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Black Desert Korean OBT exploits lead to permabans

Betas, Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Black Desert

If you were hoping for an exploit-free experience when Korean sandbox import Black Desert heads west, you may still get it. But you may not, if Steparu's recent experience in the game's K-OBT is any indication.

Problems include a buy-back dupe, mob kills that gave abnormal amounts of experience, and "something with the shop." Steparu also reports that developer Pearl Abyss and publisher Daum have permabanned serious offenders and deleted ill-gotten gains from "light abusers."

Rumor: BioWare's Shadow Realms 'totally rebooted'

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items

Shadow Realms is "going through big changes and may have been totally rebooted," according to an unnamed source who spoke to Kotaku. BioWare's episodic online action RPG was revealed in August of last year and was hit with an alpha delay on October 31st.

A "reliable source familiar with goings-on at BioWare Austin" tells Kotaku that the title was revamped in October and "will now have a full campaign." Why the changes? Apparently BioWare's decision to embrace the integration of EA's digital store and Origin coincided with the decision to reboot Shadow Realms. "Developers at EA take budget hits if they don't use internal technology and services," Kotaku says.

Isles of Eventide invites you to live as an animal

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, Crowdfunding

isles of eventide
Playing as a Human or Elf has been done to death, so why not switch over to the animal kingdom? That's the premise of the fledgling Isles of Eventide (no relation to Rubies of Eventide), which is currently seeking funds on Kickstarter.

Isles of Eventide will invite players to inhabit the role of a canine, feline, or equine living on one of many islands in a magical archipelago. Survival against the elements, predators, and hunger will be one of the major themes of the game, although there will be less stressful features such as crafting and companions as well. Between adventures, players will get to travel to their own personal island, which can be customized with decorations and utilities.

The team is seeking $50,000 CAD to get development going, although it certainly welcomes more. One of the stretch goals, at the $100,000 CAD tier, promises to add offspring that can be raised from birth.

New Kickstarter sandbox Identity promises 'complete freedom and a focus on player interaction'

Betas, Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Crime, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content, Buy-to-Play

Who's ready for some new Kickstarter MMOs for 2015? How about an ambitious modern-day sandbox? That'd be Identity, an MMO by indie studio Asylum Entertainment, headed up by Mortal Online vet John "Paratus" VanderZwet. The game promises a dynamic, player-run open world, player-driven economy, player housing, minigames like karaoke and paintball, and what sounds like open PvP complete with "player police force, gangs, cartels, [and] businesses."

The title's business model isn't discussed in detail, but it appears to be buy-to-play; VanderZwet says it won't have a sub and won't be pay-to-win: "We hate 'pay to win' games as much as anybody, and will always ensure that items and upgrades purchased with real money will not give a notable advantage in-game."

A 10 CAD pledge is the cheapest with game access; pledges run all the way up to 5000 CAD. Asylum is seeking 150,000 CAD. Closed beta has not been announced, but pledge awards are scheduled for "delivery" by December 2016.

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Survarium's still a thing, now in Euro open beta

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic

Whatever happened to Survarium, the online FPS from the makers of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.? Well, it's in open beta as of today, at least for our friends in Europe. OBT features Team Deathmatch and Battery Retrieval PvP.

Developer Vostok Games writes that "the transition of the game to the stage of open-beta in Europe does not mean the end of project development; on the contrary, we plan to further develop Survarium and introduce lots of new features, including the long-awaited FreePlay (PvE) mode."

Make My MMO: December 28, 2014 - January 3, 2015

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

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, pretty much everyone took a vacation. Including Frontier, which now finds itself with something of a mess after its Elite: Dangerous server went whacko and screwed over the sci-fi title's economy.

In happier news, Project Gorgon got the green light from Steam's community, and Pathfinder's early enrollment period got underway at long last. Click past the cut for the rest of our weekly roundup to make sure you don't miss a beat.

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Betawatch: December 27, 2014 - January 2, 2015

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

Pathfinder Online
Pathfinder Online's early enrollment period opened for backers this week. If you're not a backer and still want to play, you can pony up $100 to join; that includes three months of access. Goblinworks' Ryan Dancey dropped by the Massively comments to assure readers that "from this point forward there are no planned server resets." Unplanned rollbacks and resets are a possibility, but accumulated XP "will never be revoked."

What else is new in the world of MMO testing this week? Our complete Betawatch roundup lies ahead.

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Leaderboard: Are you following Bless or Black Desert?

MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Leaderboard

I'm a big fan of Korean MMOs, and I always look forward to what's next from our friends in the Far East. Since Blade & Soul doesn't seem to be gaining any traction in Europe or North America, that arguably leaves Black Desert and Bless as the primary triple-A Korean titles on the horizon.

Black Desert seems to have more of the sandbox features I want, but I'm sure I'll play Bless too at some point. What about you, Leaderboard readers? Are you looking forward to either of these games? Vote after the cut!

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Project Gorgon is coming to Steam

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

Indie sandbox Project Gorgon finally caught a break this week in the form of Greenlight approval on Steam. Two separate Kickstarter drives failed to fund, one in 2012 and another earlier this year, but former Turbine and Perpetual developer Eric Heimburg continued work on the project and has now announced a forthcoming Steam launch.

"There's a lot of work to be done to get the game Steam-ready, and I don't know the exact timeline yet," Heimburg wrote. "But the hard part was getting Greenlit."

Gorgon seeks to marry old-school and new-school MMO design; it includes features like player-authored books, exploration without signposts, and additional goodies that you can see in the video past the cut.

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Choose My Adventure: World of Warcraft High

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

World of Warcraft
Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft launched on November 23rd, 2004. For anyone having a hard time putting that date into context, consider this: My sister, who's now in college, was eight years old when WoW's gates first opened. Some of our readers with nice jobs and adorable children were still in middle school or high school. I've personally been playing WoW off and on since 2005, giving me about nine years of history with the game.

This month's Choose My Adventure was two parts adventure and one part nostalgia. And as it turns out, sometimes the past really does belong in the past.

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Make My MMO: December 21 - 27, 2014

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

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, The Repopulation dropped its NDA and thrust itself firmly into the middle of Steam's Early Access conga line. This was a pretty big deal, given how the game is channeling a certain late great sci-fi sandbox and given how many people responded with their alpha tester opinions in the announcement thread.

Some other stuff happened, too. Christmas, for one thing. But, really, this week was all about TR when it comes to crowdfund happenings. If you simply must know what else was up, click past the cut for our roundup.

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Camelot Unchained's latest newsletter tackles player-built structures

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Crafting, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, Player-Generated Content

Camelot's Unchained's latest newsletter is hot off the virtual presses. It's a lengthy read, too, so grab yourself a snack and a beverage before perusing the community Q&A section, a state of the build update, an art update, and a design discussion on the RvR sandbox's building system.

"The world of CU, while it will have some important pre-built structures, leaves the dynamic creation, capture, and destruction of keeps and castles firmly in the hands of our players," City State says.

Choose My Adventure: On autopilot in World of Warcraft

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

World of Warcraft
Life as a shadow Priest in World of Warcraft is pretty mellow. Mostly you bounce around from quest to quest and enemy to enemy, ticking off objectives by murdering orcs with dark magic and scaring everyone with your spooky shadow face. It's not a career path I'd recommend for your average citizen, but if you're looking to become an instigator in the clan wars of Warlords of Draenor, there are worse paths to take.

We accomplished quite a bit this week in Choose My Adventure. Our Blood Elf Priest gained a couple of levels, DPSed his very first Warlords of Draenor dungeon, and completed the Frostfire Ridge set of story quests. And while it's all been very, very good, I'm still having a hard time connecting to this latest World of Warcraft expansion.

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The Stream Team: On to Gorgrond in World of Warcraft

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

World of Warcraft
Choose My Adventure Live continues as Massively's Mike Foster says farewell to Frostfire Ridge and heads into Gorgrond, the second of Warlords of Draenor's all-new zones. Experience World of Warcraft's latest expansion with Mike as he quests, fights, and garrisons his way to level 100 from the perspective of a voter-created shadow Priest.

The action begins at 4:00 p.m. EST.

Game: World of Warcraft
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014
Time: 4:00 p.m. EST.

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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New studio ArtCraft creating MMO with 'real skill, real risk, and real consequence'

MMO Industry, New Titles, Miscellaneous, Crowfall

Heads up, MMO fans -- there's a new player on the scene. Industry vets J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton have come together to form ArtCraft, a studio that's making a mystery MMO with "real skill, real risk, and real consequences."

"We're building something completely different, completely unique. We believe the MMO industry has grown stale. It's time to create something new," Coleman stated. Coleman and Walton have worked on many MMOs, including Shadowbane, Wizard101, Ultima Online, and Star Wars Galaxies, and they say they are building an "all-star" team for this new project.

The teaser website for the game asks, "Where did we go wrong?" with the MMO industry and vows to take chances with this new game. There's a countdown timer on the site (62 days as of the writing of this article) and a sign-up for the beta.

[Source: ArtCraft press release]

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