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Not So Massively: Closed beta for HOTS; tourneys for Hearthstone and LoL

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, MMORTS, World of Tanks, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

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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Space strategy MMO AD2460 launches on December 29th

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Launches, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Browser, MMORTS, Miscellaneous, Subscription

After two months in open beta, space strategy MMO AD2460 has announced its official launch for December 29th. The spiritual sequel to 2000's Planetarion, AD2460 is playable in-browser, meaning it works on mobile too. Players will be spending their time developing alliances and empires and fleets, and once the game is out of beta, they can expect to pay $1 a week in sub fees.

Fifth Season's Christian Lassem dropped by our comment section earlier this fall to dispel confusion about the game and show off a slice of combat via video, which we've included below.

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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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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.

Continue Reading

Not So Massively: LoL's Rek'Sai, DayZ's price hikes, and The Crew's launch

Trailers, Video, PvP, News Items, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, MMORTS, Not So Massively, MOBA, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, E-sports, OARPG

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.

Continue Reading

A glance at Civilization Online's robust character creator

Video, Previews, News Items, MMORTS, Miscellaneous

Could we just get the character creator even if we don't get the game?
Let's cut to the chase: Past the break, we have two videos embedded showing off Civilization Online's character creator, which you can use the next time anyone starts talking about the challenges of body sliders with stylized art. It doesn't take much to see that the characters here are pretty heavily stylized, but despite that, the character creator features a huge array of options, sliders, and details.

Many of the creation options are controlled by a grab-and-pull system similar to the one seen in The Sims 4, making adjustments to body dimensions more instinctive. There's no official timeline for when Civilization Online will come to the US, so you'll have to either wait or get familiar with Korean if you want to try this out for yourself.

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Elvenar brings city building to a fantasy world

Fantasy, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Browser, MMORTS

Pristine worlds and virgin landscapes are an affront to sentient sensibilities, which is why the call is going out to colonize the world of Elvenar. Today, InnoGames announced that it is working on a new city building game, this one to be set in a fantasy world.

Players in Elvenar will get to choose between Elves and Humans, after which they will get cracking on building a city to honor that race. Like other InnoGames titles, Elvenar will have not only a building component, but trade and battle ones as well.

Elvenar is planning on a January 2015 closed beta test for the PC. Mobile editions of the game are also planned, although they will be coming later. Players can pre-register on the official site right now.

[Source: InnoGames press release]

Watch two hours of Civilization Online unfold

Betas, Video, Free-to-Play, MMORTS

civ online
Unless you're in Korea, you don't have much of a chance of getting into the Civilization Online beta test, but at least you can enjoy it vicariously! A beta tester posted over two hours of in-game footage of this MMO strategy hybrid.

The video covers a wide gamut from the introductory tutorial to horseback riding to building to sieges. There are also plenty of exciting menus and map screens for you to brush up on your Korean as well! Even without knowing the language, one can get a pretty good handle on how Civ Online looks and plays. The advance peek starts after the break.

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Kingdom Under Fire II took seven years and $50M to complete

Betas, Fantasy, Interviews, Free-to-Play, MMORTS

After spending over seven years in development, Kingdom Under Fire II may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It's currently in beta testing in southeast Asia and has plans for US and EU tests before the end of 2014.

Game Director Sang Youn Lee said that the title's lengthy development was compounded by a format switch from a single-player Xbox title to an MMO for the PC and PlayStation 4. The cost for the game also spiraled upward over the years. "The scale of the game has expanded to three or four times what it was at first," Sang Youn Lee told Kotaku. "$15,000,000 was the first budget for the game. Now it is $50,000,000."

Kingdom Under Fire II blends RPG and RTS elements to allow players to lead up to 500 soldiers in battles against each other rather than against the computer. Reportedly, the game can handle displaying 10,000 troops in combat at the same time.

StarCraft II: An MMO player's perspective

Sci-Fi, PvP, Hands-On, MMORTS, Buy-to-Play

StarCraft II
StarCraft is of immense importance to the world of online gaming. It's one of the franchises responsible for establishing Blizzard Entertainment as a titan (get it!?) of the games industry. It serves, for many, as the ideal example of what an RTS game should aspire to be. And it was among the first titles to transcend one-off competitions and contests to become a global e-sport featuring pros who make the big bucks and events watched by millions.

Without StarCraft, there would be no Dota 2, no League of Legends, perhaps no SMITE or Infinite Crisis. The MOBA niche, now one of the most profitable areas of online gaming, might not exist if not for the original StarCraft's custom three-lane Aeon of Strife map. StarCraft and its sequel, StarCraft II, represent the quintessential essence of small-scale online warfare.

As a fan of MOBAs and an ardent lover of clicking things quickly, I took a spin in StarCraft II in an effort to better understand the foundation of the games I enjoy. What I discovered was a difficult, punishing game that demands your full attention and gives you plenty of reasons to keep coming back.

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Avalon Lords gears up for its Kickstarter campaign

Fantasy, Video, News Items, MMORTS, Crowdfunding

It sounds like the area around Camelot is really going through a dark age.
How do you feel about the MMORTS genre? The folks behind Avalon Lords don't have many nice things to say about it, which is why they're making an MMORTS game that, in their own words, is meant to elevate the game beyond free-to-play titles with microtransactions. The game launches its Kickstarter today, and it's put a trailer into the wild so potential backers can get a sense for what the game will look like.

Backers are being asked for $150,000 for the base game, a fairly humble sum considering other titles. The official support page for the game includes stretch goals starting at $250,000 and moving up, including fully customizable cities, NPC armies, and at the high end, a full-access mobile application. You can check the trailer out past the break, and if you like what you see and think the title will go all the way, you can toss in a few dollars.

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Age of Empires Online shuts down tomorrow

Historical, Free-to-Play, MMORTS, Sunsets

After tomorrow, Age of Empires Online will be no more. The online adaptation of the popular Microsoft RTS franchise will be shut down along with the PC Marketplace as of 7:00 p.m. EDT on July 1st.

"On July 01, 2014, Age of Empires Online will shut down permanently. We thank the loyal fans for their support and commitment and look forward to many more battles before Age of Empires Online is retired," the studio posted on Facebook last year.

This will come as a shock to no one, as Age of Empires' population decline was well-known and acknowledged by the dev team itself. The studio hasn't been developing new content for the game since January 2013.

Get a feel for Civilization Online with this beta video

Betas, Historical, Video, MMORTS

Civ online
The first round of closed beta testing for Civilization Online has wrapped up in Korea, and the folks at XLGAMES have put together a video showing off this online spin-off from the classic strategy series.

The nine-minute video shows the collaborative efforts to build up a town and the equally collaborative efforts by enemy forces to destroy it. Also there are Dalek tanks, hot air balloons, and large mosh pits of Roman citizens. See for yourself after the break!

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Civilization Online review rounds out with combat and replay

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, MMORTS

It's kind of like a funhouse mirror for the game you remember.
Looking at Civilization Online with longing might not be a great idea, as there are currently no plans for a release here in North America, but Steparu has been reviewing the beta, and if you'd like to find out what it's about the last part is available now. This final portion covers the game's combat mechanics, how players can get into games in progress, and gives an overall assessment of how the game is shaping up through testing.

While the combat in the game is fairly standard -- tab-targeting, hotbars, and WASD movement rule the day -- it does offer players a variety of options with both main and sub classes, along with a variety of vehicles and mounts that have their own combat uses. Overall, the game gets pretty high marks as what it's meant to be, a very PvP-focused game that sees factions warring for dominance again and again. Which is probably what you expected from the name, really.

First look at Civilization Online's beta

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Hands-On, MMORTS

Civilization Online
Civilization Online's first beta test is in full swing and Steparu has some impressions based on last night's initial test.

First off, you need a Korean ArcheAge account to access XLGames' Civ MMO, but for now, we can live vicariously through Steparu, who describes the game as a "3rd person RTS with RvR mechanics."

Be sure to check out the entire impressions article as well as an hour-long video that we've embedded after the cut.

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