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Pantheon previews Halnir, promises to show more soon

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

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Yep, that... sure is light.  Cool.
Still waiting eagerly for the release of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen? While development has been fairly quiet, the official Facebook page has just seen an update showing off the zone of Halnir in six new screenshots. They show a small hint of the game's day/night cycle, as well as a few other relevant landmarks in the zone.

The post also promises that the development team is getting ready to demonstrate some major forward progress on the game. Although there's no exact time frame, the goal is before the weekend hits. Fans can take a look at the preview and keep their eyes peeled for more on the official Facebook page.

The Stream Team: Drag racing in ArcheAge

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content

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Want to drag race? Well, you can! ArcheAge's Mirage Isle lets you test drive many of the game's vehicles, so you can take a roadster for a spin on the track even before you are rich enough to own one yourself. Come watch as Massively's MJ tries to make it through the entire course before crashing or running out of time. You can even join in live at 7:00 p.m. EDT and see if you can beat her to the finish line!

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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SOE Live 2014: New bonus loot and limited-edition Station Cash cards available

MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Landmark

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Do you miss SOE's triple Station Cash giveaways? Although those are reportedly not returning, that doesn't mean the company won't offer special deals again. SOE Director of E-Commerce Mark Tuttle announced special new Landmark-themed cards at SOE Live that are available as of August 18th.

At Wal-Mart, on top of the the 2,000 SC that come with the cards, players will also get one of five special loot bundles. At GameStop there will be limited edition collectors cards; these shiny orange foil cards grant not only one of the random loot bundles but also 2,500 SC for the regular price. For players who don't have these retailers near them, Tuttle says the team is working on making these cards available online.

What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas, at least where SOE Live is concerned! Massively sent intrepid reporter MJ Guthrie to this year's SOE Live, from which she'll be transmitting all the best fan news on EverQuest Next, Landmark, H1Z1, and the other MMOs on SOE's roster.

Massively Speaking Episode 310: SOE Live 2014

Podcasts, MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Events (Massively's Coverage), Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

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eqn
MJ is back from this year's SOE Live, and boy does she have news for us! From sandbox combat to expansions out the wazoo to zombie proms, we've got the best coverage from this recent convention to fill up a great podcast. That isn't to say that there wasn't any other news this week... like a certain release date of a certain long-awaited Orc road trip.

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:
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Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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Guild Wars 2 retools commander icons, fees

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

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GW2As Massively's Anatoli Ingram discussed in his Flameseeker Chronicles column yesterday, Guild Wars 2's September feature pack will include significant changes to the commander system that marks player volunteers as leaders on various world maps.

After the patch, commander tags will become account-bound rather than character-bound, meaning your newbie Asura can strut around Metrica Province as if she owns the place. Consequently, tags will triple in price to 300 gold. Players will also be able to customize their icons with spiffy new colors intended to "facilitate a range of tactical uses" like organizing groups in PvE and PvP.

Already a commander? Lucky you: ArenaNet says you'll be grandfathered into the new system for no extra fee. The studio plans to consider "possibilities for recognizing experienced and prestigious commanders" in the future.

Leaderboard: What's your post-release plan for ArcheAge?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Leaderboard

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ArcheAge is coming soon, possibly as soon as next month if you believe a certain Steam-centric rumor. Whenever XLGAMES' long-gestating sandpark arrives, there will be plenty of things to keep you busy throughout its vast fantasy world.

Whether you're into trade routes, farming, crafting, traditional PvE, or open PvP, AA has you covered. With that in mind, what do you see as your primary in-game activity post-release? Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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SOE Live 2014: DCUO's Legends PvE and a la carte DLC

Super-hero, Interviews, PvE, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), DC Universe Online

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A superhero game deserves a super announcement at SOE Live, and DC Universe Online delivered. Creative Director Jens Andersen and Assistant Creative Director SJ Mueller shared details about many upcoming updates, from the second installments of the various trilogy story arcs to new movements and powers to a whole new way to purchase the DLC themselves. Oh, and we can't forget one of the biggest announcements: Legends play is coming to PvE!

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Final Fantasy XIV throws free week for its first anniversary

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Final Fantasy XIV, Anniversaries, Subscription

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ffxiv
Here's a good way to round out your August: by returning to Final Fantasy XIV for a free week courtesy of Square Enix.

The studio is celebrating the first anniversary of the game's relaunch (no, there never was a game before A Realm Reborn. You must forget... forget...) by giving a week of free game time to former subscribers. Anyone who previously played FFXIV can enjoy the title from Friday, August 22nd, through Monday, September 1st.

Final Fantasy XIV recently released Patch 2.35 with hunting and crafting improvements.

Star Trek Online lays out the path to level 60 with stellar rewards

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Previews, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries

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sto
One of the selling points (so to speak) of Star Trek Online: Delta Rising is the game's first-ever level cap increase. Ever since player captains heard that they'll be able to level up to 60, they've wondered what that might entail. Fortunately, today Cryptic posted a dev blog that gives a good idea of what to expect as players progress to become Fleet Admiral or Dahar Master.

"The level cap increase is meant to be a simple solution to rank progression and yet the resulting change to the endgame play will be very noticeable," the team said.

The big change with these new levels is that skill points will be used for specialization trees, the details of which are still forthcoming. Players can keep earning specialization points after hitting 60 until they max out these trees. Cryptic also has several rewards planned along the way, including a duty officer pack, upgrades to abilities, and a new bridge officer.

The Stream Team: A SWTOR housing tour

Sci-Fi, Video, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Livestream, Housing, The Stream Team

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Strongholds have opened in Star Wars: The Old Republic, and you know what that means: it's tour time! Massively's MJ hasn't met housing she could resist, so she's hopping in to show off this new system. Want to get a peek inside the Nar Shaddaa Sky Palace and check out decorating? Then join us live at 3:00 p.m. EDT for a tour of TOR's housing

Game: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Darkfall quest system aims to provide an 'alternative PvE experience'

Fantasy, Darkfall, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Sandbox

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Aventurine has published a lengthy forum post detailing the logic behind its decision to add quests to Darkfall. As you're probably aware, Darkfall is a FFA full-loot PvP MMO, which on the surface makes the devs' decision to spend significant time and resources adding PvE-focused activities seem like a curious one.

It makes sense, though, as Darkfall featured world bosses and plenty of opportunities for fun, group-centric PvE even prior to its Unholy Wars reboot. Aventurine says that its new questing system is borne of three distinct goals: to teach new players about the game in an interactive manner, to present Agon's extensive lore and allow players to explore it, and to offer an "alternative PvE experience" including goals and motivation that reaches beyond "for the loot (or for the prowess)."

[Thanks Jane!]

Carbine Studios explains WildStar housing prices for music

Sci-Fi, Culture, Patches, News Items, WildStar, Housing, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

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Because this deserves a stirring march.
If you'd like to change the music on your housing plot in WildStar, you'll be able to do so with the next major update. But it's going to cost you a pretty penny. Players have been a little upset about this for understandable reason, so Social Systems Lead Victoria Dollbaum took to the forums to explain why the prices for this feature -- as well as wallpaper options, atmosphere, and similar points -- were being set so high.

Dollbaum explains that rather than simple changes, these purchases unlock the feature forever, rather than incurring another cost each time you decide to change. While the current system is less expensive, it also requires you to buy changes to wallpaper, sky, and so forth every time you change; with the new system, once you've bought it once, you'll never have to do so again. It doesn't fully ameliorate the issue, but understanding the reason might make it a bit more palatable.

Choose My Adventure: The distraught wives of Firefall

Sci-Fi, Polls, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Choose My Adventure, Post-Apocalyptic, Firefall, MMORPG

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"There is no problem in this world a gun can't solve." These words, to my knowledge, are never explicitly stated in Firefall. There's no wise-in-his-grizzledness war veteran to rub his stubbled chin, frown into the distance, and impart such wisdom upon the player. But make no mistake, Firefall's world is one in which most tough situations are resolved with the thunderclap of gunfire. In Firefall's New Eden, violence really is the answer.

In last week's Choose My Adventure column, I asked you to help guide my path through this dangerous world, to give my character an identity, a role to play, and a purpose to fulfill. Votes were cast; suggestions were made. I've since created a new character and blasted my way through the re-re-re-re-designed tutorial/opening experience. And while I am, as always, having a wonderful time, I still can't get over my one recurring Fireball criticism: I'm shooting a lots of stuff but I don't care or know why.

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EVE Online lottery site SOMER Blink shutting down [Updated]

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, News Items, Sandbox, Subscription

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Spin the wheel, but you will no longer win.
Fans of popular EVE Online lottery site SOMER Blink received some bad news yesterday. After four years of operation, the site is going inactive, with a shutdown that its front page calls a temporary and perhaps permanent hiatus. All players with prizes waiting will be able to claim those prizes, and all ISK in the system will be returned to players over the next several months, starting with those players who had over 5 million ISK in their accounts.

What led to this shutdown? The site administrators claim that CCP created a toxic environment and reversed previous statements without warning, resulting in a situation which made the site no longer enjoyable to work with. CCP has issued its own statement, expressing regret at the loss of a community site while stating that the promotion that caused the controversy "was not representative of the original proposal that was brought to CCP." The community team will provide further information soon, although there will be no interference in the refund process.

[Thank to Dab for the tip!]

[Update: CCP has today commented in detail on the situation. We've included CCP Falcon's full statement below.]

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Star Citizen's next stretch goal is a player dispute staff position at CIG

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

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If you missed Star Citizen at Gamescom this year, Chris Roberts' latest Letter from the Chairman is worth parsing both for its written content and for the one-hour video embed that hits the highlights.

Roberts explains how Cloud Imperium's Gamescom goal was to demonstrate how SC will grow beyond dogfighting. The big focus over the weekend was co-op crewed ship play, centered around the Constellation, which Roberts says is something he's wanted to achieve since his Wing Commander days. He also thanks backers for pushing the game past the $50 and $51 million stretch goals before outlining the next two goals.

The $53 million milestone is the most interesting, as it seeks to establish a staffed position at CIG for dealing with in-game player disputes "without leaving our world." Click through the links below to read more, and don't forget about the Gamescom embed after the cut.

[Thanks Cardboard!]

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Transformers Universe introduces Macro and Firebreaker

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, Transformers Universe, MOBA

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Transformers Universe
Jagex hopes to add "diversity" to Transformers Universe's character roster with the addition of two new warriors announced today: Macro and Firebreaker.
Macro, in his warrior form, carries a heavy broadsword for up close melee combat which he wields like a chivalrous knight. In addition, his shield dome cloaks all allies within its boundaries, removing them from enemy line of sight for a limited time.

At the other end of the spectrum, Firebreaker is the first Decepticon in Transformers Universe to feature cloaking capabilities. Sacrificing his shield meter he can extend the duration of the cloak, and can also unleash a computer virus on himself that will devastate the first Autobot he comes into contact with.
The studio says over 700,000 players have participated in beta so far. Videos for both characters are embedded below.

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The Daily Grind: What do you buy in MMOs?

Culture, Economy, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

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neverwinter
Every so often I like to be nosy and pry into your personal finances. Wow, you blow through a lot of Candy Crush microtransactions, don't you? And your Pez eBay purchases have gotten out of control.

But let's just pretend that I don't have unparalleled access to your checking account and ask you to share what you buy in MMOs with real money. Looking back, probably my biggest purchases from the past six months were a subscription to WildStar, various cosmetic outfits and minipets in Guild Wars 2, the new mission packs in The Secret World, and a ghost companion in Neverwinter.

What do you buy?

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!

SMITE raises money for world championship pot by selling items

Fantasy, Video, Classes, Economy, Free-to-Play, MOBA

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smite
SMITE has a new plan to raise money for its World Championship prize pool called The Odyssey. Basically, the Odyssey program allows players a limited-time window to purchase exclusive items and sets for the game that will never be sold again. Part of the proceeds from those sales will go into the prize pool for the championship.

In other SMITE news, the game has added a new Mayan god. Cabrakan is a "destroyer of mountains," which is a good thing if you have a mountain coming at you down a lane. He's good at crowd control, protecting allies, and blocking enemy progress.

We've got videos on both Cabrakan and the Odyssey program for you to watch after the break.

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The Stream Team: Get the SOE Live scoop while playing Landmark

Betas, Video, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Giveaways, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

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Massively's MJ has survived SOE Live, and now she's back and excited to talk about Landmark! Do you have questions you want to hear answered live? Do you want to nab yourself a beta code so you can jump in and play? Maybe you want to try for the item codes she has to give away thanks to her trek to Las Vegas, including Feather in a Bottles, Colonist's Flight Suits, Gemm Seekers Brooches, and even a Portcullis or two! Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to gab about the game and get some goodies!

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Global Chat: A dozen MMO podcasts you should check out

Culture, Global Chat, Miscellaneous

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global chat
Quite a few MMO bloggers that I know wear more than one hat. Some are book reviewers, some do livestreams, some have regular YouTube shows, one deluded guy has a Pinterest board, and several host podcasts. In fact, I've seen several bloggers develop friendships by deciding to do a show together.

In this week's edition of Global Chat, I thought we'd take a break from sharing interesting MMO blog posts to pointing you toward a dozen excellent MMO podcasts that I heartily endorse. Most of them fall in the category of "general MMO" discussion, although a few hew to a specific title. It's often a hoot when you get two or more opinionated and informative podcasters together, so if you're looking to fill up your MP3 player (in addition to the Pulitzer Prize-nominated Massively Speaking show, of course), I've got just the 12 things for you!

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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
More Game Columns and Featured Content

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

Latest episode: Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

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