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MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Blizzard, NCsoft talent form developer En Masse Entertainment
The MMO industry, despite some setbacks over the past year or so, has been growing at a steady rate for some time and doesn't show much sign of slowing. It's hard to argue that two of the most influential companies in that success have been Blizzard Entertainment and NCsoft, with the former keeping a stable of several successful games and the latter running a game well-known enough to not need a mention.
The Road to Mordor: Massively tour of LotRO Volume III Book 1
Lord of the Rings Online Volume III: Allies of the King is kicking off Book 1: Oath of the Rangers on the live servers this Monday, March 1st. Massively got to sit down with a LotRO dev for a tour of the new content. But before we jump in to that, a quick note about content patches.
Turbine sees 500% revenue growth with DDO: Unlimited
For all that the Penny Arcade guys may have made a joke about the old Dungeons and Dragons Online format, there's no disputing that the change to a hybrid free-to-play model has given the game a new lease on life. Groups aren't hard to find; the cities are bustling; and players have great things to say about their hybrid model which allows you to either work for rewards or pay a small fee for the level of content you want.
The breakdown of Final Fantasy XI's VanaFest 2010 announcements
After a month of heavy anticipation from the fans, VanaFest 2010 finally has come and given us all the information that we could want about where the game is heading from here. And the show did stay focused upon Final Fantasy XI -- the only mention of Final Fantasy XIV was the announcement that its first wave of beta testing will start on March 11th with a limited number of participants.

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Filed under: MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Making it as an MMO blogger: The bloggers speak up
You may remember a few weeks ago when we interviewed a handful of community managers on the topic of developer/blogger relations. This topic was first initiated by Ravious at Kill Ten Rats, and the response was overall very positive. Several of the Massively readers commented and emailed us saying that they'd like to see the flip side of these interviews, to get the blogger's perspective.
An interview with the most influential women in MMO development
It's not often that we get a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes operations of an MMO, but when we do, we can appreciate the real people seen creating our favorite games. Included in this pool of development talent are more than just the stereotypes you would see on TV or film, depicting nerdy men with thick glasses and severe hygiene problems. There are nerdy women making these games too!
Allods Online responds to player concern over cash shop
As we reported earlier this morning, the Allods Online item shop went live during open beta today, but the player feedback wasn't exactly positive. The main issue here being what fans felt were unusually high prices for in-game items.
LFM: Massively is looking for a few good bloggers!
Are you passionate about your favorite MMO? Do you have a particular skill with the written word? We're looking to expand our ranks with a few MMO-loving columnists, and if you answer yes to both of those questions, we want to hear from you.

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Filed under: MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Star Trek Online's producer: "In hindsight, it was pretty darn risky"
Star Trek Online hit some pretty major windfalls, even disregarding the fact that it's built on a popular intellectual property with legions of dedicated fans. It launched during a timeframe when there were no other major releases scheduled, came out not too long after a very popular movie in the franchise, and caught a lot of exposure with its open beta. And as executive producer Craig Zinkievich points out in a new interview, the entire operation relied not just on hard work, but also on luck.
Champions Online expansion is now free
A lot of upset has been swirling around the Champions Online community lately. Much of it has been due to the announcement of a paid zone expansion and implementation of a "Kitchen Sink" patch that was pushed out too soon. In an effort to heal wounds and correct mistakes, Cryptichas released a new State of the Game targeted at addressing player concerns.
Warhammer Online reveals new Scenario structure
People were not happy with the first version of Warhammer Online's plan to streamline the game's Scenarios to create a better structure. They were so not happy, in fact, that Mythic Entertainment decided it was better form to pull their original plans, wipe the slate clean, and start over with a clearer picture. And it seems to have worked, as Andy Belford has announced the revised plan for the scenarios as a whole. The result is a slightly larger list, but one with a bit more variety between tiers and a clearer picture of what the development team wanted to accomplish.

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Filed under: MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Tips for a WoW player in EverQuest II
Greetings and fair travels to you, adventurers. Once again it is I, Seccia Ravenloft, here to present this week's look into the world of Norrath. Now, from what these humans on this spiderweb site tell me, some of you are more familiar with other worlds than you are with Norrath. Blasphemy, I say! This week, I wish to mend that little problem of yours by teaching you how to adapt quickly to our world, lest you coddle yourself with the pillow armor other worlds offer you.
Making it as an MMO blogger: An interview with top community managers
Ahh, that eternal debate about what differentiates a gaming blogger from a gaming journalist. We could go on and on about specifics on both sides, but the fact is, we all have the same goals in mind: writing about what we love.
Free Realms reaches 8 million registered accounts
No matter which way you spin it, 8 million accounts is a ton of accounts. Free Realms has recently hit that magical milestone, celebrating a huge amount of fan interest in the game and a recent nomination for Best New Social/Online game in the Game Developer's Choice Awards. In fact, it's the only traditional MMO to be nominated for an award this year (outside of Nexon's Dungeon Fighter Online.)
Warhammer 40k MMO to be fully revealed this summer
Have you been looking forward to the Warhammer 40K MMO for what feels like forever? The people at THQ have been offering up small pieces of information since they announced the game a few years ago -- last April we finally got a release year of 2012, and just in December we were given some beautiful concept art.

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MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

It's been a busy seven days in MMO news as we gear up for the release of two games this week: Star Trek Online and Global Agenda. In addition, be sure to check out our brand new columns rolling out for specific focus games such as Guild Wars, Final Fantasy XIV and more to come!
Editorial: What could Apple's new iPad mean for MMOs?
If you consider yourself any type of technophile at all, you're probably well aware of Apple's announcement yesterday regarding their new iPad. This is basically the love child of an iPod Touch and a tablet PC, allowing users to take a fairly powerful slab of computing power with them wherever they go. While it might not be as beefy as your desktop machine or even a mid-range laptop, it has caused a giant wave of interest from consumers. So how does this affect us, as MMO gamers? We're glad you asked!
LotRO announces Volume III, Book 1: Oath of the Rangers
Lord of the Rings Online fans have been speculating for a while, wondering what the name of Volume III, Book 1 was going to be. Turbine's Sapience has been giving increasingly specific hints in a hangman-style game in the forums. Now the game's over, he's had his fun, and we have a title.
Volume 3:Allies of the King, Book 1: Oath of the Rangers is on the way, bringing with it plenty of new additions to the game.
Leadership tips from a former roleplaying raid officer
"Roleplaying" and "raid" both in the same sentence? Blasphemy! Yet, that was my position back in World of Warcraft, and I certainly roleplayed while participating in PvP and massive PvE (almost akin to raids) in The Matrix Online before its demise. Before all of that, I was a roleplaying guild leader in Final Fantasy XI and Phantasy Star Online, so I've been around guilds for a long, long time.
The 'Next Big Thing' in MMOs
Is All Points Bulletin the "Next Big Thing" in MMOs? While I'm fully aware that Realtime Worlds doesn't specifically prefer to associate the game with this genre, it's very much a part of it -- but it also orbits the fringes of what we commonly refer to as a massively multiplayer online game.

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Filed under: MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

It's been a busy seven days in MMO news as we gear up for the release of two games next week: Star Trek Online and Global Agenda. In addition, be sure to check out our brand new columns rolling out for specific focus games such as Guild Wars, Final Fantasy XIV and more to come!
Captain's Log: A non-trekkie guide to Star Trek Online
Perhaps you've been hearing a lot of buzz about Star Trek Online lately. Or, perhaps you're reading this article in the year 2018, after the robots have begun their bloody revolt. Either way, you've never been way into Star Trek, but find yourself curious about this new MMO based on the franchise. In that cast, this iteration of Captain's Log is just for you.
Court documents say Bethesda's MMO already under dev, rumor says it's Elder Scrolls
In this most recent round of court scuffles between Interplay and Bethesda over the Fallout MMO rights, it would seem that some details are coming to light about what's going on at Bethesda's MMO "branch", Zenimax Media. According to filings, the word is that there are close to 100 people working on an MMO that costs "tens and tens of millions of dollars" and has been under development since late 2006.
The sounds of Guild Wars 2: a Q&A with ArenaNet's Audio Director
A recent discussion has been going on regarding sound effects and ambient sounds, with everyone generally agreeing that those details are a wonderful addition to a game environment -- the more the better. Guild Wars is a game that already does this well, with details such as a change in the sound of footsteps depending on the surface one is walking on. Fans have the expectation and hope that things will be even better in Guild Wars 2.

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Filed under: MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Captain's Log: Community guide to Star Trek Online
We aim to inform and entertain here at Massively, and the same can be said of our Star Trek Online coverage. This is the first in a new ongoing feature entitled -- as you can plainly see -- Captain's Log. However, as a regular column you can expect guides, tips, op-eds and community spotlights. I've opted to kick this one off with a community guide to the game, as it's arguably one of the most useful things for anyone interested in learning more about the people playing a game.
Exclusive Allods Online dev tour: Astral Ships and the end game explained
Earlier this week, the team at Allods Online were kind enough to sit down and walk me through some of the highest-level areas in the game. Knowing that I'm already an avid fan of the game, it was exciting for us both to "talk shop" for a bit. It was especially exciting to see some features of the end game that not too many North American players have seen up to this point. Of course, I'm talking about Astral Ships and the end game.
Bioware confirms 2011 SWTOR release
Yesterday we talked about a rumor that had been floating around thanks to Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello, who had mentioned the spring 2011 launch of an unnamed MMO on a recent conference call. Of course, the Star Wars: The Old Republic rumor mill sprang into action, with good cause as it turns out.
Seven tips for Star Trek Online newbies
There's certainly a lot of lesser known MMO concepts to learn in Star Trek Online, and there's also some familiar aspects as well. With open beta ongoing and launch looming, this guide is here to help brand new players ease into the swing of things. We'll cover the odd class system, progression and several other tips and suggestions for those of you just beginning your venture into a galaxy full of Gorn raiders, Orion slavers and uh, Tribbles.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Rumor: Blizzard's next MMO to be an MMOFPS
Yep, another MMO rumor for you guys about the Blizzard's next title. While Blizzard has been very adamant in saying that their next MMO would be very different from World of Warcraft, there might be more difference here than just the game's setting.
CES 2010: LEGO Universe unveils trailer full of zombie pirate awesome
As if the idea behind the LEGO Universe MMO wasn't already pretty awesome in our books, this shiny new trailer straight from the CES floor has cranked up the previous levels of awesome to 11. In the new launch trailer we're treated to zombie pirates, ninjas, characters building race cars in bullet-time, rockets, and all manner of other cool-looking LEGO craziness.
Funcom threatening to delete noob Age of Conan characters
When it comes to character deletions, just about every MMO out there has a clause in their Terms of Service that indicates they have the right to delete your characters at any time and for no reason whatsoever. With that said, there are very few companies that choose to exercise that right.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features, MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Hands-on with Star Trek Online's early levels
There's been a lot of Star Trek Online coverage lately here at Massively, which is only normal given the looming early February release date. This particular feature is a look at the game over the course of around seven or eight "levels" of play. Sadly, that means I haven't acquired my first non-starter ship, although that goal will soon be reached even if it costs me more sleep. Still, you should check out the brand new beta gallery, because I was still able to catch plenty of cool stuff -- plus a classic Enterprise.
How the game of the decade haunts us
Yesterday I posted the interesting find that Gamasutra readers had voted in World of Warcraft as the game of the decade, which inevitably caused a huge spark of rage in the comments. Some readers lashed out against WoW while other readers defended the game's award. Needless to say, this is a very opinionated topic on our site.
Avatar: Why does this movie look so familiar?
If you're one of the few people who has not heard the buzz about Avatar yet, we'll catch you up by saying that the film's beauty is all anyone can talk about. MMO players discussing the movie will follow that observation up almost immediately with "...and did you notice how much it looks like [insert game of choice here]?"
The overwhelming power of community
"Without you, none of this would be possible!" While this saying is true for most things in the entertainment industry, it's mandatory for MMOs. A single-player game can make that initial retail box sale and never worry about keeping anyone happy after that, if they don't want to. Sure, most single-player game developers understand that they want their customers to be happy in case there's a sequel or future downloadable content, but for the most part, they can do alright with a relatively low maintenance developer-community relationship. Of course this isn't true at all for MMOs.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features, MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Preview of character creation in Final Fantasy XIV
The start of the beta signups for Final Fantasy XIV was certainly good news for the many people anticipating the game next year, but it didn't exactly pierce the fog surrounding the game. Square-Enix, of course, has always played their cards close to their chest when handing out previews, but there's still so much more to learn about the game and a number of curious people.
Hands-on with Klingons and PvP in Star Trek Online
If there's one thing that's almost more synonymous with Star Trek than classic catch phrases, it's the Klingons. They are the Captain Hook to the Federation's Peter Pan and thus it's important to several potential players that Star Trek Online do them justice.
Metaplace announces January 1st shutdown
The Metaplace development team made the announcement today that no fan of a game likes to hear: "Today we have unfortunate news to share with the Metaplace community. We will be closing down our service on January 1, 2010 at 11:59pm Pacific." The bottom line to the reasoning behind the decision is that Metaplace simply is not making enough headway to be a viable (read: profitable) product.
Vanguard paints a rocky road to come in the year ahead
In a recent announcement to the Vanguard community, the team has decided to be as frank as possible and outline the road map for the game in the year ahead. Due to limited resources and a new focus on bug elimination over ambitious content releases, some of the game's anticipated updates are being shelved indefinitely. Those features include the Halls of Shattered Souls, Pankhor Zhi, Nexus, and the anticipated "alternate advancement" system.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features, MMO Roundup

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