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One Shots: Friendship is magic

Screenshots, EVE Online, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Humor, TERA, Miscellaneous

Oh pretty ponies, is there anything you can't do? Any wisdom that you haven't already mastered? Any look that isn't absolutely stunning? Any swish of your tail that doesn't grant wishes? I think not!

I'm sure that reader Michelle agrees with me, since she sent in this picture of her little pony from Star Stable. "It's April Fool's Day," she writes, "and this is my character Lili Wolfwood and her horse Everdream after having clicked on an NPC Bunny. My horse is usually brown and black."

Why do I keep forgetting that there's an entire MMO about horses? Why haven't I done an extensive six-week article series on it yet? While I deal with the shame of neglect, you may proceed on to our other excellent player-submitted screenshots.

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E3 2013: TERA approaches two million players, welcomes pirates [Updated]

Fantasy, Interviews, MMO Industry, Patches, Previews, PvP, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), TERA

E3 2013 TERA's pirates want you for an adventure
With almost two million active registered players (and counting!) in North America, TERA does not seem to be in danger of fading into the background just yet. En Masse used E3 as a platform to trumpet the title's success following its free-to-play conversion as well as TERA's upcoming summer content.

"We're nearing two million people playing the game, which is exciting since we're North America only," an En Masse rep said. This count is certainly higher than the 1.4 million count back in March. The reps said that the game's playerbase is even larger if you factor in the entire world, where TERA has gone free in pretty much every territory it's entered.

With the game's first anniversary in the rear-view mirror, En Masse has turned its attention to bringing out a couple of meaty updates the hot summer months. Avast, ye game lubbers, there be pirates ahead!

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TERA is making alliances in its second year

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, TERA, Anniversaries

Friends don't let friends siege castles alone or something.
You're going to need allies in TERA. The game is looking forward to its second year of operation, and it's kicking off the second year with plenty of reasons to get together with people you like (or at least tolerate). That starts with the Corsairs' Stronghold on July 2nd, which will give groups of 20 players a chance to storm a castle with cannons, airships, and tanks. It's not a battleground limited to just 20 players, however, as even lower-level people get a chance to take part in the festivities with normalized gear.

Players can also expect the new Alliances system to debut in August, meaning that the political system will be reworked entirely to give more player control. There are also quality-of-life improvements due for players of all levels, class adjustments, and several events running through June to keep everyone invested and interested. To sum up, it's going to be an exciting summer in TERA, and like we said above, you're going to need allies.

Free TERA server transfers through June 11

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, TERA

TERA - Pegasus flight
TERA players, be sure you're on your favorite server by June 11th, elsewise you'll have to pay for the privilege of relocating. En Masse has posted a heads-up that its free server transfer promotion is ending at 3:00 p.m. EDT on the 11th, after which time fees of 2,750 EMP (standard players) or 1,650 EMP (elite players) will apply.

The company has also opened up the Lake of Tears and Ascension Valley shards as part of its current transfer offer. More info on all of the rules and restrictions can be found on TERA's website.

Rumor: Bluehole is recruiting for TERA sequel

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Rumors, TERA

Rumor Bluehole is recruiting for TERA sequel
According to respected Korean news source ThisIsGame, Bluehole Studio is looking to add more people to its team for either a sequel to TERA or a whole new MMO entirely.

Some are saying that this will, indeed, be a sequel to TERA, but this has yet to be confirmed by Bluehole, hence the rumor tag. The studio is currently hiring for several positions, including server programmers, UI designers, artists, and more.

[Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!]

One Shots: A light in the dark

Screenshots, EverQuest, Star Trek Online, One Shots, TERA, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter

One Shots A light in the dark
Reader Andrew is quite impressed with the look of Neverwinter, saying that it is visually "amazing!" Without descending into hyperbole, I have to agree. It's a good-looking title with plenty of interesting details if you take the time to stop and smell the corpses.

Corpses? Well, Andrew is standing in the middle of a whole bunch of dead folks here with his spectral flashlight (AA batteries not included). I wouldn't touch that treasure chest if I were you, Andrew. I'm guessing it might be a mimic. Oh no!

As we stumble through the dark, what other visions might we encounter in this week's One Shots?

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One Shots: The dark night dashes

Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, The Secret World, DC Universe Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, Miscellaneous

One Shots The dark night rises
Just because you have passing familiarity with Superman and Batman doesn't mean you know jack about the real superheroes who do all of the dirty work while the headliners steal the signal light. For instance, have you met this guy? If you haven't, let reader Russell make your acquaintance.

"This is my Brawling Juggernaut in DC Universe Online, known by many as Orange Crush," Russell begins with aplomb. "Here he is in pursuit of justice, on the way to laying some Crush down on the villains of our great and beloved Gotham City!"

Will Orange Crush arrive in time? Tune in to the rest of this column after the break!

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TERA celebrates first anniversary, teases future content

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, TERA, Anniversaries

TERA Castanics
Fantasy action MMO TERA turns one year old today, and En Masse is celebrating by throwing a month-long party through the end of May. The firm is awarding players with in-game raffle items, mystery boxes "filled with rare and valuable prizes," and a new 10- and 20-person Kelsaik raid.

TERA's future looks bright, too, as En Masse has a 20v20 battleground update complete with strongholds, tanks, cannons, and airships waiting in the wings. The devs also have a new player-driven alliance system scheduled for the very near future.

Finally, En Masse has put together an anniversary infographic filled with esoterica like the number of accounts created (over 1.5 million), the ratio of male to female avatars (44.18 percent to 55.82 percent), and more. View the full graphic after the cut.

[Source: En Masse press release]

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The Soapbox: Dispelling the 'easy' myth

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, EVE Online, Opinion, DC Universe Online, RIFT, TERA, The Soapbox

The Easy Myth
A few weeks ago, I took a nice long look at World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. Then I wrote about it. My impressions, like most things on the internet, were met with both ardent agreement and defiant protest. Everyone has an opinion, especially when it comes to World of Warcraft -- some people love the game, some people hate it, and some give it a resounding "eh."

I don't mind people disagreeing with me. People react to games differently, and what works for me may not work for you. But there was one specific critique that rose, repeatedly, in the great debate raging in that article's comments section. A critique that, frankly, I cannot abide:

"World of Warcraft is too easy."

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TERA NA surpasses 1.4 million accounts, celebrates with in-game event

Fantasy, Business Models, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, TERA

TERA - This guy is about to fight some Dracoloths
The North American version of TERA has surpassed 1.4 million player accounts according to En Masse.

TERA made the free-to-play switch in February and has since added additional servers, a new dungeon, and a PvP battle arena. En Masse is celebrating its uptick with an in-game event called Dracoloths Rising. From March 20th through March 24th, even bigger big-ass-monsters are roaming the wilds of Arborea and serving as loot pinatas for opportunistic adventurers.

[Source: En Masse press release, also, thanks Ken!]

F2P doubles TERA playerbase

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, TERA

F2P doubles TERA playerbase
While some like to say that switching to free-to-play is the death knell for a game, the opposite sure looks to be true for TERA. Whether it is because of the lure of the action combat model, the graphics, the fact that no content is locked behind a payment gate, or something else entirely, folks have flocked to the fantasy game since it went F2P a month ago. In fact, TERA's playerbase has swelled by over 500,000, doubling the number of registered users to over one million and causing Gameforge to open up six new servers in order to meet the demand.

Will the momentum hold? Only time will tell. But for now, F2P is definitely suiting TERA. For more on the free-to-play conversion, read Massively's exclusive interview with Associate Producer Patrick Sun.

TERA invites new players to power level

Fantasy, Contests, Free-to-Play, TERA, Promotions

TERA invites new players to powerlevel
Have you been waiting for a good reason to check TERA out for the first time? If free-to-play isn't enough incentive, En Masse has created a "No Sleep 'Til 60!" promotion that rewards brand-new players who log in and power-level to the endgame.

The promotion begins tomorrow and is open only to players who do not have a TERA account. By hitting certain milestones, players will accumulate rewards that increase the higher they get. The first tier of prizes begins at level 30 with the best being reserved for those who get to level 60 by March 26th.

The prizes include strongbox keys, XP boosts, reputation boosts, mirrored shades, mounts, and an extra character slot.

One Shots: Standing room only

Screenshots, Vanguard, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, Miscellaneous

One Shots Standing room only
I love Bards and Bard-type classes. Always have, always will. There's something wonderfully against-the-typical-fantasy-grain about them in how they prefer a good solo on a harp to cleaving things in two with axes.

Reader Rebecca sent us in her Bard doing an impromptu woodland concert: "Here my Bard Rozily is strumming a tune in Northern Highlands as the snow begins to drift down. Sometimes in Vanguard you have to stop and enjoy the scenery."

Absolutely! Also, you may want to look into the fact that the lute seems to have severed your forearm. Check out the full picture and so much more after the jump!

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One Shots: Middle-earth cowboys

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, Miscellaneous

One Shots Middleearth cowboys
The recent Riders of Rohan expansion in Lord of the Rings Online has brought out the cowboy and cowgirl in a lot of us. Must be the emphasis on horseback riding over scenic plains while savage attacks are waged on settlements. It's here that we begin our journey through snapshots in MMO life this week.

Reader Binklewyst sets the scene for our first One Shots: "Riding over a low hill on the plains of Rohan, I stopped my warhorse to admire a view of the Faldham fortification. In the distance to the right is the evil Nink-hai warcamp."

Saddle up, pard'ners. The frontier awaits us after the jump!

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Massively Interview: TERA's Patrick Sun on free-to-play

Fantasy, Business Models, Interviews, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Interviews (Massively's), TERA

TERA Combat
Action-MMO TERA officially went free-to-play last week, and with the transition came a number of questions regarding payment tiers, transition plans, and En Masse's vision for the future of the game. Will TERA turn into a "pay-to-win" graveyard, or will it be another shining example of how to do free-to-play just right?

We sat down with associate producer Patrick Sun to find out.

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