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World of Warcraft bumps up graphical settings

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Dev Diaries, Subscription

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wow
While they're not big bullet point features for Warlords of Draenor, technical improvements will benefit those who want to keep their game looking the best. In a new dev diary posted today, Blizzard gave a detailed explanation about how it's putting new anti-aliasing tech into World of Warcraft for the expansion.

"In short, we're taking strides to improve the performance of World of Warcraft, while also ensuring there's plenty of potential to further increase graphical fidelity and enhance our support of high-end CPUs and graphics hardware," the studio posted.

Blizzard said that the changes represent the team "thinking long-term" for the game.

The Goog wants to reintroduce you to its MMOARG Ingress

Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Culture, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, War, Mobile, Miscellaneous, Player-Generated Content

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IngressRemember Ingress, the Google/Niantic Labs augmented reality pseudo-MMO that ensured my husband's old commute home took twice as long every day because he really had to swing over to the park to take it from the smurfs?

OK, maybe that's just my house.

Google has put Ingress in headlines again this week with a brand-new tutorial video meant to introduce newcomers to the strangely addicting game. "Ingress is a giant game of capture the flag where you play a video game but in real life," declares a montage of whom we are left to assume are players. "Ingress is like FourSquare meets Geocaching meets giant game of Risk, where the board is like the surface of the earth."

We've included the intro video below; the game is as always available for free on both the Apple and Android mobile stores. Go green team.

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Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day five - Random knowledge

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, ArcheAge, Sandbox

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Today's diary entry is going to skip around a bit, as I'm still dabbling all over ArcheAge and finding it nearly impossible to convey everything important inside of a few thousand words. If you're just joining us, this is day five of Massively's launch chronicle because even though the game "launched" yesterday, it really launched last Friday via the founder head start.

I'm aware that some people had disconnect issues and nightmare two-hour login queues on the 16th. I did not have much trouble with either, presumably because of my Patron account status regarding the latter. Trion does have some work to do, though, as I noticed a lot of slow-down in high-traffic areas throughout much of my play session last night, and I also logged into a black screen more than once and had to re-queue as a result.

In other words, it was a typical MMO launch day. I've seen better, but I've also seen far, far worse.

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Forumgoers speculate on the name of SWTOR's next expansion

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, MMORPG

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So Obviously Revan
Forum poster Jerba explored the files posted on the official teaser page for the next Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion... and may just have stumbled on its name. Without any datamining or any breach of EULA, he found three files with the initials SOR in the filenames (SORTeaser_854x480.jpg, SORTeaser_550x120.jpg, and gt_sor_FINAL_US.mp4).

Forumgoers speculate that it stands for "Shadow of Revan," although some runners up are "Spawn of Revan" or "Shroud of Revan." Unfortunately, BioWare is not commenting on the name just yet, but that gives players room to continue speculating. Maybe it's "Same Old Revan" or "So, Obviously Revan."

Look for more information regarding the new expansion later this month.

Star Trek Online's Delta Rising arrives October 14th

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Crafting, Subscription

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Have you tried reversing the polarity though.
Cryptic has just announced that Star Trek Online's Delta Rising expansion will be released on October 14th, 2014. As previously discussed, it will not only raise the level cap but jump into Voyager story space with new territory and famous figures from the franchise.

Developers have also released a new dev blog detailing equipment in the expansion. One of the simple rules of existence is that when Delta Rising goes live, a lot of your old equipment in Star Trek Online is going to be a lot less relevant. There's no way around it. A jump in the level cap that leads to Mark XIV equipment naturally makes Mark XI stuff less potent by comparison. But rather than forcing you to earn a whole new set of loot, the expansion's upgrade system for gear should allow you to take an old favorite and bring it up to par. Players can buy, trade, or craft upgrade kits, which add a certain number of tech points to an item being upgraded. Once enough tech points are acquired, a small dilithium fee is paid and the item can be upgraded to the next rank, possibly increasing in quality along the way. For more details on how to accelerate the procedure, check out the full blog entry; it looks as if you won't have to say farewell to all of your old equipment after all.

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WildStar's housing gets huge with Drop 3

Sci-Fi, Video, Patches, Previews, Housing, Subscription

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wildstar
Housing fanatics (including those eternal level 14s) in WildStar have great reason to cheer for the upcoming Drop 3. Carbine Studios is giving a ton of love to the player housing system, including a huge expansion of how many items can be placed.

In yesterday's Nexus Report, the team answered many housing questions and outlined some of the big changes coming with Drop 3. When it hits, players will be able to place up to 1,000 decor items both indoors and outdoors, which is an increase from the current 300 exterior and 800 interior limits. Other improvements include musical selection, more lights, separate sharing privileges for gardens, and a blank housing choice. The team has also been discussing new base terrains and the ability to move FABkits around.

We've got the full video for you after the break, so chow down!

[Thanks to Greg for the tip!]

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Choose My Adventure: Exploring exploration via Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, Polls, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

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Elite: Dangerous
Being an explorer is overrated. Sure, Lewis and Clark are remembered as bold adventurers who set out across the untamed American west, charting charts and mapping maps and becoming famous along the way. It's less memorable that the expedition frequently feasted on dogs, slept with more locals than a touring indie rock band, and included at least one accidental butt shooting. In other words, between an explorer and fame there lies a whole lot of gristle.

Last week, Choose My Adventure voters set me on the exploration path in Frontier Development's Elite: Dangerous. While exploration hasn't yet been implemented as a viable career, it's still a thing you can do just because you feel like doing it. It's also a pretty great way to see your life end in a cacophony of flames and shrapnel or to find yourself staring at a map in complete and utter confusion.

Still, it beats roasting a Labrador and passing it around the campfire.

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Latest EVE dev blog outlines notifications in Oceanus

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

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CCP's latest dev blog details another feature coming in EVE Online's September 30th's Oceanus update. That feature is notifications, which "will give you feedback and information about all the deadly, creative, regretful, and/or awesome things your characters are doing in New Eden."

Notifications are sort of a pre-cursor to EVE's eventual new player experience revamp, with the end goal being a more user-friendly sandbox and a removal of the current tutorial in favor of "a more open-ended experience."

Aion's 5th anniversary video thanks players, teases upcoming zones

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Aion, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Anniversaries

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While Aion's fifth anniversary celebration kicked off early with social media events, Daeva's Day -- with all its gifts and goodies -- is just getting started today. And Associate Product Manager Sean Orlikowski has shared with us a special video commemorating the occasion that highlights a bit of the journey through Atreia over the past years and thanks players for joining it. But this clip does more than just take viewers on a jaunt down memory lane; it also jumps ahead to the future! The second half sweeps through the new zones coming in the next update, showing off the places players will soon be able to visit. Go ahead and take a moment to reminisce a bit about what has been and sneak a peek at what's to come in the video below.

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RIFT: Nightmare Tide to introduce Minions

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Subscription

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You're not in Azeroth any more, despite how many things will remind you of it.
Today's adventurer in RIFT is busy. There are a lot of villains all across Telara, after all, and let's not forget those rifts opening up all the time. So instead of having to help another random NPC find a missing coat, wouldn't it be nice to just have some of the NPCs you've met solve problems for you? Good news, then, because the Minion system being added with the game's Nightmare Tide expansion will allow you to do just that.

Minions come from a variety of sources across Telara, and they can be dispatched on a variety of different missions. Once they've completed their tasks, they'll return with a variety of rewards including crafting items and dimensional rewards. Minions can only be sent on so many missions before they need a break, though, so a player won't be able to do everything with just a handful of loyal troops. Check out the full preview for a bit more insight into the upcoming system.

Skyforge eschews gank PvP, teases PvPvE battles

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, Skyforge

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Skyforge
"Fighting fair is the name of the game," say Skyforge's devs in a press release today, which is totally what the characters pictured here represent. (Sorry, that was a... low blow.)

My.com says Skyforge will allow small-scale PvP in designated maps with varying team sizes; it will also include a matchmaking system to protect noobs and make it "almost impossible to gank someone." Large-scale PvP, known as Pantheon Wars, is another story, one the studio isn't telling just yet except to hint that it'll involve "complex PvPvE-battles where proper role assignment is crucial."

Enjoy the new screenshots.

The Elder Scrolls Online pushes players to Upper Craglorn in Update 4

Fantasy, Patches, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

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I'll up YOUR Craglorn!  I... no, wait, please don't draw your weapons, adventurers.  I'm... I'm so lonely.  I don't know what I'm saying any more.  My life just hurts, and every time I think it's not going to hurt any more it keeps going.  I walled myself away so I could live better, but all it did was make me long for contact I don't know how to have.  I just want friends.  All I need is for you to hear me out, and maybe we - oh.  Okay, you can stab me.  Maybe it's better this way.
You've been to Craglorn? Pff, that's boring now. Upper Craglorn is where the real action is these days. And by complete coincidence, Upper Craglorn is now open on The Elder Scrolls Online's servers, as the game's fourth major update has just dropped. The zone will wrap up the Celestial storyline as your character takes on the Scaled Court. That also ties into the new trial, Sanctum Ophidia, which is a direct strike against the heart of the Court; players will take on the minions and end up fighting the Celestial Serpent.

The new Dragonstar Arena also debuts with this patch, asking players to fight against waves of oncoming enemies. Plus there's a new crafting trait available, improved grouping mechanics, various bugfixes, the usual assortment. So if you can't wait to go knife up a really important snake and check out the places that all the hip new kids are heading for, go check out the update.

The Daily Grind: How should studios handle server merges with open world housing?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Housing

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archeage
We had an interesting question come up in the office the other day concerning all of the open world housing in ArcheAge. What if the game (perish the thought) shrunk in population and then faced server merges. How would the studio handle merging populations that had equal claims on housing plots?

It seems to be a recipe for disaster any way that you look at it. One solution would be to force everyone out of the pool, er, server and then make a completely new server for those populations to fight over. Another solution would be to award a housing plot to the character with the most seniority.

What do you think? How should studios handle server merges with open world housing?

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!

Pumpkin Online hits its funding goal

News Items, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

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It might look rough, but it seems like it'll go.
Starting out with a niche premise of farming and inclusivity, Pumpkin Online was never going to hit record-breaking numbers during its Kickstarter campaign. But fans can rejoice today, as the game met its funding goal with just a bit over 48 hours to go on the overall campaign. That's a far sight from hitting any stretch goals, but it means that development on the game should continue.

The Kickstarter page launched with a modest goal of $30,000 in funding; the game is also seeking entrance on Steam Greenlight. If you were fond of the concept but didn't want to toss money in without the safety of a funded campaign, there's still a little more time to throw money into the pot.

[Thanks to wolfyseyes for the tip!]

Grimoire asks for funding to put FPS wizard multiplayer in your hands

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, MMOFPS, MOBA, Crowdfunding

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grimoire
You've played pretty much every first-person shooter that there is, but have you done a multiplayer FPS where there are no soldiers but wizards and no guns but fast-flung magic spells? This unusual bent on the formula is the basis for Grimoire, which has just begun a crowdfunding campaign.

According to the Kickstarter description, "Grimoire is a multiplayer mage FPS with MOBA-style abilities that puts the player in control of devastating magic." Players can fight from first- or third-person views and take on the role of one of 10 wizard classes.

Grimoire's been in development for a year, is currently being voted for on Steam Greenlight, and even has a combat preview demo that you can download and try right now. The makers said that the game's had "practically no budget" up this point, which is why they're looking to raise $42,000 to improve what's already been made. The soundtrack is being composed by Pirates of the Caribbean Online vet Marcus Zuhr.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

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Global Chat: Blaugust triumphant

World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Humor, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, Elite: Dangerous

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blaugust
Last month, Tales of the Aggronaut issued a community-wide challenge for MMO bloggers to commit to posting (at least) once a day for all 31 days. This challenge was called Blaugust, and it caused a tidal wave of additional posts, top 10 lists, and random cat pictures as writers struggled to keep up with the rate of output.

While not everyone who signed up succeeded in sticking out the entire month, it certainly injected some life into summer doldrums and got people talking. The 2014 Blaugust Wrap-up does a great job giving an overview of the challenge and a list of all of the blogs involved. If you're looking for outspoken opinions put forth at a prodigious rate, I'd suggest checking these out.

Speaking of outspoken opinions, we've also got plenty of them in the form of the most interesting posts from the past two weeks! Global Chat... away!

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The Stream Team: Black market dealings in Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

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Elite: Dangerous
Massively's Mike Foster has spent the last two weeks investigating the friendlier and more legal areas of Frontier Developments' Elite: Dangerous. In tonight's stream, however, he'll be investigating the shady underbelly of Elite by attempting to take on (and complete) black market contracts for some of the game's less-than-honorable individuals. Choose My Adventure's voters have spoken; it's time for Mike to get his hands dirty.

Will he end up blown to bits by overzealous federal ships? Or can he make a career as one of Elite's next great outlaws? Tune in at 7:00 p.m. EDT to find out.

Game: Elite: Dangerous
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Massively Speaking Episode 313: ArcheRivals

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

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destiny
With several major launches and releases this past week, MMO gamers have been drowning in so much good stuff. As such, we brought Jef on the podcast today as our designated lifeguard who is certified in digital CPR. Join the crew today as we talk about the ever-changing landscape of this industry and what these releases mean for you!

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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Guild Wars 2 launches new WvW meta-contests

Fantasy, PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Promotions, Buy-to-Play

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I'm sorry - someone said Overwolf, and that made me think of Wolf Spiders, and that made me think of Crab Spiders, and then someone said that they weren't talking about City of Heroes but I already wasn't listening.
Most PvP contests require you to actually be good at PvP. That seems fair, really, just as cooking contests generally work best when they feature people who are at least passingly familiar with cooking. But the two new Guild Wars 2 WvW contests don't actually require you to be any good at WvW, just good at showing the feature off. ArenaNet has partnered with Overwolf to kick off two WvW contests that are all about promoting and celebrating WvW, even if you aren't much of a player.

The first contest is looking for the players who use the Overwolf application while streaming, aiming for the highest number of concurrent viewers on Twitch. Whoever wins gets some SteelSeries peripherals as well as 8,000 gems. Meanwhile, if that's not your thing, you can also create a WvW War Report, share it via YouTube, and be eligible to win 5,000 gems if your offering is the best. So it's not about your PvP skill here, just about your ability to entertain people via that skill (or lack thereof).

Firefall patch 1.1 brings elemental destruction

Sci-Fi, Patches, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Firefall

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firefall
A major new update has gone live for Firefall, bringing with it new types of weapons and weapon damage types.

As the name suggests, Patch 1.1: Elemental Destruction is all about ways to unleash different elements upon enemies to bring about their ruin. The update's newest weapons are the plasma flak cannon and bio injector, however even older weapons can get new modifiers to change their damage type. The additional weapon modifiers include thermal, flaming thermal, bioactive, virulent bioactive, electrical, charged electrical, beam, laser beam, microplasma, and emissive microplasma. Even grenade launchers have gotten love with new ways to throw out explosives in a spread or cluster.

Patch 1.1 also adds five dynamic encounters, two new ARES job boards, and a hardcore version of Kanaloa the Destroyer.

Check out Massively's previous in-depth look at the new weapon types of Patch 1.1.

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Release Dates

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ArcheAge September 16, 2014
LEGO Minifigures October 2014
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Massively Speaking Episode 313: ArcheRivals

Latest episode: Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

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