Day-long player carnival slated for May 17 in Lord of the Rings Online
Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 2:00 pm

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LotRO warsteed in Snowbourn
Do you play Lord of the Rings Online? Do you play on Landroval? If so, you'll want to mark May 17th on your calendar and plan to stop by The Lonely Mountain Band's day-long Spring Racing Carnival.

SRC is a player-run event which includes "nine horse races, a horse parade, a mounted fashion contest, barrel racing, rodeo clown comedy acts, a demonstration by the formation riding team, name-that-breed and name-that-song contests, eight musical performances, and a final concert and fireworks show."

[Thanks Chris!]

MassivelyDay-long player carnival slated for May 17 in Lord of the Rings Online originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Designing massively multiplayer games for multiple players
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 12:53 pm
I was browsing the web and came across the PC Gamer review of The Elder Scrolls Online. And what struck me about the review was the following paragraphs:
One of The Elder Scrolls Online's biggest weaknesses as an MMO is that it often becomes a worse game when large numbers of players are involved in the same activity. While questing in the High Rock area of Stormhaven I was directed to a monastery that was under attack by bandits. I was given two quests: put out six fires, and deliver healing to four injured monks. Credit for completing these objectives is only granted to the player that performs them, which means that I was put in indirect competition with every other player in the area—and given the linear nature of the game's zone, that means a lot of other people. The monastery might have been on fire, but there weren't enough fires for everybody: which meant hanging around waiting for fires to respawn so that I could get the credit for putting them out. Badly-designed quests like this one are common, and even when your objective is more deftly constructed you are always aware of the conga-line of players waiting to do the exact same thing that you are doing. This takes the game to some strange places: I'll never forget the time I traveled back in time in the guise of an ancient warrior only to find a room full of doppelgangers jumping about, dancing, and waiting for a boss to spawn. Immersive it isn't.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is a particular weakness of The Elder Scrolls Online. I pretty much had the same experience in my Wildstar beta weekends: Wildstar has a feature called challenges. The first time you kill a certain type of mob in a area or click on a certain type of item, you get a loud "Challenge begins!" message, telling you that you should now kill X of those monsters or click on Y of those items within a time limit. Sometimes there are several levels possible, with numbers displayed on how many monsters/items you need for bronze, silver, and gold level. And rewards for those challenges are good, for example bags, gear, or crafting resources. But these challenges are obviously designed so that you can achieve them IF, and only if, you are the only player in the area. If you start the challenge and then realize that another player is also doing it, you'll both fail, or at best get bronze.

I consider that to be extremely bad game design for a massively multiplayer game. What those challenges teach the players is that other players are the enemy, who make you fail your challenges. With the timed challenges of Wildstar the effect is especially harsh, because you get an actual "You failed!" message shouted at you. But of course outside challenges Wildstar has exactly the same problems as mentioned by PC Gamer above: Players compete for mob or resource spawns, and it breaks immersion if you are one of many "Chosen Ones" all doing exactly the same stuff.

All this teaches players that the optimum number of other players in the same zone as you is zero. If you had the choice to play through that zone with other players or alone, you'd chose alone for most of the content and only do group content with others. At some point in the future we might actually see a MMORPG which offers the option to play through single-player instances as a feature. There certainly would be interest in that. But then the whole business model of MMORPGs collapses: Why should you be required to pay more money to play multiplayer TESO than to play single-player Skyrim, if most of the time when playing TESO you wished you were alone in the zone? Same for Wildstar, although it doesn't have that obvious single-player game to compare it to.

Fortunately there are also some bright spots. For example in Wildstar, if you need to kill a boss mob for a quest, you don't need to kill that boss mob alone, or be the first one to touch it. If you come across that boss mob already in a fight with other players, you just need to get a single hit in, and you still get full credit for your quest. And then Wildstar, as many previous games, has public events, which are hard or impossible to solo, and thus make you quite happy if there are other players around when you want to do them. So designing a MMORPG in which other players are actually an advantage is possible. I just think that developers need to carefully design all the features in the game to check how they are influenced by there being multiple players around. Telling somebody that he failed because somebody else tried the same challenge is a bad idea. Creating situations where players are automatically helpful to each other would be a much better plan.
Tobold's Blog

On the iPad: Hearthstone and QuizUp
Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 12:00 pm
It has been a while since I have written an iPad app post. That is probably because, in the end, I tend to use the iPad to read news and Twitter and to text my wife from the office.  The iPad screen has nice big buttons that I can mostly hit correctly with my big […]

Sorting through musical history
Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 10:24 am
I began collecting MP3s back in… 1999, it was?  I remember converting my old CDs and downloading new tunes on Napster via a dial-up connection (one song in 10 minutes… what futuristic technology is this?).  Since then my collection has … Continue reading

Celebrating Earth Day 2014
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 11:00 am
Ecologists and entomologists. Natural history buffs. Bloggers with green thumbs. We're among many users focused on nature and the environment. Today, let's celebrate the work of some of these bloggers.

Marvel Heroes prepping for big patch, Big Ten weekend
Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 11:00 am

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Marvel Heroes cast
Gazillion has collected player votes regarding Marvel Heroes' top 10 game events from the last 10 months and is bringing back all of them this weekend. Whether you're partial to the game's Christmas, Easter, or Valentine's events or you prefer the Buy-One, Get-One promotion for heroes, they'll each be available starting Friday morning.

Marvel Heroes' latest patch will also be debuting at that time. It's bringing with it a new hero -- Invisible Woman -- as well as Squirrel Girl and Black Widow updates and a complete powers pass. Read all about it on the official MH forums.

[Thanks Steve!]

MassivelyMarvel Heroes prepping for big patch, Big Ten weekend originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darkfall getting armor dyes
Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 12:00 pm

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Darkfall gold armor
Darkfall players are no strangers to dying, but now at least they'll get to look good doing it. Aventurine is adding armor dyes to its fantasy PvP MMO, and while we don't know a lot of specifics just yet, we do know that green and gold are both options thanks to a couple of newly released screenshots.

Will some dye colors be rarer than others? Will dyes be craftable and applicable to existing armor pieces? Will someone make a Mahirim-only Pink Panther clan with matching uniform requirements? Time will tell.

[Thanks Dengar!]

MassivelyDarkfall getting armor dyes originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Secret World: A fistful of bees
Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 8:05 am
Our Monday night Secret World group reconvened to tackle the second of the four investigation missions: Immersion, AKA “The Game.” The mission started out with one of the very few alive Orochi in the game, this one in the camp … Continue reading

SOE's All Access transition now slated for April 29
Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 10:00 am

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All Access logo
SOE has again postponed its transition from Gold individual game subscriptions to a single All Access pass. Community guru Colette "Dexella" Murphy posted the following announcement on SOE's forums.
In an effort to ensure that the transition to the new All Access membership plan is as seamless as possible, we are going to be taking a little more time to test. So, we will be pushing the launch date of All Access to Tuesday, April 29th. Because of the portfolio-wide nature of this plan, this may prevent us from doing any individual game updates in EverQuest, EverQuest II, Planetside 2, and DC Universe Online. These updates will resume normally after the All Access launch. We appreciate your patience and you'll agree that our new membership offering is worth the wait.

MassivelySOE's All Access transition now slated for April 29 originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Get your roam on
Posted by Best League Blog NA [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 8:37 am
A Silver player will either win his lane and press his advantage, or if they are losing their lane, they will avoid feeding and giving up more than they have to. One of the most notable difference between a Gold and Silver though, is that a Gold player will extend … Continue reading

Schedule Photos to Post Automatically with Postbot
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 8:00 am
Schedule photos to appear on your site automatically, with Postbot.

The Daily Grind: What's your ideal MMO group size?
Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 9:00 am

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Massively's commenters got me thinking on MMO group size after an article a few weeks ago about socially soloing in games. Even though I like and support the option to solo in MMOs, my favorite games have actually had very large group sizes, far larger than the now-standard World of Warcraft five. Some newer games cut that down to four! But I really loved classic Star Wars Galaxies' 20-person groups and even City of Heroes' and Guild Wars 1's eight-member parties. Something about throwing a huge swarm of people into a group and going out and just Doing Something really appealed to me in a "the more, the merrier" way, especially when the game scaled to meet our needs rather than tried to mash us into a mold for prefab content. And nothing seems worse than having six guildies online and being forced to leave one behind because parties cap at five bodies.

What do you think -- what's your ideal MMO group size?

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 your ideal MMO group size? originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Holidays and Mobile Games
    Posted by Write The Game [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 April 2014, 4:43 am
    The bond between getaways and mobile or portable games are generally much short than the application presents it seems that. Mobile game are thought to be convey significantly about players’ temperament and pastime, more about, about fun atmosphere in addition. Designers burn no effort to set batches for new cellular games related to holidays to […]

    Would You Expose Your Child to Massively Multiplayer Games? | Ten Ton Hammer
    Posted by Ten Ton Hammer [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 5:52 am

    With gamers as young as 13 eligible to play the likes of World of Warcraft or WildStar, when should we really expose children to massively multiplayer games?

    The Favorites of Selune - Gardmore Abbey - Session 13
    Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 April 2014, 5:40 am
    In the previous session the Favorites of Selune vanquished the undead mage Vandomar, and recovered his journal for Berrian Velfarren. Now Berrian was able to give them some important information from that journal: The templars of Gardmore Abbey had brought a chaotic artifact from one of their crusades, and stored it in the Hall of Bahamut in the vaults. Berrian suspects that this artifact has something to do with the fall of the abbey, and asks the heroes to investigate. The vaults are one of two dungeons under Gardmore Abbey, accessible either via the barracks or the Hall of Glory. The vaults pre-date the abbey, having been a minotaur temple before the templars arrived. Since the fall of the abbey, minotaurs have moved back in, but so have gnolls. After constant fighting between the minotaurs and the gnolls, a mysterious leader arrived who was able to unite the two tribes.

    When discussing what to do next, the group did not go for that obvious choice, the vaults. Instead they remembered that they had never finished the other dungeon under the abbey, the catacombs. They had cleared that dungeon, but had run away on facing the "end boss", a human who apparently was creating and controlling undead. Feeling more powerful (after a recent level up), the group decided to finish the catacombs first before tackling the vaults.

    So the group made a plan of battle on how to enter the large room in which they had previously encountered that "necromancer". But on rushing in the surprise was that the place appeared to be empty. Another surprise was that the ranger who had opened the door got poisoned by a contact poison on the door handle, which hadn't been there on their first visit (which is why they didn't check for traps). So they all went into the room, which was full of sarcophagi. And after they had all moved, the sarcophagi closest to the doors, and thus right next to several of the characters, opened and released five vampire spawn undead. And from the other side of the room, the "necromancer" (who turned out to be an evil cleric), a vampire, and a basilisk rushed forward from hiding to attack the group.

    The vampire spawn mobs were just minions, and quickly dispatched. Then the heroes made a probably wise decision to concentrate on the basilisk first. The wizard dazed the basilisk, and the warrior marked him, so the basilisk never got around to launch his area of effect poison attack, and died two rounds later. The vampire did some damage to the sorceress, but was the next to go down. The evil cleric was the toughest opponent, and caused the most problems, stunning several characters with an area attack. Although this wasn't their first "boss fight" in Gardmore Abbey, it was the first time where the group properly realized that the bosses in this place who had cards from the Deck of Many Things had some degree of control over those cards. The cleric had three cards, and used all three of them over the duration of the combat to good effect. But ultimately the Favorites of Selune prevailed, and got the three cards as well as a vampiric dagger from the vampire.

    At that point I had expected them to discuss the cards from the Deck of Many Things, and how to control them. But instead they decided to go straight for the vaults. They chose to enter via the Halls of Glory, where they encountered the group of rival adventurers again, which they had already met three times (or rather seen signs of once, and actually met two times). As the previous encounter with the rivals had ended with the Favorites of Selune threatening the rivals to leave the abbey "or else", the group felt justified to now be true to their word and they attacked the rivals without further negotiation.

    Now the rivals had obviously just been in a fight, and killed some spiders, so the group thought they would be in a good tactical position. But then they rolled somewhat low on initiative, except for the ranger, who did some serious ranged damage to the rival's wizardess. But the Favorites of Selune were all grouped together in the entryway, and to their surprise got attacked by the rival's drow rogue from behind. The drow had powers to make himself invisible, and thus was able to strike with great efficiency against the ranger and the wizard. Then the rival's "tank" warrior attacked from the front, making entry into the room difficult. And the rival's wizardess hit most of the heroes with a fireball.

    At this point the sorceress came up with the idea to cast a dark cloud between the two groups, blocking line of sight. The cloud also damaged the rival's tank. The idea was to be able to concentrate on that tank and the drow, but the plan didn't work out like that. On being attacked the drow made himself invisible and teleported away, while the tank moved back through the cloud and into the room. So the Favorites of Selune found themselves with absolutely no target in sight, and in disagreement about what to do next. The sorceress was afraid that if she stopped maintaining that dark cloud, the group would be hit by a barrage of prepared attacks from their rivals. The wizard proposed to run away. But the cleric and the warrior had already used some of their strong daily powers to buff themselves for combat, and didn't want to completely reset the fight. With the Hall of Glory being partially ruined and missing its roof in parts, it seemed impossible to contain the rivals there while resting. So they needed to work out a plan on how to continue the fight from here. And as it was getting late, we decided to stop at that point.
    Tobold's Blog

    Warlords of Draenor Tanking Changes | Ten Ton Hammer
    Posted by Ten Ton Hammer [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 April 2014, 8:01 pm

    A look at some key changes that will affect tanks when Warlords of Draenor is released.

    Warlords of Draenor Tanking Changes | Ten Ton Hammer
    Posted by Ten Ton Hammer [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 April 2014, 8:01 pm

    A look at some key changes that will affect tanks when Warlords of Draenor is released.

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    Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

    Continue reading Not So Massively: Hearthstone's iPad launch, HEX's closed beta, and HOTS' Brightwing reveal

    MassivelyNot So Massively: Hearthstone's iPad launch, HEX's closed beta, and HOTS' Brightwing reveal originally appeared on Massively on Mon, 21 Apr 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      Burn Jita 3 – April 25-28
      Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 April 2014, 6:00 pm
      As I mentioned, it is coming. The official announcement for Burn Jita 3 has been posted over at The Mittani… because The Mittani. But the essential information is that it will start after downtime on April 25, 2014 and is slated to run through April 28… unless it gets extended… which is what happened last […]

      World of Warcraft kicks off Noblegarden
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 April 2014, 5:00 pm

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      Not pictured: Delaying Warlords of Draenor.
      Maybe you're a little burnt out after eight months of raiding World of Warcraft's last content patch. Do you know what you need? You need to cuddle some bunny rabbits. It's time for Noblegarden once again, and that means hunting for eggs, putting on bunny ears, getting a seasonal mount, and generally traipsing around in the woods for colorful treats. And if you've already gotten the rewards in previous years, well... the treats are still nice, yes?

      The official event page serves as a good top-level overview of player activities during the event. In short, players will be collecting eggs, doing daily quests directly related to collecting eggs, and giving chocolate (found in eggs) to vendors for egg-related prizes. Players have a week to collect their eggs, as the event runs from today until April 28th, more than enough time for all the Azerothian egg-hunting you could want. (Hopefully.)

      MassivelyWorld of Warcraft kicks off Noblegarden originally appeared on Massively on Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      Destiny digs in for the final pre-launch stretch
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 April 2014, 6:00 pm

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      Commenting that it is on "final approach" for Destiny's September 9th launch, Bungie posted an article last Friday articulating the mood of the team at this time.

      "This week at Bungie, our inboxes were flaring up with status emails about every facet of the experience," the team posted. "According to the big green font at the top of each page, we are ON TRACK. Those two simple words in repetition are packed with emotion, and even a tiny bit of relief."

      The post goes on to say that press thoughts on pre-alpha builds will be shared with the public soon, and from there Destiny will progress into serious alpha and beta testing runs.

      MassivelyDestiny digs in for the final pre-launch stretch originally appeared on Massively on Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      Zenimax lowers the ban hammer
      Posted by No Prisoners, No Mercy [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 April 2014, 3:49 pm
      Zenimax lowers the ban hammer.

      April 21 - April 27
      Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 April 2014, 2:21 pm

      It's pretty much a given at this point that Dark Souls is an exceptionally good game. It's just that it's not an exceptionally good game for me. I've tried to psyche myself up to play Dark Souls or its sequel which arrives on PC this week. I've watched gameplay videos. I've managed to occasionally not tune out Shawn or Cory when they start talking about it. I've read articles about it. And, I always end up in the same place: it sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun, and I don't want to play it.

      Still, on a week where there's not much else to talk about, I'd be remiss not to give it the nod it is so sorely due for its PC arrival.

      I used to be more bitter about games not launching at the same time on the PC as they do console systems, but what I'm finding in practice is that I make a lot better buying decisions by being able to see what kind of legs the games have after a few weeks on the market. If Titanfall for the PC had come out a couple of weeks after it hit the consoles, I might not have been so quick to pull the trigger. It's not that it's a bad game at all, it's just that it's one of those games that seemed to have a half-life of about 5 minutes.

      read more

      ESO Update – New Craglorn site up!
      Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 April 2014, 3:23 pm
      In anticipation for ESO’s first Adventure Zone, Craglorn, we’ve opened up a new site with new information, screenshots, concept art, and more. Learn more here. You can also prepare your desktop for Craglorn with all-new wallpapers here.

      City of Steam getting new US and EU servers
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 April 2014, 3:00 pm

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      City of Steam Riven Gunner
      Mechanist Games has announced that its steampunk browser MMO City of Steam is on the cusp of delivering a long-awaited European server. There's no firm launch date just yet, and Mechanist also notes that EU players who have been biding their time on the existing US servers will not be able to transfer their characters to the new EU shard. Electrum will be transferable, though, so there's that.

      The devs also said that a new east coast US server is in the works.

      MassivelyCity of Steam getting new US and EU servers originally appeared on Massively on Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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