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Building a Niche

Villagers and Heroes -  Review

The concept of letting players shape and build a game world in a sandbox environment is far from unique at this point in the game industry. While Minecraft popularized the idea with its simplistic visuals, similar games existed before and continue to exist afterwards that employ related gameplay elements. Posted Dec 18, 2014 by David Jagneaux

Crowd Power: The Future of Video Games

General -  Column

Five years ago in the summer of 2009 a single independent developer released a small alpha build for a game that he was working on in his spare time. Two years later, the full release version of Minecraft rolled out amid a tidal wave of excited gamers. It could be said that Markus Persson single-handedly pulled indie video game development into the lime light.Posted Dec 18, 2014 by Red Thomas

State of the Game: 10 MMOs to Watch in 2015

General -  Column

It certainly wasn't a record-breaking year, but it was what I'd like to think of as the calm before the storm. Right around 2011, game developers collectively regrouped, realized that copying World of Warcraft probably isn't the best idea, and took to this new thing called Kickstarter to bypass big, out-of-touch publishers to create what the people actually want.Posted Dec 18, 2014 by Shawn Schuster

The Troubling State of Rogue

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft -  Column

Just about anything you could do with Rogue since Naxxramas, you’d be better served doing with the game’s other classes. And now with Goblins vs. Gnomes, things appear to have gotten worse.Posted Dec 17, 2014 by Michael Bitton

Monsters and Linking and Caves, Oh My!

Landmark -  Preview

While the folks at Sony Online Entertainment had to delay the launch of their biggest update to Landmark since they released Alpha until later this week, they still went ahead and invited press to a private livestream to give a preview of all the new goodies coming in the update, which was originally slated to either take only four hours to load and get the servers open again, or it could take up to 48 hours. Posted Dec 17, 2014 by Jean Prior

All About the Viking Drengr Class & Path System

Camelot Unchained -  Interview

In anticipation for Camelot Unchained’s new class announcement we chatted with City State’s Mark Jacobs to get all the insight on the Drengr, a Viking Warrior with brutal attacks and defenses alike. Read on to find out all about the new class and what it brings to the table.Posted Dec 17, 2014 by William Murphy

Quest Pacing - The Long & Short of Quest Design

Moonrise -  Developer Journal

In our recent article on building our Quest system, we intentionally left out a big, complicated chunk: pacing. We did this for two reasons. First, it’s really big, messy subject, and second, because we wanted to save it for the folks over here on, so that you know you are forever precious in our hearts.Posted Dec 17, 2014 by Andy Collins

Lord of the Hunt DLC Review

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor -  General

It’s been a few months since Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor launched and shocked everyone with how good its action-RPG open world gameplay could be. In the space since, Warner Brothers and Monolith have put out a slew of minor DLC runes, free upgrades, and other doodads. But this week marked the launch of the first $10 story-driven DLC campaign: Lord of the Hunt. We’ve had a chance to play with Torvin’s new beasties, and this is what we think.Posted Dec 17, 2014 by William Murphy

Should the Faction Restriction in LFG Be Lifted?

Elder Scrolls Online -  Column

The Elder Scrolls Online has had one major problem that has been a major focus ever since Patch 5.0, unimaginable Looking for Group (LFG) queue times. When update 5 was released, with it came scaling dungeons and daily dungeon pledges. These two new features had players wanting to do dungeons more often and of course that meant more players putting themselves into the LFG queue, only to be faced with endless queue times.Posted Dec 17, 2014 by Ryan Getchell

Why A Trailer Matters

EVE Online -  Column

The other night I was participating in an annual tradition by getting ready sit down to think about starting to consider a possible temporary return to EVE Online, a tradition in my house since I first started my account in July of 2004. EVE Online will either pull you in completely, tempt you once in a while, or turn you off immediately. I fall in the category of the occasional temptation. Now that the game says you can “train multiple characters at once”, I was once again tempted.Posted Dec 16, 2014 by Beau Hindman

Prototype UI - HUD Revealed

Warhammer 40.000: Eternal Crusade -  Column

Hail fellow Crusaders, and well-met. This week we are going to look at the recent reveals of the UI/HUD for Behaviour's upcoming MMO-shooter, Eternal Crusade. Last week, on the Eternal Crusade Twitch show, Into the Warp, Nicolas Brunoni, the lead designer of the User Interface and Head Up Display, along with Peter Rockwell, who is the guy who takes Nicolas' ideas and determines if they are feasible, and if not, determines how to make them work within the game engine. Posted Dec 16, 2014 by Terry OBrien

The Worlds Belong to Us

General -  Column

Back in 2012 there was this little MMO darling that was loved by many, one that I personally wanted to try out but never got the chance to. That gem of a game was called Glitch. MMO bloggers that I follow spoke nothing but praise and the announcement of the shutdown hit fans hard. Thankfully, unlike many MMOs that shut down Tiny Speck was able to put the art and code from Glitch into the public domain. Posted Dec 16, 2014 by Shannon Doyle

Shadow of Revan RIP #2 - New Planets

Star Wars: The Old Republic -  General

Introducing new environments to explore is a staple of MMORPG expansion packs, and Shadow of Revan does not disappoint. After the prologue missions, the new content kicks off on the relatively obscure planet of Rishi, home to some interesting looking bird folk and a whole lot of pirate business. Bioware reached way back and dipped into the classic trilogy for the second planet (or rather moon), Yavin 4, recognizable to fans as the home base to the Rebellion in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.Posted Dec 16, 2014 by Pete Schwab

The Great MMO Face-Off of 2014 - Quarterfinals

General -  Awards

The Elite Eight in our MMO Face-Off of 2014 have been selected, and so we're nearing the finals of this year's contest. Will WoW manage to topple Tolkien? Will The Secret World dethrone Guild Wars 2? Read on and make your vote.Posted Dec 16, 2014 by William Murphy

The Daily Show

Guild Wars 2 -  Column

OK, so maybe dailies aren't exactly the first thing on anyone's wish list to be revamped. Still, despite their relatively small impact, they're something you encounter every, uh, day, so they're still important – important enough for ArenaNet to tinker with them for a third time since the game's launch.Posted Dec 15, 2014 by Jason Winter

Origins is Back on Track

Origins Of Malu -  Interview

Last week we got the chance to sit down with Origins of Malu’s Michael Dunham to discuss the current state of development and some of the new changes coming to the game for 2015. The game is set for Steam early access coming up in the next few weeks and Mike’s team has been working hard to get everything ready to go. Mike explained a few of the exciting new goals coming up with early launch as well as some of the pitfalls the team faced when developing an independent MMO.Posted Dec 15, 2014 by Garrett Fuller

5 Awesome Gift Ideas for the MMO Gamer

General -  Column

It’s that time of the year again. Depending on where you live, snow is falling, wind is blowing, the air is chilly, and fireplaces are roaring. Or if you’re like me in Northern California, weather is slightly colder on most days, but generally sunny and not all that much different most of the time. Either way, it’s the Holiday Season. Posted Dec 15, 2014 by David Jagneaux

Hearthstone's Goblins vs. Gnomes Legendaries Ranked

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft -  Column

I thought it would be fun to attempt to rank the new class legendaries in the Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion based on how I’ve seen them played thus far.Posted Dec 15, 2014 by Reza Lackey

Release 13 - Get Lucky

Shroud of the Avatar -  Column

I found it rather amusing that this is the 13th major release for Shroud of the Avatar, and that it comes after their hugely successful debut on Steam. Last month saw the game added to Steam’s list of available Early Access titles, and the results were a sweeping victory for the team at Portalarium. With a whopping 87% positive reviews, and really strong sales that put the game in the top 10 on Steam’s list of top sellers, it’s been a fantastic month for Shroud of the Avatar.Posted Dec 15, 2014 by Red Thomas

The Entire Galaxy, Yours For The Taking

Elite: Dangerous -  Preview

Thirty years ago, programmer David Braben created the ground-breaking, but controversial space trading game, Elite, a game that sparked many a debate among computer enthusiasts, and served as a precursor to games like Wing Commander: Privateer and EVE Online. Next Tuesday, Braben's releasing Elite: Dangerous, an ambitious sequel that could very well be the next ground-breaker/debate-maker, and I was fortunate enough last week, to get an early look at it. Posted Dec 14, 2014 by Neilie Johnson

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