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The Daily Grind: Do you report offensive names?

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind

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Shitty names make Eanna cry
I've seen some truly awful player and guild names in ArcheAge recently. A couple of them made me laugh, but most were expressly designed to be as offensive as possible. And given the fact that Trion's customer service is similarly awful (96 to 120 hour response time? really?), said names will probably stick around for a while even if people bother to report them.

And that brings us to today's Daily Grind question. Do you report names, or do you just ignore them and go about your in-game business?

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!

MMO Week in Review: Path of the Titan

Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

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WoW
At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO or WoW Insider story last week, you've come to the right post.

This week, Blizzard made Titan's cancelation official, sending analysts scurrying to make bold statements of doom and/or apathy and leaving MMO fans to ponder what Titan's death really means to our genre.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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EVE Evolved: Features coming in Oceanus and beyond

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Economy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, Previews, PvP, Endgame, News Items, PvE, EVE Evolved, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Crafting, Subscription, MMORPG

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EVE Evolved title image
It's been almost four months since EVE Online switched from publishing two major expansions per year to releasing ten smaller updates, and so far it looks like the new schedule has been a huge success. Rather than forcing the industry overhaul out the door in Kronos before it was ready, CCP was able to push it forward to the Crius release window seven weeks later and the extra development time meant the feature launched in a very polished state. It may be too early to tell if the new schedule's success can be seen in the concurrent player graph for Tranquility, but the numbers have remained steady for the past few months in what is typically the annual low-point for player activity.

The Oceanus update is scheduled to go live in just two day's time, adding several graphical upgrades, more difficult burner missions, an experimental new notification feature, and other small improvements. The scale of the update seems to be on par with the recent Hyperion release, consisting of mostly small features and minor iterations on gameplay. While we're told that CCP is still working on large projects behind the scenes, the new release schedule means they won't be rushed out the door and so we may not see them for some time.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I summarise everything we know about Tuesday's Oceanus update, and take a look at what's to come in further releases.

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Gloria Victis pre-alpha adds recipes, buff system, and potions

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, PvP, News Items

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Latest pre-alpha phase of Gloria Victis added recipes, buff system, potions, and more
Crafters in Gloria Victis got a special treat in the September pre-alpha update for sandbox: The patch added a slew of new new recipes. In addition to collecting over over 500 recipes, players will also recover some of the resources used in crafting attempts. Other updates include a new buff/debuff system, an expanded map with three additional islands, and working potions that can be purchased or looted. Testers will also notice that upon resurrecting, characters will have a small safe zone to protect them at the respawn point.

According to devs, the next things players can look forward to are sailing, an improved UI, and the end of the NDA. You can read up on the full details in the update notes.

WoW Archivist: Bottlenecks

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Bugs, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Humor, Subscription, WoW Archivist

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Gyrocopter jam
WoW Archivist is a biweekly column by WoW Insider's Scott Andrews, who explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold? It first appeared on our sister site on September 24th and is included here by permission.

Wherever thousands of players try to complete on-rails content, bottlenecks are inevitable. For Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard is trying to be proactive about eliminating them. Back in July, CM Zorbrix posted a "targeted feedback request" about bottlenecks in the beta. Given that the introductory experience is completely on rails before the expansion unleashes players into its less structured zones, this is a real concern.

WoW hasn't had the best track record when it comes to bottlenecks. As we help Blizzard loosen the bottlenecks of the future, let's revisit those of the past.

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One Shots: Because who wouldn't want a 12-story-tall killing machine?

Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, RIFT, Vindictus, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar

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wildstar
What does this sight make you think of? Voltron? Pacific Rim? A convenient excuse to wet yourself in front of your fellow soldiers? Thank goodness it's not fully online and operational, or else we'd be facing down a mechanical killing machine that would take a million-person raid to bring down.

"I call this one 'You're Gonna Need a Bigger Bot'," reader Bunglerm00se submitted. "Yes, that is a several-stories-high killer robot, and no, this one doesn't have that cute boy from Sons of Anarchy calling the shots in its brainpan. I was already pre-disposed to liking WildStar, but this is one of the visuals that sealed the deal."

Wait... am I the only one who piddled in my bloomers? C'mon, guys, I thought we were in this together!

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The Daily Grind: Are you happy with the MMO genre at the moment?

Launches, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind

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Now that WildStar, The Elder Scrolls Online, and ArcheAge have gotten their launches out of the way, it's kinda slim pickings for players looking forward to the next big MMO. There really isn't one in the pipeline unless you count Warlords of Draenor. And I'm not counting it because it's an expansion and it's more of the same old Blizzard.

The MMO genre we've got today is basically the MMO genre we're going to have for the next little while, barring some out-of-nowhere new game announcement. So, how do you feel about that? Are you happy with the MMO genre at the moment? Why or why not?

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!

Make My MMO: September 21 - 27, 2014

Betas, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Make My MMO

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As usual in the Kickstarter corner of the MMO industry, this week saw ups and downs for hopeful MMOs. Trials of Ascension hit its $60,000 crowndfund goal, Star Citizen broke $54,000,000 (count those zeroes, folks!), and Camelot Unchained got a new website. Yay! But TUG laid off half its staff, Pathfinder Online's early enrollment has been delayed until almost Halloween, and Project Gorgon's Kickstarter campaign has fallen short of its $100,000 goal. Boo! Bringing balance to the universe is Shroud of the Avatar, which was successfully Steam greenlit but has resorted to enticing testers with digital hats.

Read on for our complete MMO crowdfunding roundup in this week's edition of Make My MMO.

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Perfect Ten: What Titan's death means for the industry and you

World of Warcraft, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Opinion, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Diablo III, Hearthstone

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titan
Blizzard's fans are in mourning this weekend and its competition is no doubt rejoicing after the World of Warcraft developer finally cancelled its seven-years-in-the-making Titan MMO. Word on the street is that Titan was a little too similar to what Bungie came up with in Destiny, although all the studio itself will say is that it ultimately wasn't fun.

So Titan joins Starcraft Ghost and Warcraft Adventures in the Blizzard graveyard. It's a loss for those who were hoping to see what Blizz could do outside of World of Warcraft in the MMO space. But what does this cancellation mean for Blizzard, the industry, and us as MMO gamers? I have a few thoughts, although I'll pre-empt them by predicting that your life will most likely go on just the same it did before this momentous announcement.

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The Stream Team: Playing a Dragonborn in Neverwinter

Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Races, Livestream, Neverwinter, The Stream Team

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The Stream Team: Playing a Dragonborn in Neverwinter
Massively's MJ now has access to the newest race to join Neverwinter. Look out, world; here comes another Dragonborn! As a lover of pretty much all things dragon, MJ can't wait to see what kind of Dragonborn character she can create. And because she's rolling a new character, this is a perfect time for you to join in the adventures as well! Hop into game and join live at 1:00 p.m. to check out character creation and then dive into the action.

Game: Neverwinter
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, September 27th, 2014
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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WRUP: The gods have disconnected you

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

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ArcheAge
Welcome back to Massively's What Are You Playing, the game in which we tell you what we're playing this weekend and you tell us... actually, what are you doing typing here? Your five-minute ArcheAge timer is up, and you're about to get booted for idling.

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The Daily Grind: How many button presses should it take to kill a mob?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

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tsw
MJ and I were talking while playing The Secret World the other day about the game's legendary fight length. Well, at least I consider fights in this MMO as taking longer than normal. I told her that generally if a standard, level-even mob isn't dead by a rotation-and-a-half of my skills, or about eight button presses, then it begins to irk me.

Now it definitely depends on the mob strength and situation, but I don't want to be pounding 30 keys and sitting there for two minutes before a critter drops. However, saying that got me wondering what you all consider as a normal, acceptable number of button presses (or skills used) per fight. What do you think?

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!

Betawatch: September 20 - 26, 2014

Betas, Business Models, Launches, MMO Industry, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

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Trove
Trion Worlds ended Trove's alpha yesterday... and soft-launched its paid beta (complete with a brand-new class) in its place. Beta, mind you, will not be wiped again, but you've still got to pony up for a starter pack of one flavor or another to access it. What else is new in the land of MMO testing this week? Read on for the complete Betawatch roundup.

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How graphics will help H1Z1 set a creepy mood

Historical, Horror, Trailers, Video, Interviews, Previews, PvP, News Items, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, H1Z1

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H1Z1
Do you care a whole lot about graphical fidelity when you're running away from shooting zombies in the face with a sawed-off shotgun? Fabulous; we have just the video for you. SOE has just posted a Q&A video featuring H1Z1 Art Director Bill Yeatts, who fields player-submitted questions about the upcoming zombie-survival-sandbox's graphics. Yeatts explains how SOE chose H1Z1's art style, how that art style will evolve as early access approaches, and just how he plans to make the game look and feel really scary (obviously, a zombie plague isn't terrifying enough).

Enjoy the dev spotlight below.

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Trials of Ascension will include playable dragons

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Races, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

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toa
Pay attention, students: Trials of Ascension is coming up to the head of the class to give a progress report. Don't be timid, fledgling game. We're all listening.

First of all, Trials of Ascension has hit its $60,000 crowdfunding goal. This means that Forged Chaos will be including a playable dragon race at launch, so prepare your Dragonheart names now.

And in a new progress video, Trials of Ascension showed off its new dynamic spawning tech for mobs and plants, its resource gathering system, improvements to combat with full-body animations, items that persist when dropped in the game world, and a naming and chat system that won't automatically identify strangers. There's more to it than that, of course, so check out the full progress video after the break.

[Source: Forged Chaos press release; thanks to Azrile for the tip!]

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Camelot Unchained celebrates new website and forums

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, Community Q&A, Dev Diaries, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

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cu
Camelot Unchained is now boasting a shiny new website and player forums, according to the game's second newsletter.

That's only the tip of the wordy newsletter. A brief community question and answer section addresses a few in-game topics, such as boat travel and caravan details. Then it dives right into a treatise on world game design and how the team is still attempting to figure out how large Camelot Unchained's landmass should be and how quickly players will be able to traverse it.

"In our case, we are making what is essentially a medieval fantasy war game conquest map, which means things like territory and resource control, logistics, and force projection are extremely important considerations, but things like good quest flow are less so," the team said.

The art department also piped up to say that it's working on the Tuatha Dé Danann race, the Arthurian Storm Rider, and pre-alpha testing support.

Path of Exile boasts 7 million registrations, 154k peak concurrency

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Not So Massively, Path of Exile

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PoE
New Zealand studio Grinding Gear Games has announced today that Path of Exile's Taiwanese release and second expansion have pushed to the game to seven million total registered players. The studio claims that Forsaken Masters, August's expansion, has been "extremely well-received" and led to a peak of 154,000 concurrent players.

A new patch for the F2P OARPG will deploy early next week; it is expected to include new cosmetic pets, tweaks to missions and skills, and new maps designed by supporters.

The Stream Team: Visiting ArcheAge's Forbidden Shore

Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, The Stream Team

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ArcheAge certainly has a variety of things players can do. Last week Massively's MJ and some of the Minions went across the sea to nab some wolf combat pets. This week, MJ is going to poke through an interesting place she noticed during a ship voyage along the coast near Austera. What could possibly go wrong at a cove called Forbidden Shore? Maybe she'll even get some treasure hunting in -- assuming she can find a bigger boat to ride than her rowboat! Want to be a part of the adventure? Join us live at 3:00 p.m. on Tahyang for some exploration and possibly a bit of profit, too.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, September 26th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Captain's Log Supplemental: Exploring the art design of Star Trek Online's Delta Rising races

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Captain's Log, Subscription

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It's like the Yamato, only in a series I like.
If you asked me about my favorite antagonistic race through all of Voyager's seven-year run, my answer wouldn't have been any of the regular suspects. It would have been the Vaadwaur, and not just because of their funky appearance; the race really twisted the usual formula of a Star Trek one-off villain, and besides that, they had a culture that hinted at something very unusual in the show. I was kind of sad that they never showed up again after their one episode.

Obviously, I was happy to see one of my favorite races get the upgrade treatment in Star Trek Online. But that poses a problem just the same because it's not as if the producers on the show detailed dozens of ship classes and a huge amount of culture for a race that showed up for 50 minutes. I chatted with art director Brad Stokan about bringing these smaller races of Star Trek into a fully fleshed-out form in Star Trek Online, discussing both the Vaadwaur and the Kobali and how his team took a one-off guest appearance and made a full race out of it.

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WoW's final Lords of War video is not about an Orc

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Video, Culture, Lore, News Items, Subscription

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WoW
The fifth and final entry in World of Warcraft's Lords of War video series has arrived, and if you're tired of Orclords of Orcnor, then rejoice because this one is about a Draenei: Vindicator Maraad, the narrator of the series. On the downside, Maraad's backstory is still mostly about Orcs; he's Garona Halforcen's uncle, for example. On the upside, his backstory also involves a lot of killing of Orcs. So there's that.

The full video is below.

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Release Dates

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ArcheAge September 16, 2014
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Warlords of Draenor November 13, 2014

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