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The Daily Grind: Did you try Destiny over the weekend?

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Consoles, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

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I kinda wanted to check out the Destiny beta over the weekend. I don't typically beta anymore, but for some reason I downloaded the rough cut of Bungie's sci-fantasy opus to my PlayStation 3 and was all set to give it a whirl.

Alas, Comcast had other plans, so I spent the better part of my weekend disconnected. What about you, Massively readers? Did you check out the Destiny beta now that it's open to everyone? If so, what did you think?

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!

MMO Week in Review: It is your Destiny

Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

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Destiny
At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO or WoW Insider story last week, you've come to the right post.

Console fans were treated to a hefty dose of sci-fi pseudo-MMO Destiny this week as the beta opened up for PS3, PS4, and XBone and developers showered trinkets on players. In spite of the game's lack of cross-platform play, at least one analyst predicts Bungie could sell as many as 20 million units.

Meanwhile, we finished up our trio of articles previewing the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor beta.
WoW's Warlords of Draenor beta: A disappointing start
WoW's Warlords of Draenor beta: The disappointment of garrisons
WoW's Warlords of Draenor beta: Questing, mechanics, and concerns

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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Dungeon Fighter Online thieves go to jail

Fantasy, Free-to-Play, Legal, Dungeon Fighter Online

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dfo
A pair of cyber-thieves have been sentenced to two years of prison time in China for stealing from another player in Dungeon Fighter Online.

The unemployed thieves stole the login and password of a player, accessed his account, and sold off his inventory to the tune of $6,405. They were caught soon after and will face not only jail but fines for the crime.

Late last year 10 Chinese thieves were caught stealing World of Warcraft accounts and selling players' possessions. They too received about two years in jail and had to cough up fines.

[Thanks to Hagu for the tip!]

DUST 514 shuts down Oceania server

Sci-Fi, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, DUST 514

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dust 514
Oceania DUST 514 players have gotten an eviction notice from their home. CCP announced that it will be closing the game's Oceania battleserver this upcoming Monday, citing low population and player exploitation of those remaining.

"Due to some players from other battleservers using Oceania battleservers as a venue for farming battles thanks to the lower population there, we will be shutting them down during downtime on Monday, 28th of July 2014. Any players in the Oceania region will be directed to either the Asia battleservers or the US battleservers, depending on their individual ISP routing," CCP posted.

The studio said that Oceania players will be seeing "a slight increase in latency" due to the move.

[Thanks to Ghural for the tip!]

One Shots: The green marble

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, One Shots, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, WildStar

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wildstar
Man, Bunglerm00se is so lost right now, you can't even imagine it. At least he's getting a great view as he contemplates having to trudge back. If you haven't heard, space is, like, really really big. Costco-family-packages-of-goldfish-crackers big.

"WildStar is shaping up to be one of the most immersive, interesting, and (above all) fun MMORPGs I've played in over a decade of mMm-Mor-Pu-Guhing, and I'd recommend it to just about anyone!" Bunglerm00se enthuses. "This is from the first shiphand mission your character can run. In this case, my character was asked to liberate a moonbase from a deadly menace. Is there any other kind of menace, you ask? On and around Nexus, the answer is 'no.' But the scenery sure is pretty."

You know what else is pretty? Everything after the break. Just you wait and see, my friends.

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The Daily Grind: What non-MMO dev would you like to see make an MMO?

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind

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Seeing some of our readers' perspectives on John Romero was interesting and occasionally terrifying. Romero, of course, recently made headlines by equating modern F2P with 1990s shareware. A couple hundred comments later, Massively readers had shared their opinions on Romero's opinions.

Which for some reason led me to speculate about non-MMO developers making MMOs. So, how about it, folks? Is there a game developer who has never made an MMO that you'd like to see make one? Who is it? If not, why not?

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!

Make My MMO: July 20 - July 26, 2014

Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Crowdfunding, Make My MMO

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MMO crowdfunding news was fairly sparse this week, but a couple of genre heavyweights did capture a headline or two. Frontier reminded us that Elite: Dangerous will feature planetary landings and station/ship interiors post-launch, while Portalarium kicked off its latest backer-only weekend alpha test for Shroud of the Avatar. Release 8 is up and running through 11:00 a.m. EDT on Monday, July 28th, and it features a focus on PvP. As such, the dev team released an extensive tutorial video and a forum post dedicated to kitting out your PvP decks.

The rest of our weekly MMO crowdfunding recap is just past the cut.

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The Game Archaeologist: Kingdom of Drakkar

Fantasy, Business Models, Culture, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous

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drakkar
You'd think that by now I would be running out of older MMOs and their kin to cover, but I just keep discovering more. Some of those discoveries are helped by Massively readers, who have urged me from time to time to investigate certain games. One such commenter, Space Cobra, has been after me for quite a while (as in years) to do a write-up about Kingdom of Drakkar, and I finally caved. Here you go, good buddy!

Kingdom of Drakkar, also known as Drakkar or Kingdom of Drakkar II, is a really odd duck in the MMO history books. While being very small potatoes for the industry as a whole throughout its entire lifespan, it's notable for an extraordinary long run (it began in the 1980s, people!) that's traversed through several format changes and handlers. I've seen it described, somewhat unkindly, as a "shoddier Ultima Online," but I think that is a surface judgment that doesn't take the effort to get to know the game or its legacy. There must be something to this game if it's been around for three decades, yes? Let's find out!

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The Stream Team: Poking in the Pathfinder Online alpha

Betas, Fantasy, Video, First Impressions, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, Pathfinder Online

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Have you been eager to see what is happening behind the Pathfinder Online developmental curtain? Massively's MJ has sneaked in and will be poking around the alpha to see how things are coming along. Starting with character creation, she'll peek into as many corners as possible to show off this upcoming crowdfunded sandbox. Can she get to housing, crafting, adventuring, and exploring? Obviously because it is alpha, things won't be finished, but chances of experiencing everything in a short time is still pretty low! Join us live at 1:00 p.m. to let MJ know what aspects you want to see the most while she has the chance to show you.

Game: Pathfinder Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, July 26th, 2014
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Stream Team: Vanguard's final week

Fantasy, Video, Vanguard, Free-to-Play, Livestream, The Stream Team

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With only a week left of life, Vanguard players have limited time to jump in and get the all the things done. Massively's MJ is heading back in with the intention of diving into a dungeon or two, although chances are she just might get sidetracked by intense nostalgia. Maybe she'll just take her sorrow for the loss of the game out on some nearby mobs or dungeon dwellers! Join us live at 11:00 a.m. to be a part of the mob butt-kicking group or just to share memories about the game.

Game: Vanguard
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, July 26th, 2014
Time: 11:00 a.m.. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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WRUP: This is why we can't have nice things

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

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Spacecobra
Welcome back to Massively's What Are You Playing, the game in which we tell you what we're playing this weekend and you giggle at all the lore purists who demand in-game lore-friendly holidays and events instead of Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day because here it is. This is our punishment for hating on Ewoks with cupid wings. This is why we can't have nice things.

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The Daily Grind: Do you have a regular gaming group?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

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eq
Some of my best experiences with MMOs have involved regular gaming nights with a set group of friends. These days I only have a Monday night The Secret World excursion to look forward to with my cabal, but it's undoubtedly the highlight of my gaming week.

I have friends who have been playing a Monday night LotRO skirmish group for years now, and they often regale us with tales of idiocy, running jokes, and extremely slow leveling. But the point is more to socialize and have fun than progress, which I can respect.

Do you have a regular gaming group for your MMO? If so, how did you get into it? What exciting adventures have you gone on lately?

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!

Betawatch: July 19 - 25, 2014

Betas, Business Models, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

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Destiny
Destiny's beta opened its doors to everyone this week... as long as you have a PS3, Xbox Live Gold, or a PlayStation Plus subscription, that is. What else is new in the world of MMO testing? The full Betawatch roundup is below.

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Choose My Adventure: Hunting for trouble (and riches) in ArcheAge

Fantasy, Video, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Choose My Adventure, Livestream, ArcheAge, The Stream Team

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Bouncing between alpha and beta has hindered progress in ArcheAge for Massively's MJ, but it hasn't diminished the fun. As per last week's vote, she spent the past weekend in beta, checking out life on the other continent as an Elf. Now, with the next beta a whole week away, it's back to alpha life as a Firran. But that doesn't mean it's a lonely life! MJ found a spot for her little farm and has been raising some goslings as she continues her crafting and trade exploits. And there's also this thing about joining a guild... we're sure she could find some more trouble to get into with friends. Perhaps she'll even finally make it to prison! Join us live at 7:00 p.m. for MJ's final two-hour CMA Live adventure.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, July 55th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Analyst predicts that Destiny will sell between 15M and 20M units

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, MMOFPS, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

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destiny
I think we all know that Destiny is going to be a very big launch when it happens this September, but one analyst has put a number to that feeling: 15 to 20 million copies sold.

Cowen & Company Analyst Doug Creutz has been tracking the progress of Destiny, saying that it has topped the company's rating chart: "We continue to believe that Destiny is a lock to sell at least 15 million copies. And we now view 20 million copies as increasingly likely."

Creutz said that Destiny will help to sell PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles and predicted that the game will be purchased alongside with many of them. He also noted that Destiny may cannibalize sales from the Call of Duty franchise.

Romero: 'PC is decimating console, F2P has killed a hundred AAA studios'

Business Models, Interviews, MMO Industry, News Items

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Doom co-creator John Romero gave an interesting interview to GamesIndustry.biz recently in which he compares the modern free-to-play model with the early 1990s shareware revolution driven by id's hellish sci-fi shooter.

"Our entire first episode was free -- give us no money, play the whole thing. If you like it and want to play more, then you finally pay us. To me that felt like the ultimate fair [model]. I'm not nickel-and-diming you. I didn't cripple the game in any design way. That was a really fair way to market a game," Romero said. "When we put these games out on shareware, that changed the whole industry. Before shareware there were no CD-ROMs, there were no demos at all. If you wanted to buy Ultima, Secret of Monkey Island, any of those games, you had to look really hard at that box and decide to spend 50 bucks to get it."

He goes on to say that F2P design will mature and at some point lose its stigma. "People are spending a lot of time trying to design this the right way," he explained. "They want people to want to give them money, not have to. If you have to give money, you're doing it wrong. For game designers, that's the holy grail."

Romero also remarks on the parallels between today's industry and the fledgling game industry of 30 years ago that he says was wholly created by indies, as well as the autonomy enjoyed by modern developers as a result of the move away from retail and traditional publishing. "With PC you have free-to-play and Steam games for five bucks. The PC is decimating console, just through price," he said. "Free-to-play has killed a hundred AAA studios."

Riot Games promises to increase diversity in League of Legends

Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends

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Well, it couldn't be a step down.
League of Legends features a lot of diversity among its male champions, but the female champions all feature a fairly uniform body type. That's something the developers at Riot Games are keen on changing. In response to a fan question at SDCC, producer Omar Kendall said that the company has been introducing new ways of looking at body types and shapes, with the end goal of making female champions who don't look like the others.

Kendall went on to specify that the call for more diversity is one that players should see represented soon in a new character coming out. He also noted that diversity is being strongly considered with further character designs and any new champions. Game designer Brian Feeney noted that it would be a net boon to the game as a whole -- as Riot is very concerned with distinctive silhouettes, a more robust selection of body types makes it easier to tell champions apart.

Firefly Online brings the crew back together (for voices)

Culture, Previews, News Items, Mobile, Miscellaneous

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Well, the important thing is that Sean Maher is working.
Despite the name, Firefly Online isn't really an MMO. But it does feature online interactions, and perhaps more importantly, it does feature the original cast together again. If you were hoping to hear Captain Malcolm Reynolds growl at you while you played the game -- and let's face it, odds are almost certain you were -- you can be happy to know that the main cast will be reprising their roles for the first time since the movie.

Alan Tudyk will also be voicing multiple roles, and Michael Fairman will be playing Niska, who is apparently hiring if you're none too worried about your conscience bothering you. The game is set to release in 2015 on multiple platforms.

Marvel Heroes celebrates Guardians of the Galaxy

Super-hero, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy film hits theaters on August 1st, and Marvel Heroes is counting down with its 10 Days of Guardians of the Galaxy in-game event. Players can complete three shared quests once per day to max out their allotment of Planet X Bark, which can then be redeemed for loot boxes with varying levels of unique rewards.

There's also a daily login reward, so head to the official Marvel Heroes website to read all about it!

Working As Intended: It's not the journey or the destination

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, MMORPG, Working As Intended

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FFXIV
If you play MMORPGs, you've no doubt been told, hundreds of times, "Slow down! Don't rush! Stop to smell the flowers! It's the journey, not the destination!"

Typically, you're being told to slow down in an MMO whose focus is the destination: the endgame. All the good stuff is at the end. The best dungeons are there. The best gear is there. The best PvP content and titles and achievements are there. The players the devs cater to are there. Patches and expansions provide new content there. In fact, the only reason to play the rest of the game is to level up to get there. The midgame is a hindrance, a barrier to the "real" game, and it's usually neglected by developers once most players are through it.

So if games themselves reward you only for arriving at the destination, why on earth should you feel bad for not savoring the journey?

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The Stream Team


Stream Schedule | Twitch Channel | Past Streams
 

Release Dates

Core Games | In Testing | Crowdfund Hopefuls
AoW: Warrior's Ascension July 31, 2014
Destiny September 9, 2014
The Crew November 11, 2014
LEGO Minifigures Online Fall 2014
ArcheAge 2014
Firefall 2014
WoW Warlords of Draenor 2014

Meet the Team

Brianna Royce Editor-in-Chief
Jef Reahard Managing Editor
Justin Olivetti Contributing Editor
Eliot Lefebvre Contributing Editor
Shawn Schuster Contributing Editor
MJ Guthrie Contributing Editor
Anatoli Ingram Columnist
Brendan Drain Columnist
Larry Everett Columnist
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Latest episode: Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

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