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Events (Massively's Coverage)

Massively's Elder Scrolls Online's launch-day roundup

Fantasy, Launches, Previews, Massively Meta, Events (Massively's Coverage), The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription, MMORPG

Though The Elder Scrolls Online launched its early access period Sunday, the game's official launch day is today, and those of you who didn't preorder can finally log in and kick some Molag Bal butt. To celebrate the launch and help out anyone who's wandering around Tamriel lost and confused, we've rounded up the best of our Elder Scrolls Online content -- our guides, key news, livestreams, previews, and opinions. Enjoy!

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The Stream Team: Breaking a world record with Age of Ascent

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, Events (In-Game), Interviews, New Titles, PvP, War, Free-to-Play, Browser, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding

Age of Ascent screenshot
If you've ever wanted to be part of gaming history, check out this livestream with Massively's Beau Hindman and members of the Age of Ascent developer team. They'll be attempting to literally break a Guinness World Record for the largest videogame PvP battle, currently standing at 4,075 players! Age of Ascent launched its Kickstarter yesterday and is offering pledge rewards from special in-game ships to dinner with the devs. Join us live at 3 p.m. EDT.

Game: Age of Ascent
Host: Beau Hindman
Date: Friday, March 14th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Exploring WildStar's endgame raids and dungeons

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, Endgame, News Items, PvE, Events (Massively's Coverage), WildStar, Dungeons, Subscription, MMORPG

A dungeon in Wildstar
For those who like endgame PvE content, Carbine's upcoming MMO WildStar is hoping provide not just lots to consume but a variety of ways to consume it. I'm no longer the type of gamer who has to race to max level, and fortunately for me, WildStar plans to give us that "raid feeling" even while we're leveling via adventures and shiphand missions and world bosses and even public quests. But there's much more to PvE than that. At last week's press event, I sat down with Lead Combat Designer Chris Lynch and Lead Dungeons and Raids Designer Brett Scheinert to talk about endgame and PvE in the next big themepark.

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Battlegrounds, arenas, and warplots: How PvP works in WildStar

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Patches, Previews, PvP, Endgame, Opinion, Hands-On, Events (Massively's Coverage), WildStar, Subscription, MMORPG

Battlegrounds in Wildstar
PvE is a staple of MMORPG gameplay, but if you prefer the challenge and adrenaline rush of fighting against another human being while bashing on a keyboard and circle-strafing to dizzying effect, then you, my friend, are a PvPer. And if you've PvPed in other games, you'll be familiar with WildStar's battlegrounds and arenas. But warplots? What's a warplot? That's just one of the PvP-related questions I asked at a press event last week at Carbine Studios with the WildStar team.

Battlegrounds Designer Kevin Lee and Lead PvP Designer Jen Gordy explained to me that PvP is one of the key focuses of the game; all PvP content in WildStar will be on a cross-realm queue. Your level and gear stats will be normalized to provide an equal playing field. WildStar's telegraph system ensures that PvP is extremely reactive, which is typical, but what's not typical is being able to see where your enemy is aiming that AoE or conal attack.

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EVE Evolved: What to expect from EVE Fanfest 2014

Video, EVE Online, Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, Opinion, Hands-On, Events (Massively's Coverage), World of Darkness, EVE Evolved, DUST 514, Dev Diaries, Player-Generated Content

EVE Evolved title image
Almost 10 years ago, EVE Online developer CCP Games started a new tradition with the first ever annual EVE Fanfest. The event started out as a largely informal gathering in a tiny venue that allowed players and developers to mingle on a more personal level, but it's now grown into something massive. Over a thousand players now make the annual pilgrimage to EVE Online's birthplace in Reykjavik, Iceland, to hear what the future holds for their favourite MMO. For many, the event is also a social gathering, a chance to swap stories with other players, and a rare opportunity to meet the corpmates they fly with every day in the virtual galaxy of New Eden.

The Fanfest weekend is typically a packed schedule of panels, talks, roundtable discussions with developers, and keynote speeches revealing the future of the game. While the event is understandably focused on EVE Online, it's recently expanded to cover aspects of DUST 514, the latest goings-on with World of Darkness, and even CCP's new virtual reality dogfighter EVE Valkyrie. CCP has announced that this year's event will see a monument to the EVE playerbase unveiled in Reykjavik Harbor as well as the first reveal of EVE's summer expansion, but what else can we hope to glean from this year's event at the start of May?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I delve into the EVE Fanfest announcement and speculate on what we might expect to hear from this year's event. Will this be the year that World of Darkness gets some serious news? And what's new for DUST 514?

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CCP Games reveals big plans for EVE Fanfest 2014

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Hands-On, Events (Massively's Coverage), World of Darkness, DUST 514, Sandbox, Anniversaries, Subscription

EVE Online title image
The universe of EVE Online may be best known as a crazy virtual galaxy full of back-stabbing pirates and political betrayal, but for a few days each year it becomes something altogether more tangible. At the annual EVE Fanfest, hundreds of the game's most devoted fans make the long pilgrimage to the game's birthplace in Reykjavik, Iceland. In addition to the official talks and reveals on the game's future from developer CCP Games, Fanfest plays host to charity raffles, roundtable discussions with developers, and informal get-togethers for players to share their stories.

Last year's 10th anniversary Fanfest was the biggest one yet, with information included on World of Darkness and DUST 514 and the official reveal of Oculus Rift-based dogfighter EVE Valkyrie. This year's attendees can look forward to the first ever live demo of EVE's yet-to-be-revealed summer expansion, hands-on experience with the next major evolution of DUST 514, and playtests of a brand-new build of the virtual reality dogfighter EVE Valkyrie.

This year's Fanfest will also see a special monument dedicated to EVE Online players revealed to the world; The "Worlds Within a World" monument will be installed in Reykjavik Harbor and will be etched with the names of all active EVE subscribers on March 1st. It's also hoped that crowdfunded EVE Online documentary A Tale of Internet Spaceships will be premiered during the Fanfest weekend, and we'll reportedly hear the latest on CCP's new EVE comic book and live action TV series. The event takes place from May 1st to May 3rd, and I'll be attending this year's event on behalf of Massively to bring you in-depth first-hand coverage of all the big reveals. Stay tuned!

Previewing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on the PS4

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, Events (Massively's Coverage), Final Fantasy XIV

Major boss in FFXIV A Realm Reborn
The original release of Final Fantasy XIV in 2010 and subsequent updates received a poor reception from the public with significant criticism over quality and stability. After several years of fundamental redevelopment including a new game engine, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was successfully launched on the PC and PS3 in 2013, receiving strong accolades from players. Buoyed by the strong relaunch, it is now is set for a full PS4 launch on April 14th in most parts of the world including Europe and North America. This will be quickly be followed by a launch in China sometime in the summer of 2014, followed by Russia, Taiwan and the Middle East.

I recently had a chance to preview the game on the PS4 and chat with Square-Enix's Naoki Yoshida.

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The Elder Scrolls Online: Fitting into the genre or forging its own?

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), Crafting, The Elder Scrolls Online

It's been about nine months since I first got my hands on The Elder Scrolls Online. Since then, like many of you, I've been trapped on the sidelines, watching and waiting for my turn to jump into the game. This past weekend, I got my chance, but I've found my experience to be distressingly similar to those described by other journalists. Like Massively's Eliot before me, my early foundation was in console gaming, but my reason for avoiding The Elder Scrolls series was very different from his: The Elder Scrolls has always been a single-player series, and after having my world opened by MMOs, I found that going back to single-player games has become difficult. I need people! I need multiplayer options! I need MMOs.

Enter The Elder Scrolls Online and my excitement for it. I knew a lot of the series' famed freeform gameplay would be cut back in exchange for letting me play alongside my friends, but that was something that I, as a series newbie, was willing to sacrifice. But while my overall impression of the game was positive, I still have this lurking sensation that something important was missing.

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Previewing The Elder Scrolls Online: Massively goes to Tamriel

Betas, Fantasy, Screenshots, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), The Elder Scrolls Online

Have you heard that rumbling in the air over the last few months? That was the sound of millions of gamers grinding their teeth over The Elder Scrolls Online's unwavering NDA, a sound that grew ever louder as the game announced controversial preorder bonuses last month and passed the two-months-from-launch mark earlier this week. Fortunately for your dental health, that NDA is at least partly coming down today. The gaming press was invited to play a limited portion of the game last weekend, and though our readers are still under NDA, we're finally not, so at last we can pass along our experiences!

Today, we present to you our impressions of last weekend's preview event and the beta so far. We've got videos on character creation, thoughts on the starting zones and storytelling, guides to skill progression and racial perks, and an overview of the state of the game from an MMO player who isn't already a nut for the series. Enjoy!
The Elder Scrolls Online beta is absolutely nothing special
Eliot posts his general impressions of ESO as an MMORPG fan with no Elder Scrolls baggage.
A guide to character creation in The Elder Scrolls Online
Larry tackles ESO's robust character creation with an in-depth video. Butt sliders included.
A guide to skill progression in The Elder Scrolls Online
Matt investigates ESO's skills and character progression in the noble pursuit of battlemagery.
What do The Elder Scrolls Online's racial abilities mean for endgame?
Larry explores just how annoyed we should be about the Imperial Edition's perks.
Starting out in The Elder Scrolls Online: Coldharbour and Stros M'Kai
Matthew treks through the tutorial and Daggerfall Covenant zones.
Starting out in The Elder Scrolls Online: Bleakrock Isle and Khenarthi's Roost
Matt scopes out the early areas of ESO's Ebonheart Pact and Aldmeri Dominion factions.
Tamriel Infinium: Story and character in The Elder Scrolls Online
Larry considers the quality of ESO's pivotal players and introductory story.

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Starting out in The Elder Scrolls Online: Bleakrock Isle and Khenarthi's Roost

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Lore, Previews, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, Races, Humor, First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), The Elder Scrolls Online

Everyone knows that first impressions matter, and this is especially true for MMOs. The Elder Scrolls Online starts all players in Molag Bal's realm of Coldharbour, but after their escape, they're sent to a faction-specific starting zone, each with its own questline and flavor. While Massively's Matthew has Coldharbour and the Daggerfall Covenant's starting area covered in his own piece, I had the opportunity to make my way through the starter zones of the Ebonheart Pact and the Aldmeri Dominion.

The difference between the two is borderline comical. The Aldmeri Dominion is treated to a sunny tropical paradise, while the Ebonheart Pact fights its way through the frozen mountains of Skyrim. On top of that, they seem to be designed almost completely independently from one another.

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A guide to skill progression in The Elder Scrolls Online

Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, Previews, Hands-On, Events (Massively's Coverage), Guides, The Elder Scrolls Online

In any roleplaying game, a character's identity is largely defined by his abilities, and The Elder Scrolls Online is no exception. During their adventures in Tamriel, players will develop their characters in a variety of ways, including acquiring fancy new gear, but the core progression in ESO is found in its skill advancement system.

Many players of modern MMOs might be inclined to think of a character's abilities as being determined by that character's class, and that is indeed somewhat the case in ESO. However, ESO owes its genesis to a series of games renowned for its freedom of character development, and that legacy continues (albeit to a slightly lesser extent) in ESO's skill progression system, though it also takes ample cues from its contemporary MMOs as well.

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EQ Next Landmark livestream liveblog: Learn about claims!

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Livestream, Sandbox

Plenty of questions have been asked about land ownership in EverQuest Next Landmark, and some of those answers are on their way right now! Senior Producer Terry Michaels, Lead Game Designer Darrin McPherson, Senior Brand Manager Omeed Dariani, and Community Manager Colette "Dexella" Murphy are discussing claims in the official livestream going on now. Also on the docket: More details about the Landmark Community Celebration event at the end of this month.

If you can't tune in to the broadcast yourself over at Twitch, we've got you covered; watch the livestream below and follow along as Massively's MJ liveblogs all the juicy tidbits in the comments below.

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MMObility: CES highlights for mobile gaming enthusiasts

Culture, Events (Real-World), Previews, Mobile, Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous, MMObility

CES logo
Most years, I am unimpressed by CES, the Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas. Sure, I watch the feeds and keep an eye on the latest bits of technical glitter that pop out of the event, but generally I find 4K televisions that cost thousands of dollars to be about as exciting as a bag of dead hamsters. I don't care about the next wave of supercomputers, and I certainly have no interest in technically advanced cars that mostly innovate on ways to make people spend money.

What excites me about almost any trade show is the stuff you find in the corners of the show room: the smaller booths, the indie developers or the hints of up-and-coming tech that will eventually make our lives easier and more fun. And of course, I'm always excited to see tech that might bring mobile MMOs to the place they deserve to be, a place in our everyday lives. CES is exciting to me because it shows the potential and possibly inexpensive future of tech.

Thanks to Engadget, one of our sister sites, I was able to get more than an eyeful of neat mobile tech!

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Bridging the gap between casual and pro at the Chicago Dota 2 Winter Open

Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), Interviews, MMO Industry, PvP, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous, MOBA

Dota 2 Open
At Ignite Gaming Lounge in Chicago, Illinois, the crowd is losing its mind. It's grand finals of the Chicago Dota 2 Winter Open, a two-day, double-elimination, 16-team throwdown, and for some reason someone has just picked Meepo. For those of you who aren't in the Dota 2 loop, suffice to say that Meepo isn't a standard hero pick for a tournament. Picking Meepo in a match with $1,000 on the line is a lot like jumping out of a plane and wishing for a parachute -- an incredible, amazing story if it works and an embarrassing, painful death if it doesn't, with the odds heavily on the latter.

The announcers, broadcasting the match simultaneously on Dota TV (Dota 2's in-game spectating client) and Twitch, are dumbfounded. The chat channels are exploding. And as everyone witnesses the Meepo gamble pay off in the most incredible way, the excitement only expands and intensifies. But perhaps what's most special about this Meepo pick, about this final game between two local teams that have bested challenger after challenger, is not the risky strategy or the money on the line.

What's special is that anyone is watching it at all.

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Star Citizen livestream happening right now, and Massively's liveblogging it

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Star Citizen Fujin concept art
Guess what, Star Citizens? It's time for another Cloud Imperium livestream, that's what. It's not one of those 24-hour marathons, fortunately, but today's presentation should give us a better idea of where development stands on the space sim sandbox's dogfighting module.

According to the teaser post on the official website, Chris Roberts and company will also be talking up the latest hangar module tweaks as well as the Squadron 42 stand-alone campaign. If you're stuck at work or otherwise unable to tune into CIG's Twitch broadcast, don't sweat it. Massively's Jef is here to liveblog the full event. Be sure to refresh this post and its comments every so often to see what's happening.

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MMO Week in Review: It is your Destiny

Posted on Jul 27th 2014 6:00PM





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