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The Daily Grind: Are you playing any of the December releases?

Expansions, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, The Daily Grind

This is a pretty full month for MMO content releases. We've got a couple of new games in The Crew and Elite: Dangerous, though how "MMO" they are remains to be seen. We've also got expansions for Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, and Destiny, one of which I'm already playing and another of which I'll get to before the month is out.

What about you, Massively readers? Do any of this month's MMO content releases tickle your fancy? Which one(s) are you playing?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

The Stream Team: World of Warcraft's instant 90

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Expansions, New Titles, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Livestream, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
Choose My Adventure is heading into World of Warcraft this month, and it all begins with the creation of a brand-new character that will immediately receive an instant boost to level 90. Join Massively's Mike Foster as he investigates the instant-leveling process and explores the tutorial system Blizzard has put in place to explain dozens of skills to a fledgling WoW player.

The chaos begins at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Game: World of Warcraft
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Sunday, December 7, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Make My MMO: November 30 - December 6, 2014

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

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Shards Online talked up its permadeath plans as well as how it intends to balance crafting vs. loot. TUG's devs revealed that they're hoping for an investor, while Star Citizen continued to make a lot of money and a lot of commenter rage.

Finally, Pantheon previewed a dungeon with a single screenshot and continued taking donations via Patreon. The rest of this week's MMO crowdfunding news roundup is after the break.

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Star Citizen's Hornet available to all backers this week

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

I'm a Star Citizen backer, but I didn't pledge enough to pilot the Anvil Hornet prior to launch. Thanks to Cloud Imperium, though, I'll be flying it in Arena Commander anyway, at least for the next week. The Hornet has been unlocked for all backers, according to a posting on the game's website.

"The Hornet is the civilian version of the F7A Hornet flown off of the elite Bengal carrier vanguard of the UEE Navy," CIG explains. "It may not be the prettiest ship but it is the go-to short range fighter due to Anvil's sturdy design and ability to take as much punishment as it can dish out."

In other SC news, Chris Roberts published another Letter from the Chairman last night which includes tidbits on multicrew ships, modular ship design, and exterior customization options.

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World of Speed's BMW Z4 roadster profiled in new vid

Real-Life, Classes, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items

Ready for your weekly dose of car porn? Thank Slightly Mad Studios, which released a new World of Speed trailer focused on the BMW Z4 sDRIVE30i. The tiny roadster puts out 255 horsepower which allows a 250 KM/H top speed and a 0-to-100 KM/H time of six seconds.

See for yourself after the cut!

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Frontier teases Elite: Dangerous trailer, gives away old-school Elite for Mac

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Promotions, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous

Frontier has published newsletter #52 for Elite: Dangerous. It contains a bit of lore, a sneak peek at the game's newest trailer, and a nifty offer for Mac users in the form of the original 1984 Elite game.

It's free, and all you need to do is log into Frontier's store, put the title in your cart, and check out. If you're currently playing the Elite: Dangerous Gamma or you're planning to play at launch later this month, don't forget to peruse the newsletter's comm chatter section to see how your fellow pilots are flying.

Star Citizen's November report is long, informative

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

Welcome back, Star Citizen fans, curious onlookers, and trolls of all shapes and sizes. It's that time of the month where Cloud Imperium publishes an absurdly huge wall-of-text detailing exactly what it's doing with its crowdfunding windfall and provides some fairly unique insight into the making of a triple-A online game.

But, eh, why bother reading all that when you can just skip to the comments and call it vaporware? On your marks, get set, go!

[Thanks for the tip, Cardboard.]

Here's a Black Desert FAQ as K-OBT approaches

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

Steparu has long been the best source for Westerners interested in Korean fantasy sandbox Black Desert. Now, he's offering his expertise in the form of a FAQ/AMA post as the title's open beta approaches.

Topics covered include playing the Korean OBT (it requires a Korean cell phone or I-pin Online identification), the Western release timeframe (originally 2015 and now possibly slipping to 2016), and several gameplay-specific issues.

Choose My Adventure: Can't stop the World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Polls, Expansions, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
It's been 10 years since Blizzard Entertainment launched World of Warcraft and ignited the great MMO gold rush of the aughts. In that time, World of Warcraft has grown into something more than a game; it's a cultural icon, an immensely valuable piece of intellectual property, and a brooding presence any new MMO has to consider before launch. WoW has gravity.

Just when World of Warcraft's numbers start to slide and the naysayers start planning their "WoW is dead" parties, Blizzard finds a way to make WoW resurgent. Warlords of Draenor, WoW's fifth expansion, launched late last month, bringing three million subscribers back into the game's warm embrace. For those keeping score: That's more subscribers than most MMOs ever see at their peaks.

Warlords of Draenor reworks some core World of Warcraft systems, changes up character models, implements a version of housing, and more. And with so many people returning to check it out, there's no better time for Choose My Adventure to join the fray.

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Ubisoft's action-driving MMO The Crew launches today

Betas, Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Bugs, Launches, New Titles, Patches, News Items, Consoles, Miscellaneous, Buy-to-Play

The Crew
Ubisoft's "action-driving MMO" The Crew launches worldwide on PC and multiple consoles today, but before you can drive your roadster across a virtual map of the USA, you'll first have to download the time-honored day-one patch. The patch flips on drivehub challenges and the faction war as well as fixes a slew of UI, PvP, and stability bugs.

Ubisoft's Serkan Hasan assured reporters last week that game would be free of the turmoil that usually accompanies MMO launches. The studio had taken criticism from refusing to grant launch previews to media because MMOs are just too hard to review without all the players in place.

The standard version of the game is available for around 60 bucks, depending on your platform and retailer of choice. The launch trailer is below.

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Living and dying in the Elite: Dangerous gamma build

Betas, Sci-Fi, Launches, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Hands-On, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
When we last looked at Elite: Dangerous during August's Choose My Adventure, the game was in a barebones beta format with just a few of its promised eventual features. Frontier Developments' crowdfunded space-sim certainly brought a lot to the table with its pretty graphics, realistic flight physics, and down-to-the-details sim structure, but anyone not interested in running courier missions or blowing up other ships was probably left wanting.

Now, however, Elite is a different beast. Just two weeks from final official launch, Elite is in what Frontier Developments is calling the "gamma" stage. It's as close to the finished version of the game anyone is going to get until launch on December 16th. So naturally, I took another dive in Elite to see what exactly has changed.

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Make My MMO: November 23 - 29, 2014

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

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, I played some Elite: Dangerous! OK, no one cares, but Elite: Dangerous did make headlines with its Gamma launch. Fellow space sim Star Citizen topped $63 million and more importantly, it dropped the curtain on its avatar damage and death mechanics.

A post-apoc title called SKIES and a sci-fi something or other called Descendants got their Kickstarters going, while Valiance Online cancelled its funding drive. Click past the cut for the rest of this week's news roundup.

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Bless Online offers combat peek in latest trailer

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

Bless Online's second closed beta is coming up soon, with testing beginning on December 16th and going on until the 22nd. But hopeful testers don't have to wait until then to get a glimpse of the game's combat; Neowiz has released a brief combat trailer that shows off various fighting styles and their accompanying skills. Unlike the official trailer, this one is filled with in-game footage, complete with a peek at the UI. Check out a bow, sword and board, mace, and two-handed axe in action in the video below.

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The Stream Team: Shards Online's turkey shoot

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

Having a little trouble envisioning just what is possible on the player-run worlds of Shards Online? When devs say the shards can be modded to make a unique world, they really mean it! To give a little taste of the game's potential, Citadel Studio's Co-Founder Derek Brinkmann is hosting a post-holiday turkey shoot for play testers, and Massively's MJ is getting in on the fun! Will she be able to bag a few turkeys herself? Brinkmann will be on-hand to answer any questions as well, so join us live at 2:00 p.m. for the holiday hunt!

Game: Shards Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, November 29th, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Betawatch: November 22 - 28, 2014

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

Elite: Dangerous launched its final gamma build for backers this week; official launch for everyone else is December 16th. Latecomers can still play the single-player version through the Mercenary edition. What else is new in the world of MMO testing? The complete Betawatch roundup is below.

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