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Launches

TOME: Immortal Arena MOBA lands on Steam today

Trailers, Video, Launches, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items

TOME
KIXEYE's brawler-MOBA -- not to be confused with those other daisy-picking MOBAs -- TOME: Immortal Arena officially launches on Steam this afternoon.

TOME's claim to fame is the voice of Evil Dead's Bruce Campbell, who acts as the title's in-game announcer. Feature-wise, it boasts short matches, in-lane healing, no last-hitting, auto-buying, and 20 playable characters to date.

The latest trailer awaits your eyes below.

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The Think Tank: Assessing Draenor's launch

World of Warcraft, Bugs, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

WoW
World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor launch has come and gone, driven by the chaos we've come to expect from this year's MMO launches. Was it a bad launch... or the baddest launch ever?! In today's Think Tank, I asked the Massively writers, as players or industry watchers, how the launch and Blizzard's response stacked up next to those of 2014's other offerings.

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Neverwinter: Rise of Tiamat goes live today

Fantasy, Expansions, Launches, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

After rising, please immediately sit back down.
Who's afraid of the big bad dragon goddess? Wait, scratch that, who isn't afraid? She is a dragon with five heads that can breathe fire, chlorine gas, lightning, acid, and frost. She is enormous. That is scary. Unless you're a player character in Neverwinter, which launches the Rise of Tiamat expansion today; then she's just another target down the inevitable road of dragon-slaying. Technically your goal is to stop her from being summoned altogether, but let's face it, we know how this sort of thing works out.

So what else awaits adventurers aside from stopping the Cult of the Dragon and saving the eponymous city of Neverwinter (and by extension the world)? Well, Scourge Warlocks can pick up the new Soulbinder paragon path, and players of all stripes can pick up new artifact equipment for four different slots (neck, belt, main-hand, off-hand). This is, of course, assuming going toe-to-clawed-toe with the queen of dragons herself wasn't motivation enough.

[Source: Cryptic Studios press release]

Guild Wars 2's Tangled Paths update goes live today

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Launches, Patches, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

GW2
Episode six of Guild Wars 2's second season of living world content, Tangled Paths, arrives on production servers today. The continuing storyline sends players on an epic dragon egg hunt through "newly discovered underground caverns" in the Silverwastes. Players who've been piecing together the carapace armor set this season can look forward to a pair of gloves this go-round.

Massively's GW2 expert, Anatoli Ingram, has been chronicling the seasonal plotline in his Flameseeker Chronicles column. Enjoy the fresh screenshots and slightly less fresh episode six video below.

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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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Black Desert's Korean launch lands in December

Betas, Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Launches, Previews, News Items, Black Desert

Black Desert
A new announcement on the official Black Desert website confirms that the sandbox MMO will launch before the end of the year. Beta is expected to launch in the next few weeks. That's the Korean beta, of course. No details on a western launch have been given. Last summer, we learned that Daum would be publishing the game in the west.

We've embedded the G-Star 2014 Black Desert trailer and all of the new screenshots -- there's a ton, and they're gorgeous -- below.

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Warlords of Draenor's rocky launch saga and Reddit controversy continue

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Bugs, Expansions, Launches, Subscription

wow
We've heard a lot of "it's a good problem to have" in regards to the struggles that World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor has faced this past week, as a huge influx of players have met laggy servers, lengthy queues, and DDoS attacks. But we're sure that Blizzard would prefer no problems, period, which is why the studio has been updating the community on an hourly basis regarding its efforts to stabilize the game.

Blizzard says that it's currently monitoring the servers and has seen an improvement in performance around the world. In the past day, the studio has performed rolling restarts, hotfixes, and increased the population caps on various servers. Massively's own writers have had mixed experiences thus far; while we had to cancel Mike's Friday stream because of queues and the servers were down a large portion of Saturday, by Saturday night queues and lag issues were clearing up on some servers, like Bree's, no doubt thanks to increased capacity.

But some gamers are taking their reaction to the extreme. The core moderator of the WoW subreddit shut that subreddit down last night in protest over his personal login difficulties. While the forums have since been restored with apologies from other Reddit mods, participants are still arguing over the events. "r/WoW shouldn't be a hostage," Blizzard bluename Zarhym admonished via Twitter.

Vainglory mobile MOBA launching on Tuesday

Fantasy, Launches, Free-to-Play, Mobile, MOBA

vainglory
Vainglory, "the MOBA perfect for touch," will be launching on the Apple app store in North America on Tuesday, November 18th.

"Once the game is live worldwide, you can look forward to future updates with more heroes, more player-requested features, and other fun stuff," the team promised.

If you want to give this free-to-play title a try, you're going to need an iPad 2 or better or an iPhone 5 or better. Vainglory is already out in other parts of the world and boasts a top-notch gaming experience for mobile devices. It was first mentioned during Apple's September press conference and was developed by former Blizzard, Riot, and Supercell developers.

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor launch-day roundup

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Launches, New Titles, News Items, Subscription

WoW
The fifth expansion to 2004's World of Warcraft MMO is now live.

First announced at BlizzCon 2013, Warlords of Draenor opened its doors at 3 a.m. EST this morning, so you would be forgiven for having slept through the start. And what would a launch day be without rolling restarts, giant patch notes, and overloaded, bottlenecked entry zones? Wheee!

In honor of the launch, we've rounded up the best WoW and Draenor stories from the past year for your perusal during today's inevitable downtimes. Who's playin'?

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Braben says Elite: Dangerous' December 16th launch date is 'sensible'

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Launches, News Items, Elite: Dangerous

Frontier's David Braben has announced that Elite: Dangerous will launch on PC on December 16th.

Braben told Eurogamer that a game is "launch-ready when it is a great game," in spite of the flaws those close to the title might still see. He expressed concern over feature-creep and diminishing returns from gameplay polishing. "At Frontier we have been doing this for a long time," he said, "so we are confident the date we have announced is a sensible one."

Elite's third beta phase, open to those who've already ponied up for the game, began at the end of October. After spending September playing through the beta 1 release, Massively's Mike Foster wrote that he "would happily recommend it" but for the beta price tag. The Mercenary pre-order edition is available for $50 from the official site.

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EverQuest: The Darkened Sea officially launching on November 11th

Fantasy, EverQuest, Expansions, Launches, Lore, Free-to-Play

eq
While All-Access members are currently enjoying EverQuest's newest expansion, The Darkened Sea, non-subscribers are still twiddling their thumbs waiting to get in on the fun. The good news is that the wait will be over soon, as the expansion will officially launch on November 11th for all who purchase it.

To help drum up excitement, SOE posted a brief story dev diary to set the scene for the expansion. "The Darkened Sea hides many secrets," the team teased. "A coral castle, enchanting sirens, watered-down dwarves, and even dinosaurs! On a remote island in the vast ocean is a mysterious city with an intricate citadel floating above it."

For a full grasp on what The Darkened Sea has to offer, check out our in-depth look into the game's 21st expansion.

Age of Wulin to finally release in Europe

Betas, Fantasy, Launches, Patches, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

age of wulin
Age of Wulin, aka "the European version of Age of Wushu," is preparing to leave the kiddie pool of open beta for the adult swim of an official launch. Webzen announced that Age of Wulin will be officially launching in EU on November 25th.

This launch will coincide with a major game update, Chapter 3: Wisdom is a Journey. In the update, characters will get additional class skills and a level increase for several current skills. Players will also be invited to tackle current dungeons on a harder mode and fight in two new PvP tournaments.

[Source: Webzen press release]

Pathfinder Online early enrollment will not be launching today

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Launches, News Items, Subscription, Pathfinder Online

Pathfinder Online
Pathfinder Online's early enrollment launch for paying backers has already been delayed multiple times since its original goal of September 15th, and last night we learned that release has been put off yet again. Goblinworks' Ryan Dancey explained that the ongoing stress tests convinced the team that the server infrastructure needs bulking-up; consequently, the October 30th date -- today -- has been set aside. Dancey wrote,
We have set an internal objective of being able to handle 2,000 simultaneous connections, and 100 characters active in a single Hex as our minimum threshold for server performance. This reflects our expected peak concurrent activity for the first 10,000 players in game - roughly what we anticipate during the first 90 days of Early Enrollment activity. Currently the server does not reliably meet that benchmark.

With your help, we generated tremendously useful data via the stress test process and our performance team is confident that they can identify areas of the server system that can be rapidly improved to hit that benchmark. They are building and testing the necessary software and are making steady progress.

We want the first players in Pathfinder Online to have a high-quality experience and we are committed to delivering the game in a condition that meets that objective. Rather than commence Early Enrollment on the 30th we are going to enter a temporary "hold" state while we continue to optimize the server. When the team is confident that our benchmark for performance has been met, we will then exit the "hold", notify the community and begin a 48 hour countdown to Early Enrollment.
Dancey told players that Pathfinder's alpha test will continue, allowing devs to "roll out these polished feature iterations and to test server capacity improvements," and he thanked backers for their assistance and feedback.

Perfect Ten: My World of Warcraft launch memories

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Launches, MMO Industry, Opinion, Perfect Ten, Subscription

wow
I'm really not a big fan of those constant reminders from the media as to how much time has gone by using pop culture as reference points. I'm really not. So I kind of hate myself for saying this, but friends, next month will be World of Warcraft's 10th anniversary! Ten years! How old are we now!

Back in November of 2004, I was a wide-eyed 28-year-old bachelor who had just met his future wife and was generally leery about MMOs to date. Now I'm a grizzled 38-year-old journalist, father of three, and veteran of more MMOs than I can count (because I cannot count past 22). A decade can contain so much history, especially when looked back all at once.

I played World of Warcraft for many years, and while most of the memories have faded and merged together in a technicolor morass, there are a few vivid recollections of the launch period that stir emotions in me even today. Ten years, 10 launch memories. I think that's appropriate.

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BioWare on SWTOR's Revan expansion, upcoming species, and class stories

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Interviews, Launches, Patches, Endgame, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, MMORPG

SWTOR Interview: Capping off the Revan story
Star Wars fans are super excited about the next digital expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic releasing on December 9th. First off, it's Star Wars, and second, it deals with one of the most iconic Star Wars figures outside the movies: Revan.

I recently talked to some key figures at BioWare to ask them about Shadow of Revan. On the phone call and livestream, Charles Boyd, the lead writer for the expansion, not only gave an overview of the story but played a bit live. Producer Bruce Maclean discusssed the production side of the game. And even Game Director James Ohlen popped onto the call to let us know how much this expansion means to him.

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