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Dark Age of Camelot plans character transfer service and new art

Dark Age of Camelot, Previews, Community Q&A, Family, Sandbox, Subscription

DAoC
Dark Age of Camelot's grab bag -- written by Sir Grabford B. Bagsworth III Esq., no less -- is back, and at the top of the most pressing questions is the issue of character transfers. Broadsword said that these are indeed in the works: "We would like to provide the opportunity to allow consolidation. This will be among the many updates and upgrades to the Broadsword account center that is currently underway. Currently, it's planned as a premium service –- but there are no details on the prices as yet."

Broadsword mentions how art improvements have been going in the game following the studio's acquisition of DAoC. "We have renewed investment in this area, and we're really excited about updating art for various features in DAoC. Things we're currently discussing are: fixes for art-related bugs, new maps, UI skins, new items, monsters, and more!"

Other topics in the grab bag include the return of in-game surveys, the status of the new website, and details of the next patch. The studio teased that it will be adding "a new long-term live event with a very cool surprise" with the update.

Super Hero Squad Online commemorates its third birthday

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Casual, Kids, Family, Anniversaries

SHSO
Who says kids MMOs are dead? Not Super Hero Squad Online! The adorable chibi-superhero MMO turns three this week, boasting seven million registrations since launch, 144 different playable heroes, playable villains, and even a new crafting system.

The celebratory game additions and perks include new characters (Spider-Ham, Captain America Stealth, Falcon EXO-7, and Winter Solider), new world event heroes, hero sales, Facebook giveaways, a 20%-off sub sale through April, and a birthday card contest.

Enjoy the festivities in the brand-new trailer below.

[Source: Gazillion press release]

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The Daily Grind: Are kids MMOs in danger of dying out?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Kids, Family

Pirate101
As a parent of toddlers, I have often wondered what games I will be playing with them when they get old enough to want to dive into MMOs (if they ever want to, that is). Considering that during this past year we've seen several kid-friendly titles shut down, I'm worried that there might not be any left in a few years.

Recall that Clone Wars Adventures, Free Realms, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and Toontown Online have been terminated in the past 12 months and answer me this: Are kids MMOs in danger of dying out? I can take heart that KingsIsle is still going strong and that LEGO Minifigures Online is in development, but I don't see a lot of interest in studios making MMOs for the much younger set. What do you think?

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 Inochi Project offers adorable robot-animals in exchange for Kickstarter money

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, New Titles, News Items, Kids, Family, Crowdfunding

Inochi
If you've got some money burning a hole in your pocket and a love for all things robot and cute, then Forwardfor's Inochi Project Kickstarter campaign would like to have a chat with you.

Launching today, the campaign seeks £30,000 (about $50,000 US) to help accelerate further development on the MMO. The game will allow players to create their own robot animals (ani-mechs), customize homes, participate in battle arenas, explore cities, and fight against the rust plague that is turning ani-mechs into rust-covered villains.

Stretch goals climb upward to £350,000 (about $586,000 US), but pledges begin at $1.60 US. If you want to play the beta, $16 is your buy-in. We've got the trailer after the cut!

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WoW Archivist: Warlords of Draenor hates The Burning Crusade

World of Warcraft, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Family, Dungeons, Subscription, MMORPG, WoW Archivist

Draining a naaru
WoW Archivist is a biweekly column by WoW Insider's Scott Andrews, who explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold? It first appeared on our sister site on March 28th and is included here by permission.

In many ways, The Burning Crusade was the birth of modern WoW. Most of TBC's innovations are still going strong in WoW today and have been ever since their introduction. Looking back, I find it's striking how many key features of WoW were absent in classic, unveiled only during the game's first expansion.

Even more striking, however, is how many of these innovations Warlords of Draenor seems poised to undo. Just as Garrosh will undo the transformation of Draenor into Outland, Warlords seeks to unravel most of what Blizzard innovated during TBC. The next expansion will take us through a portal into a very different WoW.

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The best of Massively's MMO Family column

MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Casual, Kids, MMO Family, Family, Miscellaneous

Pirate101
While young children aren't Massively's target demographic, we frequently encounter MMOs that appeal to kids as well as MMO gamers with kids. That's why we ran the MMO Family column for over four years. Helmed first by Lisa Poisso and then Karen Bryan, the column reviewed kid-friendly games and offered advice and insight on how to survive as the parent of budding MMO gamers.

Enjoy our picks for the very best of their collected work in MMO Family.

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LEGO Minifigures Online previews a world of pirates

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Previews, News Items, Kids, Family

I apologize for the opening except not.
It's a world of peg-legs and hooks for hands, it's a world of parrots and coastal lands. It's a giant pastiche on the wide-open seas, it's a pirate world after all. Yes, that's the obvious takeaway from the newest preview from LEGO Minifigures Online, showing off the game's nautical land of cutthroats and cutlasses for all to see. And as you might expect, it's playing the routine straight to the hilt.

So what can you expect from the game's Pirate World? If you said "pirate ghosts, sea creatures, and gold," you've seen a movie within the last decade and you are entirely right. Still, it looks to be exactly the sort of broad-strokes swashbuckling that can provide plenty of fun. So if you're eager to slap on an eyepatch and say "arr" more than entirely necessary, hop on past the break to check out the full video.

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Massively exclusive: Pirate101 announces new advanced pet system

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Casual, Family, Dev Diaries, Pirate101

Pirate101 pet art
Pirate101's pet system is getting an update, and KingsIsle tells us that a new test realm will soon open its doors to showcase the changes. Pet owners will be able to send their minions on various world-based training missions which will raise their level, unlock talents and powers, and more.

The devs are also adding the ability to PvP in a pet battle arena as well as a new quest that details the new advanced pet system. KingsIsle has penned a lengthy dev diary explaining how everything works. You can read it after the cut.

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Ten things to do in Free Realms before it's gone

Fantasy, Screenshots, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Virtual Worlds, Free Realms, Family, Guides, Sunsets

Free Realms
Free Realms is set to close down at the end of this month, and despite the fact that the game is aimed toward players much younger than I am, I'm going to miss it.

When the game first launched, my two oldest daughters and I played religiously. It was an easy way for us to interact and play together when I was away, and they spent a sizable chunk of their allowances on pets, mounts, and housing items over the years.

So I've decided to honor Free Realms with this article detailing a few things you can do in the game before it's gone forever.

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Pirate101 explains the making of its combat system

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, Kids, Family, Dev Diaries, Pirate101

Pirate101
If you're the type of player that likes to know how the sausage is made, then strap on a peg leg and wobble over to a pair of dev diaries explaining the making of Pirate101's combat system!

"One of the systems that reviewers feel stands out the most in Pirate101 is the combat. Combat in Pirate101 has been described as 'deceptively simple' and 'really fun,' but it took years of iteration and changes to finally arrive at the experience that players have today," the devs wrote.

The diaries go through the early prototype of the system, how the team figured out combat sequencing, and the difficulties of getting the camera placement just right. The devs said that once the basic system was in place, adding the extra elements such as reflex talents and bullet time was a blast to do.

Free for All: Villagers and Heroes adds bells, whistles, and more sand

Fantasy, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Patches, Previews, Endgame, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Browser, Hands-On, Casual, Humor, Free for All, Family, Livestream, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, Dungeons, Crafting, Housing

Villagers and Heroes screenshot
Villagers and Heroes is a favorite of mine, but let's be honest: The game looks old. When talking to Damon Slye, President of Mad Otter Games, I found that many people agree. According to Slye, it's one of the most frequent concerns he hears from potential new players. The engine that the game currently uses is old and needs to be upgraded big time. And that's just what the developers are doing with this large patch and expansion that should be due in early March.

I sat down with Slye, Associate Designer Cameron England, Head Writer Sarah Skibinski, and Head Artist Adam Alexander to discuss just how different the game will be once the patch goes live. I was given access to a test account loaded up on gear, cash, and other goodies. Even though I found my backpacks full, I mainly wanted to look around the game and explore. Fortunately, the difference between the original client and the new one is literally night and day.

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MMO Family: First impressions of Ganz's Amazing World

Opinion, Free-to-Play, First Impressions, Kids, MMO Family, Family

WebKinz is one of the oldest kid-friendly MMOs around, and it still boasts a healthy community, long after other running titles have closed their doors. But Ganz Studio recently launched a new MMO that takes the WebKinz spirit and plants it in a colorful 3-D world. Amazing World combines cuteness with adventure and adds a more modern look and feel.

But is Amazing World really that amazing? In this week's MMO Family, we'll take a look and give some first impressions!

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MMO Family: Winter fun and cool cash in Roblox

Kids, MMO Family, Family, Miscellaneous, Sandbox

EverQuest Next Landmark might be generating a lot of buzz over the impressive creations that players are putting together, but Roblox has been doing it for years, and many of those creating are still in grade school. Indeed, Roblox has continued to improve the structure of the game and give players great tools to become amateur developers. Recently, the developers showed off those tools with a series of winter games. But the real excitement is found in their Developer Exchange system, which now allows arm-chair developers to earn up to $2,000 a month from the games they create.

Let's take a look at what Roblox has been up to this winter in this week's MMO Family.

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MMO Family: How to encourage reading through video games

Opinion, Kids, MMO Family, Family, Miscellaneous

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, author Christopher John Farley posited that literature can learn from the rise and success of video games. Polls reveal that families are increasingly concerned that their children aren't reading as much as they should. And they're right to be concerned because studies have shown that good reading habits are forged during childhood, and after age 12, it's extremely hard to get kids to read if they aren't big readers already.

Video games and literature seem an unlikely duo, but there some important ways that gaming can encourage reading. Let's explore this topic in this week's MMO Family.

(Photo credit: Tim Pierce)

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Norrathian Notebook: Preparing yourself for EQN Landmark

Opinion, Free-to-Play, Humor, The Tattered Notebook, Family, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Norrathian Notebook

Whether you are a Founder who will access alpha or not, EverQuest Next Landmark is coming up on us like a bullet train; it will be here before you know it. As opposed to most games that stretch your anticipation out for years, this one is going from announcement to playable in less than six months -- if alpha does indeed make it out in January. Those who are opting for closed and open betas or even launch shouldn't have much longer to wait, either. I expect that those stages will maintain the same speed we've already seen, putting players into the game proper well before the next SOE Live.

So with the ultimate build-it-yourself sandbox on the horizon, the question is this: Are you ready? Have you got all your ducks in a row in order to best experience Landmark? Can you say you are all set to take advantage of those first minutes logged in? If not, I've got a few strategies, tips, and tricks to help you prepare for when the game goes live.

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