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

Final Fantasy XIV boasts 5 million registered accounts

Let’s start this news item with an important caveat – we don’t know how many actual active subscribers Final Fantasy XIV has at the moment. What we do know is that the game has five million registered accounts globally, excluding free trial accounts. So while that could mean that the game has two people actually playing and a lot of inactive accounts, it probably means something else.

This announcement comes only two months after the game’s first expansion went live and shortly before the two-year anniversary of the relaunched title. The game also recently launched in South Korea to impressive numbers at the nation’s internet cafes.

Source: Square-Enix press release

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The Daily Grind: What’s the most original player-created MMO profession?

Rohan on the Blessing of Kings blog posted yesterday a fascinating article on player bankers in Star Wars: The Old Republic. I knew of players becoming de facto bankers in EVE Online, but I can’t say it’s common in themeparks. We have BioWare’s free-to-play limitations to thank for this one; in TOR, apparently subscribers pose as bankers for F2P players, allowing them to “deposit” money on the subbers’ unlimited accounts and then acting as their brokers for large purchases — for a small fee and a mountain of trust, of course.

It shouldn’t blow me away; I’m a sandbox economy player at heart, after all. But it did. I’m always impressed when players find a way to circumvent irritating game mechanics to interact with each other, creating whole professions where the designers left only blank space.

What’s the most original player-created profession you’ve ever seen in an MMORPG?

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Massively Overthinking: MMOs that need VR

Man, our Kickstarter backers are fixated on virtual reality. It’s almost as if you guys are really tech-savvy and into gaming immersion or something!

Today’s Massively Overthinking question is indeed VR-related and comes to us from donor Dividion:

“Which released, first-person-playable MMO do you feel would benefit the most from implementing VR technology?”

So which MMO really, truly could benefit from VR, right now? Let’s do this!

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Interact with this EVE Online overview video

Some people learn by watching and listening while others require hands-on interactivity for the lessons to sink in. So why not both? YouTuber Scott Manley has put together an eight-minute “VR video” that gives a solid overview of the EVE Online factions and ships while allowing viewers to drag the camera angle around.

If you use a VR viewer, such as Google Cardboard and a smartphone, you can get a first-person look into EVE. How much in the future are we living right now? Anyway, you can watch — and manipulate — this fan video after the jump!

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World of Warcraft’s 6.2.2 patch brings flying to Draenor on September 1st [Updated]

At long last, we have a definitive answer to the question of when flying will (probably) come to World of Warcraft‘s latest expansion: September 1st. That’s the expected date of the 6.2.2 patch, a rarity insofar as its release date was announced ahead of time. What’s important, though, is that you’ll be able to fly once again, assuming you’ve fulfilled the rather extensive accomplishments necessary for the meta-achievement introduced in patch 6.2.

For those of you just sick of hearing the word “flying” by this point, the patch still has something major to offer in the form of Mercenary Mode, allowing players to queue up as the opposite faction for PvP to help balance numbers. There are also general balance tweaks, like a near across-the-board improvement to the racial abilities on the Horde side. Check out the full patch notes for all the details, and get ready to take to the air in a little less than two weeks.

And don’t forget that BlizzCon virtual tickets are now up for sale if you want to keep on top of the event but don’t plan on flying to California to do so.

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Final Fantasy XIV previews its anniversary event

It’s been just about two years since Final Fantasy XIV relaunched and surprised more or less everyone by being an enormous success story. Not a word had been said about anniversary rewards until now, prompting some writers (ahem) to wonder whether one was even going to happen, but there will indeed be an event kicking off on August 27th to celebrate two years of operation.

This year’s rewards include miniature versions of Lady Iceheart and Yugiri, both of whom are important figures through the story of Heavensward. There’s also a new style of firework available. Check out the details on the official site, but be sure to jump in relatively quickly; the event is running only until September 7th.

Source: Event page

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Revival opens up houses for owners to wander

Ready to wander around your house in Revival? The first version of the game’s client is now available to virtual homeowners, allowing players to step into the game world and wander around their homes. Players cannot yet interact with anything in those homes, as that’s coming in a future update; all this particular client allows players to do is look around and admire the architecture. It is very pretty architecture.

The official announcement explains the process for connecting to the game and logging into any houses owned, with players granted one of five random placeholder models on login. Future updates to the client will add the ability to modify the house’s furnishings and layout. It’s not really a game just yet, but it’s the foundation of one.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Paganrites and Astald for the tip!

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best aquatic gameplay?

There are very few things that I miss about ArcheAge. One of them is the title’s aquatic gameplay. Whether we’re talking about its vast array of boats, its in-depth fishing minigames, or its underwater farming and exploration, there was a lot to do for those of us who’d rather leave dry land behind.

I’ve heard that Guild Wars 2 has some underwater stuff, and several MMOs have the odd underwater zone or whatever, but today I’d like to hear the MOP community’s opinion on which one is best. So, how about it, MOP community? Which MMO has the best aquatic gameplay?
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EverQuest II’s prison server is a ‘one-way trip for an entire account forever’

Are you an EverQuest II troublemaker? You could find yourself exiled to a server called Drunder if you’re a habitual rule-breaker. In a new forum post, Daybreak refers to Drunder as “a prison server,” and one from which there is no escape other than quitting the game!

Daybreak’s customer service people have been requesting something like Drunder for years in order to “manage disruptive players,” and CS will decide who ultimately winds up behind virtual bars. Drunder players will get no customer support, and Daybreak emphasizes that “this is a one-way trip for an entire account forever.”

If you want to see Drunder for yourself, Daybreak says that instead of attempting to disrupt live server gameplay you can simply /petition and ask to be exiled.

Source: Forums; thanks Kinya and Matthew!

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Wakfu explains Companies and the foundations behind its new Hero system

Why control just one character when you can control three? That’s the core of Wakfu‘s new Heroes system, and the latest development blog explains that it seems like a simple concept while being very difficult to actually implement. Companies are the game’s way of adapting to the demands of letting players control three characters from a single account, and while they offer both power and rewards, they also have restrictions.

Players may have one company per account, and a single character is selected as the leader of that company. All other characters need to be part of the same nation and guild as the leader (or be unguilded) in order to work together under the new system. This is also done with an eye toward keeping things balanced in GvG and national PvP systems. Read the full diary for more details on what players can expect from the mechanical side.

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Choose My Adventure: Unveiling the Treasures of Trove

Hello again, friends, and welcome once again to Choose My Adventure. The results of last week’s race are in, and holy cow, what a race it was. Out of the gate, Pathfinder Online took a strong lead, but it wasn’t long before Skyforge pulled ahead. As we entered the final day of voting, it looked like a surefire victory for Skyforge, but in a surprise upset, Trove surged from behind to win the contest, garnering 47% of the vote compared to Skyforge‘s 29% and Pathfinder Online’s 24%.

So thank you, dear voters, for a riveting round of voting, and a special thanks to those of you who took to the comments to voice your opinions. But now that the die (or vote, as you will) has been cast, I suppose I should stop wasting time and jump right in. Let’s get this started, shall we?

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Aion offers a teaser trailer for an Immortal Saga

It is possible that the trailer down below is very illuminating if you are a fan of Aion. We’ll give you the short version right here – a woman sitting on a pedestal in a red dress and staring as flame effects move around. Perhaps that all ties into some part of Aion lore perfectly and just one glance reveals who she is and what she’s doing.

What we do know – which is very little – is that Aion promises this ties into the continuation of Aion‘s immortal saga, with a forum thread dedicated to discussing precisely that. Speculation is that the trailer ties into the game’s 5.0 update; a similar trailer for the game in South Korea also included a date of November 11th as a possible release date. It’s also possible that the update will include something of a makeover for the Asmodean faction. We’ll have more as more information is available; for now, there’s just a short video for speculation.

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Final Fantasy XIV launches in South Korea to solid internet cafe stats

Final Fantasy XIVs launch in South Korea happened too recently to make any declarations about its long-term fate. What can be said with certainty, though, is that the game is off to a solid start. Stats from the country’s internet cafes show the game to be ranked number three in playtime among all MMORPGs played following its launch.

Unlike many games in the South Korean market, Final Fantasy XIV is still using a pay-to-play model with its local publisher. It’s an impressive showing out of the gate, but only time will tell if it manages to continue that momentum past its launch week.

Source: MMO Culture

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