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The Stream Team: Family MMO night with the Super Hero Squad Online devs

Super-hero, Video, Patches, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Kids, Family, Livestream, The Stream Team

The Stream Team: Live with Super Hero Squad Online devs!
Super Hero Squad Online has been a favorite for several of Massively's writers, Larry Everett being one of them. Today, Larry and his son, Zach, will show off the new SHSO Recharged. And for extra fun, they've invited the developers along. (Maybe they'll have free stuff for you!) Join us at 7:00 p.m. to find out just how awesome this family MMO is for both kids and adults.

Game: Super Hero Squad Online
Hosts: Larry Everett, Zach, and the Gazillion devs
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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First Impressions: LEGO Minifigures Online

Betas, New Titles, Previews, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, First Impressions, Kids, Family

LEGO Minifigures Online
Besides being an avid gamer myself, I am raising three children who are also avid gamers. You might have seen past livestreams that I've done with my youngest son and my daughter. In fact, my son and I are going to stream with the Super Hero Squad Online crew here in the next few days. As a gaming dad, I keep my eyes out for games that lend themselves to being kid friendly and fun for adults, too.

When Free Realms shut down, my youngest, now 9 years old, was heartbroken. Although he didn't really do much questing, he loved the other activities in the game like kart racing and exploring the housing system. I have attempted to get him to jump into games like Wizard101 and Pirate101, whose combat systems were more complex than his liking. But he's a fan of combat in SHSO. He also plays Minecraft daily and has really adhered to the whole culture that surrounds it.

So when LEGO Minifigures Online opened its beta, I thought it would be an excellent combination of both SHSO combat and the building systems of Minecraft. I was wrong on one count but right on the other. My son loved the combat system, at least.

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Wizard101 introduces Fishing

Fantasy, Video, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Kids, Wizard101, Family

It's also fishing for your money, but that's sort of how games stay in operation.
Fishing is the eternal side activity of MMOs, the reason for players to sit about and cast their line over and over in the hopes of receiving something worthwhile. Wizard101 joins the lineup of fantasy games offering a fishing option today with a new patch, although you will be fishing in an appropriately magical fashion. Rather than a mundane line and sinker, players summon magical orbs to help snare fish; the ones they catch can be sold, used for crafts, or displayed as trophies around your house.

If this is the one thing you've been waiting for before you get into the game, you can also take advantage of the new promotional bundle on sale at Target. The Spiral Cup Gauntlet Bundle includes a new housing item, a new pet, new clothes, and a new mount for players, along with either a month's subscription or 5000 crowns. You can pick it up for $39 and then jump right back into casting orbs and looking for fish. Or doing other things, presumably.

[Source: Kingsisle Entertainment press release]

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Super Hero Squad Online revamps cash shop, posts Recharged trailer

Super-hero, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Casual, Family

SHSO
Kid-friendly Super Hero Squad Online is today touting its recent Recharged patch, the game's biggest ever release. Recharged brings new starter heroes, new gear, new achievements, and new missions to the game. Players and parents will want to know that the cash shop has been revamped and prices on buyables like heroes have been reduced. Currency acquisition has also been redesigned and simplified; the game's currencies have been merged into one currency called fractals, which are now obtainable in larger quantities and through more activities.

Gazillion boasts that its active playerbase has more than doubled in size since the update. Enjoy the game's fresh trailer below.

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LEGO Minifigures Online open beta progress to carry over

Betas, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Kids, Family

Funcom wants you to know that it has officially kicked off the open beta for LEGO Minifigures Online. The game's proper launch is still scheduled for Fall 2014, but as of now you can download the free-to-play beta client and have at it!

Current locations include Pirate World, Medieval World, and Space World, and the firm is "hard at work finishing up more great content," according to the news blurb on its web site.

Player progress and cash shop purchases will carry over from open beta to launch.

The Stream Team: Leaping into LEGO Minifigures Online's open beta

Betas, Video, New Titles, Kids, Family, Livestream, The Stream Team

Massively's MJ is beyond excited to delve into the wonderful world of LEGOs in the new LEGO Minifigures Online. That's right, she gets to live out her LEGO fantasies as an adorable little figurine who is out for adventure. The hardest part may be choosing what to play: Will she be a Librarian, a Mermaid, a Trendsetter, or a Forest Maiden? Perhaps she'll bust out of her female mold and be a Skydiver, a Cyclops, or even a Grandpa. Join us live at 7:00 p.m. for a look at all the choices and MJ's first moments in the game's newly opened beta.

Game: LEGO Minifigures Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Toontown Online 'homage' illustrates emulator quandary

Culture, MMO Industry, Legal, Family, Miscellaneous

toontown
Disney's Toontown Online was shut down last year, but that hasn't kept fans from working on a so-called "homage" to the game.

A team of 24 or so volunteer developers have been working on making Toontown Rewritten with publicly available images and their own skills as programmers and artists. While the team isn't charging players to access the title, its status as a de facto emulator could put it in jeopardy with the Mouse House. Disney hasn't commented on it yet, but copyright attorney Scott Landsbaum noted the quandary that such projects face: "When does a fan homage that is beneficial to your brand cross the line to infringement that can no longer happen?"

Analyst Michael Pachter claimed that it was "unusual" for fans to take on such emulator projects, which was rebutted by Raph Koster, who tweeted, "Sorry Pachter, but hasn't EVERY shuttered MMO (and some open ones) been remade by fans?"

A similar project for the also-defunct Pirates of the Caribbean Online claims that Disney has given the emulator its blessing.

Super Hero Squad Online brings out achievements

Super-hero, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Kids, Family

SHSO
The achievements are coming! Hear ye, hear he! The achievements are coming!

Sorry, we're trying a new type of news dispersal technique at Massively that involves riding around on horses and shouting at townfolk. In any case, Super Hero Squad Online is prepping a "doozy" of an update for the game, and one of the big additions that will be in it is an achievement system. According to the team, achievements "range from simple things like destroying a Troublebot to silly things like farting in the Asgard throne room to really hard things like getting an Adamantium score 1,000 times."

There will be over 5,000 achievements added to the game including destiny achievement sets that earn special rewards.

Assemble to try the LEGO Minifigures Online open beta

Betas, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Kids, Family, Miscellaneous

Brick by brick.
If you miss being able to play with LEGO bricks in an online environment, you'll be happy to know that LEGO Minifigures Online has just entered open beta. The last time a LEGO-themed game came out, it didn't turn out so well, but the new game is a very different experience, allowing players to take control of the many LEGO minifigures currently available to adventure in a variety of LEGO-themed environs.

Currently, the beta test is available only for Windows computers in English, with other localizations and a tablet client slated for release during the test process. Open beta will also see the refinement of game mechanics and the free-to-play business model, so nothing that's in the game right now is set in stone. If you've been feeling the loss of brick-based gameplay, now might be the time to jump in and start playing for yourself.

[Source: Funcom press release]

Guild Wars 2 announces its second Tournament of Legends [Updated]

Events (In-Game), PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Family, Buy-to-Play

GW2
ArenaNet has just announced Guild Wars 2's Tournament of Legends 2, the prelim matches for which are scheduled to begin in July for European and American participants. PvP-inclined players can sign up as early as this Friday. Says the studio,
The sign-ups for Tournament of Legends 2 will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis and will accommodate up to 128 teams. Participating teams will be evenly divided between four qualifier tournaments, and the top two teams from each qualifier will move on to the Tournament of Legends Championships. All matches will be hosted on the weekends, with qualifying matches beginning in July. You can expect a full schedule of dates and times to be released later this week.
Prizes for the top-finishing team include legendary weapons; other competitors are eligible to win precursors, Black Lion Weapon Tickets, and an exclusive llama minipet.

[Update: Signups are now live!]

New LEGO Minifigures Online vid features Medieval World

Fantasy, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Kids, Family

LEGO MFO
Funcom's latest LEGO Minifigures Online video reveals the game's Medieval World. Players of the "brickalicious" free-to-play title will need to capture the Medieval World's "wicked Elementius the Pieromancer (wanted for pie-throwing) while facing pointy-teethed monstrosities such as trolls, ogres, and dragons."

Click past the cut to have a look!

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See MapleStory 2's bubbly 3-D in action

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, MapleStory, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Kids, Family

MapleStory 2
"Oh yeah," you think, looking at the headline. "They are working on a MapleStory 2. I forgot about that!"

That's right, buckaroos: Nexon is charging ahead with a sequel (well, technically a prequel) to the colorful 2-D MMO, and today the publisher has a gameplay trailer to prove it. In the trailer, you can see the transition to chunky 3-D graphics as characters boogie, battle, and be Little Bo Peep to a flock of sheep.

MapleStory 2 will be throwing a "Supporter's Day" for select fans in late June and should enter Korean closed beta later this year. We've got the new trailer for you after the break.

[Source: Nexon press release]

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Pirate101's spring 2014 update is live

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Kids, Family, Pirate101

Pirate101
Pirate101's spring 2014 update is now live. The patch has added new free-to-play areas, advanced pets, and advanced companions to the game. KingsIsle has published a lengthy list of update notes, and you'll probably also want to take a(nother) look at the update trailer. We've embedded it for you after the break.

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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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