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Hands-On (Massively's)

Why I Play: Star Wars: The Old Republic

Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Humor, Hands-On (Massively's), Star Wars: The Old Republic, Why I Play

Why I Play Star Wars The Old Republic
Star Wars is awesome, and Massively's Dylan is here to tell you why. He's a member of Massively's Stream Team, which produces live coverage of MMO titles every week with commentary and special features. So you won't be surprised to find out that this is an unconventional edition of Why I Play in that it's actually a livestream-style video rather than an article. Have a look and listen after the cut!

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The 'biggest game on the planet': WildStar's boundless ambition

Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Interviews, Lore, Previews, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, WildStar

Jeremy Gaffney runs on Diet Coke. A lot of it. He's boundless energy, and he's got boundless ambition to match. "We are trying to be the biggest game on the planet," the executive producer of Carbine Studios declared boldly to the handful of people in my WildStar demo in San Francisco last month.

But he's clearly no fool: "Our goal is to have the biggest game on the planet, not to have a crappy game that we shove out early." He's at ease when discussing the studio's two-year live plan, PAX East demo (there will be one), and the upcoming business model reveal ("fairly soon"), but even with closed beta coming in the next three months or so and a launch window targeted for the end of 2013, he clings to the mantra he must have learned from fellow NCsoft studio ArenaNet: "It's ready when it's ready."

It's not completely ready yet, but I did get a little tour of what is.

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WildStar reveals 2013 launch window, ambitious plans to make MMOs fun again

Betas, Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Hands-On, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), WildStar

Check it, y'all. I'm the cutest thing this side of Dominion space. And I'm clothed.
WildStar has won Massively's "most anticipated MMO" award for the past two years, even edging out Guild Wars 2 for the title in 2012. No pressure or anything, right? Fortunately, the game won't have an opportunity to go for three: As announced in this morning's state of the game letter, we can expect WildStar's closed beta within the next three months and a launch at the end of 2013 if all goes well during the testing process.

To mark the occasion, Carbine Studios invited press to the equivalent of a video game debutante ball in San Francisco to see just how much the sci-fantasy sandpark MMO has grown since our last tour (nearly two years ago). I escaped my Editor-in-Chief cage to attend the event and play the game, interrogate the developers, and judge whether those anticipated awards were well-deserved after all. Enjoy the fruits of my sneak peek!
The 'biggest game on the planet': WildStar's boundless ambition
Who better to explain WildStar's philosophy and mechanics than Executive Producer Jeremy Gaffney? I give my impressions of his talk, the demo, and my hands-on, then ruminate on the game's iterations, innovations, and ambitions.
Slap a rocket on a pig: WildStar's modding and PGC community
Carbine's Troy Hewitt outlines WildStar's grand plans for a massive modding community, a UI developer tool for the masses, player advisory committees, and player-generated content. "Social" is clearly not just a buzz-word.
You can't take the sky from me: WildStar's Exiles
You can't dip into a setting like WildStar's without hearing the familiar chords of Firefly's opening theme; the game's two factions brazenly mimic that IP's rustic space cowboys and refined imperial aristocracy. Here's a look at the Exiles.

MMO Burnout: Two weeks in the valley with Multi Theft Auto

Real-Life, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Roleplaying, Crime, Hands-On (Massively's), First Impressions, Sandbox, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout - Multi Theft Auto
OK, you know that guy who's always going on about how bloody awesome it would be if someone ever made a working multiplayer mod for Skyrim? If you don't know him, well, you do now, because he's me. Back before I was bitten in earnest by the MMO bug, I spent quite a lot of time messing with private servers of both the Jedi Academy and Neverwinter Nights persuasions. And when I say "messing with," I don't mean I logged into them, I mean I hosted them, made mods and skins for them, and generally wasted significant portions of my youth serving as a GM.

Needless to say, it was a blast, and the thought of having that experience again in a larger game world is just short of orgasmic. Alas, no one has made much of a multiplayer Skyrim mod yet, and while private servers for NWN and Neverwinter Nights 2 are still running and serving their niche communities quite capably, those are topics for another edition of MMO Burnout.

I'd like to tell you about something similar that I've been playing lately, though. It's called Multi Theft Auto.

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Hands-on with DUST 514 on the cusp of open beta

Betas, Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, EVE Online, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Previews, Opinion, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), DUST 514, Miscellaneous

DUST 514
Less than a week before DUST 514's January 22nd open beta launch, CCP invited Massively and other publications to attend an orbital bombardment event in San Francisco. We've been regularly reporting on the progress of the orbital bombardment system, but this time we witnessed the process in action. We also got a preview of the larger implications and long-term expectations of metagame elements that will exist between DUST and its sibling sandbox, EVE Online.

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Click-click-click: Massively's double-dose of Path of Exile impressions

Betas, Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Opinion, Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous

Path of Exile
New Zealand-based Grinding Gear Games has a challenge ahead of it: to convince a jaded gaming audience that its online action RPG Path of Exile can be more than just another Diablo III clone. Our Not So Massively crew has been following the game with great interest, zeroing in on its generously sprawling skill tree and item-customization systems in particular. And this Wednesday will see the launch of open beta, leaving only one question left to answer: click-click-click?

Well, maybe a few other questions too, like how does it play and is it worth my time? To get some first-hand experience with the latest edition of the game, Massively sent two freelancers -- Gavin Townsley and Jeffery Wright -- to two different Path of Exile developer events last week, one in San Francisco and the other in Los Angeles. Which city won in the quest for the coolest demo? You'll just have to read both to find out.


'Gearing' up for Path of Exile's launch with a demo and interview

Fantasy, Business Models, Classes, Economy, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Interviews, Opinion, Hands-On, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous

Path of Exile
Grinding Gear Games is finally gearing up (pun intended) for the launch of Path of Exile, an MMO dungeon-crawler that hopes to satisfy fanatics and casual gamers alike. The new title has been in closed beta for just the last few months of its six-year development cycle, and on January 23rd, it will hit open beta -- surely a relief for players eyeing the closed beta wistfully. Unfortunately for those who have been grinding away (yep, pun intended again) at hordes of monsters during the beta, there will be a character wipe, one that sets all characters, levels, items, experience, passive skills, active skills, and everything else back to zero.

I recently attended a live demo and got to chat about the game with reps from Grinding Gear in Los Angeles. Read on for my take!

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Piles of dead demons: A hands-on with Path of Exile

Betas, Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Business Models, Classes, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Previews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous

Piles of dead things
Path of Exile makes me smile. It isn't because of the gritty, dark setting or how a swing of my mace scatters disembodied monster pieces in every direction. It isn't the interesting design of the passive skill tree or the inclusion of PvP. What makes me smile is knowing that the kid inside me has finally found a worthy successor to the action RPG Diablo II. Oh, and it's free-to-play.

Grinding Gear Games begins the PoE open beta on January 23rd, 2013. This week I massacred hordes of various dark abominations with Lead Programmer Jonathan Rogers and Producer Chris Wilson in the brand-new Act III content.

And after my demo was finished, I almost felt bad for Diablo III.

Gallery: Path of Exile

  • Act 3 preview
  • PvP arena preview

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MMO Burnout: A week with id Software's Rage

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Reviews, Opinion, Hands-On, Hands-On (Massively's), Post-Apocalyptic, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout A week with id Software's Rage
So I've been dabbing in id Software's RAGE over the last little while. Actually, I'm not sure whether the late-2011 shooter is called RAGE or simply Rage, but either way, it has the worst (or perhaps least descriptive) video game name of all time.

Also, yes, I know it's not an MMO. This is MMO Burnout and I thought we were past that already.

Anyhow, I'm afraid I'm going to have to recommend the title to burned-out MMO gamers for several reasons. It's quite beautiful, quite fun, and it's the perfect getaway from the typical massively multiplayer grind.

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Hands-on with the Chinese war machines in World of Tanks' patch 8.3

Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Interviews, Patches, Previews, Opinion, War, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), World of Tanks

World of Tanks 8.3 Chinese Tanks
To keep a burgeoning community of 45 million registered users happy, the developers behind World of Tanks know to keep the content coming. After the overhauled graphics, physics, and sounds brought about by patch 8.0 last September, we're already on the cusp of version 8.3. It's out tomorrow, and that means 17 new tanks for the as-of-now-underserved Chinese tech tree.

"The Chinese are a middle-of-the-road tree," says Paul Hobbs, content manager with Wargaming.net. "They don't excel in any one attribute. They have high firepower, a fair amount of maneuverability, and decent armor and aim speed."

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MMO Burnout: Revisiting Gotham City Impostors

Super-hero, Game Mechanics, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On (Massively's), First Impressions, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout - Gotham City Impostors
Remember that scene in 2008's The Dark Knight where those nerdling Batman-wannabes were running around in imitation capes and cowls shooting at criminals with shotguns? That's pretty much what you get when you log into Gotham City Impostors, Monolith's garish, goofy first-person shooter set against the sprawling backdrop of DC Comics' legendary mythos.

And for all you MMO historians in the crowd, yes, that's the same Monolith that originally developed the late, great Matrix Online.

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Age of Wushu is probably the greatest sandbox you'll never play

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On (Massively's), First Impressions, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

age of wushu impressions
MMOs are old hat at this point. I don't want to say they're boring, because then what are we all doing here? There's a certain sameness, though, and we know exactly what to expect, when and where to expect it, and in most cases we're firmly entrenched in a particular gameplay comfort zone.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I sat down to play Age of Wushu last week and found something utterly unlike most of the genre in every way that matters. It's difficult to compare the sprawling martial arts saga to other titles, but if you're looking for AoW's closest MMO relative, it would have to be EVE Online.

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Choose My Adventure: Gaining favor with Darth Jadus

Sci-Fi, Polls, Screenshots, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Roleplaying, Hands-On (Massively's), Star Wars: The Old Republic, Choose My Adventure

Choose my Adventure
While the holidays have put a bit of a halt to most of my playing time in Star Wars: The Old Republic this week, I did manage to achieve level 16 on my Imperial Agent. He's now living it up on Dromund Kaas, getting ready to storm a castle. But some conflicting info from within the Empire's leadership has our pal Xel'es looking to possibly take orders from a new commander.

After this week's in-character story behind the cut, you can vote to choose my next move with Xel'es. Last week, you chose for him to become an Operative with Slicing, Underworld Trading, and Cybertech as his crew skills. I decided to make this week's poll something that wouldn't stop me from playing before the poll results came in, which killed a lot of potential playing time last week.

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MMO Burnout: Quality time with Guns of Icarus Online

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, Opinion, Hands-On, Hands-On (Massively's), First Impressions, MMO Burnout

MMO Burnout  20
Pardon me for being a fanboy, but I need to get this out of the way up front: Guns of Icarus Online is funking awesome. If you're OK with the fact that I couldn't make it past the 24th word of a 1000-word impressions piece without sharing that little nugget, keep reading and I'll tell you why this indie gem is in fact funking awesome... and why you should give it a whirl.

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Choose My Adventure: Of Hutts and men

Sci-Fi, Polls, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Roleplaying, Hands-On (Massively's), Star Wars: The Old Republic, Choose My Adventure

Choose my Adventure Of Hutts and men
The first week in my chosen game is behind me, and I must say I'm really enjoying myself in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Last week, you voted for me to make a brand-new male Chiss Imperial Agent on The Ebon Hawk server, so I built one heck of dark-sided, flirtatious character for us to play with for the next month or so.

Xel'es is an opportunist. His career as an agent for the Empire has proven rewarding, but a relocation assignment on Hutta is where he plans to shine for his superiors and prove himself as more than just a simple field agent.

I've reached level 11 on Xel'es, and I'm ready to start choosing his advanced class and crafting profession (if you decide he craft). Read on past the jump to read his story and help choose where he goes from here. And be warned, there are plenty of spoilers for the Imperial Agent storyline if that's a thing that bothers you.

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