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The Crew 2 has been delayed deeper into 2018

We’ve known Ubisoft was working on a sequel to driving MMO The Crew since this past spring, when the company confirmed what it would one month later debut at E3. By Gamescom, The Crew 2 even had a firm date – March 16th, 2018 – and was dropping preorder-bonus trailers.

But today Ubisoft announced a delay for multiple games in its working-on stable, including TC2. It’s a significant and vague delay that could see the game almost a year away. In its statement to its community, Ubisoft acknowledges that the game is ambitious indeed and that it’s received a lot of feedback on how the game has progressed since then.

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Monster Hunter World’s first console beta event is slated for this weekend

You have nothing to do but play video games this weekend, right? No crushing holiday shopping you should be getting a jump on? Great because Capcom’s gonna need your help testing Monster Hunter World’s beta testing starting on December 9th, and there’s some loot in it for you if you do, including gear and face paint that’ll work post-launch.

“The beta features 3 quests across 2 environments from the game. In the Ancient Forest, you can hunt a fierce yet beginner-friendly Great Jagras or as a more experienced player confront the mighty threat of an Anjanath. In the Wildspire Waste, a massive, dry expanse with swamplands, you can face off against the intermediate level mud-slinging Barroth.”

Here’s the downside: It’s the console beta, meaning that you’ll need to have a subbed PlayStation Plus account to take part. Womp womp.

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The Game Archaeologist: Vanguard Saga of Heroes

The significance of Vanguard’s development, release, long-running drama, second chance, and eventual closure should be of great interest not just to game historians but to everyone who plays MMOs, period. What happened with this game caused a huge fallout in the industry, and we are still feeling some of its effects even today.

As our own Bree once put it in her blog, “Vanguard’s implosion was a big deal at the time and marked the beginning of the post-World of Warcraft destruction of the industry that hobbled Age of Conan and Warhammer Online a few years later.”

While the crash and burn of Vanguard was a very well-known tale several years ago, I’m wondering if today there might be many who are quite unfamiliar with what happened to this unassuming title back around 2007. Let me put on my old fogey glasses and we shall begin!

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Game devs react angrily to ESA’s support of government tax proposal

Last week, the Entertainment Software Association, the video game trade association you probably know best from its stewardship of E3, released a contentious statement praising the tax reform proposal currently before congress, claiming the bill will “energize tech sector innovation and economic opportunity. For the $30.4 billion US video game industry, which employs more than 220,000 people all across the United States, the pro-growth policies introduced will incentivize greater US investment and more high-quality American jobs.”

And while the large gaming publishers repped by the ESA might be comfy with that position, it didn’t go over well with actual game developers, including some MMO devs, who reacted loudly on twitter (twice) in rejecting the ESA’s position as being representative of or beneficial to workers.

“20 year game industry veteran here,” Riot’s Greg Street wrote (you’ll remember him from his tenure at Blizzard). “You don’t represent my views. Like at all.”

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Elder Scrolls Online kicks off ‘#10MillionStories’ campaign in honor of 10M players

Back at E3, the ZeniMax Elder Scrolls Online team announced that it had accumulated 10 million unique players since its original launch in 2014 – not a shabby number at all in this day and age, even if you’d probably rather see concurrency figures. In celebration of the big 10-M, the studio is running a “#10MillionStories” campaign designed to get you to put your tall-tales to work for the game on social media.

“If you have a tale of adventure and excitement you’d like to share with us and the ESO community, send them to us via email at community@elderscrollsonline.com or on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with the hashtag “#10MillionStories.” We’ll be sharing our favorites via our official social channels, and we will even feature some on ElderScrollsOnline.com as part of a larger celebration and event which we’ll be sharing the details of in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!”

If it sounds familiar, that’s because Bethsoft ran a #MillionReasonsToPlay marketing campaign on Twitter exactly two years ago, though this version begins with a minute-long reminiscing from ZeniMax’s own Rich Lambert.

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Grab a Total War: ARENA closed beta key from Wargaming and MOP

At the tail end of last year, Wargaming’s then-new publishing label, Wargaming Alliance, announced it was picking up SEGA’s Total War: ARENA, a “free-to-play, real time tactical strategy game featuring epic scale 10v10 multiplayer battles led by historical commanders from the past.” In fact, you’ll recall that we spoke to the studio about at E3, where we discussed its historical roots and what MMO players might appreciate in it.

While you could grab a founder pack to play right now, you might prefer to check it out while it’s in testing first, and that’s where the current closed beta test — and the beta keys Wargaming has kindly granted us for our readers — come in! This leg of the closed beta runs until October 20th and is open for accounts in North America only. Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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The Game Archaeologist: Climax’s Warhammer Online

Let’s begin with a little personal history. Back in 2008, I decided to get into the blogging scene by jumping on board the latest MMO hotness — in this case, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. As I was growing increasingly tired of World of Warcraft, WAR seemed to offer a refreshing alternative: a darker world full of brutal PvP and awesome new ideas. So I joined the elite ranks of bloggers (hey, stop laughing so hard) and spent the better part of two years jawing about Mythic’s latest fantasy project.

And while Warhammer Online was, in my opinion, a solid product, it certainly failed to live up to the extremely high expectations held by both the development team and the players. No matter how it turned out, I really enjoyed talking about WAR, especially in the days leading up to its launch.

As with other IP-related MMOs like Star Trek Online and Lord of the Rings Online, Warhammer Online had its roots with another company and another vision. It’s a “what if?” tale that’s tantalizing to consider — an entirely different studio, Climax Online, creating a much darker version of Warhammer.

So what if Climax had brought its version of Warhammer Online to bear? Would it have eclipsed Mythic’s vision or been its own animal? Hit the jump and let’s dive into the pages of ancient history!

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Massively Overthinking: The best and worst MMOs of 2017’s PAX West

PAX West 2017 has come and gone, and though MJ is still feverishly working on her last few articles, we wanted to pause a moment to reflect on everything we’ve seen and read and recapped so far. So for today’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our writers to tackle three topics from an MMO player’s perspective: the biggest surprise of the show, the most disappointing bit, and the games that grabbed them and won’t let go.

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CCP’s VR sports game Sparc has arrived on PSVR today

Remember CCP’s multiplayer VR sports sim Sparc? We first heard about it back in February, and now as planned, the Icelandic studio known best for MMO EVE Online has formally launched the game on PSVR for $29.99 as of today. It’s not really an MMO or even trying to be; the idea is that players will be sparring in a 1v1 arena playing a VR-based match of what is essentially fancy neon ping-pong/dodgeball versus friends or frenemies plucked from the matchmaker, then when that’s over, you even get to play dress-up.

MOP’s Brendan Drain got a hands-on with the game at this past spring’s EVE Fanfest. “CCP has hit the nail on the head with the feel of Sparc,” he wrote in April. “Sparc legitimately has the potential to become the Wii Sports of VR, a collection of competitive activities transmitted via the internet and experienced in VR but played in real space with real athletic competition. I’ve often complained that VR has no killer app, no must-have game that absolutely needs VR to work, but I think Sparc might be it.”

We’ve tucked the brand-new trailer down below, but we warn you: You won’t burn any calories watching it.

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Final Fantasy XIV’s Naoki Yoshida on Stormblood’s release, AI issues, and MMO history

After all this time, I’m sure some of you forgot that my original E3 2017 interview with Final Fantasy XIV’s Naoki Yoshida was supposed to have a part two. That’s OK, since, well, the team’s been a bit busy since then. With the expansion out and some fires smothered, the much loved game director finally was able to get back to some of my questions.

Naturally, the first question I had to ask was how Yoshida is feeling about Stormblood following early access, launch, and the release of the first content patch updates. For now, he said (through translators) that he’s relieved but that the expansion had “an unexpectedly high number of new and returning players [who] came back to the game, which caused some issues and frustration.” One of them was the DDOS attack, for which he again offered apologies.

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The Stream Team: Dabbling in the Dauntless alpha

The Dauntless alpha started yesterday, and thanks to server issues, Massively OP’s MJ had difficulty getting in. But today she is determined to check this new game out! Will she be impressed like Andrew was during his E3 play test? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to see as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a first look at…

What: Dauntless
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 19th, 2017

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Dauntless’ founder alpha has begun

Don’t miss our hands-on with Dauntless from E3!
We’ve been keeping an eye on Dauntless, the sci-fantasy online co-op action RPG from the former BioWare, Riot, and Blizzard devs now fronting Phoenix Labs, ever since its first reveal back in December. Today, regular gamers can leap in themselves — at least if they’ve ponied up the 40 80 bucks needed for a founder’s pack with access to the alpha. [Thanks for the clarification, jinarra!] Otherwise you’ll be waiting until the game launches later this year, at which time it’ll be free-to-play.

Following his E3 hands-on with the game, MOP’s Andrew Ross said the game was surprisingly solid and natural, impressive even, though he worried over rival Monster Hunter World.

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Ubisoft on Skull and Bones’ business model, ‘treasure chest’ lootboxes, and live events

If you thought that Ubisoft’s Skull and Bones pirate MMO wasn’t going to have lootboxes, seriously, what rock are you living under? (And is it comfy? And can you maybe scoot over and make room for the rest of us?)

In a new interview with Gamespot, Ubisoft creative director Justin Farren says that the studio is going for “more of a service-based approach so that when you pay for this game, you have a commitment from us to develop content, new gameplay, modes, new content for the player to earn, and then of course, new regions to explore, and those things will unfold as the game launches and provide service over time.”

“We don’t want to create pay to win,” he says. “We don’t want to create something where players have to pay to compete. Our PvP is completely horizontal in a way that gives players a chance to develop their skills and compete against other players.”

But Overwatch-style lootboxes are definitely still on the table.

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