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Massively's WildStar launch day roundup

Sci-Fi, Launches, MMO Industry, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Well howdy there! Guess what, ladies and gentlemen, it finally happened after what seems like an eternity. WildStar has launched today, giving everyone a chance to explore the mysterious planet of Nexus, whether your interests lie in building homes and fortifications, learning about the local wildlife, or just laying waste to everything around you with practiced zeal. So it's only appropriate that the game has a new launch trailer just past the break to celebrate the fact.

But that's not all, boys and girls -- we've compiled more than a few bits of news that you might want to feast your eyes upon before you jump in-game. Or, you know, if you're at work and can't jump in-game at the moment anyway, that is also a distinct possibility. So watch the trailer, do your reading, and get ready to explore Nexus from top to bottom. It's a big old world, you know.

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WildStar launches with new trailer, patch, and free realm transfers

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Launches, Patches, WildStar, Subscription

It's the official launch day for WildStar, and Carbine's got a lot for you to digest this morning!

We'll start off by pointing you to Executive Producer Jeremy Gaffney's speech to the community. "If we're going to play with the big boys, we have to earn the right to be one of the few MMOs that can not just draw gamers in, but can earn those gamers' loyalty over time," Gaffney vowed.

There's a new patch for launch day that includes more optimization and the ability to roll both factions on a PvP server. Carbine's also allowing players to transfer to and from certain realms for free in order to alleviate population issues.

Finally, the team posted a new launch trailer, which we've got for you after the jump!

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The Nexus Telegraph: WildStar's headstart (launch) is here!

Sci-Fi, Launches, Opinion, WildStar, The Nexus Telegraph, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

It's all for keeps.
Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen. We've been waiting for it for a very long time, but you can indeed play the game now. WildStar is no longer a vague promise of what might be in the future, it has well and truly launched, and it's inherited all of the launch issues that come along with every single MMO launch, along with an assortment of people certain that we've never seen anything like this before.

Hey, guess what I'll be talking about with today's column.

I haven't had nearly as much time in the headstart as I would have liked at this point, largely due to the dread specter of Real Life minimizing my free time between launch on Saturday and when this column is being written (which is not five minutes prior to posting, if you were curious). But I've got some impressions just the same, and whilst I don't think they really qualify for first impression status, you came here to read about WildStar's launch, and that's just what I want to talk about.

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The Stream Team: Heading into WildStar's head start

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Launches, New Titles, Livestream, WildStar, The Stream Team, Subscription

How smoothly will WildStar's launch go? Will it go down in flames like an Exile ship blasted by the Dominion? Massively's MJ is more likely to roll a Dominion character, and you know how she feels about the Dominion! But don't take our word for it -- watch and see for yourself as MJ dives into the first few hours of the head start. She's live at 12:00 p.m. EDT!

Game: WildStar
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, May 31th, 2014
Time: 12:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Secure both your WildStar account and cool bonuses with Google Authenticator

Betas, Sci-Fi, Launches, WildStar, Subscription

WildStar players making plans to jump into this weekend's headstart now have one more thing on their preparation list: to connect their accounts with Google Authenticator.

Carbine Studios is offering several goodies for players that make their account extra-secure with Google's two-step authentication. These bonuses include a cybernetic eyepatch, an in-game title, and a 2% bonus to XP, renown, and prestige.

You'll need to download the Google Authenticator app and connect it to your NCsoft account to secure these bonuses. WildStar Report has the step-by-step directions for those interested.

WildStar releases its server list

Betas, Sci-Fi, Launches, Previews, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Be it ever so inflammable, there's no place like home.
Head start for WildStar starts on Saturday, but where will you be creating your character? How can you know without a server list? You can't. So it's a good thing that the official server list has been released for both US and EU servers. A grand total of 22 servers will be available, with equal numbers for both regions and at least one PvE, RP-PvE, and PvP server for each.

US PvE servers are Avatus, Caretaker, Mikros, Thunderfoot, Orias, and Stormtalon. PvP players in the US can choose between Widow, Pago, and Pergo, while roleplayers will be on Evinora. There's also an Oceanic PvE server available, Myrcalus.

Meanwhile, English-speaking players in Europe will choose between Ascendancy and Eko for PvE, with Hazak for PvP and Lightspire for RP. German players get Ikthia and Kazor for PvE, Progentior for PvP, and Toria for RP. Last but not least, French players have three servers: Stormfather (PvE), Treespeaker (PvP), and Triton (RP-PvE). So you can start making your plans about where you want to go; the servers are all right here.

WildStar reveals its last pre-launch trailer

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Launches, Previews, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Don't care about your gameplay, son, I'm tending crops.
It's the last week before WildStar's launch. Head start kicks off on Saturday. And Carbine Studios wants you to buy the game, if for no other reason than the simple fact that the developers would like the game to do well so they can continue to pay their rent. So if you've been on the fence, if you're not sure about the game, or you seriously haven't heard about it until just today, the last trailer is for you.

After many years of trailers, DevSpeaks, and various other promotional bits, this trailer just lays it all out on the trailer, showing off the game's many features in total and what you can expect from the game. Whether you need a refresher course or just want to see what the game will look like before the head start, um, starts, you can check out the full trailer past the break.

[Source: Carbine Studios press release]

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The Daily Grind: Are the days of preordering MMOs fading?

Business Models, Launches, MMO Industry, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

In January 2007, I stood in line at a brick-and-mortar store at midnight to pick up six preorder copies of The Burning Crusade for myself, my husband, and my overseas guildies. By that point, I'd been playing MMOs for a decade already, but somehow, driving through an ice storm to stand in that line was so totally worth it.

Flash-forward to 2014 and I rarely bother with preorders anymore, and it's not because "the magic is gone" or anything nostalgia-driven like that. Between shoddy or exploitative preorder bonuses, widespread digital distribution, crowdfunded founder packs, and open betas and headstarts that go on forever and ever, it just seems as if a standard preorder is becoming a relic of the past, something that's relatively easy to pass on. I'd rather just hang onto my money and buy in when there's a product and not just a promise.

What about you guys? Do you still preorder MMOs or other games?

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!

Destiny opens pre-orders and pre-loading

Betas, Sci-Fi, Launches, New Titles, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

I guess it's great that now my console can do the thing that my computer has done for years.
Looking forward to getting into Destiny when it launches on September 9th? Then go ahead and pre-order it on your PlayStation 4, and you'll be able to pre-load the game before launch. No, really; Destiny is the first title on the PS4 to support pre-loading, allowing you to have the game installed and ready to play once the launch happens. It's in the PlayStation Store on both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 as of today.

Players who pre-order the title will also have access to the game's beta once it starts up in July. Theyll need to also sign up at Bungie.net and link their PSN ID to keep informed about the beta and be eligible for participation. Keep your eyes peeled for more news as we approach the start of beta.

Guild Wars 2's Festival of the Four Winds launches today

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

As promised, today ArenaNet will update Guild Wars 2's western servers with the Festival of the Four Winds, a Chinese-themed patch that will return the Zephyrite festival to the game and mark the game's launch in China. Says the studio,
The Zephyrites have returned to Labyrinthine Cliffs in their large-sailed flying ships to support Lion's Arch in its time of need. Although Lion's Arch suffered a devastating blow as a result of Scarlet's nefarious plans, Captain Ellen Kiel of the Captain's Council is grateful to see the Zephyrites return with their generous offer of materials and moral support. And to help reinvigorate trade and provide some joy to its citizens, the Zephyrite Master of Peace and Queen Jennah of Kryta are hosting a festival to honor Lion's Arch. Visit Labyrinthine Cliffs and experience the rush of Aspect movement skills, take part in the Sanctum Sprint, or enjoy one of the brand-new events; then take a hot-air balloon to Divinity's Reach and enjoy the reopened Crown Pavilion, including a new version of the Queen's Gauntlet, the Boss Blitz. Join Braham, Rox, Marjory, Kasmeer, Taimi, and Scruffy as they enjoy the festivities and usher in the return of Lion's Arch services!
We spoke to ArenaNet Game Design Lead Mike Zadorojny and Associate Game Director Steven Waller about the update and how players will gradually aid in the rebuilding of the Tyrian capital.

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The Nexus Telegraph: Preparing for WildStar's launch

Betas, Sci-Fi, Launches, Opinion, WildStar, The Nexus Telegraph, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

I'm excited.  Are you excited?  I am.
When you read this, dear reader, you will be less than two weeks away from early access to WildStar. Unless you've come here just to let everyone know you don't want to play the game, in which case you might want to find slightly more joyous hobbies? Just a thought.

The obvious thing to do pre-launch, of course, is to reserve your name, but that didn't work out for everyone so well, and I'm betting that if you were going to do that by now, you would have done it. (Still have a little time if you haven't, though.) What else can you do? Open beta is over. It's just getting into the meat of the game and maybe taking a day or two off of work first, right?

Obviously not; there's more stuff you can do to prep yourself for the launch psychologically and otherwise. So step into my metaphorical office, and I'll give you some suggestions about things to do before the game starts and once early access kicks off.

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Rebuild Lion's Arch in Guild Wars 2's Festival of the Four Winds

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Launches, Patches, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Promotions, Music, Buy-to-Play

Guild Wars 2 officially launches in China this coming Thursday, but folks in the rest of the world have had little reason to get excited... until now. ArenaNet and Chinese publisher KongZhong have just announced a global in-game festival to celebrate the launch, one we'll get to enjoy ourselves come next week. The Festival of the Four Winds arrives on May 20th for North American and European players, who will "get the opportunity to help rebuild the beloved city of Lion's Arch that was destroyed by Scarlet [Briar] in Season 1." Future game updates will be "synchronized" across the eastern and western regions so that they launch within days of each other.

We've embedded the (brief but beautiful!) teaser trailer for the festival after the break, and you can listen to Chinese singer/songwriter Jike Juan Yi's version of iconic Guild Wars 2 musical piece Fear Not This Night on KongZhong's promotional website.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

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Highlights from WildStar's Friday livestream extravaganza

Sci-Fi, Culture, Launches, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Cooking up something.
If you missed WildStar's big livestream on Friday, don't worry; you didn't miss a whole lot aside from information regarding the gameplay, the lore, and the first few patches. Nothing major, right? Fortunately, you can hunt down the full six-hour video... or you can take a quick gander at a recap from WildStar Report hitting all of the highlights of the livestream that didn't involve the Carbine Studios team being goofy. It's entirely up to you.

The plans for early updates include a new zone with the first major patch, another in the third major patch, and further improvements and installments in future updates. Players can also look forward to another battleground in the second patch, followed by a second arena map. And you can look into an exploration of the apparently monogendered Chua (who use the pronoun "he" simply to avoid calling them "it" throughout the game). The full recap has plenty of extra details, and while you might miss some nuance of the video, it's probably going to take you less than six hours to read.

The Stomping Land's dinosaur survival MMO is coming to Steam this month

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Launches, New Titles, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

The Stomping Land
The Stomping Land, a survival MMO with a generous heaping of dinosaurs, is set to arrive on Steam Early Access on May 23rd for backers and May 30th for everyone else. The cost will be $24.99 for non-backers.

The MMO was successfully funded through Kickstarter last year and is being developed by Alex Fundora. The Stomping Land challenges players to survive as a human in harsh environments that include rather ravenous dinos. Hunger and thirst are issues that must be dealt with, and these are made all the more challenging by a lack of internal inventory (everything must be carried in hand or stored on the map). The game encourages players to form tribes for survival and allows them to capture, tame, and even ride dinosaurs.

The Early Access version will launch with one island, and you can check out the trailer for the release after the break.

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Guild Wars 2 begins Chinese open beta

Betas, Fantasy, Launches, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Guild Wars 2 has made in-roads with a significant MMO audience this week, as it has kicked off its open beta in China.

While local publisher KongZhong is calling this a launch, it's technically the beginning of a two-week head start period before the full open beta commences in the region on May 15th. Guild Wars 2 is the first major MMO to use a buy-to-play business model in China, selling 500,000 copies during its pre-order period. Interestingly, the official press release admits to regional "doubts" as to the effectiveness of this model.

All pre-order players are now able to check out the game during this head start period, with any future purchasers required to wait until the 15th to try it out.

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