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Humor

TUG team releases behind-the-scenes video for Playtest Fridays

Video, MMO Industry, Humor, Sandbox

TUG
Ahh, making video games. It's all about just playing games all day, right? Well, actually, for Nerd Kingdom, that is true for Playtest Fridays.

A brand-new video was released by the TUG developer today showing off a bit of light-hearted behind-the-scenes fun during the sandbox MMO's development. The indie dev team dedicates every Friday to playtesting the game to squash bugs and focus on player feedback. The video shows a glimpse inside the studio during meetings, play sessions, and more. So if you're into secret whiteboard scratchings and hidden codes on colored sticky notes, check out the video after the cut in slow-mo.

[Source: Kickstarter]

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Working As Intended: The forgotten fields of Green Acres

Fantasy, Bugs, Business Models, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, Opinion, Ultima Online, Humor, Sandbox, Housing, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG, Working As Intended

Paolo Neo
My first trip to Ultima Online's Green Acres was in 1998. The first guild I'd ever joined had just split up into a bunch of... let's call them "philosophically incompatible" groups, and I was still hanging out with some of the shadier types because I was a clueless teenager in my first MMO and wanted desperately to fit in and hadn't yet figured out where I belonged.

"Hit this rune," my new guild leader commanded. His favorite murderin' weapon was a poisoned warfork. He was not a nice man. "I'm being evicted from my safehouse in Green Acres. Help me move my crap."

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EverQuest Next will feature Ambassador D'Vinn and Fippy Darkpaw

Fantasy, Video, Lore, News Items, Free-to-Play, Races, Humor, EverQuest Next, Dev Diaries

EQN
EverQuest Next's 39th round table video is now live, and in it, SOE Senior Brand Manager Omeed Dariani and Senior Game Designer Bill Trost pair up to discuss the EverQuest franchise's nemesis characters and which ones players want to see in EverQuest Next. Ambassador D'Vinn, the Dark Elf NPC who terrorized newbs as the deadly caboose of pretty much every train to the Crushbone zone line in classic EverQuest, won the player poll and will be featured in the upcoming MMO.

As to Fippy Darkpaw, Trost promises he, too, will be present in EQN. "I believe in his mission, and I hope someday he succeeds!" Trost joked.

The devs also highlighted the alignment of the Dark Elves and the curious nature of NPCs who have agendas independent of the players. Enjoy the full video on YouTube.

Guild Wars 2 teases Crown Pavilion bosses

Fantasy, Screenshots, Patches, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Humor, Buy-to-Play

GW2
The Guild Wars 2 team has just posted a new primer for the baddies entering the game with tomorrow's patch. "Learn more about the bosses from the Crown Pavilion before you meet them on the battlefield tomorrow," reads the tweet. We think you'll grok the theme; the NPCs include Sparcus Firesplash, whose fighting style involves "flame and fire lying and flying around," and Pyroxis, who prefers "lava and flames, front and left." And then there's good old Boom-Boom Baines (seriously; we are not making this up) with her "fiery and clever" personality.

Enjoy the full image with all six bosses via Guild Wars 2's Twitter.

Azeroth Choppers episode four dives into... arenas

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Contests, Culture, PvP, News Items, Humor, Promotions, Miscellaneous

Azeroth Choppers
Just over eight minutes of motorcycle talk and worrying over deadlines and setbacks await you in today's edition of Azeroth Choppers, the World of Warcraft reality show in which two teams square off to build faction-themed motorcycles, or probably will, at some point. Bonus points for the Stormwind music floating behind the massive machine shop and for making the gearheads enter an in-game WoW arena to murder each other, which is totally how you get motorcycles designed and made.

The video's after the cut.

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Chicken hockey returns to Lord of the Rings Online

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Humor

LOTRO
Even Hobbits need to pick on something smaller than they are, which is why the little folk (and the big 'uns too) are glad that they now can smack chickens across a field with a stick in Lord of the Rings Online.

Hobnanigans, also known as "chicken ball" and "chicken hockey," is returning to LotRO for a limited time event. Teams can take to a special field in Bree-land to attempt to knock chickens through the opposing side's goal. The two teams at play are the Flying Feathers and the Steel Beaks.

The current Hobnanigans event will take place from May 9th through 11th. The mini-game previously appeared in LotRO only once back in 2007.

Man steals thousands of dollars, spends them on Evony

Fantasy, Culture, Free-to-Play, Browser, Casual, Humor

Evony
A Hawaiian man is expected to plead guilty to charges that he stole thousands of dollars to spend on the browser-based game Evony.

David Buchanan, 47, is charged with wire fraud after he convinced one woman to give him $40,000 for an investment that would see a promised 650% turnaround. "As a middle-aged, admittedly square, FBI Special Agent who doesn't play video games," Agent Tom Simon said during the investigation, "I was understandably perplexed when, during the 'follow the money' analysis, I kept seeing payments being made to something I'd never heard of called Evony. A bit of Googling properly identified Evony as an online video game of sorts, but I was still puzzled how anyone could possibly spend thousands of dollars on a video game. I wasn't being judgmental about the societal value of gaming. I was just dumbfounded that any video game could possibly cost that much."

You may remember Evony as that game best known for its boobtastic advertising campaigns a few years back, and, surprisingly enough, it's still around. Buchanan's trial is expected to take place on May 8th with sentencing expected later in the year.

SMITE unveils Bastet's 'Night Prowler' catsuit

Fantasy, Historical, Trailers, Video, Previews, News Items, Humor, MOBA

SMITELest you think catgirls are the private domain of Asian and superhero games, Hi-Rez Studios has upgraded SMITE heroine Bastet with a brand-new "Night Prowler" skin that leaves neither curve nor tail to the imagination. For a small fee, you can ensure that your version of the Egyptian goddess of cats does all of her ass-kicking in a black leather catsuit, just as the Ancient Egyptians would have wanted it.

We've got the video after the break. You're going to go click on it now.

[Source: Hi-Rez press release]

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Perfect Ten: Strategies for juggling multiple MMOs

Humor, Guides, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

Among my friends, I have a reputation for being "that guy who plays all the games." People are constantly asking me how I manage to handle so many MMOs simultaneously on top of work and family, as if I've managed to clone myself or I never sleep. The truth is far more mundane: Work and family get top priority with my time, and what I have left for gaming is simply spent wisely.

The thing is that I'm just always enamoured with so many MMOs that I can't just play one and nothing else. I have to be a "juggler:" a player who balances online worlds. With limited time at my disposal and a desire to be in three or four MMOs at any given time, I've done a lot of experimenting with different ways to juggle titles.

There is no one best way, I've found. It depends on how "fair" you want to be to your MMOs and whether it's a priority to you to give each of them more or less the same attention and time. Each of the following strategies has pros and cons, and if you're trying to handle two or more titles, you're simply going to need to figure out what works best for you and your allotment of time.

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Star Citizen tops $42 million, adds towels

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Humor, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Star Citizen's damaged towel
The Star Citizen money train is still chugging along, as Chris Roberts' latest chairman letter makes clear. What's the occasion? The crowdsourced space sim sandbox just passed $42 million in funding, which unlocked several "celebratory goals" including an updated observist guide, an explorer-class mobiGlas rig for backers, a new Squadron 42 fighter craft called the Gladius, and most crucially, a towel for your hangar that comes complete with its own damage state.

Roberts says that the SC team is back at work on the dogfighting module after its PAX East hiatus, and he also provides a poll for choosing the next stretch goal reward.

Let's all gape at Azeroth Choppers, a WoW motorcycle-themed reality show

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Previews, News Items, Humor, Miscellaneous

Full disclosure: I built my husband a Mekgineer's Chopper as a gag Christmas present.
We can't decide whether this is completely awesome or bizarrely terrifying, but because there really aren't adequate words for World of Warcraft's latest marketing stunt, I'll just let Blizzard explain it:
Grab a front-row seat for the ultimate road showdown! Legendary custom motorcycle designer Paul Jr. has assembled two handpicked teams of bike experts to bring to life a pair of asphalt-kicking chopper designs inspired by World of Warcraft®'s two warring factions. Joining each crew on their epic quest are members of the World of Warcraft development team, on board to help to infuse the essence of the Horde and the Alliance into each bike. In the end, only one chopper will reign supreme as the undisputed king of Azeroth's roads in a winner-takes-all showdown voted on by World of Warcraft players around the globe.
Get to da choppa already. And by the choppa I mean the trailer -- it's after the break.

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Perfect Ten: My favorite MMO April Fools' pranks of all time

World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest II, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, RuneScape, Guild Wars 2, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter

WoW
There are two types of people on April 1st: those who are annoyed and indifferent to the tomfoolery going on all around them, and those who gleefully embrace the zany antics and baldfaced lies. For the record, I am of the latter crowd. I love April Fools' Day and the humor and creativity that it inspires. While this day is by no means contained to our neck of the woods, MMOs have a long-running streak of trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

I think a good goof has to have several qualities to make it truly memorable. It needs to be original. It needs to be actually amusing, whether or not you "fell for it." And it needs to tweak our expectations and understanding of how MMOs work. Sometimes there are even important ideas that emerge from these jokes that could, indeed, make these titles better.

So let's go through my favorite MMO April Fools pranks of all time, as catalogued by yours truly!

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Funcom yanks mankini costume from The Secret World

Horror, Sci-Fi, The Secret World, Humor, Buy-to-Play

TSW
Players who logged in this week to The Secret World might have noticed that there was a new male costume option in the game store: a neon green mankini that covered very, very little. However, those who purchased said mankini discovered the costume gone today, as Funcom pulled the April Fools' Day outfits from characters' dressing rooms, refunded the points spent on them, and gave each previous owner a free mystery box.

While there was no explanation as to why the outfit was removed, Funcom apologized for the handling of the joke on the forums: "You may or may not be aware, but the mankini was removed. Anyone that purchased the item has been refunded points and has received a mystery box for the inconvenience. However, if you had purchased points in order to buy the mankini, you can contact customer service for a refund of those points. We're terribly sorry for the trouble, folks. Our CS staff will be happy to help."

The Daily Grind: What was your favorite April Fools' Day prank?

Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Opinion, The Daily Grind, Humor, Miscellaneous

SWTOR
You might not have noticed, but yesterday was April Fools' Day, and in the MMO industry that means a lot of studios blowing off steam by being abnormally silly and trying to trick players with weird promises. Some people like the goofs, some don't, but I'm willing to bet that there was at least one that got your nod of approval.

So what was your favorite April Fools this year? Did you get genuinely tricked by anything or find yourself laughing in delight at the cleverness of developers?

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!

World of Warcraft shows off the 'redesigned' female Draenei

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, News Items, Races, Humor, Subscription

derpgoat
For far too long, Draenei have existed as bastions of unassailable beauty and elegance in World of Warcraft. We're told the race has fallen to the depths of the Broken and the Lost Ones, but you don't really see that in the game. Fortunately for fans, the new redesign to the female Draenei shows a closer connection between the various subtypes of the races, while simultaneously emphasizing the roots of the game's resident space goats. (Those roots would be "space" and "goat," incidentally. Truly.)

Among the major changes Blizzard threatens to make to the model are the addition of fur, a slimming of the lower legs and hooves, and the removal of the ridiculously long tail from the model. The eye design also speaks to the ways in which this ancient and mystical race sees things in a way that most of Azeroth's residents can only imagine. It's a bit more of a departure from the existing model than the other redesigns, but take a look at the full diary for a closer look. And then remember what day it is. You don't need to reroll your Shaman as a Dwarf. We promise.

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