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Asker Online beta review says Korean game 'missing something'

Betas, Fantasy, Free-to-Play, Hands-On

Curious about the new Korean action-MMO Asker Online? One tester says that you really shouldn't be.

Steparu spent time in the first closed beta and reports that the game is treading over familiar territory. He noted that while he's disappointed with Asker's choice of gender-locked classes (with only three classes in total so far), he found the boss fights challenging and enjoyable and the graphics pleasing to behold.

"After spending a couple of days testing the game, Asker Online felt like it was missing something," Steparu writes. "I couldn't really get into the game as much as I thought I would have. Mainly because it didn't have anything new to present. The breakable environment and combat is a lot similar to Vindictus. The size of the maps are extremely small which reminded me of Dragon Nest or Continent of the Ninth. Asker just didn't have much of a flare or impact on me."

A look at NCsoft's upcoming MOBA, Master X Master

Betas, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, MOBA

Here we go again.
Yes, another MOBA is coming out, this one by NCsoft. The game is currently in its beta test over in South Korea. Steparu took the Master X Master beta for a spin to see if the game was worth paying attention to in an already crowded field of games; rather than finding a game that was essentially a slight reskin and retune of League of Legends, she found that the gameplay is closer to a mixture of Heroes of the Storm and SMITE with third-person shooters.

The game uses a WASD control scheme whilst allowing players to tag between two characters with the Tab key, bringing in elements of team-based fighting games. It also features PvE missions for players who'd prefer to take on purely team-based challenges, further setting itself apart from the pack. Take a look at the full rundown for more details; while there's no definite release or localization date, it might be different enough from its contemporaries to pique your interest.

RuneScape announces Hearthstone-like card game

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Mobile, Trading Card Games

Hearthstone's success is hard to ignore in the industry, and it doesn't take much effort to connect the dots between that title's growth and Jagex's decision to develop an in-game card battler for RuneScape. The UK-based studio announced that it's making Chronicle: RuneScape Legends to be played inside of its popular MMO.

Chronicle takes place inside a "magical book" that challenges players to use deck-building to create quests that can be completed through PvE and PvP card battles. "Your opponent will be creating quests in parallel with you, but watch out as they might try to steal your weapons or gold," the website states. "At the end of your quests you do battle, with the last person standing the victor!"

According to Eurogamer, Jagex has been working on Chronicle since the beginning of the year to be released sometime in 2015 for the PC, Mac, and mobile devices. Chronicle is currently accepting beta sign-ups.

Korean RvR MMO Azera enters beta

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, PvP

A new realm vs. realm challenger is on the scene, and it's looking to move into the next phase of testing overseas by the end of this month.

Azera, an RvR MMO developed by SmileGate, will feature factional warfare with a political system that allows players to assume positions of power if they're on the winning side. It is utilizing the Havok Vision Engine and contains five classes and three player factions.

The new title is preparing to go into its second round of beta in Korea on October 29th.

Pathfinder Online begins alpha stress test

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

Pathfinder Online has thrown open its doors to all of its supporters for an important alpha stress test as the game transitions into Alpha 9.1.

The Alpha 9.1 update is primarily focused on bug fixes but also includes "more fluid and lifelike" animations, a faster character selection process, the ability to tab-target enemy players, and a doubled drop rate for common refining recipes. The team has also removed energy resistance from heavy armor to make light armor more desirable in various situations.

This stress test is part of the build-up to the repeatedly delayed early enrollment launch, which is currently scheduled for October 30th.

WoW Archivist: Class protests and the Million Gnome March

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Bugs, Business Models, Classes, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, WoW Archivist

Naked gnomes everywhere
WoW Archivist is a biweekly column by WoW Insider's Scott Andrews, who explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold? It first appeared on our sister site on October 8th, 2014, and is included here by permission.

Betas make players nervous about their class. It happens every time. Blizzard makes changes, often drastically, and for better or worse some people hate the changes. I've been keeping my eye on the beta class forums since the Warlords beta began, and I've seen a lot of unhappiness this time around. The ability pruning that was one of Blizzard's major design goals for classes this year has removed depth from rotations, taken away both utility and cosmetic options, and in some cases radically altered or deleted abilities that players enjoyed. Beta testers have voiced strong opposition to many of the changes.

In 10 years, I haven't seen players this up in arms about class issues since classic WoW -- an era when many specs and mechanics were simply broken in PvE, PvP, or both.

This past Friday, something happened that I believed would never again happen in WoW: an in-game class protest. With much more open lines of communication from developers to players in recent years, I thought the game had matured beyond the point that such things would ever be necessary. But here we are, almost 10 years after the most famous class protest in WoW's history, and players once again felt the need to gather in Azeroth to voice their complaints.

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Betawatch: October 4 - 10, 2014

Betas, Expansions, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

The Crew
This week, The Crew's launch date was delayed until to December 2nd, ensuring a longer closed beta for the driving MMO. What else is new in the world of MMO testing? Read on for our complete Betawatch roundup.

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See a takedown of a Black Desert boss

Betas, Fantasy, Video, PvE, Free-to-Play, Black Desert

black desert
The folks over at 2P.com have been eating up the Black Desert Online Korean beta, but an encounter with a PvE boss left one writer staring at a death screen over and over again. And so, naturally, he took it upon himself to record his struggles, 12-minute fight, and eventual victory in defeating this mob.

"The bosses in [Black Desert Online], it seems, are very keen to do as much damage to you as possible, dealing a lot of knock back and a handful of stun effects only if you do not use your dodges properly," the writer advises.

You can watch the full takedown after the break.

[Thanks to Jeff for the tip!]

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The Stream Team: Get in the Halloween spirit with Landmark

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

October is the best month: cooler temps, colorful leaves, and Halloween! That last one is the reason Massively's MJ loves this fall month so very much, and she's getting into the spirit by visiting various holiday-themed builds in Landmark. There are haunted houses and pumpkins galore -- even a pumpkin carving contest! Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for this spooktacular display of creativity as MJ hops to as many Halloween builds as she can fit in. She'll also have treats to give away (including the new Halloween-themed suit)!

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below, and then prepare for Massively's second timed building contest next week! This time it will be a death-defying experience. Interested in showing off your skills and winning in-game codes for participating? Sign up by emailing mj@massively.com!

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Korean action MMO Asker Online hits closed beta

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, New Titles, News Items, Miscellaneous

2P brings word of another Korean MMO migrating to closed beta this month: Neowiz's Asker Online. The game first caught our attention way back in 2013 when it was nicknamed Black Sheep Online. It emphasizes a dynamic world with randomized dungeons, weather, grappling mechanics, and destructible elements.

Neowiz is also responsible for BLESS, which is also still in beta and still has no hard plans to travel westward.

We've included some of the newish Asker Online vids below. Think it's worth hoping for?

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Das Tal launches merch while making a Greenlight push

Betas, Fantasy, Video, News Items, Sandbox

Nothing like unbroken fields of sorrow to get that greenlight vote.
If you're excited for Das Tal, now's a fine time to vote with or without your wallet. Yes, both work here. Voting without your wallet is as simple as moving over to the game's Greenlight page on Steam and supporting it if you haven't already; the developers have issued a statement claiming that the game is close to getting Greenlight status and just needs a final push.

How can you vote with your wallet? Well, you can grab some Das Tal apparel, coffee mugs, or the like. The merchandise features art from the game's art director, so it's a good way to show off your affection for the game in physical form. You can also check out a video of the game's most recent test update just past the break, although you can't buy that on a shirt. It's hard to display video on a shirt. (It's the same video we covered recently, though, so if you saw it then you can safely skip it.)

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Not So Massively: Star Citizen's Guinness record, Dota 2's mega patch, and GTAO's last team standing

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Crime, World of Tanks, Not So Massively, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

NSM - Dota 2
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.

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Pathfinder Online's latest alpha patch is live

Betas, Fantasy, Economy, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Pathfinder Online

The mysterious roaming Stress Test, a beast no one can confirm seeing.  There may be one hiding in this header.
After no small amount of hand-wringing, the latest alpha patch is live for Pathfinder Online, with the intent of eventually cracking open the servers for stress testing. It's a pretty important patch even without the aim of a stress test, though, as it expands the map size to its full early access scope and fixes a variety of issues with advancement and the game's overall systems. Even if you didn't get to play recently, the development is humming along.

Obviously those who didn't get to play also didn't get to experiment with the game's recent auction house functionality, which is explained in depth on the official site. Setting up an auction requires a starting price and a minimum price. Over the auction's duration, the price slowly decreases from the starting price down to the minimum; if no buyers are found at that discount rate, the auction ends unsuccessfully. Check out the full development blog for more details.

The Repopulation is focusing on feature completion

Betas, Sci-Fi, Patches, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, The Repopulation

In what its devs are calling a "very busy month," The Repopulation pushed out three major patches in September, not to mention another one this past week. Above and Beyond says is all being done to fill out the game: "We've been pushing hard to get our experimental tweaks and additions out of the way now as we push towards feature completion."

In addition to pages and pages of patch notes, The Repopulation made significant changes to Medics, added a Points of Ingrigue extension to its enemy camp system, and completely overhauled the tutorial. The sandbox title promises that another round of testers will be invited into the game in the middle of October.

Star Citizen working to develop ships faster than before

Betas, Sci-Fi, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Star Citizen

In a new monthly report, the makers of Star Citizen said that they have restructured their internal process so that they can pump out new ships even faster. Some of these new ships include the Herald, Carrack, Reclaimer, Avenger variants, and 890 Jump.

"We have been hard at work refining our process and improving our workflow so that we can develop ships more quickly and more efficiently than we have ever done before," the team writes. "The creation of new ships for Star Citizen is an incredibly complex and detailed process, so it made sense to move it to LA where Chris [Roberts] can maintain oversight and provide direction to everyone involved."

The report also touched on the fleshing out of Arena Commander, preparations for upcoming conventions, the hiring of new personnel, and improvements to ships' HUDs. One thing to look forward to is a brand-new cinematic that should arrive within the week.

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