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Landmark's Georgeson 'hugely interested' in VR, Project Morpheus

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Virtual Reality

Landmark girl
EverQuest franchise director Dave Georgeson is "hugely interested" in Sony's Project Morpheus VR headset, according to IGN. While Georgeson said that the PC pedigree of EverQuest Next and Landmark prevent the company from currently embracing the PS4-only Project Morpheus, he also said that he sees VR as "the future of gaming."

"We need to build the game, and then we can talk about virtual reality and stuff beyond that," Georgeson explained.

ESO's sub model was a 'mutual decision' between Bethesda and ZeniMax

Fantasy, Business Models, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Elder Scrolls Online dungeon ghost
Elder Scrolls Online's subscription model wasn't handed down from on high by parent company ZeniMax. It was instead a "mutual decision" between ZeniMax and Bethesda, according to company PR guru Pete Hines.

"It wasn't like they decided it, and we didn't mandate it. There was a lot of conversation around it," he told Games.On.Net.

Hines also explained that the future of ESO's business model will depend entirely on whether customers see the game as a fair value, and not on prevailing industry trends. "What's going to determine whether or not it succeeds or fails is not really tied to what anyone else has done, it's tied to 'do we make a strong enough argument for the value that you get for your fifteen dollars,'" Hines said. "If we're providing the kind of content people want to see where they're like 'this is awesome, I'm having a blast, this new stuff is totally worth it and I'm having fun,' then the subscription totally works."

Elite newsletter talks alpha progress, to-scale celestial bodies, and more

Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous Coriolis station
Frontier has released Issue #18 of its Elite: Dangerous newsletter. It's a good 'un, too, especially if you like development progress updates, videos, and answers to interesting questions.

There are bits about the state of the game's 3.0 alpha client, a docking tutorial video, and a look at the redesign of the iconic Coriolis space station from the original Elite title. One of the more interesting fan questions relates to the size of celestial bodies. "Celestial bodies and the distances between them will be correctly scaled wherever possible [and] real astronomical data is being used," Frontier says. "To give you an idea we're currently at 116,000 stars from various catalogues and [that] includes pulsars and black holes as well as main sequence stars. Exo-planets are the other big import which we're about to start working on."

We've embedded the alpha progress video after the cut.

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Tamriel Infinium: A hitchhiker's guide to The Elder Scrolls Online

Fantasy, Lore, New Titles, Opinion, Guides, The Elder Scrolls Online, MMORPG, Tamriel Infinium

Tamriel Infinium: A hitchhiker's guide to Elder Scrolls Online
I believe we can all agree that The Elder Scrolls Online is not a sandbox in the MMORPG sense. However, the game starts to branch out as your level increases. Although it will never be an MMO sandbox, it does start to resemble the single-player sandbox, except there are tons of other people playing at the same time.

Just like those single-player sandboxes, ESO allows us to do pretty much whatever we want when we want to. It's an explorer's dream, if you ask me. Of course, we might be able to find some of those explorable items on the in-game map, but many of them remain hidden until we just land on them. Today, I'd like to talk about a few of the items that I think every ESO explorer should be aware of.

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Roberts praises Oculus-Facebook deal, says Star Citizen will remain independent

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Culture, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Star Citizen dying star art
Star Citizen topped $41 million in crowdfunding yesterday, and Cloud Imperium boss Chris Roberts penned a new Letter from the Chairman as a result. The latest stretch goal unlocked the procedural generation R&D team, but perhaps more notably it served as an opportunity for Roberts to weigh in on the Oculus-Facebook debate and reassure Star Citizen fans of the game's independence.

Roberts explained how Facebook's investment will help defer the obscene manufacturing and supply chain costs involved in bringing new hardware to the mass market. He also pointed out that Star Citizen features none of those costs, so there's no desire to sell to a larger firm.

"We don't need to go to anyone with deep pockets to make our dream a reality," Roberts wrote. "Luckily our ships are digital so we have hardly any cost of goods, just the cost of developing the universe of Star Citizen and running servers that Star Citizen's universe will be simulated on. Thanks to the generosity of the Star Citizen community we have these two things covered."

Massively's Elder Scrolls launch diary: Day two - Skills and progression

Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Elder Scrolls Online Stros M'kai temple
Never in 15-plus years of MMO gaming have I been so bewildered when it comes to picking a main class and character. Part of this is because I ignored The Elder Scrolls Online prior to March 30th. So I'm drinking from the information firehose in terms of game mechanics while simultaneously trying to keep up with friends.

The other part of it stems from the fact that ESO has an absurd amount of build customizability. I'm glad it has only four classes instead of six or eight because six or eight would probably send me over the decisional paralysis edge and into some sort of fugue state. I think for the purposes of this launch week diary -- and my own sanity -- I'm just going to stick with my Redguard Nightblade and forge ahead. There. Done.


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Shards Online developers plan for a player-run MMO

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, New Titles, News Items

On some servers, parkour is set to 0.  On others, it's set to 1.  The really neat ones are where it's set to 20.
More or less every MMO starts up its advertising with some trace of the idea that you can play however you want. Not every MMO talks about the idea of letting players run the servers at the top level, however. But that's what Shards Online is aiming to provide. A recent interview with the developers discusses the idea, with studio co-founder Derek Brinkmann explaining that it's one of the first steps to dismantling the idea that the designers have to tell you how to enjoy yourself.

Citadel Studios is a team made up of former Ultima Online developers who wondered why more games haven't embraced the idea of taking live events to their logical conclusion with modern technology. Shards Online is set in a multiverse, with several different worlds featuring slightly different rules, while players can tweak the overall structure to their individual preferences by running their own servers. The game is in development for Windows, Linux, and Mac, with an alpha expected later this year.

The Stream Team: Adventuring in The Elder Scrolls Online's early access

Fantasy, Video, New Titles, Livestream, The Elder Scrolls Online, The Stream Team

For those with early access, life began for real in The Elder Scrolls Online yesterday. Not one to be left behind, Massively's MJ has jumped in on her new Redguard and is working her way out of the beginner lands in order to acquire all possible lore and read every text. Oh, and pilfer too! With nimble fingers and prying eyes, no loaf of bread nor locked drawer will be safe! Join us live at 1:00 p.m. EDT for her jump start into adventure.

Game: The Elder Scrolls Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Monday, March 31st, 2014
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Massively's Elder Scrolls launch week diary: Day one

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Elder Scrolls Online skyshard
Like any proper Tamrielian title, The Elder Scrolls Online starts you off in chains. This isn't the boat-bound incarceration of Morrowind, though, or the relative comfort of Oblivion's initial Imperial lockup. This is the Wailing Prison, an otherworldly abyss stocked with iron maidens, soulless inmates, and a spectral Prophet who sounds a lot like Albus Dumbledore.

Don't worry, though; ZeniMax didn't blow its budget on Michael Gambon or the rest of ESO's A-list voice cast. This is a fairly deep game, and it also does a surprisingly decent job of translating 20 years' worth of single-player sandbox history into a mass market MMORPG.

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The Daily Grind: Does your first character end up as your main?

Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Races, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO Redguard Nightblade
I made six characters during yesterday's Elder Scrolls Online headstart. The saddest part of that isn't my altitis but the fact that I still don't know which of them is going to be my main!

I began with a Redguard Sorcerer, decided he didn't fit the lore well enough for my liking, and switched to an Orc Dragonknight. I got a little bored with him and made a Bosmer Nightblade and so on and so forth. I may end up going back to the Sorc after all, but I just don't know yet.

What about you, Massively readers? Does your first character usually end up as your main?

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: Accessing Elder Scrolls Online early

Fantasy, Video, Launches, New Titles, PvE, Hands-On, Roleplaying, Livestream, The Elder Scrolls Online, The Stream Team, MMORPG

The Stream Team: Accessing Elder Scrolls Online early
The moment players have been waiting for is here: The Elder Scrolls Online is officially live. Of course, Massively's ESO columnist Larry Everett cannot wait to jump in. He's been up since the wee hours this morning playing. Join him live as he continues his journey through Tamriel saving the world from the schemes of Molag Bal.

Game: The Elder Scrolls Online
Host: Larry Everett
Date: Sunday, March 30th, 2014
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Stream Team: Daring to be Dominion in WildStar

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, New Titles, Livestream, WildStar, The Stream Team

Last time Massively's MJ headed into the wilds of WildStar, she started life as a new Dominion soldier. Is this faction really as bad as the Exiles make it out to be? By request, MJ will delve deeper into the Dominion and find out the truth of the matter. Which side is in the right? If administering electroshock treatment to subversives is any indication...

Join us live at 2:00 p.m. as MJ heads down to Nexus in the service of her new Dominion masters (and probably stirs up plenty of trouble on her own!).

Game: WildStar
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, March 29th, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Six things you will and will not find in The Elder Scrolls Online

Fantasy, Lore, New Titles, Mac, Races, Roleplaying, Guides, The Elder Scrolls Online, MMORPG

Four things you won't find and four things you will find in Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls series launched in 1994 with Arena. The game was sold on floppy disks, for goodness' sake. It's been around for a long time. With that extended life comes convoluted and complicated lore. Even after I'd heard the time period for The Elder Scrolls Online, I had to research to find out whether certain pieces of lore would actually appear in the game. Of course, I'm not going to be able to tell you everything in this one article, but before ESO launches, I can hit some of the highlights.

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ArcheAge Japan going F2P, getting 1.0 patch in April

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox

ArcheAge logo
Japanese ArcheAge publisher GameOn has announced that the fantasy sandpark will switch to a free-to-play business model on April 24th. The monthly subscription will still be available, and MMO Culture reports that players who pony up will "get tons of bonuses."

The April 24th update will also bring the controversial 1.0 patch to ArcheAge Japan as well as an increase in the level cap from 50 to 55.

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The Stream Team: More Landmark beta, more codes!

Betas, Fantasy, Video, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Giveaways, EverQuest Next, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

Landmark's closed beta is a whole day old! That means Massively's MJ has only had 24 hours in which to lose herself in this brave new world. We know that is not nearly enough time, so she's diving right back in (has she even left?!) and exploring, mining, and logging to her heart's content. And did we mention she'll have more closed beta codes to give away? Be sure to join us live at 6:00 p.m. EDT to watch more adventures unfold (and maybe start some of your own!).

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, March 27th, 2014
Time: 6:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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