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Fantasy

Das Tal's next alpha test happens August 24

Betas, Fantasy, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items

PvP sandbox Das Tal has sent out 800 single-use alpha keys for its next alpha test, according to the latest dev blog update. The test happens Sunday, August 24, and it's designed to stress test the game's servers.

Fairytale Distillery has also published a couple of alpha weekend videos that show off small-scale PvP. You can view them after the break.

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EverQuest II gifting members a double XP weekend

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play

If all that EverQuest II news from SOE Live has rekindled your interest in the game (or if you're already a faithful player), you'll probably be glad to know that there's a double XP period starting today and running through the wee hours of Monday morning.

Members will receive boosts to adventuring, tradeskill, and alternate advancement experience throughout the weekend.

The Stream Team: Playing a Warlock in Neverwinter: Tyranny of Dragons

Fantasy, Video, Classes, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Livestream, Neverwinter, The Stream Team

Did you say dragons? Massively's MJ heard that Neverwinter recently released the Tyranny of Dragons expansion, and that means more dragons! Of course MJ can't resist those majestic mythical creatures, so she's hopping in to soak up as much dragon-y goodness she can. She'll also be giving the new Scourge Warlock a go, and you can start a new character right alongside her. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. to be a part of the adventure.

Game: Neverwinter: Tyranny of Dragons
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, August 22nd, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Camelot Unchained unveils first newsletter, talks vets vs. newbs

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

City State has pushed the first issue of its Camelot Unchained Unveiled newsletter out to backers this week, and the company says that the new format should be "more fun, interesting, entertaining, and informative than our old Afternoon Updates."

Content includes a state-of-the-build section with nods to performance and scalability of the client, server, and patcher as well as an engineering initiative dubbed Team Fireball. There's also an interesting design-related blurb focused on what happens when veteran players battle new players. "No matter what, the difference between a veteran and a new player won't be the same as it is in most, if not all, MMORPGs," explains Mark Jacobs.

[Thanks Maric!]

SOE Live 2014: Yes, there will be new shapes! (and other Landmark building news)

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, Housing, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

New building shapes are coming! Creative Director Jeff Butler announced at SOE Live that new building shapes really will be coming to Landmark. Do you want columns, cones, or pyramids? They are planned! Franchise Director Dave Georgeson also shared the team's new idea of collectable shape templates. (Georgeson let it slip that players are getting two more attached claims, bringing the total to two main claims and five attached.)

Butler noted that the goal is to make the entire process of voxelmancy easier for players. Besides having new shapes -- and more claims -- to work with, players will see a host of other features aimed at making building a better experience for all. These include dynamic fluids, voxel physics, a new UI that's more intuitive and easier to search, personal palettes, and more.

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SOE Live 2014: The revolutionary intelligence of Storybricks' AI in EQ Next and Landmark

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

SOE Live 2014 The revolutionary intelligence of Storybricks' AI in EQ Next and Landmark
The most exciting part of EverQuest Next and Landmark for me is the living, intelligent AI brought to the games courtesy of Storybricks. Thanks to a tech demonstration at SOE Live, we got to see that AI in action, and can I tell you I am even more excited having seen it! This technology really will revolutionize the game, creating a living, breathing world in EQ Next that players help shape as it develops as well as give players the power to make their world come alive in Landmark. And to add icing to the cake, the panel also delved into the background of the new Norrath a bit, revealing the world map complete with familiar areas (like Kithicor).

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SOE Live 2014: More EverQuest Next tidbits

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next

With so many keynotes, panels, Q&As, and opportunities to chat with devs at SOE Live, there's always an avalanche of information to sort through. So here's a compilation of tidbits relating to EverQuest Next that we gleaned from the con.
  • There will be guild homes and towns in EQN; these will be really special and hard to get.
  • The devs are committed to taking all the races through the foundation workshops.
  • SOEmote has improved significantly (and looks much more natural).
  • Players know that Qeynos will exist, but Freeport and it's current state are still a mystery.
  • Devs are experimenting with social hubs that players can check anytime from anywhere, even getting alerts for high-profile happenings.
  • Factions are spread out across the land, so there will be multiple opportunities to learn a class, not just "visit one guy on one mountaintop."
  • Being heroes of the world does not just mean slaughtering things; you can build temples to the gods, open trade routes, even help farmers with crops.
  • Even small changes to world are tangible: If you help merchants become wealthier, they walk around in better apparel and show off that wealth. The "quest completion log" is, in effect, an account of the changes you see.
  • NPC groups will ally with and help each other as well as fight against each other.
  • No decision yet if food and drink will be necessary.
  • The future may hold player-fiction contests for official lore, but there's nothing planned in the short term because of the excessive time involved to review them -- time needed on other aspects of game right now. SOE says, "We need to make sure that every detail of the story that we release fits into the continuity of the world; we're a stickler about that."
What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas, at least where SOE Live is concerned! Massively sent intrepid reporter MJ Guthrie to this year's SOE Live, from which she'll be transmitting all the best fan news on EverQuest Next, Landmark, H1Z1, and the other MMOs on SOE's roster.

Robin Williams models possibly spotted in World of Warcraft files

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Subscription

wow
Apparently Blizzard is making good on its word to include the late Robin Williams in an upcoming World of Warcraft build, as players have found a character named Robin <The Entertainer> tucked away in the game files.

Datamining through Warlords of Draenor's files turned up three models for Robin, including a djinn (Disney's Aladdin), a human female with a man's voice (Mrs. Doubtfire), and a human male with suspenders (Mork). There are theories floating around that the djinn will morph into the other two characters while putting on a show for players, although we won't know for sure until the expansion releases this November.

On the day following Robin William's death, fans petitioned the Blizzard to include a tribute to the comedian as he had been an avid WoW player through the years. Blizzard responded by saying that it was "working on it."

TERA Korea is getting guild fortresses that float

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, TERA

Let's all take a moment to lament that what I'm about to share is currently specific to the Korean version of TERA. There. Now that that's out of our system, we can appreciate the fact that Bluehole's new guild sky fortresses are pretty dang impressive, even if we won't see them in the En Masse version of the game for a while.

MMO Culture reports that TERA Korea is also removing side quests from the fantasy MMO's quest log and placing them in a new interface nugget called Scouting Command, ostensibly to allow for more focus on the game's main story. But you really wanted to see the guild fortresses, right? Click past the cut for the vid.

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Elder Scrolls Online introduces subscriber loyalty program

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ZeniMax has just announced a subscriber loyalty program for Elder Scrolls Online that is slated to start in September. If you're eligible, you'll receive an email and subsequently a High Hrothgar Wraith vanity pet provided that you've been subscribed for three months.

"The loyalty program will keep expanding over time," ZeniMax says, and you'll be able to collect pets and other upcoming rewards once you meet the requirements, so don't worry if you've canceled your sub already but plan to return.

Path of Exile launches Forsaken Masters

Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

I have too many choices about where to go from here!
If you've been following Path of Exile news at all, you know that Forsaken Masters is set to shake up a fair amount of the game with its addition of masters, hideouts, crafting changes, new challenge leagues, and so forth. But did you realize that you can start exploring all of that right now? It's live! Well, maybe you can't explore it right now, you might be at work. But once you get home.

The biggest addition is the eponymous masters, who will show up randomly throughout the game world in search of players willing to aid their personal missions. Earning their trust will unlock access to their hideouts, crafting facilities, and special item rewards. Players can also take part in the new challenge leagues or just enjoy reduced mana costs across the board; they're all in place now, providing new entertainment to veterans and new players alike.

[Source: Grinding Gear Games press release]

Neverwinter's summer festival starts tomorrow

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

Neverwinter
If it's Neverwinter, it must be summer, right? Now that you've stopped groaning, you might be interested to hear that the D&D MMO is kicking off its summer festival tomorrow.

Cryptic is building on the previous year's festival by adding more content to the event. There will be a new summer-themed zone with daily quests, a water battle, new profession tasks, and a new dungeon for the web game Sword Coast Adventures. Players can try to grab a reward that they missed from last year or strive for one of the new prizes, such as the piñata or the Sunite Steed.

The summer festival will run from Thursday, August 21st, through Thursday, September 11th.

The Elder Scrolls Online plans 4v4 arenas, veteran rewards

Fantasy, Business Models, Classes, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Dev Diaries, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO
In a fresh entry on The Elder Scrolls Online's official site, Game Director Matt Firor has penned the latest Road Ahead update, in which he discusses the game's recent patch as well as what's in store for players next month. Of note, Firor says ZeniMax aims to make combat "more responsive," push out new Craglorn content, complete the last trial in the constellation storyline, and introduce a new 4v4 PvE arena. Work on the champion system, which revamps the MMO's character development and customization mechanics, continues; in fact, ZeniMax implores players to help test the inbound content on the public test server.

The team plans to formally announce a loyalty program later this week; it's expected to dole out traditional MMO veteran rewards like minipets.

Pantheon previews Halnir, promises to show more soon

Fantasy, Screenshots, News Items, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Yep, that... sure is light.  Cool.
Still waiting eagerly for the release of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen? While development has been fairly quiet, the official Facebook page has just seen an update showing off the zone of Halnir in six new screenshots. They show a small hint of the game's day/night cycle, as well as a few other relevant landmarks in the zone.

The post also promises that the development team is getting ready to demonstrate some major forward progress on the game. Although there's no exact time frame, the goal is before the weekend hits. Fans can take a look at the preview and keep their eyes peeled for more on the official Facebook page.

The Stream Team: Drag racing in ArcheAge

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content

Want to drag race? Well, you can! ArcheAge's Mirage Isle lets you test drive many of the game's vehicles, so you can take a roadster for a spin on the track even before you are rich enough to own one yourself. Come watch as Massively's MJ tries to make it through the entire course before crashing or running out of time. You can even join in live at 7:00 p.m. EDT and see if you can beat her to the finish line!

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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