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Hands-On

The Stream Team: SWTOR because Star Wars

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, PvE, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Livestream, The Stream Team, MMORPG

SWTOR
Massively's Mike Foster is a tremendous Star Wars geek who for some reason just realized that there is an MMO where he can swing lightsabers and listen to NPCs talk about Jedi/Sith relations for hours on end. Join Mike as he experiences Star Wars: The Old Republic from a new player's perspective and nerd out with him about Han Solo's demise, Boba Fett's survival, and Darth Vader's floating glove.

The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Bring your own Wookiee.

Game: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Friday, October 10th
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Stream Team: Swordsman's Five Venoms

Fantasy, Historical, Video, PvE, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team, MMORPG, Swordsman

Swordsman
Swordsman is this month's Choose My Adventure game and Massively's Mike Foster is ready to spend his evening whipping bad guys and poisoning their friends with his Five Venoms character. Poll voters wanted to see the female-only martial arts school in action, so tonight's the night. Tune in at 7:00 p.m. EDT to check out Perfect World Entertainment's latest free-to-play juggernaut and to see if Mike can make any sense out of its Mandarin voice acting.

Game: Swordsman
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Wednesday, October 8th
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Choose My Adventure: Cracking whips in Swordsman

Fantasy, Historical, Polls, New Titles, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, MMORPG, Swordsman

Swordsman
In last week's Choose My Adventure poll, I asked two simple questions of the Massively community: Which gender should our character be in Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman, and what path should that character take among the game's 10 available schools of combat? The result was a resounding win for the female-character-exclusive Five Venoms school (probably because whips) and for the creation of a female character.

Since the polls closed on Saturday, I've created our character and spent a little time with Swordsman's intro sequence, tutorial missions, and the earliest chapters of its main storyline. I've whipped a bunch of dudes, summoned giant frogs, and set a few horses on fire. And while it's early yet to declare Swordsman a success, failure, or mediocre in-betweener, thus far I would describe the experience as decidedly mixed.

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The Stream Team: Guild Wars 2's fire and ice

Fantasy, Video, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Guild Wars 2
Massively's Mike Foster has been having a grand old time with the recently revamped Guild Wars 2 starting experience and his brand-new Elementalist character, so he's keeping things rolling this week with more starter content and more centaur mass-murders. If you're curious about Guild Wars 2 or what's new with the updates, tonight's stream is the place to be.

Tune in at 7:00 p.m. EDT to catch the action or join the fun; Mike's always on the market for party members and will gladly accept any help you can offer.

Game: Guild Wars 2
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Friday, October 3rd, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Stream Team: CMA Live with Swordsman

Fantasy, Historical, Video, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team, MMORPG, Swordsman

Swordsman
Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman has been officially outed as October's Choose My Adventure title, and Massively's Mike Foster is ready to jump in with his fists flying. Tune in at 7:00 p.m. to get an idea of how Swordsman sets up its story, what options the character creator offers new players, and what the game's action combat looks like in motion.

As an added bonus, there will definitely be at least one quest centered on drinking wine.

Game: Swordsman
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Stream Team: Dota 2's 6.82 madness

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, MOBA, The Stream Team

Dota 2
The last few months in Dota 2 have come with a sense of stagnation. The professional and high-tier play meta, on display most prominently in this year's $11 million International championship, was in a rut. Something had to change before players grew bored or frustrated with facing the same three or four team strategies. Last week, Valve delivered an earthquake of a content patch, providing a ridiculously huge update that changed items, heroes, abilities, game modes, core mechanics, and even the map itself. For the next few months, pros and casuals alike must sift through the wreckage and try to re-optimize how they play.

Tune in tonight as Massively's Mike Foster takes one of Dota's newly-reworked heroes for a spin and tries to make sense of the post-6.82 carnage. The action begins at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

Game: Dota 2
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Choose My Adventure: The proud wanderers of Swordsman

Fantasy, Historical, Polls, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, MMORPG, Swordsman

Swordsman
Since commandeering Choose My Adventure in August, I've been on something of a sci-fi rampage. First we took a second look at a post-release Firefall; then we spaced out with a beta build of Frontier's Elite: Dangerous. And while spaceships and rocket boots are certainly wonderful things, Choose My Adventure is as much about investigating new worlds and new genres as it is about checking out new games. Thus, it's time to leave the world of science fiction behind in search of something a bit more classical.

This month, we're adventuring into Imperial China -- as far from deployable sentry guns and pulse lasers as possible -- with Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman.

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The Think Tank: Remembering our first MMOs

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Hands-On, First Impressions, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

UO
This week, my very first MMO, Ultima Online, turns 17 years old in what can only be an intentional effort to make classic MMO gamers feel very, very old indeed. I've been thinking a lot about the game and returned to it recently to scope it out, so for today's Think Tank, I polled the Massively writers about their own "first MMOs," their first memories of the genre, and whether their firsts have survived the test of time.

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The Stream Team: Throwing fire in Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Video, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Guild Wars 2
Massively's Mike Foster continues his investigation of the changes made to Guild Wars 2's starting experience, dropping flaming dragon's teeth on every bandit that stands in his way. Tune in at 7:00 p.m. EDT to catch ArenaNet's streamlined introduction to its massive fantasy game, and feel free to ping Mike in-game (Elerit) if you'd like to tag along. When it comes to Guild Wars 2, more is always merrier.

Game: Guild Wars 2
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, September 25th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Choose My Adventure: Basically Han Solo in Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
When Frontier Developments' Elite: Dangerous eventually launches, I'm guessing there will be two primary types of pilots cruising its vast expanses: quiet, peaceful types who enjoy exploring and courier-ing, and destructive, violent types who prefer interacting with NPCs and other players via pulse lasers. Elite's loose structure has room for other archetypes, though, such as the savvy trader working the marketplace and the under-the-radar smuggler who lives on the wrong side of the law but avoids drawing attention to himself. Being peaceful doesn't mean you have to be lawful.

Last week's Choose My Adventure poll set me on the path of the smuggler, challenging me to secure illegal goods and to sneak those goods by the feds to net a healthy profit.

Results were mixed.

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The Stream Team: Adios, Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Frontier Developments
Frontier Developments' Elite: Dangerous has had a good four-week run in September's Choose My Adventure, but it's time to step out of the spaceship and into some heavy armor or a wizard's robe. Join Massively's Mike Foster as he adventures out into Elite's current beta one last time, with Twitch chat as his guide. It's not the end for Elite around here, but it's the last shot we'll get to see the game before Beta 2 launches on the 30th.

Tune in at 7:00 p.m. EDT for all the spacey action.

Game: Elite: Dangerous
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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StarCraft II: An MMO player's perspective

Sci-Fi, PvP, Hands-On, MMORTS, Buy-to-Play

StarCraft II
StarCraft is of immense importance to the world of online gaming. It's one of the franchises responsible for establishing Blizzard Entertainment as a titan (get it!?) of the games industry. It serves, for many, as the ideal example of what an RTS game should aspire to be. And it was among the first titles to transcend one-off competitions and contests to become a global e-sport featuring pros who make the big bucks and events watched by millions.

Without StarCraft, there would be no Dota 2, no League of Legends, perhaps no SMITE or Infinite Crisis. The MOBA niche, now one of the most profitable areas of online gaming, might not exist if not for the original StarCraft's custom three-lane Aeon of Strife map. StarCraft and its sequel, StarCraft II, represent the quintessential essence of small-scale online warfare.

As a fan of MOBAs and an ardent lover of clicking things quickly, I took a spin in StarCraft II in an effort to better understand the foundation of the games I enjoy. What I discovered was a difficult, punishing game that demands your full attention and gives you plenty of reasons to keep coming back.

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The Stream Team: Custom decks with HEX: Shards of Fate

Betas, Fantasy, Video, PvP, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Trading Card Games, Livestream, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, HEX

HEX: Shards of Fate
In last week's stream of Cryptozoic's HEX: Shards of Fate, Massively's Mike Foster opened 20-ish booster packs and used the cards he discovered to build a haphazard custom deck. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time left in the stream to actually hop into a live match with another player. In tonight's stream, Mike will take his probably terrible deck into the wild and see how it fares against a real-life HEX opponent.

Card-slinging begins at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

Game: HEX: Shards of Fate
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Friday, September 19th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Think Tank: Surveiling ArcheAge's launch

Fantasy, Culture, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, Sandbox, The Think Tank

ArcheAge
Some of the Massively staff have been playing ArcheAge during its head start and launch week, and some haven't, but all of us have been watching to see how the first major sandbox launch in recent memory fares. For today's Think Tank, I polled the Massively writers about their impressions of the game whether they are playing it personally or examining the launch from an industry perspective.

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The Stream Team: New is new in Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Video, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Guild Wars 2
The good folks at ArenaNet have revamped Guild Wars 2's starting experience, and Massively's Mike Foster is prepared to meet that new new player experience head-on. The revised approach involves better direction for those who aren't sure where to go and promises to help streamline the leveling process; no longer should brand-new Guild Wars players be left lost and confused.

Does it work? Tune in at 7:00 p.m. EST and find out.

Game: Guild Wars 2
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, September 18th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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