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Not So Massively: SMITE's tourney, Shadow Realms' do-over, Heroes of the Storm's new mode

Betas, Video, Bugs, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Not So Massively, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

SMITE
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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Here's a PvP event schedule for Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2

ArenaNet has given us a heads-up relative to Guild Wars 2's near-future PvP events. Global events go down every Sunday, whereas North America gets a weekly 2v2 shindig each Tuesday. If neither of those days work for you, hit up the full announcement post because there's basically something PvP-related happening in GW2 all week long.

PlanetSide 2 players planning world record attempt for Jan. 24

Sci-Fi, Culture, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

PlanetSide 2 players are trying to beat the Guinness world record for the largest number of gamers simultaneously in a single instance of an online FPS. That's kind of a mouthful, isn't it? In any event, organizers have taken to the PS2 forums and are planning to pull 1,100 players together on the Jaeger server on January 24th.

The Daily Grind: Would you like community filters in your MMO?

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, PvE, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Elite: Dangerous

I was browsing the Elite: Dangerous forums the other day when I came upon this ad for a PvE-only private group. It's a good idea in theory, as it's a way for a large, dedicated community to insulate themselves from griefers and other undesirables while still playing an online multiplayer title.

I'm not sure if the functionality is a net positive for games with player-run economies and the like, but it's an interesting option for developers to consider going forward. What do you think, Massively readers? Would you like similarly large-scale ignore options and community filters in your MMO?

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!

Hawkgirl is coming to Infinite Crisis on January 21

Betas, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, MOBA, Infinite Crisis

Turbine continues to release new champions for its Infinite Crisis MOBA. The latest such is Hawkgirl, who is scheduled to debut on January 21st.

A new preview video characterizes Hawkgirl as "an aggressive bruiser who excels at isolating and disrupting her opponents." You can get all the specifics on her skills and abilities by watch the clip embedded after the cut.

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New version of Divergence Online is live

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

Divergence Online devs Stainglass Llama published a playable alpha earlier this week. Lead developer Ethan Casner says that anyone can download the game and have a look-see, but most of the gameplay functionality is reserved for those who helped crowdfund the sci-fi sandbox.

Casner details how he and two programmers worked to release the first new version of Divergence in over a year, and he says that the long hours have ultimately been worth it.

"This is not an MMO that exists in a series of dozens if not hundreds of servers," he explains. "The game world you're going to be entering is the only one in existence. If you know anyone else on planet Earth who plays this game, they're in the same server. It's because of this feature that anything we do in this game is exponentially more difficult to accomplish than it would be in (what passes for) an MMO of today."

[Thanks Jon!]

DayZ fan film lacks zombies, still feels like DayZ

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

DayZ creator Dean Hall tweeted his appreciation for a new fan film based on his popular zombie-flavored open world title earlier today. And why not? The flick is a believably bleak meditation on the game's dog-eat-dog post-apocalypse, even though it doesn't feature a single zombie.

Click past the cut to give it a look!

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CCP shows historical player age distribution in EVE

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Subscription

"Every EVE player likes math, or at least the potential destruction it unlocks," CCP says in the comments of its latest YouTube vid. The reel is basically one minute and 38 seconds worth of graph porn showing how EVE's players have "matured" over the past 11 years.

Or, as another commenter puts it, CCP has basically "stolen our young adult lives." Click past the cut to see the clip.

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Another university is adding League of Legends scholarships

Culture, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Humor, MOBA, League of Legends

Robert Morris University made waves last summer when it announced its intention to add e-sports -- and more specifically, League of Legends scholarships -- to its athletic department.

This week Kentucky's University of Pikeville followed suit when it publicized its offering of "at least 20 scholarships" to LoL players who will be treated like the school's other student-athletes. "There will be practice time and video time when they have to study other teams for upcoming competitions," said the university's new media director Bruce Parsons.

War Thunder invites you to fight historical battles

Historical, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War

War Thunder's WW2 Chronicles event series is now in its fourth week, according to a news blurb on the game's official website. Chronicles "invites players to participate in events that will involve all modes of difficulty," Gaijin explains. "Historical lineups, new scenarios, and a description of each event will enable you to fully explore the possibility of a virtual reconstruction of a real battle in the sky and on the ground in War Thunder."

Today's event takes place in Eastern Europe, with the Mediterranean and Pacific theaters scheduled to see some action later this week. Don't forget to watch the associated video after the break.

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PlanetSide 2's PS4 beta arrives on January 20th

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox

Planetside2
A post on the official PlayStation blog today confirms that PlanetSide 2's PlayStation 4 beta will begin on January 20th.

"We'll be using this beta period to test our servers, performance, and various other aspects of the game, and we also want you to share constructive feedback on PlanetSide 2," says SOE Executive Producer Clint Worley. "How does the game look and feel? Is navigating through the menus intuitive and utilizing DualShock 4 in the best way? All players in the Closed Beta will have access to our special Beta forums, which will be the primary location for development interaction and feedback. We want the massive battles to make your heart pound and adrenaline pump, so share your thoughts with us."

Beta signups for the PS4 edition of the game have been live since early December. PlanetSide 2 has lately made news for its frank discussions about monetization; SOE president John Smedley admitted that "PlanetSide 2 only recently has turned profitable on an operating basis."

Salem lead mulls solutions for sub-par combat

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

Are you a fan of indie fantasy sandbox Salem? Do you like walls of text that give your mousewheel a serious workout? You might enjoy today's Salem update, then, as Mortal Moments project lead John Carver has a lot to say. And why not? It's been nearly six months since the last such dev blast.

Carver writes with affection of Salem's refusal to "cater to the masses" and its similar disdain for "polygon counts over content." Combat, though, isn't quite where the devs would like it. Carver says that combat is "by far the dumbest thing we do," and that despite the intentional learning curve, some sort of "upper level strategy is missing."

While Carver doesn't outline specific remedies, he says that the first step is to expand Salem's available combat moves.

[Thanks Chrysillis!]

That Play2Crush thing is called Crowfall

MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowfall

Artcraft struck a nerve over Christmas with its cryptic this-industry-sucks reveal that trumpeted some sort of new virtual world. Our announcement post garnered nearly 300 comments, so we figured a few of you would like to know that the title is officially called Crowfall.

There's a new site with a countdown timer to the full reveal along with a few paragraphs inciting the community with phrases like "deeper than a virtual amusement park" and "more impactful than a virtual sandbox."

Black Desert Korean OBT exploits lead to permabans

Betas, Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Black Desert

If you were hoping for an exploit-free experience when Korean sandbox import Black Desert heads west, you may still get it. But you may not, if Steparu's recent experience in the game's K-OBT is any indication.

Problems include a buy-back dupe, mob kills that gave abnormal amounts of experience, and "something with the shop." Steparu also reports that developer Pearl Abyss and publisher Daum have permabanned serious offenders and deleted ill-gotten gains from "light abusers."

Riot is building a dedicated network for League of Legends

Fantasy, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, MOBA, League of Legends

How important is ping disparity to the makers of the world's biggest MOBA? Well, Riot is currently building a dedicated network specifically for League of Legends, so it must be pretty important.

The firm explains why in a Q&A posted this week, and the short version is that your ISP is focused primarily on moving large amounts of data in seconds or minutes, which is fine for streaming video but not so fine for real-time gaming. To make matters worse, your internet connection "might bounce all over the country instead of running directly to where it needs to go," Riot says, "which can impact your network quality and ping whether the game server is across the country or right down the street."

The solution is a direct network for LoL traffic as well as some sort of partnership with US and Canadian ISPs to facilitate player access.

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