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Not So Massively: RuneScape's TCG, Destiny's playerbase, and Firefly Online's engine

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, New Titles, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, World of Tanks, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warships, MOBA, Diablo III, Destiny, Infinite Crisis, Path of Exile, E-sports, OARPG

NSM - Chronicle
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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EVE Evolved: Fixing EVE's player activity

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Business Models, Culture, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
It's been a sort of running gag in EVE Online throughout the years that players spend inordinate amounts of time docked in stations and spinning their ships around in the hangar, but this is oddly close to the truth. Those of us who have been hooked to EVE for years know just how intense the game can get at its most frantic and how incredible it is to be present for historic events and important PvP battles, but those moments are rare, and there's typically a lot of downtime between periods of activity. For every PvP battle fought, incursion fleet formed or wormhole op organised, players often have to spend hours in stations or in space amusing themselves or doing busywork.

With gamers now spreading their increasingly limited free time across a growing catalogue of online games, some EVE players log in for only a few minutes per day to queue skills, chat with corpmates, and see if anything interesting is happening. The recent announcement that the upcoming Phoebe release will contain infinite length skill queues has some players concerned that people will lose the motivation to pop their heads into New Eden each day and see what's going on. Since the best sandbox gameplay is emergent in nature, just getting players to log in so they're available to take part in something awesome when it happens is extremely important.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I ask whether EVE is in trouble due to its recent decline in player activity, look at the impact of people with just a few hours per week to play, and suggest a new app idea that could help solve all of those problems.

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Korean RvR MMO Azera enters beta

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, PvP

azera
A new realm vs. realm challenger is on the scene, and it's looking to move into the next phase of testing overseas by the end of this month.

Azera, an RvR MMO developed by SmileGate, will feature factional warfare with a political system that allows players to assume positions of power if they're on the winning side. It is utilizing the Havok Vision Engine and contains five classes and three player factions.

The new title is preparing to go into its second round of beta in Korea on October 29th.

Precursor weps, llamas are the bribes for watching GW2 PvP

Fantasy, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2, E-sports

Were you planning on watching Guild Wars 2's Tournament of Glory PvP livestream this weekend? No? What if we told you that you could win a precursor weapon or "a cute and cuddly Mini Llama?"

Yep, that's what ArenaNet said in its latest blog post, which hypes both the North American and the European ToG finals. The Euro matches begin on Saturday, October 11th at 12:00 p.m. EDT. North American players take the stage on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

SMITE tournament prize pool reaches $1M

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), PvP, Free-to-Play, MOBA, E-sports

smite
When I was just a lad, my father sat me on his knee and said, "Son, there are big bucks in them MOBAs, so get a-playin'!" Unfortunately, I did not heed his advice, and as such I will not be eligable to win a chunk of the seven-digit prize pool that SMITE is offering.

Hi-Rez announced yesterday that the SMITE World Championship prize pool is up to $1,000,000 thanks to community contributions. SMITE has been raising funds for the tournament by selling special Odyssey items in the game; the studio will continue to do so for the next 14 weeks, so the prize pool could potentially go even higher.

The SMITE World Championship will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, from January 9th through the 11th, 2015.

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Galactic Starfighter's going to be less grindy after SWTOR's 3.0 update

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

Star Wars: The Old Republic continues to make headlines, this time as a result of some changes slated for Galactic Starfighter in the 3.0 patch. The game's space PvP component isn't getting any new maps or ships, but the requisition reward curve is "getting a permanent boost," according to BioWare designer Alex Modny.

Modny says BioWare's going this route because of data that shows "new and moderate" GSF players having difficulty matching up against veteran pilots. You can read more about the changes on the SWTOR forums.

Infinite Crisis reveals Stargirl, complete with pink stars

Super-hero, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Lore, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, Infinite Crisis

Infinite Crisis
Turbine has today previewed Infinite Crisis' latest playable MOBA hero, the youthful Stargirl, who fell into her sidekick role after discovering and donning her stepfather's old costume. In her heroic form, she's a blaster who wields a glowing staff to damage and crowd control enemies. Her skills include a cutesy buff called Family Heirlooms and a even-more-cutesy nuke that beams pink stars at her enemies; her ultimate, however, is a powerful nuke, slow, debuff, and shield all in one.

Stargirl goes live on October 15th. We've included new screenies and her intro video below.

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Allods Online offers ship test arenas

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, PvP, Free-to-Play, Allods Online, Dev Diaries

allods
Players looking to learn the ropes of their flying ships in Allods Online will soon have a friendlier and cheaper option: the Astral Arena.

Coming with the 5.0.02 update, the Astral Arena is essentially a series of test rooms for players to pit their ship against others with a variety of rulesets. The arena won't be as hardcore as normal PvP encounters, as ships can be repaired after fighting in them for no cost.

The Astral Arena is divided into the maintenance system (for ship repair), the firing zone (with dummy ships), the stable zone (PvP with three astral anomalies), and the scintilliation zone (another PvP mode with two anomalies).

Not So Massively: Star Citizen's Guinness record, Dota 2's mega patch, and GTAO's last team standing

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Crime, World of Tanks, Not So Massively, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

NSM - Dota 2
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.

Continue Reading

H1Z1's senior designer on item degradation, crafting, and more

Horror, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting, H1Z1

SOE has released a new H1Z1 dev spotlight video. The dev in question is one Paul Carrico, senior game designer on the open world survival sandbox.

Carrico spends the vid's four-minute running time fielding fan-generated questions, one of which pertains to crafting. "Crafting can get really deep," he says, before giving an example of makeshift weapon fabrication. Carrico also mentions ammo variation, though he says that flaming, exploding, and poison-tipped arrows will have to wait until after H1Z1's early access goes live.

Finally, Carrico talks about item degradation, which will affect everything from weapons to structures to tools. Click past the cut to watch the full clip.

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The Stream Team: CMA Live with Swordsman

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

Swordsman
Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman has been officially outed as October's Choose My Adventure title, and Massively's Mike Foster is ready to jump in with his fists flying. Tune in at 7:00 p.m. to get an idea of how Swordsman sets up its story, what options the character creator offers new players, and what the game's action combat looks like in motion.

As an added bonus, there will definitely be at least one quest centered on drinking wine.

Game: Swordsman
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Aion punts Hackshield, talks transfers and 4.7

Fantasy, Aion, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items

What's up, Aion? Long time no talk. Looks like your EU community manager has released a community report that talks up everything from Hackshield integration to character transfers to the upcoming 4.7 update. Hackshield will be going away, as the devs have "decided to halt the integration and look for something new," though that something new hasn't been finalized yet.

Transfers are also in the works, but the devs have to plan carefully to avoid borking the game's server-based factional/racial balance.

There's no date on 4.7 yet, but localization is current in process and the team hopes to "update you about the content and features of 4.7 anytime soon."

Firefall's having another devs-vs.-players event this weekend

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Firefall

Firefall's having another devs-vs.-players live event this weekend, with the former controlling bosses in the sci-fi shooter and the latter getting a shot at various in-game prizes including titles, currency, glider wings, and more. The official Firefall website has all the details including a list of rewards.

Just past the cut we've got the full press release and a dev-produced Q&A with Scott Rudi, Red 5's director of design.

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Dark Age of Camelot grants accounts free playtime for its birthday

Fantasy, Dark Age of Camelot, Business Models, Classes, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, Anniversaries, Subscription

Like its sibling Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot is currently welcoming old players back with free account time just in time for its October anniversary. Unlike UO, though, DAOC's Come Back to Camelot promotion extends to the most ancient of accounts and runs for two weeks only:
All accounts that were inactive on or before September 24th, 2014 are eligible for 13 free days! Simply login to the account center, re-subscribe, and the 13 free days will be applied to your account automatically! This campaign will run until October 31st.
Broadsword Online also touted a hot fix that permits a dozen previously unrollable race/class pairings. If you've ever wanted a Troll Warlock or Sylvan Champion, now is the time.

Das Tal revamps skills, adds stealth and tracking

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

Indie PvP sandbox Das Tal has revamped its skill system in its most recent alpha update. Fairytale Distillery has also added stealth and tracking features as well as tweaked audio for both the game's ambient tracks and its attack sounds.

There's an October update video and a copy of the full press release after the break!

[Source: Fairytale Distillery press release]

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