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SOE bracing for 'enormous' Landmark update

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting, Landmark

So next week's Landmark update is big. Real big, according to SOE's Dave Georgeson. The patch includes "caves down to the world core," salvaging, crafting tweaks, transportation systems, monsters, new loot, and more.

Georgeson also cautions that SOE "fully expects this update to be problematic." He says that the firm will keep players updated via Twitter and that it will announce on Sunday whether or not the update will occur on Monday as currently planned.

Expect zero seizures from today's Black Desert features reel

Betas, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Crafting, Black Desert, Player-Generated Content, MMORPG

Black Desert
OK, so you don't like the spazzy shaky-cam and motion-blur of Black Desert's videos. Fortunately, you can turn it all off inside the game. Even more fortunately, there's more to the game than bouncing-off-the-walls, eye-spasm-y hack-'n'-slash, as today's video from Daum demonstrates. There's farming, fishing, boating, gathering, and other crafting skills, plus what looks like an elaborate minigame attached to harpooning sea critters. There's also an extended section on horse taming and associated mount activities like mounted combat. (The horses are gorgeous.)

The sandbox is slated to enter closed beta in South Korea on December 17th. The video's below!

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Firefall's getting a LFG window, better crafting

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Crafting, Firefall

Want to know what's coming in the next Firefall patch? Head to the sci-fi shooter's official website, then, and read all about it. Red 5 has apparently taken crafting feedback into account, as it's drastically reducing the high costs of participating and it's giving players the ability to choose prefixes on crafted items.

A new looking-for-squad window will also debut in the next patch, as will a large open-world boss battle, campaign reward tweaks, and more!

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Elder Scrolls Online walks you through crafting writs

Fantasy, Dev Diaries, Crafting, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Fun fact: Elder Scrolls Online's Update 5 is about a month old at this point and is now able to roll over and distinguish shapes. Among its treasure trove of new features was the introduction of crafting writs. However, in case you are a little confused or curious what these are and how to do them, ZeniMax has crafted (get it?) a new dev diary to walk you through the process.

To be able to take on writs, players will first need to become certified in a desired crafting profession by undertaking a related quest. Once completed, players can accept a task from a writ board to craft specific goods and turn them in for rewards. Each category of writ can only be fulfilled once a day, and completing them can even net you survey reports to point you toward a cluster of harvest nodes.

Shards Online has big plans for balancing crafting vs. loot

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Crafting, Crowdfunding

Shards Online
Yesterday, Citadel Studios released a video dev blog highlighting how crafting will work in its upcoming sandbox, Shards Online. Lead systems designer Bruce "Logrus" Bonnick explains that the team will balance looted and crafted items by making those items truly distinct. "Rather than make loot and crafting compete with each other, I prefer to kind of have them co-mingled," he says. Different properties will exist on gear depending on how it is acquired, thereby suiting different playstyles.

Massively's MJ explored the current build of the game with Citadel's Derek Brinkmann over the holiday weekend via livestream. Shards Online's second Kickstarter reached its $50,000 goal last week.

The crafting vlog is below.

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Norrathian Notebook: First impressions of EQII's Altar of Malice

Fantasy, Galleries, EverQuest II, Expansions, Opinion, Free-to-Play, First Impressions, Crafting, Norrathian Notebook

Norrathian Notebook:  First impressions of EQII's Altar of Malice
Although Altar of Malice has been available to All Access subscribers for two weeks, EverQuest II's 11th expansion just opened up to everyone on Tuesday. That makes this a great time to share my initial impressions of the new lands and new content. Mind you, these are literally only first impressions: I am not one to blow through the content at a break-neck speed just so I can consume it all in as little time as possible. That's relegated to pecan pie. MMOs aren't a race to me. I prefer to gradually savor the content, stretching it out so the experience lasts. I've actually also been holding myself back from doing too much so I can run through things with those who can finally join me now that the expansion is fully released. I will continue to poke though it at my pace while I continue my other endeavors (do you realize just how long it takes to decorate a house?!). As such, a full review of everything will have to come at a later date.

So what my thoughts as I amble amble my way through the land of the lost... er, jurassic park... I mean, Altar of Malice? EQII's dino-riffic expansion definitely has its highlights, like offering a heaping helping of nostalgia, but it has its disappointments as well. Here's my take.

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Ultima Online publish brings holiday gifts, veteran rewards

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Ultima Online, Sandbox, Crafting, Subscription, MMORPG

You might forgive 17-year-old Ultima Online for long stretches between patches, but fortunately, you don't have to. The antique sandbox's Halloween event is now over, being replaced yesterday with a new patch that ushers in the winter holiday event and its attendant gifts. This year, Santa's bringing us a fireplace, a plant grinder, a power scroll book, and "a steam powered beverage maker that can be used in conjunction with the cooking system to create new items listed in the 'Beverage' section of the cooking menu." Yum.

The update also includes a new monthly game hunting competition sponsored by the Skara Brae Ranger's Guild, with special hunter-themed rewards like a new title and weapon. PvPers can look forward to a new leaderboard to track PvP progress in the still-fresh vice-vs.-virtue PvP system, and long-term players will find new veteran rewards are available, including new statuettes for youngish accounts, an ethereal hell hound mount at the 15-year-mark, and a sewing machine and smithing press for sevenbies.

The Repopulation devs on the mission system and non-violent gameplay

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Interviews, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting, Housing, The Repopulation

Blogger Werit has an exclusive Q&A with Above and Beyond, the team behind upcoming sci-fi sandbox The Repopulation. In it, the developers discuss dynamic missions, which are intended to provide "purpose" to players who crave it rather than to serve as the core means of advancement through the sandbox. In fact, you don't have to do the missions at all to advance your skills, and they'll tailor themselves to your character's choices along the way. Tendencies toward greed, shadiness, and crafting, for example, will all be reflected in mission offerings. "There are taming missions, underworld (thievery/assassination/smuggling) missions, crafting and harvesting missions, etc.," say the devs.

As for non-violent gameplay, there's plenty of it:
Our game and its economy are heavily trade skill oriented. Our crafting system is very complex and has a high degree of customization. Moreover crafted equipment is the top of the line. If you never wanted to pick up a gun, it's completely possible for you to just go out and harvest, or buy resources from other players and then do your crafting. I think most players will also do a little fighting, if for no other reason than mobs will jump you while your out harvesting.

But crafting advancement is not coupled in any way with combat advancement. There are other non-combat skills, as well. Things like the entertainment line which provides long-term buffs for players. Taming mobs to be trained as mounts and sold to other players. Diplomatic skills. Different players enjoy doing different types of things. And we've tried to cater to many playing styles, rather than forcing players down a combat oriented path.
Check out the full interview at Werit's Blog.

Get ready to grow: Albion online adds farming

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting

If you are all thumbs at PvP but have a green thumb in real life, Albion Online has the calling for you: farmer. The upcoming sandbox is adding an agriculture system for players to engage in when not out braving the dangers of the world. On top of a relaxing alternative to combat, farming will provide buffs via foodstuffs and potions made from the bounty of the land.

The system is an involved one. Players can grow crops on farms and/or raise livestock on pastures. The farmed produce and grains can then be processed via mills and cooking pots into consumables or fed to the cattle, goats, chickens and more (which in turn produce consumables like eggs, milk, and meat). So grab your overalls and get ready to share some cakes, kabobs, pies, and potions with hungry friends and customers.

[Source: Sandbox Interactive press release]

The Stream Team: Acquiring ArcheAge crafting mats is an adventure!

Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, Crafting, The Stream Team

After a lot of work saving (and then unexpectedly having to build a farm cart), Massively's MJ is just about ready to build her farm wagon in ArcheAge. She only needs a couple more ingredients -- and both require venturing into hostile lands. It's definitely worth the risk; a wagon can start quite literally hauling in the moolah. Will she survive long enough to procure her goods and finish her favorite vehicle? Join us live at 3:00 p.m. to see!

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, November 14th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Lost Continent: This is how you go off the rails in ArcheAge

Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, PvE, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Crafting, Lost Continent

Are you an ArcheAge tire-kicker who's wondering how to go "off the rails" and trade the game's questpark level grind for some of that downhome sandbox flavor? I'm here to tell you that it's as easy as deciding that you really want to do it.

There's no magic button or pre-scripted path, though, because the game is sorta sandboxy.

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The Daily Grind: Which style of crafting do you prefer?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Crafting

I enjoy crafting in ArcheAge, but XL's fantasy sandpark leaves a little to be desired when it comes to the actual item-making process. Like many MMOs, AA opts for a basic collect-subcomponents-and-press-the-button approach to crafting, whereas older titles like Final Fantasy XIV, EverQuest 2, and Vanguard gave crafters an actual crafting process with options that affected the quality of the finished product.

Assuming you're an MMO crafter, which style do you prefer?

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!

EVE video dev diary talks Phoebe features

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting

CCP has published a new dev diary video focused on EVE Online's upcoming Phoebe release. The clip runs for nearly seven minutes and features a who's who of current EVE devs talking about various bits and pieces scheduled to hit Tranquility on November 14th.

Phoebe features nullsec travel tweaks, an unlimited skill queue, a revamped invention system, mission objective guidance, and more. Click past the cut to watch the dev diary!

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Lost Continent: Living a fisherman's life in ArcheAge

Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Guides, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Crafting, Lost Continent

Fifteen years ago, I was floundering around southern Florida in a rudderless post-graduation haze. I rented this dinky apartment across US1 from the University of Miami, and my summers were equally divided between a series of forgettable jobs and a series of lengthy fishing excursions around the Keys and out into the Atlantic.

The fishing was basically something to do; I didn't dislike it, but neither did I wake up thinking wow, I can't wait to get that gooey chum all over my shorts and bake in the sun for 10 hours.

Now, in an odd but enjoyable art-imitating-life moment, I'm revisiting the experience in ArcheAge.

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EVE's Phoebe introducing simultaneous multiple market sell orders

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting

EVE Online's Phoebe release draws near, and as we approach the November 4th launch date, CCP is publishing all manner of dev blogs designed to apprise players of the patch's additions. The latest blurb concerns item-selling, and more specifically the long-awaited ability to create multiple market sell orders simultaneously.

If you're an EVE trader you'll probably want to skim the details, and you can find them via the links below.

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Make My MMO: December 14 - 20, 2014

Posted on Dec 20th 2014 7:00PM





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