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Hands-On with the XBOX One Version

SMITE -  Preview

At the 2015 Smite World Championships, held from January 9th-12th of this month, I was able to get thirty or forty minutes on the playable beta version of Smite for the X-Box One. For those who do not know, Smite is Hi-Rez Studios recent entry into the MOBA genre, released in March, 2014. Smite is no standard entry into the genre dominated by Defense of the Ancients 2 and League of Legends, the devs over at Hi-Rez have made several very significant innovations.Posted Jan 16, 2015 by Terry OBrien

Early Access and the Airdrop Madness

H1Z1 -  Preview

Last night was a bit depressing. After HiveLeader’s excellent first impressions and livestream video, I was pretty excited for H1Z1. Even knowing how Early Access goes and how alpha builds get wiped and are pretty buggy messes, I’ll admit that the thought of a PVE sandbox zombie survival MMO has my interest piqued. Posted Jan 16, 2015 by William Murphy

Four Years and Going Strong

DC Universe Online -  Column

Sony Online Entertainment’s DC Universe Online launched with a simple premise: allow players to create their own superheroes, with unique power sets, and romp around in iconic locations and alongside beloved characters from the DC universe. Four years later, it’s still building on its solid launch, having already released twelve official updates and with much more on the way. Posted Jan 16, 2015 by Som Pourfarzaneh

My Problem with Fallout

General -  Column

My name is Chris, and I have a problem. In 2009, I realized that I don’t like Fallout. I have tried, over and over, to connect with what gamers love in these titles and just can’t. Games have been bought and rebought chasing the elusive dragon that is the post-apocalypse. I’ve made excuses, rolled multiple characters, and forced myself to play. I like Elder Scrolls, so why not this? This is my story.Posted Jan 16, 2015 by Christopher Coke

Shadowrun: Hong Kong Defies KickStarter Fatigue

General -  Column

Like many of you I’m suffering from Kickstarter fatigue. I’m even starting to grow weary of writing about it. Even new IPs from well renowned developers fail to raise my pulse if they are seeking money from players first and plan on delivering a product second. Crowdfunding is definitely a viable financing option for developers, however, and a highly successful developer has gone back to the Kickstarter well. Posted Jan 15, 2015 by Robert Lashley

But Everyone Else Was Doing It Too!

Star Wars: The Old Republic -  Column

This week, Star Wars: the Old Republic put in a patch that had a fairly large number of tweaks to the game, mostly a lot of bugfixes and updates to various group activities such as changing which comms drop and rebalancing certain encounters. Sadly, however, much of these things were not the topic of many conversations about the game the past few weeks.Posted Jan 15, 2015 by Jean Prior

What to Do When Your Favorite RPG is Over

General -  Column

After nearly one hundred twenty hours, I finished my completionist run through Dragon Age: Inquisition today. As I sat staring at the credits and waiting for the short epilogue cinematic that would come after them, I was left with a curious sense of emptiness with a mental image of an empty calendar filled with endless days stretching out in front of me.Posted Jan 15, 2015 by Suzie Ford

Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta Impressions

Heroes of the Storm -  Column

After roughly 10 months of alpha, Blizzard officially moved Heroes of the Storm into closed beta yesterday, and the update included a couple of new features and pieces of content among the expected round of tweaks and bug fixes. We spent some time with the beta version of the game and today we’re offering our first impressions of all the new goodies.Posted Jan 14, 2015 by Michael Bitton

Long-Form Storytelling

Moonrise -  Developer Journal

In which Ian and Andy discuss how to keep gamers coming back for more delicious story nuggets over the course of hours or years.Posted Jan 14, 2015 by Andy Collins

Understanding Champion Points

Elder Scrolls Online -  Column

At the end of December Zenimax announced what players are going to receive when the champion system is released, 30 champion points. If you had at least one character veteran rank 1 or higher you’d receive 30 champion points when 1.6 goes live. It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent the last 9 months playing the same veteran 14 character, or even had eight veteran rank 14 characters, you’d still receive 30 champion points. As you can see there is a major flaw in this.Posted Jan 14, 2015 by Ryan Getchell

Why Heroes Charge is Nobody's Hero

General -  Column

Heroes Charge is a dreadful game in some ways. It just is. I’d rather not waste your time and, frankly, my time, with attempting to flower this several-hundred-word column with attempts to describe the game’s systems and finer points. It’s a Sunday, my normal day for writing these articles, and the Golden Globes are on in the background. My dog is begging me for food as I type this up. I’m having a Hostess Apple Pie.Posted Jan 13, 2015 by Beau Hindman

Open-Ended, Vast & Procedurally Generated

Elite: Dangerous -  Review

Elite: Dangerous is a direct call to my childhood and to an arguably more ambitious time of gaming. Open ended, vast, and procedurally generated. The march of technology since the first Elite has only served to let Frontier Developments create the sort of game that they, and I, spent years imagining.Posted Jan 13, 2015 by Jonathan Doyle

Is Star Citizen Indie?

General -  Column

What defines an indie game? This is a question that has many answers depending on who you ask. To some it’s indie if it has a tiny budget and non-traditional funding source. To others a game can be considered indie if the studio that made it was put together specifically to make that game. While others will disqualify a game from being indie simply because it has a major industry veteran at the helm. What indie means is different for every person.Posted Jan 13, 2015 by Shannon Doyle

The Player's Choice Awards 2014 - Part Two!

General -  Awards

Our month long celebration of the 2014 games continues, as we open up voting on Best Indie RPG, Best Indie MMO, and Best "Almost MMO". Click through and vote for your favorites!Posted Jan 13, 2015 by William Murphy

What MMO Developers Can Learn from Dragon Age: Inquisition

General -  Column

I’ve spent a good number of hours in Dragon Age: Inquisition since that game’s release. By now, many players have gotten enough of a taste to criticize some of the game’s flaws. By far, some of the more prevalent criticism is in how the game’s vast, open areas, and sidequest types make it feel like an MMO. Contrast that to how many MMO players feel like MMOs have now veered over and feel too much like single player games. Posted Jan 12, 2015 by Christina Gonzalez

The Daily Grouse

Guild Wars 2 -  Column

I'm still not totally on board with the new dailies. Judging by this massive thread on the official forums, it seems I'm not alone. I still stand by my original article last month that it's not a big enough change to make me rip my hair out and quit the game or anything quite so drastic, but I'm also not sure the revamp is having the desired effect.Posted Jan 12, 2015 by Jason Winter

5 Things MMOs Could Learn from Sword Art Online

General -  Column

Sword Art Online II recently wrapped up. I haven’t actually watched the second leg of the Sword Art Online story as I’m late to the party on this topic, but I’ve seen all of Sword Art Online I and was enamored with the concept. If you’re unaware, Sword Art Online, or SAO for short, is an anime about a group of people that get trapped inside of an MMORPG. The catch is that if they die in the game, they die in real life as well.Posted Jan 12, 2015 by David Jagneaux

MMOs are Hurting RPGs

General -  Column

January is the perfect time for reflection. It’s the start of a new year, a breath of fresh air after the last; a time to look back on the prior twelve months and learn the lessons that need to be learned before moving forward. I have a lesson for the games industry in case it missed it: stop trying to copy MMORPGs. Your games are worse because of it.Posted Jan 11, 2015 by Christopher Coke

Reflections on a Year Closer to Next

EverQuest Next -  Column

Let’s remember a year of Landmark development by looking at two good and bad aspects of the game that are likely to be transformed or improved upon by Everquest Next’s development.Posted Jan 10, 2015 by Victor Barreiro Jr.

Jan 10, 2015 Newsletter

General -  Newsletter

In Issue 473 of the Newsletter, we look at Gloria Victis and all the rest of the news from the past week in MMOs.Posted Jan 10, 2015 by Michael Bitton