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Lore

The Stream Team: Experiencing SWTOR's massive XP bonus

Sci-Fi, Video, Lore, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Livestream, The Stream Team

If you're a fan of Star Wars: The Old Republic, you likely already know about the 12x story line experience boost that subscribers who preorder the Shadow of Revan expansion get. But have you seen it? Massively's MJ dives into something new -- the Imperial side -- in order to show just how fast a character can level with this promotion. You seriously have to see it to believe it! And to spice things up a bit, MJ will also try to fall to the Dark Side. Can she manage to channel some evil? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to clock how fast this little force user blasts through her early levels.

Game: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, November 20th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Catch a glimpse of Wander in Wednesday's live machinima

Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Lore, Previews, News Items, Roleplaying, Livestream, Sandbox

Wander
We've been keeping an eye on no-combat, exploration-driven sandbox Wander since its debut at PAX over a year ago. This week, you can keep an eye on it too. Creator Loki Davison says that his studio will be livestreaming the game tomorrow, but it won't be just any ol' gameplay walkthrough; it'll be a "pioneering live streamed drama" set in the gameworld, a piece of live machinima rarely seen in the genre. "Join Sylvania as she explores her dream of flying and realizes that what she is, isn't all she can be," Davison hints. "Azar however, might not approve."

The stream begins at 7 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 19th, on the official Wander Twitch channel.

Stormthrone strikes open alpha tomorrow

Betas, Fantasy, Lore, Free-to-Play, Browser

stormthorne
Get ready, get set, and go right into open alpha with Stormthrone tomorrow!

R2Games recently announced that the isometric browser-based MMO will transition into open alpha testing on Wednesday, November 19th. The official Stormthrone website had been running a series of minigames leading up to the alpha release through which players could earn in-game loot.

Stormthrone also released a new lore diary today about the birth of Aeos and the war that ensued between the gods.

[Source: R2Games press release]

Enter at Your Own Rift: How to tell a great story in an MMO

Fantasy, Lore, Opinion, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Enter at Your Own Rift

rift
My character still hasn't (ahem) ascended to Nightmare Tide levels yet, so today's RIFT story will instead be about Storm Legion. I had been working my way through the Eastern Holdings in Brevane when I encountered a quest chain that floored me with brilliant storytelling that showed exactly how MMOs can utilize this platform to tell tales in ways that other mediums cannot. It is audacious, bold, and incredibly dark, especially for RIFT. And I cannot praise it enough, especially in light of long-held claims that RIFT is often weak on story.

I have two caveats before we go through what made this quest chain so great. First, I'm going to spoil it from start to finish, so if you haven't played it and want to remain innocent, just bookmark this column to read later on. Second, there are some truly edgy themes in this recap. Got it? Let's go!

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WoW's Dark Portal has reopened in a Shanghai subway

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), Lore, News Items, Subscription

WoWA Shanghai subway station now boasts its very own World of Warcraft-flavored Dark Portal, and all we got was this lousy beat-up taxi.

Polygon reports that in honor of the Warlords of Draenor launch, the Xujiahui subway station in Shanghai has been decorated with WoW promotional materials, including a scaled-down but still swanky replica of the Dark Portal with a flat screen positioned in the center where the portal ought to go. Cameras embedded in the structure teleport subwaygoers into the action.

In WoW lore, the Dark Portal was once the gateway between Azeroth and Outland but now links Draenor to the core gameworld. Plus, it looks pretty badass as a real-life simulacrum.

We've included the promo video below.

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Star Trek Online releases a Delta Rising bonus epilogue

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Lore, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Subscription

Oh, right.  All of the problems.  We forgot about the problems.
Maybe you haven't quite finished the storyline for Star Trek Online's second expansion, Delta Rising, but you can probably guess that it ends with the Delta Quadrant in better shape than when you arrived. You are the triumphant heroes! Except... nothing is ever really that easy, is it? Nothing ever ends perfectly. And sometimes there's just a little more going on than you think from the surface, which is exactly what's hinted in the bonus epilogue episode releasing today.

The epilogue, What's Left Behind, features the voice talent of Robert Picardo and Denise Crosby capping off the existing story of Delta Rising and resolving some last-minute unanswered questions. It also raises a few new ones along the way because why not? Just because you could handle one threat doesn't mean you're prepared for another this soon. The episode is beaming on to the live servers today, so set your course and engage promptly.

Chaos Theory: Five fantastic NPCs in The Secret World

Horror, Real-Life, Lore, Opinion, The Secret World, Chaos Theory, Buy-to-Play

Before I was sidetracked by Sidestories and totally engrossed in the Halloween event, I talked about quests that I felt were top notch in The Secret World. At that time I also promised to give the NPCs of the game their due with their own spot. And here it is!

Why would I devote an entire column to singing the praises of Non-Player Characters? Because it is the characters within the story that make the game so compelling! The characters' lives, their mannerisms -- they really bring TSW to life. From deep and perfectly quirky personalities to the top-notch voice acting, it's the NPCs that tie everything together and make missions so memorable. And while all of the characters play vital roles (even those who just pop in for brief appearance as supporting cast), these five stars steal the show.

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Meet the bosses of TERA's upcoming Fate of Arun expansion

Betas, Fantasy, Screenshots, Lore, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, TERA, Dungeons

TERA
Announced abruptly just before Halloween, TERA's long-planned Fate of Arun expansion is due out in December, complete with a level cap bump and loads of new zones. Today, En Masse has provided us with an exclusive poster and a sneak peek at the bosses arriving to torment you in Arun. Check 'em out below!

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Learning from Tyria's past in Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

Below the cut is one of the worst jokes I've ever made. Sorry, Trahearne.
The latest Guild Wars 2 living world release, Echoes of the Past, seems to be a big hit. It's nice to see fans so unreservedly happy with an update since the past few months have been a little rocky for GW2, but ArenaNet has hit it out of the park this time.

If you haven't gotten a chance to play it yet, I strongly recommend checking it out before reading further, if possible. There are spoilers below the cut, and hardly anybody likes spoilers. Except me: the guy who flips to the end of the book sometimes. I'm a monster.

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Guild Wars 2 previews the Tangled Path for November 18th

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Lore, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

I'm thinking... omelette.  Anyone else thinking that?  Maybe with onions?
A dragon egg exists in Tyria. Yes, we know, dragons are overdone, but the existence of one of their eggs in Tyria is extremely rare, as evidenced in no small part by the fact that the main enemies of the setting are the six elder dragons. So everyone wants that egg... including Mordremoth, the main antagonist of Guild Wars 2's second season of Living World content. And that means that everyone who can try to get that egg will try to get that egg.

Yes, the next Living Story update is one big egg hunt, but it's one with pretty high stakes. The trailer just past the cut is short, but it should get players excited for when the update goes live on November 18th. And who wouldn't want a dragon egg of his very own? We recommend naming it Lord Snugglescale; that'll keep it on your side for sure.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

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Not So Massively: Overwatch's reveal, Hearthstone's expansion, and Dawngate's sunset

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Lore, New Titles, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, HEX, Hearthstone, The Division, OARPG, Overwatch

NSM - Overwatch
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.
  • Blizzard announced online team-shooter Overwatch at BlizzCon. Chris Metzen says Blizzard is trying to build a more representative game with less hypersexualization.
  • Hearthstone is launching in December and getting a new expansion: Goblins vs. Gnomes.
  • EA's MOBA Dawngate is shutting down in three months.
  • League of Legends introduced Kalista, the Spear of Vengeance.
  • MMOTCG HEX dropped its beta key requirement but denied that it is in open beta.
  • Heroes of the Storm's closed beta starts January 13th. It's also getting a sweet Diablo III-themed map.
  • Diablo III previewed its upcoming season. According to content designer Kevin Martens, Diablo was once considered for an MMO, but no longer.
  • David Braben says Elite: Dangerous' December 16th launch date is "sensible."
  • Star Citizen passed $60 million in fundraising.
  • Quirky indie MMOFPS Hunternet boasts 700-player battles.
  • World of Tanks' 9.4 patch added Stalingrad map and tweaked strongholds.
  • The Crew hinted at a new "PvP mode" and season passes.
  • MechWarrior Online's latest dev vlog covered inner sphere quirks and faction switching.
  • Ubisoft said that The Division's PC experience won't suffer because of consoles.
  • Some jerk swatted a Bungie/Destiny exec; the internet demands prison time for said jerk.
  • The latest World of Speed vid features nearly four minutes of gameplay.
  • Bigpoint's Shards of War introduced a new sentinel, Vox.
  • Undead Labs discussed balance in Moonrise.
  • Dota is now the subject of a course at Chongqing Energy College in China.

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WildStar Loremaggedon illuminates the Mordesh, Draken

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Lore, MMO Industry, News Items, WildStar

WildStar's Loremaggedon is down to its final two races. This week's installment features the Mordesh and the Draken, and it's required reading if you're curious about how the former lived "before they because quasi-undead space zombies."

Carbine's Chad Moore says that Loremaggedon isn't quite finished, either, even though it's now covered all of WildStar's races.

Neverwinter's Rise of Tiamat gameplay trailer is here

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Lore, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dungeons, Neverwinter

Neverwinter
Perfect World Entertainment and Cryptic have been pimping the heck out of the upcoming Rise of Tiamat module for Neverwinter, the fifth episode in the season of dragons storyline. While the module itself doesn't land on official servers until November 18th, the gameplay trailer is here right now. Spoiler: Thar be dragons!

Don't forget that Neverwinter's April Fools' Day event returns this Thursday for a reprise lasting until the Rise of Tiamat launch.

Check out the trailer below.

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The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV and approaching the end of the story

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

All things go, all things go.
All right, Final Fantasy XIV isn't really approaching the end of its story. If you think that Heavensward won't include its own set of story missions, well, suffice it to say you are almost certainly wrong. But the ending of the 2.0 storyline will be like closing a chapter in a book, and this patch is the first step along that path. The next patch will close the chapter and begin anew, bringing us down unfamiliar roads.

As a result, parts of this patch flirted with important story parts. Others flung themselves right ahead in ways that I hadn't expected. As always, this post will contain spoilers for 2.4's story, so if you haven't already seen all of it yet, be warned. It will not, however, contain spoilers for the Final Coil in any meaningful way. So if you've held off from the spoilers already swirling about that, fear not. Some of you are quite possibly working on that now.

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WoW Archivist: The zombie plague event

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Lore, PvP, Subscription, WoW Archivist

Zombies attack
WoW Archivist is a biweekly column by WoW Insider's Scott Andrews, who explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold? It first appeared on our sister site on November 5th and is included here by permission.

We have one more week of the Iron Horde invasion event before we can take the fight through the portal to Draenor. Most players seem to think this event is serviceable, if unexciting. Like all such events, it lives in the shadow of the most memorable pre-expansion event in WoW's long history: the zombie plague. It debuted almost exactly six years ago, and Blizzard has never topped it.

If you need evidence, just look at the comments on the previous WoW Archivist about patch 3.0. I only mentioned the event in passing as a topic for a future column. Even so, readers posted more about the plague event than about any of the other 3.0 features like achievements, glyphs, or pally nerfs.

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