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Infinite Crisis reveals creepy alien starfish Starro

Betas, Super-hero, Galleries, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, Infinite Crisis

Infinite crisis
Crowd-control fans, listen up: Turbine MOBA Infinite Crisis has today announced Starro, a new playable controller champion going live on November 5th. For those not up on their DC lore, the short version is "creepy alien starfish." Long version?
Starro is a Star Conqueror. These nomadic and parasitic creatures roam the cosmos in two forms: motherstars and parasites. Motherstars are sentient, while parasites are extensions of the motherstar's consciousness. A parasite attaches itself to other sentient creatures, allowing the motherstar to control that creature's mind. Once controlled, the victims work toward growing more motherstars to go out and bring universal harmony to other planets-by conquering them. Little did the Star Conqueror who came to be known as Starro know how difficult carrying that plan out on Earth would be! Starro has little concern for what happens to the individuals it controls. They're a tiny part of the whole. When Starro speaks to creatures it doesn't control, it does so telepathically, urging them to join in universal harmony.
We've got some pics and a video below to finish out Starro's reveal.

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Trion removing illicit gold from ArcheAge

Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, ArcheAge, Sandbox

Trion is serving notice to gold buyers that some of their ill-gotten gains are being removed from ArcheAge. "If you bought or were gifted gold from [a gold seller], you may see it disappear," the company wrote on its official forums. "We do have the ability to trace coin, and that's the gold that's being cleaned up right now."

[Thanks Direpath!]

EVE's Phoebe introducing simultaneous multiple market sell orders

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting

EVE Online's Phoebe release draws near, and as we approach the November 4th launch date, CCP is publishing all manner of dev blogs designed to apprise players of the patch's additions. The latest blurb concerns item-selling, and more specifically the long-awaited ability to create multiple market sell orders simultaneously.

If you're an EVE trader you'll probably want to skim the details, and you can find them via the links below.

Heroes & Generals adds map, weapons, limited army resources

Historical, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War

Heroes & Generals has updated with a new skirmish map, new weapons, a new battle briefing screen, a new messaging system, and more.

The Village Skirmish map is located in rural France and boasts a chateau, a small farm, and a sunken ruin as objectives. New weapons include the German P08 pistol and the US M1917 revolver. It's also worth noting that players who favor the generals side of Heroes & Generals shooter/strategy gameplay will now have to "play smarter," according to developer Reto-Moto. This is because the new Spaatz update has introduced limited army resources for both factions.

Reto-Moto has released a new Spaatz videolog, which you can watch after the break.

[Source: Reto-Moto press release]

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ArcheAge's Hartsman: 'We're banning about 5K a day'

Fantasy, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, ArcheAge, Sandbox

Trion CEO Scott Hartsman took to Twitter today to address concerns over botting and economy-destroying exploits in ArcheAge.

He says that some of the shenanigans making the rounds on Reddit are legit and are "on XL's plate for fixing," though "much of it is false forum bragging." He also says that Trion is banning five thousand bots per day and has "dozens of people here working on this very thing."

The Daily Grind: Would you spend money in an MMO for your guild?

Business Models, Culture, Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, PvP, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

Image courtesy of Joystiq
A recent Gamasutra piece chronicled a monetization design consultant's journey into what he calls a "social elder game." Author Ethan Levy participated in multiple high-end, time-limited guild-vs.-guild events in an unnamed online game to see just how much guild members would need to pay out to keep their guild competitive. Hundreds of dollars later, he was able to push his guild into the top 100 to receive what he called "B tier" gear. In fact, he estimated that the top 100 guilds spent between $85,000 and $100,000 -- just on that one event.

I'm willing to give my guildies a lot of things -- Steam games, a spot on my couch, my old video card, thesis proofreading -- but I wouldn't drop that kind of money just to make us competitive in a video game, especially if I felt a studio was being exploitative with its "social elder game." Would you? Would you spend money in an MMO for your guild? How much?

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!

Not So Massively: LoL's world championship victors, Elite's shindig, and Citizen Con 2014

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Culture, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Launches, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, E-sports, OARPG

LoL Samsung White
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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GoblinWorks: Pathfinder's PvP 'provides meaningful context'

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Pathfinder Online

GoblinWorks' latest Pathfinder developer blog went live this week, and in it CEO Ryan Dancey previews alpha version 10.0 which "closes a number of critical game loops" by adding several features.

Testers will experience increased character power, increased crafting abilities, and a new company/settlement UI, to name just a few of the improvements. Dancey also says that Pathfinder's PvP will "provide meaningful context" while acknowledging that "many people have serious reservations about PvP."

Dancey says that the solution to the problem of bad PvP behavior and "no-fun experiences" is the context. "When people struggle over something meaningful they behave differently than when PvP is just [a] random fight." How exactly will Pathfinder provide this context? You'll have to read the dev blog to find out!

[Thanks Chrysillis!]

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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EVE Vegas 2014: Region Commander turns EVE into a huge spreadsheet

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Economy, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, PvP, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, Sandbox, Crafting, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

It's often said that sci-fi MMO EVE Online isn't so much a game as a giant online spreadsheet and that people pay a subscription fee in order to have a second job they don't get paid for. While that's little more than a joke to the majority of EVE players, there are those for whom EVE is genuinely played on a massive spreadsheet. In a guest talk at EVE Vegas 2014 earlier today, players Javajunky and Gossamer DT from the logistics division of one of the game's largest coalitions discussed the monumental amount of work that goes into the industrial and organisation side of running a nullsec alliance or coalition.

During the talk, Gossamer DT discussed an interesting piece of custom software he develops called Region Commander that was designed specifically for organising player empires. The tool keeps track of starbase tower fuel, maintains a blacklist of players who have been kicked out of the coalition, and allows organisers to create and assign tasks to players in their command. Players who want to contribute to their alliance's industrial backbone can log into the system to take on work tasks due for completion, and the tool updates in realtime. The only thing missing is a punch card and a paycheck.

Using this tool, players have managed to combat the logistical and organisational challenges that would naturally make coalitions of thousands of players infeasible. Many third party tools have been criticised in the past for providing gameplay advantages to those who use them and increasing the gulf between new and experienced players. Players already have tools to help with mining and trading, and even ones that parse data from your ship scanner into useful information for your Fleet Commander. It's clear that whether CCP or the playerbase approves of these tools, this djinn won't be going back into its bottle.

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APB's lead designer on the changes in 1.18.0

Real-Life, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, All Points Bulletin, Dev Diaries

If you're curious about what's happening in the world of APB: Reloaded, why not read the latest dev blog? Lead designer Ricardo Viana writes that the team's focus for the forthcoming 1.18.0 update is on APB's missions, dynamic events, and visual effects.

He also mentions that the patch will tweak APB's team leader system, primarily by adding messaging, the ability to request the leader role, and an AFK parameter for the existing demerit system.

The Stream Team: Checking out Chaos Heroes Online

Betas, Video, New Titles, PvP, Livestream, MOBA, The Stream Team

Have you heard about Chaos Heroes Online? The fantasy MOBA is currently in open beta, and Massively's MJ is heading in to check things out. Her first visit also happily coincides with the new Halloween event, which is by far her favorite holiday. Want to see what's behind the beta curtain? Or maybe you just want to watch MJ's first real experience in MOBA? Either way, join us live at 3:00 to get a glimpse of this new game!

Game: Chaos Heroes Online
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, October 17th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Darkfall relics to add CTF mechanics, promote clan raiding

Fantasy, Darkfall, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

Relics are coming to Darkfall, sometime in November according to an Aventurine forum post. What are relics? They're basically items that will spawn randomly around Agon that players may pick up and transport to a clan holding.

The mechanic is intended to add a capture-the-flag activity to Darkfall while simultaneously increasing the value of clan holdings and promoting clan raids.

ArcheAge's northern continent opens November 4

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Crafting

Trion has announced that ArcheAge's Auroria continent will officially launch on November 4th.

The northern landmass features six additional zones, four of which will be claimable by guilds. Trion also notes that "30 percent more housing space will be available to players throughout these four claimable zones."

A new dungeon is also included, as is a farm wagon and a submarine. Full details are yours on the official ArcheAge 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.

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