Happy Psychobreak Day!
Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 October 2014, 9:40 am
While The Evil Within has been out for over a week, the game’s Japanese counterpart, Psychobreak, is out today. So what? SO LET’S DANCE!!! Congrats Tango!


Final Fantasy XIV plans 24-hour maintenance for patch 2.4
Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 October 2014, 10:00 am

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Bring it on already.
If you've got any lingering business in Final Fantasy XIV you want to get finished before patch 2.4 launches on Tuesday, you'd better get it taken care of on Sunday. Yes, Sunday. Because of the new wards being added, database maintenance will also be undertaken while the patch is being applied, and it comes down to a 24-hour maintenance downtime from 3:00 a.m. EDT on October 27th until 3:00 a.m. EDT on October 28th. The maintenance might take a bit longer to complete, but players will want to be finished up and logged off before it starts.

Patch 2.4 also introduces to the game the cash shop, which has already provoked extensive player discussion, including requests to keep past seasonal items out of the shop. Opinion on the matter is split, and there has been no official word yet from Square-Enix, although it is possible that there will be more concerns addressed during the London Fanfest this weekend.

MassivelyFinal Fantasy XIV plans 24-hour maintenance for patch 2.4 originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Daily Grind: What's the best SWTOR class story?
Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 October 2014, 9:00 am

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Star Wars: The Old Republic's class story leveling promotion is currently underway, and it seems like a good time to focus on the so-called fourth pillar of MMOs for this morning's Daily Grind.

Assuming you've completed all eight arcs, which story is your favorite? If you haven't completed all eight, there will probably be spoilers in the comments, so steer clear if you like to be surprised.

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 best SWTOR class story? originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Organization? Everywhere
    Posted by MmoQuests.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 October 2014, 4:00 am
    In my day-to-day life, I am one of those people who like to organize everything. I openly admit, I love to clean. I love lists. I have notebooks and post it notes and calendars and organizers all over the place. … Continue reading


    387 - The Instance: Cory Stockton's Sand Castle
    Posted by The Instance: World of Warcraft Podcast! [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 6:18 pm
    Our traditional interview with Lead Designer at Blizzard Entertainment, Cory Stockton! We jump into WoD expansion stuff in a big way, and touch on all the changes coming to players in less than a month.


    Media Link

    F.E.A.R. Online comes to S.T.E.A.M.
    Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 7:00 pm

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    fear
    As we all know, your games are incapable of being scary if they're not powered by the hatred of a forsaken child. That's why you need a jolt of F.E.A.R. Online this Halloween, an experience that is easier than ever to procure now that it's on Steam. You'll also be happy to know that the Desert Storm M4A1 DLC is currently on sale at 10% off, bringing it down from $0.99 to $0.89.

    This online free-to-play horror-themed shooter features both a co-op and PvP mode, the latter of which can turn players into literal beasts. F.E.A.R. also has a Soul King mode that allows players to "possess" enemy mobs in order to attack fellow players from any direction.

    MassivelyF.E.A.R. Online comes to S.T.E.A.M. originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    The Stream Team: Tricks and treats on another Landmark Halloween tour
    Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 9:00 pm

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    The Stream Team:  Tricks and treats on another Landmark Halloween tour
    Halloween may not be until next week, but Massively's MJ simply can't wait that long! So she's going to immerse herself in more holiday builds in Landmark. Folks have been preparing many more haunted mansions, pumpkin patches, graveyards, and witches lairs since MJ's last Halloween tour, so there is a lot to try and see in one little stream. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to see all that is spooky and collect some treats as you go! (Yes, there will be codes of all kinds to give out!)

    Game: Landmark
    Host: MJ Guthrie
    Date: Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
    Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

    Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

    Continue reading The Stream Team: Tricks and treats on another Landmark Halloween tour

    MassivelyThe Stream Team: Tricks and treats on another Landmark Halloween tour originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      In Which I Acknowledge and Apologize
      Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 October 2014, 5:14 pm
      About a month ago, I wrote a post about Milo that, by happenstance, discussed a lawsuit in Brad Wardell’s past.  At the time, it didn’t catch fire.  Simply put, no one cared.  I


      The Gamer Press Woke Up, Decried Gamergate, Then Went Back To Sleep
      Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 8:10 pm
      A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article shaming the press for basically ignoring GamerGate.  I was not alone, with Frank Cifaldi being one notable example who made literally


      Infinite Crisis reveals creepy alien starfish Starro
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 6:00 pm

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      Infinite crisis
      Crowd-control fans, listen up: Turbine MOBA Infinite Crisis has today announced Starro, a new playable controller champion going live on November 5th. For those not up on their DC lore, the short version is "creepy alien starfish." Long version?
      Starro is a Star Conqueror. These nomadic and parasitic creatures roam the cosmos in two forms: motherstars and parasites. Motherstars are sentient, while parasites are extensions of the motherstar's consciousness. A parasite attaches itself to other sentient creatures, allowing the motherstar to control that creature's mind. Once controlled, the victims work toward growing more motherstars to go out and bring universal harmony to other planets-by conquering them. Little did the Star Conqueror who came to be known as Starro know how difficult carrying that plan out on Earth would be! Starro has little concern for what happens to the individuals it controls. They're a tiny part of the whole. When Starro speaks to creatures it doesn't control, it does so telepathically, urging them to join in universal harmony.
      We've got some pics and a video below to finish out Starro's reveal.

      Continue reading Infinite Crisis reveals creepy alien starfish Starro

      MassivelyInfinite Crisis reveals creepy alien starfish Starro originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        Darek Smart predicted PlanetSide’s future… in 2003!
        Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 2:38 pm
        Stumbled upon this glorious quote by Derek Smart over the then-recent news about Sovereign’s demise in 2003: “Now, who didn’t see that coming? They’d better tell EB quick.  Can’t wait for the Planetside cancelation announcement – assuming they don’t pull … Continue reading


        World of Warcraft previews the creatures of Gorgrond
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 3:00 pm

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        Hello, I'm more interesting than orcs.
        Draenor is not the same as Azeroth. Sure, the release of Warlords of Draenor will bring the heroes of Azeroth into a lush and vibrant version of Draenor, but World of Warcraft players will have to deal with creatures that most decidedly do not exist on Azeroth. Case in point: The preview of the creatures who inhabit Gorgrond shows off sentient plants and stones that have stood and wage war against one another on the steppes and in the jungles of the region.

        The Botani are a race of sapient plants that wage war against the Gronn, the Goren, and their minions. They revere their walking demigods, the Genesaurs, and they are more than capable of gestating the seeds of their offspring in living hosts to produce shambling beasts called the Infected. Take a look at the full preview for more lore details, and get ready to sharpen your sword against a hostile plant-person when Warlords of Draenor releases.

        MassivelyWorld of Warcraft previews the creatures of Gorgrond originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        Trion removing illicit gold from ArcheAge
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 4:00 pm

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        Trion is serving notice to gold buyers that some of their ill-gotten gains are being removed from ArcheAge. "If you bought or were gifted gold from [a gold seller], you may see it disappear," the company wrote on its official forums. "We do have the ability to trace coin, and that's the gold that's being cleaned up right now."

        [Thanks Direpath!]

        MassivelyTrion removing illicit gold from ArcheAge originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        Leaderboard: Which 2014 MMO will be the most financially successful?
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 5:00 pm

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        2014 is winding down, and when it comes to big triple-A MMO releases, it's basically over already. The Elder Scrolls Online, WildStar, and ArcheAge all debuted this year and apart from their differing premises, mechanics, and reception, they also differed in terms of their business models.

        One thing they had in common, though, was expensive production values as well as the pressure of carrying the financial flag for their respective development studios. While it's hard to accurately predict the future, that's exactly what we're going to do in today's Leaderboard. Which of 2014's big three do you think will be the most financially successful in the long run? Vote after the cut and don't forget to explain your vote in the comments!

        Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

        Continue reading Leaderboard: Which 2014 MMO will be the most financially successful?

        MassivelyLeaderboard: Which 2014 MMO will be the most financially successful? originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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          The Revanites’ Ascendance
          Posted by Bwblog | Star Wars: The Old Republic [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 2:52 pm
          FROM: The Shroud TO: All Assets (Level 25 Encoding Active) SUBJECT: The Order of Revan


          Starflight: Intergalactic nostalgia trip
          Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 12:00 pm
          (This is part of my journey playing through Starflight. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.) I may have yammered on a while back about the importance that Starflight held in my life back in the 80s.  … Continue reading


          Choose My Adventure: The once and future Swordsman
          Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 2:00 pm

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          Swordsman
          For the last three weeks, I've been whipping and kicking every bad guy I can find in Perfect World Entertainment's Swordsman in the hopes of understanding this peculiar wuxia MMORPG. My Choose My Adventure experience thus far has been mixed; I've enjoyed Swordsman's theme and setting, but its mechanics and hard-to-follow narrative have made the experience a touch less manageable. Swordsman from 1-30 seems at best like an extended tutorial and at worst like a game that plays itself.

          That's not just my opinion. All of the feedback I can find on the game seems to point in one direction: Swordsman's early levels aren't the main attraction. The real Swordsman exists in PvP (unlocked at level 30), guild quests (unlocked at level 35), and instances (unlocked at 15 -- not bad). Last week's combat discipline discovery at 25 further cemented the idea that Swordsman is a game designed to reward players who stick through the initial grind.

          I didn't have much time to play this last week, but I did get a chance to sit down with PWE product manager Gabrielle Heiland to talk about Swordsman's first expansion, the future of the game, and how Perfect World feels about the game's current "wait and see" design.

          Continue reading Choose My Adventure: The once and future Swordsman

          MassivelyChoose My Adventure: The once and future Swordsman originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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            Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 7
            Posted by WordPress.com News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 1:08 pm
            10 of our favorite stories from across all of WordPress.


            Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 7
            Posted by WordPress.com News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 1:08 pm
            10 of our favorite stories from across all of WordPress.


            Final Fantasy X: Initial Impressions
            Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 10:24 am

            I'm playing the Final Fantasy X HD Remaster on my Vita and I'm loving it.  The remaster is also available on PS3 or you can grab the original game on PS2.  Final Fantasy X is such a great game in the series.  It's another leap forward in console generations since it's the first Final Fantasy game on PS2.  I always knew that Final Fantasy IX and Final Fantasy X were some of my favorites and this playthrough of Final Fantasy X is reaffirming that.

            The setting is a technologically repressed world where a giant monster called Sin runs rampant.  Sin kills and destroys for no apparently reason.  An entire religion had been built around Sin and it's effects.  One of the outcomes of the religion is a group known as Summoners.  They can call on powerful mystical creatures known as Aeons to help them.  Summoners must journey throughout the world on a pilgrimage to gather all the Aeons.  Once they have done so, they can conduct a final summoning to banish Sin for a number of years.

            The main characters of the story are a Summoner, Yuna, and the guardians that travel with her on her pilgrimage.  Tidus is the player controlled character, but all of the characters play a major role and are very fleshed out.

            I think this Final Fantasy game has some of the most unique characters in the series.  There's a great variety to them.  Wakka is a religious technophobe with a love of Blitzball, the worldwide sport.  Lulu is a thoughtful black mage who was going to marry Wakka's younger brother before he was killed.  Kimari is an outcast from a race known as the Ronso and has been Yuna's guardian since she was a child.  Rikku is a thief from a group of people who ignore the religious teachings and work with machines.  And Auron, a mysterious figure from both Yuna and Tidus' past.  He has already completed a pilgrimage and has reappeared to help again.


            Not to mention Yuna and Tidus.  Yuna is the most interesting character.  Her father was a summoner who completed the final summoning and died in the process, but managed to banish Sin for a time.  She is driven to follow in his footsteps and finds a lot of strength and courage along the way.  Tidus is surprisingly flat compared to the other characters, but it's probably so that you, as the player, can pour some of yourself into him.  He's a Blitzball player from an unkown place who was abandoned by his father at a young age.  Everything beyond that is basically Tidus just trying to figure out how this world works in comparison to his own.


            The story and characters are really the stars of the show here.  With the leap forward from the PSX era to the PS2 era the developer was finally able to get characters to feel like humans.  They're all realistically proportioned, well animated, and are fully voiced.  Not to mention the graphics are so much better than the PSX era games.  Finally, our characters don't look blocky or misproportioned.

            This is one of the first RPGs with a lot of voice acting.  Occasionally, you may run into an NPC with one line of dialogue that isn't important and they won't be voice acted.  But all the main characters and re-occurring side characters are voiced at all times.  The voice acting alone gives Final Fantasy X a different feel compared to every other game in the series.  Up until now, all of the emotion and inflection from characters has been done in our heads via text that we read.  Now the characters add emotion and variety on their own.

            To it's credit, it usually succeeds.  There are a few cringeworthy lines and situations, but for the most part the voice acting works well.

            And that's just one of the huge differences between console generations.  The other immediately noticeable change is the 3D world.  The 2D hand-painted backgrounds of the PSX era are gone and in their place is a 3D rendered world to explore.

            The world is tied together by a beautifully crafted soundtrack.  In my opinion, this is the best overall soundtrack in any Final Fantasy game.  It perfectly compliments the world and adds a sense of depth to it.  While some individual tracks from other Final Fantasy games are better, there is no better soundtrack when taken as a whole.

            Let's talk battle and progression.  The battle system finally moved away from the ATB system that has been in place since Final Fantasy IV.  That's six games in a row with essentially the same turn-order mechanic.  In Final Fantasy X we have returned to a purely turn-based system.  There are no timers running and turn order is clearly displayed on the right side of the screen.  Personally, I love this.  It gives me plenty of time to think about what I want to do and execute the best action.  No need to feel rushed or pressured.  It also means that, if I know what to do, battles can go very quickly because I don't have to wait for an ATB gauge to fill.  I don't know why they stayed away from turn-based combat for so long.


            While only three party members are active in battle they can be switched at any time.  It's great to be able to leave your white mage out of battle until you need her, swap her in for a couple turns to heal everyone up, and then replace her with another damage dealer.

            In the last few games I felt like I had a core team that I would always take into battle.  Some characters got a ton of play time from me and some basically got left out.  In Final Fantasy X it truly feels like your party is working together.  Each member of the party can help in every battle.  Why not have everyone contribute?  It makes a lot more sense than sending a few characters into battle while everyone else stands around twiddling their thumbs... I'm looking at you Final Fantasy VI through IX.

            Battles give points which upgrade sphere levels.  Sphere levels are a little weird at first.  They're basically movements points on a giant progression board called the Sphere Grid.  You can choose where to move around the Sphere Grid and which nodes to activate.  Every activated node gives an increase in stats or unlocks a new ability.


            It's interesting.  It's unique.  I don't really like it.  While you are given the "freedom" to move around as you see fit, there is really only one correct path for each character (except Kimari, he's weird).  Each character starts in a different area of the Sphere Grid and they are basically forced along an optimal path for much of the game.  It really comes down to being an overly complicated way to level up.  It's a cool idea, but I think it falls a little flat.

            While I don't have much negativity about the game, I should mention the linearity.  I didn't remember from my original play through but Final Fantasy X is very linear.  Paths twist and turn but generally there is a single corridor that you're ushered down.  There's no open world map to explore.  You're kind of railroaded to the next plot point.  At least there are towns along the way to break up the linear corridor feeling to the game.  And there are still side activities like Blitzball and other mini games.  But while playing through the main story it's basically one path to follow.

            All of this being said, I think that Final Fantasy X is the perfect game for a newcomer to the Final Fantasy series.  This is where I always recommend that new players start.  It's not too hard, it has a lot of modern gaming conveniences, it's fully voice acted, has relatable characters, and you won't get lost along the way.  Since it's available on PS2, PS3, and Vita it's also very accessible.  If someone asks you where to start, point them at Final Fantasy X.

            This has been much more extensive than my previous initial impression posts.  Currently I'm about 6 hours into the game but Final Fantasy X just has so much to talk about.  I'll definitely write a wrap up when I'm finished, but I may do a few one off posts in between.  We'll see.  For now, I'm just going to play and keep enjoying the game.


            LOTRO: You always take us to the nicest places
            Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 October 2014, 9:00 am
            Well.   Here we are: the Dead Marshes.  Thanks, Frodo, for encouraging me to get out of that dank, dusty Shire paradise and go to all of these wonderful places.  I would not have had the opportunity to combat foot rot … Continue reading


            The World of Warcraft zone name generator
            Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 October 2014, 12:00 pm
            For kicks, I broke down some of the generic fantasy mishmash zone names in WoW into a chart so that they could be rearranged to make even MORE generic fantasy mishmash zone names.  Blizzard, you may pay me for this … Continue reading


            Battle Bards Episode 37: At the Market Fair
            Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 October 2014, 9:00 am
            Pack  your coin purse, for the Battle Bards are off to the market!  In this episode, we’ll examine music not only from MMO marketplaces, but tracks that inspire the feeling and atmosphere of bustling towns, harbors with ships being unloaded, … Continue reading


            The Secret Adventures: Bach to the future (Savage Coast #1)
            Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 October 2014, 12:00 pm
            (You can follow my playthrough of The Secret World on Bio Break’s projects page!) Dear John (side mission) We’re in it now!  Our second mission zone in the game: Savage Coast.  SC is a shift from Kingsmouth, away from a … Continue reading


            It is a good day… to game
            Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 October 2014, 9:00 am
            As a gamer, I’m pretty psyched about today.  First up on the docket is RIFT: Nightmare Tide, which should be launching after some downtime this afternoon.  Our guild was properly buzzing about it, especially those who have been sitting comfortably … Continue reading


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