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Transformers Universe demos its MOTA gameplay

Sci-Fi, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Transformers Universe

Not what it could be, but maybe better than what it would have been?
I have high hopes for what Transformers Universe could be. The game has changed a great deal from its original inception, going from an MMO tying into the then-current Prime series to a MOTA under the Generations banner. And you know that things have gotten at least a little odd when a game makes up an entirely new term to identify itself. What is a MOTA, anyway?

From a look at the recent press preview event, I'd say it's World of Warcraft battlegrounds with League of Legends champions and some World of Tanks elements. Sort of. There might be more.

As the above implies, we recently had the opportunity to take a look at some preview footage explaining how the game worked and what the actual play would be like. The game is certainly looking nice, especially when you consider that it's a free-to-play browser game built in Unity. But the proof is always going to be in the gameplay, and while it's hard to say for certain how well it delivers from mere preview videos, it's certainly intriguing.

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City of Steam opens new US, Euro servers

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, City of Steam, Steampunk

City of Steam
City of Steam has officially opened two new servers, one for eastern U.S. players and another in Europe. Mechanist Games says that it is "trying to bring in as broad a gaming demographic as possible" by presenting its steampunk MMO on Kongregate, Armor Games, and Steam. "More platforms will come in soon," the firm states.

There are in-game events underway to help celebrate the additional shards. Check out all the details on the official City of Steam website.

Eldevin gets thumbs-up from Steam

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser

It's a big week for Eldevin, as the indie MMO got greenlit on Steam this past week.

Hunted Cow thanked the community for voting on the title and said that it's working on getting the downladable version of the game prepped for Steam: "We've got some work to do to get it ready for release on Steam (implement Steam achievements and integrate it with Steam accounts etc.) but we'll keep you updated on the progress."

Eldevin won Massively's Frindie Award for Best Browser Game in 2013.

Heroes & Generals trailer reminds you that wars aren't won by tanks alone

Historical, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Browser

Zomg I love P38s
Reto-Moto already has one of the best-looking World War II combat sims on the market, but now it's firing a shot across the bow of its competition with Heroes & Generals' new "Wars Aren't Won by Tanks Alone" trailer.

New weapons and vehicles are coming to H&G's live servers in short order, and Reto-Moto reminds you that "you need soldiers to win a war -- not just tanks and planes!" Click past the cut for the trailer and the full press release.

[Source: Reto-Moto press release]

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Man steals thousands of dollars, spends them on Evony

Fantasy, Culture, Free-to-Play, Browser, Casual, Humor

A Hawaiian man is expected to plead guilty to charges that he stole thousands of dollars to spend on the browser-based game Evony.

David Buchanan, 47, is charged with wire fraud after he convinced one woman to give him $40,000 for an investment that would see a promised 650% turnaround. "As a middle-aged, admittedly square, FBI Special Agent who doesn't play video games," Agent Tom Simon said during the investigation, "I was understandably perplexed when, during the 'follow the money' analysis, I kept seeing payments being made to something I'd never heard of called Evony. A bit of Googling properly identified Evony as an online video game of sorts, but I was still puzzled how anyone could possibly spend thousands of dollars on a video game. I wasn't being judgmental about the societal value of gaming. I was just dumbfounded that any video game could possibly cost that much."

You may remember Evony as that game best known for its boobtastic advertising campaigns a few years back, and, surprisingly enough, it's still around. Buchanan's trial is expected to take place on May 8th with sentencing expected later in the year.

City of Steam getting new US and EU servers

MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, City of Steam, Steampunk

City of Steam Riven Gunner
Mechanist Games has announced that its steampunk browser MMO City of Steam is on the cusp of delivering a long-awaited European server. There's no firm launch date just yet, and Mechanist also notes that EU players who have been biding their time on the existing US servers will not be able to transfer their characters to the new EU shard. Electrum will be transferable, though, so there's that.

The devs also said that a new east coast US server is in the works.

Ascent: The Space Game on building a better sci-fi sandbox

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvE, Browser, Sandbox, MMORPG

You'd be forgiven for not having heard of Ascent: The Space Game before. EVE Online is the sci-fi sandbox dominating headlines, and Star Citizen and other upcoming games are breathing down its neck. Is there room in the genre for, well, an indie space MMO that isn't all about cutthroat politics or hardcore ganking?

James Hicks, the founder and CEO of Fluffy Kitten Studios and the man behind Ascent, says yes. He took the time this week to answer our questions about his already-playable-but-still-in-development game in deep detail, focusing on the game's complexity, player feedback, business model, mechanics, and how Ascent can truly expand the genre.

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

MMO Industry, Opinion, Browser, The Daily Grind

Heroes & Generals is still badass
Browser-based MMOs aren't normally my bag, but yesterday's Heroes & Generals update reminded me that there are a couple of nifty ones out there. Aside from H&G and SOE's late great Clone Wars Adventures, though, I don't have much experience with the genre.

So, help me out, Massively readers. What's your favorite browser-based MMO title?

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!

Heroes & Generals gets a huge update

Historical, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Browser

Heroes & Generals is badass
We haven't heard from Heroes & Generals in a while, but that's because the devs at Reto-Moto have been working like dogs to update the F2P FPS.

What's Heroes & Generals, you say? It's a nifty blend of massive online shooter and strategic persistent elements that gives you the ability to fight in the trenches, in the air, or as a campaign mastermind. If you'd like to know more about it, see our various hands-on articles, or just go to the game's website and play it for yourself.

The latest update, codenamed Oster, adds plenty of new weapons, more campaign battlefields, improved weapon handling and avatar behavior, the ability to steal vehicles, and more. Click past the cut for the update vid.

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Today's your last chance to play Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Casual, Free Realms, Kids, Clone Wars Adventures, Sunsets

Clone Wars Adventures main cast
Per SOE's announcement last January, today is your final opportunity to play its Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures MMOs. If you can't play, be sure to join Massively's Larry Everett for a farewell stream later tonight.

An analysis of the Glitch auction house

Economy, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Sandbox

When the moon was high, they would march.
Glitch is gone, but it lives on in our hearts, and it makes for a fascinating case study. The game arrived, enraptured, and departed so quickly that a great deal can be extrapolated about the game. A new analysis over on Gamasutra focuses on looking at the game's economy over time, seeing how it kicked off and where it wound up, and uses that to draw conclusions about handling player-run economies in other games as well.

The article outlines how Glitch handled currency and items, then notes the market trends and how players interacted with both one another and the economy. It concludes that in addition to monitoring the economy, designers need to keep an eye on the small number of players who serve as major economic drivers and watch them closely. The behaviors of players will also vary over time, meaning that past data have to be checked against more recent data to be relevant. If this is your sort of analysis, by all means, read the article in its entirety.

The Daily Grind: Are we ever going to get over our disdain for browser MMOs?

Business Models, Culture, Opinion, Browser, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Sandbox

Go into any WildStar discussion and you'll see people decrying the graphics as too cutesy, and that's WildStar -- a robust AAA MMORPG with a custom client that taxes even a strong gaming PC. For browser games, that stigma is even worse. Either the graphics are too cutesy or people convince themselves that no game in a browser can ever rise above social spamalots like FarmVille.

It's silly since so many deep and detailed MMOs have browser clients or exist only in a browser. Glitch may have been superficially cutesy and may have been Flash-bound, but it was a serious sandbox with incredible exploration, clever questing, an impressive crafting system, skill-based advancement, and a unique and completely customizable housing system with loads of player-generated content. And for all that, a lot of people, even sandbox fans, refused to even try it because it was lodged firmly inside Chrome or Firefox.

Are we ever going to get over our disdain for browser MMOs? Can we judge games based on their content and not on stereotypes about their delivery?

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!

Marvel: Avengers Alliance to shut down on Playdom

Super-hero, Browser, Sunsets

Avengers Alliance
Playdom has announced that Marvel: Avengers Alliance will be shutting down for good on April 20th, 2014.

"Although it is a difficult decision to shut down a game," a note to the players states, "this decision will allow us to focus on building new, more engaging games."

This shutdown will affect only the Playdom version of the game, not the Facebook version. Playdom says that it will offer no refunds or credits for "virtual goods, game currency or other items purchased" once the game stops being offered on Playdom's platform.

The Stream Team: Breaking a world record with Age of Ascent

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, Events (In-Game), Interviews, New Titles, PvP, War, Free-to-Play, Browser, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding

Age of Ascent screenshot
If you've ever wanted to be part of gaming history, check out this livestream with Massively's Beau Hindman and members of the Age of Ascent developer team. They'll be attempting to literally break a Guinness World Record for the largest videogame PvP battle, currently standing at 4,075 players! Age of Ascent launched its Kickstarter yesterday and is offering pledge rewards from special in-game ships to dinner with the devs. Join us live at 3 p.m. EDT.

Game: Age of Ascent
Host: Beau Hindman
Date: Friday, March 14th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Arcane Legends announces The Dragon Enclave expansion

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Browser, Mobile

Arcane Legends
Spacetime Studios has just announced the newest expansion for its most recent browser-and-mobile MMO, Arcane Legends. The new update, which launches today and brings the game's total number of expansions to five, will lift the level cap to 41 and introduce a brand-new island with new dungeons, bosses, daily quests, currency, gear, and crafted items. Enjoy the new screenies and video below!

[Source: Spacetime Studios press release]

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