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See: ArcheAge

Battle Bards Episode 122: Happy town

In peaceful villages and bubbly burgs, you just know that there’s bound to be an abundance of happy music! Whenever the Battle Bards regroup to lick their wounds and drink the terrors away, they often find that happy town music is perfect to soothe jangled nerves and re-center one’s heroism. There’s plenty of those tunes in today’s episode, so recoup with them as they listen to the songs of the common folk.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 122: Happy town (or download it) now:

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ArcheAge’s fresh start servers snag the ‘Conquer’ update next week

Trion’s pretty sure MMORPG gamers cannot get enough of starting over in ArcheAge, which is why it’s whipping up yet another phase for the ArcheAge: Legends Return fresh start servers next week on June 13th, complete with new housing, dailies, bosses, dungeons, and raids.

“In the Conquer Phase, a host of new dungeons, raids, and upgrades are now at your fingertips. Venture forth to Golden Ruins in order to claim additional housing in Auroria, or embark on new daily quests and high level creatures to secure your route to level 50! […] Additionally, the Serpentis raid is open for enterprising adventurers, as well as Sea of Drowned Love and Sea of Drowned Love’s weekend version. Other changes include changes to the Dream Ring, which can now be progressed to an Epic version, an expansion of the Dream Ring quests on Fresh Start, allowing you to take your Ring to its maximum level, and the introduction of T1 Cars, and the Farm Hauler upgrade.”

The pair of fresh start progression servers have been running in NA and Europe since April, doing their happy progression server thing with vanilla content unlocking over time. Phase two rolled out last month after a brief delay.

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ArcheAge holds back the next phase of its Fresh Start server

Hope you didn’t take off any time this week for the next phase of ArcheAge’s fresh start server, because Trion Worlds informed its players that it needs to hold back on this update until it figures out some issues with the help of XLGAMES. The delay should only be a day or so, the studio said.

“We found that there were discrepancies that require feedback and action from XL before [Phase 2] can be released,” said Trion on the forums. “Due to this situation, we’ll need to delay the release, and thus the weekly maintenance, by 24 hours. There is a chance for this to be delayed further, so we’ll update this thread with any new information regarding intended release time.”

Source: ArcheAge

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Hands-on with Bless Reborn at Neowiz’s San Francisco media reveal

As you probably have heard, there was a Bless influencer event this week, with a couple of media and a smattering of MMO streamers in attendance. The leak of the price points happened soon before we went in, but none of the people in attendance, devs or streamers, really seemed fazed by it. Most people seemed ready to have a good time.

For someone like me, who was initially blown away by Bless circa 2011, the game had fallen off my radar, especially after the game’s rocky trip to Russia and initial Korean release. The western build-up for me has felt like a big PR push, with the pricing model dangled like a feature that people actually should be excited about. Basic questions like, “How does endgame work?” were easier to find on Reddit, Steam, and fansites than any of the PR I was reading. I was concerned, to say the least, but things like “tame almost any mob!” and “100v100” battles intrigued me. Though nothing I saw is probably going to change any core fans’ mind, it may be useful to those on the fence.

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RIFT gets ready for patch day while ArcheAge re-enables transfers and name changes

A couple of small notices swung our way from Trion Worlds’ MMORPGs. Tomorrow, RIFT is going to be updating the game, and with the changes (including the opening of the Greenscale raid on RIFT Prime), the studio is adding a few new store options and a raid gear merchant.

“Yep, we’re setting [the raid gear merchant] up in advance of Greenscale’s Blight, because you all deserve to plan ahead,” Trion said. “The current expert armor vendor will level up to become the ascended quartermaster — selling dungeon, expert, and raid armor. Raid armor will be available in exchange for Primal Marks of Ascension.”

Meanwhile, over at ArcheAge the team has delayed the normal weekly maintenance to cram in a hotfix that was designed to fix a bug and re-enable transfer and name change services.

Source: RIFT, ArcheAge

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ArcheAge creator Jake Song talks about his return to the game

ArcheAge’s recent update is called Legends Return, a title that works on a couple of levels when you consider that the game’s creator, Jake Song, came back to give the title some personal attention after working on other projects. He is now the executive producer on the game, and as such, he sat down for a Q&A video to talk about the guidance that he’s brought back to the MMO.

“The change in development we made this year is that we are going to make sure to release a monthly update, even if there is only a small amount of change,” he told fans.

Song discussed how the team is working to restore some of the fun to the game while retaining “minimal character limitations” that was at the core of his original vision. It’s a pretty breezy six-minute interview, so do yourself a favor and give it a watch when you get some time!

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The Game Archaeologist: Lineage

If we judged MMOs by their numbers alone — and I’m not suggesting we do so — then the original Lineage would be the crowing rooster strutting about the hen house. It’s also been one of those games that I’ve always intellectually acknowledged was a huge hit for some reason but never gave much attention. I think it’s because, contrary to many western MMOs, Lineage is primarily an Asian phenomenon. That doesn’t mean it should be shunned, of course, but just that it may be difficult to understand when you’re on the outside of it.

So let’s back up the memory truck to September 1998, when a then-fledgling NCsoft rolled out a Diablo-style isometric MMO and struck virtual gold in South Korea. At the time, gaming rooms were becoming a huge thing in the country. A recession had hit, giving people a lot of time with nothing to do, and the government was rapidly expanding the broadband network. In the face of this perfect storm, titles like StarCraft and Lineage became overnight household fixtures — and remained so for decades to come.

Even if you haven’t played Lineage and you don’t know anyone who does, trust me: Millions and millions of players have. As former Senior Producer Chris Mahnken once said, “Lineage keeps going because it’s just plain fun.”

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The 2015 ArcheAge class action lawsuit continues, snarled in arbitration appeals

Waaaay back in 2015, a group of ArcheAge players filed a lawsuit against Trion Worlds over the Patron perk mess. Veteran MMO players will recall that Trion’s original pitch for founder packs included a 10% discount for cash shop buyables. That discount never happened – specifically because in 2014 Trion “determined that the time to develop this perk would be significant.” After launch, the studio instead swapped the discount over to past and future credit packs.

That prompted players Aaron Van Fleet, Paul Ovberg and James Longfield to lodge a class action suit against Trion for, among other things, false advertising and violation of consumer laws. The original lawsuit also muddied the waters by wedging in a lockbox gambling issue and has since been tangled up in determinations over the game’s EULA and TOU, which Trion had sought to use to force arbitration out of court. Last year, the suit was turned over to First District Court of Appeals as Trion appealed the lower court’s ruling against arbitration.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 165: Step into the Morninglight

On this week’s show, MJ and Justin get giddy over Secret World Legends’ season two, discuss what World of Warcraft’s launch date means for players, and cover a whole host of major updates that have arrived for the MMO community.

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.

Listen to the show right now:

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ArcheAge 4.5 Legends Return launches tonight with new fresh start servers

ArcheAge’s 4.5 update is going live tonight, complete with raise-able dragon battle mounts and shadow invasion content provoked when big world bosses are downed. But what most players are probably looking forward to the most is the introduction of new fresh start servers.

ArcheAge: Legends Return introduces two new progression servers, Nui and Ezi, for North America and Europe respectively. Nui and Ezi will offer time-locked content for the first time in ArcheAge, starting with low caps and systems from the game’s original launch and developing major systems, like Castle Sieges and Hero Elections, over time.”

As we’ve previously covered, some players are already worried about the potential for pay-to-win messes on the fresh start server. But Trion is downplaying that: “Marketplace restrictions will be in place to ensure that as the servers open, players will be placed on even footing through marketplace and gear progress restrictions that will be set over several months, allowing for all players to have the chance to reach the level cap prior to it increasing.”

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ArcheAge players fear pay-to-win practices will infect new progression server

With ArcheAge’s new progression fresh start server going live today, players are raising concerns that Trion Worlds has slipped in pay-to-win elements in its cash shop mere hours before the shard’s activation.

Some of the questionable items that have appeared on the cash shop include dungeon run consumables, leveling consumables, best-in-slot pajamas, and combat consumables.

One major ArcheAge content creator, Paradox Gaming, called Trion out on Twitter for the last-minute move: “Its not to late to save this fresh start launch of ArcheAge. You have time to fix the ‘pay to win’ that has hit the fresh start marketplace. The community wants to hear that all is not lost for ArcheAge. What say you @hartsman? Can we get a public statement on AA FS P2W?”

Source: RedditTwitter. Thanks, Two Tridents!

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ArcheAge begins testing its Legends Return update

With dragon taming and a new time-locked fresh start server, ArcheAge’s Legends Return update is of keen interest to fans of the fantasy sandbox. Trion Worlds announced that the patch is now in testing in preparation for the April 5th release.

In addition to the ability to tame and ride dragons, Patch 4.5 includes a way to keep gear from blowing up when a regrade failure hits, improved regrade rates, Shadow Invasions, crafting requests, and a battle balance.

The latter is “a major overhaul of ArcheAge’s skill trees and effects. Many skills have swapped trees or been removed from the game completely, so visit the skill section to check your builds and adjust accordingly.”

One feature has been removed for this patch: Faction chat is no more. See Nation chat for all of your well-reasoned and mature discussion needs.

Source: Patch notes

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ArcheAge shows players how the next patch will allow you to tame a dragon

Of all the flying things you can ride in the world of ArcheAge, dragons seem like they might not be the best choice. They’re pretty smart and aren’t crazy about being told what to do, and also they tend to breathe death. But hey, the next patch will allow you to raise one by slaying a Red Dragon and carving out its heart, so why not get an idea of all the fantastic powers that will allow you to wield?

Obviously, your tame dragon will not be quite as strong as the most formidable dragons in the game, because then you would be playing an entirely different game in which your dragon just does things and you cheer him on. But he can unleash his breath weapon, take to the skies, dart quickly from place to place, and carry both you and a friend through the skies. All of those tricks have long cooldowns, but you should be happy the dragon is doing all of these things for you instead of to you. Be thankful for what you get.

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