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Not So Massively: The pseudo-MMOs of PAX South 2015

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warships, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

NSM - Gigantic
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.

This past weekend was PAX South 2015, the first PAX held in San Antonio, and our reporters covered not-so-massive online games in addition to MMORPGs, including Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Shroud of the Avatar, Gigantic, Moonrise and State of Decay, Pox Nora, and TUG. Here's what else the week brought not-so-massive fans.

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PAX South 2015: Life is Feudal revives the good ol' MMO feel

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Interviews, New Titles, Opinion, Events (Massively's Coverage), MMORPG

The good ol' MMO feel
When the assignment for Life Is Feudal came to me, I questioned why I was covering a game that really didn't seem to be an MMORPG in my eyes because of its separate servers and the survival feel of the setting. It felt to me initially that I was covering another DayZ, one set in a medieval era and no zombies. But as I found out at this year's PAX South, I was completely wrong.

Interestingly, I didn't find out what kind of mistake I made from the head honcho of Bitbox, Vladimir Piskunov. I found out from someone who has been playing for a long time and was invited to play at the Life Is Feudal booth. His name is Bill, and he's the "superfan" who demoed the game for me. He explained the ins and outs of the mechanics until I started having Ultima Online flashbacks. We discussed the skill system and trekked around the world, and then reminded me that LiF will eventually be an MMORPG. And I could certainly see how. If sandboxes are your thing as they are mine, then maybe this game is up our alley.

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PAX South 2015: Moonrise and State of Decay shine at the Undead Labs booth

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Interviews, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Hands-On, First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, Buy-to-Play

Undead Labs
Most media appointments at an event like PAX South 2015 work like this: You meet the person you're supposed to meet, that person shows you the game her studio is working on, and then you rush off to the next booth on your list while cursing yourself for not scheduling time for a snack. Undead Labs handled my PAX appointment a bit differently, sitting me down for back-to-back play sessions with brand-new tablet game Moonrise and a remastered version of State of Decay, the zombie survival game that put the studio on the map.

It was a little jarring to go from adorable pet battles to being torn in half by a zombie, but the two-for-one session provided a nice glimpse of where Undead Labs has been and where it intends to go.

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PAX South 2015: Camelot Unchained's proactive approach to community management

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Interviews, New Titles, Opinion, Events (Massively's Coverage), Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

A different kind of community management
In the crowdfunded independent industry, we are starting to see some ups and downs. Backers have seen some games fail and other games soar. One of those games that seems to be doing very well, at least if you ask its Community Manager Jenesee Grey and its legions of fans, is Camelot Unchained. At this weekend's PAX South, I spoke to Grey about her experience as a CM for a crowdfunded game.

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PAX South 2015: Slaying giants in Motiga's Gigantic

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Events (Real-World), New Titles, PvP, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, MMOFPS, First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), MOBA

Gigantic
Motiga's Gigantic is one part Team Fortress, one part Dota, and one part Monster Hunter. The basic match structure will sound familiar to MOBA lovers -- two teams of five slug it out for superiority by controlling resources, leveling up, and killing one another -- but the skill-based mechanics, multiple maps, and shifting strategy priorities make the game more than a three-lane farm fest. Gigantic isn't about last-hitting or memorizing meta. Instead, it's about slaying giants and aiming true.

I hopped in on a quick Gigantic match with some other press folks this afternoon at PAX South 2015, and in the midst of delivering an absolute drubbing to the scrubs (kidding!) on the other side of the table, I was able to get a feel for the game's combat system, characters, and the way its massive guardians change the way battles play out.

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PAX South 2015: O'Brien and Johanson on Guild Wars 2's Heart of Thorns

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Interviews, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Events (Massively's Coverage), MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns
ArenaNet's Mike O'Brien and Colin Johanson (and Commander Shepard) took to the PAX South 2015 stage yesterday morning to announce Heart of Thorns, the first-ever expansion for Guild Wars 2. If you're not up to speed, check out our post covering the announcement and the official site to get the broad strokes on the expansion's new zone, new profession, new progression system, and more.

News of the expansion raised many a question from our readers (and our staff!). Massively's Larry Everett and I sat down with O'Brien and Johanson to try to get those questions answered and dive a little deeper into the changes coming to Guild Wars 2's living world.

And no, there isn't a release date.

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Make My MMO: January 18 - 24, 2015

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

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Star Citizen's release window made headlines, as did the new VAT tax that's about to hit Euro fans of the space sim opus. We also heard from TUG and Shroud of the Avatar, while Pantheon hosted a dev roundtable and promised a public vision.

Click past the cut for our weekly crowdfunding news roundup.

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Here's a trailer from that Borderlands thing you'll never play

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items

Borderlands Online is still a China-exclusive title, but if for some reason you want to watch the trailer for a game you'll probably never play, we have it for you after the break!

MMO Culture reports that Borderlands started its "technical test" today. It also says that the game is an "instance-based online shooter," so really you aren't missing too much if you're a fan of the original series and its open world ethos.

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Heroes in the Sky brings out another WWII arcade battler

Historical, Video, New Titles, War, Free-to-Play

his
World War II fighter games, both in simulator and arcade format, have been on the scene since approximately 1946. Well look out below, because here comes another one: Heroes in the Sky.

Heroes in the Sky looks to provide a streamlined combat experience, as players will jump into PvE and PvP aerial battles with a mouse-and-keyboard setup. Dogfights can happen in the various WWII theaters, including Europe and the Pacific. It's been around for several years now but is only now making itself available worldwide.

If you're curious about giving it a try, you won't have to wait long: Heroes in the Sky will launch globally on February 5th with various in-game events. We've got a trailer for you after the break.

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Pathfinder details corpse looting and more

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

GoblinWorks CEO Ryan Dancey has published a new blog post touching on today's Pathfinder early enrollment release.

Version two of the fantasy sandbox adds player husks, which is another way of saying lootable corpses. "The extent of your losses will be related to how quickly you are able to return to the site of your husk and if you are able to recover the inventory that remains on the husk before others are able to take all of its contents or its timer expires," Dancey writes.

There's a bit more to the update, but you'll need to click through to the GoblinWorks website to read it!

The Stream Team: Peeking into H1Z1's PvE server

Betas, Video, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, H1Z1

When the servers were finally sorted last weekend, Massively's MJ was able to bring you a first look at H1Z1's early access on one of the many PvP servers. But folks have been asking to see the world on the PvE server, so she's diving back into the sandbox and facing death at the hands of zombies, bears, wolves, and any really peeved deer. Oh, and let's not forget starvation! Will MJ find friends as she did in the first part of her PvP journey, or will folks be more like those near the end? Join us live at 1:00 p.m. to see.

Game: H1Z1
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, January 22nd, 2015
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Crowfall creative director: Game is not for everyone

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

ArtCraft's head honchos have posted a two-pronged dev update on the Crowfall forums. Executive producer Gordon Walton says that work on the title has been ongoing for six months, and the studio currently employs 17 full-timers.

Creative director J. Todd Coleman says that Crowfall is about to cross the 20,000 registered players threshold, which he calls "staggering" and "completely humbling." He also says that beginning tomorrow, the team will be ramping up details and information drops, some of which will lead people to the conclusion that "this isn't the game for them."

"This game won't be for everyone, and we're OK with that" Coleman writes. "We've done big, mass-market games before. With Crowfall, we wanted to make something different."

New World of Speed trailer invites you to race the world

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

World of Speed's latest trailer is out, and aside from a few briefing passing shots, there aren't many cars to be found in the clip's two-minute-and-20-second running time. What gives? Slightly Mad and My.com are showing off the game's globe-spanning locales. You'll be racing in the UK, the USA, Russia, France, Monaco, Australia, Belgium, and Germany.

See for yourself after the cut.

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Star Citizen's persistent universe alpha scheduled for 2015, launch in 2016

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

Chris Roberts recently spoke at the BAFTA LA Games Masterclass, and apart from the usual Star Citizen geekery, he had some interesting things to say about the crowdfunded space sim's release timeline.

In a nutshell, Cloud Imperium is looking to publish a beta of the game's FPS component as well as a "planetside/social" beta this spring, followed by the debut of multicrew ships in the currently playable Arena Commander module this summer.

Fall 2015 will see the first episode of single-player lead-in Squadron 42's campaign released, while backers will get their first taste of the persistent universe alpha before the end of the year. You can watch the BAFTA presentation on Twitch; click forward to the 39-minute mark for Roberts' bit.

[Thanks Mohoc!]

World of Warships gets carriers, weekend beta event

Betas, Historical, Trailers, Video, Classes, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, War, World of Warships

Wargaming has officially introduced the aircraft carrier to World of Warships. The class launch brings the total number of playable warship types to four including the destroyer, the cruiser, and the battleship.

"Aircraft carriers offer a unique angle to combat, delivering RTS-style gameplay and the ability to launch three types of warplane squadrons (fighters, dive bombers, and torpedo bombers) against any opponent," the company says.

In other WoWS news, Wargaming is planning a three-day testing event called Wings Over Water. It starts on January 23rd and runs through the 25th. Click here to sign up, and don't forget to watch the trailer after the cut!

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