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Elite: Dangerous won't feature offline play after all

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous

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Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier has seemingly reneged on an earlier promise to deliver an offline version of its popular spacefaring title. Fans of the crowdfunded hit caught wind of Frontier's plans via the game's 49th newsletter, and executive producer Michael Brookes confirmed the decision in subsequent forum posts.

"We have always said the way to play the game is online - indeed it says so in the quote of me being circulated," Brooks wrote. "The choice was develop the game in the way we wanted, or not. Trying to make it offline would have made both experiences worse than we were willing to tolerate. We had to make the decision and have done so. I would say that an offline rewrite of the game is unlikely for the future."

[Thanks golden radish!]

The Daily Grind: What's your favorite MMO ship?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge, Sandbox

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I finally got my ArcheAge fishing boat over the weekend, and now I'm setting my sights on bigger and better ship designs. And I'm doing a lot of fishing, naturally!

I'm kinda partial to the Lutesong Junk, but then again the Eznan Cutter is pretty badass, too. What do you think -- what's your favorite in-game ship in ArcheAge or any other MMO?

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: Let's hunt some orc

MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

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WoW
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.

World of Warcraft's fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor, launched on Thursday, and predictably, the combination of design blunders and brutal DDoS attacks turned the first few days of launch into a circus of clownshoes. So, you know, an MMO launch. Here are the highlights:
Warlords of Draenor's rocky launch saga and Reddit controversy continue
World of Warcraft hit by DDoS attack on expansion launch day
World of Warcraft deals with downtime, bugs, DDoS attacks
World of Warcraft vows faster expansion development
You're too late: People are already 100 in WoW
WoW's Iron Horde declares war on Times Square
World of Warcraft's garrisons 'like a personal guild'
Watch the unboxing of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor's CE
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor launch-day roundup

Read on for the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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Marvel Heroes publishes Thor's level 52 review

Super-hero, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Marvel Heroes, Dev Diaries, OARPG

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Gazillion has published one of its Marvel Heroes level 52 reviews, which is basically a dev blog focused on endgame goals and designs for a particular hero. In this case, that hero is Thor.

Thor's Odinforce is a big part of his current review. It functions as his secondary resource and allows players to unlock upgraded versions of his powers by building Odinforce and managing its decay over time. And don't forget about God Blast, his new ultimate that unleashes "the full might of the mighty Mjolnir in a terrifying, concentrated blast of white-hot divine intervention."

League of Legends rewards positive behavior

Fantasy, Culture, Free-to-Play, Giveaways, League of Legends

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lol
Just how toxic is League of Legends' community? According to Riot Games, it may not be as bad as it once was.

The team posted a letter praising "positive behavior" in the community, saying that 95% of players have never received punishment. Furthermore, only 1% of the crowd have caused issues that resulted in lengthy bans or chat restrictions. Riot says that it is trying out new ideas to further combat bad behavior: "We've recently been focused on addressing extreme cases of verbal toxicity, and will soon be testing additional systems that address gameplay toxicity like leavers, AFKs, and intentional feeders."

To players who haven't received any punishments in the 2014 season, Riot will be granting four-win IP boosts next week.

Shroud of the Avatar shows new screens, preps for Steam

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar

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Shroud of the Avatar's weekly update is here, and as always, there's a good bit of info packed into the lengthy post. There are a few new screenshots featuring scenes from Release 12, though you'll need to explore the game world to find them since Portalarium is coy about the new locations.

There's also a blurb about interacting with SotA's Steam community as well as a helpful how-to list in case you're unsure how to upload screens. Portalarium reiterates that SotA will become purchasable on Steam in early access form on November 24th.

Lost Continent: Lucking into a breezy ArcheAge bungalow

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Housing, Lost Continent

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My ArcheAge avatar is pretty fortunate. Last Friday night he became the proud owner of a breezy bungalow, which is that big bamboo marine house that you've probably seen in screenshots, videos, and the like.

The bungalow's blueprint costs a whopping 300 gilda stars -- i.e., no small amount for a guildless guy like me who mostly duos his way through Haranya. I'd managed to save 250 of the character-bound gilda by doing various dailies over the past several weeks, but I had a few days to go before I'd finally be able to afford the plans. How did I come up with the balance ahead of schedule, not to mention the boat load of materials required to actually build the house? That's an interesting story, and it's another example of how ArcheAge's mechanics are a necessary breath of fresh air in a stale genre.

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Warlords of Draenor's rocky launch saga and Reddit controversy continue

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Bugs, Expansions, Launches, Subscription

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wow
We've heard a lot of "it's a good problem to have" in regards to the struggles that World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor has faced this past week, as a huge influx of players have met laggy servers, lengthy queues, and DDoS attacks. But we're sure that Blizzard would prefer no problems, period, which is why the studio has been updating the community on an hourly basis regarding its efforts to stabilize the game.

Blizzard says that it's currently monitoring the servers and has seen an improvement in performance around the world. In the past day, the studio has performed rolling restarts, hotfixes, and increased the population caps on various servers. Massively's own writers have had mixed experiences thus far; while we had to cancel Mike's Friday stream because of queues and the servers were down a large portion of Saturday, by Saturday night queues and lag issues were clearing up on some servers, like Bree's, no doubt thanks to increased capacity.

But some gamers are taking their reaction to the extreme. The core moderator of the WoW subreddit shut that subreddit down last night in protest over his personal login difficulties. While the forums have since been restored with apologies from other Reddit mods, participants are still arguing over the events. "r/WoW shouldn't be a hostage," Blizzard bluename Zarhym admonished via Twitter.

One Shots: Mutant masochists

Screenshots, Guild Wars, Culture, One Shots, Mabinogi, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

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auto assault
One of the quickest ways to my heart -- and to the top of a weekly One Shots column -- is to send me in something that I haven't seen before or an MMO that hardly ever makes it to my inbox. That's why I'm kicking off with this submission from Zulika featuring Auto Assault, the post-apocalyptic vehicle game that lived but for a brief time.

"Notice the faint quest marker above the head of the lady suspended by chains and hooks. If I remember correctly, this was taken in some quest hub full of mutant masochists. Even though it was just in a game, it still felt odd," wrote Zulika.

Odd in most situations, true, but for MMO players it's just the latest in a long calvacade of weirdness that we witness every day. Let's get this parade going!

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The Daily Grind: Should EVE Online add manual flight controls?

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Business Models, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous

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The Daily Grind title image
On Friday, developer CCP Games stunned us with the news that EVE Online will be adding manual flight controls in December's Rhea update. Gamers have been asking for twitch controls since EVE launched in 2003, but the idea has always been shot down as infeasible because it would put the server under extremely heavy load. CCP mentioned its interest in twitch controls during Fanfest 2013, and I speculated on a possible server-friendly implementation in an EVE Evolved article shortly after, but the fact that the feature is about to be released still comes as a huge surprise.

The new controls will be optional and quite limited. Ships will be able to rotate clockwise or counterclockwise and pitch their ships up vertically up and down, but we won't be able to do loops or rolls like in a dogfighting game. Developers also want to add joystick support soon, but so far there are no plans to add manually targeted ship weapons. Many players are excited for the new controls, and some of them are already asking for further features like the ability to lock the camera behind their ships for a more hands-on flight experience.

The announcement has prompted debate in the EVE Online community, and not everyone is convinced it's a good idea. Some have complained that twitch controls don't suit EVE as the ships are supposed to be massive starships with full crews rather than single-pilot fighter craft. There's also some cynicism over whether the feature is only being worked on now due to the growing popularity of Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous. EVE could be positioning itself as a viable alternative for any players who are disappointed with the new space games, a strategy that has worked in the past to help it absorb players from games like Earth & Beyond and Star Wars Galaxies.

What do you think? Should EVE add manual flight controls, and is this an attempt to appeal to the mass market?

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: November 9 - November 15, 2014

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content, Make My MMO

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This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Shards Online returned to Kickstarter seeking $50,000 and a coat of polish for its player-driven multiverse sandbox. Citadel Studios developers also visited the Massively comment section to answer questions about the upcoming title, which is well over halfway to its goal with 27 days remaining.

Elsewhere, Star Citizen continued to roll around in piles of money, while Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen stirred from its slumber to offer up some early development screenshots. Click past the cut for the rest of this week's MMO crowdfunding news.

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Vainglory mobile MOBA launching on Tuesday

Fantasy, Launches, Free-to-Play, Mobile, MOBA

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vainglory
Vainglory, "the MOBA perfect for touch," will be launching on the Apple app store in North America on Tuesday, November 18th.

"Once the game is live worldwide, you can look forward to future updates with more heroes, more player-requested features, and other fun stuff," the team promised.

If you want to give this free-to-play title a try, you're going to need an iPad 2 or better or an iPhone 5 or better. Vainglory is already out in other parts of the world and boasts a top-notch gaming experience for mobile devices. It was first mentioned during Apple's September press conference and was developed by former Blizzard, Riot, and Supercell developers.

Ankama teaser melds Dofus, Wakfu

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox

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Did you catch that cryptic teaser vid Ankama put out earlier this month? If not, and if you're a fan of quirky sandbox games with goofy names, click past the cut to have a look. The clip hints at some sort of joining between Ankama titles Dofus and Wakfu.

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The Stream Team: Win goodies while playing Wizard101

Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Wizard101, Giveaways, Livestream, The Stream Team

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What's better than cool Wizard101 stuff? Free Wizard101 stuff! Massively's MJ is diving into the kid-friendly game to dabble in a bit of magic as well as fishing, and she's got some Mystic Fishing Bundles and Evergreen Bundles to give away to other budding wizards. She'll also be joined by KingsIsle's new community manager, who can answer any questions you have about the Wizards Academy. Join us live at 1:00 p.m. for your chance to nab a few in-game goodies and to watch MJ zap a few foes.

Game: Wizard101
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, November 15th, 2014
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Perfect Ten: Lessons I've learned from working at Massively

Opinion, Massively Meta, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

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wildstar
In spring of 2010, I was asked to come on board Massively primarily as a feature writer who would also do a little news on the side. This opportunity was incredible since I was already blogging multiple times a day about online gaming, so why not be a part of the professional side of writing?

Over four years and nearly two million words written since, I've witnessed a lot here at Massively. I've gotten to interview some big industry names, been allowed to take on fun pet projects, gone to conventions as a member of the press corps, and made a lot of good friends. I've also learned several lessons that have helped me to grow as a person and a writer, and I thought I'd jot a few of those down for one of these lists.

Fun Perfect Ten factoid: When I proposed this column to the editors, I had done extensive research on lists that other sites had done (as to not cover similar territory) and drew up about 40 new topic ideas. In retrospect, it might have been overkill. I could have just written in an email, "People like lists."

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WRUP: Epic-quality tinfoil hats

Massively Meta, Miscellaneous

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WoW
Welcome back to Massively's What Are You Playing, the game in which we tell you what we're playing this weekend and you tell us how Blizzard totes lied about those DDoS attacks because that doesn't make you sound crazy at all.

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The Daily Grind: Are giant bosses getting ridiculous?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

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tsw
While this problem isn't confined solely to MMOs, the enlargening of bosses feels like it's getting out of hand in our genre. Practically every villain is the size of an Airbus while retaining nimble, kinetic posturing more akin to a mongoose. Is it that when these beings got so big they had no other employment options than to be the target of do-gooders?

It simply could be a sign of developer practicality. After all, larger mobs are easier for parties and raids to target and watch over the heads of other players. Also, some people might get a constant kick out of beating up something 50 times their size. "I might not have gotten that job promotion," you think, "But at least I downed Godzilla's broodling and cut off his head to put over my virtual mantle!"

What do you think? Are giant bosses getting ridiculous?

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!

Darkfall axes tutorial, for now

Fantasy, Video, Darkfall, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

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Aventurine has decided to temporarily remove Darkfall's Vale of the Custodian, otherwise known as the game's tutorial.

The move comes "after some deliberation," and for now players will spawn into the fantasy PvPbox and begin their gameplay immediately. Aventurine's announcement post says that the firm will "be looking into revamping and improving the Vale area to provide a better and smoother starting experience for new players."

In the meantime, the devs have created a new seven-minute tutorial video that you can watch after the break.

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Betawatch: November 8 - 14, 2014

Betas, Business Models, Expansions, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

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EverQuest
World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor launched this week, departing the halls of Betawatch. What else is new in the world of MMO testing? Our complete Betawatch roundup is below.

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Nexon teases Hyper Universe with a trailer, will publish Tree of Savior

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles

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Although Nexon's big showcase for the year, G-Star 2014, doesn't start until next week, there's already some information coming out thanks to a press day, and MMO Culture nabbed a few bits of news. Nexon showed a teaser trailer for its upcoming Hyper Universe game. While information about the game is a bit scarce, the premise of heroes from multiple universes battling it out lends itself to a possible PvP brawler idea. You can get a glimpse of a few of the various characters in the trailer below.

Nexon will also be the Korean publisher for Tree of Savior; the company is taking over all marketing and business activities from this point on. Players can expect a new trailer of the game to be released next week during G-Star 2014, and the pace of development is said to be quickening to still meet its 2015 launch schedule.

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The Crew Dec. 2, 2014
Destiny: The Dark Below Dec. 9, 2014
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Elite: Dangerous launch Dec. 16, 2014
TERA: Fate of Arun Dec. 16, 2014
FFXIV: Heavensward Spring 2015

Meet the Team

Brianna Royce Editor-in-Chief
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