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Game Mechanics

Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day three - PvE, quests, and story

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, ArcheAge, Sandbox

Welcome back to Massively's ArcheAge launch diary. I can't believe we're already on the third installment because there's still so much to see, do, and learn. That's a good thing, though, isn't it?

Yeah, it is, and while ArcheAge has its share of issues, its breadth and depth is incredibly welcome in a genre that's gotten far too comfortable repackaging the same tired experience.

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The first chunk of Champions Online's Steel Crusade is live

Super-hero, Business Models, Classes, Game Mechanics, Lore, Patches, Endgame, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Champions Online

Champs
As we previewed back in August, the first leg of Champions Online's Steel Crusade update went live last week. Your task in the update? Stop people from spontaneously bursting into flames. No, really.
The Steel Crusade update begins in Millennium City, where things are really heating up as citizens are spontaneously bursting into flame. With the help of Professor Silverback, you'll need to help save citizens by shrinking down to microscopic size to enter the human brain and investigate the cause of the malady.
The update introduces a new archetype for max level characters (Reawakened Automaton), new missions to combat Mechanon, and yeah, a new lockbox with a chance at new costumes and a vehicle.

The second and final part of the update launches this Thursday with a "space-station showdown."

The Daily Grind: What class are you playing in ArcheAge?

Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge, Sandbox

I'm decisionally challenged in ArcheAge, at least when it comes to which class combination I'm going to play on my main. The game's skill system is extremely flexible, and I've been dabbling on a Warpriest (which is sort of an Archer/Healer with a bit of melee thrown in for good measure) as well as a Sorcerer and an Abolisher (Battlerage, Defense, Auramancy).

The good news is that you can respec, but I'm still having a hard time settling. What about you, ArcheAge fans? Do you have a favorite class combo yet?

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!

EVE Evolved: Has the industry revamp worked?

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Economy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Crafting, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
When I was first introduced to EVE Online back in 2004, a big part of the attraction for me was the promise of a huge player-run economy in which the only real laws were those of supply and demand. With only a handful of tech 1 ships and modules available to build and everything made out of the same basic minerals, science and industry were pretty easy for new players to figure out. Over the years, more complexity has slowly been added to industry via features like Starbases, Salvaging, Capital Ships, Tech 2 Invention, Planetary Interaction and Tech 3 Reverse Engineering. Today's industrialists have to contend with hundreds of different items that are often arranged in sprawling component manufacturing chains, which can make it hard to figure out exactly how to make a profit.

The recent industry revamp attempted to solve this problem with a full user interface overhaul and a revamp of material costs and manufacturing prices. All of the relevant information for using a blueprint was packed into a slick new combined Industry UI, allowing new players to find the info they're looking for in-game rather than through websites or opening dozens of item info windows. It's now been almost two months since the industry revamp went live, and while the market for many items is still going to take several months to fully stabilise, the dust has finally begun to settle. So what's the verdict? Has the industry revamp worked?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I consider whether the industry revamp has been successful, how easy it is to make a profit in the new system, and whether it's worth setting up your own industrial starbase.

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WoW Archivist: The classic Molten Core experience, part 3

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Classes, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, PvE, Hands-On, Dungeons, WoW Archivist

Ragnaros
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 September 12th and is included here by permission.

If you missed part 1 and part 2, that means you were late for the raid and we're docking you 50 DKP. Next time get here early to help the warlocks farm soul shards.

OK, fellow archivists! We've cleared trash, we've decursed, we've pulled Geddon to Garr's room, we've brefriended the Duke, and we've doused every fiery rune. It's time to delve into the core of the Core to take on the Majordomo and Ragnaros himself, 2005 edition.

The invincible majordomo

Undefeated in battle, Executus rose through the ranks of Ragnaros's lieutenants to become the Firelord's majordomo. He did not appear until you doused all the runes, so the earliest raids on Molten Core had to stop after Golemagg and Sulfuron due to an Aqual Quintessence shortage.

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Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day two - Classes, skills, combat

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, ArcheAge, Sandbox

Welcome to day two of Massively's ArcheAge launch diary. Technically, by the time you read this, it'll be day three, but you know how these things work. And I know, I know, it's not really launch; it's head start. But Trion's not wiping this weekend's progression, so I'm going to keep referring to this as a launch diary!

Thanks to a bunch of virginal script kiddies who thought it would be cool to DDoS the ArcheAge servers on Saturday, I didn't get to play all freakin' afternoon as planned. That's OK, though, because we've got a lot to talk about with regard to the game's basic mechanics.

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The Daily Grind: What's the ideal MMO gold sink?

Business Models, Economy, Game Mechanics, The Daily Grind, Humor, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD
I realize that asking "what's your favorite gold sink" is a bit like asking "what's your favorite way to eat poop," but I'm confronting an MMO reality here: MMO economies generally spiral out of control when the currency poured into the game isn't drained out at the other end somehow, whether it's through decay costs or housing maintenance or people leaving the game forever and literally taking their gold piles with them. Obviously, this last one is not ideal.

I was impressed at Neverwinter's recent move to auction rare companions off to the playerbase, a system that won't solve the inflation/duping problem in one pass but could, given time and repetition, drain money from player moguls voluntarily and reward them with prestigious but non-game-breaking and effectively worthless trinkets.

That's my favorite kind of gold sink. What's yours?

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!

Make My MMO: September 7 - 13, 2014

Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Crowdfunding, Make My MMO

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Elite: Dangerous released information about launch pricing and an optional pre-order pack. Star Citizen released its long-awaited racing mode, and Piranha released a whole bunch of internet rage by revealing a crowdfunded sci-fi MMO called Transverse. Which used to be called Wing Commander Online, funnily enough.

Oh, and the Seldon Crisis Kickstarter officially kicked off. Click past the cut for the rest of our weekly crowdfunding roundup.

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Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day one

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, ArcheAge, Sandbox

I'm standing on a sun-baked rock along Nuia's northern coast. The waves lap at my feet, little bubbles are visible just off shore. Wispy strips of white cirrus float overhead, framing a baby blue sky that meets the ocean somewhere beyond a hazy horizon I can't quite see.

I've been standing here a while because there goes the sun, melting into the water and leaking red-orange streaks across the purplish waves as I watch. Up the cliff face behind me, a gaggle of green-named newbs mosh about in the newb area doing what MMO newbs do.

A couple of them make their way down the cliff face to join me. One of them jostles my character and apologizes. He didn't realize there was collision detection and he's very sorry and wow, this game is pretty, isn't it?

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Exclusive: The weapons of Firefall's Elemental Destruction

Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Classes, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Firefall

Firefall
In the wake of Firefall's announcement of its September 16th Elemental Destruction launch date, Red 5's RudiKazootie returns with another dev diary about the update, this one focusing on the new elemental weapons, new weapon modifiers, and new primary archetype weapons arriving next week. Enjoy!

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The Siege of Neverwinter begins next week [Updated]

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Classes, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Humor, Neverwinter

Neverwinter
Perfect World Entertainment has just announced a new in-game Tyranny of Dragons-themed event for Neverwinter: the Siege of Neverwinter. Apparently, Justin was right not to trust those dragons. Those guys are always up to no good, trying to kick your favorite fantasy city in the knees. Are you going to take that? Are you? No. I didn't think so.
From September 18, 2014 until September 25, 2014, players are tasked with defending Neverwinter from encroaching foes in the new Siege Battlefield area. Two new Heroic Encounters will challenge players with a variety of different battle types and assaults from furious dragons. Additionally, a new profession will enable players to craft defensive supplies and work to protecting the brave warriors who venture past the safety of the walls.
Neverwinter promises "new fashion items, enchantments, companions, and more" for participation in the event.

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You can race your Star Citizen spaceship today

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Races, Sandbox, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Before I get too deep into this news post, I'd like to take a moment to thank Cloud Imperium for releasing Star Citizen's racing module on ArcheAge's launch day.

Now that that's out of my system, let's see here. Arena Commander 0.9 is officially patchable right now. It brings with it the Murray Cup racing simulator, co-op play, leaderboards, and "too many bug fixes to list," according to CIG's announcement post.

[Thanks Oliver!]

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HEX is not Hearthstone: A look at HEX's closed beta

Betas, Economy, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, Opinion, Hands-On, Trading Card Games, First Impressions, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, HEX

530
It's been a while, HEX. Last time I saw you was E3 2013. I hadn't yet started to play Hearthstone, and truthfully, I doubted it could hold a candle to you. In a lot of ways, I was right. It's so much simpler, it's less complex, and at the time, it felt less imaginative. But my card game days are behind me. I don't have the kind of time I used to, so Hearthstone's faster games and accessible drafts (called "arenas" in HS) reminded me of the things I love about the genre while allowing me to keep my grown-up schedule intact and being easy on my wallet.

Just the same, HEX, when I got the closed beta invite to see you again, my heart skipped a beat. I was ready to drop some big money on you, but I've been burned a few times. While I've been in betas and alphas for other games, there's been a trend of letting people pay to play unfinished products. I've been burned, and while I don't regret the experience, I do regret the purchases at the moment. I mean, when a game suddenly disappears from the market, it does make you question your decisions, so I decided we should go out a few times first before I really invest in you.

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EVE's Oceanus laying the groundwork for visual ship customization

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

EVE Online's next release is called Oceanus, and it's coming to a PC near you on September 30th. CCP has published a feature overview dev blog in case you're not up to speed. Major tweaks include French language support, new cloak effects, and a "big visual update" for wormhole space.

There's a substantial under-the-hood update, too, and it has to do with how CCP stores and manages ship visual data. The dev blog says that this particular tweak is necessary "for being able to deliver visual customization of ships in the future." You can read about the rest of Oceanus via the links below.

The Daily Grind: What's the ideal MMO raid length?

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Dungeons, Destiny

Destiny
I thought it was interesting earlier this month when Bungie explained Destiny's raids: They're smaller than what MMO players would expect from a raid (six players), but they come with some rather old-school MMO lengths, lockouts, and death penalties. One test group, the devs said, took 45 minutes just to get to the front door!

Bungie doesn't expect MMO-savvy players to take nearly that long once they've soaked up some internet guides, of course, but the article did make me wonder what gamers are willing to tolerate raid-length-wise nowadays. I remember giant raids that went on for days in EverQuest all the way up to quickie group-finder raids in World of Warcraft. Making them shorter (and cutting out the trash) didn't really make them easier or less fun, but it sure did enable more people to play them, which seems like a better way to justify the dev time spent on them. What do you think: What's the ideal MMO raid length?

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!

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