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Hands-On

Choose My Adventure: Final Fantasy XIV's thaumaturgery

Fantasy, Polls, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription, MMORPG

FFXIV
One of the more frustrating elements of helming Choose My Adventure is that I start every game with hopeless incompetence and spend four weeks trying desperately to reach some level of understanding with that game's core mechanics. MMO players take for granted the basic masteries they have over the systems they command and forget that the first 20 or so levels of any new game are usually spent in a fog of half-understandings and misconceptions.

Because it's so difficult to continually learn a game's idiosyncrasies, I was a bit wary of last week's Choose My Adventure polls. Having just grown comfortable with our Miqo'te Pugilist and the basic rotations that power her damage, I found the thought of taking on an entirely new class fairly intimidating. Aren't Thaumaturges hard to play? Don't they have confusing ability combos and weird buffs?

Luckily, Final Fantasy XIV understands the challenge in switching classes and isn't afraid to babysit you while you re-learn the ropes.

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The Stream Team: World of Warcraft has a new thing

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Launches, Patches, PvP, PvE, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
Massively's Mike Foster started his MMO career with World of Warcraft, cruising the hills of Stranglethorn on a completely incompetent priest. Later he became a Mage, Death Knight, a Rogue, a Shaman, and... everything but Paladin, basically. Thus, it's only fitting that he dive immediately into Warlords of Draenor, WoW's most recent expansion, to see what's new. Tune in tonight to watch Mike as he investigates some Warlords of Draenor content and attempts to re-learn his PvP-centric hotkeys.

The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EST, as long as the queue gods treat him right.

Game: World of Warcraft
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Monday, November 17th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Choose My Adventure: So much punching in Final Fantasy XIV

Fantasy, Polls, PvE, Hands-On, Consoles, Choose My Adventure, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription, MMORPG

Final Fantasy XIV
Last week's Choose My Adventure polls on Final Fantasy XIV were very close. With a few more votes in one direction instead of another, we'd be playing a Roegadyn arcanist or a Lalafell thaumaturge. Unfortunately for people who hate human-animal hybrids, voters selected a Miqo'te pugilist by the hair on a cat's tail (Is this a saying? It should be a saying). Consider our character's cat ears the Massively version of growing a Movember moustache.

With our hero forged and her job chosen, it's time to start adventuring.

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The Stream Team: Starting out in Final Fantasy XIV

Fantasy, Video, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Final Fantasy XIV, Livestream, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

FFXIV
Massively's Mike Foster is ready to start his career as an adorable Miqo'te pugilist in Final Fantasy XIV, thanks to last week's Choose My Adventure polls and a little bit of leftover currency in his Steam wallet. Tune in tonight as Mike checks out FFXIV's starting levels and works to familiarize himself with the vast, pretty world of Eorzea. The pugilizing starts at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Game: Final Fantasy XIV
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Monday, November 10th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Choose My Adventure: Final Fantasying

Fantasy, Polls, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription, MMORPG

FFXIV
Final Fantasy, born in 1987 on the Nintendo Entertainment System, is Square-Enix's most successful franchise with over 100 million units sold in its 27-year history. Final Fantasy is essentially a constant in the games industry; there is always a current Final Fantasy game, and there is always an anticipated Final Fantasy game. No matter the day or time, thousands of people across the globe are playing one Final Fantasy or another. Final Fantasy is a Big Deal.

That's not to say everything has been sunshine and roses for the series. Fans are passionate about the brand and have had some less than stellar reactions to certain decisions in various iterations of the franchise. Perhaps the most notorious story in all of Final Fantasyland was the launch, un-launch, and re-launch of Final Fantasy XIV, which has been discussed in great depth here at Massively.

It's been over a year since Final Fantasy XIV became Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. And with a new expansion on the way and the massive patch 2.4 freshly live, there's no better time to leap into this title to see what we can see in this month's edition of Choose My Adventure.

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The Stream Team: Swordsman with a little help from Perfect World

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

Swordsman
Massively's Mike Foster has concluded his October Swordsman Choose My Adventure and can think of no better way to go out than in a blaze of incompetent glory. Join Mike tonight as he hops onto a max-level Swordsman character and runs some late-game instances. The Swordsman team will be in-stream to answer viewer questions and presumably sigh in frustration at Mike's inability to understand his new skills.

The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Game: Swordsman
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, October 30th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Choose My Adventure: Closing off our time in Swordsman

Fantasy, Historical, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, MMORPG, Swordsman

Swordsman
I've spent quite a bit of time in Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman this month. Thanks to the unique layout of October 2014, Swordsman ended up getting an extra week compared to most Choose My Adventure endeavors. And while I'm ready to move on to the next game, it was nice to have some extended time with Swordsman before sending it to that magic hard drive in the sky. Sometimes a few extra days can give you time to see things in a game you didn't see before.

Swordsman is definitely a game that grows on you. The experience continually improves. If you're willing to stick through the slow opening and limited early experience, there's a pretty interesting game waiting to be discovered.

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The Stream Team: Dungeoning in Swordsman

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

Swordsman
According to Perfect World, the real meat of Swordsman is to be found in its dungeon content (and its PvP). Join Massively's Mike Foster tonight as he continues his Choose My Adventure exploration of Swordsman by queuing up for some mid-level instances and seeing where his whips take him. The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EDT -- assuming, of course, that the instance gods show Mike some pity and give him a group.

Game: Swordsman
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Friday, October 24th
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Choose My Adventure: The once and future Swordsman

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

Swordsman
For the last three weeks, I've been whipping and kicking every bad guy I can find in Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman in the hopes of understanding this peculiar wuxia MMORPG. My Choose My Adventure experience thus far has been mixed; I've enjoyed Swordsman's theme and setting, but its mechanics and hard-to-follow narrative have made the experience a touch less manageable. Swordsman from 1-30 seems at best like an extended tutorial and at worst like a game that plays itself.

That's not just my opinion. All of the feedback I can find on the game seems to point in one direction: Swordsman's early levels aren't the main attraction. The real Swordsman exists in PvP (unlocked at level 30), guild quests (unlocked at level 35), and instances (unlocked at 15 -- not bad). Last week's combat discipline discovery at 25 further cemented the idea that Swordsman is a game designed to reward players who stick through the initial grind.

I didn't have much time to play this last week, but I did get a chance to sit down with PWE product manager Gabrielle Heiland to talk about Swordsman's first expansion, the future of the game, and how Perfect World feels about the game's current "wait and see" design.

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EVE Vegas 2014: Tune in with our free livestream

Video, EVE Online, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Hands-On, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, Dev Diaries

EVE Vegas
While the main event of the EVE Online calendar is undoubtedly the annual Fanfest in Reykjavik, Iceland, new events have popped up around the world over the years. Player-run meetups are frequently organised in London, and EVE Down Under is starting to gain major traction with the Australian playerbase, but the most well-established by far is EVE Vegas. The two day event runs each year in Las Vegas in the USA and is attended by hundreds of fans and is kind of like a mini Fanfest, with presentations on the future of EVE and roundtable discussions with developers.

Today's schedule includes a keynote speech from CCP Seagull on the future of EVE Online, a screening of Rooks & Kings celebrated video Clarion Call 4, and talks from three nullsec alliance players on the topics of Fleet Commanding and Alliance Logistics. There will also be talks from CCP Rise and CCP FoxFour on changes to the new player experience, altered restrictions on trial accounts, and the plan for third party developers. All 500 tickets for the event were sold out in record time this year, but those at home can tune in for free right now on CCP's Twitch livestream. I'll also be tuning into the stream throughout the weekend to bring you the highlights on important reveals and information.

Whether you're a die-hard fan of internet spaceships or just a gawker on the sidelines, EVE Vegas is the EVE Online and EVE Valkyrie event of the season. Follow Massively's Brendan Drain as he reports on the Vegas event's starpower, scheming, and spoilers, and watch CCP's streams of the best panels live here on Massively!

The Stream Team: The daily grind for gilda in ArcheAge

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, The Stream Team

The Stream Team: The daily grind for gilda in Archeage
After you finish up the story line quest in ArcheAge, the best supply of gilda stars dries up. And since all the cool toys -- from boats to houses to farm wagons -- are bought with those specialty coins, many players are constantly in a state of wanting more. (Whether players keep the deeds or resell them the auction house is another matter entirely!) Massively's MJ is one who needs more, more, MORE gilda stars! So to build her supply she's running a set of dailies. Join us at 1:00 p.m. and do the daily gilda star portal hop with her. It's all the rage!

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, October 18th, 2014
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Road to Mordor: Test driving LotRO's Beorning class

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Classes, Patches, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, The Road to Mordor

lotro
November 18th, 2008. That is the last time that Turbine added a new class (in that case, two) to Lord of the Rings Online. The last time, that is, until now in late 2014.

The Beorning is coming in with a similar level of anticipation and controversy that swirled around the Rune-keeper. There are folks excited about the possibilities of playing a skin-changer, and there are those hotly debating its lore qualifications. And if I have to hear "Beornings are a race, not a class" one more time, then I'll... get a free toaster. It turns out that Turbine has a clever response to that, by the way.

I'm on the "anticipation" side of things if only because I've been championing the addition of new classes to LotRO for years now. With the Beorning hitting the Bullroarer test server this past weekend, I knew that I had to get in and give the new class a quick test drive. So what did I discover?

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The Stream Team: Sightseeing in Swordsman

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

PWE
Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman offers quite a few interesting locales to visit, complete with temples, rickety bridges, and practicing martial artists. Tune in tonight as Massively's Mike Foster takes a laid-back tour of some of Swordsman's zones and checks out each of its martial arts school headquarters.

The wandering begins at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Game: Swordsman
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Choose My Adventure: Clicking around in Swordsman

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

Swordsman
Three weeks into our Choose My Adventure adventure, I'm not sure what to make of Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman. The game boasts a deep literary pedigree and markets itself on its wuxia themes and combat-oriented design. It has a rich, beautiful world that is dripping with powerful design cues and historical influences. Like all PWE games, it is slick and easy to pick up and play.

Swordsman is a well-made MMORPG. It is mechanically sound and conceptually solid. So why am I so bored?

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Asker Online beta review says Korean game 'missing something'

Betas, Fantasy, Free-to-Play, Hands-On

asker
Curious about the new Korean action-MMO Asker Online? One tester says that you really shouldn't be.

Steparu spent time in the first closed beta and reports that the game is treading over familiar territory. He noted that while he's disappointed with Asker's choice of gender-locked classes (with only three classes in total so far), he found the boss fights challenging and enjoyable and the graphics pleasing to behold.

"After spending a couple of days testing the game, Asker Online felt like it was missing something," Steparu writes. "I couldn't really get into the game as much as I thought I would have. Mainly because it didn't have anything new to present. The breakable environment and combat is a lot similar to Vindictus. The size of the maps are extremely small which reminded me of Dragon Nest or Continent of the Ninth. Asker just didn't have much of a flare or impact on me."

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