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Events (In-Game)

Star Trek Online exceeds bonus XP barrier this weekend

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play

Star Trek Online has a super-sized bonus weekend lined up for its players, doubling all skill points and expertise earned from tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. EDT through Monday, March 10th, at the same time.

The bonus XP isn't the only incentive to log in, as Cryptic is also activating all previous starbase, spire, embassy, and dilithium mine featured projects tomorrow for a limited time. This will open up 37 "rerun" projects in case fleets missed out on them the first time around.

Finally, a recent dev blog delivered the specs and visuals for the new Fleet Galaxy Dreadnought, which will also become available on the 6th.

Albion's next alpha test starts March 24

Betas, Fantasy, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox

Albion screenshot
Sandbox Interactive wants you to know about its upcoming Albion Online alpha test. It starts on March 24th, and it will be "the biggest we've ever run," according to SI community manager Yasmin Babb. You can sign up for a key on the official Albion website, but be aware that there's a long waiting list. Albion's alpha FAQ states that keys are normally distributed between six and 10 days prior to the next testing phase.

Albion bills itself as the world's first true cross-platform sandbox MMORPG. Click past the cut for the full press release.

[Source: Sandbox Interactive press release]

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Guild Wars 2's Battle for Lion's Arch has begun [It's live now!]

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Events (In-Game), Lore, Patches, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Yikes, Scarlet. Dat hair.
Fans of Guild Wars 2's living story villain Scarlet Briar -- all five of you -- will likely be disappointed by the finale launching today in ArenaNet's core MMO, but everyone else will be letting out a big cheer and enjoying some fresh loot piñatas. Marketed as the "final showdown with villain Scarlet Briar," the Battle for Lion's Arch patch will allow players to try to reclaim the beloved capital city that's been under siege for the last two weeks.
Players will engage in a desperate struggle to take back one of the game's most important cities and a major hub for players. The city of Lion's Arch has fallen to a vicious surprise attack from sylvari super villain Scarlet Briar, backed by her army of Tyria's dark forces and an arsenal of war machines. Her weapons of war include the massive airship drill Breachmaker, which continues to bore deep beneath the city's harbor. Under the shadow of this mechanical monstrosity, players must now rally to reenter Lion's Arch to challenge Scarlet's army, and perhaps face the villain herself.
Massively's Anatoli Ingram spoke with ArenaNet's Colin Johanson last week about what to expect from the update.

[Update: The patch has now gone live! Read the full patch notes and check out Richie "Bogotter" Procopio's video comparing the brand-new tormented weapons to their GW1 originals.]

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

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Moon Knight joins Marvel Heroes roster

Super-hero, Classes, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes

Marvel Heroes
The mysterious and mystical Moon Knight has surfaced in Marvel Heroes, joining the game's growing collection of superheroes.

Moon Knight is a masked vigilante who was given a little supernatural assistance by an Egyptian God. Gazillion is selling the Moon Knight in a hero pack with two costumes and other assorted goodies.

Marvel Heroes is also throwing a combined Carnival and Mardi Gras celebration in the game. Players will get a daily gift for logging in, discover themed drops, and have the chance to buy Halloween items and costumes on sale.

[Thanks to Spacejesus3k for the tip!]

The Stream Team: Finally fighting Flappy in The Secret World

Horror, Real-Life, Video, Events (In-Game), The Secret World, Livestream, Dungeons, The Stream Team, Buy-to-Play

For months the nefarious flying nemesis of The Whispering Tide has been flinging Filth at everyone during The Secret World. Now that players finally have a chance exact some sweet revenge, Massively's MJ is front and center on that firing line! She's taking advantage of every opportunity to fight the four-winged Flappy (and consequently soak up the sliver and fragment rewards) and is inviting you along on TSW's first-ever instanced 40-man raid. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for your chance to flip Flappy the bird.

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, February 27th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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RIFT willing to ban players for toxic forum behavior

Fantasy, Culture, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Subscription

Breaking news: Actions have consequences.
Official game forums have a reputation for being hopelessly toxic. It makes a certain amount of sense, too; being an utter jerk in the forums usually means that at worst you'll be banned from those forums. So RIFT is taking things up to the next level. If you choose to be persistently awful in the forums, you can eventually have your ability to play the game suspended. Readers with a long memory will note that Sony Online Entertainment has discussed similar possibilities in the past, hoping to encourage a more positive and engaging atmosphere all around.

The Carnival of the Ascended is rolling back into the game and helping create a more positive atmosphere as well, giving players a plethora of minigames to enjoy. RIFT Junkies has a full guide to the event available now, walking players through the steps necessary to unlock mounts, pets, and fun cosmetic pieces. So enjoy the addition... assuming you haven't run afoul of the more aggressive behavior policies.

[Thanks to Cederhill for the tip!]

Grab your rod and reel: It's open season in World Tour Fishing's open beta

Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items

Why chance seasickness and sunburn while trying to haul in the biggest catch from the world's open waters when you can kick back in your chair and fish from the comfort of your own computer? World Tour Fishing invites players to hop on board and experience the thrill of nabbing a prize catch in its open beta that started today. Of course, there's sure to be plenty of opportunities for some impressive the-one-that-got-away stories as well. Try your hand at various open beta events, like synchronized fishing and hide and seek. Intrigued? If you haven't seen it before, settle back and let World Tour Fishing's original CG trailer below reel you in!

[Thanks to Snap for the tip!]

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Hyperspace Beacon: The end of a SWTOR season

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), PvP, Endgame, Opinion, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guides, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: The end of a SWTOR season
Uncle Owen talked about Luke staying on for another season, but when you're on a desert planet, what does that mean exactly? More importantly, can you imagine what would have happened if Lars had allowed Luke to leave for the Academy -- the Imperial Academy, I might add -- with his friend Biggs Darklighter? We would have a completely different story and certainly a far different Luke Skywalker.

BioWare developers slated the end of Star Wars: The Old Republic PvP season one to coincide with the launch of Update 2.7, which hits servers on April 8th. With that, the SWTOR leaderboards will reset and bring a few other changes. I think the biggest surprise for everyone is the ranked rewards for the end of season one. These rewards have hit extremely late in the season, which could give some players an unfair advantage in ranked warzones, sparking the question, "Should I stay on the moisture farm or try to jump into PvP to nab these rewards?" Or maybe there's another option -- a Ben Kenobi out in the Dune Sea, if you will.

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The Daily Grind: Do you get emotionally involved in MMOs?

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Lore, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Roleplaying, Miscellaneous

Massively reader sty0pa offered up today's Daily Grind question to us, and it was too good to pass up: "In which MMO quest or event have you been the most emotionally involved? I was just reading You Awaken in Razor Hill and thinking that World of Warcraft was pretty good at poignant quest lines, and it made me wonder what people had found in other games."

I agree that for a game lately panned for its pandas, WoW has some great storylines. The coin in the image above still gives me goosebumps of sadness when I read Jaina's hopeless wish. But then again, I've never stayed up until 4 in the morning because of a game's plot; it takes a player-driven roleplaying plot to really get me that emotionally invested to the point that I have real tears in my eyes for characters that are entirely fictional.

What about you? Do you get emotionally involved in MMO stories or lore or quest lines? If so, which one stands out the most for you?

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!

A requiem for Guild Wars 2's iconic city of Lion's Arch in today's content release

Fantasy, Screenshots, Events (In-Game), Patches, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Good night, sweet prince.
The great city of Lion's Arch is under a devastating attack today with the release of Guild Wars 2's latest content update, Escape From Lion's Arch. Sylvari supervillain Scarlet Briar has unleashed her armies and terrible weaponry on the city as her massive, drill-tipped airship begins to churn the waters of Sanctum Harbor. Whatever her purpose might be, she's willing to literally rip Lion's Arch apart to accomplish it.

Players will join forces with the living world's iconic characters to evacuate civilians, but you'll have to contend with Scarlet's forces and the threat of a creeping poison rendering parts of the city uninhabitable. As refugee camps form in safer areas, Vigil Keep in Gendarran Fields will act as an impromptu base of operations for the time being. You'll need to stand fast if you want to save Lion's Arch -- but by the time Scarlet is done, there may not be anything left to save.

Massively's Valentine's Day roundup

Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, Promotions, Miscellaneous

When a mob hits your eye with a big sharpened spike... that's not really amore! In fact, it's downright painful. But it's February -- a time when love is in the air, hearts are aflutter everywhere, and pink and red festoon your favorite MMOs. So in the spirit of the season, go ahead and give that mob an extra-hard love tap, right from... er, to the heart! And don't forget to collect whatever treasures it had for you because we all know Valentine's Day isn't all about the love; no, it's about the loot!

Want to know where to get your hands on something special for this holiday? There are plenty of celebrations throughout the MMOverse offering a plethora of events and goodies. Check out some of the various Valentine's events and specials going on now.

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The Daily Grind: Have you ever killed off an MMO character?

Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

City of Heroes -- with thanks to Azzura
Eliot's last Storyboard column about killing off characters in MMORPGs got me thinking how rare that practice is outside of permadeath MMOs, both in RP and a literal sense. It's rare that I delete a serious character that wasn't just a bank mule or throwaway toon, and in fact, the one time I did so, I did it for roleplay effect, killing her off for a story and deleting her for good.

I don't think it's too common among my friends, either. In fact, I remember a hung-over guildie logging in one morning, shocked to discover that in a drunken rage the night before, he'd deleted his alchemist. I think that moment in time made me covet my characters; I'm almost afraid to delete them even if I never play them, lest I change my mind later. In City of Heroes, for example, I frequently moved abandoned characters to remote servers just in case.

But other folks delete to dramatize roleplay, to get attention, to ensure they can't return, or to ensure a clean slate if they ever do return. What about you guys -- have you ever killed off or deleted a "serious" MMO character? And can I have your stuff?

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!

Mabinogi update introduces Doki Doki Island, Valentine's Day events

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mabinogi

Mabinogi -- Doki Doki Island banner
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Nexon America has announced a new update to its free-to-play title Mabinogi that will add the romantic Doki Doki Island to the game. The new area will also introduce the Soulmate system, which makes romance more of a game than it already is. On the island, players can "create a profile" by talking to the Matchmaker, who will then match them with their "soulmate." Side-by-side, players and their soulmates can "explore charming landmarks such as the Harmony Torch in the town square and participate in events to accumulate Romantic Points." When enough Romantic Points have been earned, soulmates gain the ability to fly, presumably through the power of love or something equally inspirational.

Aside from hanging out with their hopefully-not-axe-murderer soulmates, players can also take part in a variety of new minigames and daily quests centered around Doki Doki Island or scour the beaches for cat's eye gems that can be exchanged for items such as an exclusive armor set. To top it all off, beginning on February 26th players will be able to celebrate their newfound powers of flight by taking part in the Seize the Skies event, which will allow players to test their aeronautical prowess against one another in competitions for prizes and bragging rights. If this romantic getaway sounds up your alley, you can join the fun over at Mabinogi's official site.

[Source: Nexon America press release]

Finish off Flappy and the filth in The Secret World's massive raid event

Horror, Real-Life, Events (In-Game), News Items, The Secret World, Dungeons, Buy-to-Play

Flappy's time has come! The Secret World fans can now exact some long-overdue payback on the filth-flinging winged nemesis that has been tormenting players throughout The Whispering Tide event. The final phase of the event -- a 40-man raid against Flappy himself -- has now started, and players of all strengths and skill levels can take part in taking this black behemoth down. The instanced raid will open every three hours for 30 minutes, and offers the chance to collect epic raid loot. Once the filth is completely eradicated from Agartha, the portal to Tokyo will open and usher in the long-awaited Issue #9.

[Source: Funcom press release]

Hyperspace Beacon: The official launch of SWTOR's second expansion

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Interviews, Launches, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Announcing the official launch of SWTOR's second expansion!
Today, Galactic Starfighter officially launches in conjunction with Star Wars: The Old Republic Update 2.6. Free-to-play players as well as preferred and subscribed players can now jump into 12v12 freeform space battles. All players can choose to pilot one of four Starfighter archetypes: scout, strike fighter, gunship, or bomber. Two team deathmatch maps joined the pre-launch domination maps, giving pilots four possible arenas to dogfight. But if space isn't your thing, BioWare also introduced a new dynamic flashpoint called Kuat Drive Yards that changes every time you run it.

It's not often that the Hyperspace Beacon coincides with the launch of a SWTOR update let alone the official launch of an expansion. This week, I intend to give you all the juicy details of the new type of starfighter, the new Starfighter PvP maps, and the brand-new flashpoint. I also had a moment to ask a few of questions of Producer Blaine Christine and GSF Lead Designer Michael Backus. But first, let me show you a few screenshots from the new content below and a launch trailer after the break.

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