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The Stream Team: Where the WildStar things are

Sci-Fi, Video, Livestream, WildStar, The Stream Team

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The last time Massively's MJ popped into WildStar, she marveled at the migration of a herd of prancing Kool-aid gazelles... or some such creature. The Aurin starting area is definitely more colorful than the human one, and it's bound to be full of many more interesting creatures. In fact, MJ's next task is to help a giant tree. Where will that lead? Join us live at 1:00 p.m. to see as she continues her adventures and seeks out strange new life.

Game: WildStar
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, August 23rd, 2014
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Perfect Ten: How to spend $46,750 on MMO crowdfunding purchases

Opinion, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, The Repopulation, Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Pathfinder Online, Trove

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sota
Do you ever look at your wallet and say, "Ugh, this thing is too full! It's causing a bruise on my tushie every time I sit, and no gas station ever has change for a thousand-dollar bill!" Are you tired of the endless cycle of purchasing luxury sedans to roll them off cliffs only to realize that the auto industry is making them faster than they can be destroyed?

We here at Massively feel your pain, and just as soon as I finished eating a breakfast of scrambled eggs made from endangered birds, I hopped off the company's gold yacht and got to work tracking down ways that you could relieve yourself of the burden of wealth.

So here is my plan, in 10 simple steps, for you to shed $46,750 of your bank account, all by blowing your enormous disposable income on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding options. No, please don't thank me by sending me a gigantic check. I would only shred it to use in my robo-hamster's cage.

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WRUP: Limited-time reunion show edition

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

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Left to right, for those who have forgotten: Arnold Pinchwhistle, The Magnificent Zorb, G.M. Hatpants, Phineas 'Two-Time' Kacynski, and of course Donna Eckleburg the Fourth (the third).
That's right, ladies and gentlemen! Because you demanded it, or because we were pressed for time and needed something to show for our efforts, Eliot is back on WRUP for one week only! Featuring all of your favorite acts, such as flying whales that hate pizza, ducks, animal photos, and repeating a single word multiple times in a truly baffling display of what can sometimes be done in this format! This is only available for this week, so act now!

But wait, there's more! If you click past the link right now, you can also find out what the Massively staff is up to over the weekend, which is ostensibly the point of this feature in the first place! You can also let us know what you'll be up to in the comments. And now, the part you've been waiting for, the return performance, which is...

Ah, never mind, out of space. Sorry! Same time next year?

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The Daily Grind: What's the most challenging MMO you've played?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

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tsw
I've played my fair share of challenging MMOs over the years. From obtuse interfaces to steep learning curves to tough-as-nails combat, the myth of MMOs being nonstop faceroll games has been disproven time and again. However, if I had to pick the single most challenging title, it would be The Secret World, hands-down.

Nothing about The Secret World comes easy. The combat has you struggling sometimes against standard mobs, the game's many systems are complex and non-intuitive, the story isn't spelled out for you, and some of the quests tax my brain far more than my reflexes. Don't get me wrong; I love TSW to its core, but it's stupid hard at times, so much so that it's kept me from seriously pursuing an alt.

What would you say is the most challenging MMO that you've ever played?

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: August 16 - 22, 2014

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

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This building is really taking shape!
Who doesn't want more building shapes? Landmark players can look forward to more shapes to use in their structures, including cones and pyramids. Meanwhile, ArcheAge testers can explore the game again in another closed beta event starting today and running until August 27th.

Not your cup of tea? Maybe The Crew is more your speed? You can pre-order for a closed beta key, as well as picking up some discounts if you pre-order through GMG or GameFly. That beta starts up on August 25th. Rising Generals also hit closed beta testing, so if you'd prefer to take a more strategic approach to your combat, that's an option.

Wait, none of that is what you're looking for? Huh. Well, then, maybe you should just jump on past the cut into our full list of betas, where you can find several other options. As always, if something's missed our notice, let us know in the comments!

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The Stream Team: Shooting all the things in Firefall

Sci-Fi, Video, PvE, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Post-Apocalyptic, Livestream, Firefall, The Stream Team, MMORPG

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Red 5's Firefall
If there's one thing you can say about Firefall, it's that there's never a shortage of things to shoot. Join Massively's Mike Foster as he continues his adventures in Firefall by exploring the world, checking our ARES jobs, and shooting everything silly enough to come within his field of vision. There's only one week left of Choose My Adventure for Firefall, so now's the time to come along for the jet boot-powered ride. The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

Game: Firefall
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Friday, August 22nd, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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World of Warplanes' latest Flight School video talks team play

Historical, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, World of Warplanes

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Wargaming has released the latest episode of its Flight School video series for World of Warplanes. The clip concentrates on crew assembly, aircraft class characteristics, and effective team communication during battles.

Click past the cut to have a look!

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Das Tal's next alpha test happens August 24

Betas, Fantasy, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items

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PvP sandbox Das Tal has sent out 800 single-use alpha keys for its next alpha test, according to the latest dev blog update. The test happens Sunday, August 24, and it's designed to stress test the game's servers.

Fairytale Distillery has also published a couple of alpha weekend videos that show off small-scale PvP. You can view them after the break.

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EverQuest II gifting members a double XP weekend

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play

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If all that EverQuest II news from SOE Live has rekindled your interest in the game (or if you're already a faithful player), you'll probably be glad to know that there's a double XP period starting today and running through the wee hours of Monday morning.

Members will receive boosts to adventuring, tradeskill, and alternate advancement experience throughout the weekend.

The Stream Team: Playing a Warlock in Neverwinter: Tyranny of Dragons

Fantasy, Video, Classes, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Livestream, Neverwinter, The Stream Team

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Did you say dragons? Massively's MJ heard that Neverwinter recently released the Tyranny of Dragons expansion, and that means more dragons! Of course MJ can't resist those majestic mythical creatures, so she's hopping in to soak up as much dragon-y goodness she can. She'll also be giving the new Scourge Warlock a go, and you can start a new character right alongside her. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. to be a part of the adventure.

Game: Neverwinter: Tyranny of Dragons
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, August 22nd, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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New Elite newsletter features outposts, smuggling, and more

Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

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The latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter is here, and it's worth parsing if you're high on Frontier's gorgeous space-sim sandbox. Outposts are coming to Beta 2, which might cause some of you to ask "what's an outpost?" Well, it's the "equivalent of the run-down road-side cafe, the isolated fuel station, the research outpost, the deep-space shack where Joe the Hermit lives."

Outposts are generally exposed, zero-G, and unsafe, but they do offer cheap fuel and a place to temporarily lie low. Speaking of lying low, this week's newsletter also features a player-made video illustrating how Elite's stealth mechanics may be used for smuggling. You can view that after the break.

[Thanks Cotic!]

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Camelot Unchained unveils first newsletter, talks vets vs. newbs

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

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City State has pushed the first issue of its Camelot Unchained Unveiled newsletter out to backers this week, and the company says that the new format should be "more fun, interesting, entertaining, and informative than our old Afternoon Updates."

Content includes a state-of-the-build section with nods to performance and scalability of the client, server, and patcher as well as an engineering initiative dubbed Team Fireball. There's also an interesting design-related blurb focused on what happens when veteran players battle new players. "No matter what, the difference between a veteran and a new player won't be the same as it is in most, if not all, MMORPGs," explains Mark Jacobs.

[Thanks Maric!]

Ask Massively: Emergency soccer practice

Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Humor, Ask Massively, Miscellaneous

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Today's Ask Massively question comes to us from a reader named Chris, who has had it up to here with you quitters! Yes, you, guy who just AFKed out of Warsong Gulch!
After playing my fifth consecutive round of SMITE with an AFK player, I am fed up. AFKer, quitters, or whatever you want to call them -- they suck. Why is it unreasonable to expect gamers to commit to finishing a simple (even possibly enjoyable) 30-minute activity? Why can't they stay in their seat and just freakin' click some buttons? Leaving doesn't cost the quitter anything, but it certainly sucks for the team you leave short-handed. If this were a little league baseball game, we wouldn't say, "It's just a game, so you go ahead and eat pizza with your buddies instead of playing with us." And why can't game companies find a way to make this problem go away? Reporting systems are just a small step away from absolutely useless!

I know that real-world stuff happens. The doorbell rings, the power goes out, or the kids set the kitchen on fire. But AFK rates seem way too high for just that. Gamers seem to conveniently forget what it really means to finish what they started. And if you can't do it for a simple game, how in the hell will you do it when it is something truly hard?
Unfortunately, I know this problem well. In my guild, we call it "emergency soccer practice," an actual reason someone once gave us for quitting a dungeon group.

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Explore The Crew's gameplay options in new vid

Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Races, Buy-to-Play

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Ubisoft has released a new promotional video for The Crew which highlights the racing MMO's 1900 square mile open world, its highly detailed cities, and its vast swathes of drivable/explorable terrain. "If you can see it, you can drive there," the vid explains.

Driving off the beaten path can be profitable, too, as you'll occasionally find car wrecks and junk yards from which you can scavenge rare parts to help further customize your ride. See all that and more in the clip just past the cut.

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SOE Live 2014: Yes, there will be new shapes! (and other Landmark building news)

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, Housing, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

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New building shapes are coming! Creative Director Jeff Butler announced at SOE Live that new building shapes really will be coming to Landmark. Do you want columns, cones, or pyramids? They are planned! Franchise Director Dave Georgeson also shared the team's new idea of collectable shape templates. (Georgeson let it slip that players are getting two more attached claims, bringing the total to two main claims and five attached.)

Butler noted that the goal is to make the entire process of voxelmancy easier for players. Besides having new shapes -- and more claims -- to work with, players will see a host of other features aimed at making building a better experience for all. These include dynamic fluids, voxel physics, a new UI that's more intuitive and easier to search, personal palettes, and more.

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Isaac Asimov-inspired Seldon Crisis debuts

Betas, Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, New Titles, PvP, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

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seldon crisis
Fans of both Isaac Asimov's Foundation series and sandbox science-fiction MMOs will find something to appreciate in the newly announced Seldon Crisis. This "completely player-driven MMO" is loosely inspired by Asimov's writing and will be starting a Kickstarter campaign next month to fund its development.

Developer Crisis Interactive is eschewing linear progression for Seldon Crisis, leaving it to players to run the economy and galactic politics. There will be "thousands" of systems to explore, a wide variety of missions for player captains, and work for various factions. Lead Game Designer Mirko Campochiari said that it will be a game for the players: "We are taking MMO gaming back to its roots with an uncompromising game that truly rewards player ability and a return to old-school game mechanics, such as a full loot system, to create a challenging and more involved gameplay environment."

We've got your first look at Seldon Crisis, with concept art, screenshots, and a model video below.

[Source: Crisis Interactive press release]

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The Daily Grind: Are MMO mods and emulators on their way out?

Business Models, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Legal, Miscellaneous

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E&B
We don't talk about emulators on Massively often because we're forbidden to encourage illegal activities or link or name specific emulators save those rare few publicly sanctioned by studios (so please don't). In fact, we've written before that emulators are a frustrating topic for many of our writers since gamers pour boatloads of creativity and technical skill into both legal and illegal emulators for games dead and alive, creativity that we can't write about even when we'd like to.

I can't be the only one who's wondered whether legit modders and underworld emulator coders are abandoning their craft in favor of more legal ventures, however. There might be more sunsetted MMOs, moddable UIs, and calls for "classic" game versions than ever, but the rise of low-risk crowdfunding, easy Steam greenlighting, and modular multiplayer titles that encourage customization makes me suspect that people who once modded shady MMO emulators or built interfaces for the masses are being lured away to work on something more legitimate or profitable or resume-worthy.

What do you think? Are emulators and modding going out of fashion? (Please don't link to anything illegal!)

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!

The Think Tank: The desirability of world-changing game events

Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

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GW2
World-changing events can have a huge impact on MMORPGs, both positive and negative. Guild Wars 2's living story, which laid waste to Lion's Arch and face-lifted several other areas in the game, is well-known for its permanent plot-based world changes, but EverQuest II, World of Warcraft, and many older games have also dabbled with brazen alterations to the landscape... and players aren't always happy about it. For today's Think Tank, I asked the Massively writers what they think about such content: Are we fans of permanent, comfortable, unchanging worlds, or do we prefer game worlds to change over time and in our absence, even if that means virtual places we once loved can no longer be visited?

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The Stream Team: Exploring Firefall's campaign

Sci-Fi, Video, PvE, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Post-Apocalyptic, Livestream, Firefall, The Stream Team, MMORPG

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Firefall's rocket boots in action.
Firefall's second Choose My Adventure is in full swing, and Massively's Mike Foster is leaping headlong into the game's recently added campaign to see if Red 5 has finally delivered the epic experience it has been promising players since 2012. Tune in at 7:00 p.m. EDT to catch a glimpse of Firefall's PvE content; if you're interested in grouping up, Mike's Firefall character is named GiantButt, which he swears came from the random name generator.

Game: Firefall
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, August 21st, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Gamescom 2014: WildStar abandons monthly update pace

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Patches, WildStar, Subscription

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wildstar
Yet another MMO has fallen into the trap of promising monthly updates after launch only to realize that it's not as feasible as once thought. A mere two content updates into the live game, WildStar announced that it will be abandoning its monthly pace in favor of major drops every few months.

At Gamescom, Senior Game Designer Megan Starks fessed up to the change of release cadence: "Originally our idea was to have a really aggressive post-launch schedule, just constantly provide stuff for our players so that there's always things for you to do. Now that we've put out two of our updates, our schedule is still planned out. [...] We decided to work on [the upcoming patch Defile] until it's a really good quality state. We do know that we want it to come out in the next few months. Instead of saying that we have this hard deadline, that it's going out no matter what, we're going to take the time to make sure that the quality is there."

When asked if this is going to be the case for updates in the future, Starks said, "Yes."

Game Columns

Tamriel Infinium Elder Scrolls Column
The Nexus Telegraph WildStar Column
Norrathian Notebook EverQuest Next Column
Flameseeker Chronicles Guild Wars 2 Column
Hyperspace Beacon SWTOR Column
Stick and Rudder Star Citizen Column
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The Stream Team


Stream Schedule | Twitch Channel | Past Streams
 

Release Dates

Core Games | In Testing | Crowdfund Hopefuls
Destiny September 9, 2014
The Crew November 11, 2014
LEGO Minifigures Online Fall 2014
ArcheAge 2014
WoW Warlords of Draenor November 13, 2014

Meet the Team

Brianna Royce Editor-in-Chief
Jef Reahard Managing Editor
Justin Olivetti Contributing Editor
Eliot Lefebvre Contributing Editor
MJ Guthrie Contributing Editor
Mike Foster Contributing Editor
Anatoli Ingram Columnist
Brendan Drain Columnist
Larry Everett Columnist
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Massively Speaking Episode 310: SOE Live 2014

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