| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Buy-to-Play

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

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?"

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

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.

Guild Wars 2 plans a big PvP patch for December 2nd

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

Aw, right in the face.
On December 5th, the first World Tournament Series for Guild Wars 2 will conclude with a showdown between the four best teams across the United States, Europe, and China. Right before that, on December 2nd, the Guild Wars 2 team will be deploying several large-scale updates to the game's PvP. So if you've been watching the tournament with rapt interest, you'll have a number of shiny new systems to test out; if you haven't, you can still reap the benefits of an improved PvP system in the game.

Matchmaking is one of the biggest game mechanics seeing alterations. Players will be sorted by Glicko2 ratings for matchmaking purposes and subjected to a dishonor system that punishes behavior like leaving mid-match. The net result is a full ladder system for the game that will serve as a foundation for large-scale league play, with a test season planned for mid-December to make sure all of the parts work properly. There are more adjustments to be revealed over the next two weeks, but for now, dedicated PvP fans can rest easy knowing that more boosts are coming.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

Guild Wars 2's Tangled Paths update goes live today

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Launches, Patches, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

GW2
Episode six of Guild Wars 2's second season of living world content, Tangled Paths, arrives on production servers today. The continuing storyline sends players on an epic dragon egg hunt through "newly discovered underground caverns" in the Silverwastes. Players who've been piecing together the carapace armor set this season can look forward to a pair of gloves this go-round.

Massively's GW2 expert, Anatoli Ingram, has been chronicling the seasonal plotline in his Flameseeker Chronicles column. Enjoy the fresh screenshots and slightly less fresh episode six video below.

Continue Reading

Not So Massively: Destiny's patch, Hearthstone's lawsuit, and Lost Ark's reveal

Betas, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warplanes, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

NSM
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

Continue Reading

The Nexus Telegraph: Is WildStar's raid size change too late?

Sci-Fi, Endgame, Opinion, WildStar, Dungeons, The Nexus Telegraph, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

You cannot play potential.  You cannot enjoy what could be fun.  You can only play the game that there is, and a pile of wasted potential does not make a game worth caring about.
Very few people are going to contest that scaling WildStar's biggest raid down to 20 people is a good move. Some will, yes, but when 400 players are working on content five months after release, that's a good sign that it's not doing the most basic job of getting people to play it. Bringing Datascape's size down is an indisputable good thing.

The question, of course, isn't about that. It's about whether it's too small a change too late in the game.

Make no mistake, this is a change that is significant enough to merit an announcement, but it's one that just missed the big patch we finally received not too long ago. (My initial reaction to that is middling, for the record, neither bad nor really a break from form or something that justifies its long delay.) I would be surprised if we see this change actually live in the game before next year. And it's a change of more conceptual significance than anything else because unless someone very quietly managed to clear Datascape without telling anyone, the end of that raid has gone unseen.

Continue Reading

WildStar is scaling Datascape down to 20 players

Sci-Fi, Endgame, News Items, WildStar, Dungeons, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Yeah, it's all right to just comment with LOL to this one.
WildStar brought 40-player raids back to the forefront. The game is now pushing said raid size back away from the forefront, as the game's 40-person raid pinnacle is getting scaled down to 20 players. The official post on the subject notes that the number of people entering was far too low and the attrition rate far too high, so the raid is being rebalanced (but not nerfed) to account for having only half of its originally designed population inside.

Several reasons are cited for the changed, such as the game's combat working best with a smaller number of people, the lowered demands on computers, and a consistent raid size for future raid content which will hopefully make guild management easier. While the topic stops shy of saying that the 40-player versions are never coming back, that is certainly the implication. So it'll at least be marginally easier to form a group for Datascape soon if you're able to get through the first raid successfully.

Chaos Theory: Five fantastic NPCs in The Secret World

Horror, Real-Life, Lore, Opinion, The Secret World, Chaos Theory, Buy-to-Play

Before I was sidetracked by Sidestories and totally engrossed in the Halloween event, I talked about quests that I felt were top notch in The Secret World. At that time I also promised to give the NPCs of the game their due with their own spot. And here it is!

Why would I devote an entire column to singing the praises of Non-Player Characters? Because it is the characters within the story that make the game so compelling! The characters' lives, their mannerisms -- they really bring TSW to life. From deep and perfectly quirky personalities to the top-notch voice acting, it's the NPCs that tie everything together and make missions so memorable. And while all of the characters play vital roles (even those who just pop in for brief appearance as supporting cast), these five stars steal the show.

Continue Reading

Flameseeker Chronicles: Learning from Tyria's past in Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

Below the cut is one of the worst jokes I've ever made. Sorry, Trahearne.
The latest Guild Wars 2 living world release, Echoes of the Past, seems to be a big hit. It's nice to see fans so unreservedly happy with an update since the past few months have been a little rocky for GW2, but ArenaNet has hit it out of the park this time.

If you haven't gotten a chance to play it yet, I strongly recommend checking it out before reading further, if possible. There are spoilers below the cut, and hardly anybody likes spoilers. Except me: the guy who flips to the end of the book sometimes. I'm a monster.

Continue Reading

WildStar's Mystery of the Genesis Prime is live today [Updated]

Sci-Fi, Patches, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

It'd be nice to actually learn what Drusera has spent the entire lifespan of the game apologizing for, yes.
It's been a long road getting from there to here, but players who have been waiting patiently for the next WildStar patch can stop waiting. Mystery of the Genesis Prime adds two major new pieces of content: the Defile, a new zone extending off of Blighthaven; and Journey to Omnicore-1, a new solo instance that allows players to explore more of the story behind Nexus.

The Defile includes the Black Focus (which we toured), the Siege of the Lightspire, and a variety of solo quest chains. Journey to Omnicore-1 kicks off the game's ongoing story, exploring more of the details behind what took place on Nexus and how the events on the planet could have long-lasting consequences for everyone on the planet and off. The patch also increases loot rewards from enemies fought in groups, adds rental mount vendors for low-level players, and increases money rewards from quests and junk items. You can take the patch for a drive today; it took a while to land, but there's a lot of new stuff therein.

[Source: Carbine Studios press release]
[Update: Carbine has posted a list of known patch issues on the official site; they include currency display issues, non-functioning gardens, and borky public events.]

Guild Wars 2 previews the Tangled Path for November 18th

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Lore, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

I'm thinking... omelette.  Anyone else thinking that?  Maybe with onions?
A dragon egg exists in Tyria. Yes, we know, dragons are overdone, but the existence of one of their eggs in Tyria is extremely rare, as evidenced in no small part by the fact that the main enemies of the setting are the six elder dragons. So everyone wants that egg... including Mordremoth, the main antagonist of Guild Wars 2's second season of Living World content. And that means that everyone who can try to get that egg will try to get that egg.

Yes, the next Living Story update is one big egg hunt, but it's one with pretty high stakes. The trailer just past the cut is short, but it should get players excited for when the update goes live on November 18th. And who wouldn't want a dragon egg of his very own? We recommend naming it Lord Snugglescale; that'll keep it on your side for sure.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

Continue Reading

BlizzCon 2014: Diablo III previews Season 2

Fantasy, Horror, Previews, Diablo III, Buy-to-Play

d3
BlizzCon attendees and remote viewers got a first look at Season 2 for Diablo III, and now it's your turn to do so as well.

The second season, which starts public realm testing "soon," will add new and beefed-up legendary items, a trio of new conquests, and boots and pants for the level 70 Conqueror's transmorgrification set for those willing to reroll a character. Blizzard also announced a new batch of earnable rewards: "Players who participate in the season will also receive an exclusive full banner set, including shape, pattern, sigil, and accent. Each piece of this set is unlocked by acquiring seasonal achievement points."

Like Season 1, Season 2 will not be coming to consoles due to their occasionally offline nature.

The Secret World's Issue 10 characters, locations, and shield upgrades

Horror, Sci-Fi, Patches, Previews, The Secret World, Post-Apocalyptic, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

tsw
First things first: Funcom's Joel Bylos is still not revealing the release date of The Secret World's Issue 10, so don't get your hopes up when you read through today's October game director letter.

However, if you can get past that disappointment, you'll find a treasure trove of information about Issue 10 details, such as the descriptions of four key NPCs that players will meet and four fascinating locations that players will explore (love palace, anyone?). Bylos also discusses how players will be able to wield AEGIS technology to create protective shields of their own.

The Secret World's Halloween event will continue through November 13th and be followed by a scenario bonus weekend.

A tour of WildStar's upcoming Black Focus area

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Patches, Previews, Opinion, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

I can say it was about what I expected, sadly.
The next update for WildStar has some pretty big shoes to fill. Arriving on November 11th, it's the first update the game has seen since August, when the game abruptly peeled back from monthly updates to quarterly ones. It comes after a round of server merges. It needs to prove to fans who are still subscribed to the game that there's good reason to keep playing and that more content is on the way in the near future -- that there's a reason to hold out hope.

Earlier this week, I toured the Black Focus, the five-person group content releasing in the new region of The Defile in the upcoming patch. Not all of my questions about the zone as a whole were answered since I didn't get to go through all of the quests leading into this particular encounter. However, I did get a chance to form at least some first impressions and see how well this bit of content holds up. And there's a new trailer past the cut if you just want to watch that.

Continue Reading

WildStar shows off the Mystery of the Genesis Prime

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

The real mystery is why she decided to float around eternally without pants.
The nature of the Genesis Prime is one of the major elements of WildStar's story as presented to players on the road to level 50. Even once you get there, though, you still have questions, ones that will hopefully be answered by the end of the game's next update. Lucky for you, a new trailer for the Mystery of the Genesis Prime update is now available, along with a look at the Defile region that should help bring much of this storytelling to a conclusion for the time being.

Inside the Defile, players will be exploring solo content in the Sonic Plaza and the Strain Maw, taking on five-person tasks in the Black Focus, and fighting through large-group challenges with the Siege of the Lightspire. Carbine intends to have content in place for you no matter what your preference is.

The update was originally scheduled to launch in November, but no formal date has been announced. Check out the trailer past the break, scope out the locations available, and get ready to find some answers to one of the game's biggest mysteries.

[Source: Carbine Studios press release]

Continue Reading


Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW