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Betas

Wakfu heads to Steam on September 18th

Betas, Fantasy, News Items, Free-to-Play

All right, then.
If you've lamented the fact that Steam currently has a distinct lack of isometric tactical-ish MMORPGs available at the moment, you'll be happy to know that Wakfu is heading to the platform on September 18th. The game is currently in closed testing until September 16th, with no character wipes planned between now and the launch.

Closed beta players will receive a special reward in the form of an item inspired by Valve's properties. A thread has been created for the developers to share places where keys are available, for those who want to get in on the Steam testing before it's too late. If you'd rather just wait a little bit until the launch on the 18th, that works too.

[Source: Ankama press release]

The Repopulation rolls out open-world housing and tournaments

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, News Items, Sandbox, Housing, The Repopulation

'Cause every time we touch, I get this feeling.
The Repopulation is looking back over its updates through the month of August and letting fans and backers alike know how the game is developing. The biggest addition was the rollout of open world housing in PvE regions; the team has changed how plots are placed to allow players more freedom in choosing locations. City plots will see a similar restructuring for contested regions. More people than before will get to try these changes, as well; the price for early access to the game has been dropped to $100 and all of the Round 1 backers should be invited to the game's test by the coming weekend.

Player-created tournaments were also rolled out for testing; while the final version will be available in player-run cities, the current implementation is in a testing instance. The minigame system got its basic implementation, and of course there was the usual array of tweaks, balance changes, and bugfixes. Check out the full update for all of the details if you're watching the game from afar with eager eyes.

ArcheAge begins open beta with 800 MB patch

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox

aa
Why is everyone leaving school and work early today? It's the beginning of ArcheAge's open beta, silly. And coming out ahead of this afternoon's OBT is an 800 megabyte patch full of new features, bug fixes, and preparations for post-launch goodness.

The new features with Build 4.7 include a mid-size farm cart, an auto-kick for AFK players, and the auction house. Subscribers get full access to the latter feature, while free players who have never subbed can buy from the auction house but must pay to unlock the ability to post items. There's good news for folks who hoard labor points, as identifying quest rewards no longer requires these.

To prep ArcheAge for fast post-launch delivery, the patch also insituted a number of locked features that will be rolled out during later dates. These features include Auroria and Diamond Shores zone functionality, the fishing tournament, arena rankings, submarines, the Red Dragon, and Hasla weapons above tier one.

Norrathian Notebook: Ten must-see PvP arenas in Landmark

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Guides, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

As soon as Landmark's PvP combat launch date was announced at SOE Live, a number of players dived in and started building arenas in anticipation. Not even hours after the update went live, there were fully functioning battle claims ready to welcome players to their death. Over the holiday weekend, that number exploded. In fact, there are now 10 (and growing) pages of PvP-labeled claims in the gallery to sort through with 50 claims per page. With so many choices already, how do you know where to go to check things out? Folks don't always have the time to mosey through all the choices themselves. That's where Norrathian Notebook comes in!

From the first PvP claim I poked my head into (live, no less!), I planned to visit as many as possible and build a guide to highlight these creations. So I've compiled a list of 10 -- of the many -- Landmark arenas that I personally think are worth a visit. Please note, this list is by no means all-inclusive, and narrowing down the field was no easy task! There are plenty more out there and more coming all the time, so be sure to explore any that catches your eye and send your finds to us!

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Pathfinder Online delays early enrollment to September 22nd

Betas, Fantasy, News Items, Sandbox, Pathfinder Online

On the plus side, that's still a day within spitting distance.
If you're looking forward to early enrollment in Pathfinder Online, you're going to have to wait a week longer; the early enrollment period is being nudged back a week to a September 22nd start date. Why the delay? In short, the last alpha test wound up missing some important features and made it very clear that the features that were implemented still needed some work. Fixes are being worked on, and a few quick solutions are suggested for players participating in the alpha process.

Some features are also having their release dates altered; companies, for example, are now due for implementation after early enrollment begins. Terrain features are also going to have a staggered rollout, with a third ready at the start of early enrollment and the remainder coming later. Take a look at the full update for more detailed explanation of what's coming and when for both testers and fans.

The Stream Team: Lost in Landmark's Rending Deep, a player-made cavern

Betas, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

While PvP is a hot new topic in Landmark, Massively's MJ is still an explorer through and through. And she's learned of an amazing cavern system that's worth getting lost in. This amazing underground system, called Rending Deep, was designed by fellow player Katiari, and we hear it has many jaw-dropping vistas. So join us live at 8:00 p.m. EDT to delve down into the deep darkness.

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Black Desert's non-combat stuff on display in new trailer

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Black Desert

Another day, another Black Desert trailer. It's in Korean instead of Russian this time, but I enjoyed it anyway and I thought you might, too. It's only a minute long, but it highlights many of the fantasy sandbox's non-combat activities, including fishing, hunting, mining, chopping wood, and hanging out on the roof with your cat.

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Choose My Adventure: It's lonely out in Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, Polls, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG

Elite: Dangerous
In 1990, hurtling across the edge of our solar system at around 40,000 miles per hour, NASA's Voyager 1 space probe performed a quick rotation and snapped a parting photograph of the planet on which it had been conceived, built, and launched. The resulting image, known as the Pale Blue Dot photo, features a tiny Earth surrounded on all sides by an infinite blackness. It was this image, transmitted a distance of 3.7 billion miles at the speed of light, that inspired Carl Sagan to write, "There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world."

In other words, space is big. Really big. And it is into this great unknown, this unimaginable void wrapped in darkness and silence, that Choose My Adventure now boldly goes via Elite: Dangerous, a crowdfunded space simulator (no, not that crowdfunded space simulator) from Frontier Developments. With 55 star systems and 38,000 cubic light-years of space to explore, Elite's Beta 1 release should offer us plenty of freedom to sate our interstellar cravings and to thrive or die as an independent pilot.

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PAX Prime 2014: World of Warships balances historical accuracy with big boat fun

Betas, Historical, Interviews, Previews, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), World of Warships, MOBA

wows
A warship is understandably larger and more complicated than a tank or plane, which is why Wargaming is diverging slightly with its third online title. At PAX Prime, I sat down with the dev team for World of Warships to see how the alpha is progressing and what a fleet of ships looks like with all guns blazing.

There are four types of ships from which players can choose when they step into a match. Destroyers are smaller and faster with torpedoes, battleships are hulking gun platforms, and cruisers are straddling the line between the two. Then there are carriers (which we did not get to see) that eschew big guns for a squadron of planes to send out. Unfortunately, submarines aren't part of the mix, as the team decided that they wouldn't be fun for this type of game.

Each ship is as historically accurate in its looks and is hideously detailed, with up to 500 parts and 270,000 polygons. This detail comes into play when ships are damaged in certain sections, disabling features and abilities. The team is planning on launching with around 75 ships between the starting nations of the United States and Japan.

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PAX Prime 2014: Tome makes for a more aggressive MOBA

Betas, Fantasy, Previews, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), MOBA

tome
One interesting trend that I noticed among the up-and-coming MOBAs that I previewed at PAX Prime this past weekend was how there's this real desire to challenge the status quo and cut out what's hurting rather than helping the genre.

Tome may not look much different than its contemporaries, with a grounded fantasy setting and typical setup, but underneath the hood it's sporting a few ideas that should make it more friendly and convenient to a larger audience. The team's decided against including last hitting while putting in handy features such as healing quickly and buying items anywhere while not in combat.

Another core principle of Tome is that it embraces aggressive gameplay. Matches should take 12 minutes or less to complete, with design elements such as hardier minions and limited ammunition towers making turtling an undesirable option.

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PAX Prime 2014: Upsilon Circuit debuts to the public

Betas, Sci-Fi, Previews, Free-to-Play, Humor, Events (Massively's Coverage)

upsilon circuit
I'll echo what Eliot wrote back at PAX East earlier this year: Upsilon Circuit is almost certainly one of the strangest and most intriguing video game concepts I've ever seen. Part Diablo clone, part Smash TV, part Hunger Games, and part Max Headroom, it's a virtual game show there eight contestants fight to stay alive while the larger player audience helps or hurts the contestants as they wish. This is all overseen by a Ronald Reagan-ish game show host who will snark and deadpan the proceedings.

The Robot Loves Kitty dev team said at this year's PAX Prime that the genesis for Upsilon Circuit came from seeing the surge of popularity for folks who watched other people livestream games. Why not take that voyeurism and make it more interactive? Thus, Upsilon Circuit was born.

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LEGO Minifigures Online rolls out a mythological update

Betas, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Kids, Family

It's not mythical, that would mean it didn't actually exist.
With a month or so to go before LEGO Minifigures Online fully launches, the game has brought forth its biggest update yet. So what does it contain? Nothing less than the new Mythology World, which also brings an increase in the level cap to 25 along with its new areas and monsters. The area also continues the main story if that's more of your thing.

Aside from the new area, the Series 11 minifigures have been added to the game, along with the first batch of cash shop figures that includes the Yeti, the Mountain Climber, and the Pretzel Girl. Players can also find their friends more easily with the addition of a friend code, and the loot system has been overhauled to allow players a chance to build minifigures from loot. Check out the full set of update notes for more detail and get building in the game if it's just what you've been waiting for.

PAX Prime 2014: I wonder as I Wander

Betas, Fantasy, Previews, Consoles, Casual, Events (Massively's Coverage)

wander
We've been keeping our eyes on Wander for a year now, and during PAX Prime I caught up with Lead Developer Loki Davison to see how this collaborative exploration title's been going.

For someone who only now got a first look at this game, it was a jarring shift from the adrenaline-fueled rides in booths all around. Instead, Wander is something akin to an interactive nature screensaver. You slowly move through the beautiful tropical setting to poke around looking for secrets and more scraps of the overarching story. There is no death. There are no other creatures, except for fellow players. And your top speed is capped at something like two miles per hour.

Davison said that this style of game is meant to be both relaxing and rewarding to the inquisitive mind. Discovery and sharing those findings with other players to figure out the larger secrets is the driving force here, but if you simply want to walk around as a giant tree with hands or flutter about as a butterfly, nobody is going to stop you.

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Black Desert gets an official Russian trailer

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Previews, News Items, Sandbox, Black Desert

Back in the 90s, I was in a very famous TV show.
If your eyes are closely fixed on Black Desert, you're probably soaking up any piece of information you can get about the game. So you'll be happy to learn that an official trailer is now available. The down side is that it's in Russian, which will render the words of the trailer a bit impenetrable to those who don't speak the language.

Then again, language hurdles have always been an issue for fans of this game in America, and you can still enjoy the game footage just past the break. There's no announced release date on these shores, but with a certain publisher lined up, it's only a matter of time.

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Destiny unveils more raid details

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Destiny

They're like every raid except now they're in a FPS, basically.
Destiny is coming out very soon, and that means future players are probably thinking about what the endgame will be like. The latest update on the official site shares some more details about how raids will work in both Normal and Hard modes and elaborates on the differences between difficulties. In short, Normal mode is meant to be far easier and allow for more diverse clearing strategies; Hard mode demands coordination and execution.

Opening raids for the first time is meant to be challenging; the devs shared an anecdote about players taking 45 minutes just to get in the front door. The developers are confident that players will be able to tackle raids more quickly once the raids are better known. There's also discussion about the weekly lockout, which will save your progress as you move through the raids. Take a look at the official update for more details.

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