Star Citizen's Arena Commander V0.9 patch delayed
Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 August 2014, 8:00 pm

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If you were hoping to get your hands on Arena Commander V0.9 this weekend, you've probably guessed by now that that's not happening. Star Citizen's website published an update blurb that details the reasons behind the delay.

It's also worth reading if you're a casual SC follower and weren't aware of all the stuff that 0.9 will bring to backers. There's the new Murray Cup racing map and game mode, a co-op Vanduul Swarm mode, and two new flyable ships (the M50 and the 350R). The update also features Star Citizen's first stab at private match functionality and a few other bells and whistles.

Cloud Imperium says that it "will be working around the globe through the holiday weekend to deliver on the promise of V0.9."

[Thanks Cardboard!]

MassivelyStar Citizen's Arena Commander V0.9 patch delayed originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MMO Week in Review: PAX Prime 2014
Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 August 2014, 9:00 pm

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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.

This week, Massively's Justin Olivetti braved the halls of PAX Prime and wrote all the things. Here's what he's tackled so far!
PAX Prime 2014: ArcheAge is a go for launch!
PAX Prime 2014: The mystery behind WildStar's Nexus
PAX Prime 2014: Landmark comes into its own
PAX Prime 2014: ArcheAge is launching on September 16th
PAX Prime 2014: RIFT's Nightmare Tide expansion launches October 8th
PAX Prime 2014: Unpredictable water flows through RIFT: Nightmare Tide
PAX Prime 2014: H1Z1's bears will end you
PAX Prime 2014: Going on a deer hunt in H1Z1
PAX Prime 2014: Hands-on with Shroud of the Avatar
PAX Prime 2014: The Repopulation's Josh Halls on beta, fishing, and houses
PAX Prime 2014: Paying a premium for Pathfinder Online
PAX Prime 2014: Warhammer 40k trains players to think like soldiers
PAX Prime 2014: Defiance defies barriers to play
PAX Prime 2014: Trove moves at the speed of lightrail
PAX Prime 2014: Hands-on with Undead Labs' Moonrise
PAX Prime 2014: State of Decay takes steps toward something larger
PAX Prime 2014: PlanetSide 2 meets the PlayStation 4
PAX Prime 2014: Marvel Heroes is the industry's surprise success story

Continue reading MMO Week in Review: PAX Prime 2014

MassivelyMMO Week in Review: PAX Prime 2014 originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    PAX Prime 2014: Marvel Heroes is the industry's surprise success story
    Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 August 2014, 6:00 pm

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    marvel heroes
    Meeting with Marvel Heroes' David Brevik at PAX Prime confirmed what I have been observing over the past year or so: This game has quietly and steadily become one of the bigger success stories in the online gaming industry. Brevik told me that the Marvel Heroes playerbase continues to grow, boasting four times as many players as it had nine months ago.

    What did Brevik attribute to the game's meteoric rise? The promotions and sheer mountain of new content that the team's been adding certainly helped, but he said that it really came down to terrific community relations. Brevik streams the game four nights a week and talks to the community members as though they were part of his family.

    Continue reading PAX Prime 2014: Marvel Heroes is the industry's surprise success story

    MassivelyPAX Prime 2014: Marvel Heroes is the industry's surprise success story originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      EVE Evolved: Wormholes should be more dangerous
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 August 2014, 7:00 pm

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      EVE Evolved title image
      When unstable wormholes began forming all over the EVE Online universe in 2009's Apocrypha expansion, players approached them with extreme caution. The promise of riches in the form of new loot and Tech 3 cruiser components was balanced by the incalculable risk of facing a powerful new enemy in untested circumstances. Between the Sleeper AI that had been reported to melt players' ships in seconds and the player pirates taking advantage of the hidden local chat channel to sneak up on unsuspecting victims, we had no idea whether any ship we sent into a wormhole would ever make it back out again.

      The risk of venturing into something truly unknown made wormhole exploration the single most exciting thing I've ever been a part of in an MMO, but the past five years have completely eroded that danger. Farmers now know exactly what to expect in every wormhole site and can efficiently farm Sleepers with the minimum of effort or risk, and PvP alliances can rapidly cycle through systems to find weak targets to attack. We've mapped and tamed all of the wormhole frontier, systematically reducing the risk to the lowest possible levels under the current game mechanics. Tuesday's Hyperion update aimed to shake things up with a few disruptive changes designed to keep wormholes dangerous, and I think it's a definite step in the right direction.

      In this week's EVE Evolved, I look at some of the changes in Hyperion designed to keep wormholes dangerous and ask what more could be done to keep things interesting.

      Continue reading EVE Evolved: Wormholes should be more dangerous

      MassivelyEVE Evolved: Wormholes should be more dangerous originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        PAX Prime 2014: Hands-on with Shroud of the Avatar
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 August 2014, 4:00 pm

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        When I got my first look at the live game of Shroud of the Avatar at PAX Prime this past weekend, one thought slammed me to the ground: This game is so much better-looking than the website's screenshots let on.

        My first steps into the spiritual successor to the Ultima franchise were taken in a player village at night. The incredibly dark surroundings were broken by the flickering flames of braziers in nearby huts and the swirl of fireflies. It was moody, stylish, and, if you'll pardon the word, magical. One of the devs told me that lots of work has been done lately to provide dynamic lighting that even goes so far as to allow your character's "eyes" to adjust to the dark and change the screen accordingly.

        After poking around a few half-finished homes, I ported into a PvP zone to experience the game's combat system. I learned that fighting in Shroud of the Avatar is neither simple nor similar to other MMOs. There's a rather intriguing deck system in which you earn points to spend on cards, then create a build from those. When you switch into combat mode, your hotbar is gradually dealt cards depending on their cooldowns. And if you don't use those skills within an allotted time? Why, they go away. It was confusing to grok, although the dev mentioned that it was something all players will need to spend actual time to learn and wield effectively. I'm unsure how this marks an improvement over most current combat systems, although it might appeal to those who miss Chronicles of Spellborn's system.

        Continue reading PAX Prime 2014: Hands-on with Shroud of the Avatar

        MassivelyPAX Prime 2014: Hands-on with Shroud of the Avatar originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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          This fall marks Final Fantasy XI's 12th anniversary, and as part of the lead up to the celebration, former players are invited back for a free week of play! Dubbed the Return Home to Vana'diel Campaign, the event lets all players who have ever previously paid for a subscription to FFXI return from Wednesday, September 10th, at 11:00 p.m. EDT, to Wednesday, September 17th, at 10:59 a.m. EDT. To be eligible, accounts must either be currently canceled or have the "To be Canceled" status as of September 8th at 10:59 a.m. EDT.

          Starting at the same time but lasting a week longer are special discount offers for everyone. Until 10:59 a.m. EDT on Tuesday the 23rd, players can grab the following digital downloads and services for significant savings:
          • Seekers of Adoulin Expansion Pack -- $4.99 (83% off)
          • Final Fantasy XI: Ultimate Collection Seekers Edition -- $9.99 (75% off)
          • World Transfer Service -- $9.00 (50% off)
          All deal are through the the Square Enix e-Store. If you've wanted to get back into the game to see what has changed or want to pick it up and check Vana'diel out yourself, this is a good opportunity to dive in.

          MassivelyReturn for a free week and get major discounts during Final Fantasy XI's anniversary event originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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          PAX Prime 2014: Warhammer 40k trains players to think like soldiers
          Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 August 2014, 2:00 pm

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          war40k
          Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade is most emphatically not about two things: PvE and lone rangers. While there will be a smidgeon of PvE content in the released game, the focus of the developers is about coordinated group PvP. In fact, coordination is an essential part to Eternal Crusade's experience, as the devs cited the chaos of PlanetSide 2 as something that they wish to avoid.

          Instead, using technologies such as Eternal Crusade's single server, low latency, and the built in Razercom voice chat, tools are in place to allow players to find friends and squadmates and talk with them. Going off on one's own is a recipe for a quick death, while sticking with a squad to accomplish objectives and summon in reinforcements will be the path to progress. Different terrain and structures will also require different military thinking, shifting from guerilla warfare to scorched earth madness.

          At PAX Prime, the devs were showing a very early alpha build to allow eight players to engage in small-scale PvP. The team stressed that the skirmish was definitely about skill instead of stats, although careful planning and strategy were just as important as quick reflexes. The ultimate goal is to help your faction take over as much territory as possible, transforming captured cities into faction-themed landscapes in the progress.

          Continue reading PAX Prime 2014: Warhammer 40k trains players to think like soldiers

          MassivelyPAX Prime 2014: Warhammer 40k trains players to think like soldiers originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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            PAX Prime 2014: Defiance defies barriers to play
            Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 August 2014, 3:00 pm

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            defiance
            If there's one message that Trion Worlds wants to get out about Defiance from PAX Prime this year, it's that the game is bursting with content and absolutely welcoming one and all to play.

            While we're still waiting for the conversion of the Xbox 360 version to free-to-play, PlayStation 3 and PC players can already jump into the game and experience the title for free. The team's been hard at work refining and fleshing out the game, so for people who might have only dabbled in it shortly after launch, it's almost a completely new world to explore.

            As season two of the TV show recently wrapped up, so will the current Aftermath storyline in the game. Both the show and the game dealt with the growing threat of cults, and the MMO will be packaging up the entire saga for players to revisit later in September.

            The devs also shared with me that they used the real-world setting of the Bay Area to unleash some pent-up hatred toward the San Francisco airport and its parking in one of the new areas. Good to know that MMOs can be both fun to play and therapeutic for its makers!

            Massively's on the ground in Seattle during the weekend of August 29th to September 1st, bringing you all the best news from PAX Prime 2014. Whether you're dying to know more about Warlords of Draenor, The Elder Scrolls Online, Landmark, or any MMO in between, you can bet we'll have it covered!

            MassivelyPAX Prime 2014: Defiance defies barriers to play originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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              PAX Prime 2014: The mystery behind WildStar's Nexus
              Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 August 2014, 12:00 pm

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              wildstar
              Nexus is a giant ball of mysteries at its core, but WildStar doesn't want to drag out solving them. In the upcoming Defile drop, the team is prepared to address some of the biggest questions of Drusara and the Elden as players delve into the mystery of Genesis Prime. I sat down with Carbine's Stephen Frost at PAX Prime to pry out a few secrets in advance of the patch's release.

              Defile is a massive patch compared to the game's first two releases, piling on a ton of solo, small-group, and large-group PvE content for players to face and conquer. A new zone will open up, one that's a key battleground between the Strain and Drusara, and things have gotten all sorts of weird there as a result of the clash. There are sentient spiders who have kidnapped faction leaders, a black focus that is malfunctioning, and a five-stage public event that includes bombing runs and a 20-man boss fight.

              Continue reading PAX Prime 2014: The mystery behind WildStar's Nexus

              MassivelyPAX Prime 2014: The mystery behind WildStar's Nexus originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                PAX Prime 2014: Trove moves at the speed of lightrail
                Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 August 2014, 1:00 pm

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                trove
                Probably one of the coolest features that I've seen in an MMO in a long time came during a Trove demo at PAX Prime this weekend. The devs were keen to show off the game's magriders, which are tracks that players can lay down to take others on a pre-planned route around the world. Think of it as a combination of rollercoaster, lightrail, and slip-n-slide, and you might have a notion of how insane these can get. Magriders can obey the laws of physics or not and have several options for speeding up and slowing down passengers depending on the creator's intent.

                After a dizzying five-minute ride through one of Trove's biomes that ended with a thousand-foot plunge into the heart of a volcano, I was sold on the potential for this new in-game toy. But as neat as magriders are, they're not the only card in the devs' deck as the game nears beta later in September.

                The team recently introduced Trove's fourth class, the Dracolyte. This is a fireball-wielding mage who fills the need for the pyros out there. The Dracolyte also has a little familiar dragon hovering over its shoulder that can charge up a fiery attack and then unleash it at will. The class to follow the Dracolyte couldn't be more different, however: The Neon Ninja looks to be a cyborg sword-wielder who stepped straight out of Tron.

                There's so much more to talk about with Trove's development, including the addition of clubs. Clubs are like mini-guilds, only you can join up to five of them, and each one gets its own world to modify and keep. The team is also working on a transmog system to allow players to collect and permanently store skins. From crazy candy biomes to lightning-quick rides, this underdog title might end up surprising us all.

                Continue reading PAX Prime 2014: Trove moves at the speed of lightrail

                MassivelyPAX Prime 2014: Trove moves at the speed of lightrail originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                  One Shots: The big plunge
                  Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 August 2014, 11:00 am

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                  gw2
                  For someone like myself who is mortally terrified of heights, MMOs are not a good form of immersion therapy. I still feel my stomach clench when I fall from a ledge or, in the case of our first screenshot of the day, witness someone else doing it.

                  "This was my first jumping puzzle in Guild Wars 2," Reader Chiara said. "You don't forget those things. I was all excited when I found a secret passage -- I wasn't even aware of the existence of jumping puzzles back then -- and as luck would have it, I found one of the toughest ones. Of course. My character is always camera-ready, as you can see -- even when she's plunging to her death. I think she was trying to wave, actually."

                  What happened next? In my mind, she'll always be falling, falling. Well, we all might as well take the big plunge into the rest of these screencaps!

                  Continue reading One Shots: The big plunge

                  MassivelyOne Shots: The big plunge originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                    The Daily Grind: Do you have an ArcheAge guild yet?
                    Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 August 2014, 9:00 am

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                    ArcheAge has a launch date. And a founder's launch date. And an open beta date. I'm ready to go, but for the fact that I'm going it alone. I don't have an AA guild, and I've been purposefully steering clear of my alpha and beta access over the last few months so as not to spoil more of the game and instead savor the experience when it counts.

                    So I've missed the usual pre-launch guild recruitment opportunities, basically.

                    What about you, ArcheAge fans? Do you have a guild yet, or are you just going to play it by ear?

                    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!

                    MassivelyThe Daily Grind: Do you have an ArcheAge guild yet? originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                      PAX Prime 2014: Unpredictable water flows through RIFT: Nightmare Tide
                      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 August 2014, 10:00 am

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                      rift
                      When RIFT's Nightmare Tide releases on October 8th, Trion Worlds expects that it will make more than a few MMO gamers rediscover why this is not a game to be discounted. Not only will the full expansion be completely free, but it will allow the Ascended heroes to finally take the fight to the Plane of Water. It's there that a being known as Draum has had his dreams disturbed, water has decided to eschew the laws of physics, and the bloodfire army is attempting an invasion of its own.

                      The team believes that RIFT has two types of players: ones who want to enjoy the story and ones who just want to level already. Nightmare Tide is built with both in mind, allowing people to delve into the story as much or as little as desired. However, Trion's Bill Fisher told me at this year's PAX Prime that the story is so good this time around that he's had a hard time doing the MMO gamer thing of ignoring the quest text.

                      At one point, players will encounter the birthing of a clutch of Skelf eggs. Skelf are humanoid sea creatures (some are like sharks while others share similarities to angler fish) who tend to kill the weakest member of a clutch. However, player intervention will save a poor Skelf baby who will then follow that player around and become a key part of the expansion tale.

                      Continue reading PAX Prime 2014: Unpredictable water flows through RIFT: Nightmare Tide

                      MassivelyPAX Prime 2014: Unpredictable water flows through RIFT: Nightmare Tide originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                        PAX Prime 2014: Landmark comes into its own
                        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 August 2014, 9:00 pm

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                        landmark
                        After the better part of a year of being both an excellent building simulator and the sparse skeleton of an actual MMO, Landmark is finally starting to fill out in all sorts of pleasing ways. At this year's PAX Prime, Dave Georgeson was gushing about the joy that's been unleashed with the recent PvP combat patch. Not only are players reveling in the slaughter of their fellow humans, but a new market for death match arenas has sprung up virtually overnight.

                        "Players are having stupid amounts of fun with the PvP, even if they aren't typically into PvP," Georgeson noted. He said that contrary to popular belief, PvP is tougher to put into an MMO because it deals with a very unpredictable foe (a thinking human). But it's also better for the team to implement that first and home in on what makes the combat click to make PvE combat sparkle when that's added later on. More PvP customization options are on deck for the future as well.

                        Also part of the crazy fun are the new platforming elements: teleporters, moving platforms, and "flingers." Georgeson predicted that once the playerbase gets a handle on what these elements can do and how they can be chained together, the game will grow several orders of magnitude wilder.

                        From here, Landmark's progress will only speed up. The team is going to focus on bug fixes and polishing the new systems while listening to what the players think about the new toys. One thing that the devs have to do is separate ideas that are possible (such as allowing players to order voxel structures to obey the laws of physics) from those that are not (such as allowing players to create enemy creature models). The team does have a release date for the game in mind, although it is not sharing.

                        Continue reading PAX Prime 2014: Landmark comes into its own

                        MassivelyPAX Prime 2014: Landmark comes into its own originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                          Make My MMO: August 24 - August 30, 2014
                          Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 August 2014, 7:00 pm

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                          This week's MMO crowdfunding news was headlined by Project Gorgon's second Kickstarter drive as well as TUG's upcoming "major content and engine updates."'

                          Gorgon is described as having "an unusual, original feel," by creator and former Turbine producer Eric Heimburg. It mixes "ideas from older and newer MMOs with a whole bunch of ideas never before seen in any MMO." TUG, meanwhile, is pretty well documented here on Massively, and fans can get an eyeful of the latest Nerd Kingdom shenanigans via the team's new video releases.

                          The rest of our crowdfunding roundup can be found past the break.

                          Continue reading Make My MMO: August 24 - August 30, 2014

                          MassivelyMake My MMO: August 24 - August 30, 2014 originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                            The Game Archaeologist: Ironman modes and elective permadeath
                            Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 August 2014, 5:00 pm

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                            wizardry online
                            One facet of video games that's been around almost since the very beginning is the difficulty level. This has allowed the player to choose how hard or easy a game would be from the onset, influencing factors such as the number of enemies, hardiness of bad guys, fragility of the player character, and available loot (or lack of it). I used to love how some of those '90s shareware titles would mock me for picking easy, sometimes portraying my character wearing a baby bonnet and sucking its thumb. Real gamers, the devs implied, go tough or go home.

                            With a few exceptions, MMOs operate on a fixed level of difficulty for all of their players. Instead of assigning blanket difficulty client-side, the game world portions difficulty into areas, usually according to level or activity. Some games have instances with adjustable difficulty levels, but past that what you get is also what I get.

                            This might be changing. A very fringe but dedicated group of players have championed such ideas as elective ironman and permadeath modes for their MMOs, and at least one studio is responding positively to that desire. Would you choose to make your MMO experience harder than everyone else in exchange for nothing more than a bigger challenge and a more "realistic" experience?

                            Continue reading The Game Archaeologist: Ironman modes and elective permadeath

                            MassivelyThe Game Archaeologist: Ironman modes and elective permadeath originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                              PAX Prime 2014: ArcheAge is a go for launch!
                              Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 August 2014, 6:00 pm

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                              archeage
                              The packed ballroom at Trion's PAX Prime party erupted into giddy cheers last night when the team announced that ArcheAge's launch is merely a couple of weeks away. This gorgeous fantasy sandbox blew up the alpha test population and is poised to be a huge coup for Trion as the studio adds another title to its growing portfolio.

                              While the official launch date is September 16th, there will be an open beta from September 4th through the 8th, followed by a headstart launch on the 12th for founders.

                              The team expressed confidence in the alpha testing and the back-and-forth communication with developer XLGAMES. If XLGAMES is the proud mom and dad of ArcheAge, I was told, then Trion is the proud auntie and uncle. A lot of work has gone into straightening out regional differences for the western audience as well. For example, in Korea it's quite common to play an MMO with the intent of selling your character for actual money, which places a different value and emphasis on what you accumulate and do. Since such sales aren't often legal here, adjustments had to be made for the localized version. There was also a special cape item that Korean players could use to identify botters, which was used responsibly in that country but has apparently been wielded as a griefing tool in the west.

                              ArcheAge won't be budging on its commitment to an open PvP world; it's simply how the game is constructed. Players who want to avoid getting ganked will need to keep an eye on war zones that move throughout the world and accept the inherent risk that comes with attempting trade in those regions.

                              The team hopes that there will be enough space on the servers for all subscribers to grab an open world housing plot if desired. Coming some time after launch will be castles, which are larger structures that guilds can build, maintain, and defend together. Trion said that server transfers won't be in for release but are being worked on for the future.

                              Continue reading PAX Prime 2014: ArcheAge is a go for launch!

                              MassivelyPAX Prime 2014: ArcheAge is a go for launch! originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                                PAX Prime 2014: Going on a deer hunt in H1Z1
                                Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 August 2014, 4:00 pm

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                                h1z1
                                The time was just before dawn, with colors muted by the limited light. I silently roamed through fog banks, looking for a quarry in the woods and finding none. It was my first time playing H1Z1, and I had no other purpose than to find something living (or unliving) and end it with my hefty axe.

                                Suddenly I spotted it: the flash of a white tail as a deer sprinted away from me through the brush. I pressed down the sprint button and went after it, chewing through my stamina and cursing my lack of four legs or gasoline-powered wheels.

                                The deer led me on a grim chase through the mostly silent woodland. At one point, a wolf appeared out from behind a tree and sprinted after the doe as well, although it couldn't catch up and eventually became disheartened (or glitched out). Yes, I felt both gruesome and silly spending my moments at the demo booth trying to kill Bambi, but I needed to know if I would be able to survive in this environment.

                                One wrong move and I was upon the prey, bringing it down with a sickening thud. Continuing to hack away at the carcass with my axe found me rewarded with more crafting materials and a dented conscience. Stricken, I wandered away and roamed up a hill, only to encounter a strange solitary sign with a skull on it.

                                "That marks the border of the game," a nearby developer told me while another dev professed amazement that he had never seen such signs before. "If you go past here, you'll die," the first dev cautioned.

                                Maybe I deserve to die. If chopping through a tender critter is what it takes to survive in this new world, is that worth the cost? I put down the controls and walked away, innocent no longer.

                                Continue reading PAX Prime 2014: Going on a deer hunt in H1Z1

                                MassivelyPAX Prime 2014: Going on a deer hunt in H1Z1 originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                                  The Stream Team: Experiencing Landmark's first combat arenas
                                  Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 August 2014, 2:15 pm

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                                  Folks have had a few days to get their bearings with Landmark's new PvP combat system, and that means more arenas have opened their doors. Want to see what's sprung up? Massively's MJ is taking a tour to see and experience -- and most likely die in -- some of the new builds focused on the fledgling fighting system. She's sure there are many creative ways to perish at the hands of her fellow players! With any luck, at least some will involve proximity mines. Join us live at 1:00 p.m. for the two-hour tour (as well as a chance to win more codes).

                                  Game: Landmark
                                  Host: MJ Guthrie
                                  Date: Saturday, August 30th, 2014
                                  Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

                                  Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

                                  Continue reading The Stream Team: Experiencing Landmark's first combat arenas

                                  MassivelyThe Stream Team: Experiencing Landmark's first combat arenas originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 13:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                                    Above & Beyond Technologies Lead Developer Josh Halls has been on a very long journey with The Repopulation, a journey that began back in 2009 and isn't even close to being over yet. I met with Halls at PAX Prime to talk about where this sci-fi sandbox has been and where it's going as it angles for beta testing.

                                    The Repopulation released its Alpha 3 build this past April and will be sticking with that for the duration of alpha testing. Halls told me that there's a pretty dedicated group of testers in the game, with around 1,500 having picked up the title so far and around 20 to 40 playing at any given moment. Those numbers are primed to increase when the game transitions into beta and Steam Early Access later this year.

                                    While it's not terribly sexy, bug tracking and fixing is vital to the development process and foremost on the team's mind. Player feedback during the alpha has helped to refine the game in other ways, such as to make gathering less of a click-fest and more of a community effort. Right now a group of players can work together to enhance a region in order to gather better materials.

                                    Other big to-do items include putting in a fishing minigame and opening the doors (so to speak) for open-world housing. Fishing will pave the way for other possible minigames, and open-world housing is the next step from the game's existing instanced homes.

                                    Halls said that the dozen or so members of the team are hard at work to prepare The Repopulation for the larger gaming public and that the studio is currently operating in the black.

                                    Continue reading PAX Prime 2014: The Repopulation's Josh Halls on beta, fishing, and houses

                                    MassivelyPAX Prime 2014: The Repopulation's Josh Halls on beta, fishing, and houses originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                                      PAX Prime 2014: H1Z1's bears will end you
                                      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 August 2014, 12:00 pm

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                                      h1z1
                                      In most MMOs, bears are chunky cannon fodder: good for lowbie XP and a sad scrap of a pelt as loot. In H1Z1, bears are possibly more terrifying than zombies and gankers combined. At PAX Prime this weekend, Game Director Jimmy Whisenhunt explained that in this game, a bear attacked will run you down as fast as it does in nature and make a plaything of your skull. It's a good thing that they're relatively rare and give a warning roar before charging, otherwise the zombies would be coming to you for help.

                                      Expanding the role of nature is essential to the immersion of H1Z1's survival aspect. Wolves, deer, and bear roam the countryside, getting into the occasional tiff with each other and the undead. They're useful if you can take them down quickly, since the harsh elements (such as rain and snow) will soon be programmed to degrade your well-being and those animal pelts could be made into clothes.

                                      Whisenhunt walked us through the four essential stats to staying alive in this world. Stamina is for sprinting and attacks, and while it regenerates quickly, neglecting it will ensure your body will draw from your hydration and energy levels instead. Your health is also constantly ticking down and replenished by the food and water you drink, meaning that you'll always need to be looking for more to scarf up and quaff in your journeys. Stashing your food in your backpack is a good option, although the team is still tinkering with the style of inventory to make the limited storage another survival factor.

                                      When H1Z1 goes into early access later this year, there will be one "vanilla" server on which no punches will be pulled (this is doubly true as all players will start with only their fists as weapons). Other types of servers, such as player-only or PvE rulesets, are possibilities once the team assesses how players are engaging the game in beta.

                                      Continue reading PAX Prime 2014: H1Z1's bears will end you

                                      MassivelyPAX Prime 2014: H1Z1's bears will end you originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                                        PAX Prime 2014: PlanetSide 2 meets the PlayStation 4
                                        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 August 2014, 1:00 pm

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                                        ps2
                                        PlanetSide 2 is waging a war for your attention on two platforms these days. The big push by SOE as of late is to prepare the title for its testing and release on the PlayStation 4. At this year's PAX Prime, the team said that the MMOFPS should be going into a beta later this year after the devs finish refining the UI for use on the controller.

                                        The PlayStation 4 version won't be sharing the same server as the PC, although SOE predicts that it will become the more popular edition due to the number of first-person shooter fans on the console. Great effort is being made to keep the game as fast and responsive as other FPS titles on that platform. As in many other FPS games on the PS4, voice chat will be a must-have for squads.

                                        The team will be attempting to keep the updates for the PS4 edition as close as possible with the release of the PC title. Because of the approval process by Sony, it won't be possible for the devs to assure a same-day release across platforms.

                                        We asked whether PlanetSide 2 could be coming to the PlayStation 3 as well, but the studio said that the older hardware simply can't handle the title without a serious compromise in game quality.

                                        Massively's on the ground in Seattle during the weekend of August 29th to September 1st, bringing you all the best news from PAX Prime 2014. Whether you're dying to know more about Warlords of Draenor, The Elder Scrolls Online, Landmark, or any MMO in between, you can bet we'll have it covered!

                                        MassivelyPAX Prime 2014: PlanetSide 2 meets the PlayStation 4 originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                                          WRUP: WoW's next-next expansion
                                          Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 August 2014, 11:00 am

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                                          Welcome back to Massively's What Are You Playing, the game in which we tell you what we're playing this weekend and you try to guess what World of Warcraft's sixth expansion's theme will be. If you say pandas, time-travel, or orcs, you lose.

                                          Continue reading WRUP: WoW's next-next expansion

                                          MassivelyWRUP: WoW's next-next expansion originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                                            PAX Prime 2014: Paying a premium for Pathfinder Online
                                            Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 August 2014, 10:00 am

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                                            pathfinder online
                                            Would you pay to get into an alpha test? Well, would you continue to pay a monthly subscription to keep on playing a title that's not yet launched? If you've answered "yes" to these questions plus the special one that I ask at the end of this article, then you're one of the folks that Pathfinder Online hopes to recruit for early enrollment come September 15th.

                                            I sat down with Goblinworks CEO Ryan Dancey and Game Designer Stephen Chaney at PAX Prime yesterday to talk about this next big step for the game. Pathfinder Online is still far from feature complete, but the team considers it done enough that it can monetize the game in the form of a monthly sub. The 20,000 or so folks who will be admitted into early enrollment play (a number that includes the 7,000 Kickstarter backers) are expected to pay $15 a month as the team continues to develop the title. In exchange, characters and progress will not be wiped, and players will get to see the game take shape around them.

                                            Goblinworks' philosophy is to have a robust game design first and then wrap the rest of the game around it afterward. Dancy said that the monetization is necessary to keep the lights on and the development rolling. The budget for a finished Pathfinder Online is $5 million (89% of which is salaries), but only $1.4 million has been raised so far.

                                            Being only passingly familiar with Pathfinder Online, I asked why the MMO with its territory control seems so different from the small party, adventure-oriented tabletop game. The reason for this is that the pen-and-paper game doesn't completely translate to software boundaries, plus it draws from an adventure pack that Paizo tested a while back that went on to become one of its best-selling products. In both versions of Pathfinder, the long game is to rule the land and establish a legacy, not merely fill up a bag with XP and loot.

                                            So is it worth it to you to pay a full subscription price for a half-finished game? That's up to you.

                                            Continue reading PAX Prime 2014: Paying a premium for Pathfinder Online

                                            MassivelyPAX Prime 2014: Paying a premium for Pathfinder Online originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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                                              The Daily Grind: Who is your favorite in-game companion?
                                              Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 August 2014, 9:00 am

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                                              swtor
                                              While not every MMO features companions, there are enough out there that I wager you've played a title or two with a strapping NPC at your side. One of my absolute favorite features of Star Wars: The Old Republic is its companion system. The day that I finally earned my HK-51 was one of the most glorious moments of my life, just narrowly edging out the birth of my children and the return of Arrested Development.

                                              Who is your favorite in-game companion? Did you choose that companion based on personality, looks, or general combat assistance? What is one of your favorite stories involving that character?

                                              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!

                                              MassivelyThe Daily Grind: Who is your favorite in-game companion? originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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