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Camelot Unchained explores the designs of the Tuatha De Danann

Fantasy, Lore, News Items, Races, Camelot Unchained

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Browns are so in this season.
Armor is not a fashion statement. Well, all right, it usually is, but it's not just a fashion statement. How a race looks in a given game often says a lot about what that race represents and what matters to the members as a whole. Camelot Unchained's latest update talks about the Tuatha De Danann, both a concept that the team may use for the realm's armor and the updated visual design of the Baen Sidhe.

Unlike the design for the Baen Sidhe's previous more macabre appearance, the updated design is still ethereal whilst being less overtly malformed. The scars and wounds that led to the death of an individual Baen Sidhe's line still play into the designs via shadowed tattoos. Meanwhile, the Tuatha De Danann as a whole are so in tune with the seasons and the flow of the natural world that several concept designs for season-themed armors are shown. If you want to see how you can protect your character while still making a fashion statement, check out the full update.

Why I Play: ArcheAge

Fantasy, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Why I Play

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Addicted may be too strong a word when talking about my relationship to ArcheAge... but not by much! Have I logged in every day since the early access? Do I look forward to logging in? Have I said, "I'll go to bed right after I plant a couple more things" only to find more hours have slipped by before I finally do sleep? Do I get excited about the next trade run? Have I set alarms to wake up to try and nab a prime piece of land? Have I had dreams about ArcheAge when I sleep?

The answer to all of these is yes.

ArcheAge may not have everything I have ever wanted in a game (entertainment classes should be a requirement), but it checks more than a few of my boxes. I haven't had this much fun throwing myself into a game in a very long time. I look forward to each play session, and I tend to spend hours in game each day enjoying whatever I happen to be doing, be it sailing, trade runs, sneaking into enemy territory, or even just staring at my plants waiting for them to grow.

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Massively's MMO guide to Halloween 2014

Horror, Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Massively Meta, Promotions, Miscellaneous

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Defiance
MMORPG fans love to play dress-up. Admit it! We do it every day with our characters, even if we pretend we're just "checking out our stats" when we're rifling through the hundreds of pieces of cosmetic gear in our banks. That's what makes Halloween our magic holiday!

Following what is now epic tradition, we've rounded up all the big MMORPG Halloween events and sales for 2014 as well as a few little ones and some from our favorite MOBAs and OARPGs too. The list isn't exhaustive, so feel free to chime in with any we've missed that you love!

Now, furbish up your pumpkin heads and get in there. That virtual candy isn't gonna eat itself.

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Pathfinder Online early enrollment will not be launching today

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Launches, News Items, Subscription, Pathfinder Online

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Pathfinder Online
Pathfinder Online's early enrollment launch for paying backers has already been delayed multiple times since its original goal of September 15th, and last night we learned that release has been put off yet again. Goblinworks' Ryan Dancey explained that the ongoing stress tests convinced the team that the server infrastructure needs bulking-up; consequently, the October 30th date -- today -- has been set aside. Dancey wrote,
We have set an internal objective of being able to handle 2,000 simultaneous connections, and 100 characters active in a single Hex as our minimum threshold for server performance. This reflects our expected peak concurrent activity for the first 10,000 players in game - roughly what we anticipate during the first 90 days of Early Enrollment activity. Currently the server does not reliably meet that benchmark.

With your help, we generated tremendously useful data via the stress test process and our performance team is confident that they can identify areas of the server system that can be rapidly improved to hit that benchmark. They are building and testing the necessary software and are making steady progress.

We want the first players in Pathfinder Online to have a high-quality experience and we are committed to delivering the game in a condition that meets that objective. Rather than commence Early Enrollment on the 30th we are going to enter a temporary "hold" state while we continue to optimize the server. When the team is confident that our benchmark for performance has been met, we will then exit the "hold", notify the community and begin a 48 hour countdown to Early Enrollment.
Dancey told players that Pathfinder's alpha test will continue, allowing devs to "roll out these polished feature iterations and to test server capacity improvements," and he thanked backers for their assistance and feedback.

World of Warcraft chronicles the challenges of Draenor zone design

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Lore, Previews, News Items, Dev Diaries, Subscription

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WoW
The third installment of World of Warcraft's Artcraft blog series is now live, and in it, Blizzard Senior Level Designer Ely Cannon discusses the visual style of zone design and how the artists and level designers team up to sculpt the look of zones and sub-zones within the limitations of the game engine. Cannon again references popular zone Nagrand and the difficulties of creating color depth and variation in the Warlords of Draenor version of the famed Burning Crusade zone, with its sweeping and sometimes one-note rolling plains. (Spoiler: The problem is solved with even more green.)

Blizzard has also updated the WoW game guide with new lore about the Draenei leader Velen and human wizard Archmage Khadgar. Both posts are found on the official Blizzard blog.

The Daily Grind: Do you defend your favorite MMO?

Fantasy, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, The Elder Scrolls Online

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I think I'm getting old, because there was a time when I'd wade into a forum discussion about my favorite MMO and defend it to the death against all comers. I still catch myself doing that on occasion, but said occasions are getting rarer. The passion hasn't gone anywhere, but I'd rather just go play it than argue about it, you know?

What about you, Massively readers? Do you defend your favorite MMOs?

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!

Line of Defense's Derek Smart recaps ongoing test phase

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, News Items, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries

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Line of Defense
3000AD's Derek Smart has penned a new Line of Defense developer blog outlining the current state of the MMOFPS title's early access test phase. Smart explains that more than half of the game's world stations have been opened to testers so far, with two more stations expected to open soon. The final four will unlock when aircraft are patched in.

Smart also says that his team is working on a public roadmap website so that players can track release progress and vote on new features. He thanks his testers for their patience with the "staggered" test schedule. " It is for the greater good," he writes. "Been doing this a very – very – long time, so you just have to trust that I know what I'm doing."

Earlier this fall, Line of Defense launched on Steam's early access program, but an error allowed the public to download the game without paying for a founder's pack, leading to negative reviews when the games were confiscated and eliciting a fiery response from Smart.

The Stream Team: Pumpkin carving in Landmark

Betas, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

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If you hadn't noticed, Halloween is almost here! And Massively's MJ still hasn't carved her Landmark pumpkin yet. That means she has to dive in and get cutting in order to have it done in time for the holiday. Now the question is, what to carve? MJ invites you to come put your creative touches on the soon-to-be masterpiece. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for some slicing and dicing, Landmark style.

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Path of Exile now accepting Karma Koins

Fantasy, Economy, Free-to-Play, Promotions, Path of Exile

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poe
Do you need an alternate way to make purchases in Path of Exile? Yesterday, Grinding Gear Games declared to the world at large that it would also be accepting Karma Koins as payment. These are basically point cards that you can pick up from a variety of retailers for $10 to $50 each.

As an incentive for players to try out the Karma Koin system, Path of Exile will give out a Voidgate Portal effect for everyone who uses a card. Karma Koin claims to donate 1% of sales to charities, including one that brings drinking water to families in Cambodia.

[Thanks to Ville Uusitalo for the tip!]

Final Fantasy XI wants you back really bad

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, MMO Industry, News Items, Promotions

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Final Fantasy XI is dangling quite a few incentives for adventurers considering a return to Vana'diel. First up is the Idyllic Vana'diel campaign, which begins on November 10th. You'll get login prizes, double XP, and more.

There's also a discount campaign, which features substantial price reductions on everything from the Seekers of Adoulin expansion pack to the FFXI Ultimate Collection Seeker's Edition. Finally, don't forget about the Adventurer Appreciation campaign, which rewards players who had active accounts between September 1st and October 31st.

Halloween goes live in Anarchy Online

Sci-Fi, Anarchy Online, Events (In-Game), Patches, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries

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ao
Halloween is officially a "go!" for Anarchy Online, which brings back the seasonal festivities as well as the sinister Uncle Pumpkin Head.

In an October development update posted today, Gameplay Designer Henry Senger confirmed the start of the holiday. Senger said that there will be many varieties of returning Pumpkin Heads in the game, as well as an assault by the Entvined on Enigma Grove. Players can get cool loot not only by defeating these mobs but by merely logging in to claim several free items including a pumpkin helmet.

Anarchy Online recently installed a quality of life patch and confirms that testing is ongoing for the 18.7 update. "Once the Inferno Missions have been patched to Live, the majority of focus will shift back to 18.7, which includes, but is not limited to, the NPE and profession rebalance," Senger said.

CCP explains EVE's upcoming mission guidance system, CSM changes

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

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CCP released another Phoebe-focused dev diary earlier today, this one detailing the new mission objective system coming to EVE Online next month. The firm is walking a fine line between general guidance and "brain-dead instructions to follow," and as such it is asking for feedback relative to how the new feature is presented in today's diary. It's a lengthy read, but you can also see the new system in action if you log onto EVE's Singularity test shard.

CCP has also delivered minutes from the Council of Stellar Management's summer summit earlier than expected. CCP Leeloo explains that the studio will make further changes to the CMS next year, starting with lengthening the winter summit and shortening the current CMS's term to better align with next year's Fanfest. Applications for CSM10 open on January 30th.

Guild Wars 2 takes another stab at e-sports

Fantasy, Contests, PvP, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

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esl
Guild Wars 2 is once again dipping its toes into the world of competitive e-sports, this time in association with the Electronic Sports League. ArenaNet is sponsoring the Go4GuildWars2 Cup as a result, challenging PvP players to fight over weekly cups for money.

The weekly prize for the cup is $500 or €500 per region, with a lead-up to the grand monthly prize of $1,500 or €1,500. Top winners from each weekly cup will be invited to participate in the monthly finale. The cups will take place every Sunday with the first beginning on November 2nd. It's open to everyone who would like to sign up and can be watched by all.

"Our hope is that these weekly cups will help drive our players forward in terms of skill, strategy, and teamwork," ArenaNet stated.

Leaderboard: Is TERA's expansion tempting you to play?

Fantasy, Expansions, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, TERA

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I haven't played TERA in a long while. I always to meant to give it more of a shot, but for whatever reason it's never worked out. On the heels of En Masse's first expansion announcement, I'm thinking about it again, though it's going to take some doing to pry me away from ArcheAge.

What about you, Massively readers? Is TERA's Fate of Arun expansion tempting you to play? Vote after the cut!

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The Crew preps second console beta test for November

Betas, Consoles, Miscellaneous

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crew
Gentlemen and ladies, start your virtual engines! The Crew is preparing to roll out its second closed beta test, starting on November 6th and ending on the 10th.

PC players will have to wait in the wings, as this beta test is for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players only. The test will cover two regions of the game, the Midwest and East Coast, and include PvP competitions and both Street and Dirt car specs.

The Crew is currently aiming at a December 2nd launch date.

[Source: Ubisoft press release]

Camelot Unchained devs play music, talk audio stretch goal

Fantasy, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Humor, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained

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If you've ever wanted to see Mark Jacobs fend off a wasp attack, the latest Camelot Unchained dev diary video is for you! It's also noteworthy because Jacobs details how the crowdfunded PvP sandbox met its previous stretch goal and how it is now on to a "sound and effects" stretch goal.

"This is a very serious attempt to have triple-A sound and effects," he says, before going on to explain how CityState will hire a dedicated engineer, license a top engine, etc. Click past the cut to watch Jacobs, a wasp, Grumpy Cat, and the CU dev band.

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Global Chat: Wrongs and rights

EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Trove

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trove
So often, bloggers are struggling to succinctly answer the same question in a variety of formats: What is right with this game and what is wrong with it? It gets complicated fast when biases, comparisons, and general drama enters into it, although I wouldn't have it any other way. MMOs should be filtered through our various viewpoints to gain broader understanding and (hopefully) provide better feedback.

This week in our journey around the blogosphere, we'll take a second look at Trove, see where ArcheAge messed up, and attempt to understand why PvP sandboxes will wither and die if they're not welcoming to carebears. What's wrong? What's right? That's up to them -- and you -- to decide!

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Choose My Adventure: Closing off our time in Swordsman

Fantasy, Historical, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, MMORPG, Swordsman

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Swordsman
I've spent quite a bit of time in Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman this month. Thanks to the unique layout of October 2014, Swordsman ended up getting an extra week compared to most Choose My Adventure endeavors. And while I'm ready to move on to the next game, it was nice to have some extended time with Swordsman before sending it to that magic hard drive in the sky. Sometimes a few extra days can give you time to see things in a game you didn't see before.

Swordsman is definitely a game that grows on you. The experience continually improves. If you're willing to stick through the slow opening and limited early experience, there's a pretty interesting game waiting to be discovered.

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RIFT's Autumn Harvest returns

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Patches, Free-to-Play, RIFT

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rift
Starting this afternoon, RIFT's annual Autumn Harvest will return, bringing back the special fall-themed realm and all of its related quests and activities. In addition to Halloween rifts and the monster mash, this year's Autumn Harvest will activate seasonal minion adventures and a trio of new followers to boss around.

RIFT is also hotfixing several small issues today, such as tweaking the minion system, increasing XP in Nightmare Tide dungeons, and making sure hit was added to various quest and crafting rewards for endgame activities.

The Autumn Harvest runs from today through November 13th. Both Junkies Nation and RiftGrate have excellent guides for those looking.

Elite: Dangerous' third beta is now live with new systems, ships, and interdiction mechanics

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Elite: Dangerous

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Elite
After a brief technical delay, Elite: Dangerous' "Beta 3.00 is now available," declares a post on the official Frontier forums. The patch notes are extra long; new and updated features include new ships, player-driven interdiction, fuel scooping from stars, asteroid mining, visual overhauls to planets, philanthropy missions, and an expanded game map with now over 2400 systems. Frontier has also added hundreds of audio tweaks and bug fixes. Players have continued reporting stability issues with the new patch.

This episode of beta, like the phases before it, is exclusive to those who've pre-purchased the game and beta access. Massively's Mike Foster spent September playing the game in beta 1 and had enough fun to say that he "would happily recommend it" but for the beta price tag.

We've included the new beta 3 trailer below.

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Release Dates

Core Games | In Testing | Crowdfund Hopefuls
FFXIV: Heavensward Date forthcoming
Warlords of Draenor November 13, 2014
NW: Rise of Tiamat November 18, 2014
The Crew December 02, 2014
Destiny: Dark Below December 09, 2014
SWTOR: Shadow of Revan December 09, 2014

Meet the Team

Brianna Royce Editor-in-Chief
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