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The Stream Team: Accessing Albion Online's winter alpha test

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team

It's back to bunny butchering for Massively's MJ -- if she can manage to do it! Albion Online has started its winter alpha test, and MJ excitedly jumped in to explore more of this game. And then she remembered: In order to make armor and weapons so she can explore, she's faced with having to participate in a few rounds of bunny punching. (Let's not even remind her of the skinning sounds!) Can she do it? Or can she find something a little less cuddly that will work? Or maybe she won't even worry about new clothes and just become a farmer instead! Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for a look at how far Albion has come since its summer test.

Game: Albion Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Crowfall's Legionnaire is a four-legged powerhouse

Betas, Fantasy, Screenshots, Classes, Crowfall

Today's a series of firsts for Crowfall reveals. It's the first glimpse of the game's second announced class, the Legionnaire. It's the first look at a character who is other than human -- and is in fact a Centaur. And it's the title's first in-game environment screenshot.

Crowfall has also posted a handy FAQ that goes into depth about the character creation process, teases Mac support, and eschews traditional MMO levels as a means of progression.

Not So Massively: The pseudo-MMOs of PAX South 2015

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warships, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

NSM - Gigantic
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.

This past weekend was PAX South 2015, the first PAX held in San Antonio, and our reporters covered not-so-massive online games in addition to MMORPGs, including Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Shroud of the Avatar, Gigantic, Moonrise and State of Decay, Pox Nora, and TUG. Here's what else the week brought not-so-massive fans.

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Norrathian Notebook: Five reasons to support EQ Next and Landmark

Betas, Fantasy, Opinion, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

I like Landmark and am looking forward to EverQuest Next. There, I said it. It should be no surprise. And as such, I certainly have a vested interest in how these games fare throughout their development and launch. I want to see them succeed. But the thing is, so should you -- whether or not you actually want to play them.

Unfortunately, it seems all too fashionable lately for folks to tear something down instead of build it up. So often when I'm following the discussions about EQ Next and Landmark, I hear plenty of reasons why folks don't like the games, and the reasons frequently have nothing to do with the games themselves. Detractors are going on about longstanding gripes and grudges instead of judging the games on their own merits (a practice that the whole world could certainly do without). Amid all the scathing comments I've heard directed at SOE for slights real and imagined, one recently gave me pause and made me reflect on the reasons that supporting these two MMO endeavors is worthwhile.

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Here's a trailer from that Borderlands thing you'll never play

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items

Borderlands Online is still a China-exclusive title, but if for some reason you want to watch the trailer for a game you'll probably never play, we have it for you after the break!

MMO Culture reports that Borderlands started its "technical test" today. It also says that the game is an "instance-based online shooter," so really you aren't missing too much if you're a fan of the original series and its open world ethos.

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Betawatch: January 17 - 23, 2015

Betas, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

Star Citizen
This week, crowdfund legend Star Citizen laid out a testing timeline for the next two years; it plans to publish the "planetside/social" and FPS betas this spring, while alpha for the persistent universe portion of the game is expected before the end of 2015. What else is new in the world of MMO testing? Read on for the full Betawatch list.

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DayZ has sold over 3 million early access copies

Betas, Horror, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

DayZ has been on Steam early access for over a year now, and what does the post-apocalyptic zombie sandbox have to show for it? Well, over 3 million customers, for starters.

A new Bohemia Interactive press release touts the 24 updates the game has seen since its "launch," and it also mentions ongoing improvements including a core engine rewrite begun in 2014. The new engine is called Enfusion, and it includes renderer upgrades and corresponding performance upticks as well as "vastly improved" particle effect aesthetics.

Bohemia also notes that the DayZ dev team now boasts over 80 people.

[Source: Bohemia Interactive press release]

TUG's multiplayer goes live

Betas, Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Patches, Sandbox

Yesterday, the first stage of TUG's multiplayer went online with its 0.8.1 alpha patch. Players can now bump into each other in both survival and creative modes. But wait -- there's more! The patch also sports a brand-new terrain engine, a new UI, better mod capabilities, additional AI characters, and a handy return stone.

The TUG team will be at booth #1483 at PAX South this weekend and will be selling access to the game at a discount for the duration of the convention. Massively will be reporting on TUG from the show floor, so stay tuned!

Echo of Soul unveils new NA website

Betas, Fantasy, Free-to-Play

echo of soul
Echo of Soul is quickly becoming known around these parts as a title that is talking big talk prior to its North American debut, and now the Korean fantasy game has a new website to match these boasts.

The US version of the website has now gone live, with information, art, community hub, and the vitally important beta sign-up button. It also has a short section on the game's mobile app that will feature access to chat and trading. Echo of Soul's North American beta test is planned for sometime this spring.

[Source: Aeria Games press release]

The Stream Team: Peeking into H1Z1's PvE server

Betas, Video, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, H1Z1

When the servers were finally sorted last weekend, Massively's MJ was able to bring you a first look at H1Z1's early access on one of the many PvP servers. But folks have been asking to see the world on the PvE server, so she's diving back into the sandbox and facing death at the hands of zombies, bears, wolves, and any really peeved deer. Oh, and let's not forget starvation! Will MJ find friends as she did in the first part of her PvP journey, or will folks be more like those near the end? Join us live at 1:00 p.m. to see.

Game: H1Z1
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, January 22nd, 2015
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Stream Team: Landmark beginner tutorial, the third -- building with starter templates

Betas, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

We've already seen character creation, combat, and cave-diving, so what's that leave? Claims! In this third installment of the Landmark beta starter tutorials, Massively's MJ dives into building side of the sandbox using the provided starter templates. Can someone just starting the game create much in his or her first hours of play? Join us at 8:00 p.m. and see all the possibilities for yourself.

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Blizzard has begun selling Heroes of the Storm Founder's Packs

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, News Items, Free-to-Play

Let's pretend this game is something where characters matter beyond by reference, I guess
If there's any company in the world that could launch a new MOBA title without needing to sell founder's packs, it would probably be Blizzard. But we'll never know beyond the dark realms of speculation, of course, because sales have already started on the founder's packs for Heroes of the Storm. And yes, that pack includes access to the current closed beta, if its $39.99 price tag didn't already create that implication in your mind.

Aside from beta access, the pack includes three heroes: Tyrande, Diablo, and Raynor, each with an alternate skin. Diablo gets to look fishy, Tyrande gets to look like a Blood Elf, and Raynor takes all of that high-powered armor off (which seems like a bad idea on a battlefield, but I guess that's why I'm not a space marine). You also get a mechanical golden wolf mount to ride around on the battlefield and 2500 gold for the game, which is more than enough money to buy anything that costs less than 2500 gold. Check out the pack trailer just past the break.

[Thanks to Siphaed, deathandtexas, and Vincynt for the tip!]

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H1Z1 suffers overnight downtime, whispers of server wipes [Updated]

Betas, Horror, Bugs, News Items, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, Buy-to-Play, H1Z1

Move along, nothing to see here.
It's not an easy time to be playing H1Z1 right now, especially since you sort of can't. The game's servers went down last night for a quick fix, according to Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley; they've been down since, with players getting increasingly vocal and anxious about what comes next. No further updates have come from the company after Smedley's assurance that there are issues to be fixed that cannot be solved simply by rolling back to the previous patch.

Once players can get back in to the game, there may very well be a server wipe greeting them (a possibility suggested by the technical director), although perks like tickets, crates, and cosmetic recipes will not be lost in the event of a server wipe. SOE has promised to give plenty of notice before taking such drastic measures. Players are divided on whether this is a good thing or not, although widespread reports of item duping sit at the root of the issue. There's still no ETA on when the servers will be back online or what will be fixed when they come back up, but players could be looking at a very different environment.

[Update: Servers appear to be up again now. SOE has said that the promised European servers are still incoming: "getting MORE servers, still calculating what we can fit."]

World of Warships gets carriers, weekend beta event

Betas, Historical, Trailers, Video, Classes, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, War, World of Warships

Wargaming has officially introduced the aircraft carrier to World of Warships. The class launch brings the total number of playable warship types to four including the destroyer, the cruiser, and the battleship.

"Aircraft carriers offer a unique angle to combat, delivering RTS-style gameplay and the ability to launch three types of warplane squadrons (fighters, dive bombers, and torpedo bombers) against any opponent," the company says.

In other WoWS news, Wargaming is planning a three-day testing event called Wings Over Water. It starts on January 23rd and runs through the 25th. Click here to sign up, and don't forget to watch the trailer after the cut!

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Nine questions for PlanetSide 2's PlayStation 4 closed beta

Betas, Sci-Fi, Interviews, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

planetside 2
Today, PlanetSide 2 has taken another large step for gamerkind by embarking on the closed beta test for its PlayStation 4 version. To help clarify the process of bringing this sci-fi shooter to this console, we sat down with SOE Executive Producer Clint Worley and peppered him with nine eight vital questions.

Massively: Can you go into some of the logistics of adapting PlanetSide 2 to the PlayStation 4?

Clint Worley:
PlanetSide 2 has its own identity, and it is important for us to stay true to that, even on the PS4. Our main focus has been on a redesigned user interface that makes navigation easier for players using the Dualshock 4 controller. Player customization, navigation, and organization are all critical elements that require intuitive controls. The team has done a few passes on the user interface, and now it is time to get it in front of the players. We are looking forward to getting player feedback and tuning the experience for the launch of the game.

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