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EVE Evolved: Stepping through the EVE Gate

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Expansions, Lore, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
Though EVE Online is often lauded for its rich decade-long player history full of wars and complex political dealings, the NPC storyline and New Eden's ancient backstory have always held my fascination. I started playing in early 2004 after reading dozens of fiction chronicles and mock scientific articles on the EVE website that painted the picture of a real living universe where incredible things could happen. Sure enough, my first years of play were punctuated with compelling live events and storyline arcs like the Crielere research project that led to the development of cloaking devices, the theft of a Federation Navy titan by Serpentis pirates, and the Blood Raiders taking over Delve.

CCP has frequently stated that its goal with EVE is to create the ultimate sci-fi simulator, and the core of a compelling sci-fi setting is a living universe that grows and changes. The best sci-fi TV shows are those with a constant cycle of revealing compelling mysteries and then solving them and of encountering escalating challenges to be overcome. EVE has done this extremely well a few times in its life, such as with the release of wormholes or when the Sansha incursions events were kicking off, and each time the concurrent player numbers have spiked. Guild Wars 2 has shown the power of an evolving living storyline to get people into the game and keep them actively playing in the long term, something that should be the norm for MMOs and that EVE Online could take much greater advantage of.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at some of the big NPC mysteries revealed in EVE Online's decade-long history and ask why they were abandoned and where they could go now.

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Shroud of the Avatar preps PvP update and asks for player music submissions

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, Sandbox, Music, Shroud of the Avatar

Shroud of the Avatar is ready to pull the trigger on Release 8 and the game's PvP system. Release 8 will come out next week and feature a massive host of PvP changes that have apparently gotten the dev team hooked. "The team's 30 minute PvP play sessions every morning are growing longer and longer as we're having too much fun to stop," the devs wrote.

Portalarium is also putting out a call to the community to help crowdsource Shroud of the Avatar's soundtrack. The team has a list compiled to guide player composers in creating and submitting their own music for the game.

Ultima Online overhauls factional PvP in publish 86

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Ultima Online, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

Broadsword Online has announced that Ultima Online's publish 86 will arrive on the test server this evening. Notably, the patch includes the first phase of the game's new Vice vs Virtue system, a massive ground-up rework of the existing faction PvP system intended to bring rewarding, objective-based PvP back to the cities. The update also features a new trading-based quest system, new property generation mechanics for spawned loot, and a refreshed Cleanup Britannia vendor.

Check out the complete patch notes on the official site. If you're a former player thinking of dropping by your old haunt to see how it's doing, recall that last month, the developers hinted at a return-to-UO promotion coming in August.

Trove: 'Let everything in the game be made by the community'

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Culture, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Trove

trove
User-generated content isn't just a pipe dream of the Trove team; it's the central tenet of its design philosophy. In a new video, the devs talk about why allowing players to design the world, both inside the game and outside of it, is vital to drawing the community into it.

One of the results of listening to player feedback is the creation of a new biome called Dragonfire Peaks, which is full of canyons, lava, and most likely heartburn.

"We've taken the development cycle and pried it open for everyone to see," says Art Lead Brian Clarke. The team goes on to show off several player-made dungeons and talk about how the community has made better content than the dev team thought possible. We've got the video after the break, so check it out and see if you've got the Trove stuff!

[Source: Trion Worlds press release]

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Nerd Kingdom on Yogventures!'s implosion and the future of TUG

Fantasy, Business Models, Interviews, MMO Industry, News Items, Legal, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

Yesterday, Massively reported on the impending bankruptcy filing and cancellation of Kickstarted Winterkewl/Yogscast game Yogventures! and the alleged transfer of its assets over to TUG, a sandbox game by Nerd Kingdom that we've written about since its reveal last year. Journalists and gamers have suggested that in spite its claims to the contrary, Yogscast itself might be liable for refunds, as would any beneficiary of assets entangled in a future bankruptcy filing. We spoke to TUG's Peter "Ino" Salinas to shed light on the situation and its implications for TUG.

Massively: Yogscast has distanced itself from Winterkewl, the studio making Yogventures!, but statements made by Winterkewl seem to suggest that Yogscast is simply transferring its support for Winterkewl's game to your pre-existing game, TUG, causing Yogventures to go bankrupt and disavowing any obligation to underwrite the spent half million in Kickstarter funds. Is that your understanding of the situation? Can you clarify it for our readers?

Nerd Kingdom's Peter Salinas: There are a lot of details to the discussions that Yogs and Winterkewl had before we started to develop our friendship with the Yogscast. We were also honestly wary of the situation ourselves at first, having been aware of Yogventures! around the time we did our own Kickstarter campaign. The reality of the situation was this: A young and ambitious developer overscoped a project... this would not be the first time that happened; it's just a total bummer that it had to happen with a massive community involved. And during that time, the Yogscast group, knowing little enough about development, agreed to let them use their likeness in their own project. Yogs knew that Yogscast itself was not equipped to manage the project, so they let Winterkewl use their brand and a community to build on. Sadly in that process, all the milestones that were set by Winterkewl, which would have allowed the Yogscast to promote the project, never were hit. How can you promote or make an experience with nothing to share? Even we had our own time to put in before we were able to demonstrate anything reasonable.

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The Stream Team: Building with water in Landmark

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

There's a new building material in Landmark town, and Massively's MJ is eager to get her hands on it! Non-dynamic water has been introduced, and the possibilities are endless. Could MJ make a water trap deep in her maze? What about a moat? She could even just build a water house, declare herself a mermaid, and swim through the walls! Come share your ideas. As a bonus, MJ also has a few more of the popular portcullis item codes as well as beta codes to give away. Join us live at 7:30 p.m. to check out some wet and wild building!

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Time: 7:30 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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ArcheAge begins beta with one million sign-ups [Updated]

Betas, Fantasy, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox

aa
The world is ready and eager for ArcheAge's beta program, as evidenced by the million-plus sign-ups on the site. The first closed beta event started today and will continue through July 21st.

"We're also happy to announce today that over one million of you have already joined our community of ArcheAge supporters, even before the first beta event began!" Trion Worlds posted today. In fact, the beta launched to far more players than Trion anticipated, prompting the studio to open up two new servers to handle the demand.

To bring the Korean MMO overseas, Trion has translated two million words, set up technical infrastructure, and localized quests. The closed beta event will feature the version 1.2 patch for both North America and Europe.

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Age of Wushu Warrior's Ascension expansion coming July 31

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

Snail has announced that Age of Wushu will be getting its "next major expansion" on July 31. The new content is called Warrior's Ascension and it includes a cross-server PvP tournament system called the Sky Ladder as well as new level six gear.

The firm hasn't gone into a lot of detail just yet, but you can check out the full verbiage as well as a couple of images on the official announcement page.

The Daily Grind: What upcoming MMO are you giving a second look?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Sandbox, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

Up to this point I've been pretty meh about Camelot Unchained. It's nothing personal, I always enjoy Mark Jacobs' game development perspectives, but to be frank neither Warhammer Online nor Dark Age of Camelot held my attention for more than a month. Blame Star Wars: Galaxies, I guess.

Then I started reading some of these "batshit crazy" CU reveals and now I'm thinking that this game might be for me. I'm saying "might" because I've followed this genre long enough to take grandiose design docs with a grain of salt. But hey, at least I'm hooked and will keep reading, right? What about you, Massively readers? What upcoming MMO are you giving a second look?

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!

Watch a TUG artist design a hostile predator

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

Mountain lion butts! That's what's in store for you in the latest TUG "In the Works" behind-the-scenes video. Nerd Kingdom "Ninja Rigger and 3-D Artist" Eric Stodolnik is featured in the brief clip as he shows viewers how one of the game's many hostile predators is modeled from start to finish. The video is included below!

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Choose My Adventure: The crafty side of life in ArcheAge

Fantasy, Polls, Video, Free-to-Play, Choose My Adventure, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, The Stream Team

Choose My Adventure:  The crafty side of life in ArcheAge
After last week's exciting dungeon and boating adventure, Massvely's MJ was ready to settle into the quiet life of crafting in ArcheAge. And crafting can definitely be a whole way of life, taking all your time, attention, and funds. If you want to specialize in multiple crafts, it can gobble up that much more!

Since you voted for MJ to try all the crafting, she's been trying to dabble in everything. However, getting all the various materials necessary for all the different professions turned out to be quite the undertaking, so she's been paying special attention to armor (which tied for first in votes) and housing items (which came in second). Join us live at 7:00 p.m. to see the crafty side of life in ArcheAge and help direct MJ's two-hour adventures during this CMA Live. Then don't forget to vote and direct next week's (and this weekend's) adventures!

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Leaderboard: Which ArcheAge race will you pick for your main?

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Races, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Leaderboard

I am so damn excited for ArcheAge! And with closed beta starting this week, it seems like an opportune time to translate that excitement into a Leaderboard poll. I'd like to ask which class(es) you plan to play, but that might prove a bit cumbersome since there are over 100 choices. Instead, let's talk about the game's four races. Which one will you roll as your main?

Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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Camelot Unchained's UI powered by Chromium, community

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

Camelot Unchained's information dump continues with a brief blurb about the fantasy PvP sandbox's UI. City State says that UIs typically "consume a large amount of developer bandwidth on the design and engineering side," and as such the firm will not only be building CU's UI "out of the web" but it will also be open-sourcing the entire codebase.

The UI is powered by Chromium, and City State has already made the code available on GitHub and is inviting the community to contribute to it (pending developer approval, of course).

Prepare for EVE Online's Crius with new dev video

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Expansions, MMO Industry, Sandbox

EVE Online
If you're looking forward to the changes coming in EVE Online's Crius expansion next week, a new video featuring CCP Mimic touches on what to expect in New Eden's industrial revolution.

CCP Nullarbor and CCP Tuxford describe the changes that will open up manufacturing to be performed wherever and whenever you like. "What we're leaving behind is what is really the core of industry," CCP Nullarbor says in the video. "Which [are] very interesting problems to solve, such as 'What should I be building?' and 'Where should I build it?'"

Be sure to read our previous articles and guides on Crius for more info, and check out the dev video included after the cut.

[Source: CCP press release]

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TUG alpha patch allows you to hunt dumb goats

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Sandbox

tug
What purpose do really dumb goats serve? If they're in TUG's new 0.6.3 alpha update, it's to be hunted for their pelts and cooked over a roaring flame.

In a new video, TUG shows off several of the sandbox elements that went into today's patch. Players can create and cultivate farms, or alternatively go hunting for the aforementioned "dumb goats." There is also a physics system in place for projectiles, new craftables, and the ability to have a good old-fashioned cook-out.

We're not kidding around, this is one goat-tastic video. Check it out after the break!

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