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The Think Tank: Consoles and the future of MMOs

Business Models, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Consoles, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank, Destiny

Destiny might not be a pure MMO, but its huge launch on the fringes of the MMO space this week has prompted us to ponder whether the future of core MMOs lies in the console market. In this week's Think Tank, I polled the Massively writers about just that.

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The Stream Team: Going deep in Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
Massively's Mike Foster is a big fan of space exploration. Which is why in tonight's Elite: Dangerous stream, he's going to see what the game's current beta has to offer in terms of venturing into the great unknown. Frontier Developments claims that Elite will eventually contain around 400 billion star systems; Mike is content to visit just a few. And with exploration being touted as a viable career path in the launch version of Elite, it's certainly worth investigating even in its bare beta form.

Tune in at 7:00 p.m. to boldly go where no Mike has gone before.

Game: Elite: Dangerous
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Massively Speaking Episode 312: Sailing into the sunrise

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

archeage
No time for small fry; this week's podcast is all about the huge news stories that have been slamming into the MMO world as of late. From conventions to betas, from layoffs to merges, we've got snarky opinions and wise fortune cookie sayings about them all!

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.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
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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: Are day-one reviews of MMOs fair?

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Launches, MMO Industry, Previews, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Destiny

This is pretty much how I feel during launch week
We've discussed the issues associated with previewing and reviewing MMOs on Massively before (we don't do "reviews" at all, you'll recall), but Bungie has brought the topic to the surface of MMO discussion once again. Ahead of Destiny's launch this week, Bungie wrote a blog post echoing what most MMO developers have long known: Experience with a launch MMO, with its systems not fully formed and its players not swarming the zones, can't really produce a review that fully captures the feel of a game with millions of people fluttering around in it. And even in a game with only 20 levels, a day-one reviewer can't possibly have completed enough content to deliver more than a snapshot of the gameplay.

Bungie didn't even mention the likelihood of the day-one MMO launch disasters that we're all so unfortunately familiar with, disasters that often make MMOs unplayable, never mind unreviewable. Still, if a game sucks at launch, isn't it fair to say so? A snapshot is useful for what it is, and there's no reason a developer should get a free pass on criticism at launch just because MMOs usually improve with age and warm bodies.

What do you think -- are early MMO reviews fair? How do you weigh them when deciding whether to purchase a 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!

MMO Week in Review: No one knows how to pronounce ArcheAge

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.

Sandbox MMO ArcheAge's western open beta began this past week with a massive 800MB patch, in spite of attempts by e-brigands to interrupt Trion's game services. We debated the game's faction choices and streamed the newly opened game first-hand as we eye the formal launch later this month.

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

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WRUP: Lore lawyers

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

LoL
Welcome back to Massively's What Are You Playing, the game in which we tell you what we're playing this weekend and you answer this riddle: If a studio reboots the lore for a MOBA, will anyone notice?

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Betawatch: August 30 - September 5, 2014

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

AA
ArcheAge's open beta, undaunted by what our community has dubbed e-hooligans and their DDoSing ways, officially began yesterday. The official launch is slated for September 16th. What else is new in the land of MMO testing? The complete Betawatch roundup is below.

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Ask Massively: Destiny is not the boss of me

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Ask Massively, Destiny, MMORPG

Destiny
Bungie's Destiny launches next week, and since it is by most appearances an MMO (or possibly a fragrance), we've been covering it, albeit lightly since our primary audience is not a console-only audience.

But hasn't Bungie said that Destiny isn't an MMO? That was Massively reader icnoevil's primary objection to our coverage:
So if the devs themselves have said the game is not an MMO, why does it keep showing up on this site?
There's a little thing I repeat to myself every once in a while when studio reps are being pushy about our coverage: I don't work for them. I work for Joystiq.

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The Think Tank: The best of PAX Prime 2014

Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, First Impressions, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

ArcheAge
This year's PAX Prime has drawn to a close, as has our coverage, but how did it fare, on the whole, for MMO players?

I polled the Massively writers for their favorite announcements and showings from the con. Here's what we think was the best and most interesting MMO news to come out of PAX Prime.

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The Stream Team: Getting spacey with Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, PvE, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG

Elite Dangerous
What happens when you take a space sim rookie, strap him into a starship, and tell him he's free to explore the stars as he pleases? Join Massively's Mike Foster as he discovers the answer to just that question in the current beta build of Elite: Dangerous. Elite, built by Frontier Developments and funded by the crowd, is the subject of this month's Choose My Adventure, and there's no better way to start our journey than by broadcasting our maiden voyage for all to see.

The death parade beings at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

Game: Elite: Dangerous
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, September 4th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Massively's PAX Prime 2014 roundup

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

Sypster
Massively's Justin Olivetti soloed the PAX Prime boss for us this year, and he kicked its butt! His loot drop? A whole week of well-earned relaxation on the Massively golden yacht. Just kidding! Back to work, Olivetti!

We've rounded up all of his awesome PAX coverage below. What did he think of ArcheAge, Warlords of Draenor, and H1Z1? How many parties did he crash? Did he really cosplay as an angry Chua? Read on to find out!

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The Stream Team: Seeking chaos with Dota 2's ability draft

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, PvP, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, MOBA, The Stream Team

Dota 2 Ability Draft
One of the most important steps in mastering a MOBA like Dota 2 is developing a deep understanding of every hero's skills. When you know what a hero can and cannot do, you can play effectively both as that hero and against him/her. But what happens when you take hero abilities, stick them in a blender, and force players to fight using whatever skills they can grab? Ability Draft, that's what.

Join Massively's Mike Foster at 7:00 p.m. EDT as he investigates Dota 2's Ability Draft mode (by viewer request!), where skills are picked up à la carte and chaos reigns supreme. He may win, or he may lose, but in Ability Draft, it's more about the journey than the destination.

Game: Dota 2
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Daily Grind: What's the most bizarre thing you've ever seen in an MMO?

Classes, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Humor, Miscellaneous

Zentia
I loved Zentia before it was shuttered in the West, but it has to be one of the most bizarre games I've ever played. Not only did it mix cartoony graphics and Daoist mythology and conga lines in the streets, but you could play a baby. No, really. An actual baby. I rolled my Vajra Guardian (a tanky character) as a baby in a diaper because why not? You don't get opportunities like that every day.

What's the most bizarre thing you've ever seen 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!

MMO Week in Review: PAX Prime 2014

Massively Meta, Events (Massively's Coverage), 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, Massively's Justin Olivetti braved the halls of PAX Prime and wrote all the things. Here's what he's tackled so far!
PAX Prime 2014: ArcheAge is a go for launch!
PAX Prime 2014: The mystery behind WildStar's Nexus
PAX Prime 2014: Landmark comes into its own
PAX Prime 2014: ArcheAge is launching on September 16th
PAX Prime 2014: RIFT's Nightmare Tide expansion launches October 8th
PAX Prime 2014: Unpredictable water flows through RIFT: Nightmare Tide
PAX Prime 2014: H1Z1's bears will end you
PAX Prime 2014: Going on a deer hunt in H1Z1
PAX Prime 2014: Hands-on with Shroud of the Avatar
PAX Prime 2014: The Repopulation's Josh Halls on beta, fishing, and houses
PAX Prime 2014: Paying a premium for Pathfinder Online
PAX Prime 2014: Warhammer 40k trains players to think like soldiers
PAX Prime 2014: Defiance defies barriers to play
PAX Prime 2014: Trove moves at the speed of lightrail
PAX Prime 2014: Hands-on with Undead Labs' Moonrise
PAX Prime 2014: State of Decay takes steps toward something larger
PAX Prime 2014: PlanetSide 2 meets the PlayStation 4
PAX Prime 2014: Marvel Heroes is the industry's surprise success story

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WRUP: WoW's next-next expansion

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 try to guess what World of Warcraft's sixth expansion's theme will be. If you say pandas, time-travel, or orcs, you lose.

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