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Fantasy

See Stormthrone's first gameplay teaser

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Free-to-Play, Browser

stormthorne
Hearing is one thing, seeing is another. Today we're no longer just hearing about R2Games' Stormthrone but getting our very first glimpse at actual gameplay (as measured in nanoseconds of video).

The studio released a teaser trailer that highlights the game's PvP battles, co-op mode, and loot system. Currently the game is accepting alpha signups, although the official site has some minigames for fans to earn in-game goodies for their future characters. You can check out the teaser after the break!

[Source: R2Games press release]

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The Think Tank: Fixing the Landmark-EQ Next perception problem

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, The Think Tank, Landmark

Not a Landmark post on Massively goes by without at least one commenter essentially telling SOE to talk about EverQuest Next or shut up. Massively's MJ Guthrie, who writes our EverQuest franchise column, has herself explained until she's blue in the face that Landmark is EQ Next's foundation, and SOE has talked plenty about EQ Next independently too, but for some reason, the explanations aren't sticking with the MMO populace, so the same complaints are voiced in every thread.

So what gives? Has SOE been too confusing with the Landmark/EQ Next co-branding? How can SOE dig itself out of this persistent perception problem? That's what I asked Massively's writers in today's Think Tank.

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The Stream Team: Swordsman with a little help from Perfect World

Fantasy, Historical, Video, New Titles, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team, MMORPG, Swordsman

Swordsman
Massively's Mike Foster has concluded his October Swordsman Choose My Adventure and can think of no better way to go out than in a blaze of incompetent glory. Join Mike tonight as he hops onto a max-level Swordsman character and runs some late-game instances. The Swordsman team will be in-stream to answer viewer questions and presumably sigh in frustration at Mike's inability to understand his new skills.

The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Game: Swordsman
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, October 30th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Allods Online patch will offer enchanted weapons and new astral adventure

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Allods Online, Dev Diaries

allods
Allods Online is gearing up for a pretty substantial update and has a pair of new dev diaries to talk about what the players can anticipate for Patch 5.0.02.

The Forgotten Legends update will kick off with a brand-new astral adventure called Reflection of Irdrich. In it, players will venture into a haunted obselisk and face off against five bosses. The big dev focus for this adventure is to make enemy damage avoidable if a player is skilled and aware of his or her surroundings.

Also coming with 5.0.02 is an enchanted weapon system that allows players to upgrade specific pieces of gear. These upgrades require reagents and result in more powerful weapons that boast not only better stats but improved visuals.

Guild Wars 2, Torchlight 2 slash box prices for Halloween

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

gw2
If you're looking for a subscription-free MMO to spend Halloween in, ArenaNet has an offer for you: The studio's slashed the price on Guild Wars 2's digital edition by 50%, making the cheapest version of the game just under 20 bucks.

If OARPGs are more your style, then check out Torchlight and Torchlight II; both are half off until November 3rd, Runic announced this afternoon.

We included a bunch of other Halloween-related sales in this morning's MMO Halloween roundup, and we expect more to keep rolling in today and tomorrow. Most games with cash shops are running some sort of promotion... just remember, you're a person, not a wallet.

SMITE reveals Nox, Goddess of the Night, just in time for Halloween

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Lore, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA

SMITE
Nox, Goddess of the Night, will soon debut in MOBA SMITE, Hi-Rez has announced. Based on the classical goddess of the same name, playable Nox is both beautiful and terrifying, a shadowy figure rarely seen, who "glides between the light just at the edge of vision." Her core mechanics revolve around the clever implementation of candles and candlelight; abilities used near Nox light up the candles she wields, reducing her mana consumption. Other powers include a mitigation shield, a damage-plus-silence raven attack, and multiple darkness-themed debuffs.

Check out Nox's god reveal trailer below!

[Thanks, Sorenthaz.]

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Camelot Unchained explores the designs of the Tuatha De Danann

Fantasy, Lore, News Items, Races, Camelot Unchained

Browns are so in this season.
Armor is not a fashion statement. Well, all right, it usually is, but it's not just a fashion statement. How a race looks in a given game often says a lot about what that race represents and what matters to the members as a whole. Camelot Unchained's latest update talks about the Tuatha De Danann, both a concept that the team may use for the realm's armor and the updated visual design of the Baen Sidhe.

Unlike the design for the Baen Sidhe's previous more macabre appearance, the updated design is still ethereal whilst being less overtly malformed. The scars and wounds that led to the death of an individual Baen Sidhe's line still play into the designs via shadowed tattoos. Meanwhile, the Tuatha De Danann as a whole are so in tune with the seasons and the flow of the natural world that several concept designs for season-themed armors are shown. If you want to see how you can protect your character while still making a fashion statement, check out the full update.

Why I Play: ArcheAge

Fantasy, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Why I Play

Addicted may be too strong a word when talking about my relationship to ArcheAge... but not by much! Have I logged in every day since the early access? Do I look forward to logging in? Have I said, "I'll go to bed right after I plant a couple more things" only to find more hours have slipped by before I finally do sleep? Do I get excited about the next trade run? Have I set alarms to wake up to try and nab a prime piece of land? Have I had dreams about ArcheAge when I sleep?

The answer to all of these is yes.

ArcheAge may not have everything I have ever wanted in a game (entertainment classes should be a requirement), but it checks more than a few of my boxes. I haven't had this much fun throwing myself into a game in a very long time. I look forward to each play session, and I tend to spend hours in game each day enjoying whatever I happen to be doing, be it sailing, trade runs, sneaking into enemy territory, or even just staring at my plants waiting for them to grow.

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Pathfinder Online early enrollment will not be launching today

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Launches, News Items, Subscription, Pathfinder Online

Pathfinder Online
Pathfinder Online's early enrollment launch for paying backers has already been delayed multiple times since its original goal of September 15th, and last night we learned that release has been put off yet again. Goblinworks' Ryan Dancey explained that the ongoing stress tests convinced the team that the server infrastructure needs bulking-up; consequently, the October 30th date -- today -- has been set aside. Dancey wrote,
We have set an internal objective of being able to handle 2,000 simultaneous connections, and 100 characters active in a single Hex as our minimum threshold for server performance. This reflects our expected peak concurrent activity for the first 10,000 players in game - roughly what we anticipate during the first 90 days of Early Enrollment activity. Currently the server does not reliably meet that benchmark.

With your help, we generated tremendously useful data via the stress test process and our performance team is confident that they can identify areas of the server system that can be rapidly improved to hit that benchmark. They are building and testing the necessary software and are making steady progress.

We want the first players in Pathfinder Online to have a high-quality experience and we are committed to delivering the game in a condition that meets that objective. Rather than commence Early Enrollment on the 30th we are going to enter a temporary "hold" state while we continue to optimize the server. When the team is confident that our benchmark for performance has been met, we will then exit the "hold", notify the community and begin a 48 hour countdown to Early Enrollment.
Dancey told players that Pathfinder's alpha test will continue, allowing devs to "roll out these polished feature iterations and to test server capacity improvements," and he thanked backers for their assistance and feedback.

World of Warcraft chronicles the challenges of Draenor zone design

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Lore, Previews, News Items, Dev Diaries, Subscription

WoW
The third installment of World of Warcraft's Artcraft blog series is now live, and in it, Blizzard Senior Level Designer Ely Cannon discusses the visual style of zone design and how the artists and level designers team up to sculpt the look of zones and sub-zones within the limitations of the game engine. Cannon again references popular zone Nagrand and the difficulties of creating color depth and variation in the Warlords of Draenor version of the famed Burning Crusade zone, with its sweeping and sometimes one-note rolling plains. (Spoiler: The problem is solved with even more green.)

Blizzard has also updated the WoW game guide with new lore about the Draenei leader Velen and human wizard Archmage Khadgar. Both posts are found on the official Blizzard blog.

The Daily Grind: Do you defend your favorite MMO?

Fantasy, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, The Elder Scrolls Online

I think I'm getting old, because there was a time when I'd wade into a forum discussion about my favorite MMO and defend it to the death against all comers. I still catch myself doing that on occasion, but said occasions are getting rarer. The passion hasn't gone anywhere, but I'd rather just go play it than argue about it, you know?

What about you, Massively readers? Do you defend your favorite MMOs?

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!

Path of Exile now accepting Karma Koins

Fantasy, Economy, Free-to-Play, Promotions, Path of Exile

poe
Do you need an alternate way to make purchases in Path of Exile? Yesterday, Grinding Gear Games declared to the world at large that it would also be accepting Karma Koins as payment. These are basically point cards that you can pick up from a variety of retailers for $10 to $50 each.

As an incentive for players to try out the Karma Koin system, Path of Exile will give out a Voidgate Portal effect for everyone who uses a card. Karma Koin claims to donate 1% of sales to charities, including one that brings drinking water to families in Cambodia.

[Thanks to Ville Uusitalo for the tip!]

Final Fantasy XI wants you back really bad

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, MMO Industry, News Items, Promotions

Final Fantasy XI is dangling quite a few incentives for adventurers considering a return to Vana'diel. First up is the Idyllic Vana'diel campaign, which begins on November 10th. You'll get login prizes, double XP, and more.

There's also a discount campaign, which features substantial price reductions on everything from the Seekers of Adoulin expansion pack to the FFXI Ultimate Collection Seeker's Edition. Finally, don't forget about the Adventurer Appreciation campaign, which rewards players who had active accounts between September 1st and October 31st.

Guild Wars 2 takes another stab at e-sports

Fantasy, Contests, PvP, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

esl
Guild Wars 2 is once again dipping its toes into the world of competitive e-sports, this time in association with the Electronic Sports League. ArenaNet is sponsoring the Go4GuildWars2 Cup as a result, challenging PvP players to fight over weekly cups for money.

The weekly prize for the cup is $500 or €500 per region, with a lead-up to the grand monthly prize of $1,500 or €1,500. Top winners from each weekly cup will be invited to participate in the monthly finale. The cups will take place every Sunday with the first beginning on November 2nd. It's open to everyone who would like to sign up and can be watched by all.

"Our hope is that these weekly cups will help drive our players forward in terms of skill, strategy, and teamwork," ArenaNet stated.

Leaderboard: Is TERA's expansion tempting you to play?

Fantasy, Expansions, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, TERA

I haven't played TERA in a long while. I always to meant to give it more of a shot, but for whatever reason it's never worked out. On the heels of En Masse's first expansion announcement, I'm thinking about it again, though it's going to take some doing to pry me away from ArcheAge.

What about you, Massively readers? Is TERA's Fate of Arun expansion tempting you to play? Vote after the cut!

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