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Events (Massively's Coverage)

SOE Live 2014: The revolutionary intelligence of Storybricks' AI in EQ Next and Landmark

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

SOE Live 2014 The revolutionary intelligence of Storybricks' AI in EQ Next and Landmark
The most exciting part of EverQuest Next and Landmark for me is the living, intelligent AI brought to the games courtesy of Storybricks. Thanks to a tech demonstration at SOE Live, we got to see that AI in action, and can I tell you I am even more excited having seen it! This technology really will revolutionize the game, creating a living, breathing world in EQ Next that players help shape as it develops as well as give players the power to make their world come alive in Landmark. And to add icing to the cake, the panel also delved into the background of the new Norrath a bit, revealing the world map complete with familiar areas (like Kithicor).

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SOE Live 2014: More EverQuest Next tidbits

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next

With so many keynotes, panels, Q&As, and opportunities to chat with devs at SOE Live, there's always an avalanche of information to sort through. So here's a compilation of tidbits relating to EverQuest Next that we gleaned from the con.
  • There will be guild homes and towns in EQN; these will be really special and hard to get.
  • The devs are committed to taking all the races through the foundation workshops.
  • SOEmote has improved significantly (and looks much more natural).
  • Players know that Qeynos will exist, but Freeport and it's current state are still a mystery.
  • Devs are experimenting with social hubs that players can check anytime from anywhere, even getting alerts for high-profile happenings.
  • Factions are spread out across the land, so there will be multiple opportunities to learn a class, not just "visit one guy on one mountaintop."
  • Being heroes of the world does not just mean slaughtering things; you can build temples to the gods, open trade routes, even help farmers with crops.
  • Even small changes to world are tangible: If you help merchants become wealthier, they walk around in better apparel and show off that wealth. The "quest completion log" is, in effect, an account of the changes you see.
  • NPC groups will ally with and help each other as well as fight against each other.
  • No decision yet if food and drink will be necessary.
  • The future may hold player-fiction contests for official lore, but there's nothing planned in the short term because of the excessive time involved to review them -- time needed on other aspects of game right now. SOE says, "We need to make sure that every detail of the story that we release fits into the continuity of the world; we're a stickler about that."
What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas, at least where SOE Live is concerned! Massively sent intrepid reporter MJ Guthrie to this year's SOE Live, from which she'll be transmitting all the best fan news on EverQuest Next, Landmark, H1Z1, and the other MMOs on SOE's roster.

SOE Live 2014: New bonus loot and limited-edition Station Cash cards available

MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Landmark

Do you miss SOE's double and triple Station Cash giveaways? Although those are reportedly not returning, that doesn't mean the company won't offer special deals again. SOE Director of E-Commerce Mark Tuttle announced special new Landmark-themed cards at SOE Live that are available as of August 18th.

At Wal-Mart, on top of the the 2,000 SC that come with the cards, players will also get one of five special Landmark loot bundles. At GameStop there will be limited edition collectors cards; these shiny orange foil cards grant not only one of the random loot bundles but also 2,500 SC for the regular price. For players who don't have these retailers near them, Tuttle says the team is working on making these cards available online.

[Edit: The official site notes that players who redeem a card during closed beta will be granted permanent access to closed beta.]

What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas, at least where SOE Live is concerned! Massively sent intrepid reporter MJ Guthrie to this year's SOE Live, from which she'll be transmitting all the best fan news on EverQuest Next, Landmark, H1Z1, and the other MMOs on SOE's roster.

Massively Speaking Episode 310: SOE Live 2014

Podcasts, MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Events (Massively's Coverage), Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

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MJ is back from this year's SOE Live, and boy does she have news for us! From sandbox combat to expansions out the wazoo to zombie proms, we've got the best coverage from this recent convention to fill up a great podcast. That isn't to say that there wasn't any other news this week... like a certain release date of a certain long-awaited Orc road trip.

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

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Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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SOE Live 2014: DCUO's Legends PvE and a la carte DLCs

Super-hero, Interviews, PvE, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), DC Universe Online

A superhero game deserves a super announcement at SOE Live, and DC Universe Online delivered. Creative Director Jens Andersen and Assistant Creative Director SJ Mueller shared details about many upcoming updates, from the second installments of the various trilogy story arcs to new movements and powers to a whole new way to purchase the DLC themselves. Oh, and we can't forget one of the biggest announcements: Legends play is coming to PvE!

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The Stream Team: Get the SOE Live scoop while playing Landmark

Betas, Video, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Giveaways, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

Massively's MJ has survived SOE Live, and now she's back and excited to talk about Landmark! Do you have questions you want to hear answered live? Do you want to nab yourself a beta code so you can jump in and play? Maybe you want to try for the item codes she has to give away thanks to her trek to Las Vegas, including Feather in a Bottles, Colonist's Flight Suits, Gemm Seekers Brooches, and even a Portcullis or two! Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to gab about the game and get some goodies!

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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SOE Live 2014: More tidbits about EQII's Altar of Malice expansion

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage)

One of the great things about SOE Live is that not only do you get announcements like the EverQuest II expansion but there are also many panels to delve even deeper into the upcoming content. On top of that, you have Q&A sessions where dedicated players draw out more useful information! Here are a few more tidbits that came from the rest of the con.

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SOE Live 2014 in pictures: H1Z1's Zombie Prom, a costume contest, and attendees galore

Galleries, Free-to-Play, Humor, Events (Massively's Coverage)

Every year there seems to be something different at SOE Live. IN 2013, there was the big reveal of the new EverQuest Next and the surprise announcement of Landmark, complete with sand art and champagne. This year, one popular festivity focused on another new title in development: H1Z1. Attendees got all dolled up and put on their best undead faces for a night of dancing at the Zombie Prom (those who preferred the living enjoyed a pool party). It was quite the evening, complete with a wedding proposal!

But even as some things change, some stay the same. Friends and guildies meet up (or just plain meet!), games are played, tournaments are won, costumes are shown off, swag is collected, and folks have a good time geeking out with devs. There were also plenty of heart-warming moments, from stories of players helping players to actual weddings. If you weren't able to attend the festivities, or you just want a little pick-me-up as you come down from your convention high, here's a quick look at the weekend in pictures.

SOE Live 2014: PlanetSide 2 plans battle islands, a fight finder, and more

Sci-Fi, Interviews, PvP, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), PlanetSide 2, Sandbox

PlanetSide 2 got some big updates over the last couple of months, but there's plenty more planned for the MMOFPS. Creative Director Matt Higby, Senior Art Director Tramell Isaac , and Lead Designer Luke Sigmund detailed some of those plans at SOE Live. Specifics include the squad mentoring, the Valkyrie aircraft, battle islands, a fight finder, and more. They also showed off the progress of the Playstation 4 version, which will launch in early access before the end of the year.

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SOE Live 2014: Dragon's Prophet to join All Access, add hatching system

Fantasy, Interviews, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Dragon's Prophet

While much of the SOE Live attention has been on other titles, Dragon's Prophet was on hand with some announcements of its own. The two biggest pieces of news are the upcoming hatchling system and the addition of the game to SOE's All Access pass, and Producer Todd Carson shared the details with us as well as gave the heads up on a couple other upcoming changes.

The new hatching system will allow players to find and raise their own dragons. Carson explained that how long it takes the egg to hatch depends on what activities players do to care for their eggs. Additionally, the stats of the dragons will be influneced by the egg's care. More specifics on that system will be coming soon.

The other really big (and welcome news) is the addition of Dragon's Prophet to the All Access plan. Carson noted that it has taken time to work out the details because of the unique differences of the game since it is made by Runewaker. Within the next month or so players will be able to become a part of the system that gives special monthly bonuses in all SOE games, 500 station cash, and a 10% discount on all items in the store. Dragon's Prophet players will receive a nine in-game items every month worth $50, including a 30-day repair hammer, teleportation, revive tokens, and more.

Carson also described the recent renovation of the starter experience and the change to the class masteries that give them more defined roles in combat that await new players who try the game out thanks to the All Access changes. He gave us a heads up that a new zone expansion is coming at the end of the year and special roaming merchants that will be added to the territory islands. Another new feature will be the ability to pay to have your house packed up and moved to a different island. Carson is also taking into consideration panel attendees' requests to add Vanguard dragons into the game.

What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas, at least where SOE Live is concerned! Massively sent intrepid reporter MJ Guthrie to this year's SOE Live, from which she'll be transmitting all the best fan news on EverQuest Next, Landmark, H1Z1, and the other MMOs on SOE's roster.

SOE Live 2014: Details on EverQuest Next combat, classes, and races

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Norrathian Notebook

We heard you: You want more EverQuest Next info. We do too! And here at SOE Live we've been getting all of that for you! Between the keynote address and our chats with Creative Director Dave Georgeson, Senior Producer Terry Michaels, Lead System Designer Michael Mann, andLead Designer Darrin McPherson we've discovered the next race to be announced, learned about the three newest classes, and watched a demonstration of those classes in combat. Get your first glmpser of EQN's Teir'DAal race and check out the Cleric, the Elementalist, and the Termpest.

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SOE Live 2014: Combat comes to Landmark August 27th

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, PvP, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

If you've got a thing for combat, have we got the perfect date for you! Landmark launches the ability to fight -- and die -- on Wednesday, August 27th. That means everyone who's been waiting in the wings for the new sandbox to get more systems before diving in only have to hold out two more weeks before they can finally experience Landmark.

Are you ready to die? The first phase of combat includes death, armor, weapons, landmines, PvP, and many possibilities! We got the scoop on this much-anticipated system at SOE Live from Creative Director Dave Georgeson and Senior Producer Terry Michaels at SOE Live, including some great video clips of the upcoming content.

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SOE Live 2014: EverQuest will release The Darkened Sea expansion October 28th

Fantasy, EverQuest, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage)

As is custom, the next EverQuest expansion was announced at SOE Live 2014. And while Thursday's keynote shared the title, The Darkened Sea, it divulged little else. Players were going to have to wait until EQ's individual keynote address later today to get any actual details. However, for those who just can't wait that long, I sat down with Senior Producer Thom Terrazas and Creative Director Akil Hooper to get an early scoop on the game's upcoming 21st expansion and more.

What do players have to look forward to? How about the return of the classic characters Firiona Vie and Lanys T'Val, a personalized looting feature, a higher level cap of 105, a new mount storage system, and eight new zones! Oh, we can't forget the dinosaurs! And did I mention that The Darkened Sea launches on October 28th for All Access members?

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SOE Live 2014: EverQuest II's Altar of Malice expansion includes new playable race

Fantasy, Video, EverQuest II, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage)

SOE Live 2014: EverQuest II's Altar of Malice expansion includes new playable race
On the 11th day of the 11th month, EverQuest II will get its 11th expansion, Altar of Malice. With only the title and launch date announced during SOE Live's welcome keynote address on Thursday, fans are understandably eager for more juicy details. We talked with Senior Producer Holly Longdale and Creative Director Akil Hooper to glean some valuable intel before EQII's official keynote later this afternoon. They even shared some future plans and revealed the 10-year veteran reward. As a special treat, Longdale shared a very serious video on how the vaunted leaper bunny mounts came into being (which we've included here for you).

As is pretty standard for expansions, Altar of Malice will include new zones (two regular overland and one specialized PvP deathmatch), new dungeons, new quests, a level cap increase, and some revamped systems. What is very atypical about this expansion is that it introduces a new playable race! And if that wasn't enough, there are also dinosaurs.

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SOE Live 2014: Thursday keynote liveblog announces EQ and EQII expansions, more

EverQuest, EverQuest II, Expansions, MMO Industry, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Dragon's Prophet, H1Z1

Are you looking forward to getting a hint of what's to come for your favorite SOE games this next year? SOE Live's Thursday keynote has just kicked off, and SOE notables like John Smedley are taking the stage to give fans a hint of the announcements coming over the course of the weekend. We're here live to give you the scoop directly from the devs, and we'll be keeping this post updated as it progresses. You can also can watch the presentation streamed live below.
  • Keynote announcements on Friday have all the juicy details, so don't miss them!
  • Four awards for Player Studio: Highest creator - BeastBuster with over $25,000 to date; Most Prolific creator - Rollen; Most Improved Creator - Jerry "Rawl" Dechant; and Most inspirational - Neko Zero.
  • Player Direct awards -- you can see all full-length film on the official site.
  • H1Z1 is coming out on the PS4.
  • The Play it Forward initiative is gamers helping others, in game or in life.
  • Tournaments: Prize money on the line for participants.
  • Dragon's Prophet is introducing a new system where you find and raise dragon hatchlings.
  • EverQuest is introducing a new category to Player Studio.
  • EQ working on a new advanced looting feature.
  • EQ's next expansion is The Darkened Sea.
  • EverQuest II's 10th anniversary in November, the 11th expansion Alter of Malice is launching on 11/11.
  • New classes for EverQuest Next will be announced tomorrow.
  • A touching video tribute to EQII's Ribbitribbit was presented.
  • SOE encouraged support for AbleGamers, Gamers4Life, and Military Gamers.

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