Not So Massively: D3’s ladder reset, HOTS’ team league mode, and Starfall Tactics

Diablo III is getting ready to close its second ladder only two months in on April 5th but will be providing a 100% gold and XP boost for the remainder of the season. Blizzard discussed how the development of Project Titan led to its new online FPS Overwatch and revealed that the title will be the first of a series of games set in the same universe. Path of Exile‘s Torment and Bloodlines leagues ended today, and a tournament this weekend awarded four of the game’s top players with some nice Alienware swag.

Indie RTS Starfall Tactics announced its intention to develop a persistent online shard in which players can wage wars and conquer each other’s territories. Riot Games announced a new contest in the EU region that will give university-based League of Legends clubs €1,500 toward the costs of running an event. Warframe‘s massive Sanctuary update landed this week, introducing new quests, weapons, tons of bugfixes, and the Chroma warframe. And Blizzard announced an upcoming Team League mode for Heroes of the Storm that aims to let everyone take part in competitive team play.

Read on for a detailed breakdown of the stories above and a roundup of all the other big news this week from the wider world of not-quite-massive online gaming.

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The Stream Team: Sharing the story in Marvel Heroes

MassivelyOP’s MJ is already decisionally impaired, and nothing emphasizes that as much as trying to choose whom to play in Marvel Heroes! There are just so many possibilities. Thanks to the ever-increasing selection, MJ’s spent so much time showing off new characters lately that she’s neglected her first loves: Storm and Rogue. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. as MJ picks the storyline back up on one of these two — assuming she can pick one! Eeny, meenie, miny, mo…

What: Marvel Heroes
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Enjoy the show!
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RuneScape adds its 200th quest

A new quest in RuneScape is something to be celebrated and enjoyed, as that MMO’s quests often go far above and beyond menial tasks. So it is with great fanfare that Jagex has announced that the fantasy game has added its 200th quest.

Called Dimensions of Disaster, the 200th quest allows players to cross over into an alternate reality and perform five sub-quests before facing off against a necromancer. The quest was the winner of an in-studio competition to design the game’s bi-centennial mission and is limited to subscribers only.

You can watch the 200th quest overview video as well as a countdown of the players’ top 10 quests after the break!

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Final Fantasy XI welcomes spring with this week’s update

It’s terribly hard to believe that it’s already spring, particularly if you’re watching a glacier slowly envelop your neighborhood in the northern hemisphere. Fortunately, we have Final Fantasy XI to welcome some virtual warmth into our lives with this week’s update.

On March 26th, the game will trigger both its Easter egg hunt and the Feast of Swords. Bigger and better than that, however, is the addition of all-new Vagary battle content that will pit players against three powerful bosses. For more peaceful players, the Mog Garden is receiving some quality-of-life improvements as well.

Soak up the patch goodness while you can: Final Fantasy XI is slated to go into maintenance mode later this year followed by the introduction of a mobile edition of the game.

[Source: March version update announcement]

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Players seek world record for longest Hearthstone turn

By setting up a chain reaction of around 240,000 arcane missiles targeting a player who cannot be killed at the moment, two players have engineered a Hearthstone turn that is currently running and will last approximately 40 hours and will hopefully net them a Guinness World Record.

The turn uses a combination of Arcane Missiles, Velen’s Chosen, Prophet Velen, and Ice Block to produce the hundreds of thousands of automated damage-dealing strikes without eliminating the second player. Until the next turn, that is, which should happen sometime on March 25th. You can watch the turn in progress live on Twitch.

[Source: PC Gamer, Twitch]

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Frontier turns Elite bug into community event

Frontier has turned an Elite: Dangerous bug into a canonical community event that is still ongoing through March 26th. A player purportedly fired on a Farragut-class capital ship, prompting a return attack, which hit the nearby Hudson Dock space station.

The station returned fire and wiped out over 75 percent of the Farragut’s hull strength — and gave it a 72,000-credit bounty — before the devs fixed the bug. Players may now sell metals at Hudson Dock, which will go toward repair efforts. Participants will be rewarded according to “individual and community efforts,” according to PC Gamer.

[Via: PC Gamer; Source: GalNet; thanks Colin!]

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Dave Georgeson talks all things MMOs

Have you missed the enthusiastic Dave Georgeson since he got the boot from Daybreak last month? Well, he certainly hasn’t gone into seclusion; Georgeson has been making the rounds talking about his experiences, and the latest sounding board for his wisdom is the Level Up Morning Show.

If you’ve got an hour-and-a-half to spare, you can listen to Georgeson comment on the MMO industry in length. Warning: This may trigger nostalgia and longing in some veteran EverQuest hearts.

[Source: LUMS #35 via GeekOutStudios.com]

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Dungeon Fighter Online returns tomorrow

After a two-year absence from the NA gaming scene, Dungeon Fighter Online is roaring back for another chance. The title’s first open beta test launches tomorrow and will run through April 13th. Don’t let the “beta” part of that mislead you, however, as this will be one of those soft launch scenarios with no expected wipes.

Even though the beta starts tomorrow, you can go ahead and download the game today so that you can get ready to jump in when it starts.

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Factions: Origins of Malu’s early access launch and interview

Origins of Malu has certainly had a long, bumpy road to launch. Showing up on our radar back in August 2011, this title has weathered two engine changes (each necessitating starting over), unsuccessful cowdfunding ventures, and even a name change as the design changed to offer the battlegrounds first. And this past Friday, at the very last minute, the team learned that the launch would be further delayed because of something beyond its control on Steam’s end. But that’s behind the game now, and the first iteration of the game with battlegrounds is live today.

Throughout the whole process, the team has been dedicated to bringing this game to life, going so far as to keep funding it out of pocket throughout the journey. We sat down with founder Michael Dunham to talk about why the additional wait was needed, what players can expect now, and when the full MMO is coming out.

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Big changes are in the works for EVE structures

CCP has released a giant dev blog that covers EVE Online’s new structure system. Much of it is “highly theoretical,” and the company says it’s playing its hand months in advance so as to collect and act upon player feedback.

Oh, and don’t fret about your existing structures. If and when the proposed changes take place, there will be some sort of transition phase to mitigate potential space tears. For more on EVE’s structure revamp, be sure to see our Fanfest one-on-one with executive producer Andie Nordgren.

And while we’re talking about Fanfest, we should point out that CCP is already planning the 2016 version of its annual gala as well as selling tickets to EVE Vegas 2015.

[Source: Dev blog]

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Sword and Bored: Newbie zone

We’ve all been there: Stepping into a new game is frightening and exciting at the same time. We don’t know what to expect, especially when other players are involved.

Just like stepping out with this comic strip, it’s a scary prospect. I’m glad you guys have enjoyed it so far. Jef and I have been working really hard to make it interesting and funny for you.

So far, the comic has just been about Mo, but now we get to meet our first player characters. Now that is a scary prospect.

Our friend Mo has stepped out of the tutorial zone and is ready to take on the open world…

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MOP Giveaway: Rosewill gaming keyboard courtesy of Newegg

Time to win some free gaming stuff!

We’re pleased to present three giveaways this week thanks to our sponsor Newegg and its Rosewill store. The first prize up is a Rosewill RGB80 – 16.8 Million Color Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. It’s nifty because drops the numpad in favor of a gaming mode, profiles, programmable keys, and six colors of backlighting (I want that purple mode darnit).

Read on to enter to win!

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Wisdom of Nym: Exit Final Fantasy XI

It’s all over for Final Fantasy XI. Or it will be, anyhow.

It was hard to imagine that the big Final Fantasy XI conference was going to end in a whole bunch of good news for the game. The game has been running for half of forever, and it’s not as if it coincided with a big event that would make an expansion or the like sound reasonable. So what we actually got was…

Well, all things considered, it was intensely positive.

Don’t misunderstand me; I’m sure that pretty much everyone who still plays the game and several people watching from the sidelines would prefer that FFXI continued getting big updates and improving forever. But realistically, this is what’s best for the health of the game and the playerbase. Yet I’ve already seen more than a few people taking umbrage with it, complaining and raging that this is some betrayal or that it shows Square-Enix has no idea what it’s doing, accusations that are almost comically misplaced.

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