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Shawn Schuster

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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.
MMOGs rated in Australia. Warcraft a bit late, no sign of Conan, Warhammer
Back at the end of January, after we spent months investigating, talking to the Australian Classification Board, and both State and Federal Australian Attorneys General offices, it became clear that an apparent discrepancy in Australian games ratings was no discrepancy.
Exclusive interview with Aion Producer Brian Knox
We submitted a few questions to NCsoft back when players were taking their first baby steps into the strange and lush world of Atreia. Things have obviously been a bit hectic these past couple weeks but Aion Producer Brian Knox took some time out today to answer them for us. Thanks Brian!
Choose my Adventure: Dungeons and Dragons Online
Last week we ended our Lord of the Rings Online edition of Choose my Adventure with the retirement of Gibbi the Hobbit in his very own hobbit hole. This week, the votes have been counted and it appears that Dungeons and Dragons Online will be the next game in which I'll spend the next two months.
The top five Guild Wars features we take for granted
Guild Wars was my introduction into MMO gaming. My husband heard of it on a podcast and decided to check it out. I got curious, asked him if I could try it, and never looked back. My outgoing, chatty personality combined with my love of computer games made MMO gaming an irresistible new world to explore. With all the recent (long-awaited) news of Guild Wars 2, this seemed like a great time to take a look back at some of the features of Guild Wars that are rarely found in other games of its type.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

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.
Age of Conan's patch plans laid out
Timelines are always subject to change, but it's still nice to know them, right? Age of Conan's patching timeline was just laid out by community manager Oliver "Tarib" Kunz in an informal manner on the forums. Patch 1.05.6 is currently on the test server, and it will be staying there for about another 2 weeks before it makes its way to the live servers, barring any unforseen testing mishaps, of course. That's the patch that has the new Iron Tower instance and the veteran rewards system.
Star Trek Online offers five exclusive screenshots to Massively every Monday until launch
This will be a weekly thing up until the launch of Star Trek Online, so keep your eyes peeled every Monday for a glimpse at something new to whet your Trek appetite. Hopefully we'll be able to help sate it, but if nothing else, at least there'll be pretty space ships to ogle on a regular basis.
EVE Fanfest 2009 highlights
The biggest player gathering of the year for EVE Online fans is EVE Fanfest, held annually in the CCP Games hometown of Reykjavik. Some interesting announcements of what's to come have been made over the past few days, as well as more details or clarification on previously announced aspects of both EVE Online and DUST 514.
Embracing the Sith in Star Wars: The Old Republic
Everyone is worried about the Jedi player population when it comes to Star Wars: The Old Republic, but the Sith are in every way a likely -- if not more so -- threat. With franchise analogs like Vader and Maul, there's going to be a lot of people auto-running around the game to the tune of Imperial March.
All Points Bulletin beta kicks off next week, new gameplay footage released
All Points Bulletin from Realtime Worlds is eagerly anticipated by the GTA and Saints Row set, bringing much greater online interaction to the urban crime game genre. All Points Bulletin has been accepting beta applications and, according to Gamesindustry.biz, the beta will begin next week. They report that Realtime Worlds CEO Gary Dale mentioned the beta going live during Tech Media Invest 2009 in London.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

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.
Wishes do come true, Planetside 2
"X game sounds a lot like Planetside. I wish they'd make a sequel to that game." is something we've heard over the years as similar-yet-different titles have been announced and released. Well who says wishes don't come true? As it turns out, SOE is planning to "expand the Planetside universe with another game" and is asking players of the original for their input via survey.
Rumor: Imminent closed beta announcement for Star Wars: The Old Republic?
Bioware might have tipped their hand accidentally today as they briefly updated the Star Wars: The Old Republic website with a call for testers for the highly anticipated MMO. The announcement only lasted a few minutes before being taken down off of the site, indicating an accidental posting.
Redefining MMOs: Developers weigh in
What does "MMO" mean anymore? When we launched our "Redefining MMO" series over the summer, we began with a look at the terminology behind the games we play -- what the term "MMO" encompasses and what kinds of games it describes. But with the online games market expanding into new genres and incorporating new gameplay and social elements, the definition of "MMO" has changed. So is it time for a new word?
Runes of Magic Warden class overview
We've already covered the new Druid class that came with the The Elven Prophecy update to Runes of Magic this month. Now we explore the other new class, the Warden. This class relies on their blade to inflict damage on their foes. It's not a ranged attack class as it does not rely on the bow, it is a melee attack class. They also use their summonable nature spirits for quite a bit of DPS as well as their self-only utility and protection buffs.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively - Double launch day edition


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.
A WoW player's guide to Aion
So, you're a big fan of World of Warcraft (or at least you were at one time) and you've heard about this new MMO called Aion. "Hmmm, I wonder what that's all about?" you ponder. "Anything similar?" you posit. "What's so different?" Well, we've written a WoW player's guide to Aion just for you! Sit back with a cup o' joe, while we compare and contrast the two MMOs for you.
A WoW player's guide to Fallen Earth
At Massively, we like to focus on making more MMOs accessible to more people. That accessibility to other MMOs is initially started by the 800 lb gorilla: World of Warcraft. Without WoW, a large percentage of MMO players would not be enjoying their current game today, even if they haven't stuck by WoW this whole time.
Massively's Aion and Fallen Earth launch day schedule
As we mentioned on Friday, we are excited to join you in-game for the launches of both Aion and Fallen Earth tomorrow. We'll have staff in both games, ready to group up and play with any readers who want to experience the beginning areas with other readers. In addition to this, we'll have contests, giveaways and prizes to those who attend or meet-up with us.
The Aion server queue survival guide
So you pre-ordered Aion and you're super excited to jump into the game during the headstart release that's going on right now. You've set aside a whole block of time for your game play, you have your snacks at your side and your DVR ready to play some great entertainment while you grind your night away. You type in your username and password, accept the EULA, select the server that you made your character on during the pre-selection annnndd..... ...you get slapped in the face with a 2 hour wait time.
Redefining MMOs: The Shooter Invasion
The MMO industry is always changing, and if we're going to stay ahead of the curve, we need to re-evaluate some of our views and ingrained notions from time to time. The Redefining MMOs series at Massively is our look at the state of massively multiplayer online games as it is today, and where we see it going. This week we're going to look at how shooters have invaded the MMO space, give you a run-down of some promising MMO shooters on the horizon, and finally tackle the question of whether or not they should be covered here at Massively.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

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.
PAX 2009: Dark mysteries of The Secret World
So, you may have heard: Funcom is taking famous myths, urban legends, pop culture, history and even things like the Rota Fortunae and blending it all into a game called The Secret World. We sat down with lead designer Martin Brusgaar and creative director Ragnar Tornquist at PAX 2009 to discuss the game and a few of its many secrets.
Common questions for new DDO Unlimited players
Having spent the last few days in Turbine's newly-Free To Play DDO Unlimited, I asked and answered the same handful of questions a brain-numbing number of times. To spare the chat channel on your server the spam, I've listed many of the most common ones here. If the questions keep popping up while you are adventuring on Korthos, feel free to help out with the answers in the General or Advice chat channels.
PAX 2009: Hands-on and phasers locked with Star Trek Online
We stopped by Cryptic's booth at PAX 2009 for a chance to speak with the Executive Producer for Star Trek Online Craig Zinkievich, and obviously to get our hands on the game as well. Well, turns out our demands were acceptable, and we got to both play the game and prod at Craig with our incessant "questions" for your -- and of course our own -- pleasure.
PAX 2009: We travel east with Rise of the Godslayer
Age of Conan came to PAX pretty much directly off their announcement of the Rise of the Godslayer expansion. So when we arrived at our appointment to check the game out and speak with Executive Producer Craig Morrison, you can imagine our curiosity levels were quite high.
DragonCon 2009: Interview with Global Agenda
At Dragon*Con this year, we had the chance to grab a quick video interview with Stew Chisam, VP of Game Operations at Hi-Rez Studios. Following two successful closed beta weekends, and some wonderful demos at Dragon*Con and PAX, Stew was happy to tell us how things are going in the progression of Global Agenda.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

Massively's Dungeons and Dragons Unlimited launch day round-up


Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited goes free-to-play today, so we put together a little round-up of our best guides for this new content. Maybe you're confused on how the new DDO Store will work, or have heard rumors about what aspect of the game is truly free-to-play. Massively has you covered!
Massively's DDO Unlimited developer tour
Love can sometimes be a fickle thing, but I'm pretty sure that I love what Turbine has done with the DDO Store in Dungeons and Dragons Online Unlimited. I'll admit that initially I was a little concerned with the concept of an in-game store, but after playing with it at bit and asking some questions my fears have pretty much melted away.
Massively Speaking Episode 57: DDO with Jerry Snook
Massively Speaking Episode 57 returns this week with an entire episode dedicated to Dungeons and Dragons Online and their recent announcement about going free-to-play. Shawn is joined by DDOCast host Jerry Snook as they discuss the ins and outs, good and bad of a 3-year-old game going F2P.
The pros and cons of free to play Dungeons and Dragons Online
Dungeons and Dragons Online going free to play is undoubtedly an awesome announcement. But exactly how awesome of an announcement is it? Yesterday we were all over the announcement, covering the basics of what can be expected with this changeover from subscription based to free to play. But now, I'd like to break that down even further, and really look at the changes in an in-depth manner.
DDO goes F2P: An interview with Turbine
As the news hit yesterday concerning Dungeons and Dragons Online going free-to-play, many MMO gamers collectively rejoiced, while others didn't. The idea of this hybrid business model is wonderful for those who have yet to experience DDO, as it now gives them a chance to play the game as long as they'd like, with no level cap restrictions for absolutely no cost. This means no credit card info changing hands, no commitments to a monthly fee and the implied need to "get your money's worth" and no real need to quit the game if you can't afford it. But it can't be that easy, can it? Well, there's a slight catch.

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Filed under: News items, Features

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively - PAX Edition


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.
PAX 2009: Massively interviews BioWare and LucasArts on SWTOR
PAX 2009 played host to the first North American public demo for Star Wars: The Old Republic and by the cheering and applause of a packed theater at Sunday's stage demo, we'd say it went exceedingly well. Luckily for us, we had the opportunity to sit down and chat with LucasArts producer Jake Neri and BioWare producer Blaine Christine.
A WoW players guide to Champions Online
We're sure many of you have noticed that Champions Online coverage has increased lately, primarily because the game just launched. Since many of you are current or former World of Warcraft players with another year before Cataclysm launches, we've constructed a handy guide to help you figure out if this game is something you'd be interested in playing.
PAX 2009: All about LotRO's upcoming expansion: Siege of Mirkwood
This last weekend at PAX 2009 we had the opportunity to sit down with Lord of the Rings Online's executive producer Jeffrey Steefel. He gave us a sneak peek at some of the new zone and instanced content coming in Siege of Mirkwood, as well as many of the new features. So if you're skeptical or just plain curious, we think you'll be most intrigued to see what knowledge we've uncovered after venturing deep into Mirkwood and all the way into Sauron's fortress of Dol Guldur.
Everything Aion: Five things you need to know about surviving in Atreia
With NCsoft's release of Aion coming up on the 22nd and 25th September in North America and Europe, we thought we had better give you the basics on the land of Atreia ahead of the open beta which begins today. So, we're going to give you all the info you need to dive into their beautifully detailed world. After the jump, we're going to look at the five things you need to know if you've never played Aion before.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

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.
EVE Online announces Dominion expansion, 'Walking in Stations' renamed Incarna
CCP Games has announced their 11th free expansion for EVE Online, called "Dominion." As the name suggests, the winter expansion focuses on territories and player control over them. We're told that the Dominion expansion focuses on conquering and holding space, and will feature a reworking of the sovereignty system of territorial control for player alliances.
Meet the Massively team at DragonCon '09
As we are just now recovering from BlizzCon and GamesCom last week, we realize we're not even close to being through the summer convention season yet. DragonCon in Atlanta, GA and PAX in Seattle, WA both start next week, and you can bet there are more than a few of us at Massively who will be attending these major conferences.
SWTOR's Sith Warrior detailed, cataloged
Gamescom provided us with plenty of information on the newly revealed Sith Warrior class for Star Wars: The Old Republic. So much is already known, making the newly revealed official web page feel like a safe place to keep all that information rather than a source of geeky revelation.
Devs spill the beans on LEGO Universe
Wired.com's GeekDad blogger Curtis Silver has taken some time to sit down with LEGO Universe's Producer, Ryan Seabury, and the games development team. The lengthy interview was posted earlier this week and really gets under the skin of this odd little MMO. Silver also snagged two new exclusive screenshots and states that "LEGO Universe will bridge the generational gap between geek parents and geek kids". After all, who doesn't love LEGO?
Ten things to know when starting Champions Online
Every time a new MMO launches, there's always a good list of things that wouldn't hurt for a new player to know, and Champions Online is no different. We're all about making your first steps into an unknown game as grief free as possible, so check out Syp's list if you're interested in such a proposal. He's got a very good rundown on things you need to know when entering the tutorial zone.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

Champions Online launch day round-up


Today is the official launch day for Champions Online and judging by the positive responses we've received from Twitter, we know many of you are excited to at least try out this new superhero MMO. Below is a round-up of helpful posts for your first days in Millenium City, courtesy of our sister site, Massively. If you're feeling a bit lost in the new surroundings, they have you covered with a special in-game meet-up event happening all day.
Glean info in this video walkthrough of Champions Online's tutorial
If you've been wondering what the starting area for Champions Online was like in moving pictures, you'll be happy to know that a two-part video has surfaced online for your viewing pleasure. The video is new gameplay footage blended a little bit with older trailers. Overall, if you're looking to see what the game actually looks like while being played, this video is a decent place to start.
Ten things to know when starting Champions Online
Every time a new MMO launches, there's always a good list of things that wouldn't hurt for a new player to know, and Champions Online is no different. We're all about making your first steps into an unknown game as grief free as possible, so check out Syp's list if you're interested in such a proposal. He's got a very good rundown on things you need to know when entering the tutorial zone.
Travel powers trailer for Champions Online
Yeah, we know the Champions Online open beta is out and many of you have probably been messing around with all these travel powers already, but it's always nice to get a preview of all your options in one nicely packaged trailer. Plus, trailers are a great way to kill a minute or five, depending on the game in question.
The Digital Continuum: Five reasons to play Champions Online
It's been a long wait since the announcement of Cryptic's next project, so long that some of us began to run around our houses wearing towels around our necks. Thankfully, September 1st is now less than a month away. Open beta? That's even sooner. Before we know it the game will be sitting on our desks and shelves.

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Filed under: News items, Features

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.
ArenaNet releases Guild Wars 2 trailer
The wait is finally up. At GamesCom today, ArenaNet delivered on their teasers throughout the week and released a brand new trailer for Guild Wars 2. This is something Guild Wars fans have been anticipating for years, and it's finally here.
Sith Warrior officially the next SWTOR class
While not entirely unexpected -- especially since it was playable, but unnamed, at this year's E3 -- Star Wars: The Old Republic's Sith Warrior class has now been officially revealed and discussed by BioWare. We're expecting an official class page by Friday, but for now this Gamespot interview from GamesCom will have to sate our curiosity.
Redefining MMOs: The rise of F2P
These days it seems like you can't move three feet in the MMO space without bumping into a Free-to-Play (or F2P) game. As the person who writes First Impressions from time to time, I play quite a lot of them. As such, I'm always looking at new F2P games that pop up, from tiny indie titles to mega-corporate offerings. Just about any subset you can imagine is represented out there: flash games, isometric, side-scrollers, mini-games, embeddable web-only, local client. Curious about what genres you might find? How about fantasy, steampunk, post-apocalyptic, casual, cartoon, pirate, anthropomorphic, space, and so much more.
Stargate Worlds receives new funding, development to continue
The sci-fi MMO Stargate Worlds had mostly fallen off of our radar, and with good reason. It's seemed that Stargate Worlds would not see a release -- the developer Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment faced major cash flow issues resulting in employees not being paid and subsequent lawsuits. There were also departures of some of the major individuals connected with the game's development that painted a grim picture.
Funcom announces Rise of the Godslayer expansion for Age of Conan
With GamesCom has come the announcement of a brand new boxed expansion for Age of Conan -- Rise of the Godslayer. Age of Conan fans rejoice, you have been loved. Rise of the Godslayer, however, will not be an expansion as your normally understand it. Instead of expanding the game vertically, like so many other MMOs, RotG will be expanding the game horizontally. The level cap of 80 isn't changing, but expect RotG to be adding much more meat to the lower levels of the game's content -- specifically from level 20 (and the end of Tortage) up until 80.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features