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The Daily Grind: Do you theorycraft or do you heed others' advice?

Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge, Sandbox

I've been playing with various skill builds in ArcheAge lately, and I think I've narrowed down one, maybe two, that I'm going to play for the duration. For the first time in a long time, I haven't looked at forum discussions or heeded flavor-of-the-month advice and am opting instead to test things out and arrive at some sort of personal happy medium between PvE viability, PvP survivability, and looking badass in my armor.

What about you, Massively readers? Do you do your own class or skill testing in your favorite game, or do you make use of theorycrafters and their research?

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!

Choose My Adventure: The proud wanderers of Swordsman

Fantasy, Historical, Polls, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, MMORPG, Swordsman

Swordsman
Since commandeering Choose My Adventure in August, I've been on something of a sci-fi rampage. First we took a second look at a post-release Firefall; then we spaced out with a beta build of Frontier's Elite: Dangerous. And while spaceships and rocket boots are certainly wonderful things, Choose My Adventure is as much about investigating new worlds and new genres as it is about checking out new games. Thus, it's time to leave the world of science fiction behind in search of something a bit more classical.

This month, we're adventuring into Imperial China -- as far from deployable sentry guns and pulse lasers as possible -- with Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman.

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SOE devs on EverQuest Next's 'life of consequence'

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, EverQuest Next, Sandbox

We've known for a while that SOE is cooking up some sort of emergent AI concoction for EverQuest Next. The company famously partnered with Storybricks last year to bring its fantasy NPCs to life, and a newly released video sheds a bit more light on what exactly that means.

The clip stems from a panel that was originally conducted at this year's SOE Live, which has now been distilled to a more manageable five-minute running time. Click past the cut to find out about EQN's lack of traditional quest hubs and how to make NPCs bow before your mighty axe of authority.

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Make My MMO: September 21 - 27, 2014

Betas, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Make My MMO

As usual in the Kickstarter corner of the MMO industry, this week saw ups and downs for hopeful MMOs. Trials of Ascension hit its $60,000 crowndfund goal, Star Citizen broke $54,000,000 (count those zeroes, folks!), and Camelot Unchained got a new website. Yay! But TUG laid off half its staff, Pathfinder Online's early enrollment has been delayed until almost Halloween, and Project Gorgon's Kickstarter campaign has fallen short of its $100,000 goal. Boo! Bringing balance to the universe is Shroud of the Avatar, which was successfully Steam greenlit but has resorted to enticing testers with digital hats.

Read on for our complete MMO crowdfunding roundup in this week's edition of Make My MMO.

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Stormthrone debuts and offers alpha signups

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

stormthorne
It's Thursday in MMOland, and you know what that means: It's time for a new fantasy game announcement! Today R2Games unveiled its latest offering, Stormthrone: Aeos Rising, along with a teaser site and alpha signups.

Stormthrone is a browser-based fantasy MMO that calls heroes to "discover the ancient world of Aeos, a world besieged by demons." Players will get their pick of six classes: Knight, Rogue, Priest, Warrior, Sniper, or Mage.

Right now the website has bare-bones information, a link to sign up to the alpha test, and the promise of more information coming soons.

[Source: R2Games press release]

Be a Hong Kong gangster in the upcoming Triad Wars

Real-Life, Video, New Titles, News Items, Crime, Miscellaneous, Sandbox

You know what, it's without any real dragons, I'll take it.
Are you a fan of Sleeping Dogs who looked at the game and really wanted to start mixing up your other activities with player feuds? That's the idea at the heart of Triad Wars, a new game coming from United Front Games that is and isn't a sequel to the aforementioned game. It's a direct descendant of the mechanics of Sleeping Dogs, but the focus is on taking the role of a leader within the Hong Kong Triads, claiming territory and taking down rivals.

The game is set for a PC-exclusive release sometime next year and retains most of the gameplay elements from Sleeping Dogs, from the combat to the driving. As an online game, it's explicitly a game that can change from year to year, with the stated purpose being that nothing is necessarily the same over time. So if you want to drive a car through Hong Kong before setting up an underground gambling ring, keep a close eye on the development here.

[Thanks to Celestial for the tip!]

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Trove transitions to beta on Thursday

Betas, New Titles, Patches, News Items, Sandbox, Trove

Trove transitions to beta on Thursday
If you've enjoyed alpha adventures in Trove, your world has already come to an end! But don't worry; new worlds will be ready for your next adventures come Thursday afternoon, September 25th, when the closed beta kicks off. And this time, the worlds are for keeps! Alpha servers for the sandbox game shut down at 1:00 a.m. EDT this morning in preparation for the transition to beta. Even though the beta is closed, the dev team promises that these beta worlds and characters will never be wiped; you'll be able to build and play to your heart's content and know that your progress is permanent. In addition, the newest class, Neon Ninja, will be joining the game soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

Kickstarter project aims to revamp galactic sandbox Chosen Space

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, Browser, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

Not every Kickstarter fundraiser is for a brand-new IP; some campaigns are launched in an effort to fund a more fully realized version of an existing property. And so it is with the browser-based galactic sandbox Chosen Space, which launched in 2006 and is now asking for funds to be reborn as a far better version.

Developer MMO Lab is attempting to secure £5,400 to finish the previously self-funded project. The new Chosen Space: Relaunched will feature improved graphics, new features, and additional features. "We've developed our own game engine called MMO Lab which will allow us to finally make the Chosen Space we've always imagined, and which the players have always deserved," the studio posted.

Chosen Space is a "living" sandbox that balances strategy and RPG elements as players customize ships, explore the galaxy, and engage in trading and conquest. The new version is preparing to go into alpha testing at the start of the new year.

We've got the crowdfunding pitch video after the break for your edification.

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Mark Kern starts new studio, raises $1M for VR MMO

Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, Virtual Worlds, Miscellaneous, Virtual Reality

mek
Ex-Red 5 CEO Mark Kern has been a busy little bee since his departure from Firefall. Kern established a new studio called MEK Entertainment with associates from Red 5 and Blizzard, raising $1 million in seed funding for his next project.

While it doesn't have a name, this project is reportedly an MMO designed for the Oculus Rift. It will use retro-style pixel art and depend heavily on "creative contributions" from the game's community. "We can't build it alone," Kern said. "I've been looking for a way to let more gamers and modders realize their own virtual worlds, and I think we found it."

Kern cited inspiration from other titles such as the SNES, Terraria, Starbound, and (of course) Minecraft. You can watch a teaser for the MMO after the break.

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The Daily Grind: What's the grossest quest you've ever done?

Fantasy, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvE, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge, Sandbox

So yesterday I picked up piles of dookie in ArcheAge. Yes, there really is a quest in Anvilton that requires you to go around and fill your bag with yata manure, yatas being those floppy-eared rabbit/kangaroo mount things.

As if stuffing crap in my quest bag wasn't enough, there's an occasional overpowering stench status effect that causes my character to temporarily pass out and fall down. Finally, the end of the quest required me to deposit a huge helping of poo on an NPC's workbench, complete with buzzing fly and rising steam animations.

How about you, Massively readers? What's the grossest quest you've ever done?

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!

Make My MMO: September 14 - 20, 2014

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

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Pumpkin Online achieved its Kickstarter goal and Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen's Facebook page was updated with a few more screens from the fledgling Brad McQuaid-designed title.

Apart from the that, it was pretty slim pickings, so you'll forgive us if we once again call your attention to Project Gorgon's Kickstarter. It has a week left to go, and it's worthy of your support if your into full-featured MMORPGs that tread well off the beaten grindpark path.

The rest of this week's crowdfunding roundup lies just beyond the cut.

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Trion's Hartsman on more ArcheAge servers, communication

Fantasy, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, ArcheAge, Sandbox

Trion CEO Scott Hartsman has posted an ArcheAge launch update letter on the game's official forum. The long and short of it is more servers, expanded customer service, and more aggressive AFK sweeps.

Hartsman also mentions that he's "personally tweeted more during this launch than [he thinks he has] since Twitter existed," and he says that Trion's communication will be "redoubled," most notably on the game's forums.

Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day six - P2W and the early verdict

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, First Impressions, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Lost Continent

Is ArcheAge pay-to-win? That's a question I've been asked several times in recent days. Before I answer it, let's get something out of the way up front. And by "out of the way," I mean that this is the most important part of the article and needs to be emphasized in the intro.

Pay-to-win is 100% subjective.

There is no scientific or universally accepted definition of pay-to-win. Some things in this life are absolutes. Pay-to-win is not one of them.

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ArcheAge endeavors to quell queues, bugs

Fantasy, Bugs, Business Models, Launches, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox

Following ArcheAge's official launch earlier this week, Trion has continued its work on bugs and queues and other issues affecting the game. Last night, the team said that it planned to increase the total capacity of the North American servers and EU server Kyprosa by 10%. Players have complained of long wait times to log into Kyprosa specifically; one Patron claimed to have waited nine hours in the queue. Other players have taken to calling the game "QueueAge."

Trion also says that it is working on fixes for Patron status bugs, having "deployed a fix for accounts that were missing their Patron Time after this morning's NA server maintenance." Community Manager Scapes says a relog after server-up is necessary. EU's fix should be in now as well, tweeted Trion CEO Scott Hartsman.

The Daily Grind: What game are you sorta but not really following?

MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, The Daily Grind, World of Warships

Every time I see or write something about World of Warships, a little voice inside my head goes, "hmm, that actually looks pretty good and you should follow it." And then something happens and I forget about it until the next time I see a blurb or whatever.

The point is, I'm kinda sorta interested in WoWS but it's still somewhat on the periphery of my gaming vision. What about you, Massively readers? Is there a game that you're semi-anticipating but not really following? Or am I just crazy?

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!

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