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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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.

ArcheAge's launch trailer shows you the way home

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Races, ArcheAge, Sandbox

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If there hasn't been quite enough ArcheAge news for you lately, here's the latest in the form of the fantasy sandpark's Western launch trailer. "Craft, claim, conquer," says the two-minute clip, which briefly dips a toe into the title's racial lore and shows off plenty of gameplay in the process.

View it in full after the break.

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Raptr shows MMOs and MOBAs dominating the top 20 in August

Culture, MMO Industry, Miscellaneous

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raptr
Raptr's tracking of play choices among the service's gamers in August paints a picture of a wide love for MMOs and MOBAs. World of Warcraft holds a respectable #2 spot, followed by Final Fantasy XIV (#10), Warframe (#11), Guild Wars 2 (#12), Star Wars: The Old Republic (#14), and Firefall (#20). However, former Raptr #6 holder, WildStar, has dropped out of Raptr's top 20 entirely.

"With a late July release, Firefall made a 40-spot jump into the top 20 for August. Not too surprisingly, Firefall is converting more players from fellow F2P shooter Warframe than any other game, with Dota 2 coming in second," Raptr posted.

Other online titles fleshed out the list, such as League of Legends (#1), Dota 2 (#3), SMITE (#5), and World of Tanks (#13). Card battler Hearthstone is still hanging onto the top 10 at #8.

Star Trek Online details the art of the new Intelligence ships

Sci-Fi, Expansions, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Subscription

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No one seemed to much mind the darker hull finish option back in the day.
The Intelligence ship designs in Star Trek Online are like nothing else in the game, especially for the Federation. They're dark, angular, and aggressive. A new development blog on the official site sees art director Brad Stokan explaining how the new designs went from concept to finished ships and how the art department juggled the tasks of adhering to the design principles that make a ship distinctly Federation while also making something new and unique.

Stokan explains that most of the choices going into the design were weighed against these two rules, such as adding in glowing sensor panels that both highlighted the ships' scanning functionality while providing a distinct silhouette. The design blog also stresses that players can expect extra customization for these ships, including the option to make the hull finish look a bit more typical for Federation craft. Check out the whole process and more bits of concept art in the full blog entry.

[Thanks to Lonegun for the tip!]

EverQuest begins Darkened Sea beta

Fantasy, EverQuest, Expansions, Patches, Free-to-Play

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eq
While The Darkened Sea, EverQuest's 21st expansion, debuts in a little over a month, you can check out the beta as soon as... well, right now.

Producer Thom Terrazas posted a letter on the forums yesterday informing players that the beta would begin today and continue through October 24th. Terrazas also put out a call for raiding guilds to sign up to test the expansion's raid content on September 22nd. Following that, the early access launch for The Darkened Sea will start on October 28th and the full release will follow on November 11th.

There will not be a pre-order for the expansion. "We are also working on an easy way for players to purchase the expansion plus a monthly subscription to get in quickly and avoid getting left behind. Stay tuned for those details very soon," Terrazas promised.

Coming next week to EverQuest is an update that will include a robe category for the player studio and a way to transfer large amounts of currency at a time.

Vice vs Virtue PvP system arrives on Ultima Online's test center

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Ultima Online, Sandbox, Dungeons, Subscription

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In testing now on Ultima Online's test server is publish 86.3, better known as the Vice vs Virtue patch. You remember the virtues, those iconic and ambiguous philosophical principles guiding the Avatar? OK, now forget all that because peeveepee, guys.

Yes, Vice vs Virtue is a a new system designed to bring a fresh version of Order and Chaos consensual PvP -- any PvP, really -- to landmasses that are currently PvE, including Trammel and most of the expansion territories launched in the last forever. The opt-in faction-based system brings the battle to the core cities of the game and rewards participants with a special currency that can be traded for everything from mounts and artifacts (gear) to murder pardons and hair dye. Look, UO players take their hair dye very seriously.

The patch also introduces new trader quests to the game and revamps dungeon loot spawns to encourage ventures to the open-PvP Felucca facet. The devs have invited players to help stress test the systems this afternoon.

Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day four - Trade runs, sea beasts, and pirates

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

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I got ganked in ArcheAge last night, and believe it or not, it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had in an MMORPG in quite some time.

I'm usually apathetic about MMO PvP. I mean, I will PvP with friends, but I don't think I've ever sat down to play an MMORPG and thought, "Hmm, maybe I'll go kill some players tonight!" PvP factors heavily into ArcheAge's design, though, so I knew going in that I'd be doing it more than in most of my other MMOs.

I just didn't know it would end up being as fun as it was on last night's trade run.

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Destiny unlocks its first raid and goes on sale

Sci-Fi, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Promotions, Dungeons, Destiny

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Reacting to tepid launch reviews with a raid may not be the selling point the developers are hoping for?
Destiny hasn't been out for every long now, but if you've been power-leveling along, you might very well be level 26 or above. And that's a good thing if you want to take on the game's first raid, which has just been unlocked for players. The Vault of Glass can now be entered, with hardcore enthusiasts already rushing to be the first one to clear its challenges. As with all of Destiny's raid content, a fire team must be assembled out of members of your friend list, as there is no matchmaking option for Vault of Glass.

Haven't yet picked up the game? Well, you can do so now at a discount; despite the short amount of time Destiny has been out, retailer BrandsMart is reportedly offering the game for $30, which larger retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart may or may not price match. (Reports are conflicting.) While you likely won't be ready for the Vault of Glass if you take the offer, you will be able to get in on the ground floor a fair bit cheaper, so it's still a win.

Kotaku argues that as of this morning, Destiny has "resoundingly mediocre review scores" with "76.29% on GameRankings and a 77 on Metacritic." Our sister site Joystiq reviewed the game this morning, giving it four out of five stars.

This video reveals part of SWTOR's new expansion

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

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A deadly force
Be careful watching this video because there are huge spoilers about the Forge Alliance series of flashpoints. However, if you have played all the flashpoints, then you will not be surprised that the star of the next Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion is someone we've seen before.

Writer Charles Boyd and Community Manager Eric Musco blasted through the Rakata flashpoint in a live stream today, then premiered the video for "A Deadly Force Returns," which is hopefully not the name for its next expansion. However, it does make for a great teaser.

You can catch the full 22 seconds of it after the break.

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Is Turbine developing an MMO for mobile devices?

MMO Industry, News Items, Mobile, Miscellaneous

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We are a mystery!
No. Yes. Maybe? We're going to level with you, dear readers: We frequently have no idea what Turbine Entertainment is doing. We had no idea the studio was going to bring back Asheron's Call 2, for example, and our bets about Infinite Crisis were way off. So when we say that the company might be developing an MMO, well, it's a shot in the dark, but there's reason to suspect this might be happening.

The studio is looking for both a Senior Mobile Engineer (that is, an engineer experienced with mobile engineering, not an engineer who is both a senior and mobile) and a new Art Director, both of which seem to imply that the studio is developing something completely new rather than a mobile port. Or maybe it's baseless speculation. Who knows?

Flameseeker Chronicles: Why I'm a fan of Guild Wars 2's new player experience

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

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Actual image of what happens when you touch a cat full of static electricity.
Guild Wars 2's second feature pack dropped last week, bringing balance changes, new collection achievements, a rework of the trading post, and upgrades to the new player experience. Reactions to the last have been mixed, to say the least: Some of us like them, some of us are neutral on the subject, and some of us think ArenaNet made a terrible mistake.

For my own part, I'm really enjoying the changes. If you happen to be in the "terrible mistake" camp, hold on to your assorted fruit-based projectiles until the end of the article and I'll explain why.

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Final Fantasy XIV introduces personal housing (badly) with patch 2.38

Fantasy, Patches, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Housing, Subscription

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WHO CAME UP WITH THIS SERVER ARCHITECTURE AND WHY CAN I NOT DO THIS YET?
After more than half a year of waiting, Final Fantasy XIV players can finally purchase houses of their own. Provided, of course, that they have an exceptional amount of disposable gil and were on the servers early. Patch 2.38 introduces the option of purchasing land in the housing wards as an individual, but with prices starting at 4 million on the most populated servers for the smallest plot and with only two new wards introduced, many players who had been hopeful for a new house will find their hopes quickly dashed.

Producer Naoki Yoshida took to the forums to apologize for the land shortage, promising that more wards will be introduced with or following the launch of patch 2.4, which should double the amount of available land. While the prices are equal for both personal and free company houses (being built on the same plots), these prices are significantly lower than those when housing was first introduced, even after adjustments to Legacy worlds. The update also contains other features, including new emotes, new Relic Weapon quests, and update loot in Syrcus Tower and the Second Turn of the Binding Coil.

Farewell to Rusty Hearts

Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Sunsets

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Rusty Hearts
Back in August, Perfect World Entertainment announced that it planned to shut down story-driven action MMO Rusty Hearts come mid-September, and that date has now come and gone. Last night was the game's final evening, and players gathered to say farewell without much fanfare from PWE, which has not yet updated the website or forums to indicate that the game is now closed.

One forum-goer was kind enough to provide screenshots of the game's last 10 minutes, which another poster said featured "more people than the average population of the servers these days."

Farewell to you, Rusty Hearts.

[Thanks, Fakepants.]

The Daily Grind: What do you think of ArcheAge's PvP?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge, Sandbox

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I've been playing a lot of ArcheAge since Friday, but I'm still not level 30 on any of my characters so I still haven't sampled much of the game's PvP. In fact, aside from an ocean-going trade run last night where I tagged along as a lowly level 12 and ended up on the wrong end of a level 35's sword, I haven't PvPed at all.

What about you, ArcheAge fans? Have you PvPed yet, and if so, what did you think of it?

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!

A look at new nautical monsters from the Korean ArcheAge

Fantasy, Video, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge

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Leviathan, Leviathan (Endless)!  Leviathan, Leviathan (Send us)!  Leviathan, Leviathan (Breathless)!  Leviathan, Leviathan (Deathless)!
After a wait so long that more or less everyone could be forgiven for thinking it would never happen, ArcheAge has finally entered its early access period here in America. But that doesn't mean you don't have more to look forward to. Over on YouTube, InporylemQQ has taken a peek at a pair of nautical additions coming to the Korean version of the game, major PvE monsters meant to challenge players.

The first foe on display is a massive sea beast that's easily larger than the vessel of the player in the video; it gets a few good hits on the ship before it slips beneath the waves. There's also a ghost ship that fires cannon at the player. Both appear to be high-end monsters meant to challenge players with adequate gear, and both were added in patch 1.7 -- which means that they're a fair way off in the game's updates in the West. Think of them as coming attractions.

[Thanks to Karl for the tip!]

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Massively Speaking Episode 313: ArcheRivals

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