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Path of Exile announces Child's Play charity event

Fantasy, Contests, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

Path of Exile
Grinding Gear Games has announced a brand new two-week race event for Path of Exile that involves prizes and a special in-game item that will benefit the Child's Play charities.

The new helmet skin, called the Angelic Mask, costs $5 and will be available only during the two-week event. The race itself is described as an ambush/invasion featuring prizes that include in-game items, NVIDIA graphics cards, signed art prints, and much more.

Check out the full press release after the cut for more details.

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RIFT concept art contest tainted by copycat design [Updated with Trion's investigation]

Fantasy, Contests, Free-to-Play, RIFT

Swords
The winners of RIFT's Concept Weapons and Cloaks contest were announced this weekend with prizes going out to the best designs in the Swords, Staves, and Cloaks categories. But one particular sword entry (the second place winner) caught the keen eye of a few RIFT fans.

As it turns out, the impressive golden sword that won second place is actually copied from Deviant Art user Wen-M, who uploaded the original version in 2004. "LOL, thanks," Wen-M said when a fan congratulated him on his entry. "Unfortunately I did not enter, someone lacking honesty used my work without permission. some friends informed me about it. XD ah...people."

You can read more on the other contest entries on the official forum thread.

[Thanks to all who sent this in!]

Update: Trion has responded with an explanation of its investigation of the accusations. In an email to Massively, the studio wrote, "Thanks to our users we were able to verify that this image was indeed appropriated from another artist. We of course disqualified the entry, and did a more thorough search to make sure that no other entries were also inappropriately submitted. We've reached out to the artist (who does absolutely amazing work, and is definitely worth checking out) both publicly and privately apologizing for this use of his art. We've adjusted the list of winners (viewable here), and congratulate all of the incredibly talented folks who participated in this contest." Congratulations to all of the legitimate winners!

Landmark reduces teleport costs and brags about player creativity

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Contests, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Landmark

Landmark
Getting around quickly in Landmark is now a lot cheaper, as Director of Development Dave Georgeson tweeted that teleport casts have been reduced. Returning to home or the hub costs only one shard and triggers a 10-minute cooldown, while jumping from the gallery to a particular claim is free with no cooldown.

SOE also posted a video today showing off some of the most creative efforts from the playerbase and encouraging fans to try their hands at the "Landmarks of Landmark" contest. You can check out the video after the jump!

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SOE updates Landmark, pushes back international Player Studio rollout

Betas, Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Contests, Economy, Patches, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Landmark

Landmark
It was the best of times for SOE and it was the worst of times. It was the season of glorious patches and of disappointing delays. It was also May 1st, in case you haven't checked your calendar.

SOE delivered an update to Landmark's beta today, including claim feedback, chat improvements, new props, and the ability to teleport to other claims from the gallery view. The studio also launched its first competition, this one to create visually stunning landmarks for the game's environment. The competition will conclude on May 7th.

Unfortunately, international players of SOE's library looking to partake in Player Studio goodness will have to wait a while longer: "Initially, we hoped to expand Player Studio to Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom on or before May 1st, but given the intricacy of the program and our recent launch of the new All Access Membership plan, we have decided to roll out international support for Player Studio at the end of May."

Richard Garriott holds contest to recreate his first teletype RPG

Fantasy, Contests, Events (Real-World), Crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar

This pic never gets old
Before Tabula Rasa and even before the Ultima games, Richard Garriott made a teletype game he called D&D #1. A high school student at the time, Garriott built the RPG after his astronaut dad told him he'd split the cost of an Apple II as incentive. D&D #1 eventually branched out into 27 more versions of the game, with D&D #28 being rewritten as Akalabeth, his famous first money-maker sold in plastic Ziploc bags.

But now Garriott wants fans of his work to play that first D&D #1 game once again. No, not on a teletype machine, but from within his upcoming Shroud of the Avatar MMORPG.

Starting today, a new contest will reward the best version made on Unity and the best version made as a plug-in browser port. Winners will receive the Citizen-level Kickstarter pledge reward ($550 value) and both runners-up will receive the Collector's level pleadge reward ($165 value).

If this sounds like something up your programming alley, snatch up the original code for the game at Shroud of the Avatar's official site.

Trove empowers community to pitch biomes and classes

Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Contests, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Music, Trove

Trove
Trion Worlds is empowering the Trove community even further by inviting players to pitch ideas for a new biome and class to be added to the game.

A Reddit thread has the details of how this process will unfold. Players will begin by brainstorming ideas for biomes, and after some time, the dev team will pick the best (and top-voted) submissions and allow players to vote on the very best one. Following that, the team will poll players for decorations, dungeon designs, and enemy ideas, and then get the biome into the game within the month. There are also plans for a similar pitching-and-voting process afterward in regard to a new class.

On a phone call, Trion told Massively that it's looking to push the crowdsourcing aspect further and further as time goes on. The team is incredibly impressed with what the community has created so far with weapons, hairstyles, dungeons, and hats, and it can't wait to see what comes from this experiment.

One thing that the team revealed is the upcoming addition of music blocks: Physical objects that make notes (and even chords) when walked on. We asked if Trion was looking to crowdsource the soundtrack for the game as well, and while the devs said that no players had yet stepped forward, they promised that if some did with great tunes, those would definitely be included into the game proper.

World of Tanks crowns new e-sports world champion

Contests, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), War, Free-to-Play, World of Tanks, MOBA

WoT
In the ultimate showdown between hulking metal death machines, World of Tanks has crowned one victorous team that emerged triumphant over the battlefield.

Wargaming announced today that team Na'Vi won the world championship in the grand finals of its e-sports league. The new champions will take home $110,000 in prize money, with the runner-ups Virtus.Pro and The RED Rush: Unity receiving $100,000 and $40,000, respectively.

The Wargaming.net League World Championship took place in Warsaw, Poland, as 14 teams battled over three days for the top spot. According to the studio, "millions" tuned in to watch the grand finals on Twitch.

[Source: Wargaming press release]

The Massively April Fools' Day Quest [We have a winner!]

Contests, Events (Real-World), Humor, Miscellaneous

No secrets in the alt text here either, sorry!
As a citizen of the internet, you know what to expect on April Fools' Day: lots of sites trying to trick you into believing outrageous lies or attempting to make you laugh. As Massively is a paragon of both truth and humorlessness in journalism, we promise to do neither today.

Instead, we challenge you to a quest: a Massively April Fools' Day Quest. We have created a super-secret page here on the site that can be discovered only by finding five special words. So your task is to play scavenger hunt with our posts today -- specifically, to look at the tags at the bottom of each post that goes out during the day and find five separate tags (total) that clearly do not belong with the rest. All posts published today are eligible!

Once you find these five words, you'll use them to assemble the url, starting with "massively.joystiq.com/" and then adding the five words separated by hyphens. For example, if the five words were apple, banana, pear, mango, kiwi, you could try "massively.joystiq.com/apple-banana-pear-mango-kiwi" to see if that worked. Yes, part of the challenge of the quest is to experiment with the order of the words because there is only one path to the solution.

If you complete the quest, please be a good sport and keep the answer to yourself. The first person to figure out the solution and leave us a tip with the correct answer in it will have his or her name added to this post and will forevermore be internet famous. Good luck!

[Update: We have a winner! Reader Nathan was the very first person to submit the correct URL, followed by Greaterdivinity just a few minutes later. Congrats to both of you! Here's the "prize page" with the words in order -- don't look if you're still working on the puzzle.]

Watch Star Citizen teams design the next great starship

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, Contests, Sandbox, Star Citizen

Star Citizen
Star Citizen's Next Great Starship contest is down to 16 teams battling it out to get their designs into the upcoming space sim. Cloud Imperium has released the fifth episode of the contest in which the judges and participants talk about the various concept art that has been submitted. If you've got an hour and a desire to see some of the possibilities for the game's starships, hit the jump and give it a watch!

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EVE Online's second New Eden Open starts this weekend

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Contests, PvP, Sandbox, Subscription

EVE Online
EVE Online's second New Eden Open begins tomorrow, March 1st, and will continue until a team takes the top prize on March 16th.

Thirty-two teams will be facing off during the double-elimination tournament for a shot at part of the $25,000 and 700 PLEX prize pool. Each of the first three weekends in March will feature several 8v8 deathmatches that will be streamed live with commentary from the developers.

Out of the 32 teams, 28 secured their place by silent auction, three got in by a random drawing, and one is returning to defend its title.

The Daily Grind: Do you enter MMO design contests?

Contests, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind

Star Citizen Next Great Starship logo
The Star Citizen community is in the midst of coming up with some pretty amazing designs for the game's Next Great Starship contest.

Cloud Imperium's space sim isn't the first MMO to offer players a chance to get their creations in game, though. EVE Online has hosted a similar contest in the past, and SOE is of course collecting a ton of community-made assets both in Landmark and via its Player Studio initiative, so it's clear that content crowdsourcing is here to stay in one form or another.

What's less clear is how the community feels about it, and how many members of said community participate in it. Fortunately we have The Daily Grind, in all its completely unofficial and unscientific polling glory. What say you, Massively readers? Do you enter MMO design contests? Have you ever won?

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!

SOE opens 2014 G.I.R.L. scholarship submissions

Contests, Culture, MMO Industry, Miscellaneous

SOE
SOE has begun its 7th Gamers in Real Life Game Design Competition, inviting aspiring game developers to apply for a possible $10,000 college scholarship and a 10-week job as a paid intern at the studio.

To apply, you'll need to be enrolled in an undergraduate program that has something to do with video games, have a 3.00 GPA or higher, be 18 or older, and be a legal resident of one of the 50 United States or District of Columbia. The application includes concept artwork, captions, and an essay. Interested participants need to submit their application by March 19th.

We interviewed the 2013 winner, Esther Wu, last October about her experience with the competition, which is worth a read if you're interested in participating.

Star Citizen's starship design competition down to 24 teams

Sci-Fi, Contests, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Star Citizen's Next Great Starship
Star Citizen's Next Great Starship competition is getting serious. A total of 270 teams from 65 different countries entered the event with hopes of seeing their spaceship design realized inside of Chris Roberts' upcoming space sim sandbox.

The judges have eliminated all but 24 teams, with the next round of cuts scheduled for January 31st. You can watch some of the judging via the Roberts Space Industries YouTube channel at 6:00 p.m. EST on the 31st.

"The quality of the entries has been amazing," said Roberts via press release. "And we had quite a variety of entrants including a husband-and-wife team, a father-and-son team, several high school level teams, automotive designers, bartenders, DJs, filmmakers, and of course several professionals from the gaming industry."

[Source: Cloud Imperium Games press release]

Not So Massively: LoL downed by DDoS attack, Star Citizen hits $36 million

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Business Models, Contests, Culture, Events (In-Game), Patches, Endgame, News Items, Free-to-Play, Legal, Dev Diaries, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Path of Exile

Not So Massively title image
Livestreamer James Varga became the target of a vicious online attack this week that started with the League of Legends servers being shut down by a DDoS attack. A group calling itself "Derp" claimed responsibility for the attack, which ended with a hoax 911 call that sent armed police to Varga's home address. The Dota 2 servers also came under attack, but Valve extended its holiday event by a few days to give players a final chance to grind up some Phantom Fragments.

Path of Exile celebrated the new year by releasing some interesting stats on the game's performance in 2013 and launching a special week-long ladder event with the properties of both the Domination and Nemesis game modes. Despite speculation to the contrary, Blizzard confirmed this week that Diablo III players will not be getting a seventh skill slot. And Star Citizen has hit its $36 million stretch goal, unlocking a new solar system named Tamsa that's collapsed into a black hole.

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Massively Giveaway: Inferno Legend VIP bundle

Betas, Fantasy, Contests, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Giveaways, Miscellaneous

Inferno Legend
If you ever wanted to play the bad guys in Diablo instead of the good guys, then Gamebox's Inferno Legend might just be for you. The isometric, turn-based action-MMO launched its open beta yesterday and allows gamers to play as everything from evil faeries to samurai because why not?

So let's get some free stuff to go with our evil faeries. Gamebox has given Massively a slew of VIP keys for a bundle of free items in Inferno legend, including 150 Diamonds, 20,000 Gold, 200 Power of Faith, 200 Power of Lineage, 100 Wickedness (*wink*), and an exclusive pair of shoes called Pilgrim's Trail, which when equipped increase the character's speed based on his or her level. The bundle also includes beta access.

To apply your key to your account, login to your Gamebox account or create a new one, click "code," input your gift code, and then click "claim."

This is a worldwide giveaway open to everyone everywhere (yay!). The keys are set to work right now and will last until we run out. Enjoy!

GET YOUR KEY

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