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EverQuest Next video talks about Ogres and Dwarves

Fantasy, Video, Previews, News Items, Races, EverQuest Next, Sandbox

Because you dearly want to play a dwarf again.
When you talk about basic fantasy races, Dwarves and Ogres are up there as the classics. But which do you find more interesting to learn about in EverQuest Next? The latest episode of the game's Workshop Show is available now; art director Rosie Rappaport and creative director Jeff Butler are joined by lead content designer Steve Danuser to show off the style and lore of both races while players vote over which one should be the next workshop focus.

Dwarves, for their part, are fairly familiar to anyone who has played EverQuest or EverQuest II (or pretty much any fantasy game from 1967 to the present): short, stocky, bearded, ancestral, and traditional. Ogres, meanwhile, have changed a lot, with a renewed developer emphasis on making the race more appealing to players in general whilst offering a wider range of available style options for players. You can watch the full show past the break, but be forewarned: It's a long one.

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Hearthstone due out on smartphones early next year

Fantasy, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games

Technology used on your portable technology to make something that is already portable and replicates another portable game... our sci-fi future is weird.
The one thing that Hearthstone currently lacks in comparison to traditional card games is the simple portability of a deck of cards, but that deficiency will soon be rectified. A new update on the official site shares an infographic with players and talks turkey on the upcoming clients for iPhones and Android phones.

The client for Android tablets is nearly finished and should be ready before the end of the year; the iPad version softlaunched last spring. But the iPhone client is taking just a little longer to polish up. As a result, the clients for these devices will not be ready until early next year. So you won't be able to bring the game with you on your phone to winter holiday gatherings in 2014, but before long, you'll be carrying an entire deck of cards in a device that is smaller than an actual deck of cards.

We've included the game's playerbase infographic below.

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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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Path of Exile video reveals the shocking truth behind Update 1.2.4

Fantasy, Video, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

path of exile
This week Path of Exile will get a substantial content upgrade to version 1.2.4, and we've got a preview video to share with you that covers its highlights.

One of the big additions with 1.2.4 is an electrifying Lightning Tendrils, along with new store options and the Herald of Thunder. The patch will be dropping on Wednesday, at which time the team will also post the Race Season Nine schedule.

You can watch the video after the jump!

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Final Fantasy XIV announces its first expansion, Heavensward

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Called it.
The Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival is currently underway in Las Vegas, and the keynote speech brought with it the big announcement many people were waiting for: The game's first expansions has been announced for spring 2015. Heavensward will focus on the city-state of Ishgard, as seen in the trailer embedded just past the break.

Gamer Escape's liveblog of the keynote notes that the expansion will feature a level cap increase to level 60, new jobs, a new race (albeit with an as-yet-unconfirmed identity), new primals, and new high-end content. More information will be available at the London fanfest taking place next week. For now, players will just have to speculate a bit on what the future holds. (The smart money, of course, is on dragons. Lots and lots of dragons. It's kind of an Ishgardian thing.)

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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MapleStory gets aerial combat

Fantasy, MapleStory, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play

maplestory
Mounted ground combat is so yesterday's MMO feature. If you want to really rise above the competition, then you'll need to throw in aerial combat into your game.

MapleStory is doing just this with an upcoming patch. In the second chapter of the Black Heaven storyline, players will be able to jump into a flying machine and duke it out in the sky. As with everything else in the game, the action will take place strictly in a side-scrolling 2-D format. From the looks of it, it calls back to classic shmups of earlier console generations.

Also coming in one of the future updates is a revamp to MapleStory's Resistance classes, including the Wild Hunter, Battle Mage, and Mechanic.

EVE Online tightens things up for Phoebe

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Patches, Previews, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

eve
A new blog post at EVE Online reveals that the team is working on streamlining a few of its existing features for the upcoming Phoebe patch.

The first tweak is to exploration, as the team will be making data sites more valuable and frequent. Career agents will also stop blabbing so much in the mission boxes, with shorter text messages to emphasize the objectives.

Finally, the team is bringing its semi-hidden expedition content into the light with easier-to-follow breadcrumbs and bug fixes: "We've added in some messaging to guide you towards these specific structures. We have also increased the percentage chance of the rarer types of expedition occurring as we simply found these figures to be too low. These combined changes should help somewhat in bringing this 'hidden' content to the surface for you to enjoy."

Not So Massively: RuneScape's TCG, Destiny's playerbase, and Firefly Online's engine

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, New Titles, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, World of Tanks, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warships, MOBA, Diablo III, Destiny, Infinite Crisis, Path of Exile, E-sports, OARPG

NSM - Chronicle
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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A look at NCsoft's upcoming MOBA, Master X Master

Betas, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, MOBA

Here we go again.
Yes, another MOBA is coming out, this one by NCsoft. The game is currently in its beta test over in South Korea. Steparu took the Master X Master beta for a spin to see if the game was worth paying attention to in an already crowded field of games; rather than finding a game that was essentially a slight reskin and retune of League of Legends, she found that the gameplay is closer to a mixture of Heroes of the Storm and SMITE with third-person shooters.

The game uses a WASD control scheme whilst allowing players to tag between two characters with the Tab key, bringing in elements of team-based fighting games. It also features PvE missions for players who'd prefer to take on purely team-based challenges, further setting itself apart from the pack. Take a look at the full rundown for more details; while there's no definite release or localization date, it might be different enough from its contemporaries to pique your interest.

Watch previews of LotRO's new Gondor zones and epic battle

Fantasy, Video, Lord of the Rings Online, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play

lotro
Get out the popcorn or whatever snacking treat that the inhabitants of Middle-earth enjoy, for it's time to view the landscapes and conflicts of Lord of the Rings Online's Update 15.

LOTRO Players has put together several videos showcasing the new zones: Central Gondor, Lebennin, and Pelargir. There's also a film of the Pelargir epic battle, which the fansite says is a vast improvement from Helm's Deep: "Retaking Pelargir is the shot in the arm the epic battle system needs. It gives purpose to the system and has a clear and satisfying ending."

You can watch all four videos after the jump.

[Thanks to Joel for the tip!]

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Darkfall makes plans for a localized economy

Fantasy, Darkfall, Economy, Patches, Previews, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

darkfall
The Darkfall team is deep in preparations for the creation of a "localized economy package" to boost this critical part of this fantasy title. "For us, as well as the community from what we see, a functional economy is the stepping stone for a proper sandbox, so our attention is focused on it," the team stated.

In a forum post today, the goals of these plans were outlined. This package will include new raw materials, additional recipes, a better inventory system, tiered clan vaults, nerfed instant travel, quicker land travel, beasts of burden, and a focus on localized markets instead of a worldwide trading system.

This economy update is tentatively planned for either December 2014 or January 2015.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

EVE Online: Phoebe improves quality-of-life for subscribers and trial members

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Patches, Previews, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

eve
Unpacking EVE Online's Phoebe content update is so involved that it takes another one of CCP's epic posts to do it. The big thing to take away from the notes is that this update features several quality-of-life improvements for both regular and trial players.

When Phoebe hits on November 4th, players will have to adjust to jump fatigue during long-distance travel. To offset that, there will be the ability to set skill queues to unlimited length, place multiple market sell orders, enjoy better exploration rewards, and experience new cloaking effects.

Trial players will also see some of their limitations lifted after the update, such as being allowed to fly battleships and be a part of faction fights.

Final Fantasy XIV shows off patch 2.4's story and Shiva

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

This image is nothing to Sneeze at.
The next major Final Fantasy XIV patch will bring more story content. Every major patch does, after all. A new preview on the official site makes it clear that players will continue working with the Crystal Braves, delving further into the conflict that's brewing deep within Ishgard the threatens all of Eorzea. It also makes it very clear that players will be facing off against fan favorite Ultros in the next installment of the ongoing Gentleman Inspector Hildibrand storyline, which should delight Final Fantasy VI fans even more than their magitek armor mounts.

You can also take a peek at a preview of the coming battle against Shiva; the Hard version is part of the storyline, while the Extreme battle requires players to first clear The Striking Tree (Extreme). It promises to be a pretty cool fight. Take a look at the previews, and keep your eyes peeled for when the patch is going live.

World of Warcraft's garrisons will send Leeroy Jenkins to protect you

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Previews, Dev Diaries, Subscription

wow
Part of the potential fun of owning, building, and operating a garrison in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor is that you'll be leader to several NPCs known as followers. A new garrison dev diary today talked about the acquisition and benefits of followers and how that will change your gameplay.

Followers can be obtained through several means, including quests, reputation, and a once-a-week headhunter service. Once there, followers can be sent out in missions alone or as a group in order to bring back rewards for their kind and generous master. Players can accumulate up to 25 active followers of various quality types and can level them up over time.

Probably the most interesting facet of follower ownership is the use of a select handful as bodyguards. Players can attach a bodyguard to them for general world questing, asking such famous figures as Leeroy Jenkins to fight by your side. Once enough reputation with that NPC is reached, the bodyguard will attain several helpful abilities, such as being able to summon friends or create a portal back to your garrison.

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