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Trion clarifies ArcheAge's head-start housing situation

Betas, Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, Launches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Community Q&A, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Housing

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During its livestreamed pre-launch discussion of ArcheAge earlier this week, Trion Worlds clarified a number of issues that will affect players early on when the game enters its head-start period tomorrow. Top priority in a sandbox? Where you hang your hat. Housing will open at the beginning of the head start period, so early players will naturally secure the best properties. There is no limit to the number of houses an account can own, although accounts are taxed "exponentially" after they acquire three and up.

Also of note:
  • The game plans to launch with the eight ten original beta servers.
  • The "patron" subscription is indeed $15; 1250 credits cost 1 APEX or $10. For scale, consider that a character slot costs 1000 credits.
  • Trion vowed to continue its efforts to deal with chat spammers and botters.
  • Everyone, even F2P players, can access the auction hall.
As to the controversial labor point system, Trion says all characters will begin with zero points.

[Thanks, JunkiesNation.]

The Secret World adds a new set of side missions

Horror, Sci-Fi, Lore, Patches, News Items, The Secret World, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

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Police cops.
Are you ready for more Tokyo action in The Secret World? A sextet of side missions is now available for owners of the Issue #9 content, kicking off with a bank heist and moving on to handle rockabilly gangs, surveillance cameras, and a Flappy nest. It's a full dose of sabotage, investigation, and the usual joy of finding supernatural creatures and beating them down with your own supernatural powers.

So what do you get for all of these antics? A free Deep Mystery Box, which is nice, but you also get the Lorenzian Fabricator, which allows you to move to Tokyo from anywhere in the world. That's quite useful if you've got places to be and problems to solve elsewhere. This update also allows players access to the new Efficiency and Proficiency skills to improve AEGIS mastery, so owners of the game's most recent major update will want to hop on board and start exploring the new missions.

World of Warcraft outlines anniversary plans, delays Draenor raid

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, Subscription

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WoW
Blizzard has released a new World of Warcraft dev blog clarifying its 10th anniversary plans in light of Warlords of Draenor's impending launch on November 13th. In short, the festivities will begin on November 21st and run until well after the holidays on January 6th. Those who pony up for a sub in that time period will be awarded the Molten Corgi minipet. If you rush to the new level cap in time, you'll also be able to play through the new level-capped Molten Core raid; if not, then you can still play the new Southshore vs. Tarren Mill battleground, which comes in both level 90-99 and level 100 brackets.

Blizzard further notes that the new PvP season and the normal and heroic versions of Draenor's first raid dungeon, Highmaul, will not open until December 2nd to "make sure that everyone [has] had time to level up." Highmaul's LFR and mythic modes will open another week after that.

Massively's sister site WoW Insider also has some good news for Draenor devotees this morning: It appears that facial recustomization is now part of the regular barber shop in beta, possibly alleviating the fears of those worried about being saddled with an ugly pixel face once the new race models are live.

PvP sandbox Life is Feudal hits Steam early access next week

Betas, Business Models, Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, Crowdfunding

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LIFYO
Life is Feudal is one of several indie sandbox MMOs striving to become this generation's Ultima Online, and next week, you can actually play it... if you fork over a few bucks for early access, that is. The game unlocks on Steam on September 19th; existing alpha players will be able to claim their early alpha keys on Steam and partake in the smaller-scale, non-MMO test version of the game.

Billing itself as a realistic medieval sandbox, Life is Feudal includes city construction and invasion, a freeform character building system, a single seamless world, terraforming, farming, crafting skills like cooking and alchemy, and full open PvP with looting. The developers maintain a document explaining how the game is similar to and different from other MMOs with such features, however.

The game failed to reach its Indiegogo goals last year.

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The Seldon Crisis Kickstarter is officially a thing

Sci-Fi, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

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Last month we told you about Seldon Crisis, a sci-fi sandbox MMO purportedly inspired by Asimov's Foundation series. Today Chaos Interactive launched the game's Kickstarter campaign, which runs for 30 days and seeks £250,000.

The devs are "looking for a commitment from gamers who enjoy hard science fiction and expansive player-driven massively multiplayer online games to help bring this deep space odyssey to reality." You can read the full PR blurb after the break.

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The Daily Grind: What game needs (better) tutorials?

Super-hero, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, The Daily Grind, Marvel Heroes

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Let me state up front that I thoroughly enjoy Marvel Heroes. That said, I find some of its mechanics pretty obscure. Like, costume cores. What the heck am I supposed to do with those? To be fair, I could probably find the answer on the game's labyrinthine forum, but since I play it ultra-casually and somewhat infrequently, I'm usually too busy enjoying the clickfest to tab out and search.

TLDR, this game needs a tutorial or two, in my opinion.

What do you think, Massively readers? Is there an MMO or an MMO-lite in your rotation that needs some in-game explanation?

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: Building a beautiful modular maze in Landmark

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, Sandbox, Housing, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

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The Stream Team: How to build a modular maze in Landmark
Sometimes building in Landmark seems daunting. But thanks to modular pieces, even those who feel constructionally impaired can put together impressive builds. With only five handcrafted pieces saved as templates, Massively's MJ will show how to lay the foundation of an impressive underground maze. Then all that's left is adding a few finishing touches and you've got something to be proud of! Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to chat about Landmark's latest news and see how modular pieces can help anyone make a massive creation in next to no time at all.

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, September 9th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Here's a League of Legends Ascension gameplay preview vid

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends

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The League of Legends YouTube channel dropped a new gameplay preview video earlier today. It's called Ascension - Gameplay Preview, naturally, and it's one-minute-and-48-seconds worth of footage from LoL's latest featured game mode.

You can view the clip after the cut and you can learn more about the game mode at the official website.

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Kukulkan, Serpent of the Nine Winds slithers into SMITE

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Classes, Patches, Free-to-Play, MOBA

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smite
We really wish that the Mayans were around today to ask why they would worship a giant flying snake instead of freaking out because, well, giant flying snake. It's probably a good thing that Mr. Kukulkan, Serpent of the Nine Winds, is on the side of the playerbase in SMITE as the newest god in the game's pantheon.

Kukulkan isn't actually a new character for the game but a reworked Ao Kuang (who has been temporarily retired). While Kukulkan enjoys a new look, the abilities transferred over from Ao Kuang remain the same. Players who previously owned Ao Kuang will see that character transform into Kukulkan instead.

We've got the full god reveal video after the break, so welcome in your newest nightmare and ally!

[Thanks to Sorenthaz for the tip!]

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DayZ Producer: 'You are playing development builds'

Betas, News Items, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, Sandbox

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That rare time when the beta defense sort of works.  Almost.
DayZ is a title in early access. That means that buying the game now will give you access to the full game when it goes live as well as the development versions along the way. Producer Brian Hicks recently took to the game's official forums to respond to player feedback by stating this rather bluntly: "You are not playing DayZ. You are playing development builds."

Hicks went on to explain that the game's current development pace is entirely normal for a large project, with the main difference being that most of these early builds are not seen by the public at large. Players who are displeased by the earlier builds are encouraged to step back and check in again when release is closer, as the later beta versions or the release client will be far closer to the finished experience. Whether or not you've been enjoying the game, it's a useful look at the development process and what it can mean to be playing on early access.

Leaderboard: Which additional ArcheAge race would you like to play?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Races, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Leaderboard

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ArcheAge is launching with four playable races. This seems like a small number for a fantasy MMO, but XLGAMES has hinted at additional choices before, namely the Dwarf, the Warborn, the Fairy, and the Returned. We've seen some visual evidence of those first two, but the Fairy and the Returned are still somewhat mysterious.

Do any of those additional races sound appealing to you, ArcheAge fans? Which one, if any, would you choose to play if they were available?

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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Exclusive: Firefall's Elemental Destruction update launches September 16th

Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Lore, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries, Firefall

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Firefall
It's official: The newly revitalized Firefall is due to release its first major update, Elemental Destruction, next week -- on Tuesday, in fact. The patch is bringing new dynamic encounters in addition to abilities and weapons. And if you're a Firefall nut, then today is your day because Red 5 Design Director RudiKazootie has penned an exclusive dev blog discussing in detail the five new dynamic encounters being introduced with the update. Enjoy the full read and new screens below, and keep an eye out for Friday's edition too.

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Destiny has already raked in $500 million in sales

Sci-Fi, Bugs, Launches, MMO Industry, MMOFPS, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

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destiny
Destiny's alleged big budget didn't end up being a big risk after all, as the title has become the highest-selling day-one digital console game release in history. From a combination of pre-orders, digital sales, and retail sales, Destiny has crossed the $500 million sales mark and doesn't look to be slowing any time soon.

CEO of Activision Publishing Eric Hirshberg considers this massive validation for the project: "Since the beginning, we've been confident that our investment and belief in Destiny would pay off. But not many people believed we'd be able to say it did so on day one. We have more confidence than ever that Destiny will become one of the iconic franchises of this generation and Activision's next billion-dollar brand."

However, if you're attempting to play Destiny from a college campus, you might be dealing with a frustrating impediment. Polygon notes that a networking error is blocking the game on certain campuises. Bungie said that it is aware of the issue and is working on a solution.

[Source: Activision Blizzard press release]

Landmark adds toilets, opens itself for potty jokes

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Landmark

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landmark
We'll just come right out and say it: You can now create and install toilets in Landmark. This is a boon for both the incontinent and the internet comedian, although we suppose that it will be well-received by home builders who want to complete their bathroom set.

The patch supposedly fixes individual claim permissions, optimizes the gallery, and improves the bundling interface for the marketplace. Also in the game with today's patch are chains, bathtubs, sinks, and a new "modular" tree.

Swordsman announces Gilded Wasteland expansion

Fantasy, Historical, Screenshots, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Lore, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Crafting, Swordsman

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Swordsman
Perfect World Entertainment has just announced an expansion for its still-new F2P martial arts MMO Swordsman. Dubbed Gilded Wasteland, the update will boost the level cap to 94 and introduce new desert regions (Ping Liang, Tunhuang, and the Shadow Mountain Plains) and dungeons to the game. PWE also says it will improve the leveling curve, weapon-crafting, and PvP.

The expansion arrives later this fall. We've included new concept art below.

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Choose My Adventure: I am Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, Polls, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

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Elite: Dangerous
Space is not a very good place for people to hang out. Humans have a specific list of things that are needed for survival, and space is in a continual state of being fresh out of all of them. Thus, the space race isn't just about firing objects into the universe and seeing how far they can go but about building contraptions that deliver enough tender love and care to keep folks alive for the journey. Space travel is immensely expensive and complicated; humanity is still decades or even centuries away from easily accessible personal spacecraft.

Space sims like Frontier Development's Elite: Dangerous let you skip ahead a bit to see what things might be like when launching yourself into space will come with all the grandiosity of running to the store for some bread. "Yeah, you have a spaceship," Elite says, "but what exactly do you intend to do with it?"

In this, the second week of our Elite-focused Choose My Adventure, we'll be seeking an answer to that very question.

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Wings Over Atreia: The spoils of Aion's fifth anniversary

Fantasy, Aion, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Giveaways, Anniversaries

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Another year has flown by! Aion is turning five years old, and that means it's time for Daevas to enjoy cake and presents during the nearly month-long birthday bash. What goodies are in store during this year's North American festivities? Associate Product Manager Sean Orlikowski has shared with us the schedule of events that span from today until October 8th; it includes contests, buffs, double drop rates, and a special anniversary-day GM hosted event. There's also a special new Daevonian armor set for only 1 NCoin (which is practically free) that even new players can use.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic launches the Legacy of the Rakata

Sci-Fi, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dungeons, Subscription

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In hindsight I sort of wish any of us knew how to read Rakata writing.  We can't feed this into HoloGoogle Translate.
The Rakata are kind of a big deal in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Their influence is everywhere in both the leveling game and in the overall lore, and finding out what their deal is kind of trumps other priorities of the week. So the new Legacy of the Rakata flashpoint that's just been added to the game should be of particular interest to lore hounds, as well as anyone looking to the completion of the game's Forged Alliances storyline.

The flashpoint sees players exploring the ruins of Rakata Prime, learning more about the Star Forge with Agent Theron Shan and Lord Lana Beniko, and exploring the ruins with smuggler Jakarro. It's a tactical flashpoint, as well, which makes it that much easier for players to explore and discover more of the story while leading into the next major expansion storyline. If you're interested in seeing what the Rakata left behind, you can log in now and try the flashpoint out.

Guild Wars 2's living story season resumes in November

Fantasy, Business Models, Events (In-Game), Lore, Patches, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

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Guild Wars 2
A cryptic lore-only press release from ArenaNet this morning delivered this curious Guild Wars 2 news: The second season of the game's living story content will resume on November 4th, leaving just under two months between yesterday's feature pack release and the next leg of the playable plot. But if the teaser pic is any hint at all, we're likely to snag a new zone, at least. Here's the message:
The fate of Tyria hangs in the balance. The world's races are uniting against the Elder Dragon Mordremoth. Their first lesson – there is no sanctuary.

At the culmination of the first half of Season 2, Tyria's leaders had gathered for a secret summit at the Grove, at the base of the sylvari's sacred Pale Tree. They proved an easy target for Mordremoth's forces, facing a surprise attack by the Shadow of the Dragon.

Tyria's heroes are now scattered across the world but in pursuit of one goal: how to bring the battle to Mordremoth. The secret may lie in a vision delivered by the Pale Tree moments after she was badly wounded by the Shadow of the Dragon.

What did the vision mean, and will a united Tyria be enough to thwart the threat from this powerful Elder Dragon?

The fight continues...

Sci-fi sandbox Beyond Sol hopes you'll Greenlight it on Steam

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox

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Beyond Sol
Here's a ray of sandbox sunshine to brighten your morning: Praxia Entertainment has unveiled Beyond Sol, sci-fi pseudo-MMO focused on space exploration, trade, crafting, and piracy. It's even got cities. According to the devs,
Beyond Sol is a multiplayer, buccaneering, open world sandbox game, set in the distant future when humanity has developed into a young galactic space-faring civilization. As an independent ship captain, you venture to a newly colonized and virtually lawless outlying system within the rim in order to pursue new opportunities. Once there, anything goes: explore, mine asteroids, salvage derelict ships, plunder merchant vessels, hunt pirates, pilot capital warships, construct an epic orbital city, and make friends with – or rival – other factions and players.
Just how MMOsy is it? "The game is designed for 1 to N players (N being dependent on your hardware capabilities)," says Praxia, "meaning you can play single player or you can invite people into your session."

The game is angling for approval on Steam Greenlight and intends to hit early access in winter 2015. We've included the game's trailer below.

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ArcheAge September 16, 2014
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