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Miscellaneous

The Daily Grind: What do you hope to hear at this year's PAX Prime?

Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous

PAX Prime is the last major Western multi-game tradeshow of the year relevant for MMO enthusiasts, making it the last big wave of mass studio announcements until PAX South's debut in January. Massively's Justin Olivetti will be on the PAX Prime show floor for us this year, checking out Warlords of Draenor, Landmark, ArcheAge, H1Z1, WildStar, The Repopulation, Pathfinder Online, Hearthstone, Trove, Shroud of the Avatar, and other MMOs and not-so-MMOs both big and small.

But sometimes game announcements come out of nowhere during conventions, and we discover something we weren't expecting at all. What do you hope to see from this year's PAX Prime?

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!

Funcom's revenues decrease in Q2

Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, MMO Industry, News Items, The Secret World, Miscellaneous

It's still a better business model than Orochi.
Funcom has released its second-quarter financial results for the year, and it's not a glowing success story. Revenue dropped roughly $600,000 compared to Q1, a drop attributed to weaker in-game item sales over the quarter. Despite this, the report indicates that the company remains on-track as a whole, with the overall pattern of expenses not significantly changed. All of the major MMOs in the studio's portfolio are stated to be cash-flow positive, which is good news for fans.

While the company launched several marketing attempts to draw more players into its titles, The Secret World was the most successful at bringing in more players via its most recent major update. The company projects good results for LEGO Minifigures Online when it releases in October. Interested players can look at the full report, which is less overwhelmingly positive than might be ideal but hardly paints a picture of doom.

Get your Dizzel beta item key today here on Massively

Contests, New Titles, War, Massively Meta, Giveaways, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous

Dizzel
Just as our sister site Joystiq did yesterday, Massively is giving away a boatload of Dizzel beta codes to our readers today -- specifically, keys for a Chrome Assault Rifle usable in the game. Dizzel is a free-to-play multiplayer third-person action-shooter by OGPlanet and Neowiz that falls into our Not So Massively category, but we think it could appeal to our regular MMO audience as well. Plus, free stuff!

Interested? Just clicky the buttons below to grab your Dizzel item code, then follow these instructions to redeem it:
  • Via official installer: Sign up for a free OGPlanet account by downloading the Dizzel Installer. Once Dizzel is installed, login to the game and create your character. Go to Dizzel's Redemption Page and enter your key code. Finally, check your in-game 'Storage' to add your items to your inventory.
  • Via Steam: Download and Install Dizzel through Steam. Once you're in-game, locate and click the 'Shop' button on the top menu. Press the 'Cash Reload' button located on the bottom right. Steam's Cash Purchase window will be displayed; you will notice 'Item Package Redemption' on the right section. Please input your Keycode, and press 'Redeem,' and allow up to 15 minutes for delivery. Your item will arrive in your Inventory's 'Storage' section.

GET YOUR KEY GIVEAWAY FAQ OFFICIAL RULES

Twitch viewership now rivals prime-time cable

MMO Industry, Livestream, Miscellaneous

While some folks don't understand the phenomenon of watching others play a game when they could actually play it themselves, many are doing exactly that. And those numbers continue to rise: A recent look at viewership compiled in The New York Times shows that Twitch at its peak now rivals the average of some prime-time cable networks. Compared to major video providers, however, Twitch still lags behind. When held up to NetFlix and YouTube, Twitch has about eight times fewer hours of video viewed monthly compared to the former and roughly 24 times fewer than the latter.

Contributing to Twitch's numbers are a multitude of streamers who've built large audiences. These personalities can individually pull in up to and even more than 40,000 viewers during a single stream. For a glimpse of all the graphs, head on over to NYT.

The Daily Grind: What would you want in a World of Warcraft 2?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

wow
Your guess is as good as mine as to how serious Blizzard was being the other week when it floated the possibility of a sequel to World of Warcraft during an interview. After all, words are cheap, but development is crazy expensive.

But let's have a little fun with this concept today, whether or not a WoW 2 is in the making. Assuming that there was one being brewed up, what would you want to see done with it? Would it embrace more sandbox features? Would it simply remake the current game or jet off on its own timeline? Would you even prefer a platform switch, such as a mobile WoW or a virtual reality-based one?

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!

GX3 Kickstarter gets a big boost from Blizzard

Culture, Events (Real-World), News Items, Miscellaneous

Points where they're due.
Conventions are expensive, and unless you have a major publisher or media franchise backing them, it's very easy for a convention to be successful without being successful enough to keep going. GaymerX managed two conventions, but the third round is currently on Kickstarter, trying to raise funds for another convention focused on inclusiveness and support of all different types of gamers. That goal is being helped significantly by a big name in online gaming: Blizzard Entertainment.

The Kickstarter site for the convention lists the World of Warcraft developer as pledging "over $10,000" to making the convention a reality. There are still 23 days for the project to reach its funding goal, but that kind of money certainly helps kick a project along. If you're interested in donating yourself, the convention will be in the Bay Area of California in either November or December of 2015.

Massively Speaking Episode 311: Interior decorating

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

Rid yourself of gender-baised notions, for boys love interior decorating too! This week, Eliot and Justin share tips on couch placement, pleasing contrasts between wall trim and carpet colors, and where to put mutated eyeballs so that they're not always freaking out the guests. Also, they talk about MMOs, because that's what we sometimes do on this show.

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.
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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: Are kids poor MMO consumers?

Business Models, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Kids, Family, Miscellaneous

LMFO
Earlier this year after announcing sunsets for the apparently popular Free Realms and three other titles, SOE's John Smedley declared that his studio was done with MMOs aimed at children. "No more kid's games," he said on Reddit. "Kids don't spend well and it's very difficult to run a kids game. Turns out kids do mean stuff to each other a lot."

The last comment is no doubt true and manifests primarily in unfettered chat, as former Massively writer Karen Bryan explored a few years ago. But is it likewise true that "kids don't spend well"? Kid-friendly games like Wizard101 and Super Hero Squad Online seem to be doing just fine. Funcom sure thought the market was ripe for another go at a LEGO MMO. And I suspect that tweens are heavily responsible for some of the crazy IAP spending going on in the mobile space. If I were a kid now instead of in the '90s, I would have blown my allowance on Guild Wars 2 microtrans instead of comic books and trading cards.

What do you think? Are kids truly as terrible an MMO audience as SOE believes?

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: Hellgate's resurrection, Path of Exile's expansion, and Destiny's launch trailer

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Hellgate: London, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games, Consoles, Crime, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warplanes, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone

Hellgate
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: At home in a galaxy far, far away

Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

SWTOR
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.

You may not be able to play Uncle Owen on your very own moisture farm in Star Wars: The Old Republic, but you can come pretty darn close in the Galactic Strongholds expansion, which added housing to the game when it launched for subscribers earlier this week.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories, including more of our SOE Live coverage.

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Hackers' bomb threat allegedly reroutes SOE's president's plane

Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Legal, Miscellaneous

Smed
Hackers who implicated themselves in this weekend's PlayStation Network outage have apparently stepped up their attacks on Sony with a casual bomb threat made over Twitter that may have diverted a plane carrying SOE president John Smedley. In addition to tweeting several mocking threats about the flight as well as an image purporting to be Smed's e-ticket, the hacker account sent this message to American Airlines:
.@AmericanAir We have been receiving reports that @j_smedley's plane #362 from DFW to SAN has explosives on-board, please look into this.
Smed tweeted earlier today that his plane had been rerouted to Phoenix over "security reasons." Local news stations report that the FBI is investigating the threats.

[Developing]

One Shots: [Epic Pants]

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, One Shots, The Secret World, Miscellaneous, WildStar, Firefall

firefall
If you've never truly appreciated a good pair of pants, then you've never been a video gamer who's had a character in severe want of some. Today, we're able to bring you a story that will make you tear up when you hear about one player who got what we've all wanted.

"After downloading the massive pre-launch Firefall update, I logged in to find that my Engineer looked different somehow: more self assured, more confident," reader Ralph the Wonder Llama wrote. "You see, all through beta my engineer had been getting by with just one 'pant.' While the other players used to run around looking all comfy in their full pair of pants, my poor Engineer had to make do wearing just one. But no more! No more sleepless nights wondering where her other pant had gone! No more Chosen snickering at her for showing up to battle half-dressed! My Engineer can finally hold her head high! She has... PANTS!"

Pass me a hankie, that was beautiful. To see the pants in their full-color glory, all you need to do is stop sobbing for a minute to click that button.

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Perfect Ten: How to spend $46,750 on MMO crowdfunding purchases

Opinion, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, The Repopulation, Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Pathfinder Online, Trove

sota
Do you ever look at your wallet and say, "Ugh, this thing is too full! It's causing a bruise on my tushie every time I sit, and no gas station ever has change for a thousand-dollar bill!" Are you tired of the endless cycle of purchasing luxury sedans to roll them off cliffs only to realize that the auto industry is making them faster than they can be destroyed?

We here at Massively feel your pain, and just as soon as I finished eating a breakfast of scrambled eggs made from endangered birds, I hopped off the company's gold yacht and got to work tracking down ways that you could relieve yourself of the burden of wealth.

So here is my plan, in 10 simple steps, for you to shed $46,750 of your bank account, all by blowing your enormous disposable income on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding options. No, please don't thank me by sending me a gigantic check. I would only shred it to use in my robo-hamster's cage.

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WRUP: Limited-time reunion show edition

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

Left to right, for those who have forgotten: Arnold Pinchwhistle, The Magnificent Zorb, G.M. Hatpants, Phineas 'Two-Time' Kacynski, and of course Donna Eckleburg the Fourth (the third).
That's right, ladies and gentlemen! Because you demanded it, or because we were pressed for time and needed something to show for our efforts, Eliot is back on WRUP for one week only! Featuring all of your favorite acts, such as flying whales that hate pizza, ducks, animal photos, and repeating a single word multiple times in a truly baffling display of what can sometimes be done in this format! This is only available for this week, so act now!

But wait, there's more! If you click past the link right now, you can also find out what the Massively staff is up to over the weekend, which is ostensibly the point of this feature in the first place! You can also let us know what you'll be up to in the comments. And now, the part you've been waiting for, the return performance, which is...

Ah, never mind, out of space. Sorry! Same time next year?

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The Daily Grind: What's the most challenging MMO you've played?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

tsw
I've played my fair share of challenging MMOs over the years. From obtuse interfaces to steep learning curves to tough-as-nails combat, the myth of MMOs being nonstop faceroll games has been disproven time and again. However, if I had to pick the single most challenging title, it would be The Secret World, hands-down.

Nothing about The Secret World comes easy. The combat has you struggling sometimes against standard mobs, the game's many systems are complex and non-intuitive, the story isn't spelled out for you, and some of the quests tax my brain far more than my reflexes. Don't get me wrong; I love TSW to its core, but it's stupid hard at times, so much so that it's kept me from seriously pursuing an alt.

What would you say is the most challenging MMO that you've ever played?

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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