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The Stream Team: Hunting for friends and foes in H1Z1

Betas, Video, PvP, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic, Livestream, The Stream Team, H1Z1

Knowing where you are in H1Z1 is not nearly as important as others not knowing that particular info -- especially if you want to survive on the PvP servers. Massively's MJ is heading back into the free-for-all fray that's filled with foes (and only a few of those are zombies!). How well will she fare this time around? Armed with more knowledge about crafting -- and hopefully more weapons -- MJ plans on making the most of one hour. Will she witness any hizzy (H1Z1, get it?) fits out in the wilds? It depends on how much human contact she has! Join us at 2:00 p.m. for this latest apocalyptic adventure.

Game: H1Z1
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, January 30th, 2015
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Defiance developers answer a dozen player questions

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Consoles, Community Q&A, Post-Apocalyptic, Defiance, Buy-to-Play

We hope you like shooting, because it's all shooting from here on out.
Good news, Defiance fans: Your questions have been answered. Assuming that your questions were closely tied to the 12 questions answered here, of course. Otherwise your questions remain unanswered. But if you want to know more about expeditions or the upcoming Alcatraz hub, the answers have you covered. Whether or not you'll like the answers is another story entirely; expeditions are very much about straightforward shooting engagements with a full group using a drop-in-drop-out approach to forming a party.

At this point there's no exact ETA for when the Alcatraz update will be available on the game's test server, although the developers are hopeful for "soon." The answers also discuss some long-standing issues and a few bugs as well as take on the issue of character customization, which isn't going to be expanded any time soon. Even if your question isn't among the ones answered, it still would behoove Defiance players to take a peek at what's in store for the game.

PAX South 2015: Moonrise and State of Decay shine at the Undead Labs booth

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Interviews, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Hands-On, First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, Buy-to-Play

Undead Labs
Most media appointments at an event like PAX South 2015 work like this: You meet the person you're supposed to meet, that person shows you the game her studio is working on, and then you rush off to the next booth on your list while cursing yourself for not scheduling time for a snack. Undead Labs handled my PAX appointment a bit differently, sitting me down for back-to-back play sessions with brand-new tablet game Moonrise and a remastered version of State of Decay, the zombie survival game that put the studio on the map.

It was a little jarring to go from adorable pet battles to being torn in half by a zombie, but the two-for-one session provided a nice glimpse of where Undead Labs has been and where it intends to go.

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The Stream Team: Peeking into H1Z1's PvE server

Betas, Video, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, H1Z1

When the servers were finally sorted last weekend, Massively's MJ was able to bring you a first look at H1Z1's early access on one of the many PvP servers. But folks have been asking to see the world on the PvE server, so she's diving back into the sandbox and facing death at the hands of zombies, bears, wolves, and any really peeved deer. Oh, and let's not forget starvation! Will MJ find friends as she did in the first part of her PvP journey, or will folks be more like those near the end? Join us live at 1:00 p.m. to see.

Game: H1Z1
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, January 22nd, 2015
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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H1Z1 suffers overnight downtime, whispers of server wipes [Updated]

Betas, Horror, Bugs, News Items, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, Buy-to-Play, H1Z1

Move along, nothing to see here.
It's not an easy time to be playing H1Z1 right now, especially since you sort of can't. The game's servers went down last night for a quick fix, according to Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley; they've been down since, with players getting increasingly vocal and anxious about what comes next. No further updates have come from the company after Smedley's assurance that there are issues to be fixed that cannot be solved simply by rolling back to the previous patch.

Once players can get back in to the game, there may very well be a server wipe greeting them (a possibility suggested by the technical director), although perks like tickets, crates, and cosmetic recipes will not be lost in the event of a server wipe. SOE has promised to give plenty of notice before taking such drastic measures. Players are divided on whether this is a good thing or not, although widespread reports of item duping sit at the root of the issue. There's still no ETA on when the servers will be back online or what will be fixed when they come back up, but players could be looking at a very different environment.

[Update: Servers appear to be up again now. SOE has said that the promised European servers are still incoming: "getting MORE servers, still calculating what we can fit."]

Borderlands Online unloads hard details before testing begins

Betas, Sci-Fi, Classes, Game Mechanics, News Items, MMOFPS, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous

So, yes, the plan is still going to shoot things, mostly.
If you desperately want to play Borderlands Online but have no access to the upcoming China-only title, maybe the hard details on the game's systems will make you feel better. Or maybe they'll make you want to play it more; hard to say. The game will feature four classes: Soldier, which can summon a mobile turret; Hunter, which marks and weakens the target with a drone; Siren, which uses a little bird made out of fire to burn things; and Berserker, which can, well, go berserk.

Five categories of weapon will be available, with four of the categories locked to classes (Sniper Rifles for Hunters, for example) and Pistols being available for everyone. The game's first test, running from the 23rd to the 27th, will feature three towns with six instanced areas each for gameplay. Take a gander at the full details and some early press screenshots if you just can't find out enough about this new installment of the franchise.

SOE's Adam Clegg apologizes for H1Z1 airdrop snafu

Betas, Horror, Business Models, Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, Buy-to-Play, H1Z1

In the wake of this week's H1Z1 early access launch issues and "pay-to-win" airdrop controversy, SOE's Adam "Arclegger" Clegg offered a lengthy apology and explanation to the unruly mob on Reddit.
I wanted to address what I said in an earlier stream with NGTZombies prior to our release. I said you cannot buy a gun or ammo and it had to be found in the world. When you are on a stream, and you are talking about your game, you tend to talk a million miles an hour both to keep the information flowing and to keep it entertaining. But sometimes things get said without completely thinking about what you are saying 100% through. H1Z1 is a massive game with a lot of systems, some of which we were tuning every day and finishing last minute. When I said you can't buy any guns or ammo, I completely disregarded the possibility of airdrops and meant that you can't buy a gun or ammo and have it go into your starting loadout, or your loadout immediately like you were buying a gun from the gun store.

All that being said, I totally understand how what I said was at the time lying to you guys and I apologize. But please understand that's not what I was trying to do. For those of you that don't know me or understand me, know that I'm not trying to be this monster that is conniving and lying in hopes that you get tricked into buying the game. I am very passionate about making video games and I want more than anything in the world for people to love the games that I am a part of making.
Clegg explained that during testing, the loot-heavy airdrops resulted in a "gladiator style brawl" that epitomized the conflict SOE wanted to generate in the game. "Whether you agree with us or not," he wrote, "that is how we want airdrops to work." The second half of his post covers the details of the changes incoming to the system as noted yesterday.

SOE President John Smedley announced last night that the studio will grant refunds to those early access purchasers who request them by Sunday. Self-initiated refunds through Steam are also now possible.

The Stream Team: Hopping into H1Z1's early access

Betas, Video, New Titles, PvP, Free-to-Play, First Impressions, Post-Apocalyptic, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, H1Z1

Are you ready to face the plague in H1Z1? Massively's MJ is -- or at least that's what she thinks. The post-apocalyptic sandbox that's swarming with zombies opens for early access today, and MJ has been looking forward to checking it out since she got a taste back at SOE live. How long can she survive in a world where the living are as much a threat as the dead? Join us live at 12:15 p.m. to find out in this first look into H1Z1.

Game: H1Z1
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, January 16th, 2015
Time: 12:15 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Leaderboard: Are you playing H1Z1 this week?

Horror, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, Opinion, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, Leaderboard, H1Z1

SOE's zombie-flavored sandbox comes to Steam early access tomorrow, and despite the under construction warnings of CEO John Smedley, I'm betting that lots of people are going to buy it. The question, though, is whether or not you have bought it.

How about it, Massively readers? Are you playing H1Z1 this week?

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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H1Z1 boasts 150-200 early access servers, including 'carebear' servers [Updated]

Betas, Horror, Business Models, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, Humor, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, H1Z1

Shut up and give me my ten bucks per month, little man. My Porsche needs some performance upgrades.
In preparation for the early access launch of zombiebox H1Z1, SOE's John Smedley has been busy on social media. Over the weekend, he asked Redditors for suggestions for 50 zombie-themed server names. Last night on Twitter, he indicated that the game will have far more servers come Thursday:
looking like we'll have 150-200 H1Z1 servers on 1/15. [9:19 PM - 12 Jan 2015]

we'll be announcing the distribution of them (i.e. rulesets, etc) in the next day or two. I think people will be happy. [9:19 PM - 12 Jan 2015]

even the disgusting PVE carebear servers will be ready day 1. I'm not happy about that but people tell me I need to get over it. [9:20 PM - 12 Jan 2015]
Don't worry, PvE players who've been buying SOE MMOs for 16 years. We're pretty sure he was kidding.

H1Z1 early access launches January 15th. Smed has previously warned players that they should "NOT BUY EARLY ACCESS" if they are hoping for a completely finished game, but given the number of servers, we expect no one is listening to that advice.

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Xsyon enters early access on Steam

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Launches, News Items, Xsyon, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous

Because who could resist this?
Want to play Xsyon but hate the mere concept of not being able to play it natively through Steam? Then we have good news! The game is now available on Steam as an early access title, so if you don't already own the game, you can start playing there. If you're wondering how the game could be considered early access when it's been launched and playable for some time, well... that's a good question. Sharp thinking!

If you're already an Xsyon player and want to have the game on your Steam account, you can shoot off an email to a special account requesting a Steam key for no extra cost. Everyone else who's already playing will just want to look forward to the hopeful influx of new players enjoying the game for the first time.

[Source: Notorious Games press release]

Survarium's still a thing, now in Euro open beta

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic

Whatever happened to Survarium, the online FPS from the makers of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.? Well, it's in open beta as of today, at least for our friends in Europe. OBT features Team Deathmatch and Battery Retrieval PvP.

Developer Vostok Games writes that "the transition of the game to the stage of open-beta in Europe does not mean the end of project development; on the contrary, we plan to further develop Survarium and introduce lots of new features, including the long-awaited FreePlay (PvE) mode."

The Daily Grind: Why aren't more studios investing in post-apocalyptic MMOs?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous

fallen earth
Some days it makes my heart so very sad that Fallen Earth stands virtually alone in the field of "classic" post-apocalyptic MMO settings. I love that game dearly and wish I had more time to actually play it, but I wish even more that it had a bigger studio and budget to go with its wide aspirations. I fear it is already slipping away from us.

I was among the many desperately hoping for a Fallout MMO, but it seems as though those hopes were in vain. And out of all of the Kickstarter MMOs that I see, none seems to have gone the Mad Max route. So why do you think that more studios aren't investing in (non-zombie) post-apocalyptic MMOs -- and what would you like to see in that genre?

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!

Zombie sandbox MMO Immune enters early access on Steam

Betas, Horror, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, News Items, Promotions, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Buy-to-Play

If you can't wait for H1Z1 and want to slay some zombies this Christmas, perhaps isometric post-apoc sandbox Immune will suffice. Billed by developer Vidiludi Games & Entertainment as an MMORPG, Immune launches into early access today and is pushing for Steam greenlighting.
"Immune is a humorous early access sandbox survival MMORPG with PVP and PVE, in which you scavenge, hunt, and even grow your own food to survive. Inspired by classics such as DayZ, Rust, and Stalker, Immune takes place in a post-apocalyptic world following an outbreak of a devastating pandemic leaving only a handful of survivors. But beware of the gasmask wearing NPCs doing everything in their power to avoid the infection by shooting everyone sick or immune in the face!"
The game is currently $10 US on the developer's website, half off as a holiday promotion.

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The Secret World nerfs Tokyo mobs and buffs rewards

Horror, Patches, The Secret World, Post-Apocalyptic, Buy-to-Play

Players struggling to progress through The Secret World's Tokyo zone will now find it a more pleasurable experience, thanks to today's hotfix that makes mobs easier to kill while increasing rewards across the board.

Mobs in Kaidan will now have reduced damage and health, making them easier to kill. Better yet, TSW is increasing AEGIS XP from containers, lowering the cost for memory expansion modules, and giving AEGIS peripherals as part of the Issue 9 and 10 story missions (and will retroactively award these to players who have completed them).

[Thanks to Tyler for the tip!]

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