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Chaos Theory: The Secret World anniversary celebration, take two!

Horror, Real-Life, Events (In-Game), The Secret World, Guides, Anniversaries, Chaos Theory, Buy-to-Play

Chaos Theory:  The Secret World anniversary celebration, take two!
It's that time of year again: time to celebrate another anniversary in The Secret World! And that means taking on world bosses, soaking up oodles of AP, and collecting lore, clothes, and (the best part) pets. Yep, definitely sounds like a party. The birthday bash lasts through July 17th, but the double AP portion of it ends on the 11th, so if you have new builds you want to test and you like the feel of all that AP popping up every few steps, now is the time to get into the game.

If you attended last year's Guardians of Gaia celebration, you're no doubt familiar with the set up of the event; you may have even completed everything. If not, you now have the chance to catch up on everything, including collecting all the lore and pets. On top of that, there are new goodies to collect this time around. There's even a new achievement involving all the pets! Here are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of TSW's second anniversary celebration.

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EVE Evolved: Four top tips for living in wormholes

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, PvE, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Guides, Sandbox, Housing, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
One of the biggest goals you can reach for in many sandbox MMOs is building your own empire and controlling a small corner of the game world. For much of EVE Online's lifetime, that privilege was reserved for the powerful few leaders of the game's large territorial alliances, which carve up vast swathes of space between them. A handful of alliances still control the lawless nullsec regions today, but there are still opportunities for smaller corporations and even individuals to stake a claim in the chaotic world of wormhole space.

Exploring and farming in wormholes is very profitable activity, but permanently moving in and setting up a starbase can be an intimidating prospect. One wrong decision might lead to pilots getting stranded in the void without bookmarks, your starbase coming under attack, or the whole expedition being robbed blind by a corporate infiltrator. The early days of wormhole exploration were rife with stories of hardship, heists, and devastating wars fought through shifting networks of wormholes. A lot has changed since the wormholes first opened in 2009, and today many of those problems have solutions.

In this EVE Evolved opinion piece, I look at some of the ways wormhole life has improved since Apocrypha and give four of my favourite tips for anyone planning to colonise wormhole space.

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Blizzard serves up some Hearthstone tips

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, News Items, Casual, Guides, Miscellaneous

Tip 1: Cards do things.
So maybe you've been playing some Hearthstone while waiting for the next World of Warcraft expansion to actually be a thing. That's not a difficult prospect if you're used to card games, but it's going to throw you for several loops if you haven't played them before. Senior designer Mike Donais has penned a new article full of tips for new players on how to build and play a new deck that can hold its own.

Veteran card game players will probably already be familiar with most of the fundamentals -- start with a theme, have early-game cards, play with plenty of minions -- but it's all good advice. It also offers some suggestions for cards worth building around whether you want a fast and aggressive deck or a slow controlling force. Check out the full article for a few ways to improve and refine your deck, hopefully making you that much more formidable on the ground.

WildStar tips for every player

Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, Guides, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

You can't heal enemies until they become your friends.  Stop trying.
Do you know the fine points of dyeing gear in WildStar? Did you know that interrupting enemies grants you a damage bonus? Are you aware that you can get all the benefits of your gear while being absolutely naked? All of these things are true, and a new video by WOBO just past the break takes a few minutes to point out all of the tips, tricks, and other fine points that you might not have noticed while playing the game.

Sure, some of these are probably familiar to players who have been in the game for a while, but some of them (like the bonus interrupt damage) might be new even to players who have been in since the earlier beta phases. Jump on past the break for the full video!

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Hyperspace Beacon: Beating the system in the new SWTOR event

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Patches, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guides, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Beating the system in the new SWTOR event
‚ÄčI'm not a huge fan of gambling in general. "The house always wins" isn't a motto, it's the truth. But if you have fun while you're doing it, then it's fine that the house wins. However, I don't have fun playing most gambling games, especially the overly simplistic ones like slot machines. Some gambling establishments will claim to have the loosest slots in the business, but I can tell you that the slot machines in Club Vertigo and the Star Cluster Casino are not that loose. But there is a best way to play the game.

On June 10th, Star Wars: The Old Republic launches Update 2.8: Spoils of War, and the casino event called the Festival of Splendor along with most of the patch already resides on the public test server. Over the last week or so, Voidmynx (a.k.a Laura Williams from Gamebreaker's The Republic and HSB Sci-Fi MMO Show) and I have tried multiple methods to beat the slots. And I believe we've found a decent one.

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Learn to fly ground attack aircraft in World of Warplanes

Historical, Video, Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Guides, Miscellaneous, World of Warplanes

World of Warplanes
Wargaming.net today released another in its "Flight School" series of tutorial videos for World of Warplanes, this one intended to teach novice players how to fly ground attack aircraft. Says the studio,
This detailed tutorial tells about ground attack aircraft, the most controversial type of warfare in World of Warplanes, and explains how many advantage points pilots can get by hitting different types of targets, while focusing on the most effective ways to score those points in order to reach air dominance. The guide also delves into the ins-and-outs of concealment tactics and the mechanics that will affect the supremacy meter, which can make a difference in the midst of battle.
Massively's aviation MMO expert (it's totally a thing now) Jef Reahard took a deep-dive into the game when it launched last December.

Enjoy the new video below.

[Source: Wargaming.net press release]

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Norrathian Notebook: The key differences between EverQuest Next and Landmark

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Guides, EverQuest Next, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

What's the difference between EverQuest Next and Landmark?

If we've heard that question once, we've heard it a thousand times, which is understandable, considering EQ Next has been totally scrapped and re-imagined more than once and Landmark came literally out of nowhere. Until recently, the two even shared a name; EverQuest Next was dropped from Landmark's moniker when closed beta started at the end of March of this year.

We certainly haven't heard the last of the question, either. With new folks finding out about the games and getting interested in them, it's likely to come up a few more times. Those who haven't been following the development of the games from the beginning have a lot of material to plow through to find answers to their questions. For that reason, Norrathian Notebook is going to address the differences and similarities between the upcoming titles in one fell swoop. Hopefully, with a concise reference we can call on again and again, the confusion will dissipate.

So what is the difference between EQN and Landmark?

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World of Warcraft releases new class primer videos

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Endgame, News Items, Guides, Subscription

I think a threshold is being crossed here, but I'm not sure what.
So you've bought your World of Warcraft expansion and you boosted a character to the level cap. That's good. You also have no idea how to play that class at level 90, which is bad. A new series of videos from Blizzard is designed to address that problem, however, offering a quick two-minute guide to how to play each of the classes at level 90 as a selected DPS spec and walking you through the basic play patterns.

Yes, all of these guides are for DPS; you'll find no detailed tanking walkthroughs here. And each guide just picks a particular spec, so if you were hoping for insight into playing an Enhancement Shaman, you're out of luck. But if you've boosted a character and totally can't figure out what you're supposed to be doing now, it's a good crash course on playing well enough to fake it in LFR.

Elder Scrolls Online invites you to learn how to group

Fantasy, Video, Guides, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO
Trying to make sense of Elder Scrolls Online's grouping tools? Need a hand in hooking up with other players to plunder dungeons? ZeniMax has you covered.

The studio posted a new video today that takes you through ESO's group mechanics and grouping tools, step by step. It also contains helpful tidbits such as the fact that groups get 10% extra XP. You can check out the seven-minute grouping tutorial video after the break.

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Norrathian Notebook: Upgrading your tools in Landmark

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Guides, Crafting, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

True confessions time! I have been looking forward to showing off my newly minted super pick and sharing with you all how you, too, could get a shiny new upgraded tool in Landmark. Unfortunately, due to the empty chest bug that came with the update, all my resources were lost; ergo, I wasn't able to craft -- let alone upgrade -- any high-level tools. Thankfully, since the new tool upgrade system is not relegated to only the highest of tiers and I can use iron, I can still show you how you can get the spiffy new pick or shiny new ax of your harvesting dreams!

As a bonus, on top of guiding you through the upgrading process, I'll delve into why this is such a important step on the way toward the more robust Landmark game that folks are eager awaiting.

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EVE Evolved: Six years of EVE Evolved

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Massively Meta, Hands-On, First Impressions, EVE Evolved, DUST 514, Guides, Sandbox, Anniversaries, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
Six years ago to this exact day, I joined the Massively crew and published the first edition of this column dedicated to the ins and outs of EVE Online. The column has been home to over 300 featured articles since its creation, offering everything from guides and expansion reveals to opinion pieces, fiction, and tales of real in-game events. It's been my pleasure in the past six years to offer the Massively readers a digestible glimpse into the ordinarily somewhat impenetrable world of EVE Online and to introduce new players to the only game (other than Master of Orion II) that's managed to keep me hooked for over a decade.

It's been a fantastic year to be a fan of EVE Online, with CCP announcing its long-term vision for deep space colonisation and the game being revitalised through the Odyssey and Rubicon expansions. I've had the opportunity to explore both expansions in this column and to share some hands-on experience with DUST 514 and CCP's upcoming dogfighter EVE Valkyrie. There's been no shortage of opinion pieces this year either, with articles on everything from PvP consequences and twitch controls to whether Star Citizen and Elite are a threat to the sandbox giant.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I round up the best articles from the column's sixth year of operation in one place.

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Perfect Ten: Strategies for juggling multiple MMOs

Humor, Guides, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

Among my friends, I have a reputation for being "that guy who plays all the games." People are constantly asking me how I manage to handle so many MMOs simultaneously on top of work and family, as if I've managed to clone myself or I never sleep. The truth is far more mundane: Work and family get top priority with my time, and what I have left for gaming is simply spent wisely.

The thing is that I'm just always enamoured with so many MMOs that I can't just play one and nothing else. I have to be a "juggler:" a player who balances online worlds. With limited time at my disposal and a desire to be in three or four MMOs at any given time, I've done a lot of experimenting with different ways to juggle titles.

There is no one best way, I've found. It depends on how "fair" you want to be to your MMOs and whether it's a priority to you to give each of them more or less the same attention and time. Each of the following strategies has pros and cons, and if you're trying to handle two or more titles, you're simply going to need to figure out what works best for you and your allotment of time.

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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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Tamriel Infinium: Seriously, you should craft in Elder Scrolls Online

Fantasy, News Items, Opinion, Mac, Guides, Crafting, The Elder Scrolls Online, MMORPG, Tamriel Infinium

Tamriel Infinium: Seriously, you should craft in Elder Scrolls Online
I've come to the conclusion that Elder Scrolls Online is not a game you want run through quickly. If you fly past each town just running from quest marker to quest marker, you'll miss some of the most important things the game has to offer and burn-out comes that much faster. In the first day, we had a player reach max level in less than 18 hours. Of course, some players cry "exploit," but for me, that's not really the point. I would feel I was missing something if I rushed to the end. And because I didn't rush to the end, I can try out some parts of Elder Scrolls Online that I would not even think about trying in any other MMO, like crafting.

I have a long-standing angst toward crafting in MMOs. I played Ultima Online, but I didn't really craft in that game. I didn't start to understand the importance of crafting until I played Star Wars Galaxies. As we know, crafting was central to the success of that game. But after ZeniMax announced that an auction house would not exist in ESO, I wrote off crafting as unimportant and ultimately a waste of my time.

Then late in beta, a friend of mine crafted a set of armor for me. I was surprised. The armor she made was better than my looted armor. I had to find out more. I put this little primer together for those who want to get started making their own weapons and armor.

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EVE Evolved: Anatomy of a mining op

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Economy, Game Mechanics, PvE, EVE Evolved, Guides, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
When EVE Online was first released in 2003, it was designed as a massive universe of competition and conflict between space-faring megacorporations in the distant future. Players bought into the premise completely and soon set about building their own empires and waging wars with neighbours. Corporations ran regular mining operations for resources to build frigates and cruisers for their members, and some of the larger corps co-operatively mined to build the first ever battleships in the game. The mining op has been a staple activity in the game ever since, providing a way for groups to work together on large manufacturing projects or just make some ISK during their down-time.

Mining gets a lot of flak for being one of the most boring and least profitable professions in the game, but that's not exactly true. Solo mining can be a great way to spend your downtime while doing other activities, and it ensures that you're online when something exciting happens like a live event, your wormhole system being invaded, or a titan being tackled by your alliance. Co-operative mining ops also offer the social value of bonding with your corpmates when there's nothing else going on. Some players even run dozens of accounts at the same time to turn this ordinarily placid activity into an intensive profit-making activity focused on efficiency and organisation skills.

With mining due to make a resurgence in the summer expansion, this edition of EVE Evolved is dedicated to the humble mining operation. I'll take a look at the various options for mining ships, the different haulers available, and the four different areas you can mine in.

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