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One Shots: Because who wouldn't want a 12-story-tall killing machine?

Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, RIFT, Vindictus, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar

What does this sight make you think of? Voltron? Pacific Rim? A convenient excuse to wet yourself in front of your fellow soldiers? Thank goodness it's not fully online and operational, or else we'd be facing down a mechanical killing machine that would take a million-person raid to bring down.

"I call this one 'You're Gonna Need a Bigger Bot'," reader Bunglerm00se submitted. "Yes, that is a several-stories-high killer robot, and no, this one doesn't have that cute boy from Sons of Anarchy calling the shots in its brainpan. I was already pre-disposed to liking WildStar, but this is one of the visuals that sealed the deal."

Wait... am I the only one who piddled in my bloomers? C'mon, guys, I thought we were in this together!

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The Daily Grind: How many button presses should it take to kill a mob?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

MJ and I were talking while playing The Secret World the other day about the game's legendary fight length. Well, at least I consider fights in this MMO as taking longer than normal. I told her that generally if a standard, level-even mob isn't dead by a rotation-and-a-half of my skills, or about eight button presses, then it begins to irk me.

Now it definitely depends on the mob strength and situation, but I don't want to be pounding 30 keys and sitting there for two minutes before a critter drops. However, saying that got me wondering what you all consider as a normal, acceptable number of button presses (or skills used) per fight. What do you think?

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!

WoW's final Lords of War video is not about an Orc

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

The fifth and final entry in World of Warcraft's Lords of War video series has arrived, and if you're tired of Orclords of Orcnor, then rejoice because this one is about a Draenei: Vindicator Maraad, the narrator of the series. On the downside, Maraad's backstory is still mostly about Orcs; he's Garona Halforcen's uncle, for example. On the upside, his backstory also involves a lot of killing of Orcs. So there's that.

The full video is below.

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Museum hopes to resurrect Habitat, 'world's first MMO'

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

So here's a bizarre little piece of MMO news for your Friday morning: This weekend, with the help of Kixeye and Fujitsu, a volunteer-driven, public museum in Oakland, California, hopes to relaunch an antique Lucasfilm game called Habitat, which it's calling the world's first massively multiplayer online game (that part is probably debatable, but let's hear them out).
"The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (The MADE) will be spending Sunday, September 28th, attempting to resurrect the world's first massively multiplayer online game, Habitat. The project seeks to relaunch the Habitat server on original Stratus Technologies hardware from 1989, and to allow users on the Internet to connect to the game server for free using a Commodore 64 emulator. The MADE is the first videogame museum to attempt such a relaunch. In fact, there has never been an attempt to relaunch a 28 year old, dead MMO before, primarily because MMO's are mostly a phenomenon that has existed only over the last 15 years."
According to Wikipedia's curators, Habitat was created in 1985 as the "first attempt at a large-scale commercial virtual community that was graphically based" and is "considered a forerunner of the modern MMORPGs." MADE even claims the game invented the term "Avatar" for use in online games. The 1989-era server hardware it'll run on can today support 10,000 users, says the museum.

Massively's very own Game Archaeologist, Justin Olivetti, investigated Habitat's history in a two-part series in 2012.
The Game Archaeologist moves into Lucasfilm's Habitat: Part 1
The Game Archaeologist moves into Lucasfilm's Habitat: Part 2

The Daily Grind: Do you follow MMOs because of their designers?

Business Models, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

An interesting Kill Ten Rats article a few weeks ago pondered the idea that gamers purchase games because those games are "by the makers of" some other game -- to their doom. Much ado, for example, was made over WildStar's dev team because of its members' work on World of Warcraft, and names like Jake Song, Brad McQuaid, and Mark Jacobs carry a lot of weight when attached to a new MMO title. Yet star power doesn't necessarily make for a good or successful game, especially if that famous designer wasn't directly responsible for whatever it was that made an old game great. Akaneiro is still a mess with or without American McGee's tag.

What about you? Do you buy MMOs based on the past work of individual developers?

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: Remembering our first MMOs

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Hands-On, First Impressions, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

This week, my very first MMO, Ultima Online, turns 17 years old in what can only be an intentional effort to make classic MMO gamers feel very, very old indeed. I've been thinking a lot about the game and returned to it recently to scope it out, so for today's Think Tank, I polled the Massively writers about their own "first MMOs," their first memories of the genre, and whether their firsts have survived the test of time.

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Global Agenda 2's closed beta expected 'before the end of the year if all goes well'

Betas, Sci-Fi, Classes, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, MMOFPS, Global Agenda

When last we heard about Global Agenda 2, we learned the promised sequel to 2010's Global Agenda was in line behind profitable MOBA SMITE for attention, and that announcement was made while its developers were admitting Tribes: Ascend was unlikely to ever get more love. But Hi-Rez Studios CEO Erez Goren broke radio silence on GA2 with a slew of spoilers on Reddit yesterday (apparently before he was shadowbanned for "vote manipulation" by angry Tribes players). The highlights?
  • It is in fact a "spiritual" successor to GA.
  • It'll have objective-based, 5v5 PvP with stats leveling during matches. E-sports will be supported, as will spectator mode.
  • Viewpoint is first- and third-person. "Shooting is from first person mostly."
  • There are "no strict classes." There is "no dedicated healer class." You just "select the way you want to play and join the queue."
  • A "dome city area" might serve as a gathering point for players.
  • He rattles off a whole list of weapons and off-hand items.
Clever Redditors surmise that the game might actually be named Global Assault. Closed beta is expected "before the end of the year if all goes well."

[With many thanks to Sorenthaz for the great tip!]

Guild Wars 2 promotes its World Tournament Series Championships, goes on sale

Fantasy, Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Livestream, Buy-to-Play

Earlier this morning, ArenaNet delivered its 2014 Guild Wars 2 World Tournament Series Championships roadmap from London's Eurogamer Expo, where the studio is livestreaming its latest e-sports endeavor. ANet is calling the tourney the game's "first truly international competition" as it pulls players from three continents; opening rounds of qualifiers have already concluded. The studio explains,
"Each event will pit four teams in a fight to become the world's best Guild Wars 2 PvP players, with the top two teams from the host region facing off against two visiting teams. The debut event is scheduled for December 4-5 in Beijing, where players will vie for a $50,000 (USD) prize pool and the title of first-ever Guild Wars 2 WTS Champion."
As promised Tuesday, the buy-to-play MMO's free trial also began this morning at 3 a.m. EDT; it's active for a week until the wee hours of October 2nd. Box prices (specifically, Digital Heroic Editions and Digital Deluxe Editions through the GW2 storefront) have also been halved throughout the promotion.

[Source: Anet press release]

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Leaderboard: Class choices vs. personality types

Polls, Classes, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, Leaderboard

A recent Massively Speaking podcast listener wrote to us wondering whether personality types (and stereotypes) have in-game ramifications when it comes to class selection. Is it true that extroverts gravitate toward leadership roles in a party and that introverts prefer to support a team from the sidelines, or is that all just a bunch of hokum?

Today's Leaderboard straw poll asks you about both your personality type and preferred class to see whether there's a compelling connection. Read on to vote!

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Richard Garriott becomes Lord British again for Ultima Online's 17th anniversary

Culture, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Ultima Online, Humor, Sandbox, Anniversaries, Subscription, MMORPG

On September 24th, 1997, Ultima Online opened its doors, forever changing the MMORPG landscape. That was 17 years ago today, and that means it's time for cake and ice cream! Just make sure to check that cake for deadly poison. Poisoning cake and giving it to unsuspecting passers-by is actually a thing you can do in this crazy sandbox.

Wanna celebrate? UO Stratics reports that the Broadsword team is hosting an in-game party tomorrow evening with some notables from UO's history in attendance.
Join me for a live, in-game event on TC1 September 25th 2014 at 7pm ET! Meet Richard "Lord British" Garriot and Starr "King Blackthorn" Long at Castle Blackthorn to celebrate Ultima Online's 17th Anniversary! The anniversary parties are always a blast (Thanks to the Dark Lady). This year will be very special as both Lord British and King Blackthorn will join us. If you can't attend, it will be shown on youtube . It will also be streamed live on http://www.twitch.tv/stratics.
A post on the official site also welcomes the new patch we covered last week and a new player Advisor program similar to the old Counselor program made famous in the game's early days.

See Trove's greatest alpha creations

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Culture, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Trove

Alpha is but a memory for Trove while beta begins tomorrow, but in the meantime you can check out a snappy video featuring the greatest player creations from the previous round of testing. From soccer stadiums to literal theme parks to gigantic statues of public domain characters, these constructions are pretty amazing considering the limit of using blocks to make them.

You can check out the video after the break!

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League of Legends introduces Ranked Restrictions for toxic players

Fantasy, Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends

How unfair that being an absolute jerk no longer fast-tracks you for ranked play.
League of Legends is a really popular game, but it also has a pretty noxious community reputation. That's something that's on the forefront of the mind of the Riot Games team, and it's being addressed with the latest patch. Players voted down for negative behavior are already operating under a chat restriction, requiring them to play a certain number of games before they can speak in the game again. Now those players will see another restriction, though: the inability to access ranked play.

Rank restricted players will have a certain number of games that they must play before they can return to queueing for ranked matches just like with chat restrictions. Players who are deeply into negative territory and rank restricted at the end of a given competitive season will also be ineligible for receiving special rewards for ranked play, meaning that poor sportsmanship doesn't pay at any level of the game. While there are potential abuses for the system, it's an obvious effort to make the play experience on all levels a more positive one for players.

The Daily Grind: Are giant characters at a disadvantage?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

As a player who usually chooses a small character, I will once in a while push myself out of my comfort zone and select the biggest slab of avatar beef to play (literally in the case of my World of Warcraft Tauren). When I do venture over to the other side of the size slider, I'm struck by how many downsides there are to being big.

For starters, speed normalization means that big characters appear to run very, very slowly (even though they're going just as fast as everyone else). Your character is blocking more of your screen view and is sometimes hated by other characters for blocking theirs. And then there's the lovely fact that larger toons are easier to target in PvP.

So do you think giant characters are at a disadvantage? Do they have enough pluses to compensate if so?

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!

TERA players killed 5,000,000 BAMs during the BAM Killer event

Fantasy, Video, Contests, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Humor, TERA, Promotions

Back in August, TERA's devs adopted a faux Kickstarter page and a funny video to solicit help in the in-game campaign against BAMs (big-ass monsters). Players who contributed to the overall BAM kill count were showered with special loot.

That event came to an end last week, and En Masse has released another tongue-in-cheek video as a capstone to the festivities and a thank-you to the players. Community Manager Tonka tells us that the Mount Tyrannas server racked up the most kills but also the most deaths. In fact, over 5,000,000 BAMs were slain during the event, which works out to 165 BAMs per minute. "That's a lot of BAMs," Tonka says, wide-eyed.

The outtakes at the end are worth the watch all on their own. We've embedded the video below.

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WildStar puts megaserver names up for a vote

Sci-Fi, Culture, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

I promposed naming one of them something to the effect of 'so long, roleplayers' but the suggestion was not heeded.
Do you have strong feelings about the name of your server? Then you'll want to make sure to get involved with the poll for WildStar players that's running until September 24th at 12:30 p.m. EDT. While the megaserver system has not yet been rolled out, the team is nearly ready and is looking for feedback on just what to call the new PvE and PvP servers for each region.

Both server types have five names to choose from. Currently, the North American vote is leaning toward Entity for the PvE server and Deadeye for the PvP server, but there's still enough time for players to change that trajectory. If you don't care about your server name, it's nothing to worry about, but if it matters a lot, jump on over and share your feelings.

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