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Sci-fi MMORTS Astro Lords: Oort Cloud arrives in July

Betas, Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMORTS

Astro Lords
Astro Lords: Oort Cloud. Yeah, it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but it is a new free-to-play sci-fi MMO en route to English, German, and French gamers this year.

Developer Aratog Studios claims that Astro Lords is "the first MMORTS to combine three major game genres in a consistent world: construction management, arcade-style shooting, and strategic raid warfare." Gameplay progresses as "players manage and grow their asteroid base, their generals board spaceships to shoot and destroy enemy spaceships and bosses, and they raid other asteroids to loot or capture them." It'll be a cross-platform MMO available both in-browser and within a standalone client.

Astro Lords is expected to enter closed beta on June 10th, with open beta a week later and formal launch on July 1st.

[Source: Aratog Studios press release]

Not So Massively: GTA Online's expansion, Reaper of Souls on console, and LoL's Braum spotlight

Betas, Horror, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, Crime, MMOFPS, MMORTS, Community Q&A, World of Tanks, Post-Apocalyptic, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Infinite Crisis, Path of Exile, Hearthstone, H1Z1

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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Not So Massively: Minecraft's Realms service, LoL's latest character, and Hearthstone's world championships

Betas, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, MMORTS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warplanes, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Buy-to-Play, HEX, 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.
  • Minecraft's Realms subscription service is now officially live and ready to take your money.
  • League of Legends introduced new character Braum, the Heart of the Freljord.
  • Blizzard announced the Hearthstone World Championship for this year's BlizzCon.
  • HEX officially launched its closed beta.
  • Diablo III's Reaper of Souls soundtrack was released on iTunes for 10 bucks.
  • Nosgoth posted new screenshots and a dev blog about its new vampire class.
  • SMITE unveiled a new catsuit for playabler character Bastet.
  • Infestation: Survivor Stories claimed 2.5 million players to date and 100k daily logins.
  • DayZ's Dean Hall praised Steam for helping studios bypass publishers.
  • Destiny got a brand-new website and a bunch of new videos -- they're after the break along with more NSM updates!

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Meet Civilization Online's four civs

Betas, Historical, Classes, MMORTS

Civ Online
XLGAMES announced its four civilizations from Civilization Online today, although sadly the Mole People were absent from this list.

The four civilizations are China (led by Qin Shi Huang), Rome (led by Julius Caesar), Egypt (led by Hatshepsut), and Azteca (let by Montezuma). Civilization Online will be going into closed beta testing within the next few months and is slated to launch in Asia in 2014.

Not So Massively: Hearthstone's launch, Infinite Crisis' soft launch, and Diablo III's auction house termination

Betas, Video, Business Models, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMORTS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, Buy-to-Play

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

Rise and Shiny revisit: Stronghold Kingdoms

Fantasy, Historical, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, Opinion, War, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Casual, MMORTS, Humor, Rise and Shiny, Livestream, Sandbox

Stronghold Kingdoms screenshot
Stronghold Kingdoms is probably one of my top favorite MMORTS titles out there. There are many reasons it holds a special place in my slightly crumpled gamer heart, and I will be sure to get to those, but there are also many gameplay elements that could use some improvement. It's a pretty typical MMORTS in most ways; players build up a town, trade goods, fight each other, and swear loyalty to others. In fact, the genre is quite bloated with games that perform in largely the same way, many of them being delivered to us within the browser.

For many players, these defining characteristics are exactly why they are attracted to the genre. In the same way, shooter fans appreciate many of the same basic mechanics from game to game, and trading card players need specific systems in place in order to feel satisfaction. So the existence of these repeated designs is not a problem for me.

It's especially not a problem in Stronghold Kingdoms.

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The Stream Team: Revisiting Stronghold Kingdoms

Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, MMORTS, Livestream, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, The Stream Team

Stronghold Kingdoms screenshot
Beau is revisiting Stronghold Kingdoms, a game that he really liked before. Will he like it again, even with all of its changes? Come check out this stream if you like MMORTS games and strategy!

Game: Stronghold Kingdoms
Host: Beau Hindman
Date: Monday, February 17th, 2014
Time: 4:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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MMObility: Line of Defense Tactics is a fun start for an IP

Betas, Video, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Previews, Opinion, MMOFPS, MMORTS, MMObility, Buy-to-Play

Line of Defense Tactics screenshot
Line of Defense is an upcoming MMOFPS created by 3000AD. It looks like an interesting twist on the shooter genre, complete with large battles and vehicles to control. It offers only a beta sign-up right now, so if you are interested in diving into the LoD universe, you can download the newly released Line of Defense Tactics standalone game. It's not an MMO, but it still introduces players to the IP. If you're a fan of real-time turn-based combat and challenging gameplay, you might want to give it a go on your portable device or PC.

I downloaded a version of Tactics from Steam and tried it on my Android tablet as well. Both experiences felt pretty much the same, and my game save synced between both devices easily. Today I am going to cover the mobile version mostly, but it should be noted that the PC version looks and acts pretty much identically.

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European Warfare commences as Stronghold Kingdoms hits 200,000 monthly users

Historical, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMORTS

With the newly launched European Warfare update, Stronghold Kingdoms players can now make war not love across the entire European continent. Firefly Studios also revealed that Georgia has been added to this world's map, bringing the total of countries to conquer to 33; that means that instead of a single king ruling over a map, there will be 33 (with a whole slew of sheriffs and governors besides!). And just how many players will be storming across all these countries vying for control? The studio has announced that the MMORTS has more than 200,000 monthly active users and nearly 3 million registered players total from over 100 different countries.

[Source: Firefly Studios press release]

Lord of Ultima shutting down in May

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, MMORTS, Sunsets

Lord of Ultima shutting down in May
The land of Caledonia will soon be swallowed up by the sea of game closures. On Monday, May 12th at 2:00 a.m. EST, Lord of Ultima services will be stopped permanently. Announcing the closure, the developers of Lord of Ultima thanked players for their continued support over the years. Starting now, the ability to buy Play4Free Funds is disabled, but players who currently have the in-game currency are encouraged to spend it before the shutdown. New account creation has also been disabled; those who are already in the game, however, can continue their quest to be one of the final lords ruling over the land.

[Thanks to all who sent in tips!]

Stronghold Kingdoms update brings warfare to Europe

Historical, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMORTS

The MMORTS Stronghold Kingdoms is bringing war to medieval Europe! With the upcoming European Warfare update, Firefly Studios is opening up the largest game world to date, complete with 32 different countries each having its own political structure and ruled by its own player king. Players can also band together and seize control of large portions or even the whole of Europe, bringing the likes of Bulgaria, Austria, Sweden, Ireland, and Russia all under the rule of one house. But future emperors should be cautious of spreading their forces too thin and risking it all as they defend themselves from all sides.

To get in on the action, visit the official site and download the game for free. The war commences at 10 a.m EST on February 13th, 2014.

Kingdom Under Fire II interview highlights development

Betas, Game Mechanics, New Titles, News Items, Consoles, MMORTS

Kingdom Under Fire II, which is finally releasing this summer, has undergone a number of changes during its six-years-plus of development. And in a recent interview, Executive Producer Sang Youn Lee sat down with Worlds Factory to discuss the evolution of the game and highlight its upcoming features. Players can look forward to guild-owned territories, a persistent world, territory disputes and sieges, PvE dynamic events, and much more. Sang Youn Lee also noted that while the game will be available on multiple platforms, it will not have cross-platform play. Check out the full interview for all the details.

[Thanks to David for the tip!]

The Stream Team: DC Universe Online anniversary interview

Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Video, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, MMORTS, DC Universe Online, Livestream, The Stream Team

DC Universe Online screenshot
Join Massively's Beau Hindman as he sits down with Jens Andersen from Sony Online Entertainment to discuss the upcoming DC Universe Online DLC, and the three-year anniversary (yes, three years!) that was celebrated earlier this month! This would be a great time to come out, ask questions, and watch Beau destroy everything with his mighty superheroicish powers!

Game: DC Universe Online
Host: Beau Hindman
Date: Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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The Stream Team: Noobing it up in StarCraft II

Sci-Fi, Video, PvP, Massively Meta, Hands-On, MMORTS, Livestream, Miscellaneous, The Stream Team, Buy-to-Play

StarCraft II
Massively's Mike Foster has never played StarCraft II before, but that's not going to stop him from checking the game out live and on-stream for all of Massively TV's viewers. StarCraft II has long been a tentpole franchise for Blizzard Entertainment and Mike is keen to find out why. Join him as he learns about Protoss, Zerg, Terran, and why everyone cares so much about pylons.

The insane display of elite APM skill starts at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Game: StarCraft II
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Monday, January 20th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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The Stream Team: League of Angels with Beau

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Previews, Opinion, Browser, Hands-On, MMORTS, Livestream, The Stream Team

League of Angels screenshot
Join Massively's Beau Hindman as he attempts to discover gameplay and strategy behind League of Angels, a new browser-based game that appears to combine MMORTS features with side-scrolling combat. Jump in the chat room to ask any questions or to give him advice!

Game: League of Angels
Host: Beau Hindman
Date: Monday, January 20th, 2014
Time: 4:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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