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LotRO's Fall Festival running through November 2

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

Lord of the Rings Online's Fall Festival starts today, and you've got until November 2nd to collect all the tokens, titles, outfits, mounts, and assorted other Middle-earth paraphernalia that shows up during Turbine's seasonal shindigs.

As always, Goldenstar has put together a comprehensive guide detailing how and where to get all the various knick-knacks as well as the new-for-2014 items.

Massively Speaking Episode 318: Technoscrabble

Podcasts, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

sto
You want the good news first or the bad news on this week's podcast? How about we sandwich the bad news in between some good news to make it easier to swallow? No matter how we present it, we are all going to have to work through the joys of content announcements, the sorrow of layoffs, and the technobabble of more Star Trek. Prepare yourself!

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

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Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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Metallica will rock out at BlizzCon 2014

World of Warcraft, Culture, Events (Real-World), News Items, Promotions, Miscellaneous

MetallicaImagine that you're a big-name game developer with a pile of money and millions of fans to impress at your yearly convention. Would you hire your favorite band from your youth to play a custom gig? Hell yeah you would! And so would Blizzard, which is why the studio's just announced that Metallica will be performing at BlizzCon next month. It's the perfect band to listen to while riding around on your Azeroth Chopper and playing your Orc.

"We're thrilled to announce that Metallica will be performing the closing concert at BlizzCon 2014, playing before a sold-out convention crowd on the night of November 8!" Blizzard gushed in its announcement post earlier today. "If you didn't score tickets to the show, don't worry -- you can still get a front-row seat from home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket."

Hey, at least it's not Blink-182.

Guns of Icarus Online overhauls progression and matching

Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, Miscellaneous, Steampunk, Buy-to-Play

This may have been an ill-considered approach.
The latest patch for Guns of Icarus Online is going to make it a great deal easier for characters to get better. The game's progression system has been completely overhauled, with level now tied to experience earned via matches rather than to achievements. This is accompanied by a reorganization of stats and traits and a bump in the level cap to 45, which will also bump existing characters and give them more levels to play around with.

Said patch also improves the game's matchmaking system, which helps get players into the action more quickly while also providing a more balanced system for everyone. A new tutorial to introduce new players to the game and a spectator system that makes it easier to watch games unfold have also been added, giving players new and old alike plenty to enjoy. Check out the full patch notes or just steal a glance at the video showing off these new features past the break.

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Hallowtide begins in ArcheAge today

Fantasy, Bugs, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge

ArcheAge
Trion Worlds will update ArcheAge's western servers today with a new patch reverently named Version 1.2 Build 4.13. Notably, it ushers in Hallowtide, ArcheAge's autumn event, which runs until November 4th, when the Conquest of Auroria patch launches. Today's update also includes several gameplay and bug fixes, including bugs relating to trial account chat. The studio has promised a full reveal of Hallowtide later today.

In other ArcheAge news, numerous players and Massively readers report that the free subscription time promised by Trion in compensation for launch issues is not properly triggering on their accounts.

[Thanks, dirtyklingon.]

WildStar reveals big lore drops on the Aurin and the Mechari

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

Boy, this information could have been really useful back when the game launched, but...
It's time to learn everything about the WildStar races that you were afraid to ask. Or, more likely, that you did ask. There's a lot of lore in the game, but it's possible to miss some pieces of important information, and players always have lore questions no matter what happens. So the team at Carbine Studios asked for player questions, and creative director Chad Moore has posted the first set of answers in the form of pages for the Aurin and the Mechari.

Both pages contain an overview of the racial histories, culture, social structures, relations with other races, lifespans... everything you could want to know at a glance regarding the operations of these species. Veteran players will find some elements of this unsurprising, but there's more to learn and some longstanding theories confirmed (like the functional immortality of the Mechari or the Aurin preference for analogies). Take a look at both pages for more information.

Not So Massively: LoL's world championship victors, Elite's shindig, and Citizen Con 2014

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Culture, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Launches, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, E-sports, OARPG

LoL Samsung White
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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Eternal Crusade shows off space marine model updates

Sci-Fi, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Warhammer 40k

Are you a Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade fan? Would you like to see some updated models for the Space Marine and Chaos Space Marine?

You're in luck, because Behaviour has released a two-minute pre-alpha video showing just that, along with some earlier footage for a point of reference. Click past the cut to have a look.

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Life is Feudal reports 100,000 copies sold in the first month

Fantasy, Historical, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox

If you bought this, please.  Explain why.
After a month of availability on Steam and via its own website, Life is Feudal has apparently sold 100,000 copies. Bitbox has clarified to Massively that the current build of the game "is a 64-player version" and that the "thousands of servers [...] are all persistent."

Producer and project lead Vladimir Piskunov attributes the early success of the title to the freedom allowed for players to build while emphasizing that these sales will help fund the development of the game's full MMO experience. No specific target date for the game's MMO incarnation has been set.

[Source: Bitbox Ltd. press release]

Guild Wars 2 teases upcoming festivals, living story season conclusion

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Lore, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

gw2
ArenaNet's Colin Johanson has penned a new Guild Wars 2 dev blog teasing just what the remainder of the fall season will bring for the two-year-old MMO.

Outside of ANet's e-sports push, the game's buzz has been relatively subdued since the second feature pack released in early September. That will change tomorrow, October 21st, with the arrival of the much-loved Halloween festival; Wintersday, the winter festival, is scheduled to kick off on December 16th. "Both of these releases," Johanson says, "will feature the same content as last year but with refreshed rewards, giving you fun new festival-themed items to earn."

Season 2 of the living story itself returns from intermission on November 4th, having been on hiatus for just under two months. Johanson promises the plotline will feature "stories with roots deep in the very heart of Guild Wars lore" and an "unforgettable" final episode for the season.

EVE Vegas 2014 roundup: Tech 3 destroyers, permadeath and more

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, Previews, News Items, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

An event that started out several years ago as an impromptu EVE Online player gathering, EVE Vegas has grown so large that this year it was was officially taken over by developer CCP Games. This year's event was organised like a mini-Fanfest, with Executive Producer Andie Nordgren's keynote address and some interesting talks from both players and developers. Players got a chance to compare notes with developers on the game's recent progress, CCP let out a few exciting reveals, and the whole event was streamed live to viewers at home for free.

This year's big reveal was a new tech 3 Tactical Destroyer ship class that can transform into one of several tactical configurations mid-fight to boost power to the engines, shields, or weapons as required. We also heard rumblings of new "glass cannon" weapons that deal increased damage but lower your ship's damage resistances, and CCP tested the public response to the controversial idea of adding permadeath characters to EVE. Player talks were equally informative, giving insights into the world of nullsec Fleet Command and the custom Region Commander software that the game's biggest coalitions use to maintain their grip on power.

If you missed out on the event, read on for links to Massively's coverage of the stream or to watch the stream recordings for yourself.

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LEGO Minifigures Online shows off the Space World

Trailers, Video, News Items, Free-to-Play, Kids, Family

It's the Space Police!  We're guilty!  The crime?  Not being in space!
Space is big. Really big. You wouldn't believe how vastly, mind-bogglingly huge it is. I mean, you might think it's a long way from your bed to your computer, but that's just peanuts compared to space. So while labeling a single area in LEGO Minifigures Online as the "Space World" might seem like a bit of an oxymoron, just think of it as a sampling of the mind-boggling hugeness of what space has to offer. In this case, it's aliens and evil space marines.

A new video is now available showing off the Space World and everything that players can do therein: fighting off alien invaders, huge robots, strange wildlife, and flying saucers. Yes, it's all a bit silly and strange, but when you're marching into battle with a team consisting of a pirate, a DJ, a guy in a chicken suit, and a knight, you kind of expect to be thrown into strange scenarios. Check out the video just past the break.

[Source: Funcom press release]

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EVE Vegas 2014: Getting players involved in EVE's development

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

Back in 2011, EVE Online developer CCP Games was rocked by controversy when players outraged over the Incarna expansion's microtransactions and CCP's indifference to player feedback spoke with their wallets and quit the game. In what became known as the monoclegate scandal, an estimated 8% of players quit, and CCP eventually laid off 20% of its staff worldwide. Some tough lessons were learned about keeping players looped into the development process, and CCP began involving players more closely in the development process.

At EVE Vegas 2014 today, developer CCP Fozzie looked at the ways that CCP gathers ideas and feedback from the community. As a sandbox MMO with a very dedicated community, EVE is in the interesting position that many of the players know more about the game than the developers themselves and can identify problems with ideas very early in the development process. Plans are now announced earlier in development to gather feedback, some new features are now made optional on release to gauge usage, and failed ideas will even be rolled back if necessary.

During the talk, Fozzie confirmed that each SCRUM team within CCP focuses on one particular area of gameplay and that player ideas are often brought into internal meetings for discussion. A new rig named the Higgs Anchor is even being introduced based on player suggestions; it will decrease movement speed by 75% but increase agility to make it easier to align to warp out if hostiles approach the player's location. If this level of player participation keeps up, hopefully disasters like monoclegate will never happen again.

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Marvel Heroes adds Nova to its roster

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Marvel Heroes

Marvel Heroes has a new superpowered crimefighter in its lineup. Nova is the latest addition to Gazillion's free-to-play online action RPG, and players can choose to play him in his Richard Rider/Nova Prime costume or in his new Nova/Sam Alexander duds.

Mechanically, Nova is something of a hybrid who is able to use both ranged and melee powers to "defeat enemies quickly." You can see him in action via the trailer just past the break.

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GoblinWorks: Pathfinder's PvP 'provides meaningful context'

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Pathfinder Online

GoblinWorks' latest Pathfinder developer blog went live this week, and in it CEO Ryan Dancey previews alpha version 10.0 which "closes a number of critical game loops" by adding several features.

Testers will experience increased character power, increased crafting abilities, and a new company/settlement UI, to name just a few of the improvements. Dancey also says that Pathfinder's PvP will "provide meaningful context" while acknowledging that "many people have serious reservations about PvP."

Dancey says that the solution to the problem of bad PvP behavior and "no-fun experiences" is the context. "When people struggle over something meaningful they behave differently than when PvP is just [a] random fight." How exactly will Pathfinder provide this context? You'll have to read the dev blog to find out!

[Thanks Chrysillis!]

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