Blizzard files ‘Compete’ e-sports trademark

Blizzard is looking to strengthen its e-sports brand, as the multi-game developer has filed for a trademark relating to TeSPA’s Compete tournament service.

According to the trademark filing, the proposed service provides “an online non-downloadable internet-based system application featuring technology enabling users to organize and promote e-sports tournaments, to create and customize tournament brackets and ladders, track tournament progress, maintain related statistics, and post results.”

Compete previously hosted at least two Blizzard college tournaments, one for Heroes of the Storm and one for Hearthstone. TeSPA is already in bed with Blizzard, with its founders having joined Blizzard’s e-sports team back in 2013.

Source: Gamasutra

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The Daily Grind: What gives you hope for the future of MMOs?

We can’t help but look ahead in this industry, even as we play in the present and wax nostalgic for the past. What’s coming down the pike is of extreme interest to many of us, because we want to know what is there to be excited about. We want to know if there are signs that the MMORPG will experience another breakout hit. We want to have hope that we’re not in stagnation or decline but on the cusp of something great.

So what gives you hope for the future of MMOs? For me, it’s the grassroots revolution of small- and mid-size games that are breaking free of the clone pack. Seeing titles that aren’t afraid to try new things while incorporating older, proven elements gives me hope that life — and MMOs — will find a way.

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Global Chat: Guild Wars 2 needs to get its act together

Hunter’s Insight is a long-time fan and player of Guild Wars 2, but recently he had some pretty harsh words to say regarding the development team’s approach to the game, which he called “consistently inconsistent.”

ArenaNet is consistent in its inconsistency,” he wrote. “That is to say that they repeatedly and frustratingly introduce things and then never touch them again, never adjust them, never support them, never standardize how to acquire an item or worst of all they only briefly make them available and they’re never seen again. They set the groundwork for something, make a show of it, and then don’t follow through. It’s a combination of neglect and lack of foresight.”

His essay on the state of the game is only the tip of the iceberg of great MMO community blog posts this week. Keep on reading for Elder Scrolls Online first impressions, how MMO silliness is hurting the industry, and the great hotbar shrinkage of 2015.

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The Stream Team: Continuing with The Secret World’s The Cost of Magic mission

During the last Secret World stream, MassivelyOP’s MJ and group made it through the landmine-strewn first steps of The Cost of Magic sabotage mission, but the fun is most definitely not over yet! Today they have to collect a few more ingredients, which involves fighting in a toxic lake and successfully jumping a puzzle. Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. to see whether they can complete the final steps and actually walk away with their prize.

What: The Secret World
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

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Neverwinter’s Stronghold expansion is here, and so are its patch notes

Neverwinter’s latest expansion is here, and the fantasy MMO’s website is worth clicking on if you’re looking for the Stronghold patch notes. If you’re in a guild, you can access strongholds via the overworld map. Doing so will allow you to accept new stronghold-specific quests (depending on your level). You can also donate to your guild’s coffers in exchange for marks, which guild leaders can then use to build or upgrade various stronghold structures.

Quite a few gameplay, performance, and content tweaks made it into the patch as well, so click through the link below to get all the details.

Source: Patch notes

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Hearthstone dominates digital CCG market with $20M monthly sales

As the digital card game market continues to outpace its physical counterpart, Hearthstone is coming out on top as one of the dominant forces in the genre. A recent Superdata report found that the game is raking in around $20 million every month.

Expanding to include the smartphone market was one of Hearthstone’s strongest moves, as the card game’s revenue climbed 31% after making the jump to the platform. Superdata notes that Blizzard is recreating the circumstances with Hearthstone that made World of Warcraft a breakout hit: “Hearthstone managed to disrupt the category in the same way World of Warcraft transformed massively-multiplayer online games (MMOs). Blizzard’s first digital card game has deep mechanics, but it is more accessible and streamlined than long-running games like Magic: The Gathering.”

The site’s analysts predict that the global digital card market will grow 5% in revenue between now and 2018. You can check out a chart of Hearthstone’s revenue as tracked by platform after the break.

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Dark Age of Camelot’s Otherworlds Chapter 3 is now available

Dark Age of Camelot released the third chapter of its Otherworlds Campaign today. If you missed the prologue as well as chapters one and two, you can read through a handy campaign calendar to get yourself up to speed.

An update post on the DAoC website contains instructions on how to access chapter three, whether you’re coming in directly from the end of chapter two or you need to go back and talk to the appropriate NPCs to begin the campaign. Chapter three features an otherworldly bracer reward as well as the ability to access the final area of the Otherworldly Lyonesse, Vanern Swamp, and Bog of Cullen zones.

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Hanbitsoft is rezzing Hellgate for VR

Poor Hellgate. One of these days may it rest in peace. In the meantime Hanbitsoft is attempting to resurrect it (again), this time with an eye toward porting the horror shooter onto some sort of virtual reality platform. MMO Culture reports that Hanbitsoft signed a deal with South Korea’s Skonec Entertainment to develop Hellgate VR.

Skonec’s website claims that the firm created “the world’s first gun shooting game,” a VR title called Mortal Blitz.

Source: MMO Culture

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Post-apocalyptic vehicular MMO Crossout gets a gameplay trailer

Here’s a little something I missed from Gamescom. Gaijin’s post-apocalyptic vehicular battler called Crossout got a four-and-a-half minute gameplay trailer. It shows off what looks to be serious amounts of customization, both in terms of weapons and equipment and aesthetics, which makes sense since Crossout’s marketing slogan is “craft, ride, destroy.”

Once the crafting bit is done, the demo vehicle heads out of its garage and blows away a few rivals while traversing a swampy map set outside some sort of big city. After a few minutes of carnage, it’s back to the tuning shop for more upgrades including a rather ridiculous big rig o’ death. Click past the cut to see for yourself.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 25: Project Gorgon interview

Today on the podcast we have a very special guest, Project Gorgon Lead Developer Eric Heimburg. Heimburg brings us up to speed on the game’s successful Kickstarter campaign and takes us behind the scenes of building an indie MMO. We also have the new World of Warcraft expansion reveals discuss, so it’s going to be a busy show!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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Player falsely accuses Trion Worlds of censorship

Another day, another cautionary tale in trying to wield lies in the face of a game studio with access to factual records. In this case, it was the recent attempt by a player to accuse Trion Worlds of delivering an in-game suspension in ArcheAge for daring to criticize the studio in chat.

While this claim initially riled players against Trion, new CM Celestrata came on the scene to clear up the issue. It turns out that the suspension happened in Trove, not ArcheAge, and because the player was flinging about gay slurs, not because of any studio criticism.

“CS was able to pull the chat logs, and we can say that this ban was carried out appropriately,” Celestrata wrote. “While the user did criticize Trion, it wasn’t the criticism that caught the ban. It’s the fact that he used a gay slur in said criticisms. The slur in question seems to have been removed from the screenshot provided […] All in all, he had 10 more violations of our rules that lead to his ban, all of them using hate speech or descriptions of sex acts. By the way, all of this happened in Trove, a game that possesses an ESRB rating of E 10+. None of this took place in ArcheAge.”

Source: Imgur, Reddit

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The Stream Team: Progressing along on EverQuest II’s TLE server

It’s time for another EU edition of EverQuest Two-sday! MassivelyOP’s MJ is devling back into the progression server to, well, progress. She’s finally left the island and is ready to take on the rest of the original release’s world. And there is much to be done: Antonica must be defended, Blackburrow must be raided, and the undead of Stormhold must be vanquished… and that’s all in just the first zone. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. to witness the adventure from the beginning. (It’s also a good time to get your Mousively Overpowered guild invite!)

What: EverQuest II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

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Shroud of the Avatar creates the creepy Desolate Hills

Every good MMO needs a spooky and ooky graveyard zone, which is why Shroud of the Avatar is hard at work to create the Desolate Hills area for the next game update. The Desolate Hills will feature a necropolis, a ruined graveyard, and a ghost town of sorts. It’s not a place you’d want to live, but to adventure? You betcha.

In the most recent newsletter, Portalarium said that it has added three new members to the team, expanded the Desolis Underground map, and constructed a snowy mountain template for player-owned towns. The team has also created a new settlement called Hometown that contains every home available for purchase in the game so that players can preview them before buying.

Release 21 for Shroud of the Avatar will come out on August 27th.

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