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Housing

Skycastles coming to TERA on February 24

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, TERA, Housing

Have you recently come home to TERA? OK, maybe you never left. Either way, En Masse is betting you'll get excited about the Skycastle guild housing system that's heading your way on February 24th.

The castles float above major cities and are available "to the top-ranking guilds on each server via two new ongoing four-week guild competitions that track guild points earned from dungeons, battlegrounds, and guild-vs.-guild battles," according to an En Masse press blurb.

The patch will also include a new dungeon set aboard the Sky Cruiser Endeavor as well as a hard-mode version of Bathysmal Rise.

[Source: En Masse press release]

Neverwinter: Elemental Evil bringing the Paladin, higher level cap

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter, Housing

neverwinter
Elements are the "in" thing for 2015, especially in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. First we found out that DDO will be implementing the Temple of Elemental Evil this year, and now we've gotten word that Neverwinter's newest module will be called Elemental Evil (it's no coincidence; both titles have a relationship with Wizards of the Coast, who likes to do these tie-ins).

This module will be a significant one when it comes early this year. Elemental Evil will add a new class to the game, the Paladin, and increase the level cap from 60 to 70. The increased level cap means more skills and quests for all eight classes.

Cryptic also announced that future updates in 2015 for Neverwinter will include the player guild housing Strongholds system, the Xbox One launch, and the arrival of popular D&D characters.

[Source: Cryptic press release]

RIFT plans improvements to dimensions and minions

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Dev Diaries, Housing

Two of RIFT's more popular systems, dimensions and minions, will be getting some major dev love when Patch 3.1 arrives.

In a new dev diary that went out yesterday, the team lays out a list of improvements for these systems. Dimensions will be getting a free-fly camera to allow for even more building precision, permissions options for visitors, ban lists, and -- prepare for this to blow your mind -- a bigger +1 button.

As for minions, players will have even more options in how they deploy these hard-working followers. The team is adding minion stamina potions, the ability to shuffle adventures, and the option to link to minions in the chat window.

MapleStory 2 features expensive housing, limited land

Fantasy, MapleStory, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Housing

MMO Culture reports that player housing is "one of the main features in MapleStory 2." Curiously, though, publisher Nexon is limiting available land and making ownership an expensive proposition. If you can't afford to own, you'll still be able to rent high-rise flats and decorate them as you would a regular house.

The website also says that apartments will have public social areas, which are viewable via a trio of beta screenshots.

The Daily Grind: Does your WoW garrison feel like home?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Housing

wow
I've been a fascinated outside observer in regard to World of Warcraft's recent expansion and its much-touted garrison feature. I have no doubt that garrisons have filled a lot of purposes and gone all-out on functionality. It's certainly been a powerful carrot for Blizzard to wave in front of players.

But what I've been wondering is whether garrisons are so functional that they forgot to be personal. In other words, do garrisons feel like "home" in-game even if you can't decorate and customize them the way that you can in other MMO housing systems? Has your character finally set down roots or does this feel like just another mission hub?

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

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

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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