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Miscellaneous

Pumpkin Online hits its funding goal

News Items, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

It might look rough, but it seems like it'll go.
Starting out with a niche premise of farming and inclusivity, Pumpkin Online was never going to hit record-breaking numbers during its Kickstarter campaign. But fans can rejoice today, as the game met its funding goal with just a bit over 48 hours to go on the overall campaign. That's a far sight from hitting any stretch goals, but it means that development on the game should continue.

The Kickstarter page launched with a modest goal of $30,000 in funding; the game is also seeking entrance on Steam Greenlight. If you were fond of the concept but didn't want to toss money in without the safety of a funded campaign, there's still a little more time to throw money into the pot.

[Thanks to wolfyseyes for the tip!]

Global Chat: Blaugust triumphant

World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Humor, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, Elite: Dangerous

blaugust
Last month, Tales of the Aggronaut issued a community-wide challenge for MMO bloggers to commit to posting (at least) once a day for all 31 days. This challenge was called Blaugust, and it caused a tidal wave of additional posts, top 10 lists, and random cat pictures as writers struggled to keep up with the rate of output.

While not everyone who signed up succeeded in sticking out the entire month, it certainly injected some life into summer doldrums and got people talking. The 2014 Blaugust Wrap-up does a great job giving an overview of the challenge and a list of all of the blogs involved. If you're looking for outspoken opinions put forth at a prodigious rate, I'd suggest checking these out.

Speaking of outspoken opinions, we've also got plenty of them in the form of the most interesting posts from the past two weeks! Global Chat... away!

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Massively Speaking Episode 313: ArcheRivals

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

destiny
With several major launches and releases this past week, MMO gamers have been drowning in so much good stuff. As such, we brought Jef on the podcast today as our designated lifeguard who is certified in digital CPR. Join the crew today as we talk about the ever-changing landscape of this industry and what these releases mean for you!

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:
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Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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Raptr shows MMOs and MOBAs dominating the top 20 in August

Culture, MMO Industry, Miscellaneous

raptr
Raptr's tracking of play choices among the service's gamers in August paints a picture of a wide love for MMOs and MOBAs. World of Warcraft holds a respectable #2 spot, followed by Final Fantasy XIV (#10), Warframe (#11), Guild Wars 2 (#12), Star Wars: The Old Republic (#14), and Firefall (#20). However, former Raptr #6 holder, WildStar, has dropped out of Raptr's top 20 entirely.

"With a late July release, Firefall made a 40-spot jump into the top 20 for August. Not too surprisingly, Firefall is converting more players from fellow F2P shooter Warframe than any other game, with Dota 2 coming in second," Raptr posted.

Other online titles fleshed out the list, such as League of Legends (#1), Dota 2 (#3), SMITE (#5), and World of Tanks (#13). Card battler Hearthstone is still hanging onto the top 10 at #8.

Is Turbine developing an MMO for mobile devices?

MMO Industry, News Items, Mobile, Miscellaneous

We are a mystery!
No. Yes. Maybe? We're going to level with you, dear readers: We frequently have no idea what Turbine Entertainment is doing. We had no idea the studio was going to bring back Asheron's Call 2, for example, and our bets about Infinite Crisis were way off. So when we say that the company might be developing an MMO, well, it's a shot in the dark, but there's reason to suspect this might be happening.

The studio is looking for both a Senior Mobile Engineer (that is, an engineer experienced with mobile engineering, not an engineer who is both a senior and mobile) and a new Art Director, both of which seem to imply that the studio is developing something completely new rather than a mobile port. Or maybe it's baseless speculation. Who knows?

Eminence: Xander's Tale lands on Kickstarter

Fantasy, New Titles, News Items, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

Well, on the bright side, it's not promising an old-school sandbox experience.
Do you want a bit of MMO in your virtual card game? Because that can totally be a thing now. Eminence: Xander's Tale is an MMOTCG that isn't purely either of those things, blending card-slinging action with an explorable world and social hubs. Players will take part in battles via card games, but the exploration and upgrades will feel more familiar to veterans of other MMOs.

The actual card battles will be familiar to anyone who took part in Final Fantasy VIII's Triple Triad, focused on matching numbers on different card faces along with utilizing various abilities and stealing opposing cards. If this sounds like your sort of jam, go ahead and drop a few dollars on it; there's still quite a bit of time left on its funding campaign and it's already passed the halfway mark.

Hearthstone boasts 20 million registered players

Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Casual, Miscellaneous, Hearthstone

Ironically, this would be far better than Warcraft is doing lately.
Does it ever seem like there's an endless flow of players in Hearthstone? There's not. But there are quite a lot of players, with Blizzard Entertainment announcing today that the game has broken 20 million registered accounts. If those were all people with real cards, that would be... a lot of cards. Like, at least a dozen.

The game launched on the iPad in April and is aiming at an Android tablet release in the near future, as well as expanding to iOS/Android phones. Hearthstone will also have its first world championship at Blizzcon this year, with contestants fighting for a $250,000 prize pool.

[Source: Blizzard Entertainment press release]

MMO Week in Review: ArcheAge has arrived

MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

Row row row your boat gently down the stream, if you're incredibly lucky or maybe just invisible, you won't get PKed in the face
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.

A huge MMO launched this week! No, not Destiny, although that launched too. I'm talking about ArcheAge, the long-awaited Trion/XL Games sandbox MMORPG that has finally sailed its way across the pond to western shores, probably in an actual boat because, you know, this game has actual boats. Yes, ArcheAge's head start is now live for founders, though it's not been without the usual round of long queues and server instability and DDoS attacks and people waiting in polite and tidy lines for quest mobs. We've been chronicling the head start in a series of launch diaries and streams and will continue doing so this week as we approach the formal launch.

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

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One Shots: Avian servitude

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, Humor, Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, Miscellaneous, WildStar

rift
Birds? I don't hate them, but I don't trust them either. Anything that can travel passportless with impunity is something to be wary of, especially if it has access to flight without clearing it with the FAA. And ever since the bird flu scare, I'm quite sure that our feathered "friends" are out to eradicate our entire race.

That said, I'm happy for reader Bill because he's finally putting birds where they belong: under us in full service of their land-masters. "Luck has found me again on RIFT patch day when this 'Lovely Budgie" popped out of a box. I can't help but think there is evil hidden beneath pink feathers and those big black eyes!" Bill wrote.

Oh, but there is evil, Bill. No doubt about it. Hopefully the rest of this week's player-submitted screenshots will not reek of foul intent the way that this cute birdie does.

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The Daily Grind: What's the ideal MMO gold sink?

Business Models, Economy, Game Mechanics, The Daily Grind, Humor, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD
I realize that asking "what's your favorite gold sink" is a bit like asking "what's your favorite way to eat poop," but I'm confronting an MMO reality here: MMO economies generally spiral out of control when the currency poured into the game isn't drained out at the other end somehow, whether it's through decay costs or housing maintenance or people leaving the game forever and literally taking their gold piles with them. Obviously, this last one is not ideal.

I was impressed at Neverwinter's recent move to auction rare companions off to the playerbase, a system that won't solve the inflation/duping problem in one pass but could, given time and repetition, drain money from player moguls voluntarily and reward them with prestigious but non-game-breaking and effectively worthless trinkets.

That's my favorite kind of gold sink. What's yours?

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!

WRUP: LFG for joy, PST no noobs, link achieves, no reply = noty

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 remind us that games are supposed to be about joy, dammit. How did we go so wrong?

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HEX is not Hearthstone: A look at HEX's closed beta

Betas, Economy, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, Opinion, Hands-On, Trading Card Games, First Impressions, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, HEX

530
It's been a while, HEX. Last time I saw you was E3 2013. I hadn't yet started to play Hearthstone, and truthfully, I doubted it could hold a candle to you. In a lot of ways, I was right. It's so much simpler, it's less complex, and at the time, it felt less imaginative. But my card game days are behind me. I don't have the kind of time I used to, so Hearthstone's faster games and accessible drafts (called "arenas" in HS) reminded me of the things I love about the genre while allowing me to keep my grown-up schedule intact and being easy on my wallet.

Just the same, HEX, when I got the closed beta invite to see you again, my heart skipped a beat. I was ready to drop some big money on you, but I've been burned a few times. While I've been in betas and alphas for other games, there's been a trend of letting people pay to play unfinished products. I've been burned, and while I don't regret the experience, I do regret the purchases at the moment. I mean, when a game suddenly disappears from the market, it does make you question your decisions, so I decided we should go out a few times first before I really invest in you.

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The Daily Grind: What's the ideal MMO raid length?

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Dungeons, Destiny

Destiny
I thought it was interesting earlier this month when Bungie explained Destiny's raids: They're smaller than what MMO players would expect from a raid (six players), but they come with some rather old-school MMO lengths, lockouts, and death penalties. One test group, the devs said, took 45 minutes just to get to the front door!

Bungie doesn't expect MMO-savvy players to take nearly that long once they've soaked up some internet guides, of course, but the article did make me wonder what gamers are willing to tolerate raid-length-wise nowadays. I remember giant raids that went on for days in EverQuest all the way up to quickie group-finder raids in World of Warcraft. Making them shorter (and cutting out the trash) didn't really make them easier or less fun, but it sure did enable more people to play them, which seems like a better way to justify the dev time spent on them. What do you think: What's the ideal MMO raid length?

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: 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 Crew fires up a new gameplay trailer

Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Previews, News Items, Consoles, Miscellaneous

Terminate your dialogue and operate your vehicle.
The latest trailer for The Crew might blow your mind. It turns out the game will feature cars. And driving. And... all right, maybe it's all stuff that you've known about if you've followed the game with any sort of enthusiasm up to this point. But it's still a glimpse into how the game will play beyond its cross-country driving.

The trailer shows off a great deal of both driving mechanics and interface pieces, giving potential players a clearer picture of what the game will look like in play as well as how the game is meant to be played. If you like the idea of hooking up with other drivers and hitting the road to explore, race, and take out targets, catch a glimpse of the gameplay just past the break.

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Featured Stories

Global Chat: Blaugust triumphant

Posted on Sep 16th 2014 8:00PM

Massively Speaking Episode 313: ArcheRivals

Posted on Sep 16th 2014 6:00PM

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