The Daily Grind: Have you ever run an event in an MMO?
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 August 2015, 8:00 am
Long ago, I used to live for player-run MMO events. In old-school MMORPGs, people judged a guild’s quality as much on what it did for the community as how well it fared in PvP and PvE — maybe even more. We hung out in taverns in Ultima Online, held overwatch/buffing nights for server newbies in EverQuest, told stories in Dark Age of [...]


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A practical approach to game monetization
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 August 2015, 4:29 am
Over the last decade paying for a game has gotten increasingly complicated. Among MMORPGs there are very few subscription games left, and even those all have shops and/or systems to buy in-game currency with real money via game time codes. The "buy once, play forever" payment model for other game genres is also on its way out: Buying once now frequently only gets you the base game, and you need to do additional payments for DLCs and expansions to get all the content. And the "forever" part is now not just limited by new operating systems not able to play old games any more, but also by games now frequently requiring connection to an online server, and the game becoming unplayable when those servers shut down.

Instead of simple buy once or pay monthly systems, we now have far more complicated systems where you can pay a variable amount of money for a variable degree of service. It is understandable that there is a certain degree of resistance, because there clearly are games which use the complicated monetization systems to nickel and dime their players, or make them pay far more money than those players would have been willing to pay in a buy once system. But it is becoming increasingly obvious that this is yet another case of resistance is futile: If you refused to buy all games that don't have only buy once or pay monthly monetization, you'd be left with not much choice of games at all. Absolute refusal to play games with variable payment models simply isn't practical any more.

A major reason why resistance failed is that most gamers were never very principled in their resistance. Even the most hardcore gamers flocked to Free2Play games like League of Legends and Hearthstone, or bought and sold in-game currency in EVE Online via PLEX. Game companies never felt they were losing customers by using variable payment systems, and simple economics show that variable payment systems earn companies more money than fixed payment systems. So for gamers it is time to let go of the hypocrisy, posting a refusenik position on various gaming forums and blogs while participating in the system anyway. What we need is a more practical approach to game monetization.

One thing that the panoply of game monetization systems has shown is that there are clearly some systems which are fair and acceptable to most people, and others that feel much more unfair and exploitative. The problem here is that it is nearly impossible to define criteria for fairness that everybody would agree with. That is because complex games often leave room for different player motivations, and different player motivations lead to different attitudes towards different monetization schemes. If I don't play PvP in a MMORPG, I don't care whether you can buy uber PvP gear in the item shop. But if I PvP was the main reason for me to play that game, I would care very much. Thus the only way to approach game monetization systems is to have a set of personal criteria.

For me personally one major criterion is how optional payment is. I like systems like in Hearthstone / Magic Duels where I can get exactly the same cards by playing, and paying is basically just a shortcut to get stuff faster. However there is a fine line there somewhere, as perceived fairness depends on how fast or slow you advance without paying. Recent example: Magic Duels giving 10 gold for a medium difficulty AI match plus 40 gold for a daily quest to buy a 6-card booster for 150 gold felt reasonable to me. Warhammer 40k Deathwatch giving only 6 credits per match to buy a 3-card booster for 100 gold is starting to feel sluggish. Another factor in the same example is that in Magic the cards I buy will be useful as long as I play the game, while in Deathwatch a higher tier card I find in a booster later will make my previous card obsolete.

One example of how personal fairness criteria can vary from person to person is the wide-spread system in mobile games to have some amount of "energy" which limits how long you can play in a session. You then need to either wait for that energy to restore itself slowly over time, or pay for an immediate energy boost. Me, I am totally okay with those systems. I don't mind at all to play a game for half an hour and then close it an do or play something else while I wait for my energy to come back. Other people are far more impatient with regards to this, and find such systems totally unfair and unacceptable.

With regard to content, that is most of the time something I am willing to pay for. In spite of other people's protests, I found the expansion for Guild Wars 2 perfectly reasonably priced (although communication could have been better). I'm okay with the business model of Destiny, and many other games with expansions or DLCs. That is because in those examples like GW2 or Destiny I felt I got a full game for the first payment, and the expansions and DLCs are more content for more money. In other cases I was less happy, because the base game felt far more unfinished, and day zero DLC and annual DLC passes made it look as if I was sold a salami slice by slice.

My recommendation for everybody is to think very hard about what variable payment systems you find acceptable and which not, and then check carefully each game what exactly you are supposed to pay for. There are no simple rules any more where you can boldly state that every Free2Play game is evil, and then sneak off to play League of Legends. I'd rather play a game for free and then see in practice whether what is for sale is fair or exploitative. Both exist, and you need to find out for yourself which is which.
Tobold's Blog



The Gamer To-Do List
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 August 2015, 1:46 am
I'm inspired by Izlain's post on the first day of this Blaugust event.  He has created a gamer to-do list.  I'm constantly doing this in my own head as I'm working through my backlog, but I never formally write it down.

But since I loved his idea so much, I think I will write it down this time just to try it out.  It might be nice to have a gaming to-do list formally written out.  Izlain did a top 10, but I think mine will be slightly less:
  • Persona 4 Golden - Continue playing until I either beat the game or grow bored of it and decide to retire the game.
  • Hearthstone - Get to at least rank 20 by the end of the month.  Do the Tavern Brawl's every week for card packs.
  • FFXIV Heavensward - Do the daily trial roulette as long as I keep having fun with it. (I'm already bored of the other roulette options)
  • KOTOR II - Finally try the PC version since it got a major official update and has a community content fix patch on Steam.
  • Valkyria Chronicles - Get back to this game and keep playing it.  It was a lot of fun and I haven't beaten it.
  • Dirty Bomb - Try out this game because it's a recommended Blaugust F2P game that a lot of the community is trying.
  • Fire Emblem Awakening - I loved this game and want to go back to play a new game + if available.  Otherwise I want to just play the game again because I'm excited for the new Fire Emblem games.
  • Lightning Returns - I bought this game on super sale for PS3 right before I moved the system to another room and stopped playing it.  I need to get around to trying it
There we go, 8 items.  It's kinda nice to have some immediate goals written down.

I'm sure this list will change and morph as time goes on.  It always works that way in my head when I'm juggling games anyway.  For example, you may have noticed Arkham Knight is off this list.  Since I last wrote about it I've beaten all the side missions and activated the Knightfall protocol at the end of the game.  It was a great game, but I'm basically done with it now.

And I also have a couple games on the backburner that I only play when my friends want to.  Games like Rocket League and Heroes of the Storm.  They're fun with friends and they're good games, but they aren't games I'm inspired to sit down and play single player.

How about all of you, how are your gaming to-do lists looking?



Xbox Live and ID@Xbox indie games coming to HoloLens
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 11:30 pm
Microsoft Debuts New Products For Its XBox Gaming Unit

Microsoft's promise of unifying its disparate platforms with Windows 10 has even more going for it with some surprise announcements ahead of this week's Gamescom show in Germany. We knew that Xbox Live was coming to the desktop -- for free, even -- but that extends to HoloLens too. That's right: online multiplayer, friends lists and your achievements (anything tied to Redmond's gaming service, from the sounds of it) will be available on the augmented reality headset, according to VRFocus. The site also reports that HoloLens, Windows 10 and Xbox One will share a universal store for apps and the like "in time." Some purchases will also apparently be pay-once-play-anywhere affairs too. And similar to Microsoft's push to get Android and iOS developers to bring their apps to Windows 10, the ID@Xbox program will work to court indie game developers and extend across Redmond's latest operating system, HoloLens and Windows Phone.

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Source: VRFocus (1), (2), (3)

Tags: augmentedreality, gamescom, gamescom2015, gaming, gdceurope, hd, hdpostcross, hololens, id@xbox, microsoft, universalapps, vr, xbox, xboxlive, xboxone




GenCon 2015 Part 2
Posted by Blue Kae [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 August 2015, 12:37 am
Blaugust 2015 Day 03 I spent the first half of Friday at GenCon in the Exhibit Haul Hall. Harebrained Schemes was demoing a new game called Necropolis.  It’s a take on the Roguelike genre, which I’m usually not a fan of, with a really cool art style that reminded me a bit of Massive Chalice, which I […]


'Guitar Hero Live' is a karaoke simulator
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 10:17 pm

This October, prepare to bring the house down with wild guitar riffs and your mad karaoke skills in Guitar Hero Live. That's right, it's official: Guitar Hero Live brings singing back to the franchise, alongside the new guitar and all of the fresh online features, challenges and songs available in Guitar Hero TV. A behind-the-scenes video posted just before Gamescom kicks off this week in Cologne, Germany, provides an overview of online features in Guitar Hero Live and drops the mic on singing in the game.

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Source: GuitarHeroGames

Tags: Activision, FreeStyleGames, GuitarHero, guitarherolive, hdpostcross, singing




What's on your HDTV: 'Innerspace' Blu-ray, 'True Detective' finale
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 9:48 pm

This week season two of HBO's True Detective is coming to an end, plus a few oldies on Blu-ray with Innerspace and Free Willy. In gaming, there's a Rare Replay pack of oldies on Xbox One, Submerged on PC, PS4 and Xbox One and some new DLC for the latest Call of Duty -- including a new zombies pack -- on Xbox. ABC Family's Stitchers also has a season finale this week, while Melissa & Joey airs its last episode ever. For football addicts, preseason action is in full swing, so keep an eye on the rosters and get ready for those fantasy drafts.

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Tags: hdpostcross, listings, MustSeeHdtv, truedetective, video




Not So Massively: Dota 2’s $18m main event, Hearthstone’s expansion
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 8:00 pm
This week, third-person MOBA SMITE revealed its new support character Khepri, the ancient Egyptian scarab god. League of Legends pushed its HUD overhaul to the ranked queue and temporarily killed off champion Gangplank with the opening of a new Black Market Brawlers game mode. Heroes of Newerth released the first of its new Paragon avatars designed to raise money for [...]


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The Stream Team: Giving Project Gorgon a go
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 8:55 pm
Deciding which game to play can be hard for MassivelyOP’s MJ, but thankfully sometimes our Patreon backers make it easy by choosing for her! Such is the case tonight, when MJ delves into the alpha version of the upcoming Project Gorgon. There’s been a bit of buzz swirling around this old-school sandbox that made its Kickstarter goal in just a [...]


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'Gunjack,' a VR space shooter that puts you in the cockpit
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 7:16 pm

You're sitting in the pilot seat of a cutting-edge spacecraft outfitted with two heavy-duty turrets. The inky universe expands around you and begins to populate with enemy ships: You pull the triggers and shoot them down, gathering new ammunition for more coordinated, deadly attacks and powering up your craft. This is Gunjack, a new virtual reality game from Eve Online and Eve Valkyrie developer CCP, created specifically for the Samsung Gear VR. It's an arcade shooter (think more Star Wars Battle Pod than Space Invaders) set in the Eve universe, and it's due out in the fall.

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Via: Android Central

Tags: eve, EveOnline, evevalkyrie, gearvr, hdpostcross, samsung, samsunggearvr, video, VirtualReality, vr




Hi-Rez is making Paladins, a team FPS with deckbuilding
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 5:30 pm
Hi-Rez has been hinting at its new project in recent weeks, and while we were expecting to get an eye full of it at Gamescom, the firm has gone ahead and spilled the beans to IGN. Paladins is an objective-based team FPS for PC and current-gen consoles that is scheduled to launch sometime in 2016. It’s set in a whimsical [...]


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DC Universe’s Episode 15 content arrives this week for subscribers
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 6:00 pm
Daybreak has announced the official launch date for DC Universe Online’s Episode 15 update. Members can take the new content for a spin on August 5th, while free-to-play types can get it via the game’s marketplace a week later on August 12th. Episode 15 includes an 8-player operation called The Bombshell Paradox as well as the beginning of DCUO’s League [...]


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DayZ associate producer talks cheaters and how to stop them
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 7:00 pm
DayZ associate producer Eugen Harton spoke to a GDC Europe crowd earlier today about how Bohemia Interactive handles cheaters in its open-world zombiepocalypse survival title. Harton said that Bohemia has built a library of roughly 400 cheats to date, and he notes that over 76 percent of DayZ players who are banned for cheating come back and get caught cheating [...]


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These are the companies that are trying to build the metaverse
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 4:00 pm
Did you know that Linden Lab is hard at work on a sequel to its Second Life virtual world? Yep, it is, and Recode has published a lengthy piece that not only looks at Linden’s Project Sansar but also at a handful of other companies who hope to create some sort of metaverse in the vein of Stephenson’s Snow Crash [...]


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An exclusive talk with RIFT’s Chris Junior on the Nightmare Saga and more
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 4:30 pm
RIFT is starting to make more noise as 2015 marches on, particularly with its recent Patch 3.3. This newest update added a major saga to the game and other neat features, and so to catch up on all of these changes, Massively OP sat down with Trion Worlds Game Director Chris Junior to get the full scoop. Join us as [...]


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Visionary Realms adds three Pantheon devs
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 5:00 pm
Brad McQuaid’s dev team for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen just got a little bit bigger. A post on the game’s forum welcomes senior game designer and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes veteran Corey LeFever as well as programmer/webmaster Adam Tell. Visionary Realms also introduced Jason Bolton as its new associate community manager. RELATED ARTICLESPantheon’s Brad McQuaid on mass market MMOs, [...]


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Final zombies pack for 'CoD: Advanced Warfare' hits tomorrow
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 4:29 pm

The latest trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's "Exo Zombies" mode might not feature a megalodon-esque sea-borne monstrosity, but it does have John Malkovich doing his best Werner Herzog impression for the voice over. So there's that. This final episode takes place fathoms below the ocean surface with Rose McGowan, Bill Paxton (game over, man!), Joe Bernthal and the inimitable Bruce Campbell coming back to tie up the story. "Descent" hits Xbox Live tomorrow with other platforms to come in the future. If you're a PlayStation fan that's green with envy, just remember that your early exclusivity period starts with a Black Ops 3 beta and add-ons this fall -- there's even a mode where you murder the undead and chew gumballs in Rapture-esque, art-deco city streets as Jeff Goldblum.

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Source: Call of Duty

Tags: activision, advancedwarfare, BillPaxton, BruceCampbell, callofduty, descent, exozombies, hdpostcross, JohnMalkovich, RoseMcgowan, sledgehammergames, zombies




Sword and Bored: Expansion
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 2:00 pm
An expansion released for Mo's game, and Amilya is excited to show him -- maybe too excited.


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CCP announces Gunjack, a VR title for mobile
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 2:30 pm
Move over, EVE Valkyrie. Gunjack is CCP’s newest virtual reality pet project. Gunjack is in development for the Samsung Gear VR platform, and yes, that makes it a mobile game. Players take on the role of a gun turret operator on a mining vessel in the Outer Ring region of EVE Online’s New Eden sci-fi universe. “As part of the ship’s [...]


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The Stream Team: A look at Marvel Heroes’ Ant-Man (and a giveaway)
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 2:55 pm
Have you wanted to try out Marvel Heroes’ Ant-Man? MassivelyOP’s MJ has, and now that she finally has a couple of heroes at level 60, she can do so without feeling guilty for neglecting her others. She’s pretty excited to see what Ant-Man can do (and how small he can actually go!). To share the excitement of discovery, MJ also has [...]


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$18 million up for grabs in this week's 'Dota 2' championships
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 2:24 pm

The International is back and bigger than ever. The 2015 championships for Dota 2, Valve's massively popular MOBA, take off today in the "main event" stage, beginning with three matches between LGD Gaming and Team Empire. In total, 16 teams have a shot at winning The International when it comes to a close on Saturday, August 8th. There's a total of $18 million up for grabs, with payouts ranging from $54,000 for 16th place and $6.5 million for first -- and these figures should rise before the end of the tournament, since it's funded via ongoing purchases of the Compendium, a package that offers players in-game goodies at $10 or $27 a pop. Twenty-five percent of all Compendium sales go straight to The International's prize pool. Watch The International's official, live coverage below (heads up, it autoplays).

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Source: Dota 2

Tags: championships, dota2, dota2championships, hdpostcross, TheInternational, TheInternational2015, TheInternationalDota2




PlayStation Now game streaming officially arrives on Vita and PS TV
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 3:14 pm
Sony Holds Press Event At E3 Gaming Conference Unveiling New Products For Its Playstation Game Unit

If you've been itchin' to give PlayStation Now's streaming a go on your gaming handheld, the wait is over. The subscription service officially arrived on the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV, delivering access to over 125 games on those two devices. PlayStation Now had been available on the Vita and PlayStation TV in beta form for months, but now it's making a proper debut after hitting the PS3 back in May. In addition to equipping two more gaming gadgets with the service, five new titles are being added this month. Joining the library of titles in August are Dynasty Warriors 8, MX vs. ATV Supercross, Bomberman Ultra, The Last Guy and, most importantly, God of War III. With new games being added on the regular and Sony offering newcomers a free one-week trial, there's really now excuse for PlayStation owners to take the service for a test drive.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

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Source: PlayStation Blog

Tags: gamestreaming, gaming, hdpostcross, playstationnow, playstationtv, playstationvita, psnow, psvita, sony, streaming, subscription, vita




LOTRO announces its 10 surviving servers
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 11:30 am
Lord of the Rings Online has begun the process of closing down some of its servers and encouraging players to migrate to one of 10 remaining worlds in order to boost population density. Today Turbine announced which servers will be surviving, five in each region. In the US, Arkenstone, Crickhollow, Landroval, Gladden, and Brandywine have made it, while in the [...]


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Wisdom of Nym: Speculating on what comes next in Final Fantasy XIV
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 12:00 pm
Let me start by warning you fans of Final Fantasy XIV that this column may very well have spoilers, but that’s all right because you can read it without running into them in the main body of the article. (I can’t control what people put in the comments.) One of the new toys we have to play around with on [...]


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World of Warcraft’s Bashiok has apparently defected to… WildStar
Posted by Massively Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 12:15 pm
Former World of Warcraft Community Manager Micah “Bashiok” Whipple announced he was leaving Blizzard last week to take up a new job this week, leading to speculation that his next job must be close to the Blizzard studio in Irvine, California. And unless he’s trolling Twitter, it seems he’s making the move to NCsoft — Carbine Studios and WildStar, to be exact, which [...]


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