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Not So Massively: Elite's refund controversy, Civ Online's closed beta, and Ghost in the Shell's G-Star debut

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Launches, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, World of Tanks, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Hearthstone, E-sports

NSM - Ghost in the Shell
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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The Mog Log: The end of Final Fantasy XIV's 2.0 cycle

Fantasy, Patches, News Items, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Dungeons, Subscription

I'm betting end of May 2015, just to push it out as far as possible.
It's going to be a little while until we see the next major patch for Final Fantasy XIV. I'm not expecting to see patch 2.5 in the wild until February, to be honest. That's a little longer than the standard three months, but we've also got a holiday season through there and a not exactly clockwork schedule to begin with. It's enough time to get plenty of Poetics kit, make headway into Second Coil, and get thoroughly sick of the expert roulette dungeons. Perhaps the game shouldn't always just keep the three most recent dungeons on there...

But we still have interquel patches to consider, starting with the promised inclusion of Eternal Bonds in 2.45. While we've still got a little bit of time until the next Live Letter (which will no doubt reveal more about what's coming for the next few months), we've got enough information to speculate, prognosticate, and forecast, which is exactly what I want to do for this week. It's a thing I do.

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Warframe's Archwing update hits consoles

Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS

Space is 80% lens flares by volume.
Ready to go to space in Warframe? Just kidding! You're already in space. The whole premise is robotic space ninjas, after all. But the Archwing update that just dropped for consoles yesterday lets you slip past obstacles like "not being able to fly in space" by... well... allowing you to fly in space. The Archwing is a harness that lets you fly in space. This, from a practical standpoint, means that you get to enjoy spaceflight antics without spaceships.

Aside from the eponymous Archwing systems, the update also adds a new (equally eponymous) Warframe, more visual customization options, and a new reputation system allowing you to represent one of six Syndicates. So if you're floating about on consoles with Warframe, you too can now enjoy all of the fun of spaceflight without a spaceship. Hopefully not including the harness accidentally detaching whilst you're accelerating, leading your body to go hurtling off into space at a trajectory you can no longer control forever.

[Source: Digital Extremes press release]

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The opening cinematic for Destiny's first DLC has been leaked

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Destiny

It is dark.  And you are below something.
You remember Destiny, don't you? Come on, folks, it was only a few months ago. Science fiction shooter? Made by Bungie? It had a cave that you shot until candy came out? Well, the opening cinematic for the game's first major DLC, The Dark Below, appears to be out in the wild via a leak. You can watch it just past the break, complete with ominous chanting and creepy voice over explaining what the title actually means.

The DLC is planned for launch on December 9th for $20, or included as a part of the game's Season Pass for $25. There's no way to confirm if this is indeed the trailer, but it certainly looks legitimate, and it lays out a reasonable story pitting players against the Hive and its ultimate designs on Earth. You can check out the trailer for yourself just past the cut.

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Final Fantasy XIV has been besieged by DDoS attacks

Fantasy, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Stop being immature, kids, some of us have things to do here.
If you've been playing Final Fantasy XIV over the past few evenings, you've probably noticed some issues: odd disconnections, login difficulties, things like that. Turns out it wasn't just some general server weirdness; apparently the game is being hit by DDoS attacks that are leading to heavy server load and all of the fun that comes along with it.

The official post states that the attacks are being carried out by a currently unknown third party, with Square-Enix working to try to stop the attacks from all possible angles. It also apologizes for the issues that players are having. So the good news is that it's not just your connection, and the bad news is that someone decided that it's fun to be a jerk. Again.

Not So Massively: Destiny's patch, Hearthstone's lawsuit, and Lost Ark's reveal

Betas, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warplanes, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

NSM
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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PlanetSide 2's PS4 beta is expected by the end of the year

Betas, Sci-Fi, Interviews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox

The PlayStation 4 version of PlanetSide 2 is still on track for beta before the end of this year, SOE says.

SOE's Matt Higby told Eurogamer that the nearly-two-year-old MMOFPS sandbox has been slow to arrive on the PS4 because SOE didn't want it to feel like just another cruddy console port.
"As much as it sounds like we're blowing smoke, we're working hard to release a game that feels like a full-on console experience and not just like a port. So it's taken us quite a long time to re-jigger our user interface and our controls. There's a lot that needs to get done."
The PS4 edition will also sport a slightly different business model in that microtransactions will be purchased with Marketplace Cash (as in DC Universe Online) in place of Station Cash.

More details, Eurogamer reports, are expected in December at the PlayStation Experience event.

Choose My Adventure: So much punching in Final Fantasy XIV

Fantasy, Polls, PvE, Hands-On, Consoles, Choose My Adventure, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription, MMORPG

Final Fantasy XIV
Last week's Choose My Adventure polls on Final Fantasy XIV were very close. With a few more votes in one direction instead of another, we'd be playing a Roegadyn arcanist or a Lalafell thaumaturge. Unfortunately for people who hate human-animal hybrids, voters selected a Miqo'te pugilist by the hair on a cat's tail (Is this a saying? It should be a saying). Consider our character's cat ears the Massively version of growing a Movember moustache.

With our hero forged and her job chosen, it's time to start adventuring.

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Final Fantasy XIV's Yoshida on housing, test servers, and post-Fanfest

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Patches, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Housing, Subscription

Two Massively employees in the same game at once?  The world is madness.  (No, you get no hints about who.)
Final Fantasy XIV has had a busy year, and it looks to be having a busy next year to boot. The game's first expansion is in the works and planned for a release in spring of 2015, along with another major patch to cap off the game's current patch cycle. And director/producer Naoki Yoshida continues steering the ship, working what I can only assume is a 200-hour week.

I had a chance to ask a few questions of Yoshida around the time of the first two fanfests of the year (the final one is scheduled for December in Tokyo), ranging from housing questions to the promise of public test servers to how hard it will be to establish an Eternal Bond. Jump on past the break to read the full interview!

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Final Fantasy XIV introduces character rename service

Fantasy, Culture, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

After the renames go through we will all be named after members of XTC.  We are going on the road.  (I got Andy Partridge, so that's keen.)
You've been enjoying your time playing Final Fantasy XIV, which is good. You hadn't expected to, but you have, and that's even better. But it does make your hastily considered name of "Ffxiv Blows" a bit less than appropriate. Or perhaps you've just grown tired of your in-game avatar's appellation, whether it's a setting-appropriate name like M'lana Nyokha or a less-setting-appropriate name like Mycat Isanimrod. You don't have to suffer a poor name any longer, though, as the rename feature has arrived.

Character renames can now be purchased through the game's account management page per character, allowing you to type in a new character name when you're logging in much like the appearance-changing aspects of Fantasia. The cost for a single rename is $10, and they are purchased per character rather than account-wide. So if you've long been looking to alter your character's less-than-dignified sobriquet, you can do that now.

Not So Massively: Overwatch's reveal, Hearthstone's expansion, and Dawngate's sunset

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Lore, New Titles, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, HEX, Hearthstone, The Division, OARPG, Overwatch

NSM - Overwatch
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.
  • Blizzard announced online team-shooter Overwatch at BlizzCon. Chris Metzen says Blizzard is trying to build a more representative game with less hypersexualization.
  • Hearthstone is launching in December and getting a new expansion: Goblins vs. Gnomes.
  • EA's MOBA Dawngate is shutting down in three months.
  • League of Legends introduced Kalista, the Spear of Vengeance.
  • MMOTCG HEX dropped its beta key requirement but denied that it is in open beta.
  • Heroes of the Storm's closed beta starts January 13th. It's also getting a sweet Diablo III-themed map.
  • Diablo III previewed its upcoming season. According to content designer Kevin Martens, Diablo was once considered for an MMO, but no longer.
  • David Braben says Elite: Dangerous' December 16th launch date is "sensible."
  • Star Citizen passed $60 million in fundraising.
  • Quirky indie MMOFPS Hunternet boasts 700-player battles.
  • World of Tanks' 9.4 patch added Stalingrad map and tweaked strongholds.
  • The Crew hinted at a new "PvP mode" and season passes.
  • MechWarrior Online's latest dev vlog covered inner sphere quirks and faction switching.
  • Ubisoft said that The Division's PC experience won't suffer because of consoles.
  • Some jerk swatted a Bungie/Destiny exec; the internet demands prison time for said jerk.
  • The latest World of Speed vid features nearly four minutes of gameplay.
  • Bigpoint's Shards of War introduced a new sentinel, Vox.
  • Undead Labs discussed balance in Moonrise.
  • Dota is now the subject of a course at Chongqing Energy College in China.

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The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV and approaching the end of the story

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

All things go, all things go.
All right, Final Fantasy XIV isn't really approaching the end of its story. If you think that Heavensward won't include its own set of story missions, well, suffice it to say you are almost certainly wrong. But the ending of the 2.0 storyline will be like closing a chapter in a book, and this patch is the first step along that path. The next patch will close the chapter and begin anew, bringing us down unfamiliar roads.

As a result, parts of this patch flirted with important story parts. Others flung themselves right ahead in ways that I hadn't expected. As always, this post will contain spoilers for 2.4's story, so if you haven't already seen all of it yet, be warned. It will not, however, contain spoilers for the Final Coil in any meaningful way. So if you've held off from the spoilers already swirling about that, fear not. Some of you are quite possibly working on that now.

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Diablo was once considered for an MMO, but no longer

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Consoles, Miscellaneous, Diablo III

At this point it would be shocking enough to have Diablo mentioned consistently.  Again.
In many ways Diablo III seemed like the sort of game that would lead naturally into an MMO for the franchise. The online functionality is there, the options are there, and it's not as if Blizzard's big MMO didn't derive quite a bit from the framework of Diablo II, after all. But according to content designer Kevin Martens, there are no current plans to take the franchise into an MMO space, even though there were plans to do exactly that not too long ago.

The original thinking was that Diablo III would be the sort of game that could evolve its setting to a point where an MMO felt organic, natural, and appropriate. However, a shift in corporate culture and overall development focus cut those plans short before they went much further than discussion. Seeing how players enjoy Diablo III and what they like about the game has resulted in a shift in focus with more future content for the game... but no MMO exploration.

The end is coming to Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Expansions, Lore, News Items, Consoles, Subscription

And so the expansion we never expected to get ends around when it was expected.
All good things must come to an end. So it goes for Final Fantasy XI's most recent expansion, Seekers of Adoulin, which will be wrapping up its story in the version update going live next week. Players will be pitched into a final battle to determine the fate of the land, lest darkness overtake it... and it probably won't. These stories don't usually end with the heroes totally failing, after all. It'd be a downer back in Jeuno.

The rewards available for clearing the main scenario include a special coat and matching gloves as well as a dozen different rings that should prove quite useful for filling out any player's equipment sets. Tanking, dealing damage, using pets, and even crafting can be improved through use of these rings, giving players more than enough incentive to see the story through to the end. Along with finishing out the story as a whole, too, that's incentive.

Final Fantasy XIV opens up a free login weekend, Steam demo

Fantasy, Patches, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Promotions, Subscription

Iceheart sure gets some keen theme music.
Have you been taking a break from Final Fantasy XIV recently? Do you want to see what the game's most recent patch brings to the table before deciding to resubscribe or not? Then go ahead and log in over the weekend because everyone with a registered copy of the game will be eligible to log in and check out the game for free. It might not be enough time to check out everything in the patch, but it's enough time to see some of it, at least.

If you don't already have the game, you can play the free 14-day trial demo on Steam, where the game is on sale for $12 for the next week.

The free reactivation starts 3 a.m. EST on November 7th and runs until 3 a.m. EST on November 10th. This latest patch adds the new Rogue class, three new dungeons, a new battle against the primal Shiva, and several other quests and quality of life improvements. But you don't have to take our word for it; you can dive back in and give it a shot for yourself.

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