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The softer, gentler side of MMORPG life. [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

The Warcraft movie might become a trilogy

Movie stills aside, we’re still waiting to see our first real look at 2016’s Warcraft film. The good news is that this will happen next week, as the film’s first trailer will debut on July 11th in Hall H at the San Diego Comic Con. Of course, if you can’t make it, there’s always a good chance that it’ll be on the internet shortly thereafter.

The World of Warcraft film could even be the first of a trilogy if it does well. In a recent interview, director Duncan Jones indicated a desire to see more movies made: “Hopefully, if I have done my job right, people will want to know and see more! There is certainly plenty more to tell! I would love to be part of that process of expanding on the lore that makes up Warcraft, but it will all depend on what you, the audience, think of our first film!”

Warcraft is being made by Legendary Pictures and will be released on June 10th, 2016.

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Final Fantasy XIV previews Alexander, claims 5M all-time subs

It might not be your cup of tea, but Final Fantasy XIV is certainly the cup of tea for a large number of MMO players, though how many remains unclear. At a recent event in Japan, producer and director Naoki Yoshida stated that the game has acquired five million total subscribers since its rerelease, although he did not state that the game currently has that many. Exact subscription numbers remain something of a mystery, as Square-Enix has declined to release them. Still, it’s something to chew on during speculation.

Final Fantasy XIV‘s first expansion launched two weeks ago tomorrow, and during those first two weeks the game it has given players no weekly lockouts. The idea, from the beginning, was to allow players to just relax and enjoy leveling without any sort of pressure. Now a tiny bit of pressure is being added as the game opens up its first weekly lockout in the form of Alexander, a former Sharlayan structure used as the nexus for the Primal of the Goblins. Check out the vid below.

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One Shots: Impossible architecture

When you construct your buildings out of pixels and polygons, you don’t necessarily have to worry about what’s physically possible and what isn’t, just what looks interesting and believable. I always check out the structures that developers come up with because there are always artistic architectural details that often go unnoticed.

Reader Zepheera saw something special in this Dungeons and Dragons Online view: “I’ve always loved the way the enchanted pylons float under the harbor inn. It’s subtle magic; there’s practicality, though it’s more for effect and might escape someone’s notice the first time. It makes me think if I could really be a wizard, I might go into city planning.”

Wizard city planners. That’d be awesome.

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The Daily Grind: What’s the worst MMO grind you’ve experienced?

There was a certain level band in World of Warcraft where my wife and I just resigned ourselves to a lack of useful quests and would just grind elementals in the Blasted Lands whilst listening to comedy routines. (This was before it was almost impossible to finish a zone before leveling past it.) Levels 47-50 in Final Fantasy XIV have perhaps the most annoying dungeon in the game as your only on-level option along with a serious dearth of quests even on your first job to 50, much less subsequent ones. There were far too many spots in The Secret World wherein I found myself repeating a single boring mission or two for the AP to make my build and gear work before I could move on.

And none of these is the worst things I’ve heard of – the horror stories I’ve been told about relentlessly grinding up skills in Ultima Online alone could serve as a reminder that just because a game doesn’t have levels doesn’t mean it lacks a leveling grind. So what’s the worst leveling portion of a game that you’ve experienced? What was a horrible upward crawl that you wouldn’t repeat ever if you could avoid it?

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The Game Archaeologist: The 4th Coming

Over the years that I’ve been writing The Game Archaeologist, I’ve received more than a few requests to cover a game that was completely unknown to me: The 4th Coming. It sounded like one of the lesser MUDs, so I stuck it in the backlog to investigate at some point.

Now that I’ve finally come around to looking into this title, I’ve discovered that The 4th Coming is actually one of the earliest — if not the earliest — online action RPGs, much in the same vein as today’s Path of Exile and Marvel Heroes. It makes sense that someone would seek to capitalize off of the explosive success of 1996’s Diablo, and that someone turned out to be Montreal-based Vircom Interactive.

Despite being one of the scant few ’90s graphical MMO pioneers, The 4th Coming’s legacy has been far outshadowed by its contemporaries and titles that followed. Today we’re going to see if we can’t deliver its due by looking at what this ARPG created.

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WRUP: Cool guys don’t look at fireworks edition

As we all know, cool guys don’t look at explosions (they blow things up and just walk away). This is true as few things in life are. We also are all aware that fireworks are just particularly small and colorful explosions which are at least ostensibly under the control of operators. Thus, we can conclude that it’s more cool to go to a fireworks show and then not look at those boring explosions for even a minute.

I suppose not going at all would be a faster and cheaper solution, but this way you can specifically not look at the explosions, then explain why you’re not looking while trying not to sound like some kind of detonation hipster. And… actually, now that I type all of that out, it seems like it might be easier to just check out our entries for this week’s entry of What Are You Playing along with some of our Patrons, then let us know what you’re up to in the comments. Seriously, that makes you automatically cool.

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The Daily Grind: Do you like playing as an evil character?

In most MMOs, your moral compass and career objectives are fixed for you: You’re a hero-for-hire who’s only out to save the world, rescue lost bunnies, and eviscerate nasty demon spawn. You’re the good guy or gal, in other words.

And while there’s nothing wrong with that, the “R” in the MMORPG genre means that sometimes we like to roleplay a little differently. Maybe we prefer to be on the side of the villains or in the murky grey middle. Maybe the anti-hero trope appeals to us or we just want to watch the world burn.

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Betawatch: July 3rd, 2015

I freely admit that I never actually played Glitch, but I was glad it existed and sad at the people who never even had the chance to play it. So it does my heart good to see that Eleven is rallying on full steam ahead to produce a playable version of the game for everyone. You guys keep doing your thing.

Meanwhile, there were no other beta things happening, and by “no other beta things” I mean “several other beta things.”

We also have a full list of games past the break, and of course, we’d love to know if there’s a game on that list which shouldn’t be or one that jumped statuses without telling us. Games are sneaky, sneaky things.

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Elite: Dangerous downgrades graphics, plans appearance at Lavecon

If you have been wondering if Elite: Dangerous looks a little less gorgeous as it did before, trust us, it’s not just you.

After players started posting a slew of comparisons showing that Patch 1.3’s graphics are a downgrade from what came before, Frontier at least admitted that it made adjustments to how it renders dust and fog and said, “Performance and visual consistency should be improved in the general case, however it does seem that some systems are not looking as good as they did.”

On the plus side, Elite: Dangerous is basically getting its own convention this year. Lavecon, a sci-fi and fantasy convention in Northamptonshire, UK on July 11th and 12th, is revolving around Elite’s presence. The con will feature Q&As with the devs, a state of the game planel, an Elite LAN party, and places to experience the game with the Oculus Rift.

Source: VG24/7, Official forums #1, #2, Lavecon. Thanks to Dirtyklingon and Colin for the tips!

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The Daily Grind: Does knowing how the MMO sausage is made ruin it for you?

Ever have a day when a confluence of posts and quotes lead you to one big MMO-related question? This post is that question, and this is what led me here:

  • Massively OP’s Jef voiced annoyance for a certain in-dev game that releases frequent behind-the-scenes vids: “It’s a day that ends in y, here’s a video update! Just make the game, dudes; call when it’s done.”
  • A former game dev posted a long explanation on Reddit about how game design looks from from the inside out, likening game studios to stressful, messy “group projects in college” that are governed by marketing execs the less indie they become.
  • And finally, the folks at Extra Credits have been doing a series on MMO reward design, the latest of which is called Advanced Social Curve Design – Empowering the Community and is a must-watch for a student of MMOs.

That last one creeped me out. I mean, it’s not new information at all to any of us here, but to be reminded that a savvy game designer is manipulating your every in-game move from day one — ug! Talk about destroying the magic.

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CCP taps Zendesk for EVE customer support

CCP’s latest dev blog address changes to EVE Online’s customer support. More specifically, New Eden has a new customer support help center courtesy of third-party cloudware firm Zendesk. CCP says the new system benefits customers due to “greatly improved self-help tools, search features, a rating system, social media integration, chat support features, and a much smoother overall experience.” The new system

If you had a ticket filed in CCP’s old home-grown support system, you can still access it via the website, but be aware that going forward all new tickets will exist in the new system.

Source: Announcement

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