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Elder Scrolls Online shows new zones, active world PvP, and more at Quakecon

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Quakecon is the place to be if you want the latest Elder Scrolls Online news. Last night during the Future of ESO panel, ZeniMax showed off a boatload of upcoming features including video of new zones, further discussion of the veteran rank revamp, and details on the justice system.

This last bit is particularly interesting since it involves some sort of "active world PvP" outside of Cyrodiil. In a nutshell, the system allows players to murder NPCs and steal items. If caught, you can choose to pay a bounty (and lose the stolen goods) or run, exposing yourself to guards. You can also be a guard and hunt down player bounties, hence the PvP.

In terms of new zones, there are videos for Imperial City, Murkmire, and Wrothgar after the cut, as well as a look at the stealing and justice system mechanics. Dulfy has a breakdown of the panel, too, including info on new armor and weapons, spellcrafting, and more!

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The Daily Grind: Do you tend to believe dev statements?

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, The Daily Grind, Dungeons

Fangorn waterfall
Lord of the Rings Online community manager Rick Heaton created a stir recently when he said that raiders are few and far between in Middle-earth. After he explained that Turbine's data show raiders, PvPers, and forum posters as tiny fringe groups, he ended his announcement with the following statement.

"I fully appreciate and understand you won't believe a word of this. That's perfectly fine. It doesn't change the facts of the matter."

Predictably, a slew of comments ensued in which Heaton was accused of lying. Plenty of commenters, both on the Turbine forums and here on Massively, then posited that of course there are no raiders because LotRO's raid content sucks, Turbine's definition of "raider" is different from the commonly accepted definition (whatever that is), and dozens of other reasons. Which leads to an interesting question regarding official dev statements. Do you tend to believe them? Even when they irritate you or don't align with your personal wishes for a given game?

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 Daily Grind: Should devs give up on raid content?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Dungeons

It's certainly not a new concept that raids make up one of the smallest player populations in MMOs while sucking up a considerable amount of development time. Turbine's essentially given up on them for Lord of the Rings Online, while WildStar is double-downing on them from the get-go.

In the interest of allocating resources -- money, time, and manpower -- to impact the game the most, should developers stop making raid content for MMOs? I'm not saying to give up on small-group content, as that's far more popular, but the giant raids that seem to appeal only to the most hardcore guilds. Would those resources be better spent developing content that the majority of the playerbase will experience?

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's Patch 27.02 hits North American servers

Fantasy, Patches, TERA, Dungeons

TERA's Wounded World patch (Patch 27.02) has finally hit the North American servers after teasing us on the Korean servers for a time, and with it, we see some long-awaited additions to the game including new dungeons, a new boss gauge system, new gear, new master crafting rank, and more.

Ghillieglade, Lakan's Prison, Abscess (normal and hard mode), and Rift's Edge (normal and hard mode) are the newest dungeon additions to the fantasy MMO while the dungeon bosses have been tweaked to allow more comprehensive information on which boss you're attacking and how close it is to kicking the bucket.

Check out the complete patch notes at the official site for more information.

[Thanks to Leiloni for the tip!]

The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV's 2.3 primer

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

Chant the ancient prayer, children - it can't be as bad as the last one.
Tomorrow, patch 2.3 will descend upon Final Fantasy XIV like a flight of angels. If you can't tell, I'm pretty excited. While I was by and large disappointed with 2.2, 2.3 is adding a lot of features I want, undoing some of the dumb features added in 2.2, and adding in a few more features that I didn't realize I wanted before but now know are immensely important to me. Kind of like the Challenge Log, except more.

Unfortunately, the fact that it's landing tomorrow as of the time you're reading this means I have not yet actually played this patch. But I can still put a guide of some preliminaries together so that you can at least know what you're doing even if you haven't necessarily examined the patch notes with a fine-toothed comb just yet. So let's dive into it. When the patch goes live tomorrow, pick your destination, and go to it.

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Turbine: Raiders make up the smallest player group in LotRO

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Lore, Free-to-Play, Dungeons

If you've wondered why Turbine has decided to forgo developing new raids for Lord of the Rings Online (at least for the time being), it all comes down to numbers. According to CM Rick Heaton, raiders make up the smallest portion of the playerbase even if they are quite vocal on the forums:
Raiders comprise the smallest, by far, group in our game. PvMP players are far larger and even they are small. in fact together the two groups wouldn't comprise 10% of the total player base and never have (this is important. it's not a new thing, it's a long standing historical fact).

Forum posters comprise a slightly larger group than the combined group of PvMP and Raiders. However, Raiders and PvMP players make up the overwhelming majority of forum posters (More than half. Though raiders are the smaller group of the two (PvMP/Raiders)). So you have a tiny group, inside a small group that is grossly disproportionately represented on the forums.
[Thanks to Dan for the tip!]

DDO changes direction, focuses on player feedback

Fantasy, Dungeons and Dragons Online, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Dungeons

July's Dungeons & Dragons Online Producer's Letter is the second one from DDO Franchise Director Athena, and in it, she describes the changes coming to the fantasy MMO. While the original road map set in place last December by Rowan has been followed thus far, Turbine is looking to redirect further changes based on player feedback.

Update 23 will bring the Epic Orchard of the Macabre, a new Epic raid, new enemies (including werewolves in Eberron), heavy armor improvements, and more. Update 24 will then bring new quests and a new event to round out the end of the year and the holiday festivities. Be sure to read the entire letter in the forums for more details on what's to come.

The Daily Grind: Do you like to tank in MMOs?

Classes, Game Mechanics, PvE, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Dungeons

No, the other kind of tank.
The very first serious MMO tank I ever played was my day-one Warrior in World of Warcraft. I'd had dozens of characters in MMOs before that, but I was too chicken to step up and actually tank endgame fights. After all, as Massively commenters pointed out, there's a lot more to tanking than just taunting the boss and knowing when to hit your specials. Tanks need leadership and game knowledge far exceeding what's expected of other party archetypes. They're expected to lead the party, to know how the fights work, and to keep everyone else in line. Tanking is setting yourself up for a world of stress and the judgment of strangers. Depending on your temperament, it can become unfun in a hurry.

I still play that Warrior when I resub, Protection-specced for all the days I've played her (minus an hour back in 2006 when I foolishly thought Fury might be nice for a change). But I'm always leery of dungeon-queueing with that character even though I love the actual mechanics of being the meatshield. What about you folks? Do you actually like tanking in MMOs? How do you overcome the stress?

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: Rising previews Wounded World update, Rift's Edge encounters

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, TERA, Dungeons

En Masse Entertainment is gearing up for its next TERA: Rising update in the west, which we now know is called Wounded World. The studio told Massively this week that the update is loaded with fresh content, including a three-man scenario in Lakan's Prison, a solo rescue mission in the primal forest of Ghillieglade, a seven-man foray into the Abscess instance, and a 10-person Big Boss BAM Slam in Rift's Edge, complete with new gear and bosses and rewards.

We've got an exclusive video and screenshots of some of the new bosses and encounters coming in the update. Enjoy them below.

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FFXIV releases Defenders of Eorzea trailer, screenshots

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, Final Fantasy XIV, Dungeons, Crafting, Subscription

Square-Enix has just released a brand-new and lengthy trailer for Final Fantasy XIV's upcoming Defenders of Eorzea patch. The video and the new promo site preview new boss battles, new quests, the Syrcus Tower dungeon, several dungeon hard-mode variants, private chamber customization, chocobo raising, desynthesis, and the new crafting recipes

Patch 2.3 goes live on July 8th. We've got the trailer and some new screenies below.

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Elder Scrolls patch adds veteran dungeon, improved lighting, and more

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

It's patch day in Tamriel, as ZeniMax has rolled out Elder Scrolls Online's 1.2.3 update. The main content addition is the veteran Crypt of Hearts dungeon. Additionally, there's now a field-of-view slider for first-person fans as well as improved interior lighting and a number of bug fixes.

Full details are available via the patch notes.

[Thanks Zjeven!]

The Elder Scrolls Online illuminates its veteran dungeons

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, News Items, PvE, Dev Diaries, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

A new Creating ESO blog post on the official Elder Scrolls Online site today aims to give players an inside look at the process of creating the game's veteran dungeons. These dungeons are "much more than just tuned-up, harder versions of the original dungeon[s]," the post insists; they're special boss encounters and storyline expansions that include complex mechanics and battles. They likewise include elite loot, the acquisition of which often requires repetition, something the developers say they keep in mind when writing dialogue and staging the area.

ZeniMax also emphasizes the importance of testing for these dungeons:
Much like we do for Trials, we have groups of skilled, coordinated testers ready to take them on. The Dungeon Team wants to kill you, don't get them wrong, but they don't want bosses to be unfair or impossible. It's a difficult tuning and balancing act to get them just right, especially considering the broad range of character builds that will be attempting them. When the testers wipe several times learning the fight and let out a cheer when they finally manage to scrape by with a win, we know we're on the right track.
The video that accompanies the post is embedded below.

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Destiny's PlayStation players will receive exclusive co-op content and maps

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, MMOFPS, Dungeons, Destiny

When Bungie's Destiny launches on the PlayStation 3 and 4 in September, gamers on those consoles will be entitled to a bevy of "timed" exclusives that they can crow about to the likes of Xboxers (never mind PC gamers who might never see Destiny at all). The official PlayStation blog revealed the full list of bonuses coming first for PlayStation gamers earlier today; it includes:
  • a unique three-player co-op Strike located on Mars, in which you'll "track a Cabal extraction team through the husks of an ancient human skyscraper [...] buried in the shifting dunes of Mars and face a new enemy, the Psion Flayers";
  • the Exodus Blue exclusive competitive multiplayer map, a "mid-sized Crucible arena that pairs perfectly with Control and Skirmish game modes";
  • special armor for each of the three core classes;
  • an exotic assault rifle (The Monte Carlo) and exotic hand cannon (The Hawkmoon); and
  • three special ships known as the Aurora Wake, Crypt Hammer, and Outrageous Fortune.

Elder Scrolls Online on solo veteran content, dungeon scaling

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Community Q&A, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ZeniMax is back from E3 with a brand-new Elder Scrolls Online ask-us-anything variety pack. Here are the highlights:
  • The Craglorn update will be included as launch content when ESO arrives on consoles.
  • Dungeon-queueing intentionally locks out overleveled characters for balance reasons, but the devs are working on a scaling system that will eventually adjust dungeons to the leader's level.
  • ZeniMax is aware that Enchanting levels slowly. It'll be tweaked in a future update.
  • Using Equilibrium to exchange magicka for health to gain Ultimate power isn't considered an exploit but might be revised in the future.
  • There will eventually be veteran content that doesn't require grouping.
Notably, the developers request that players continue to use the report player chat option to help combat bots and gold spammers. More questions and answers await over on the official site.

E3 2014: Skyforge previews classes and customization in new video and images

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Dungeons, Skyforge

Sci-fi MMORPG Skyforge has landed at E3 with a brand-new video and new screenshots. Allods Team and Obsidian Entertainment promise players "a glimpse of Skyforge's unique Ascension Atlas, the Sunken Temple location, and three new character classes: the weapons-centric Gunner, the ruthless Berserker, and the merciful Lightbinder." The atlas itself allows players to customize their characters in "billions of ways with adapted skills, talents and spells."

We'll have more from our E3 Skyforge demo later this week, but for now, enjoy the previews!

[Source: My.com, Allods Team and Obsidian Entertainment press release]

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