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MMO Industry

CCP talks new EVE destroyer, cash shop SKINs

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

CCP released a pair of EVE dev blogs today, one of which focuses on a new tactical destroyer slated for February's Tiamat release. The other entry concerns ship painting, and more specifically Super Kerr-Induced Nanocoatings, or SKINs, if you prefer.

SKINs differ from the paint jobs currently populating EVE's cash shop in that they function as "a license to use a specific design or pattern for a ship. You then apply that license to your character and then your character will be licensed to use that design whenever you wish," according to the blog.

For now, CCP says, SKINs are permanent and cannot be lost even if you're podded.

Euro Star Citizen fans getting local support, VAT

Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Star Citizen

Are you a Star Citizen fan based in Europe? If so I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that Cloud Imperium is opening a "publishing arm" in the UK and thus will provide local customer support. The bad news is that Euro customers will be subject to the VAT beginning on February 1st.

"We wish there were an alternative to charging the tax, but also believe that it is in our best interest to expand Star Citizen's footprint to a part of the world that has proven to be truly passionate about space games," CIG explains on its website.

The Crew gets some new DLC

Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items

The Crew -- you know, that online racing thing that Ubisoft launched late last year -- has just published something called an "extreme live update." I've spared you the capital letters in the press release, but rest assured that the devs think highly of this new drop that features four additional missions and unlockable tuning specs.

Ubi has also announced a DLC consisting of three new cars: the Aston Martin V12 Zagato, an SRT Viper GTS, and the Abarth 500. Don't forget the teaser video embedded after the break.

[Source: Ubisoft press release]

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Massively Speaking Episode 330: Ehtch won zee won

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

No matter where you looked this week, something big was going on. Whether it was the early release of a certain zombie MMO, strong rumors of a thorny expansion, or hints that other titles may be offering free versions in the future, the news kept our team hopping and will keep our podcasters today talkin'!

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!

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Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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The Daily Grind: What constitutes a 'niche' MMO feature?

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Endgame, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Dungeons

In the wake of WildStar's rocky first half year, some players have defended the game's self-destructive gameplay decisions by declaring traditional gameplay tropes "niche." It's meant to be a niche game for that tiny niche of hardcore raiders, defenders argue, and therefore criticism is unwarranted. And in the sense that apparently a very small proportion of MMORPG fans actually participate in raiding (unless forced?), they're right. But that hasn't stopped most themepark MMOs since EverQuest from brandishing raids as a mostly inadequate talisman to ward off playerbase churn. Even if we outright refuse to raid, most of the MMOs we play are designed around raiders and raiding. It's easy to not raid, but raiding is hard to ignore because it's not being treated as niche by so many of the biggest titles and studios.

The disconnect between development plans and playerbase desires is reflected in this same disconnect between what we think of as a niche MMO feature and what actually is niche by the numbers. How would you sort it out? If raids, one of the core and defining features of so many themeparks, are niche, then what isn't niche? What exactly constitutes a niche MMO feature?

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!

Albion's alpha trailer highlights a whole bunch of new stuff

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Sandbox

Albion Online's upcoming alpha event begins on January 26th, and in case you're not already excited, Sandbox Interactive has released a new trailer that may put you in the mood.

The clip runs just over a minute in length, which is more than enough time to tease updated environments and textures, the new farming system, new visual effects, and large-scale PvP. Click past the cut to have a look!

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The Daily Grind: What's your gameplay-vs.-graphics bottom line?

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Sandbox, The Repopulation

We've all heard the gameplay-is-more-important-than-graphics cliche, and I'm putting it to the test this week in The Repopulation. I'm quite enjoying the sandbox title for what it allows my character to do, but boy does he look janky doing it.

I know, I know, it's alphabetaearlyaccesswhatever.

In all seriousness, I'm hoping for The Repopulation's success, but the current game raises an interesting personal question and one that I'll ask you, the Massively readers. What's your gameplay-vs.-graphics bottom line? Will you play a game for its mechanics even if its visuals bother 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!

EVE Evolved: Rebuilding EVE's corporation tools

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, PvE, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription

EVE Evolved title image
The MMO genre is defined by the online interactions of thousands of players, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the single-shard sandbox of EVE Online. While it's possible to play EVE solo, it's the players who make most of the game's meaningful content, and it's only in your emergent interactions with other players that I think the game truly comes to life. Some time ago, I wrote about the importance of CCP supporting EVE's power players, the corporation owners, fleet commanders, and event organisers who give the rest of us something fun to do. Now it looks like CCP is starting to deliver that support, with developers currently looking at updating EVE's archaic corp management tools.

CCP Punkturis recently asked corporation owners for a list of the most annoying "little things" they'd like to see fixed with the corporation management interface and was instead flooded with requests for big features and complete overhauls. Developers later confirmed on The o7 Show that at least one highly requested big feature is definitely on its way: CEOs will soon be able to switch off friendly-fire between corp members. The threat of corporate infiltrators attacking corp members has been a massive barrier preventing corps from recruiting new players, so its removal is good news for everyone (except spies). So now that corporation management is finally back on the drawing board, what other features do corp owners need?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at a few ideas for corporation tools and features that would make EVE a better place for everyone.

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The Daily Grind: What's your favorite EQII class?

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Classes, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, The Daily Grind

Welcome to another installment of Massively's Daily Grind where I give SOE -- and more specifically EverQuest II -- some free air time.

As I mentioned earlier this week, I recently returned to the game and am having a pretty good time of it. I'm not sure Coercer is the class for me, though, which is where today's question comes in. Help me out here: what's your favorite EQII class and why?

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!

Make My MMO: January 11 - 17, 2015

Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Crowdfunding, Make My MMO

This week was relatively tame as far as crowdfunded MMOs go, though we did see a new entry in the Kickstarter sweepstakes as Maestros of the Anthymn officially launched its campaign.

The tile seeks to raise some $200,000 CAD to fund a game where you can "literally mold the world around you, solve puzzles, and conquer impossible enemies through creating and wielding music itself."

And someone said there's no innovation in MMOs these days! Click past the cut for the rest of our crowdfunding roundup.

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The usual suspects dominate December's Raptr rankings

Culture, MMO Industry, News Items

Do you quote Raptr data when having unscientific discussions about MMO playerbase numbers? If so, rejoice, because here are some more numbers based on a sample size of dubious value!

As you might expect, League of Legends, Dota 2, and World of Warcraft continue to dominate Raptr users' attention spans, while ArcheAge, Final Fantasy XIV, and Guild Wars 2 all dropped from their position in November's rankings.

Click past the cut to see the full list.

[Source: Raptr press release]

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Camelot Unchained posts new art, dev checklist items

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained

If you missed Thursday night's Camelot Unchained update, CityState bossman Mark Jacobs recapped it prior to the close of business on Friday, and he also threw in some new art assets and a project checklist for good measure.

The latter is interesting if you're following the sandbox PvP title's development closely, as it features both recently completed milestones and some new ones that the team will be tackling in the very near future.

Marvel Heroes gets Omega event, level 52 Hulk review

Super-hero, Classes, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Marvel Heroes

Another weekend, another event in Marvel Heroes! This time it's Operation Omega, back for its first appearance of 2015. You'll get a 24% boost to XP, SIF, and RIF, as well as login rewards, harder enemies, and a faster leveling experience.

Gazillion has also published Hulk's level 52 review as well as a new ultimate costume for the green monster.

Betawatch: January 10 - 16, 2015

Betas, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

SOE's zombiebox H1Z1 vaulted into early access on Steam this week against a backdrop of controversy surrounding its PvE servers, launch issues, and potentially pay-to-win game mechanics. What else is new in the world of MMO testing? Our complete Betawatch roundup awaits.

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This is what it's like in Tree of Savior's closed beta

Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items

What's it like in the Tree of Savior closed beta? Steparu has the answers in a brief but video-filled impressions piece published earlier today. He says that there's not a lot of customization in this particular build, but he does praise the game's unique barracks system and outlines what it's like to play a Wizard and a Swordsman.

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