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Lost Continent: Living a fisherman's life in ArcheAge

Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Guides, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Crafting, Lost Continent

Fifteen years ago, I was floundering around southern Florida in a rudderless post-graduation haze. I rented this dinky apartment across US1 from the University of Miami, and my summers were equally divided between a series of forgettable jobs and a series of lengthy fishing excursions around the Keys and out into the Atlantic.

The fishing was basically something to do; I didn't dislike it, but neither did I wake up thinking wow, I can't wait to get that gooey chum all over my shorts and bake in the sun for 10 hours.

Now, in an odd but enjoyable art-imitating-life moment, I'm revisiting the experience in ArcheAge.

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The Repopulation tweaks healing, creates viable Combat Medics

Sci-Fi, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, The Repopulation

Sandbox healers, listen up! The Repopulation released a new featurette this week titled Healing and You.

"Gone is the idea of an unengaged, rear-guard healer with zero choice," the diary explains, before mentioning a new healing ability set, First Aid ability enhancements, and some "support and damage abilities for Medics who want to pack a punch." These and other tweaks lead to "an expansive system that creates viable Combat Medics," according to the post, which also says that these CMs are necessary in both PvE and PvP.

ArenaNet teases Guild Wars 2's road to war

Fantasy, Interviews, Lore, Patches, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

GW2
After a break, a feature pack, and the yearly antics of the Thorn family, the second season of Guild Wars 2's living world will soon be back in business. The business is, of course, preparing to fight Elder Dragons; the

We got to talk with ArenaNet's Lead Writer Bobby Stein and Associate Game Director Steven Waller about how the living world story has marked out what the team calls the "road to war" against Mordremoth and its minions. But as Game Director Colin Johanson said in his latest blog post, "The road to war is paved with points of no return." That doesn't exactly sound good for Tyria, but it may be exciting for GW2 fans who are looking forward to something big.

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Choose My Adventure: The once and future Swordsman

Fantasy, Historical, Polls, Expansions, New Titles, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, MMORPG, Swordsman

Swordsman
For the last three weeks, I've been whipping and kicking every bad guy I can find in Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman in the hopes of understanding this peculiar wuxia MMORPG. My Choose My Adventure experience thus far has been mixed; I've enjoyed Swordsman's theme and setting, but its mechanics and hard-to-follow narrative have made the experience a touch less manageable. Swordsman from 1-30 seems at best like an extended tutorial and at worst like a game that plays itself.

That's not just my opinion. All of the feedback I can find on the game seems to point in one direction: Swordsman's early levels aren't the main attraction. The real Swordsman exists in PvP (unlocked at level 30), guild quests (unlocked at level 35), and instances (unlocked at 15 -- not bad). Last week's combat discipline discovery at 25 further cemented the idea that Swordsman is a game designed to reward players who stick through the initial grind.

I didn't have much time to play this last week, but I did get a chance to sit down with PWE product manager Gabrielle Heiland to talk about Swordsman's first expansion, the future of the game, and how Perfect World feels about the game's current "wait and see" design.

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LotRO's Fall Festival running through November 2

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE

Lord of the Rings Online's Fall Festival starts today, and you've got until November 2nd to collect all the tokens, titles, outfits, mounts, and assorted other Middle-earth paraphernalia that shows up during Turbine's seasonal shindigs.

As always, Goldenstar has put together a comprehensive guide detailing how and where to get all the various knick-knacks as well as the new-for-2014 items.

EVE Vegas 2014: CCP on the new player experience and permadeath

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

Every time some huge scandal or record-breaking battle erupts in EVE Online, thousands of new players flood into the game ready to create epic stories of their own. Confronted with a confusing interface and a practically mandatory tutorial that takes most of the day to complete, most of those players, unsurprisingly, don't stick around. The past few updates have improved things by adding tooltips to the main UI elements and introducing a new notification system, but there's more to come.

At EVE Vegas 2014 this weekend, CCP Rise discussed his plans for a new Opportunities system that will replace the tutorial. To help design the system, developers got together groups of gamers who had never played before and dropped them into EVE with little to no instructions. The playtests highlighted a lack of action compared to expectations and showed how confusing things like the map, station UI, and hangar inventory system can be for newcomers. Many of these problems are very easily fixed and may even be solved in one of the two remaining patches this year.

In an interesting move, Rise went on to talk about his idea to add a form of permadeath to EVE Online. Although you lose your ship when you die in EVE, it's actually only a financial loss as your character is reborn in a fresh clone. What Rise wants is for people to make new mortal characters with no clones and a fixed number of skillpoints to allocate to skills. It's possible that this could close the gap between old and new players by allowing newbies to purchase single lives with the focused combat skills of a veteran. This isn't something that will be introduced any time soon or even that's definitely coming, but the fact that CCP is talking about the idea publicly now is intriguing.

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The Daily Grind: What's your favorite SWTOR class ship?

Sci-Fi, Classes, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Star Wars: The Old Republic

I've been dabbling in Star Wars: The Old Republic lately. I know, I know, but 12x experience plus Star Wars equals a re-sub. Anyway, I've gotten another couple of class stories out of the way, and thus have been exposed to another couple of class spaceships.

Thus far the Bounty Hunter's craft is my favorite, but I've still got the Inquisitor's to see before I can crown the best SWTOR spaceship. What about you, Massively readers? What's your favorite SWTOR ride?

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!

RIFT's newest dungeon is called the Citadel of Insanity

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, RIFT, Dungeons

Citadel of Insanity has a nice ring to it, don't you think? It'd probably make a swell guild name or at the very least, a subforum title on a particularly crotchety MMORPG message board.

Alas, Trion has already put it to work as the name of a new RIFT dungeon. It includes a giant armored crustacean called Glacieus, a "massive nightmare worm," and a couple of other bosses who may cause your party to break a sweat.

You can read all about the new dungeon on RIFT's official website.

Elder Scrolls game director talks Update 5, performance upgrades

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Dev Diaries, The Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online game director Matt Firor has just released a new Road Ahead update post. Much of what he has to say relates to the forthcoming Update 5, which includes a new vet dungeon, new facial animations, repeatable pledges and writs, dungeon level-scaling, and additional stuff like the Dwemer crafting style and chat bubbles.

Firor also mentions "a series of stability and performance improvements for Cyrodiil in the works right now." Additionally, ESO players will be getting new performance options to "cull visual effects" and improve client framerates.

The Stream Team: Sightseeing in Swordsman

Fantasy, Historical, Video, New Titles, PvE, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team, MMORPG, Swordsman

PWE
Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman offers quite a few interesting locales to visit, complete with temples, rickety bridges, and practicing martial artists. Tune in tonight as Massively's Mike Foster takes a laid-back tour of some of Swordsman's zones and checks out each of its martial arts school headquarters.

The wandering begins at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Game: Swordsman
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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DCUO's 12th DLC pack coming 'later this year'

Super-hero, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, DC Universe Online

SOE has announced the 12th DLC pack for DC Universe Online. It's called War of the Light Part II, and it "unites Green Lantern Hal Jordan with his rival Sinestro, as the two must set aside their differences to save the Emotional Spectrum."

There's no release date yet, but SOE's PR says you'll see it on PC, PS3, and PS4 "later this year." Gameplay additions include:
  • Players continue to unravel the mystery behind the loss of the emotional entities and their connection to the Emotional Spectrum in the second part of the War of the Light trilogy.
  • Carol Ferris and the Star Sapphires make their DC Universe Online debut in War of the Light Part II.
  • The DLC introduces six new adventures: new Daily and Solo Missions, one Duo, one 4-player Alert, and 4- and 8-player Operations, which will take place throughout Metropolis as well as Oa, Qward, and the home world of the Star Sapphires, Zamaron.
  • This is the first time players will be able to travel to Zamaron and Qward in DCUO.
  • Six new skill points will be available to earn, and players will have access to a host of new Collections, Feats, new gear and Base items.
You can read more about the DLC at the official DCUO website. Don't forget to check out the latest letter from the creative director, too!

Choose My Adventure: Clicking around in Swordsman

Fantasy, Historical, Polls, New Titles, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, MMORPG, Swordsman

Swordsman
Three weeks into our Choose My Adventure adventure, I'm not sure what to make of Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman. The game boasts a deep literary pedigree and markets itself on its wuxia themes and combat-oriented design. It has a rich, beautiful world that is dripping with powerful design cues and historical influences. Like all PWE games, it is slick and easy to pick up and play.

Swordsman is a well-made MMORPG. It is mechanically sound and conceptually solid. So why am I so bored?

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ZeniMax seeking feedback on Elder Scrolls' Update 5

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, Crafting, The Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online's Update 5 is big. It's so big that ZeniMax is offering test server players a lengthy list of suggestions as to what they should be testing.

More specifically, the dev team is seeking feedback on the veteran City of Ash dungeon as well as on crafting writs and the new crafting tutorials. That's just a partial list, too. You can view the full breakdown on the official ESO forums.

These LotRO Update 15 vids are all about the Beorning

Fantasy, Video, Lord of the Rings Online, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE

Ready for some more videos from Lord of the Rings Online's forthcoming Update 15? Unlike this morning's crop, these latest blurbs are all about the new Beorning class. Click past the cut for a look at character creation, the new Beorning starter area, and some level 50 combat.

[Thanks Joel!]

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The Stream Team: SWTOR because Star Wars

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, PvE, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Livestream, The Stream Team, MMORPG

SWTOR
Massively's Mike Foster is a tremendous Star Wars geek who for some reason just realized that there is an MMO where he can swing lightsabers and listen to NPCs talk about Jedi/Sith relations for hours on end. Join Mike as he experiences Star Wars: The Old Republic from a new player's perspective and nerd out with him about Han Solo's demise, Boba Fett's survival, and Darth Vader's floating glove.

The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Bring your own Wookiee.

Game: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Friday, October 10th
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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