Only 5% of my neighbors are convicted criminals
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 November 2014, 2:28 am
Would you boast about only 5% of your neighbors being convicted criminals? Probably not. In fact such a rate of criminal behavior in your community would probably be enough to lower house prices and see many people packing. So I agree with Tremayne that it is somewhat curious that League of Legends is proud that 95% of their players haven't received official disciplinary action last year. Not only is 5% of people that are behaving so badly that they get various forms of bans far too much, but it also is indicative of a far greater number of jerks who simply aren't caught, or who behave badly but just under the degree that gets banned.

When the UK last month announced a new law giving 2 years of prison to internet trolls, people joked that their jails would be full after half an hour of League of Legends. LoL has become the poster child of games with a toxic community. And I wonder why that is so. I don't believe that it is related to the genre. Regardless of whether Blizzard's new Heroes of the Storm brings anything new to the genre, the one thing you can be sure about is that the community will be better policed and less toxic.

So why do you think League of Legends stands out for bad online behavior? And what could be done about it?
Tobold's Blog



GWJ Conference Call Episode 424
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 November 2014, 1:39 am

Episode 424 - November 26th, 2014
Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, Home Bases, Your Emails and More!

Right Click Here and 'Save As' to Download!
(An Inquisitive 43.2 MBs, 1:15:26)

This week Shawn, Julian and Karla talk a whole lot of Dragon Age Inquisition and game homes!

read more




Defiance gets new Aftermath content, Thanksgiving event
Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 7:00 pm

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Defiance has received a free update called Aftermath that builds "off of the climactic season two TV finale," according to a Trion press release. There's new content that will "carry players across various locales from Silicon Valley to Paradise as the world teeters on the verge of all-out war between the Earth Republic and Votanis Collective," and it includes new events, contracts, pursuits, and enemies.

Don't forget about the Thanksgiving-themed New Frontier Harvest which runs from November 26th through December 10th. As well, don't forget about the Aftermath trailer that's waiting for you behind the break.

[Source: Trion press release]

Continue reading Defiance gets new Aftermath content, Thanksgiving event

MassivelyDefiance gets new Aftermath content, Thanksgiving event originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Global Chat: Gamers Secret Santa
    Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 8:00 pm

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    rift
    One of the yearly traditions in the blogosphere that I always look forward to is Stargrace's Annual Gamers Secret Santa. Currently in its sixth year, Gamers Secret Santa accepts any and all who want to sign up to be a part of a gift exchange. You'll end up sending a gift ($20 maximum) to someone and will receive a gift from another person during the month of December. There's even a digital exchange for more remote locations.

    It's always a blast to see what gifts I end up getting (and they are always geeky), and I wanted to encourage others to be a part of this. You'll need to sign up by December 1st if you do, however! It's grown every year, but this year I'm giving a bit of Massively publicity, so let's see if we can make this the biggest year ever!

    Another blogger-driven Christmas initiative is Syl's Blogosphere Xmas Countdown, during which she's assigning various blogs a day to write about the theme of positive gaming and community. Keep an eye on MMO Gypsy to see this advent countdown progress!

    Continue reading Global Chat: Gamers Secret Santa

    MassivelyGlobal Chat: Gamers Secret Santa originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      Server Maintenance, Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
      Posted by Lineage II [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 5:47 pm
      All game servers will be down for maintenance on Wednesday, November 26th, 2014, at 5:00am PST / 7:00am CST / 8:00am EST / 12:00pm UTC/GMT and will end at 9:00am PST / 11:00am CST / 12:00pm EST / 4:00pm...


      Unofficial PBE Patch Notes for 11/25/2014
      Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 7:07 pm

      WIP POST

      *Rek'Sai skin is Eternium Rek'Sai!

      King Poro HUD

      New Champion - Rek'Sai the Void Burrower

       

      Stats

      Damage: 55.628 (+ 3.35 ) 
      Health: 611.2 (+ 90 ) 
      Mana: 100 (+ 0 ) 
      Movement Speed: 335
      Armor: 28.3 (+ 3.75 ) 
      Magic Resist: 32.1 (+ 1.25 ) 
      Health Per 5 Sec: 7.35 (+ 0.65 )
      Mana Per 5 Sec: 0 (+ 0 )
      Range: 175 
      Defense Rating: 5 
      Magic Rating: 2 
      Difficulty Rating: 3 
      Attack Rating: 8

       

      Tips

      • Keeping tunnels spread out across the map will ensure you have choices when you want to cast Void Rush.
      • Cast Burrow before travelling around the map to take advantage of the increased movement speed and the safety provided by Tremor Sense.
      • Tremor Sense can warn you of enemies closing in, and is particularly useful when entering enemy territory. 

      Opponent Tips

      • If you see one of Rek'Sai's tunnels, briefly stand on one of the entrances to destroy it.
      • Rek'Sai's Furious Bite gains damage as she builds Fury. Be very careful around her when her Fury is full.
      • When Rek'Sai is near, she can see the position of you and your allies, but only if you're moving.

      Lore

      The largest and fiercest of her species, Rek’Sai is a merciless predator that tunnels through the earth to ambush and devour her prey. Her insatiable hunger has laid waste to entire regions of the once-great Shuriman empire. Merchants, traders and armed caravans will go hundreds of miles out of their way to avoid these vast areas, though cunning bandits have been known to lure the unwary into her killing grounds. Once Rek’Sai detects you, your fate is sealed. There is no hope of escape; she is death from below the sand.

      Abilities

      [Passive] - Fury of the Xer'Sai 
      Fury of the Xer'SaiDealing damage while un-burrowed generates Fury.
      Burrowing consumes Fury over 5 seconds to restore up to @f2@ health. During this time, Rek'Sai's next attack that generates Fury will grant an 15 bonus Fury.

      [Q] - Queen's Wrath 

      Un-Burrowed: Rek'Sai's next 3 basic attacks within 5 seconds deal 15/35/55/75/95 (+) bonus Physical Damage to nearby enemies.
      Burrowed: Rek'Sai launches a burst of void-charged earth that explodes on first unit hit dealing 60/90/120/150/180 (+0.5) Magic Damage and revealing enemies hit for 2/2/2/2/2 seconds. 
      Cost: 
      Range: 325 
      Cooldown: 4/4/4/4/4

      [W] - Burrow/Unborrow

      Un-Burrowed: Burrow into the ground. 
      Burrowed: Un-burrow, dealing 60/110/160/210/260 (+) Physical Damage and knocking up nearby enemies for up to 1 second based on their proximity to Rek'Sai. A unit cannot be hit by Un-burrow more than once every 10 seconds.
      Burrowed Effects: New abilities, + Movement Speed, reduced vision range, disabled basic attacks, and gains Tremor Sense: Nearby enemies that move in Fog of War have their position revealed to Rek'Sai and her allies. 
      Cost: 
      Range: 1650 
      Cooldown: 4/4/4/4/4

      [E] - Furious Bite 
      Un-Burrowed: Rek'Sai bites a target dealing Physical Damage, increasing by up to 100% at maximum Fury. If Rek'Sai has 100 Fury, Furious Bite deals True Damage.
      Maximum Damage: 
      Burrowed: Rek'Sai tunnels forward leaving two connected Tunnel Entrances. Clicking a Tunnel Entrance will make Rek'Sai dive to the other entrance.
      Tunnel Entrances last for 10/10/10/10/10 minutes and can be destroyed by enemies. Rek'Sai may have 8/8/8/8/8 tunnels at one time. 
      Cost: 
      Range: 250 
      Cooldown: 12/12/12/12/12

      [R] - Void Rush 
      Passive: Grants 20/40/60% Attack Speed.
      Active: After channeling for 1.5 seconds, Rek'Sai travels to target Tunnel Entrance. Taking damage from a champion or tower will interrupt the channel. 
      Cost: 
      Range: 25000 
      Cooldown: 180/150/120

      Champion Ability Changes

      Sejuani

      • Artic Assault [Q] - No longer deals additional damage according to a % of the target's maximum health
      • Flail of the Northern Winds [W] - Bonus damage is now based on a % of the target's (and all those in the AoE) maximum health. Now also deals 40/70/100/130/160 damage over 6 seconds (down from 80/120/160/200/240)
      • Permafrost [E] - Damage lowered to 60/90/120/150/180 (down from 60/110/160/210/260) and duration lowered to 1.5 across all ranks (down from 1.5/1.75/2/2.25/2.5)

      Warwick

      • Hunter's Call [W] - Duration raised to 10 seconds (up from 6)

      Shen

      • Shadow Dash [E] - Energy cost lowered to 100 (down from 120)

       




      RuneScape sub price to increase in 2015
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 5:00 pm

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      RuneScape's subscription fee is going up in 2015, but Jagex hasn't said exactly when or by how much. A posting on the fantasy title's official website pegs the timeframe as Q1 2015 and says that the hike will affect new members as well as members who have been unsubscribed for more than 14 days.

      "If you're a member when the price rise happens, you'll see no change," Jagex explains. "You'll stay at your price as long as your active membership started before the date of the price rise. This applies for all previous grandfather rates, for those of you who've been subscribed for a long time. Should your membership end, you'll keep any lower price you're eligible for, as long as you resubscribe within 14 days. After that, though, you'll be moved to the new price."

      MassivelyRuneScape sub price to increase in 2015 originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      New World of Speed vid pits Camaro vs. Mustang
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 6:00 pm

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      World of Speed's recent video releases have been heavy on Asian and European automotive flavor. Today's reveal, though, is all about modern American muscle courtesy of two iconic ponycars. The Ford Mustang GT and the Chevy Camaro SS take you on a two-minute ride via the trailer that we've embedded just past the break.

      Continue reading New World of Speed vid pits Camaro vs. Mustang

      MassivelyNew World of Speed vid pits Camaro vs. Mustang originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      Rek’Sai, the Void Burrower, Revealed
      Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 4:45 pm

      Rek’Sai, the Void Burrower, Revealed

      Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)


      Rek’Sai
      The Void Burrower
      The shifting Shuriman sands harbor countless tales, and while most speak of its long-forgotten civilization, others reveal something else: terror within the dunes. The nomads and traders that cross through Runeterra’s golden lands know the stories well enough, the bloody remains of their kin testament to the void beast below. And while others enter Shurima unaware of the monster’s fearsome reputation, or so proud they believe themselves strong enough to survive her slaughter, few last long once they enter Rek’Sai’s lands.
      Abilities
      • Passive: Fury of the Xer’Sai
        Rek’Sai gains fury whenever she attacks her enemies. Burrowing consumes her fury, briefly regenerating her health.
      • Q: Queen’s Wrath/Prey Seeker
        Unburrowed – Queen’s Wrath

        Rek’Sai lashes out, dealing damage to all enemies around her with her next three basic attacks.

        Burrowed – Prey Seeker

        Rek’Sai fires out a pulse of void energy in a straight line skillshot that detonates on the first enemy struck, damaging, and revealing the target and all nearby enemies also hit by the missile’s explosion.

      • W: Burrow/Unburrow
        Unburrowed – Burrow

        Rek’Sai burrows underground, gaining Tremor Sense (a unique mechanic that shows Rek’Sai all enemy movement in a wide area around her) and increased movement speed at the expense of vision range and access to her basic attacks. She ignores unit collision as she moves around.

        Burrowed – Unburrow

        Rek’Sai bursts out into the open, knocking up and damaging all surrounding enemies.

      • E: Furious Bite/Tunnel
        Unburrowed – Furious Bite

        Rek’Sai bites her target, dealing increasing damage based on her fury, or true damage if she has a full fury bar.

        Burrowed - Tunnel

        Rek’Sai digs toward a target location, creating a pair of long-lasting tunnels at the two ends of her path.

      • R: Void Rush

        Passive: Rek’Sai gains attack speed.

        Active: Rek’Sai channels briefly before burrowing and dashing towards any of her tunnels, briefly gaining significant movement speed once she emerges.


      Gameplay

      Rek’Sai is a powerful and mobile monster well suited to the jungle of Summoner’s Rift. Clever use of her tunnels gives Rek’Sai unparalleled mobility through her jungle and into the enemy’s domain. Once there, she works best counter-jungling her opponent into obscurity before ganking enemy laners from the unconventional angles her tunnels provide.

      Jungling

      Rek’Sai is a mobile menace at all stages of the game, creating tunnels throughout her own jungle to help her dart from camp to camp. But she doesn’t just burrow quickly; she kills at speed, too. Queen's Wrath brings mass carnage to each camp’s monsters, dealing solid area of effect damage to every enemy around her, while Furious Bite deals powerful single target damage. Monsters will fight back, but Rek’Sai – once she’s generated enough fury - can sustain through the slaughter by burrowing, which restores her health and speeds her toward the next camp. And once her jungle’s empty, it’s time for Rek’Sai to turn toward the enemy jungle.

      Tremor Sense is central to Rek’Sai’s counter-jungling runs, which focus on killing enemy camps while her counterpart’s away rather than dueling directly. By checking for movement in her intended direction, Rek’Sai can at least understand where her opposing jungler isn’t, then use that knowledge to burrow in and steal camps, effectively starving her opponent out of their jungle and forcing them into premature ganks, or worse yet, into Rek’Sai’s lair. Pity those who dare stray too deep into the burrower’s home: her tunnels offer incredible mobility, and with good vision control, Rek’Sai can easily coordinate her allies as she hunts down wandering targets.

      Then there are her ganks. Rek’Sai’s relative lack of burst damage means she thrives best when she ganks for her high-damage allies, using her considerable utility to slow and stop her target’s escape. Most crucially, Rek’Sai’s tunnels give her unique angles of attack into enemy lanes, from which she can damage her mark with Prey Seeker before unburrowing beneath them. The knock-up provides a strong enough window for most assassins to secure their kill, but even if her enemy’s still alive, Rek’Sai can turn to her own abilities - Queen's Wrath and Furious Bite in particular - to add extra damage into the mix.

      Teamfights

      Come mid-game, Rek’Sai operates best when she takes advantage of her unique vision and tunnels, using her knowledge of the enemy’s movements to split push or pick lone targets. In split-push situations, she makes short work of minion waves with Queen's Wrath, shoving her own minions into towers and forcing the enemy team to react. Tremor Sense ensures she’s always aware of her enemy’s whereabouts, too, allowing her to dive through the myriad tunnels she’s already created and skirt around those who come to stop the shove. But her mobility doesn’t end there. Void Rush gives Rek’Sai the ability to burrow to any of her tunnels, potentially crossing over the entirety of Summoner’s Rift in seconds.

      But when to ult? If she’s attracted enemy attention with her split pushes, Rek’Sai can quickly relocate to join her waiting allies in another lane, using their newfound numbers advantage to force down towers or claim other objectives. Alternatively, a sneaky tunnel in the enemy base sets up a perfect late game backdoor attempt, while tunnels near her own base give Rek’Sai the opportunity to dash back and help defend when the enemy forces come knocking. During the early and mid game, Void Rush gives Rek’Sai instant access back into her jungle whenever she recalls, meaning she can carry on clearing camps and gaining experience and gold while her counterpart heads back to their jungle.

      In large-scale teamfights, Rek’Sai works best when she can follow up on a solid initiation, following in and locking up priority targets with the knock up from Unburrow. Once she’s engaged, Rek’Sai has to work fast, generating fury as quickly as she can before crippling her enemy with Furious Bite. The ability scales in damage depending on how much she’s filled her fury bar, and deals true damage when full. Once she’s laid down her punishment, Rek’Sai needs to focus on survival. Burrow gives her both the movement speed and health regen she needs to dodge and recover from the enemy’s retaliation, and gives her opportunity to peel for her damage dealers by Unburrowing beneath their would-be killers.

      Synergy
      Works well with:
        Lux - the Lady of Luminosity

      All of Lux’s abilities synergize well with Rek’Sai’s at every stage of the game. Early Light Bindings help Rek’Sai move into place for her knock up, while in teamfights, Lucent Singularity and Prey Seeker grant long-range vision of their targets. And while Rek’Sai is not the most delicate of flowers, Prismatic Barrier helps her soak up extra damage as she moves in to engage.


        Malphite - Shard of the Monolith

      Crowd control’s the word when Rek’Sai and Malphite buddy up for teamfights. Unstoppable Force is the perfect area of effect initiation tool for Rek’Sai, who can tunnel in and send her enemies skywards once again with Unburrow before working on her targets with Queen's Wrath and Furious Bite.


        Kassadin - the Void Walker

      Come mid game, Kassadin and Rek’Sai can pair up to form a small and mobile death squad. Both have enough mobility to jet around the map, and once Rek’Sai locks their target up with Unburrow, Kass has plenty of damage to earn his team a kill.

      Struggles against:
        Kalista - the Spear of Vengeance

      While Rek’Sai punishes those she can stick to, she struggles against champions who can kite effectively, particularly Kalista. Martial Poise enables the Spear of Vengeance to continuously dart around the Void Burrower while she lays down punishing damage with her basic attacks and Pierce.


        Lee Sin - the Blind Monk

      One of League’s eminent counter-junglers, Lee Sin’s got the damage, sustain and mobility with Sonic Wave and Safeguard to hunt down and kill Rek’Sai whenever she tries to tunnel her way into the Blind Monk’s jungle.


        Ziggs - the Hexplosives Expert

      Hexplosive Minefield and Satchel Charge make Ziggs a difficult target for Rek’Sai’s ganks during laning, but the problems don’t end there. Even if Rek’Sai is able to split push a sizeable minion wave into the enemy’s turret, the range and power of Mega Inferno Bomb can quickly wipe out the wave and rebalance the map.

      Champion Insights

      Rek’Sai, game design by Beat Punchbeef

      When we started working on Rek'Sai it was with two concepts in mind: Burrower and Land Shark. As we started running with the idea it became clear very quickly that first we needed to identify what was unique and fun about being in the ground. Initial prototyping helped us determine being invisible wasn't quite right. Permanent stealth is something Evelynn does well already but more importantly, the most terrifying thing about a shark is seeing that iconic and ominous fin circling around you and knowing deep down that there's nothing you can do to stop it.

      Once we knew the basics of being burrowed it was time to figure out what you'd actually do in that state. The first idea that came to us was the concept of feeling vibrations from movement in the ground and using that to track prey. This gave us the ability to gain information about your targets in similar ways to stealth without needing to worry about a lot of the frustrations experienced by players on the other side of it. It also creates emotional highs for players on all sides. Rek'Sai gets to feel like a stealthy hunter while her enemies get to feel the tension and dread of knowing there's something out there watching them.

      Now that we have a burrowing character who can track prey at great distance without their knowledge, what's left? To be a true hunter, it's not enough to simply know where your prey is. It's about finding the right moment to strike. To do this, Rek'Sai needed to be flexible in how she moved around the map, to dance around the target she was stalking while remaining undetected. This is where Tunnel comes into play. Underground, Rek'Sai is the master of her domain and she doesn't care for paltry restrictions like walls. Tunnels give her the freedom to be anywhere on the map at any time and really think about how and where she wants to strike at her unsuspecting prey.

      That’s it for now. Let us know your thoughts on Rek’Sai in the comments below!




      Icarus Online releases trailer for The Evil Desert
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 4:00 pm

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      You said we were going to Red Lobster.  This is not Red Lobster.  Are you listening?  I WANTED RED LOBSTER, TRISHA!
      We have to be honest and say we don't know a whole lot about Icarus Online, due to the fact that it hasn't been released over here and isn't in a language that most of us can speak. Those are barriers to education right there. But we do know it's getting a new expansion, and a trailer for that expansion is available just past the break.

      The expansion is dubbed The Evil Desert, and you can guess what the focus is from the title alone, really. It's not a benevolent tundra. From the trailer, it should feature new storyline quests, at least one massive new boss, and a lot of people speaking ominously whilst conjuring cards. Check out the trailer for yourself just past the break; it'll take only a minute of your time.

      Continue reading Icarus Online releases trailer for The Evil Desert

      MassivelyIcarus Online releases trailer for The Evil Desert originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      The Evil Within – #SebSelfie Screamshot Sweeps
      Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 2:45 pm
      In our new sweepstakes, celebrate The Evil Within’s craziest moments… with a selfie! Detective Sebastian Castellanos has a knack for getting into close encounters of the scary kind. With that in mind, we’re looking for your best Sebastian “selfie” moment in The Evil Within for our #SebSelfie Sweepstakes. All you need to do to is […]


      WildStar releases Voyage of the Nomad, plans story rollout
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 1:00 pm

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      WildStar
      Carbine Studios has just announced new content for WildStar... well, for the WildStar website, anyway. Voyage of the Nomad, a short story that "recollects the tale of the Cassians' first steps into the vast world of deep-space exploration," will go live on the official site's story page today.

      And it won't be a lone entry. Carbine plans to publish 11 such tales starting today and running every other Tuesday until the plots are played out. "The stories will unfold chronologically, until they reach the events that players have already experienced in WildStar's main story," says the press release.

      Hey, at least the lore-fiends among the greater MMO playerbase will be happy!

      MassivelyWildStar releases Voyage of the Nomad, plans story rollout originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      Take a look at World of Warcraft's updated Blood Elf models
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 1:30 pm

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      These could have been in at launch, sure, but it would have cost a raid tier.
      Blood Elves kind of got the short end of the World of Warcraft stick when Warlords of Draenor launched. All the classic races got an updated model, the Draenei got an updated model, and the Blood Elves didn't. The result is that the race is notably older than its contemporaries. That's going to change soon; the updated models for the race are swiftly moving through development, bringing the Horde's magical addicts up to par with the rest of the faction.

      As with the other updated models, the differences are subtle but notable. Blood Elf women have slightly wider torsos and a more defined neck, while the men have better anatomy and a more natural stance. There's no precise ETA, but the team is hoping to have these updated models into the game soon, as rigging and animating are currently underway. You can get some idea of what the finished product will look like by checking the preview.

      MassivelyTake a look at World of Warcraft's updated Blood Elf models originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      Flameseeker Chronicles: Navigating Guild Wars 2's Tangled Paths release
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 2:00 pm

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      What a nice day for a war.
      I was late playing Guild Wars 2's latest update, Tangled Paths, because I was on an airplane when it went live. That might be a better excuse than "the dog ate my homework," but I don't have one for "a dog ate my character," which is exactly what happened as soon as I got home and logged in.

      Read on for the reason I actually welcome our vicious new dog overlords, as well as why Caithe and I need to have a long talk. You'll also find an exclusive photograph of Bellevue, Washington, taken from the roof of ArenaNet's studio, which is exciting primarily because I got the Seattle skyline in the very same shot without it coming out blurry, even on my awful camera phone. I'm proud of that and nobody can take it from me. As usual, spoiler warnings apply!

      Continue reading Flameseeker Chronicles: Navigating Guild Wars 2's Tangled Paths release

      MassivelyFlameseeker Chronicles: Navigating Guild Wars 2's Tangled Paths release originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        Ubisoft's The Crew: Not pre-screened for critics
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 2:30 pm

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        I used to love reading movie reviews in the local paper when I was a kid, though sometimes it puzzled me when a film was listed as "not pre-screened for critics." Generally these were B-movies that critics were prone to savaging, so the distribution companies figured they'd make more money if prospective customers didn't see Siskel and Ebert ripping a film up one side and down the other.

        Fast-forward 20 years and Ubisoft is doing something similar with The Crew. According to the latest company blog post, the open world MMO racer won't be given to media outlets in advance of its December 2nd release, ostensibly so that reviewers can experience the game in "optimal conditions" that include lots of other players.

        "The Crew was built from the beginning to be a living playground full of driving fans, so it's only possible to assess our game in its entirety with other real players in the world," the company says. "And by other, we mean thousands and thousands and thousands of players - something that can't be simulated with a handful of devs playing alongside the press." Ubisoft goes on to say that any reviews that do appear on release day will be built around media preview sessions from the title's beta phases and thus will not "reflect the finished game."

        MassivelyUbisoft's The Crew: Not pre-screened for critics originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        Star Wars: The Old Republic explains 3.0's Sniper and Gunslinger
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 3:00 pm

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        Keeping it at arm's length.
        Star Wars: The Old Republic finishes up its series examining the class changes coming with the 3.0 update today with the Sniper and the Gunslinger. Why were those two the last on the list? Probably because they were hiding way in the back. That's sort of how they do things. As both of the base classes (Smuggler and Imperial Agent) have seen some significant changes, some of the changes to Snipers and Gunslingers focus around keeping the core utility of the advanced classes while removing unnecessary or superfluous buttons.

        Sharpshooter/Marksmanship are fairly unchanged from their current incarnations, save for a new ability replacing an older ability in regular rotation. Engineer/Saboteur is largely unchained, but the changes to abilities should produce smoother overall rotations. Last but not least, Virulence/Dirty Fighting specialties both gain a new ability that functionally replaces an older option and a new passive ability to spread damage over time. Check out the details on the new tricks on the official development blog.

        MassivelyStar Wars: The Old Republic explains 3.0's Sniper and Gunslinger originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        SKIES opens up its Kickstarter campaign
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 11:30 am

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        Seven hundredth verse, basically the same as the first.
        It's Tuesday, so that means it's time for another MMO to launch on Kickstarter, and here we are with SKIES. But to the great surprise of any and all reading this, instead of an open PvP fantasy sandbox, it's a post-apocalyptic pseudo-sandbox. That's novel, at least. The campaign is running until December 23rd; developer Eforb LLC set a target of $350,000 for development and several stretch goals..

        SKIES is being pitched as a sort of hybrid between FPS, MMORPG, and single-player RPG; it includes dialogue options while dealing with NPCs and a number of economic and supply options. Take a look at the page if it sounds like an interesting prospect (and you can tolerate some iffy translations on the project page).

        MassivelySKIES opens up its Kickstarter campaign originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        The Soapbox: Six reasons MMOs should abandon raiding, part 2
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 12:00 pm

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        Time to take on the stock.
        In yesterday's Soapbox, I had some things to say about why it's time to dump raiding. I'm writing this before I've seen the comment responses, but I'm willing to bet that a fair amount of angry shouting was involved in the comments because that's what I usually expect. But I wasn't done, as suggested by the whole "part 1" thing in the title header.

        For those don't feel like reading the whole thing, the short version is that raiding is too expensive to develop for too small a portion of the players. This is a solid argument, but it's standard: You hear it every time this debate comes up. In some ways, it's the foundation of the argument against raiding beyond the reality that most people say they just don't like raiding.

        There's more to be said, though, and there are more serious issues up for discussion. Raiding isn't just expensive in terms of development. It's expensive in lots of ways.

        Continue reading The Soapbox: Six reasons MMOs should abandon raiding, part 2

        MassivelyThe Soapbox: Six reasons MMOs should abandon raiding, part 2 originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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          Game Update 3.0 Class Changes: Gunslinger + Sniper
          Posted by Bwblog | Star Wars: The Old Republic [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 11:46 am
          It's the final week of Discipline blogs. Snipers and Gunslingers, here are some of the changes you'll see in Game Update 3.0.


          Valiance Online cancels Kickstarter, seeks stress test applicants
          Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 10:30 am

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          Valiance Online
          Silverhelm Studios has announced that Valiance Online will be accepting sign-ups for its inbound stress test starting today. Valiance Online is one of at least three fan-led superhero MMORPGs attempting to fill the City of Heroes niche, though Valiance has no intention of licensing the CoH IP if fan efforts to purchase it from NCsoft are ultimately successful. It promises semi-freeform character builds, power customization, an open world environment, 25 zones, character alignment, and a player-run economy.

          The Kickstarter for the game, begun less than a month ago, was apparently canceled ahead of schedule last night with $34,680 raised of its $150,000 goal. A dev posts suggests the loss of the team's marketing manager during the campaign was a setback. Developers have assured backers that they will not be charged and that the game will continue development. "We're still running funding campaigns on our website for anyone interested and are discussing other options as well," says the studio in the Kickstarter comments.

          Stress test signups will open on the official site later today.

          [Source: Silverhelm press release]

          MassivelyValiance Online cancels Kickstarter, seeks stress test applicants originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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          A glance at Civilization Online's robust character creator
          Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 11:00 am

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          Could we just get the character creator even if we don't get the game?
          Let's cut to the chase: Past the break, we have two videos embedded showing off Civilization Online's character creator, which you can use the next time anyone starts talking about the challenges of body sliders with stylized art. It doesn't take much to see that the characters here are pretty heavily stylized, but despite that, the character creator features a huge array of options, sliders, and details.

          Many of the creation options are controlled by a grab-and-pull system similar to the one seen in The Sims 4, making adjustments to body dimensions more instinctive. There's no official timeline for when Civilization Online will come to the US, so you'll have to either wait or get familiar with Korean if you want to try this out for yourself.

          Continue reading A glance at Civilization Online's robust character creator

          MassivelyA glance at Civilization Online's robust character creator originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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          The Daily Grind: What's the ideal subscription rate for an MMO?
          Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 8:00 am

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          Massively reader BlackArmsAkimbo recently opined that WildStar wasn't worth a $15 monthly sub but he'd seriously consider paying $5. On the surface, it might seem silly -- why quibble over $10? You can barely buy a burger and fries for that in a big city. But maybe we don't think of subs in terms of money at all -- subs are being compared not to the value of fast food but to the value of other MMOs that charge the same price.

          The traditional MMO sub sat at $10 for several years before jumping up to $15, a number that World of Warcraft adopted and cemented as The Standard for the industry, which means that nearly every sub MMO that's launched in the last 10 years also charges $15. Every MMO is ultimately compared to WoW in terms of value for that sub. And every game that does charge less is assumed to be lesser, which is hardly fair -- consider how much content RuneScape's £4.95 a month gets a sandbox gamer.

          I know I'd be more likely to keep up a bunch of subs if they were cheaper, but that's because I've mentally moved on to comparing an MMO's value to Guild Wars 2's, not WoW's, and I get a lot for my box fee from GW2. What about you? What do you think is the ideal subscription rate for an 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!

          MassivelyThe Daily Grind: What's the ideal subscription rate for an MMO? originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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            Guild Wars 2 teases next week's Seeds of Truth release with a new trailer
            Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 9:00 am

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            Are you up to speed on Guild Wars 2's episodic living world content releases? If not, you might want to stop reading because there could be spoilers ahead. Last time around, players watched as Caithe made off with a fabled dragon egg that could be the key to defeating Mordremoth. In the newest episode, you'll have to catch Caithe, but first you can catch a preview of the release by clicking past the cut.

            [Source: ArenaNet press release]

            Continue reading Guild Wars 2 teases next week's Seeds of Truth release with a new trailer

            MassivelyGuild Wars 2 teases next week's Seeds of Truth release with a new trailer originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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              Here are the tier 17 armor sets non-PUG WoW raiders can loot in Highmaul
              Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 10:00 am

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              Don't worry, if you're in Mythic, you still get to feel superior to everyone else.  If you get lucky, anyway.
              With the first raid of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor right around the corner, Blizzard has released a preview of the Tier 17 armor sets in all their glory. There are three variants of each set: the Mythic version (which has a unique skin compared to the others), the Heroic version, and the Normal version. Raid Finder raids no longer drop tier sets, thus reducing the overall number of available sets by one from the end of Mists of Pandaria.

              Player opinion seems to be somewhat split on whether or not the sets are good matches for the aesthetic of the expansion and the individual classes, as well as the split between the Mythic versions and the other versions of each set. The raid that drops these pieces, Highmaul, will be available starting on December 2nd for Normal and Heroic, with Mythic launching a week later on December 9th.

              MassivelyHere are the tier 17 armor sets non-PUG WoW raiders can loot in Highmaul originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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              Dungeons & Dragons edition 4.5
              Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 November 2014, 5:01 am
              Disclaimer: The title is a joke and a deliberate exaggeration.

              My current 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign is scheduled to end soon, after running for 3 years. I am planning on a big, new campaign which will also be basically 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons, with some modifications from 5th edition, which is why I call it my 4.5E campaign. But maybe we might first run a few session of the 5E starter box, just to give everybody the chance of an informed view of which edition is most suitable for our group.

              A real D&D 4.5 taking a 50-50 mix of the best of the two editions in my opinion isn't possible. 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons and 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons are largely incompatible where combat and stats are concerned. 4th edition has more levels, and your various numbers (e.g. attack and defense stats) go up by a lot. From level 1 to max level in 4E your attack goes up by AT LEAST +15, which is the "half your level" bonus, and not counting stat increases and the assumption that you'll wield magic weapons. The equivalent increase in attack for 5E is only +6; That is deliberate, a concept called "bounded accuracy", and makes it easier to use for example monsters over a wider range of levels. An orc in 5E doesn't become trivial just because you gained 3 levels. So 4E and 5E have an incompatibility based on very simple math, and you can't easily use combat rules or monsters or magic items from one system in the other. There is no such thing as a compromise, a real 4.5 edition which would be somewhere half way between the two. The math just doesn't allow it. Given this incompatibility, I believe that my group much prefers the more tactical combat of 4th edition over the somewhat more random combat of 5E, and so if I have to choose one combat system of the two, I believe that 4th edition for this specific group is the better choice.

              That doesn't make 5E a bad system, and in fact it probably is a better system for new players. But one of the disadvantages of 4E is that it is hard to learn (and consequently slow if you haven't learned it well), and my group is already past that stage, so this isn't much of a problem for us any more. That brings me to another disadvantage of 4th edition, which is on the role-playing side. 4E rules are very focused on what your character does in tactical combat, and aren' all that explicit on the role-playing aspects between encounters. That is most visible in character creation, where a 4E character is a basically just a bunch of stats and powers, while a 5E character is far more fleshed out from the personality side.

              Fortunately role-playing isn't based on math. Which makes the 5E personality creation system compatible with 4th edition. What I jokingly call D&D 4.5 thus is 4E with characters created using a modified 5E personality traits system. And I'm throwing in a bit of 13th Age in for good measure.

              In 5th edition a character has personality traits, bonds, ideals, and flaws. For my system I'm taking the bonds, ideals, and flaws, and replace the generic 5E personality traits by 13th Age's "one unique thing". I am also using a system of backgrounds which will be a mix of 4E "themes" and 5E "backgrounds". And finally I am going to use the inspiration rules from 5E, giving players a bonus roll reward for good role-playing of their personality.

              The "one unique thing" is a concept where you ask each player to come up with something which is more or less unique to them. That can range from classical fantasy "I'm the lost heir to the throne of XXX" to weird stuff like "I have a clockwork heart". The player can propose pretty much anything, but it is up to the DM to translate that into rules. For example if a player tried "I am invincible" as his unique thing, I would rule that he *believes* himself to be invincible, without actually having any immunity to damage. The one unique thing should add a lot of flavor to a character, but not really change his power level. I like this one unique thing concept more than I like the more generic personality traits of 5E (example from the starter set: "My flattery makes those I talk to feel wonderful and important. Also, I don't like to get dirty, and I won't be caught dead in unsuitable accommodations.").

              For bonds I am slightly expanding the concept from what is described in the 5E rulebooks. It remains a description of what organization the character has a bond to, for example like the "houses" in Game of Thrones, or a location like a home town. But in the campaign I want to play there will also be moments where the players have to talk to connections, people they know, people who owe them a favor or whom their owe a favor. So I'm adding those connections to the bonds category, and that is something that can grow over the campaign.

              The ideals and flaws concept I'm taking straight from the 5E rules. What does the character believe in? Where is he vulnerable or at least not perfect. The flaws are the one personality aspect which is the most likely to be rewarded with an inspiration bonus if role-played, because it doesn't come easy to everybody to play a flawed character. The inspiration rule is also straight from 5E: You can only have one inspiration bonus, and can't gain another until you used the one you have. Using the bonus means *in advance* of an important dice roll saying that you want to use your inspiration, and then roll two dice instead of one and take the better roll.

              My planned "4.5E" campaign will be one with a big campaign story. That necessitates a certain amount of willingness by the players to follow the given story. But obviously I don't want to turn that into some sort of cinema in which the players are spectators. By encouraging them to freely choose different aspects of the personality of their characters I hope to get lots of interesting personal side stories, as well as adventure hooks. At least that's the theory, I'll have to see how that eventually works out.
              Tobold's Blog



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