The Daily Grind: What was your favorite Gamescom reveal?
Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 August 2014, 9:00 am

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Gamescom 2014 came and went, but not before a handful of interesting MMO-related news blurbs made their way from Cologne, Germany to your monitor. My personal favorite was Star Citizen's quartet of new videos, not to mention a fifth that showed off a multiplayer-crewed Constellation fighting for its life.

What about you, Massively readers? What was your favorite Gamescom reveal? Or did nothing much catch your eye this year?

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 was your favorite Gamescom reveal? originally appeared on Massively on Mon, 18 Aug 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    WoW getting a price hike in the UK
    Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 August 2014, 10:00 am

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    A Blizzard moderator spilled the beans regarding World of Warcraft's upcoming price hike over the weekend. The catch, so far, is that the increase only applies in the UK. The fantasy MMO will transition from £8.99 ($15.00) to £9.99 ($16.72) per month, while 90- and 180-day sub prices will also rise.

    The firm mentions "changes in light of local and regional market conditions" as factors behind the price increase.

    MassivelyWoW getting a price hike in the UK originally appeared on Massively on Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Pregenerated characters
    Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 August 2014, 3:26 am
    Whether it is tabletop RPGs or computer games, pregenerated characters have a bad reputation. A typical gamer, given the choice of using a pregenerated character or going through a complicated system of generating his own will usually prefer his own build. Pregenerated characters are frequently somewhat generic, and thus boring. And they are often accused of being sub-optimal, by people who like optimization. I toyed with the idea of starting out Divinity Original Sin with pregenerated characters until I understood what the game was about and could go back and build optimized characters; but then I rather used a build I found via Google. I still might start a second game with my own creations later, there are so many options.

    But one game changed my perception of pregenerated characters: The Starter Set of the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. First of all the starter set uses the basic rules, which don't have a huge number of options. Thus building let's say your own rogue is unlikely to result in a character that is dramatically different from the pregenerated rogue in the Starter Set. Second, and maybe even more importantly, the pregenerated rogue in the Starter Set comes with a background story in which he learned his trade with a band of thieves that later tried to killed him; and then in the adventure that same band of thieves plays a prominent role in the story. So the pregenerated rogue has a strong personal link to the main story, while a rogue a player created on his own is unlikely to be as well integrated into the adventure.

    Imagine the story of the Lord of the Rings being played as a Dungeons & Dragons campaign with a group of people who don't know the story. The DM proposes a pregenerated character, Aragorn, son of Arathorn, a ranger of the north. If the player refuses to play that pregen, saying that rangers suck and that he wants to play a character created by himself, he is unknowingly missing out on a major chunk of story integration. If the player then creates a background story for his character that doesn't fit into the main story of Lord of the Rings, it will be a lot harder for the DM to integrate that character's background into the campaign.

    I usually DM campaigns in which there is no pre-determined main story. The campaigns are rather episodic sequences of adventures, with a mix of adventures I write myself and various published material. In a campaign like that, I can take any idea my players have for a background and integrate it somewhere in one or more adventures. But the next campaign I want to play is a full "adventure path", a premade campaign where from the first adventure on the players are discovering things that lead to some grand campaign finale. Such a campaign has obvious advantages in appearing more like an epic story, and less than badly jointed episodes. But I wonder how I'll do with background stories to make sure the characters fit well into that campaign.

    I don't think fully pregenerated characters are the answer here. Experienced players like to roll their own characters and make choices in the character creation. But I am thinking about preparing a bundle of ready-made character backgrounds that aren't too specific and can thus fit with various self-made characters. Furthermore I want to start my campaign by first spending a full session of explaining the campaign world to my players, before we even start rolling characters. So for those who prefer to make their own background story, I hope at least to get something that fits into the campaign world. That is a work in progress, I still have a lot of things to prepare for that campaign. Having an epic story to start with is one thing, making it actually feel epic during play is quite another.
    Tobold's Blog



    Trip to 2000
    Posted by Welshtroll [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 August 2014, 1:00 am
    While browsing my feeds on Newsblur I spotted that in celebration of the column Flare Path at Rock, Paper, Shotgun turning 3 years old, they were challenging the readers with some taxing puzzles. The top price was a £50 voucher to spend in on Just Flight games. The twenty-five runner up prizes of GOG vouchers […]


    GenCon Day Four, Little Kae’s Button Quest
    Posted by Blue Kae [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 August 2014, 10:23 pm
    Today was the last day for GenCon for me, but it was the first day and only day for my son. This is his actually his third GenCon although I doubt he remembers the first one since he was only three. He’s five now, nearly six, and just starting to get to the point where […]


    Battle Bards Episode 33: Allods Online
    Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 August 2014, 9:00 am
    As we’ve proven before on Battle Bards, free-to-play and foreign doesn’t mean that the soundtrack is going to be lame.  On the contrary, scores like Allods Online is what gets us out of bed in the morning, pumped for another … Continue reading


    Six things about the Atari 2600 that I forgot until now
    Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 August 2014, 9:00 am
    I was watching a retro review of an Atari 2600 game the other day that unlocked several memories I had of that quirky first console.  In no particular order, here they are: 1. The games were very colorful and bold … Continue reading


    Shadow Realms? Yes please.
    Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 August 2014, 2:54 pm
    Just a couple of weeks ago on Massively Speaking, Bree and I were kicking around ideas from tabletop RPGs that we’d like to see brought into MMOs.  I expressed a desire that I’ve long had, which is to allow players … Continue reading


    WildStar: The challenge challenge
    Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 August 2014, 9:00 am
    Last weekend I temporarily (?) retired my medic to pick back up my newbie Engineer in WildStar.  Now that I know the game better and feel more comfortable in it, playing this class has become easier, especially in regard to … Continue reading


    Guild Wars 2: Intermission (let’s all go to the lobby)
    Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 August 2014, 12:00 pm
    Yesterday Guild Wars 2 came out with its fourth episode of season two of the living story (ugh, there has to be a quicker way of typing that), but also made a couple of announcements.  The first is that after … Continue reading


    Is it just me…
    Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 August 2014, 4:12 pm
    Or does he look like a voodoo shrunken head (with body attached)? Worst hairstyle ever.


    Month of DDO: Sewer surfing
    Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 August 2014, 3:00 pm
    After capturing, losing, recapturing, and relosing this Shar priest, I’m about ready to throw my hands up in exasperation and let him go already.  The Wheloon prison storyline in Dungeons and Dragons Online isn’t as willing to do so, however.  … Continue reading


    The best thing I’ve EVER seen in LOTRO
    Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 August 2014, 9:03 pm
    Halfway there… halfway there… I stood around waiting, but no dice.  This game’s all tease.  Still, it made me happy.


    Sanitarium: The circus of fools
    Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 August 2014, 9:00 am
    (This is part of my journey playing through Sanitarium. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.) The gargoyle in the fountain at the asylum not only sent Max into a bizarre circus, but it put him in … Continue reading


    Screenshot Sunday
    Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 August 2014, 10:00 am
    One screenshot for each game I’m playing! Riding my goat up a stream in LOTRO… Doing combat math in DDO… Cheering in WildStar… Tripping big-time in Guild Wars 2… …and stumbling upon certain doom in The Secret World.


    MMO Week in Review: SOE Live 2014
    Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 August 2014, 9:00 pm

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    At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO or WoW Insider story last week, you've come to the right post.

    This week, the MMO world has been preoccupied with SOE Live, Gamescom, and Blizzard's Warlords of Draenor shindig. Massively's MJ Guthrie has been reporting from SOE Live in Las Vegas, delivering fresh info on Landmark's and EverQuest Next's combat systems.
    SOE Live 2014: Details on EverQuest Next combat, classes, and races
    SOE Live 2014: Combat comes to Landmark August 27th
    SOE Live 2014: EverQuest will release The Darkened Sea expansion October 28th
    SOE Live 2014: EverQuest II's Altar of Malice expansion includes new playable race
    SOE Live 2014: Thursday keynote liveblog announces EQ and EQII expansions, more

    Continue reading MMO Week in Review: SOE Live 2014

    MassivelyMMO Week in Review: SOE Live 2014 originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 17 Aug 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      EVE Evolved: How to fix nullsec territorial warfare
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 August 2014, 7:00 pm

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      EVE Evolved title image
      If you've been playing EVE Online lately or just following the major events in the game, it can't have escaped your notice that nullsec has become a bit stagnant. The lawless nullsec regions are supposed to be politically unstable territories claimed by hundreds of warring player-run alliances, but today they're dominated primarily by just two or three mega-coalitions. Individual alliances can no longer hold out against the combined forces of the coalitions and must either pick a side or be annihilated. The coalitions have even signed agreements not to take space from each other by force, and players are being bored to death as a result.

      Two weeks ago, I examined the history of force projection in EVE Online and made the argument that capital ships and jump drives ultimately created today's nullsec problems. Increases in mobility have led to alliances teaming up over vast distances, making mega-coalitions an inevitable outcome. It's obviously too late to remove capital ships or jump logistics, but there are plenty of other ways to potentially fix the nullsec problem. We had some great discussions in the comments of the previous article about how this complex problem could be solved without making warfare the painful slog it was back in 2004, and I believe it's possible.

      In this edition of EVE Evolved, I lay out some ideas for new game mechanics that could solve the current nullsec crisis and may meet CCP's goals for the eventual sovereignty revamp that's on the way.

      Continue reading EVE Evolved: How to fix nullsec territorial warfare

      MassivelyEVE Evolved: How to fix nullsec territorial warfare originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 17 Aug 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        The Wonders of Tropico 5
        Posted by MmoQuests.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 August 2014, 7:24 pm
        After falling in love with Tropico 4, it was a great surprise when I was gifted Tropico 5 – and of course I love this version of the game just as much as the previous. It’s a bit more complex … Continue reading


        Here's Shroud of the Avatar's opening cinematic
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 August 2014, 5:00 pm

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        Shroud of the Avatar's Release 9 is less than a week away, and Portalarium is whetting fan appetites by showing off the fantasy sandbox's opening cinematic. There are a bunch of other interesting tidbits in this week's newsletter, too, including pics and maps of Release 9's Ardoris, a call for player-written books, and even a level designer job opening.

        The cinematic's the main attraction, though, and you can view it after the break!

        Continue reading Here's Shroud of the Avatar's opening cinematic

        MassivelyHere's Shroud of the Avatar's opening cinematic originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 17 Aug 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        Elite: Dangerous' Stellar Forge tech powers planetary creation
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 August 2014, 3:00 pm

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        elite
        Maybe you think that creating solar systems for an MMO is nothing more than plunking down a few spheres and programming in physics for a gravity well. Well, you've got some nerve! The developers at Elite: Dangerous think about nothing else day in and day out, and as a result the team has come up with special tech to create the billions of systems that players will encounter in-game.

        In a recent newsletter, the team elaborates on the Stellar Forge system that it uses for most of the game's celestial bodies: "In Elite: Dangerous, when we are generating a system procedurally, each planetary system is formed from first principles. Bodies are gradually aggregated over a very long simulated time from available matter, taking into account its chemical composition. Depending on the angular momentum, this might begin to form into a single central body, or into multiple co-orbiting bodies."

        This explanation goes on in detail -- great detail -- and if you haven't appreciated how planets are made before now, you certainly will by the time you finish reading it.

        [Thanks to Cotic for the tip!]

        MassivelyElite: Dangerous' Stellar Forge tech powers planetary creation originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 17 Aug 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        DDOCast 347 – Healing
        Posted by DDOcast - A DDO Podcast! [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 August 2014, 12:19 pm

        Posted in DDOcast PodcastDDOCast Site News

        Geoff & Lich join the cast as we look at the upcoming changes to the defender enhancement lines and discuss healing tips! Check out www.ddocast.com for mp3 audio, our show calendar, swag, archives, and more! Look for me in game.  Over the next several weeks I will be periodically logging into all servers (character: ddocastone) […]


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        wow
        World of Warcraft fans are not the only ones who have speculated about a sequel to the hit MMO. Blizzard Game Director Tom Chilton gave a surprisingly non-evasive answer at this year's Gamescom about whether the company was thinking about creating World of Warcraft 2.

        "It's something we have talked about," Chilton said. "It's something we have talked about for 10 years. I think that there are a lot of challenges there in seeing how World of Warcraft 2 relates to World of Warcraft, do they live alongside each other, does one feed into the other, what is that product, etc. These are challenges that have to be figured out before that becomes a reality."

        MassivelyGamescom 2014: Blizzard says World of Warcraft 2 is 'something we have talked about' originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 17 Aug 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        Warlords of Draenor – Expendables Style
        Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 August 2014, 1:00 pm
        Last Thursday we had the big reveal.  Blizzard had an event where they talked about various aspects of the Warlords of Draenor expansion and gave us the big news that we had all been waiting for, the launch date. And they also showed us the big cinematic trailer.  This focuses on the change in lore.  […]


        Screenshot Sunday
        Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 August 2014, 10:00 am
        One screenshot for each game I’m playing! Riding my goat up a stream in LOTRO… Doing combat math in DDO… Cheering in WildStar… Tripping big-time in Guild Wars 2… …and stumbling upon certain doom in The Secret World.


        One Shots: Falling through the world
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 August 2014, 11:00 am

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        Did you get a chance to say goodbye to Vanguard and perhaps take a screenshot or two in its memory before it shut down? Reader Agemyth did, submitting the following odd image and fascinating tale.

        "The Vanguard shot that looks like I'm in a cave is actually because I flew my griffon straight into the peak of a mountain. Thanks to Vanguard's being the lovely lump of lovable bugs it is, I fell off my mount and right through the mountain," Agemyth writes. "Silly Vanguard, I thought, but instead of falling to the bottom of the virtual world as typically happens, I fell on top of a dungeon of some kind! I never got to explore Vanguard as much as I had hoped, but what started as an annoying bug ended up being a shortcut to an ancient forgotten underground structure soon to be forgotten for good by the end of Telon itself.

        "In Vanguard's final hours, it showed me the beauty of its true open-world design. You never know what mysteries lie below the dirt when your world is designed to be lived in rather than 'progressed' through."

        Continue reading One Shots: Falling through the world

        MassivelyOne Shots: Falling through the world originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 17 Aug 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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