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DC Universe Online highlights the creation of Batman

Super-hero, Video, Lore, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, DC Universe Online

Batman created by Bill Finger, credit swiped by Bob Kane.
It's been 75 years since Batman's creation, and that means everyone is talking about the Dark Knight. More than usual, even. DC Universe Online has gotten in on the action with a series of short videos exploring how Gotham's protector was brought into the game, what players can do to really feel like a part of the bat-family, and what the future holds for everyone's favorite nocturnal billionaire aside from beating up clowns.

The videos feature artist Jim Lee, voice actor Kevin Conroy, and various members of the DCUO development team looking at every aspect of the character in the game. There are three different videos past the break, but each one is fairly short -- you can watch them all at once or take them in chunks, whichever you'd prefer. It's a great dose of bat-nostalgia for fans of the game.

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LotRO's Summer Festival runs July 22 - August 5

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play

There's no shortage of things to do in Lord of the Rings Online these days, what with the recent release of Update 14, Western Gondor, and the level cap bump to 100. If you're already burned through all of that, though, you'll be glad to know that the game's annual Summer Festival starts tomorrow and continues through August 5th.

Events include keg races, horse races, fishing challenges, the Taste of Hobbiton, and the usual Ale Association vs. Inn League shenanigans.

See the savage beasts of WoW's Shadowmoon Valley

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Subscription

Blizzard released a dev blog on World of Warcraft's Shadowmoon Valley over the weekend, and it's filled with prose and images detailing the regions beasts. These include riverbeasts, podlings, elekk, and even "enormous sentient trees" that may give would-be lumber collectors a bit of pause.

Elite's expansions to include planetary landing, ship interiors

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

Frontier's latest newsletter for Elite: Dangerous talks post-launch plans for the sci-fi space sim sandbox. Launch is currently scheduled for sometime in Q4 of 2014, after which Frontier will continue to expand the game.

"Major new features will include planetary landings and even walking around inside ships, stations, and planet surfaces," the firm says. Elite users with a lifetime expansion pass will get "all such significant expansions" at no extra charge. The LEP is currently packaged with the game's premium beta access or available separately via the Frontier store.

[Thanks Peteris!]

The Daily Grind: What's your favorite LotRO update or expansion?

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, The Daily Grind

I'm kinda slow-poking my way through Blackroot Vale in Lord of the Rings Online's latest update. So far it's pretty standard fantasy themepark fare, but I'm enjoying it well enough thanks to the setting (Gondor!) and the general ease with which I can wander through it.

As far as LotRO updates go, I think my favorite would have to be the Riders of Rohan expansion, both because of its sweeping vistas and a delightful soundtrack. What about you, Massively readers? What's your favorite major update or LotRO expansion?

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: July 13 - July 19, 2014

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

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Camelot Unchained dominated the headlines. Oh sure, Star Citizen made its money and the Elite: Dangerous devs said a couple more interesting things, but by and large we were all oohing and ahhing over City State's week-long batshit-crazy reveal schedule.

Whether or not the finished game actually incorporates all of these awesome ideas is anyone's guess, but for now it sure makes for fascinating reading! Click past the cut for the rundown on the rest of this week's crowdsourcing news.

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Elder Scrolls Online shows new zones, active world PvP, and more at Quakecon

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Quakecon is the place to be if you want the latest Elder Scrolls Online news. Last night during the Future of ESO panel, ZeniMax showed off a boatload of upcoming features including video of new zones, further discussion of the veteran rank revamp, and details on the justice system.

This last bit is particularly interesting since it involves some sort of "active world PvP" outside of Cyrodiil. In a nutshell, the system allows players to murder NPCs and steal items. If caught, you can choose to pay a bounty (and lose the stolen goods) or run, exposing yourself to guards. You can also be a guard and hunt down player bounties, hence the PvP.

In terms of new zones, there are videos for Imperial City, Murkmire, and Wrothgar after the cut, as well as a look at the stealing and justice system mechanics. Dulfy has a breakdown of the panel, too, including info on new armor and weapons, spellcrafting, and more!

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Betawatch: July 12 - 18, 2014

Betas, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

ArcheAge
ArcheAge officially dropped into closed beta mode this week; according to Trion Worlds, the beta saw over a million sign-ups, with so many logins that the team was forced to open new beta servers on short notice. What else is new in the world of MMO testing? The complete Betawatch roundup follows.

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Ultima Online overhauls factional PvP in publish 86

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Ultima Online, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

Broadsword Online has announced that Ultima Online's publish 86 will arrive on the test server this evening. Notably, the patch includes the first phase of the game's new Vice vs Virtue system, a massive ground-up rework of the existing faction PvP system intended to bring rewarding, objective-based PvP back to the cities. The update also features a new trading-based quest system, new property generation mechanics for spawned loot, and a refreshed Cleanup Britannia vendor.

Check out the complete patch notes on the official site. If you're a former player thinking of dropping by your old haunt to see how it's doing, recall that last month, the developers hinted at a return-to-UO promotion coming in August.

Nerd Kingdom on Yogventures!'s implosion and the future of TUG

Fantasy, Business Models, Interviews, MMO Industry, News Items, Legal, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

Yesterday, Massively reported on the impending bankruptcy filing and cancellation of Kickstarted Winterkewl/Yogscast game Yogventures! and the alleged transfer of its assets over to TUG, a sandbox game by Nerd Kingdom that we've written about since its reveal last year. Journalists and gamers have suggested that in spite its claims to the contrary, Yogscast itself might be liable for refunds, as would any beneficiary of assets entangled in a future bankruptcy filing. We spoke to TUG's Peter "Ino" Salinas to shed light on the situation and its implications for TUG.

Massively: Yogscast has distanced itself from Winterkewl, the studio making Yogventures!, but statements made by Winterkewl seem to suggest that Yogscast is simply transferring its support for Winterkewl's game to your pre-existing game, TUG, causing Yogventures to go bankrupt and disavowing any obligation to underwrite the spent half million in Kickstarter funds. Is that your understanding of the situation? Can you clarify it for our readers?

Nerd Kingdom's Peter Salinas: There are a lot of details to the discussions that Yogs and Winterkewl had before we started to develop our friendship with the Yogscast. We were also honestly wary of the situation ourselves at first, having been aware of Yogventures! around the time we did our own Kickstarter campaign. The reality of the situation was this: A young and ambitious developer overscoped a project... this would not be the first time that happened; it's just a total bummer that it had to happen with a massive community involved. And during that time, the Yogscast group, knowing little enough about development, agreed to let them use their likeness in their own project. Yogs knew that Yogscast itself was not equipped to manage the project, so they let Winterkewl use their brand and a community to build on. Sadly in that process, all the milestones that were set by Winterkewl, which would have allowed the Yogscast to promote the project, never were hit. How can you promote or make an experience with nothing to share? Even we had our own time to put in before we were able to demonstrate anything reasonable.

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The Crew's PC closed beta starts July 21

Betas, Real-Life, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items

Shelby GT500
Ubisoft's open-world racer The Crew kicks off its PC closed beta on July 21st. The firm has posted a news blurb on its website stating that the first test phase will run through July 25th, which is earlier than previously announced.

Players will be able to "explore the entire United States with no loading screen" including all missions and skill challenges in the Midwest, all skill challenges on the East Coast, and free roaming in the South, Mountain State, and West Coast regions.

The Crew launches on November 11th.

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Report: SWTOR fourth biggest sub MMO, Elder Scrolls has over 770k subscribers

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Market intelligence firm Superdata says that Star Wars: The Old Republic earned $165 million in worldwide revenue last year. This would make SWTOR the fourth biggest sub MMO in the world (behind World of Warcraft, Lineage, and TERA).

Superdata's report also says that the pay-to-play MMO market has been in a constant decline since 2010, with monthly active worldwide subscribers bottoming out at 23.4 million. "Despite the overall decline, this category has so far managed to maximize their ability to monetize a shrinking yet loyal player base," the firm says.

Finally, Superdata says that Elder Scrolls Online has a subscriber base of 772,374 while WildStar is seeing "four to five times" as many concurrent users as it saw during open beta. Superdata's information is purportedly "pulled directly from publishers and developers."

Tamriel Infinium: Elder Scrolls' ginormous post-50 update plan

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Opinion, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription, Tamriel Infinium

Tamriel Infinium - Elder Scrolls art header
Earlier this week, Elder Scrolls Online creative director Paul Sage dropped by the Elder Scrolls OTR podcast and proceeded to drop a ton of update info on fans of ZeniMax's fantasy themepark MMO. We put out a corresponding news post, of course, but there was so much meat on those bones that I couldn't let an issue of Tamriel Infinium go by without adding my two cents.

Plus, hey, it was only two weeks ago that I was advocating for an adjustment to the game's post-50 approach. Ask and ye shall receive, right?

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Vindictus highlights its new character with fashion silhouettes

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Classes, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Vindictus

This was a really meaty trailer.
When you think about it, catwalk struts are seriously underused as a means of introducing new content to an MMO. Vindictus is taking the genre in a bold new direction with its latest reveal. The Korean reveal page for the new character makes it clear that Arisha is bringing a whole new style to the game. That style is... well... style, perhaps?

Seriously, the trailer doesn't reveal anything but a silhouette. Datamining has revealed that she's a hybrid melee/magical character, although that could go a lot of different routes. Still, you can get a very shadowy peek at her in the trailer past the break.

Based on that, she'll attack primarily with six-inch heels and fishnet stockings because hot pants, heels, and plunging necklines are crazy useful in combat.

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Dota 2's 10 million dollar e-sports tourney will stream on ESPN

Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), PvP, News Items, Promotions, Miscellaneous, MOBA

Whether or not you believe e-sports are real sports, Dota 2 is at least big enough for sports TV.

Valve today publicized a deal that will bring streaming coverage of its MOBA's The International tournament to ESPN. Well, ESPN3, which is sort of like ESPN in the same way Dota 2 is like a sport. We're kidding. ESPN3 will broadcast matches live, and come Sunday, "viewers can tune in to ESPN2 for an exclusive preview of the tournament's final match, featuring highlights from the games, expert analysis, plus interviews with the players and Valve's Gabe Newell."

The International championships begin tomorrow in Seattle with a prize pool worth over $10 million. It turns out your mom was wrong: You can get rich and famous playing video games.

[With thanks to tipster Mike!]

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