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Firefall update 1.2 goes live today, makes facial customizations free for all

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Patches, PvP, Free-to-Play, Firefall

Firefall fans are eagerly anticipating the release of new content patch Together Toward Victory later today. Along with more open-world encounters and improvements to the Broken Peninsula PvP continent, this free update includes the shooter's first five-man instance, Operation: Miru. Set in a molten cavern, the operation tasks players with putting a stop to the Chosen's plan to release a colossal monstrosity on the Accord. The open world encounters include battling to protect the supply lines at Accord Skydock and repelling multi-stage enemy assaults on the watchtowers. Broken Peninsula now offers missions via the new job boards so players can contribute to their faction. Need something to help set the mood for battle? Check out the propaganda-style clip below.

What's more, Red 5 Studios is changing up basic cosmetics by making all hair, facial hair, and head cosmetic choices available to all players for free. And that's permanently, folks, not just for a limited time. Anyone who's bought any of those cosmetics within the last three months will receive a full Red Bean refund for the purchase price.

In addition to all this, players will be able to try out the Rhino Dreadnaught frame -- with its increased mobility and firepower -- for free from Friday, November 21st, at 7:00 p.m. EST until Monday, November 24th, at the same time.

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Hyperspace Beacon: Concerns about SWTOR's 3.0 combat

Sci-Fi, Classes, Expansions, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Concerns about SWTOR 3.0 combat
BioWare has finally begun revealing the specifics of the Discipline system landing in the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion. We have seen the Bounty Hunter, Trooper, Inquisitor, and Consular paths. We have seen in detail how the Discipline system changes the leveling process in SWTOR. We've seen that tanks become tanky faster; we've seen that healers gain healing abilities earlier in the leveling process. A primary goal of the new system has been to ensure advanced classes learn role-specific abilities earlier without worrying about those abilities being exploited by hybridization.

With characters now able to level to 60, BioWare gave each advanced class at least one new ability. For instance, Deception Assassins gain Ball Lightning, a 10-meter ranged ability that inflicts 2652 to 2780 damage and costs 32 Force. Many of the new abilities were specifically designed to make your character feel more powerful, which makes sense, right? You should feel that your character is growing with each level. But do these changes and additions actually make you feel more powerful, or are they just unnecessary impedences to the current priority flow or rotation?

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NCsoft promises a simultaneous global release for Lineage Eternal

Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Mobile

Lineage Eternal
​NCsoft has today announced that Lineage Eternal, the third in the big-in-Korea series, will feature a simultaneous worldwide release both for the PC game and for the mobile edition. Yes, there's a mobile edition.

Steparu.com has translated all of the G-Star 2014 documents relating to the game and confirms that it is indeed an "open-world MMORPG" with mouse cursor movement, 20-man raids, random and dynamic dungeons, PvP, and no "generic questing system." According to Steparu, NCsoft is testing a new cloud gaming system that will nullify the need for a Korean account to play the company's games. Instead, gamers can just link a social media account to play.

Lineage Eternal is apparently slated for a "2016 or later" release; closed beta is now planned for the first half of 2015. Check out the new G-Star videos below.

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Not So Massively: Destiny's patch, Hearthstone's lawsuit, and Lost Ark's reveal

Betas, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warplanes, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

NSM
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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The Stream Team: World of Warcraft has a new thing

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Launches, Patches, PvP, PvE, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
Massively's Mike Foster started his MMO career with World of Warcraft, cruising the hills of Stranglethorn on a completely incompetent priest. Later he became a Mage, Death Knight, a Rogue, a Shaman, and... everything but Paladin, basically. Thus, it's only fitting that he dive immediately into Warlords of Draenor, WoW's most recent expansion, to see what's new. Tune in tonight to watch Mike as he investigates some Warlords of Draenor content and attempts to re-learn his PvP-centric hotkeys.

The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EST, as long as the queue gods treat him right.

Game: World of Warcraft
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Monday, November 17th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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BioWare explains SWTOR's commendation changes

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

BioWare community manager Eric Musco has published a "one stop shop" post that details what's happening to Star Wars: The Old Republic's commendations in the forthcoming Shadow of Revan expansion.

In a nutshell, all basic, classic, planetary, elite, and ultimate comms will be converted to basic commendations. The classic and planetary types are going away completely, while warzone and ranked warzone comms will remain as they are now. There are more details -- including bits about the basic conversion rates -- on the official SWTOR forums.

The Daily Grind: Should EVE Online add manual flight controls?

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Business Models, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous

The Daily Grind title image
On Friday, developer CCP Games stunned us with the news that EVE Online will be adding manual flight controls in December's Rhea update. Gamers have been asking for twitch controls since EVE launched in 2003, but the idea has always been shot down as infeasible because it would put the server under extremely heavy load. CCP mentioned its interest in twitch controls during Fanfest 2013, and I speculated on a possible server-friendly implementation in an EVE Evolved article shortly after, but the fact that the feature is about to be released still comes as a huge surprise.

The new controls will be optional and quite limited. Ships will be able to rotate clockwise or counterclockwise and pitch their ships up vertically up and down, but we won't be able to do loops or rolls like in a dogfighting game. Developers also want to add joystick support soon, but so far there are no plans to add manually targeted ship weapons. Many players are excited for the new controls, and some of them are already asking for further features like the ability to lock the camera behind their ships for a more hands-on flight experience.

The announcement has prompted debate in the EVE Online community, and not everyone is convinced it's a good idea. Some have complained that twitch controls don't suit EVE as the ships are supposed to be massive starships with full crews rather than single-pilot fighter craft. There's also some cynicism over whether the feature is only being worked on now due to the growing popularity of Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous. EVE could be positioning itself as a viable alternative for any players who are disappointed with the new space games, a strategy that has worked in the past to help it absorb players from games like Earth & Beyond and Star Wars Galaxies.

What do you think? Should EVE add manual flight controls, and is this an attempt to appeal to the mass market?

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!

Darkfall axes tutorial, for now

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

Aventurine has decided to temporarily remove Darkfall's Vale of the Custodian, otherwise known as the game's tutorial.

The move comes "after some deliberation," and for now players will spawn into the fantasy PvPbox and begin their gameplay immediately. Aventurine's announcement post says that the firm will "be looking into revamping and improving the Vale area to provide a better and smoother starting experience for new players."

In the meantime, the devs have created a new seven-minute tutorial video that you can watch after the break.

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PlanetSide 2's PS4 beta is expected by the end of the year

Betas, Sci-Fi, Interviews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox

The PlayStation 4 version of PlanetSide 2 is still on track for beta before the end of this year, SOE says.

SOE's Matt Higby told Eurogamer that the nearly-two-year-old MMOFPS sandbox has been slow to arrive on the PS4 because SOE didn't want it to feel like just another cruddy console port.
"As much as it sounds like we're blowing smoke, we're working hard to release a game that feels like a full-on console experience and not just like a port. So it's taken us quite a long time to re-jigger our user interface and our controls. There's a lot that needs to get done."
The PS4 edition will also sport a slightly different business model in that microtransactions will be purchased with Marketplace Cash (as in DC Universe Online) in place of Station Cash.

More details, Eurogamer reports, are expected in December at the PlayStation Experience event.

Arcane Supergirl arrives in Infinite Crisis this month

Super-hero, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, MOBA, Infinite Crisis

Arcane Supergirl is coming to Infinite Crisis, according to developer Turbine's latest press release. Arcane Supergirl is "able to summon firebird and flame at will," and she'll be available for play on November 26th.

Click past the cut for a new video that focuses on both gameplay and lore.

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The Crew's season pass hyped in new trailer

Real-Life, Trailers, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Races

If you're undecided about purchasing a season pass for The Crew's DLC, a quick look at Ubisoft's latest trailer may help you out. Perks include one week of early access to new content, a Ferrari 458 Speciale, a McLaren 12C, and four themed car packs (speed, vintage, extreme, and raid).

The Crew launches on December 2nd.

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World of Warplanes celebrates a birthday

Historical, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, World of Warplanes, Anniversaries

One year ago this week, Wargaming launched World of Warplanes. Now, the company is celebrating the game's first anniversary by giving you a free premium plane, special anniversary missions, and discounted premium bundles that include all manner of digital goodies.

Firefall is offering bonus rep this weekend

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, Promotions, Firefall

Firefall's offering up a reputation bonus weekend starting Friday, November 14th at 7:00 p.m. EST. The promotion runs through Monday, November 17th at 7:00 p.m. EST and includes a 25 percent boost to all collected rep vouchers.

Visit the official Firefall website for more details.

Not So Massively: Overwatch's reveal, Hearthstone's expansion, and Dawngate's sunset

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Lore, New Titles, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, HEX, Hearthstone, The Division, OARPG, Overwatch

NSM - Overwatch
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.
  • Blizzard announced online team-shooter Overwatch at BlizzCon. Chris Metzen says Blizzard is trying to build a more representative game with less hypersexualization.
  • Hearthstone is launching in December and getting a new expansion: Goblins vs. Gnomes.
  • EA's MOBA Dawngate is shutting down in three months.
  • League of Legends introduced Kalista, the Spear of Vengeance.
  • MMOTCG HEX dropped its beta key requirement but denied that it is in open beta.
  • Heroes of the Storm's closed beta starts January 13th. It's also getting a sweet Diablo III-themed map.
  • Diablo III previewed its upcoming season. According to content designer Kevin Martens, Diablo was once considered for an MMO, but no longer.
  • David Braben says Elite: Dangerous' December 16th launch date is "sensible."
  • Star Citizen passed $60 million in fundraising.
  • Quirky indie MMOFPS Hunternet boasts 700-player battles.
  • World of Tanks' 9.4 patch added Stalingrad map and tweaked strongholds.
  • The Crew hinted at a new "PvP mode" and season passes.
  • MechWarrior Online's latest dev vlog covered inner sphere quirks and faction switching.
  • Ubisoft said that The Division's PC experience won't suffer because of consoles.
  • Some jerk swatted a Bungie/Destiny exec; the internet demands prison time for said jerk.
  • The latest World of Speed vid features nearly four minutes of gameplay.
  • Bigpoint's Shards of War introduced a new sentinel, Vox.
  • Undead Labs discussed balance in Moonrise.
  • Dota is now the subject of a course at Chongqing Energy College in China.

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EVE Evolved: Clone upgrades and skill loss are gone!

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Economy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, Endgame, News Items, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription

EVE Evolved title image
While the player activity stats might suggest otherwise, the past few years have been a real rennaisance for EVE Online. Developers have gone back and iterated on dozens of old game features that were starting to show their age, and some of them have been pretty huge. The war declaration and criminality overhauls in 2012 were fundamental changes to core gameplay that had been stagnant for almost a decade, and the recent industry and warp acceleration changes were equally fundamental shifts. These were all features we had previously been told were essentially off-limits for iteration because they relied on undocumented legacy code from 2003, and none of the programmers wanted to poke that sleeping beast.

Now it seems that no idea is off-limits, and developers aren't afraid to challenge fundamental parts of EVE's original design that may not make sense today. This week's Phoebe update revisited capital ship force projection for the first time since the ships were added in 2004, for example, and it removed the 24-hour skill queue limit that CCP insisted on adding in Apocrypha. In Thursday's episode of The EVE Online Show, developers announced the next big legacy feature to be put on the chopping block in the game of progress: As part of December's Rhea release, clone upgrades and skill point loss on death will be completely removed from the game.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at the problems caused by the cloning system, why it needs to be removed, and what could possibly replace it.

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Featured Stories

Make My MMO: November 16 - 22, 2014

Posted on Nov 22nd 2014 8:00PM

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