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Global Chat: Gamers Secret Santa

EverQuest II, Culture, Events (Real-World), Dragon Nest, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Neverwinter

One of the yearly traditions in the blogosphere that I always look forward to is Stargrace's Annual Gamers Secret Santa. Currently in its sixth year, Gamers Secret Santa accepts any and all who want to sign up to be a part of a gift exchange. You'll end up sending a gift ($20 maximum) to someone and will receive a gift from another person during the month of December. There's even a digital exchange for more remote locations.

It's always a blast to see what gifts I end up getting (and they are always geeky), and I wanted to encourage others to be a part of this. You'll need to sign up by December 1st if you do, however! It's grown every year, but this year I'm giving a bit of Massively publicity, so let's see if we can make this the biggest year ever!

Another blogger-driven Christmas initiative is Syl's Blogosphere Xmas Countdown, during which she's assigning various blogs a day to write about the theme of positive gaming and community. Keep an eye on MMO Gypsy to see this advent countdown progress!

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Trion shuts down ArcheAge APEX purchases again

Fantasy, Bugs, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Subscription

Another exploit with currency ♪ / So much for this game's economy ♪
Good news, ArcheAge fans! APEX purchases have been disabled again following reports of another exploit! Wait, did we say good news? That's not good news. That's bad news. Familiar bad news, but bad news. Community manager Evan "Scapes" Berman addressed a thread calling attention to the exploit on Sunday, stating that the development team was looking into the issue to determine whether or not an exploit existed while disabling APEX purchases as a preventative measure.

This is hardly the first time APEX purchases have been disabled due to exploit issues; the same problem was being dealt with last Wednesday, with various hotfixes rolled out to prevent the issue. No ETA has been provided for when APEX purchases will be reinstated, nor have any declarations of rollbacks for characters been made at this time.

[Thanks to Siphaed for the tip!]

Leaderboard: Which aspect of ArcheAge needs immediate attention?

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

It may be stating the obvious at this point, but ArcheAge has had a rough couple of weeks. First there was the Auroria patch and the resulting downtime fiasco that prompted a Trion apology. Then there was the thunderstruck tree market meltdown that was triggered by a new cash shop item, followed by this week's exploit-related shutdown of the very same cash shop.

Clearly XLGAMES and Trion have a lot of work to do, but I'm betting that the community has differing opinions on what that work should entail. In this week's Leaderboard, tell us what aspect of ArcheAge needs immediate attention. As always, the poll's just past 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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Hartsman addresses ArcheAge APEX exploit: 'There isn't a dupe bug'

Fantasy, Bugs, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Subscription

Falling with style.
ArcheAge has been having a bit of trouble with bugs and exploits since its launch, if you haven't noticed. Trion Worlds head Scott Hartsman has weighed in on the APEX bug that has been affecting the game; specifically, he's said that the bug is not a dupe bug. Players were rather upset as soon as this announcement was made, pointing out that the bug is a known issue that has been affecting the game and the playerbase since it was first discovered.

Community manager Evan "Scapes" Berman clarified that the bug in question is not, strictly speaking, a dupe bug; rather than duplicating an item multiple times, the bug was allowing players to continue to reap the benefits of an item without consuming it as intended. APEX are still unavailable as more hotfixes are put into place to prevent further abuse of exploits, with action already being taken to both patch out the issue and remove funds accumulated by abuses of the exploit.

Economy exploits plague ArcheAge [Updated]

Fantasy, Bugs, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox

How invigorating for the genre to have a game with so many exploits it's hard to keep track of them.
If you were hoping that this would be the week in which there were no stories of ArcheAge bugs or exploits hitting the news, we're sorry to say that reality has dashed your hopes. Players are reporting numerous exploits hitting the game, some of which have been publicly detailed on the game's subreddit, such as a method to force the game to offer specific loot when random boxes are opened. The exploits are being investigated and will be rolled back illegal character gains will be reversed if discovered, according to Trion Worlds.

Further posts clarify that players who were unknowingly involved in these exploits (through the Marketplace or simple dumb luck) will not be targeted, although players are advised to use caution in their dealings and avoid obviously suspicious deals.

[Thanks to squidgod2000 and Thunder for the tips! Our original story conflated the words rollback and reversal. Trion Worlds has told us that server rollbacks are not on the table. The studio says it will reverse characters found to have knowingly benefited from the exploit. The marketplace has been taken offline while the exploit investigation continues.]

The Daily Grind: What's your favorite MMO ship?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge, Sandbox

I finally got my ArcheAge fishing boat over the weekend, and now I'm setting my sights on bigger and better ship designs. And I'm doing a lot of fishing, naturally!

I'm kinda partial to the Lutesong Junk, but then again the Eznan Cutter is pretty badass, too. What do you think -- what's your favorite in-game ship in ArcheAge or any other MMO?

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!

Lost Continent: Lucking into a breezy ArcheAge bungalow

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Housing, Lost Continent

My ArcheAge avatar is pretty fortunate. Last Friday night he became the proud owner of a breezy bungalow, which is that big bamboo marine house that you've probably seen in screenshots, videos, and the like.

The bungalow's blueprint costs a whopping 300 gilda stars -- i.e., no small amount for a guildless guy like me who mostly duos his way through Haranya. I'd managed to save 250 of the character-bound gilda by doing various dailies over the past several weeks, but I had a few days to go before I'd finally be able to afford the plans. How did I come up with the balance ahead of schedule, not to mention the boat load of materials required to actually build the house? That's an interesting story, and it's another example of how ArcheAge's mechanics are a necessary breath of fresh air in a stale genre.

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The Stream Team: Acquiring ArcheAge crafting mats is an adventure!

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

After a lot of work saving (and then unexpectedly having to build a farm cart), Massively's MJ is just about ready to build her farm wagon in ArcheAge. She only needs a couple more ingredients -- and both require venturing into hostile lands. It's definitely worth the risk; a wagon can start quite literally hauling in the moolah. Will she survive long enough to procure her goods and finish her favorite vehicle? Join us live at 3:00 p.m. to see!

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, November 14th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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ArcheAge is going mobile

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, ArcheAge, Sandbox, MMORPG

Sprawling, beautiful, messy sandparks like ArcheAge aren't usually the sorts of games that translate well to mobile platforms, but apparently that's exactly what's happening. A press release published today declares that XL Games has teamed up with GAMEVIL to make a mobile ArcheAge a reality.
Global game publisher GAMEVIL has partnered with development company XL Games to release a mobile version of the widely successful MMORPG ArcheAge. [...] In addition to receiving praise in Korea, ArcheAge has also amassed over 2 million players in North America and Europe after being released in these regions in September 2014. By adapting this online game into a mobile RPG, GAMEVIL and XL Games hope to let even more gamers around the world enjoy ArcheAge. [...] The mobile version of ArcheAge will combine XL Games' development with GAMEVIL's service to provide the ultimate mobile MMORPG experience.
It appears to be a standalone adaptation rather than some sort of crossplatform tie-in, but we will be very disappointed if we can't plant vegetables, gank noobs, and yoink housing plots on our phones as in the MMORPG.

Global Chat: Why we blog

World of Warcraft, Culture, Opinion, The Secret World, RIFT, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar

Why an MMO player decides that he or she needs to take up an additional hobby of writing about these games isn't much of a mystery. We may all blog about a huge variety of topics, but the impetus behind it tends to be very common: We have so many thoughts about and so much love for these games that we can't hold it in.

To blog is to open up and share experiences, observations, and hopes. It's to connect with others and to perhaps give another layer of meaning to the time that we spend in-game. We don't blog because we have to; we blog because we simply could not not blog.

So let's see a few examples of what MMO bloggers couldn't keep inside of them! From spooky stories to rapturous tales of exploration, it's a testament to the power of words and goofy rejoinders.

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An ArcheAge player found a way to kill the servers at will

Fantasy, Bugs, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Subscription

It's never a good day when you see players on the forums boasting about causing server crashes. In nearly every single case, it's a matter of someone bragging about doing something with no actual proof as a bit of pointless ego boosting. What's worse, of course, is when a player posts about causing a crash and claiming it can be replicated... and then proceeds to do exactly that, demonstrating that the server can be crashed at will. This is apparently what happened to ArcheAge.

User ArchegeDown posted a thread on the forums on Friday, stating that a specific bug was responsible for bringing down the servers and that it needed to be fixed. To prove these claims, the user caused two more server crashes at scheduled times, demonstrating the ability, with the stated intent being to simply get Trion's attention. The thread is currently locked, but it's possible that subsequent server crashes are a result of other players discovering the same method of inciting a server crash.

[Thanks to xpactor and Matt for the tip!]

The Daily Grind: How long do you give an MMO to improve?

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge, Sandbox

A couple of days ago I took ArcheAge to task. My rant wasn't an I-quit post, though, as I'm still having quite a bit of fun with the game thanks to its unique systems and its immersive virtual world qualities.

While I certainly hope the game improves enough to serve as my permanent MMO home, I don't have any inkling how long that might take. What about you, Massively readers? How long do you generally wait for a flawed but promising game to course correct and live up to its potential? Or do you wait at all?

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!

ArcheAge producer update talks Auroria, patron discounts, and more

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, ArcheAge, Sandbox

Trion published a producer's letter for ArcheAge earlier today. In it, the company detailed why no rollbacks will be forthcoming in response to the disconnection issues that surfaced during this week's Auroria launch.

Producer Victoria Voss went on to say that out of "tens of thousands of new, legitimate land owners," under 20 ended up with "more land claims than would have been reasonable." The letter also contains bits about ArcheAge's siege gameplay which the Auroria patch has enabled as well as an update on the much-discussed 10 percent patron discounts.

"The 10 percent patron discount will take effect in the form of a 10 percent bonus to credit pack purchases beginning later today. This is something we're able to roll out independently, without adding more workload on the game's developer. As such, we've agreed that this is the best way to get a great benefit into your hands as rapidly as possible," Trion says.

Lost Continent: It's getting harder to like ArcheAge

Fantasy, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Lost Continent

ArcheAge fandom is hard. It was initially hard because of the waiting. Consider that we've known of the game's existence since 2010 and that some of us have been playing it in various incarnations since 2011, which is a full three years -- and dozens of gameplay changes -- prior to its official North American launch.

Now that we're past said launch, the difficulty has shifted to watching Trion (or is it XLGAMES?) do its best to destroy a promising title via a series of clownshoes decisions.

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Trove enters open beta, ArcheAge deploys Auroria in the EU

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Subscription, Trove

Well, points for committing to silly stuff.
Have you been looking for another pixel-polygon building game to call your home? After being in the test phase for so long that you could be forgiven for speculating that it would never be released, Trove has hit open beta, letting everyone log in and try the game for both bugs and just for the heck of it. There will be no more wipes of the database, so you could easily regard this as something of a soft launch for the game.

If you're not feeling that particular sort of building and you're over in the EU, you can instead try your hand with the latest update for of ArcheAge, which mirrors the patch deployed earlier this week on the US servers. Hopefully the EU rollout will not include the same login issues that hit the US servers as well. The patch is scheduled to go live today at 5:00 p.m. GMT.

[Source: Trion Worlds press release]

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