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Fantasy

Not So Massively: LoL's world championship victors, Elite's shindig, and Citizen Con 2014

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Culture, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Launches, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, E-sports, OARPG

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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 history of EverQuest Next, Cliffs Notes version

Fantasy, Lore, New Titles, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next

If there was ever a world with a deep, rich history behind it, it's Norrath. But EverQuest Next is giving its own spin to the lore. If you're tired of feeling left out and clueless in conversations about the Dragon War because you haven't had time to read through the 11 lore e-books that have been published, you've got a chance to get in the know! EQHammer offers a handy Cliffs Notes-style overview that gives fans a foundation of the story, from the formation of the world up though the Combine Era. Go ahead and read through it to grab the major highlights, then you can delve into the full story in the e-books when you find larger chunks of spare time.

Camelot Unchained 'in great shape' following first pre-alpha test

Betas, Fantasy, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

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Camelot Unchained's first pre-alpha test wrapped up after running this past weekend, and according to reports from the devs, the MMO saw strong server stability and performance. Mark Jacobs reported that a "vast majority" of testers approved of the detailed character creation system and up to 200 players were able to duke it out in the same battleground area.

"It is safe to say that, considering where we are in development as compared to other games Andrew and I have worked on, that we are in great shape. Especially since we are building almost the entire engine from scratch," Jacobs said.

Camelot Unchained will continue to run pre-alpha tests, with the devs promising "at least one testing day" every week or two.

Life is Feudal reports 100,000 copies sold in the first month

Fantasy, Historical, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox

If you bought this, please.  Explain why.
After a month of availability on Steam and via its own website, Life is Feudal has apparently sold 100,000 copies. Bitbox has clarified to Massively that the current build of the game "is a 64-player version" and that the "thousands of servers [...] are all persistent."

Producer and project lead Vladimir Piskunov attributes the early success of the title to the freedom allowed for players to build while emphasizing that these sales will help fund the development of the game's full MMO experience. No specific target date for the game's MMO incarnation has been set.

[Source: Bitbox Ltd. press release]

Guild Wars 2 teases upcoming festivals, living story season conclusion

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Lore, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

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ArenaNet's Colin Johanson has penned a new Guild Wars 2 dev blog teasing just what the remainder of the fall season will bring for the two-year-old MMO.

Outside of ANet's e-sports push, the game's buzz has been relatively subdued since the second feature pack released in early September. That will change tomorrow, October 21st, with the arrival of the much-loved Halloween festival; Wintersday, the winter festival, is scheduled to kick off on December 16th. "Both of these releases," Johanson says, "will feature the same content as last year but with refreshed rewards, giving you fun new festival-themed items to earn."

Season 2 of the living story itself returns from intermission on November 4th, having been on hiatus for just under two months. Johanson promises the plotline will feature "stories with roots deep in the very heart of Guild Wars lore" and an "unforgettable" final episode for the season.

Massively Interview: Spinning Neverwinter's tall tales

Fantasy, Interviews, Lore, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

neverwinter
Massively: Today we're joined by Neverwinter Senior Content Designer Randy Mosiondz to talk about the game's story. So Randy, how does the story of Neverwinter run parallel to the pen-and-paper campaign and how does it differ? In the cases of its divergeance, why did the team take those paths?

Randy Mosiondz: In Neverwinter we usually try to parallel a lot of the Forgotten Realms story development that Wizards of the Coast has been doing over the last few years. At launch, the majority of our adventure zones were based on stories were being told in the Realms, primarily focusing on Valindra, the Crown of Neverwinter, Gauntlgrym, and the aftermath of the Spellplague. One of our main sources of inspiration was the D&D 4th edition Neverwinter Campaign Guide, which had a number of great story seeds.

We did add a number of new zones that were not directly connected to that book but were still drawn from Realms lore. In a lot of these cases we simply wanted to make sure there was enough variety in storylines, environments, and monsters you encountered to ensure we covered all of the high points of the D&D adventuring experience. Whenever we do this, we consult with Wizards of the Coast on a weekly basis to ensure these storylines match up to their expectations of what fits in the Forgotten Realms.

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The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV's post-fanfest shakedown

Fantasy, Business Models, Classes, Expansions, Patches, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

Honestly, if the existence of the cash shop is the only rude surprise awaiting us, I'll be happy.
So Final Fantasy XIV players like yours truly have a mouthful of fanfest information to chew on. How did it all shake down, in the final assessment?

Well, I'm not going to lie: My aim was mixed at best. A minority of demo stations covering content I hadn't anticipated, patch 2.4 a week after my prediction, and mentions of 2.5 in brief. But we did get gear details and an expansion announcement. I'd call it a mix and a wash, at the end of the day. You tried, gold star, etc.

But enough about what I did and didn't get right; there's plenty more to talk about from the various panels, the Live Letter, and other revelations. So let's start in on it, kicking off with the elephant in the room that I've already been hearing about for the entirety of the past day for obvious reasons. Yes, it's a cash shop.

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Path of Exile video reveals the shocking truth behind Update 1.2.4

Fantasy, Video, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

path of exile
This week Path of Exile will get a substantial content upgrade to version 1.2.4, and we've got a preview video to share with you that covers its highlights.

One of the big additions with 1.2.4 is an electrifying Lightning Tendrils, along with new store options and the Herald of Thunder. The patch will be dropping on Wednesday, at which time the team will also post the Race Season Nine schedule.

You can watch the video after the jump!

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best fishing?

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

I've always liked fishing in MMOs. Funnily enough I don't care for meatspace fishing all that much, but sitting on a virtual dock reeling in catch after catch never gets old.

ArcheAge has taken my appreciation for MMO fishing to a whole other level, though. I'm still fairly newbish at it, but I did land my first successful sport catch the other day, and it's a ton of fun to go cruising around the ocean looking for telltale flocks of birds before chumming up the water and settling in for a lengthy battle with a sturgeon.

What about you, MMO fishing connoisseurs? Which game does it best?

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!

GoblinWorks: Pathfinder's PvP 'provides meaningful context'

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Pathfinder Online

GoblinWorks' latest Pathfinder developer blog went live this week, and in it CEO Ryan Dancey previews alpha version 10.0 which "closes a number of critical game loops" by adding several features.

Testers will experience increased character power, increased crafting abilities, and a new company/settlement UI, to name just a few of the improvements. Dancey also says that Pathfinder's PvP will "provide meaningful context" while acknowledging that "many people have serious reservations about PvP."

Dancey says that the solution to the problem of bad PvP behavior and "no-fun experiences" is the context. "When people struggle over something meaningful they behave differently than when PvP is just [a] random fight." How exactly will Pathfinder provide this context? You'll have to read the dev blog to find out!

[Thanks Chrysillis!]

LotRO's 'current plans' not impacted by latest layoffs

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play

Turbine's latest round of layoffs won't affect long-running fantasy MMORPG Lord of the Rings Online, according to community manager Andy Cataldo.

LotRO Players reports that Cataldo elaborated during a Twitch stream and said that the firings will have no effect on Turbine's current plans for the game. Cataldo did not reveal whether or not "current plans" refers to the game's pre-existing development roadmap or the plans that have already been shared with the community and which run through the end of 2014.

Final Fantasy XIV announces its first expansion, Heavensward

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Called it.
The Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival is currently underway in Las Vegas, and the keynote speech brought with it the big announcement many people were waiting for: The game's first expansions has been announced for spring 2015. Heavensward will focus on the city-state of Ishgard, as seen in the trailer embedded just past the break.

Gamer Escape's liveblog of the keynote notes that the expansion will feature a level cap increase to level 60, new jobs, a new race (albeit with an as-yet-unconfirmed identity), new primals, and new high-end content. More information will be available at the London fanfest taking place next week. For now, players will just have to speculate a bit on what the future holds. (The smart money, of course, is on dragons. Lots and lots of dragons. It's kind of an Ishgardian thing.)

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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The Stream Team: The daily grind for gilda in ArcheAge

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, The Stream Team

The Stream Team: The daily grind for gilda in Archeage
After you finish up the story line quest in ArcheAge, the best supply of gilda stars dries up. And since all the cool toys -- from boats to houses to farm wagons -- are bought with those specialty coins, many players are constantly in a state of wanting more. (Whether players keep the deeds or resell them the auction house is another matter entirely!) Massively's MJ is one who needs more, more, MORE gilda stars! So to build her supply she's running a set of dailies. Join us at 1:00 p.m. and do the daily gilda star portal hop with her. It's all the rage!

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, October 18th, 2014
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Road to Mordor: Test driving LotRO's Beorning class

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Classes, Patches, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, The Road to Mordor

lotro
November 18th, 2008. That is the last time that Turbine added a new class (in that case, two) to Lord of the Rings Online. The last time, that is, until now in late 2014.

The Beorning is coming in with a similar level of anticipation and controversy that swirled around the Rune-keeper. There are folks excited about the possibilities of playing a skin-changer, and there are those hotly debating its lore qualifications. And if I have to hear "Beornings are a race, not a class" one more time, then I'll... get a free toaster. It turns out that Turbine has a clever response to that, by the way.

I'm on the "anticipation" side of things if only because I've been championing the addition of new classes to LotRO for years now. With the Beorning hitting the Bullroarer test server this past weekend, I knew that I had to get in and give the new class a quick test drive. So what did I discover?

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Kingdom Under Fire II took seven years and $50M to complete

Betas, Fantasy, Interviews, Free-to-Play, MMORTS

kuf2
After spending over seven years in development, Kingdom Under Fire II may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It's currently in beta testing in southeast Asia and has plans for US and EU tests before the end of 2014.

Game Director Sang Youn Lee said that the title's lengthy development was compounded by a format switch from a single-player Xbox title to an MMO for the PC and PlayStation 4. The cost for the game also spiraled upward over the years. "The scale of the game has expanded to three or four times what it was at first," Sang Youn Lee told Kotaku. "$15,000,000 was the first budget for the game. Now it is $50,000,000."

Kingdom Under Fire II blends RPG and RTS elements to allow players to lead up to 500 soldiers in battles against each other rather than against the computer. Reportedly, the game can handle displaying 10,000 troops in combat at the same time.

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