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Housing

The Stream Team: A look at Landmark's linking and triggering

Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, Sandbox, Housing, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content

Although they've gotten most of the attention, mobs were not the only thing introduced in Landmark's latest update. In fact, the linking and triggering system is a huge deal, especially for folks like Massively's MJ who want to create a dynamic world full of adventures. Add on top of that all the cool new particle effects and the possibilities explode! Don't know much about this system? Then join us live at 5:00 p.m. as MJ shows off how easy linking and triggering is to use and demonstrates a few of the particle effect emitters.

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, December 26th, 2014
Time: 5:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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ArcheAge Korea adding second-story housing upgrades, treehouse

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Housing

When update 1.8 hits in Korea, ArcheAge housing will reach new heights -- literally. Two different models of houses, the thatched farmhouse and the medium house, are getting a special upgrade that will elevate them to two-story dwellings. Available in the cash shop, this upgrade item is applied to existing homes; there's no need to tear down and build anew. In addition, there are new models of houses being developed for release in Korea, including a house nestled high in a tree. Yes, folks, there's an outline of a genuine treehouse to tantalize housing aficionados!

There's also talk of an exclusive housing district, but the details of the translated notes are fuzzy. Whether the Western market gets this update, however, remains to be seen; if it does, it's likely a long way off.

Shards Online showcases 30 seconds of housing

Fantasy, Video, Sandbox, Housing, Crowdfunding, Buy-to-Play

Housing enthusiasts who have been following Shards Online will like the game's latest video release. Though short in duration, it whets your abode appetite by showcasing various housing styles that players will be able to obtain and place in the open world. It also teases the customization options by giving a peek at a few decorations and promising oodles more.

Shards Online has surpassed its Kickstarter goal and has less than $5K remaining until the next stretch goal (the story editor toolkit) is reached. Interested fans have two more days to back the project; the Kickstarter closes at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, December 12th.

[Source: Citadel Studios press release]

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SWTOR turning three, giving away anniversary decor

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Anniversaries, Housing

Star Wars: The Old Republic is turning three this month, and BioWare is celebrating by making the game's Coruscant and Dromund Kaas Stronghold housing instances available for three credits.

Which isn't as cool as it sounds, since their normal 5,000 credit price is pocket change that you can earn in 30 seconds. But hey, three! Fortunately the devs are doing something else that is actually cool. Namely, they're giving away slick-looking decor for your player house including a holographic projection of the galaxy, paintings, and a fireworks launcher.

You can pick these up at the Anniversary Personnel vendor in the Strongholds area of the Fleet from December 16th through January 13th.

Pick up a SWTOR stronghold for practically nothing

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Anniversaries, Housing

swtor
If you haven't planted roots in Star Wars: The Old Republic's strongholds or are on a quest to collect them all, then BioWare has a nice surprise for you. Buried in the patch notes for this week's Shadows of Revan expansion is an announcement that the studio is selling two of its strongholds for a pittance.

"To celebrate our impending 3rd anniversary, the Dromund Kaas and Coruscant Strongholds are now available for three credits!" BioWare posted. Typically, these strongholds go for 5,000 credits or 50 cartel coins.

The Repopulation expands alpha and focuses on bots

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Housing, The Repopulation, Player-Generated Content

The Repopulation
Above and Beyond has published The Repopulation's end-of-November report, and it's a doozy. The studio discusses the embiggening of its alpha thus far and the addition of new servers to handle the load. The devs have also been working on housing and city locations, a new character versioning system, a new cloning system, nation deeds, facial animations, and tooltips.

Perhaps of most interest to sandbox fans disillusioned with this year's sandbox drama is A&B's focus on its bot detection code. "Our philosophy with bots is that once the game launches it is not really beneficial to ban characters unless they already invested a significant amount of time into the characters, otherwise they can just create a new free account and you need to detect them all over again," the devs wrote. "So we've focused our attention on reducing the benefits of botting. In addition skill gain penalties and stoppage, botters will see their harvesting results capped in quality, and a complete shut off of loot."

Capping off the dev letter are 17,356 words' worth of patch notes. We counted. Check every last one out at the official site.

The Repopulation devs on the mission system and non-violent gameplay

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Interviews, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting, Housing, The Repopulation

Blogger Werit has an exclusive Q&A with Above and Beyond, the team behind upcoming sci-fi sandbox The Repopulation. In it, the developers discuss dynamic missions, which are intended to provide "purpose" to players who crave it rather than to serve as the core means of advancement through the sandbox. In fact, you don't have to do the missions at all to advance your skills, and they'll tailor themselves to your character's choices along the way. Tendencies toward greed, shadiness, and crafting, for example, will all be reflected in mission offerings. "There are taming missions, underworld (thievery/assassination/smuggling) missions, crafting and harvesting missions, etc.," say the devs.

As for non-violent gameplay, there's plenty of it:
Our game and its economy are heavily trade skill oriented. Our crafting system is very complex and has a high degree of customization. Moreover crafted equipment is the top of the line. If you never wanted to pick up a gun, it's completely possible for you to just go out and harvest, or buy resources from other players and then do your crafting. I think most players will also do a little fighting, if for no other reason than mobs will jump you while your out harvesting.

But crafting advancement is not coupled in any way with combat advancement. There are other non-combat skills, as well. Things like the entertainment line which provides long-term buffs for players. Taming mobs to be trained as mounts and sold to other players. Diplomatic skills. Different players enjoy doing different types of things. And we've tried to cater to many playing styles, rather than forcing players down a combat oriented path.
Check out the full interview at Werit's Blog.

Lost Continent: Lucking into a breezy ArcheAge bungalow

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Housing, Lost Continent

My ArcheAge avatar is pretty fortunate. Last Friday night he became the proud owner of a breezy bungalow, which is that big bamboo marine house that you've probably seen in screenshots, videos, and the like.

The bungalow's blueprint costs a whopping 300 gilda stars -- i.e., no small amount for a guildless guy like me who mostly duos his way through Haranya. I'd managed to save 250 of the character-bound gilda by doing various dailies over the past several weeks, but I had a few days to go before I'd finally be able to afford the plans. How did I come up with the balance ahead of schedule, not to mention the boat load of materials required to actually build the house? That's an interesting story, and it's another example of how ArcheAge's mechanics are a necessary breath of fresh air in a stale genre.

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Revival launches its site, aims to sell houses for cash

Horror, News Items, Miscellaneous, Housing, Crowdfunding

It's like a Kickstarter without the kick or the start.
Revival has just opened the doors to its official site, and it's a sandbox online game with skill-based progression. Or it will be, at least. Contrary to what you would expect from that description in the first sentence, though, there is not a Kickstarter to link to. Instead, the game is planning to help fund itself by selling houses. In-game houses. For real-world cash, right upfront, before the game is out and in the live world.

According to the official site, the rationale is that real estate in the game world is limited, and rather than have generic housing templates, every house has pre-determined architecture and layout to properly fit with the world as a whole. You will also be able to buy ships and take part in sailing, again for real-world money. It's the designer's alternative to ever running any sort of Kickstarter or other crowdfunding campaign; whether or not it seems like a sound investment is up to the potential players.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

Final Fantasy XIV's Yoshida on housing, test servers, and post-Fanfest

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Patches, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Housing, Subscription

Two Massively employees in the same game at once?  The world is madness.  (No, you get no hints about who.)
Final Fantasy XIV has had a busy year, and it looks to be having a busy next year to boot. The game's first expansion is in the works and planned for a release in spring of 2015, along with another major patch to cap off the game's current patch cycle. And director/producer Naoki Yoshida continues steering the ship, working what I can only assume is a 200-hour week.

I had a chance to ask a few questions of Yoshida around the time of the first two fanfests of the year (the final one is scheduled for December in Tokyo), ranging from housing questions to the promise of public test servers to how hard it will be to establish an Eternal Bond. Jump on past the break to read the full interview!

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ArcheAge's Auroria launches today

Fantasy, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Housing, Subscription

Novelty?
ArcheAge is scheduled to launch a big new update today on its North American servers. How big? Well, you can get a pretty solid idea just from the patch notes. The game is adding four new zones to be conquered and claimed by players, complete with space to build castles and houses once the claims have been made. There's also a new dungeon being added to the game, giving players uninterested in the land rush something to do with their time.

New recipes have also been added for high-end weapons requiring Gilda Dust to craft. Vehicle stats have seen a rebalancing in an effort to make sure that no single vehicle is the unquestioned best in every field at all times; the vehicles retain unique abilities, but their performance is identical. Check out the full patch notes on the official site and start downloading as soon as you can since this patch is a big one.

[Thanks to Robert for the tip!]

The Repopulation tweaked housing, vehicles, and shops in October

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Housing, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation, Player-Generated Content

Repopulation
The Repopulation's end-of-October report has arrived, and in it, Above and Beyond outlines the significant improvements made to the sandbox over the last month. Of note, player shops and vendors were added, along with a slew of enhancements to the player housing and city systems, like remote shopping and Star Wars Galaxies-style house relocation. Vehicles and mounts, genetic engineering, rogue nations, the interface, and cosmetic styling also received hefty upgrades.

Capping off the update are 15,845 words' worth of build notes. Yes, we counted.

The devs note that backers not yet invited to the alpha should all be gaining access in November.

The Daily Grind: Do you actually use your MMO house?

Game Mechanics, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Housing, Player-Generated Content

SWG
Every time I go off on a tear about how Star Wars Galaxies' and Ultima Online's houses were so amazing for merchants and traders because of player vendors, one of you always snaps me back to reality: "That's great, Bree, but most MMOs don't have vendors. Most MMOs don't give houses a point at all."

Some of them have tried -- WildStar's homes can provide buffs, Lord of the Rings Online's provide teleports and cheap materials, and lots of games offer safe resource harvesting of one form or another in your home or plot or instance. But most MMO housing boils down to mini-sandboxes where you can build and decorate, so I can understand why MMO gamers might just go play Minecraft or The Sims or another offline game where they can build and decorate in peace and without the interference of grinds and cash shops.

Still, I always decorate my houses and do my best to make use of them when I get them; I like the sense of ownership I feel over that tiny piece of pixelated land. What about you -- do you actually use your MMO houses?

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!

Xsyon opens guilds, housing to F2P players

Business Models, Game Mechanics, Guilds, News Items, Free-to-Play, Xsyon, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, Housing

Xsyon
Hardcore indie sandbox Xsyon introduced a free-to-play option almost two years ago, but the restrictions were brutal. Free players couldn't build in or terraform the world, and they couldn't lead guilds, which the game calls tribes. (Originally, they couldn't even join guilds at all!)

But as of this week, Notorious Games has lifted some of those restrictions. In a press release issued today, the studio explained,
Starting this week, new players can join the Xsyon community and start their own tribe for free. Creating their own homesteads, new free players can shape the land explore the game's extensive architecture system on their own, without the aid of other game citizens!
If you're a free player chafing at ArcheAge's housing restrictions, well, here's a sandbox willing to accommodate you.

The Stream Team: Get in the Halloween spirit with Landmark

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, Housing, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

October is the best month: cooler temps, colorful leaves, and Halloween! That last one is the reason Massively's MJ loves this fall month so very much, and she's getting into the spirit by visiting various holiday-themed builds in Landmark. There are haunted houses and pumpkins galore -- even a pumpkin carving contest! Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for this spooktacular display of creativity as MJ hops to as many Halloween builds as she can fit in. She'll also have treats to give away (including the new Halloween-themed suit)!

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below, and then prepare for Massively's second timed building contest next week! This time it will be a death-defying experience. Interested in showing off your skills and winning in-game codes for participating? Sign up by emailing mj@massively.com!

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