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Miscellaneous

Play Trove for free this weekend

Betas, Events (In-Game), News Items, Miscellaneous, Player-Generated Content, Buy-to-Play, Trove

Trove
If you've been itching to playtest Trion Worlds' voxel-based sandbox Trove but haven't wanted to pony up cash for the beta, then you're going to love the next three days. Trion has announced a free weekend event starting today at 2:00 p.m. EDT; everyone is invited to dip in and give the game a look.The only catch? You'll have to play through Trion's Glyph client. "Trove will automagically appear in your Library game list this weekend!" says the studio.

The freebie weekend is timed perfectly to coincide with Trove's ongoing Shadow's Eve Halloween event, which offers bizarre prizes like piñata mounts and Smashing Pumpkin recliners.

The free play period ends at 2:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, October 27th. Shadow's Eve ends November 2nd.

Guild Wars 2 emerges unscathed by NCsoft's layoffs

Aion, Guild Wars, Lineage, Lineage 2, Business Models, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Miscellaneous, WildStar

GW2
Last night's revelation that a large chunk of the WildStar team had been let go is not the only bad news to come from NCsoft this week. According to a letter sent to Polygon, the NCWest layoffs affected all of NCsoft's western branches... except ArenaNet, which runs Guild Wars 2 and Guild Wars. Here's what NCsoft wrote:
Today we announced a restructuring of key operations within NC West. As a result of this restructuring, we are implementing staff reductions across our Western operations with the exclusion of ArenaNet. While decisions like this are always hard, they are necessary as we begin the implementation of a new strategy designed to strengthen our footing as a leader in global entertainment.

Moving forward, we will continue to focus on our core development capabilities and the intellectual properties (WildStar, Aion, Lineage, and Guild Wars franchises) that have made NCSOFT what it is today. However, we are looking to move into new business segments like mobile and tablet games as well as explore emerging technologies.

Again, the decision to reduce staff was not an easy one, and we sincerely wish everyone well in their next endeavors.
Polygon's unnamed source says around 60 Carbine Studios employees were let go; we don't yet know how hard the other teams were hit.

The Daily Grind: Where did all the MMO bars go?

Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Roleplaying, Miscellaneous

SWTOR
No, not those bars. The fun kind of bars.

Massively reader Serrenity recently posted a provocative comment lamenting the loss of gathering places in MMORPGs: "Why aren't there many bars in games anymore? There's virtually no communal space. In capital cities everything has a numbers-related function -- learn to craft, spend money, repair your gear, auction, etc. [...] Everything is purely functional in games, without any 'flavor,' to the point of being the digital equivalent of getting socks for Christmas."

And Serrenity is right. Many MMOs don't have bars or taverns or cantinas anymore, and those that do usually fail to imbue them with a purpose, but it wasn't always that way, so why and how did it happen? Where did all the bars go, and do we need them back?

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: What will MMOs look like a decade from now?

World of Warcraft, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

WoW
A reader in my Working As Intended column last week penned this thought-provoking gem:
"I have no idea what games will look like say in 10 years time. I am sure some of these current games will still be going and doing well because of the investment of those playing them now. What new stuff will be coming out then, I have no idea, especially as the 'Minecraft generation' gets older."
What will the Minecraft generation make of World of Warcraft? What will MMOs look like in 10 years? These are the questions I asked Massively's writers in today's Think Tank.

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The Daily Grind: Do you prefer a traditional MMO?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

eq2
Last week in a comment in Global Chat, reader Comradestanimir stated, "I may be the only person alive who still likes the traditional MMO. All these attempts to 'innovate' just end up with contrived crap."

As a player of both newer and older MMOs, I found myself agreeing with this statement to a point. I like the older hotbar, tab-targeting combat versus most of the "action" combat seen today. It is still really enjoyable for me to vacuum up a bunch of quests from a hub and knock them out. I think that we've had a lot of great ideas in the past that could be updated to realize their full potential instead of having to dismiss them outright due to age.

Do you prefer a traditional MMO? Have you felt at odds with the vocal community on this if so?

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 318: Technoscrabble

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

sto
You want the good news first or the bad news on this week's podcast? How about we sandwich the bad news in between some good news to make it easier to swallow? No matter how we present it, we are all going to have to work through the joys of content announcements, the sorrow of layoffs, and the technobabble of more Star Trek. Prepare yourself!

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.
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Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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Metallica will rock out at BlizzCon 2014

World of Warcraft, Culture, Events (Real-World), News Items, Promotions, Miscellaneous

MetallicaImagine that you're a big-name game developer with a pile of money and millions of fans to impress at your yearly convention. Would you hire your favorite band from your youth to play a custom gig? Hell yeah you would! And so would Blizzard, which is why the studio's just announced that Metallica will be performing at BlizzCon next month. It's the perfect band to listen to while riding around on your Azeroth Chopper and playing your Orc.

"We're thrilled to announce that Metallica will be performing the closing concert at BlizzCon 2014, playing before a sold-out convention crowd on the night of November 8!" Blizzard gushed in its announcement post earlier today. "If you didn't score tickets to the show, don't worry -- you can still get a front-row seat from home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket."

Hey, at least it's not Blink-182.

Guns of Icarus Online overhauls progression and matching

Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, Miscellaneous, Steampunk, Buy-to-Play

This may have been an ill-considered approach.
The latest patch for Guns of Icarus Online is going to make it a great deal easier for characters to get better. The game's progression system has been completely overhauled, with level now tied to experience earned via matches rather than to achievements. This is accompanied by a reorganization of stats and traits and a bump in the level cap to 45, which will also bump existing characters and give them more levels to play around with.

Said patch also improves the game's matchmaking system, which helps get players into the action more quickly while also providing a more balanced system for everyone. A new tutorial to introduce new players to the game and a spectator system that makes it easier to watch games unfold have also been added, giving players new and old alike plenty to enjoy. Check out the full patch notes or just steal a glance at the video showing off these new features past the break.

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The Daily Grind: Would you spend money in an MMO for your guild?

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

Image courtesy of Joystiq
A recent Gamasutra piece chronicled a monetization design consultant's journey into what he calls a "social elder game." Author Ethan Levy participated in multiple high-end, time-limited guild-vs.-guild events in an unnamed online game to see just how much guild members would need to pay out to keep their guild competitive. Hundreds of dollars later, he was able to push his guild into the top 100 to receive what he called "B tier" gear. In fact, he estimated that the top 100 guilds spent between $85,000 and $100,000 -- just on that one event.

I'm willing to give my guildies a lot of things -- Steam games, a spot on my couch, my old video card, thesis proofreading -- but I wouldn't drop that kind of money just to make us competitive in a video game, especially if I felt a studio was being exploitative with its "social elder game." Would you? Would you spend money in an MMO for your guild? How much?

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: LoL's world championship victors, Elite's shindig, and Citizen Con 2014

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Culture, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Launches, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, E-sports, OARPG

LoL Samsung White
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.

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ArcheAge jumps into Raptr's 10 most-played games in September

MMO Industry, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

raptr
ArcheAge is seeing its debut month popularity reflected in Raptr's own tracking, as the digital service saw the MMO rise 25 spots as it transitioned from beta to launch. "Based on current trends, ArcheAge has a good chance of remaining in the top 10 in October," the company predicted.

Other MMOs in Raptr's top 20 include World of Warcraft holding strong at #2 as well as Final Fantasy XIV, Guild Wars 2, Warframe, and Star Wars: The Old Republic vying for spots #12 through #15.

MMO Week in Review: Drifting back to World of Warcraft

MMO Industry, 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.

This week, World of Warcraft saw subscriptions rise to 7.4 million ahead of its long-awaited pre-Warlords of Draenor patch. Meanwhile, news rolled in from EVE Vegas, where CCP and players discussed the ships of the Rhea update, the allure of spaceship spreadsheets, the importance of community involvement, and the new player experience and potential for permadeath.

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

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One Shots: Hello, autumn

Culture, Opinion, One Shots, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, Landmark

rift
House Stark once told me that "pumpkin spice is coming," and lo and behold, it is here. Autumn is in full swing, at least in the northern hemisphere, and with it come colorful leaves, scary decorations, and trips to the apple orchard.

Today we have several great fall-themed pictures from players to share, starting with this seasonal shot from reader Becca. "Here my character Tendryl in RIFT gets in the spooky spirit. Falling orange leaves, a storm on the horizon, creepy mask... oh, and a FREAKING SCYTHE! I think she nailed it," she writes.

Do you agree? Join us as we go crunching through the leaves in the rest of this week's player-submitted screenshots!

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WRUP: Good news is no news?

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 a subscription upswing for one of the biggest MMORPGs in the world is totally not news that an MMORPG website should cover.

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The Daily Grind: What advice would you give as a gamer to a developer?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

turbine
Communication between developers and gamers isn't always as simple as a one-on-one chat. The devs have an enormous microphone that gamers can't help but hear, but they also have everything they say scrutinized and analyzed past the point of helpfulness. Gamers, on the other hand, can only shout into the wind and hope that their voice rises above the rest of the mob to be heard by a studio team.

But let's pretend that today, all of the MMO devs in the world are in an audience and you are up on stage with the mic. What advice would you give them? What would you want devs to know if they were really listening to you?

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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