MMO Week in Review: The return of the MMO expansion

    
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Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

2015 is shaping up to be the year of the MMO expansion, headlined by Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns, Final Fantasy XIV’s HeavenswardStar Wars: The Old Republic’s Knights of the Fallen Empire, and World of Warcraft’s Legion (its announcement, anyway!). Even 18-year-old Ultima Online is due for an expansion this fall. And still more MMO studios lined up this week to walk back their plans to skip expansions in favor of smaller updates; EverQuest, EverQuest II, and EVE Online are all returning to the expansion model.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

THIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES
Host your own sandbox with Wurm Unlimited on Steam - Code Club has just announced a new phase in development for fantasy sandbox Wurm Online: Wurm Unlimited. Arriving on Steam on October 21st, Wurm Unlimited "allows you to play in the Wurm world locally on your PC and…
ArcheAge adds $250 item pack to its store - Sometimes everything comes down to timing. Take ArcheAge's latest store pack, for example. In and of itself it's just a $250 pack, which is hardly new, and the game's one-year anniversary in North America just came…
World of Warships leaves drydock for live waters - The majestic aircraft carriers and battleships of World of Warships are sailing into battle today as the game transitions from beta to live. "Captains, thank you for all your feedback during the alpha and beta," Wargaming…
Elder Scrolls Online is coming to Japan in 2016 - Can Elder Scrolls Online take root in an eastern country such as Japan? That's what we're going to find out, as ESO will be launching a Japanese server in spring 2016. The news came out of the…
MMO Burnout: Star Wars Uprising - When I heard that Disney's first foray into the new Star Wars gaming universe was a mobile-only RPG, it made me sort of angry. Not Vader-force-choking-his-wife angry, but angry enough to indulge in a brief dark…
Is WildStar’s cash shop pay-to-win? - Is WildStar going to be pay-to-win when the free-to-play patch hits on September 29th? That's the topic du jour of a video that looks at the setup of WildStar's upcoming cash shop and business model. YouTuber…
Champions Online begins Supervillain Onslaught - Cryptic has been talking up Champions Online's new Supervillain Onslaught mode over the past month, and now it is finally here! Players can temporarily step into the shoes (or boots or claws) of a mighty supervillain…
Black Desert’s Ninja gets a new trailer - Earlier this week we heard about Black Desert's new Ninja class. Today, developer Pearl Abyss and publisher Daum have released a new trailer for the fantasy sandbox's 12th playable class. The clip itself is pretty short,…
Crowfall scales up its pre-alpha testing - ArtCraft announced that it is working on scaling up Crowfall's pre-alpha testing to accommodate more players than before. The studio said that it has already made progress in this regard, allowing for a few hundred players to be on…
Destiny: The Taken King breaks PlayStation records - If you had any doubt that Destiny is a huge force in the online world right now, Activision's announcement that the game is smashing PlayStation records might rid you of such notions. The company said that…
WildStar will make crafting less complicated - Carbine has great news for players who feel a little too frazzled and overwhelmed with WildStar's circuit board crafting system: Making stuff will be less frustrating when this month's huge free-to-play patch hits. "Our goal with tradeskills…
THIS WEEK’S CASTS & STREAMS
AND FROM OUR FRIENDS AT BLIZZARD WATCH

WoW gets new rewards for Brewfest and Harvest Festival

Blizzard and Random House deal brings new writers to Blizzard franchises

Finish these WoW achievements before summer is over

A NOTE FROM THE EDITORS

Finally, we wanted to address the problems we’ve had with our ads this weekend. We aren’t a fan of them either, especially the loudness of the sound, and in this case, those who care the most about ads were also most affected (as cookie-blocking only made the ad reappear, which was not the intent — it was supposed to be shown once and then never again). I appreciate those of you who took the time to send polite emails (as opposed to threats and insults) registering your displeasure with the ad. We hear your complaints loud and clear and are working to ensure we don’t serve those kinds of ads again and aren’t locked into an agreement that requires them. Today is supposed to be the last day for that ad, and then we will be taking those types of ads off the table for our advertisers. We hope you will accept our apologies and our promise to do better. -Bree

Every week, get caught up on the MMO genre’s latest news and Massively OP’s best content in our MMO Week in Review! For even more speedy summaries, try Friday’s Betawatch for MMO testing highlights, Saturday’s Make My MMO for MMO crowdfunding updates, and Sunday’s The MOP Up, which mops up all the little bits of news we didn’t want to pass up.

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Craywulf
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Craywulf

I really hope Massively does a look back at all these expansions at the end of next year. I really think it’s a lot bloated advertising for what amounts to small upgrades that could otherwise be free. Most notably GW2 expansion, it’s just looks to be a massive ripoff. Players are going burn through it within a week or two, about the same time that free Living Story updates come out.

kofteburger
Guest
kofteburger

Speaking of Eve expansions. what happened to old updates page? this does not show changes before Kronos http://updates.eveonline.com/date/2014-06-03/

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

jackofrost To be clear, the problem ad wasn’t malware; we test that for that before we let a campaign launch. It was just annoying. It was too loud for some users, and it was cookie-based, so people blocking cookies saw it over and over instead of once.
If it had been properly coded, it would have been fine. But it wasn’t, and it wasn’t fixed as we requested, so we won’t be doing them again under those conditions.

greywolfe_joystiq
Guest
greywolfe_joystiq

jackofrost 
cannot like this enough.
i love you guys, massivelyop and i’d be happy to support you, but advertising on the modern web is basically one giant minefield of malware and broken trust.
i have /no/ websites whitelisted for exactly these reasons.

Siphaed
Guest
Siphaed

Umm, didn’t even realize that I had an advertisement blocked on this site for this weekend. Usually I whitelist everything for this website and the ads are just there.  So I unblocked the cpmstar.com script just to see what the ad was.  Holy cow!  That is ….well, I could dare to say that ad is possibly worse than those ‘stripper banners’ that MMORPG hosts all the time. It was a full page of World of Warships where a ship shoots this website to bits.  Um, that’s kind of goofy as well as annoying.

BKone
Guest
BKone

Koolthulu jackofrost True, the whole advertising industry needs to go back to its roots to handcrafted HTML tags, GIF banners, banner exchanges, etc. Those usually go thru ad blockers because those are tame and non-intrusive.

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

jackofrost Zero-day exploits on flash are scary.  Nice tech, but I hope flash goes away asap.

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

The reason why CCP and DBG had to go back to expansions is that mere DLC does not get listed in Justin’s Timeline; the emotional and financial cost was too high.

Koolthulu
Guest
Koolthulu

jackofrost Yeah, I have no problem with looking at an ad to support a site, but all these malware hiding ads and auto play ads pretty much force me to use ad blockers. Sites that complain about people using blockers need to put the pressure on Google and other providers to police the ads that are submitted to them.

jackofrost
Guest
jackofrost

I’ve used Adblock for as long as I remember… and I don’t white list any sites exactly for this reason.

Any site, no matter how much I trust them (or not), is a vector for malware/spyware/phishing/etc because of the ad networks they include on their site can choose (or get tricked into) what they display as opposed to the site hosting the ad.

It means that ANYTHING can come through the ad network, and really screw you up.

Just somewhat recently there was a big problem with an ad at mmo-champion (where a lot of people whitelist to support them) that led to a lot of compromised wow accounts…