archeage

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Official Site: ArcheAge
Studio: Trion Worlds
Launch Date: September 16, 2014
Genre: Fantasy Hybrid Sandbox
Business Model: Hybrid F2P (Optional Sub, Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

Global Chat: How Marvel Heroes made a dad a hero

I love a good customer service story, because it reminds me that a lot goes right behind-the-scenes at MMOs that’s hardly ever reported. Braxwolf recently related a heart-warming account of how his son accidentally deleted a pet in Marvel Heroes and Braxwolf’s subsequent encounter with the game’s CS team.

I’ll let you read the entire saga for yourself, but here’s a spoiler as to how it ends: “What I received was reinforcement that Gazillion values us, knows that we are people who sometimes make mistakes, and goes out of their way to help us out when we’re stuck. They also enabled me to look like a hero in my son’s eyes for a few minutes, which was worth even more.”

In this week’s roundup of notable MMO posts from the blogosphere, we have a critical case of Final Fantasy XIV stoic nodding, helpful Trove tips, and a love-hate relationship with dungeon tanking.

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ArcheAge’s skill queues lead to near-instant kill exploits [Updated]

Skill queues are meant as a way for players to “store up” commands and have all of those commands finally executed in one fell swoop. They are not meant to create lengthy instant implementations of multiple attacks in less than a second, thus functionally serving as an instant kill. So when ArcheAge implemented the skill queue yesterday, you can probably guess which of the above happened.

The center of the unfortunate exploit is the skill Gods’ Whip, which was already renowned for its ability to cancel other animations. You can see videos of players abusing the exploit and crafting a macro to make use of the skill down below, and the effects are immediately obvious and substantial. No official word yet on the oversight, although we’re fairly certain that instant-murder bursts of lightning were not on the list of intended features for skill queues.

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World of Tanks, SWTOR rocketed up the Raptr chart in May

Raptr’s most-played games list is out for this past May, and it looks that both World of Tanks and Star Wars: The Old Republic did quite well for themselves during the month, at least among those who used this service.

In the realm of MMOs, SWTOR jumped up four spots from the month previous to land at #14. Final Fantasy XIV remained steady at #13, although World of Warcraft slipped three spots (#5) and Guild Wars 2 is down four (#19). ArcheAge dropped off the top 20 as well.

For MOBAs and lobby titles, League of Legends is still #1, followed by DOTA 2 (#3), SMITE (#8), Diablo III (#9), Hearthstone (#10), Heroes of the Storm (#12), Warframe (#15), and War Thunder (#16). World of Tanks made significant progress in May, shooting up five slots to #6.

Source: Raptr blog

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Trion welcomes action-RPG Devilian into its fold

After a cryptic teaser site posted last week, Trion Worlds is finally ready to make its big announcement: The studio will be publishing Korean import Devilian as part of its library.

In a nutshell, Devilian is a full-fledged action MMORPG in the vein of Path of Exile and Marvel Heroes, although it contains a few unique twists. Chief among these is the ability to charge up and unleash a “devil” mode with your character, increasing damage and changing your look.

Devil theme aside, it’s a somewhat more light-hearted take on the ARPG genre than, say, Diablo III, with a special emphasis on player relationships and guild features. So how did this partnership come about? Read on and find out!

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Trion shuffles community managers for ArcheAge and its secret project

There’s a new name on the community team for ArcheAge this week. Evan “Scapes” Berman has posted his farewell letter on the game’s official forums, announcing his departure from the game. Taking over for him is Seraphina Brennan, known for handling community relations on Infinite Crisis and various writing duties for some group of weirdos on a site called Massively back in days of yore.

So we’re kind of happy to see it.

Scapes will continue to be taking part in the game’s weekly livestream while Trion’s Austin studio prepares to host livestream events locally, and he stresses that he will still be playing the game as before. “I am joining FireCait on a new, as-of-yet-unannounced project,” he wrote. “You may have seen our teaser for it last week: devilinsideyou.com.” So while it’s sad to say farewell to a community manager who’s been part of the community for a while, he’s leaving for better things, and someone excellent is stepping in to fill his shoes.

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ArcheAge’s latest patch introduces the feared leviathan

The kraken? Oh, the kraken in ArcheAge was so last week’s terrifying sea foe. Now the fantasy sandbox has a new threat emerging from the deeps: the leviathan.

In yesterday’s Devouring Depths patch, ArcheAge released the leviathan into the wild. While the creature promises tremendous rewards for those who best it, doing so will require an immense show of naval force. From now until July 7th, there’s also a periodic event that encourages players to get out on the seas and take on the beast.

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Sword and Bored: Teleport

I promised Jef that I would never publicly show the stick-figure sketches that he does for these comics before I draw them. And usually I understand exactly what’s going on in the sketches despite Jef’s saying that they are awful. However, when he showed me this one for the first time, I totally didn’t get it. It had nothing to do with the quality of the drawing; it had more to do with my ignorance.

I asked, “Is this a thing that happens in MMOs?” And he said that one particular MMO has this issue, and it’s hilarious to see how certain classes in that game handle it. That, of course, brings us to this week’s comic…

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Why Guild Wars 2’s prepurchase deal has the internet raging

On the surface, ArenaNet killed it at E3, kicking ass with a much-wanted and huge expansion for Guild Wars 2, one of the biggest MMORPGs in the market. The studio unveiled a massive new guild hall system, one players have been begging for, one that will satisfy everyone from teeny tiny guilds to classic Guild Wars fans. Those devs were riding high. They built it all up, and then they surprise-announced prepurchase tiers for the expansion. Cheering! Expansion! Woohoo! Take my money!

But then gamers got a good look at the tiers and what’s in them and what they cost… and the cheering turned to something else entirely. By Wednesday morning, the faint hum of discontent that began at E3 had turned into a seething rage across Reddit. Our articles on the subject taken together have racked up well over 800 comments as I write this. A single thread on Reddit exhorting players not to prepurchase is nearing 3000 upvotes, more than the subreddit has ever seen on a single topic. The official forums were offline all day Thursday. And through it all, ArenaNet has stayed eerily silent.

Whether you side with the angry mob or have a more nuanced view, Guild Wars 2 is thoroughly bungling its expansion prepurchase.

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Perfect Ten: The top 10 healthiest live MMOs

One question that consistently pops up across the MMO gaming circuit is, “What are the most popular/healthy/active MMOs out there?” Every time I see this question, I sympathize with the concern behind asking it. For some players, finding a game that not only exists but is hopping and has the greatest potential for a future is of paramount concern.

Massively OP reader Duffy suggested that we cover this very topic when he asked, “Which MMOs are struggling and which seem to be rolling in gravy? Do MMOs in general do very well or are most just able to keep the lights on?”

It’s a difficult question to answer off-the-cuff because there are a lot of variables to consider. Instead, I researched several angles, including player tracking services, frequency of patches, financial reports, and even how often each game pops up on blogs. While the following isn’t definitive, I feel strongly that the following 10 games are the healthiest live MMOs on the western market right now.

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MMO Mechanics: Three non-combat mechanics to love

The wheels in my head have been turning over non-combat mechanics in MMOs for a while now, perhaps because of the buzz surrounding Wander, the latest MMO to ditch combat entirely in favour of less violent interactive mechanics. I have to confess that I’m not a massive fan of thoughtless violence in my MMOs, so I tend to favour those with strong supportive mechanics that affect what I do outside of my usual mix of PvE combat. Characters in MMOs, for me at least, are an in-game reflection of the player, and I’d much rather rid the world of threats than kill other players in a frenzy without a plausible in-game reason.

I don’t believe than an MMO absolutely requires combat, and I certainly feel that other game genres have much stronger combat mechanics than ours if that’s what you’re looking for. Titles that allow players to choose another path if they wish are ultimately much more rewarding, filling my time with various pursuits and labours that use excellent mechanics. The virtual world I inhabit feels much richer when I have a hand in its economic or socio-political development through these mechanics, which is exactly what keeps me enthralled with the genre. In this issue of MMO Mechanics, I’m going to unpack three ways in which MMOs employ non-combat mechanics to enrich the game’s virtual world.

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Massively Overthinking: The language barriers of MMORPGs

This week’s Massively Overthinking topic comes from Kickstarter donor XanadoX, who wants us to talk about “playing MMOs in another language: Korean, Japanese, or even English if English is not your mother tongue.”

Have you done it? Do you do it? Is there anything to be learned from it? Are there any games where it’s totally worth it? Let’s talk about the upsides and downsides of playing foreign games and language barriers in MMOs in general.

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The Stream Team: ArcheAge’s barrel racing

It can certainly be a stretch to come up with new seasonal events, but ArcheAge has added one for the summer that could either be a barrel of fun or leave you floating down the river without a paddle. Actually, it’s both: You’re floating down the river without a paddle in a barrel! MassivelyOP’s MJ is jumping into the summer festivities, so join us live at 8:00 p.m. for some barrel racing through Rookborn while discussing the latest server merger news.

What: ArcheAge
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

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