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Pathfinder details corpse looting and more

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Pathfinder Online

GoblinWorks CEO Ryan Dancey has published a new blog post touching on today's Pathfinder early enrollment release.

Version two of the fantasy sandbox adds player husks, which is another way of saying lootable corpses. "The extent of your losses will be related to how quickly you are able to return to the site of your husk and if you are able to recover the inventory that remains on the husk before others are able to take all of its contents or its timer expires," Dancey writes.

There's a bit more to the update, but you'll need to click through to the GoblinWorks website to read it!

RuneScape opens RuneLabs for player suggestions

Fantasy, Video, Culture, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Sandbox

If you have a terrific idea that you'd like to get implemented into an MMO, then RuneScape's your best bet these days. The ever-creative MMO recently launched RuneLabs as a formal structured suggestion process that will take the best player ideas and make them an in-game feature.

RuneLabs works like this: Players will make a pitch to that month's studio-assigned criteria. If it gets enough community support, it will be reviewed by Jagex and (barring a studio veto) voted on by fellow players. The winner of the poll will go from concept to reality.

You can watch an amusing video explaining RuneLabs after the break!

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Skyforge unveils the Gunner

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Classes, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Skyforge

Mmm, what you say, ooh, that you only meant well, well of course you did
The Beatles once opined that happiness is a warm gun. Skyforge's Gunner class has a warm gun that also transforms into different modes and allows the class to call down orbital strikes, so one can only conclude that it is a very happy class indeed. Its opponents are somewhat less so. You can see the class in action in the video just past the break, or you can read through the reveal page to get a better idea of how this multi-mode class will play.

The cannon has three main modes as well as a variety of sub-firing options, allowing gunners to mow down targets at long range with missile barrages or take out hardened targets with bursts of plasma. Since it's meant to stay at range, the class also sports a variety of defensive tricks like teleporting back and forth. It's exactly the sort of class for you if you like having a big gun, even more so if you want that big gun to shoot all sorts of different stuff.

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DDO trumpets the start of its Winter Games

Fantasy, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play

Just because we're in the heart of winter in the northern hemisphere doesn't mean that we can't enjoy snow-themed festivities! That's the attitude of Dungeons and Dragons Online, which has started a slew of activities under its Winter Games umbrella.

For starters, there's the Midwinter Festival in the Forgotten Realms which includes speed skating, snowflake collecting, and vole smashing. Meanwhile in Eberron, the ever-popular Risia Ice Games are back with more ice sliding action. Then there's an ice skating rink in the harbor, an ice jump off a cliff, and a frozen half-pipe in the Bogwater Tavern. Participation in all of these activities will not only result in embarassing fun, but rewards from the various tokens won.

Here's a 23-minute Elder Scrolls Online 'supercut' CG trailer

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, MMO Industry, News Items, The Elder Scrolls Online

ZeniMax has released a 23-minute "supercut" of its Elder Scrolls Online trailer series. The firm says that the CG production was "over a year in the making," and the final bit -- dubbed The Confrontation -- brings the battle for Imperial City to an end and reveals "a new and horrific threat to Tamriel."

Click past the cut to have a look.

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World of Warcraft player hits 100th level 100

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, News Items, Subscription

And then comes the realization.
Do you like playing World of Warcraft? Would you like to play a thousand levels of World of Warcraft? Because the player known as Watola did just that. Watola has 100 characters at level 100, a project that started during the exceptionally long twilight of Mists of Pandaria. With 20 characters already at the level cap back then, another 80 apparently seemed like a doable project, which started a cycle of very efficient leveling and copious use of recruit-a-friend tricks.

The method outlined on the the forums involves essentially rotating through full rest state on various characters and having a set plan of attack, along with using tank characters via recruit-a-friend to ensure that queues for dungeons are more straightforward. If you'd like to do the same, it's still perfectly functional now, although you'll have to do so knowing full well that you can never have a world-first level 1,000. (That seems a fair nod for the achievement.)

The Stream Team: Peeking into H1Z1's PvE server

Betas, Video, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, H1Z1

When the servers were finally sorted last weekend, Massively's MJ was able to bring you a first look at H1Z1's early access on one of the many PvP servers. But folks have been asking to see the world on the PvE server, so she's diving back into the sandbox and facing death at the hands of zombies, bears, wolves, and any really peeved deer. Oh, and let's not forget starvation! Will MJ find friends as she did in the first part of her PvP journey, or will folks be more like those near the end? Join us live at 1:00 p.m. to see.

Game: H1Z1
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, January 22nd, 2015
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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WildStar explores the design of Veteran Shiphand missions

Sci-Fi, Patches, Previews, Endgame, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Better late than never, although better earlier than now.
Veteran Shiphand missions are coming to WildStar, and that's great, but their design also posed a lot of unique challenges to the design team. Those challenges are outlined in the game's most recent development diary, starting with a core set of assumptions that had to be true for these missions: They had to remain scalable, they had to still be soloable, and they had to offer appropriate rewards. This meant making challenging combat that could scale up or down for party sizes and didn't require tanks, healers, or pre-made groups.

To settle nicely into the gap between other solo content and Veteran Adventures, the Shiphand missions reward Renown even for solo play, as well as various appropriate bells and whistles for higher medal performance. Renown vendors will soon sell variety of gear as well as social items to ensure that playing through feels rewarding. Veteran difficulty will also offer remixed elements of the missions to give players a taste of something novel even if they've been through the base mission before. If you've been looking for more scaling content in the game, this one's for you.

Perfect Ten: My mobile MMO experiment, part 2

Fantasy, Mobile, Hands-On, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

hello hero
Last week on Perfect Ten I began an experiment to "taste test" a batch of mobile MMOs to see if there's anything out there that's worth playing in this day and age (apart from the often-recommended Order & Chaos Online and Spacetime Studio's lineup). For the record, I would absolutely love a great mobile online RPG, but it would need to be a game that's tailored to such devices and offers a compelling experience beyond trying to clone a generic MMO.

Let me sum up my adventures so far: While I did discover a couple of interesting titles, there was nothing in the first five games that made me want to keep them on my smartphone. Let's hope that this week's group brings out the big guns because I will be despondent if this experiment is in vain!

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Raph Koster is collaborating on Crowfall [Updated with video]

Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, Crowfall

Does it have your attention NOW
So here's a funny story: Yesterday, the Massively writers were shooting the breeze in team chat when the subject of sandbox devs who were not also closet-gankers came up. "When do you think Raph Koster will finally make a new sandbox?" I asked, half kidding and half wistful. "Never," Jef answered. Then we commiserated for a bit.

It turns out we were remarkably prescient because that day is... today. ArtCraft, the studio working on the nebulous PvP MMO Crowfall, announced today that Koster, the backbone of sandbox legends Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies, has been collaborating with the Crowfall team on the game's design for a year already as a "formal advisor and design consultant."

"Raph and I have been working together for about a year on the design architecture for Crowfall," ArtCraft's J. Todd Coleman wrote. "At the heart of this game, we have two core systems: dynamic territorial conquest and a player-driven economy. Marrying these two concepts is the holy grail of MMO development, and Raph is arguably the best person in the world to help us solve this puzzle."

Koster gets a blurb of his own in the PR: "There isn't anything on the market like Crowfall, and it has been a long time since some of these design ideas were explored. There's a very specific audience out there waiting for a game like this -- the conflict, the real economy -- that has been looking for new steps beyond the games of ten years ago."

Your move, MMO genre.

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ArcheAge patches in Divine Gifts and land expansion certs today

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Subscription

Not that you can always expand the land you're on, see.
Following today's ArcheAge patch you'll want to keep a close eye on the bottom left of the game's UI. You'll see a little icon light up to indicate that you have a new gift awaiting you, and then... you get free stuff. That's it. That's all you have to do. The newest patch will offer these Divine Gifts to players regularly, allowing you to open as many as 10 in a given day for rewards like Lunarites, bonus food, and Hereafter Stones.

Players will also be able to craft land expansion certificates (which will also be available from the Marketplace in a future update) and larger storage chests. That's in addition to new rewards for maxing skill trees and new portals leading directly to Serpentis and the Sea of Drowned Love. Whatever your focus is in ArcheAge, you'll have plenty of opportunity to take part in it when today's patch goes live.

PAX South 2015: Jennifer Hale will host Guild Wars 2 panel, herald 75% off sale

Business Models, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Events (Massively's Coverage), Community Q&A, Promotions, Buy-to-Play

So you already knew about Guild Wars 2's big event at PAX South this Saturday, the Point of No Return panel, which has players crossing their fingers for an expansion announcement. If you can't go in person, you can watch the whole shebang on Twitch for the low, low price of nothing. And that deal just got even sweeter, as ArenaNet has just declared this morning that gaming icon and voice actress Jennifer Hale, known to GW2 fans as the voice of Queen Jennah and to everyone else as the voice of approximately eight million other characters, will be hosting the livestream.

Meanwhile, the studio has vowed to slash the price of the buy-to-play MMO to $9.99 on Saturday and Sunday in honor of the hoopla, marking the biggest sale for the game it's held to date. Characters in-game will be showered with sales on boosters and a free double-experience bonus that lasts all weekend.

Massively GW2 expert Anatoli Ingram speculated about the possible expansion and analyzed the final season 2 episode in his most recent columns.

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The Daily Grind: Will you play Elder Scrolls Online once it's B2P?

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, The Elder Scrolls Online, Buy-to-Play

Yesterday's news that The Elder Scrolls Online is going buy-to-play in time for its console launch surprised... well, not many of Massively's readers. You pretty much saw it coming. Some folks around here said this move was a certainty even before launch and consequently refused to buy it, deciding that patience would pay off. (And it did!)

But what about now? I admit I'm much more tempted by a game that isn't charging an unwarranted fee and isn't abusing a cash shop. B2P is a great model for gamers, especially when they avoid lockbox crap (yay!). How about you? If you didn't play ESO when it launched last April, will you give it a try in March when it's down to just a box fee, a mild cash shop, and more traditional DLC?

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!

Forsaken World's Freedom Falls expansion coming February 4

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items

Forsaken World's upcoming expansion is called Freedom Falls. When, exactly, is it upcoming? That would be February 4th, according to a Perfect World press release.

Said release also tells us that Freedom Falls features a new playable race and class as well as a new high-level progression path called Apotheosis which allows players to "join the ranks of the gods of Forsaken World." New zones include the Land of Origination and the Polar Borderlands region.

[Source: Perfect World press release]

The Stream Team: Landmark beginner tutorial, the third -- building with starter templates

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

We've already seen character creation, combat, and cave-diving, so what's that leave? Claims! In this third installment of the Landmark beta starter tutorials, Massively's MJ dives into building side of the sandbox using the provided starter templates. Can someone just starting the game create much in his or her first hours of play? Join us at 8:00 p.m. and see all the possibilities for yourself.

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Guild Wars 2 player redesigns ANet's UI

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2

A Guild Wars 2 player who goes by the name of Amax on the official forums has redesigned the game's UI to correct "some flaws in the game's user experience."

Changes include the character panel, the guild tab, the LFG panel, the story journal, and the addition of a lore journal. You can peruse a 28-page PDF complete with design notes and logic or check out a JPG screenshot showing off the concept just past the break.

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Firefall is prepping an all-new crafting system

Sci-Fi, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries, Crafting, Firefall

Good news for those disillusioned with the state of crafting in Firefall: Red 5 is preparing an "all-new crafting system" to replace the current setup. New crafting dev Gortok spoke a little to this on the forums over the past month, saying that as a person who's designed four such systems for MMOs, he finds Firefall's crafting both pointless and grindy.

Fortunately, Gortok has ideas to make it all much, much better: "It will take some time, and my plan is to actually rip out the existing recipes and research, replace the entire thing from scratch, and implement an entirely new system for the actual act of crafting. There are a lot of great things that we lost, and I want to bring some of those feelings back without the complication and confusion"

Some of the changes include restructuring research, consolidating recipes, crafting in batches, and making thumping "more desirable" again.

[Thanks to Eri for the tip!]

Crowfall creative director: Game is not for everyone

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

ArtCraft's head honchos have posted a two-pronged dev update on the Crowfall forums. Executive producer Gordon Walton says that work on the title has been ongoing for six months, and the studio currently employs 17 full-timers.

Creative director J. Todd Coleman says that Crowfall is about to cross the 20,000 registered players threshold, which he calls "staggering" and "completely humbling." He also says that beginning tomorrow, the team will be ramping up details and information drops, some of which will lead people to the conclusion that "this isn't the game for them."

"This game won't be for everyone, and we're OK with that" Coleman writes. "We've done big, mass-market games before. With Crowfall, we wanted to make something different."

New World of Speed trailer invites you to race the world

Real-Life, Trailers, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Races

World of Speed's latest trailer is out, and aside from a few briefing passing shots, there aren't many cars to be found in the clip's two-minute-and-20-second running time. What gives? Slightly Mad and My.com are showing off the game's globe-spanning locales. You'll be racing in the UK, the USA, Russia, France, Monaco, Australia, Belgium, and Germany.

See for yourself after the cut.

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Leaderboard: Is time or money more of a hindrance to your MMO habits?

Business Models, MMO Industry, Opinion, Leaderboard, The Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online's forthcoming buy-to-play conversion is a hot topic at the moment, but sadly it doesn't do much for me on a personal level. Even if I hadn't already played and enjoyed ESO for a significant chunk of 2014, I don't have the time for another grindpark, however well made it may be and however well it scratches my IP-related itches. But hey, maybe I'll have time at some point in 2015. I hope so!

What about you, Massively readers? Is time or money more of a hindrance when it comes to your personal MMO habits? 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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The Stream Team

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PAX South Jan. 23, 2015
GDC March 2, 2015
PAX East March 6, 2015
EVE Fanfest March 19, 2015
FFXIV: Heavensward Spring 2015
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DragonCon Fall, 2015
BlizzCon Fall, 2015

Meet the Team

Brianna Royce Editor-in-Chief
Jef Reahard Managing Editor
Justin Olivetti Contributing Editor
Eliot Lefebvre Contributing Editor
MJ Guthrie Contributing Editor
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Anatoli Ingram Columnist
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Latest episode: Tuesday, January 6th, 2015





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