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Fantasy

Here's Shroud of the Avatar's opening cinematic

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar, Buy-to-Play

Shroud of the Avatar's Release 9 is less than a week away, and Portalarium is whetting fan appetites by showing off the fantasy sandbox's opening cinematic. There are a bunch of other interesting tidbits in this week's newsletter, too, including pics and maps of Release 9's Ardoris, a call for player-written books, and even a level designer job opening.

The cinematic's the main attraction, though, and you can view it after the break!

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Gamescom 2014: Blizzard says World of Warcraft 2 is 'something we have talked about'

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, MMO Industry, Subscription

wow
World of Warcraft fans are not the only ones who have speculated about a sequel to the hit MMO. Blizzard Game Director Tom Chilton gave a surprisingly non-evasive answer at this year's Gamescom about whether the company was thinking about creating World of Warcraft 2.

"It's something we have talked about," Chilton said. "It's something we have talked about for 10 years. I think that there are a lot of challenges there in seeing how World of Warcraft 2 relates to World of Warcraft, do they live alongside each other, does one feed into the other, what is that product, etc. These are challenges that have to be figured out before that becomes a reality."

The Daily Grind: Will you be playing Landmark once combat goes live?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, The Daily Grind, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Landmark

So, Landmark's getting combat in a couple of weeks. Pretty interesting combat, at that. We'll keep today's Daily Grind short and sweet. Did the recent SOE Live reveal pique your interest? Assuming you're not already playing Landmark, will be doing so once combat makes it live?

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!

SOE Live 2014: Dragon's Prophet to join All Access, add hatching system

Fantasy, Interviews, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Dragon's Prophet

While much of the SOE Live attention has been on other titles, Dragon's Prophet was on hand with some announcements of its own. The two biggest pieces of news are the upcoming hatchling system and the addition of the game to SOE's All Access pass, and Producer Todd Carson shared the details with us as well as gave the heads up on a couple other upcoming changes.

The new hatching system will allow players to find and raise their own dragons. Carson explained that how long it takes the egg to hatch depends on what activities players do to care for their eggs. Additionally, the stats of the dragons will be influneced by the egg's care. More specifics on that system will be coming soon.

The other really big (and welcome news) is the addition of Dragon's Prophet to the All Access plan. Carson noted that it has taken time to work out the details because of the unique differences of the game since it is made by Runewaker. Within the next month or so players will be able to become a part of the system that gives special monthly bonuses in all SOE games, 500 station cash, and a 10% discount on all items in the store. Dragon's Prophet players will receive a nine in-game items every month worth $50, including a 30-day repair hammer, teleportation, revive tokens, and more.

Carson also described the recent renovation of the starter experience and the change to the class masteries that give them more defined roles in combat that await new players who try the game out thanks to the All Access changes. He gave us a heads up that a new zone expansion is coming at the end of the year and special roaming merchants that will be added to the territory islands. Another new feature will be the ability to pay to have your house packed up and moved to a different island. Carson is also taking into consideration panel attendees' requests to add Vanguard dragons into the game.

What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas, at least where SOE Live is concerned! Massively sent intrepid reporter MJ Guthrie to this year's SOE Live, from which she'll be transmitting all the best fan news on EverQuest Next, Landmark, H1Z1, and the other MMOs on SOE's roster.

WoW Archivist: The classic Molten Core experience

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Hands-On, Dungeons, Subscription, WoW Archivist

Lucifron
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 August 15th and is included here by permission.

Are you ready to return to the Core? Last week, we learned that Blizzard is planning a 40-player LFR version of classic's Molten Core raid as part of WoW's 10th anniversary celebration. Regardless of what the studio has in mind, the experience is certain to be very different than it was back in 2005.

Sure, you've probably solo'ed MC or cleared it with a few friends. But what was a Molten Core run like during classic WoW, when conquering Ragnaros and his fiery lieutenants was the pinnacle of endgame content?

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The Road to Mordor: Has LotRO grown too big for its own good?

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Opinion, Free-to-Play, The Road to Mordor

lotro
Jumping into an MMO that's been out for several years -- let's call it "more than five" -- lends itself to several blessings and curses. While the game has more content, stability, and a playerbase that isn't drunk on launch drama, it can be overwhelming and even lonely to the latecomer who is just trying to figure out the basic ropes while everyone else is milling around at the Level Cap Country Club. Often I see people asking whether it's "too late" to join an MMO, wondering if they're getting into a game that everyone else is getting out of, not to mention considering how long it might take to do meaningful content with those who have been around longer.

Lord of the Rings Online is now most assuredly in that zone. It's been out for seven years, adding along the way numerous updates and systems, a free-to-play conversion, two classes, 50 more levels, a class overhaul, and five expansions. A game that used to occupy a relatively small swath of Middle-earth is now an empire that stretches from the icy bays of the far north to the shoreline of southern Gondor. It's absolutely huge when you step back to consider it, which is what both a new player and a reroller must do.

My question this week is this: Is LotRO getting to be too big and too long for a player to start from scratch these days? Is it suffering from a case of too much of a good thing?

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SOE Live 2014: Details on EverQuest Next combat, classes, and races

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Norrathian Notebook

We heard you: You want more EverQuest Next info. We do too! And here at SOE Live we've been getting all of that for you! Between the keynote address and our chats with Creative Director Dave Georgeson, Senior Producer Terry Michaels, Lead System Designer Michael Mann, andLead Designer Darrin McPherson we've discovered the next race to be announced, learned about the three newest classes, and watched a demonstration of those classes in combat. Get your first glmpser of EQN's Teir'DAal race and check out the Cleric, the Elementalist, and the Termpest.

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Final Fantasy XIV reveals more anniversary lore and events

Fantasy, Culture, Events (In-Game), News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Anniversaries, Subscription

This is a bass track away from being a rap video.
The Final Fantasy XIV anniversary celebration continues to speed onward; players have already started to enjoy the Moonfire Faire festivities, but there's more just around the bend. The game's anniversary page has updated with details about the three returning cross-promotion events from Final Fantasy XI, Dragon Quest X, and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, allowing players who missed out the first time to get their minipets and vanity gear during the repeat engagements. But there's also a new event coming to the game starting on the date of the relaunch: The Rising.

Participants in this event will just need to swing by Limsa Lominsa to unlock the "Huzzah" emote. There will also be new minipets and fireworks available for players to buy and use. The site has also posted the first of its lore pieces bridging the gap between the Calamity and the start of the game's storyline, tracking Maelstrom leader Merlwyb's path from the Battle of Carteneau to the rebuilding of Limsa Lominsa. Keep your eyes peeled for more reveals as the celebration continues onward.

Check out Warlords of Draenor's collector's edition

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Diablo III, Subscription, Hearthstone

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With yesterday's announcement of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor's launch date fresh on fans' minds, Blizzard has followed up on the hype with details concerning the contents of the expansion's collector's edition.

The CE, which is priced at $89.99 on Amazon, includes the full game, a behind-the-scenes DVD/Blu-ray set, the soundtrack, a 160-page art book, and a mouse pad. Of course, if digital goodies are more your style, then you'll be happy to know that you'll get a Dread Raven mount and Dread Hatchling pet for World of Warcraft, two StarCraft II portraits, a pennant for Diablo III, and a custom card back for Hearthstone.

Blizzard said that supplies of the collector's edition are limited.

Lineage Eternal's first closed beta coming to Korea this winter

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

We haven't heard much about Lineage Eternal since its late 2011 announcement. Now, though, ThisIsGame brings word of the title's first closed beta coming to Korea this winter. Lineage Eternal is a hack-and-slash game that features a "drag action" combat system in which skills are activated by mouse gestures made on the screen, according to Steparu.

You can watch a 14-minute gameplay trailer after the break.

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Origins of Malu goes 'back to the drawing board'

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Origins of Malu

Long-gestating sci-fantasy sandbox Origins of Malu has an updated and now rather cryptic website teasing something called Project: Hail Mary as well as some "upcoming changes" for the game.

Burning Dog says that it has gone "back to the drawing board so to speak and in the next couple of weeks, we'll be unleashing just what OOM has become during our hiatus!" There are also PlayStation, Xbox One, Mac, and Windows logos prominently displayed on the teaser page. Finally, the revamped landing page mentions a video blog scheduled for Sunday, August 17th.

[Thanks Dystopiq!]

SOE Live 2014: Combat comes to Landmark August 27th

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, PvP, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

If you've got a thing for combat, have we got the perfect date for you! Landmark launches the ability to fight -- and die -- on Wednesday, August 27th. That means everyone who's been waiting in the wings for the new sandbox to get more systems before diving in only have to hold out two more weeks before they can finally experience Landmark.

Are you ready to die? The first phase of combat includes death, armor, weapons, landmines, PvP, and many possibilities! We got the scoop on this much-anticipated system at SOE Live from Creative Director Dave Georgeson and Senior Producer Terry Michaels at SOE Live, including some great video clips of the upcoming content.

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Tamriel Infinium: The sweet and sour of Elder Scrolls' new dye system

Fantasy, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Crafting, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription, Tamriel Infinium

So, armor dyes! Elder Scrolls Online now has them. They're pretty slick, too, and they add quite a bit of personality and personalization options to my Tamrielian alter-ego.

The dye process is straightforward. In fact, the hardest thing about it is finding a dye station, which isn't very hard at all. You'll need to travel to a town or a major city and look for the alchemy vendor on your map. The dye station, a workbench surrounded by barrels full of color, is typically located either inside the alchemy shop or very near it in the town proper.

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SOE Live 2014: EverQuest will release The Darkened Sea expansion October 28th

Fantasy, EverQuest, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage)

As is custom, the next EverQuest expansion was announced at SOE Live 2014. And while Thursday's keynote shared the title, The Darkened Sea, it divulged little else. Players were going to have to wait until EQ's individual keynote address later today to get any actual details. However, for those who just can't wait that long, I sat down with Senior Producer Thom Terrazas and Creative Director Akil Hooper to get an early scoop on the game's upcoming 21st expansion and more.

What do players have to look forward to? How about the return of the classic characters Firiona Vie and Lanys T'Val, a personalized looting feature, a higher level cap of 105, a new mount storage system, and eight new zones! Oh, we can't forget the dinosaurs! And did I mention that The Darkened Sea launches on October 28th for All Access members?

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SOE Live 2014: EverQuest II's Altar of Malice expansion includes new playable race

Fantasy, Video, EverQuest II, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage)

SOE Live 2014: EverQuest II's Altar of Malice expansion includes new playable race
On the 11th day of the 11th month, EverQuest II will get its 11th expansion, Altar of Malice. With only the title and launch date announced during SOE Live's welcome keynote address on Thursday, fans are understandably eager for more juicy details. We talked with Senior Producer Holly Longdale and Creative Director Akil Hooper to glean some valuable intel before EQII's official keynote later this afternoon. They even shared some future plans and revealed the 10-year veteran reward. As a special treat, Longdale shared a very serious video on how the vaunted leaper bunny mounts came into being (which we've included here for you).

As is pretty standard for expansions, Altar of Malice will include new zones (two regular overland and one specialized PvP deathmatch), new dungeons, new quests, a level cap increase, and some revamped systems. What is very atypical about this expansion is that it introduces a new playable race! And if that wasn't enough, there are also dinosaurs.

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