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Elite: Dangerous is due for zero more wipes, releases launch trailer

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Launches, MMO Industry, News Items, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Elite
If you weren't clear on whether Elite: Dangerous has launched yet, prepare to remain slightly unclear. Frontier Community Manager Edward Lewis hit the forums earlier this week to clarify that the gamma 2 test phase open to backers will not be wiped prior to next week's official launch:
Hi guys, This is just a quick update to confirm that there won't be a wipe at launch.
So it's not formally launched until December 16th, but it's pretty much launched in the ways that matter. Lewis further dismissed concerns about exploits benefiting early access players. "We're looking at ways to find people who have used exploits. Don't worry about that! But also, don't worry about it if you have used an exploit - the guys on the dev team know the difference between testing something out and abusing the systems!"

Massively's Mike Foster toured the game a few weeks ago, writing that "the gamma version finally brings Frontier's full vision into focus, and the result is a challenging, complex title." The buy-to-play MMO took home Massively's Most Underrated award this year.

We've got the new launch trailer tucked behind the break!

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Guild Wars 2 is revamping dailies... again

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

GW2
ArenaNet has just announced that it's revamping Guild Wars 2's daily achievements... again. "We want to give players the opportunity to try things they may not normally experience and feel like the rewards they earn for doing so mean something," says the studio. "Rather than [give] a generic reward for all achievements, each one will give players something that is thematically tied to the content they're playing." Completing dailies will allow players to earn everything from achievement points to fractal relics and badges of honor, depending on the daily's difficulty and type (PvE, PvP, WvW).

The studio is also rolling out a new achievement track that replaces the old monthlies system and rewards players just for logging in. "One way to think of this is like a holiday calendar that gives you a new present from ArenaNet each day," the devs write. "There are 28 individual rewards on the track, each one building toward an epic chest containing a permanent 1% increase to account gold find and your choice of either ascended crafting materials, materials necessary for crafting your legendary weapon (including mystic clovers), an additional sum of laurels, or tomes of knowledge."

Yesterday, the studio revealed that the ongoing season two plotline will be on hiatus through the holidays, being replaced by Wintersday. Season two resumes on January 13th.

Guild Wars 2 season 2 to continue on January 13th

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), PvP, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

gw2
The living world episodes for Guild Wars 2 are taking a month off for the holiday season, as ArenaNet announced today that Season 2 will reconvene on January 13th for "moments that will forever change the course of Tyria."

That doesn't mean that Guild Wars 2 will go silent during this time, however. Wintersday is scheduled to return on December 16th, although this time it will take place in Divinity's Reach. ArenaNet is also hosting a test of its ladder season from December 16th through January 13th, allowing players to compete for various rewards, and a WvW Sneak Attack event during this same period. Finally, there will be the game's "first-ever" ESL monthly championship on December 10th.

Carbine's Chad Moore on WildStar's fresh focus on lore

Sci-Fi, Interviews, Lore, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Sure, you could make some jokes about corresponding events, but that just seems like a series of cheap shots.
There's a big focus on WildStar's lore recently. Aside from the big lore drops, dubbed "Loremageddon" by Carbine Studios, the game's official site has begun releasing a series of short stories detailing important moments in the game's history, from the first space voyage of the Cassian people to dealing with the Genesis Prime now. That's a lot of storytelling, the sort that should be continuing on well into next year.

We had a chance to sit down and ask a few questions of creative director Chad Moore regarding what we've seen thus far for the game and what the goals are with this renewed focus on the game's setting and story. If you'd like to know a little more about the setting and what players can expect from the ongoing history lesson, check out the interview just past the break. There's also a new story available today detailing the first contact between the Cassians and the Eldan.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Planting the seeds of memory in Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Lore, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

Little glowing friends. Shiny, happy people. Plant joke.
They say that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I don't know who "they" are, but I don't think that particular truism was ever meant to cover a literal repeat of history. Guild Wars 2's latest living world content release has players doing exactly that: planting memory seeds, taking an uncomfortably invasive peek into Caithe's past, and trying to figure out exactly what might have led her to abscond with Glint's egg in the previous chapter.

This stroll down memory lane technically takes place over 20 years in GW2's history, but it's new information to us, and so the statute of limitations on spoilers hasn't expired. You'll probably want to play the content before reading any further, unless you think my writing is improved by a lack of context (if that's the case, don't tell me).

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Destiny's 10-year plan includes character-hopping to sequels

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, MMOFPS, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

destiny
The strange approach of Destiny that has the game with one foot squarly planted in MMO territory and one firmly in the realm of standard console shooters has never been illustrated as strongly as in this story from IGN.

In the interview, Bungie said that players will be able to save and import characters and progress between Destiny and a proposed sequel while ignoring how MMOs simply build upon game worlds so that importing isn't necessary. One of the devs even expressed the revelation that players tend to form attachments to their avatars: "If you take a look at the way people have played other games for a long period of time, they've had a relationship with the same character for a very long time."

Bungie said it has "a 10-year plan for the expansion and evolution of this franchise."

Shroud of the Avatar introduces the desert with Release 13

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Shroud of the Avatar, Buy-to-Play

shroud
Release 13 is prepped and raring to hit Shroud of the Avatar's servers on Thursday, December 18th. One of the new additions that will be coming to the game is the inclusion of desert biomes for the sandbox title.

Release 13 will also allow players to see part of their hair while still wearing hats, which is more of a big deal than one might expect. It will also contain a new "grand tour" quest that will dish out an exclusive reward to those who complete it before the next release.

Shroud of the Avatar recently launched on Steam Early Access, and keys for this version of the game are available to all backers.

Work on Asheron's Call's player-run servers continues

Fantasy, Asheron's Call, Business Models, Game Mechanics, News Items, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

AC
Earlier this summer, Asheron's Call 1 and 2 went buy-to-play with no sub and technically went into maintenance mode, with no more content updates planned for the pair of games. But it wasn't to be game over; Turbine vowed to keep the servers up for its loyal players because it was, as Turbine's Rob "Severlin" Ciccolini put it, "the right thing to do." Critically, the studio also promised to release tools, though not the source code itself, to help players run their own servers, create their own live events, and someday implement their own locations.

Just before the holidays, Ciccolini quietly released an update about the "community-foused initiative" on the official forums.
I finished documenting and preparing the files players will need for all the SQL set up. We are working on getting documentation for setting up the patch server and and gls servers. I am also checking to see how a player can configure a local one person server with a simplified set up so they can play solo or in a LAN environment but I don't know yet if it will be possible to do without the full login process. We are moving to get things up in a place where they can be downloaded.
Severlin explained that documentation and testing continues, and there's a chance, though not a guarantee, that a "simplified server set up for solo or LAN players" might be workable.

The Stream Team: Prowling the streets of Tokyo in TSW's Issue #10

Horror, Real-Life, Video, Expansions, The Secret World, Livestream, The Stream Team, Buy-to-Play

Surprise! The Secret World's Issue #10 out, and while it's true that Massively's MJ got a sneak peek, she's itching to explore the new area on her own. If you're hoping to avoid story mission spoilers, don't worry: This trip is all about scouting out the lay of the land. (And quite possibly just to find as much lore as possible!) Besides the infamous Love Hotel, what new sights are there to behold? What death lurks behind which corner? Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to see!

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, December 4th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Chaos Theory: Hands-on with TSW's Issue #10 before today's release

Horror, Real-Life, Expansions, Hands-On, The Secret World, Chaos Theory, Buy-to-Play

Chaos Theory:  A hands-on with TSW's Issue #10 before today's release
Yes, you read that right. When we told you earlier this week that The Secret World's second Tokyo expansion was coming soon, we bet you didn't think it'd be today, did you? Well, neither did we! But that's exactly what Director Joel Bylos shared with me while we we zipping around the newest area of Tokyo during a hands-on tour of Issue #10 Nightmares in the Dream Palace. If all goes according to plan, fans will be able to dig into the new content today -- much sooner than anticipated. And what's awaiting them? That's what this week's Chaos Theory reveals. Don't worry; I promise to warn you of any major spoilers.

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Ubisoft's action-driving MMO The Crew launches today

Betas, Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Bugs, Launches, New Titles, Patches, News Items, Consoles, Miscellaneous, Buy-to-Play

The Crew
Ubisoft's "action-driving MMO" The Crew launches worldwide on PC and multiple consoles today, but before you can drive your roadster across a virtual map of the USA, you'll first have to download the time-honored day-one patch. The patch flips on drivehub challenges and the faction war as well as fixes a slew of UI, PvP, and stability bugs.

Ubisoft's Serkan Hasan assured reporters last week that game would be free of the turmoil that usually accompanies MMO launches. The studio had taken criticism from refusing to grant launch previews to media because MMOs are just too hard to review without all the players in place.

The standard version of the game is available for around 60 bucks, depending on your platform and retailer of choice. The launch trailer is below.

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Guild Wars 2 launches Seeds of Truth today

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Yeah, so, the dragon egg is still kind of hot, so I was wondering if I could crash here.  Just for, like, a couple of days?  I have the money I borrowed from you last time and even some extra, man, what do you say?
Oh, that darn Caithe, running off with that MacGuffin dragon egg at the end of the last Guild Wars 2 story update! Someone should go after her. And while someone's going after her, someone should probably collect more armor set pieces and explore more of the Silverwastes. If you haven't guessed by now, that someone is going to be you. The latest update to the game, Seeds of Truth, is live today, and you'll need to... well, you read all of that up above, yes?

Aside from salad-based antics, the update features some major PvP changes, including reworked matchmaking and the test season for organized league play. So if you're there more for the mechanics than the story, that may be more of your speed. If you're there for the story, though, get ready to start retracing Caithe's memories, figure out what happened, and dealing with the fallout of that stolen egg.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

The Secret World's nightmarish Issue #10 coming 'in next couple weeks'

Horror, Real-Life, Events (In-Game), Expansions, The Secret World, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

Content-loving The Secret World fans will be happy to hear that the next issue is just a couple weeks away. Joel Bylos' November Game Director letter has announced that Issue #10 Nightmares in the Dream Palace will go live "in the first half of December." That means more Tokyo locations, a new mission chain, new AEGIS shields, and more interesting characters will soon be available to enjoy. Want to wander the docks and the shipyards? How about prowl around an abandoned quarantine camp or the Orochi tenements? Those locations and more will be available for exploration. Can't wait to hear and see more? Keep your eyes peeled for Massively's hands-on with issue #10 this week!

Not all the goodies are dependent on owning the issue, either. The accompanying patch brings quality-of-life improvements including bug fixes, a UI editing mode, and an updated con system to help newer players. And what's TSW without a great holiday event? The letter also introduces this year's new Christmas event, which will run from the middle of the month until just after the new year. Called The Christmas Conspiracy, it begins with an invitation to see a performance of "The Magic Flute" at the Albion Theatre and entails working to stop the Phoenicians from stealing the very heart of Christmas itself. Previous Christmas events will also return.

Living and dying in the Elite: Dangerous gamma build

Betas, Sci-Fi, Launches, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Hands-On, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
When we last looked at Elite: Dangerous during August's Choose My Adventure, the game was in a barebones beta format with just a few of its promised eventual features. Frontier Developments' crowdfunded space-sim certainly brought a lot to the table with its pretty graphics, realistic flight physics, and down-to-the-details sim structure, but anyone not interested in running courier missions or blowing up other ships was probably left wanting.

Now, however, Elite is a different beast. Just two weeks from final official launch, Elite is in what Frontier Developments is calling the "gamma" stage. It's as close to the finished version of the game anyone is going to get until launch on December 16th. So naturally, I took another dive in Elite to see what exactly has changed.

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The Stream Team: Elite Dangerous returns

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

Elite
Frontier Developments' Elite: Dangerous has just entered Beta 3 or Gamma 1 or some other pre-launch version of itself, and Massively's Mike Foster is all set to fire up his Sidewinder and fling himself into parts unknown to see exactly what's new. Tune in tonight as he explores Elite's open play mode and tries desperately not to crash his ship in front of a live viewing audience (again).

The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Game: Elite: Dangerous
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Friday, November 28th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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