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Leaderboard: How much time do you spend customizing avatar outfits?

Sci-Fi, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Leaderboard

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OK, I'm spending entirely too much time customizing my avatar outfits in Star Wars: The Old Republic. I originally re-upped my sub in order to polish off my last couple of class stories, but now I've gotten sucked into crafting and, by extension, the substantial outfit collection minigame. Which is bizarre because in meatspace my fashion sense boils down to the first pair of jeans and corresponding t-shirt/sweatshirt that tumbles out of my closet.

What about you, Leaderboard readers? How much time do you spend customizing your MMO avatar outfits? 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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Salem releases first major content patch under new management

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, MMO Industry, New Titles

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Salem
The colonial perma-death MMO Salem has faced some publisher problems over the last year or so, but indie dev Mortal Moments has swooped in to take over the ambitious project recently. Project Lead John Carver made a formal introduction when the transfer was finalized, but what's even more interesting is the 51-page forum thread that answers many of our burning questions about the game's future.

Carver touches on some important points that could get Salem back on MMO gamers' radars: "Some could argue that it has had its day. Some could say that the people have spoken and that the game itself is over, finished, destroyed. But is it? Salem offers the promise of witches and paranoia but currently delivers neither. Salem tantalizes us with the prospects of creatures in the darkness and all that is the unknown in Colonial America, yet we have only argopelters. Salem entices us with the wealth of possibilities afforded by Animal Husbandry, Alchemy, Wagons and Ships, none of which are in the game yet." If these staple features were finally added to the game by this new developer, would potential players give it another shot? Would you?

Salem has just released its first major content update under Mortal Moments, and the studio aims to stay true to the game's original plan (no pay-to-win, no PvE servers, etc).

[Thanks for the tip, Chrysillis!]

'World's biggest LGBT guild' celebrates FFXIV's same-sex marriage

Fantasy, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

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Members of the Rough Trade Gaming Community, which bills itself as "the world's biggest LGBT guild," staged an Eorzean parade last weekend to celebrate Final Fantasy XIV's decision to reverse its restrictions on same-sex marriage.

You can watch highlights from the event in the 11-minute video after the cut.

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The Daily Grind: How do you handle the wait for an anticipated game?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

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lotro
Time is so frustrating, because sometimes you want it to slow down, sometimes you want to reclaim the past, and many times you wish it would speed up so that you could get to the good stuff. It's especially hard for an MMO gamer who is waiting for the arrival of a much-anticipated title.

Therefore, today I'd like us to discuss how we handle the long wait for upcoming MMOs or expansions. Unless you have a time machine that I don't know about, how do you pass the months? Do you eat up all of the information you can on the game and practically live in the forums? Do you do everything in your power to get into the beta? Or do you try to ignore it while immersing yourself in another game for the time being?

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!

Global Chat: Doom and WAAAGH!

Culture, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, Guild Wars 2, Global Chat, EverQuest Next, Miscellaneous, WildStar, Neverwinter

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war
It's time for our second edition of Global Chat, the column that scours the blogosphere (or blogorama if you prefer) for engaging insights, intelligent essays, and whoopie cushion goofiness. We had a good response to our first column, so I'm glad you all want to hear more about what bloggers are saying regarding MMOs!

In this week's edition, we'll look at Warhammer Online's fatal flaw, adventure through Neverwinter's foundry missions, and speculate on the status of a certain Norrathian sandpark. Remember that it's not all doom and WAAAGH! in this community; it's excitement and cherished outings as well!

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The Stream Team: Returning to Aurin roots in WildStar

Fantasy, Video, Livestream, WildStar, The Stream Team, Subscription

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The Stream Team: Returning to your roots in WildStar
Even though she was even closer than ever to her ultimate goal of housing in WildStar, Massively's MJ just couldn't take it anymore! She had to start over so she could choose the Aurin starting area instead. The more she leveled, the more it nagged at her that she abandoned her own people to hang out with those humans. So she's gone back to make it all right. Join us live at 7:30 p.m. to see if the switch was worth it!

Game: WildStar
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
Time: 7:30 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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League of Legends unveils A New Dawn cinematic

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends

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In this cinematic, people hurt each other, with no attempts to connect any of that to a larger theme.
Did you know that a game of League of Legends involves your team fighting another team? It's true! And you can watch a dramatized version of exactly that in the game's latest cinematic trailer, A New Dawn, embedded just past the cut. Spoiler warning: There is blood, people die, and it would all be very dramatic if not for the fact that most of them will respawn in the not-too-distant future.

Want a peek behind the scenes? You can get more than that; Riot Games has also released a full making-of featurette that shows exactly how the newest cinematic went from concept to completion. And you can also check that out past the cut. Consider it the bonus feature.

[Source: Riot Games press release]

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Let's all dye our armor black in The Elder Scrolls Online

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Patches, Previews, News Items, Dev Diaries, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

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ESO
When The Elder Scrolls Online's third patch arrives next month, players will be bombarded with customization options, says a new developer blog on the official website. ZeniMax outlines its plans for armor dyes, which come in over 200 colors in accordance with the "artistic scheme" of the game, including rare iridescent shades. Just wanna dye everything black to show what a badass you are? You're in luck; in ESO, unlike many other MMOs, black will be a snap to obtain. In fact, dyes unlock as players complete specific achievements in a variety of gameplay modes from PvP to questing to crafting.

The studio will also shower guild leaders with new guild ranks to play with, new heraldry for use on guild tabards, and new traders that guilds can rent to vend guild goods to the public.

RuneFest 2014 dated for October 11

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

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RuneFest
Jagex has announced the date and a few key details on this year's RuneScape-flavored real-life event, RuneFest.

On Saturday, October 11, Jagex will be returning to London's Tobacco Dock for the largest RuneScape event of the year. This year will feature panels and parties that promise to be bigger and better than ever before. While more details are still forthcoming, we do know that the cost will be £99 for a full One-Day Pass. You can keep an eye on any further RuneFest news by watching the event's Facebook and Twitter pages.

Massively Speaking Episode 306: Alternative advancement

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

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cu
The podcasters are heading back to Camelot this week ("it's only a model" "shh!") with a slew of reveals from this upcoming RvR MMO. Bree and Justin will also analyze the recent industry subscriber report to see what it means -- and how accurate it may or may not be. We're in for complex statistics, theoretical numbers, and fart jokes with this podcast, so hang on tight!

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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Firefall brings multiple raids to launch [Updated]

Betas, Sci-Fi, Launches, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries, Dungeons

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Firefall
If you live and breathe big battles with lots of friends in MMOs, then you're going to be delighted when Firefall launches next week. The retuned sci-fi shooter will feature not one, not two, not four, but definitely three 20-person raids from the beginning.

A new dev diary posted today talks about two of the raids, the titans of Baneclaw and Kanaola. Baneclaw is a giant scarab that will roll around and unleash little hellclaw minions at any intruders. Kanaola goes the "big lava worm" route due to its proximity with a volcano. This fight will get tricky as molten hot magma will be rising as the fight progresses.

The raids will have some of the best loot in the game and will be on a seven-day lockout timer when beaten. These titans will become available when the playerbase works to gether up enough Dark Crystite to unlock the instances.

We've got a video of the new raids for you after the jump!

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Swordsman launches July 29th

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Video, Launches, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Swordsman

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It's official, wuxia games are the new Omaha Beach.
Are you excited for Swordsman but not willing to jump into an open beta test without a launch date? Then all we can tell you is that it's time to get jumping because Swordsman will fully launch on July 29th. The launch will bring along the Demon Pit event, pitting players against demons underground in exchange for the most powerful equipment in the game.

Launch will also apparently bring "streamlining" to the player experience, although we don't know the details just yet. If you're not even sure what Swordsman is, the short version is that it's a wuxia action MMO based on the novels of Louis Cha. The long version can be found in the producer's trailer just past the break or in our recent stream of the game. The even longer version... well, the game is in open beta, so you can always just download it and try it out for yourself. That would work.

[Source: Perfect World Entertainment press release]

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World of Warships on board for Gamescom 2014

Historical, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, Free-to-Play

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World of Warships
Fans of Wargaming's selection of multiplayer military games will be happy to hear that the naval battle MMO World of Warships will be available to play during Gamescom 2014 next month. This will be the game's first public debut as a playable demo for anyone in attendance.

Gamescom will be held from August 13 - 17 in Cologne, Germany, and Wargaming aims to go big again this year with game presentations, talk shows, on-stage giveaways, and more on its 720-square-meter stage in Hall 8.

[Source: Wargaming press release]

EVE Online: Crius launches today

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Expansions, Patches, Sandbox, Crafting, Subscription

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crius
EVE Online is just churning out expansions (or plus-sized content updates, if you will) lately, with today's Crius release being the latest of the bunch.

Crius' main focus is on revising and expanding the industrial and crafting portions of the game. Players can join industrial teams to get important jobs done, enjoy an overhauled research interface, partake in dynamic pricing of tasks, and add industry-related upgrades to starbases.

Other fun features of this update include interior atmospheric audio, a new reprocessing system, the ability to opt out of fleet warps, and API support for the industry features of this patch.

League of Legends cracks down on more bad seeds

Fantasy, Culture, MMO Industry, MOBA, League of Legends

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LoL
Riot Games has announced its next level of enforcement for problematic players in the wildly popular League of Legends. After working toward player reform over the last few years, the studio is now looking at a more aggressive approach.

In cases of "extreme toxicity" (i.e. racism, death threats, homophobic remarks, etc.), troublesome players can expect a more severe penalty ranging from a 14-day ban to a permanent ban from the game. In the case that an "unfair ban" comes into question, Riot says they will now be fully transparent with chat logs and post the exact log that led to the player's ban.

Intentional leavers/AFKers are also a concern for Riot as they plan to address these problems in the future.

APB shames cheaters, talks usage and purchasing stats

Real-Life, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Dev Diaries

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APB Reloaded's latest dev blog post details the implementation of cheat detector FairFight into the MMO shooter. The update also reveals some pretty interesting stats related to cheaters as well as the game's overall performance. "The number of cheaters who log in to the game stayed pretty constant around 1.2 percent of all players (some of which were re-rolls)," wrote GamersFirst's Bjorn Book-Larsson.

Surprisingly, 60 percent of those cheaters were paying players. Book-Larsson says that only about 10 percent of APB's monthly unique players make new purchases in a given month, while 30 percent of players have made a purchase at some point during their account history.

Book-Larsson goes on to say that APB is the 19th most-played game in the history of Steam, just ahead of Borderlands 2 and just behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Finally, GamersFirst has publicized a list of banned cheaters for the month of July, complete with player and clan names and various other account statistics.

Defiance gets new TV show crossover content

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

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Defiance players who have access to the game's Arkbreaker DLC pack can now "deploy ark spikes with a chance to pull new modules out of orbit," according to a news post on the game's website. Said modules feature "new Grid enemies and a Gulanee warrior in massive battles at the center of the arkfall."

The new content is part of Trion's weekly tie-in to the Defiance television show, the second season of which is currently airing on SyFy.

[Thanks Gaius Cavadus!]

Skyforge defrosts the Cryomancer class

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Miscellaneous, Skyforge

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Skyforge
Obsidian and Mail.ru have just revealed Skyforge's Cryomancer, the latest addition to the playable roster of this class-switching MMO. As you might have guessed from the name, the Cryomancer is an ice mage, a "lord of ice and snow," who slows, immobilizes, and shatters enemies. Enjoy the full reveal, including screenshots, a class trailer, a partial spell list, and even a bit of lore.

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Previewing WildStar's Daggerstone Pass PvP battleground

Sci-Fi, Video, Patches, PvP, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

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What a beautiful day it's going to avoid being.
Before I talk about the upcoming PvP map for WildStar, I feel I should really defend myself for my usual performance in PvP. Here's the simple version: I am all right at PvP. I know enough about what I'm supposed to do to avoid completely shaming myself. I am not the best. But can I turn a ragtag group of other journalists into a fighting force capable of defeating preformed groups of people wearing PvP gear?

Definitely not.

Along with several other journalists, I took to the field with Carbine Studios staff members yesterday, boosted my fresh Exile character up to 50, and took on all comers in the rated version of the new Daggerstone Pass. We lost several times. On the bright side, we lost in such a way that I was able to get a better sense of the map and can talk about it with some confidence, so that's good. In my weak defense, I don't think we had a chance against a fully premade team in PvP gear anyway.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Introducing Guild Wars 2's Dragon's Reach

Fantasy, Interviews, Lore, Patches, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

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Can this sharktoothed flopears gnaw through Mordremoth's vines?! Stay tuned!
Today's edition of the Flameseeker Chronicles is a little bit special. We've got the teaser trailer for Guild Wars 2's next living world release, The Dragon's Reach: Part One. We've got some sweet screenshots provided by ArenaNet to feast your peepers on: aw, yeah. And if that's not enough, I got the chance to chat with Associate Game Director Steven Waller about next week's episode. Check out the video, and then read on!

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Game Columns

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AoW: Warrior's Ascension July 31, 2014
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Firefall 2014
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Massively Speaking Episode 306: Alternative advancement

Latest episode: Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

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