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Fantasy

World of Warcraft drops spoiler-filled cinematics

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Lore, Previews, News Items, Subscription

Actually none here, but you get the idea.
Some World of Warcraft players want to know the whole story of an expansion before they've even started playing. Some others would prefer to know nothing about the game until it's time to play, experiencing everything completely fresh. If you belong to the latter group, you won't want to click on the latest update from Blizzard Entertainment because it's full of spoilers. It is, in fact, the spoiler-filled cinematics from all through Warlords of Draenor, conveniently collected in a single place.

Why? Essentially, the development team would rather give players a clear picture of the story than force them to rely upon datamined reveals and guesses. If you'd like to be spoiled on the storyline before you can even play it, you can click on over and watch through all of the in-game cinematics in quick succession, painting a broad if not detailed picture of the game as a whole. If you'd rather not be spoiled... well, avoid that link. And the comments. And the forums. Basically, just shut off your discussion venues for a couple of months.

ArcheAge opens still more servers, promises compensation

Fantasy, Business Models, Launches, News Items, ArcheAge, Sandbox

ArcheAge
Trion's Scott Hartsman has delivered a "progress report" following another shaky weekend for ArcheAge's servers. He writes that patron queueing changes and three new North American servers (Ezi and Lucius Saturday and Calleil yesterday) have helped alleviate some though far from all of the login issues and queue times. To Europeans, he issues an apology, saying the new hardware for that region is still in customs and should arrive Tuesday. Daily restarts will also "flush out AFKs clogging the server," and he claims that around 10,000 botters and fraudsters have been recently banned.

What about the reportedly long customer service wait times?
"Our CS capacity has continuously been increasing even in the short time since launch. Chat wait times are about two thirds faster than what they were last week, even though the weekend's been the busiest time ArcheAge has seen as a whole. We're still pushing hard here to make sure even more people are wanting to help, and the next group of folks ready to help starts work first thing Monday morning."
Hartsman notes that players will likely be compensated for last week's problems. "We are continuing to look into ways to make sure that everyone's made good for their troubles during this launch," he wrote.

We have reached out to Trion to follow up.

The Daily Grind: When's the last time you stopped to smell the MMO roses?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Crafting

I got my first aquafarm in ArcheAge over the weekend, and after I'd planted some coral and laid a few bamboo fish traps, I floated up to the surface and sat in my rowboat. My farm is situated inside a picturesque bay that almost always features player clippers cutting to and fro as well as beautiful weather and water effects that I've talked about before.

So I just sat there, taking screenshots and taking it all in. It's been quite a while since I've played an MMO that made me want to simply exist in it and it's nice to be virtually home, so to speak. What about you, Massively readers? When did you last stop to smell the MMO roses? What were you seeing or doing at the time?

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!

Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar seeks Steam Greenlighting

Betas, Fantasy, News Items, Sandbox, Shroud of the Avatar

sota
Richard Garriott has conquered outer space, but can he get a foothold on Valve's popular digital distribution service? He sure hopes so; he and his team announced that they launched a Steam Greenlight campaign this past week for Shroud of the Avatar.

"SotA's long-term success depends upon us reaching as wide an audience as possible, and Steam is a great way to do that," the team posted.

Portalarium said that the possible Steam version will be not a replacement for the direct download of the game but an additional option. There is also speculation about giving current Shroud of the Avatar backers Steam keys so that they would not have to buy the game twice.

The Daily Grind: What's the grossest quest you've ever done?

Fantasy, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvE, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge, Sandbox

So yesterday I picked up piles of dookie in ArcheAge. Yes, there really is a quest in Anvilton that requires you to go around and fill your bag with yata manure, yatas being those floppy-eared rabbit/kangaroo mount things.

As if stuffing crap in my quest bag wasn't enough, there's an occasional overpowering stench status effect that causes my character to temporarily pass out and fall down. Finally, the end of the quest required me to deposit a huge helping of poo on an NPC's workbench, complete with buzzing fly and rising steam animations.

How about you, Massively readers? What's the grossest quest you've ever done?

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 Stream Team: Anchors away in ArcheAge!

Fantasy, Video, PvP, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, The Stream Team

Braving the hostile enemies or ArcheAge's queue -- which is worse? At least fighting enemies is fun, even if you lose. Massively's MJ has beat down the queue monster but now must face a sea of reds as she attempts to get the battle pet from the other continent. That means a trek across the water depths. Can the Massively Minions be successful in this raid? Join us live at 1:00 p.m. to cheer them on.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, September 20th, 2014
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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ArcheAge battles queues with new servers, character creation blocks

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

ArcheAge
In a post on the official ArcheAge site last night, Trion Worlds confirmed that it had opened two new servers and shut down character creation on others to alleviate some of the queue congestion plauging players since the game's head start last weekend. The entry reads,
We've added two new worlds to our North American server list: Ezi (NA) and Lucius (NA)! These servers were racked (physically installed) and imaged (updated with ArcheAge server software) in our Texas data center all in the past day. Here you can see Ezi (NA) and Lucius (NA) in their new home with Senior Systems Engineer Jonathan Johnson. These two servers will be on the new Auction House cluster 5 (AH5). These new servers are now online and available to play right now: Friday September 19 at 4:15 PM PDT (GMT-7).
Critically, four US servers -- Kyrios, Ollo, Salphira, and Aranzeb -- have been "temporarily closed to new character creation," so we sure hope you aren't trying to join friends there today.

The studio also says new European servers are physically en route to the Amsterdam data center.

[Thanks, Siphaed.]

The Stream Team: Custom decks with HEX: Shards of Fate

Betas, Fantasy, Video, PvP, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Trading Card Games, Livestream, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, HEX

HEX: Shards of Fate
In last week's stream of Cryptozoic's HEX: Shards of Fate, Massively's Mike Foster opened 20-ish booster packs and used the cards he discovered to build a haphazard custom deck. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time left in the stream to actually hop into a live match with another player. In tonight's stream, Mike will take his probably terrible deck into the wild and see how it fares against a real-life HEX opponent.

Card-slinging begins at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

Game: HEX: Shards of Fate
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Friday, September 19th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Gaile Gray returns to the community team for Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Culture, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Just another day in paradise.
If you played Guild Wars when it launched, you remember Gaile Gray. Heck, odds are you remember her if you've been at all active in the community for Guild Wars or Guild Wars 2 over the past decade; she's worn many community-facing hats over the years. She's donning a new one now, or perhaps more accurately re-donning an old favorite, as game support lead Michael Henniger recently took to the forums announcing that Gray has moved from customer support to the community team.

Community interactions were a large part of Gray's role when the original Guild Wars launched, and long-time fans in the thread are happy to see her making the move. If you had a sudden sweep of nostalgia, you're not alone.

The Stream Team: Wandering through Wakfu on Steam

Fantasy, Video, Launches, Free-to-Play, Livestream, The Stream Team

Wakfu has launched on Steam, and Massively's MJ is taking her first steps into the game to check it out. That means there is plenty to of places to explore while wandering around this world. There's also crafting, cannons, and a host of other things to get into (including trouble!). What kinda of adventures will she uncover? Join us live at 3:00 p.m. to see!

Game: Wakfu
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, September 19th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Wakfu lands on Steam, nixes subs

Fantasy, Business Models, Launches, Free-to-Play

The unique tactical MMO Wakfu is getting sort of a re-launch today with a debut on Steam. This "new and revamped" version of the game will feature a new beginner experience and completely eliminate subscriptions. The studio is selling booster packs as one of the ways to make ends meet.

Ankama COO Olivier Comte celebrated the release: "We are proud to bring Wakfu on Steam and give the opportunity to more and more players to discover this universe. We are starting with English, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Thai players, but more will follow soon."

[Source: Ankama press release]

World of Warcraft's next Lord of War is Kilrogg Deadeye

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Culture, Expansions, Lore, News Items, Subscription

WoW
Were you tired of the parade of Orcs in World of Warcraft's Lords of War video series? We're sorry to disappoint you once again. Today's Warlords of OrcnorDraenor lore video features Kilrogg Deadeye, the one-eyed chieftan of the Bleeding Hollow clan. This guy is so brutal that he tore out his own eye and ran headlong into his foretold doom. OK, maybe he's worthy of a video after all. Enjoy it below!

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Pathfinder Online gears up for a stress test

Betas, Fantasy, News Items, Sandbox, Pathfinder Online

I feel like one of them should have a pitchfork to accentuate the dourness.
The early access period of Pathfinder Online has been delayed a little bit, but the game is still moving forward, and that means opening up for stress testing. On September 20th the game's current alpha client will be receiving an update for a variety of game mechanics; following that, the servers will open their doors on September 22nd for all players who have Open, Early, Explorer, or Alpha access. This means that more people than ever will be allowed to fire up the game and start playing.

Access will be provided on a rolling basis, chiefly to prevent a huge rush of people from all attempting to log into the game at the exact same moment. The goal, as with any stress test, is to ensure that the system can handle itself under severe loads. The official update offers more details on what's coming for the 22nd as well as mechanical changes players can look forward to when the test version goes live.

RIFT shows off the City of Nightmares

Fantasy, Expansions, Lore, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Subscription

Would you like to hear about the good word of going to work naked and having all of your teeth fall out?
What's your next vacation spot in RIFT? Have you not yet decided? Then perhaps you'd like to consider Draumheim, City of Nightmares! Don't worry; it's just a name. It's really more of a collection of eldritch horrors and faceless creatures shaped of dread. Some of them are even downright pleasant!

Draumheim is home to the Onir, creatures of dream born in the unconscious thoughts of Telara's residents. Some of them are perfectly happy and well-adjusted people who will be happy to make your acquaintance, while others are just as nightmarish as their place of residency would imply. Lord Arak has taken much of the city, however, raising new nightmares and taking control of the local government through violent means. As you can imagine, that means it will be up to the player characters to set things right. So get ready for a visit to the city of nightmares itself! (For the record, Silent Hill is just a small town of nightmares.)

World of Warcraft addresses upgrading to the Warlords of Draenor CE

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, News Items, Subscription

It's like two expansion keys for the price of... two!  Actually, that's exactly what it is.  It's just buying it again.
Were you one of the people who pre-purchased Warlords of Draenor as soon as the digital option was open? Do you have a mighty need to pick up the physical collector's edition but no clear process for upgrading from the digital copy? The good news is that Blizzard Entertainment has World of Warcraft fans covered with a new post detailing how you can upgrade to a physical collector's edition. Just buy another copy, contact Blizzard's customer support, and then give a friend the code from the digital upgrade that you no longer need!

Yes, that's what it says. Just buy another one. Which is a system that works out pretty well for your friend, at least. If you were hoping for a simpler way to use the level 90 character boost and still get the physical doodads, however, you are apparently out of luck. The Collector's Edition is priced at $89.99 and includes both digital items and physical bonuses.

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