The Daily Grind: Which indie MMO are you looking forward to the most?

When it comes to indie MMOs, there’s no shortage of them in development. Shards Online is topping my most anticipated list at the moment, even though it’s a ways from release and even though it may not look like a traditional MMO in terms of server structure or player numbers.

I guess Star Citizen is at the top of my list, too, since it’s technically an indie in the same way that George Lucas’ self-financed Star Wars prequels were technically indies.

What about you, MOP readers? What indie MMO are you looking forward to the most?

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Daybreak releases EverQuest progression server details

Daybreak has announced the results of its EverQuest progression server polling. The shard’s name will be Ragefire, and the initial unlocked expansion vote was a close one with “classic only” winning out over “classic, Kunark, and Velious” and “classic and Kunark.”

There are more details in the forum post, including an extensive FAQ that covers everything from experience gain to hell levels to the possibility of items dropping that have been removed from live servers.

[Source: Progression poll results; thanks Bob!]

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The Stream Team: The dangers of H1Z1 city supply runs

The new H1Z1 fortifications are almost finished, but MassivelyOP’s MJ needs more materials. The good news is there is a city next door to raid for supplies. The bad news is there is a city next door! Because she picked a unique spot to set up camp, MJ has to take special precautions to keep her things — and herself — safe. Tune in live at 7:00 p.m. to see if she succeeds as she braves the zombies and fellow looters in town.

What: H1Z1
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

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Entropia Universe angles to enter the VR market

Is virtual reality just a fad that happens to come around every once in a while? Entropia Universe is banking that it’s here to stay this time, as its studio is laying out plans to support and integrate VR in its virtual worlds.

Entropia Universe AB announced yesterday that it will be fully supporting several virtual reality devices, including Oculus Rift and SteamVR. The company also said that it’ll be helping developers dabbling in VR to figure out ways to successfully monetize these efforts.

Head of Business Development David Simmons says that the days of thinking of VR as a fad are officially over: “Virtual reality is on the threshold of becoming the great entertainment medium of the new millennium.”

[Source: PR Newswire]

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WoW lost nearly three million subs in three months

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Blizzard behemoth World of Warcraft loses a bunch of subscribers, the internet loses its mind, and we lose a lot of sleep policing the comments of the corresponding news article.

Activision-Blizzard’s latest earnings report says that WoW is down to 7.1 million subscribers, which is 2.9 million less than the 10 million reported at the end of 2014. Activision-Blizzard also reports downturns in net revenue and net income for the quarter ending March 31st, 2015 when compared to the same quarter in 2014.

On the plus side, net revenue from digital channels clocked in at a record $538 million, which accounts for 76 percent of total revenue.

[Source: Gamespot]

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RIFT is working on a planar crafting system

RIFT crafters may soon have a good reason to get out of their safety bubbles in the city and get their hands dirty to further their tradeskills. According to a short post on the official forums, the team is currently working on a new type of crafting system that interfaces with the game’s signature rifts.

In reference to a player suggesting a rift that had a crafting station and mobs that dropped components in it, Senior Game Designer Noah Holmes said, “Awesome, this is very close to the Planar Crafting system I’m working on implementing right now actually.”

[Source: RiftGrate, official forums]

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Leaderboard: How often do you see your guild mates in meatspace?

I’m hosting some online friends at my meatspace house this month, and last March I flew out to stay with some other friends I’d been gaming with since 2004 but had never met in person. It was a blast and something I hope to do more of, travel logistics and costs notwithstanding!

What about you, MOP readers? How often do you see your online friends or guild mates in the real world? Vote after the cut!

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Skyforge boasts big beta numbers

With the first two Skyforge closed beta tests out of the way and the third one currently running, it’s of course time for The Big Numbers Show, starring our good friend, Mr. Infographic!

[hold for applause]

Thank you, thank you. The devs put together many mind-bogglingly huge numbers from the tests so far, including reports that players have undertaken 810,000 adventures, killed over 100M mobs, and downed the final boss almost 35,000 times. The demographics of the current playerbase are skewed heavily to males, with the gender represented by over 60% in both the US and Europe.

All very impressive numbers, to be sure, although there is one conspicuously absent: How many players have played the beta.

[Source: Skyforge]

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Yay, SWTOR is less of a grind (again)

BioWare has outlined its approach to the latest Star Wars: The Old Republic 12x experience event which is now active. The boost enables subscribers to level from 1 to 50 via their class missions, which means those of you who’d like to experience BioWare’s story but wouldn’t like to experience the mind-numbing planetary mission grind can now commence with your happy dancing. You can also level from 50 to 55 solely on the Rise of the Hutt Cartel story missions so, again, happy dance.

If, on the other hand, you like to grind, knock yourself out because BioWare has enabled a toggle switch in the form of a White Acute Module which you can obtain on your faction’s fleet. There are some other quality-of-life improvements to the new 12x, too, but you’ll need to visit BioWare’s source article to read them all. And don’t forget about MOP’s leveling guide and Ziost finale preview.

[Source: Epic Story XP boost]

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Tree of Life is available on Steam

If you wake up in the morning and find yourself just unable to get enough early access sandbox titles to whet your appetite, you’ll be happy to know that Tree of Life is coming to Steam as an early access title. What is it? Imagine Wurm Online, only Korean, and you’ll be at least halfway there.

Tree of Life plans to release in full by the end of the year, although early access players will get the game cheaper than post-launch players. In its unfinished state players are already able to roam across the world, build settlements, fight off monster sieges, and work together to build anywhere. Check out the Steam page if it sounds like your cup of tea.

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Massively Opinionated: Hearthstone vs Neverwinter vs LoL

On this week’s edition of Massively Opinionated, we’re talking about one of the biggest controversies to hit the western MMO market in the last few years: free-to-play. We asked our panelists which game has the best F2P model, what turns the western market off from F2P, and which F2P ad is the worst they have seen. We also ask them to build their own F2P MMO.

The rules are simple: Our host, Larry Everett, asks our expert panelists four questions prior to the show on our topic of the week. They come to the show prepared to defend their answers… to the death. Whoever has the best argument wins a point for each question, and the panelist with the most points at the end wins the internet.

Our panelists today are some of the best reporters on F2P games: From MMO Bomb, it’s Editor Jason Winter; from BioBreak and the Massively OP Podcast, Justin Olivetti joins us; and our own Tina Lauro from Predestination jumps on the panel once again!

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Destiny prepares to throw players into the Prison of Elders

The bad news: You’ve been sentenced to prison and are severely outnumbered by powerful, ancient beings. The good news: The warden has allowed you to bring your weapons in with you.

Destiny players will be performing a prison break-in with the game’s next major content update, House of Wolves. A new three-player co-op arena called the Prison of Elders is being constructed for the patch, in which guardians can attempt to survive waves of nasty inmates in exchange for high-level loot.

You can get a peek at the Prison of Elders after the break and witness the full reveal on Twitch at 2:00 p.m. EDT today.

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Chaos Theory: Reaping the Whirlwind in The Secret World’s Issue #11

To spoil or not to spoil; that is the question. When it comes to The Secret World, that’s a very serious question indeed! As much as I really, really hate spoilers, how could I ever decline a sneak-peek tour of much-anticipated Issue #11 with Funcom Lead Designer Romain Amiel and Communications Manager Tor Egil Andersen? The answer is, I couldn’t. After all, the secrets of the Orochi are finally at our fingertips! The chance to delve deeper into my favorite story earlier than expected is so worth the risk of a spoiler or two. And you get to reap the benefits of the experience as I share all the tantalizing tidbits with you just as the update officially launches and you can break into the Orochi Tower yourself.

Now before we go any further, you need to be aware that there are spoilers ahead. I’ll give you fair warning before anything major so you have the chance to skip that info, but the responsibility is on your shoulders. But even if you read this Chaos Theory in its entirety, there will be plenty still to discover on your own. As Amiel said, Reaping the Whirlwind has a lot of reveals, and there are some major things I simply won’t divulge at all (but I know you’ll love!). On top of that, the devs were gracious enough to end the tour before the conclusion, leaving the finale to me to discover it at my own pace.

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