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Global Chat: Wrongs and rights

EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Trove

So often, bloggers are struggling to succinctly answer the same question in a variety of formats: What is right with this game and what is wrong with it? It gets complicated fast when biases, comparisons, and general drama enters into it, although I wouldn't have it any other way. MMOs should be filtered through our various viewpoints to gain broader understanding and (hopefully) provide better feedback.

This week in our journey around the blogosphere, we'll take a second look at Trove, see where ArcheAge messed up, and attempt to understand why PvP sandboxes will wither and die if they're not welcoming to carebears. What's wrong? What's right? That's up to them -- and you -- to decide!

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Choose My Adventure: Closing off our time in Swordsman

Fantasy, Historical, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, MMORPG, Swordsman

I've spent quite a bit of time in Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman this month. Thanks to the unique layout of October 2014, Swordsman ended up getting an extra week compared to most Choose My Adventure endeavors. And while I'm ready to move on to the next game, it was nice to have some extended time with Swordsman before sending it to that magic hard drive in the sky. Sometimes a few extra days can give you time to see things in a game you didn't see before.

Swordsman is definitely a game that grows on you. The experience continually improves. If you're willing to stick through the slow opening and limited early experience, there's a pretty interesting game waiting to be discovered.

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RIFT's Autumn Harvest returns

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Patches, Free-to-Play, RIFT

Starting this afternoon, RIFT's annual Autumn Harvest will return, bringing back the special fall-themed realm and all of its related quests and activities. In addition to Halloween rifts and the monster mash, this year's Autumn Harvest will activate seasonal minion adventures and a trio of new followers to boss around.

RIFT is also hotfixing several small issues today, such as tweaking the minion system, increasing XP in Nightmare Tide dungeons, and making sure hit was added to various quest and crafting rewards for endgame activities.

The Autumn Harvest runs from today through November 13th. Both Junkies Nation and RiftGrate have excellent guides for those looking.

Elite: Dangerous' third beta is now live with new systems, ships, and interdiction mechanics

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Elite: Dangerous

After a brief technical delay, Elite: Dangerous' "Beta 3.00 is now available," declares a post on the official Frontier forums. The patch notes are extra long; new and updated features include new ships, player-driven interdiction, fuel scooping from stars, asteroid mining, visual overhauls to planets, philanthropy missions, and an expanded game map with now over 2400 systems. Frontier has also added hundreds of audio tweaks and bug fixes. Players have continued reporting stability issues with the new patch.

This episode of beta, like the phases before it, is exclusive to those who've pre-purchased the game and beta access. Massively's Mike Foster spent September playing the game in beta 1 and had enough fun to say that he "would happily recommend it" but for the beta price tag.

We've included the new beta 3 trailer below.

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Valiance Online launches its Kickstarter today [Updated: It's live now!]

Betas, Super-hero, Business Models, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Promotions, Crowdfunding

Valiance Online
A post on Valiance Online's Facebook has good news for fans of the upcoming game: SilverHelm Studios will be bringing the game to Kickstarter today. "It's packed with all manner of goodies for you to get your hands on," Design Director Nate "Paramount" Vogeding writes. "These things will be exclusive to our KS backers and backers alone. That's right; it won't be coming back around again." Vogeding also promises more pre-alpha invites and tells readers to "let everyone know that yes, there is a city coming back and very soon!"

Valiance Online is one of several fan-backed superhero MMOs vying to become City of Heroes' spiritual successor. In September, SilverHelm told followers that it will not be licensing the CoH IP if it is eventually secured from NCsoft by City of Titans.

[Update: The Kickstarter is now live, with pledges ranging from $1-$10,000 and a funding goal of $150,000. We've embedded the trailer below.]

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Destiny's The Dark Below expansion launches December 9th

Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Business Models, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Consoles, Dungeons, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

The Dark Below, Destiny's first expansion -- sorry, "Expansion I" -- releases on December 9th, Bungie announced today. What's in store for players?
  • New weapons, armour and gear
  • A new Light Level cap of 32 with 5 additional Bounty slots
  • New story quests and missions revolving around a new character Eris and the Hive
  • A new co-op Strike called The Will of Crota (with a second co-op Strike, The Undying Mind, exclusive to PlayStation gamers for a year)
  • Three new competitive multiplayer arenas: Pantheon, Skyshock, and The Cauldron
  • And a new six-player Raid called Crota's End.
Bungie says the expansion will cost £19.99 standalone or £34.99 for a bundle that includes this expansion plus Expansion II. We've included a few of the new screenshots and concept art pieces below.

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World of Warcraft examines the art of designing proto-Nagrand

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

Everybody's favorite.
Part of designing an MMO is putting a whole lot of work into things that no one will really notice. If you're playing World of Warcraft and running through Nagrand in Outland, you might be vaguely curious about how the zone is going to translate into its original form in Warlords of Draenor. Odds are, though, that you'll notice only in passing what the latest development blog from art director Chris Robinson talks about extensively.

Robinson details the challenges of building the temporal prototype of an iconic existing zone, especially since the original Nagrand was marked partly by the contrast between its peaceful plains and the floating bits of rock in the distance. The intent was to give the area an almost delicate feel, as if parts of the landscape could rise up and start floating away. Take a look at Robinson's whole piece for more insights about weaving the story of the zone into the art, and take a moment to stop and look around when you reach the zone in-game.

WildStar opens up free, indefinite megaserver transfers

Culture, PvP, News Items, PvE, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

It's generally seen as discouraging if your fix for a problem still leaves it broken.
How's your server's population in WildStar since the switch to megaservers? Does it still feel a little empty? Community manager Tony Rey says that the team has heard the complaints that the PvP servers are quiet, and the team is responding by opening up indefinite free transfers between the PvE and PvP megaservers in both directions. You can move your PvE character to the PvP megaserver as you wish, and vice versa.

Rey says that while the team was initially happy with the stats on the PvP realms, the EU PvP megaserver in particular had certain difficulties with player numbers after PvP-to-PvE transfers were opened up but before the megaservers went live. Having free transfers in place does carry the risk of allowing people to level on a PvE server only to transfer over at the level cap, but players are assured that the team is watching for shenanigans and will shut down untoward transfers. These transfers are currently open for an indefinite period of time; Carbine will decide whether or not these free transfers will remain in place after monitoring the health of the server system.

The Daily Grind: What's the creepiest MMO locale?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

Sorry, Halloween's heavy on the mind this week, and as I await the Great Pumpkin's return, I have been seeking out the scariest and most unsettling places in MMOs. Naturally, I found most of them in The Secret World.

Probably one of the most creepy places in TSW is the kindergarten in Savage Coast. You can't go into it and there's no explanation given about it, but when you're near it you hear garbled children's voices and off-key kid music playing. Plus, there are dead zombies draped all over its front yard. Nothing good could have happened there. And I don't want to know what did.

In the spirit of the season, what do you think is the most creepy MMO locale and why?

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!

The Stream Team: Arrrg! ArcheAge's pirate isle holds treasure galore

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

Avast, ye ArcheAge fans! Ye can't say ye've braved the wilds of the world if ye haven't sailed to the pirate's lair. Tucked away in the sea, the island be home to the blood-thirstiest of ArcheAge's factions -- and they don't take too kindly to visitors. But thar be plenty of plunder underneath the waves, and since Massively's MJ loves loot, ye know she's making a play for some. Will she also try to steal the pirate's beloved Jolly Roger and plant it on Freedich? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for a dance with danger as we peek at the pirates' home.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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EVE video dev diary talks Phoebe features

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting

CCP has published a new dev diary video focused on EVE Online's upcoming Phoebe release. The clip runs for nearly seven minutes and features a who's who of current EVE devs talking about various bits and pieces scheduled to hit Tranquility on November 14th.

Phoebe features nullsec travel tweaks, an unlimited skill queue, a revamped invention system, mission objective guidance, and more. Click past the cut to watch the dev diary!

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World of Tanks 360 edition gets French tech tree

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War, Consoles, World of Tanks

If you're an Xbox 360 World of Tanks player, you'll be glad to know that today's update adds the French tech tree, 28 new tanks, and two new maps to the game. The new content is technically free to download, but it does require an Xbox Live Gold subscription.

We've embedded a new six-minute dev diary including French tank footage just past the break.

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Elder Scrolls Online is getting some scary monster face hats

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

When Massively newswriters are looking for news to write, they generally look first to the Massively newsroom. The Massively newsroom is a place where editors dump links that can be turned into stories, and more often than not said links are labeled with funny/sarcastic/bitterly angry temporary titles.

The temporary title for the news post you're currently reading was "ESO Hats... you'd think a game this big could manage more than hat teasers on Twitter, but you'd be wrong!"

It's quite a long temporary title as temporary titles go, but that's fine because it really captures the essence of this particular news post. The Elder Scrolls Online is in fact coming out with some new hats. OK, they're actually monster helms and they look pretty badass. You can expect them in Update 5!

Lord of the Rings Online's Update 15 coming November 5th

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Patches, Free-to-Play

On a developer call this afternoon, Turbine announced that Lord of the Rings Online's Update 15 is scheduled for release on Wednesday, November 5th.

Update 15 is a substantial content drop that includes the Beorning class, the continuation of the epic story, Central Gondor, and a new epic battle in the city of Pelargir. Massively recently featured a hands-on with the Beorning.

Perfect World reorganizes its R&D branches

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

Chinese gaming giant Perfect World Co. has issued a statement declaring a restructuring of research and development teams and the subsequent formation of five new subsidiaries. Says the press release,
The structure of forming new subsidiaries that are majority-owned by Perfect World is aimed to help attract and motivate top talent by granting them direct stake in the subsidiaries under the new incentive scheme. Perfect World will support these subsidiaries with the Company's proprietary technology, graphic design, integrated platform, distribution channels and other valuable resources. The Company believes that the new structure will help invigorate the game development process, support game design flexibility, allow faster reaction to changing market trends, and boost game development productivity.
Through its subsidiary Perfect Online Holding Limited, Perfect World also recently acquired a 3% stake in Digital Extremes Ltd., which publishes Warframe. Perfect World Co., Ltd., is not to be conflated with Perfect World Entertainment, known to our audience primarily for its custodianship of Cryptic's Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, and Champions Online. PWE is Perfect World Co.'s North American online games publisher.

Massively Speaking Episode 319: Many words spoken to you

Podcasts, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

Big news! Sad layoffs! New expansions! Scary holidays! Big launches! Wordy words! Hutt Jedi! What do you get when you have a crazy busy news week and two sleep-deprived podcasters? This show!

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
[iTunes] Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
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Listen here on the page:

Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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Neverwinter: Rise of Tiamat coming November 18th

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

Neverwinter has been building to an epic showdown with its "season of dragons" storyline, and now with the advent of the game's fifth free module, it looks as though the final battle is about to begin.

Rise of Tiamat will release on November 18th with an all-new series of quests and dungeons. Players will find out that the Cult of the Dragon is trying to bring back the titular five-headed goddess and destroy the town of Neverwinter. Naturally, the characters cannot let that happen.

We've got the quick story trailer for Rise of Tiamat after the break, so give it a watch and prepare your hearts and souls for this conflict.

[Source: Cryptic press release]

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New King of Wushu video showcases graphics, awesome hair

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Previews, News Items, Humor, MOBA

King of Wushu
Snail Games wants you to know that its MOBA, King of Wushu, is not some chucked-together, low-poly, button-mashing spectacle -- it's a Cryengine 3 game with style. It's got Dynamic Flowing Hair and Cloth, people. At last week's Nvidia Game Festival, the developer revealed a new trailer to show off its graphics, and we think you'll agree that the character's lush mane is totally dynamic and flowing. And hey, the martial arts play is pretty spiffy too.

Revealed last June, King of Wushu is based on Snail's MMORPG Age of Wushu. The MOBA is destined for a 2015 launch. Check out the video below.

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Final Fantasy XIV patch 2.4 has a slightly bumpy release

Fantasy, Bugs, Patches, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Today you may not hear much from your friends playing Final Fantasy XIV, as the long-awaited Patch 2.4 is now live and kicking. It's a sizable content update full of quests, instances, and of course the new Rogue class and Ninja job.

We've been reading up on the patch notes since late last week, although there are a few issues keeping this release from being completely smooth. Square-Enix noted that there are problems with chocobos getting stuck in their stables and said that new character creation may be restricted during more busy periods.

SWTOR brings back the Rakghoul event

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic

What's both the most terrifying and exhilerating thing that could happen this Halloween? For Star Wars: The Old Republic players, it might just be the return of the Rakghoul Resurgence.

The event is currently live and will run for a week or so. There are a few tweaks to the popular event, such as two new housing decorations to purchase (because everyone wants a plague bulb in hers or his living room, right?) and a brand-new world boss to fight. Toxxun, the world boss, is located in Axial Park and drops a cute little plague pet.

Game Columns

Lost Continent ArcheAge 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

Stream Schedule | Twitch Channel | Past Streams

Release Dates

Core Games | In Testing | Crowdfund Hopefuls
FFXIV: Heavensward Date forthcoming
Warlords of Draenor November 13, 2014
NW: Rise of Tiamat November 18, 2014
The Crew December 02, 2014
Destiny: Dark Below December 09, 2014
SWTOR: Shadow of Revan December 09, 2014

Meet the Team

Brianna Royce Editor-in-Chief
Jef Reahard Managing Editor
Justin Olivetti Contributing Editor
Eliot Lefebvre Contributing Editor
MJ Guthrie Contributing Editor
Mike Foster Contributing Editor
Anatoli Ingram Columnist
Brendan Drain Columnist
Larry Everett Columnist
About Team Massively | Contact Us | FAQ

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Latest episode: Tuesday, October 14th, 2014





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