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Player-Generated Content

Norrathian Notebook: Remembering that Landmark is in beta

Betas, Bugs, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Norrathian Notebook:  Remembering that Landmark is in beta
An interesting thing happened on my way to pay upkeep. It hit me full force that Landmark is indeed in a true beta. I know, I know -- I have said this before. And I know that I know it. Yet sometimes that fact still sneaks up and wallops me in the face! I mean, it's pretty obvious the game is incomplete (hurry to me, AI editor!) and that there are definitely bugs to squash. But for the most part, I have not be too inconvenienced by bugs, so I guess the fact that it's a beta just floated to the back of my mind.

That all changed this past week. I encountered a bug so big that it squashed me. In fact, it was so intense that it effectively prevented me from continuing my gameplay. That's when it hit me: After eight months of playing and enjoying Landmark, I had forgotten that this can actually happen. But it is important to remember, to keep this fact at the forefront of our minds. Why? It's not to be a defensive rallying cry for why something isn't in game/isn't working as intended; it's so we can get the game we want, sooner! How? By doing our job as beta testers.

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The Stream Team: Tricks and treats on another Landmark Halloween tour

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

The Stream Team:  Tricks and treats on another Landmark Halloween tour
Halloween may not be until next week, but Massively's MJ simply can't wait that long! So she's going to immerse herself in more holiday builds in Landmark. Folks have been preparing many more haunted mansions, pumpkin patches, graveyards, and witches lairs since MJ's last Halloween tour, so there is a lot to try and see in one little stream. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to see all that is spooky and collect some treats as you go! (Yes, there will be codes of all kinds to give out!)

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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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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EVE Vegas 2014: Region Commander turns EVE into a huge spreadsheet

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Economy, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, PvP, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, Sandbox, Crafting, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

It's often said that sci-fi MMO EVE Online isn't so much a game as a giant online spreadsheet and that people pay a subscription fee in order to have a second job they don't get paid for. While that's little more than a joke to the majority of EVE players, there are those for whom EVE is genuinely played on a massive spreadsheet. In a guest talk at EVE Vegas 2014 earlier today, players Javajunky and Gossamer DT from the logistics division of one of the game's largest coalitions discussed the monumental amount of work that goes into the industrial and organisation side of running a nullsec alliance or coalition.

During the talk, Gossamer DT discussed an interesting piece of custom software he develops called Region Commander that was designed specifically for organising player empires. The tool keeps track of starbase tower fuel, maintains a blacklist of players who have been kicked out of the coalition, and allows organisers to create and assign tasks to players in their command. Players who want to contribute to their alliance's industrial backbone can log into the system to take on work tasks due for completion, and the tool updates in realtime. The only thing missing is a punch card and a paycheck.

Using this tool, players have managed to combat the logistical and organisational challenges that would naturally make coalitions of thousands of players infeasible. Many third party tools have been criticised in the past for providing gameplay advantages to those who use them and increasing the gulf between new and experienced players. Players already have tools to help with mining and trading, and even ones that parse data from your ship scanner into useful information for your Fleet Commander. It's clear that whether CCP or the playerbase approves of these tools, this djinn won't be going back into its bottle.

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Norrathian Notebook: Landmark's latest patch packs an armored punch

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, Free-to-Play, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Norrathian Notebook:  Landmark's latest patch packs a punch
Wowsers! While we knew that September was a month of bug squashing and that meatier content updates would return to Landmark, this latest one seems extra juicy. It could just be that everything feels like a feast after a famine, but I think it's more than that -- and not just because it took multiple posts to announce the changes. Besides being tantalized with a bunch of new goodies right now, I get the impression that we are in for regular doses of content, content, and more content as the dev team revs up for open beta. And these changes are also glimpses into the ongoing development of EverQuest Next. Who doesn't love that?

As it is, I am pretty excited to delve into this content update, Armor? Appearance slots? Additional weapon abilities? Ability to template the movers, flingers, and stuff? Lava?! Heck, yah -- serve it up.

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The Stream Team: Build it better in Massively's second Landmark competition

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

Do you have the construction mojo? Or does your stuff resemble metallic mashed potatoes? There's no denying that there are definitely some impressive builders in Landmark, but how well can even those folks do when timed and using limited resources? Now is your chance to see!

Massively's MJ is hosting another timed building competition and invites you to come watch. Two brave builders have stepped forward to go head-to-head tonight; one looks to defend his title, while the other hopes to dethrone him. Both will win prizes for participating, but only one leaves with bragging rights! Oh, and did we mention it's all on a high platform from whence they might mistakenly plummet to their deaths? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for a front-row seat to the fun (and a chance to win some of the codes for yourself).

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below. And if you want to be a part of the next competition and win prizes, be sure to say so in the comments below or email mj@massively.com.

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Armor and new weapon abilities are just the beginning of Landmark's latest update

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, PvP, Free-to-Play, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

It's back to bigger updates for Landmark! After a September spent dedicated to mostly bug fixing, more content has finally arrived in today's update. Much more. From a third weapon ability to armor to new building textures, there's plenty for players to sink their teeth into. Changes were also made to the Heroic Movement system, the UI got tweaked a bit more, and an appearance slot was added.

Combat enthusiasts will have a third ability for each weapon (accessed by pressing E) to get accustomed to in addition to facing the choice of which type of first-generation armor they want to wear: tank, DPS, or mixed. The Heroic Movement changes will also have an impact on combat; each ability is now assigned to a pair of boots, relegating players to only one heroic Movement at a time.

On top of that, there is a slew of a new textures players get to use while building, including various stones, metal, and lava. Yes, that's right -- lava! Although not occurring naturally in game yet (and therefore not harvestable), players can use this oozy orange liquid by utilizing stone resources.

The Stream Team: Get in the Halloween spirit with Landmark

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

October is the best month: cooler temps, colorful leaves, and Halloween! That last one is the reason Massively's MJ loves this fall month so very much, and she's getting into the spirit by visiting various holiday-themed builds in Landmark. There are haunted houses and pumpkins galore -- even a pumpkin carving contest! Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for this spooktacular display of creativity as MJ hops to as many Halloween builds as she can fit in. She'll also have treats to give away (including the new Halloween-themed suit)!

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below, and then prepare for Massively's second timed building contest next week! This time it will be a death-defying experience. Interested in showing off your skills and winning in-game codes for participating? Sign up by emailing mj@massively.com!

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Norrathian Notebook: Seven things EverQuest Next and Landmark really need

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Crafting, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Norrathian Notebook: Six things I really want to see in EverQuest Next and Landmark
What do I want to see in EverQuest Next and Landmark? I know that is a question that all of us have asked ourselves and each other. Heck, even the developers ask us this! It's a key component in the open development process; it is the discussion of these answers that lead to some great ideas. So in the hopes of sparking another meaningful conversation (and hopefully giving the devs a few ideas!), I'm going to detail five things that I desperately want to see in these upcoming titles. While most of these items are a wish list for both games, there are a couple that are title-specific. I am not going to dwell on those desires I have brought up in the past or things I have already talked at length on, such as player-written books, theme-enforced Islands, and larger landmasses of multiple islands for more seamless experience. Instead I hope to present seven more morsels of food for thought, and hopefully you'll add your ideas in as well.

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The Stream Team: Strut your stuff in a Landmark building competition

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

Who is brave enough to participate in a timed, one-hour Landmark building competition live? Come and see! Massively's MJ is hosting this special event that will take place on two claims. Contestants will have access to the same materials on both claims and possibly given a theme, but what they come up with is up to them. Creativity under pressure -- what more could you ask for? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to be the judge during this fun event.

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Daily Grind: Are character bios due for revival?

Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Roleplaying, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content

SWG
One of my favorite things about classic MMOs is that they refused to give up on the "RPG" part of MMORPG. As in a tabletop game, in classic MMOs you were often given an opportunity to write a biography for your character, then import it into the game and attach it to your profile in some way so that other players could read it. In some games, having a superb character bio could snag the attention of a gamemaster and land you even more recognition in the form of a badge or achievement.

It bothers me that these little touches are missing from so many modern MMOs. They don't take much effort on the part of the designers, and they sell the impression that creativity still matters, that your character is more than just a chat handle and a suit of armor.

Are character bios due for a revival? Did you ever or would you use the option in your game of choice if you could?

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 Stream Team: The lay of Landmark's land

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

There's no question about it: Landmark has a lot of land to cover for explorers. There are so many islands and so many builds that even during beta you can never see them all. It doesn't help that player creations are constantly changing, either! That's not going to stop Massively's MJ from trying to see every little nook and cranny though. She's heading back in for another tour around a few various islands in hopes of checking out a number of impressive builds that litter the land. If you have something to show off, let us know! Then join us live at 8 p.m. to discover the latest in player creativity.

Game: Landmark
Host: Your Name Here
Date: Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Working As Intended: Lessons from the history of MMO housing

World of Warcraft, EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Ultima Online, Vanguard, RIFT, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Housing, Player-Generated Content, Working As Intended, Landmark

Hustis House - Daniel Case
Once upon a time, a subscription MMORPG sandbox had open-world housing, only there wasn't quite enough for everyone. Well, there was, but there wasn't enough of it in safe lands, so a lot of the people who wanted a place to live had to live in dangerous places they didn't like, places where they could be killed on their doorstep by other players. Even most of the plots in the safe lands were so remote or allowed for such small homes that they were undesirable. In fact, there were only a few housing plots on every server that afforded a strategic advantage in PvP or trade or storage, and if you didn't own one of those, you were at a distinct disadvantage. And when new lands opened up, scripters and gold farmers were first in line to grab the best plots and sell them on Ebay for hundreds (sometimes thousands!) of dollars. And legit players were pissed.

I speak, of course, not of ArcheAge but of Ultima Online.

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Norrathian Notebook: EverQuest Next round table roundup V

Betas, Fantasy, Polls, Video, Opinion, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

Norrathian Notebook:  EverQuest Next round table roundup V
Combat, combat, PvP. That can pretty well sum up a lot of Landmark's chatter recently. That's understandable, since it is the newest feature to hit the sandbox. But that is certainly not all there is to talk about. There are plenty of topics of interest that cover both EverQuest Next and Landmark, and a number of these are touched on in the regular roundtable discussions.

It's been quite a while since we've gathered these all up into one concise spot for you to peruse (so long that Landmark lost part of its name in the interim!), so here's the fifth installment of the roundtable roundup. Poke through this collection and check out what other players and devs are saying about various issues. You can even participate in many of the polls if you haven't yet and add your voice to the mix! Even if some topics seem old, remember that none is irrelevant; the games are both still under development, and player input is always a good thing.

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Watch the fourth EVE Online video in the Clarion Call series

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Opinion, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription

EVE
Back in 2009, player corporation Rooks and Kings produced an EVE Online video called Clarion Call: Triage Special, which went viral among space MMO enthusiasts and had a profound influence on PvP tactics in the game. Clarion Call 2 and 3 were released to similar acclaim, and now a fourth installment has arrived. The lushly illustrated, hour-long Clarion Call 4 narrates one perspective of modern EVE tactical history with footage and sound from individual pivotal battles. Don't worry if you're not an EVE aficionado; it's accessible even for a newbie. Just be warned that some of the language and terminology is graphic. Enjoy the video below.

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