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Game Mechanics

Marvel Heroes publishes Thor's level 52 review

Super-hero, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Marvel Heroes, Dev Diaries, OARPG

Gazillion has published one of its Marvel Heroes level 52 reviews, which is basically a dev blog focused on endgame goals and designs for a particular hero. In this case, that hero is Thor.

Thor's Odinforce is a big part of his current review. It functions as his secondary resource and allows players to unlock upgraded versions of his powers by building Odinforce and managing its decay over time. And don't forget about God Blast, his new ultimate that unleashes "the full might of the mighty Mjolnir in a terrifying, concentrated blast of white-hot divine intervention."

Lost Continent: Lucking into a breezy ArcheAge bungalow

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Housing, Lost Continent

My ArcheAge avatar is pretty fortunate. Last Friday night he became the proud owner of a breezy bungalow, which is that big bamboo marine house that you've probably seen in screenshots, videos, and the like.

The bungalow's blueprint costs a whopping 300 gilda stars -- i.e., no small amount for a guildless guy like me who mostly duos his way through Haranya. I'd managed to save 250 of the character-bound gilda by doing various dailies over the past several weeks, but I had a few days to go before I'd finally be able to afford the plans. How did I come up with the balance ahead of schedule, not to mention the boat load of materials required to actually build the house? That's an interesting story, and it's another example of how ArcheAge's mechanics are a necessary breath of fresh air in a stale genre.

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The Daily Grind: Should EVE Online add manual flight controls?

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Business Models, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous

The Daily Grind title image
On Friday, developer CCP Games stunned us with the news that EVE Online will be adding manual flight controls in December's Rhea update. Gamers have been asking for twitch controls since EVE launched in 2003, but the idea has always been shot down as infeasible because it would put the server under extremely heavy load. CCP mentioned its interest in twitch controls during Fanfest 2013, and I speculated on a possible server-friendly implementation in an EVE Evolved article shortly after, but the fact that the feature is about to be released still comes as a huge surprise.

The new controls will be optional and quite limited. Ships will be able to rotate clockwise or counterclockwise and pitch their ships up vertically up and down, but we won't be able to do loops or rolls like in a dogfighting game. Developers also want to add joystick support soon, but so far there are no plans to add manually targeted ship weapons. Many players are excited for the new controls, and some of them are already asking for further features like the ability to lock the camera behind their ships for a more hands-on flight experience.

The announcement has prompted debate in the EVE Online community, and not everyone is convinced it's a good idea. Some have complained that twitch controls don't suit EVE as the ships are supposed to be massive starships with full crews rather than single-pilot fighter craft. There's also some cynicism over whether the feature is only being worked on now due to the growing popularity of Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous. EVE could be positioning itself as a viable alternative for any players who are disappointed with the new space games, a strategy that has worked in the past to help it absorb players from games like Earth & Beyond and Star Wars Galaxies.

What do you think? Should EVE add manual flight controls, and is this an attempt to appeal to the mass market?

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: November 9 - November 15, 2014

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Shards Online returned to Kickstarter seeking $50,000 and a coat of polish for its player-driven multiverse sandbox. Citadel Studios developers also visited the Massively comment section to answer questions about the upcoming title, which is well over halfway to its goal with 27 days remaining.

Elsewhere, Star Citizen continued to roll around in piles of money, while Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen stirred from its slumber to offer up some early development screenshots. Click past the cut for the rest of this week's MMO crowdfunding news.

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Darkfall axes tutorial, for now

Fantasy, Video, Darkfall, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

Aventurine has decided to temporarily remove Darkfall's Vale of the Custodian, otherwise known as the game's tutorial.

The move comes "after some deliberation," and for now players will spawn into the fantasy PvPbox and begin their gameplay immediately. Aventurine's announcement post says that the firm will "be looking into revamping and improving the Vale area to provide a better and smoother starting experience for new players."

In the meantime, the devs have created a new seven-minute tutorial video that you can watch after the break.

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Marvel Heroes adds new game mode

Super-hero, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Marvel Heroes

Gazillion has added a new game mode to its Marvel Heroes online action RPG. It's called Industry City Patrol and it features new bosses, artifacts, medallions, and "uniques found nowhere else," according to the game's website. Gazillion says that it has also added "improved spawning technology to reduce lag," as well as multi-phase events that encourage players to cooperate and progress together.

Working As Intended: Niche MMOs vs. the everything box

Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, MMORPG, Working As Intended

Umzugskarton by HornM201
The MMO industry has lately focused on niche titles, niche communities, niche gameplay. It's not one particular niche, mind you. It's lots of different niches, all being catered to in different titles: PvPers, sadistic gankers, raiders, dungeoners, roleplayers, crafters, explorers, achievers, soloers, storygoers, casuals, hardcores, builders, destroyers, the I'm-skipping-class-for-a-week-to-play-games kids, the I've-got-five-minutes-what-can-I-play parents. There's an MMO or two out there for pretty much every one of us -- and for almost no one else.

So we dutifully buy the one that beckons directly to us, one of these small-minded "MMOs" that offer rewards for a certain playstyle or two but wilfully disregard every other imaginable playstyle. We applaud these games for having the guts to embrace being "niche" because we are convinced that having lots of little niche games is diversity.

And then we wonder where all the players are.

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SMITE previews Ao Kuang in detail

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA

Turning into a dragon is always a viable strategy if you can manage it. Most people can't; you cannot respond to criticism from your boss by turning into a dragon, for example. Ao Kuang can do exactly that in SMITE, however, and that forms the core of his playstyle in the game. If he has a target with low enough health, he can turn into a dragon, destroy them, then fly to a new area with area damage and a recharged sword so that, hopefully, he can take out someone else by turning into a dragon.

Ao Kuang's passive mechanic is a sword that carries charges that are auto-spent to buff his abilities, with a slow regeneration out of combat or a quick regeneration if, again, he turns into a dragon. He's a melee mage-type character, encouraging players to swing in, take out a target, and then move on to the next. You can get a clearer picture of how this will work in play on the official preview page.

[Thanks to Sorenthaz for the tip!]

The Daily Grind: Have you made use of an advanced character in an MMO?

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Business Models, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind

World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor expansion launched yesterday, and if you managed to preorder in time, you now have a shiny new level 90 character upgrade awaiting you. WoW isn't the first or only game to offer advanced characters, of course; RIFT, EverQuest II, and Ultima Online, among others, all sell boosted characters so that players can skip over the early game and jump right to the new stuff. This feature has been tremendously helpful to some of my guildies who haven't played WoW in a while and wanted to join us in the new content without catching up an old toon. Without the feature, I'm not sure some of them would have returned at all.

I've taken advantage of the feature in UO especially to avoid the tedium of skill grind. On the other hand, I've still never had the urge to seriously play the cute Gnome Mage I rolled the last time Blizzard offered free character boosts. I just have too many characters with history already (plus my husband mains a Gnome Mage!).

What about you, Massively readers? Have you ever made use of an advanced character in an MMO? What did you think of the experience?

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!

WildStar gold exploiters may get lifetime bans

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, WildStar

Carbine is working on a hotfix for a WildStar gold exploit that many players have mentioned via social media and the game's forums. Community manager Tony Rey says a rollback isn't necessary because "the current scope of abuse is not outside of our ability to manually correct where necessary."

Rey goes on to mention the possibility of lifetime bans, though he does note that players who have used the exploit have until tomorrow to contact customer support for a reduced punishment to include the removal of ill-gotten gains.

Arcane Supergirl arrives in Infinite Crisis this month

Super-hero, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, MOBA, Infinite Crisis

Arcane Supergirl is coming to Infinite Crisis, according to developer Turbine's latest press release. Arcane Supergirl is "able to summon firebird and flame at will," and she'll be available for play on November 26th.

Click past the cut for a new video that focuses on both gameplay and lore.

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SWTOR's Sage, Sorcerer discipline changes detailed

Sci-Fi, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Star Wars: The Old Republic

Sages and Sorcerers, this Star Wars: The Old Republic dev diary's for you. BioWare has revealed the upcoming changes to two more of its advanced classes that will go live when the Shadow of Revan expansion launches on December 9th.

Both classes "have seen some changes to their baseline ability package," and all three specs for each class get at least one new active and two new passives. Learn more at the official SWTOR website!

You're too late: People are already 100 in WoW

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Subscription

Too bad for those of us stuck working today instead of playing video games: There are already folks at the level cap in World of Warcraft.

The Warlords of Draenor expansion launched early this morning amid complaints of lag, queues, and horrifically bottlenecked quests, but that hasn't been enough to stop the truly dedicated. On my home server, which my guildies affectionately refer to as Crashridge, there appear to be no 100s roaming the world yet, but Eurogamer reports that European servers have several dozen apiece thanks to the earlier launch there. The level-capped rushers took advantage of legitimate garrison-related experience bonuses and dailies but also repeatable turn-in quests deemed exploits by Blizzard, which temp-banned and de-leveled at least one Polish player for using them as seen in this colorful video.

So much for that world first!

Shards Online returns to Kickstarter [Updated with the video]

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content

Shards Online is back on Kickstarter, this time with a modest $50,000 goal and a promise to match donations dollar-for-dollar up to the final goal. The multiplayer sandbox made waves earlier this year thanks to its playable pre-alpha client and its unique multiverse built on player-run servers.

We've got the new Kickstarter trailer and the abridged press release below.

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Star Citizen's crowdfunding total tops $61 million

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen

What's better than $60 million in crowdfunding support? $61 million, of course, and that's what space sim sandbox Star Citizen's sitting at today. Cloud Imperium boss Chris Roberts has penned his usual Letter from the Chairman in response to another million-dollar milestone. This particular milestone unlocked the Espera Prowler, which Roberts says will be interesting to watch during the build process since it's an alien design that will be retrofitted for human use.

The letter also features a poll that allows backers to choose Star Citizen's third starter ship.

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