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MMO Week in Review: Crime and punishment in Elder Scrolls Online

Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

ESO
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.

The Elder Scrolls Online enjoyed another big reveal week, this time from its throne at QuakeCon, as it launched on Steam and announced new zones as well as a new system for active world PvP and criminal justice that embraces players' compulsive kleptomania. Massively ESO expert Jef Reahard examined some of the proposed updates in his Tamriel Infinium column.

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

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WRUP: Just a beta

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

wowwww
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 gaming journalists who are paid to preview games should handwave worrying fundamental problems in a major pre-launch MMO because, you know, it's just a beta. After all, you definitely don't want to hear about games before they launch, unless it's an opinion that perfectly mirrors your preferred reality, which is why you don't patronize MMO websites. Right? Right.

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The Daily Grind: What's the ideal death penalty for an MMO?

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

Fallen Earth
If your first MMO was a modern themepark MMO, you might not realize that a corpse run and a small repair bill are fairly light penalties for death. In Ultima Online, if you couldn't make it back to your body in time, a devious player (or mob) might come along and relieve your corpse of its loot. If you were a murderer, you'd even lose stats! Your gear was safer in EverQuest, but you'd lose experience, and you'd still have to run from your bind spot back to your body, assuming it wasn't in such a dangerous place that you needed a Necromancer to summon it. And games like Asheron's Call and City of Heroes once had experience penalties so harsh that it was possible to cripple a character so much that you might as well just reroll.

MMOs are torn between wanting to make death feel meaningful enough that people are careful but not so punitive that players would rather log out than recover. What do you think is the ideal death penalty for 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 Think Tank: Star Citizen and armchair speculation

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Humor, The Think Tank, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen

Star Citizen pew pew
This week, Star Citizen announced it's now raised a total of $48 million in crowdfunding and revealed its $50 million stretch goal, which is an absurd amount of money (but still not as absurd as how much some other AAA MMOs reportedly spent). "As a professional gamer and armchair developer with several failed armchair projects under my belt," wrote Massively commenter computerhelfer with his tongue firmly in cheek, "I can safely say this project has acquired too much money. This project makes my armchair feel uncomfortable."

Apparently, large sums of money and large-scale projects make a lot of people uncomfortable, at least judging by the huge and sometimes nonsensical debates that sprawl across our Star Citizen posts. In today's Think Tank, I've asked some of the Massively writers to speculate on the future of the game, its impact on the genre, and how much higher that crowdfund number might go before all of the core pieces of the game have launched.

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Massively Speaking Episode 305: Bubbles bursting

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

lotro
Are the virtues of free-to-play still up for debate? Apparently so, as several industry figures questioned the long-term prospects and benefits of the business model this past week, which means that Justin and Bree will also be taking a hard look at F2P once more. Also there is a lecture by economist Prof. Royce at the conclusion of the 'cast. Take notes as there will be a test.

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 Daily Grind: Do you tell people you're a gamer?

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

I'm not ashamed that video games are my hobby or my job, but reconciling games with the real world isn't easy. I don't volunteer details about what I do to anyone I suspect just wouldn't understand. But sometimes people ask you directly. Earlier this summer, I was in the hospital (having a baby!), and my nurses kept asking what I did for a living -- you know, just polite small talk. "I'm a journalist," I said. Few people inquire further. But one did, and I sheepishly admitted that I write about video games. "Sweet," she said, "we play consoles in my house too!" She wasn't into MMOs, but we still talked about video games for half an hour, and I felt dumb for trying to hide what I do. More than half the country plays video games, so why do we hide it?

Maybe you don't, which is what I'm asking you today. Do you tell people you're a gamer? How do you reconcile your hobby with people who still think video games are for kids or weirdos?

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: ESO's slash-and-burn update

News Items, Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

ESO
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, The Elder Scrolls Online team revealed plans for its third major patch; due in August, the update will include the first part of a slash-and-burn overhaul of the unpopular veteran ranks system. Meanwhile, Massively ESO columnist Jef Reahard opined on why immersion is so important for ZeniMax's MMO.

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

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Ask Massively: Seven seriously spectacular reasons to hate clickbait

Business Models, Opinion, Massively Meta, Ask Massively, Miscellaneous

Hehe
Oh hi! Welcome to our clickbait article, and thanks for clicking! No really, let's talk about clickbait. Massively reader Avaera recently posed to me a question that dovetailed nicely with a few complaints I've seen in our comments. He wrote,
Does Massively make a deliberate effort to minimize the number of perceived "clickbait" opinion pieces? That is, to make sure that any controversial topics or unpopular opinions are discussed only sparingly, so that the perception and reputation of the site is kept relatively neutral? I can completely understand trying to manage a certain tone for the community; I'm just curious if that is an explicit factor in some editorial decisions.
I'll tell you, but first you have to click to find out!

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WRUP: Best geeky rom-com ever

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 wipe away a tear because the Jedi Guardian who re-sparked Jef's flame for Star Wars actually stumbled into his post and they fell in love and got married because of SWTOR but not really. But wouldn't that make a great geeky rom-com?

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The Think Tank: Finding the magic in MMOs

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

About a month ago, a Massively reader wrote to our team to ask for help on an issue many of us -- and probably many of you -- struggle with: a genre with lots of games and not enough stickiness (and patience!).
I've been around the MMO block (since EverQuest); I even dabbled in Meridian 59. And I keep seeing game articles that make me want to try or retry lots of MMOs, but between my schedule and investment in other titles already, I cannot bring myself to jump into old or new games for more than a few play sessions. There's so many to play that I just can't bring myself to settle down for a little bit to really get enough of the experience to enjoy it.

For example, I recently played Asheron's Call for a total of three hours after subbing and reading articles that compelled me to try it. But it felt foreign and clunky. I couldn't stick around to really appreciate it. I fear the same results in other games I'd like to try. Can you give me advice on shedding the urge to judge and dismiss a game if it doesn't click with me immediately? Is there a way to not be jaded or lazy with being a newbie (yet again) in older titles? Help me play more MMOs for the sake of experience and new loves!

- MMO junkie seeking help "finding the magic"
I polled the team for advice in this week's Think Tank!

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Massively Speaking Episode 304: On the hook!

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

lotro
Industry news clashes with game news this week, so whether you're interested in the meta or simply the beta, we've got a bit from both columns! In this episode, Bree and Justin discuss gooey monsters, why raiding is the most awesomest thing ever, and decorating houses on Tatooine.

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: Play it again, Guild Wars 2

Massively Meta, Week in Review, 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.

This week, ArenaNet launched the second season of Guild Wars 2's living story, introducing the first part of a new zone, Dry Top, to the almost-two-year-old MMO. Don't worry if you miss an installment, however; the new living journal will allow you to replay past storylines, nullifying complaints about temporary content.

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

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WRUP: Star Wars ceiling specifications edition

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 get into a giant comment flamewar about how high ceilings and luxury condos break established canon lore for Tatooine. Man, Star Wars fans really are crazy.

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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.

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