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World of Warcraft is getting gold and gametime transfer tokens

Blizzard has just announced that it’s introducing a gold-and-gametime transfer token to World of Warcraft. Dubbing the currency the “WoW Token,” Blizz writes,

Players will be able to purchase a WoW Token through the in-game Shop for real money, and then sell it on the Auction House for gold at the current market price. When a player buys a WoW Token from the Auction House for gold, the Token becomes Soulbound, and the player can then redeem it for 30 days of game time.

The WoW Token was created to give players with lots of extra gold the option to use it to help cover their subscription cost, and give those who want to purchase gold a way to do so from fellow players through a secure, easy-to-use system. The Token will be making its debut in an upcoming patch—in the meantime, check out the FAQ below for details on how it works.

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H1Z1 video goes behind-the-scenes with motion capture pros

Daybreak released a new behind-the-scenes video focused on H1Z1’s motion capture this week. If you like seeing dudes in skin-tight lycra suits with little blue velcro things all over them, this is your vid. Senior artist and animator Dave Carter is your host, while motion capture artist — and former Clemson University football player — Christopher Robbins takes you through a physically demanding day in his shoes.

Click past the cut to see the full clip!

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Make My MMO: February 28, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Crowfall basically blotted out the sun. The “throne war simulator” surpassed its $800,000 goal in a couple of days, and apart from that it also generated a ton of discussion both here on MassivelyOP and throughout the MMO blogosphere.

We’ve also entered the homestretch on our own Kickstarter. With six days to go, we’ve met our initial goal and secured a couple of months’ funding for our new web presence, so thank you for your support!

Click past the cut for rest of this week’s MMO crowdfunding roundup.

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SWTOR’s Choose Your Path promo rewards subbers

Want one of those butt-ugly lightsabers with a black core? You can get one as part of the new Choose Your Path promotion for Star Wars: The Old Republic. A set of +41 black-purple fashion faux pas color crystals are all yours if you’re a subscriber on March 29th.

In case you’ve never been a subscriber, BioWare is dangling 40 percent savings on the new Story Pack, which gives you the Shadow of Revan expansion, the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion, 60 days of subscription time, and 2400 cash shop coins.

[Source: SWTOR website; thanks Direpath!]

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Lost Continent: Is it worth returning to ArcheAge?

Last time out I said some pretty mean things about ArcheAge. And let’s face it: The game earned every one of them. It’s inarguably pay-to-win, the comically intrusive cash shop is the bane of both immersion and economy-based sandbox play, and Trion made a lot of anti-consumer decisions in 2014 (hello “normalization,” Auroria launch, and so on and so forth).

Regardless, I’m back in ArcheAge because the rest of the MMO space sucks worse if you crave non-linear virtual worlds.

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Champions Online is fiddling with costume prices

Champions Online is still alive! How do we know? It’s fiddling with its cash shop prices come March 5th. A forum post explains the situation:

Starting on 3/5, we’re going to be re-aligning the prices of costume sets in the C-Store. Some will have their prices reduced, while others will be increased. Our goal with this is to match the dev work with the final price. Over the past five and a half years, our costume designers have raised the bar for costume set quality, and better costume sets take more work for us to produce. If you look at the detail and polish in their latest sets, it’s clear we’ve come a long way. These pricing changes allow us to keep spending more time and effort to make items that good.

Creating tiered prices also gives us more flexibility to make some sets more available to new players. A number of sets will have their prices cut down to 375 ZEN, so a new player who’s looking for something to try out will find the C-Store friendlier.

Older sets, like the Swamp King set, will see their prices go down, whereas “hyper-exclusive” sets like the Power Armor Bundle will be 1000 ZEN.

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Pantheon reveals dwarven lore, concept art

The Pantheon team has released some new lore and a piece of concept art on its Facebook page. The Dwarves of Khadassa are the subject and are in fact one of the fantasy title’s playable races. There’s no info on racial stats or abilities or anything of that nature, but there’s a good chunk of exposition dealing with the race’s origins at the hands of a god named Khazas of Oldassa.

“No other creation has remained so united with their creator as the dwarves are to their king,” the piece explains. Click the source link below for more details.

[Source: Facebook]

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Neverwinter coming to Xbox One on March 31

Perfect World has announced that Neverwinter is coming to the Xbox One on March 31st. The launch will feature all of the content from the PC version including classes like the Scourge Warlock and the Tyranny of Dragons expansion.

Neverwinter on Xbox One brings a full-fledged roleplaying experience with a living social world allowing players to experience Dungeons & Dragons adventures with their friends,” says PWE’s press release. “Neverwinter on Xbox One will also utilize console features including friends list integration and optimized controls to easily transition the MMORPG experience from PC to console.”

[Source: PWE press release]

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Not So Massively: LoL’s streaming controversy, Star Citizen’s mining, and Diablo III’s microtransactions

The League of Legends community is in an uproar this week over a dispute regarding who owns the gameplay in a League of Legends match and who has the legal right to stream it. Riot Games President and Co-Founder Marc Merrill even suggested that players broadcasting professional player Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok’s public matches may constitute bullying, harassment or e-stalking. The rest of the MOBA genre has been pretty sedate this week, as Sins of a Dark Age approaches the first anniversary of its Steam Early Access release and South Korean MOBA Chaos Heroes Online is closing its doors just months after officially launching.

Star Citizen described its complex designs for immersive asteroid mining gameplay with separate minigames for mining beam control, asteroid scanning, and pulling in rock fragments with a tractor beam. Bungie warned against the dangers of using the PS4’s Share Play feature after an 11-year-old kid had his Destiny characters deleted by a troll. Path of Exile is getting a fully localised Russian release complete with a local realm and full voice acting. And Diablo III‘s patch 2.2.0 is set to boost several legendary item sets, improve the randomness of Nephalem Rifts, add new treasure goblins, and more. Asian servers will also get a new microtransaction system, though Blizzard says there are no plans yet to release microtransactions in Diablo III’s US or EU realms.

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Microtransactions on tap for Diablo III, but not in the US or EU

Blizzard is likely adding microtransactions to Diablo III. The proposed funny money and its associated features won’t be coming to European or American versions of the game, at least for now.

Blizzard announced its intentions on the Battle.net forums by calling attention to “new features that may start to show up in data-mined information for patch 2.2 that will not apply to all regions.” Things like timed experience boosts, platinum currency, and new cosmetic items were mentioned, along with associated UI tweaks that will purportedly benefit players worldwide.

“While we may explore [microtransactions] in some regions, we have no immediate plans to implement such purchases or the aforementioned features anytime soon for the Americas region,” Blizzard says.

[Source: Battle.net via: Eurogamer]

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EverQuest Next may not be F2P

SOE Daybreak has been all about “F2P your way” for a couple of years now, but comments by EverQuest Next senior producer Terry Michaels and lead designer Darrin McPherson in a recent dev team Q&A indicate that the business model for both EQN and Landmark is very much up for discussion.

“Not every model for monetizing a game fits with every game type,” Michaels says. “Right now we believe that they’re going to be F2P games, but we’re not willing to say absolutely that’s what they’re going to be at this point in time.”

“We do not want to lock ourselves into one thing,” McPherson continued. “We want to make the best game possible.” Click past the cut to watch the video. If you want to skip ahead to the business model segment, it starts around the 16-minute mark.

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WoW and Destiny topped media mentions in 2014

This will probably not come as a shock to you, but a lot of press was talking about World of Warcraft and Destiny last year.

ICO Media tallied up all of the article mentions of video games in 2014 and sorted them out according to categories. Destiny was near the top of the overall heap at 36,915 mentions. In the straight-up MMO category, World of Warcraft topped at 21,449 mentions, followed by Elder Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy XIV, WildStar and Guild Wars 2.

MOBA mentions were included as well, and League of Legends led the pack with 21,222 mentions. To illustrate just how much LoL dominates that part of the industry, the next game mentioned — Dota 2 — only had 11,069 mentions.

[Source: Gamasutra]

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EverQuest Next severs ties with Storybricks

Daybreak continues to trim its asset portfolio, as the former SOE studio has cut loose artificial intelligence software company Storybricks from the EverQuest Next project.

“We are not working with Storybricks any more,” Senior Producer Terry Michaels said on a livestream chat yesterday. “We made the decision that it was in the best interest of the game to take that work in-house. They did a lot of work for us and we’ll be utilizing that. It’s not like that work is lost.”

The team said that it is “still committed” to making strong AI happen in the game.

[Source: Livestream chat. Thanks to Ranging Berserker for the tip!]

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