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PvE

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!

Choose My Adventure: Can't stop the World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Polls, Expansions, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
It's been 10 years since Blizzard Entertainment launched World of Warcraft and ignited the great MMO gold rush of the aughts. In that time, World of Warcraft has grown into something more than a game; it's a cultural icon, an immensely valuable piece of intellectual property, and a brooding presence any new MMO has to consider before launch. WoW has gravity.

Just when World of Warcraft's numbers start to slide and the naysayers start planning their "WoW is dead" parties, Blizzard finds a way to make WoW resurgent. Warlords of Draenor, WoW's fifth expansion, launched late last month, bringing three million subscribers back into the game's warm embrace. For those keeping score: That's more subscribers than most MMOs ever see at their peaks.

Warlords of Draenor reworks some core World of Warcraft systems, changes up character models, implements a version of housing, and more. And with so many people returning to check it out, there's no better time for Choose My Adventure to join the fray.

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Hyperspace Beacon: Previewing SWTOR's Shadow of Revan

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Launches, Patches, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Roleplaying, First Impressions, Star Wars: The Old Republic, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Playing the Shadow of Revan
When I was first introduced to the expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic, there were two things I wanted to see: the continuation of the class story and Yavin 4. And I'm happy to say that this expansion delivered both of those in a satisfying way. When I spoke to studio game director James Ohlen and lead writer Charles Boyd about the expansion a few weeks ago, they told me that Shadow of Revan would close one major chapter and open a new book for SWTOR. After seeing the expansion, I have to agree that Shadow of Revan does put a great cap on a class stories and opens the door for an exciting future for the game.

I don't want to give you the impression that everything in the expansion is exactly what I wanted, though. There is a surprising lack of exploration, the amount of content fell short, and parts of the maps felt slapped together. The screenshots depict beautiful scenes, but sometimes form outweighs function.

Before I continue, I feel obligated to tell you that there are spoilers of previous content in this piece, but the important parts of the new content will remain unspoiled.

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Living and dying in the Elite: Dangerous gamma build

Betas, Sci-Fi, Launches, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Hands-On, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
When we last looked at Elite: Dangerous during August's Choose My Adventure, the game was in a barebones beta format with just a few of its promised eventual features. Frontier Developments' crowdfunded space-sim certainly brought a lot to the table with its pretty graphics, realistic flight physics, and down-to-the-details sim structure, but anyone not interested in running courier missions or blowing up other ships was probably left wanting.

Now, however, Elite is a different beast. Just two weeks from final official launch, Elite is in what Frontier Developments is calling the "gamma" stage. It's as close to the finished version of the game anyone is going to get until launch on December 16th. So naturally, I took another dive in Elite to see what exactly has changed.

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Lost Continent: Why so impatient with ArcheAge?

Fantasy, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, PvE, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Lost Continent

It's kinda silly, but I feel like giving up on ArcheAge. It's silly because the game launched in mid-September and we're currently in November. The fantasy sandpark does have more than it's share of problems, but logically I know that it's way, way too early to start piling dirt on its imaginary corpse.

That said, there are so many MMOs clamoring for my attention nowadays that the idea of being patient with one of them is almost laughable. I'm not alone here, either, as many gamers I know look for the first available reason to leave an MMO and cross it off their to-do list, simply because they're wired to complete tasks and the ginormous glut of games long ago passed the point of overwhelming.

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The Stream Team: Bashing it up in Final Fantasy XIV

Fantasy, Video, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Final Fantasy XIV, Livestream, Dungeons, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

FFXIV
This month's Final Fantasy XIV Choose My Adventure is almost at an end, leaving Massively's Mike Foster with just a few more hours to punch monsters in the face and perform adorable emote dances. Tune in tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST as Mike runs his first dungeon and tries extremely hard to remember all of the positional requirements of his Pugilist's abilities. Spoiler alert: It's not going to go great.

Game: Final Fantasy XIV
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Tuesday, November 25th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Stream Team: Elite Dangerous returns

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite
Frontier Developments' Elite: Dangerous has just entered Beta 3 or Gamma 1 or some other pre-launch version of itself, and Massively's Mike Foster is all set to fire up his Sidewinder and fling himself into parts unknown to see exactly what's new. Tune in tonight as he explores Elite's open play mode and tries desperately not to crash his ship in front of a live viewing audience (again).

The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Game: Elite: Dangerous
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Friday, November 28th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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SWTOR players love that butt-ugly black-yellow lightsaber blade

Sci-Fi, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, Star Wars: The Old Republic

BioWare has released another Shadow of Revan dev blog focused on Star Wars: The Old Republic's class changes. This time, Scoundrels and Operatives take center stage.

The firm has also published one of those really long infographic things that gives your scroll wheel a workout. Among the stats are the number of active players (one million), the number of PvP kills since launch (1,790,161,866), and the game's most popular lightsaber crystal (that godawful yellow-with-a-black-center debacle).

Click past the cut to see all the numbers!

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Choose My Adventure: The final Final Fantasy

Fantasy, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription, MMORPG

FFXIV
It's amazing how time flies when you're punching things. Just a few weeks ago our Choose My Adventure-forged Final Fantasy XIV pugilist was an aspiring adventurer with no pants; today, she's a certified hero (still with no pants). It's been an impressive ride to say the least. Square Enix has done some things so phenomenally right it's hard to believe the studio botched the game so badly the first time around.

Final Fantasy XIV is definitely a traditional fantasy MMO. But it makes enough changes and innovates in enough places to make itself feel unique and compelling. If I had to pay a subscription for a game (which I hate doing), FFXIV would be the one to get my credit card number.

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Defiance gets new Aftermath content, Thanksgiving event

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Defiance

Defiance has received a free update called Aftermath that builds "off of the climactic season two TV finale," according to a Trion press release. There's new content that will "carry players across various locales from Silicon Valley to Paradise as the world teeters on the verge of all-out war between the Earth Republic and Votanis Collective," and it includes new events, contracts, pursuits, and enemies.

Don't forget about the Thanksgiving-themed New Frontier Harvest, which runs from November 26th through December 10th. As well, don't forget about the Aftermath trailer that's waiting for you behind the break.

[Source: Trion press release]

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Navigating Guild Wars 2's Tangled Paths release

Fantasy, PvE, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

What a nice day for a war.
I was late playing Guild Wars 2's latest update, Tangled Paths, because I was on an airplane when it went live. That might be a better excuse than "the dog ate my homework," but I don't have one for "a dog ate my character," which is exactly what happened as soon as I got home and logged in.

Read on for the reason I actually welcome our vicious new dog overlords, as well as why Caithe and I need to have a long talk. You'll also find an exclusive photograph of Bellevue, Washington, taken from the roof of ArenaNet's studio, which is exciting primarily because I got the Seattle skyline in the very same shot without it coming out blurry, even on my awful camera phone. I'm proud of that and nobody can take it from me. As usual, spoiler warnings apply!

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Guild Wars 2 teases next week's Seeds of Truth release with a new trailer

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2

Are you up to speed on Guild Wars 2's episodic living world content releases? If not, you might want to stop reading because there could be spoilers ahead. Last time around, players watched as Caithe made off with a fabled dragon egg that could be the key to defeating Mordremoth. In the newest episode, you'll have to catch Caithe, but first you can catch a preview of the release by clicking past the cut.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

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The Stream Team: Through Warlords of Draenor's Dark Portal

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Expansions, New Titles, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
Now that the server carnage has died down and everyone's off running dungeons and farming loot, Massively's Mike Foster is ready to pick up the Warlords of Draenor story line to see where it takes him. Tune in tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST as Mike ghost-wolfs his way through Draenor and catch a glimpse of the World of Warcraft expansion responsible for bringing over three million players back to Blizzard's content buffet.

Game: World of Warcraft
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Monday, November 24th, 2014
Time: 7:00 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 Soapbox: In praise of SWTOR's 12X experience

Sci-Fi, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Roleplaying, Star Wars: The Old Republic

It's taken 12 times the normal XP rate, but Star Wars: The Old Republic is finally my main MMO (at least for another week or so). Well, OK, it's also taken a series of spectacularly ill-considered decisions by XLGAMES and Trion, but that's a rant for another day.

I've been playing SWTOR quite a lot over the past month since BioWare's subscriber-only pre-expansion boost has cut all of the godawful grindpark garbage right out of a galaxy far, far away. Too bad it's just a temporary fix, though -- here's hoping that the devs give veterans the option of keeping the XP bonus long after December 1st.

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