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MMO Industry

Betawatch: December 20 - 26, 2014

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

Say a little prayer for Mr. Fancy Pants - the whole world knows it's only clothes, and deep inside he's sad.
Alas, Transformers Universe, you were too beautiful for this world. Only you were not, in fact, too beautiful for anything; you were actually not beautiful enough to make it to launch. Yes, it happened a little while ago, but due to some holiday or another this has been a fairly slow week, and someone needs to shed a tear for the game. Or something like that.

What else was new in the world of MMO testing for the week? Jump on past the break for our full listing of games in testing!

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Ask Massively: The one where we talk about our 2014 awards

Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Ask Massively, Miscellaneous

Massively's 2014 awards series is over, but we like to go back and take a look at the reader polls and some of the big questions and neat comments that arose during the course of our rollout because many of our awards were contentious, as they are every year. It'd be no fun if they weren't, I suppose. Allow us to pontificate, and in the course of the review, we'll try to answer some frequently asked questions as well.

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TUG's investment deal goes through

Fantasy, Video, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox

Hooray, this fully-funded Kickstarter is probably going to actually happen!
After all the stress that TUG went through with a series of layoffs and funding issues, it almost seemed like too much to hope that Nerd Kingdom would actually secure the investors they were looking for. But good news does come around this time of year. The game has its additional funding secure, which means that it's out of the woods, at least for now.

The multiplayer portion of the game continues in heavy development (there's a preview video just past the break) and supporters are implored to really go to town and help find bugs in that build. Players are also encouraged to check out the Nerd Kingdom booth at the upcoming PAX South. It's good news for fans of what the game is now and what it could eventually become, so keep your eyes peeled and breathe a sigh of relief that the money from the sky actually came through.

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The Daily Grind: What's the ideal crafting style for an MMO?

Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Crafting

Ultima Online
There's a lot of hate for "clicky" crafting in MMOs -- you know, the old "click a button, crafted item pops into your bag" trope. I'd call it the World of Warcraft style, but MMOs all the way back to Ultima Online did crafting that way. And this might sound crazy, but even as a hardcore crafter, I don't actually mind it. Everything in a video game comes down to clicking or mousing or typing. What matters to me is whether the crafting itself matters in the game. Even though the final combine in Star Wars Galaxies amounted to clicking a button and having something pop into my bag, there was a whole chain of resource collecting and experimentation and component creation and luck along the way, and since the economy was player-driven, most of what I was making had relevance to other players.

Personally, I'll take that plus simple clicking over a time-wasting, irritating minigame-style of crafting any day, but I'd love to see innovation in how we craft too. What do you think -- what's the ideal crafting style for 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!

The Think Tank: The best Massively content of 2014

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

Massively reader Hagu recently wrote to us and suggested that "when the holiday doldrums" arrive and we're "filling with retrospectives" we consider doing one on our most important articles of the year, the ones we really wish developers or players would read and really take to heart. So that's what we're doing in today's Think Tank: I asked each writer to pick one article that he or she wrote this year that marks his or her very favorite, best, or most important work. Since we are writers, most of us couldn't just pick one, and I'm not about to stop us. We'd love to hear you sound off on your favorite content of the year as well (it helps tell us what we should do more of). Happy holidays!

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Latest EVE dev blog charts module rebalancing

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

EVE's forthcoming Proteus release will feature the second round of rebalancing work that CCP has termed Module Tiericide. Today's dev blog explains some of the changes courtesy of a sizable chart that shows stats like CPU usage, optimal range, powergrid usage, and more.

There are a lot of numbers to parse, but if you're into that sort of thing, CCP says that it will be collecting player feedback and acting on it prior to Proteus' January 13th launch date.

Camelot Unchained's latest newsletter tackles player-built structures

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Crafting, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, Player-Generated Content

Camelot's Unchained's latest newsletter is hot off the virtual presses. It's a lengthy read, too, so grab yourself a snack and a beverage before perusing the community Q&A section, a state of the build update, an art update, and a design discussion on the RvR sandbox's building system.

"The world of CU, while it will have some important pre-built structures, leaves the dynamic creation, capture, and destruction of keeps and castles firmly in the hands of our players," City State says.

Elder Scrolls Online definitely coming to consoles in 2015

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Consoles, The Elder Scrolls Online

ZeniMax has posted a holiday greeting to Elder Scrolls Online fans that also promises a console launch for the fantasy MMO in 2015. "We've released five major updates and tons of improvements and fixes," the blurb reads. "Next year promises to be just as exciting as we introduce the Champion and Justice systems, launch on the PS4 and Xbox One, and continue to release new adventures for you to experience."

Massively Speaking Episode 326: Mailbag cleanup

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

As part of our end-of-the-year efforts, today's podcast will be devoted to going through ALL (or all we can handle) of the mail that's been piling up on Massively Speaking's doorstep. It's a full hour of nothing other than your topics and our opinions, brought to you in full technicolor sound!

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.
[Stitcher] Follow the podcast on Stitcher Radio.
Listen here on the page:

Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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New studio ArtCraft creating MMO with 'real skill, real risk, and real consequence'

MMO Industry, New Titles, Miscellaneous

Heads up, MMO fans -- there's a new player on the scene. Industry vets J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton have come together to form ArtCraft, a studio that's making a mystery MMO with "real skill, real risk, and real consequences."

"We're building something completely different, completely unique. We believe the MMO industry has grown stale. It's time to create something new," Coleman stated. Coleman and Walton have worked on many MMOs, including Shadowbane, Wizard101, Ultima Online, and Star Wars Galaxies, and they say they are building an "all-star" team for this new project.

The teaser website for the game asks, "Where did we go wrong?" with the MMO industry and vows to take chances with this new game. There's a countdown timer on the site (62 days as of the writing of this article) and a sign-up for the beta.

[Source: ArtCraft press release]

The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the most content?

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

A Massively commenter weeks ago wrote that World of Warcraft has the most content out of any MMO, full-stop, and everyone around him seemed to take that at face value, which astonished me. Look, I'm subbing to WoW even as I type this, and I think WoW has gobs more systems than some people give it credit for, but the most content of any MMO? Not a chance!

Even if we discount wide-open, pure sandboxes -- which, depending on whom you ask, have either no content or infinite content -- we'd still have to factor in sandparks and classic MMOs that have 20 expansions, more updates than WoW per year, multiple expansions per year, and so many systems and zones that it's just flat out overwhelming. There are a dozen MMOs that intimidate people with how much stuff they pack in. You'd never finish them. By comparison, WoW is a mere snack -- an awesome, polished snack, but a snack all the same.

I don't know which MMO has the "most" content, but I'm pretty sure WoW wouldn't make even the inevitable top 10 list. What about you other folks who've been around the MMO block a time or two? Which MMO has the most content?

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!

Aion EU starts a new Q&A vidcast

Fantasy, Video, Aion, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Community Q&A

Aion's EU dev team has released the first episode of a new vidcast called Ask Aion. It follows a pretty familiar Q&A format, with the questions pulled from fans via Twitter.

They include bits about player events, possible server merges, and even an angry rant directed at publisher GameForge which prompts Aion's EU product director to strangle a plushie on camera. See for yourself after the cut.

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CCP looking for EVE Fanfest speakers

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

The 2015 version of EVE's annual Fanfest is only three months away! CCP is looking to ramp up player engagement during the event, though it says it will not be "replacing any developer presentations with community ones." The firm does want to "increase the number of player-run sessions," though, and its latest news article outlines how you can get involved in 45-minute panels, 10- to 20-minute presentations, or five-minute "lightning talk" events.

World of Tanks' 9.5 update detailed in new trailer, review vid

Historical, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, War, World of Tanks

Wargaming has released a new trailer for World of Tanks version 9.5. The patch adds three new maps, a host of British war machines, an overhauled minimap, and much more. The trailer is kind of a quickie, so we've also embedded the 9.5 review video just beyond the break

WoT 9.5 is now available for download via the game's official website.

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The Repopulation drops NDA, comes to Steam

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

The Repopulation is spreading a bit of early Christmas cheer according to the latest news blurb on the sci-fi sandbox's website. In short, the final alpha phase begins this weekend, and you can also pick up the game via Steam's Early Access program. The Steam launch has done away with the NDA, too, so feel free to share your experiences in the comments. Oh, and don't forget to watch the Alpha 4 trailer after the break!

[Thanks Crow!]

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