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The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV 2.5 dungeons

Fantasy, Patches, Endgame, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Dungeons, Subscription

Being the champion after all.
I mentioned a while back that it was kind of neat how the whole setup of Final Fantasy XIV had come full circle. At the start of the 2.0 patch cycle we were scurrying away from tonberries and bashing our heads against Demon Wall; in the final patch, we're back to both of those spots, along with the oft-seen and never-explored Keeper of the Lake in the midst of Mor Dhona's wreckage. It's a neat counterpoint.

Having played through all of the dungeons now, well, you get to rescue tonberries. That alone makes the last set of dungeons worthy.

As in every set of dungeons, there are winners and losers amidst the bosses, good points and bad ones. The dungeons as a whole are very reluctant to let you do much speeding through, with pulls being pretty aggressively gated. So let's talk mechanics, let's talk atmosphere, and let's carefully coach you through the process of kicking the crap out of your final expert roulette competitors.

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Take a tour of DCUO's Amazon Fury raid with the devs

Super-hero, Video, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, Dungeons

Coming soon to DC Universe Online is the Amazon Fury Part II DLC, because Amazons are not known to be timid, quiet souls. All about the fury, they are. Anyway, part of this upcoming patch is the new Halls of Hades raid, and the devs are inviting you to go along with them on a tour of this intimidating experience.

We've got a 43-minute video of the Halls of Hades with devs and test center players after the break if you want to get a good feel for what's going to be faceplanting your heroes in the near future.

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Sky castles and a gun-using class coming to TERA in 2015

Fantasy, Classes, Previews, PvP, Free-to-Play, TERA, Dungeons

Peer into the ball, strange bear thing with a skull cowboy hat, and tell us what future TERA holds. Or better yet, we could just read the brand-new producer's letter with all sorts of spoilers about the coming year! But the ball, that's cool too.

The team is gearing up for an ambitious 2015, if this letter is any indication. Plans for February include sky castles for guilds, the Sky Cruiser Endeavor dungeon, and a 5v5 version of Champions' Skyring. Past that, TERA will host more frequent small events, a community costume design contest, the opening of the Dreadspire, and a brand new "gun-toting" class.

Finally, the team promises to be better about talking to its playerbase. "As for our communication of the process -- yes, it has to get better, and it'll start with me," Producer Treeshark said.

Final Fantasy XIV patch 2.5 is live

Fantasy, Patches, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Dungeons, Subscription

We dominated the endgame for months and all we got was captured by Mamool Ja.
The day that Final Fantasy XIV players have waited for is finally here. Patch 2.5 has gone live, and it brings with it a host of improvements and additions to the game. The full patch notes also contain no shortage of items that had previously been held back from the preliminary notes, including new crafting recipes, new vendor wares, and new items available for quick exploration ventures.

While this is only the first part of the game's 2.5 patch series, it includes three new dungeons, the new World of Darkness raid, three new trials, and the first half of the pre-Heavensward story conclusion. The servers are up and running, so if you have the day off or just don't have to go to work yet, you can get a jump on all of the new endgame content and start working your way through everything that's been added. Otherwise you can console yourself with the patch notes.

The Daily Grind: What constitutes a 'niche' MMO feature?

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Endgame, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Dungeons

In the wake of WildStar's rocky first half year, some players have defended the game's self-destructive gameplay decisions by declaring traditional gameplay tropes "niche." It's meant to be a niche game for that tiny niche of hardcore raiders, defenders argue, and therefore criticism is unwarranted. And in the sense that apparently a very small proportion of MMORPG fans actually participate in raiding (unless forced?), they're right. But that hasn't stopped most themepark MMOs since EverQuest from brandishing raids as a mostly inadequate talisman to ward off playerbase churn. Even if we outright refuse to raid, most of the MMOs we play are designed around raiders and raiding. It's easy to not raid, but raiding is hard to ignore because it's not being treated as niche by so many of the biggest titles and studios.

The disconnect between development plans and playerbase desires is reflected in this same disconnect between what we think of as a niche MMO feature and what actually is niche by the numbers. How would you sort it out? If raids, one of the core and defining features of so many themeparks, are niche, then what isn't niche? What exactly constitutes a niche MMO feature?

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 Mog Log: A primer for Final Fantasy XIV patch 2.5

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

These preliminary patch notes are a blessing and a curse.
Ladies, gentlemen, and those who fall into neither category: The end approaches swiftly. Final Fantasy XIV's last pre-expansion patch is about to drop, and just like the bass, it won't be the same afterward. Tomorrow you've got a whole lot of new content to play through, enough to probably keep you well occupied for the next three months. The fact that the second portion of the patch will be dropping in about a month just makes it all the more occupying.

As we've done many times before, today's column is meant chiefly to take apart the patch elements we know of and get you up to speed so you can start playing without any issues once you can log in again. So let's start in on the first part of Before the Fall, complete with its new mystery trial and the promise of many revelations. Even if the big fireworks are coming in March.

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Cross-server dungeons, more level-agnostic dungeons coming to EQII

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Dungeons

EverQuest II producer Holly Longdale says that the dev team is in the process of updating current level-agnostic dungeons to level 94. She says to expect the patch "in the next few weeks" and that more dungeons will be added to the system later in 2015.

Cross-server dungeons are still in the pipeline, too. "Since December, we have been rewriting a lot of the back-end systems (i.e., databases and stuff) which is all part of our foundation for the long and healthy future of EQ2," she writes. "The changes and updates we're making are going to give us a lot of benefits on the dev/server side as well as giving us the ability to do things like cross-server dungeons.

Blizz publishes WoW's Blackrock Foundry raiding schedule

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, Subscription

"It won't be long before you'll be able to take the assault against the Iron Horde to the next level in new raid content," Blizzard says in its latest World of Warcraft website update. The firm has released an unlock schedule for Blackrock Foundry with normal and heroic difficulties due for public consumption on February 3rd.

Mythic difficulty hits one week later while Raid Finder Wing 1: Slagworks (Gruul, Oregorger, and the Blast Furnace) debuts one week after that on February 17th.

Final Fantasy previews dungeons and plans maintenance for patch 2.5

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Dungeons, Subscription

Oh, good, two decades of dragon corpse can still move around and fight us.  Super.
The last pre-expansion patch for Final Fantasy XIV is going to be a big one. So big, in fact, that the game is dropping 12 hours of maintenance for the first part. Servers will go down at 6:00 p.m. EST on January 19th before coming back online at 6:00 a.m. EST on January 20th. As always, exact completion time is subject to change.

If you missed yesterday's trailer, you can get an idea of some of the fuss by checking out today's dungeon preview, which shows off the Keeper of the Lake, Amdapor Keep (Hard), Wanderer's Palace (Hard), and the World of Darkness. While the exact item level requirements for these dungeons are hidden, it is clear that the Keeper of the Lake will once again be part of the main scenario quests like Snowcloak was in patch 2.4. So get ready to fight a dragon corpse, slaughter various voidsent, and most importantly rescue a whole lot of far-less-rancorous Tonberries.

Blade & Soul raid boss looks grumpy at its future prospects

Betas, Fantasy, Free-to-Play, Blade & Soul, Dungeons

blade and soul
Blade & Soul will soon have a new 24-person raid boss to fight, and if a teased poster is any indication, the big bad doesn't look happy at being at the bottom of a pile-on. However, it does look competent, as evidenced by all of the dead bodies at its feet.

MMO Culture reports that the raid will be tailored to include the upcoming Warlock class, although there are no other details or specifics to absorb at the moment. Until we know more, content yourself to gaze into the eyes of madness after the break and know that this beast holds the key to all of your loot dreams... at least if you're in Korea. The rest of us are still impatiently awaiting the game in the West.

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Fight through the underworld in DCUO's new DLC

Super-hero, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, DC Universe Online, Dungeons

SOE has announced DC Universe Online's next DLC update. It's called Amazon Fury Part II, and it's coming your way "early this year," according to the firm's press release.

Three eight-player raids are part of the new pack, as are a pair of four-player operations and one single-player mission. Story-wise, Amazon Fury Part II introduces Ares, Hades, and Cerberus to the DCUO mythos and allows players to fight alongside Wonder Woman or Circe as they battle through the underworld in search of Queen Hippolyta.

The DLC also includes new themed base items, new feats and collections, more skill points, and new gear. Creative director Jens Andersen offers further details in the latest producer's letter.

Destiny development blog discusses updates and guns

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

And the winner for this year's weapon of choice is... GUN!  Thanks for playing.
The holiday break is over now, and the team behind Destiny is slowly returning from the collective bacchanalia and getting back to what really matters: giving players guns so that they can shoot aliens in the face and then get better guns to shoot bigger aliens. If you've already gone through Crota's End and are waiting for the hard mode, for example, you should know that it's almost done and should be going on to the live servers soon, although there's not a concrete date yet. It's all in the game's most recent developer blog.

Players can look forward to loot updates in Vault of Glass and system changes in Crota's End as soon as January 13th, which should help soften the delay. The blog also contains information on guns, specifically on the most popular sorts of weapons that players are toting around to use during their alien-shooting sorties. Check out the full update for more details on the patch adjustments and future PvP rotations.

Learn to beat World of Warcraft's newest raid... in 60 seconds

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Endgame, News Items, Dungeons, Subscription

So it's don't stand in the bad, volume twenty?  Great.
We realize that there are a couple of different ways to treat that title, so let's be clear: This video guide will teach you how to beat all of the bosses in Highmaul in 60 seconds. It will not teach you how to take 60 seconds to defeat all of them. Yes, it could go either way, but did you really think you could drop World of Warcraft's raid in a minute of playtime? Nope, it's all about length of tutelage, not length of execution.

The even shorter version is the universal raid guide for the game, of course: Move out of the thing, stack up if you see everyone else stacking up, and kill the little things. But it's the fine details where everything is really decided. click on past the break and get a minute-long dose of how to not be the one responsible for wiping the group.

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The Stream Team: Final Fantasy XIV's white magery

Fantasy, Video, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Final Fantasy XIV, Livestream, Dungeons, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

Massively's Mike Foster has finally unlocked his Final Fantasy XIV job and he's ready to heal some dungeons. Tune in tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST as he cures his way through FFXIV's duty finder as a white mage, the core single-target healing job available to FFXIV players. Dungeons and guildhests are both on deck!

Game: Final Fantasy XIV
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Tuesday, December 30th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Mog Log: What we know thus far about Final Fantasy XIV 2.5

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Lore, Patches, Previews, Endgame, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Dungeons, Subscription

This is where it ends.
With all the cool stuff we heard about Final Fantasy XIV's first expansion, it's easy to forget that we also heard a bunch of stuff about the last patch of the current patch cycle. I think that's kind of intentional, not just because the expansion is a bit more eye-catching, but because things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. 2.5 is titled "Before the Fall," the Heavensward trailer does not predict sunny times for Ishgard, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out what happens next.

There's no actual release date for 2.5 just yet, although I imagine it's fairly soon, especially given the two-part structure and the proximity of the proposed expansion launch. So let's talk about what we know so far to look forward to before everything comes crashing down. (I'm betting around the end of January, although I'll admit to being a bit less anxious than I was with 2.4's release.)

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