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Game Mechanics

Xsyon opens guilds, housing to F2P players

Business Models, Game Mechanics, Guilds, News Items, Free-to-Play, Xsyon, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, Housing

Xsyon
Hardcore indie sandbox Xsyon introduced a free-to-play option almost two years ago, but the restrictions were brutal. Free players couldn't build in or terraform the world, and they couldn't lead guilds, which the game calls tribes. (Originally, they couldn't even join guilds at all!)

But as of this week, Notorious Games has lifted some of those restrictions. In a press release issued today, the studio explained,
Starting this week, new players can join the Xsyon community and start their own tribe for free. Creating their own homesteads, new free players can shape the land explore the game's extensive architecture system on their own, without the aid of other game citizens!
If you're a free player chafing at ArcheAge's housing restrictions, well, here's a sandbox willing to accommodate you.

The Daily Grind: Would you play an all-endgame MMO?

Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Endgame, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Dungeons

I'm hard on MMOs with endgames, especially endgames that focus on a single repetitive activity. The problem isn't so much what that activity is but that MMOs spend so much time making you do something else before you can get to that activity -- instead of just letting you just do that presumably ideal and fun activity from the start. That's prompted some clever players to wonder, why not just make an all-endgame -- an all-raiding -- MMO?

To be clear, I'm not talking about sandboxes or persistent PvP games that can be perceived as entirely endgame. I'm talking about a classic themepark experience with the levels and questing ripped out -- just endgame dungeons and raids, pure PvE group challenge, from the moment you log in to the moment you log out. If raiding really is about the challenge and the thrill of big group PvE, such a game would be welcomed by hardcore raiders... right?

And more importantly: Would you play it?

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!

Darkfall relics to add CTF mechanics, promote clan raiding

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

Relics are coming to Darkfall, sometime in November according to an Aventurine forum post. What are relics? They're basically items that will spawn randomly around Agon that players may pick up and transport to a clan holding.

The mechanic is intended to add a capture-the-flag activity to Darkfall while simultaneously increasing the value of clan holdings and promoting clan raids.

ArcheAge's northern continent opens November 4

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Crafting

Trion has announced that ArcheAge's Auroria continent will officially launch on November 4th.

The northern landmass features six additional zones, four of which will be claimable by guilds. Trion also notes that "30 percent more housing space will be available to players throughout these four claimable zones."

A new dungeon is also included, as is a farm wagon and a submarine. Full details are yours on the official ArcheAge website.

RIFT's newest dungeon is called the Citadel of Insanity

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, RIFT, Dungeons

Citadel of Insanity has a nice ring to it, don't you think? It'd probably make a swell guild name or at the very least, a subforum title on a particularly crotchety MMORPG message board.

Alas, Trion has already put it to work as the name of a new RIFT dungeon. It includes a giant armored crustacean called Glacieus, a "massive nightmare worm," and a couple of other bosses who may cause your party to break a sweat.

You can read all about the new dungeon on RIFT's official website.

Elder Scrolls game director talks Update 5, performance upgrades

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Dev Diaries, The Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online game director Matt Firor has just released a new Road Ahead update post. Much of what he has to say relates to the forthcoming Update 5, which includes a new vet dungeon, new facial animations, repeatable pledges and writs, dungeon level-scaling, and additional stuff like the Dwemer crafting style and chat bubbles.

Firor also mentions "a series of stability and performance improvements for Cyrodiil in the works right now." Additionally, ESO players will be getting new performance options to "cull visual effects" and improve client framerates.

SWTOR's experience boost enables altaholics, story-lovers

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Classes, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Lore, News Items, Free-to-Play, Roleplaying, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Promotions, Dev Diaries

SWTOR
Eagle-eyed gamers probably noticed the "leveling boost" tucked in with Star Wars: The Old Republic's Shadow of Revan pre-order announcement, but just in case you missed it, BioWare wants to make absolutely sure you understand what it entails, and it entails story -- a whole bunch of stories in a short amount of time, in fact. In a new dev blog, the studio is calling the boost a "class leveling event" in which players are effectively "treated to an all-new epic BioWare roleplaying campaign, uninterrupted." The 12.32 multiplier to experience that players pick up by preordering the expansion and subbing up for a month is "enough to play through the game all the way to level 55 playing only epic story missions," meaning that you can play through the class stories with no quest grind in between. Skill training is free during the promotion too. But you'll have to move quickly; the promo ends on December 1st.

I've already lost two writers and three guildies to the leveling frenzy. Jef thinks he'll be done leveling all eight of his characters in 10 more days. Who'll be next?!

The Daily Grind: Do you spend time on facial customization?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge

ArcheAge has a lot of options for avatar facial customization. This is cool, but I wonder how many people actually use it.

My guess is that few players look at their avatar's face after character creation, and fewer still notice the fine details on other avatar faces. Maybe it's just me, though. How about it, Massively readers? Do you spend any time on facial customization in the MMOs that offer it?

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!

Riot tweaking LoL's refer-a-friend to combat account sellers

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, MOBA, League of Legends

If you've been using Riot's refer-a-friend program to bot, commit fraud, or otherwise misbehave in and around League of Legends, your time's almost up. The company has announced changes to the program in order to prevent would-be sellers from loading up accounts with skins and currency.

The new RAF update will reward players with 1000 IP for each referred friend who reaches level 10. You can refer a total of five people, and three referrals nets you the Grey Warlock skin while five grants you Medieval Twitch.

Full details are available via Riot's blog post.

Perpetuum officially launching on Steam this Friday

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

Perpetuum is officially launching on Steam this Friday, October 17th. Wait a minute, wasn't the sci-fi sandbox already on Steam? Well, yes. Yes it was, as an early access title.

The latest Perpetuum dev blog details how and why Avatar Creations is moving its game out of early access even though it's still working on a mission system revamp, new PvE content, and a new engine. There's also a patch scheduled for this week that will revamp the game's mineral spawning system. Finally, the dev blog talks about upcoming intrusion and gamma changes as well as a big robot balance patch.

WildStar's Nexus Report on megaservers and the state of the game

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

WildStar's latest Nexus Report has been posted to YouTube. Carbine's Chad Moore, Tony Rey, and Craig Turner are your hosts for a 35-minute show that delves into the specifics of megaservers as well as the current state of the game.

You can watch the full clip just past the cut!

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The Crew's customization trailer puts giant offroad tires on a Mustang

Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Races

If you've ever wanted to see how a late model Mustang looks when fitted with giant offroad tires, Ubisoft's latest The Crew trailer is for you. It takes you through two minutes of visual and equipment changes on Ford's venerable pony car, including Performance, Dirt, Raid, and Circuit specs.

The trailer also serves as a window into The Crew's sprawling game world, which includes cityscapes, rural highways, and race tracks across the United States. Click past the cut to have a look.

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DCUO's 12th DLC pack coming 'later this year'

Super-hero, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, DC Universe Online

SOE has announced the 12th DLC pack for DC Universe Online. It's called War of the Light Part II, and it "unites Green Lantern Hal Jordan with his rival Sinestro, as the two must set aside their differences to save the Emotional Spectrum."

There's no release date yet, but SOE's PR says you'll see it on PC, PS3, and PS4 "later this year." Gameplay additions include:
  • Players continue to unravel the mystery behind the loss of the emotional entities and their connection to the Emotional Spectrum in the second part of the War of the Light trilogy.
  • Carol Ferris and the Star Sapphires make their DC Universe Online debut in War of the Light Part II.
  • The DLC introduces six new adventures: new Daily and Solo Missions, one Duo, one 4-player Alert, and 4- and 8-player Operations, which will take place throughout Metropolis as well as Oa, Qward, and the home world of the Star Sapphires, Zamaron.
  • This is the first time players will be able to travel to Zamaron and Qward in DCUO.
  • Six new skill points will be available to earn, and players will have access to a host of new Collections, Feats, new gear and Base items.
You can read more about the DLC at the official DCUO website. Don't forget to check out the latest letter from the creative director, too!

Star Trek Online's Delta Rising cinematic has... arisen

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play

STO
Star Trek Online's Delta Rising expansion technically went live yesterday, but today's the official launch, and that means a brand-new cinematic and fresh screenshots. The update bumps the character level cap to 60, ushers in a partial Voyager cast, and adds a new tier of ships, gear, and officers to the roster. Enjoy the trailer and pics!

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ZeniMax seeking feedback on Elder Scrolls' Update 5

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, Crafting, The Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online's Update 5 is big. It's so big that ZeniMax is offering test server players a lengthy list of suggestions as to what they should be testing.

More specifically, the dev team is seeking feedback on the veteran City of Ash dungeon as well as on crafting writs and the new crafting tutorials. That's just a partial list, too. You can view the full breakdown on the official ESO forums.

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