitch to talk about the results from the 1,177 fan surveys from the week. Jacobs also fields several questions and answers from the community.

Jacobs said that 74% of those polled were interested in the stat system as talked about and that 65% of those who watched the stat presentation were more inclined to back the game now.

If you have an hour to spare and are keenly interested in the development of Camelot Unchained, we have the archived stream for you after the break!

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Destiny hedges on raid info, character names, and chat channels

Betas, Sci-Fi, Interviews, MMOFPS, Community Q&A, Dungeons, Destiny

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Destiny
A Destiny community Q&A posted today on IGN is quite illuminating as to Bungie's approach to this upcoming online shooter. The studio is "very cagey" on releasing any details about its raiding system pre-launch, is struggling to figure out whether the game will have a chat system, and is against letting players give their avatars unique names.

"The team thought a lot about how best to have players identify themselves in the world," Bungie said in regard to the last topic. "Ultimately, we've landed on PSN ID and Xbox LIVE Gamertag, so other people don't have to manage a third list of identities (real name, platform tag, Destiny character name)."

Bungie was non-commital following beta feedback that players wanted a chat system: "We've seen the feedback, and there's quite a bit of ongoing discussion happening around this right now." The studio promised that it was hearing out players on this issue, however.

Firefall drops a launch trailer

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Launches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Firefall

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In the game of shooting, you either shoot or be shooted.
After what seemed to be an interminable period of testing, Firefall is finally officially launched -- and in a very different state from its initial testing, at that. Did you play the game once and step away? Are you wondering what it's even like these days? The launch trailer is meant to address exactly that.

A two-minute trailer can provide only a top-level overview, but this one does so while keeping its narrative entirely in-character, which is commendable. Click on past the break to get a picture of just what you can do within the game now, and if it sounds like your sort of shoot-happy armor-swapping festival, you can start playing the game now.

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League of Legends properly introduces Gnar

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends

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What would you use to describe other, similar champions?
After teasing players about the nature of the newest champion arriving in League of Legends, Riot Games has provided a full introduction for the prehistoric yordle known as Gnar. He looks nice enough, actually, even sort of cute. At least until he gets angry and transforms into Mega Gnar, a hulking brute who's happy to crush everything in his path and then start down a new path so he can crush more things. Anger issues, in short.

So how does Gnar play? It's all about managing the rage. In mini form, he's a quick attacker with some range who also has access to a handy escape ability. When he enrages, though, he's a tank-happy fighter with plenty of durability and burst damage. Both forms have their own weaknesses and strengths, so the art of playing him comes down to carefully maximizing his fits of rage before getting back out of danger. After all, who'd believe the little cute guy could get that angry?

Games of Glory talks about its persistent MOBA universe

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, MOBA, Crowdfunding

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games of glory
Games of Glory's biggest selling point is the fact that it will be a MOBA with a persistent universe -- and if you're wondering how that might work, you're not alone. Lightbulb Crew has put together a video to explain the persistent elements and how they will come together to create a singular experience.

The studio promises that players' actions will have a lasting impact on the game and influence its future development. The idea is that players wins or losses will change their faction's standing and their own character's notoriety. As time goes on, the studio will add new factions, clones, weapons, or game modes influenced by those ratings.

Games of Glory is currently in a playable alpha state and is attempting to raise $100,000 through Kickstarter. You can check out Lightbulb Crew's explanation of Games of Glory's persistent universe after the break.

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Swordsman launches today

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play

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Did you know that Perfect World is launching Swordsman today in the West? Well, now you do. You can view a gameplay teaser for the free-to-play wuxia MMO -- along with today's press release -- after the break.

[Source: Perfect World press release]

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Massively Speaking Episode 307: Oh to be a dragon

Podcasts, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

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Dragons are great and all, but why can't we be one? The podcasters make a wish on a falling star and then -- poof! -- they find out that they can, indeed, become one of the dragon people. MMOs: Making little boys' and girls' wishes come true since 1981. Other topics on today's show include a new business model for an old MMO, an imminent launch, and the continuation of a story in a galaxy far, far away.

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
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Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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Hyperspace Beacon: First impressions of SWTOR's Galactic Strongholds expansion

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Patches, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Roleplaying, First Impressions, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

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Hyperspace Beacon: First Impressions of SWTOR's Galactic Strongholds expansion
It's been an exciting weekend: I've spent many hours just absorbing the contents of the new expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Of course, the largest part of Update 2.9 is Galactic Strongholds. I'll come right out to say that the SWTOR livestreams do not do it justice. I'm finally glad that I could get my hands on it to see exactly what the hook system feels like, where I can find all the furniture, and mostly importantly, how much it is going to cost.

Beyond the strongholds themselves, BioWare also introduced a new planet and flashpoint this weekend. I took some time to also visit Manaan, and I know I'm going to sound like a fanboy when I say that it blew me away. I was absolutely not expecting something that gorgeous for a simple flashpoint.

We have a lot to talk about, and if you've spent some time on the SWTOR PTS, I'd like to read your opinions in the comments. But first here are a few of my thoughts.

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Black Gold bumping level cap, adding cross-server PvP and more

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Steampunk, Black Gold

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Black Gold is entering its second month of open beta, and Snail Games wants you to know that significant changes are on the way. Said changes include a level cap bump to 45, a new tier of skill upgrades, cross-server PvP functionality, and more.

How much more? Well, you'll just have to click past the cut and read the full press release, won't ya?

[Source: Snail Games press release]

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Firefall's launch-day roundup

Betas, Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, MMOFPS, Firefall

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Firefall
MMOFPS Firefall officially launches today after several years of development drama and 180-degree design turns that saw CEO Mark Kern ousted last December as the game shifted from a PvP-oriented e-sport extravanganza to a game with no PvP at all to a game that just reintroduced battlegrounds in the last few weeks.

To celebrate the fact that Firefall is (finally!) launching, we've rounded up some of our best news, opinions, and videos of the game from the past year after the cut. Enjoy!

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Guild Wars 2 launches part one of The Dragon's Reach today

Fantasy, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

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Guild Wars 2
It's Tuesday, so you know what that means: Another installment of Guild Wars 2's living story is here. Today, ArenaNet releases The Dragon's Reach: Part 1. "The third episode in this second season of Living World sees the whole of Tyria now threatened by the Elder Dragon Mordremoth," says the studio. "Attacks by Mordremoth's minions have stretched ever-farther, from the arid Maguuma wastes to the Timberline Falls and the heart of Kryta. [...] Now the threat is making itself felt in the far reaches of Ascalon. The charr in the Iron Marches have witnessed an outbreak of Mordremoth's corruptive power, and they're in need of your aid!"

Massively's GW2 expert Anatoli Ingram wrote in-depth about the lore behind this episode last week, and we've included some new screenshots and the trailer below.

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Release Dates

Core Games | In Testing | Crowdfund Hopefuls
AoW: Warrior's Ascension July 31, 2014
Destiny September 9, 2014
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ArcheAge 2014
Firefall 2014
WoW Warlords of Draenor 2014

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Massively Speaking Episode 307: Oh to be a dragon

Latest episode: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

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