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Miscellaneous

WRUP: Registered users, shmegistered users

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

ArcheAge
Welcome back to What Are You Playing, the game in which we tell you what we're playing this weekend and you tell us why the industry still seems to think people are fooled by "registered users" numbers in a free-to-play world.

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The Daily Grind: How much of a completionist are you?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

eso
MMOs are dangerous territory for the "must see, do, and experience it all" type of player. With mission checklists, achievement pages, collections, rare kill lists, armor sets, and map exploration, these types of games appeal to and encourage completionists to fulfill their destinies.

So how much of a completionist are you? While I will engage in collections and achievements, they are still optional fun for me. What is mandatory are finishing up all of a zone's quests and filling out the map at a minimum. Also, if there are any options for fleshing out a character's development, I will be pushing to max out all of those fields. What about 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!

Betawatch: September 27 - October 3, 2014

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

RIFT
The formal launch of RIFT's Nightmare Tide expansion has been delayed by two weeks, so that means it'll be keeping us company here in Betawatch for two more weeks! What else is new in the world of MMO testing? The complete Betawatch roundup lies below.

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Ask Massively: Dancing on WildStar's grave

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Ask Massively, Miscellaneous, WildStar

This week's revelation that WildStar Design Producer Stephen Frost is quitting his role is not the first and likely won't be the last blow to the beleaguered game. Carbine lost several high-profile developers before and after launch, and with raiding guilds abandoning the title, server merges on the way, endgame grind being scaled back, updates being heavily delayed, and Christmas being canceled, even more players are losing faith in the title. That's nothing new in our industry. MMOs are big and unwieldy and sometimes launch with terrible underlying problems. They can usually pull out of a nosedive, given time. So let's give them time.

But there's a whole contingent of gamers already dancing on WildStar's grave when it's not even dead. It's one thing to deeply oppose a game's design, but if you take delight in watching major MMOs flounder, you don't really deserve this genre at all.

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The Daily Grind: How should MMO quests be delivered?

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Humor, Miscellaneous

UO
I was tinkering in Ultima Online last week when I spied something I had forgotten about: quest givers with yellow exclamation points over their heads! In Ultima Online! The much-maligned mechanic has even retroactively invaded ancient sandboxes.

But I started to wonder what MMO players would accept as a mechanic for quest delivery. World of Warcraft's exclamation points are hated, Star Wars Galaxies' mission terminals seemed artificial, WildStar fans complain about pop-up quests, and there's no way I'd want to go back to EverQuest's keyword-based quest text. Hail, a_quest_giver_001!

So how, exactly, do you want your MMO quests doled out?

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!

Analysts suggest video game Kickstarters are in decline

MMO Industry, News Items, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

People are less willing to put down money on these gambles for some reason.  In unrelated news, have an Embers of Caerus header.
If you're still holding out hope for Kickstarter as the new face of funding video game development, you may want to revise that projection. Analyst group ICO Partners has been tracking Kickstarter through 2014 and has observed a marked drop in successful projects, funds pledged, and overall scale of projects on the site. Based on projections, the group expects a 20% drop in successful projects by the end of the year -- not a collapse, but a definite shrink.

The downturn is attributed to a variety of factors, including the lack of several big-name projects to draw people to the service and a number of high-profile failures. ICO Partners analyst Thomas Bidaux also notes that the amount being received by successful projects is diminishing, which he attributes to fans being less willing to drop money on a potential game when some of their already funded games have yet to materialize. The full report has more data and is well worth a read for anyone interested in crowdfunding and its future.

The Daily Grind: Should museums preserve MMOs?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

habitat
I may be in the vast minority here, but I am keenly interested in the attempt by the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment to resurrect (for however long) the incredibly ancient Habitat -- and to make it playable by folks today. Usually we consider dead MMOs as just that: dead. Yet we're starting to see more examples of strange resurrections and fan restorations that are reversing the decomposition process.

The Habitat story got me thinking about how these games might be saved for the long-term, particularly through special institutions such as museums. Twenty years from now, would you like to see your favorite MMOs restored and run using free museum servers to honor their legacy and to provide a way to revisit old stomping grounds? Is this a pipe dream when we consider issues of rights and IPs and other legal entanglements?

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!

Global Chat: Through a monitor, darkly

Culture, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, The Secret World, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

tsw
No matter who you are, and even if you are independently rich and can game all day, it's impossible to get around to playing all of the MMOs out there -- even all of the major ones. This is why I love MMO blogs, since they allow me to vicariously visit many of the games that I lack time to play. Even if they're silly observations or dutiful reporting on last night's activities, these posts are my window into a universe of virtual worlds.

In today's edition of Global Chat, we'll hear from a gamer visiting an older MMO for the first time, a rant about Guild Wars 2's new player experience, a tribute to the late Rusty Hearts, and why "entitlement" is overused as an attack in our community.

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Massively Speaking Episode 315: Signs of the apocalypse

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

trove
MMOs coming back from the dead after 30 years? It's one of the sure signs of the end times! What's next, Richard Garriott returning to Ultima Online? Derek Smart stepping into a big pile of "oopsie?" A second Global Agenda? Preposterous!

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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Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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The Daily Grind: Are character bios due for revival?

Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Roleplaying, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content

SWG
One of my favorite things about classic MMOs is that they refused to give up on the "RPG" part of MMORPG. As in a tabletop game, in classic MMOs you were often given an opportunity to write a biography for your character, then import it into the game and attach it to your profile in some way so that other players could read it. In some games, having a superb character bio could snag the attention of a gamemaster and land you even more recognition in the form of a badge or achievement.

It bothers me that these little touches are missing from so many modern MMOs. They don't take much effort on the part of the designers, and they sell the impression that creativity still matters, that your character is more than just a chat handle and a suit of armor.

Are character bios due for a revival? Did you ever or would you use the option in your game of choice if you could?

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: Patches for Destiny, Path of Exile, and Diablo III

Betas, Business Models, Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Dungeons, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Path of Exile, E-sports, OARPG

Destiny
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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The Crew's console closed beta launches tomorrow

Betas, Real-Life, News Items, Consoles, Miscellaneous

The Crew
Console closed beta arrives tomorrow for racing MMO The Crew, a tweet from Ubisoft has announced. PS4 and Xbox One players can sign up on the official site to secure a spot in the test. Sorry, Wii U and PS3 stalwarts; the game won't be ported for you.

The game's second beta began on PC back in August. It's slated to launch on November 11th.

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MMO Week in Review: Path of the Titan

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, Blizzard made Titan's cancelation official, sending analysts scurrying to make bold statements of doom and/or apathy and leaving MMO fans to ponder what Titan's death really means to our genre.

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

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One Shots: Because who wouldn't want a 12-story-tall killing machine?

Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, RIFT, Vindictus, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar

wildstar
What does this sight make you think of? Voltron? Pacific Rim? A convenient excuse to wet yourself in front of your fellow soldiers? Thank goodness it's not fully online and operational, or else we'd be facing down a mechanical killing machine that would take a million-person raid to bring down.

"I call this one 'You're Gonna Need a Bigger Bot'," reader Bunglerm00se submitted. "Yes, that is a several-stories-high killer robot, and no, this one doesn't have that cute boy from Sons of Anarchy calling the shots in its brainpan. I was already pre-disposed to liking WildStar, but this is one of the visuals that sealed the deal."

Wait... am I the only one who piddled in my bloomers? C'mon, guys, I thought we were in this together!

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Make My MMO: September 21 - 27, 2014

Betas, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Make My MMO

As usual in the Kickstarter corner of the MMO industry, this week saw ups and downs for hopeful MMOs. Trials of Ascension hit its $60,000 crowndfund goal, Star Citizen broke $54,000,000 (count those zeroes, folks!), and Camelot Unchained got a new website. Yay! But TUG laid off half its staff, Pathfinder Online's early enrollment has been delayed until almost Halloween, and Project Gorgon's Kickstarter campaign has fallen short of its $100,000 goal. Boo! Bringing balance to the universe is Shroud of the Avatar, which was successfully Steam greenlit but has resorted to enticing testers with digital hats.

Read on for our complete MMO crowdfunding roundup in this week's edition of Make My MMO.

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