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Gloria Victis team summarizes new patch, May updates

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

Gloria Victis
Gloria Victis updated its website over the weekend with a bit about what the dev team accomplished in the month of May. First and foremost is that the fantasy sandbox now features a basic crafting system. The game's map size also increased by about 30 percent. Additionally, the team "implemented many fixes of already existing systems," including an improved texture load process to combat low framerates.

You can read all about the latest patch at the Gloria Victis website.

[Thanks Mae!]

Darkfall market exploit leads to rollback

Fantasy, Darkfall, Bugs, Economy, MMO Industry, PvP, Subscription

The bad news: Unscrupulous players found and abused an exploit of Darkfall's market this past week. The worse news: Because of this, Aventurine had to roll back inventories to last Thursday, May 22nd.

"With the help of the community we have discovered that there was some exploiting of our market feature at the end of last week," Aventurine posted on Facebook today. "We immediately deactivated the market to fix this issue and we identified those who had been actively exploiting it. We are in the process of permanently banning these players for their actions, as their behavior is inconsistent with the values we've set for the Darkfall Unholy Wars community."

The silver lining to all of this, apart from a hopefully fixed exploit, is that the studio is granting three days of additional game time to all accounts on June 1st.

Darkfall's economy patch is live, role-focused livestream at 1:00 p.m. EDT

Fantasy, Darkfall, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Subscription

Aventurine has released Darkfall's latest patch, and it introduces a number of tweaks to the fantasy PvP sandbox's economy. The devs have added high-yield harvesting nodes "in order to promote more active harvesting activities," according to the patch notes. Said nodes will always be full as long as only one player is harvesting, and they also drop new rares instead of essences, which allows players to skip the rare essence conversion step.

New (and more expensive) rare tools are now available for crafting, and new basic materials have been added as well.

Darkfall devs are also hosting a livestream today at 1:00 p.m. EDT to answer questions on the game's custom roles revamp.

[Thanks Jane!]

Elite's Alpha 4 is here, beta starts May 30th

Betas, Sci-Fi, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
Development on Elite: Dangerous is moving right along, as evidenced by this week's release of the space sim sandbox's Alpha 4 client. The latest patch represents the final Alpha phase, and it "vastly expands scale, scope, and depth over previous alpha versions," according to a Frontier press release.

Elite's already massive universe just got bigger, and the devs have released two additional travel methods to assist with traversing it. Hyperspace jumps are now a thing as is super-cruise for accelerated in-system jaunts. Alpha 4 also introduces inter-system trading via a dynamically evolving market.

[Source: Frontier press release]

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Albion introduces player-driven cities

Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Housing

Albion Online city
Albion's latest press release talks up the fantasy sandbox's new player-driven cities. Initially said cities will be empty and will provide players with the opportunity to both claim them and "create whole new societies from the ground up."

"These new cities will be strewn throughout the world, including deep inside PvP territory; these cities will be places where all players, regardless of their guild affiliations, can build houses and storage for themselves, utilize crafting stations and trade at an auction house, access their vaults, and otherwise prepare themselves for venturing back out into danger," explains lead game designer Robin Henkys.

Cities will be owned by a single controlling guild, which will reap various benefits including market and property taxes. Click past the cut for more details.

[Source: Sandbox Interactive press release]

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Elder Scrolls Online gets another third-party auction house

Fantasy, Economy, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO Outpost
TESO Elite Marketplace isn't the only attempt out there to fill in the hole of a missing Elder Scrolls Online auction house. ZAM announced today the start up of ESO Outpost to meet the needs of buyers and sellers.

The service uses "a web-based interface and companion add-on" to buy and sell gold and items. The addon includes a customizable description field, optional screenshots, comments section, tracking, and post-trade feedback.

Elder Scrolls devs: Low-percentage drops on AH would harm 'gear chase'

Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Elder Scrolls Online
ZeniMax has released an Elder Scrolls Online Ask Us Anything variety pack that covers everything from taunts and maintaining aggro to server maintenance times. The devs also field a question about guild stores and why they're for guild members only.

"Our goal is to make the economy more player-based, but not to have a system that allows you to find anything at any time because there are so many players involved on a megaserver," ZeniMax says. "With extremely large communities, low-percentage drops can become highly available in auction houses. It ends up harming the 'gear chase' portion of the game."

Working As Intended: What Guild Wars 2 got wrong

Business Models, Economy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Endgame, Guild Wars 2, Crafting, Housing, Working As Intended

Back in March, I spent an entire Working As Intended column discussing the game mechanics that Guild Wars 2 got right. But that's just one side of the story. In order to be completely fair to the game and to myself, I want to grump about the things it got wrong. Don't take this as utter condemnation for the MMO; we're most critical of the things we love precisely because we love and know them so well and want them to be so much more. And in spite of all the things I love about Guild Wars 2, it's far too often living in the shadow of its older sibling.

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EVE Fanfest 2014: EVE's Kronos expansion is an industrial revolution

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Economy, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, Previews, PvP, Endgame, News Items, PvE, Events (Massively's Coverage), Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Crafting, MMORPG

EVE Online title image
The EVE Online keynote presentation finished just a few hours ago at EVE Fanfest 2014, and it looks as if there are big plans for the year ahead. This summer will bring us the Kronos expansion, which is scheduled for June 3rd and aims to revolutionise every aspect of industrial activity in EVE Online in terms of both gameplay and accessibility. The economy has become quite stagnant over the past year as players have long since worked out all the most efficient ways to manufacture and trade, so CCP has planned its very own industrial revolution with a complete overhaul of industrial gameplay.

Kronos also marks another important milestone for CCP, as the company will be switching from releasing two major expansions per year to a more agile strategy of releasing 10 smaller updates each year. The Kronos release was originally planned as a full expansion before the changeover to a 10-release schedule, so it's as packed as a full expansion. In addition to a deluge of industry overhauls, we'll be getting a shiny new mining ship, major pirate faction ship revamps, an enhanced new player experience, and a cool new effect when players warp into or out of an area.

Read on for a breakdown of the EVE keynote presentation and to find out why CCP is moving away from its usual two expansions per year.

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EVE Fanfest 2014: Economy talk highlights PLEX prices and reveals titan production statistics

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Business Models, Culture, Economy, Events (Real-World), Guilds, PvP, Opinion, Events (Massively's Coverage), Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Crafting, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

When we asked our readers to to pick the EVE Fanfest panel they most wanted to hear about, the most popular choice by a comfortable margin was Economy: Into the Second Decade. So today I popped in to hear what CCP's Lead Economist Dr Eyjo had to say on the year's biggest economic events and plans for the future. The talk started with the usual comparison of ISK sinks vs. ISK faucets, showing the various ways that ISK enters and leaves the game. Too much entering could cause rapid inflation, while not enough could cause economic collapse.

A net value of around 20-25 trillion ISK is reportedly injected into the game each month, a level that Dr Eyjo insists isn't enough to cause any inflationary problems in the economy. The big focus of this year's economics talk was the destruction of around $270,000 US worth of Titan class supercapital ships in the recent Bloodbath of B-R5RB. Also on the table for discussion was the recent rapid increase in price of the 30 Day Pilot's License Extension (PLEX), an item that can be bought on the market for ISK and exchanged for game time. This can effectively make EVE free-to-play, but prices are now at over 700 million ISK and are starting to become prohibitive for some players.

Read on for a detailed breakdown of CCP's entire economics talk from Fanfest 2014, including surprising stats on how many titans are built each quarter.

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SOE updates Landmark, pushes back international Player Studio rollout

Betas, Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Contests, Economy, Patches, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Landmark

It was the best of times for SOE and it was the worst of times. It was the season of glorious patches and of disappointing delays. It was also May 1st, in case you haven't checked your calendar.

SOE delivered an update to Landmark's beta today, including claim feedback, chat improvements, new props, and the ability to teleport to other claims from the gallery view. The studio also launched its first competition, this one to create visually stunning landmarks for the game's environment. The competition will conclude on May 7th.

Unfortunately, international players of SOE's library looking to partake in Player Studio goodness will have to wait a while longer: "Initially, we hoped to expand Player Studio to Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom on or before May 1st, but given the intricacy of the program and our recent launch of the new All Access Membership plan, we have decided to roll out international support for Player Studio at the end of May."

The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best economy?

Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Crafting, Player-Generated Content

I'm an incurable trader and merchant, maybe even more than I'm a crafter, so I'm forever droning on about the good ol' days in long-gone sandboxes where players, not raid bosses, delivered all the objects used in the world. Making stuff is great, and lots of MMOs, even themeparks, have that, but I also I like setting up shops, trading on auction halls, finding great deals, and knowing just when to buy low to sell high, which isn't always the type of creative PvP gameplay that modern MMORPGs enable, let alone embrace.

But you can't trade in long-gone sandboxes, either, so today I want to tap the collective wisdom of the Massively readers: Which MMO has the most vibrant crafting and trading economy, right now, in a legally playable and living MMO? Specifically, where's the best MMO to truly be a player merchant?

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!

Leaderboard: Does Elder Scrolls' lack of an auction house bother you?

Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Leaderboard, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Elder Scrolls Online doggie
Yesterday's Massively Speaking took Elder Scrolls Online to task for not having an auction house. Normally I would agree, given my long-standing passion for MMO economies and crafting.

So far, though, the lack of an AH hasn't affected my playstyle at all through the first 30 levels. I'm a member of two trading megaguilds as well as my normal guild, and from the inside looking out, there's no difference between selling to thousands of faceless people in your "guilds" or selling to thousands of faceless people via an AH.

I can't say whether ZeniMax purposefully designed ESO's economy this way or simply ran out of the time and money necessary to make an AH. But it doesn't really matter, personally, because my pre-launch expectations amounted to "yet another themepark crapfest," so I continue to be pleasantly surprised by how wrong those expectations were -- even without an AH! What about you, ESO players? Does the game's lack of an AH bother you? Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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PAX East 2014: Pre-launch words with WildStar's Jeremy Gaffney

Sci-Fi, Economy, Interviews, Launches, Endgame, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

This is the sort of stuff that got me excited for the game in the first place.
WildStar is being released in about a month and a half. It feels as if it's been forever since the game first revealed its announcement trailer. Now we've finally got a release date in sight, and the last few features for the game are being revealed to the public. It's one of the last chances that we'll have to talk about the game before it releases.

On the last day of this year's PAX East, I had a chance to sit down with executive producer Jeremy Gaffney to chat a little bit more about the game before it launches. While the game has gone gold and the discs are being manufactured, the team is still refining and improving the game and plans to do so up until the day of launch. That meant talking about the endgame, the development process, and the changes that have been made already in the most recent stages of beta.

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EVE Evolved: Anatomy of a mining op

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Economy, Game Mechanics, PvE, EVE Evolved, Guides, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
When EVE Online was first released in 2003, it was designed as a massive universe of competition and conflict between space-faring megacorporations in the distant future. Players bought into the premise completely and soon set about building their own empires and waging wars with neighbours. Corporations ran regular mining operations for resources to build frigates and cruisers for their members, and some of the larger corps co-operatively mined to build the first ever battleships in the game. The mining op has been a staple activity in the game ever since, providing a way for groups to work together on large manufacturing projects or just make some ISK during their down-time.

Mining gets a lot of flak for being one of the most boring and least profitable professions in the game, but that's not exactly true. Solo mining can be a great way to spend your downtime while doing other activities, and it ensures that you're online when something exciting happens like a live event, your wormhole system being invaded, or a titan being tackled by your alliance. Co-operative mining ops also offer the social value of bonding with your corpmates when there's nothing else going on. Some players even run dozens of accounts at the same time to turn this ordinarily placid activity into an intensive profit-making activity focused on efficiency and organisation skills.

With mining due to make a resurgence in the summer expansion, this edition of EVE Evolved is dedicated to the humble mining operation. I'll take a look at the various options for mining ships, the different haulers available, and the four different areas you can mine in.

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