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Game Mechanics

SOE's new Player Server initiative debuting in H1Z1

Horror, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, H1Z1

There aren't many H1Z1 screens to choose from
Did you watch SOE's late-breaking H1Z1 livestream last night? Are you excited for the zombie survival sandbox MMO? Well, here's another nugget to chew on courtesy of CEO John Smedley and his Twitter feed.

The game will feature private servers.
Today I'd like to announce H1Z1 will be the first game to implement our new Player Servers. In addition to the traditional servers that we set up and run (what you've come to expect in MMOs), we will allow the players to come together in any way they wish and if they can get enough people together to vote for the server we will make it for them.

At first this will be for specific pre-defined rulesets. Later we will expand past rulesets into adding more features. For example perhaps one community prefers to go more militaristic. So they add more military vehicles. So we're truly letting you, our players get exactly the kind of thing you're looking for.

Mechanically this will allow players to buy pledge tokens in Station Cash to vote on a proposal. However, should the vote [succeed] we refund.
[Thanks BabaGraPL!]

The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best economy?

Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Crafting, Player-Generated Content

SWG
I'm an incurable trader and merchant, maybe even more than I'm a crafter, so I'm forever droning on about the good ol' days in long-gone sandboxes where players, not raid bosses, delivered all the objects used in the world. Making stuff is great, and lots of MMOs, even themeparks, have that, but I also I like setting up shops, trading on auction halls, finding great deals, and knowing just when to buy low to sell high, which isn't always the type of creative PvP gameplay that modern MMORPGs enable, let alone embrace.

But you can't trade in long-gone sandboxes, either, so today I want to tap the collective wisdom of the Massively readers: Which MMO has the most vibrant crafting and trading economy, right now, in a legally playable and living MMO? Specifically, where's the best MMO to truly be a player merchant?

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!

Classic Guild Wars' ninth anniversary celebration is underway

Fantasy, Guild Wars, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, News Items, Anniversaries, Buy-to-Play

GW1
If you're not too busy checking out the new feature pack in Guild Wars 2's version of Tyria, you might be interested to know that the more classic edition of the game world is celebrating its ninth birthday this month. Also, it has Cantha. Just saying.

Yes, Guild Wars 1 is having a party, and you're invited. Though the anniversary update was originally scheduled to begin on April 22nd, a note from Joe Kimmes on the official wiki mentions that a fortuitous typo led to the event's partial stealth-implementation on April 2nd instead, so while you'll have to wait until next week for the complete event, players are reporting that bonus items have been dropping all month and that some of the minigames are underway as of today.

The official site is silent about the anniversary so far, but the login screen announces the festivities:
The party is on for the anniversary of Guild Wars! Starting April 22nd at Noon Pacific (-7 GMT), we open Shing Jea Boardwalk, Dragon Arena, and the Rollerbeetle Races. In addition, Birthday Cupcakes and many other special items will drop all throughout this weeklong event.

The Elder Scrolls Online launches Craglorn teaser site

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, Endgame, News Items, PvE, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO
ZeniMax has just launched a sub-site for The Elder Scrolls Online featuring Craglorn, the adventure zone that will serve as host for the MMORPG's first major content update. Aimed at veteran groups, the zone promises new quests and delves for four-person groups, a plotline revolving around "the mystery of the missing constellations," 12-man trials and leaderboards, and new gear.

While the teaser site is light on new information and does ask you to click through yet another age-gate (yes, we all know you were born January 1st, 1900), it does feature some gorgeous artwork and the Craglorn trailer released earlier in the month. We've embedded it after the cut.

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Elite's latest newsletter talks hyperdrives, the Cobra MK III, and more

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous Cobra MK III
Frontier has sent out issue #19 of its Elite: Dangerous newsletter. As usual, there's plenty of interesting info on the upcoming space sim sandbox, from how heat (and heat management) factors into Elite's gameplay to the design philosophy behind the iconic Cobra MK III.

This latest letter concludes with more "mostly harmless questions" from the community, including bits about Kepler data and traversing Elite's mind-bogglingly big playfields.
There are two modes of super luminal (faster than light) travel. Super cruise (or frame shifting) is used for travel inside systems. It was originally conceived as a sub-luminal drive, but based on the fantastic collaboration we have been having with our Design Decision Forum backers it was re-worked and is now itself a super luminal system to allow relatively rapid travel within systems. Hyperspace drives are used to travel between star systems.

Hyperdrives with different ranges, charge up times and fuel consumption parameters are available, and so your particular model of hyperdrive governs your specific ability to move around the galaxy.

Both will make their debut in Alpha 4 (not counting the early version of hyperspace in Alpha 3).

Sony: VR 'might be quite a social experience'

Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Consoles, Virtual Reality

Project Morpheus
Sony is following Facebook onto the mass-market virtual reality bandwagon, according to comments made by the firm's London studio boss.

Speaking with MCV, Dave Ranyard says that Sony has worked "quite hard" on something called the social screen in concert with its Project Morpheus VR headset, the former of which will attempt to link tablets or phones to a TV version of what the Morpheus user sees and thereby facilitate companion app play.

"The 1970s future vision of virtual reality was a very solo experience of people playing on their own, Ranyard says. "But actually it might not be that, it might be quite a social experience."

Trion hosting ArcheAge combat and crafting livestream tonight

Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Crafting

ArcheAge caption contest screenshot
If you're an ArcheAge fan and you're not in Trion's alpha, you'll want to set aside 45 minutes starting tonight at 7:00 p.m. EDT to watch the latest dev livestream hosted by producer Victoria Voss and community guru Evan Berman.

The duo will examine ArcheAge's combat classes and crafting skills live on Twitch.

Trion also announced its first official AA competition which takes the form of a caption contest. The prize is a spot in the sandpark's alpha, and you've got until April 23rd to work on your entry.

[Thanks WNxArcticwolf!]

The Secret World's new ARG opens signups for loyalists [Updated]

Horror, Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, The Secret World, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

TSW
A newsletter sent yesterday to current and former players of The Secret World invites them to sign up for the game's upcoming Black Watchmen alternate reality game, which is due to officially kick off in September. Here's the hard pill to swallow for those of you used to the B2P nature of TSW: The ARG isn't free. Players who sign up will be funding the game's previously announced Crowdtilt crowdfunding campaign and will receive a year's worth of ARG gameplay and missions and a special in-game outfit for $20 ($10 off the normal fee).

Massively's MJ explored the ARG in detail just a few weeks ago. Enjoy the trailer below!

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip.]

[Update: It turns out that if you're a lifetime member of TSW, this deal is even sweeter: Not only do you pick up the in-game goodies, but you get a free sub to the ARG for a year.]

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A fierce weather front is blowing into Age of Wushu

Fantasy, Historical, Trailers, Game Mechanics, Previews, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

Age of Wushu
Age of Wushu is introducing dynamic weather effects that will do more than look moody; they will actually herald several events.

Each weather effect will have a different event that it will trigger. The great fog will start a school assassination PvP contest, the sandstorm will begin a treasure hunt in the desert, the eclipse will launch an invasion by the Prince of a Thousand Sentiments, and the thunderstorm will give you the opportunity to find the fight of the century.

This weather system will be coming with the Age of Wushu: Tempest of Strife update. You can check out the weather effects preview video after the break!

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Leaderboard: Does Elder Scrolls' lack of an auction house bother you?

Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Leaderboard, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Elder Scrolls Online doggie
Yesterday's Massively Speaking took Elder Scrolls Online to task for not having an auction house. Normally I would agree, given my long-standing passion for MMO economies and crafting.

So far, though, the lack of an AH hasn't affected my playstyle at all through the first 30 levels. I'm a member of two trading megaguilds as well as my normal guild, and from the inside looking out, there's no difference between selling to thousands of faceless people in your "guilds" or selling to thousands of faceless people via an AH.

I can't say whether ZeniMax purposefully designed ESO's economy this way or simply ran out of the time and money necessary to make an AH. But it doesn't really matter, personally, because my pre-launch expectations amounted to "yet another themepark crapfest," so I continue to be pleasantly surprised by how wrong those expectations were -- even without an AH! What about you, ESO players? Does the game's lack of an AH bother you? Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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Guild Wars 2's megaserver update and patch primer [Updated]

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Hands-On, Buy-to-Play

GW2
If you're still reeling from playing dress-up and retraiting your stable of characters thanks to Guild Wars 2's feature pack launch yesterday, then friend of Massively Richie "Bogotter" Procopio has just the video for you. He's put together a patch primer that walks current and returning players through the new wardrobe system, dye system, and trait system. He also gives a few more obscure tips that aren't obvious from the patch notes.

Meanwhile, ArenaNet has posted that the patch's promised megaserver tech is slowly rolling out to key zones. Here's what's been activated so far: The Grove, Heart of the Mist, Black Citadel, Timberline Falls, Southsun Cove, Rata Sum, Straits of Devastation, Fields of Ruin, Brisban Wildlands, Hoelbrak, Iron Marches, Blazeridge Steppes, and Dredgehaunt Cliffs. [Update: Lion's Arch, Lornar's Pass, Kessex Hills, Diessa Plateau, and Metrica Province were just converted this afternoon, according to the official site.]

Enjoy the primer video after the break!

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Watch the first 14 minutes of the Icarus Online Korean open beta

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE

Icarus Online cutscene
WeMade Entertainment's new fantasy MMO Icarus Online began its Korean open beta yesterday. ThisIsGame was there, and the site has published a 14-minute video detailing the tutorial, early gameplay, and a few cutscenes.

The open beta client features five classes (Berserker, Guardian, Assassin, Wizard, and Priest) as well as a level 25 cap, the new Hakanas Ocean map, and a new raid. TIG reports that WeMade will add a dedicated player-killing area and an Archer class "after the OBT."

Click past the cut to watch the gameplay clip.

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Here are lots of helpful EVE UI tips

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Guides, Sandbox, Subscription

EVE's fitting UI
If you're confused by EVE Online's UI, CCP Karkur has made a new video that you'll want to watch. Actually, you'll want to watch it even if you aren't confused, because it's full of tips and tricks relating to searches, inventory, the market, fittings, fleet settings, and more.

Click past the cut to have a look!

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Heroes & Generals gets a huge update

Historical, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Browser

Heroes & Generals is badass
We haven't heard from Heroes & Generals in a while, but that's because the devs at Reto-Moto have been working like dogs to update the F2P FPS.

What's Heroes & Generals, you say? It's a nifty blend of massive online shooter and strategic persistent elements that gives you the ability to fight in the trenches, in the air, or as a campaign mastermind. If you'd like to know more about it, see our various hands-on articles, or just go to the game's website and play it for yourself.

The latest update, codenamed Oster, adds plenty of new weapons, more campaign battlefields, improved weapon handling and avatar behavior, the ability to steal vehicles, and more. Click past the cut for the update vid.

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Defiance's Arktech Revolution DLC is live for PC and Xbox 360

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Defiance

Defiance Arktech Revolution
Defiance's fifth DLC pack -- Arktech Revolution -- is now live for PC and Xbox 360 players. PlayStation 3 ark hunters will have access to the new content on April 29th (North America) and April 30th (Europe).

Trion's update page divides the DLC into free and paid feature lists, the former of which includes an EGO cap rating increase, EGO rating progression, new enemy difficulty tiers, expert co-op maps, and more. Paid features include a new titles, a new outfit, daily contracts, 15 new perks, and more.

In addition to the release notes, the Defiance website also features an article by creative lead Trick Dempsey on the game's EGO changes.

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