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Aion

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

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

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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Blade & Soul and Aion mobile games announced

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Aion, Events (Real-World), New Titles, Mobile, Blade & Soul

While mobile MMO development seems to be at an all-time low in the West, it might be up to our Asian friends to pick up the slack. Ahead of G-Star-2014 this week, NCsoft has announced that both Blade & Soul and Aion will be getting mobile spin-offs in the near future.

Aion: Legion will be a tactical RPG with plenty of strategy, tactics, and raids. It's being planned for both iOS and Android devices and should run fine on phones and tablets even a couple of years old. Then there's Blade & Soul: Mobile, which will boast a cuter look and a love-story focus. There have been no release dates or windows announced for either title.

We've got the G-Star trailers for both games after the break, so let us know if they get you revved up!

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NCsoft's third quarter report is glowing; WildStar's revenues are not

Aion, Lineage, Lineage 2, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Blade & Soul, Miscellaneous, WildStar

NCsoft
NCsoft's unaudited third quarter 2014 financial report is in. Do you want the good news first or the bad?

Let's get the bad out of the way. WildStar's revenues plummeted between the second and third quarters, down 42.9% (the sales units in the table above, please note, are in millions of Korean Won). Variable expense, NCsoft wrote, also fell "largely due to decreased box sales of WildStar." Guild Wars 2's revenues also fell slightly over the quarter, down 8.5%.

But the good news is that global sales and operating profit are very much up, up, up in total quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year, thanks primarily to the continuing popularity of Aion and classic Lineage.

Lineage Eternal will be playable at G-Star 2014

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Aion, Lineage, Lineage 2, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Blade & Soul, Promotions

Lineage Eternal
​NCsoft today announced that Lineage Eternal, first revealed back in 2011, will be playable at this year's G-Star con in Busan, South Korea. The third entry in the outrageously popular Lineage series was originally scheduled to head into closed beta this winter and seems to share more in common with Lineage 1 thanks to its isometric view and heavy focus on guild warfare.

MMO Culture reports that NCsoft MMO Project HON will likewise be playable and that the company plans to announce a "mystery game" a few days before the con opens on November 20th.

We've included the G-Star teaser vid below; it includes quick flashes of Lineage, Lineage II, Aion, and Blade & Soul too.

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Aion EU community report talks transfers, mergers, and more

Fantasy, Aion, Free-to-Play

Gameforge has posted the latest community report for Aion EU, touching on the subjects of server transfers, the recently failed maintenance, update 4.7.1, changes in the veteran reward levels, and more. The post also addresses the rumors of server merges. In a nutshell, the information is as follows:
  • Transfers are not forgotten but on the back burner until other projects and balancing issues are taken care of first.
  • Winter maintenance failed because a server update from NCsoft interfered with the automated time switch and broke the system undetected; it has since been fixed!
  • Update 4.7.1is being polished and translated, and the test client is expected around December or January.
  • Server mergers are not on the imminent horizon -- populations are still just being observed; that being said, a Rookie/Union server merge is under consideration but as of yet still undecided.
  • Recent measures are showing initial improvement in balance, but the situation will continue to be monitored before any more measures are implemented.
  • The Veteran reward system changes affect veteran levels 31-40, and there's a list of the new rewards.

Aion: Invasion launches today with new zones, dungeons, and server vs. server PvP

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Aion, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, Free-to-Play, Dungeons

The battle for Atreia expands today as Aion's latest free content update launches. Invasion introduces two all new zones, two new dungeons, a daily log in reward system, new world bosses, and a new gear enhancement system. On top of that, Daevas will be able to participate in the open beta of server vs. server PvP!

The two new zones include Kaldor, the burnt-out remnant of what was once the ancient Danuar land, and Levinshor, the colorful territory of Tiamat's origin. Kaldor is home to Wealhtheow's Keep, a place featuring new fortress siege elements. Levinshor is home to new species that will associate with the Elyos and the Asmodians. Of the two new instances, The Linkgate Foundry is for level 65 players and is solo, whereas Igdel Dome is a six-man PvPvE instance.

This server vs. server PvPvE will happen in a zone called Panesterra, which was thrown into another dimension by a massive Ide explosion. There, 100 players from each server and faction will battle against one another as well as baddy Beritra's forces in a massive seige to control the zone. The first live siege begins on November 9th.

For a look into the new content, check out the trailer below and dive into even more details in the patch notes. Then log in daily for your special gifts!

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Guild Wars 2 emerges unscathed by NCsoft's layoffs

Aion, Guild Wars, Lineage, Lineage 2, Business Models, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Miscellaneous, WildStar

GW2
Last night's revelation that a large chunk of the WildStar team had been let go is not the only bad news to come from NCsoft this week. According to a letter sent to Polygon, the NCWest layoffs affected all of NCsoft's western branches... except ArenaNet, which runs Guild Wars 2 and Guild Wars. Here's what NCsoft wrote:
Today we announced a restructuring of key operations within NC West. As a result of this restructuring, we are implementing staff reductions across our Western operations with the exclusion of ArenaNet. While decisions like this are always hard, they are necessary as we begin the implementation of a new strategy designed to strengthen our footing as a leader in global entertainment.

Moving forward, we will continue to focus on our core development capabilities and the intellectual properties (WildStar, Aion, Lineage, and Guild Wars franchises) that have made NCSOFT what it is today. However, we are looking to move into new business segments like mobile and tablet games as well as explore emerging technologies.

Again, the decision to reduce staff was not an easy one, and we sincerely wish everyone well in their next endeavors.
Polygon's unnamed source says around 60 Carbine Studios employees were let go; we don't yet know how hard the other teams were hit.

Aion punts Hackshield, talks transfers and 4.7

Fantasy, Aion, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items

What's up, Aion? Long time no talk. Looks like your EU community manager has released a community report that talks up everything from Hackshield integration to character transfers to the upcoming 4.7 update. Hackshield will be going away, as the devs have "decided to halt the integration and look for something new," though that something new hasn't been finalized yet.

Transfers are also in the works, but the devs have to plan carefully to avoid borking the game's server-based factional/racial balance.

There's no date on 4.7 yet, but localization is current in process and the team hopes to "update you about the content and features of 4.7 anytime soon."

The Stream Team: Celebrating Aion's 5th birthday with GM events

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

Today marks five years that Daevas have been flying about the wild world of Atreia in Aion, and Massively's MJ is jumping in to join the party. GMs will be in the game setting off the candle buffs for an hour as well as offering a chance to win random prizes during this special event. Want to get in on the fun, or maybe just reminisce about the good old days when you were a young Daeva just starting out? Join us live at 8:00 to celebrate this auspicious anniversary -- there's sure to be cake!

Game: Aion
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Monday, September 22th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Aion's 5th anniversary video thanks players, teases upcoming zones

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Aion, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Anniversaries

While Aion's fifth anniversary celebration kicked off early with social media events, Daeva's Day -- with all its gifts and goodies -- is just getting started today. And Associate Product Manager Sean Orlikowski has shared with us a special video commemorating the occasion that highlights a bit of the journey through Atreia over the past years and thanks players for joining it. But this clip does more than just take viewers on a jaunt down memory lane; it also jumps ahead to the future! The second half sweeps through the new zones coming in the next update, showing off the places players will soon be able to visit. Go ahead and take a moment to reminisce a bit about what has been and sneak a peek at what's to come in the video below.

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Wings Over Atreia: The spoils of Aion's fifth anniversary

Fantasy, Aion, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Giveaways, Wings Over Atreia, Anniversaries

Another year has flown by! Aion is turning five years old, and that means it's time for Daevas to enjoy cake and presents during the nearly month-long birthday bash. What goodies are in store during this year's North American festivities? Associate Product Manager Sean Orlikowski has shared with us the schedule of events that span from today until October 8th; it includes contests, buffs, double drop rates, and a special anniversary-day GM hosted event. There's also a special new Daevonian armor set for only 1 NCoin (which is practically free) that even new players can use.

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Aion prepares for September update and birthday

Fantasy, Aion, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Anniversaries

aion
Today's Aion community report is sprinkled with a lot of anticipation over this month's 4.6.2 update. The patch is schedule to arrive on September 24th, bringing with it many balance changes among other game improvements. Aion also will be celebrating its birthday around this time, and the team urges players to look forward to "lots of in-game events" during this momentous occasion.

One of the best parts of the report is already in the game: Players should be seeing performance improvements following work done on Aion's network. The team also said that players will be getting an improved My Aion on the official website at an undetermined point in the future.

WildStar and Guild Wars 2 boost NCsoft profits

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Aion, Lineage, Lineage 2, Economy, MMO Industry, Guild Wars 2, Free-to-Play, Blade & Soul, WildStar

ncsoft
The second quarter of 2014 was a very good time indeed for NCsoft, as the publisher announced today that revenues and profits are up thanks to WildStar's launch and Guild Wars 2's move into China.

In today's earnings report, NCsoft shows that sales went up 20% and operating profit increased 46% from the previous quarter. The company said that it saw a marketing expense increase due to WildStar and that Lineage "recovered meaningfully" during this period.

As for sales per game, Lineage is still at the top with 32.2%. Following that is WildStar (15.9%), Guild Wars 2 (12.6%), Blade and Soul (10.8%), Aion (10.4%), and Lineage II (7.7%).

One Shot: The eternal vigil

Screenshots, Aion, Culture, One Shots, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, The Elder Scrolls Online

ESO
Some MMO tableaus attempt to tell a wordless story, and some of those stories are up for personal interpretation. I love finding these scattered around the world because they invite my imagination to be a part of the experience instead of spelling it out for me.

Reader Chiara came across our first screenshot of the week here in Elder Scrolls Online, and it brought out strong emotions: "I don't really know what this man's story is -- but I can't help but wonder about it since I've first seen him. Did he die there? Did someone arrange his skeleton? I've no idea, but the scene just struck me as incredibly sad."

Maybe he was keeping a vigil for a loved one. Maybe that vigil is not yet over. Who knows?

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Aion's Black Cloud Marketplace celebrates in-game grand opening, deals and freebies ensue

Fantasy, Aion, News Items, Free-to-Play, Promotions

Usually when a store opens in a new location, a grand opening celebration soon follows. Aion's Black Cloud Marketplace is no different. Starting today, players can access the marketplace right from inside the game instead of having to tab out to buy items on the official site. And to celebrate this grand in-game opening, NCsoft is offering a free pet and a special deal! From now until March 12th, players can get a permanent Palmist Acarun pet (a three-headed baby dragon) through the in-game store. Additionally, the winning Shugo Aethertech design by player EMPIREinWAR will become available for purchase; those who grab theirs before the 12th will get 20% off the purchase price. Check out the new Aethertech in the new images below.

[Source: NCsoft press release]

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