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News Items

TUG update talks predators, apothecary, alchemy, and terrain tweaks

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting

TUG is prepping some "major content and engine updates," according to a blurb on its Kickstarter page. New goodies include performance enhancements, predators, alchemy, apothecary functionality, and a new terrain system.

The KS update also features TUG's latest In The Works video diaries which cover the aforementioned potion-making, predator, and terrain tweaks. View all four clips just past the cut.

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Albion Online opens its next alpha test on September 15th

Betas, Fantasy, News Items, Mobile, Sandbox

Want to take part in a test version of an unfinished game, pony up the cash.
Excited to get your mitts on Albion Online? If you've got alpha access, you'll get your chance on September 15th. Developer Sandbox Interactive is opening up the game to testers so they can explore the game, hunt for bugs, and find out what's changed in the most recent build if they've tested before. The current test window is for 14 days (until September 29th) but it may be extended depending on performance, feedback, and player numbers.

If you're not already a tester, you can buy one of the game's founder packs to get in and start testing when September rolls around; the $50 pack is the lowest priced option to allow for participation in this particular alpha test. Or you can nab a key during a giveaway elsewhere, that will work too.

[Source: Sandbox Interactive press release]

Not So Massively: Hellgate's resurrection, Path of Exile's expansion, and Destiny's launch trailer

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Hellgate: London, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games, Consoles, Crime, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warplanes, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone

Hellgate
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.

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Allods Online provides a new Priden trailer

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Races, Allods Online

Kitty!
The next major update for Allods Online is on its way, and version 6.0 is bringing with it a brand-new race. The Priden were first seen a while back on the game's Russian servers, and they're going to be going worldwide in the near future, starting off as a neutral race before choosing a faction after reaching level 20.

Want to see the race in action? You can get a sense for what they're about in the trailer hidden just past the break. In short, they're a race of warriors, first and foremost; the members live by a rather simple credo of "dare or die" and seek to have their deeds recorded in memory. If you want to play something a little bit different, check out the trailer and see if the Priden are your cup of tea.

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Carbine Studios planning to address WildStar server issues

Sci-Fi, Culture, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

On the bright side, this means that low raid attendance isn't really the big problem.
Does your server in WildStar feel just a bit empty lately? Of course it does; there are always population issues in a game after the initial subscription rush, and players trying to gear up for the game's larger raids have been feeling the pinch. There's good news, however, as the developers are apparently looking into solutions. Design Producer Stephen Frost replied to fans on Twitter earlier today stating that the team is working on some new technology to help alleviate the issue of population. Whether this means a more open server structure, guesting on other servers, or something else altogether remains to be seen, but it's at least comfort for players stuck in something of a ghost town.

Guild Wars 2 improving megaserver guilds in September

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Patches, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

You'll have to come up with a whole new set of excuses for not joining guilds now.
Another feature pack is rolling out for Guild Wars 2 in September, and it's bringing improvements to guild functions along with it. It's starting with the rollout of global guilds, allowing the resources earned by a given guild on all worlds to feed into the same central group, rather than creating small-scale copies of the guild on every individual world. That includes guild vaults, guild merits, and guild influence, all of which will be pooled with the feature pack update.

Guild missions and finding allies on different maps will also receive improvements, making it easier to take care of objectives with your friends across the globe. The official post also discusses the language divisions found on European servers, with the team electing not to split players based upon language at this time to bolster population. Read the full update for more details on how the changes will affect guilds and players when the patch goes live in September.

Black Desert getting naval transportation, combat

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

Yes, I'm aware this isn't a picture of a BD boat, you try and find one
Fan site BlackDesert.com spoke to representatives from Pearl Abyss and Daum Communications at Gamescom. The resulting interview is worth a read, and it mentions that Black Desert will in fact be getting some sort of naval system.

"Yes naval transportation and combat will be present in Black Desert Online," said Daum's Park Yoo Jin. "Players will be able to control boats and ships and depending on the kind of naval unit, there will be the possibility to board it with more than one person."

Pearl Abyss had previously announced that it was adding naval combat at this year's E3, but thus far the systems have not been made available during Black Desert's Korea beta tests.

Lord of the Rings Online fans clean up old models

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, Subscription

We don't look that old, do we?  Like... medium-old.  Distinguished.
Lord of the Rings Online has been running for quite a while, and while it's not an ugly game its graphics are getting a bit long in the tooth. That's no one's fault, really, just the march of time making itself known. One fan has taken up the challenge of seeing what can be done with a bit of adjustment and retexturing, and the results are available on Reddit for fans to admire.

The "new" models all have the same technical specifications as the models currently in the game, but have simply been adjusted and had their textures improved. Currently five of the models have been done -- male and female elves, male and female hobbits, and female humans. You can browse through to see how the updated geometry looks, although there's no way to put these models in the game at the moment.

[Thanks to Emilia for the tip!]

Here are some tips for The Crew's closed beta

Betas, Real-Life, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Buy-to-Play

The Crew's second closed beta starts today for PC players, and Ubisoft has published a list of helpful tips designed to ease you into its open-world racing MMO. You'll find everything from keyboard and controller layouts to detailed instructions for equipping your cars and building a crew of friends on the title's website.

You might also want to check out Ubisoft's closed beta walkthrough video. It was originally published in July, but it still applies to the current test. You can view it after the break.

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Hackers' bomb threat allegedly reroutes SOE's president's plane

Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Legal, Miscellaneous

Smed
Hackers who implicated themselves in this weekend's PlayStation Network outage have apparently stepped up their attacks on Sony with a casual bomb threat made over Twitter that may have diverted a plane carrying SOE president John Smedley. In addition to tweeting several mocking threats about the flight as well as an image purporting to be Smed's e-ticket, the hacker account sent this message to American Airlines:
.@AmericanAir We have been receiving reports that @j_smedley's plane #362 from DFW to SAN has explosives on-board, please look into this.
Smed tweeted earlier today that his plane had been rerouted to Phoenix over "security reasons." Local news stations report that the FBI is investigating the threats.

[Developing]

Two senior staff members depart from ArenaNet

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

There may be a few last accusations about who did or did not refill the coffee pot.
ArenaNet is going to be down two staff members in the very near future. Community Team Leader Martin Kerstein and UI Lead Kate Welch are both leaving the company; Welch's final day with the developer is September 4th, while Kerstein has apparently already departed. Both of their farewell letters speak highly of the team and give no cause for the departures, and neither yet has any announcements of future plans.

Both Welch and Kerstein have been working on Guild Wars 2 since before its launch. These departures come directly on the heels of the conclusion of the game's second season of living story updates.

[Thanks to Sharvis for the tip!]

Make My MMO: August 17 - August 23, 2014

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

This week was a busy one in MMO crowdfunding circles. We heard from frequent newsmakers like Elite: Dangerous, Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Camelot Unchained, and even Pantheon. We also learned of a new Asimov-inspired sandbox called Seldon Crisis that's gearing up for a Kickstarter campaign next month. Finally, Stash launched a Kickstarter drive for a game it claims will "re-imagine the MMO genre."

Click past the cut for our weekly crowdfunding roundup.

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Marvel Heroes now featuring Operation Omega

Super-hero, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes

Operation Omega is going on right now in Marvel Heroes. In fact, it's a week-long event that started yesterday, so it will be going on for some time. It features 24 percent server-wide boosts to XP, SIF, and RIF as well as harder enemies and more loot. Oh, and don't forget to collect those Omega access files and trade them in to Dum Dum Dugan for exclusive items and artifacts!

Betawatch: August 16 - 22, 2014

Betas, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

This building is really taking shape!
Who doesn't want more building shapes? Landmark players can look forward to more shapes to use in their structures, including cones and pyramids. Meanwhile, ArcheAge testers can explore the game again in another closed beta event starting today and running until August 27th.

Not your cup of tea? Maybe The Crew is more your speed? You can pre-order for a closed beta key, as well as picking up some discounts if you pre-order through GMG or GameFly. That beta starts up on August 25th. Rising Generals also hit closed beta testing, so if you'd prefer to take a more strategic approach to your combat, that's an option.

Wait, none of that is what you're looking for? Huh. Well, then, maybe you should just jump on past the cut into our full list of betas, where you can find several other options. As always, if something's missed our notice, let us know in the comments!

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World of Warplanes' latest Flight School video talks team play

Historical, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, World of Warplanes

Wargaming has released the latest episode of its Flight School video series for World of Warplanes. The clip concentrates on crew assembly, aircraft class characteristics, and effective team communication during battles.

Click past the cut to have a look!

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