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MMO Week in Review: Are you Elite or Dangerous?

Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

Elite Dangerous
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.

In spite of its ongoing offline mode controversy, Elite: Dangerous formally launched this week, earning congratulations from rival Star Citizen's Chris Roberts, who's said he'll be playing Elite himself over the holidays. Massively's Brendan Drain has been zipping around in this online sequel to Elite and examined it in comparison to internet spaceship genre cornerstone EVE Online.

We also brought to a close Massively's 2014 awards series and our predictions for next year.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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WRUP: Expanshapaign is too a word

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Welcome back to Massively's What Are You Playing, the game in which we tell you what we're playing this weekend and you tell us what Guild Wars 2's much-prophesied expanshapaign should look like.

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Betawatch: December 13 - 19, 2014

Betas, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

Elite Dangerous
Elite: Dangerous formally launched this week, departing our Betawatch (Gammawatch?) list and flying free into the wilds of the MMO jungle. What else is new in the land of MMO testing?
  • Landmark's closed beta launched PvE combat this week; SOE says it will shift full-time to working on EverQuest Next in early 2015.
  • Shroud of the Avatar's devs spoke to us about its community and development process.
  • Black Desert officially launched into open beta in Korea.
  • Sandvox SkySaga began its alpha phase for UK players.
  • Skyforge launched a beta contest and demoed two classes.
  • Cabal II's closed beta is taking signups; the first focus test is slated for this weekend.
  • Valiance Online kicked off a Steam Greenlight campaign. It's currently in pre-alpha stress testing.
  • Space strategy MMO AD2460 leaves testing and launches on December 29th.
  • MapleStory 2 will begin closed beta signups in Korea next week.
  • Albion Online's winter test begins January 26th.
  • Rainbow Saga softlaunched into open beta.
  • MMORTS Siegelord's closed beta began this week as well.
Read on for the complete Betawatch list.

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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: MMO of the Year

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards come to a close today with our 12th and final award, this one the biggun (and usually the most contentious): our MMO of the Year. To be eligible for this award, MMOs must have launched in 2014, full stop. (If you want to know what would win the staff's best-MMO-ever vote, it's Star Wars Galaxies, and now I've saved us all that discussion, and you're welcome.) All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Best MMO of 2014 is...

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The Daily Grind: What MMO do you wish you hadn't waited to try?

Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Marvel Heroes, Hands-On, Miscellaneous, OARPG

Marvel Heroes
Marvel Heroes is one of those MMOs (OK, pseudo-MMOs) that I reaaaaallly should have given a try a long time ago. Diablo-clone? Check! Superheroes? Check! Picking cars up and slamming them into the pavement? Check! Loot falling outta the sky? Check! When I finally gave it a spin earlier this month, I felt silly for having waited so long, but I kept telling myself it wasn't different enough from the OARPGs I already had to make it worth the download.

Plus, lookit how pretty this part of the UI is. I mean, that is color wheel gamer nirvana right there. I can't even explain how much I want to hug this tab. Happy Christmas to me; now I have a new game with a ton of content stocked up and just waiting for me.

What about you, Massively readers? What MMO are you kicking yourself for not having tried sooner?

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!

The Think Tank: Massively's MMO industry predictions for 2015

Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Humor, Miscellaneous

SWTOR
It's that time of year for looking ahead and trying to predict just what will happen in the MMO industry in the year ahead of us. Will we play it safe this year or predict all sorts of wild and crazy things that everyone can quote and laugh about next December? Magic 8 ball says yes. Go big or go home when it comes to predictions!

Join the Massively staffers for this next-to-last Think Tank of the year and share your own predictions in the comments.

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Steam discounts lots of MMOs for the holidays

Business Models, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Promotions, Miscellaneous

Steam
Steam's winter sale is upon us, which means it's time to celebrate the season the way gamers do: by opening up our wallets. Here are just some of the MMOs running sales through Steam: Anybody spot anything else?

Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Most Anticipated for 2015 and Beyond

MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Most Anticipated MMO for 2015 and Beyond. Pretty much every MMO that isn't out yet or is planning a major content update in 2015 was eligible for this award. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Most Anticipated MMO for 2015 and Beyond is...

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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Best Update or Expansion of the Year

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Best Update or Expansion of the Year. Every patch, be it small freebie update or traditional paid expansion, was eligible for this category, as long as it released in 2014. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Best Update or Expansion of 2014 is...

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Massively Speaking Episode 325: End of the year roundtable

Podcasts, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

elite dangerous
2014 was a heck of a year here at Massively. And for all of the ups and downs that we weathered, we like to think that we've emerged a little smarter, a little wiser, and a little ready for a less dramatic 2015. On today's episode, we invited to staff to come in talk about MMOs we've played, our awards picks, and what we're going to do in the new year.

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
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Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Most Likely to Flop

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Most Likely to Flop in the coming years. This'd be a released or announced MMO that we think has little chance of performing to expectations, even if it may not capsize completely (though we're happy to be proven wrong!). All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Most Likely to Flop in 2015 and Beyond...

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Elite: Dangerous' launch-day roundup

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Business Models, Launches, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Elite
Successfully Kickstarted just over two years ago, David Braben's space MMO Elite: Dangerous formally launched early this morning, a rare buy-to-play entry in the MMO market and one of the most high-profile Kickstarter MMOs to actually reach launch to date. If you're heading to the comments right now to inform us that Elite isn't an MMO because of its single-player mode, know that the tide's against you; even Frontier, in the midst of controversy over the cancelation of its originally promised offline mode, justified that decision because Elite is an MMO and "technically [...] always has been."

Elite: Dangerous won Massively's Most Underrated MMO of the year by a hair just last week. Check out the launch trailer and our roundup of the best Elite news, streams, and hands-on articles by the Massively staff below!

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The Daily Grind: What's the best MMO for solo play?

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

SWTOR
One of the comment tropes we see repeated over and over below our articles is this idea that if you're soloing in an MMORPG, you're in violation of the rules of the genre. I despise that idea so much that I even wrote a whole rant about it. The fact that a game is massively multiplayer does not mean that you need to be playing directly with other people at all let alone all the time, and it definitely doesn't mean you need to be grouped up performing completely arbitrary combat activities, which is usually how the argument goes. MMORPGs without groups and without combat debunk that construct handily. The genre is way bigger than that limited definition; the options are what make it great, not the requirements.

A lot of MMO gamers solo for so very many reasons: don't like other games, don't want to hold anyone back, don't want to be held back, might need to AFK, feel too shy, don't speak the language, or just prefer solo challenges and want to be measured for them against that massively multiplayer backdrop.

That leads me to today's question: Which MMORPG is the absolute best for a gamer who likes to solo but wants to do it "alone together" alongside lots of other people?

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!

Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Biggest MMO Blunder of 2014

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Biggest MMO Blunder of the year. This is also not a fun award to give or receive, but criticism is a necessary element of growth. This category focuses on a mistake made by a game or developer or the genre as a whole, something that has far-reaching negative consequences for the industry. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Biggest MMO Blunder of 2014 is...

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MMO Week in Review: Zombies incoming

Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

H1Z1
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.

SOE announced this week that its post-apoc zombie survival sandbox MMO (do we have an acronym for that yet?) H1Z1 will enter early access testing on January 15th. Like Landmark's beta before it, H1Z1's early access represents a serious test phase, says studio boss John Smedley. Tickets for early entry will run you just under 20 bucks.

And don't forget Massively's ongoing 2014 awards, the first seven of which have already been announced. We're leading up to our MMO of the year on Friday!

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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