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Vindictus

The Soapbox: The death of AAA

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, City of Heroes, EverQuest, Business Models, Culture, Economy, Opinion, Second Life, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Free Realms, Wizard101, Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, Vindictus, The Soapbox

38 Studios picture
Disclaimer: The Soapbox column is entirely the opinion of this week's writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Massively as a whole. If you're afraid of opinions other than your own, you might want to skip this column.

I think we're all pretty familiar with the tragic story of 38 Studios by now. If not, take some time to familiarize yourself with it. Essentially it is a tale of massive dreams, botched plans, and hundreds of job losses. I'm not yet sure exactly what went wrong, but I have a feeling that the lackluster response to the studio's stand-alone title might be to blame on top of the poor performance in the high-end of the company. Either way, I have seen many comments exclaiming the end of the big-budget title or at least more trepidation from governments that feel the need to get into a game (no pun intended) they were unfamiliar with.

If we could take a poll of the several million "AAA" MMO players in North America, it's my bet that most of them simply go from one title to the other. The RIFT players who are now enjoying Star Wars: The Old Republic came from World of Warcraft, and before that (if they played MMOs before WoW) they might have been City of Heroes fans and EverQuest players before that. For a long time, large studios held all of the players. Then, AAA started rolling down the steep hill to where it is now.

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Nexon brings free-to-play offerings to Steam

Business Models, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dungeon Fighter Online, Vindictus

Dungeon Fighter Online - Altar of Infinity
Nexon America, the North American purveyor of Vindictus, Dungeon Fighter Online, and Combat Arms, is bringing these free-to-play titles to Steam. Vindictus is available on Steam starting today, and the other two games will follow later in the month. The games will be available to Steam players in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Steam's appeal as a platform was increased by the addition of free-to-play support in June of last year. Daniel Kim, CEO of Nexon America, says that using Steam for distribution is about making access to games as easy as possible and that "Valve has been a great global partner to Nexon for many years, and this agreement continues the marriage of Nexon's immersive content with Valve's strong distribution channel and large player community."

[Source: Nexon press release]

Vindictus releases Episode 10, now with more dragons

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Events (In-Game), Patches, Free-to-Play, Vindictus

Vindictus releases Episode 10, now with more dragons
It's double-digits patch time, and you know what that means: dragons, and lots of them. Vindictus has released Episode 10 to the public, giving players a trio of challenging dragons to take down. The ice, earth, and black dragons are all raid bosses for top-tier teams to tackle.

The update also includes new metallic inner armor (read: underwear that rusts) and hair styles for the fashionably conscious. Nexon's also included the option for players to pay for a skill reset on most -- but not all -- of the characters in the game.

Vindictus is currently hosting a quiz event in the game. Players are encouraged to take on the Strange Traveler and best him in a game of knowledge for select prizes.

We've got a video of the new dragon fights in Episode 10 after the jump, so if you can't get enough of them scaly uber-lizards, check it out!

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Vindictus EU update features two new raid bosses

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Vindictus

Vindictus - Glas Gobbledegook something or other
This must be the day for sexy MMO news. On the heels of one risque announcement, we have a trailer for the latest Vindictus EU update that features a scantily clad lass named Succubus and a demonic colossal called Glas Ghaibheleann. Succubus is, well, a succubus, and she's also a raid boss who will challenge players like no other.

Except for maybe Glas Ghaibheleann. He's also a raid boss. While he's not quite as attractive as his partner-in-crime, he's equally deadly. Nexon says that the pair will awe players with their appearance and unique abilities. Get a load of the latest Vindictus EU update in the video after the cut.

[Source: Nexon Europe press release]

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Massively's Easter event roundup: 2012 edition

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, EverQuest II, Guild Wars, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Casual, Runes of Magic, Atlantica Online, Vindictus, Dragon Nest, Miscellaneous

Bunnies at church
Whether you're an Easter traditionalist or you simply need an excuse to eat a chocolate bunny, it's that time of year again. It's also time for a few of our favorite MMO devs to don their silly hats and introduce all manner of egg hunts and contests into games like RuneScape, Runes of Magic, and World of Warcraft.

That's just the tip of the Easter event iceberg; you'll find several more festively inclined titles in our roundup after the cut. Before you hop on over, have a look at the two bunnies above and repeat after us: d'awww.

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Vindictus brings out a dragon with accompanying ink

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Vindictus

In any fantasy game, downing a dragon is what you want. Sure, there might be other monsters that are technically stronger, but nothing else has quite the feel of straight-up slaying a dragon. Nexon realizes this, which is why the strongest foe in Vindictus' latest game update, is the massive dragon Elchulus. Players will need to have quite the team to bring down this massive foe, as a full raid of 24 characters at level 40 are required to slay the beast.

The update also adds a lower-level raid for levels 20 and 30 as well as some brand-new tattoos to help signify your battle against the scaly menace. You can buy new tattoos, or you can face off against the new bosses and have a chance at winning one for free. Not quite convinced? Then take a look at the dragon in action just past the break, and see if you don't have a sudden urge to put a flying lizard in its place.

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Vindictus EU update brings new character, terrible foe

Fantasy, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Vindictus

Vindictus
European Vindictus fans, rejoice: Your favorite pillar-swinging brute is now playable. Karok, the newest addition to Vindictus' spread of characters, is a big man with a penchant for beating people up with a huge chunk of architecture that he just happens to carry around. Although he's a slow-moving character, Karok seems built to take some punches, as he's easily the largest playable character seen yet. That huge size and pet pillar come in handy for some new skills like War Slam, Earth Quake, and Pillar Charge.

The update doesn't stop there; a new foe is being thrown into the mix in the form of Thor, a giant thunder-lizard, and players will be richly rewarded for taking him down. Additionally, the Mercenary Surprise Update will bring in new Legendary Weapons. So go! Create yourself as the huge walking force of nature that you've always wished you were, grapple with a multi-mawed lightning-lizard, and drink deeply the rewards of your awesomeness.

[Source: Nexon EU press release]

Vindictus has the beatdown, and so do other players

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Vindictus

Technically, any words are fighting words if you say them right before a fight.  Including 'who wants a hamburger?'
Vindictus has long given players a variety of ways to smash enemy creatures into the ground, and it's had plenty of players. But remarkably, the game has been missing ways to smash those players into the ground, an oversight that the game's new PvP patch is addressing through obvious means. Having just hit the live servers, the new patch allows for a variety of skirmishes between players as well as offers the obligatory rewards for settling disputes like violent, heavily armed men with poor impulse control.

The game offers two options for PvP. Capture the Relic is... well, replace "relic" with "flag" and you probably have a good idea. Monster Brawl, meanwhile, pits two teams against one another with each team fighting alongside a boss monster -- keep your monster alive while killing the other team's beast and you win. Players can also unlock powerful rewards in the form of buff items, a nice incentive for those not already motivated by the simple joy of smashing another player's face in.

Vindictus Europe video shows off new boss, new hero

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Classes, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Vindictus

Vindictus Europe - Thor
The latest Vindictus Europe video has a scary new boss monster on display. Nexon is introducing Thor (no, not that Thor), a giant crocodile-like creature with three mouths and a nasty disposition.

Nexon describes Thor as an "outlaw of the dark and damp underworld," and the trailer shows a cross-section of Vindictus heroes slicing and dicing the new monster using the title's unique action combat mechanics.

While we're on the subject of heroes, the video also teases the latest Vindictus Europe playable character, a giant brawler named Karok. Check out all the gory details after the cut.

[Source: Nexon Europe press release]

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Play three Nexon MMOs, get this car

Fantasy, Contests, Free-to-Play, Dungeon Fighter Online, Giveaways, Vindictus, Dragon Nest, Promotions

Nexon Hat Trick Contest
Did that grab your attention? Nexon is sure hoping it did, as the company is in the throes of its "Get a Hat Trick!" promotion. For the next month and a half, players who dive into Vindictus, Dragon Nest, and Dungeon Fighter Online and get to level 20 in all three games will have a shot at several nice prizes -- including the above 2012 BMW M3. So, in effect, just by playing MMOs, you could be netting yourself one of the sweetest rides in town.

While Nexon has already handed out awards for the third and fourth place winners, there are still prizes left for aspiring gamers. First of all, everyone who gets a hat trick (as defined by achieving level 20 in the above three titles) will be treated to $20 worth of in-game items. Additionally, three players will get an Alienware Aurora desktop computer, and 30 people will win $50 "Karma Koins."

As for the Beemer, the prize will only be unlocked if 30,000 players achieve hat tricks by March 15th -- and even then, only one car will be given away after that. So good luck and may the game be with you!

Vindictus invites players to explore sewers and fight with monsters in newest update

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Vindictus

Fighting... LIKE A BOSS.
Nexon Europe is pushing Vindictus forward with the game's newest update, which brings two large content improvements to the game. Players mostly interested in the PvE side of the game can start investigating Rocheste's sewers, braving dangerous beasts in the hopes of obtaining new treasures and three new armor types. Fortunately, the three characters of the game each receive a new skill to go along with all of the dangerous, hopefully making it just a little easier to tear through whatever lies beneath.

If you'd rather go for the PvP route, however, the update is introducing a new combat mode known as M-Match. It's two teams of players pitted against one another, with the added twist that each side has a boss monster under its control. The first team to take out the opposing team's boss is the winner. The new arena also contains a number of chained boss fights for players to pit themselves against, either one at a time or multiple bosses in sequence, just to reward players who decide to hack their way through greater challenges.

[Source: Nexon Europe press release]

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Pew pew more: A sneak peek at Vindictus' newest archer

Fantasy, Classes, Previews, Free-to-Play, Vindictus

Vindictus
The website Steparu.com has a hands-on preview with the latest character coming to Mabinogi Heroes -- also known as Vindictus to NA and EU players. His name is Kai, and he's a flashy archer with more than a few surprises up his pretty sleeves.

As an archer, Kai's tactics largely revolve around kiting and long-ranged assaults, so keeping one's distance is essential in most fights. Kai can transform his bow into a long or short variant, with the long doing more powerful (but slower) attacks and the short one pew-pewing much quicker at closer range. He can also unleash an attack that hits multiple targets at once, making him ideal for some burst AoE damage.

One of Kai's more unique skills is the ability to place a marker on the battlefield and then quickly grapple his way back to it on a moment's notice. While he's traveling back to his marker, he's immune to all damage, making this a strategic move for pitched fights.

Kai is coming to Mabinogi Heroes in Korea tomorrow, although it will be some time before he lands in the States or Europe.

[Thanks to Justatip for the tip!]

Free for All: The still-satisfying world of action MMOs

Fantasy, Screenshots, Culture, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Browser, Casual, Humor, Free for All, Vindictus, Dragon Nest

Vindictus screenshot
Look, I'm a red-blooded American gamer. I even call it 'Merica. So it should be no surprise when I feel like getting down with a melee-based chop-'em-up or have the desire to leap, jump and bounce my way through countless levels. In other words, action. We 'Mericans love our action games. I have my particular favorites, for sure, and within that list are my favorites of favorites that get the nod for different reasons. Honestly I'm not into action-based games just for the challenge. I don't need to make repeated attempts at downing a boss to have fun. I enjoy the immediate response that an action game gives me. I love to click the mouse button and see my character's sword swing or gun fire. It's satisfying.

Of course, action games can have their drawbacks. Not only do they tend to produce a euphoric haze that can only be described as "stoner glare" and an open-mouthed state of hypnosis, but they can take a toll on delicate, drum-beaten wrists like mine as well. I take the good with the bad, I guess. Click past the cut and I'll let you know my favorite F2P action MMOs.

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Vindictus Europe getting new dungeon content, transformation skill

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Vindictus, Dungeons, Crafting

Vindictus - Evie fighting some monster or other
Nexon Europe is preparing for the biggest Vindictus update of the year. The Cohlen in Flames content package brings fire and brimstone to the online action title in the form of Resenlian's Labyrinth, which Nexon describes as "a deeply intense myriad of twisted, dark corridors and skull-lined murderous dungeons."

New skills are coming too, foremost among them the transformation ability that features both a temporary boost in ability and a permanent (i.e., irreversible) decision to walk the path of the Paladin or that of the Dark Knight.

There's also a new town in the update, and Rocheste features many new characters and side quests as well as the chance to create personal weapons via the new expertise system. Finally, Nexon is raising the level cap to 70, and you can get a glimpse of the update in the Cohlen in Flames and Transformation videos after the break.

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Vindictus EU updates with Lost Artifact episode

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Vindictus

Vindictus - Reverse gravity skill
Vindictus may be a relatively new arrival on the European gaming scene, but Nexon is wasting no time updating the hack-and-slash game with a new episode. The Lost Artifact content pack comes loaded with a level cap increase, new bonus missions, and a new area called the Hilder Forest.

Players will journey to the "icy caverns of Hoarfrost Depths and face fearsome foes," among them various Yeti clans, Formors, and new raid boss monsters. New skills are also the order of the day, and abilities like shield charge and reverse gravity are designed to decimate foes and add a bit of oomph to the game's combat visuals.

Finally, new gameplay styles are coming to the EU client, and Hero Mode bumps up the difficulty level while Gauntlet Mode pits players against their "most dreaded enemies, one right after another." Surviving the gauntlet brings several rewards including a rare title. More info is available at the EU Vindictus website.

If you're an American Vindictus player and all this is sounding a bit familiar, well, it should. The Lost Artifact update went live in the States back in February.

[Source: Nexon press release]

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