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Landmark
Your Next: Selfish Gamers

Being part of SOE's development of Landmark and EverQuest Next has so far been a strange and unique process, at times it feels like watching a Rube Goldberg machine assemble itself. We don't understand how everything fits together because we don't know yet, it's never been done. Frankly, I doubt that SOE knows how it all fits together; opportunities emerge as they build the tools to make the platform to build the tools. Opening the crate with the crowbar that's inside it.

SOE Live offers a convenient point of punctuation—it’s a great time to look back and take stock of how far we've come in such a short time while looking ahead at the ever clearer path in front of us.

Over a year ago during SOE Live 2013, I became hopelessly enamoured with the idea these games represented. Whether it's a case of cognitive bias or not, I must say being part of this experience has so far exceeded my expectations and I am consistently floored by the innovation of this unprecedented project.

Of course there's a long way to go, but right now I'm glad it's happening at all. Those of you who follow the news of the industry at large will be aware of the awful events of the last couple of weeks. We all know an unfortunate side effect of the anonymity the internet provides is giving a mouthpiece to people who don't think some other people's experiences are valid. So called 'gamer culture' has provided a breeding ground for these hateful fantasists, the themes and marketing strategies of the AAA game industry tend to play into their delusions.

So we must endure the death throes of this weak and petty bunch, all the while maintaining our superiority, because we are selfish enough to want others to be included.

Did I say selfish? Surely they are the selfish ones? Don't worry, it's just a trick – read on for the delightfully hyperbolic rhetoric!

When discussing accessibility in MMOs, I often refer to my selfishness. Because I am selfish, I want other people to enjoy playing the games I do; I want them to be knowledgeable and competent and feel empowered in the way that I do because improving their game experience improves my own.

It's the same with the game industry as a whole. I want all types of people to feel included, respected and valued because I am an awful, selfish man who wants games to be the best and most interesting they can be.

This is why I tend to champion instances of user generated content, social cohesion and player agency in games. I think it makes them more challenging, interesting and ultimately exciting. It might not always make them better, they might not be any more fun and judging by suggestions on forum posts we can expect more misses than hits.

Gigantic
Gigantic: Two New Heroes Announced!

This weekend at PAX Prime, Motiga announced two more playable heroes for their upcoming game Gigantic. Both of the new heroes are females, but the similarities end there.

General News
Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series

At the 2013 Spike VGX video game awards, Telltale Games announced that they were making a new game series set in the Game of Thrones universe. This week, Telltale took to Twitter to post the above teaser for the game, the first bit of information that has been released for the series.

ArcheAge
Trion Drops a Load of Announcements at PAX

Trion Worlds has announced a myriad of timelines, expansions and launch dates for their four titles: ArcheAge, Defiance, RIFT and Trove.

Final Fantasy XI
Double Synthesis Skill Increase Campaign!

 Been needing to work on your crafts, but hate spending hours synthing only to come up with minimal results? You're in luck! From September 5th through the 6th, Square Enix is running the Double Synthesis Skill Increase Campaign! So be sure to collect your crystals and mats and gather your crafting kits to take advantage of this special event!

What are your thoughts on this upcoming campaign? Let us know over on the ZAM forums!

Final Fantasy XI
Goblin Mystery Box Revamp

 In the upcoming September version update of Final Fantasy XI, several changes will be implemented for the Goblin Mystery Box system! An additional dial will be added for weapons, armor, and magic scrolls that can be opened once per day, with the remaining dials being altered to pull rewards from specific items. In addition, several Mystery Boxes will be added to various areas of Vana'diel, making it easier to find a local gobbie to collect rewards!

Excited for these changes? Let us know over on the ZAM forums!

Final Fantasy XI
Adventurer Appreciation Campaign

 Have you actively been playing Final Fantasy XI between July 1st and August 31st? You're in luck, for Square Enix is rewarding you with the Active Adventurer Appreciation Campaign! Eligible players will have a special Red Mog Pell delivered to them by mail that can be exchanged for various prizes, including Burning Circle seals, Skirmish items, special ciphers, and more!

 For a full list of the available rewards, check below the break! What are your opinions of the campaign? Let us know all about it over on the ZAM forums!