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Historical

Camelot Unchained isn't 'recreating WoW' with its magic system

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Business Models, Classes, Culture, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

Welcome back to our coverage of City State Entertainment's batshit-crazy days for Camelot Unchained! A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being revealed this week on the game's livestreams; today, let's talk about making magic.
Massively: When developers use the word "spellbook," visions of meditating into an EverQuest-style spellbook and repeatedly switching commonly used spells come to mind. Far from creating welcome immersion, that spellbook created headaches for casters [enough that SOE changed it]. But CU's spellbook seems more like a cross between an achievement panel and a spell design tool. How else will CU's spellbook improve on the concept?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: First, I think the characterization of the EQ spellbook as a headache for casters is a very personal one. Let's keep in mind that EQ was the most successful MMORPG prior to the coming of WoW [We presume he means in the West -ed], so not everybody could have hated it. In our game, being a caster will come with some disadvantages, and having to deal with a spellbook is one of them. However, it will also come with advantages. Like so many other things in Camelot Unchained, we're not afraid to say players won't love everything. Indeed, as I've said all along, I know that certain things we are going to do will piss off some people.

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Camelot Unchained's use-based stat system will trade grind for immersion

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Classes, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

Camelot Unchained
This week, the folks at City State Entertainment have a massive game mechanics infodump planned for Camelot Unchained fans as part of its "batshit-crazy" reveal week. A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being presented to backers this week on Twitch, so to coincide with today's announcements, we asked about the mechanics of the sandbox's proposed stat system. Enjoy the reveal and the interview!
Massively: Can you explain the thinking behind allowing players to fall into "gotcha" builds, unwittingly creating characters that simply will not perform well in the game? By the same token, does the studio not anticipate the preset classes to result in attendant cookie cutter stat builds?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: We've been very clear from the beginning of the Kickstarter that we are going to allow players to create builds that aren't 'ideal' for their class or even race selection. Now, having said this, we've also been clear we will present plenty of information so they can make informed choices. I want to give players the freedom to play a race/class/stat combination that is not ideal, but to also warn them and give them the ability to read lots of information at the same time. We are also considering giving out a limited respec after creation just in case, for example, you quickly realize trying to play a Luchorpan tank that you made as small and weak as possible wasn't a great idea.

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The Game Archaeologist: World War II Online

Historical, MMO Industry, Opinion, MMOFPS, The Game Archaeologist

ww2 online
The 1990s saw the rise of flight simulators that thrived on detailed, complicated controls and handling. Such games threw out accessibility and casual-friendliness for stark-raving realism, and a certain subset of gamers really thrived on them. I tried my hand at a couple and found myself breathing rapidly when pouring through keyboard charts and doing basic algebra just to get a plane off of the ground. Not for me, I said then.

I don't think there's ever stopped being absurdly complex video games that aim for immersion through detailed realism, even though that appeals to only the fringe of the fringe. Some people have their gaming standards set exactly that high and no lower, and some devs refuse to water down their visions just to sell more box units. For these people, Cornered Rat Software (CRS) created World War II Online, an overly ambitious MMOFPS that stumbled out of the gate in 2001 but has gamely soldiered on since then. Over a decade now an epic war has been raging for control over a continent, and it's been up to the fiercely loyal fans to keep the fight going.

Today we're going to take a look at the guts 'n' glory of this project to both praise its complexity and curse it for the same thing. If nothing else, it was a game that could only have arisen from the early landscape of 3-D MMOs, and for that it warrants our attention.

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Heroes & Generals on Steam today

Historical, Business Models, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play

Did you know that Heroes & Generals was one of the first titles to ever be Greenlit by the Steam community? Yep, it was, and today developer Reto-Moto is launching the World War II shooter/strategy FPS on Valve's ubiquitous PC platform.

But wait, isn't Heroes & Generals a browser game? Well, partly, but Reto-Moto says not to worry. "The browser version will also still be operational and both versions offer the same game and access to the same wars," the firm explains via press release. If you're already an H&G player, you can use your existing account with the new Steam version.

Click past the cut to have a look at the Steam launch trailer!

[Source: Reto-Moto press release]

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A preview of the third closed beta for wuxia MMO Moonlight Blade

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Miscellaneous

If you wanted to see more things you may or may not ever have, well, here you go.  (Image via Steparu.)
Would you say there's a distinct lack of wuxia MMORPGs in your life at the moment? Then you might be interested in learning more about Moonlight Blade, a wuxia game published by Tencent and currently in the midst of its third beta test in China. Steparu recently discussed the beta test, covering everything from missions and quests to character customization, with the caveat that the author doesn't speak a word of Chinese and has muddled through much of the game with the help of friends.

Moonlight Blade features three different combat modes based on player preference, ranging from traditional point-and-click gameplay to fully active combat. While the game looks gorgeous, according to the beta review it's still very buggy and the combat lacks some satisfying impact. Check out the full piece if it seems like something you'd be interested in; there's no word on a Western release, but showing interest can't hurt.

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Heroes & Generals adds paratroopers, new uniforms

Historical, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Browser

Reto-Moto has released a new update for its World War II strategy/shooter Heroes & Generals. Codenamed "Quesada," the patch brings paratroopers to the game and allows players to jump out of C-47 Skytrains or Junkers Ju-52s and "perform surprise attacks" on the battlefield.

Quesada also features new uniform variations for classes including US Recon, US Paratrooper, German Tank Crew, German Recon, and German Paratrooper. You can see the full list of tweaks and additions via the patch changelog.

[Source: Reto-Moto press release]

Siege Online gets new expansion, does not take itself too seriously

Fantasy, Historical, Video, Culture, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Patches, PvP, News Items, Humor, Miscellaneous

Siege Online
Ever heard of Siege Online? Neither had we, but we're suckers for "medieval" combat MMOs with hot air balloons, teepees, Moai statues, stone pyramids, and dune buggies, never mind totally anachronistic and anatopistic things like running water. Today, this crazy cat of a game has a new expansion.

Developed by Russian studio Quant Games and published by Mousee Games, Siege Online boasts a tactical battlefield combat system, castle construction, a functional economy, guilds, and PvP zones. The update, dubbed The New Edge, improves some graphical landscaping, adds a newbie tutorial, includes special mounts, adjusts starting zone difficulty, and simplifies building modes.

We've tucked the game's original trailer behind the break. Enjoy!

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Age of Empires Online shuts down tomorrow

Historical, Free-to-Play, MMORTS, Sunsets

aoe
After tomorrow, Age of Empires Online will be no more. The online adaptation of the popular Microsoft RTS franchise will be shut down along with the PC Marketplace as of 7:00 p.m. EDT on July 1st.

"On July 01, 2014, Age of Empires Online will shut down permanently. We thank the loyal fans for their support and commitment and look forward to many more battles before Age of Empires Online is retired," the studio posted on Facebook last year.

This will come as a shock to no one, as Age of Empires' population decline was well-known and acknowledged by the dev team itself. The studio hasn't been developing new content for the game since January 2013.

SMITE claims four million players since launch

Fantasy, Historical, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA

smite
In a new interview with RedBull.com this week, Hi-Rez Studios COO Todd Harris revealed that since SMITE's launch last March, both the MOBA's dev team and its player population are on the rise. In fact, he says, the game has become so profitable that Hi-Rez has "double[d] the size of [its] studio."
At the game's release in late March, we were at three million players, and we are now well over four million. We are not on Steam, but comparing to Steam stats, SMITE would sit around number 10 to 12 in terms of popularity and daily players. Most importantly to us, the playing population has increased every month since the start of the Beta. [...] Our players are currently 45 percent Europe, 40 percent North America, 10 percent South America and five percent other.
Harris drops a few other bits of trivia, including the fact that SMITE's original sci-fi IP was based on the studio's MMOFPS Global Agenda, but the mythology theme was deemed more "compelling."

[With thanks to keen-eyed tipster Sorenthaz!]

Swordsman slashes its way into open beta on July 3rd

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, Swordsman

Swordsman
Perfect World Entertainment has just announced that its martial arts-flavored Swordsman MMO will enter open beta on July 3rd, bringing to an end the closed beta that began on June 17th. Special $60 hero packs were announced yesterday.

To coincide with the announcement, Swordsman Product Manager Gabrielle Heiland has narrated a new dev walkthrough video highlighting the game's story, guilds, PvP, and combat mechanics and visuals. Enjoy the vid below!

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Swordsman opens up sales of its Hero's Pack

Fantasy, Historical, News Items, Free-to-Play, Promotions

Woman, get on my... oh.  Oh, you did.  Huh.  Well, this is awkward.
Swordsman is currently in closed beta, but it's moving into open beta soon, and as is now the tradition, that means it's time to offer players a chance to buy the game. Sort of. The game is free-to-play, but if you feel like dropping $60 on the game before it launches, you can pick up the Hero's Pack, filled with all sorts of nice little prizes for your future martial artist characters.

Purchasing the Hero's Pack nets you a special mount, costume, and apprentice. You also nab 10 Mithril (which can be sold for a mountain of in-game currency), 600 East Sector Treasures (used for summoning a boss), and a ring (used for wearing a ring and getting a stat boost). Players who purchase now will get early access to the open beta as well. If you're enjoying the closed test or just like the idea and really want to buy into the game now, the option is open.

[Source: Perfect World Entertainment press release]

World War II Online crowdfunds a client update

Historical, Patches, MMOFPS, Crowdfunding, Subscription

WW2 online
In an effort to update an aging client without breaking the developer's bank, World War II Online: Battleground Europe turned to the community to crowdfund the project -- and the community delivered.

A $9,250 fundraiser on Indiegogo dedicated to the creation of a new test server, PC client, and Mac client was met and surpassed this past week. The update, which should roll out within six months, will include billing tools for Steam and improved audio and visuals.

The crowdfunding campaign is now aiming for stretch goals that could add community upgrades, improved tech infrastructure, and additional marketing.

Get a feel for Civilization Online with this beta video

Betas, Historical, Video, MMORTS

Civ online
The first round of closed beta testing for Civilization Online has wrapped up in Korea, and the folks at XLGAMES have put together a video showing off this online spin-off from the classic strategy series.

The nine-minute video shows the collaborative efforts to build up a town and the equally collaborative efforts by enemy forces to destroy it. Also there are Dalek tanks, hot air balloons, and large mosh pits of Roman citizens. See for yourself after the break!

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Not So Massively: Destiny, Star Citizen, and Elite at E3

Betas, Historical, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Previews, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, Mac, MMOFPS, World of Tanks, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warships, MOBA, Diablo III, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Virtual Reality

Elite
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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E3 2014: Hands-on with Swordsman and Dawn of the Immortals

Fantasy, Historical, Previews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Hands-On, First Impressions, MMORPG

Swordsman
I have a problem: I like a lot of the mechanics in Wuxia games like Age of Wushu, but I have trouble getting into them. Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman Online, while lacking some of the mechanics of AoW, might have a mixture that catches people off-guard. And while you're off-guard, PWE's Dawn of the Immortals might come in and show you how the world of mobile MMOs is starting to progress.

I had a look at both Swordsman Online and Dawn of the Immortals at this year's E3. Read on!

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