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Fantasy

The Stream Team: Hug it out in Final Fantasy XIV

Fantasy, Video, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Final Fantasy XIV, Livestream, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

FFXIV
You know what's awesome? Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, that's what. Join Massively's Mike Foster tonight as he crushes some hard mode encounters from the perspective of a White Mage. Or, more realistically, join Massively's Mike Foster as he wipes over and over again in encounters that the rest of FFXIV's player base can probably do blindfolded.

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

Game: Final Fantasy XIV
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, January 29th, 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Trove adds pirates and promotes pets

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Trove

trove
Yesterday was a fairly important update for the blocky world of Trove, as the new patch introduced genuine, bonafide pirates to the game. Players can now hunt down pirate ships to plunder them for goods while looking forward to future sea-themed updates.

Also notable in the patch is that player pets have been promoted to allies. It's not just a name change, either; allies have "extra special powers" that can be used to help players in their journeys. Check out the patch notes for the full details.

Otherland plans a second closed beta test for February

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

otherland
After hints and rumors, the Otherland dev team is finally prepared to confirm that a second closed beta test is indeed on the way -- and it will be happening next month.

"Otherland is starting into the second CBT in February. We don't have an exact date yet and it can be delayed, but we don't want to tease you anymore. We polished a lot of stuff and put a lot of effort in it to provide you with more content, more quests and new features," the team said on the forums.

The next closed beta test will include crafting, the auction house, storage, and vendors. Those who didn't get in the first time around can take heart in knowing the team will be handing out more beta keys than the last round.

The Game Archaeologist travels to Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds

Fantasy, Lineage, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, The Game Archaeologist, ArcheAge

nexus
I confess that I have a particular fascination for MMOs that came into existence in the 1990s. It's not only the fact that I was oblivious to them at the time (er, wild college days?) but that practically each and every one of them were true pioneers in their own fashion. And while your standard MMO fan might think that there were only three such games in that decade (four, if they are gracious and include Meridian 59), the truth is that there were far more of them.

Today we are going to look at one of the most important MMOs to emerge from that time period, Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds, although its influence was primarily located in Korea while being vastly downplayed in North America. Still, here's a successful MMO that not only beat Ultima Online out of the door by a year but has since won a Guinness World Record for longevity!

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The Stream Team: Making my merchant ship in ArcheAge

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

It took plenty of saving up, but Massively's MJ now has everything she needs to build a better ArcheAge boat: a merchant schooner! Why haul packs just one, three, or even seven at a time when you can load up and haul 21? And that makes overseas trading that much more profitable (while simultaneously making you more of a target!). Join us live at 2:00 p.m. EST as MJ leaps into this new era of sea trade.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, January 29th, 2015
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Sail to Tyrant's Throne with RIFT 3.1

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, RIFT

rift
RIFT's Patch 3.1: Storm at Sea came out yesterday, building upon the water-based madness that came with last fall's Nightmare Tide expansion.

The biggest addition to the Plane of Water is the Tyrant's Throne zone (which is so very fun to say six times fast), which includes five new story quests that cover the tale of Crucia's horrible experiments. The patch also adds three zone events, more planar attunement levels, a new nightmare rift type, a new chronicle, and improvements to the minion, dimension, and crafting UI systems.

Skycastles coming to TERA on February 24

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, TERA, Housing

Have you recently come home to TERA? OK, maybe you never left. Either way, En Masse is betting you'll get excited about the Skycastle guild housing system that's heading your way on February 24th.

The castles float above major cities and are available "to the top-ranking guilds on each server via two new ongoing four-week guild competitions that track guild points earned from dungeons, battlegrounds, and guild-vs.-guild battles," according to an En Masse press blurb.

The patch will also include a new dungeon set aboard the Sky Cruiser Endeavor as well as a hard-mode version of Bathysmal Rise.

[Source: En Masse press release]

The Stream Team: Accessing Aion's Abbeys

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

As Aion just opened the new Abbeys (a place for returning players to grab some bonuses before heading out into the wilds of Atreia), now is the perfect time for Massively's MJ to unfold her wings and dive back in! She'll be dusting off her Elyos Cleric and setting out to explore the familiar lands -- and maybe even poking into a few new places. Join us live at 8:00 p.m.to check out this new permanent feature.

Game: Aion
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Get your free League of Legends soundtrack now

Fantasy, Free-to-Play, Giveaways, MOBA, League of Legends, Music

lol
You know what's awesome? Free stuff. Free stuff is awesome. And League of Legends is notable for giving away free goodies over the years, so we're not surprised to see that Riot's put the game's brand-new soundtrack album up on the site as a free download -- before it's going to be sold elsewhere.

So if you want to get 15 generally excellent tracks (we know; we've listened to it), then head on over and snag it now!

New Das Tal vid explains combat, playstyles, and more

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

Das Tal's devs have released a new video and are currently adding player settlements, resource warfare, crafting, and progression to the PvP sandbox, according to a new press release.

The video runs for nearly 10 minutes and explains a good bit about the game's combat abilities. It also summarizes possible playstyles based on weapon and armor choices, as well as a high-level look at the game's "MOBA meets MMO" combat system.

Click past the cut to see for yourself!

[Source: Fairytale Distillery press release]

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I just reupped my sub so FFXIV is having a free weekend

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, News Items, Final Fantasy XIV

Last night I re-upped my Final Fantasy XIV subscription. Naturally this made it an ideal time for Square to announce a free weekend for its fantasy MMORPG.

I haven't been in the game since late 2013, and given my dissatisfaction with pretty much everything at the moment, I figured why not return to a fun title that treats crafting (and fishing!) as more than a half-assed sideline activity.

So, yep. That's pretty much that. Free FFXIV weekend -- for inactive accounts -- from Friday, January 30th through Monday, February 2nd. Have fun!

[Source: Square press release]

The Stream Team: Accessing Albion Online's winter alpha test

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team

It's back to bunny butchering for Massively's MJ -- if she can manage to do it! Albion Online has started its winter alpha test, and MJ excitedly jumped in to explore more of this game. And then she remembered: In order to make armor and weapons so she can explore, she's faced with having to participate in a few rounds of bunny punching. (Let's not even remind her of the skinning sounds!) Can she do it? Or can she find something a little less cuddly that will work? Or maybe she won't even worry about new clothes and just become a farmer instead! Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for a look at how far Albion has come since its summer test.

Game: Albion Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Shards producer letter talks maps, admin servers, and more

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox

We've been wondering what's up with Shards Online, and today we're learning a little bit about that via its new producer's letter.

Looks like the team is "making progress on the first map and getting the server in the hands of early admins." Project lead Derek Brinkmann has also been "working to optimize the Lua script engine to make sure we have the ability to support enough servers" for those early admins.

There's much more to the report, but you'll need to visit the official Shards website to read it!

[Thanks Omedon!]

Jukebox Heroes: The quieter side of LotRO's soundtrack

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Jukebox Heroes, Music

lotro
Yes, I'm kind of nuts about the Lord of the Rings Online soundtrack. It could be because I've played this MMO more than most any other at this point, but I like to think that it's also due to a really well-done score that does more for world-building than most soundtracks.

Even though I've talked about the soundtrack as a whole, interviewed Composer Chance Thomas, discussed my favorite housing themes, and reviewed both the Riders of Rohan and Helm's Deep scores, there's still more that I wanted to cover.

Today, I want to share with you exactly why I love this soundtrack: for the quiet moments. There are a select few tracks that are nearly ambient but are also perfectly immersive. I can't help but get kicked in the feels every time one of these comes on, and I know that for years to come I'll have fond memories of LotRO whenever I play them. Let's get a little mellow and hear the whispers of Middle-earth today.

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Crowfall's Legionnaire is a four-legged powerhouse

Betas, Fantasy, Screenshots, Classes, Crowfall

crowfall
Today's a series of firsts for Crowfall reveals. It's the first glimpse of the game's second announced class, the Legionnaire. It's the first look at a character who is other than human -- and is in fact a Centaur. And it's the title's first in-game environment screenshot.

Crowfall has also posted a handy FAQ that goes into depth about the character creation process, teases Mac support, and eschews traditional MMO levels as a means of progression.

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