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Star Citizen aims to redefine avatar death, combat realism

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen

Remember way back in February of 2013 when Chris Roberts posted his Death of a Spaceman concept? It was a high-level look at how character death would function in Star Citizen, and it broke from gaming industry norms by aiming for an immersive system with strategy and consequences rather than the typical run-and-gun and die-and-respawn mechanics common to MMOs, FPSs, and most other games.

This week Roberts and company have released another extensive design doc called Healing Your Spacemen, which greatly expands the original concept. "In the end, the team decided to run counter to the standard FPS mechanics of regenerating health and instantly respawning on death to make every fight a calculated decision that can have ramifications that impact your character and place in the 'Verse," Cloud Imperium says.

Character health involves a limb-based system featuring four levels of health for each limb, and the system deliberately avoids "the current trend of hiding behind cover for blood to clear off your screen and jumping back in the fight ready for more." The post also explains how characters may be dragged to safety and how the spaceflight portion of the game will include "a robust rescue system" that complements the character death and damage mechanics. Read all about it via the official site links below!

[Thanks Cardboard!]

Make My MMO: November 16 - 22, 2014

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

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, a lot of people got mad at Elite: Dangerous. Developers of the sci-fi sandbox subsequently started offering refunds to customers who felt duped by the company's decision to excise a previously mentioned offline mode.

Elsewhere, Shards Online met its Kickstarter goal, while Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen started taking donations via Patreon. You can see what else happened in the crowdfunding sphere by click through to our roundup.

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H1Z1 dev vid talks cities, barricades, and more

Horror, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, H1Z1

SOE has published another H1Z1 dev spotlight vid. Environment artist Ruby Opfer is your host, and she spends the clip's three-minute running time expounding on various fan-submitted questions.

Want to know about the zombie gankbox's underwater exploration potential? What about cities and the ability for players to take them over? How about structural barricades and whether or not you can line your bunker with crafted wooden spikes?

All these questions and a few more are touched on just past the break.

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The Stream Team: Joining the Shards Online dev playtest

Video, New Titles, Livestream, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content

Shards Online recently met its Kickstarter goal, and Citadel Studio's Co-Founder Derek Brinkmann joins Massively's MJ to show off the game's latest developments (not the least of which is female avatars!). If you've been watching this game, you know that the future sandbox offers players the chance to really develop their own gaming worlds -- literally. So now that the funding goals are met, what's next? Now is the time to get all your questions answered by the dev team, as well as see what things are in store! Join us live at 2:00 p.m. EDT for a look at the devs latest playtest.

Game: Shards Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, November 22nd, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Betawatch: November 15 - 21, 2014

Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

Betawatch - Lineage Eternal
Lineage Eternal wowed G-Star attendees with the news that it will beta in 2015 and hit its worldwide simultaneous launch in 2016. What else is new in the land of MMO testing? The complete Betawatch roundup is below.

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The Think Tank: Assessing Draenor's launch

World of Warcraft, Bugs, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

WoW
World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor launch has come and gone, driven by the chaos we've come to expect from this year's MMO launches. Was it a bad launch... or the baddest launch ever?! In today's Think Tank, I asked the Massively writers, as players or industry watchers, how the launch and Blizzard's response stacked up next to those of 2014's other offerings.

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The Crew gets an everything-you-need-to-know trailer

Betas, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Races

Ready for another trailer featuring Ubisoft's The Crew? This one is a bit meatier than previous clips, as it runs for nearly eight minutes and serves as a sort of everything-you-need-to-know visual guide to the upcoming open world racer.

You'll learn about the world and its 12 major cities as well as everything from skills to missions to factions to customization and the game's "CarPG" progression mechanics. Hop in and go for a spin just past the cut.

Don't forget about the game's console open beta which starts on November 25th!

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SkySaga videos encourage you to explore its world

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Sandbox

skysaga
We've got more to share today about SkySaga, that new sandvox that's trying to woo the Minecraft crowd. Radiant Worlds has released a new pair of videos this week that show off the game's playful and exploratory nature.

In the videos, you'll follow a trio of adventurers around as they navigate the various biomes of the world and get into nasty scraps with mean foes. Of course, the biggest mystery here might be, "Where are their arms and legs?" See it all after the break!

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Peria Chronicles puts sandbox features front and center at G-Star 2014

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox

because the real test of a game is whether or not you can use it to play a different game which is available on every platform ever.
If you're not looking forward to Peria Chronicles, that's sort of understandable since you've probably never heard of it before now. It's a new Korean anime-inspired sandbox game with -- wait, don't walk away, I'm just getting to the part that's interesting! It's more like a cel-shaded Minecraft, you see, and the latest trailer shows off some of the reasons you should care even if seeing the words "Korean" and "anime" and "sandbox" in close proximity give you the urge to run for the hills.

You can check out the G-Star trailer courtesy of Steparu just past the break. While it only goes over some of the game's features in rapid succession, it shows off floating player-created landscapes, player-made objects with varied functions, and the monster taming system. If that sounds interesting, jump on down and check out the trailer. No sort of US release has been discussed at this time.

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Here's a supra new World of Speed trailer

Real-Life, Trailers, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Races

Supra fans, here's a World of Speed trailer that'll tickle your fancy. Slightly Mad's upcoming MMO racer has a new teaser focused on Toyota's Supra Mk 4. Unfortunately the video is over and done with in under a minute, but that's still enough time to see one of Japan's most iconic sports cars burning through various environments at 155 MPH.

Click past the cut to have a look!

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CIG kicks off Star Citizen Meet the Devs video series

Sci-Fi, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Star Citizen

Cloud Imperium has kicked off a new video series called Meet the CIG Devs. Episode one focuses on production coordinator Darian Vorlick, who is profiled via a question-and-answer vignette that's long on personal info but relatively short on game-specific stuff.

Still, it might be worth watching if you're curious about the personalities behind the curtain on the largest crowdfunded project of all time. Click past the cut to view Episode 1.

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Das Tal's latest stress test happens this Saturday

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

Fantasy PvP sandbox Das Tal is hosting a pre-alpha stress test this weekend, according to developer Fairytale Distillery's latest press release. The test runs from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, November 22nd. Das Tal's previous stress test attracted a population nearly three times as large as a normal test, and as a result the devs have increased capacity which means that the "servers will be packed full of PvP."

To get in on all the killing, you'll need to sign up as an alpha tester and then check your inbox for an invite. There's also a sneak preview available for viewing via the alpha test footage after the break.

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Blade & Soul and Aion mobile games announced

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Aion, Events (Real-World), New Titles, Mobile, Blade & Soul

While mobile MMO development seems to be at an all-time low in the West, it might be up to our Asian friends to pick up the slack. Ahead of G-Star-2014 this week, NCsoft has announced that both Blade & Soul and Aion will be getting mobile spin-offs in the near future.

Aion: Legion will be a tactical RPG with plenty of strategy, tactics, and raids. It's being planned for both iOS and Android devices and should run fine on phones and tablets even a couple of years old. Then there's Blade & Soul: Mobile, which will boast a cuter look and a love-story focus. There have been no release dates or windows announced for either title.

We've got the G-Star trailers for both games after the break, so let us know if they get you revved up!

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Get ready to grow: Albion online adds farming

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting

If you are all thumbs at PvP but have a green thumb in real life, Albion Online has the calling for you: farmer. The upcoming sandbox is adding an agriculture system for players to engage in when not out braving the dangers of the world. On top of a relaxing alternative to combat, farming will provide buffs via foodstuffs and potions made from the bounty of the land.

The system is an involved one. Players can grow crops on farms and/or raise livestock on pastures. The farmed produce and grains can then be processed via mills and cooking pots into consumables or fed to the cattle, goats, chickens and more (which in turn produce consumables like eggs, milk, and meat). So grab your overalls and get ready to share some cakes, kabobs, pies, and potions with hungry friends and customers.

[Source: Sandbox Interactive press release]

SkySaga bringing a colorful sandvox to you next summer

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, New Titles, Family, Sandbox

skysaga
Happy Monday! We even got you a gift: the reveal of a new procedurally generated sandbox called SkySaga. You don't have to feel as if you need to get us anything in return, however.

Radiant Worlds announced last week that it has started work on an "evolving" online world called SkySaga. The team promises that the story and land of SkySaga will be shaped by the heroes during their journeys. It will contain a lot of the sandbox staples, including voxel terrain, harvesting, and crafting. The game will also include PvP battle arenas.

Currently, the plan for SkySaga is to begin closed alpha testing in the UK "very soon" and release sometime next summer. We've got an early gameplay video for you to check out after the break.

[Source: Radiant Worlds press release]

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