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Events (Massively's Coverage)

PAX Prime 2013 and FFXIV relaunch event in pictures

Galleries, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Humor, Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous

A gallery of PAX Prime 2013 and the FFXIVARR launch event
This year's PAX Prime has come and gone, but during my trip I snapped a bundle of pictures we're pretty sure you're going to love. Enjoy some booths, crowds, games, and quite a bit of the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn launch event. Even Jesus showed up for my photo shoot!

PAX Prime 2013 and FFXIV relaunch event gallery

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PAX Prime 2013: Breaking tables in DC Universe Online

Super-hero, Game Mechanics, Previews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Consoles, First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), MMORPG

During this year's PAX Prime, I was able to grab some hands-on time with the PlayStation 4 version of DC Universe Online. The demo was made up of content from the brand-new DLC, Sons of Trigon. The DLC features three new duos and an alert, whereas I feature slightly rusty DCUO skills.

In fact, nearly all of my DCUO experience has been with a keyboard and mouse, so I reached for the controller with hesitation. I managed to pull slightly more confidence from a long history of PlayStation gaming and Sony's staunch refusal to change the basic layout of its controller for 19 years and counting.

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Ask Massively: The best and worst of PAX Prime 2013

Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Ask Massively, Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous

The best and worst of PAX Prime 2013
PAX Prime is the last major western gaming con of the year, and we'd like to believe it's given us all something to think about as we head into a winter full of special snowflake games. Alas, PAX Prime this year seems to have left us all bewildered at best and underwhelmed at worst, at least when it comes to pure MMORPGs.

Now it's time to explain why. We're going to tell you about what was for us the most surprising reveal, the most disappointing offering, and of course, the best MMO in show. The ground rules for our discussion? They're basically the same as for E3:
  • It had to be a game or topic we can justify covering on Massively.
  • Every staff member was permitted to chime in (though not all did).
  • We stuck to three big categories rather than create so many that every game could "win" something, not that these are really awards.
Roll the dice!

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PAX Prime 2013: Guild Wars 2's Jon Peters on the state of PvP

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Interviews, Guild Wars 2, Events (Massively's Coverage), MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

PAX Prime 2013 An informal talk with ArenaNet's Jon Peters
At this year's PAX Prime, we attended a party hosted by ArenaNet at which the studio demoed the second world of Super Adventure Box. There was a raffle, plenty of drinks, and a lot of ANet people. In fact, I mentioned to ArenaNet's reps that I was really into competitive play, PvP, and e-sports. Not five minutes later, I was introduced to Jon Peters, lead gameplay designer for Guild Wars 2. I was a bit intimidated; I mean, this was the guy who singlehandedly created over 70% of the skills in GW2! But he was surprisingly down-to-earth with our conversation.

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PAX Prime 2013: Riot Games' Whalen Rozelle on LoL Season 3

Events (Real-World), Interviews, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), MOBA, League of Legends

PAX Prime 2013 Talking with Riot Games' Whalen Rhozelle about LoL Season 3
I was really excited to step into Riot's press room on Friday at PAX Prime. We had just finished the first series of matches of the day, and it was pretty exciting to talk to people about the matches yet to come. But I don't think anyone was more excited to talk about League of Legends' e-sports scene than Whalen Rozelle, or RiotMagus as he's known on the internet.

As the senior e-sports manager at Riot, he's tasked with making sure that events run smoothly, and I took the opportunity to ask him about the format for Season 3 -- especially improvements over Season 2 and the lessons Riot will be taking into Season 4.

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PAX Prime 2013: I played Smashmuck Champions and it was golden

Betas, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Events (Massively's Coverage), MOBA

PAX Prime 2013 I played Smashmuck Champions and it was golden
There were some pretty great games at this year's PAX Prime, but if there's one new game I played that I couldn't wait to go home and install, it was Smashmuck Champions. Currently in open beta, the game features a MOBA-like control scheme combined with faster-paced arena action. The guys at the booth joked about how they hated the term MOBA, but there are few games that fit the term "multiplayer online battle arena" better than Smashmuck.

Allen White, art director for the game, led me through the matches. He was a pretty big help, answering all of my questions while I stomped all over the other con-goers. Unlike the typical MOBA, Smashmuck has a low barrier of entry, a lot of game modes, and an easy learning curve, and it's just plain lots of fun. You're doing yourself a disservice by not installing the game right now.

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PAX Prime 2013: SMITE's graphical updates, 10v10 mode, and e-sports

Events (Real-World), Interviews, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), MOBA

PAX Prime 2013 SMITE getting graphical updates, 10v10 mode, and esports
I found myself in unfamiliar waters as I waded into the Twitch booth at this year's PAX Prime. All around me were gamers -- but not just any gamers. These guys were wearing jerseys with sponsorship logos and carrying custom gaming mice and headsets. These guys were pro gamers, and they were there to play SMITE.

I had a different agenda, so I tracked down Hi-Rez chief operating officer Todd Harris to talk about upcoming changes to the game. He admitted to me that his team isn't doing a lot of big changes, but that is largely due to the game's continuing success. He did have a few things to show me, though.

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PAX Prime 2013: World of Tanks blitzes onto the 360

Betas, Historical, Events (Real-World), Interviews, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Consoles, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), World of Tanks, World of Warplanes

PAX Prime 2013 World of Tanks blitzes onto the 360
While there was definitely some buzz at the PAX Prime Wargaming booth about World of Warplanes, which will get its commercial launch on September 26th, World of Tanks was the main source. Not only is Wargaming planning to integrate accounts for both Tanks and Warplanes, but it also has the XBox 360 version of World of Tanks in closed beta.

I sat down with some of the Wargaming guys and attempted to play the new 360 version. I struggled a bit with the console controls, but that had more to do with a lack of familiarity than anything else. As I played, we discussed how Wargaming has rebuilt WoT from the ground up for the console market.

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PAX Prime 2013: Adjusting butts in Elder Scrolls Online

Fantasy, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Previews, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, Events (Massively's Coverage), The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription, MMORPG

PAX Prime 2013 Adjusting butts in Elder Scrolls Online
After my hands-on demo at E3, I was cautiously optimistic about sitting down for another hour of Elder Scrolls Online at this year's PAX Prime. I was ushered into the press demo area and immediately dived into character creation. There were significantly more options available here than during my last demo just a few months ago. Among the additions was a feature I'm sure you've been waiting for: the "posterior dimensions" slider.

Beyond butts, the variety of the options Bethesda brought to PAX Prime was pretty impressive. I spent more time in character creation than I expected, even customizing my stomach size. After I decided on the appropriate butt girth, I loaded into the snowy, nordic area of Bleakrock Isle and immediately spent a solid 10 minutes exploring my option menus.

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PAX Prime 2013: Behaviour on WAR40K Eternal Crusade's friendly fire, ARG, and more

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Events (Massively's Coverage), Warhammer 40k

PAX Prime 2013 - Behaviour on WAR40K Eternal Crusade's friendly fire, ARG, and more
Massively spoke with Behaviour Interactive at last weekend's PAX Prime, and the topic of the day was of course the company's take on the Warhammer 40K license. Eternal Crusade, as the upcoming sci-fi title is known, is an unapologetically group-focused take on the genre.

Join us after the cut as we break down our chat with Behaviour studio head Miguel Caron and talk about space marines, ARGs, and friendly fire.

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PAX Prime 2013: A doomsday strike to the heart of Infinite Crisis

Betas, Super-hero, Events (Real-World), Interviews, Previews, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), MOBA, Infinite Crisis

PAX Prime 2013 A doomsday strike to the heart of Infinite Crisis
I think I'd be a lousy MOBA level designer. I'd always wondered why PvP and MOBA maps came few and far between; after all, how hard is it to whip up a quick level? I realized my ignorance after listening to Turbine Creative Director Cardell Kerr talk about the immense amount of thought and planning that goes into a single map.

Kerr and his team were showing off Infinite Crisis, the upcoming DC superhero MOBA, at PAX Prime this weekend, with constant matches taking place between superhero-wannabes. As with most everything at PAX, it's a mix of promotion, information, and entertainment, although I got the feeling that the team also had something to prove. After all, everyone seems to be making MOBAs these days to catch some of that League of Legends/Dota 2 money, and because such, it's triply important that an upstart have a way of distinguishing itself from the pack. Merely having Wonder Woman and Batman show up won't be enough these days (although it certainly doesn't hurt).

So what is Infinite Crisis angling to do that will make this the MOBA you'll click on more than the others? It comes down to options: options how to play your game, options how to exploit advantages on a map, and options when it comes to game modes.

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PAX Prime 2013: The Repopulation hunkers down for a siege

Betas, Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), Interviews, Previews, PvP, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, The Repopulation

PAX Prime 2013 The Repopulation stays in siege mode for now
If EverQuest Next is the big dog of the upcoming sandbox MMO set, then The Repopulation is on the other end of the spectrum. The title is still in alpha testing with only a few hundred players participating, the team is spread across the globe, and the studio is looking for a publisher to help give the title the financial backing it sorely needs. Even so, the folks at Above and Beyond Technologies have an obvious passion for the project and were plainly eager to talk about it at PAX Prime.

Tucked away in the Indie Megabooth area, The Repopulation devs invited players to sit down with a laptop and take part in testing the game's siege mode. I chatted up the developers -- who are head-over-heels enthusiastic about The Repopulation, by the way -- and got my first look at what PvP a sandbox hath wrought.

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Dragon Con 2013: Star Citizen's Lesnick and Haddock on player feedback, CitizenCon, and more

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

Dragon Con 2013 - Star Citizen's Lesnick and Haddock on player feedback, CitizenCon, and more
It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Cloud Imperium Games. The makers of Star Citizen jetted to Cologne, Germany, for Gamescom, released the game's first live module, and traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, to chat up the BDSSE (that's best damn space sim ever, for the uninitiated) at Dragon Con.

We caught up with designer and community manager Ben Lesnick and lead writer Dave Haddock for an update on all the Star Citizen things. Well, OK. Some of the Star Citizen things. Join us after the cut for tidbits on the dogfighting alpha, CitizenCon, and more.

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The Daily Grind: What was your favorite piece of PAX Prime news?

Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, The Daily Grind, Events (Massively's Coverage)

The Daily Grind - What was your favorite piece of PAX Prime news?
Usually we preface Daily Grind questions like this one with a lengthy preamble. Sometimes it's borne of our personal experience relative to the gaming topic at hand. Sometimes it's for restating an earlier news post or opinion column that we're about to reference with our question. And sometimes it's an unabashed rant or love letter to a game, dev, or mechanic that was inspiring enough to warrant a post.

This Daily Grind has no such preamble. In fact, it's basically just some filler text designed to look pretty on the page and provide an easy visual segue into the question that you already read up there in the title. So, let me state it again in case you missed it. What was your favorite piece of PAX Prime news?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

MMO Week in Review: The MMOs and MOBAs of PAX Prime (so far)

Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Events (Massively's Coverage), Week in Review, Miscellaneous

Photo by Jasmine Hruschak
At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO or WoW Insider story last week, you've come to the right post.

Massively's Justin Olivetti, Patrick Mackey, and Jasmine Hruschak are heroes, folks. They've braved the dangers of con-flu, the lines of rabid fans, and the annoyances of blazingly short demos, all to bring you, the reader, a glimpse of what PAX Prime is all about. It turns out it's mostly about running to appointments, which sort of tarnishes the glamour. But in between all the running, there's WildStar, Guild Wars 2, EverQuest Next, and The Crew. We think you'll agree their sacrifice is worth it, especially since they were the ones making it.

Read on for the complete roundup of Massively's PAX coverage (so far), plus the highlights from the Final Fantasy XIV relaunch and the rest of this week's top stories.

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