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Opinion

Hi-Rez offers more advice on how to break into the games industry

Video, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Community Q&A, E-sports

If Hi-Rez's last set of videos on how to break into the games industry didn't scare you off for good, then congrats: You are exactly the kind of idealistic glutton for punishment who should totally jump into the games industry to be underpaid and overworked for your valuable skills!

Last time, the SMITE developers covered design, programming, and QA; this round, they're focused on 3-D character art and 2-D concept Art. Just before the holidays, they also pushed out a trio on marketing, shoutcasting, and streaming. Enjoy!

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The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV's year in review

Fantasy, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

Landing stuck.
A year ago, Final Fantasy XIV was in a weird place. The game had already done the impossible one time around, taking a title that had failed badly and re-launching to actual attention from the world at large. Barring a slight misstep with housing, it had done all right. But a year ago, it had to do the hard part: sticking the landing.

Sure, re-launching was rough. But at that point it had to bank on that goodwill and shape itself into a respectable game within the MMO space. And it managed that.

What still astonishes me about the game's year of history is that despite making mistakes and bad choices, the game has continued to earn praise from players and onlookers, more so as each month rolls on and it continues to not collapse. That alone seems surprising, especially after a year like 2014. So let's look back over the year, see what the game did right, and look forward to the new year as well.

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The Daily Grind: How do you define triple-A?

MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind

Triple-A is a label you hear quite often in MMO discourse. Like most MMO terms -- and even the term MMO itself -- AAA seems subjective or somewhat ill-defined, at best. Does it mean "not indie?" Is it related to pretty graphics or production quality in general? Does it denote a certain budget? If so, what's the magic number?

What do you think, Massively readers? How do you define the term triple-A?

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!

EVE Evolved: Fitting the Confessor for PvE and PvP

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, PvE, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
December was a great month for EVE Online players, with the Rhea update opening new wormhole systems for the first time since 2009, updating the star map and all ships with amazing new visuals, and advancing the Sleeper storyline with mysterious cloaked structures appearing all over EVE and Sleeper NPCs making incursions into normal space. The update also brought us a ship-carrying freighter called the Bowhead and the first of a new line of tech 3 tactical destroyers called the Confessor. While every race will eventually get its own tech 3 destroyer, the Amarr Confessor was the first to be released due to the Amarr winning a research race player event.

Tactical Destroyers are a completely new class of ship in EVE with the ability to transform between three different combat modes in the middle of a fight to adapt to changing circumstances. Defense Mode boosts armour resistances and reduces the ship's signature radius, Propulsion Mode increases the ship's speed and agility, and Sharpshooter Mode increases turret optimal range and boosts the ship's sensors. With Confessor prices having now dropped below the 100 million ISK mark and more pilots finishing the skill training required, people have started figuring out some interesting ship setups for it.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I check out a few of the Confessor setups players have devised so far and look at what makes this transforming terror tick.

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The Daily Grind: Have you played Shroud of the Avatar yet?

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Sandbox, Shroud of the Avatar

I'm itching to play Shroud of the Avatar. I haven't yet, and every time I see a related news blurb I feel a tiny bit guilty because it's a sandboxy title from one of my favorite developers. I'm keeping it at arm's length, for the moment, mainly because of the pre-beta fatigue brought on by my way-too-early experiences in Landmark, Star Citizen, and other titles that currently feel more like work than play.

What about you, Massively readers? Have you tried SotA yet? If so, what did you think?

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 Daily Grind: What would you like Massively to cover in 2015?

Culture, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

gw2
Ahh, did you get a whiff of that new year smell? Mmm. Wish I could bottle that up. There's so much to do, so many lands to visit, and so many virtual boars to kill for their valuable livers.

Since it's still early in 2015, I'll toss out an interesting question for our readership: What do you want Massively to cover this year? Is there a game, a topic, or a focus that you'd love to see get some extra attention? Do you have the most awesome idea ever for an article? Hit us up in the comments below!

As a post-script, don't forget that you can always contribute to the site by sending in news tips, podcast emails, or One Shots submissons!

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 Daily Grind: What's the last team-oriented goal you accomplished in an MMO?

MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind

Team
MMORPGs have gotten pretty solo-friendly over the years, but a few of them still boast challenging content for groups, raids, or whatever you'd like to call a team of players.

I tend to play solo more often than not, but all of my memorable gameplay moments from the past 15 years happened while I was part of a team. What about you, Massively readers? Do you have any favorite teamplay anecdotes? What's the last team-oriented goal you accomplished in an MMO?

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 Think Tank: One MMO wish for 2015

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

Bonus points if you know what game this is from
Every year when we roll out our prediction articles with anything negative (because of course something negative is likely to happen in this industry over the span of a year), a commenter invariably accuses us of wishing for the negative thing to occur. It just ain't so. Predictions aren't wishes. In many cases, we're hoping to be wrong about our suspicions and hunches and dread. We're crossing our fingers that the wind turns and statistical likelihoods are flukily wrong. Can't bet the ranch on hopes and dreams.

But wishes can be fun too. That's what we're doing in this first Think Tank of the new year. This, my friends, is what wishes look like.

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The Daily Grind: Where are all the mobile MMOs?

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Mobile, Miscellaneous

So here we are in 2015, several years after the mobile rush that was going to lay waste to all genres everywhere. Everyone's going to mobile! they all said. Desktops are doomed! Angry Birds is the future! Flee your traditional gaming studios; all the money is on phones and tablets! Some of us bemoaned a future in which our favorite MMORPG platform might be supplanted by tiny screens that fit into our jeans' butt pockets. Others embraced the idea of being able to escape to an MMORPG paradise while stuck on grimy public transport. And then...

Well, nothing. Pocket Legends and its spinoffs were a thing, true. There was Vendetta Online and Chaos Heroes and Order and Chaos Online, the last of which even had a subscription for a while. A lot of MMORPGs promised mobile integration, at the very least, though most of them haven't yet delivered. But most of the MMORPGs that actually work on mobile are small in either population or scope. They're not really what MMORPG fans would call a core or AAA MMORPG. We're mostly offered online ARPG, TCG, MOBA, ARG, and RTS titles.

All of this led our former mobile columnist to declare a year ago that mobile MMOs were at a standstill in the West. So what happened? Is it technically impossible or financial infeasible to run a "real" MMORPG on mobile? Is PC elitism partly to blame? Is the revolution yet to come? Where are all the mobile MMOs? Because I kinda want one.

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!

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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The Nexus Telegraph: WildStar's past year and future

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Opinion, WildStar, The Nexus Telegraph, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

I don't want to have to say goodnight.
A year ago, I was excited for WildStar's future. Now I'm sitting here wondering how things went so very, very wrong.

That's not true, though; I know exactly how things went wrong. I don't like thinking about it, but I do know. And so here I am, with a game I was hugely excited to play out and in the wild, and so much has gone wrong. It's easy to think that I've pretty much clocked out altogether.

But that's also not true. I'll be the first to point out that I've said some decidedly unkind things about the state of the game and the choices that have been made thus far in terms of fixing them. The last column I wrote even posited that it might be too late for several of the changes being proposed to make any sort of impact when it comes to the game's image.

This is why I really want the game to prove me wrong.

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The Daily Grind: What MMOs will you be playing in 2015?

Betas, Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

all the mmos
This is it, folks, the end of 2014. As we count down the final hours and minutes of the year, 2015 looms ahead of us full of possibilities and potential. So we might as well ask, what MMOs will you be playing next year?

Maybe you'll continue your journeys in your current favorite games. Maybe you'll be looking at accomplishing goals in other MMOs. Or maybe you'll be anticipating diving into one of the newer titles that are on the way. What do you think you'll be doing come 2015?

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!

MMOs and gaming psychology, part two: Interview with a researcher

Culture, Interviews, MMO Industry, Opinion, Virtual Worlds, Miscellaneous

lotro
Following yesterday's article discussing current research on psychology and MMOs, we have today our conversation with Dr. Rachel Kowert herself, the lead author on the paper that originally prompted these articles. Kowert, unlike many other researchers in her field, has established gamer cred; her earliest experiences were playing basic games on a Tandy computer with her brother, but the first game to really grab her was Super Mario Brothers. Her favorite game of all time is Final Fantasy 6 (Final Fantasy 3 in the US), and most recently she's played Banished and The Sims 4.

Late in Kowert's Master's degree studies, her supervisor told her about an influx of parents expressing concern about their children's gaming habits. Finding information on the topic to help ease concerns proved difficult due to a severe lack of on-point research. This is what prompted her to switch her research focus to game studies.

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Hyperspace Beacon: Five SWTOR predictions for 2015

Sci-Fi, Classes, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR predictions for 2015
It's that time again to make my educated guesses on what BioWare will attempt to accomplish in the coming year with Star Wars: The Old Republic. In the last Hyperspace Beacon, I gave my grade card for how I think 2014 went, but now I extinguish the Force ghost of Christmas past and get a visit from the blue-glowy of Christmas yet to come.

I don't always get everything right, but I like to make a guess anyway. When you've finished reading my predictions, let's continue the discussion in the comments. I want to hear your thoughts as well.

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The Daily Grind: Have you ever been hacked in an MMO?

Business Models, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Hands-On, Miscellaneous

WildStar
The Massively tip line frequently receives notes from MMO gamers who are upset about being hacked in one MMO or another. Sometimes it's the result of a serious security flaw in the game, but sometimes it's just a lapse in a player's personal security. One way or another, it sucks.

I've never had an MMO account of mine hacked, but a guildie or two of mine has in the past, which has resulted in our guild vault being cleaned out. Fortunately, the studio (Blizzard, in this case) restored the accounts and every scrap of loot and gold that was taken. But I know not all studios respond that way when it's not their fault but ours, and some folks find they've lost their accounts and characters forever.

Have you ever had an MMO account hacked? How did the studio handle it? And what did you do to safeguard yourself afterward?

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!

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WRUP: Dropping all the subs

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