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The Daily Grind: What was your favorite Mythic memory?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Sunsets

It's been a little over a week since Mythic Entertainment went out with a whimper, and as a former Warhammer Online fan, I'm still feeling a little sad about it. I appreciated the studio's enthusiasm and vision, even if I wasn't as much into PvP as some of those devs were.

But at least a couple of the studio's former charges live on -- as do our memories. So what was your favorite memory involving a Mythic game, the studio, or the dev team? Let's raise a virtual glass and give a fond toast to yesterday's tales.

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!

Mythic closes, 'end of an era' for former MMO studio

Fantasy, Dark Age of Camelot, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, Ultima Online, Sunsets

Mythic
We saw this coming, but it doesn't make it any less regrettable: Long-time MMO studio Mythic Entertainment has been shut down by EA.

"We are closing the EA Mythic location in Fairfax, Virginia, as we concentrate mobile development in our other studio locations. We are working with all impacted employees to provide assistance in finding new opportunities, either within EA or with other companies via an upcoming job fair," EA told Kotaku.

Former Mythic lead Josh Drescher tweeted his reaction to the news: "Condolences to everyone at Mythic today. It's the end of an era, but you were all part of something amazing."

Mythic shuttered Warhammer Online last December, while Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot, and many Mythic developers moved over to Broadsword Online Games this past February.

Disney shutters Star Wars Attack Squadrons

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Miscellaneous, MOBA, Sunsets

Disney has just announced that Star Wars Attack Squadrons will cease operations in the wake of its closed beta test. A message on the official site reads, "We want to thank all of the fans who participated in the closed beta of Star Wars: Attack Squadrons. After much consideration, we have decided to cease development so that we can focus on other Star Wars game experiences. We truly appreciate the time you spent engaging in the beta."

The company first revealed the game in December 2013 as a Star Wars dogfighting space combat title set in pseudo-MMO-like 16-player environments.

Here's what CCP's World of Darkness looked like

Horror, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, World of Darkness, Sandbox, Sunsets

World of Darkness
CCP may have cancelled World of Darkness, but thanks to a leaker on Reddit you can get a look at some screenshots from the game as well as the lengthy manual from a March 2014 alpha playtest.

Eurogamer reports that WoD featured safe zones such as your haven and various Elysium areas near churches, but otherwise the game allowed for open PvP. CCP's take on the beloved White Wolf property also featured four clans: the Tremere, Brujah, Toreador, and Ventrue, each with different skills, abilities, and aspect buffs.

See the links below for the original Reddit post as well as the screenshot gallery and manual.

CCP is 'reviewing the status' of the World of Darkness IP

Horror, MMO Industry, World of Darkness, Sandbox, Sunsets

WoD
In the aftermath of World of Darkness' cancellation and the layoffs at its Atlanta studio, CCP said that it is taking time to "review" the White Wolf IP.

"We believe that the World of Darkness IP is very valuable and will be reviewing the status of it in the coming weeks and months, but we have no specific plans under consideration at this time," a CCP spokesperson said to CVG.

In the search to understand why World of Darkness got shuttered, players might turn to last December's financials for CCP. In these, the studio lodged a loss of $21 million for the year despite increasing revenue year-over-year. This was mostly due to a "massively increased R&D budget" that was feeding into projects such as WoD.

The Stream Team: Goodbye, Free Realms

Fantasy, Video, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Free Realms, Livestream, The Stream Team, Sunsets, MMORPG

The Stream Team: Good-bye, Free Realms
Since 2009, Free Realms has entertained children and adults with go-kart racing, playing trading card games, and of course, being a ninja. Unfortunately, even the good MMOs must end. Join Massively's Larry Everett and his son at 7:30 p.m. EDT as they take one more lap around Free Realms and maybe catch one more demolition derby.

Game: Free Realms
Host: Larry Everett
Date: Monday, March 31st, 2014
Time: 7:30 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Today's your last chance to play Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Casual, Free Realms, Kids, Clone Wars Adventures, Sunsets

Clone Wars Adventures main cast
Per SOE's announcement last January, today is your final opportunity to play its Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures MMOs. If you can't play, be sure to join Massively's Larry Everett for a farewell stream later tonight.

Marvel: Avengers Alliance to shut down on Playdom

Super-hero, Browser, Sunsets

Avengers Alliance
Playdom has announced that Marvel: Avengers Alliance will be shutting down for good on April 20th, 2014.

"Although it is a difficult decision to shut down a game," a note to the players states, "this decision will allow us to focus on building new, more engaging games."

This shutdown will affect only the Playdom version of the game, not the Facebook version. Playdom says that it will offer no refunds or credits for "virtual goods, game currency or other items purchased" once the game stops being offered on Playdom's platform.

Ten things to do in Free Realms before it's gone

Fantasy, Screenshots, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Virtual Worlds, Free Realms, Family, Guides, Sunsets

Free Realms
Free Realms is set to close down at the end of this month, and despite the fact that the game is aimed toward players much younger than I am, I'm going to miss it.

When the game first launched, my two oldest daughters and I played religiously. It was an easy way for us to interact and play together when I was away, and they spent a sizable chunk of their allowances on pets, mounts, and housing items over the years.

So I've decided to honor Free Realms with this article detailing a few things you can do in the game before it's gone forever.

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The Game Archaeologist: The care and feeding of older MMOs

Asheron's Call, Dark Age of Camelot, EverQuest, Guild Wars, Meridian 59, MMO Industry, Opinion, Ultima Online, Vanguard, Free Realms, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous, Sunsets

When an MMO has reached a certain age and dwindled to a certain player population, what do you do with it? Do you put it out to pasture, nurture it, or put it down?

With some of our older graphical MMOs approaching their 20th anniversaries, the question of what studios should do with aging titles is becoming very important. It's not just important for the games in question but as a precedent to the population of games that will one day become just as old.

Lately we've seen different studios act on this topic in a wide variety of ways, all of which I find fascinating. Some of these games have seen tragic ends, while others may be entering into the enjoyable golden years. If nothing else, it's shown me that there isn't just one set answer for this and that some devs are hoping to do the right thing by their companies and their players.

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Doctor Who Worlds in Time shutting down today

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Sunsets

Doctor Who
In case you forgot, there was a Doctor Who pseudo-MMO. We say was because as of today Worlds in Time is shutting down. If this is the first you've heard of it, well, we're sorry.

Field Journal: A strong CoHmmunity

Super-hero, City of Heroes, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Sunsets, MMORPG, Field Journal

It can never be the same, but it can be good.
Last week a package arrived for me, sent by the incomparable Beau Hindman. He had been clearing out some of his old gaming paraphernalia, and when he happened on his old City of Heroes disks, something spurred him to offer them freely to anyone in the team who wanted them. I gratefully accepted. Ever since they arrived, they've dominated my thoughts, despite some highly dramatic events in the time since, weighty and uplifting alike. It's a game that just keeps inspiring acts of generosity and kindness.

I started playing CoH on the very day it went free-to-play, but it struck a chord with me nearly instantly. I soon found it had an amazing community on top of everything the developers were responsible for, and that's when I fell in love. It went from "that old game probably no one plays anymore" to "the best MMO I have ever played" to "the cancellation that broke my heart" in all too short a time. Fortunately, the example set by the incredible community and its determination to carry the torch helped to mend my coronary fractures. As much as there is to learn from all aspects of MMOs, the single most important element will always be community. I can think of no finer example to look to than CoH.

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The Stream Team: Rockin' it out in Free Realms

Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Free Realms, Kids, Livestream, The Stream Team, Sunsets

The Stream Team: Rockin' it out in Free Realms
Massively's Larry Everett and his son Zach want to get some time into Free Realms before it shuts down. Join them at 7:00 p.m. EST as they tour their favorite places and play their favorite minigames in SOE's kid-focused MMORPG. Hop in the game with them if you'd like; maybe they can get a full demolition derby team together!

Game: Free Realms
Host: Larry Everett
Date: Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Lord of Ultima shutting down in May

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, MMORTS, Sunsets

Lord of Ultima shutting down in May
The land of Caledonia will soon be swallowed up by the sea of game closures. On Monday, May 12th at 2:00 a.m. EST, Lord of Ultima services will be stopped permanently. Announcing the closure, the developers of Lord of Ultima thanked players for their continued support over the years. Starting now, the ability to buy Play4Free Funds is disabled, but players who currently have the in-game currency are encouraged to spend it before the shutdown. New account creation has also been disabled; those who are already in the game, however, can continue their quest to be one of the final lords ruling over the land.

[Thanks to all who sent in tips!]

Some Assembly Required: Your home is your castle on Vanguard's Thestra

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Vanguard, Free-to-Play, Some Assembly Required, Housing, Player-Generated Content, Sunsets

Some Assembly Required:  Your home is your castle on Vanguard's Thestra
In a painful twist of fate, this week's scheduled Some Assembly Required wraps up the trilogy on Vanguard: Saga of Heroes housing that began with my first piece for this column highlighting Kojani homes way back in 2011. I say painful because we now know that Vanguard will be closing its doors forever come July 31st. But that leaves us six more months to enjoy what's there, and since we've already seen the oriental homes of Kojan and the desert dwellings of Qalia, it's time to take a tour of Thestra.

The European-flavored continent was the final of the three to visit not because it is somehow less than the other two but because it is more -- as in more land to cover! The main reason I left Thestra for last is because of the sheer size of the continent. The amount of time required to visit just a fraction of the housing settlements scattered throughout this land is daunting. The other reason is that I wanted to end on a bang with my favorite style of guild housing: the castles!

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