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Launches

Hyperspace Beacon: Previewing SWTOR's Shadow of Revan

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Launches, Patches, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Roleplaying, First Impressions, Star Wars: The Old Republic, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Playing the Shadow of Revan
When I was first introduced to the expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic, there were two things I wanted to see: the continuation of the class story and Yavin 4. And I'm happy to say that this expansion delivered both of those in a satisfying way. When I spoke to studio game director James Ohlen and lead writer Charles Boyd about the expansion a few weeks ago, they told me that Shadow of Revan would close one major chapter and open a new book for SWTOR. After seeing the expansion, I have to agree that Shadow of Revan does put a great cap on a class stories and opens the door for an exciting future for the game.

I don't want to give you the impression that everything in the expansion is exactly what I wanted, though. There is a surprising lack of exploration, the amount of content fell short, and parts of the maps felt slapped together. The screenshots depict beautiful scenes, but sometimes form outweighs function.

Before I continue, I feel obligated to tell you that there are spoilers of previous content in this piece, but the important parts of the new content will remain unspoiled.

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Ubisoft dismisses doubts about The Crew's launch, releases launch trailer

Launches, MMO Industry, News Items, Consoles, Miscellaneous

Well, you seem trustworthy.
Are you worried about the launch of The Crew being plagued by server issues, instability, and other issues? Don't be! None of that's going to happen at launch! Who said that? Ubisoft, of course! It seems trustworthy.

In the wake of Ubisoft's launch issues this year (Assassin's Creed: Unity), not to mention other high-profile online titles that have been plagued by server issues, lead designer Serkan Hasan has stated that The Crew's beta testing has adequately prepared the game for launch. He also promises that the game's console versions will perform well on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The Crew launches tomorrow, December 2nd. The studio has not shown any advanced previews to media on the basis that playing the game before launch would involve sub-optimal play conditions.

[Update: We've included the launch trailer below.]

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Living and dying in the Elite: Dangerous gamma build

Betas, Sci-Fi, Launches, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Hands-On, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
When we last looked at Elite: Dangerous during August's Choose My Adventure, the game was in a barebones beta format with just a few of its promised eventual features. Frontier Developments' crowdfunded space-sim certainly brought a lot to the table with its pretty graphics, realistic flight physics, and down-to-the-details sim structure, but anyone not interested in running courier missions or blowing up other ships was probably left wanting.

Now, however, Elite is a different beast. Just two weeks from final official launch, Elite is in what Frontier Developments is calling the "gamma" stage. It's as close to the finished version of the game anyone is going to get until launch on December 16th. So naturally, I took another dive in Elite to see what exactly has changed.

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Journey to the West opens up its international beta on Saturday

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Launches, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play

JTTW
Want a new game to try out this holiday weekend? Journey to the West International might be up your alley if you have a high tolerance for goofy imports. It's yet another MMO inspired by the Chinese epic tale of the same name, and its open beta launches on November 29th. Players can actually reserve their character names for the beta starting today.

JTTW boasts a level cap of 40, instanced dungeons, four classes, recurring events, and a psyche system that transforms characters into powerful elemental manifestations. It's also got an open cash shop, meaning the game is effectively soft launching this weekend.

We've embedded two game videos below, courtesy of MMO Culture. Enjoy!

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Not So Massively: Elite's refund controversy, Civ Online's closed beta, and Ghost in the Shell's G-Star debut

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Launches, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, World of Tanks, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Hearthstone, E-sports

NSM - Ghost in the Shell
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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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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