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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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ArcheAge feature guide delves into more housing details

Fantasy, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Guides, Dev Diaries, ArcheAge, Housing

You've seen the 37-minute video showing off ArcheAge housing (and if you haven't, you really should); now, you can get all that juicy information and more in one fact-filled feature guide. Trion has released a housing and farms guide as a companion to the livestream that aired last week. Want a concise listing of types of housing and a guide to building the place of your dreams? Check out this easy-to-reference piece that goes into construction, furnishings, and upkeep. Then be on the lookout for future feature guides following the Exploring ArcheAge livestream series.

If you don't have 37 minutes to watch the full original stream, check out the more concise version that hits the highlights below.

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Tamriel Infinium: A hitchhiker's guide to The Elder Scrolls Online

Fantasy, Lore, New Titles, Opinion, Guides, The Elder Scrolls Online, MMORPG, Tamriel Infinium

Tamriel Infinium: A hitchhiker's guide to Elder Scrolls Online
I believe we can all agree that The Elder Scrolls Online is not a sandbox in the MMORPG sense. However, the game starts to branch out as your level increases. Although it will never be an MMO sandbox, it does start to resemble the single-player sandbox, except there are tons of other people playing at the same time.

Just like those single-player sandboxes, ESO allows us to do pretty much whatever we want when we want to. It's an explorer's dream, if you ask me. Of course, we might be able to find some of those explorable items on the in-game map, but many of them remain hidden until we just land on them. Today, I'd like to talk about a few of the items that I think every ESO explorer should be aware of.

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Six things you will and will not find in The Elder Scrolls Online

Fantasy, Lore, New Titles, Mac, Races, Roleplaying, Guides, The Elder Scrolls Online, MMORPG

Four things you won't find and four things you will find in Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls series launched in 1994 with Arena. The game was sold on floppy disks, for goodness' sake. It's been around for a long time. With that extended life comes convoluted and complicated lore. Even after I'd heard the time period for The Elder Scrolls Online, I had to research to find out whether certain pieces of lore would actually appear in the game. Of course, I'm not going to be able to tell you everything in this one article, but before ESO launches, I can hit some of the highlights.

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World of Warcraft posts character-boosts-for-dummies guide

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, News Items, Guides, Subscription

WoW
If you've preordered World of Warcraft's upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion and are trying to figure out just how to use the free level 90 character booster you've just scored, then you are exactly the type of person who should not use a free level 90 character booster. Kidding. Truth is, the boost is different from previous boosts in several not-obvious ways and can be daunting even for returning veterans, and that's what Blizzard hopes to convey in a new Boosting 101 guide compilation on the official site. The post explains basic gearing, class strategies, proving grounds gameplay, addons, and how crafter boosting works. Apply wisely!

The best of Massively's Field Journal and MMO Mechanics columns

Culture, Game Mechanics, Massively Meta, Guides, Miscellaneous, MMO Mechanics, Field Journal

MMO MechanicsDuring their tenure at Massively, Tina Lauro and Matthew Gollschewski were responsible for two generalist columns on the site: MMO Mechanics and Field Journal, respectively. The Field Journal was dedicated to covering interesting elements of mid-tier games, the sorts of MMOs that are popular but not quite popular enough to merit their own dedicated columns, whereas MMO Mechanics represented a deep-dive into the game mechanics and systems that influence the entire industry. Though the columns had short runs on the site, they both still represent some of our most compelling and interesting work. Enjoy this roundup of their material!

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The best of Massively's League of Legends column, The Summoner's Guidebook

Fantasy, Massively Meta, Guides, Miscellaneous, MOBA, League of Legends, The Summoner's Guidebook

TIBBERS
Former Massively writer Patrick Mackey was first brought onto the team to cover Champions Online in his Behind the Mask column, and he did so with technical expertise and brutal honesty that was even better-suited for his ultimate column here: The Summoners Guidebook, which for two years covered Riot Games' League of Legends, one of the biggest games on the planet.

Today, in honor of that column's lengthy run, we share the very best of Patrick's articles. If you'd like to follow his future League of Legends blogging, you can find him at Boot Camp for Gamers.

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Chaos Theory: A guide to finishing off the Filth in TSW's Whispering Tide event

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

Chaos Theory:  A guide to finishing off the Filth in TSW's Whispering Tide event
When The Secret World puts on a long-term event, it certainly doesn't skimp on the long part! The Whispering Tide commenced way back in September 2013 and just last month moved into the final phase. During that time, players have unlocked portals, collected lore, and fought the Filth, all with the ultimate goal of opening Tokyo at the end. And while the time of Issue #9 is is almost at hand, it isn't yet here. The best way to hurry it along is to see this event through to completion and eradicate the Filth in this final stage.

If you've missed any of the preceding phases, now is the perfect time to jump in and add your efforts to the cause -- not just for speeding up the release of Tokyo but for collecting all the loot and goodies for yourself as well! With this phase players have the chance to rake in all the slivers and fragments needed to purchase the available event loot (sadly, the past lore pieces are one thing that cannot be gotten). Even if you are just starting now, there are still numerous tendrils protruding from the portal, giving you plenty of time to get in on the action. And this guide is going to walk you through it.

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Ten things to do in Free Realms before it's gone

Fantasy, Screenshots, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Virtual Worlds, Free Realms, Family, Guides, Sunsets

Free Realms
Free Realms is set to close down at the end of this month, and despite the fact that the game is aimed toward players much younger than I am, I'm going to miss it.

When the game first launched, my two oldest daughters and I played religiously. It was an easy way for us to interact and play together when I was away, and they spent a sizable chunk of their allowances on pets, mounts, and housing items over the years.

So I've decided to honor Free Realms with this article detailing a few things you can do in the game before it's gone forever.

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Tamriel Infinium: Outside the box healing and tanking in The Elder Scrolls Online

Fantasy, Classes, New Titles, PvE, Opinion, Guides, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription, MMORPG, Tamriel Infinium

Tamriel Infinium: Outside the box healing and tanking in ESO
In last week's Tamriel Infinium, I had my top-tier theorycrafter and friend Calls1gn throw together some off-the-wall DPS builds for The Elder Scrolls Online. But he could theorycraft all day, and it wouldn't mean anything if he couldn't put it into practice. Luckily, ZeniMax opened the doors to the ESO beta again this past weekend. I was totally intrigued by the melee Sorcerer with pets. After playing that type of character at low levels, I have to say that it's an extremely lazy class. Now, I didn't have all the abilities because they required a higher-level character, but even at my low level, I mostly sat back and watched my pets do their thing while I found one mob to beat on. It worked and was more than viable.

Of course, building a DPS class is easy, right? What about something that requires a bit more concentration? What about a tank or a healer? Building a DPS character is a bit less difficult than tanks or healers, but that doesn't make them any less difficult to play. Still, your playstyle does change, and your focus changes if you want to tank or heal.

I asked Calls1gn to build us a few tank and healer classes, too. I wanted a Dragonknight healer because there are few DK abilities that have anything to do with healing, and I wanted a Sorc tank because -- well, just because. He delivered.

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Tamriel Infinium: Building the best DPS class in The Elder Scrolls Online

Fantasy, Classes, New Titles, PvE, Opinion, Guides, The Elder Scrolls Online, MMORPG, Tamriel Infinium

Tamriel Infinium: Building the best DPS class for ESO‚Äč
Commenters and gamers around the internet have wondered aloud whether it's really true that any class can play any role in the Elder Scrolls Online. Developers have said that with a simple weapon swap, we can instantly change the group dynamic. Being a hard-nosed MMOer, I admit I thought that was a stretch. We've seen the pseudo-roleswaps in Guild Wars 2, but based on the videos that I've seen of both GW2 and ESO, the latter defines the roles even more stringently. If you're a tank in ESO, you will take the brunt of the damage and you will keep aggro off other players. As a healer, you'll find your job will be to keep others' health points from reaching zero. And DPS will be required to drop enemy health points to zero as fast as possible. That's the reality.

So is it actually possible for any class to play any role, as the developers claim?

I might enjoy talking about builds and what works for different playstyles, but math is far from fun for me. Fortunately, I have friends for whom theorycrafting is their calling. I wrestled down Calls1gn, a top-tier raider formerly of Memories of Xendor. I sat him in front of a skill calculator for ESO and made him create some amazing, yet viable, builds in some obscure classes to prove once and for all whether the class system is as flexible as ZeniMax claims.

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Hyperspace Beacon: The end of a SWTOR season

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), PvP, Endgame, Opinion, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guides, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: The end of a SWTOR season
Uncle Owen talked about Luke staying on for another season, but when you're on a desert planet, what does that mean exactly? More importantly, can you imagine what would have happened if Lars had allowed Luke to leave for the Academy -- the Imperial Academy, I might add -- with his friend Biggs Darklighter? We would have a completely different story and certainly a far different Luke Skywalker.

BioWare developers slated the end of Star Wars: The Old Republic PvP season one to coincide with the launch of Update 2.7, which hits servers on April 8th. With that, the SWTOR leaderboards will reset and bring a few other changes. I think the biggest surprise for everyone is the ranked rewards for the end of season one. These rewards have hit extremely late in the season, which could give some players an unfair advantage in ranked warzones, sparking the question, "Should I stay on the moisture farm or try to jump into PvP to nab these rewards?" Or maybe there's another option -- a Ben Kenobi out in the Dune Sea, if you will.

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