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Snail previews Age of Wushu's scheming eunuch Rootless Clan

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

Age of Wushu's Rootless Clan
Want to get castrated and join "a cabal of scheming eunuchs?" Age of Wushu's Rootless Clan is for you. The martial arts sandbox game's upcoming Tempest of Strife expansion introduces the "mysterious yet heinous" new class which is an expert at both ranged and melee attacks.

The AoW website features more info about the archetype's skills and abilities as well as a teaser video. Or you could just click past the cut to watch the latter. Hey, don't say Massively never did anything for you!

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Tamriel Infinium: Seriously, you should craft in Elder Scrolls Online

Fantasy, News Items, Opinion, Mac, Guides, Crafting, The Elder Scrolls Online, MMORPG, Tamriel Infinium

Tamriel Infinium: Seriously, you should craft in Elder Scrolls Online
I've come to the conclusion that Elder Scrolls Online is not a game you want run through quickly. If you fly past each town just running from quest marker to quest marker, you'll miss some of the most important things the game has to offer and burn-out comes that much faster. In the first day, we had a player reach max level in less than 18 hours. Of course, some players cry "exploit," but for me, that's not really the point. I would feel I was missing something if I rushed to the end. And because I didn't rush to the end, I can try out some parts of Elder Scrolls Online that I would not even think about trying in any other MMO, like crafting.

I have a long-standing angst toward crafting in MMOs. I played Ultima Online, but I didn't really craft in that game. I didn't start to understand the importance of crafting until I played Star Wars Galaxies. As we know, crafting was central to the success of that game. But after ZeniMax announced that an auction house would not exist in ESO, I wrote off crafting as unimportant and ultimately a waste of my time.

Then late in beta, a friend of mine crafted a set of armor for me. I was surprised. The armor she made was better than my looted armor. I had to find out more. I put this little primer together for those who want to get started making their own weapons and armor.

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PAX East 2014: Guild Wars 2 on the Feature Pack and beyond

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Events (Massively's Coverage), Buy-to-Play

Also accepted: Tumblr reaction GIFs.
If you're a Guild Wars 2 fan, we all know what you're excited about today. After a year(ish) of small incremental patches and living story, the game is rolling out a big patch full of features appropriately dubbed the Feature Pack. It's not new content, but it's a lot of big bonuses and improvements to the ways that players already play the game's existing content. And we got to see a bit of it in action at PAX East.

Some of the information about how these features will work has already been discussed, but not everything, and seeing all of the improvements in action definitely gave a sense of tangible change not visible in development blogs. It's part of a shift in ethos for the development team, as well; rather than trying to roll out changes along with Living Story updates, ArenaNet is implementing a big set of improvements at once to make the whole update feel meatier.

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Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade's founder program detailed

Fantasy, Business Models, News Items, Warhammer 40k, Crowdfunding

In a newsletter sent to fans today, the Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade team fleshed out its previously mentioned plans for its founder program.
Within the next few months you will be able to buy a Founder's Pack for Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade. Buying a Founder's Pack will give you full access to the full game at launch, and all four races. You'll also get to select unique rewards from the following categories:
Identity – Enhance your character's core identity with unique Founders-only squad emblems, Heroes, and background-related titles, biographies, and cosmetics
Weapon Skins – Unique cosmetics for each race
Armor Skins – Unique cosmetics for each race
Space Ship Decorations – Unique cosmetics to dress up your Squad or Strike Force Cruiser's interior the way you want
Miscellaneous – Unique execution animations and pets, both utility and non-combat
Vehicles – Unique Founders-only vehicles
Consumables – Extra ammunition, grenades, and other convenience items
Accessories – Unique equipment pieces
The developers promise updates to each category over time and also note that playable modules will become available much earlier to founders than to everyone else.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

Not So Massively: Heroes of the Storm's new heroes, Dawngate's beta launch, and Diablo III's latest patch

Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Launches, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, Diablo III, Hearthstone

Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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The new player experience in EverQuest Next and Landmark

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Community Q&A, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Landmark

In this week's EverQuest Next roundtable video, Senior Brand Manager Omeed Dariani and Lead Designer Darrin McPherson tackle the new user experience in Landmark and EQN. The pair say they recognize that developers don't always see the game the same way players do and that players need to be caught early by the game, especially a free-to-play game, or they'll leave.

"In both games, we won't have a lock-step approach to a tutorial... we definitely want to have something more free," McPherson explained. Learning the game will be a set of achievements. For example, when you equip an axe, the game will tell you you can chop wood with it, and when you chop wood, the game will tell you how to craft, granting achievements along the way without forcing players to complete any one element of gameplay to proceed.

Enjoy the full dev video after the break.

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Get Trove alpha access for $20

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Free-to-Play, Sandbox

Brick by brick, Trove's world has been shaped by both its alpha community and dev team. Now, Trion Worlds has announced that the alpha program is about to get even bigger.

Starting now, Trove has expanded the benefits of its Adventurer supporter tier to include instant access to the game's alpha. The Adventurer tier, which costs $20, also includes a few thousand in-game credits, an inventory upgrade, and other goodies in addition to alpha access.

Elder Scrolls Online answers Craglorn questions

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, Previews, Community Q&A, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

If you were intrigued by the reveal of Elder Scrolls Online's upcoming Craglorn zone expansion but felt as though there were gaps in your formal education, prepare to get schooled.

ZeniMax posted a new community Q&A today about Craglorn. The studio said that there will be rewards for everyone, not just those who make the leaderboards. Players can expect to spend between a half-hour to 1.5 hours per trial with 60 resurrections allowed for the group as a whole, and they will need to be at least veteran rank 11 to participate.

Some players had asked what these Celestials are, to which ZeniMax responded, "The Celestials are a new concept based on the existing lore of the constellations in The Elder Scrolls games. There's quite a bit of lore in Craglorn that will be interesting for fans to discover."

Istaria revamps Island of Ice with new patch

Fantasy, Patches, Dev Diaries

A new update named A Bitter Wind came to Istaria this past week, and with it we see a revamped region, the return of the Spring Festival, bug fixes, and much more.

The Island of Ice is the revamped region, with changes including a new quest hub called the Expedition Camp, a new set of ruins protected by the dead, renamed mobs, and "more reasons for players to actually visit and enjoy the region," according to the patch notes.

Check out the notes in their entirety for more on how busy the Virtrium team has been this last week.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

The Mog Log: More time in Final Fantasy XIV's 2.2

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, Endgame, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Dungeons, Subscription

Writing ahead to not get blindsided by PAX, it's witchcraft!
I was pressed for time when Final Fantasy XIV patched at just the wrong time. I'm on a schedule, you know. My first impressions of the patch were far less comprehensive than I would have liked, although I did try to fill in the blanks as best I could down in the comments. But that was two weeks ago, and you doubtlessly expected that by now I would have gotten through the rest of the patch for more impressions.

Honestly, I could probably spend quite a bit of time talking about all the various aspects of the game altered by this particular patch, but I'd prefer to narrow my focus slightly and zoom in on the most immediately relevant bits. So let's talk a little bit more about 2.2. Let's talk about the dungeons I didn't cover last time, the quest lines, the big battles (sometimes on a bridge), and a couple of problematic elements that have cropped up.

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New Black Desert trailer boasts formation-based combat

Fantasy, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Black Desert

Black Desert group
Last month we learned about Black Desert's formation-based combat gameplay. While it sounds slick and -- dare we say it -- innovative, it was greeted with a healthy amount of skepticism by Massively commenters.

To recap, Black Desert eschews traditional trinity roles for combat formations. For example, a group that arranges itself in a circle will boast higher defenses while a straight-line formation will boost the DPS of the lead avatar. If you're still not convinced, well, that's probably why Pearl Abyss has released a new party-based gameplay trailer. Give it a look-see after the break!

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Here's FFXIV's PS4 launch trailer

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Launches, MMO Industry, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Final Fantasy XIV cutscene
It's Final Fantasy XIV's launch day... on the PlayStation 4. Square's fantasy MMO reboot -- and Massively's 2013 MMO of the year -- has been dazzling gamers on the PC and the PlayStation 3 for some time now, but a new trailer reminds us that next-gen console owners can now join in the fun.

You can view the clip in its entirety after the break.

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LotRO launches The Breaking of Isengard, reveals new Beorning class

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play

LotRO logo
Turbine surprised us with its recent announcement of a new class coming to Lord of the Rings Online. This morning executive producer Aaron Campbell revealed that new class to be the Beorning. Campbell says that it is "a light armor casting class with a focus on control of the battlefield."

"When a Beorning gathers sufficient rage, they may transform into a mighty bear," he continues. The post contains a few other nuggets, among them the fact that a housing revamp is officially off the table, at least for 2014.

Meanwhile, the game has launched update 13, The Breaking of Isengard.

[Thanks Darasimi!]

Pantheon slows development, cites lack of funding

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, Crowdfunding

After Brad McQuaid's Pantheon Kickstarter campaign fell short of its $800,000 goal in February, Visionary Realms said that development would continue. But today we've gotten word that it will slow until further funding is secured.

"The downside now is that our initial resources have depleted," a post on the official site states. "Which regrettably means that development is going to slow down until finances can be secured. It's not something we want to do by any means, but as we cannot guarantee paychecks to the team, they each need to be able to spend time on other things to pay the bills."

The post goes on to say that all donations at this point will be used for website maintenance and not development until a large enough investment is made to get studio space. Check out the official announcement on Pantheon's main site for more info.

The Daily Grind: Do you feel pressured to level faster?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO Redguard Nightblade
I've been playing Elder Scrolls Online pretty much daily since early release, but I just now dinged level 25 on my main character. I'd probably be a bit further along if I hadn't been consumed with altitis and some early-game decisional paralysis, not to mention I've spent a significant chunk of time crafting.

I'm seeing a bunch of level 50s, though, and even though ESO is one of those rare themeparks that offers incentives for exploration and things to do off of the beaten paths, I'm feeling somewhat envious of all these higher-level folk.

What about you, Massively readers? Do you feel any pressure -- either from yourself or from others -- to speed up your leveling process?

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!

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