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Happy Thursday, everyone! If you're not too busy donating to a particular Video Game Kickstarter campaign, why not take a moment to watch The MMO Report? This week's episode covers THQ's financial troubles regarding the future of Warhammer 40K: Dark Millennium Online, TERA's Collectors Editions, and reads your e-mails in Uncle Casey's Mail Bag. Now get to enjoying your weekend a little early and press play.

The MMO Report: Thursday, February 9th »


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Happy Thursday everyone! For us, Thursdays are special because we get bagels delivered to our office in the morning, but more importantly we also get to put up the latest episode of The MMO Report. This week Casey will show you what creepy locations are revealed in a new trailer for The Secret World, discuss the merits of marriage equality in Star Wars: The Old Republic, and read your insane e-mails in Uncle Casey's Mail Bag. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for my third bagel.

The MMO Report: Thursday, February 2nd »


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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic Patch 1.1.1 is now live. Below the jump you'll find all of the fixes that have been issued to SWTOR. One of the most urgent fixes addressed issues with PvP on Illum. Keep reading to see everything they've patched.

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Rift

Trion Worlds is introducing Rift Lite, a way for anyone to play the smash fantasy MMORPG for free for the first 20 levels. Not only will the new Rift Lite offer free play, but it will also come with no restrictions. The service is available now, and it's arriving just in time for Rift's latest patch, Carnival of the Ascended.

“In the past ten months, Rift has evolved at a breakneck pace, through seven massive updates that set new expectations for live MMOs, in features, in content, and in service,” said Scott Hartsman, Executive Producer of Rift and Trion’s CCO. “We think a Lite edition with no time limit is the best way for players to see what an amazing experience Rift continues to be.” 

Carnival of the Ascended will bring new features like Ascended Weddings, PvP improvements, the new River of Souls Chronicle, a new Master Mode Dungeon, Caduceus Rise, an expert dungeon overhaul, and better endgame equipment. 

If you want to jump in to the beautiful world of Telara, and everything else that Rift's first 20 levels have to offer, then head on over to Rift's web site now.


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EverQuest Will Join The Ranks Of Free-To-Play MMOs

With 13 years behind it as of 2012, Sony Online Entertainment's long-running (longest-running?) MMO EverQuest is now getting set to open its doors to one and all with a newly announced free-to-play pricing model. The new format will launch in March, also the month of the game's 13-year anniversary, with the monthly $15 Gold subscription joined by a one-time $5 payout for Silver access or the completely free... er... Free access.

The news is confirmed in a community update from EverQuest producer Thom Terrazas, with the details of the coming change broken down in a new FAQ. The list of which features go with which access tier is fairly detailed, so I encourage fans and potential fans to read through them closely. You can also tune in this Thursday on February 2 for a Community Webcast discussing the F2P features; players are encouraged to submit questions on the game's Facebook or Twitter pages.

Source: EverQuest official website

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What a week! Not only did we get a bunch of info about what a bunch of MMO developers have planned for this year, but we also got work that Blizzcon 2012 has been canceled! Remember, bas news is always more easily digestible when it's told through a manly brush of facial hair. On this week's MMO Report Casey will give you the details on what Dungeons & Dragons Online has planned for 2012, why there will be no Blizzcon this year, and give sound career advice in Uncle Casey's Mail Bag.

The MMO Report: Thursday, January 26th »


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lord of the rings online

Turbine and Warner Bros. Interactive have announced the next exciting The Lord of the Rings Online expansion pack, The Lord of the Rings: Riders of Rohan. LOTRO, which has become Turbine's free-to-play flagship title, saw its best expansion last September with Rise of Isengard, and this one is going to be even better.

“2011 was another banner year for The Lord of the Rings Online with consistent growth for the game, a successful unification of our European and North American services and the success of Rise of Isengard, our best selling expansion to date,” said Kate Paiz, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online. 

For the fifth anniversary of the game, players will be able to join forces with others to ride into the Plains of Rohan. The expansion will bring new areas, mounted combat, a higher level cap, and a whole lot more.

“This is going to be another outstanding year as we celebrate our fifth anniversary and introduce a wealth of new content throughout the year, ending with our arrival in Rohan.  One of our largest expansions ever, Rohan is expected to be twice the size of the recent Rise of Isengard expansion and includes the most new game systems and technology we've introduced since 2008's Mines of Moria,” said Paiz.

For all the details on The Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan and the upcoming updates, check after the break.

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Guild Wars 2 Confirmed For 2012 Release -- Welcome To The Year of the Dragon

Mike O'Brien, Founder and President of ArenaNet, has confirmed via blog post that Guild Wars 2 will be coming out in 2012. As today is Lunar New Year's Day according to the Asian zodiac system, O'Brien and co. have marked this year as their own Year of the Dragon.

"According to tradition, the dragon embodies passion, independence, and ambition. We think it’s a perfect analogy for what we’re trying to accomplish with Guild Wars 2," he said.  "We’re a company full of MMO and RPG fans, and we’ve set out to fundamentally rethink how you deliver an RPG experience online. So this year, the Year of the Dragon, let’s usher out old thinking – the tired old quest model, stiff repetitive combat, and monthly fees – and usher in the new."

This all boils down to the announcement that the company recently finished their first closed beta test and are now ready to hold progressively larger events. 

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Now that the internet has been restored to its full greatness, Casey Schreiner has descended from his mountaintop throne to tell you about what's happening in the world of MMOs. In this week's show he'll talk about TERA's release date, the delay of the first Star Wars: The Old Republic update, and admit he was wrong in Uncle Casey's Mail Bag. I know, that almost never happens. Enjoy it while you can.

The MMO Report: Thursday, January 19th »


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EA has released a new video showing what's coming up next in Star Wars: The Old Republic. While the first part of the Rise of the Rakghouls update has already been released, they wanted to show what's coming up next. This includes new warzones and PvP systems for the competitive players out there, as well as an updated legacy system, new guild features, user interface customization, and more. Check out Games Director James Ohlen discussing all the new features below.

Coming Up In Star Wars: The Old Republic Video »


Out of all of these new features I'm most excited about the updated PvP aspects, what about you?


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Dungeons & Dragons Online Menace Of The Underdark Expansion Announced -- Update 13 Coming In February

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Wizards of the Coast, and Turbine have announced the first expansion pack coming to the free-to-play massively multiplayer online roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons Online. The expansion is called Menace of the Underdark and will launch in Summer 2012. Not only that, but DDO is also launching Update 13 at the end of February, which will bring tons of fun stuff to the game.

The best part of this announcement is that Menace of the Underdark will be the first time that DDO players will be able to venture in to the beloved Forgotten Realms, which, in all honesty, is D&D's most imaginative and renowned setting. Along with getting the experience to explore the Forgotten Realms, Menace of the Underdark will also introduce a brand new class to the game, the Druid, as well as increase the level cap all the way to 25.

“2011 was a year of growth for Dungeons & Dragons Online as we celebrated our fifth anniversary and completed a successful launch of the game in Europe,” said Fernando Paiz, Executive Producer of Dungeons & Dragons Online.  “2012 is going to be our biggest year yet with a wealth of new content throughout the year including the launch of our first expansion pack.  We are very excited to expand into the Forgotten Realms setting with a whole new storyline, level cap increase and the new Druid class!” 

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TERA Release Date Announced -- The First True Action Combat MMO Is Out In May

En Masse Entertainment have announced the fun and innovative TERA's release date. The absolutely gorgeous MMORPG will be out on May 1, 2012. TERA's release will mark the first true action combat MMO, a fresh twist from the "stale and repetitive gameplay that exists in today’s MMOs," according to En Masse.

TERA
allows players to create a character from seven races and eight classes to join an alliance in order to save the world from bloodthirsty monsters. The game will also introduce a new type of political system to the MMO space where players will wield power in different provinces based on their in-game political prowess or PvP skills.

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City Of Heroes First Free-To-Play Era Update Announced

Paragon Studios flipped the switch on a new free-to-play model for City of Heroes, now called City of Heroes: Freedom, last June. The superhero MMO hasn't seen a major content update since the switch, but that's all going to change soon, an announcement on the game's website reveals.

Paragon announced the Issue 22: Death Incarnate update in a news post, running through some of the big feature enhancements, a mix of late-game content for high-level heroes, co-op outings for lower-level players and an assortment of costumes, powers and VIP-only (ie paid subscriber) content. There's no release date listed, but you can expect Issue 22 to arrive soon.

I don't play City of Heroes myself, but I imagine that fans will be able to make sense of the fact that the update directs most of its attention to the Dark Astoria location, which is now a Level 50 Incarnate co-op zone. You can read the full breakdown of features on the game's official website.

Source: City of Heroes: Freedom official site

 


It's Thursday, the best day of the week! Not because it's almost Friday, not because it's Thirsty Thursday at my local bar, but because it's the day we get to see the newest episode of The MMO Report. This week Casey will drop some knowledge about the Firefly MMO that's not as dead as we thought, DC Universe Online's one year anniversary and their 8th content update, and we'll learn how Casey's lineage is being passed on to the next generation in Uncle Casey's Mail Bag! I fear for the future of the human race.

The MMO Report: Thursday, January 12th »


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Star Wars: The Old Republic Sith Warrior Guide -- You Don't Know The Power Of The Dark Side... But You Can!

If you like to keep to the middle of the track in BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic then you'll be happy to know that players who choose neutral dialogue options will eventually be getting rewards just like their Light and Dark side counterparts.

According to game director James Ohlen, "We have a system for people who want to stay more in the middle. But that’s something coming up in a later release. It’ll let you play a ‘Gray Jedi’. Basically you don’t need to go to the extreme to get rewarded. You can have a different playstyle.”

BioWare doesn't want to force people to play a specific way. Once they implement this change, neutral players will get access to exclusive loot and perks just like Light Side and Dark Side players. Luckily they're taking the "Grey" road seriously and are already considering the end game impact of adding in a third morality system.

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