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Destiny knows you want a looking-for-raid tool

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Endgame, PvE, Consoles, Community Q&A, Dungeons, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

In Destiny's latest letter to the playerbase, Bungie Community Manager Deej says that a looking-for-raid tool might be on the table. "You've been heard," he tells a player asking for raid matchmaking. "We're having conversations about how Matchmaking might support the more challenging activities in Destiny." He suggests that PUGs for dungeons thought mostly un-PUGgable are already happening.
You don't need to sell us too hard on the value of Matchmaking at Bungie. It's something we helped to pioneer. Yet, we understand its limitations. In the recipe of a Bungie game, Matchmaking has always contributed the ingredient of a team built to play one match of competitive multiplayer. As you've probably witnessed in recent weeks (or years), many of those fresh allies have failed to go the distance together.

The Raid was designed for solid teams of killers who have made a commitment to solve a dense and explosive riddle. Most of the raiding parties who have emerged victorious from the Vault of Glass have sworn that one weak link would have doomed their chain. There have been other stories, of course. We've heard tell of Guardians who met each other just outside the door that leads into that vault. Strange tales have reached our ears - tales of total strangers who have banded together to see the Raid all the way through to a triumphant finale.
After announcing that he wouldn't be fielding queries about rumors, Deej also addressed the companion app, factions, feedback, and class balance. "The next batch of enhancements, refinements, fixes, and tweaks," he says, will be released "very soon."

Guild leaders converge for The Elder Scrolls Online's first guild summit

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Previews, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

We've brought our most dedicated fans here in what is sure to not have any sort of echo chamber effect.
If you weren't invited to The Elder Scrolls Online's current guild summit... well, don't feel bad; only the leaders of 20 guilds and online communities were invited. But it's still kind of nail-biting. What could they be talking about in there? What strange and arcane topics will be brought up? Will special items be handed out? Are there designer cheeses available? Lucky for you, though, the folks at the Tamriel Foundry have taken the time to transcribe what's going down in Maryland so that even those not at the summit can get a sense for what's happening.

The first day of the summit covered combat responsiveness, system design, AvA mechanics, and the Champion system. This means both detailed examinations of where the game is currently lacking and what's coming in the future; the Champion system and the rework of the veteran experience is slated for "when it's done" rather than a specific date. So sit back and take a look at all of the hard details on display, possibly whilst eating some designer cheese of your own.

The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV and the housing mess, part 2

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Housing, Subscription

Because I really enjoy writing this sort of column again.  Thanks, guy.
Wait, part 2? When was part 1 a thing? January, my friends. And while I had prayed for sun, I planned for rain, and that turned out to be a wise move. What happened in the end was unpleasant but entirely unsurprising, as Final Fantasy XIV's second implementation of housing went little better than the first.

In the interests of full disclosure, yes, I am one of the vanishingly small number of people with an in-game house at the moment. I work at home and happened to have both the money and the time to grab myself a place to live in-game. That doesn't mean the system is anything remotely approaching good or even acceptable, which is why I want to spend this week talking about the mess that has been made and what, if anything, can be done to correct this fact. Housing in Final Fantasy XIV is a sore spot right now, and that's a problem, especially when it doesn't have to be.

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The Crew's console closed beta launches tomorrow

Betas, Real-Life, News Items, Consoles, Miscellaneous

The Crew
Console closed beta arrives tomorrow for racing MMO The Crew, a tweet from Ubisoft has announced. PS4 and Xbox One players can sign up on the official site to secure a spot in the test. Sorry, Wii U and PS3 stalwarts; the game won't be ported for you.

The game's second beta began on PC back in August. It's slated to launch on November 11th.

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Defiance prepares its Aftermath update

Sci-Fi, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, Post-Apocalyptic, Defiance, Buy-to-Play

Just once, it'd be nice to deal with the antemath, you know?
Now that it's a certainty that Defiance's tie-in television series will be getting another season, are you eager to jump back into shooting things in the Silicon Valley? The Aftermath update is coming, and it will bring with it plenty of new things to shoot. Seven new missions will be added to the game, bringing players from Silicon Valley to Paradise and back; a confrontation with the Pilgrims of the Guiding Light and an attempt to start a war between the Earth Republic and the Votanis Collective both await players taking on the update.

New enemies, new pursuits, and new contracts will help to round out the patch, giving players new things to fight along with new reasons to take part in the battle. There are also several planned quality-of-life improvements, including mission replay and improved co-op balancing for the season 2 maps. No release date has yet been announced, but it sounds as if players will have plenty to do when the aftermath hits.

The Elder Scrolls Online asks players for a tale of the dead

Fantasy, Lore, News Items, Consoles, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

And I bet someone's wondering why he doesn't write any more.
Aw, jeez. That can't have been happy. There's a story behind that picture, you just know it; people don't just grow spears while sitting down with some wine and cheese. And what is that story, you ask? Well, that's up to you! The Elder Scrolls Online is challenging players to construct yet another tale of the dead, a 500-word story in any format outlining how the unnamed skeleton in this screenshot wound up in this unfortunate predicament.

Players who'd like to participate need only post their entry to the official contest thread before 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 26th. The three winners will each receive a $25 electronic gift certificate to the Bethesda store as well as a free t-shirt. If that sounds good to you and you think you can tell a convincing story about this guy, it's time to crack your knuckles and get writing.

Final Fantasy XIV shows off footage from the Tokyo Game Show

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Classes, Patches, Previews, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

The snow glows white on the mount tonight, not a footprint to be seen.  A kingdom of isolation, and it looks like we're going to be hearing Frozen references for the next several months.
Final Fantasy XIV players were treated to a preview of the game's next major patch over the weekend as the Tokyo Game Show wrapped up. Producer and director Naoki Yoshida showed off the first trailer for the patch as well as a quick preview of the new dungeons, the upcoming Rogue and Ninja, and the arena where players will face off against Shiva. While all of the videos are in Japanese, most of them have very little narration, making them just as accessible if you don't speak the language.

The trailer is embedded past the cut, but it's only one of the four videos. Shiva's arena features a central dais and a lower area connected by staircases, implying that players can be knocked off or may even choose to jump off at certain times. Sunken Temple of Qarn and Sastasha are receiving the hard mode makeovers for the patch, while Snowcloak takes the role of the new dungeon. A few more tidbits are also revealed by the Rogue/Ninja video, including a sneak peek at the class's stealth mechanics. Jump past the break for the trailer to get a taste of what's coming.

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E-thugs target Destiny with DDoS attacks

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Destiny

This seems like the exact opposite of worthwhile discourse on the quality of a game.
Destiny has been made the target of a round of DDoS attacks, coming from the same group that previously took credit for executing a similar attack against Sony Online Entertainment and a bomb threat on John Smedley's plane (among other harassment). Players were told that the game was facing issues with logging in and matchmaking across the board, but Bungie declined to elaborate further at the time; the tweet on the matter has since been deleted. Our sister site Joystiq reports that the servers are up again.

Hacker group Lizard Squad has taken credit for taking parts of the game offline, an attack which also affected Call of Duty: Ghosts. Congratulations are in order for Destiny, since nothing says you've arrived like people taking down your servers as part of a petty show of power.

The Elder Scrolls Online pushes players to Upper Craglorn in Update 4

Fantasy, Patches, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

I'll up YOUR Craglorn!  I... no, wait, please don't draw your weapons, adventurers.  I'm... I'm so lonely.  I don't know what I'm saying any more.  My life just hurts, and every time I think it's not going to hurt any more it keeps going.  I walled myself away so I could live better, but all it did was make me long for contact I don't know how to have.  I just want friends.  All I need is for you to hear me out, and maybe we - oh.  Okay, you can stab me.  Maybe it's better this way.
You've been to Craglorn? Pff, that's boring now. Upper Craglorn is where the real action is these days. And by complete coincidence, Upper Craglorn is now open on The Elder Scrolls Online's servers, as the game's fourth major update has just dropped. The zone will wrap up the Celestial storyline as your character takes on the Scaled Court. That also ties into the new trial, Sanctum Ophidia, which is a direct strike against the heart of the Court; players will take on the minions and end up fighting the Celestial Serpent.

The new Dragonstar Arena also debuts with this patch, asking players to fight against waves of oncoming enemies. Plus there's a new crafting trait available, improved grouping mechanics, various bugfixes, the usual assortment. So if you can't wait to go knife up a really important snake and check out the places that all the hip new kids are heading for, go check out the update.

Destiny unlocks its first raid and goes on sale

Sci-Fi, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Promotions, Dungeons, Destiny

Reacting to tepid launch reviews with a raid may not be the selling point the developers are hoping for?
Destiny hasn't been out for every long now, but if you've been power-leveling along, you might very well be level 26 or above. And that's a good thing if you want to take on the game's first raid, which has just been unlocked for players. The Vault of Glass can now be entered, with hardcore enthusiasts already rushing to be the first one to clear its challenges. As with all of Destiny's raid content, a fire team must be assembled out of members of your friend list, as there is no matchmaking option for Vault of Glass.

Haven't yet picked up the game? Well, you can do so now at a discount; despite the short amount of time Destiny has been out, retailer BrandsMart is reportedly offering the game for $30, which larger retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart may or may not price match. (Reports are conflicting.) While you likely won't be ready for the Vault of Glass if you take the offer, you will be able to get in on the ground floor a fair bit cheaper, so it's still a win.

Kotaku argues that as of this morning, Destiny has "resoundingly mediocre review scores" with "76.29% on GameRankings and a 77 on Metacritic." Our sister site Joystiq reviewed the game this morning, giving it four out of five stars.

Final Fantasy XIV introduces personal housing (badly) with patch 2.38

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

WHO CAME UP WITH THIS SERVER ARCHITECTURE AND WHY CAN I NOT DO THIS YET?
After more than half a year of waiting, Final Fantasy XIV players can finally purchase houses of their own. Provided, of course, that they have an exceptional amount of disposable gil and were on the servers early. Patch 2.38 introduces the option of purchasing land in the housing wards as an individual, but with prices starting at 4 million on the most populated servers for the smallest plot and with only two new wards introduced, many players who had been hopeful for a new house will find their hopes quickly dashed.

Producer Naoki Yoshida took to the forums to apologize for the land shortage, promising that more wards will be introduced with or following the launch of patch 2.4, which should double the amount of available land. While the prices are equal for both personal and free company houses (being built on the same plots), these prices are significantly lower than those when housing was first introduced, even after adjustments to Legacy worlds. The update also contains other features, including new emotes, new Relic Weapon quests, and update loot in Syrcus Tower and the Second Turn of the Binding Coil.

Not So Massively: Hellgate's return, HEX's beta, and Elite's pricing

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, Not So Massively, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play, HEX, Hearthstone

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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The Mog Log: On the twilight of Final Fantasy XIV's story

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

I want to talk about the screaming, because by rights it's probably coming, but I just don't know it yet.
As I write this, we don't yet have the patch notes for Final Fantasy XIV 2.38. Supposedly this is when we're getting personal housing, and people are abuzz with speculation about how that will be rolled out, what will work, what will be broken, and so forth. Alas, I can't yet address any of it -- not prices, not availability, not any of that. It's all just guesswork until the powers that be let us know what's going on, which will likely be in the evening after you read this.

My guess is that there's going to be something to make people angry, but there usually is.

So since I've nothing to offer regarding Final Fantasy XIV's mini-update other than speculation, it's best to turn to something that can be much more clearly seen. We're not at the end of the 2.0 update cycle just yet, but it seems pretty obvious that we're on the back nine, so to speak. So where are we going from here? What awaits? And what does all this mean from a storyline perspective? (If you'd like to avoid any potential spoilers, do look away now.)

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The Think Tank: Consoles and the future of MMOs

Business Models, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Consoles, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank, Destiny

Destiny might not be a pure MMO, but its huge launch on the fringes of the MMO space this week has prompted us to ponder whether the future of core MMOs lies in the console market. In this week's Think Tank, I polled the Massively writers about just that.

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Final Fantasy XI welcomes back old players with a free week

Fantasy, Video, Final Fantasy XI, News Items, Consoles, Promotions, Subscription

When Shantotto is the face of public relations, the subscriber slide has a clear explanation.
If you once walked the fields of Vana'diel in Final Fantasy XI but haven't been back in some time, you've missed a lot of updates. The game's run for 13 years now, after all; whenever you stopped playing, it's likely a lot of new content awaits you. And if you've got the hankering to check back in and see if it's how you remember, you can do so for a week. Completely free.

Until September 17th, former players can log in for free and explore all of the content available in the game. Players will need to transfer their old PlayOnline IDs to Square-Enix IDs if they have not done so already. A promotional video has also been released, detailing some of the changes made to the game for its current incarnation. So if you've got a hankering to step back into the world of Vana'diel, now might be the time to do so.

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Make My MMO: October 12 - 18, 2014

Posted on Oct 18th 2014 3:00PM

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