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Culture

The Daily Grind: What's your favorite "Oh %$#@" button?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

wildstar
I'm not the best under pressure in video game sometimes. When something really bad starts happening that I'm not prepared for, what I need the most -- and am always denied -- is the time to think it through. Whoops, I accidentally aggroed 25 hellbugs in RIFT when I only meant to grab three, and there's no place to run. What do I do?

Well, my friends, that's why devs give you the informally named "Oh %$#@" buttons. When the crap hits the fan and you need a little bit of breathing room to figure out how you're going to survive, these skills help by making you invulnerable, upping your dodge chance to 75%, completely refilling your health bar, or knocking all enemies away into the next time zone.

So what's your favorite "Oh %$#@" button? And how often does it get used?

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!

This EVE LEGO ship will rock you like a hurricane

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox

Imgur user Dinklebob has uploaded pics of his latest LEGO creation, an homage to EVE Online's Hurricane battlecruiser. The project is currently in-progress, according to Kotaku, and it even features a drone bay filled with cute widdle LEGO drones.

Gaile Gray returns to the community team for Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Culture, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Just another day in paradise.
If you played Guild Wars when it launched, you remember Gaile Gray. Heck, odds are you remember her if you've been at all active in the community for Guild Wars or Guild Wars 2 over the past decade; she's worn many community-facing hats over the years. She's donning a new one now, or perhaps more accurately re-donning an old favorite, as game support lead Michael Henniger recently took to the forums announcing that Gray has moved from customer support to the community team.

Community interactions were a large part of Gray's role when the original Guild Wars launched, and long-time fans in the thread are happy to see her making the move. If you had a sudden sweep of nostalgia, you're not alone.

World of Warcraft's next Lord of War is Kilrogg Deadeye

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Culture, Expansions, Lore, News Items, Subscription

WoW
Were you tired of the parade of Orcs in World of Warcraft's Lords of War video series? We're sorry to disappoint you once again. Today's Warlords of OrcnorDraenor lore video features Kilrogg Deadeye, the one-eyed chieftan of the Bleeding Hollow clan. This guy is so brutal that he tore out his own eye and ran headlong into his foretold doom. OK, maybe he's worthy of a video after all. Enjoy it below!

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The Daily Grind: Who gets your MMO accounts when you die?

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Legal, Miscellaneous

WoW
Last month, Delaware became the first US state to pass a broad law to ensure that families can access their deceased relatives' digital assets. In most states, though, your spouse can't even log into your Facebook account to delete it if you kick the bucket. And that makes me wonder about MMOs. It might be macabre, but I actually maintain a document that tells my survivors how to distribute my digital property, including my MMO accounts and characters, usually to guildies who will appreciate them and/or leave my characters dancing naked on a mailbox forever in tribute. Does anyone else do this? Do you have a plan for how to divvy up your MMO accounts and such when you die?

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 Think Tank: Surveiling ArcheAge's launch

Fantasy, Culture, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, Sandbox, The Think Tank

ArcheAge
Some of the Massively staff have been playing ArcheAge during its head start and launch week, and some haven't, but all of us have been watching to see how the first major sandbox launch in recent memory fares. For today's Think Tank, I polled the Massively writers about their impressions of the game whether they are playing it personally or examining the launch from an industry perspective.

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Watch the fourth EVE Online video in the Clarion Call series

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Opinion, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription

EVE
Back in 2009, player corporation Rooks and Kings produced an EVE Online video called Clarion Call: Triage Special, which went viral among space MMO enthusiasts and had a profound influence on PvP tactics in the game. Clarion Call 2 and 3 were released to similar acclaim, and now a fourth installment has arrived. The lushly illustrated, hour-long Clarion Call 4 narrates one perspective of modern EVE tactical history with footage and sound from individual pivotal battles. Don't worry if you're not an EVE aficionado; it's accessible even for a newbie. Just be warned that some of the language and terminology is graphic. Enjoy the video below.

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Like WildStar music? There's a concert for that

Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Miscellaneous, WildStar, Music

If you happen to be in Poland on September 26th, make sure to grab tickets for the GameOn multimedia show, the first part of which will feature selections from the scores of popular video games, including MMOs like WildStar.

Composer Jeff Kurtenacker blogged that he is "absolutely honored to announce that the GameOn concert in Krakow, Poland, will be premiering a new arrangement of Our Perception of Beauty (Drusera's Theme), which [he] composed for the MMO WildStar by Carbine Studios." According to Kurtenacker, this concert will mark "first time WildStar music will be played in a concert setting"; he also notes that flutist Sara Andon, spotlighted throughout the WildStar score, will again perform at the concert. Music from World of Warcraft, League of Legends, and other games will also be featured.

Kurtenacker spoke to Massively's resident Jukebox Hero last year about his work on WildStar. He has since released several exclusive and free music tracks for players.

The Goog wants to reintroduce you to its MMOARG Ingress

Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Culture, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, War, Mobile, Miscellaneous, Player-Generated Content

IngressRemember Ingress, the Google/Niantic Labs augmented reality pseudo-MMO that ensured my husband's old commute home took twice as long every day because he really had to swing over to the park to take it from the smurfs?

OK, maybe that's just my house.

Google has put Ingress in headlines again this week with a brand-new tutorial video meant to introduce newcomers to the strangely addicting game. "Ingress is a giant game of capture the flag where you play a video game but in real life," declares a montage of whom we are left to assume are players. "Ingress is like FourSquare meets Geocaching meets giant game of Risk, where the board is like the surface of the earth."

We've included the intro video below; the game is as always available for free on both the Apple and Android mobile stores. Go green team.

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The Daily Grind: How should studios handle server merges with open world housing?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Housing

archeage
We had an interesting question come up in the office the other day concerning all of the open world housing in ArcheAge. What if the game (perish the thought) shrunk in population and then faced server merges. How would the studio handle merging populations that had equal claims on housing plots?

It seems to be a recipe for disaster any way that you look at it. One solution would be to force everyone out of the pool, er, server and then make a completely new server for those populations to fight over. Another solution would be to award a housing plot to the character with the most seniority.

What do you think? How should studios handle server merges with open world housing?

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!

Global Chat: Blaugust triumphant

World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Humor, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, Elite: Dangerous

blaugust
Last month, Tales of the Aggronaut issued a community-wide challenge for MMO bloggers to commit to posting (at least) once a day for all 31 days. This challenge was called Blaugust, and it caused a tidal wave of additional posts, top 10 lists, and random cat pictures as writers struggled to keep up with the rate of output.

While not everyone who signed up succeeded in sticking out the entire month, it certainly injected some life into summer doldrums and got people talking. The 2014 Blaugust Wrap-up does a great job giving an overview of the challenge and a list of all of the blogs involved. If you're looking for outspoken opinions put forth at a prodigious rate, I'd suggest checking these out.

Speaking of outspoken opinions, we've also got plenty of them in the form of the most interesting posts from the past two weeks! Global Chat... away!

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Raptr shows MMOs and MOBAs dominating the top 20 in August

Culture, MMO Industry, Miscellaneous

raptr
Raptr's tracking of play choices among the service's gamers in August paints a picture of a wide love for MMOs and MOBAs. World of Warcraft holds a respectable #2 spot, followed by Final Fantasy XIV (#10), Warframe (#11), Guild Wars 2 (#12), Star Wars: The Old Republic (#14), and Firefall (#20). However, former Raptr #6 holder, WildStar, has dropped out of Raptr's top 20 entirely.

"With a late July release, Firefall made a 40-spot jump into the top 20 for August. Not too surprisingly, Firefall is converting more players from fellow F2P shooter Warframe than any other game, with Dota 2 coming in second," Raptr posted.

Other online titles fleshed out the list, such as League of Legends (#1), Dota 2 (#3), SMITE (#5), and World of Tanks (#13). Card battler Hearthstone is still hanging onto the top 10 at #8.

Farewell to Rusty Hearts

Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Sunsets

Rusty Hearts
Back in August, Perfect World Entertainment announced that it planned to shut down story-driven action MMO Rusty Hearts come mid-September, and that date has now come and gone. Last night was the game's final evening, and players gathered to say farewell without much fanfare from PWE, which has not yet updated the website or forums to indicate that the game is now closed.

One forum-goer was kind enough to provide screenshots of the game's last 10 minutes, which another poster said featured "more people than the average population of the servers these days."

Farewell to you, Rusty Hearts.

[Thanks, Fakepants.]

Hearthstone boasts 20 million registered players

Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Casual, Miscellaneous, Hearthstone

Ironically, this would be far better than Warcraft is doing lately.
Does it ever seem like there's an endless flow of players in Hearthstone? There's not. But there are quite a lot of players, with Blizzard Entertainment announcing today that the game has broken 20 million registered accounts. If those were all people with real cards, that would be... a lot of cards. Like, at least a dozen.

The game launched on the iPad in April and is aiming at an Android tablet release in the near future, as well as expanding to iOS/Android phones. Hearthstone will also have its first world championship at Blizzcon this year, with contestants fighting for a $250,000 prize pool.

[Source: Blizzard Entertainment press release]

Captain's Log Supplemental: A look at Star Trek Online's history with lead designer Al Rivera

Sci-Fi, Culture, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Captain's Log, Subscription

You can amost hear the cries for coffee now.
Star Trek Online is a game that's got some history, not just by virtue of the franchise that's been running for half of forever but because the game itself has a rather madcap development history. Cryptic Studios got the license to develop the game at the eleventh hour, and the caveat was that the game needed to be shipped in the same timeframe as the original developer had promised -- leaving almost no time for development.

I sat down and talked with lead designer Al Rivera about the game's history, its development ethos, and where the game is going with the upcoming release of the second expansion, Delta Rising. It's been a long process, but Rivera shed some light on how the game is designed by its modern team, why things launched the way they did, and what players can expect as the game continues toward its five-year anniversary.

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