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EVE Evolved: How to fix nullsec territorial warfare

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Patches, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
If you've been playing EVE Online lately or just following the major events in the game, it can't have escaped your notice that nullsec has become a bit stagnant. The lawless nullsec regions are supposed to be politically unstable territories claimed by hundreds of warring player-run alliances, but today they're dominated primarily by just two or three mega-coalitions. Individual alliances can no longer hold out against the combined forces of the coalitions and must either pick a side or be annihilated. The coalitions have even signed agreements not to take space from each other by force, and players are being bored to death as a result.

Two weeks ago, I examined the history of force projection in EVE Online and made the argument that capital ships and jump drives ultimately created today's nullsec problems. Increases in mobility have led to alliances teaming up over vast distances, making mega-coalitions an inevitable outcome. It's obviously too late to remove capital ships or jump logistics, but there are plenty of other ways to potentially fix the nullsec problem. We had some great discussions in the comments of the previous article about how this complex problem could be solved without making warfare the painful slog it was back in 2004, and I believe it's possible.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I lay out some ideas for new game mechanics that could solve the current nullsec crisis and may meet CCP's goals for the eventual sovereignty revamp that's on the way.

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SOE Live 2014: Combat comes to Landmark August 27th

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, PvP, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

If you've got a thing for combat, have we got the perfect date for you! Landmark launches the ability to fight -- and die -- on Wednesday, August 27th. That means everyone who's been waiting in the wings for the new sandbox to get more systems before diving in only have to hold out two more weeks before they can finally experience Landmark.

Are you ready to die? The first phase of combat includes death, armor, weapons, landmines, PvP, and many possibilities! We got the scoop on this much-anticipated system at SOE Live from Creative Director Dave Georgeson and Senior Producer Terry Michaels at SOE Live, including some great video clips of the upcoming content.

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The Stream Team: Firefall revisited

Sci-Fi, Video, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Livestream, Firefall, The Stream Team

Firefall
Massively's Mike Foster is taking Firefall for another spin in this month's edition of Choose My Adventure, which means he needs to spend a little time getting reacquainted with the game, its universe, and its mechanics. Join him live at 7:00 p.m. EDT for a little bit of jetpack-induced, assault rifle-powered shooty chaos. Alternatively, watch in awe as he attempts to complete the account recovery process after completely forgetting his login information.

Game: Firefall
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, August 14, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Guild Wars 2 will let you replace PvP opponents with standardized clones

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, PvP, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

How you look and move in PvP is sometimes more important than just for cosmetic vanity, which is why Guild Wars 2 is planning to add "model standardization" as an option with the September feature pack.

In today's dev diary, ArenaNet explains that since all of the races and classes have different animations for the same skills, it might be difficult for competitive players to identify what's coming at them. By being able to replace all enemy characters with standardized human models, PvPers will be able to clearly identify the class, weapon, and skill animations being used.

The team's also finishing up work on two new sets of PvP-exclusive armor that draws inspiration from Guild Wars 1's Hall of Heroes. Players can earn one of those sets of armor by progressing with the new PvP reward track that's also slated for the feature pack update.

Wargaming claims over 100 million registered users

Historical, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, World of Tanks, World of Warplanes, World of Warships

How many players has Wargaming amassed via its ubiquitous World of titles? Over 100 million registered souls across all platforms, according to the firm's latest press release. The company of course neglects to mention how many of those 100 million players are active or how many of them have spent money, but we suspect it's doing OK for itself in both departments.

You can read the full blurb after the break.

[Source: Wargaming press release]

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BioWare announces Shadow Realms, a D&D-inspired co-op dungeon crawler

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, New Titles, PvP, Dungeons

shadow realms
BioWare has just announced a brand-new IP for the studio: Shadow Realms, a "4v1 story-driven online action RPG" that was inspired by the team's love of tabletop Dungeons & Dragons.

Shadow Realms isn't a full-fledged MMO, but will put players in the shoes of contemporary Earth heroes who will jump between our world of technology and another of magic. The twist for the game is that a team of four heroes will be opposed by one player who will assume the role of a dungeon master-like Shadowlord.

"With Shadow Realms, we decided that the Shadowlord should interact with and see the gameplay world in a similar way to the hero players –- albeit with better tactical knowledge," BioWare wrote. "Their objective is to stop the group of heroes by haunting them, setting traps, casting spells, summoning monsters, and controlling any monster in the level."

The game will grow with episodic storytelling, offer "deep combat customization," and feature six classes. Shadow Realms is set to go into closed beta this fall.

Choose My Adventure: Firefall is finally a real game

Sci-Fi, Polls, Launches, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Choose My Adventure, Firefall

Forgive me, Massively readers, for I have sinned. It has been six months since my last Choose My Adventure. Luckily, absolution is readily available via a 50-pound desktop computer, a mostly stable internet connection powered by one of the most hated companies in the United States, and three or four Hail Proudmoores. In summary: I have stared into the face of an eternal offline purgatory, clenched my teeth, and growled, "Not today."

No, today I'm going to play Firefall. And you're coming with me.

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Gamescom 2014: Guild Wars 2 preps $150k prize pool tourney, feature pack

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), PvP, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Events (Massively's Coverage), Buy-to-Play

GW2
If you were wondering what ArenaNet has planned for the fall break in Guild Wars 2's living world story content, wonder no more: The studio has just announced the September feature pack, which brings both PvE and PvP upgrades to the game. "Living World Season 2 will be going on break for a while as we count down to the arrival of the [feature pack]," says lead developer Colin Johanson. "You can look forward to the return of Season 2 in autumn, and we'll announce the start date for episode 5 after the feature pack has been released."

ArenaNet's attention at Gamescom, however, has been focused on competitive play. In keeping with its e-sports goals, the studio unveiled the World Tournament Series, a Guild Wars 2 competitive championship co-sponsored by Chinese publisher KongZhong. With its $150,000 prize pool, the series will draw qualifying players from the upcoming Tournament of Glory and debut in Beijing this fall.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

Gamescom 2014: Destiny's first expansion, The Dark Below, arrives in December

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, PvP, MMOFPS, Destiny

destiny
Bungie Director of Production Jonty Barnes just announced at Gamescom that Destiny's first expansion, The Dark Below, will arrive in December, just a few months after the game officially launches.

Bungie also released a new competitive multiplayer trailer. Aliens are threatening our way of life and our very existence, but that doesn't mean that we can't take a break from combating this common threat and squabble amongst ourselves, right? Destiny will allow just that with its competitive multiplayer mode, also known as "PvP" if you're new to MMOs.

This game mode will take place in the Crucible, a skirmish arena full of good hidey-holes and a ton of objectives for teams to accomplish. There will be special gear that can be attained by duking it out, so at least you have that justification when your commanding officer asks why you're not out there fighting the invaders.

The video is below.

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Not So Massively: Diablo III's 20M sales, The Crew's beta, and Heroes of the Storm's alpha

Betas, Fantasy, Real-Life, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Patches, PvP, News Items, MMOFPS, Not So Massively, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Hearthstone

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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Gamescom 2014: World of Speed's team racing trailer

Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items

Slightly Mad Studios and My.com have released a new World of Speed trailer ahead of this week's Gamescom convention in Cologne, Germany. The brief video focuses on team racing and demonstrates how you can assist your mates even if you're not running up front. Side objectives like sliding, slipstreaming, and pathfinding are in the mix, though the clip doesn't explain how they work.

It's worth watching if you like gearhead eye candy, though, so click past the cut and have a look.

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War Thunder dev diary explains battle rank and more

Historical, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Community Q&A

Have you ever wondered what, exactly, the battle rank statistic governs in War Thunder? If so, Gaijin's latest dev diary video is worth watching. The clip is the first in a planned series called Developer Answers. It runs for nearly nine minutes and explains, in part, how BR is the average efficiency of a given vehicle in all battles as opposed to the efficiency of a given vehicle against another specific type.

Various War Thunder devs explain how this relates to the WWII flight sim's matchmaking mechanics, too, and they also address several other questions pulled from community members and social media channels. You can watch the full clip after the cut.

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An early look at Heroes of the Storm's alpha

Betas, Fantasy, Culture, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, First Impressions, MOBA

HOTS
Heroes of the Storm: Just another MOBA, right? Well, maybe. I have to admit two things before we jump into this article. First, I like MOBAs, but I'm an MMO player first and foremost. I keep trying MOBAs as they come out, and I've sunk some serious hours into the genre, so I do have a decent working knowledge of the bare basics, especially starting experiences.

Second, I'm neither a fan nor a hater of Blizzard. Blizzard often sticks to safe rather than unique features, but it also makes games for the masses, which is great because I love to drag my friends into my games. But a game that attracts everyone also attracts the kind of people I don't want to play with.

So why should I -- or you -- play Heroes of the Storm?

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Stick and Rudder: Should you be scared off by Star Citizen's community?

Sci-Fi, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Massively's Justin Olivetti and I were talking MMO communities recently. Star Citizen came up, and my esteemed colleague mentioned that the constant hubbub surrounding the crowdsourced space sim sandbox has made him a bit wary of getting invested in the title for the time being.

From the inside looking out, I can see how the game's community sometimes seems like a roiling mass of internet rage and entitlement, but I think it's worth mentioning that -- like the game itself -- it's also what you make of it.

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Order and Chaos Online goes free-to-play

Fantasy, Business Models, Events (In-Game), PvP, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Anniversaries

order and chaos online
The hit mobile MMO Order and Chaos Online has gone from reducing its up-front client cost to eliminating it completely.

This past week, Gameloft dropped the price for Order and Chaos Online, making it officially free-to-play and gifting existing players 150 rune stones and a shining golden dragon hatchling for their financial support. The game originally launched as a subscription model, transitioned into a buy-to-play title for $6.99 back in 2012, and now will have to lean on in-game shop purchases to rake in revenue.

Order and Chaos Online is celebrating its third anniversary with in-game gifts and quests. The MMO recently added a new PvP mode, Battlefield, that allows players to duke it out in 2v2 and 4v4 matches.

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