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Interviews (Massively's)

Wings Over Atreia Exclusive: Aion 4.0 launches in June!

Fantasy, Aion, Business Models, Classes, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Expansions, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Interviews (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), Wings Over Atreia, Anniversaries

Wings Over Atreia Exclusive  Aion 40 launches in June!
Good news! (Well, at least for my police record.) As it turns out, I didn't have to resort to kidnapping to convince someone from NCsoft to talk to me about Aion at this year's GDC. I swear, Sean Orlikowski, the game's associate producer, came willingly.

It does, however, appear that in the fine print of the meeting proposal, I agreed to be outfitted with a special electronic device that would send massive jolts of electricity through my system if I tried to speak about something I shouldn't. So let's see how much I can share with you before this apparatus leaves me unconscious.

Can I tell you that Aion has a special celebration planned for the first anniversary of the Truly Free conversion? So far, so good, folks. Hmm... can I add that the next big expansion has a North American launch date planned without going unconscious... oh, appears so! OK, let's push this a little further: How about if I happened to mention that 4.0 will hit servers in June 2013 -- would I be zapped? Nope! So there you have it, folks: 4.0 is indeed going live in just two short months!

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GDC 2013: City of Steam demo showcases crafting and other streamlined features

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Interviews, New Titles, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Browser, Hands-On, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), City of Steam

GDC 2013  City of Steam demo showcases crafting and  other streamlined features
It may seem like a while has passed since we last experienced City of Steam, the fantasy steampunk MMORPG that fits in your browser. That's because it has! The game's last closed beta testing round was back in December, and fans have been eagerly waiting to get back into the city-state of Nexus. Of course there has been some news to tide us over in the meantime while developers have been turning all of that beta feedback into fixes and updates, but that's not the same; people want to play. Luckily, it's GDC to the rescue!

While the rest of the world won't actually get to access City of Steam until it launches open beta (which is anticipated to be within the next two months!), I was able to dive in and explore the fruits of the devs' winter labors. And let me tell you, they've put their time to good use! I met with Communications Manager Gabriel Laforge and Operations Director Andrew Woodruff from Mechanist Games who showed off all the work that has gone into the game since the beta closed, from graphics to crafting to airships. They also highlighted the game's cash shop and revealed numerous rewards players can earn simply by playing the game.

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GDC 2013: Hands-on with Vendetta Online on the iPad

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, Hands-On, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox

GDC 2013  Handson with Vendetta Online on the iPad
When we talk about getting our hands on a game at GDC for a little playtime, we don't usually get to literally grasp said game in our fingers. But that's exactly what happened when I tested out Vendetta Online on an iPad 3; instead of just relating to the space-based sandbox through the standard accessories like mouse, keyboard, or joystick, I held the entirety of the game universe in the palms of my hands. My own 10 digits were the only accessories. And the experience impressed me!

I had the opportunity to sit down with John Bergman, Founder and CEO of Guild Software, to talk about the new iOS platform for Vendetta Online while doing my best Goose impersonation (he's way better than Maverick) playing it.

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GDC 2013: The MMO impact of the Webzen and Gala-Net merge

Business Models, Events (Real-World), Interviews, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Interviews (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage)

GDC 2013  Interview sheds light on Webzen and Gala merge
Acquisition. Though it sounds pretty benign on its own, when used in reference to one developer taking over another, the word can inspire fear in the hearts of gamers. Questions quickly arise about the future of titles that fall on the acquired side of the equation. How will the games and players be affected by the change? Will there even still be a game?

I sat down with Claas Wolter (European PR Manager) and Deanna Peter (Marketing/PR Associate) to discuss just this topic regarding the recent purchase of Gala-Net (the parent company of gPotato) by Webzen and how that acquisition will affect Allods Online, Age of Wulin, Terras Militaris, and the company's other MMORPGs.

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GDC 2013: How APB exploded into a franchise

Business Models, Events (Real-World), Interviews, PvP, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, MMOFPS, Interviews (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage)

GDC 2013 How APB exploded into a franchise
By now, pretty much everyone knows the story of how GamersFirst swept in to save the DOA All Points Bulletin by relaunching it as APB: Reloaded. Since then, the title's done immensely well for the company and has prompted Reloaded Games to look into turning APB into a bona fide franchise.

How this happened was explained to us by PR Manager Darek Connole at GDC. Connole said that the devs are constantly taking suggestions from the community and sorting them into different buckets. While some of the buckets represent doable ideas, one bucket is full of great ideas that are impossible to implement in the current game.

"We're taking the NPCs from APB: Reloaded and bringing them into their own game," Connole said. "It's going to be a traditional first-person shooter, but it's also going to have non-traditional elements."

Read on to discover how APB's world is going to get a lot more crazy with APB: Vendetta -- and how the team is even thinking about future games in the same world.

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GDC 2013: Chris Roberts expounds on Star Citizen's crafting, economy

Sci-Fi, Contests, Economy, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Interviews (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), Some Assembly Required, Sandbox, Star Citizen

GDC 2013  Chris Roberts expounds on Star Citizen's crafting, economy
This week we have a special GDC edition of Some Assembly Required. I had the opportunity to sit down with Chris Roberts and talk about his highly anticipated space sim sandbox, Star Citizen. We talked lore, the game's PvP/PvE sliders and living universe concepts, guilds, and when players can expect to get in some dogfighting. Roberts also delved deeply into the crafting and economic aspects of the game.

If you miss the days of carving out a name for yourself and your wares and/or cornering the market and building an economic empire, you'll definitely want to keep an eye on Star Citizen.

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GDC 2013: PlanetSide 2's new app and the future of Forgelight

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

GDC 2013  Scrolling through PlanetSide 2's new app with Tramell Isaac
On Tuesday, SOE shared a trailer highlighting its Forgelight engine. The proprietary engine not only runs PlanetSide 2 but will also be the foundation for all the studio's future games, including EverQuest Next. The same press release also introduced the upcoming PS2 app. Although it won't be available to the public for a a bit, I had a chance to sit with senior art director Tramell Issac to see the app in action as well as discuss the Forgelight engine and what's coming up for PS2.

The app provides easy access to a ton of gameplay info, from personal stats to weapon information to real-time in-game map updates, and consequently there could be a marked decrease in workplace productivity in store for PS2 fans!

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GDC 2013: Age of Wushu's world is your playground

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Events (In-Game), Interviews, Launches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Interviews (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, Age of Wushu

GDC 2013 Age of Wushu
As Age of Wushu is just a couple of weeks away from launch at this point, catching up with Snail Games at GDC this year was one of our highest priorities. We tagged and bagged Associate Producer Colin Miller for a brief interview about the latest pre-launch decisions and preparations that the team is making.

Miller had a lot to say about the tweaks and improvements that have been done to this martial arts sandbox. A huge amount of work has been poured into cleaning up the localization over the beta period, not to mention the interface. "Most of our feedback was pretty negative on the UI that we had in place, so we've been trying to rework that a bit," he said. "Hopefully there's going to be some improvements there."

All systems are go for an April 10th launch, Miller assured us. Keep reading after the break for more on what Snail Games plans for Age of Wushu after it goes live.

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PAX East 2013: SOE's Linda Carlson on the state of the community

Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Business Models, Culture, Interviews, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Free Realms, Interviews (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), The Guild Counsel

The Guild Counsel  SOE's Linda Carlson on the state of the community
How many times have you found yourself asking, "Why won't the devs just listen?!" For any loyal MMO fan, it can be extremely frustrating to see feedback seemingly get ignored, and sometimes it feels as if there's a huge wall separating the fans from the developers.

Linda Carlson, SOE's Director of Global Community Relations, spoke with Massively at this year's PAX East to talk about SOE's efforts to break down that wall and improve the relationship between players and developers into something that's more collaborative, rather than contentious. Whether you're the most loyal SOE fan or someone who's vowed never to play another SOE game, you might be surprised at what she has to say.

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GDC 2013: DCUO's Andersen talks housing, hints at league version

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

GDC 2013 DCUO's Jens Andersen talks decorating, hints at league housing
We first learned about DC Universe Online's housing system last fall at SOE Live, where we got the scoop on the personal lairs coming in the Home Turf DLC from creative director Jens Andersen. At that time, he also shared his vision of expanding to include league housing sometime in the future.

While sitting down with Andersen for a chat at GDC yesterday, the conversation turned to the now two-month-old housing system. The discussion included how the community was utilizing this unique blend of housing and PvP duels. Andersen then shared some tips for decorating with an eye towards battles; he also hinted that league housing may be slated for making an appearance in one of the game's upcoming DLCs.

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GDC 2013: Dragon's Prophet demo and hands-on

Betas, Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), Dragon's Prophet

GDC 2013 Dragon's Prophet demo and handson dishes up details
Last fall, Runewaker and SOE announced Dragon's Prophet, a free-to-play fantasy game focused on -- you guessed it -- dragons. Since then, we've been treated to various videos detailing the classes, the starter zones, and other gameplay. Just last week the game entered closed beta in North America, allowing select folks the chance to get in and test out the current stage of the game.

This week, I joined those folks in-game during my hands-on and demo at this year's GDC. I was also able to talk with senior producer Todd Carson and associate producer Rod Haza as they demonstrated different aspects of the game at the convention. What delectable tidbits of information about classes, housing, and (of course) dragons did I uncover? The answer awaits after the break.

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SWTOR's Jeff Hickman on the expansion and the state of the game

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Interviews, Patches, Free-to-Play, Interviews (Massively's), Star Wars: The Old Republic

Massively Interview SWTOR's Jeff Hickman reveals more about the Cartel expansion
The Massively Bothan spy network is at it again; there are just too many unanswered questions about the new Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion. We know the primary focus of Rise of the Hutt Cartel is on the contested world of Makeb, but what about these rumors of additional content? Does this expansion have more to offer? We cornered Executive Producer Jeff Hickman and interrogated him until he spilled the beans. And since our IT-O droid was feeling frisky and our Bavo Six supply was ample, we asked Hickman a couple of question regarding the state of the game blog he posted on the SWTOR website as well.

Fortunately, he answered our questions before we were forced to test the firepower of the Massively battlestation on his home planet of Alderaan. Now we can reveal his answers to the whole galaxy.

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PAX East 2013: Hands-on with The Repopulation

Sci-Fi, Classes, Economy, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, Previews, Hands-On, Interviews (Massively's), Hands-On (Massively's), Miscellaneous, Sandbox, Crafting, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

PAX East 2013  Handson with the Repopulation
Ever since its successful Kickstarter campaign, The Repopulation has been progressing along at an impressive pace. And if PAX East was any indication, the game shows no signs of slowing down as it approaches beta and zeroes in on a launch date.

This weekend, I had a chance to speak with lead developer Joshua Halls, who took the time to walk me through the sandbox MMO and give me an update on what's new and what's still in the works.

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PAX East 2013: SOE's Dave Georgeson on EQ Next and the future of online gaming

Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Culture, Events (Real-World), Interviews, MMO Industry, Previews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Interviews (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Crafting

PAX East 2013  SOE's Dave Georgeson talks EQ Next, and the future of online gaming
If there's one pastime that MMO fans share, it's making predictions. Which games will succeed, and which ones will struggle? Which will go free-to-play, merge servers, or even shut down? And will there ever be an MMO that's crowned as the WoW-killer?

But what about the bigger picture of online gaming in general? We've seen it come a long way over the past decades, and it's not always easy to see where it's headed. SOE's director of development of the EverQuest franchise, Dave Georgeson, sat down with Massively at PAX East this year to prognosticate on the future of online gaming. And of course, part of that future includes EQ Next, and while he still can't talk specifics, he did shed some light on the philosophy behind the game's design, with some hints about what players might see when it's revealed at SOE Live this summer.

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PAX East 2013: Red 5 on Firefall's new gaming TV channel

Betas, Galleries, Screenshots, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Previews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Interviews (Massively's), Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous, Firefall

PAX East 2013  Red 5 talks Firefall, and reveals a new gaming TV channel
Red 5 Studios' MMOFPS Firefall is probably familiar to the Massively family, but it presentation Friday at PAX East was a chance to get a look behind the curtain at how far it's come and how far it has to go during testing.

CEO Mark Kern and Lead Game Designer Scott Youngblood presented a little history of the game's development so far, with a look to the future. But if that's not enough to get you to gear up and plant a Thumper, maybe their announcement about a brand-new video channel devoted to everything and anything involving gaming will catch your interest.

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