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A fierce weather front is blowing into Age of Wushu

Fantasy, Historical, Trailers, Game Mechanics, Previews, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

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Age of Wushu
Age of Wushu is introducing dynamic weather effects that will do more than look moody; they will actually herald several events.

Each weather effect will have a different event that it will trigger. The great fog will start a school assassination PvP contest, the sandstorm will begin a treasure hunt in the desert, the eclipse will launch an invasion by the Prince of a Thousand Sentiments, and the thunderstorm will give you the opportunity to find the fight of the century.

This weather system will be coming with the Age of Wushu: Tempest of Strife update. You can check out the weather effects preview video after the break!

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Richard Garriott holds contest to recreate his first teletype RPG

Fantasy, Contests, Events (Real-World), Crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar

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This pic never gets old
Before Tabula Rasa and even before the Ultima games, Richard Garriott made a teletype game he called D&D #1. A high school student at the time, Garriott built the RPG after his astronaut dad told him he'd split the cost of an Apple II as incentive. D&D #1 eventually branched out into 27 more versions of the game, with D&D #28 being rewritten as Akalabeth, his famous first money-maker sold in plastic Ziploc bags.

But now Garriott wants fans of his work to play that first D&D #1 game once again. No, not on a teletype machine, but from within his upcoming Shroud of the Avatar MMORPG.

Starting today, a new contest will reward the best version made on Unity and the best version made as a plug-in browser port. Winners will receive the Citizen-level Kickstarter pledge reward ($550 value) and both runners-up will receive the Collector's level pleadge reward ($165 value).

If this sounds like something up your programming alley, snatch up the original code for the game at Shroud of the Avatar's official site.

The Stream Team: Advancing as Firran in ArcheAge's alpha

Betas, Fantasy, Video, New Titles, Livestream, ArcheAge, The Stream Team

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The Stream Team: Advancing a Firran in ArcheAge's alpha
Last week Massively's MJ showed off character creation and the beginning quests for ArcheAge's feline race, the Firran. Can her continuing adventures top that first rush of leaping off a cliff with a hang glider and lighting everything on fire? There is so much more of the world to see, including farming and intercontinental transport (and definitely more trouble for her Sorcerer to cause!) Join us live at 8:00 p.m to see how the rest of the beginner quests play out.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, April 16th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Leaderboard: Does Elder Scrolls' lack of an auction house bother you?

Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Leaderboard, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

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Elder Scrolls Online doggie
Yesterday's Massively Speaking took Elder Scrolls Online to task for not having an auction house. Normally I would agree, given my long-standing passion for MMO economies and crafting.

So far, though, the lack of an AH hasn't affected my playstyle at all through the first 30 levels. I'm a member of two trading megaguilds as well as my normal guild, and from the inside looking out, there's no difference between selling to thousands of faceless people in your "guilds" or selling to thousands of faceless people via an AH.

I can't say whether ZeniMax purposefully designed ESO's economy this way or simply ran out of the time and money necessary to make an AH. But it doesn't really matter, personally, because my pre-launch expectations amounted to "yet another themepark crapfest," so I continue to be pleasantly surprised by how wrong those expectations were -- even without an AH! What about you, ESO players? Does the game's lack of an AH bother you? Vote after 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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Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot embark on Steam Greenlight campaign

Fantasy, Dark Age of Camelot, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Ultima Online, Promotions, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

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UO
Since its acquisition of Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot in February, Broadsword Online Games has not been content to let the titles sit around merely getting older. Earlier this month, the team hosted a large state-of-the-game chat about the future of UO's design, and now the developers have posted their latest ambitions: a spot on Steam bathed in green light for the venerable old MMORPGs.

"We are in the process of getting UO on Steam but need your help. Please go here and vote for UO! Thank you for all your support!" wrote UO Producer Bonnie Armstrong on the official site today. DAOC's Steam Greenlight campaign is likewise now live.

You heard the lady. Chop, chop.

RIFT sends players back in time to fight dragons

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Dungeons

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RIFT
Set your time machines back 1,500 years, RIFT players, because Patch 2.6.1 is flinging Ascended heroes into the past to help round up a few rowdy dragons.

The patch, which landed today, opens up a new Tier 3 raid called Bindings of Blood. In this raid, players are experiencing the binding of the dragons from a first-hand perspective, and in so doing they actually change the "present" history of their personal game.

Trion Worlds told us on the phone that the 20-person raid contains four portals to four instances, each with its own mini-boss, dragon, and unique theme. The instances are on separate lockout timers, and currently two are open with two more scheduled for next month. The bosses are reworked versions of Greenscale, Akylios, Laethys, and Maelforge, and will drop best-in-slot gear and weapons.

Hearthstone comes to iPad

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Launches, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

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Hearthstone
After a soft launch in a few countries, Hearthstone is now available to iPad owners worldwide.

Blizzard announced today that Hearthstone is on the app store as an alternative to the PC version. The title is available on iPads 2 and newer as well as the iPad minis. New and returning players will be treated to a free card pack as part of this release.

Hearthstone has a funny trailer for the Apple release, which you can watch after the jump.

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Today's Landmark update introduces glass, removes air

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, New Titles, Patches, Free-to-Play, Housing, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

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Life just got easier for Landmark developers: Today's update introduces new crafted glass props to enhance building as well as makes construction itself more precise by eliminating air when copy and pasting.

Although not a building material (yet), the glass props will enable players to put windows into their homes or construct any number of transparent creations. A more widely applicable change, however, is the ability to remove the air when putting down templates or pasting something. Previously, empty space in a template counted as a voxel itself, meaning that the space would be placed or pasted along with the filled voxels. While helpful in some cases, this same principle caused undesirable effects when trying to combine templates.

As promised previously, the light orbs that were made available for purchase in the Showcase last week can now be crafted in game. Additional tweaks and fixes, including a UI compass, are detailed in the update notes.

Guild Wars 2's megaserver update and patch primer [Updated]

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Hands-On, Buy-to-Play

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GW2
If you're still reeling from playing dress-up and retraiting your stable of characters thanks to Guild Wars 2's feature pack launch yesterday, then friend of Massively Richie "Bogotter" Procopio has just the video for you. He's put together a patch primer that walks current and returning players through the new wardrobe system, dye system, and trait system. He also gives a few more obscure tips that aren't obvious from the patch notes.

Meanwhile, ArenaNet has posted that the patch's promised megaserver tech is slowly rolling out to key zones. Here's what's been activated so far: The Grove, Heart of the Mist, Black Citadel, Timberline Falls, Southsun Cove, Rata Sum, Straits of Devastation, Fields of Ruin, Brisban Wildlands, Hoelbrak, Iron Marches, Blazeridge Steppes, and Dredgehaunt Cliffs. [Update: Lion's Arch, Lornar's Pass, Kessex Hills, Diessa Plateau, and Metrica Province were just converted this afternoon, according to the official site.]

Enjoy the primer video after the break!

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The Elder Scrolls Online patches for quest bugs

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

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The important thing is that we can get back to whatever we were doing.
The Elder Scrolls Online didn't have a bad launch by any means, but it was certainly not free of lag or of bugs. Not much can be done about lag, but bugs exist to be squashed, and the latest patch from the game aims to do that. The patch notes clearly outline several known quest issues that should be eliminated after this latest update, giving players a much more stable story experience than has been on the table before.

Other minor fixes and improvements include slight UI tweaks and minor bugs regarding movement and abilities. Players will also no longer accidentally deconstruct their equipped helmets, which is good news for players but bad news for the haberdashers of Tamriel. Check out the full list of fixes and changes in the official patch notes, and enjoy a smoother questing flow the next time you log into the game.

Trove empowers community to pitch biomes and classes

Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Contests, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Music, Trove

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Trove
Trion Worlds is empowering the Trove community even further by inviting players to pitch ideas for a new biome and class to be added to the game.

A Reddit thread has the details of how this process will unfold. Players will begin by brainstorming ideas for biomes, and after some time, the dev team will pick the best (and top-voted) submissions and allow players to vote on the very best one. Following that, the team will poll players for decorations, dungeon designs, and enemy ideas, and then get the biome into the game within the month. There are also plans for a similar pitching-and-voting process afterward in regard to a new class.

On a phone call, Trion told Massively that it's looking to push the crowdsourcing aspect further and further as time goes on. The team is incredibly impressed with what the community has created so far with weapons, hairstyles, dungeons, and hats, and it can't wait to see what comes from this experiment.

One thing that the team revealed is the upcoming addition of music blocks: Physical objects that make notes (and even chords) when walked on. We asked if Trion was looking to crowdsource the soundtrack for the game as well, and while the devs said that no players had yet stepped forward, they promised that if some did with great tunes, those would definitely be included into the game proper.

Final Fantasy XIV surpasses 2 million registrations

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

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A rare screenshot following the addition of the Fat Chocobo which does not contain Fat Chocobo.
There are two million people playing Final Fantasy XIV right this second. All right, maybe not quite that many, but it's certainly possible. The launch of the game's PlayStation 4 version has seen the game climb to surpass two million registered accounts, an increase of 500,000 over the 1.5 million stated in November.

No hard data have been offered on how many of those accounts are subscribing to the game at this point, although an interview with Naoki Yoshida in March stated 500,000 players were logging into the game daily. With a recent patch and a new platform, the revitalized game seems to be doing quite well for itself as it approaches the one-year mark for its relaunch.

[Source: Square-Enix press release]

Watch the first 14 minutes of the Icarus Online Korean open beta

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE

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Icarus Online cutscene
WeMade Entertainment's new fantasy MMO Icarus Online began its Korean open beta yesterday. ThisIsGame was there, and the site has published a 14-minute video detailing the tutorial, early gameplay, and a few cutscenes.

The open beta client features five classes (Berserker, Guardian, Assassin, Wizard, and Priest) as well as a level 25 cap, the new Hakanas Ocean map, and a new raid. TIG reports that WeMade will add a dedicated player-killing area and an Archer class "after the OBT."

Click past the cut to watch the gameplay clip.

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Here are lots of helpful EVE UI tips

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Guides, Sandbox, Subscription

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EVE's fitting UI
If you're confused by EVE Online's UI, CCP Karkur has made a new video that you'll want to watch. Actually, you'll want to watch it even if you aren't confused, because it's full of tips and tricks relating to searches, inventory, the market, fittings, fleet settings, and more.

Click past the cut to have a look!

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Choose My Adventure: Approaching level 10 in The Elder Scrolls Online

Fantasy, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

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‚ÄčTESO
As I make the approach to level 10, I realize that The Elder Scrolls Online is not "just another fantasy MMO" as it's sometimes billed by skeptical players. I'm continuously finding myself pleasantly surprised by the storyline, the crafting, and world, and the execution of it all.

And even though I'm playing it as a single-player game still at this point, it's not a single-player Elder Scrolls game. I'm dying way too much for that.

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Heroes & Generals gets a huge update

Historical, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Browser

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Heroes & Generals is badass
We haven't heard from Heroes & Generals in a while, but that's because the devs at Reto-Moto have been working like dogs to update the F2P FPS.

What's Heroes & Generals, you say? It's a nifty blend of massive online shooter and strategic persistent elements that gives you the ability to fight in the trenches, in the air, or as a campaign mastermind. If you'd like to know more about it, see our various hands-on articles, or just go to the game's website and play it for yourself.

The latest update, codenamed Oster, adds plenty of new weapons, more campaign battlefields, improved weapon handling and avatar behavior, the ability to steal vehicles, and more. Click past the cut for the update vid.

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Defiance's Arktech Revolution DLC is live for PC and Xbox 360

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Defiance

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Defiance Arktech Revolution
Defiance's fifth DLC pack -- Arktech Revolution -- is now live for PC and Xbox 360 players. PlayStation 3 ark hunters will have access to the new content on April 29th (North America) and April 30th (Europe).

Trion's update page divides the DLC into free and paid feature lists, the former of which includes an EGO cap rating increase, EGO rating progression, new enemy difficulty tiers, expert co-op maps, and more. Paid features include a new titles, a new outfit, daily contracts, 15 new perks, and more.

In addition to the release notes, the Defiance website also features an article by creative lead Trick Dempsey on the game's EGO changes.

PAX East 2014: WildStar shows off Warplots at last

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, Endgame, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

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To fight monsters we created monsters.
Do you want to go to war in WildStar? Then you're going to want a stronghold. No, that's not right, you're going to want a fortress. You're going to want a fortification that makes others quake in terror. And then you're going to want to drop that fortification down on your enemy's front lawn and claim their territories while laying waste to their fortifications.

Welcome to Warplots. They're the game's answer to player-made fortresses and high-end battlegrounds all at once. More specificially, they're team-based 40 vs. 40 maps that drop you into a race to tear down your enemy. At either end sits the carefully constructed fortress held by each team, in the middle sit resource nodes, and both sides are pushed together to be the last side standing or the one putting a fortress back together post-battle.

Want to know more? That's a good thing. Take a look at the typical WildStar trailer past the cut, and then let's talk details.

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The Daily Grind: Are you for or against data mining?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

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Big Brother
I'm just as much of an information and news junkie as most of you are. I probably wouldn't be working for Massively if I weren't, really! So yes, I like to know the full scoop as soon as possible, and I really can't resist getting sneak peeks at the good stuff. But there's a line that can be crossed in this relentless pursuit of information, which is being totally OK with data mining.

Data mining is the act of combing through game files to find hints of upcoming content or to completely spoil current content in the game. Sometimes it's employed by sites to break NDAs and spill secrets that devs want kept until a later date. Sometimes it's used to grab maps or discover the existence of a new class in the making. There have been plenty of times that data mining efforts resulted in rather large spoilers that robbed the official reveals of their impact.

So I'm curious: Are you for or against data mining? Is it too spoilery for you or do you appreciate the sleuthing efforts of dedicated fans?

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!

Super Hero Squad Online commemorates its third birthday

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Casual, Kids, Family, Anniversaries

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SHSO
Who says kids MMOs are dead? Not Super Hero Squad Online! The adorable chibi-superhero MMO turns three this week, boasting seven million registrations since launch, 144 different playable heroes, playable villains, and even a new crafting system.

The celebratory game additions and perks include new characters (Spider-Ham, Captain America Stealth, Falcon EXO-7, and Winter Solider), new world event heroes, hero sales, Facebook giveaways, a 20%-off sub sale through April, and a birthday card contest.

Enjoy the festivities in the brand-new trailer below.

[Source: Gazillion press release]

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