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PlanetSide 2's PS4 beta arrives on January 20th

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox

Planetside2
A post on the official PlayStation blog today confirms that PlanetSide 2's PlayStation 4 beta will begin on January 20th.

"We'll be using this beta period to test our servers, performance, and various other aspects of the game, and we also want you to share constructive feedback on PlanetSide 2," says SOE Executive Producer Clint Worley. "How does the game look and feel? Is navigating through the menus intuitive and utilizing DualShock 4 in the best way? All players in the Closed Beta will have access to our special Beta forums, which will be the primary location for development interaction and feedback. We want the massive battles to make your heart pound and adrenaline pump, so share your thoughts with us."

Beta signups for the PS4 edition of the game have been live since early December. PlanetSide 2 has lately made news for its frank discussions about monetization; SOE president John Smedley admitted that "PlanetSide 2 only recently has turned profitable on an operating basis."

PlanetSide 2 implant changes aren't a 'money grab,' Smedley says

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Patches, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

planetside 2
Gaming blog In An Age is tracking the recent saga of PlanetSide 2's implant system, noting that the team quietly nerfed the drop rate of free implants and downwardly adjusted the power of tier 1 through 3 implants in order to push sales for the new tier 4 implants. Implants offer temporary buffs or abilities for characters and require an energy cost to activate.

SOE President John Smedley defended the move on Twitter: "Sorry, but we are actually trying to make money. I don't consider it a money grab." In a later tweet, he clarified that the team "made the drop rate [for implants] too high a while ago."

Commenting on accusations of promoting a pay-to-win environment with these changes, CM Tony Jones responded on Reddit, "Depends on how you define P2W. If implants are P2W, then yes, you may not like everything in the future."

Rumors of a major Destiny expansion swirl

Sci-Fi, Expansions, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Rumors, Destiny

Languishing in obscurity is apparently not on the short list.
Speculation on what's coming next for Destiny is a cottage industry for fans, and an old image from October is making the rounds as a possible reveal of the game's future plans. The image may or may not be legitimate, but it suggests that the second expansion/DLC pack for the game is launching on March 10th, 2015, with three new story missions and a playable area (the Reef) that is briefly visited by characters but is not currently a playable region.

The image then suggest a major expansion, Plague of Darkness, launching in September 2015. Speculation is that this would serve as a sort of re-launch of the game, with bundled versions available as well as standalones for players who have already played the game; the expansion would feature another subclass for all three classes as well as a dozen new story missions and new playable areas. Take a look at the compiled information and decide for yourself how likely the rumor is in the end.

World of Tanks introduce pixel-tastic Winter Showdown

Trailers, Video, Culture, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, World of Tanks

They see me rollin', they hatin'.
Ready to take on some blocky other tanks in blocky arenas with your own blocky tank? World of Tanks wants to endorse your readiness, not block you. The development team behind the game has announced the approaching Winter Showdown mode, an homage to the simpler games of youth -- assuming that you were growing up between 1985 and 1995 and the games of your youth featured online connectivity and pixels rendered in three-dimensional space, anyway.

This mode is more than just a simple graphical overhaul, featuring three exclusive tank types, platoons of five tanks, and special gold rounds that hurt enemies or heal your allies. If you can't wait to start rolling in your pixel-based tank, good news: The mode will be available for play starting on January 26th in the United States. Take a gander at the trailer just past the break to see the blocky action in... um... action.

[Source: Wargaming.net press release]

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Not So Massively: Elite's launch, Transformers' sunset, and SMITE's $2M prize pool

Betas, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Classes, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Launches, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, Mobile, Consoles, Crime, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MechWarrior Online, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

Transformers
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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War Thunder's Steel Generals expansion beta is live

Betas, Historical, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS

War Thunder
War Thunder, Gaijin Entertainment's WWII-flavored MMO, updated with its Steel Generals patch this week, just ahead of the holidays. It includes new vehicles, tow cable mechanics, retooled artillery strikes, and new damage modeling. Gamers can also jump into three new maps: White Stone Fortress for air and ground battles, an Eastern Europe map with "varied open ground and urban terrain features," and the massive air-combat Battle for Moscow, which reconstructs the city during the Winter Campaign of 1941-1942. The Steel Generals content, however, "steals" the show:
The biggest addition to War Thunder with this update is the beta of the Steel Generals expansion, which includes the first six American tanks available now. By the end of Q1 2015, more than 30 US WWII tanks will be available. This release schedule allows Gaijin Entertainment to test each of the tanks to ensure that they are ready for battle when commercially launched. In honor of the update launch, special packages are available for purchase that contain premium US tanks and other bonuses alongside closed beta access. Players can participate in the Steel Generals beta by entering into contests and in-game events in War Thunder.
Check out the new screenshots and walkthrough video below.

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EVE Online and DUST 514 celebrate the holiday season

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, DUST 514, Sandbox, Subscription

It's usually hard to find a way to mention a good year and DUST 514 in the same space.
The year is wrapping up and EVE Online players are getting presents to celebrate. CCP Games has posted a short recap of the past year and an announcement of the holiday gifts players can expect to receive as a paid subscriber. That includes snowballs, fireworks, jackets, and a set of trinkets to commemorate the past year. Players can also look forward to 20 free days of multiple character training as a final additional gift. All of these promotions are available until January 11th.

Meanwhile, for those of you who prefer to explore this particular universe via a console shooter, DUST 514 is having a holiday event with its 12 Days of DUST. Starting on December 25th, each day will bring a new reward to players who finish three daily missions, so you'll have to keep playing through January 5th to unlock all the rewards. A special reward is awaiting those who clear everything, so get strapped in and ready to shoot if you want to celebrate the holidays that way.

Not So Massively: HEX gets new cards, Dota 2 cancels Christmas, and Hearthstone lands on Android (sorta)

Betas, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, HEX, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

HEX
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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Massively's Best of 2014 Awards: Best Pseudo-MMO of the Year

MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, MMORTS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, E-sports, OARPG

Massively 2014 Awards
Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Best Pseudo-MMO of the year. This is always a difficult category since it forces us to define MMOs. This year, we opted to make eligible any online game that isn't a pure and traditional MMORPG, games we'd cover in Not So Massively: mobile MMOs, console MMOs, OARPGs, MOBAs, MMOFPS titles, MMORTS titles, and so on. And of course, the game must have launched in 2014. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively staff pick for Best Pseudo-MMO of 2014 is...

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MechWarrior Online enters beta testing for Community Warfare

Betas, Sci-Fi, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, MechWarrior Online

And they say bright colors can't be intimidating.
There's a lot of stuff packaged in with MechWarrior Online's Community Warfare update: Clan 'Mechs and hardware, the new Invasion gameplay mode, new maps, the dropship mechanic allowing players to get back into the action if their 'Mechs are destroyed. But you don't have to take our word for it. The update has entered open beta, so anyone who wants to start taking part in the conflict of the Inner Sphere against the marauding Clans can do so at his or her leisure.

Piranha Games has also made an update to the way that the game handles units. Previously, "disbanded" units were frequently just being remade under a different leader or faction, but the game's structure meant that keeping the same identifying marks required the intervention of customer service. This update removes disbanded units in one swoop, allowing players who wish to disband and remake a unit to do so with greater ease. Check out the full update for the fine details and the corner cases.

Destiny: The Dark Below is live today [Updated: Crota has already been defeated]

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Destiny

So not such good news if you bought an Xbox One, although if you bought an Xbox One you're probably used to bad news.
Destiny isn't leaving players in the dark today; the game is actively sending players into the dark. Why? Because The Dark Below launches today, bringing along with it updates and expansions for several parts of the game along with some exclusive content for players who buy early and/or play on a PlayStation system.

The new content includes a new raid, three new competitive arena maps, new loot, new story missions, and another cooperative Strike. Players who purchase before January 15th, 2015, will also receive an exclusive vehicle, and PlayStation players get a special shotgun and access to an additional Strike exclusive to the platform. So if you're ready to start shooting the Hive in the darkest places you can think of, jump in today; we've placed the trailer just after the break.

[Source: Bungie press release]

[Update: Aaaaaaand the new raid has already been beaten.]

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Not So Massively: Hearthstone's expansion, The Crew's launch, and Dead Island: Epidemic's beta

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Expansions, Launches, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, MMORTS, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warplanes, MOBA, League of Legends, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Hearthstone

NSM - Hearthstone
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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Destiny's 10-year plan includes character-hopping to sequels

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, MMOFPS, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

destiny
The strange approach of Destiny that has the game with one foot squarly planted in MMO territory and one firmly in the realm of standard console shooters has never been illustrated as strongly as in this story from IGN.

In the interview, Bungie said that players will be able to save and import characters and progress between Destiny and a proposed sequel while ignoring how MMOs simply build upon game worlds so that importing isn't necessary. One of the devs even expressed the revelation that players tend to form attachments to their avatars: "If you take a look at the way people have played other games for a long period of time, they've had a relationship with the same character for a very long time."

Bungie said it has "a 10-year plan for the expansion and evolution of this franchise."

PlanetSide 2 opens beta signups for PlayStation 4

Betas, Sci-Fi, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

Elsewhere, in a dirty and nearly empty bar, DUST 514 demands another shot of whiskey before falling off of its bar stool.
It's been a while since PlanetSide 2 fans have heard much about the game making the leap to the next generation of console hardware. But that's changing today, as the game has opened closed beta signups for testing its PlayStation 4 version. As always, the closed beta signup is no assurance that you'll actually get to test the game, but it does mean that it's closer than ever to being a reality. Signups currently require nothing more than an email address, although it's probably a good idea to have a PSN ID beforehand. (And a PS4.)

The last word on the beta was that it should be coming before the end of the year, according to creative director Matt Higby. We'll keep hopeful players posted as we get more information.

Borderlands Online confirmed for a Chinese release

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, MMOFPS, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous

So this is the world we live in now, wherein a franchise that was Diablo but guns is now branching into totally different directions.  This world is a fat lot of nonsense.
Remember that crazy rumor from last week that Borderlands was going to be an MMO? It was so crazy and unbelievable you just had to laugh. It was also completely true, and it's now confirmed that Borderlands Online will be coming to China, published by Shanda Games and developed by Gearbox. There are no apparent plans to bring the game to the US.

Four classes will be available in Borderlands Online: Warrior, Ranger, Wizard, and Berserker. The game is planned for a release in 2015; a mobile title is also in development, although it's unclear whether it will be a tie-in to the online game or a port of an existing title. So, yes, that crazy rumor was apparently right on the money.

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