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Next Darkfall patch to introduce Areas of Influence

Fantasy, Darkfall, Guilds, Patches

A new patch is coming to Darkfall next week that is said to bring new features tied to territory control that offer special bonuses and more visual indicators of that control.

The Aventurine team has been teasing the Areas of Influence feature for a few days on its Facebook page, but next week's patch will put it in the game. The Area of Influence is an expanded bit of land that's attached to each capturable control point. These areas show up on the map and offer a set of stackable buffs to the clan members and allies that control the area.

Read through the forum post for complete info on the addition.

[Thanks for the tip, Dengar!]

Elder Scrolls Online struggles with downtime and disables guild functionality

Fantasy, Guilds, Launches, Patches, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Smooth, polished, and... offline? Elder Scrolls Online's NA megaserver was down for the better part of today for "inventory-related issues," although these have been addressed and the game is back up and running after over 12 hours of work. The devs pushed out a small patch when the server came back up that fixed various issues, including broken quests that blocked player progression.

It also appears that guilds have been neutered for the time being: "All guild functionality has been temporarily disabled. We will notify you when it has been turned back on. When guild functionality is returned, all guild-related tools and functions will be as they were before we turned them off."

One bright spot for the day is that the Elder Scrolls Online soundtrack is now available on iTunes.

[Update: ZeniMax just announced downtime for the EU megaserver.]

The Daily Grind: Does your guild have a unique angle?

Fantasy, Guilds, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, The Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online dungeon group
I've been seeking out Elder Scrolls Online roleplaying guilds over the past couple of days and while there are thousands to choose from, most trod the exceedingly familiar path of the mercenary company and/or the lovable band of roguesbrigandsthievespiratessmugglerssoldiers.

I'm not saying it's easy to come up with something different, mind you, since most modern MMORPGs skimp on non-combat gameplay. But still. I've seen a tiny handful of trading guilds and even an entertainment troupe or two, so I know it's possible.

What about your guild, Massively readers? Assuming it's a roleplay group or something other than a loose collection of meatspace pals, does it have a unique angle?

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!

Guild Wars 2 improving guild and LFG systems in April

Fantasy, Guilds, Patches, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Run through the jungle.  Or flatlands.  Whatever.
The last few announcements about Guild Wars 2 changes have been big. And with good cause, as roughly no one should be unhappy about the final destruction of the much-maligned town clothes mechanic. But there are smaller significant changes coming along as well, as detailed in a new post outlining a few changes coming to both the game's LFG tools as well as guild management systems. They won't rewrite the game, but they should make it a little easier.

Guild leaders, for instance, will be able to see when members last logged in. The LFG tool will allow filtering via language and for WvW groups, making it that much easier to find a group that you can communicate with and has the same goals as you. There are also improved mechanics for guild-based groups in the system. Sure, it's not a complete trait overhaul, but if you're enjoying your time in Tyria every little improvement is a good one.

The Daily Grind: What is your guild like?

Culture, Guilds, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

Guilds make up the framework that carries the load of social interaction in MMOs, and as such they have always fascinated me. I've been in huge guilds and I've been in small guilds. I've been in guilds with incredibly close friends and I've been in guilds with absolute jerks. I've been in creative guilds, RP guilds, raiding guilds, and silly guilds. Right now I'm a member in four guilds in the active MMOs that I play, and each one has its own personality and makeup.

But I don't want to bore you with my guilds, I want you to bore me with yours! Wait, that didn't come out right. I mean, I want you to tell me all about your guild today. What's it like? How did you find it? What do you all do together? Why are you in this guild and not another?

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!

The best of Massively's Guild Counsel column

Guilds, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Guild Counsel, Miscellaneous

Karen Bryan is a seasoned MMORPG gamer and guildleader who cut her MMO teeth on EverQuest and went on to run guilds in Vanguard, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and beyond. That made her the perfect choice to pen Massively's Guild Counsel column, through which Karen dispensed advice to guild leaders, guild members, raiders, and even guild-less gamers for over three years. In honor of her column's long run, today we round up the very best of her Guild Counsel articles, those saturated in her trademark wry humor, wisdom, and timeless advice for MMO players old and new. Enjoy.

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The Stream Team: Hitting the SWTOR endgame

Sci-Fi, Video, Guilds, Endgame, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Livestream, Dungeons, The Stream Team, MMORPG

The Stream Team: Hitting the SWTOR endgame
Endgame can be trying; a well-coordinated group can be hard to keep together. The guild Nefarious Intent isn't without these struggles. However, the members have come to the understanding that in order to remain progressive, they have to remain fluid. Join Massively's Larry Everett at 9:00 p.m. EST as he and his guild mix it up in the Star Wars: The Old Republic endgame.

Game: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Host: Larry Everett
Date: Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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EVE Evolved: Top five tips for new EVE players

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Game Mechanics, Guilds, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, EVE Evolved, Guides, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
I often hear people say that EVE Online is a lot more fun to read about than actually play, and I've even caught myself saying it jokingly to friends and writing it in articles. But the truth is that amazing stories like the recent world record-breaking Bloodbath of B-R5RB are a hell of a lot better when you're a part of the action or have the first-hand experience to put the event into a wider context. All of EVE was impacted by that battle, with its effects rippling through the in-game markets and reshaping the political landscape of New Eden. But to read about it, you'd think the carnage in B-R5RB ended when $310,000 US worth of titans went up in smoke.

EVE has seen a huge influx of fresh faces since that colossal battle at the end of January, with thousands of new characters being created and the Rookie Help channel bursting at the seams. Whether you've always been a closet fan of EVE who has finally been convinced to take the plunge or you just want to join the ranks of the warring alliances you've read so much about, starting out can be a daunting experience. The sheer amount of information there is out there to absorb and sort through is overwhelming, and not all of it is up to date. CCP released a great new player guide recently to help newcomers assimilate, but I've still received several emails asking for advice on getting started.

In this week's EVE Evolved, I delve into the new-player experience with a 14-day free trial and reveal my top tips for starting out on the road to creating your own sandbox story.

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Looking for Guild: In preparation for Wildstar

Guilds, Miscellaneous, Looking for Guild

So I guess people are pretty excited about WildStar. Once again, all entries for this LFG column consist entirely of players looking for a guild in the upcoming WildStar, and they may just have the right idea.

If you're a guild leader looking to populate your guild with the smartest and possibly best-looking readers of the best MMO blogsite in the universe, you've come to the right place. Follow along after the jump for the complete list of players looking to catch the early guild train in WildStar.

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Diablo III works on new community tools

Fantasy, Guilds, Dev Diaries, Diablo III, Buy-to-Play

Getting together with a buddy to slay the forces of Hell should be a lot easier when Diablo III: Reaper of Souls comes out, as Blizzard is adding in a couple of new social tools for the expansion.

The first tool is the addition of clans, Diablo III's version of guilds. Anyone can form a clan, although a player may be part of only one clan at a time. Clans are limited to 120 members and will be searchable with a clan finder feature.

Then there will be communities, which are larger and more casual social circles within the game for like-minded players. Unlike clans, communities can support unlimited members, and players can be part of more than one at a time. Communities and clans will be supported by a new interface in the game that includes messages of the day and achievement notices.

The Guild Counsel: What do you need to be a guild leader?

Guilds, Opinion, The Guild Counsel, Miscellaneous

The other day, I came across one of those inspirational posters that takes a word and then uses each letter to spell out a quality that makes up the word. And it got me thinking about what words best describe the essence of a good guild leader. There are as many different types of guild leaders as there are grains of sand on a beach, and many of them are successful. But if you took all of the longtime guild leaders and deconstructed them, what qualities would they all share?

Let's look at the most essential qualities of a guild leader in this week's Guild Counsel.

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EVE Evolved: Consequences and conflict

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, PvP, Endgame, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
I've always considered EVE Online to be the model sandbox MMO and a template that could theoretically be applied to other titles. Whether you believe it's by careful design or a happy accident, EVE has stumbled on a formula that clearly works and has helped the game stay popular for over a decade. I've written before about the many interconnected parts that make EVE's sandbox model work and how pulling out essential features such as item loss on death or adding foreign mechanics like global banking could cause the whole game to fall apart. But there's one aspect I didn't really cover in depth: consequences for negative behaviour.

In his latest Some Assembly Required column, Massively's Jef Reahard argued that EVE can't be considered the quintessential sandbox MMO because it lacks consequences for bad behaviour. While I would argue that EVE is as close to the ideal model of the genre as exists at the moment, I'm forced to agree with Jef's assessment. Almost all of the major events in EVE's recent history that have hit the gaming media have been about theft or war, with tales of massive scams and alliance warfare painting New Eden in a dark and violent light. The ultimate sandbox would be equally capable of birthing incredible stories of exploration and players working together to build magnificent things, not just chaos and death in the gloomy depths of interstellar space.

In this week's EVE Evolved, I look at the lack of consequence for negative actions in EVE Online, whether it causes negative behaviour, and why sandboxes need to be about more than just destruction.

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The Guild Counsel: How to find a good pre-launch guild

Guilds, Opinion, The Guild Counsel, Miscellaneous

There's a wave of new MMOs on the horizon, and with each one comes a surge of enthusiastic fans ready for launch day. Some are so excited that they want to hit the ground running by joining a guild before the game goes live. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of pre-launch guilds for each upcoming game, and joining one early can help get the most out of a game from day one.

But it's hard to find the right guild when you can't really see it in action. How do you know whether the guild you join will end up being the best fit for you? Let's look at how to link up with the best pre-launch guild in this week's Guild Counsel.

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Looking for Guild: WildStar needs you!

Guilds, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, WildStar, The Think Tank

I'm happy to say that we have another large list of players looking for a guild this week, and almost every one of them is (or will be) playing Carbine's Wildstar.

An MMO like this (triple-A publisher, currently in beta) is perfect for this this LFG column as it allows players to get themselves ready for the game on launch day.

Read on past the jump below for our full list of players looking for a guild.

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The Guild Counsel: What EverQuest Next Landmark means to guilds

Fantasy, Guilds, Opinion, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, The Guild Counsel, Miscellaneous

With the arrival of EverQuest Next Landmark's alpha, the buzz is all about how the game is a fresh change from what we've been used to in MMOs. And actually, in some ways, it's a return to the roots of the MMO industry. But EQ Next Landmark is also redefining the whole concept of guilds, perhaps in the process raising the question of what guilds will look like in the future.

In this week's Guild Counsel, let's look at how Landmark could drastically change the way we think about guilds in MMOs.

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