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The Stream Team: It's so hard to choose just one in Marvel Heroes

Super-hero, Video, Classes, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Marvel Heroes, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team

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The indecision is getting worse with this one! Marvel Heroes has so many cool superheroes -- from Guardians of the Galaxy to X-Men to the Fantastic Four, and more -- and Massively's MJ is having a harder and harder time picking which to play! But soon that indecision may come to an end, as her all-time favorite is on her way: Rogue. Until then, MJ still has time to play around with the rest of the lineup. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. for more XP-explosive adventures during Operation Omega as either Storm, or Rocket Raccoon, or Silver Surfer, or Psylocke, or...

Game: Marvel Heroes
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Monday, August 25th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Guild Wars 2 improving megaserver guilds in September

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Patches, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

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You'll have to come up with a whole new set of excuses for not joining guilds now.
Another feature pack is rolling out for Guild Wars 2 in September, and it's bringing improvements to guild functions along with it. It's starting with the rollout of global guilds, allowing the resources earned by a given guild on all worlds to feed into the same central group, rather than creating small-scale copies of the guild on every individual world. That includes guild vaults, guild merits, and guild influence, all of which will be pooled with the feature pack update.

Guild missions and finding allies on different maps will also receive improvements, making it easier to take care of objectives with your friends across the globe. The official post also discusses the language divisions found on European servers, with the team electing not to split players based upon language at this time to bolster population. Read the full update for more details on how the changes will affect guilds and players when the patch goes live in September.

Black Desert getting naval transportation, combat

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Black Desert

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Yes, I'm aware this isn't a picture of a BD boat, you try and find one
Fan site BlackDesert.com spoke to representatives from Pearl Abyss and Daum Communications at Gamescom. The resulting interview is worth a read, and it mentions that Black Desert will in fact be getting some sort of naval system.

"Yes naval transportation and combat will be present in Black Desert Online," said Daum's Park Yoo Jin. "Players will be able to control boats and ships and depending on the kind of naval unit, there will be the possibility to board it with more than one person."

Pearl Abyss had previously announced that it was adding naval combat at this year's E3, but thus far the systems have not been made available during Black Desert's Korea beta tests.

The Nexus Telegraph: Habits that WildStar should keep

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Opinion, WildStar, The Nexus Telegraph, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

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It's time for another round of Good Idea, Bad Idea.
Last time around in this column, I talked about the stuff that WildStar desperately needs to get out of its system, and quickly. I'm pleased with it. With the scaling-back of the update pace and some changes that I expect to be coming, I'm hopeful on that front. (Incidentally, if someone has a link to an actual promise of monthly updates from Carbine Studios, pass that along, since I don't think anyone ever actually promised it so much as just wound up doing it.)

So why am I still playing the game? Because it's got a lot to recommend it despite those failings. These are not bad habits that the game needs to kick but things that the development team should arguably double down on. They're arguably the best parts about the game and certain what makes it stand out the most. So in direct counterpoint to last week's article, here are the things that WildStar should keep doing.

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Lord of the Rings Online fans clean up old models

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, Subscription

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We don't look that old, do we?  Like... medium-old.  Distinguished.
Lord of the Rings Online has been running for quite a while, and while it's not an ugly game its graphics are getting a bit long in the tooth. That's no one's fault, really, just the march of time making itself known. One fan has taken up the challenge of seeing what can be done with a bit of adjustment and retexturing, and the results are available on Reddit for fans to admire.

The "new" models all have the same technical specifications as the models currently in the game, but have simply been adjusted and had their textures improved. Currently five of the models have been done -- male and female elves, male and female hobbits, and female humans. You can browse through to see how the updated geometry looks, although there's no way to put these models in the game at the moment.

[Thanks to Emilia for the tip!]

Here are some tips for The Crew's closed beta

Betas, Real-Life, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Buy-to-Play

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The Crew's second closed beta starts today for PC players, and Ubisoft has published a list of helpful tips designed to ease you into its open-world racing MMO. You'll find everything from keyboard and controller layouts to detailed instructions for equipping your cars and building a crew of friends on the title's website.

You might also want to check out Ubisoft's closed beta walkthrough video. It was originally published in July, but it still applies to the current test. You can view it after the break.

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SOE Live 2014: More on Landmark's islands and combat

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, PvP, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Player-Generated Content, Landmark

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I think there's a consensus that you can never get too much information about Landmark, and the devs at SOE Live certainly delivered more juicy details about the game's islands and its upcoming combat system. For instance, did you know that Franchise Director Dave Georgeson revealed this little fun fact for RP: All the player characters in Landmark are actually from somewhere else and were just placed on these islands. How or why, Georgeson didn't say! We've got a slew of other tidbits for you here, everything from island rulesets to the use of grappling hooks in PvP to more info on the game master system. And that's just the beginning!

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The Daily Grind: Which ArcheAge Firran do you prefer?

Betas, Fantasy, Culture, The Daily Grind, Races, ArcheAge, Sandbox

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I've been poking about in ArcheAge recently, but it's nothing too serious until Trion announces a launch date (or at the very least, a no-wipe date). I'm still trying to figure out a main, and all four races have something to recommend them. The Elves are probably my least favorite, followed by the humans. The Firran are slick, but to be frank I preferred them before they were westernized or whatever you call it.

What about you, Massively readers. Do you prefer ArcheAge's earlier feline folk or the new models?

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: At home in a galaxy far, far away

Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

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SWTOR
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.

You may not be able to play Uncle Owen on your very own moisture farm in Star Wars: The Old Republic, but you can come pretty darn close in the Galactic Strongholds expansion, which added housing to the game when it launched for subscribers earlier this week.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories, including more of our SOE Live coverage.

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Quests, Elves, and Dwarves coming soon to Pathfinder Online

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Races, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Pathfinder Online

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pathfinder online
Pathfinder Online's alpha is growing by leaps and bounds as evidenced by two upcoming builds that will take shape over the next few weeks. In them, the devs are adding in essential systems like questing along with new races.

With next week's alpha 7 build, questing and companies will be introduced into the game as will possible new terrain types. Then when alpha 8 comes along, the sandbox MMO will make the jump to its early enrollment servers. This update will also include Elves, Dwarves, a graphical upgrade, expendables, storage, auction houses, banks, and more terrain options.

Part of the purpose of these new builds is to conduct what the devs are calling a "cold start" to see how players advance when they begin with nothing but a club and the clothes on their back. "Everything your character possesses and every ability your character learns after that point will be totally dependent on how you choose to play the game," the devs posted.

[Thanks to Chrysillis for the tip!]

Hackers' bomb threat allegedly reroutes SOE's president's plane

Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Legal, Miscellaneous

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Smed
Hackers who implicated themselves in this weekend's PlayStation Network outage have apparently stepped up their attacks on Sony with a casual bomb threat made over Twitter that may have diverted a plane carrying SOE president John Smedley. In addition to tweeting several mocking threats about the flight as well as an image purporting to be Smed's e-ticket, the hacker account sent this message to American Airlines:
.@AmericanAir We have been receiving reports that @j_smedley's plane #362 from DFW to SAN has explosives on-board, please look into this.
Smed tweeted earlier today that his plane had been rerouted to Phoenix over "security reasons." Local news stations report that the FBI is investigating the threats.

[Developing]

SOE Live 2014: Discussing EQN and Landmark music with Jeremy Soule

Fantasy, Interviews, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Music, Landmark

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Who wouldn't want to talk with Jeremy Soule? This composer has brought to life myriad games through his music, both single-players and MMOs alike (even a number of zombie games!). Luckily for Norrathian fans, his attention is now focused solely on EverQuest Next and Landmark, where the worlds are shaping his music while his music, in turn, helps shape those worlds. I had the opportunity to sit down with Soule at SOE Live to discuss the new combat piece revealed during the keynote and delve into his inspirations for the upcoming games' musical scores. He also shared a bit about the composition method he is developing.

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Stick and Rudder: Star Citizen is standing on the shoulders of genre giants

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

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It's confession time, folks. My Star Citizen fandom has been on the fritz. It's not that I'm less enamored with Cloud Imperium's sci-fi sandbox opus; it's just that the interminable waiting coupled with a pretty severe case of themepark MMO burnout (help me, ArcheAge, you're my only hope) has conspired to foul my gaming mood of late.

Fortunately, CIG read my mind and pulled me back in with its gangbusters Gamescom reveals.

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Two senior staff members depart from ArenaNet

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

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There may be a few last accusations about who did or did not refill the coffee pot.
ArenaNet is going to be down two staff members in the very near future. Community Team Leader Martin Kerstein and UI Lead Kate Welch are both leaving the company; Welch's final day with the developer is September 4th, while Kerstein has apparently already departed. Both of their farewell letters speak highly of the team and give no cause for the departures, and neither yet has any announcements of future plans.

Both Welch and Kerstein have been working on Guild Wars 2 since before its launch. These departures come directly on the heels of the conclusion of the game's second season of living story updates.

[Thanks to Sharvis for the tip!]

One Shots: [Epic Pants]

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, One Shots, The Secret World, Miscellaneous, WildStar, Firefall

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firefall
If you've never truly appreciated a good pair of pants, then you've never been a video gamer who's had a character in severe want of some. Today, we're able to bring you a story that will make you tear up when you hear about one player who got what we've all wanted.

"After downloading the massive pre-launch Firefall update, I logged in to find that my Engineer looked different somehow: more self assured, more confident," reader Ralph the Wonder Llama wrote. "You see, all through beta my engineer had been getting by with just one 'pant.' While the other players used to run around looking all comfy in their full pair of pants, my poor Engineer had to make do wearing just one. But no more! No more sleepless nights wondering where her other pant had gone! No more Chosen snickering at her for showing up to battle half-dressed! My Engineer can finally hold her head high! She has... PANTS!"

Pass me a hankie, that was beautiful. To see the pants in their full-color glory, all you need to do is stop sobbing for a minute to click that button.

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The Daily Grind: Which IP(s) would you not want made into an MMO?

Sci-Fi, Culture, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

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I'm not sure what to make of this Seldon Crisis thing. It's inspired by Asimov, according to the announcement press release, but I'm having a hard time seeing how something like Foundation will translate, however loosely, to MMO gameplay.

Maybe it will and maybe it won't, or maybe the Asimov connection is tenuous and a marketing ploy for what's really the same old PvP game. We'll find out, I guess. It got me to thinking about other potential MMO IPs, though. We've asked before what IPs you'd like to see made into an MMO, so today let's turn that around. Which IPs would you not want to see made into an MMO? And 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: August 17 - August 23, 2014

Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Crowdfunding, Make My MMO

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This week was a busy one in MMO crowdfunding circles. We heard from frequent newsmakers like Elite: Dangerous, Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Camelot Unchained, and even Pantheon. We also learned of a new Asimov-inspired sandbox called Seldon Crisis that's gearing up for a Kickstarter campaign next month. Finally, Stash launched a Kickstarter drive for a game it claims will "re-imagine the MMO genre."

Click past the cut for our weekly crowdfunding roundup.

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Old School RuneScape temporarily changes death penalty due to DDoS attacks

Fantasy, Bugs, MMO Industry, PvP, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

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runescape
The brutal DDoS attacks that have hit RuneScape over the past week have caused the developers of the 2007-era edition to rework death mechanics until the threat has passed. This "temporary change" to death mechanics allow players a half-hour to see and retrieve their items outside of PvP combat; in PvP, the penalties stay as is.

"Even with this change, we would strongly suggest that you do not partake in dangerous or high-risk content such as PvP or high level PvM, and as always, don't risk anything you're not prepared to lose whilst these network issues are ongoing," the devs cautioned.

Marvel Heroes now featuring Operation Omega

Super-hero, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes

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Operation Omega is going on right now in Marvel Heroes. In fact, it's a week-long event that started yesterday, so it will be going on for some time. It features 24 percent server-wide boosts to XP, SIF, and RIF as well as harder enemies and more loot. Oh, and don't forget to collect those Omega access files and trade them in to Dum Dum Dugan for exclusive items and artifacts!

WildStar elaborates on change to update cadence

Sci-Fi, Patches, Dev Diaries, WildStar, Subscription

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wildstar
Today, Carbine Studios posted a follow-up to the breaking news that WildStar would be dropping its monthly update pace for more of a "when it's done" approach. Product Director Mike Donatelli elaborated on the decision:
The plan was to roll out a zone next month, and a pretty badass one at that. The new zone and its contents not only sets up the epic ongoing world story of WildStar, but provides more group and solo content along with costumes, items, etc. What we hadn't planned for was the mountain of feedback. You guys have been vocal about everything from bugs, early level content, attunement, PvP, and Elder Game. And we were listening.

Because of that, we decided to make a change. We are adding a month's worth of feedback and bugfixes to the mix based on player feedback and user experiences. These are changes to core systems such as economy, classes, PvP, crafting -- you name it. We're knocking out bugs and making changes to improve your gameplay experience. We want to roll these issues into the patch with the new zone content and that's going to take some more time.

How much time you ask? That's an excellent question! We're going to take the time to make sure that this next patch is not only badass but bug free. I'll update you again shortly with the list of details on what's being addressed in the game and the timeframe.

Game Columns

Tamriel Infinium Elder Scrolls Column
The Nexus Telegraph WildStar Column
Norrathian Notebook EverQuest Next Column
Flameseeker Chronicles Guild Wars 2 Column
Hyperspace Beacon SWTOR Column
Stick and Rudder Star Citizen Column
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The Stream Team


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Release Dates

Core Games | In Testing | Crowdfund Hopefuls
Destiny September 9, 2014
The Crew November 11, 2014
LEGO Minifigures Online Fall 2014
ArcheAge 2014
WoW Warlords of Draenor November 13, 2014

Meet the Team

Brianna Royce Editor-in-Chief
Jef Reahard Managing Editor
Justin Olivetti Contributing Editor
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