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Guild Wars 2's Echoes of the Past begins next week

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

ArenaNet has just posted a new trailer for the next installment of Guild Wars 2's living story, Echoes of the Past, which launches on November 4th. "Echoes of the Past will pick up the story from the cliffhanger ending of episode 4 and follow the heroes of Tyria as they continue down the road to war against the Elder Dragon Mordremoth," says the studio. The second season of the game's living story has been on hiatus since the beginning of September.

Last week, Massively GW2 columnist Anatoli Ingram spoke with ArenaNet's Bobby Stein and Steven Waller about this season's living story plotline. Toli's recap of the ongoing Halloween event and gem shop controversy, as well as his own predictions for the living story, went live earlier this afternoon.

Enjoy the video below, and tell me if I'm crazy in thinking the music track is tipping its hat to Revenge of the Sith.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Gem store scares and lore treats in Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Economy, Events (In-Game), Lore, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

I heard a lot of speculation about this guy last year, but I'm pretty sure he's just a spider and not a Margonite.
It's Halloween! Well, almost. Close enough. It's always fun to celebrate holidays as an MMO fan because you can party as long as the event runs without ever leaving your house! Oh, I just made myself sad. Let's start over.

Guild Wars 2 is celebrating its third Halloween, and it doesn't seem as though evil ghosts are any more likely to let the destruction of Lion's Arch get in the way of the festivities than the rest of us are. Even though the celebration is a repeat of last year's, there's still quite a bit of news to discuss, so hop past the cut and let's see what ArenaNet dropped in our trick-or-treat bags.

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EverQuest: The Darkened Sea expansion is live today

Fantasy, EverQuest, Expansions, Interviews, Free-to-Play

We got our first glimpse of EverQuest's 21st expansion back at SOE Live, with its impending new features, a slew of new zones, and the promise of the return of two classic characters. For the past month, some folks have even been testing these things out in beta. Now with launch finally just around the corner (as in today!), Designers Jonathan Caraker, Alan VanCouvering, and Doug Cronkhite joined Producer Thom Terrazas and Creative Director Akil Hooper to talk shop while zipping through the newest zones of The Darkened Sea on a tour of what players will get to dive into.

The Darkened Sea actually builds upon a previous expansion, The Buried Sea. "We have some stories and characters... that we liked back then that we wanted to continue," Terrazas explained. "So we're bringing back some familiar characters that have been off the grid a little bit the last few years." The story itself also takes place in the Buried Sea, starting off on a little tucked away island called Tempest Temple.

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Blizzard mass-bans Hearthstone cheaters

Betas, Fantasy, Events (Real-World), PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

Last night, Blizzard announced that it's brought the banhammer down on cheaters in its MMOTCG, Hearthstone. "Several thousand" botter accounts have been banned for the next two months, though the studio warns it won't be so lenient next time:
We've recently banned several thousand Hearthstone accounts that were associated with the use of third-party programs that automate gameplay, otherwise known as "bots" or "botting." These accounts will be banned until 2015. As we've stated, fair play is at the core of the Hearthstone experience, and cheating and botting will not be tolerated.

We're committed to creating a fun and rewarding environment for our players, and we will continue to closely monitor activities within Hearthstone and take appropriate action against cheating in any form, as outlined in our Terms of Use. From this point on, accounts found to be cheating will be permanently closed without warning.
Blizzard encourages players who encounter exploits to contact the hacks team; those who believe they've been wrongly banned can appeal their ban through the customer service department. [We've corrected our original story, which directed folks to the hacks team for all issues.]

WoW devs discuss environment and zone design

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Dev Diaries

World of Warcraft senior art director Chris Robinson has penned a new dev blog focused on zone and environmental design. It's the first of a planned series that will use Nagrand as its primary example, and over the coming days you'll be hearing from additional quest and systems designers and even historians who "craft and create not only the zones we adventure in, but the visual story about these locations and the creatures and races that inhabit them."

Go behind the scenes on a Bless cinematic

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

Remember Bless? It's been a while since we've heard from the Korean fantasy import, but today we learned of a new video that takes you behind the scenes for the making of a cinematic as well as a 1,000-player focus group test slated for the Korean market on November 6th.

MMO Culture reports that Bless features "an epic storyline and conflicts between various factions and races which will lead to massive PvP battles." You can view the trailer after the cut.

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Final Fantasy XI adding new factions with Unity Concord System

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Patches, News Items, PvE, Subscription

If you were looking for another reason to get together with your fellow Final Fantasy XI players for riches and glory, the new Unity Concord System is for you. These upcoming NPC-based factions, each run by one of Vana'diel's more popular personages, come complete with special tasks, rewards, and even rankings.

Membership in a Unity will have its privileges: Each one has a special chat channel as well as new Records of Eminence objectives that allow you to earn a new currency called accolades. These accolades can be spent on participating in the new "Wanted" objectives (where players are given the task to defeat a specific monster), buying special items, enhancing equipment looted from the Wanted battles, and more. Once a week the Unities will be ranked based on points accumulated by members; the higher a Unity is ranked, the better the equipment players can earn from the wanted objectives. And that's only the beginning. Devs note that even more systems and content related to the Unity Concord are scheduled to be added in future updates.

Fully crossplatform LEGO Minifigures Online is coming to the Kindle Fire HDX

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Kids, Family

Funcom has today announced a partnership with Amazon that will put LEGO Minifigures Online on Amazon Fire TV as well as the Kindle Fire HDX line of tablets. Says the studio,
Working with Amazon on this project includes support for the Fire TV game controller as well as Amazon's store and payment systems. Fire TV is currently widely available in North America and Germany, and is launching in the United Kingdom in November 2014. LEGO Minifigures Online is scheduled to go live on Fire TV at the end of 2014.

Funcom will also be bringing LEGO Minifigures Online to the HDX line of Fire tablets. The game will be optimized for these devices and will fully support Amazon's store and payment systems for these devices. This version of LEGO Minifigures Online is set to go live at the end of Q1 2015.
Of note, Funcom promises that the family-friendly MMO will feature full cross-platform play across "Windows PC, Mac, iOS tablets, Android tablets, Fire TV and Fire tablets," making it one of the few MMOs playable on pretty much everything with the possible exception of your toaster.

We've included the game's recent Space World trailer below.

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The Stream Team: Touring RIFT's Nightmare Tide with Trion's Daglar and devs

Fantasy, Video, Expansions, Interviews, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Livestream, The Stream Team

The Stream Team: Touring RIFT's Nightmare Tide with Producer Bill Fisher
RIFT's latest expansion Nightmare Tide just launched last week, so there are plenty of new things to do and new places to see. And who better to guide you though those than the folks who made them? Executive Producer Bill "Daglar" Fisher, Senior Development Director Simon "DeadSimon" Ffinch, Senior Systems Designer Chris "Archonix" Junior,and Senior Community Manager Eric "Ocho" Cleaver join Massively's MJ for a romp through the new content. Bring your questions for the team and join us live at 2:00 p.m. to ride through Nightmare Tide.

Game: RIFT: Nightmare Tide
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Monday, October 27th, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Mog Log: Dark Knight is a tank in Final Fantasy XIV

Fantasy, Classes, Expansions, Lore, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

Yes, even if you cry, that headline is still true.
I can't really stop talking about Final Fantasy XIV when it's been weeks of news feasts for the game, can I? Hot on the heels of the last fanfest, the one-day London fanfest happened, and the development team compensated for the shortened overall time by filling the keynote with revelations. The Vanu Vanu are a thing which I currently want to cuddle, we will get personal airships, and we're getting Dark Knight -- a job that starts at level 1 with no base class, breaking all the established rules of the game.

Oh, and it's a tank.

There were basically two sets of reactions to this news. The first group was busy releasing its collective gasp of joy that it had been holding on to since Dark Knight was practically revealed in Las Vegas. The second group was screaming to the heavens about the fact that this job was going to be a tank instead of a DPS. So it merits some discussion, as do the other things we know about it because boy, Tank #3 is going to be a weird one.

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World of Warcraft commercials are raiding your TV

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Promotions, Subscription

Blizzard is ramping up its Warlords of Draenor hype with a new series of World of Warcraft commercials aimed squarely at television viewers. The brief clips -- Grommash Death Stare, Bond of Iron, Iron Horde, and Conquerors -- evoke more Lord of the Rings than the WoW we all know. No gameplay is shown, though there's a sliver of an in-game level-up animation for a human. Spoiler: lots of orcs!

Anyone see any of these on TV yet? Enjoy all four commercials below.

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World of Warcraft gives behind-the-scenes tour of animated series

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Expansions, Lore, Dev Diaries, Subscription

Blizzard has been paving the way for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor with its recent animated miniseries, Lords of War. If you found that series particularly, erm, enThralling, then the devs have a treat for you. The team posted two behind-the-scenes videos talking about the story and art of the series, respectively, which you can watch after the jump!

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WoW Archivist: Patch 3.0, Echoes of Doom

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, Subscription, WoW Archivist

Patch 3.0.2 official poster
WoW Archivist is a biweekly column by WoW Insider's Scott Andrews, who explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold? It first appeared on our sister site on October 23rd, 2014, and is included here by permission.

Patch 6.0 is finally upon us. Like all pre-expansion patches, it has been both invigorating and chaotic. Almost exactly six years ago, a similar patch went live to begin a new era in WoW. Blizzard called Wrath of the Lich King's pre-expansion patch "Echoes of Doom." On October 14, 2008, this third version of the game gave us the brand-new achievement system, inscription and glyphs, 51-point talent trees, the zombie plague event, and TO THE GROUND, BABY. Read on to see what WoW was like for those turbulent few weeks before Wrath of the Lich King's launch.

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Watch ArcheAge's leviathan raid boss smash a player ship

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, ArcheAge, Sandbox

Curious about ArcheAge's endgame? 2P has published a partial look at it in the form of a level 50 leviathan raid. Unlike most MMO raids, though, this one features seven phases of PvE action followed by a PvP portion that pits pirate players vs. non-pirate players for the right to claim the beast's body.

It's worth noting that 2P's information comes from the Chinese version of ArcheAge. You can watch a Chinese-language trailer featuring the leviathan after the break.

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Final Fantasy XIV unveils Dark Knight and more at London Fanfest

Fantasy, Classes, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Called it.
The second of three Final Fantasy XIV fan festivals is taking place now in London, and once again there's no shortage of information about the game's first expansion. While the Las Vegas gathering hinted at the new jobs, the first one was officially revealed today: Dark Knight, a new tank wielding a two-handed sword without any base class involved. No word on how the omission of a class will affect the leveling structure, but it was mentioned that the job will focus on dodging and parrying to reduce damage.

The keynote speech also included revealing more about the game's flying mounts, which will allow free exploration of the Heavensward areas with no need for take-off or landing. Black chocobos and single-player airships were confirmed, with a grand total of six mounts currently in development. Two beast tribes were also linked, a birdlike race called the Vanu Vanu worshipping the primal Bismarck, and the insectoid Gnath who worship Ravana. There was also a hint that the next job to be revealed will be gun-focused. More news is likely to emerge as the fanfest continues.

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Why I Play: ArcheAge

Posted on Oct 30th 2014 12:00PM





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