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Betawatch: November 15 - 21, 2014

Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

Betawatch - Lineage Eternal
Lineage Eternal wowed G-Star attendees with the news that it will beta in 2015 and hit its worldwide simultaneous launch in 2016. What else is new in the land of MMO testing? The complete Betawatch roundup is below.

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The Daily Grind: Do special currencies in MMOs annoy you?

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

A reader discussion in a past Guild Wars 2 update article made me realize, once again, how much I loathe special event currencies. You know the type: It's patch day, and here's an event, and if you want the rewards, you have to grind a shiny new currency to get them! Never mind that you already have a pile of gold (and in Guild Wars 2's case, karma and gems) earned through your adventures up until now; those credits are mysteriously useless at the new reward vendors, who accept only some new currency.

Commenters rightly pointed out that if modern devs did what old timey devs did, players would just rush in and buy everything on day one and not do the grind. But so what? Why should it bother us that people get to actually use the currency they've already earned and banked? That's the whole point of gathering money in MMOs in the first place. And if there's so much existing currency in the world that everyone could buy everything without additional grind, that's the studio's problem for providing insufficient sinks and a poor economy in the first place, not ours. In fact, special events themselves could be an awesome gold sink! Instead, event currencies signal to players that their existing achievements and savings matter not at all and that the event isn't really going to be much fun on its own merits.

What do you think? Are you also sick of special currencies in MMOs? What would you prefer to see in their stead?

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: Assessing Draenor's launch

World of Warcraft, Bugs, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

WoW
World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor launch has come and gone, driven by the chaos we've come to expect from this year's MMO launches. Was it a bad launch... or the baddest launch ever?! In today's Think Tank, I asked the Massively writers, as players or industry watchers, how the launch and Blizzard's response stacked up next to those of 2014's other offerings.

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Massively Speaking Episode 322: WarStar

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

wow
Call it the Week of Expansions. This past week we saw three major expansions release as well as huge news swirling around one of this year's newest MMOs. It's almost too much discussion to cram into a mere hour, but somehow Justin and Bree will make it fit. Justin will probably sit on it to smoosh it down while Bree latches it shut.

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.
[iTunes] Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
[Stitcher] Follow the podcast on Stitcher Radio.
Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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MMO Week in Review: Let's hunt some orc

MMO Industry, News Items, 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.

World of Warcraft's fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor, launched on Thursday, and predictably, the combination of design blunders and brutal DDoS attacks turned the first few days of launch into a circus of clownshoes. So, you know, an MMO launch. Here are the highlights:
Warlords of Draenor's rocky launch saga and Reddit controversy continue
World of Warcraft hit by DDoS attack on expansion launch day
World of Warcraft deals with downtime, bugs, DDoS attacks
World of Warcraft vows faster expansion development
You're too late: People are already 100 in WoW
WoW's Iron Horde declares war on Times Square
World of Warcraft's garrisons 'like a personal guild'
Watch the unboxing of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor's CE
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor launch-day roundup

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

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Perfect Ten: Lessons I've learned from working at Massively

Opinion, Massively Meta, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

wildstar
In spring of 2010, I was asked to come on board Massively primarily as a feature writer who would also do a little news on the side. This opportunity was incredible since I was already blogging multiple times a day about online gaming, so why not be a part of the professional side of writing?

Over four years and nearly two million words written since, I've witnessed a lot here at Massively. I've gotten to interview some big industry names, been allowed to take on fun pet projects, gone to conventions as a member of the press corps, and made a lot of good friends. I've also learned several lessons that have helped me to grow as a person and a writer, and I thought I'd jot a few of those down for one of these lists.

Fun Perfect Ten factoid: When I proposed this column to the editors, I had done extensive research on lists that other sites had done (as to not cover similar territory) and drew up about 40 new topic ideas. In retrospect, it might have been overkill. I could have just written in an email, "People like lists."

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WRUP: Epic-quality tinfoil hats

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

WoW
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 how Blizzard totes lied about those DDoS attacks because that doesn't make you sound crazy at all.

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Betawatch: November 8 - 14, 2014

Betas, Business Models, Expansions, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

EverQuest
World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor launched this week, departing the halls of Betawatch. What else is new in the world of MMO testing? Our complete Betawatch roundup is below.

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The Daily Grind: Have you made use of an advanced character in an MMO?

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Business Models, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind

WoW
World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor expansion launched yesterday, and if you managed to preorder in time, you now have a shiny new level 90 character upgrade awaiting you. WoW isn't the first or only game to offer advanced characters, of course; RIFT, EverQuest II, and Ultima Online, among others, all sell boosted characters so that players can skip over the early game and jump right to the new stuff. This feature has been tremendously helpful to some of my guildies who haven't played WoW in a while and wanted to join us in the new content without catching up an old toon. Without the feature, I'm not sure some of them would have returned at all.

I've taken advantage of the feature in UO especially to avoid the tedium of skill grind. On the other hand, I've still never had the urge to seriously play the cute Gnome Mage I rolled the last time Blizzard offered free character boosts. I just have too many characters with history already (plus my husband mains a Gnome Mage!).

What about you, Massively readers? Have you ever made use of an advanced character in an MMO? What did you think of the experience?

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: Keeping in touch with the friends in the magic box

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

Earlier this week in the comments of the article about MMO social network ZergID, readers went off on a tear about how MMO players keep in touch and communicate with guildies and friends beyond the game -- as my mom used to say, the people in the magic box. What quickly became obvious is that there's no one accepted method. Social media, forums, chats, IMs, Steam, and this crazy invention called a telephone were all mentioned. I thought we could use a more formal discussion, so in today's Think Tank, I asked the Massively writers how they keep in touch with guildies and MMO friends when they're not playing or when they're between games... if they keep in touch at all.

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Massively Speaking Episode 321: From Titan's ashes

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

When an MMO dies and a game is born out of its ashes, wouldn't the appropriate name for that game be Phoenix? On this week's podcast, Bree and Justin talk about BlizzCon's reveals, a really rough week for a recently released game, and an unexpected shutdown notice for a MOBA in the making.

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.
[iTunes] Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
[Stitcher] Follow the podcast on Stitcher Radio.
Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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The Stream Team: Starting out in Final Fantasy XIV

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

FFXIV
Massively's Mike Foster is ready to start his career as an adorable Miqo'te pugilist in Final Fantasy XIV, thanks to last week's Choose My Adventure polls and a little bit of leftover currency in his Steam wallet. Tune in tonight as Mike checks out FFXIV's starting levels and works to familiarize himself with the vast, pretty world of Eorzea. The pugilizing starts at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Game: Final Fantasy XIV
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Monday, November 10th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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MMO Week in Review: BlizzCon 2014

Events (Real-World), News Items, Massively Meta, Events (Massively's Coverage), Week in Review, Miscellaneous

Overwatch
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.

BlizzCon 2014 dominated the weekend in all corners of the Joystiq network, Massively included. Blizzard not only announced OFPS Overwatch but spilled details on Hearthstone's upcoming expansion, Diablo III, Heroes of the Storm, the Warcraft movie, and the World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor expansion launching this coming Thursday. We've rounded up all the best bits from Massively and WoW Insider right here!
Liveblogging the opening ceremonies of BlizzCon 2014
World of Warcraft Q&A liveblog
World of Warcraft items, class changes liveblog
Blizzard announces new charity pet for ebola relief efforts
Warcraft movie panel liveblog
Blizzard takes on superheroes with Overwatch
Live blogging the Overwatch panel
Overwatch hands-on gameplay impressions
The heroes of Overwatch
Hearthstone: Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion announced
Hearthstone: Goblins vs. Gnomes cards and mechanics
Diablo III previews Season 2
Heroes of the Storm panel

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

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WRUP: Blizz Fortress

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Overwatch
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 that at least Titan's assets didn't go to waste.

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The Daily Grind: What do you think Blizzard's big secret announcement is?

Business Models, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

WoW
Blizzard employees have been dropping hints over the last couple of weeks that there's a big announcement to be made at this year's BlizzCon, which starts later today. Speculation runs the spectrum from a new Diablo III expansion to World of Warcraft's next-next expansion, but the fan-favorite rumor suggests that Blizzard will in fact be announcing a new game altogether. The genre of that game -- and whether or not it will fill the void vacated by Titan -- is up for debate.

What do you think Blizzard's big secret announcement will be? Yes, you get a gold star if you turn out to be right.

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!

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