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MMO News Roundup: Last week on Massively

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Sometimes, you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.
The Secret World no longer requires a subscription
Early last week, the urban fantasy MMO The Secret World has officially dropped its subscription fee. Effective immediately, you only need to purchase the game itself to play. Subscription-free players are not restricted from accessing any content or gameplay features.
Turbine brings back Asheron's Call 2
Though Asheron's Call is still running, Asheron's Call 2, which launched in 2002, closed its doors in 2005. Now, nearly 7 years later, Turbine is bringing Asheron's Call 2 back. The game is currently in beta phase, and to access the game, you need to be an Asheron's Call subscriber.
EVE Online breaks the 450k subscriber mark
Between the recent launch of the Retribution expansion and a relaunch in China, EVE Online has accumulated more than 450,000 subscribers. EVE developer CCP partnered up with TianCity to bring the sandbox back into the Chinese market. According to a CCP press release, the game's business in China has surpassed expectations.
Did SWTOR make things worse by going F2P?
Star Wars: The Old Republic has caught a lot of heat over its approach to F2P gaming. With severely restricted gameplay for free players and exorbitant prices in its cash shop, The Old Republic may have done more harm than good for its game -- a surprise misstep in a market that has seen great success with F2P games in the past.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

MMO Roundup: Politics, cosplay, and The Secret World

MMO Roundup Politics, cosplay, and The Secret World
Sometimes, you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

MMO subscriber numbers have peaked, says industry analyst
Industry analyst Michael Pachter has a history of blowing hot air, but when he speaks, others listen. Pachter is back with a few more controversial remarks concerning the growth -- or lack of it -- in the MMO market. Speaking at the Evolve Conference, Pachter said, "It looks to me as though the MMO market is as big as it's ever going to be -- as far as subscription MMOs."
TERA guild farms itself for political gain, playerbase outraged
TERA's endgame political system features something called a Vanarch, a player-elected representative. Vanarchs can impose taxes, toggle PvP on or off, and generally meddle in the affairs of other players. En Masse recently adjusted the system to allow Vanarchs to rise to power through guild-vs.-guild combat. In doing so, it cleared the way for mega-guilds to split in two and farm their way to political office.
Amazing amateur MMO cosplay
While many facets of geek and video game culture are adequately represented in the cosplay community, MMORPG cosplayers can be a little harder to find. Is it truly underrepresented, or is it simply harder to find? Check out Massively's top 10 amateur MMORPG cosplay.
The Secret World's launch and future
The Secret World, the modern day urban fantasy MMO from Funcom, launched very recently. Massively had an opportunity to sit down with The Secret World's creative director Ragnar Tornquist and discuss the game's present and future.
Massively Speaking Episode 208: Invest in copper
Massively Speaking, Massively's MMO podcast, returns this week with hosts Justin Olivetti and Bree Royce. Topics include Funcom, City of Heroes, Vanguard, TERA, and Guild Wars 2.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

The Lawbringer: Mail bag 11

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Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, and esoteroic topics that slip through the cracks.

I'll beat this dead horse until it rains horse pieces -- thank you all so much for coming out to the WoW Insider Show live podcast at PAX East. There was a lot of love in that room, especially for Lawbringer, which was a pleasant surprise. More people asked me about specific Lawbringer topics than anything else I write about, so you all must be enjoying something going on here.

Speaking of you, I've got a couple of emails that you sent in that I'd like to answer. Reading your reactions and opinions about the subjects of these articles is great in the comments, since there is instant gratification, but there is something about the delayed reaction and thoughtfulness of an email. I may not agree with you -- I usually don't agree with anyone, much less myself -- but I'll read what you've got to say.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

How Blizzard's over-caution saved it from a PR nightmare

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Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, and esoteroic topics that slip through the cracks.

The Titanic was the largest cruise ship ever built. It was proclaimed to be unsinkable, defying natural laws to those who did not understand how the behemoth could float. In the end, the Titanic sunk not because she was a weak ship but because the ship tried to turn from an iceberg, causing catastrophic hull damage. If the ship had plowed through the iceberg and not changed course, there is a greater chance it could have avoided catastrophe.

While comparing Blizzard to the Titanic doesn't exactly evoke a positive connotation, it should. The Titanic sunk because of mistakes made. Blizzard's conservative game design attitude and philosophy have served it well -- being open to change and modification while holding on to the core concepts of WoW and trying not to deviate in profound, risky ways. The risk sometimes works -- transmogrification, void storage, Raid Finder, Real ID (and soon Battletags), etc. Sometimes, the risk doesn't exactly lead to the best reward -- the Real ID debacle, the vocal hardcore minority and Cataclysm heroics, and the Dance Studio. Blizzard understands that the juggernaut cannot turn too quickly, or it risks the type of deep, jagged incision that sinks the unsinkable.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

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