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WoW Archivist: The zombie plague event

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Lore, PvP, Subscription, WoW Archivist

Zombies attack
WoW Archivist is a biweekly column by WoW Insider's Scott Andrews, who explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold? It first appeared on our sister site on November 5th and is included here by permission.

We have one more week of the Iron Horde invasion event before we can take the fight through the portal to Draenor. Most players seem to think this event is serviceable, if unexciting. Like all such events, it lives in the shadow of the most memorable pre-expansion event in WoW's long history: the zombie plague. It debuted almost exactly six years ago, and Blizzard has never topped it.

If you need evidence, just look at the comments on the previous WoW Archivist about patch 3.0. I only mentioned the event in passing as a topic for a future column. Even so, readers posted more about the plague event than about any of the other 3.0 features like achievements, glyphs, or pally nerfs.

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Heroes of the Storm's closed beta starts January 13

Betas, Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, MOBA

Heroes of the Storm's closed beta starts January 13th. So sayeth the Blizz at today's BlizzCon. "We've very much enjoyed sharing the Technical Alpha with you, and your feedback over the past eight months has helped us make Heroes even more epic," Mike Morhaime said during today's opening festivities. "Thank you, as always, to everyone who has shared their thoughts on the game with us thus far. We can't wait to hear more from all of you as we move toward Closed Beta testing in January."

If you're looking for an invite, make sure you opt in to the HotS testing via your Battle.net account management beta profile settings page.

BlizzCon returns to Anaheim during the weekend of November 7th and 8th, 2014! Whether you're anticipating World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor expansion or the latest news from Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm, we aim to have it covered!

ArcheAge producer update talks Auroria, patron discounts, and more

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, ArcheAge, Sandbox

Trion published a producer's letter for ArcheAge earlier today. In it, the company detailed why no rollbacks will be forthcoming in response to the disconnection issues that surfaced during this week's Auroria launch.

Producer Victoria Voss went on to say that out of "tens of thousands of new, legitimate land owners," under 20 ended up with "more land claims than would have been reasonable." The letter also contains bits about ArcheAge's siege gameplay which the Auroria patch has enabled as well as an update on the much-discussed 10 percent patron discounts.

"The 10 percent patron discount will take effect in the form of a 10 percent bonus to credit pack purchases beginning later today. This is something we're able to roll out independently, without adding more workload on the game's developer. As such, we've agreed that this is the best way to get a great benefit into your hands as rapidly as possible," Trion says.

Lost Continent: It's getting harder to like ArcheAge

Fantasy, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Lost Continent

ArcheAge fandom is hard. It was initially hard because of the waiting. Consider that we've known of the game's existence since 2010 and that some of us have been playing it in various incarnations since 2011, which is a full three years -- and dozens of gameplay changes -- prior to its official North American launch.

Now that we're past said launch, the difficulty has shifted to watching Trion (or is it XLGAMES?) do its best to destroy a promising title via a series of clownshoes decisions.

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Quirky indie MMOFPS Hunternet boasts 700-player battles

Betas, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Game Mechanics, New Titles, PvP, News Items, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous

Hunternet
Indie developer Fernando Zapata of CPU Dreams is taking on a subgenre not often challenged by indies, the MMOFPS, but he doesn't seem daunted. In fact, his fledgling MMOFPS, Hunternet, can already handle 700 players on a map, more than PlanetSide 2 -- more "any other MMOFPS."

The video below includes footage from a Hunternet network stress test, with "700 clients spread across the cloud connected to a single dedicated server," a server where "players are not limited in their interaction by network culling as done in other large scale MMOs that spread out players and limit when you can see other players."

After two years in development, the game is in alpha, so placeholder art is seen throughout the tech demo video and screenshots. Zapata says he's revisited and rethought many genre tropes, like "controls, health, scoring, shooting, spawning, teamwork," along with more "mundane" bits like a scaling UI and integrated voice chat. The website welcomes tester signups from gamers who "embrace failure as an integral part of learning" and "value mechanics over aesthetics." Skip the signup, says the dev, if you think shooters must be ultra-realistic "big macho war fests."

Check out the alpha assets below, and notice we didn't use the word Kickstarter.

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The Crew hints at 'new PvP mode,' season pass info

Real-Life, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Races

The Crew hasn't launched yet, but Ubisoft is already marketing a season pass for its racing MMO that will include everything from new missions to themed car packs to a "new PvP mode." The announcement doesn't say much regarding the new mode other than that it exists, but there is a lot of info regarding the rest of the obtainables on the game's official website.

MechWarrior dev vlog talks inner sphere quirks, faction switching

Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items

If you're a MechWarrior Online fan and you've got a spare 20 minutes, you might want to catch up with the game via the ninth installment of the MWO Dev Vlog. Piranha president Russ Bullock is interviewed regarding the changes to the inner sphere quirk system, while lead designer Paul Inouye updates us on community warfare -- including the ability to switch factions.

Click past the cut to watch the full dev vlog!

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World of Tanks' 9.4 adds Stalingrad map, tweaks strongholds and more

Historical, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, War, World of Tanks

World of Tanks' 9.4 update is now live, assuming you're playing from North America or Europe. If you're in Asia, well, you'll have to wait until tomorrow.

The patch reworks WoT's team battles mode, adds a new historical map (Stalingrad), and improves strongholds. "Strongholds and the structures that produce reserves for a clan have been extended to level 10," Wargaming says. "In addition, clans now have the ability to seek out and attack other clan strongholds and each clan is able to designate specific times where they are available to defend opposing clan attacks."

Click past the cut to watch the strongholds trailer.

[Source: Wargaming press release]

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The Stream Team: Finally taking the first steps on ArcheAge's Auroria

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

The Stream Team: Finally taking the first on ArcheAge's Auroria
Auroria is here, and that means there are fresh new lands to explore in ArcheAge -- if you are lucky enough to be able to log in! Massively's MJ can finally log in, so what more of an invitation does she need to explore? Sure, death may really be waiting around every corner, but that won't stop MJ from prowling around the new continent and poking into everything interesting she can find. With any luck she can dodge enough PvP to check out where the new castles will soon go. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. for this peek at the new shinies of Auroria.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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League of Legends spotlights Kalista, the Spear of Vengeance

Fantasy, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends

LoL
Yesterday, Riot Games formally unveiled the long-rumored Kalista, the Spear of Vengeance, a new champion coming to MOBA League of Legends. Says the studio,
Kalista is a marksman who cooperates with her Soul-Bound to deal substantial sustained damage, access her full repertoire of abilities and wither her enemies under her relentless assault. Kalista’s potential is unlocked by solid communication and cooperation with allies rather than raw mechanical skill. While still capable in her own right, Kalista misses out on Soul-Marked's bonus damage and effective use of her ult without direct cooperation from her ally.
Riot has a brief unembeddable spotlight clip on the official site; we've included a longer one from YouTuber SkinSpotlights below.

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Aion: Invasion launches today with new zones, dungeons, and server vs. server PvP

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Aion, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, Free-to-Play, Dungeons

The battle for Atreia expands today as Aion's latest free content update launches. Invasion introduces two all new zones, two new dungeons, a daily log in reward system, new world bosses, and a new gear enhancement system. On top of that, Daevas will be able to participate in the open beta of server vs. server PvP!

The two new zones include Kaldor, the burnt-out remnant of what was once the ancient Danuar land, and Levinshor, the colorful territory of Tiamat's origin. Kaldor is home to Wealhtheow's Keep, a place featuring new fortress siege elements. Levinshor is home to new species that will associate with the Elyos and the Asmodians. Of the two new instances, The Linkgate Foundry is for level 65 players and is solo, whereas Igdel Dome is a six-man PvPvE instance.

This server vs. server PvPvE will happen in a zone called Panesterra, which was thrown into another dimension by a massive Ide explosion. There, 100 players from each server and faction will battle against one another as well as baddy Beritra's forces in a massive seige to control the zone. The first live siege begins on November 9th.

For a look into the new content, check out the trailer below and dive into even more details in the patch notes. Then log in daily for your special gifts!

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New World of Speed vid features nearly four minutes of gameplay

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

We've seen a lot of teaser videos from World of Speed thus far, but gameplay footage has been rather scarce. Happily, that's no longer an issue thanks to a new video that puts you in the driver's seat of a race through Moscow.

The contest gives us a good look at the game's UI, various camera angles including genre staples like a hood view and a third-person behind-the-car view, and plenty of tire-screeching back-and-forth between a RUF RK Coupe and a Mercedes SLS. See for yourself after the break!

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR Shadow of Revan FAQ

Sci-Fi, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Free-to-Play, Races, Roleplaying, Rumors, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guides, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR Shadow of Revan FAQs
With every expansion, there are questions -- a lot of questions. Star Wars: The Old Republic is no exception. Shadow of Revan changes a lot of game mechanics and expands the story of SWTOR. With all the interviews and Cantina Tour chatter, it's difficult to tell what is true and what isn't. So I thought it'd be best to make an FAQ to answer some of those ponderings.

When does Shadow of Revan release?

The official release date for Shadow of Revan is December 9th. However, if you preordered before November 3rd 2:59 a.m., then you will gain early access, which starts on December 2nd.

Do I have to subscribe to play Shadow of Revan?

No, Shadow of Revan is a paid expansion and can be accessed by a free-to-play player. However, to be eligible for the 12x XP bonus, you do have to be subscribed to the game.

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Not So Massively: Hearthstone's bans, Destiny's expansion, and Shadow Realms' alpha delay

Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, Not So Massively, MOBA, OARPG

NSM - Hearthstone
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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Lost Continent: This is how you go off the rails in ArcheAge

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

Are you an ArcheAge tire-kicker who's wondering how to go "off the rails" and trade the game's questpark level grind for some of that downhome sandbox flavor? I'm here to tell you that it's as easy as deciding that you really want to do it.

There's no magic button or pre-scripted path, though, because the game is sorta sandboxy.

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