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Global Agenda

Global Agenda 2's closed beta expected 'before the end of the year if all goes well'

Betas, Sci-Fi, Classes, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, MMOFPS, Global Agenda

When last we heard about Global Agenda 2, we learned the promised sequel to 2010's Global Agenda was in line behind profitable MOBA SMITE for attention, and that announcement was made while its developers were admitting Tribes: Ascend was unlikely to ever get more love. But Hi-Rez Studios CEO Erez Goren broke radio silence on GA2 with a slew of spoilers on Reddit yesterday (apparently before he was shadowbanned for "vote manipulation" by angry Tribes players). The highlights?
  • It is in fact a "spiritual" successor to GA.
  • It'll have objective-based, 5v5 PvP with stats leveling during matches. E-sports will be supported, as will spectator mode.
  • Viewpoint is first- and third-person. "Shooting is from first person mostly."
  • There are "no strict classes." There is "no dedicated healer class." You just "select the way you want to play and join the queue."
  • A "dome city area" might serve as a gathering point for players.
  • He rattles off a whole list of weapons and off-hand items.
Clever Redditors surmise that the game might actually be named Global Assault. Closed beta is expected "before the end of the year if all goes well."

[With many thanks to Sorenthaz for the great tip!]

The Daily Grind: Should MMO studios outsource their communities?

Business Models, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Global Agenda, Miscellaneous

If you played MMOs at the dawn of the genre, you'll recall that player forums were not considered a mandatory feature of a studio's infrastructure. Many communities resorted to wild, offensive, private forums in an attempt to avoid heavily moderated official boards that looked more like advertisements than conversations by the time the mods were done with them. (Anyone else remember Crossroads of Britannia? Good times.) Since then, MMO studios have figured out that forums (and their annoying cousins, social media) are highly useful tools for getting information to and feedback from their playerbases. But sometimes it's gone too far; we've criticized studios for posting updates only to social media outlets at the expense of their own native forums.

Well, move over, ArenaNet, because Hi-Rez has topped you: Earlier this week, Hi-Rez decided to shut down its games' official forums and move forum discussion and support to Reddit, which upset not only those people whose skin crawls at the idea of participating on Reddit but also Redditors themselves, who proposed (unsuccessfully) that Hi-Rez employees be banned, essentially, for mooching.

So what do you think -- should MMO studios outsource or crowdsource their forums, communities, and support to unofficial and potentially toxic private social media venues? Does it signal an industry shift, an insensitive budgetary decision from Hi-Rez, or a genuine desire to go where the perceived population density is highest?

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!

Rise and Shiny revisit: Global Agenda

Sci-Fi, Video, Bugs, Game Mechanics, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Global Agenda, Rise and Shiny, Livestream

Global Agenda screenshot
Ah, I had some glorious times in Global Agenda, so long ago that Seraphina Brennan still worked here and we struggled to livestream the game to do a giveaway or two. The developers prepared some pre-made level 30 characters for us, complete with Massively logo holograms emblazoned across the chests. Sera moved on, livestreaming has become easier, and I haven't returned to the game nearly as much as I've wanted to. I'm not sure why. The game is free-to-play, and I have been enjoying online shooter titles more over the last several months.

Then, when I told my boss that I wanted to check it out again, she told me that it was a good idea especially since Global Agenda 2 was announced late last year. What? This news must have passed underneath my very broad radar! Still, I was eager to revisit my old characters and see if the game is still as fun as I remember, so I spent the last week playing the game -- that is, when I wasn't fighting bugs in the game. And I mean technical bugs, not the good, scary space kind.

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The Game Archaeologist: When sequels attack!

Asheron's Call, Darkfall, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Guild Wars, Lineage, Lineage 2, Neocron 2, PlanetSide, RuneScape, Guild Wars 2, Global Agenda, Final Fantasy XIV, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2

The Game Archaeologist When sequels attack!
Sequels are both the bane of and a fact of life for movies and video games. Well, "bane" is a strong word, and you're probably thinking of Batman right now anyway, but personally, I'm always willing to give the benefit of doubt to any continuation of a favorite franchise. While we don't see sequels pop up as often in MMOs, they do exist and have significant effects upon the original title that bears the same name.

It's here that MMOs diverge from movies and other video games. With those, the original is not in any sort of danger, other than the perception of having its legacy dragged down into the muck (Caddyshack II, anyone?) and perhaps overstaying its welcome. An MMO sequel, on the other hand, can cause serious consequences to its ancestor.

Here at Game Archaeologist, we look at classic games that have often seen their time come and go. But what happens to one of these titles when a sequel attacks? Almost anything, it turns out.

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PAX East 2013: Hi-Rez Studios' Todd Harris talks SMITE, Global Agenda 2

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Global Agenda, MOBA

Screenshot -- SMITE
SMITE just recently celebrated the release of its 32nd playable deity, Aphrodite, but she's far from the last thing in the wings for Hi-Rez Studios' borderline blasphemous MOBA. We got the chance to catch up with Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris at PAX East to find out what awaits in the studio's future. Obviously the studio's immediate focus is on its new golden child, SMITE, for which Hi-Rez (partnered with Twitch.tv) is holding a $10,000 tournament at PAX East over the weekend. Harris also mentioned that SMITE is looking to officially release once its roster reaches about 40 deities, which he says will likely be sometime this summer.

And for those of you with itchy trigger-fingers, Harris also mentioned that Global Agenda 2 is, in fact, still alive and kicking, though right now further details are scant. What we do know is that the team is focusing on the game's PvP for launch, which may be somewhat disappointing to fans of the original Global Agenda's co-op PvE, but Harris says that the studio wants to put forth the most polished PvP experience possible before looking into expanding the game into PvE territory. Unfortunately, that's about all we know right now, so we'll just have to content ourselves with knowing that it hasn't been relegated to the realm of development hell.

Massively's on the ground in Boston during the weekend of March 22nd to 24th, bringing you all the best news from PAX East 2013. Whether you're dying to know more about WildStar, DUST 514, or any MMO in between, we aim to have it covered!

The Perfect Ten: Memorable marketing campaigns

World of Warcraft, EverQuest II, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Ultima Online, Global Agenda, Humor, Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, TERA, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

The Perfect Ten Memorable marketing campaigns
I took only a single marketing class in college, so by no means am I an instant expert in anything but being on the receiving end of marketers' nefarious experiments to manipulate me so that I buy their stuff. I did take away the lesson that all marketers are professional liars who have no shame or dignity. Pretty much the same as a blogger, so I guess I have a backup career.

Believe it or not, MMOs get off easy when it comes to notorious marketing campaigns. Anything on the following list, good or bad, is a pale shadow of what we've seen in the larger video game industry. Still, there have been plenty of attempts to promote MMOs in ways that make us either applaud or laugh at the studio (and sometimes both at once, which takes coordination).

After doing some staff polling and internal polling, here are 10 memorable marketing campaigns from the era of MMORPGs. Maybe they're all winners in that they got noticed by at least one person, even if they're the most foolish notions in history. Here we go!

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Jukebox Heroes: Eleven MMO soundtracks you can get for free

Anarchy Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, EVE Online, Ryzom, RuneScape, Global Agenda, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Atlantica Online, Giveaways, Miscellaneous, Jukebox Heroes, Music

Jukebox Heroes Eleven MMO soundtracks you can get for free
Collecting MMO soundtracks is a scattered, scavenger-like experience. Releasing video game soundtracks isn't exactly high up on studio and publisher to-do lists (although we're seeing more love from digital stores), so whether or not a title will get a music release is really a crapshoot. What does get released is never in the same place twice: Some game soundtracks are released as special editions only, some only as CDs, some as full MP3 album releases, some directly from the composer, some are buried on websites, and so on.

So I'm constantly looking everywhere trying to beef up my MMO soundtrack library, and as a result I've uncovered several scores that the studios are giving away for free. I'm all over free (legal) music, especially when it's in my area of interest!

If you've been looking to start an MMO soundtrack collection or are looking to add to what you have, I've put together a list of 11 MMO scores that you can get today free of charge. Sound good? It does to me!

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Choose My Adventure: You decide the MMO and how I play it

Fantasy, Polls, Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest II, Fallen Earth, Lord of the Rings Online, Wurm Online, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Vanguard, Guild Wars 2, War, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, MMOFPS, Global Agenda, Choose My Adventure, Allods Online, World of Tanks, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous

Choose My Adventure You decide the MMO and how I play it
It's finally time for my second round of Choose My Adventure. The last time I helmed CMA, Lineage II was top pick, and I had a lot of fun with it. I took tons of screenshots and video to keep you in the loop as to my progress, and you can expect the same, whichever game is chosen this time.

MJ's turn with The Secret World was a lot of fun to read and follow. She even livestreamed some of her shenanigans... I mean, adventures. You can bet I'll be playing with one finger over the PrtScn button and livestreaming some of my adventures as well. I hope to make this a multimedia extravaganza of epic proportions.

Take a look through your choices and vote, vote, vote. And make sure to get those votes in by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday the 21st!

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Massively Speaking Episode 219: Kickstart THIS!

World of Warcraft, Podcasts, City of Heroes, Darkfall, MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Global Agenda, Massively Speaking, RIFT, Miscellaneous

Massively Speaking Episode 219 Kickstart THIS!
Between sequels, Kickstarter projects, and expansions shooting out of every developer's thinkhole, the MMO industry is changing so fast that all Bree and Justin can do is ride the wave and shoot the curl. It's an all-California, all-surfer episode of Massively Speaking brought to you by Point Blank. Cowabunga, dudes!

Have a comment for the podcasters? Shoot an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to Massively Speaking directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
Listen here on the page:

Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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The Firing Line: Hi-Rez talks Global Agenda 2

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Global Agenda, The Firing Line

The Firing Line Massively asks HiRez about Global Agenda 2
Three cheers for Hi-Rez! In addition to providing me with a no-brainer of a column topic this week, the Atlanta-based development firm is also gifting its fans with a reboot of Global Agenda.

The original GA launched way back in February of 2010, and while it remains one of the more enjoyable online games I've ever played, it has fallen on hard times. Hi-Rez shifted its focus to Tribes: Ascend prior to GA's free-to-play conversion, and the latter game's population steadily declined to the point where Dome City and the various instances surrounding it were a haven for tumbleweeds rather than lobby shooter fans.

Can GA 2.0 build on the original game's rock-solid foundation while avoiding its missteps? Let's discuss that with Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris after the break.

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Hi-Rez prepping Global Agenda sequel with focus on PvP

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Global Agenda

HiRez prepping Global Agenda sequel with focus on PvP
Hi-Rez Studios' Global Agenda is a curious concoction of third-person shooter, MMO PvE, and team-based PvP. The game is also a ton of fun even though it has a ton of issues (chief among them being its primary focus and identity).

The game wasn't financially successful, but the developers nonetheless learned a lot of valuable lessons which led to Tribes: Ascend. While Tribes was well-received, it's something of a niche game due to its high player-skill requirements.

According to a blurb posted last night on the Hi-Rez forums, Global Agenda 2 is officially in the works and it will feature a focus on PvP. "We plan to add new maps, game modes, class weapons, and build it all on our newest platform," Hi-Rez says. The company hasn't officially named the title as of yet, but it expects to start beta testing by the middle of 2013.

[Thanks to Zeds for the tip!]

The Perfect Ten: Goosebump trailers

World of Warcraft, Trailers, Video, Warhammer Online, Star Trek Online, Guild Wars 2, The Secret World, Global Agenda, DC Universe Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, WildStar

The Perfect Ten Goosebump trailers
I love trailers. Man, I love trailers. I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, but sometimes I'll spend a shameful hour just flipping through all of my favorite movie and game trailers. When the editing is tight and the music spot-on, my spine becomes infused with epicness and I feel a heady buzz that comes from seeing so much awesome crammed into such a short clip.

Just as in the movie industry, MMO studios are hit or miss with their trailers. There have been so many generic, forgettable videos that I pad the lining of my imaginary dog's crate with them. They're very absorbent and release the fresh scent of pine. But once in a while, there comes along a trailer that acts like the Dark Crystal, sucking my soul right into it before shaking it around and then releasing it. Trailers like that give me goosebumps, and here are 10 of them, all in a row.

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Why I Play: Global Agenda

Sci-Fi, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Global Agenda, Why I Play

Global Agenda screenshot
Among the Massively staff, I'm known as the obsessive competitor who plays every game in a hardcore fashion. It's no surprise that I gravitate toward high-skill, difficult games that test skill instead of the typical MMO grinds. But it should be a bit of a surprise that I don't really like competitive shooters. Shooters take a lot of the elements I really love about competition such as mindgames and positioning and marginalize them in favor of raw aiming and twitch reflexes. I'm fond of saying "You must be this tall to ride this ride" when it comes to shooters that are very twitch-based.

Global Agenda is a different beast than other shooters, though. The competitive shooter market is saturated with class-based shooters whose emphasis is more on teamwork than on aiming, and Global Agenda really takes it to eleven. Aiming is still important, but it's hardly the most important skill in the game, and every class has a way of minimizing the need for aiming skill. In fact, most of the more effective builds in GA don't require aiming. The emphasis in GA is on teamwork, mobility, and good decision-making. Even though it's a shooter, I find it really easy to spend far too much of my time playing it. It's just great fun.

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GDC 2012: The Firing Line talks release dates with Tribes Ascend's Todd Harris

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Interviews, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Global Agenda, The Firing Line

The Firing Line - GDC 2012 Hi-Rez Interview, Tribes release date
It's been a crazy week at GDC, and though I've already gotten the skinny on both PlanetSide 2 and DUST 514, there's more on the way when it comes to online shooter news. Yesterday morning I headed over to the Hi-Rez Studios booth on the main show floor, where COO Todd Harris had some exciting news to share with fans of the firm's Tribes: Ascend title.

The free-to-play shooter will officially launch on April 12th, and Hi-Rez has also released a new parody trailer that pays homage to Dead Island and shows off the perils of the dreaded "llama capture" (if you're a Tribes newb, just know that speed equals survival when it comes to flag-grabs).

Join me after the cut for some Tribes-related chit-chat as well news of new content on the way for Global Agenda.

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Previously On MVTV: The week of February 25th

Fantasy, Video, EVE Online, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Previews, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Browser, Hands-On, Casual, All Points Bulletin, Crime, MMOFPS, Global Agenda, Humor, Hands-On (Massively's), Kids, Wizard101, RIFT, Allods Online, Family, Livestream, Miscellaneous, Previously on MV TV

Previously On logo
So you missed out on some of Massively's wonderful livestreams, huh? You had to go out and hang out with actual human beings and missed some of the most exciting live game playing you could have imagined? Shame. Shame on you. Don't worry, though; I've taken the time to collect some of the very best moments from the previous week's shows and combine them into one easy, one-stop-shop for your viewing pleasure.

Really, it's no trouble. Do be a dear and bookmark our MassivelyTV Guide for future reference!

So what do we have this week? Some pretty awesome stuff, actually. Richie jumps back into some Guild Wars, Mike takes an explosive swing at EVE Online once again and then hops into RIFT, Psykopig slowly finds himself falling in love with Wizard101 despite his attempts at resistance, Karen and the team from Allods Online embark on a tour of high-level content and Astral ships, I get invited to a real wedding inside Luvinia Online, and Tboo does her usual best by shooting people in the face in APB: Reloaded.

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