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Vice vs Virtue PvP system arrives on Ultima Online's test center

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Ultima Online, Sandbox, Dungeons, Subscription

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In testing now on Ultima Online's test server is publish 86.3, better known as the Vice vs Virtue patch. You remember the virtues, those iconic and ambiguous philosophical principles guiding the Avatar? OK, now forget all that because peeveepee, guys.

Yes, Vice vs Virtue is a a new system designed to bring a fresh version of Order and Chaos consensual PvP -- any PvP, really -- to landmasses that are currently PvE, including Trammel and most of the expansion territories launched in the last forever. The opt-in faction-based system brings the battle to the core cities of the game and rewards participants with a special currency that can be traded for everything from mounts and artifacts (gear) to murder pardons and hair dye. Look, UO players take their hair dye very seriously.

The patch also introduces new trader quests to the game and revamps dungeon loot spawns to encourage ventures to the open-PvP Felucca facet. The devs have invited players to help stress test the systems this afternoon.

Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day four - Trade runs, sea beasts, and pirates

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content

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I got ganked in ArcheAge last night, and believe it or not, it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had in an MMORPG in quite some time.

I'm usually apathetic about MMO PvP. I mean, I will PvP with friends, but I don't think I've ever sat down to play an MMORPG and thought, "Hmm, maybe I'll go kill some players tonight!" PvP factors heavily into ArcheAge's design, though, so I knew going in that I'd be doing it more than in most of my other MMOs.

I just didn't know it would end up being as fun as it was on last night's trade run.

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Destiny unlocks its first raid and goes on sale

Sci-Fi, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Promotions, Dungeons, Destiny

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Reacting to tepid launch reviews with a raid may not be the selling point the developers are hoping for?
Destiny hasn't been out for every long now, but if you've been power-leveling along, you might very well be level 26 or above. And that's a good thing if you want to take on the game's first raid, which has just been unlocked for players. The Vault of Glass can now be entered, with hardcore enthusiasts already rushing to be the first one to clear its challenges. As with all of Destiny's raid content, a fire team must be assembled out of members of your friend list, as there is no matchmaking option for Vault of Glass.

Haven't yet picked up the game? Well, you can do so now at a discount; despite the short amount of time Destiny has been out, retailer BrandsMart is reportedly offering the game for $30, which larger retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart may or may not price match. (Reports are conflicting.) While you likely won't be ready for the Vault of Glass if you take the offer, you will be able to get in on the ground floor a fair bit cheaper, so it's still a win.

Kotaku argues that as of this morning, Destiny has "resoundingly mediocre review scores" with "76.29% on GameRankings and a 77 on Metacritic." Our sister site Joystiq reviewed the game this morning, giving it four out of five stars.

This video reveals part of SWTOR's new expansion

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, MMORPG

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A deadly force
Be careful watching this video because there are huge spoilers about the Forge Alliance series of flashpoints. However, if you have played all the flashpoints, then you will not be surprised that the star of the next Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion is someone we've seen before.

Writer Charles Boyd and Community Manager Eric Musco blasted through the Rakata flashpoint in a live stream today, then premiered the video for "A Deadly Force Returns," which is hopefully not the name for its next expansion. However, it does make for a great teaser.

You can catch the full 22 seconds of it after the break.

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Is Turbine developing an MMO for mobile devices?

MMO Industry, News Items, Mobile, Miscellaneous

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We are a mystery!
No. Yes. Maybe? We're going to level with you, dear readers: We frequently have no idea what Turbine Entertainment is doing. We had no idea the studio was going to bring back Asheron's Call 2, for example, and our bets about Infinite Crisis were way off. So when we say that the company might be developing an MMO, well, it's a shot in the dark, but there's reason to suspect this might be happening.

The studio is looking for both a Senior Mobile Engineer (that is, an engineer experienced with mobile engineering, not an engineer who is both a senior and mobile) and a new Art Director, both of which seem to imply that the studio is developing something completely new rather than a mobile port. Or maybe it's baseless speculation. Who knows?

Flameseeker Chronicles: Why I'm a fan of Guild Wars 2's new player experience

Fantasy, Patches, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

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Actual image of what happens when you touch a cat full of static electricity.
Guild Wars 2's second feature pack dropped last week, bringing balance changes, new collection achievements, a rework of the trading post, and upgrades to the new player experience. Reactions to the last have been mixed, to say the least: Some of us like them, some of us are neutral on the subject, and some of us think ArenaNet made a terrible mistake.

For my own part, I'm really enjoying the changes. If you happen to be in the "terrible mistake" camp, hold on to your assorted fruit-based projectiles until the end of the article and I'll explain why.

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Final Fantasy XIV introduces personal housing (badly) with patch 2.38

Fantasy, Patches, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Housing, Subscription

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WHO CAME UP WITH THIS SERVER ARCHITECTURE AND WHY CAN I NOT DO THIS YET?
After more than half a year of waiting, Final Fantasy XIV players can finally purchase houses of their own. Provided, of course, that they have an exceptional amount of disposable gil and were on the servers early. Patch 2.38 introduces the option of purchasing land in the housing wards as an individual, but with prices starting at 4 million on the most populated servers for the smallest plot and with only two new wards introduced, many players who had been hopeful for a new house will find their hopes quickly dashed.

Producer Naoki Yoshida took to the forums to apologize for the land shortage, promising that more wards will be introduced with or following the launch of patch 2.4, which should double the amount of available land. While the prices are equal for both personal and free company houses (being built on the same plots), these prices are significantly lower than those when housing was first introduced, even after adjustments to Legacy worlds. The update also contains other features, including new emotes, new Relic Weapon quests, and update loot in Syrcus Tower and the Second Turn of the Binding Coil.

Farewell to Rusty Hearts

Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Sunsets

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Rusty Hearts
Back in August, Perfect World Entertainment announced that it planned to shut down story-driven action MMO Rusty Hearts come mid-September, and that date has now come and gone. Last night was the game's final evening, and players gathered to say farewell without much fanfare from PWE, which has not yet updated the website or forums to indicate that the game is now closed.

One forum-goer was kind enough to provide screenshots of the game's last 10 minutes, which another poster said featured "more people than the average population of the servers these days."

Farewell to you, Rusty Hearts.

[Thanks, Fakepants.]

The Daily Grind: What do you think of ArcheAge's PvP?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge, Sandbox

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I've been playing a lot of ArcheAge since Friday, but I'm still not level 30 on any of my characters so I still haven't sampled much of the game's PvP. In fact, aside from an ocean-going trade run last night where I tagged along as a lowly level 12 and ended up on the wrong end of a level 35's sword, I haven't PvPed at all.

What about you, ArcheAge fans? Have you PvPed yet, and if so, what did you think of it?

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!

A look at new nautical monsters from the Korean ArcheAge

Fantasy, Video, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge

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Leviathan, Leviathan (Endless)!  Leviathan, Leviathan (Send us)!  Leviathan, Leviathan (Breathless)!  Leviathan, Leviathan (Deathless)!
After a wait so long that more or less everyone could be forgiven for thinking it would never happen, ArcheAge has finally entered its early access period here in America. But that doesn't mean you don't have more to look forward to. Over on YouTube, InporylemQQ has taken a peek at a pair of nautical additions coming to the Korean version of the game, major PvE monsters meant to challenge players.

The first foe on display is a massive sea beast that's easily larger than the vessel of the player in the video; it gets a few good hits on the ship before it slips beneath the waves. There's also a ghost ship that fires cannon at the player. Both appear to be high-end monsters meant to challenge players with adequate gear, and both were added in patch 1.7 -- which means that they're a fair way off in the game's updates in the West. Think of them as coming attractions.

[Thanks to Karl for the tip!]

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Not So Massively: Hellgate's return, HEX's beta, and Elite's pricing

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, Not So Massively, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play, HEX, Hearthstone

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NSM
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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The Stream Team: Exploring ArcheAge with devs

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

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What's better than finally playing ArcheAge? Doing it with devs! Massively's MJ is joined by some of the folks behind getting the game to launch. They'll be talking about all about all things ArcheAge while exploring on the final day of early release. Have any questions you want answered? Join us live at 7:00 p.m. and ask away.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Monday, September 15th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Archlord 2 turns on Archlord system tomorrow

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Events (In-Game), Launches, Patches, PvP, Free-to-Play

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archlord 2
Has Archlord 2 officially launched yet or is it merely riding that nebulous open beta soft launch train? It's hard to tell with this title, but what we do know is that the MMO will be releasing its first major content update tomorrow.

This update includes two new world zones, a contested area, the titular Archlord PvP system, four additional dungeons, a flexible dungeon system, and plenty of equipment sets. To go with the update, the team is running a login event from September 16th through October 13th during which players can receive a four-piece avatar set by logging in at least once a week.

We've got the official launch trailer for Archlord 2 after the break, which is perfect for those of you with eyes or ears or an acceptable substitute.

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Elder Scrolls ups VR cap, adds upper Craglorn and more

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, The Elder Scrolls Online

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Did you know that Elder Scrolls Online's fourth major content patch came out today? It sure did, and judging by the 1.4.3 notes it's a biggun.

ZeniMax has added the upper region of Craglorn and a new trial called Sanctum Ophidia. The four-player Dragonstar Arena with its 10 stages of monsters is live, too, along with a VR level cap bump to 14. That's not all, so click the links below to read about the additional changes.

Eminence: Xander's Tale lands on Kickstarter

Fantasy, New Titles, News Items, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

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Well, on the bright side, it's not promising an old-school sandbox experience.
Do you want a bit of MMO in your virtual card game? Because that can totally be a thing now. Eminence: Xander's Tale is an MMOTCG that isn't purely either of those things, blending card-slinging action with an explorable world and social hubs. Players will take part in battles via card games, but the exploration and upgrades will feel more familiar to veterans of other MMOs.

The actual card battles will be familiar to anyone who took part in Final Fantasy VIII's Triple Triad, focused on matching numbers on different card faces along with utilizing various abilities and stealing opposing cards. If this sounds like your sort of jam, go ahead and drop a few dollars on it; there's still quite a bit of time left on its funding campaign and it's already passed the halfway mark.

Age of Wushu: Winds of Destiny coming in October

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

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age of wushu
Never feel lonely in Age of Wushu again! As of next month, a new content update for the sandbox martial arts MMO will feature a companion system that allows offline players to continue assisting their friends as NPCs.

"Players going offline can allow themselves to be available as companions for those clever and committed enough to earn their loyalty," Snail posted. "While offline, these players can receive special rewards from their online brothers in arms, and in exchange are available to be summoned to their aid during a fight."

Age of Wushu: Winds of Destiny is the sixth so-called "expansion" for the game. In addition to companions, there will be a new zone called Delightful Island, a special Flower Prince Contest, a Path of the Departed adventure, and a dungeon called the Silver Hook. The update will be free for all players.

Hearthstone boasts 20 million registered players

Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Casual, Miscellaneous, Hearthstone

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Ironically, this would be far better than Warcraft is doing lately.
Does it ever seem like there's an endless flow of players in Hearthstone? There's not. But there are quite a lot of players, with Blizzard Entertainment announcing today that the game has broken 20 million registered accounts. If those were all people with real cards, that would be... a lot of cards. Like, at least a dozen.

The game launched on the iPad in April and is aiming at an Android tablet release in the near future, as well as expanding to iOS/Android phones. Hearthstone will also have its first world championship at Blizzcon this year, with contestants fighting for a $250,000 prize pool.

[Source: Blizzard Entertainment press release]

Captain's Log Supplemental: A look at Star Trek Online's history with lead designer Al Rivera

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

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You can amost hear the cries for coffee now.
Star Trek Online is a game that's got some history, not just by virtue of the franchise that's been running for half of forever but because the game itself has a rather madcap development history. Cryptic Studios got the license to develop the game at the eleventh hour, and the caveat was that the game needed to be shipped in the same timeframe as the original developer had promised -- leaving almost no time for development.

I sat down and talked with lead designer Al Rivera about the game's history, its development ethos, and where the game is going with the upcoming release of the second expansion, Delta Rising. It's been a long process, but Rivera shed some light on how the game is designed by its modern team, why things launched the way they did, and what players can expect as the game continues toward its five-year anniversary.

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World of Warcraft reclaiming abandoned names for Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, Subscription

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wow
Your mothballed Gnomes and Tauren might be losing their names if you haven't logged into World of Warcraft recently (and by "recently," we mean "in the last six years."). Blizzard announced that it will be reclaiming old and abandoned names to free them up for the expansion.

Names in danger of reclamation are those belonging to any characters that haven't logged in since November 13th, 2008. The names will be reclaimed with the Warlords of Draenor pre-patch 6.0.2 this fall. Blizzard suggests that anyone in danger of losing a desired name should log on before the patch hits.

Legend of Edda is returning September 24th

Fantasy, Launches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sunsets

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it didn't work the first time, but something something second time around!
You could be completely forgiven for thinking that Legend of Edda had breathed its last when the game shut down at the beginning of this year. It was cute, but it just couldn't sustain itself. But the game is getting another lease on life starting on September 24th, when the game opens up under new publisher JC Planet. The opening will not feature any wipes or resets, apparently skipping public testing in favor of moving straight to launch.

Numerous launch events are planned, including bonuses for registering your account before the start of service and for reaching level 20 quickly after the 24th rolls around. If you'd always meant to take a look at the game but never quite managed to, you'll be getting another shot at it in just a little while, hopefully without the issues that made it shut its doors back in January.

[Thanks to Evan for the tip!]

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ArcheAge September 16, 2014
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