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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Not So Massively: Hellgate's return, HEX's beta, and Elite's pricing

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, Not So Massively, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play, HEX, Hearthstone

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NSM
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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The Stream Team: Exploring ArcheAge with devs

Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, The Stream Team

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What's better than finally playing ArcheAge? Doing it with devs! Massively's MJ is joined by some of the folks behind getting the game to launch. They'll be talking about all about all things ArcheAge while exploring on the final day of early release. Have any questions you want answered? Join us live at 7:00 p.m. and ask away.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Monday, September 15th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Archlord 2 turns on Archlord system tomorrow

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Events (In-Game), Launches, Patches, PvP, Free-to-Play

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archlord 2
Has Archlord 2 officially launched yet or is it merely riding that nebulous open beta soft launch train? It's hard to tell with this title, but what we do know is that the MMO will be releasing its first major content update tomorrow.

This update includes two new world zones, a contested area, the titular Archlord PvP system, four additional dungeons, a flexible dungeon system, and plenty of equipment sets. To go with the update, the team is running a login event from September 16th through October 13th during which players can receive a four-piece avatar set by logging in at least once a week.

We've got the official launch trailer for Archlord 2 after the break, which is perfect for those of you with eyes or ears or an acceptable substitute.

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Elder Scrolls ups VR cap, adds upper Craglorn and more

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, The Elder Scrolls Online

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Did you know that Elder Scrolls Online's fourth major content patch came out today? It sure did, and judging by the 1.4.3 notes it's a biggun.

ZeniMax has added the upper region of Craglorn and a new trial called Sanctum Ophidia. The four-player Dragonstar Arena with its 10 stages of monsters is live, too, along with a VR level cap bump to 14. That's not all, so click the links below to read about the additional changes.

Eminence: Xander's Tale lands on Kickstarter

Fantasy, New Titles, News Items, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

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Well, on the bright side, it's not promising an old-school sandbox experience.
Do you want a bit of MMO in your virtual card game? Because that can totally be a thing now. Eminence: Xander's Tale is an MMOTCG that isn't purely either of those things, blending card-slinging action with an explorable world and social hubs. Players will take part in battles via card games, but the exploration and upgrades will feel more familiar to veterans of other MMOs.

The actual card battles will be familiar to anyone who took part in Final Fantasy VIII's Triple Triad, focused on matching numbers on different card faces along with utilizing various abilities and stealing opposing cards. If this sounds like your sort of jam, go ahead and drop a few dollars on it; there's still quite a bit of time left on its funding campaign and it's already passed the halfway mark.

Age of Wushu: Winds of Destiny coming in October

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

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age of wushu
Never feel lonely in Age of Wushu again! As of next month, a new content update for the sandbox martial arts MMO will feature a companion system that allows offline players to continue assisting their friends as NPCs.

"Players going offline can allow themselves to be available as companions for those clever and committed enough to earn their loyalty," Snail posted. "While offline, these players can receive special rewards from their online brothers in arms, and in exchange are available to be summoned to their aid during a fight."

Age of Wushu: Winds of Destiny is the sixth so-called "expansion" for the game. In addition to companions, there will be a new zone called Delightful Island, a special Flower Prince Contest, a Path of the Departed adventure, and a dungeon called the Silver Hook. The update will be free for all players.

Hearthstone boasts 20 million registered players

Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Casual, Miscellaneous, Hearthstone

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Ironically, this would be far better than Warcraft is doing lately.
Does it ever seem like there's an endless flow of players in Hearthstone? There's not. But there are quite a lot of players, with Blizzard Entertainment announcing today that the game has broken 20 million registered accounts. If those were all people with real cards, that would be... a lot of cards. Like, at least a dozen.

The game launched on the iPad in April and is aiming at an Android tablet release in the near future, as well as expanding to iOS/Android phones. Hearthstone will also have its first world championship at Blizzcon this year, with contestants fighting for a $250,000 prize pool.

[Source: Blizzard Entertainment press release]

Captain's Log Supplemental: A look at Star Trek Online's history with lead designer Al Rivera

Sci-Fi, Culture, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Captain's Log, Subscription

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You can amost hear the cries for coffee now.
Star Trek Online is a game that's got some history, not just by virtue of the franchise that's been running for half of forever but because the game itself has a rather madcap development history. Cryptic Studios got the license to develop the game at the eleventh hour, and the caveat was that the game needed to be shipped in the same timeframe as the original developer had promised -- leaving almost no time for development.

I sat down and talked with lead designer Al Rivera about the game's history, its development ethos, and where the game is going with the upcoming release of the second expansion, Delta Rising. It's been a long process, but Rivera shed some light on how the game is designed by its modern team, why things launched the way they did, and what players can expect as the game continues toward its five-year anniversary.

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World of Warcraft reclaiming abandoned names for Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, Subscription

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wow
Your mothballed Gnomes and Tauren might be losing their names if you haven't logged into World of Warcraft recently (and by "recently," we mean "in the last six years."). Blizzard announced that it will be reclaiming old and abandoned names to free them up for the expansion.

Names in danger of reclamation are those belonging to any characters that haven't logged in since November 13th, 2008. The names will be reclaimed with the Warlords of Draenor pre-patch 6.0.2 this fall. Blizzard suggests that anyone in danger of losing a desired name should log on before the patch hits.

Legend of Edda is returning September 24th

Fantasy, Launches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sunsets

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it didn't work the first time, but something something second time around!
You could be completely forgiven for thinking that Legend of Edda had breathed its last when the game shut down at the beginning of this year. It was cute, but it just couldn't sustain itself. But the game is getting another lease on life starting on September 24th, when the game opens up under new publisher JC Planet. The opening will not feature any wipes or resets, apparently skipping public testing in favor of moving straight to launch.

Numerous launch events are planned, including bonuses for registering your account before the start of service and for reaching level 20 quickly after the 24th rolls around. If you'd always meant to take a look at the game but never quite managed to, you'll be getting another shot at it in just a little while, hopefully without the issues that made it shut its doors back in January.

[Thanks to Evan for the tip!]

ArcheAge brings two new head start servers online

Fantasy, Launches, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox

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aa
ArcheAge responded to "burgeoning" player populations during the head start period by releasing a pair of new servers today. North America gets the Inoch server while Europe is graced with Aier. Since everyone is in a mad scramble to secure housing plots right now, a fresh server might be your ticket to a primo location.

[Thanks to Stephen for the tip!]

The Stream Team: A first look at Albion Online's alpha event

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

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If you are interested in getting an early peak at how Albion Online is developing, you're in luck: Its special summer alpha event just kicked off today! And that means Massively's MJ is on the case, ready to explore all the nooks and crannies of this new experience. First task: Get some clothes on! Players in Albion are not given a bunch of niceties; they have to go earn them for themselves. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. for this first look inside the alpha test.

Game: Albion Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Monday, September 15th, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Mog Log: On the twilight of Final Fantasy XIV's story

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

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I want to talk about the screaming, because by rights it's probably coming, but I just don't know it yet.
As I write this, we don't yet have the patch notes for Final Fantasy XIV 2.38. Supposedly this is when we're getting personal housing, and people are abuzz with speculation about how that will be rolled out, what will work, what will be broken, and so forth. Alas, I can't yet address any of it -- not prices, not availability, not any of that. It's all just guesswork until the powers that be let us know what's going on, which will likely be in the evening after you read this.

My guess is that there's going to be something to make people angry, but there usually is.

So since I've nothing to offer regarding Final Fantasy XIV's mini-update other than speculation, it's best to turn to something that can be much more clearly seen. We're not at the end of the 2.0 update cycle just yet, but it seems pretty obvious that we're on the back nine, so to speak. So where are we going from here? What awaits? And what does all this mean from a storyline perspective? (If you'd like to avoid any potential spoilers, do look away now.)

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Albion Online kicks off its summer alpha event

Betas, Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox

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Ah, summer, when the snow is falling!
You could be forgiven for thinking it's a bit too late for "summer" events to take place right now, but Albion Online is forging ahead with its summer alpha event. The closed alpha client is now available for players to log in and explore all of the available systems, from gathering and trading resources to engaging in large-scale PvP battles.

If you're not at one of the game's higher Founder tiers, of course, the alpha test is closed to you; all you can do is look on with interest and wish you were playing. Streams and reports will be coming out of this test, including one planned by our own MJ Guthrie at 2 p.m. EDT this afternoon. If you like what you see, you can pick up one of the Founder Packs, or you can just keep watching and waiting as the alpha test rolls on.

[Source: Sandbox Interactive press release]

Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day three - PvE, quests, and story

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

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Welcome back to Massively's ArcheAge launch diary. I can't believe we're already on the third installment because there's still so much to see, do, and learn. That's a good thing, though, isn't it?

Yeah, it is, and while ArcheAge has its share of issues, its breadth and depth is incredibly welcome in a genre that's gotten far too comfortable repackaging the same tired experience.

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The first chunk of Champions Online's Steel Crusade is live

Super-hero, Business Models, Classes, Game Mechanics, Lore, Patches, Endgame, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Champions Online

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Champs
As we previewed back in August, the first leg of Champions Online's Steel Crusade update went live last week. Your task in the update? Stop people from spontaneously bursting into flames. No, really.
The Steel Crusade update begins in Millennium City, where things are really heating up as citizens are spontaneously bursting into flame. With the help of Professor Silverback, you'll need to help save citizens by shrinking down to microscopic size to enter the human brain and investigate the cause of the malady.
The update introduces a new archetype for max level characters (Reawakened Automaton), new missions to combat Mechanon, and yeah, a new lockbox with a chance at new costumes and a vehicle.

The second and final part of the update launches this Thursday with a "space-station showdown."

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen releases new screenshots

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, News Items, Crowdfunding, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

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Pantheon
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen's Facebook page has been updated with new screenshots of zones currently under construction in the apparently still-in-progress MMORPG. The developers reiterate that they are still working on the game:
As always, please remember this is work-in-progress, and that the different areas shown are at different points in terms of being finished. So, for example, lighting and sky will look better in some shots vs. others. That said, I think it shows our world building team is NOT fooling around and we are building the world of Terminus!!
Pantheon failed to meet its Kickstarter goals last February, but team lead Brad McQuaid announced the game was back in "full development mode" as of June.

The Daily Grind: What class are you playing in ArcheAge?

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

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I'm decisionally challenged in ArcheAge, at least when it comes to which class combination I'm going to play on my main. The game's skill system is extremely flexible, and I've been dabbling on a Warpriest (which is sort of an Archer/Healer with a bit of melee thrown in for good measure) as well as a Sorcerer and an Abolisher (Battlerage, Defense, Auramancy).

The good news is that you can respec, but I'm still having a hard time settling. What about you, ArcheAge fans? Do you have a favorite class combo yet?

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: ArcheAge has arrived

MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

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Row row row your boat gently down the stream, if you're incredibly lucky or maybe just invisible, you won't get PKed in the face
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.

A huge MMO launched this week! No, not Destiny, although that launched too. I'm talking about ArcheAge, the long-awaited Trion/XL Games sandbox MMORPG that has finally sailed its way across the pond to western shores, probably in an actual boat because, you know, this game has actual boats. Yes, ArcheAge's head start is now live for founders, though it's not been without the usual round of long queues and server instability and DDoS attacks and people waiting in polite and tidy lines for quest mobs. We've been chronicling the head start in a series of launch diaries and streams and will continue doing so this week as we approach the formal launch.

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

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