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Events (Massively's Coverage)

SOE Live 2014: EverQuest II's Altar of Malice expansion and a 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. And if that wasn't enough, there are also dinosaurs. In addition to the expansion, sometime this fall players will have the opportunity to purchase access to a new playable race!

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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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Gamescom 2014: Guild Wars 2 preps $150k prize pool tourney, feature pack

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), PvP, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Events (Massively's Coverage), Buy-to-Play

GW2
If you were wondering what ArenaNet has planned for the fall break in Guild Wars 2's living world story content, wonder no more: The studio has just announced the September feature pack, which brings both PvE and PvP upgrades to the game. "Living World Season 2 will be going on break for a while as we count down to the arrival of the [feature pack]," says lead developer Colin Johanson. "You can look forward to the return of Season 2 in autumn, and we'll announce the start date for episode 5 after the feature pack has been released."

ArenaNet's attention at Gamescom, however, has been focused on competitive play. In keeping with its e-sports goals, the studio unveiled the World Tournament Series, a Guild Wars 2 competitive championship co-sponsored by Chinese publisher KongZhong. With its $150,000 prize pool, the series will draw qualifying players from the upcoming Tournament of Glory and debut in Beijing this fall.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

The Stream Team: A final farewell to Vanguard as it sunsets

Fantasy, Screenshots, Vanguard, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, The Stream Team, Sunsets

It's finally here: The end of the world. And that world is Vanguard's Telon. Tonight the game sunsets, and Massively's MJ will be there to wish it a fond farewell while celebrating all that's unique about it. She'll be sharing different Vanguard memories and inviting you to do the same. On top of that, there will be an end-of-the-world party that sails from continent to continent, ending at Ahgram with the biggest barge party. Join us live at 7:00 p.m. for the two-hour final farewell.

Game: Vanguard
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, July 31st, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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What you need to know about Guild Wars 2's second season living story

Fantasy, Expansions, Interviews, Patches, Guild Wars 2, Events (Massively's Coverage), Buy-to-Play

The wait for Guild Wars 2's Season 2 is finally over! Today, players will dig into the next arc of the living story with the new Gates of Maguuma content (or save the content for later by unlocking it in their story journals). What exactly is in store? If you don't mind a few spoilers, we've got some of those answers for you right now.

Back at E3 2014, ArenaNet Associate Game Director Steven Waller and Studio Design Director Chris Whiteside gave us a recap of the first season, but they also gave us a preview of the second. And yes, that next step is through a portal into a whole new zone!

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E3 2014: Warhammer 40K devs on development and founders packs

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, Events (Massively's Coverage), Warhammer 40k, Buy-to-Play

As part of an established IP, Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade has had a fanbase from the get-go. And those folks have been watching and proving the development of the MMO fairly closely. How closely will the game resemble the IP? Will it hold to the lore and fit into the known universe, or will it splinter off and do its own thing?

I sat down with Warhammer 40K Creative Director David Ghozland, Senior Producer Stephanie Marchand, and Behavior Online studio head Miguel Caron at E3 2014 to talk about how development is progressing, discuss how the MMO fits in to the IP, and find out more about founders packs.

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E3 2014: WildStar's Jeremy Gaffney introduces The Strain

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Patches, Events (Massively's Coverage), WildStar, Subscription

Although WildStar launched a mere week before E3 2014, that didn't mean the team didn't have exciting new things to talk about! In fact, Carbine President Jeremy Gaffney revealed the new content coming up at the end of the month. Fans, prepare yourself for the Strain!

If you think the moniker implies some hideous malady that results in freakish mutations, you're right on the money. From ferocious multi-fanged rowsdowers and giant gastrointestinal pustules to an emote that makes a purple alien mouth erupt from your chest, this new content created by the "intelligent virus" shows a whole new side of the planet Nexus. And I got a sneak peek of the new land, new dungeons, strain-infected gear, and other mutated goodies that await players in the Strain Ultradrop. As a bonus, we've even got the official trailer for you.

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E3 2014: Recapping Guild Wars 2's first season

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Interviews, Patches, Guild Wars 2, Events (Massively's Coverage), Buy-to-Play

With Season Two of Guild Wars 2's living story starting up on July 1st, players are eager for more information. So far, only snippets and clues have teased fans. To try and glean more details, I sat down with Associate Game Director Steven Waller and Studio Design Director Chris Whiteside at E3 2014. Before moving on to what lies in store, however, the devs wanted to look back at the impact of the first season. Oh, and they offered a new trailer that adds a bit more fuel to the teasing fire!

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E3 2014: A quick hands-on with Destiny

Sci-Fi, New Titles, News Items, Hands-On, Events (Massively's Coverage), Destiny

As much as you might want have wanted to sink your teeth into Destiny at E3 2014, the lines and waits were pretty long. Even after the wait, we were afforded but a small taste of what Bungie's upcoming shooter has to offer before the next group was shuffled through.

After watching a video that touted plenty of public events, three-man strikes, dungeons, and story content, I followed the herd into a room and was subsequently not allowed to play any of that. Instead, the machines were all set up in teams for multiplayer PvP matches only. Using pre-made con characters (players will be able to take their own characters in the competitive multiplayer mode at release), we dived right in to two back-to-back capture-the-flag scenarios. On the plus side, the two maps highlighted the good graphics and sported very different landscapes; besides the very distinct themes, one had vehicles to utilize, while the other did not. On the negative side, throwing together such random teams of folks who've never touched the game before led to a less-than-ideal experience in teamwork.

The brief play-test that focused only on PvP allowed for little in-depth exploration of the title. How's Destiny PvE and the rest of its sci-fi quasi-MMO experience? We'll let you know when beta opens July 17th on the PS4!

Massively's on the ground in Los Angeles during the week of June 10-12, bringing you all the best news from E3 2014. We're covering everything from WildStar and Landmark to Skyforge and H1Z1, so stay tuned!

E3 2014: Shroud of the Avatar's Garriott and Long emphasize immersion

Fantasy, Interviews, Hands-On, Events (Massively's Coverage), Crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar

Touted as the spiritual successor to Ultima Online by its creators, Shroud of the Avatar aims to fill a sandbox-shaped void in the modern MMOverse. Judging by the successful crowdfunding campaign and continued support by backers, I know there are plenty of players who are eager for that to happen and believe SotA is the game to do it.

Are backers getting what they paid for? One weekend every month they can jump in and experience a new release of the game and offer feedback to the development team. And thanks to E3 2014, I also got to jump in and get some hands-on time with the latest release of the game. On top of that, I spoke with Richard Garriott and Executive Producer Starr Long about everything from player economy and pay-to-win concerns to combat, immersion, and player-contributed content.

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E3 2014: PlanetSide 2 PS4 demo showcases visuals, performance

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

While PlanetSide 2 has been out since the end of 2012 on the PC, it isn't due out on PlayStation 4 until later this year. At E3 2014, we got a hands-on demo of the game with lead game designer Luke Sigmund and executive producer Clint Worley to check out how the console version of the MMOFPS is coming along. And it's definitely coming along.

Sigmund said that In order to get PS2 ready for release on the PS4, the team has been focusing a lot of attention on optimization and getting the controls feeling right. Currently, the team is doing daily playtests to get feedback on the look and feel of the builds. Sigmund emphasized, "The things we are focusing on for the PS4 are usability, new player experience, and optimization. For us, it's just a matter of getting it right. We don't want to put it out there and not be happy with the way it looks."

So how does it look right now? Pretty darn good!

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E3 2014: Hands-on with EVE Valkyrie and a chat about Legion

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Previews, Opinion, Hands-On, MMOFPS, First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, Virtual Reality

Valkyrie
Why does the guy who gets motion sickness keep getting sent out into space!? Someone on Massively's staff is really looking out for you guys and gals with weak stomachs because once again I was sent to chat with CCP about EVE universe stuff and take an Oculus Rift for a spin at this year's E3. Spoiler alert: I managed to keep down my breakfast and have fun.

First up was EVE Valkyrie, the virtual reality game that this time last year was still known as EVR. While the game looked a bit familiar, there were certainly some differences. First is the addition of Rán (it sounds like "roun"). Rán is sort of the first Valkyrie and your trainer, acting as sort of your flight instructor and mission debriefer, who helped give me a sense of setting. EVR was fun before, no doubt, but it was a stripped-down flight simulator (not a bad thing). Having a narrator makes it feel more like a game. The addition of some brighter and bolder colors helps boost immersion too.

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E3 2014: Fighting car bosses in Ubisoft's The Crew

Real-Life, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Previews, Opinion, Hands-On, Consoles, Races, Events (Massively's Coverage)

I still can't believe racing MMOs are a thing. I know some people say they're just racing games and not proper MMOs, but once you get inside something like The Crew, you'll find a lot of interesting stuff. I demoed Ubisoft's persistent-world racer at last year's E3, and this year's hands-on revealed some changes for the better.

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E3 2014: Underground and underwater with Landmark's Terry Michaels

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Patches, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

You didn't need to be at E3 2014 to partake in Landmark's latest (literally) groundbbreaking patch. In fact, if you were at the con as I was, chances are you haven't been able to log in and experience it for yourself yet! Luckily, Senior Producer Terry Michaels was on hand to offer me a peek at the new features before I broke down in heap of deprivation-induced agony from my Landmark withdrawals.

What was the big deal with this latest update? It included the first iteration of caves and the second phase of water. Players can now go spelunking deep in the earth to find large veins of minerals, explore uncharted biomes with new plants, and even find treasure chests filled with special items. On top of that, they can swim through the bright blue oceans that surround each island. As Michaels helped me get my Landmark fix, we talked about everything from the newest content to heroic movement to my pet topics: player books and theme-enforced islands. Oh, and did I mention that combat is planned to appear by SOE Live in August?

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E3 2014: The Elder Scrolls Online offers small-scale PvP at cons

Fantasy, PvP, Events (Massively's Coverage), The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

If you are one of the fans who has been begging for a smaller-scale PvP experience in The Elder Scrolls Online, E3 2014 offers a glimmer of hope. Instead of dishing out a large production, ESO offered attendees a a unique 3v3 experience that was made specially for the convention. The map itself, which utilizes art assets from Cyrodiil and is about the size of one fort (like Glademist), took the devs only about two weeks to put together. There are no kill counts or rankings, and players battle for control of a single flag in King of the Mountain-style gameplay.

The drop-in-and-play scenario has apparently been well-received; game representatives on the floor reported that players really like the size and the fast pace of it, which is perfect for short allotments of time. If you want to try out this small-scale PvP yourself, it will be be available again at both Gamescom and QuakeCon later this summer. And if you want to see a version make it into the game itself, be sure to let the devs know on the official forums!

Massively's on the ground in Los Angeles during the week of June 10-12, bringing you all the best news from E3 2014. We're covering everything from WildStar and Landmark to Skyforge and H1Z1, so stay tuned!

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