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Events (Real-World)

RuneFest tickets on sale this week

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

If you're a RuneScape fan and you'll be in London on October 11th, you might want to know that tickets for this year's edition of RuneFest are now on sale. Passes are £99 each, or you can get in for free (and even get a hotel room!) with RuneScape's in-game bonds.

The event starts at 10:00 a.m. local time and runs through 7:00 p.m., with an afterparty and late-night gaming scheduled through 11:00 p.m.

Firefall's launch-day roundup

Betas, Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, MMOFPS, Firefall

Firefall
MMOFPS Firefall officially launches today after several years of development drama and 180-degree design turns that saw CEO Mark Kern ousted last December as the game shifted from a PvP-oriented e-sport extravanganza to a game with no PvP at all to a game that just reintroduced battlegrounds in the last few weeks.

To celebrate the fact that Firefall is (finally!) launching, we've rounded up some of our best news, opinions, and videos of the game from the past year after the cut. Enjoy!

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Not So Massively: SMITE's championships, LoL's cinematic, and Destiny's brief beta

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Launches, New Titles, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, DUST 514, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, League of Legends, Firefall, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Shroud of the Avatar, Path of Exile, Hearthstone

NSM
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.
  • Destiny closed the gates on beta until its launch in September. Analysts predict as many as 20 million units could be sold.
  • SMITE posted dates for its world championship event in Atlanta, Georgia: January 9th through 11th, 2015.
  • Heroes of the Storm announced new hero Rehgar Earthfury.
  • Former Destiny composer Marty O'Donnell settled his lawsuit against Bungie for "$95,000 in unpaid work, vacation time and damages."
  • League of Legends unveiled new cinematic, A New Dawn, and cracked down on bad seeds.
  • ESPN says it is "delighted" with Dota 2's tournament performance.
  • Warframe has opened up PC-to-PS4 account migrations through Friday. (Thanks, Olorunsegun Adewumi.)
  • Firefall implemented new raids just ahead of its relaunch.
  • Hearthstone opened up the first wing of Naxxramas.
  • Transformers Universe now has motorbikes because of course it does.
  • Games of Glory launched Steam Greenlight and Kickstarter campaigns.
  • Path of Exile ends the sale of its supporter packs at midnight tonight.
  • DUST 514 shut down its Oceania server.
  • Riot Games promised to increase diversity in League of Legends.
  • Shroud of the Avatar posted beta release 8, which emphasizes tutorials and PvP.

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Riot Games promises to increase diversity in League of Legends

Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends

Well, it couldn't be a step down.
League of Legends features a lot of diversity among its male champions, but the female champions all feature a fairly uniform body type. That's something the developers at Riot Games are keen on changing. In response to a fan question at SDCC, producer Omar Kendall said that the company has been introducing new ways of looking at body types and shapes, with the end goal of making female champions who don't look like the others.

Kendall went on to specify that the call for more diversity is one that players should see represented soon in a new character coming out. He also noted that diversity is being strongly considered with further character designs and any new champions. Game designer Brian Feeney noted that it would be a net boon to the game as a whole -- as Riot is very concerned with distinctive silhouettes, a more robust selection of body types makes it easier to tell champions apart.

Skyforge to premiere at Gamescom

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, Skyforge

SkyForge
Skyforge, the upcoming MMO from Obsidian Entertainment and the team that brought you Allods Online, will be making its debut at this year's Gamescom in Cologne, Germany.

Along with World of Speed and Armored Warfare, Skyforge will be presented by My.com at its booth in the business hall and as a playable demo for press. This will be the first reveal of two of Skyforge's classes and brand new locations. Interested players can also sign up for the closed beta for all three games at the official websites linked below.

[Source: My.com press release]

World of Warcraft posts details on the Arena Invitational World Championships

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Events (Real-World), PvP, News Items, Subscription

Just chlling.  Hey.
This year's BlizzCon will feature a no-holds-barred fight to the finish. Sadly, that doesn't mean that an official MMA tournament event will be taking place; it just means that the World of Warcraft Arena Invitational World Championships will be going down, pitting teams against one another for glory, honor, and the satisfaction of taking home up to $120,000 dollars. Who wouldn't like that?

The eight teams selected for play will be fighting in a best-of-seven format, starting with the Nagrand Arena and moving on to other maps at the selection of the losing team. The matches will last until elimination or until 15 minutes have passed, whichever happens first. Those unable to attend BlizzCon on November 7th and 8th will be able to stream the matches online, although no details on doing so are yet available. If you are attending, though, get ready to watch the best of the best mix it up in the arenas.

Elder Scrolls Online publishes video of its QuakeCon panel reveals

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

ESO
If you missed the hoopla of last week's QuakeCon, you lost out on some startlingly cool Elder Scrolls Online announcements, including news about an "active world PvP" system for thievin' and murderin' that makes the game feel just a bit more like a true Elder Scrolls title. Fortunately for you, ZeniMax has today released a video of the entire Future of The Elder Scrolls Online panel, which runs almost two hours and covers everything from PvP to the veteran ranks overhaul. Enjoy!

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RuneFest 2014 dated for October 11

Fantasy, Real-Life, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

RuneFest
Jagex has announced the date and a few key details on this year's RuneScape-flavored real-life event, RuneFest.

On Saturday, October 11, Jagex will be returning to London's Tobacco Dock for the largest RuneScape event of the year. This year will feature panels and parties that promise to be bigger and better than ever before. While more details are still forthcoming, we do know that the cost will be £99 for a full One-Day Pass. You can keep an eye on any further RuneFest news by watching the event's Facebook and Twitter pages.

World of Warships on board for Gamescom 2014

Historical, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, Free-to-Play

World of Warships
Fans of Wargaming's selection of multiplayer military games will be happy to hear that the naval battle MMO World of Warships will be available to play during Gamescom 2014 next month. This will be the game's first public debut as a playable demo for anyone in attendance.

Gamescom will be held from August 13 - 17 in Cologne, Germany, and Wargaming aims to go big again this year with game presentations, talk shows, on-stage giveaways, and more on its 720-square-meter stage in Hall 8.

[Source: Wargaming press release]

Valve scrapped an MMORPG at the dawn of the genre

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

Prospero
Did you know that Valve was once hard at work on a third-person MMORPG called Prospero? Alas, the studio scrapped the project around 1997 in favor of a little tiny game called Half-Life, which "absorbed" the developers working on the MMO.

Website Valve Time has dipped into the mysterious history of the game, said to be a "moody, literary" science-fantasy epic influenced by Myst with its focus on story and exploration. Though Prospero was canceled, some of its groundbreaking social and map features were eventually realized in Steam and Portal.

The video also includes some wonderfully dated screenshots and quotes from developers who worked on the title.

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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 Crew's PC closed beta starts July 21

Betas, Real-Life, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items

Shelby GT500
Ubisoft's open-world racer The Crew kicks off its PC closed beta on July 21st. The firm has posted a news blurb on its website stating that the first test phase will run through July 25th, which is earlier than previously announced.

Players will be able to "explore the entire United States with no loading screen" including all missions and skill challenges in the Midwest, all skill challenges on the East Coast, and free roaming in the South, Mountain State, and West Coast regions.

The Crew launches on November 11th.

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Dota 2's 10 million dollar e-sports tourney will stream on ESPN

Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), PvP, News Items, Promotions, Miscellaneous, MOBA

Whether or not you believe e-sports are real sports, Dota 2 is at least big enough for sports TV.

Valve today publicized a deal that will bring streaming coverage of its MOBA's The International tournament to ESPN. Well, ESPN3, which is sort of like ESPN in the same way Dota 2 is like a sport. We're kidding. ESPN3 will broadcast matches live, and come Sunday, "viewers can tune in to ESPN2 for an exclusive preview of the tournament's final match, featuring highlights from the games, expert analysis, plus interviews with the players and Valve's Gabe Newell."

The International championships begin tomorrow in Seattle with a prize pool worth over $10 million. It turns out your mom was wrong: You can get rich and famous playing video games.

[With thanks to tipster Mike!]

The Elder Scrolls Online coming to Steam today

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, Promotions, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Steam
Starting later today, The Elder Scrolls Online Standard and Imperial Editions will be available to download on Steam.

This announcement was made to kick off QuakeCon 2014 in Dallas, Texas, where Zenimax Online will be hosting a panel entitled "The Future of The Elder Scrolls Online." The presentation will begin on Friday at 6:00 p.m. EDT and can also be viewed on Bethesda's Twitch.tv channel for those not able to attend.

[Source: Bethesda press release]

Yoshida: Let's analyze why Final Fantasy XIV's 2010 version failed

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Final Fantasy XIV

GDC Vault
Final Fantasy XIV's game director, Naoki Yoshida, spoke candidly at his presentation during this year's Game Developer's Conference in March about what went wrong with the popular franchise's newest MMO during its first launch.

As FFXIV fans might remember, the initial launch of the game in 2010 was plagued with problems, but a relaunch in 2013 proved successful. How did the team at Square Enix win back fans? How had the MMO landscape changed in those three years?

The complete one-hour presentation video is available in both English and Japanese versions through the GDC Vault, or you can watch a translated version at Gamasutra.

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