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Events (Real-World)

Not So Massively: RuneScape's TCG, Destiny's playerbase, and Firefly Online's engine

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, New Titles, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, World of Tanks, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warships, MOBA, Diablo III, Destiny, Infinite Crisis, Path of Exile, E-sports, OARPG

NSM - Chronicle
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.

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Here's an early look at Star Citizen's planetside gameplay

Sci-Fi, Video, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen

Did you miss CitizenCon last weekend? I sure did, and as a result I also missed this rather exciting 11-minute clip that shows off a boatload of Star Citizen sights and sounds.

Better late than never, though, right? Click past the cut to see an early version of the game's planetside gameplay and environments!

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The Mog Log: Predictions for Final Fantasy XIV's fanfest

Fantasy, Classes, Events (Real-World), Endgame, News Items, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

Someone said to me at one point that they were sorry I had to go on an anniversary trip with my wife instead of going to fanfest.  I can't begin to explain the degree of wrong involved in that statement.
There's less than a week to go now. Final Fantasy XIV players nationwide will congregate in Las Vegas for the fanfest starting on October 17th, and I... will be nowhere near there. I'll be on a trip with my wife celebrating a year since our wedding. But it's not as if I could talk about the revelations from the festival now anyway, since it's not for another several days. I'm going into this just as blind as you are.

But we can still speculate, can't we? Of course we can. In fact, there's some stuff that's almost a certainty going into the fanfest and some stuff that remains a bit more speculative. So I'm going to make some guesses about what we'll see at the festival and shortly thereafter, and next week we can all either laugh at my guesses or not. I won't be watching all of it in purely real-time, but I'm pretty sure we'll see the following.

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Trion's games DDoSed again

Fantasy, Bugs, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

RIFT
E-thugs are at it again: Trion's MMO services are once again under attack. Last night, the official RIFT twitter account announced, "Ascended, our servers are experiencing a DDoS at the moment. We're working to restore network stability as quickly as possible." On the official forums, RIFT Executive Producer Bill "Daglar" Fisher confirmed that ongoing RIFT lag problems are compounded by the attacks: "Adding on top of the oddities that people are reporting, we've also been under DDOS attacks and our network team has been working to minimize the impacts of these."

Overnight, even the first few pages (five, as of the time of this writing) of the RIFT general forums were flooded with spam from attackers. Several low-traffic forums on the ArcheAge boards have also been spammed early this morning.

[With thanks to Omedon for the tip and apologies to Daglar for the temporary demotion!]

The Think Tank: Autumn is the season of MMO expansions

Business Models, Events (Real-World), Expansions, MMO Industry, Patches, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

SWTOR
Happy autumn! It's a season of MMO expansions. World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, EverQuest II, Star Trek Online, and bunches more are all getting major updates or expansions in the next few months. Presumably, expansions aren't meant only to give existing players something to do; they're also meant to give old players reasons to come back. But do they work?

That's the question I asked Massively's writers in this week's Think Tank. Do we return for expansions? Do we avoid them? Do we even like them? Let's talk expansions.

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Blizzard posts official BlizzCon schedule

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items

Yes, you're hoping that a secret announcement about the next expansion pack for World of Warcraft is coming.  You know what?  We'll go with that version of events.  It's a nicer story.
You've got your tickets purchased, your hotel arrangements squared away, your bags all packed. You're ready for BlizzCon this year! But leaving aside the fact that you can probably unpack your bags now as you've still got a month to go, what are you actually going to be doing at BlizzCon? That's what you can find out by taking a gander at the official schedule, which tracks the events of the day on both Friday and Saturday for World of Warcraft, StarCraft 2, Hearthstone, and Diablo III.

A floor map is also available so that congoers can get a feel for the layout before arrival, although that's of less interest to fans planning on taking advantage of the streaming options available for the convention. If you're thinking of buying a virtual ticket for the high-quality streams, take a look at the schedule and see if it's stuff you want to watch streaming live. Unless, as we said, you've already got your bags packed to go in person.

SMITE tournament prize pool reaches $1M

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), PvP, Free-to-Play, MOBA, E-sports

smite
When I was just a lad, my father sat me on his knee and said, "Son, there are big bucks in them MOBAs, so get a-playin'!" Unfortunately, I did not heed his advice, and as such I will not be eligable to win a chunk of the seven-digit prize pool that SMITE is offering.

Hi-Rez announced yesterday that the SMITE World Championship prize pool is up to $1,000,000 thanks to community contributions. SMITE has been raising funds for the tournament by selling special Odyssey items in the game; the studio will continue to do so for the next 14 weeks, so the prize pool could potentially go even higher.

The SMITE World Championship will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, from January 9th through the 11th, 2015.

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Dark Age of Camelot grants accounts free playtime for its birthday

Fantasy, Dark Age of Camelot, Business Models, Classes, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, Anniversaries, Subscription

Like its sibling Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot is currently welcoming old players back with free account time just in time for its October anniversary. Unlike UO, though, DAOC's Come Back to Camelot promotion extends to the most ancient of accounts and runs for two weeks only:
All accounts that were inactive on or before September 24th, 2014 are eligible for 13 free days! Simply login to the account center, re-subscribe, and the 13 free days will be applied to your account automatically! This campaign will run until October 31st.
Broadsword Online also touted a hot fix that permits a dozen previously unrollable race/class pairings. If you've ever wanted a Troll Warlock or Sylvan Champion, now is the time.

Darkfall Unholy Wars hosts a free weekend

Fantasy, Video, Darkfall, Events (Real-World), Patches, News Items

We want you!  We just want you around.  You're special and you make us happy.
Have you always wanted to head back to Darkfall Unholy Wars but never quite had an excuse to do so? If so, you're getting one now. Aventurine is turning on open access to all of the game's servers this weekend, from Friday, October 3rd, until maintenance on Monday, October 6th. Everyone will be able to jump in and play for free as long as you have an account, whether you're an old-school lapsed player or just unsubscribed briefly as the school year started up.

The weekend is in celebration of the game's latest patch, which introduces improved movement options and more combat balance. The developers are also laying siege to a city on the European server on Friday, so if you want to face off against the makers of the game, this will be your opportunity. Check out more details of the patch's movement in the video past the break, and get ready to jump in and lay siege for the weekend.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

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Museum hopes to resurrect Habitat, 'world's first MMO'

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

Habitat
So here's a bizarre little piece of MMO news for your Friday morning: This weekend, with the help of Kixeye and Fujitsu, a volunteer-driven, public museum in Oakland, California, hopes to relaunch an antique Lucasfilm game called Habitat, which it's calling the world's first massively multiplayer online game (that part is probably debatable, but let's hear them out).
"The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (The MADE) will be spending Sunday, September 28th, attempting to resurrect the world's first massively multiplayer online game, Habitat. The project seeks to relaunch the Habitat server on original Stratus Technologies hardware from 1989, and to allow users on the Internet to connect to the game server for free using a Commodore 64 emulator. The MADE is the first videogame museum to attempt such a relaunch. In fact, there has never been an attempt to relaunch a 28 year old, dead MMO before, primarily because MMO's are mostly a phenomenon that has existed only over the last 15 years."
According to Wikipedia's curators, Habitat was created in 1985 as the "first attempt at a large-scale commercial virtual community that was graphically based" and is "considered a forerunner of the modern MMORPGs." MADE even claims the game invented the term "Avatar" for use in online games. The 1989-era server hardware it'll run on can today support 10,000 users, says the museum.

Massively's very own Game Archaeologist, Justin Olivetti, investigated Habitat's history in a two-part series in 2012.
The Game Archaeologist moves into Lucasfilm's Habitat: Part 1
The Game Archaeologist moves into Lucasfilm's Habitat: Part 2

Guild Wars 2 promotes its World Tournament Series Championships, goes on sale

Fantasy, Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Livestream, Buy-to-Play

GW2
Earlier this morning, ArenaNet delivered its 2014 Guild Wars 2 World Tournament Series Championships roadmap from London's Eurogamer Expo, where the studio is livestreaming its latest e-sports endeavor. ANet is calling the tourney the game's "first truly international competition" as it pulls players from three continents; opening rounds of qualifiers have already concluded. The studio explains,
"Each event will pit four teams in a fight to become the world's best Guild Wars 2 PvP players, with the top two teams from the host region facing off against two visiting teams. The debut event is scheduled for December 4-5 in Beijing, where players will vie for a $50,000 (USD) prize pool and the title of first-ever Guild Wars 2 WTS Champion."
As promised Tuesday, the buy-to-play MMO's free trial also began this morning at 3 a.m. EDT; it's active for a week until the wee hours of October 2nd. Box prices (specifically, Digital Heroic Editions and Digital Deluxe Editions through the GW2 storefront) have also been halved throughout the promotion.

[Source: Anet press release]

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Guild Wars 2 opens limited free trial access [Updated]

Fantasy, Business Models, Events (Real-World), News Items, Guild Wars 2, Promotions, Buy-to-Play

OK, guy in the comment section who always asks whether Guild Wars 2 has a free trial: The answer is finally yes.

But there's a catch; free access to the game lasts for one week only, beginning at 3 a.m. EDT on September 25th and ending 2:59 a.m. EDT on October 2nd. ArenaNet says it has already opened registration for the trial so that interested gamers can start downloading the client ahead of time. Old trial accounts will work for this promotion.

Earlier this month, Guild Wars 2's second feature pack overhauled the early game experience, making this an ideal time to be a newbie in the buy-to-play title.

[Update: ArenaNet has posted a number of mechanics changes that will be in place for the trial and affect trial accounts, including restrictions on mail and chat.]

TERA players killed 5,000,000 BAMs during the BAM Killer event

Fantasy, Video, Contests, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Humor, TERA, Promotions

TERA
Back in August, TERA's devs adopted a faux Kickstarter page and a funny video to solicit help in the in-game campaign against BAMs (big-ass monsters). Players who contributed to the overall BAM kill count were showered with special loot.

That event came to an end last week, and En Masse has released another tongue-in-cheek video as a capstone to the festivities and a thank-you to the players. Community Manager Tonka tells us that the Mount Tyrannas server racked up the most kills but also the most deaths. In fact, over 5,000,000 BAMs were slain during the event, which works out to 165 BAMs per minute. "That's a lot of BAMs," Tonka says, wide-eyed.

The outtakes at the end are worth the watch all on their own. We've embedded the video below.

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Neverwinter announces Rise of Tiamat module

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Classes, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Lore, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Dungeons, Neverwinter

Neverwinter
Perfect World Entertainment has today announced Neverwinter: Rise of Tiamat, another chunk of the Tyranny of Dragons plotline that just so happens to coincide with the story in new Wizards of the Coast tabletop series of the same name. The module "brings a new paragon path for the recently released Scourge Warlock class" with both solo and group play. Highbies can hunt for artifact gear as they prep for the resurrection of the goddess Tiamat and the epic battle being so heavily foreshadowed.

We've got screenies and the new trailer below.

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Massively interviews Trion's Scott Hartsman on ArcheAge's rocky launch

Fantasy, Bugs, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Interviews, Launches, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox, MMORPG

ArcheAge
ArcheAge's server issues, endless queues, and housing woes are the subject of hot debate in comment sections across the MMO world this week as players wonder just how in the heck the sandbox's launch went so awry. Massively spoke to Trion Worlds' Scott Hartsman to ask him exactly what went wrong with the launch and what the studio is doing to fix it.

Massively: Prior to the head start, Trion seemed to be aware of the huge interest in ArcheAge, citing a million signups for beta and knowing of the launch problems faced when the game launched in other countries. And yet Trion has seemed largely unprepared for the deluge of players for the head start and even for the F2P launch. Why? Were there really far more people trying to play than expected?

Scott Hartsman: Yes. There's a lot of science that goes into forecasting how many people are going to show up for a new game, when they're going to show up, and how long they'll stick around. Beyond that, external factors such as what else is going on in online games can also have a huge impact.

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