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MMO Round-Up 01.07.2013 - SWTOR, Planetside 2, ArcheAge, EVE, standing & more!

General News

Star Wars: The Old Republic [an Ewook named Treek will be the next companion that will be available to players, coming with Update 2.3. Visit the link for many more details on the little fluffy fluffball.] - Dulfy



You will need to have 1 million credits for each character you wish to unlock this companion on and legacy level 40 to purchase a mercenary contract that will unlock this new companion. Go to Cartel Bazaar on the south end of the fleet (north end for Republic) once Patch 2.3 arrives on live servers. You will see  a droid that sells you a mercenary contract for 1 mil credits (requires legacy level 40) and using it will bring up a short conversation where you are introduced to Treek.


Planetside 2 [Battle Islands coming soon to the MMO Shooter - isolated zones, designed for battle between teams of 48 players and matchmaking done based on a ranking system. It's probably their push for a more controlled competition, maybe even enough to be a viable eSport. First Battle Island will be Nexus and you can see a preview of it below.] - Massively



The Secret World [Funcom's MMO will finish its first year tomorrow and to celebrate this the team is looking to launch a special event on July 3rd, Guardians of Gaia] - Official Site



From July 3rd, the Guardians of Gaia will be awakening in areas all across the game. These massive creatures, formed of the primal elements, are the second line of defense for the planet against the strange infection known only as the Filth.
Such powerful creatures can only be brought down by banding together with others and lucky players will be able to capture a portion of their essence - a earn a Guardian of their very own.
Throughout the event, we will be offering a 30% discount across almost everything in the store and every day we will provide a different bonus to anybody who logs in - Double Experience, Double Ability Points and Double Skill Points.


Age of Conan [Game Director Letter - server merges (+1 for not avoiding the term, like some other :cough: Blizzard :cough: developers), solving the loot issues (new items are not interesting enough apparently), and a hint that Achievements might be on the horizon.] - Official Website

As soon as we have available animation resources, we will be finishing up The Slithering Chaos. In addition Unchained PvP, Place of Cetriss and a new minigame are still being looked at for after the summer.  Beyond that, the Tradeskill revamp still requires a lot of work from our systems team, who are also on the tap for the new loot setup and new AA's.

Upcoming / Beta

ArcheAge [Holy mother of all reviews! If you're curious about ArcheAge, then this is definitely the go-to article about. Damn impressive!] - ArcheAge Source forums

To give you some perspective about the game, let me tell you about what ArcheAge is about.
All of this, as well as the whole review, is merely my opinion and can always change as the game or my information on different topics change. Generally, ArcheAge is your typical MMORPG. You start the game, level up as you do quests, kill monsters and strengthen your character. You team up with friends and meet new enemies as you progress. And then you chill out in the cities and craft new stuff for you and your group. There is nothing really special about that.
But in every gameplay aspect there's a little more depth than in your usual MMO. You level up through various means: crafting, leveling and everything that is fun. Even while exploring you still get further in a way, even if it's just knowledge. You also don't just upgrade your character just as everyone else, you get to choose out of 10 different classtrees, or schools, and combine them to make your own class. With a total of 120 combinations, not all of them make sense of course, you really have to think what you like best. And even then, with 23 skill points to spend and way more skills available, once you've chosen a combination of schools you still have to choose which skills to use.

Guides / Tips / Giveaways

EVE Online [A guide to roles in fleet PvP] - Massively

Roles for new players
PvP in most MMOs involves a maximum of a few dozen players smashing each other to bits without any real assigned roles or permanent consequences. EVE obviously differs in consequence and scale, but more importantly, ships and their captains tend to fulfil very specific roles with specialised requirements. The roles of Scout, Damage Dealer, and Tackler are all ideal for new players and require little more than a few weeks of skill training and some instruction.

Fighting above your weight category
No fleet engages a target it doesn't think it can beat, by you can't judge a group solely on numbers and class of ship. Electronic warfare and logistics can act as force multipliers for any fleet by removing key enemy ships from the field or effectively nullifying their damage output. Roles like the Logistics pilot and Electronic Warfare specialist will benefit greatly from a few months of skill training and can be extremely rewarding for new players to train into.

Videos / Pics

Opinions / Interviews

 Update on the Mom-Mage [pretty funny seeing an experience you're worn out of from a newbie's perspective. Reminds me of the good old times.] - TreeHealsGoWoosh

She also really enjoys wandering around Azeroth, though sometimes she wishes there were more places she could go to just look around without having to fight mobs.  The first time I got her into Stormwind, she spent over an hour exploring the city.  She also found her way to Ironforge via the tram, explored the in-world version of Zul Gurub, figured how to buy her first mount and riding training, and has made her way all over the Eastern Kingdoms.  And, you know what?  I think that’s pretty rad.  It’s definitely a hell of a lot more coherent than I was when I first started playing.


 Don’t punish people for grouping [It's a problem I've noticed quite often in recent MMOs. In their attempt to make the game solo friendly, they usually make grouping inefficient. Almost all games have bonuses to parties, but they're usually just for bait and don't compensate for the loss of efficiency or other factors that affect group play.] - Keen and Graev

So one thing that really irks me is how players are seemingly punished for grouping up. This is a startling trend that has been going on for years now. A new MMORPG would come out and our friends/community would dive in to play. Keen and I are usually fused at the hip when we play a MMORPG together so we are always grouped up. In pretty much every single game the players who soloed would actually outpace us in leveling. Obviously some people would play more than us but even the people who had similar hours would easily out-level us. Everything we kill usually nets us a rather nasty exp split and even games that have supposed “group bonuses” don ‘t end up compensating enough at all.

MMO Design

 Game endings are a moment for honest design [Tell that to the poor guys that worked on Mass Effect 3 ^^ Jokes aside though, this seems like really good advice for game devs and also players should learn to appreciate it when it happens, even if it's sometimes a hit and miss.] - Gamasutra

More than half of your players are not going to finish. You know that going in, so think of it as a design constraint! What does that mean to you?
First: The deeper into your game your content is, the more likely it is that the players that are still with you have been having a good time. They're in. They've bought it. You have earned a certain amount of faith capital with them, and they probably want to see what else you've got up your sleeve.
Second: Because your producers and various high-mucky-mucks have seen the finishing stats for other games, they know that dev time spent in detailed iteration on your ending is effort going to a small subset of players. They will prioritize the team's time accordingly. They will thus be more likely, whether through disinterest or lack of time, to let your crazy idea for the end slip through the cracks.

Misc / Off-Topic

 Xbox chief Don Mattrick leaving Microsoft - report [Reportedly going over to Zynga. A perfect match if you ask me! :D ] - GamesIndustry

Although the news is not yet official, Kara Swisher of AllThingsD is reporting that Don Mattrick, Microsoft's head of the Interactive Entertainment Business, is on his way out. Citing "multiple sources close to the situation," AllThingsD says that Mattrick is close to joining social games firm Zynga.


 The Future of Diablo 3 - Fansite Summit Mega-Report [there's really not much to add. Flux has done an awesome job describing every little detail from the event] - IncGamers

Here’s a quick summary of the key facts, plus some predictions based on the current plans. 
Fact #1: There will not be any Diablo 3 content patches before Blizzcon. When news of this broke a couple of weeks ago it was greeted with rage, but it’s just how it is. Like it or don’t. If you’re displeased with the current game and all you want from Diablo 3 is MOAR new game content, and you do not care about dev interviews, theorycrafting, insight into the process, concept art, etc… you should probably save yourself some public tantrums by taking a break and focusing your attention on other things until say… November-ish.
Fact #2: Blizzard is committed to doing all they can to keep the community engaged, despite the lack of new game content. That’s largely what this Fan Site Summit was about, as they wanted direct conversation with members of the community about how they could better support us and join us in providing you fans with interesting Diablo 3 stuff, in the immediate future and long term.
Fact #3: We will see much more communication and info from the CMs and the devs over the next few months than we’ve seen previously, and this includes numerous upcoming interviews with developers (those questions you guys submitted will not be going to waste), special themed in-game promotional events, and much more.


 The Standing Desk Challenge [It's definitely worth a try, especially if you're spending most of your time at the PC. And since you're reading this, you probably are. Day 1 is today, out of the 28 days of transition to a standing desk. Go for it!] - DeskHacks

Here’s your assignment. Ready?
Stand for 12 minutes.
No more, no less.
Seems easy, right? What about the grueling, soul-crushing, arch-flattening first days you’ve heard about?
One oft-repeated piece of advice that many standing desk vets share is this: Don’t do the switch cold turkey. Ease into it gradually, building up strength and endurance in your feet and legs.

Community Pulse


Daily AMA: Got any questions about today's news or MMOs in general? Leave them in the comments. You'll probably get quick and awesome answers from TF's members, but if not, I'll give it my best to give you an answer in tomorrow's article.
Stream Highlight: Kripparrian - One of the few really hardcore streamers. Streams each day for 8-10 hours. He was in a top 10 WoW guild, then he switched to Diablo 3 where he got tons of World firsts (including first HC Inferno Diablo kill) and now he's been playing Path of Exile, min-maxing and winning races all the way.
Featured TF Forum Thread: WCS Season 2


Once again, excellent round up :)


Happy month everyone, summer is coming :)

i am now standing at desk nice post!