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Player-Generated Content

Camelot Unchained's latest newsletter tackles player-built structures

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Crafting, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, Player-Generated Content

Camelot's Unchained's latest newsletter is hot off the virtual presses. It's a lengthy read, too, so grab yourself a snack and a beverage before perusing the community Q&A section, a state of the build update, an art update, and a design discussion on the RvR sandbox's building system.

"The world of CU, while it will have some important pre-built structures, leaves the dynamic creation, capture, and destruction of keeps and castles firmly in the hands of our players," City State says.

MapleStory 2 begins closed beta signups next week, will include a jail system

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Business Models, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Player-Generated Content, MMORPG

MapleStory 2
Another day, another game we can't have yet. This one's MapleStory 2, the sequel to Nexon's MapleStory, which in spite of its cuteness is still one of the biggest MMORPGs in the world. Steparu reports that MS2 is set to enter its first closed beta phase on January 21st; signups go live for Korean players on Christmas eve.

Over on the official site (in Korean), Nexon further discusses the MMO's jail system, something fans of games like Ultima Online and ArcheAge know well. This particular jail is meant to hold those who make wreckage of chat channels, though Nexon says will punish counter-abuse "severely." What could possibly go wrong?

We don't yet know whether the game will come here, but since classic MapleStory has a global version that's earned Nexon boatloads of money, it's pretty darn likely.

We've embedded Steparu's MapleStory 2 customization video below.

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Sandvox SkySaga hits alpha in the UK

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content

Skysaga
Sandvox SkySaga has officially entered alpha, says developer Smilegate. The team announced the start of the testing phase over social media yesterday and today:
Great news! We've just started up the Alpha servers (UK only still, I'm afraid), and from now on they'll be running 24/7 (with the exception of maintenance periods!).
You read that right: The alpha's open only to UK players right now, though we've had reports that there's no IP blocking just yet. Release is still set for next summer. The game is a voxel-based sandbox with the usual trapping: crafting, harvesting, combat, arena PvP, and an "evolving" online world shaped by the players themselves.

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Shroud of the Avatar's Richard Garriott and Starr Long on MMO community

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Events (In-Game), Interviews, Opinion, Some Assembly Required, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content, Shroud of the Avatar

Some Assembly Required:  Garriott and Long interview shows Shroud of the Avatar wins at community
If you've been making a list of sandbox features and checking it twice, chances are you'll find many of those items in Shroud of the Avatar. And if player-generated content and a great community are near the top of that list, then this crowdfunded title might very well be the present you want to get yourself! While still under development, this sandbox has already grown exponentially from its humble beginnings of a chicken in a room to a current state that includes a bevy of features -- with more arriving like clockwork every monthly update. And plenty of those features are tools and systems that allow players to make the game a personalized experience for themselves and others.

What about Shroud of the Avatar makes it so great for player-generated content? What makes the community great? And how has Steam affected the game? I sat down with Portalarium's Richard Garriott and Starr Long to talk about the move to Steam, updates, PGC, and the amazing community that's supporting the game. These guys had so much to share that this is only part one!

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The Stream Team: The art of ArcheAge bot wrangling

Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content

What do you do when rampant ArcheAge bots are littering your landscape and lording over the mining nodes? Why not make them sleep with the fishes? It seems as if the devs aren't doing enough to help stem the bot problem, so Massively's MJ and the Minions took matters into their own hands and developed an amusing new minigame within ArcheAge: Bot Wrangling. It takes a bit of skill mingled with some luck, but unlike PvP, this game can be played in peacetime zones. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to see who can rustle up the most bots.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Expect zero seizures from today's Black Desert features reel

Betas, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Crafting, Black Desert, Player-Generated Content, MMORPG

Black Desert
OK, so you don't like the spazzy shaky-cam and motion-blur of Black Desert's videos. Fortunately, you can turn it all off inside the game. Even more fortunately, there's more to the game than bouncing-off-the-walls, eye-spasm-y hack-'n'-slash, as today's video from Daum demonstrates. There's farming, fishing, boating, gathering, and other crafting skills, plus what looks like an elaborate minigame attached to harpooning sea critters. There's also an extended section on horse taming and associated mount activities like mounted combat. (The horses are gorgeous.)

The sandbox is slated to enter closed beta in South Korea on December 17th. The video's below!

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Work on Asheron's Call's player-run servers continues

Fantasy, Asheron's Call, Business Models, Game Mechanics, News Items, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

AC
Earlier this summer, Asheron's Call 1 and 2 went buy-to-play with no sub and technically went into maintenance mode, with no more content updates planned for the pair of games. But it wasn't to be game over; Turbine vowed to keep the servers up for its loyal players because it was, as Turbine's Rob "Severlin" Ciccolini put it, "the right thing to do." Critically, the studio also promised to release tools, though not the source code itself, to help players run their own servers, create their own live events, and someday implement their own locations.

Just before the holidays, Ciccolini quietly released an update about the "community-foused initiative" on the official forums.
I finished documenting and preparing the files players will need for all the SQL set up. We are working on getting documentation for setting up the patch server and and gls servers. I am also checking to see how a player can configure a local one person server with a simplified set up so they can play solo or in a LAN environment but I don't know yet if it will be possible to do without the full login process. We are moving to get things up in a place where they can be downloaded.
Severlin explained that documentation and testing continues, and there's a chance, though not a guarantee, that a "simplified server set up for solo or LAN players" might be workable.

PvE, full caves hit Landmark December 15th

Betas, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvE, Free-to-Play, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

In two weeks, Landmark fans will celebrate the holidays early by indulging in a content feast! On Monday, December 15th, the sandbox will get a meaty update that includes something players have craved all year: PvE! Creative Director Dave Georgeson and Senior Producer Terry Michaels announced the upcoming content extravaganza during Wednesday's Landmark Live stream. But mobs are not the only addition on the way; Georgeson went so far as to call last August's huge PvP content patch small in comparison. Along with the PvE, the December 15th patch brings the rest of the cave system (meaning all islands will now be tiered down to the core), graveyards for player resurrection (a must for when mobs chew your face off), claim vendors, and more.

Sound too good to miss? If you want to jump in and check these new features out, send an email to mj@massively.com for a seven-day beta key!

The Stream Team: Starting over in Landmark

Betas, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

December is set to be a big month for Landmark, and Massively's MJ isn't going to miss a thing! But to get ready for all that's coming, she has a bit of work to do. See, she pressed the reset button on her claim, so she's now got a blank canvas on which to create something worthy of the upcoming AI. The possibilities are endless. Want to come be a part of this? She's got beta codes to give away and welcomes your input on this new build. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for the start of something amazing!

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Repopulation expands alpha and focuses on bots

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Housing, The Repopulation, Player-Generated Content

The Repopulation
Above and Beyond has published The Repopulation's end-of-November report, and it's a doozy. The studio discusses the embiggening of its alpha thus far and the addition of new servers to handle the load. The devs have also been working on housing and city locations, a new character versioning system, a new cloning system, nation deeds, facial animations, and tooltips.

Perhaps of most interest to sandbox fans disillusioned with this year's sandbox drama is A&B's focus on its bot detection code. "Our philosophy with bots is that once the game launches it is not really beneficial to ban characters unless they already invested a significant amount of time into the characters, otherwise they can just create a new free account and you need to detect them all over again," the devs wrote. "So we've focused our attention on reducing the benefits of botting. In addition skill gain penalties and stoppage, botters will see their harvesting results capped in quality, and a complete shut off of loot."

Capping off the dev letter are 17,356 words' worth of patch notes. We counted. Check every last one out at the official site.

Massively Interview: Burning Dog on Origin of Malu's do-over

Fantasy, Interviews, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Origins of Malu

When last we heard of the the indie sandbox Origins of Malu, Burning Dog Media had gone back to the drawing board for a do-over. The studio switched game engines, effectively starting the development process over again (again). But despite what some fans may fear, that isn't nearly as bad as it sounds! In fact, it's rather good news because players will be getting a far better game, and they won't have to wait very long to get it.

I sat down with Producer Michael Dunham to talk about the changes and get a look at the progress the team has made.

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The Stream Team: Shards Online's turkey shoot

Video, New Titles, Livestream, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content

Having a little trouble envisioning just what is possible on the player-run worlds of Shards Online? When devs say the shards can be modded to make a unique world, they really mean it! To give a little taste of the game's potential, Citadel Studio's Co-Founder Derek Brinkmann is hosting a post-holiday turkey shoot for play testers, and Massively's MJ is getting in on the fun! Will she be able to bag a few turkeys herself? Brinkmann will be on-hand to answer any questions as well, so join us live at 2:00 p.m. for the holiday hunt!

Game: Shards Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, November 29th, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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EVE Evolved: What does Thera mean for EVE?

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Lore, Patches, Previews, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
If you've been keeping up with the recent news updates on EVE Online, you've probably heard about the upcoming Rhea update scheduled for December 9th. This mega patch will introduce the new tech 3 Tactical Destroyer ship class, Sleeper incursions into normal space, hands-on WASD flight controls, and 101 new wormhole systems (including 25 that are limited to small ships). The new wormhole systems have had all of their planets shattered by an as-yet unknown stellar phenomenon, and clues as to what transpired there will be hidden in the rubble. This infusion of new content and story will mark the first time the wormhole storyline and gameplay have been significantly expanded in over four years.

Each of the new shattered star systems is guaranteed to have at least one outgoing wormhole leading to normal space at all times, increasing the likelihood that pirates will catch you exploring or farming them. And since these systems won't have any in-tact moons, you won't be able to put up a permanent starbase to retreat to if hostiles appear. I'm pretty excited for exploring this new lawless frontier, but it's a unique shattered star system called Thera that I'm most looking forward to finding. Thera will be the first and only wormhole system to have fully kitted NPC stations and will serve as neutral ground for anyone who wants to live there. It's been described as the Mos Eisley of EVE, a permanent home to pirates, PvP corps, and smugglers looking to make some quick ISK.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at how the Thera system could revolutionise EVE for a lot of players and where the EVE storyline could go as a result.

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The Stream Team: Joining the Shards Online dev playtest

Video, New Titles, Livestream, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content

Shards Online recently met its Kickstarter goal, and Citadel Studio's Co-Founder Derek Brinkmann joins Massively's MJ to show off the game's latest developments (not the least of which is female avatars!). If you've been watching this game, you know that the future sandbox offers players the chance to really develop their own gaming worlds -- literally. So now that the funding goals are met, what's next? Now is the time to get all your questions answered by the dev team, as well as see what things are in store! Join us live at 2:00 p.m. EDT for a look at the devs latest playtest.

Game: Shards Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, November 22nd, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Stream Team: No more Landmark tour deaths!

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Free-to-Play, Giveaways, Livestream, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

Thanks to the disabling of fall damage, Massively's MJ is able to take a tour of more Landmark builds without the fear of imminent death! Even without mobs, travel in-game has been dangerous for her; MJ's died many a time just trying to visit cool spots from the gallery. But that's all changed (at least for now), and not a moment too soon: She's seen plenty of impressive possibilities to check out this week. There are Egyptian builds, Orc builds, tree houses and ruins galore... even pinball machines! Pretty much anything you can imagine is being built somewhere in game. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. to check out some of the latest in Landmark creativity. Then grab a beta code and try it out for yourself!

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, November 21st, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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