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SWTOR's Guardian, Juggernaut discipline changes detailed

Sci-Fi, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Star Wars: The Old Republic

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Another day has brought us another Star Wars: The Old Republic dev blog detailing the class changes coming in the Shadow of Revan expansion. This time around, the focus falls squarely on Jedi Guardians and Sith Juggernauts.

BioWare says that both versions of SWTOR's single-saber tank will get new passives, new utilities, and more thanks to the discipline tweaks scheduled to hit the game's class trees in December 9th's 3.0 update.

Gloria Victis implements dialogues and other improvements

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Sandbox

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Should we talk about the weather? (Hi hi, hi.) Should we talk about the government? (Hi hi, hi.)
The Gloria Victis pre-alpha is getting a bit more chatty today with the implementation of the dialogue system in the most recent update. Said update also contains the first implementation of bow-wielding NPCs defending cities, the addition of buff and debuff descriptions, and various bugfixes and improvements -- all good things unless you try to open a dialogue with a bow-wielding NPC and get an arrow in response.

The design team promises that this is just the beginning of major changes, however, with the next patch slated to add the first pass of the questing system into the game. Territory capture mechanics are also coming, allowing an entire nation to benefit from captured lands. So onlookers can enjoy a more robust rollout in the coming weeks as the game adds more features in.

SkySaga videos encourage you to explore its world

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Sandbox

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skysaga
We've got more to share today about SkySaga, that new sandvox that's trying to woo the Minecraft crowd. Radiant Worlds has released a new pair of videos this week that show off the game's playful and exploratory nature.

In the videos, you'll follow a trio of adventurers around as they navigate the various biomes of the world and get into nasty scraps with mean foes. Of course, the biggest mystery here might be, "Where are their arms and legs?" See it all after the break!

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Closers Online shows off gameplay and characters at G-Star 2014

Real-Life, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Previews, News Items, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous

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GI Joe (Anime schoolchildren edition)
Tired of side-scrolling-brawler-style MMOs at this point? Closers Online is a new title coming from Nexon and Naddic Games that works in that mold, allowing players to take on a variety of different opponents in rendered and cel-shaded environments. If that's everything you ever wanted, you'll be happy to know that there's plenty of information on the game at G-Star 2014.

A variety of gameplay modes are available, ranging from normal story missions to special time-limited emergency events that players can queue up for solo or in groups. Players will also have a daily continue limit (possibly offset with microtransactions) and a skill evolution system based on using Skill Cubes found on monsters. Check out the promotional video just past the break courtesy of Steparu if you want to see a bit of the game in action.

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Guild Wars 2's revamped sPvP rewards skillful play, not just wins

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

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GW2
ArenaNet's Justin O'Dell is on dev blog duty today for Guild Wars 2, and his post is all about planned updates to the game's sPvP matchmaking and ladder ranking systems.

"We decided to move to a score-based search method that takes into consideration several metrics that we believe are important for a match to be fun," he explains. "We chose a score-based system over other methods because we found that it's a good compromise between the often competing goals of match quality and short queue times." The system will do its best to match players by skill level, rank, party size, and so forth.

Points awarded through the ladder ranking system are determined by final score and odds of victory in an attempt to ensure that playing well in spite of a loss is encouraged and that luck isn't the driving force in ranking.

"Imagine a world where everyone took the saying 'It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game' seriously," O'Dell says. "Wouldn't that be great?"

Norrathian Notebook: Landmark's AI will be a game-changer

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

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It's really hard not to be all giddy and excited about the introduction of AI to Landmark; it's quite literally going to be a game-changer. Some might even argue a game-maker! Only one other feature, combat, comes close to the impact that this system will have on the sandbox. Even then, combat doesn't rival it; it complements it. In truth, it will be an early Christmas present for all those players who've been waiting as patiently as possible for this next step: Monsters are slated to be released into the wild on December 10th. I am sure I mirror the sentiments of many when I say the Storybricks system just can't get here soon enough!

Before you get your hopes up too high, know that this first iteration of the AI system does not include the much-anticipated storytelling features that players will have access to on their personal claims. Those will come in time. But that doesn't diminish the magnitude of what is coming in just a few short weeks. The introduction of mobs will truly be the big bump that makes Landmark an actual MMORPG in the eyes of the world as opposed to "just a building game," an inaccurate description the game's had a hard time shaking. And did I mention, I can't wait?! If you are fairly new to following Landmark, you may not know what all the excitement is about. Let me share that with you.

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Civilization Online closed beta trailer features building, battles, and drumming

Betas, Historical, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Free-to-Play, Sandbox

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civ online
There's something about a good Civilization trailer that always makes me feel downright nostalgic, and I think that factor is the world music being sung. We've got another trailer in this grand tradition for you to watch today, this one from G-Star covering the upcoming Civilization Online.

Civilization Online is currently in Korean closed beta, but from the looks of this video, it's coming along nicely. The trailer shows players working together to construct a bridge over a chasm, build cities, assemble armies, and engage on that most sacred of pre-fight rituals, happy drumming. Check it out after the break!

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TERA's Fate of Arun expansion is coming December 16th

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, TERA

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TERA fans, mark December 16th on your calendars, as that's the launch date for the fantasy MMO's first proper expansion. Fate of Arun features a mysterious new continent, a level cap bump (65), new class skills, new dungeons, and a new battleground based around competitive PvE.

The game's enchanting mechanics will also be simplified, and a new quest UI will "streamline 60 to 65 leveling, allowing players to teleport right to the action, find groups, or turn in quests from any location."

Finally, you'll want to log into TERA prior to December 16th and pick up your free Northern Initiative Pack. It includes rare potions, campfires, buff charms, a white tiger mount, and more. TERA's Fate of Arun expansion will be a free content update via Steam and the game's official website.

[Source: En Masse press release]

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Elite: Dangerous has begun issuing refunds over offline play debacle

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

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Elite
Elite: Dangerous' latest newsletter has arrived, and predictably, Q&A about the game's recently canceled offline mode dominate the post. David Braben reiterates his statements from earlier this week that the single-player mode will still be accessible, just online-only. "Any offline experience would be fundamentally empty," Braben explains, stressing that Elite: Dangerous is an MMO and "technically [...] always has been" and that "always-online entertainment is already a reality for the majority." He also says that Frontier has already begun issuing refunds strictly to those who pre-ordered the game through the online store and had not accessed the alpha and beta; Kickstarter backers and active testers are not eligible.

Of note to MMO fans in particular, the studio boss promises to "take regular archives of the game and the servers, to preserve the game for the future," with plans to release the server code publicly if the servers are ever shut down.

The newsletter also highlights Beta 3.9, which arrives on the test server today, bringing with it overhauls to the map and ship outfitting, new ways to reach the rank of Elite, and open-mic voice comms. Beta 3.9 will be followed by Gamma 1.0 this coming Saturday. The game is still set for an official launch on December 16th.

Lineage Eternal gets a gameplay demo at G-Star 2014

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items

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If you're wondering where in the hell her shirt went, well, you aren't the only one.
We've known about Lineage Eternal for a while, but actual details have been in short supply despite that fact. The game's showing at G-Star 2014 might put some of that curiosity to bed, however, as according to Steparu there's a gameplay demo and a 25-minute look at the game in play just past the break. While full character customization was not available on the show floor, those at the con can choose to play the heavily armored Guard Knight or the transparently armored Element Warlock while previewing different allegiances, outfits, and clothing colors.

As for the actual gameplay... well, if a picture is worth a thousand words, nearly half an hour of moving pictures is surely worth even more words. So jump on past the break and check it out! The demo covers the early stages of several game regions as well as a 20-person quest leading players to defeat various raid monsters.

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Tree of Savior shows off its gameplay at G-Star 2014

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, News Items

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Puppy!  Who's a puppy?  Yes, you're a puppy!
There's no denying that even in static shots, Tree of Savior looks like a very pretty isometric game. The title is on display at G-Star 2014 and showing off a new trailer courtesy of Steparu that highlights some of the game's big field bosses, playable classes, and the general look of the world as a whole. And you can watch that trailer just after the break to see all of these moving parts in action.

Nexon has been confirmed as the Korean publisher for the game, but there are still no announcements to be had about any sort of publication in the US. The game's control layout has been revealed to be a far cry from the point-and-click interface suggested by the overhead view; movement is handled with the arrow keys, and the first two rows of the keyboard serve as hotbar bindings. Check out the video past the break to see if it looks like something you'd like to play in the future.

[Thanks to Yorai Dragon for the tip!]

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Activision Blizzard resolves class action lawsuits

MMO Industry, News Items, Legal, Miscellaneous

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Allegations of backroom deals were sorted by further backroom deals.
When Activision Blizzard bought itself to be freed from Vivendi, there was no shortage of unhappy shareholders, leading to several class action lawsuits filed against the company and other attendant actors in response to the whole process. Those suits have now been resolved and the case is now closed; the parties have settled out of court, with the proposed settlement seeing some of the defendants paying a total of $275 million to Activision Blizzard as well as multiple insurance companies.

The Board of Directors wrote in a statement that "the transaction, structured through the efforts and significant personal investment of Bobby Kotick and Brian Kelly, has contributed to the creation of over $3 billion of value for shareholders" and that they are "pleased to be able to put this matter to rest."

Adjustments have also been made to said Activision Blizzard board of directors and aspects of the corporate structure, with the company paying all legal fees of the plaintiffs. Since multiple defendants were involved in the suit (including Activision Blizzard itself), it's still unclear exactly who took the hit for this particular lawsuit, but it does mean that the matter has been resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

Peria Chronicles puts sandbox features front and center at G-Star 2014

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox

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because the real test of a game is whether or not you can use it to play a different game which is available on every platform ever.
If you're not looking forward to Peria Chronicles, that's sort of understandable since you've probably never heard of it before now. It's a new Korean anime-inspired sandbox game with -- wait, don't walk away, I'm just getting to the part that's interesting! It's more like a cel-shaded Minecraft, you see, and the latest trailer shows off some of the reasons you should care even if seeing the words "Korean" and "anime" and "sandbox" in close proximity give you the urge to run for the hills.

You can check out the G-Star trailer courtesy of Steparu just past the break. While it only goes over some of the game's features in rapid succession, it shows off floating player-created landscapes, player-made objects with varied functions, and the monster taming system. If that sounds interesting, jump on down and check out the trailer. No sort of US release has been discussed at this time.

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The Daily Grind: Would you play a historical MMORPG?

Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind

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One of these days I'd like to play a historical MMORPG with triple-A production values. Maybe something set in the American old west, or the Renaissance, or maybe even something prehistoric (and preferably sandboxy). Some of gaming's most successful franchises have certainly mined historical periods with great success, whether we're talking about Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, or Red Dead Redemption.

Why not MMORPGs, then? Why does almost every title have to be fantasy or sci-fi? What about you, Massively readers? Would you play a a game without wizards or ray-guns? Would you play a historical MMORPG?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

The Stream Team: Poking around in ArcheAge's PvP lands

Fantasy, Video, Aion, PvP, Free-to-Play, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team

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ArcheAge has had a rough week, and some players are already crying the game is dead. Is it, though? Massively's MJ still sees plenty of signs of life; her adventurous activities have not been curtailed. Since players seem to be drawn to red names like a moth to the flame, what better way to go and scout out the population than poking around in PvP-enabled lands? It may not be the most accurate of testing methodologies, but it's bound to be fun. Will she stay on the Haranya continent or venture deep into Nuian territory? And what about Auroria? Survival is definitely not assured, so join us live at 9:00 p.m. to see just how long she makes it!

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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WoW subs back over 10 million, WoD sells 3.3 million

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, MMO Industry, News Items, Subscription

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World of Warcraft's global subscriber base now numbers over 10 million, and several of those subscribers can even log in and play!

In all seriousness, Blizzard did announce that its MMO is experiencing "growth across all major regions," not to mention that it sold 3.3 million copies of the Warlords of Draenor expansion in its first 24 hours.

Blizzard defines subscribers in its press release:
World of Warcraft subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet game room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Subscribers in licensees' territories are defined along the same rules.

Here's a supra new World of Speed trailer

Real-Life, Trailers, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Races

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Supra fans, here's a World of Speed trailer that'll tickle your fancy. Slightly Mad's upcoming MMO racer has a new teaser focused on Toyota's Supra Mk 4. Unfortunately the video is over and done with in under a minute, but that's still enough time to see one of Japan's most iconic sports cars burning through various environments at 155 MPH.

Click past the cut to have a look!

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Destiny demo now available

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, Promotions, Destiny

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Bungie is dangling a demo of megahit Destiny in front of the three of you who haven't played it yet. You can now pick up a digital download of the sci-fantasy shooter in both the Xbox and PlayStation storefronts.

The download is a whopping 20 GB on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 systems, while last-gen users will only need six GB of console hard drive space. If you decide to upgrade and purchase the full version of the game, all of your character's progress will carry over from your demo.

Click through to Bungie's website to read the rest of the details.

Massively Interview: Designing Neverwinter's Tiamat

Fantasy, Interviews, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

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neverwinter
Massively: Neverwinter players are already facing off against a fearsome five-headed dragon in the game's newest module, Rise of Tiamat. To find out more about how the titular beast was created, we sat down with Senior Content Designer and Loremaster Randy Mosiondz. Randy, is this module the culmination of the game's story to date?

Randy Mosiondz: Yes, Rise of Tiamat marks the epic conclusion of the Tyranny of Dragons storyline! We introduced some notable figures featured in this plot in the Shadowmantle module. Then we had the rise of the Cult of the Dragon chronicled in the Tyranny of Dragons module with their attempts to build a hoard for Tiamat, as well as the fight with the dragon-worshipping barbarians on the island of Tuern. Finally, with Rise of Tiamat, we go to the Well of Dragons, an ancient dragon burial site where the Cult of the Dragon is attempting to lure Tiamat from the Nine Hells.

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Master X Master MOBA getting a mobile version as well

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Free-to-Play, Mobile, MOBA

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It might just be the theme of this year's G-Star: online PC games announcing mobile versions. It's at least true for NCsoft's Master X Master, which should be coming some time after the MOBA's launch.

Master X Master is NCsoft's first internally developed MOBA and is being planned for multiple platforms. The mega-publisher is utilizing cloud technology to create a global platform that will run Master X Master and other titles.

We've got the new Master X Master G-Star trailer for you to check out after the break!

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The Crew Dec. 2, 2014
Destiny: The Dark Below Dec. 9, 2014
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