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Betas

The Stream Team: Getting decked in HEX: Shards of Fate

Betas, Fantasy, Video, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Trading Card Games, Livestream, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, HEX

HEX: Shards of Fate
HEX: Shards of Fate is an all-new (well, maybe) online trading card game that raised over $2 million on Kickstarter in 2013 and just recently entered closed beta. Tonight, Massively's Mike Foster will leap into HEX to see how it feels compared to its most high-profile competitor, and to take a thorough lashing from players who are much better at playing card games than he.

Join Mike at 7:00 p.m. EDT to catch a glimpse of HEX in action.

Game: HEX: Shards of Fate
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Friday, September 12th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Line of Defense targets September 16th for early access

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMOFPS, Promotions

line of defense
Line of Defense is just a few short days from beginning its early access program, which will begin on Tuesday, September 16th. Fans of the game can go ahead and buy their way into it with one of three early access packages.

However, from now until the 16th, the early access packs are half-off on Steam. So instead of costing between $40 and $100, they currently range from $20 to $50 for this limited time.

What will Line of Defense's early access content look like? It will mostly be sight-seeing, as we understand it. According to a dev post on Steam, players will be able to check out the Heatwave starbase and poke around a nearby orbiting Starguard carrier. "Since this is a world testing build, no weapons, vehicles, aircrafts, inventory items, etc. are player usable. You will be able to explore both of these massive areas and carry out various actions," the early access FAQ states.

World of Warcraft features its next Lord of War: Durotan

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Video, Lore, News Items, Subscription

WoW
World of Warcraft's Lords of War lore series has so far regaled fans with the backstories of Kargath Bladefist and Grommash Hellscream in the lead up to Warlords of Draenor's launch. So who's up next?

If you guessed "an Orc," you're right: It's Durotan, Warchief of the Frostwolf clan, the kinder, gentler Orc. Enjoy the full clip below.

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ArcheAge's head start is now live for founders

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Events (Real-World), New Titles, News Items, ArcheAge, Sandbox

ArcheAge
Rush the gates and roll those toons because you gotta get the best hardcore farmland, am I right?

After a brief technical delay, ArcheAge's head start has now gone live for founders. Trion says that the servers are up and ready for the influx of players. Your server choices are...
North America: Aranzeb, Naima, Kyrios, Ollo, Tahyang, Salphira
Europe: Shatigon, Kyprosa, Eanna, Dahuta
There is no wipe planned for the head start, so this is the real deal. You can still nab a founders pack on the official site for $49.99-$149.99, depending on your tier. All three come with the four-day patron head start access.

You can race your Star Citizen spaceship today

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Races, Sandbox, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Before I get too deep into this news post, I'd like to take a moment to thank Cloud Imperium for releasing Star Citizen's racing module on ArcheAge's launch day.

Now that that's out of my system, let's see here. Arena Commander 0.9 is officially patchable right now. It brings with it the Murray Cup racing simulator, co-op play, leaderboards, and "too many bug fixes to list," according to CIG's announcement post.

[Thanks Oliver!]

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HEX is not Hearthstone: A look at HEX's closed beta

Betas, Economy, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, Opinion, Hands-On, Trading Card Games, First Impressions, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, HEX

530
It's been a while, HEX. Last time I saw you was E3 2013. I hadn't yet started to play Hearthstone, and truthfully, I doubted it could hold a candle to you. In a lot of ways, I was right. It's so much simpler, it's less complex, and at the time, it felt less imaginative. But my card game days are behind me. I don't have the kind of time I used to, so Hearthstone's faster games and accessible drafts (called "arenas" in HS) reminded me of the things I love about the genre while allowing me to keep my grown-up schedule intact and being easy on my wallet.

Just the same, HEX, when I got the closed beta invite to see you again, my heart skipped a beat. I was ready to drop some big money on you, but I've been burned a few times. While I've been in betas and alphas for other games, there's been a trend of letting people pay to play unfinished products. I've been burned, and while I don't regret the experience, I do regret the purchases at the moment. I mean, when a game suddenly disappears from the market, it does make you question your decisions, so I decided we should go out a few times first before I really invest in you.

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Eleven to revive Glitch with Tiny Speck's help

Betas, Fantasy, Video, New Titles, Browser, Housing

eleven
Glitch. Now, if you have tears streaming down your face because you still find yourself crying every time you are reminded of the late, great crafting MMO, then prepare to go from sobs to smiles. A fan project called Eleven is making waves as a genuine attempt to revive Glitch with former developer Tiny Speck's blessing and assistance.

According to the FAQ, Eleven "is a project to get the publicly released Glitch code back up and running; a strictly volunteer effort by 'Glitchen' who want to see the revival of Glitch. We don't have any rights to the name Glitch as a brand, hence our name Eleven (after our eleven giants)." Tiny Speck has also gifted the volunteer team a new product called Slack to help in coordinating the project.

The team is working with the released source code from Tiny Speck to create new code to connect the client and server. The project is chugging along nicely, with a testable version of the wardrobe and vanity system available on the website. There's also a housing demo video that you can watch after the break. Getting the Glitch feels yet? You should!

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The Stream Team: Going deep in Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
Massively's Mike Foster is a big fan of space exploration. Which is why in tonight's Elite: Dangerous stream, he's going to see what the game's current beta has to offer in terms of venturing into the great unknown. Frontier Developments claims that Elite will eventually contain around 400 billion star systems; Mike is content to visit just a few. And with exploration being touted as a viable career path in the launch version of Elite, it's certainly worth investigating even in its bare beta form.

Tune in at 7:00 p.m. to boldly go where no Mike has gone before.

Game: Elite: Dangerous
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Pathfinder Online further delays early enrollment to include more map

Betas, Fantasy, Launches, Patches, Sandbox, Subscription, Pathfinder Online

pathfinder
When will Pathfinder Online's early enrollment period begin? The answer to that question continues to change as its studio makes last-minute adjustments. Originally it was supposed to be September 15th, which then was pushed to September 22nd for more work on alpha features, and it's now delayed until September 25th in order to give players a larger initial game world. Players who have early enrollment access will be able to access the wipeable alpha (if they don't have it already) starting on the 18th.

"Our community has been very vocal about their desire to have the whole early enrollment map ready for play on the first day of early enrollment, and we're making changes to our deployment plans to accommodate that desire," Goblinworks posted. The studio also said that it will be delaying the start of the War of Towers until October 16th and that the Mac client should be ready to go by the start of early enrollment.

In the meantime, the team is consolidating its alpha patches into a single large patch for tomorrow and then will be doing updates on Thursdays going forward.

Trion clarifies ArcheAge's head-start housing situation

Betas, Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, Launches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Community Q&A, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Housing

During its livestreamed pre-launch discussion of ArcheAge earlier this week, Trion Worlds clarified a number of issues that will affect players early on when the game enters its head-start period tomorrow. Top priority in a sandbox? Where you hang your hat. Housing will open at the beginning of the head start period, so early players will naturally secure the best properties. There is no limit to the number of houses an account can own, although accounts are taxed "exponentially" after they acquire three and up.

Also of note:
  • The game plans to launch with the eight ten original beta servers.
  • The "patron" subscription is indeed $15; 1250 credits cost 1 APEX or $10. For scale, consider that a character slot costs 1000 credits.
  • Trion vowed to continue its efforts to deal with chat spammers and botters.
  • Everyone, even F2P players, can access the auction hall.
As to the controversial labor point system, Trion says all characters will begin with zero points.

[Thanks, JunkiesNation.]

World of Warcraft outlines anniversary plans, delays Draenor raid

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, Subscription

WoW
Blizzard has released a new World of Warcraft dev blog clarifying its 10th anniversary plans in light of Warlords of Draenor's impending launch on November 13th. In short, the festivities will begin on November 21st and run until well after the holidays on January 6th. Those who pony up for a sub in that time period will be awarded the Molten Corgi minipet. If you rush to the new level cap in time, you'll also be able to play through the new level-capped Molten Core raid; if not, then you can still play the new Southshore vs. Tarren Mill battleground, which comes in both level 90-99 and level 100 brackets.

Blizzard further notes that the new PvP season and the normal and heroic versions of Draenor's first raid dungeon, Highmaul, will not open until December 2nd to "make sure that everyone [has] had time to level up." Highmaul's LFR and mythic modes will open another week after that.

Massively's sister site WoW Insider also has some good news for Draenor devotees this morning: It appears that facial recustomization is now part of the regular barber shop in beta, possibly alleviating the fears of those worried about being saddled with an ugly pixel face once the new race models are live.

PvP sandbox Life is Feudal hits Steam early access next week

Betas, Business Models, Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, Crowdfunding

LIFYO
Life is Feudal is one of several indie sandbox MMOs striving to become this generation's Ultima Online, and next week, you can actually play it... if you fork over a few bucks for early access, that is. The game unlocks on Steam on September 19th; existing alpha players will be able to claim their early alpha keys on Steam and partake in the smaller-scale, non-MMO test version of the game.

Billing itself as a realistic medieval sandbox, Life is Feudal includes city construction and invasion, a freeform character building system, a single seamless world, terraforming, farming, crafting skills like cooking and alchemy, and full open PvP with looting. The developers maintain a document explaining how the game is similar to and different from other MMOs with such features, however.

The game failed to reach its Indiegogo goals last year.

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DayZ Producer: 'You are playing development builds'

Betas, News Items, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, Sandbox

That rare time when the beta defense sort of works.  Almost.
DayZ is a title in early access. That means that buying the game now will give you access to the full game when it goes live as well as the development versions along the way. Producer Brian Hicks recently took to the game's official forums to respond to player feedback by stating this rather bluntly: "You are not playing DayZ. You are playing development builds."

Hicks went on to explain that the game's current development pace is entirely normal for a large project, with the main difference being that most of these early builds are not seen by the public at large. Players who are displeased by the earlier builds are encouraged to step back and check in again when release is closer, as the later beta versions or the release client will be far closer to the finished experience. Whether or not you've been enjoying the game, it's a useful look at the development process and what it can mean to be playing on early access.

Landmark adds toilets, opens itself for potty jokes

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Landmark

landmark
We'll just come right out and say it: You can now create and install toilets in Landmark. This is a boon for both the incontinent and the internet comedian, although we suppose that it will be well-received by home builders who want to complete their bathroom set.

The patch supposedly fixes individual claim permissions, optimizes the gallery, and improves the bundling interface for the marketplace. Also in the game with today's patch are chains, bathtubs, sinks, and a new "modular" tree.

Choose My Adventure: I am Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, Polls, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
Space is not a very good place for people to hang out. Humans have a specific list of things that are needed for survival, and space is in a continual state of being fresh out of all of them. Thus, the space race isn't just about firing objects into the universe and seeing how far they can go but about building contraptions that deliver enough tender love and care to keep folks alive for the journey. Space travel is immensely expensive and complicated; humanity is still decades or even centuries away from easily accessible personal spacecraft.

Space sims like Frontier Development's Elite: Dangerous let you skip ahead a bit to see what things might be like when launching yourself into space will come with all the grandiosity of running to the store for some bread. "Yeah, you have a spaceship," Elite says, "but what exactly do you intend to do with it?"

In this, the second week of our Elite-focused Choose My Adventure, we'll be seeking an answer to that very question.

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