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Hearthstone now available worldwide on Android devices

Fantasy, Launches, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Hearthstone

hearthstone
After a soft launch in select countries on Android devices, Hearthstone is now available worldwide for Android gamers.

To run it, you'll need to have an Android device that's at least 6" or larger. Like the other platform versions, the Android edition of Hearthstone will sync up with your Battle.net account and allow you to use your existing cards (if you have any). Plans are in the works for an Android version to work on smaller-size phones.

Hearthstone recently won the award for Massively's Best Pseudo-MMO of 2014. Android players can snag it on Google Play or through Amazon.

City of Steam is merging EU servers on December 22nd

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, City of Steam, Subscription

And then everyone just burns forever.  I think.  I don't know how merges work.
If you've played City of Steam in the EU and thought to yourself, "Man, there are just too many servers for this game right now," the developers agree with you, which is why the server list is being consolidated down to a single server as of December 22nd. Characters will be automatically transferred, with character names getting server tags to make sure naming issues sorted out before they arise.

Players on the current EU3 server will be receiving a compensation package that includes a 90-day subscription and a variety of other materials for character advancement. The five-characters-per-server limit will be enforced with prejudice; the staff is simply deleting the oldest or least-played characters on an account if the merge puts someone over five characters on the final server. So take care of that issue before it arises on the 22nd.

Watch six videos of TERA's new dungeons

Fantasy, Video, Expansions, Free-to-Play, TERA, Dungeons

tera
If you haven't heard from your TERA-playing friends, don't worry -- they're merely in the thick of enjoying the new Fate of Arun expansion. As with many MMO expansions, Fate of Arun came packed with tough new dungeons, and intrepid YouTuber Skill Graal filmed adventures through several of them.

You can watch six of these dungeon dives after the break, including looks at Bathysmal Rise and Ravenous Gorge.

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Echo of Soul has 'everything an MMO player could want'

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries

eos
"At launch, Echo of Soul will include everything an MMO player could want," says Global Development Project Manager Junhyung Jung. "With 68 areas and over 1,600 quests, EOS offers far more initial content than other games."

Them's fightin' words, Mr. Jung. But also playin' words, too. The above quote comes from a new Echo of Soul video dev diary, in which Jung makes a case for why this title should have broad appeal. He runs down the features list, including PvE content, PvP battles, and solo and team challenges. The level cap is also mentioned as where the game "truly begins."

You can watch the full dev diary after the break.

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RIFT beefs up the minion system

Fantasy, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, RIFT

rift
RIFT's new minion system is arguably one of the more popular additions to the game in some time, with players sending out their loyal subjects to bring them back treasures and fame. However, Trion Worlds says it still has work to do, and in a new "State of the Minunion" post, the studio lists a few areas that it's improving with the game's next hotfix.

The new Fae Yule minion mission pack, with a series of quests that tell a story, will have some of its minion rewards buffed up with better stats. The hotfix will also tackle a few bugs and add minion-releated achievements. Finally, adventure rewards are being fine-tuned and improved, although it has been difficult for the team to handle this as it has been "an extremely extensive change touching dozens upon dozens of loot tables."

Landmark's PvE arrives today; SOE shifts to EQ Next full-time in 2015

Interviews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

We've waited a long time for the chance to have our faces eaten off by vicious monsters in Landmark, and now that opportunity is almost here! After a bit of delay, the infamous PvE patch is heading into our favorite sandbox today. This is seriously going to be a game-changer. Of all the patches throughout the whole year, this one is the biggest -- surpassing the August PvP update and even the original alpha launch, at least according to Creative Director Dave Georgeson. And he's not kidding! I got to check out Landmark's new mobs, linking and triggering, armors, props, and more with Georgeson and Senior Producer Terry Michaels. I didn't think it was possible to be even more excited for this patch, but I am! Can I hear a squeeeee?!

Oh, and for everyone who is waiting anxiously for EverQuest Next news, here's a tidbit from Georgeson you might enjoy:
When we get to those game mastering systems [after the start of the year] that means we are working on EQN full time. Because those are the systems we need for EQN, and that's what we're building when we're building those game mastering tools. So we're so close to transitioning the team almost entirely to EQN, and then we'll take the elements that we build for EQN and port them over into Landmark, but our focus will shift almost entirely to EQN after the new year.

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SMITE explores Awilix in depth and kicks off Saturnalia

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play

The lack of lore apparently meant that Awilix drank heavily from the well of Generic Fantasy Undress.
There are a lot of goddesses of the night or the moon, period, and there's no shortage of playable ones in SMITE, either. Awilix is also a figure without a whole lot of prominent lore trying to provide a different take on the general role of assassin. So how did the design team go from a name and a few details to a playable character? Through interplay with her pet jaguar, a different series of abilities, and an emphasis on mobility and hit-and-run tactics.

Already have all of the gods you need right now? You've still got a reason to log in to SMITE as the game runs its Saturnalia event, offering free bonus gems to everyone and doubled experience gains for each match played. A series of rolling sales on the pantheons of the game will also persist through the whole of Saturnalia, so if you decide you would like to pick up some new skins, you've got that option.

[Thanks to Sorenthaz for the tip!]

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Onigiri MMO coming to consoles next year

Betas, Fantasy, Free-to-Play, Consoles

onigiri
The Japanese mythology MMO, Onigiri, is officially on its way to the Xbox One (and PlayStation 4) next year in North America and Europe, Windows Central reports. The title, which is developed by Cyberstep, will be free-to-play and is already live on the Xbox One in Japan.

Onigiri came out on the PC in 2013. The console version may have patches slightly lagging behind the PC version, but it will otherwise be identical in form and function. There will be no cross-over play between platforms.

While Windows Central says that this will be Xbox One's "first MMO," that overlooks the already-released Destiny and The Crew as well as other titles on the way, including Elder Scrolls Online, PlanetSide 2, All Points Bulletin, Neverwinter, The Division, and Warframe.

See Bless Online's character creation options

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Classes, Free-to-Play

bless online
Getting a closer look at character creation options when a title is deep in testing is always useful, especially to those of us who lack access to the beta. Steparu.com took Bless Online's character creator out for a spin as the title's closed beta test revved back up, and you can enjoy a sneak peek as a result.

Steparu noted that it doesn't look as though classes are gender-locked, although players may be wedded to a faction once they roll up their first character. You can watch the character creation video after the jump, and make sure you bounce over to Steparu.com for more videos on several of the game's classes.

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Celebrate SWTOR's sacred Life Day by launching frozen orbs of water at each other

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Humor, Star Wars: The Old Republic

swtor
If there's a Christmasy holiday in MMOs these days, you can bet your bottom credit that there will be a snowball fight somewhere in it. Apparently, MMO developers worldwide got together in 2009 and signed a sacred pact to feature snowball fights in all of their games in December. And so it is with Star Wars: The Old Republic and this year's Life Day.

SWTOR's Life Day celebration begins today and will go through January 6th. It will feature snowball fights that have a chance of awarding parcels that can be traded for rewards, grumpy parcel droids that need a good cooling off, and several new cash shop items including a mini Wampa pet.

Get in the spirit of Life Day by listening to Princess Leia's legendary song from the Star Wars Holiday Special and downing some Wookie eggnog.

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR's 2014 report card

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Expansions, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Roleplaying, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR's 2014 report card
In 1996, Richard Bartle published a study of MMO gamers that eventually led to his 2003 book Designing Virtual Worlds, which was at the time the de facto MMO genre's design bible. Of course, this was before World of Warcraft hit the scene, but many of the principles Bartle laid out still hold true. In fact, if you don't believe me, take it yourself: GamerDNA still has an online test based on the Bartle study.

Bartle categorized players based on their interests in the game; I would like to do the same this year as I did last year for Star Wars: The Old Republic since it's a good way to measure the game against the average expectations of certain types of players. Bartle divides us all into Achievers, Socializers, Explorers, and Killers. I'll explain what each of those means as I discuss the different aspects of SWTOR. If you know what that means and so you have a point of reference, my profile is SEAK, which means that I interact with all types of players.

For fun, I've added a grade-card-style of rating system: A, B, C, D, or F. Just remember the information I give about that score counts for more than the score itself.

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LotRO patch nerfs essences, adds group Pelargir epic battle

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Patches, Free-to-Play, Dungeons

LOTRO
A small but significant patch hit the Lord of the Rings Online servers last week, bringing with it a new fellowship-size version of the Retaking Pelargir epic battle. This version comes with additional secondary missions and tougher elite mobs (naturally). Also, the team announced that, "Aragorn's voice can FINALLY be heard summoning the dead to fulfill their oaths."

Update 15.1 also nerfed essences by only allowing one of each type to be equipped at a time, as multiple copies were deemed too powerful and an obvious threat to Sauron's dominance over Middle-earth. Also, Beornings got a bear-load of tweaks, as well as the permission to use the "-beorn" suffix with names.

Exclusive: Elsword's Ara becomes the Dark Fox

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play

Elsword
KOG Games is on the verge of launching new content for the North American edition of F2P sidescrolly MMO Elsword in the form of updates for character Ara. Ara is a speardancer with insane jumping skills, and starting tomorrow, she can follow a brand-new job path that ushers in the Masters of Darkness theme destined for the game.

As the appropriately brooding Dark Fox, Ara can advance to Little Specter at level 15 and Asura at level 35, both of which roles feature phantom claws. "Explore the eerie side of Ara's mystical connection with Eun, the spirit of the legendary nine tail fox sealed in the ancient hairpin for centuries," hints the website. We've got an exclusive trailer below that shows off Ara's new path -- enjoy!

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TERA: Fate of Arun goes live today

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, TERA

If there's one thing the game lacked, it was robots.  (It's always robots, really.)
Ready to travel to unfamiliar lands, level past the existing level cap, and fight against new villains in TERA? Of course you are. You know what expansions are all about. Not coincidentally, that's the whole basis for Fate of Arun, the game's first expansion, which sends characters to Northern Arun for the first time. And wouldn't you know it, we have a shiny new trailer for this update just past the break.

The expansion also includes quality-of-life improvements like a simplified enchanting system and a new Coliseum mode, which throws two teams of players in a race to clear through groups of enemies. You can check all of this out now on the live servers, although you might want to view the trailer first. Tradition's sake and all.

[Source: En Masse Entertainment press release]

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Not So Massively: HEX gets new cards, Dota 2 cancels Christmas, and Hearthstone lands on Android (sorta)

Betas, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, HEX, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

HEX
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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