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Turbine pledges to act on LotRO player event griefing

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Free-to-Play, Legal

lotro
Concern over trolls disrupting and griefing player-run events in Lord of the Rings Online has been hitting our inboxes here at Massively, which is why it's good to see Turbine take an official position today against such griefing in the future.

According to a post on the forums, the studio will be "making a concerted effort" to combat trolls and encourage the continuation of player-run events. GMs pledged to take action on help tickets as well as monitor such events as they occur, but said that it will limit such policing efforts to stage areas only.

"We know that players moving throughout the performance area on mounts can be particularly frustrating and distracting," the studio said. "To combat this problem we're looking into what options are available to help combat this behavior in designated performance (stage) areas. We'll also be removing players who are mounted from the stage area manually in the meantime."

[Thanks to George for the tip!]

Layoffs are probably in store for Transformers Universe

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Kids, Transformers Universe

It's not exactly rubbing salt in the wound, but it sure tastes that way.
A staff reduction will be hitting Jagex's Transformers Universe team, and not for the first time. The studio has confirmed that it is in the process of examining duties and roles within the development team, with some team members facing reassignment to elsewhere in the company and others seen as redundant. No actual layoffs have taken place at this time, although "soon" is the watchword.

The announcement does mention that there are opportunities in an as-yet-unannounced project currently in development behind the scenes at Jagex. Transformers Universe went into open beta in July and has a variety of founder's packs currently available to purchase; an official launch date has not been announced. Our condolences to all those affected by the upcoming layoffs.

RuneScape's Lost City of the Elves expands further

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Patches, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

runescape
RuneScape's been going gaga over the unveiling of its Lost City of the Elves since it opened its doors for business back in September. However, that release was only part of the Lost City, since Jagex "found" more of it to put out the door today.

After much anticipation, the second half of Prifddinas is now live in RuneScape. The city was "designed for and by the high-level community" and now includes four new clans with specialized offerings. Jagex said that there are eight additional skills for players to learn and plenty of secrets tucked away in nooks and crannies.

We've got a video of the Lost City that you can check out after the break!

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Elvenar brings city building to a fantasy world

Fantasy, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Browser, MMORTS

elvenar
Pristine worlds and virgin landscapes are an affront to sentient sensibilities, which is why the call is going out to colonize the world of Elvenar. Today, InnoGames announced that it is working on a new city building game, this one to be set in a fantasy world.

Players in Elvenar will get to choose between Elves and Humans, after which they will get cracking on building a city to honor that race. Like other InnoGames titles, Elvenar will have not only a building component, but trade and battle ones as well.

Elvenar is planning on a January 2015 closed beta test for the PC. Mobile editions of the game are also planned, although they will be coming later. Players can pre-register on the official site right now.

[Source: InnoGames press release]

Aion EU community report talks transfers, mergers, and more

Fantasy, Aion, Free-to-Play

Gameforge has posted the latest community report for Aion EU, touching on the subjects of server transfers, the recently failed maintenance, update 4.7.1, changes in the veteran reward levels, and more. The post also addresses the rumors of server merges. In a nutshell, the information is as follows:
  • Transfers are not forgotten but on the back burner until other projects and balancing issues are taken care of first.
  • Winter maintenance failed because a server update from NCsoft interfered with the automated time switch and broke the system undetected; it has since been fixed!
  • Update 4.7.1is being polished and translated, and the test client is expected around December or January.
  • Server mergers are not on the imminent horizon -- populations are still just being observed; that being said, a Rookie/Union server merge is under consideration but as of yet still undecided.
  • Recent measures are showing initial improvement in balance, but the situation will continue to be monitored before any more measures are implemented.
  • The Veteran reward system changes affect veteran levels 31-40, and there's a list of the new rewards.

Blizzard wins lawsuit and shuts down Hearthstone clone

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Legal, Hearthstone

hearthstone
Back in January we reported that Blizzard levied a lawsuit against Unico Interactive for its game, Legend of Crouching Dragon, which Blizzard claimed was a reskinned clone of Hearthstone.

It looks as though the courts agreed, awarding Blizzard and its Chinese partner NetEase $1.6 million due to copyright infringement. Legend of Crouching Dragon has been removed from app stores, and Unico said that it will be reimbursing players for money spent on it to date.

Even with the ruling, Unico remains defiant against "false stories" in the press and claims that it hasn't seen any official order to pay compensation to Blizzard.

EverQuest II: Altar of Malice goes live

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Expansions, Patches, Free-to-Play

eq2
Everyone must be drawn to the magical allure of "11/11" as a release date, for here's another one for you: EverQuest II's expansion, Altar of Malice, is now available to play.

Altar of Malice adds the new playable Aerakyn race as well as bumps the level cap for adventurers, tradeskillers, and guilds up to 100. There's a gob of more stuff in this expansion, including an additional 29 zones of various types, an increase of prestige abilities to level 100, gem sets for armor, over a hundred new quests, and spiffy PvP gear. And since Altar of Malice is the new expansion on the block, free players can now access Chains of Eternity without paying.

To help you jump into the expansion, we have not only the patch notes but also a preview and an interview about Altar of Malice's controversies for you to read while you update!

Not So Massively: Overwatch's reveal, Hearthstone's expansion, and Dawngate's sunset

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Lore, New Titles, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, HEX, Hearthstone, The Division, OARPG, Overwatch

NSM - Overwatch
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.
  • Blizzard announced online team-shooter Overwatch at BlizzCon. Chris Metzen says Blizzard is trying to build a more representative game with less hypersexualization.
  • Hearthstone is launching in December and getting a new expansion: Goblins vs. Gnomes.
  • EA's MOBA Dawngate is shutting down in three months.
  • League of Legends introduced Kalista, the Spear of Vengeance.
  • MMOTCG HEX dropped its beta key requirement but denied that it is in open beta.
  • Heroes of the Storm's closed beta starts January 13th. It's also getting a sweet Diablo III-themed map.
  • Diablo III previewed its upcoming season. According to content designer Kevin Martens, Diablo was once considered for an MMO, but no longer.
  • David Braben says Elite: Dangerous' December 16th launch date is "sensible."
  • Star Citizen passed $60 million in fundraising.
  • Quirky indie MMOFPS Hunternet boasts 700-player battles.
  • World of Tanks' 9.4 patch added Stalingrad map and tweaked strongholds.
  • The Crew hinted at a new "PvP mode" and season passes.
  • MechWarrior Online's latest dev vlog covered inner sphere quirks and faction switching.
  • Ubisoft said that The Division's PC experience won't suffer because of consoles.
  • Some jerk swatted a Bungie/Destiny exec; the internet demands prison time for said jerk.
  • The latest World of Speed vid features nearly four minutes of gameplay.
  • Bigpoint's Shards of War introduced a new sentinel, Vox.
  • Undead Labs discussed balance in Moonrise.
  • Dota is now the subject of a course at Chongqing Energy College in China.

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Neverwinter's Rise of Tiamat gameplay trailer is here

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Lore, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dungeons, Neverwinter

Neverwinter
Perfect World Entertainment and Cryptic have been pimping the heck out of the upcoming Rise of Tiamat module for Neverwinter, the fifth episode in the season of dragons storyline. While the module itself doesn't land on official servers until November 18th, the gameplay trailer is here right now. Spoiler: Thar be dragons!

Don't forget that Neverwinter's April Fools' Day event returns this Thursday for a reprise lasting until the Rise of Tiamat launch.

Check out the trailer below.

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An ArcheAge player found a way to kill the servers at will

Fantasy, Bugs, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Subscription

Dive?
It's never a good day when you see players on the forums boasting about causing server crashes. In nearly every single case, it's a matter of someone bragging about doing something with no actual proof as a bit of pointless ego boosting. What's worse, of course, is when a player posts about causing a crash and claiming it can be replicated... and then proceeds to do exactly that, demonstrating that the server can be crashed at will. This is apparently what happened to ArcheAge.

User ArchegeDown posted a thread on the forums on Friday, stating that a specific bug was responsible for bringing down the servers and that it needed to be fixed. To prove these claims, the user caused two more server crashes at scheduled times, demonstrating the ability, with the stated intent being to simply get Trion's attention. The thread is currently locked, but it's possible that subsequent server crashes are a result of other players discovering the same method of inciting a server crash.

[Thanks to xpactor and Matt for the tip!]

Norrathian Notebook: Talking EverQuest II's 10th anniversary with Holly Longdale

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Interviews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Anniversaries, Norrathian Notebook

The big 1-0. EverQuest II has just joined the ranks of games in their double digits; today marks the 10th anniversary for the fantasy game. And while that's a pretty impressive feat in itself, just growing older isn't all that has happened to EQII in the past year. There have been plenty of content updates (and a change in how those update occur), holiday celebrations, and major news happenings during the course of the past 12 months.

However, instead of just highlighting the major events and changes of the year in a standard retrospective piece, I'm going to do something a little different this year. On top of wandering down memory lane, I've pulled in Senior Producer Holly Longdale to answer a few questions and address some current concerns on the minds of players. Longdale talks about the high price of both the Altar of Malice Collector's Edition and the new Aerakyn race as well as shares some fun facts about who's been working on the game since the beginning.

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EA's quarterly net revenue is up, apparently in spite of SWTOR

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Legal, Star Wars: The Old Republic

swtor
Electronics Arts had a bit to say about Star Wars: The Old Republic in its November 4th quarterly report -- and none of it good.

The publisher named the sci-fi MMO as one of the properties that had decreased in revenue over the period. While EA's net revenue is up $295 million across the board, "this increase was partially offset by a $181 million decrease in revenue primarily from the SimCity, Crysis and Dead Space franchises, and Star Wars: The Old Republic."

It remains to be seen whether next month's Shadow of Revan expansion will give the MMO a healthy bump in revenue when it is released.

Touring DCUO's War of Light Part II before next week's release

Super-hero, Interviews, Patches, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online

The DC universe is a big one, and DC Universe Online has multiple storylines involving various heroes and villains playing out through its DLC trilogies. So far, however, only the first part of each trilogy has been available to play. But that's all about to change! Starting next week, players finally get to sink their teeth into the continuation of one when the second part of War of Light, which premiered earlier this year, finally releases. Members will be granted early access to War of Light Part II on November 11th while everyone else gets the DLC on the 18th (with the exception of European players who will get it on the 19th). But thanks to a tour with Creative Director Jens Andersen and Assistant Creative Director SJ Mueller, we didn't have to wait until next week to see what's in store.

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The Stream Team: Lollygagging in Landmark's Whispering Wind Academy

Betas, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

Every time Massively's MJ gets the urge to flex her building skills in Landmark, she's distracted by shiny resources and the amazing builds of others. Yes, she's a certified lollygagger. But that can have its advantages when she finds amazing things to share. And find something she did! Always a fan of castles, MJ's been really sidetracked by the Whispering Willow Academy. It's a fully functioning estate with eight levels (fully furnished!) "featuring a guild hall, mystical garden, building lab, academy tavern, cell blocks, stations, [and] weapons training." There are also fountains, swings, a magical wishing well, and housing. Want to see what this massive claim has to offer? Join us live at 3:00 p.m. for a tour and for a few codes.

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, November 7th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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BlizzCon 2014: Blizzard takes on superheroes with Overwatch

Super-hero, New Titles, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Overwatch

overwatch
Blizzard announced its newest game today at BlizzCon -- and it might just make you forget all about Titan. The game is Overwatch, a superhero-themed "team-based multiplayer shooter" that is very reminiscent of Team Fortress 2.

The studio revealed the new title with a pair of trailers, one giving a Pixar-esque introduction to the world and the other showing off in-game footage. Blizzard said that Overwatch will be "very approachable" for audiences.

So when is Overwatch coming out? "It is nearer than you think," teased Chris Metzen, following that with news that the beta is coming in 2015 and the title will be playable at this week's convention.

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