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Betawatch: June 28 - July 4, 2014

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

ArcheAge
This week, Trion Worlds explained the reasoning behind ArcheAge's closed beta delay; sandbox fans must now wait until mid-July for the anticipated closed beta events. What else is new in the world of MMO betas? The complete Betawatch roundup awaits.

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Massively's Fourth of July weekend MMO event roundup

Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Promotions, Miscellaneous

World of Tanks
It's Independence Day in the U.S., the day when gamers scarf down BBQ and try to flee family events so they can log back into MMOs. What? You know you do it. Here's a few of the events and sales and promotions MMO players can look forward to this weekend. If you know of one we missed, shout it out in the comments!
  • Marvel Heroes is boasting a "Red, White, and Loot" boost to rotating game modes, including increased loot drops.
  • Neverwinter has unleashed the Celebration of Lliira event, complete with fireworks and rewards.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic is granting double experience all weekend.
  • The Guardians of Gaia event returns to The Secret World in honor of its anniversary.
  • EverQuest II features a summer rebate sale on holiday items and more; classic EQ turned on double XP last night.
  • Age of Wushu has 10 different events going on this weekend. TEN.
  • TERA's gone live with a double-drop weekend.
  • World of Tanks celebrates Canada Day and Independence Day with discounts on cash-shop stuff and experience bonuses.
  • Fallen Earth is running sales and a new summer combat patch.
  • Champions Online has introduced Stars Tights and new Liberty Grav Bike. Vrooom.
  • The Brits behind RuneScape are hosting an in-game BBQ and offering Uncle Sam hats.
  • Enjoy a holiday bonus weekend in Dark Age of Camelot.
  • Black Gold Online has dedicated an in-game monument and promises streams and contests.
  • War Thunder offers discounts and RP boosts for USA victories.
  • DUST 514 is running an accelerated SP week.
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online has a double bonus point promotion in the official store.
  • SMITE still has the Ramerica eagle skin we can't stop giggling over. Wheeee.
  • Pirate101 has a Red, White, & Blue sale going on mounts, pets, and teleporters.

The Daily Grind: What's the best loot you've ever scored in an MMO?

News Items, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

WildStar
Everyone's got a a story or two about the time she scored that one really great piece of game-changing loot in an MMORPG. There was the time I won the piece I needed for my World of Warcraft Priest's Benediction/Anathema staff (still have it, too!). There was the time I landed a 120-skill powerscroll for my Disco-Archer in Ultima Online. And there was the time I lucked out on my first Guild Wars birthday and received a bone dragon, a minipet whose sale for a virtual fortune helped me bankroll my characters' gear and my obsessive trading habit for years to come.

Even if we wouldn't call ourselves lootmongers, we still love getting a new shiny -- the rarer, the better. What's the best loot you've ever scored in an MMO? Let's hear some juicy tales!

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 Speaking Episode 303: Back to normal

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

Justin's back from his trip and Bree's back from the baby convention (she got hecka swag), which means that Massively Speaking returns to its old patterns: slap fights, yo mama jokes, and keen critical insight into the online gaming industry. The summer's heating up and the podcast crew has a lot to say, so give it a listen!

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:
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
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Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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The Daily Grind: Do you like to tank in MMOs?

Classes, Game Mechanics, PvE, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Dungeons

No, the other kind of tank.
The very first serious MMO tank I ever played was my day-one Warrior in World of Warcraft. I'd had dozens of characters in MMOs before that, but I was too chicken to step up and actually tank endgame fights. After all, as Massively commenters pointed out, there's a lot more to tanking than just taunting the boss and knowing when to hit your specials. Tanks need leadership and game knowledge far exceeding what's expected of other party archetypes. They're expected to lead the party, to know how the fights work, and to keep everyone else in line. Tanking is setting yourself up for a world of stress and the judgment of strangers. Depending on your temperament, it can become unfun in a hurry.

I still play that Warrior when I resub, Protection-specced for all the days I've played her (minus an hour back in 2006 when I foolishly thought Fury might be nice for a change). But I'm always leery of dungeon-queueing with that character even though I love the actual mechanics of being the meatshield. What about you folks? Do you actually like tanking in MMOs? How do you overcome the stress?

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: Draenor drops

Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

WoW
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.

Blizzard has frustrated players with its penchant for wide content gaps between World of Warcraft expansions, but this week, the Warlords of Draenor closed beta finally got underway, suggesting it might make its December deadline after all. The studio also slashed prices on the current version of WoW, revealed new character models, previewed a new zone, and was helped along by a friendly Pandaren player.

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

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WRUP: For spacious skies

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 sign our petition to make Ra'merica the official mascot of SMITE. He might just be the only character in the whole game unlikely to offend anyone. Except eagles, I guess.

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Betawatch: June 21 - 27, 2014

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

Pathfinder
This week, sandbox hopeful Pathfinder Online kicked off a pay-to-play alpha for its Kickstarter donors and folks who bought access through the game's website. What else is new in the world of MMO betas? The complete Betawatch roundup is below.

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The Think Tank: Happy birthday, Star Wars Galaxies

Sci-Fi, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, Anniversaries, The Think Tank

Today marks the 11th anniversary of the launch of Star Wars Galaxies, an MMO whose untimely sunset at the end of 2011 continues to make sandbox fans sigh mournfully. This week, in honor of the anniversary, I asked the Massively writers whether they think we'll ever see another new Star Wars MMORPG (other than those we still have, of course), let alone another epic Star Wars sandbox. It's time to speculate!

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The Daily Grind: Does your guild stay together between MMOs?

Culture, Events (Real-World), Guilds, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

WildStar
I can't remember the exact moment that my MMO guildies collectively realized, hey, we are pretty good friends and we like each other enough to play other games together so maybe let's do that, but that's more or less what happened. After a few years of trying to figure out our place in the MMO world, we settled down into a pattern: The same core folks migrate to new and old games together and check them out as a cohesive unit. This year has been a bit different, though, as the big releases haven't enticed enough of us or have made it so difficult for our international group to play on the same server that it's not been worth the trouble.

What about you folks -- does your guild stick together from MMO to MMO? Or do you join a new guild for a fresh game?

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 Soapbox: This is how reviews actually work

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Soapbox

Welcome back to the Soapbox, folks. Actually, let's call this a mini-Soapbox, since it's just a wee thing compared to some of the walls-of-text we've previously published in this space. Anyhow, let's talk about reviews, bias, and subjectivity. Whether it be film criticism, concert recaps, book reviews, or game reviews, there's an illogical expectation out there regarding "unbiased" work and -- to directly quote a recent Massively commenter -- "correct and honest" reviews.

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The Daily Grind: Did you try any new MMOs this week?

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind

I dropped a wad of cash on the Steam summer sale this weekend, but not a penny of it went to MMOs. That's fine, I guess, since I've got plenty to do in Elder Scrolls Online these days. Oh and The Secret World's Tokyo is looking mighty inviting, too.

What about you, Massively readers? Did you pick up any MMOs via Steam discounts? If not, did you try any new MMOs this past week, or are you sticking with old favorites?

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: Keeping sand in the sandbox

Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

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.

This week, Trion Worlds declared that the long-awaited western version of MMORPG ArcheAge will launch later this year with some sand in its sandbox. The original 1.0 patch, criticized for dumbing down the game, was previously deployed to Korean players but will be passed over in favor of the 1.2 update, sure to make sandbox fans on this side of the ocean happy.

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

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WRUP: The one about jumping

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 jump and jump and jump a lot in MMOs because you're not too old to play video games, no sir!

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Betawatch: June 14 - June 20, 2014

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

LEGO Minifigures Online
Funcom's LEGO Minifigures Online launched into open beta earlier this week, hoping players will stay a bit longer than they did in the last LEGO MMO. What else is new in the land of betas this week? Enjoy the complete Betawatch roundup below.

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