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Massively Speaking Episode 331: The long goodbye

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

Recent events call for a total podcast party, dontcha think? Join us for one last episode (or is it?) as the entire crew recounts favorite Massively memories and says goodbye (for the moment!) to our wonderful listening audience.

NSFW warning: The stinger on the end is not safe for work or children.

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!

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Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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WRUP: Trolls and all

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Ok, so I smudged the comments a bit
Welcome back to Massively's What Are You Playing, the game in which we tell you what we're playing this weekend and you point out to me that it hasn't been six months yet. But what are you going to do about it -- fire me? Man, this kinda stuff still makes me grin, and I will miss you, my favorite trolls and all.

Why are we still doing this? Because this is what we do.

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Betawatch: January 24 - 30, 2015

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

In the last act, people still await revivals.
Valiance Online will soon be available on Steam Greenlight, making it the first of the spiritual City of Heroes revivals to make it to that hallowed step. That's right, folks, we were the sacrifice required to save City of Heroes. We would have brought back Star Wars Galaxies too, but you know, it's almost February, and ewoks in cupid wings? No. Jump on past the break for our list of other games in testing!

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Massively-that-was

Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Opinion, Massively Meta, Ask Massively, Miscellaneous, Working As Intended

I'ma let you finish, but Star Wars Galaxies was the best MMO of all time.
I have sad news for the Massively staff and community today, news most of you already knew was coming.

This week, we learned our AOL overlords have decided that they no longer wish to be in the enthusiast blog business and are shutting all of them down. This mass-sunset includes decade-old gaming journalism icon Joystiq, and therefore, it includes us. February 3rd, 2015, will be the final day of operation for Massively-that-was.

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The Think Tank: Repairing the 'social' in MMORPGs

Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Roleplaying, Community Q&A, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

Our writeup of the Why aren't MMOs more social? panel from PAX South last weekend racked up almost 500 comments, and for good reason: Interaction is at the heart of making MMOs more sticky. But is it going away, and if so, why, and how do we get it back? That's the subject of this week's Think Tank.

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The Stream Team: Hug it out in Final Fantasy XIV

Fantasy, Video, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Final Fantasy XIV, Livestream, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

FFXIV
You know what's awesome? Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, that's what. Join Massively's Mike Foster tonight as he crushes some hard mode encounters from the perspective of a White Mage. Or, more realistically, join Massively's Mike Foster as he wipes over and over again in encounters that the rest of FFXIV's player base can probably do blindfolded.

The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EST!

Game: Final Fantasy XIV
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, January 29th, 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Daily Grind: What's the ideal guild size in an MMO?

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

Last week, a Massively commenter mentioned that he was in a 700-person guild in The Elder Scrolls Online. Yep, you read that number right! He inspired an impromptu discussion about the problems inherent in a guild of that size, such as the difficulties of managing it, the potential for dozens of smaller cliques, and the frequently negative impact a big mob of people can have on a server community and a game's development.

Personally, I found that a 50-person guild was a real challenge to lead well; I prefer a much smaller group, 20 members or so, just enough that I feel I know everyone well and there aren't competing cliques of people creating drama. Conveniently, that's the kind of guild I'm in, too. How about you? What's the ideal guild size in an MMO?

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 Daily Grind: Are there any MMO dailies that don't make you cringe?

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

GTA Online
You know what I don't think MMOs need more of? Dailies. I think most core MMO gamers are tired of a mechanic that exists, transparently and unashamedly, to keep us completing repetitive tasks on a daily basis and keep us logging in, and in some cases, paying our subs. Even a well-constructed daily achievement system and totally benign daily login rewards can be irritating.

But out on the fringes of the MMO space, gamers are just discovering the allure of the daily. VG247 pubbed an editorial last week arguing that GTA Online ought to copy -- wait for it -- Destiny's "intrinsic" dailies and rewards; without them, the writer opined, players are "reminded that the grind is most certainly real."

Call me jaded, but I say themepark dailies are usually just as grindy as whatever formless grind they're meant to replace, and I suspect the players who need something to do at the "end" of online co-op shooters would probably be happier with a sandboxier MMORPG to begin with. But surely there's some sort of dailies that we do like. Are there any MMO dailies that don't make you cringe? Which game can boast the best? (And can we tell GTA Online to copy those, please?)

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!

Not So Massively: The pseudo-MMOs of PAX South 2015

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warships, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

NSM - Gigantic
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

This past weekend was PAX South 2015, the first PAX held in San Antonio, and our reporters covered not-so-massive online games in addition to MMORPGs, including Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Shroud of the Avatar, Gigantic, Moonrise and State of Decay, Pox Nora, and TUG. Here's what else the week brought not-so-massive fans.

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MMO Week in Review: Expansion or riot

Business Models, Events (Real-World), Expansions, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous

GW2
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.

You gotta love a week with tons of huge MMO news! Guild Wars 2 avoided a riot by announcing its first expansion, The Elder Scrolls Online revealed it's going buy-to-play ahead of its June console launch, and Star Citizen declared that its persistent MMO portion will roll out to testers this year. Meanwhile, PAX South has wrapped up; here's a look at what we've published so far:
PAX South 2015: O'Brien and Johanson on Guild Wars 2's Heart of Thorns
PAX South 2015: Garriott and Long talk Shroud of the Avatar
PAX South 2015: Camelot Unchained's proactive community management
PAX South 2015: Hangin' with Frontier, playin' Elite on the Oculus Rift
PAX South 2015: SWTOR reveals its plans for this year
PAX South 2015: Notes from a Star Citizen town hall
PAX South 2015: Slaying giants in Motiga's Gigantic
PAX South 2015: The Untitled Game is whatever you want it to be
PAX South 2015: The Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns experience
Read on for the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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WRUP: Dropping all the subs

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

ESO
Welcome back to Massively's What Are You Playing, the game in which we tell you what we're playing this weekend and you guess, to the day, when WildStar will join ESO in dropping its sub. Winner gets the admiration of his peers!

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Betawatch: January 17 - 23, 2015

Betas, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

Star Citizen
This week, crowdfund legend Star Citizen laid out a testing timeline for the next two years; it plans to publish the "planetside/social" and FPS betas this spring, while alpha for the persistent universe portion of the game is expected before the end of 2015. What else is new in the world of MMO testing? Read on for the full Betawatch list.

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The Think Tank: Analyzing Elder Scrolls Online's B2P model

Fantasy, Business Models, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Elder Scrolls Online, The Think Tank, Buy-to-Play

Yesterday's reveal that The Elder Scrolls Online will go buy-to-play in March has prompted much speculation about the nature of the cash shop, the ethics of the switchover, the continued viability of the game, and the quality, cost, and frequency of the promised DLC. In today's Think Tank, the Massively staff will discuss the decision. Is B2P the right call for ESO? Was the exceedingly long delay of the console launch a huge mistake? What do we expect from the DLC? And is "Tamriel Unlimited" in fact the worst rebrand ever?

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The Daily Grind: Will you play Elder Scrolls Online once it's B2P?

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, The Elder Scrolls Online, Buy-to-Play

Yesterday's news that The Elder Scrolls Online is going buy-to-play in time for its console launch surprised... well, not many of Massively's readers. You pretty much saw it coming. Some folks around here said this move was a certainty even before launch and consequently refused to buy it, deciding that patience would pay off. (And it did!)

But what about now? I admit I'm much more tempted by a game that isn't charging an unwarranted fee and isn't abusing a cash shop. B2P is a great model for gamers, especially when they avoid lockbox crap (yay!). How about you? If you didn't play ESO when it launched last April, will you give it a try in March when it's down to just a box fee, a mild cash shop, and more traditional DLC?

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!

PAX South 2015: Massively's Larry Everett to guest on MMO community panel

Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Previews, News Items, Massively Meta, Roleplaying, Events (Massively's Coverage), Community Q&A, Miscellaneous, Player-Generated Content

PAX South
For MMO fans headed to Penny Arcade's inaugural PAX South in San Antonio, Texas, this weekend, there's one panel not to miss: Where Did Multiplayer in MMOs Go?. Massively's Larry Everett will guest on the community-oriented panel, which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. local time on Friday in the Bobcat Theater. You can probably figure out the topic from the title, but here's the official blurb:
In early MMORPGs, interacting with other community members in places like taverns and main cities were a necessity for advancement and survival. Today, interacting with random players has become a rare event instead of the tools for survival. Is this what we all wanted to happen? Join Alex Albrecht alongside Larry Everett and Patrick Mulhern to discuss the future of communities in MMORPGs.
Larry will join Zerg ID Co-Founder Alex Albrecht, Lorehound Editor-in-Chief Patrick Mulhern, YouTube Gaming Strategic Partner Manager Meg Campbell, and Camelot Unchained Community Manager Jenesee Grey for the panel.

Massively's big sister Joystiq will also be represented at the show; Joystiq Editor in Chief Ludwig Kietzmann and Community Manager Anthony John Agnello will host the In(s)ane Joystiq Quiz on Saturday evening at 8 p.m. local time in the Falcon Theater.

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