Make My MMO: September 5, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, not a whole lot happened! In the land of pseudo-MMOs, though, Kickstarter darling and PvE-focused survival sandbox Eco made headlines for its harsh PvP and justice system stretch goal. MassivelyOP’s Andrew Ross also spoke with Eco designer John Krajewski and published a lengthy look at how the title seeks to educate gamers with its survival and permadeath systems.

The rest of this week’s crowdfunding roundup is just past the cut!

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Shards Online newsletter talks housing, the economy, and more

Shards Online’s latest newsletter is out, and with it an update from project lead Derek Brinkmann. He says that the dev team is currently focused on game balance, the user interface, and general polish, which represent the “biggest barriers to fun” in the current pre-alpha build. Brinkmann also hints at a Fall release for phase three of pre-alpha testing.

Elsewhere in this month’s letter, Citadel’s Austin Fain talks about balancing the game’s economy and engaging players in the process. One way of this, he says, is by making sure that Shards‘ items are tangible. “When a player goes to buy an item from a vendor, they actually browse items that are placed in the physical world. Items are not just displayed in lists like most other games, they are physical objects within the world, filling up your backpack, chests, or house,” Fain explains. “You can place them anywhere in the world, trade them, use them for crafting, sell them, etc. Every item, whether it be an apple or a house, has a value and importance in Shards Online.”

The newsletter also includes a video look at pre-alpha player housing. You can view it after the break.

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Star Citizen gets weekly and monthly reports, free DragonCon trial

If you’re attending DragonCon this weekend, you might see various Star Citizen developers chatting up gamers and sharing their perspectives on various dev panels. You might also snag a game code on the show floor, which you can redeem for free access to Star Citizen’s pre-alpha Arena Commander dogfighting module.

Per the announcement and activation instructions on the RSI website, the codes are good through September 14th. Pew pew!

In other Star Citizen news, CIG published its monthly studio report for August as well as its weekly look at progress on the Star Marine FPS module.

Source: Announcement; thanks fastcart!

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The Game Archaeologist: Lucasfilm’s Habitat

Some of you reading this may simply never have known a world before the internet existed by virtue of your age. It’s not your fault, but as generational divisions go, this was a biggie. The internet saturates so much of our lives now that it’s even difficult for those of us born prior to the ’90s to remember how we functioned without smartphones, Google searches, and terabytes of cheap entertainment on demand. I think there were video game arcades in the mall or something.

Because of this, some of you will not understand how it felt when technology advanced to the point that people could reach out online and interact with others, first through written communication and later through applications and games. What we take for granted in today’s MMOs — the constant presence of thousands of real humans interacting with us in a virtual space — simply blew the minds of those who first encountered it.

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The Stream Team: Underwater adventures in ARK: Survival Evolved

The last time MassivelyOP’s MJ went deep-sea diving in ARK: Survival Evolved, she lost her beloved Cutie Pie — a massive crocodile who valiantly avenged MJ’s death at the jaws of mega sharks before succumbing to the swarm.  Now, armed with another high-level giant crocodile, a shark, a spino, and a dolphin as well as a set of breathing gear, MJ is ready to again plumb the depths of the waters for resources and mysterious caves. Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. to join in the underwater adventure.

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, September 5th, 2015

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WRUP: The Slowpoke Song edition

The fact of the matter is that Pokémon has never been a big part of my life, so I’m even less capable of explaining why I’m unable to stop watching the Slowpoke song on repeat. It’s not some great narrative experience; the video is bland and the lyrics are just describing the fact that Slowpoke is slow. That’s its one note, that’s the deal. But it’s just so catchy. Bonus points: listen to it while playing with the video speed.

Where were we? Oh, right, it’s time for this week’s installment of What Are You Playing, in which we tell you what we’re up to over the weekend and you let us know what you’re doing down in the comments, otherwise you’ll never get to sit at the cool kids’ table. Don’t worry about being slow about it, though, that seems to be a thing this week.

Slowpoke.
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The Daily Grind: Do you subscribe to F2P or B2P MMOs?

The other day when I was writing up a post on Elder Scrolls Online’s new DLC, I noted that while the content cost a good chunk of change to most folks, those who subscribed were given the DLC as part of their package. That seemed reasonable to me.

Most free-to-play and even some buy-to-play MMOs offer a subscription option for extra goodies and a one-price-gets-all deal. Plus, studios are never ones to turn up their noses at additional revenue streams. It made me wonder, though, how many people sub up in these games.

Do you subscribe to a game that you could otherwise get for free? Why do you do it? Do you feel that what you get is worth the monthly cost?

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Betawatch: September 4th, 2015

The pre-alpha testing for Crowfall has started, which is really great even if it’s mostly just people beating the snot out of one another whilst I complain about the very notion of “pre-alpha” as a test phase. Seriously, we have a term for when parts of the game are in an early test stage, that’s what an alpha is. You can also check out how the game has evolved and check out some community answers.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the testing community:

And as always, there’s our listing of games in testing down below. Notice something that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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GTA Online is having a Labor Day sale plus bonuses

Rockstar has announced that Grand Theft Auto Online is having a Labor Day sale. No, it’s not a cash shop sale, but an actual in-game sale where various merchants including Elitas Travel, Dock Tease, Warstock Cache & Carry, and Legendary Motorsport are offering their wares at a discount.

Each vendor gets a dedicated sale day starting on September 4th (Elitas) and ending on September 7th (Warstock). Rockstar is also gifting players with bonus GTA$ payouts and double XP for air races (and parachuting jobs), land races, sea races, and death matches.

Source: Rockstar newswire

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Destiny is hosting a Crucible preview event next week

Destiny’s 2.0 update is heading our way next week on September 8th, and Bungie is busy getting players ready for the major changes to come with the game’s second year. A new weekly update post from the studio contains a handy checklist of what the patch will hold and what players should (and should not) be doing between now and then.

As part of the anticipation for The Taken King, Bungie is also hosting a free Crucible preview event for all players from September 8th through the 14th, whether or not those players have pre-ordered the DLC. During the event, players can try out a couple of additional game modes and the new Crucible maps, although the forthcoming subclasses and specials will be locked until The Taken King releases.

The Taken King will go live on September 15th. You can check out the Crucible preview event trailer after the break!

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Here are the winners of Guild Wars 2’s emblem contest

Remember Guild Wars 2’s guild emblem contest? Well, it’s over! And ArenaNet has chosen five winners from more than 500 entries, after a judging process that the company described as “very tough.”

The first place winner received 2000 gems, a Heart of Thorns t-shirt, a Heart of Thorns lanyard, a signed art book, and a Mist Herald Back Item Skin Set. Frankly I have no idea what that last thing is, but it must be spiffy since ArenaNet capitalized it. You can take a peek at all the winning entries prior to their inclusion in the live game by clicking the link below!

Source: Announcement

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SWTOR outlines expansion changes to the Jedi Knight and Sith Warrior

Here’s a friendly PSA for Star Wars: The Old Republic players: Don’t become so consumed by the big ticket features of the upcoming Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion that you overlook the fact that each of the classes are receiving significant changes when Game Update 4.0 hits this October.

The Jedi Knight and Sith Warrior are the subject of today’s class change blog that highlights a new skill: “We wanted to increase the mobility of these formidable combatants in order to allow them to realize their full potential on the battle field, and to make them more difficult to kite. The new Knight/Warrior ability — Blade Blitz/Mad Dash — emphasizes this design intention, and Knight/Warrior players will find that they have an easier time staying on target while in combat.”

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EverQuest II is throwing a double XP party all weekend

Looking for something to do on Labor Day? If you’re not going outside, you could always go to Norrath and enjoy a 100 percent XP bonus in EverQuest II. You’ll need to be an All-Access member, and of course the bonus is a no-go on the new progression servers. But if you’re playing on one of the regular shards, you can enjoy three full days of double XP that starts at 3:01 a.m. EDT on Saturday, September 5th. The event concludes at 2:59 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, September 8th.

Source: EQ2Wire

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