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Crowfall maps its universe, tells Forgemaster tales

Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

Ready for a Crowfall update? Good, me too. ArtCraft has educated us about the Stoneborn Forgemaster archetype as well as provided some sample illustrations on how the game world's laid out. The Forgemaster is some sort of support class, and if you're into lore there's a bit of that on offer.

There are also a couple of very interesting drawings that show the "architecture of the Crowfall universe, which should you a hint why being able to travel between worlds is so important," ArtCraft says.

The Stream Team: Making my merchant ship in ArcheAge

Fantasy, Video, PvP, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, The Stream Team

It took plenty of saving up, but Massively's MJ now has everything she needs to build a better ArcheAge boat: a merchant schooner! Why haul packs just one, three, or even seven at a time when you can load up and haul 21? And that makes overseas trading that much more profitable (while simultaneously making you more of a target!). Join us live at 2:00 p.m. EST as MJ leaps into this new era of sea trade.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, January 29th, 2015
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Skycastles coming to TERA on February 24

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, TERA, Housing

Have you recently come home to TERA? OK, maybe you never left. Either way, En Masse is betting you'll get excited about the Skycastle guild housing system that's heading your way on February 24th.

The castles float above major cities and are available "to the top-ranking guilds on each server via two new ongoing four-week guild competitions that track guild points earned from dungeons, battlegrounds, and guild-vs.-guild battles," according to an En Masse press blurb.

The patch will also include a new dungeon set aboard the Sky Cruiser Endeavor as well as a hard-mode version of Bathysmal Rise.

[Source: En Masse press release]

New Das Tal vid explains combat, playstyles, and more

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

Das Tal's devs have released a new video and are currently adding player settlements, resource warfare, crafting, and progression to the PvP sandbox, according to a new press release.

The video runs for nearly 10 minutes and explains a good bit about the game's combat abilities. It also summarizes possible playstyles based on weapon and armor choices, as well as a high-level look at the game's "MOBA meets MMO" combat system.

Click past the cut to see for yourself!

[Source: Fairytale Distillery press release]

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Hyperspace Beacon: Examining SWTOR's producer letter

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Let's take apart SWTOR's producer letter
At the community cantina that Star Wars: The Old Republic held this past weekend at PAX South, community manager Eric Musco said that the community team was going to do something different in 2015 during the cantinas. He said that he wanted to reveal some tidbit at each and every event. And this cantina yielded us an early look at Producer Bruce Maclean's roadmap letter to the community.

In the letter, he talks about where the SWTOR story will take us, what's on the horizon for flashpoints, personal stories, planets, and the outfit designer. But what is all this new stuff, and should it get people excited about the coming year? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer for that. If you play for similar reasons as I do, then there is plenty to be excited about. However, there are certain players, like PvPers, who might be a little frustrated by what they are seeing and not seeing in the letter.

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PAX South 2015: Pox Nora is the coolest online card game you've never heard of

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Interviews, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Trading Card Games, Events (Massively's Coverage)

Pox Nora
Pox Nora is a game that's hard to categorize. It's like Hearthstone, you see, because it's an online card game. But it's also like Civilization because it uses turn-based combat on a variety of maps with terrain that affects the battle. And maybe it's like Minecraft as well because it was built by a tiny team and developed incrementally through the feedback of a passionate fan base.

Pox Nora was free-to-play before free-to-play was a thing. It's gone from tiny little indie to SOE-backed product and back again. And through its eight years, it's managed to fly quietly under the radar while its developers continually churn out content, implement community ideas, and expand its possibilities.

At PAX South over the weekend, I sat down with Arthur Griffith, CEO of Desert Owl Games and co-creator of Pox Nora, to learn more about the game and its latest content additions.

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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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MMO Burnout: Engineers in spaaace

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Sandbox

I missed the whole Minecraft craze. I was stupidly grinding my virtual life away in various MMORPGs, plus I couldn't get past Minecraft's so-fugly-it's-hip aesthetic. No matter, though, because Space Engineers takes Minecraft's core concepts and dolls them up with pleasing visuals, a nifty near future sci-fi setting, and addictive gameplay that's much more than the sum of its parts.

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PAX South 2015: Slaying giants in Motiga's Gigantic

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Events (Real-World), New Titles, PvP, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, MMOFPS, First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), MOBA

Gigantic
Motiga's Gigantic is one part Team Fortress, one part Dota, and one part Monster Hunter. The basic match structure will sound familiar to MOBA lovers -- two teams of five slug it out for superiority by controlling resources, leveling up, and killing one another -- but the skill-based mechanics, multiple maps, and shifting strategy priorities make the game more than a three-lane farm fest. Gigantic isn't about last-hitting or memorizing meta. Instead, it's about slaying giants and aiming true.

I hopped in on a quick Gigantic match with some other press folks this afternoon at PAX South 2015, and in the midst of delivering an absolute drubbing to the scrubs (kidding!) on the other side of the table, I was able to get a feel for the game's combat system, characters, and the way its massive guardians change the way battles play out.

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PAX South 2015: O'Brien and Johanson on Guild Wars 2's Heart of Thorns

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Interviews, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Events (Massively's Coverage), MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns
ArenaNet's Mike O'Brien and Colin Johanson (and Commander Shepard) took to the PAX South 2015 stage yesterday morning to announce Heart of Thorns, the first-ever expansion for Guild Wars 2. If you're not up to speed, check out our post covering the announcement and the official site to get the broad strokes on the expansion's new zone, new profession, new progression system, and more.

News of the expansion raised many a question from our readers (and our staff!). Massively's Larry Everett and I sat down with O'Brien and Johanson to try to get those questions answered and dive a little deeper into the changes coming to Guild Wars 2's living world.

And no, there isn't a release date.

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PAX South 2015: SWTOR reveals its plans for this year

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Races, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dev Diaries, MMORPG

Pax South 2015: SWTOR reveals its plan for the year
When Eric Musco, the Star Wars: The Old Republic community manager, took the stage at the Community cantina last night at PAX South, he revealed that in 2015 the team wants to do something a bit different with this and future cantina crawl events. In the past, it has been policy not to reveal anything at the cantinas; they were intended to be social events where players could get some face-time with the developers of the game that they both enjoyed. However, going forward, the community and development teams have decided that each cantina will reveal that had not been mentioned before.

The reveal at this weekend's cantina came in the form of the yet-to-be-published producer's letter by Bruce Maclean. The completely made-up story is that it was stolen from his computer while he wasn't looking and printed out to share with us at the cantina.

After the break, you'll find a copy of that letter as it was dictated to cantina goers. The caveat, of course, is that this is not the final version of the letter that will appear on the official site in two weeks, so everything is subject to change.

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Here's a trailer from that Borderlands thing you'll never play

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items

Borderlands Online is still a China-exclusive title, but if for some reason you want to watch the trailer for a game you'll probably never play, we have it for you after the break!

MMO Culture reports that Borderlands started its "technical test" today. It also says that the game is an "instance-based online shooter," so really you aren't missing too much if you're a fan of the original series and its open world ethos.

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DayZ has sold over 3 million early access copies

Betas, Horror, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

DayZ has been on Steam early access for over a year now, and what does the post-apocalyptic zombie sandbox have to show for it? Well, over 3 million customers, for starters.

A new Bohemia Interactive press release touts the 24 updates the game has seen since its "launch," and it also mentions ongoing improvements including a core engine rewrite begun in 2014. The new engine is called Enfusion, and it includes renderer upgrades and corresponding performance upticks as well as "vastly improved" particle effect aesthetics.

Bohemia also notes that the DayZ dev team now boasts over 80 people.

[Source: Bohemia Interactive press release]

Pathfinder details corpse looting and more

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Pathfinder Online

GoblinWorks CEO Ryan Dancey has published a new blog post touching on today's Pathfinder early enrollment release.

Version two of the fantasy sandbox adds player husks, which is another way of saying lootable corpses. "The extent of your losses will be related to how quickly you are able to return to the site of your husk and if you are able to recover the inventory that remains on the husk before others are able to take all of its contents or its timer expires," Dancey writes.

There's a bit more to the update, but you'll need to click through to the GoblinWorks website to read it!

Raph Koster is collaborating on Crowfall [Updated with video]

Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, Crowfall

Does it have your attention NOW
So here's a funny story: Yesterday, the Massively writers were shooting the breeze in team chat when the subject of sandbox devs who were not also closet-gankers came up. "When do you think Raph Koster will finally make a new sandbox?" I asked, half kidding and half wistful. "Never," Jef answered. Then we commiserated for a bit.

It turns out we were remarkably prescient because that day is... today. ArtCraft, the studio working on the nebulous PvP MMO Crowfall, announced today that Koster, the backbone of sandbox legends Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies, has been collaborating with the Crowfall team on the game's design for a year already as a "formal advisor and design consultant."

"Raph and I have been working together for about a year on the design architecture for Crowfall," ArtCraft's J. Todd Coleman wrote. "At the heart of this game, we have two core systems: dynamic territorial conquest and a player-driven economy. Marrying these two concepts is the holy grail of MMO development, and Raph is arguably the best person in the world to help us solve this puzzle."

Koster gets a blurb of his own in the PR: "There isn't anything on the market like Crowfall, and it has been a long time since some of these design ideas were explored. There's a very specific audience out there waiting for a game like this -- the conflict, the real economy -- that has been looking for new steps beyond the games of ten years ago."

Your move, MMO genre.

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