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The Daily Grind: Do you prefer a traditional MMO?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

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eq2
Last week in a comment in Global Chat, reader Comradestanimir stated, "I may be the only person alive who still likes the traditional MMO. All these attempts to 'innovate' just end up with contrived crap."

As a player of both newer and older MMOs, I found myself agreeing with this statement to a point. I like the older hotbar, tab-targeting combat versus most of the "action" combat seen today. It is still really enjoyable for me to vacuum up a bunch of quests from a hub and knock them out. I think that we've had a lot of great ideas in the past that could be updated to realize their full potential instead of having to dismiss them outright due to age.

Do you prefer a traditional MMO? Have you felt at odds with the vocal community on this if so?

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!

Ultima Online dares you to seek the Treasures of Doom

Fantasy, Bugs, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Ultima Online, Promotions, Sandbox, Dungeons, Anniversaries, Subscription

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UO
Ultima Online's publish 87 arrives on all shards today, bringing with it Halloween gifts as well as a fresh round of 17th anniversary gifts meant as an apology for their tardiness. The patch introduces a new Halloween event, Treasures of Doom, which funnels players into the dungeon Doom. Artifacts collected inside the dungeon can be traded to new NPC researchers stationed outside in return for brand-new titles and loot items, including named lanterns, unique slayer bonus buffs, and several pieces of high-end gear.

The update also installs bug fixes for the vice vs. virtue PvP system, trade quests, and enhanced client.

The game's standard trick-or-treating events run until November 19th, while the Treasures of Doom promotion continues until December 1st and won't resume again until Halloween next year.

Arcane Legends infographic reveals 15 million installs

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Anniversaries

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arcane legends
Arcane Legends has recently released on Amazon's appstore, and to celebrate this milestone Spacetime Studios created an infographic of all of the other milestones that the game has hit over the past two years.

Prepare yourself, for big numbers are coming your way: Arcane Legends has clocked 15 million installs, 365 million play sessions, 140 million play hours, and over 7.5 billion creatures slain. But if you need spiffy graphics and real-world comparisons, you'll be best served by checking out the lengthy infographic after the break.

[Source: Spacetime Studios press release]

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EVE's Phoebe introducing simultaneous multiple market sell orders

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting

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EVE Online's Phoebe release draws near, and as we approach the November 4th launch date, CCP is publishing all manner of dev blogs designed to apprise players of the patch's additions. The latest blurb concerns item-selling, and more specifically the long-awaited ability to create multiple market sell orders simultaneously.

If you're an EVE trader you'll probably want to skim the details, and you can find them via the links below.

Heroes & Generals adds map, weapons, limited army resources

Historical, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War

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Heroes & Generals has updated with a new skirmish map, new weapons, a new battle briefing screen, a new messaging system, and more.

The Village Skirmish map is located in rural France and boasts a chateau, a small farm, and a sunken ruin as objectives. New weapons include the German P08 pistol and the US M1917 revolver. It's also worth noting that players who favor the generals side of Heroes & Generals shooter/strategy gameplay will now have to "play smarter," according to developer Reto-Moto. This is because the new Spaatz update has introduced limited army resources for both factions.

Reto-Moto has released a new Spaatz videolog, which you can watch after the break.

[Source: Reto-Moto press release]

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ArcheAge's Hartsman: 'We're banning about 5K a day'

Fantasy, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, ArcheAge, Sandbox

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Trion CEO Scott Hartsman took to Twitter today to address concerns over botting and economy-destroying exploits in ArcheAge.

He says that some of the shenanigans making the rounds on Reddit are legit and are "on XL's plate for fixing," though "much of it is false forum bragging." He also says that Trion is banning five thousand bots per day and has "dozens of people here working on this very thing."

Delve deeper into Elder Scrolls with two new book series

Fantasy, Lore, MMO Industry, News Items, The Elder Scrolls Online

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Why have Elder Scrolls Online only on your gaming machines when you can also have it on your bookshelves? Bethesda has partnered again with Titan Books to create two new series that delve deeper into the world of Elder Scrolls, one focusing on ESO and the other on Skyrim. A March 2015 release date is planned for the first volume of each series.

The Elder Scrolls Online – Tales of Tamriel will be split into two volumes, the first titled The Land and the second, The Lore. Both will expound even further on the lore of the game and feature never-before-seen art.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – The Skyrim Library consists of three volumes (The Histories; Man, Mer and Beast; and The Arcane) that moves the all of the game's in-game text to out-of-game print that players can grab and read at their leisure.

LotRO's Fall Festival running through November 2

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE

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Lord of the Rings Online's Fall Festival starts today, and you've got until November 2nd to collect all the tokens, titles, outfits, mounts, and assorted other Middle-earth paraphernalia that shows up during Turbine's seasonal shindigs.

As always, Goldenstar has put together a comprehensive guide detailing how and where to get all the various knick-knacks as well as the new-for-2014 items.

Massively Speaking Episode 318: Technoscrabble

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

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You want the good news first or the bad news on this week's podcast? How about we sandwich the bad news in between some good news to make it easier to swallow? No matter how we present it, we are all going to have to work through the joys of content announcements, the sorrow of layoffs, and the technobabble of more Star Trek. Prepare yourself!

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:
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
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Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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WildStar's megaservers shouldn't impact addons much

Sci-Fi, Patches, Guides, WildStar, Subscription

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wildstar
Carbine Studios took to the forums earlier today to address how player addons may have been affected by WildStar's recent megaserver merge and name changes. The good news is that "most third-party addon users" will not be impacted whatsoever.

For addons that were impacted by the transition, Carbine posted tips on how to bring broken addons up to par. The team encouraged those dealing with broken mods by saying that the data is still there and that recovering it won't be difficult at all. This post is somewhat technical and relevant only to addon creators, but important to everyone who's mods are borked.

The Stream Team: Celebrating Chaos Week with new sidekick Wasp in Marvel Heroes

Super-hero, Video, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, Livestream, The Stream Team

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There's certainly no shortage of super heroes in Marvel Heroes! The game just released another hero along with another team up hero. Although unable to tear herself away from Rogue to play as Nova, Massively's MJ couldn't resist checking out the little sidekick Wasp. This teeny tiny hero packs quite the punch! Don't want to see her wings get singed? On passive mode, Wasp increases your chances to find rare loot. And you know how much MJ need more loot in her bags! Join us live at 3:00 p.m. to see the littlest Team Up Hero in action during this week's event, Cosmic Chaos

Game: Marvel Heroes
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Enter at Your Own Rift: Which Nightmare Tide edition is right for you?

Fantasy, Expansions, Opinion, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Enter at Your Own Rift

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rift
I was fully expecting RIFT: Nightmare Tide to be out by the time I sat down to write this, but then the delay happened and I had a little unasked-for breathing room to figure out what I was going to discuss while we waited for the expansion to come out. The good news is that it should be releasing tomorrow, and we'll all be well on our way to enjoying both new high- and low-level content.

However, there's one big question that each RIFT player needs to answer for her or himself, which is, "Which edition of the expansion is right for me?" Unlike some other MMOs, RIFT is not charging for its expansion at all. Trion Worlds did announce a trio of collector's editions as optional purchases, and since each of these editions has an impact on how we experience the new content, I thought it well worth examining the qualities of each as well as the benefit of not paying for it at all.

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Metallica will rock out at BlizzCon 2014

World of Warcraft, Culture, Events (Real-World), News Items, Promotions, Miscellaneous

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MetallicaImagine that you're a big-name game developer with a pile of money and millions of fans to impress at your yearly convention. Would you hire your favorite band from your youth to play a custom gig? Hell yeah you would! And so would Blizzard, which is why the studio's just announced that Metallica will be performing at BlizzCon next month. It's the perfect band to listen to while riding around on your Azeroth Chopper and playing your Orc.

"We're thrilled to announce that Metallica will be performing the closing concert at BlizzCon 2014, playing before a sold-out convention crowd on the night of November 8!" Blizzard gushed in its announcement post earlier today. "If you didn't score tickets to the show, don't worry -- you can still get a front-row seat from home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket."

Hey, at least it's not Blink-182.

Guns of Icarus Online overhauls progression and matching

Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, Miscellaneous, Steampunk, Buy-to-Play

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This may have been an ill-considered approach.
The latest patch for Guns of Icarus Online is going to make it a great deal easier for characters to get better. The game's progression system has been completely overhauled, with level now tied to experience earned via matches rather than to achievements. This is accompanied by a reorganization of stats and traits and a bump in the level cap to 45, which will also bump existing characters and give them more levels to play around with.

Said patch also improves the game's matchmaking system, which helps get players into the action more quickly while also providing a more balanced system for everyone. A new tutorial to introduce new players to the game and a spectator system that makes it easier to watch games unfold have also been added, giving players new and old alike plenty to enjoy. Check out the full patch notes or just steal a glance at the video showing off these new features past the break.

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR and the transparency dilemma

Sci-Fi, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Community Q&A, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

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Hyperspace Beacon
This past week on The Republic, I talked to prominent community members about transparency and broken promises in regard to Star Wars: The Old Republic. Both Heather from Corellian Run Radio and Redna from Ootinicast agreed that BioWare's community team has communicated too little and too infrequently with the players and has actually driven people away from the game because of that lack of dialogue.

Also this past week, former Operative Class Representative Snave interviewed Community Manager Eric Musco, asking why the community team has been so quiet as of late and why it promised to deliver information by the end of September but it didn't. Snave also asked why there hasn't been more transparency from community team, especially when Musco specifically said that one of the things that he wanted from the community team was more transparency. Snave accused Musco of speaking out of both sides of his mouth when he said that he wanted more transparency but then wouldn't reveal what was going on with the announcement.

Compounding recent events was a kerfuffle over the ongoing Cantina Tours. Players became upset when the Cantina Tour date for Las Vegas was moved from November 7th to November 15th, even though back in February, Community Coordinator Courtney Woods posted the planned dates of the Community Cantina Tour with the caveat that they were "subject to change."

As a community, SWTOR players don't seem to be happy with or without transparency. The SWTOR community team cannot, as the saying goes, win for losing. What is the solution here? Let's discuss the details and maybe a solution or two.

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Hallowtide begins in ArcheAge today

Fantasy, Bugs, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge

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ArcheAge
Trion Worlds will update ArcheAge's western servers today with a new patch reverently named Version 1.2 Build 4.13. Notably, it ushers in Hallowtide, ArcheAge's autumn event, which runs until November 4th, when the Conquest of Auroria patch launches. Today's update also includes several gameplay and bug fixes, including bugs relating to trial account chat. The studio has promised a full reveal of Hallowtide later today.

In other ArcheAge news, numerous players and Massively readers report that the free subscription time promised by Trion in compensation for launch issues is not properly triggering on their accounts.

[Thanks, dirtyklingon.]

WildStar reveals big lore drops on the Aurin and the Mechari

Sci-Fi, Lore, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

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Boy, this information could have been really useful back when the game launched, but...
It's time to learn everything about the WildStar races that you were afraid to ask. Or, more likely, that you did ask. There's a lot of lore in the game, but it's possible to miss some pieces of important information, and players always have lore questions no matter what happens. So the team at Carbine Studios asked for player questions, and creative director Chad Moore has posted the first set of answers in the form of pages for the Aurin and the Mechari.

Both pages contain an overview of the racial histories, culture, social structures, relations with other races, lifespans... everything you could want to know at a glance regarding the operations of these species. Veteran players will find some elements of this unsurprising, but there's more to learn and some longstanding theories confirmed (like the functional immortality of the Mechari or the Aurin preference for analogies). Take a look at both pages for more information.

The Daily Grind: Would you spend money in an MMO for your guild?

Business Models, Culture, Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, PvP, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

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Image courtesy of Joystiq
A recent Gamasutra piece chronicled a monetization design consultant's journey into what he calls a "social elder game." Author Ethan Levy participated in multiple high-end, time-limited guild-vs.-guild events in an unnamed online game to see just how much guild members would need to pay out to keep their guild competitive. Hundreds of dollars later, he was able to push his guild into the top 100 to receive what he called "B tier" gear. In fact, he estimated that the top 100 guilds spent between $85,000 and $100,000 -- just on that one event.

I'm willing to give my guildies a lot of things -- Steam games, a spot on my couch, my old video card, thesis proofreading -- but I wouldn't drop that kind of money just to make us competitive in a video game, especially if I felt a studio was being exploitative with its "social elder game." Would you? Would you spend money in an MMO for your guild? How much?

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!

EQII's Altar of Malice pricing, bonuses announced

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Expansions, Free-to-Play

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During my recent dev tour of EverQuest II's upcoming Altar of Malice expansion, Senior​ Producer Holly Longdale revealed the new part Shaman/part Warrior elite merc that comes with the purchase of the collectors edition and said "We're really excited about what we're offering there -- some really special stuff this year." And now we've got all those details!

The standard edition will cost $39.99 and comes with a special housing item. This large painting depicts an AoM scene of an angry Lanys T'Vyl and plenty of skulls. The collectors addition for $89.99 adds the elite battle-mystic mercenary Kluuron V'Lon as well a Striped Savage Pterodon flying mount, a tyrannodon house pet, two 40-day spell research potions, three Gems of Armor Advancement, and a multi-appearance mage tower housing item to teleport to the new content. Check out what each bonus looks like in the gallery below.

Altar of Malice is available to November 11th for All Access members (who also get 10% off the purchase prices) and on November 28th for everyone else.

Not So Massively: LoL's world championship victors, Elite's shindig, and Citizen Con 2014

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Culture, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Launches, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, E-sports, OARPG

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LoL Samsung White
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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Massively Speaking Episode 318: Technoscrabble

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