Don't want to miss out on what's been happening across our network of sites? Here's the quick and dirty!
Right after I published last week's site report, two articles from EQ Hammer tumbled into my inbox. I regret reporting on this one so late, because I have been enjoying reading the series. At PAX East, our fearless editor discusses how there is this industry accepted notion that EverQuest Next very well might be the “last, massive, triple-A MMO.” The team builds on last week's question of EQNext succeeding or failing, those implications, and what Kickstarter now means to MMOs.
Veluux, who's Alex Wall over here on TTH, is foraying into video guides. Check out his first, aimed at Landmark newbies! Unless you've done your research, those first few minutes in Landmark can be pretty confusing. SOE is working on creating a better New Player Experience, but until then, check out what Veluux put together.
In a similar vain, Shayalyn has updated her New Player guide. After you've watched Veluux's video (it's a quick 3 minutes!) and you're in game, this guide is a nice reference to keep open as you're wandering around this alternative Norrath for the first time.
It's neat that this week's edition of Landmark's Extreme Homes covers castles and keeps. Just the other day, I was using Shayalyn's spelunking guide, trying to get a grip on the new cave system. As I was farming mats (which is oddly one of my favorite things to do in Landmark), I stumbled upon a massive castle and lost track of time marveling at someone's creation. I'm a terrible builder, I won't lie. The creativity and the craft that some folks manage leaves me completely awestruck!
In part two of Veluux's newest miniseries, he continues to explore how, after ten years of stagnant times, we're finally getting back to MMOGs showing innovation and creativity. In this article, Veluux goes through some of these systems from Firefall and Landmark.
Launching a game is all about managing exceptions, and despite a company's best efforts, this doesn't always work out. While I don't necessarily agree with Veluux here about SOE failing at managing expectations, it is a good read. Still to this day, I talk to people who were so disappointed that SWTOR wasn't SWG2. Nowhere did BioWare say that. Their marketing clearly showed what the game was. Personally, I think a company can only do so much, if the playerbase is completely convinced otherwise, despite reality.
The Fall of Bastion marks the final lore ebook that is currently available for EverQuest Next. It and The Last Stand of the Tier'Dal both offer an ending, each from a separate perspective. Have a look at the final offering, if you're okay with the massive spoilers contained within! Don't forget to leave a comment when you're done.
For a multitude of reasons, there are folks out there who see “voxelmancy,” the extreme manipulation of voxels in Landmark, as an exploit, rather than creativity. Voxelmancy came about from a few talented individuals pushing what Landmark has given them to the extreme, which even managed to impress the development team. While the devs will say they did not intend such minute details to be created, they encourage the community to keep finding new ways to build, rather than wave the banhammer around for creativity. TL;DR: no, this isn't an exploit and Shayalyn will tell you that in a far better way than I can.
In this installment of the Game That Shaped the Genre, the team examines what happens when developers go too far in listening to their community in hopes to please it. We're not talking about genuine feedback and addressing concerns that make sense for your game, but you will occasionally see developers desperately try to please a community by doing every little thing it demands should happen in a game. There has to be a healthy balance between community and developer.
Not much is confirmed or even known about races for EverQuest Next, but we do know for sure that Kerrans will be available. As the lore for the EverQuest world becomes reimagined, the lore for Kerrans could be surprising. Want to learn more about what they're up to for our new Norrath? See what Loremaster Veluux has to say about it.
Deitis interviews Justin Wong after EVO 2014 about his journey to retake his throne as champion. Adult site that you visit in incognito mode, YouPorn, announced it is also getting into the esports business by sponsoring Dota 2 and League of Legends teams. Is this a big deal, or is this just another case of business as usual? Have a look to see what Deitis thinks. WEC is ramping up with qualifiers. Check out the day one recap and the day two recap.
General eSports Hospital
Need some drama in your life and love esports? Here's your weekly crossover of the two. Post StarCraft II ProLeague, it's time for teams to get their shuffle on, as players get restless and leave one for another. Need to catch up on what happened during ProLeague? EthanKairos discusses the finals here. I wasn't sure whether to group this in with LCS or not, but I think it fits better in the esports drama llama section. Lately, there's been some dispute over ownership of team LMQ, leaving LoL developer Riot to create a statement addressing the issue.
The World eSports Championship Games of 2014 has released the games that will be competiting this year: StarCraft II, Hearthstone, Dota 2 and Street Fighter IV Ultra. CounterStrike: Global Offensive is also listed, as a promotional game title. We also see two mobile games included this year: Crisis Action and Dance Everyday.
On the North America side, Week 10 has wrapped up. For a video recap, including MVPs, Justice put together a good overview. The week started off with LMQ having a good gap between itself in first place and the other teams down the line, but ended with LMQ still in first, but now Cloud 9 HyperX and Team SoloMid pressuring from second place, giving LMQ less of a cushy first place spot. This leads into Summer Split beginning for NA LCS. Justice gives his predictions and a rundown of the teams.
Over in Europe, the week starts off with Alliance, similar to LMQ, holding a cushy lead over its competitors. Unlike NA, Fnatic shares the second place spot with no one, and has a comfortable lead over Supa Hot Crew in third. The week shifted slightly with SK Gaming taking third, but it was taken back by Supa Hot Crew by the end of Week 10.
Sure, you've been laying on your couch and, instead of watching the show you keep advancing through in Netflix, you're really just watching game after game of Dota 2 on YouTube. Why sit there and watch old news when you could be a spectator in a game that's currently happening? If you want to move from casted to spectating (maybe you've run out of your daily queue already), check out Greg's guide here on getting started as a spectator.
Gold in Hearthstone will let you get everything you need – new cards, new Naxxramas wings, arena games, arcane dust – but people like me don't really know what we're doing in Hearthstone. Sure, I could use actual real money for all of these things, but I'm not that invested in Hearthstone and I feel there would be more satisfaction in having a goal and accomplishing it through work. Luckily, for clueless people like me (or those of you who just need some help improving your game), GG Master has a nice guide on how to earn gold in Hearthstone.
The Plague Quarter is now open and available for players to purchase, either with 700 gold or 700 real life pennies. As with the Arachnid Quarter, after you complete the wing, you have the opportunity to go back through for heroic challenges. First up is Heroic Noth the Plaguebringer, who can be an inimidating fellow if you try your usual tactics. Dylan suggests using a priest deck in this guide to overcome Noth with ease.
Next up in the Plague Quarter is Heigan the Unclean. The heroic version, Heigan's hero ability now has no cost, so you can be sure he'll be using it every round. How exactly can you take out something like that, then? While Dylan does list a couple of options, he recommends Warlock above all, and hands over his strategy for taking Heroic Heigan down.
Guild Wars 2 Hub
With Episode 3 of Season 2 out now, new achievements are also available in the game. Not sure where to get started or stuck on something in particular? Have a look here for any questions you might have!
Guild Wars 2 Hub also has a general guide to everything you could possibly need to know about Dragon's Reach: Part One.