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Miscellaneous

Not So Massively: Destiny's endgame, Path of Exile's expansion, and LoL's new champion

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Classes, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, Patches, Previews, PvP, Endgame, News Items, Mobile, MMOFPS, World of Tanks, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Sandbox, Dungeons, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Hearthstone

NSM - Path of Exile
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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MMO Week in Review: Hello to Firefall and Swordsman; goodbye to Vanguard and Wizardry Online

Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

VG
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 MMO world said goodbye to Vanguard and Wizardry Online this week and learned of the impending closure of heavily criticized mobile MMO Ultima Forever. Bringing balance to the universe were shiny new MMOs Swordsman and Firefall, both of which formally launched.

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

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One Shots: A horse and his girl

Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, Mabinogi, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar

I have a strong suspicion that ArcheAge is about to become one of the most screenshotted games when it launches in the West. Until that fateful day on which my inbox will explode with pics, here's reader Balsbigbrother to tease a little of what is to come.

"Here's a quick screen shot of my character Celosia and her faithful horsey companion Chapp taken during the first closed beta weekend," Balsbigbrother writes. "It's a really gorgeous-looking game, and I also really appreciate the fact that the female characters have sensible, functional-looking armour for the most part rather than the usual bikini armour nonsense."

But what about bikini horse armor? For shame, that beast is practically nude! For more shocking and lurid photos, click on the button below and make sure your mom isn't standing over your shoulder.

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Perfect Ten: Why MMOs need to give up their dragon addiction

Opinion, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

falkorrrrrrr
If a genie ever appeared to grant me three wishes, I would not hesitate. I would not be selfish by asking for more wishes or focus on my own well-being. No, I would think of you all when I said, "Mr. Genie, I want you to eliminate all Elves from MMOs, preferably via boiling acid. I want you to make all online giant spiders obey the cube law. And I want all developers to be stricken with a specific form of amnesia that will make them forget, now and forever, that dragons are a thing."

You're welcome in advance, online gamers. Yes, I will gladly take up the mantle of your king and protector.

Dragons are not cool. Dragons have never been cool. And yet, for some reason unknown to me, MMO developers lose their collective minds over the fire-breathing lizards. They're not just a trope that infests MMOs to the detriment of original storytelling and world building; they're cheesy villainous centerpieces that devs prop up while deluding themselves that the other couple of thousand MMOs aren't doing the same thing.

MMOs need to give up their dragon addiction, and I am not short on reasons why. I am also so dead serious that dragons need to go that I'm contemplating getting a chest tattoo of one just so that I can laser removal it right off the next day.

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WRUP: Every MMO needs a theme restaurant

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 tell us which MMO needs a theme cafe more than Final Fantasy XIV. I'm thinking an EVE Online greasy spoon would be a hoot.

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The Daily Grind: What's your favorite instant skill?

Culture, Game Mechanics, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

wildstar
I am not always a patient man, especially when I'm in the middle of combat. If given a choice, I will avoid channeled and long-cast skills even if the payoff is massive, like shooting a pocket nuke down that mutant frog's throat. I want my skill and I want it now, not four seconds and a progress bar from now.

So today let's praise and ponder the instant-cast skills, especially your favorite. In WildStar, I love how every class (at least that I've played) has an instant-stun ability that's incredibly useful to stop a big enemy attack in its tracks. I've also been a huge fan of instant-cast DoTs, which is kind of like channeling on the skill's own time instead of mine.

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!

Betawatch: July 26 - August 1, 2014

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

Firefall
Both Firefall and Swordsman officially launched this week, ending their tenures on the Betawatch list and landing on hard drives everywhere. What else is new in the land of MMO testing? The complete Betawatch roundup follows.

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The Think Tank: Building an MMO without levels

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

Welcome back to another Think Tank! This week, I charged the Massively team with a single task: Elevator-pitch an MMO without levels. What should an MMO without levels look like? Can it even be done in this modern MMO era? Here's what we came up with -- we'd love to hear your take too.

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Ultima Forever will sunset August 29th

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Miscellaneous, Sunsets

Ultima Forever is unfortunately not so forever after all: EA/Mythic has just announced that its Ultima-flavored mobile MMO will be shutting down on August 29th. Forever.
Strangers, Seekers and Avatars all,

While the past year has certainly been quite the adventure – in Britannia and beyond! – that adventure is now drawing to a close, as the time has come for us to say goodbye. As of Aug 29th 2014 (11:00 AM EDT), Ultima Forever will be shutting down its online services, and will no longer be available to play.

This was a very difficult decision for us to make. We've seen the game through ups and downs, and hope that you've enjoyed playing it every bit as much as we had making it! Through it all, it's been players like you who've made it all worthwhile.
The team says that during this final month of operation, it will boost rewards and drops, halt equipment decay, and cease selling premium currency.

Combatless MMO Wander releases Gamescom trailer

Betas, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, News Items, Miscellaneous, Sandbox

Wander
We last looked at Wander in detail at PAX Prime 2013, but the indie "collaborative exploration" MMO has been hard at work on its cross-platform, VR-friendly, combat-free experience since then. Today, the game's creator, Loki Davison, has released a brief trailer ahead of Gamescom, where Wander will be one of a very few MMOs featured at the Indie MEGABOOTH.

Enjoy the video below.

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The Daily Grind: Do you prize MMO stability?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Sunsets

wow
Will your MMO be there tomorrow? How about next year? How about in five years?

As often as we consult the Massively office oracle about such matters, the answer is always, "Outlook hazy, ask later." Predicting whether or not a game is going to be around for a while yet to come isn't as easy to do, especially considering that we've witnessed a few surprise shutdowns over the past couple of years. But I've seen many gamers accept or reject the notion of playing an MMO based on how long those gamers perceives it lasting. In other words, they're trying to play the odds if they're going to sink time into a game.

I can sympathize and certainly relate. Do you do this? Is it a dealbreaker if you think an MMO is likely to go under within a few years? Is it an added incentive if a game's been around a while and probably will be around for a while yet?

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 307: Oh to be a dragon

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

Dragons are great and all, but why can't we be one? The podcasters make a wish on a falling star and then -- poof! -- they find out that they can, indeed, become one of the dragon people. MMOs: Making little boys' and girls' wishes come true since 1981. Other topics on today's show include a new business model for an old MMO, an imminent launch, and the continuation of a story in a galaxy far, far away.

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.
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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: What constitutes a grind in an MMO?

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

Photography by Mylius
I can't remember when I first heard the term grind, but I imagine it might have been Ultima Online, when you could grind your way to Glorious Lady status killing a mongbat a minute (or was it five?). Then there was grinding mobs for levels in EverQuest, grinding missions for skill and money in Star Wars Galaxies, and then, finally, deliverance in the form of World of Warcraft, in which we'd level by completing quests! No more grinding! Right?

Well, not really. After a while, quests became grinds. Daily quest grinds. Achievement grinds. Faction grinds. Crafting grinds. Guild grinds. Pretty much everything can be made into a grind if studios infuse enough repetition into a game. We don't know what grind is, but we know it when we see it!

Let's try to define it once and for all. What constitutes a grind 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!

SDCC reveals new details about the Warcraft movie

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, News Items, Miscellaneous

You are officially allowed to request a refund if the name Leeroy Jenkins is uttered during the film's runtime.
Are you excited for a movie about World of Warcraft? Because the Warcraft movie won't be about that, exactly; it's focused on the backstory of World of Warcraft, specifically how the First War got started before the first Warcraft game. At SDCC, some new details were revealed about the title, which is currently set for release in theaters in March of 2016.

The story will focus on both sides of the conflict, with Durotan being the central character of the orcish side and Anduin Lothar taking up the protagonist mantle on the human side. A teaser trailer was also shown with a blend of both CGI and live effects, although the trailer has not yet been released to the general public. Director Duncan Jones stressed that he wants the film to be accessible to everyone and not just existing fans of the fanchise; it'll be a couple more years until fans can see how well that goal was accomplished.

MMO Week in Review: It is your Destiny

Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

Destiny
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.

Console fans were treated to a hefty dose of sci-fi pseudo-MMO Destiny this week as the beta opened up for PS3, PS4, and XBone and developers showered trinkets on players. In spite of the game's lack of cross-platform play, at least one analyst predicts Bungie could sell as many as 20 million units.

Meanwhile, we finished up our trio of articles previewing the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor beta.
WoW's Warlords of Draenor beta: A disappointing start
WoW's Warlords of Draenor beta: The disappointment of garrisons
WoW's Warlords of Draenor beta: Questing, mechanics, and concerns

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

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