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The Division's director on gameplay, customization, and The Cleaners

Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Buy-to-Play

Ubisoft has released a video filmed at last month's E3 featuring The Division game director Ryan Barnard and a bunch of slick-looking footage. Barnard touches on gameplay, character customization, Clancy-style tech, and a group of baddies known as The Cleaners who take no prisoners when it comes to dealing with The Division's infected populace.

Click past the cut to have a look!

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Guild Wars 2 launches Entanglement today

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Launches, Lore, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 fans, prepare yourselves for some tangly living world action today as ArenaNet launches Entanglement, episode two of the ongoing second season of the game's story content. Players will continue the established plot arc that has them joining a now-familiar cast of NPCs in the newly opened zone in the Maguuma Wastes.
The lethal, fast-growing vines that have plagued the Brisban Wildlands have begun to spread. Word reaches you of trouble in the town of Prosperity, where the asuran prodigy Taimi was left alone to research the threat. Get back to Prosperity, meet up with Braham, and check in on Taimi. [...] There are secrets hidden within the newly revealed area of Dry Top, just waiting to be discovered. Learn more about the mysterious denizens lurking beyond Prospect Valley and come face-to-face with never-before-seen foes. Follow the trail you picked up in the last release and continue your search for the ley line hub. Stay wary! In Dry Top, danger and discovery go hand in hand.
Don't forget that if you can't play the episode in the next two weeks, you can log into the game and save the episode for a later date.

ArenaNet has also released new screenshots for the event's launch; enjoy them below.

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Not So Massively: Hearthstone's expansion fee, Elite's console potential, and Destiny's mobile app

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Mobile, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone

POE
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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Star Citizen's $48 million mark means a commercial for the Retaliator

Betas, Sci-Fi, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

star citizen
Move over, feathered millionaires, for Star Citizen now has more money than Scrooge McDuck. The space sim crossed the $48 million mark in crowdfunding today.

The stretch goal for this particular occasion is the creation of a commercial for the Retaliator spaceship. "The symbol of the United Empire of Earth's power is the next ship to receive a slick commercial," the site posted on its stretch goals page. "Aegis Dynamics is in dire need of good publicity since the end of the of the Messer era. We currently have the Cutlass and the Constellation commercials in production and now the Retaliator will be added to that list."

So what epic stretch goal reward is in store for $49 million? If players hit that milestone, then the team will add a plant to the game. But it's a Xi'An space plant, so you know you're getting your million dollars' worth.

The Nexus Telegraph: The basics of crafting a WildStar build

Sci-Fi, Classes, Game Mechanics, Opinion, WildStar, The Nexus Telegraph, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Have I used this before?  I think I've used this before.  Please, let me know if I've used this before.
There are few things I love so much as writing a column for June 30th only to find out on the 30th that the patch I'm discussing is going live on July 1st. You know, when it's too late to change anything. I really would have been happy to have found that out before the day.

But, hey, WildStar's first patch came out, and now I've had a couple of weeks to explore it a bit. Am I happy with it? Sufficiently, yes, although I haven't yet digested it in full. For one month out from launch, I can't complain much.

Of course, that's not the first thing that I want to talk about today. I want to talk about builds. Rather than giving you the absolute best-of-the-best builds for tanking and DPS and so forth, which I can't quite do, I want to help you figure out how to make a build that works. It's a satisfyingly interactive, and there are lots of very functional options however you choose to build your character.

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Braben: We 'would be stupid not to' look at Elite on consoles

Sci-Fi, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Consoles, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Frontier is considering console versions of Elite: Dangerous, according to Eurogamer.

"I don't want to do something that constitutes an announcement," studio boss David Braben said, "but we would be stupid not to support other platforms, including console."

Frontier has experience making both Sony and Microsoft first-party games, and Elite uses the same engine as Xbox One launch title Zoo Tycoon. A possible Elite console port will take a while, though, as Frontier is currently laser-focused on the PC release. "We will then do the game on Mac and during that time we will be looking at other platforms as well," Braben said.

The Daily Grind: What's your favorite Secret World deck outfit?

Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, The Secret World, Buy-to-Play

Before I get to the traditional question that powers the Daily Grind, I'd like to give a pre-emptive heads-up to any Massively newbs in the audience. Yes, it was a slow news day when this piece was published (8:00 a.m. EDT). Yes, this is pure fluff meant for fun and perhaps discussion over a cup of coffee.

With that out of the way, let's talk The Secret World. More specifically, let's talk about the game's spiffy deck-based outfits. I just finished collecting all of them on my Templar. Some of them are truly butt-ugly, but a handful of them make my character look even more badass than he actually is (which is pretty badass, don't get me wrong). Anyway, which deck outfit is your favorite?

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!

The Stream Team: Teaming up for The Secret World's newest Sidestories

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

It's The Secret World's anniversary, and as part of the celebration, there are even more quests to do in Tokyo! Unlike the anniversary festivities, however, these missions are not temporary; the second installment of Sidestories has released. Titled Love & Loathing, this pack has four action missions and one investigation, and Massively's MJ and Justin are teaming up to tear through them. Which will they choose? Join them live at 9 p.m. and see!

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie & Justin Olivetti
Date: Saturday, July 12th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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David Braben explains Elite's high prices

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Buy-to-Play

If you looked at the £200 alpha and £100 premium beta price tag for Elite: Dangerous and thought, wow, that's pretty damn expensive, you're not alone. Frontier boss David Braben recently explained the price points to Eurogamer.

"We've taken flak for it," Braben said. "But the important thing for the alpha is, for it to be a genuine alpha, we didn't want huge numbers. Maybe we shouldn't have restricted it by price but it seemed like a logical thing to do. It seemed like a fair thing to do."

He goes on to say that while Frontier could have "thought more carefully" about how the prices would appear to gamers outside of Elite fandom, the devs "planned it this way for sound reasons, and part of that is going toward backing the game. We don't have a publisher here," Braben said. "That backing helps financially."

Vote for your Guild Wars 2 International All-Stars tourney reps

Fantasy, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

ArenaNet and Twitch are joining forces to bring you the "first-ever truly global" Guild Wars 2 competition. It's going down at Gamescom 2014 and it's called the Guild Wars 2 International All-Stars Tournament since it matches players from North America, Europe, and China.

Fans can choose their regional representatives via a voting drive that starts today, and the winners will receive all-expenses paid trips to Germany to compete.

Dino-survival: Hands-on with Beasts of Prey's early access alpha

Betas, Fantasy, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, Post-Apocalyptic, Crafting, Buy-to-Play

Beasts of Prey
When I first dived into the horror-survival genre, I knew there would be zombies, but I never expected dinosaurs. You don't get much bigger than a T-Rex stomping around your neighborhood (though I am still waiting for an underwater survival game that randomly has blue whales unintentionally ruining your kelp fort as they hunt for krill). When dinosaurs started to replace zombies, I knew that my inner child would drag me in, even if I once again had to pay for alpha.

It's this very idea of "paid alpha" that inspired me to tackle not one but two titles from the newly spawned dino-survival based genre. Apologists will say that it's just alpha, but the reality is that you get only one launch, and to me, launch is you start letting people buy your game and don't hold them under an NDA. With this in mind, I decided to try my hand at both Beasts of Prey and The Stomping Land to see which, if either, feels the most deserving of my time (and money). Today, I'll start with BoP.

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Guild Wars 2 selling well in China [Updated]

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Chinese MMO players love Guild Wars 2, according to an NCsoft census that was translated on Reddit. The two-year old fantasy MMO has eclipsed 3.8 million Chinese users, which indicates far faster growth than the game has exhibited in the rest of the world. The title launched in August of 2012 and topped the 3.5 million sales mark a year later. China's 3.8 million sales happened in just two months.

GamesIndustry.biz posits that GW2's Chinese success is an indication of a lucrative and untapped market for Western developers as well as evidence that buy-to-play business models can succeed in an area dominated by F2P.

[Thanks 7BitBrian!]

[Update: ArenaNet has disavowed these numbers as of July 11th. "We'd like to clarify recent news of GW2 China sales: it's inaccurate, from a Chinese fansite, and they could be estimating characters," the studio said via Twitter. Thanks to Martin for the tip.]

Chaos Theory: The Secret World anniversary celebration, take two!

Horror, Real-Life, Events (In-Game), The Secret World, Guides, Anniversaries, Chaos Theory, Buy-to-Play

Chaos Theory:  The Secret World anniversary celebration, take two!
It's that time of year again: time to celebrate another anniversary in The Secret World! And that means taking on world bosses, soaking up oodles of AP, and collecting lore, clothes, and (the best part) pets. Yep, definitely sounds like a party. The birthday bash lasts through July 17th, but the double AP portion of it ends on the 11th, so if you have new builds you want to test and you like the feel of all that AP popping up every few steps, now is the time to get into the game.

If you attended last year's Guardians of Gaia celebration, you're no doubt familiar with the set up of the event; you may have even completed everything. If not, you now have the chance to catch up on everything, including collecting all the lore and pets. On top of that, there are new goodies to collect this time around. There's even a new achievement involving all the pets! Here are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of TSW's second anniversary celebration.

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WildStar offering a free mount to players with 2-step verification

Sci-Fi, News Items, Promotions, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

And then you may pimp it, as is the tradition with rides.
Do you have 2-step verification on your WildStar account already? The team at Carbine Studios really wants you to, since the added layer of security helps ensure that no one steals your stuff. So you're getting a little added incentive starting on July 10th -- a free bike! The Retroblade mount is free to all accounts with 2-step verification starting tomorrow, while everyone without 2-step verification will simply have to stare at your new ride with envy. Or, you know, get verified.

This bonus is in addition to the existing benefits offered by the verification process, which includes a cosmetic headpiece, a title, and a 2% experience boost on all characters. Plus confidence that your account won't get stolen, which is also fun. The announcement has more details about the process if you haven't already gotten in on the verification train; all you'll need is a smartphone and a few moments to log in.

Roberts' latest post peeks behind the Star Citizen development curtain

Betas, Sci-Fi, Bugs, MMO Industry, New Titles, Patches, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Star Citizen has opened another window on the world of game development, this time courtesy of a Chris Roberts post that details the investigative process behind Arena Commander's lag and rubber-banding issues. In a nutshell, the problems surfaced with patch 12.4 as Cloud Imperium expanded the pool of AC participants past the initial 60,000-player threshold.

"Like doctors trying to identify a mysterious illness, we looked for common environmental factors," Roberts writes. "Was there a significant geographic distance between players? Surprisingly, no: in many cases, players with almost no latency between them were still having issues. The team moved on to examining our own code." He goes on to explain how CIG translates potential problems into JIRA tasks and assigns them to engineers who are responsible for repairs prior to the next patch.

[Thanks Cardboard!]

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