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DUST 514's Uprising 1.8 patch out today

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, DUST 514

DUST 514 concept art
CCP has released Uprising 1.8 for its DUST 514 console shooter. It's a significant patch on account of the "full equipment, weapon, and dropsuit rebalancing," not to mention new sidearms, cloaking equipment, and new heavy and light dropsuits for each of the game's races.

Cloaking is a game-changer, CCP says, and so "coordinated use of active scanners is vital, and properly placed drop uplinks and nanohives can help provide victory in even the most difficult battles."

Final Fantasy XIV releases the first half of patch notes for 2.2

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

These kobolds do not care about your patch notes.  They're like honey badgers.
Final Fantasy XIV is dropping its next major patch on March 27th. Are you ready? Have you been relentlessly following news on the coming content? Then you'll want to get an eyeful of the first half of the patch notes for patch 2.2. Yes, it's only the first half. And it still outlines a number of huge changes, not the least of which are the addition of a new primal fight, three new dungeons, more main story quests, and two new beast tribe reputations.

Philosophy tomestones are no longer being distributed -- everything that used to award Philosophy will now award Mythology, with Allagan tomestones of Soldiery taking Mythology's place as the limited-per-week currency. Existing dungeons Amdapor Keep and Pharos Sirius have both been toned down, as well, with the former easing up boss fights and the latter reducing the challenge of both bosses and enemy groups. There are also details on the new Venture system, new items available from the Grand Companies, and plenty more to be seen even in this first (partial) list of changes.

Amazons await in DC Universe Online's 10th DLC this spring

Super-hero, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, DC Universe Online

Amazons await in DC Universe Online's 10th DLC
DC Universe Online's 10th DLC is coming this spring, and it will pack an Amazonian punch. Titled Amazon Fury Part I, this DLC begins a three-part series focused on Wonder Woman and the Amazons, including Queen Hippolyta. Aside from introducing the Amazon story arc, this pack opens up the Themyscira Palace District and seaside port for adventuring in the new alert and duos, introduces weapon mastery, allows players to relive moments as either Wonder Woman or Circe that led to the war, and brings a new alternative phase of Gotham City that's under siege by the Amazons.

Amazon Fury Part I will be free to Legendary Members; free players will be able to purchase it. Get a sneak peak at what's in store in the gallery below, then peruse the full press release after the break.

[Source: SOE press release]

[Update: SOE contacted us to clarify that the DLC will be free to Legendary Members, not a pay purchase. Yay! We've adjusted the text accordingly.]

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DC Universe Online's playerbase 'still growing'

Super-hero, Interviews, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, DC Universe Online

DC Universe Online world domination
DC Universe Online celebrated its third birthday in January, and unlike many of its contemporaries, SOE's superhero action MMO is still growing.

This is according to creative director Jens Andersen, who recently told IGN that porting the game to the PlayStation 4 served as an impetus for improving the overall product. "We're in our third year and our player base is still growing; it's been really wonderful," Andersen said. "I think the PS4 was a tremendous help, but the other platforms have remained solid as well. We treated PS4 as a relaunch and addressed countless points of feedback from our existing players. This helped with retention of players on all platforms."

Andersen also seems to be all in with DCUO for the long haul. "I love working on this game and cannot imagine myself stepping away from it anytime soon. We are all very proud of the work we do here and look forward to a bright and continued future."

GDC 2014: EVE Valkyrie coming to PS4, Sony's new VR headset

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Consoles, Sandbox

EVE Valkyrie
Sony announced its new virtual reality headset at GDC this week. The device is called Project Morpheus, and it seeks to turn your PlayStation 4 experience into something far more immersive than the typical couch and controller session.

Shortly thereafter, CCP announced that its New Eden-based EVE Valkyrie action title is coming to both the PS4 and Project Morpheus. Valkyrie was specifically designed for VR devices, and was previously announced for the PC and the Oculus Rift.

We've embedded the new trailer after the break.

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Diablo III shows off expansion gameplay as the auction house closes

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Consoles, Diablo III

Why did we ever travel to Castle Humans Get Killed?
Are you ready to continue the adventures of John Diablo as he fights the nefarious forces of Reaper McSoul? Probably not, as that's not even close to the plot of the Diablo III expansion Reaper of Souls. A new gameplay trailer for the expansion has just been released and is available past the break, showing off the new regions, new abilities, and the new class. The expansion launches next week, so you don't have to wait long to try all of this out for yourself.

The game's real-money auction house has also finally breathed its last today, with the service currently shut down in the Americas. This goes hand-in-hand with the features of Reaper of Souls that are designed to keep loot drops more relevant and interesting for players. If the trailer is any indication, there are still plenty of demons to be slain -- you just won't be dropping real money to do any of that.

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Final Fantasy XIV shows off crafting and gathering improvements for 2.2

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Crafting, Subscription

I guess FC housing just got... crafty.  (Cue The Who.)
Final Fantasy XIV's second major patch is bringing plenty of things for people to fight and kill. But what about players who would rather gather and craft? They haven't been forgotten in the slightest. The latest development blog shows off what the Disciples of the Hand and Disciples of the Land are getting up to, starting with the inclusion of new crafting stations for housing. Crafters below level 40 can earn bonus CP from these stations, making it that much easier to produce high-quality items as you level.

A plethora of new crafting recipes have also been added, including new crafting books that the most experienced crafters will be able to decipher and use. New main-hand tools will also be available in exchange for crafted goods and gathered materials, while gatherers will have access to new resources. Fishers aren't left out, either -- there's new sea life to be caught, fish so rare and unexpected that they were thought to be only legend. So if you don't want to start the next patch off with some fighting, you can take the time and just craft your days away.

The Mog Log: The last stretch before patch 2.2 in Final Fantasy XIV

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, Endgame, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log

Me, I'm on a bit of a low pulse for the game until 2.2 comes out.  Not for lack of love, but you know, you can't run the same things forever without getting a little bit tired, you know?
The past week has brought up an interesting problem regarding the timing of this column and upcoming releases. On the one hand, I had planned to talk today about why there aren't more tanks in Final Fantasy XIV. On the other hand, we also have received a lot of news about patch 2.2, which is launching in a little over a week. Do I push back discussing the patch previews in favor of talking about a larger structural issue?

I don't think I can, especially when the reason there aren't as many tanks is one that's been explained dozens of times in other games whilst still being applicable here. Instead, let's talk about 2.2. We've got a week and change until this drops, and while I've already discussed a good portion of the endgame elements, we've got a clearer picture of what's coming out other than that. So while we'll doubtlessly learn more during the next live letter, let's talk about what we've got now.

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World of Tanks adds limited-time campaign for Xbox 360 players

Historical, Patches, War, Free-to-Play, Consoles, World of Tanks, Promotions

World of Tanks
Beginning March 18th through the 24th, World of Tanks will offer a brand new campaign that's only available for a limited time to players of the game's Xbox 360 version.

Map Madness allows players to combine forces to cumulatively reach a tank destruction quota used to unlock three possible maps. The urban Lakeville map will be unlocked when 10 million cumulative tanks are destroyed, desert-based El Halluf is at 25 million, and the classic Prokhorovka that should be familiar to PC players is at 40 million.

[Source: Wargaming press release]

The Elder Scrolls Online answers community crafting questions

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, News Items, Consoles, Crafting, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Seeing as how it's your fault we're out here, Barry, maybe you could 'craft' us some freaking water!  You're an idiot, Barry.
The Elder Scrolls Online wants crafting to be a major part of your experience in the game. The latest set of answers to community questions makes this very clear, outright stating that the vast majority of crafted gear is meant to be superior to found equipment. Yes, certain items from the world might have unique boosts that you can't craft, but even those items can be upgraded and improved by dedicated crafters.

Dedication is a key consideration: Since your pool of skill points is the same for both battle skills and crafting skills, choosing to advance your crafting abilities will potentially mean passing on more combat-oriented techniques. Other topics under discussion are the finding and use of style books as well as how set bonuses and crafted sets are designed in the game. Check out the full list of answers if you can't wait to make your mark in Tamriel by making things.

Final Fantasy XIV previews the new dungeons of patch 2.2

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Gardening: not even once.
If you've been playing Final Fantasy XIV since launch, odds are good that you've seen what remains of the Amdapori civilization -- a dungeon crawling with cultists. The game's next major patch is going into more detail than that, though, giving players the opportunity to explore the new Amdapori Township dungeon and see what rank creatures have grown to fruit in the decaying town. This new dungeon is accompanied by two new hard modes to provide a triumvirate of options which have just gotten an official preview.

The hard mode of Brayflox's Longstop sees players battling the Goblin Illuminati to protect a secret recipe pilfered by the eponymous Brayflox, while Haltali's hard mode pits you against denizens in the refurbished and reclaimed training grounds. All three dungeons require a minimum item level of 55 for challengers, with the promise of rewards far greater than those of the current max-level dungeons. Take a look at the full preview for more lore and unlock requirements.

Not So Massively: D3's loot revamp, PoE's mini-expansion, and DayZ's cooking skill

Betas, Trailers, New Titles, Patches, War, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA

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.

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The Elder Scrolls Online explores the creation of its music

Fantasy, Video, Previews, News Items, Consoles, The Elder Scrolls Online, Music, Subscription

Anyway, here's Wonderwall.
Music plays a major role in setting the mood of any game. Sure, it might not be what makes or breaks The Elder Scrolls Online, but it would be difficult to get into the feel of epic adventure if the game's soundtrack were played entirely on harmonicas and vuvuzuelas. The latest development blog on the official site explains how the game's music was developed, how it was recorded, and what you can expect from the experience.

Brad Derrick and Rik Schaffer handled the composition of the in-game score, experimenting with a variety of different methods for delivering the songs. At one point the game featured a system that changed the soundtrack measure by measure based on context cues, but that proved unworkable in the long run; instead, the music shifts to a variety of pieces depending on gameplay, weather, and the like, with unifying themes in each environment. Click on past the break for a sample of the orchestral recording, as well as one of the bardic songs performed by the singer Malukah.

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The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV's future patches

Fantasy, Patches, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

It's not about originality sometimes, it's about quality.  Sooner or later you stop asking if the bear can dance at all and start looking for good dancing.
A week after I mention that Final Fantasy XIV's next patch seems a little light, 2.16 comes around and lets us know that gardening is incoming with the next patch. What does gardening involve? Who knows? We haven't been told. I would tend to guess that it involves FC housing, which means that it's a non-entity for the majority of the playerbase, since the house prices are still insane for anything other than a small plot and small remains tiny.

I mentioned some things that the game is going to need to aim for over the course of the year, and all of those remain on the table. In many ways, the game is going wonderfully -- we're hearing rumblings about the next expansion, the first patch did its job quite well, the second is on its way, and based on the current content schedule we can expect a couple more before the end of the year. While we don't yet have a roadmap, we can start putting together some basic guesses about the next few patches for Final Fantasy XIV -- and what they won't address.

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Final Fantasy XIV arrives on Steam at half price

Fantasy, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Promotions, Subscription

Kibbles!  (Not pictured: Bits.)
If you're tempted to jump in on Final Fantasy XIV but don't want to pay the full box price, today brings good news for you. Not only is the game available on Steam, it's on sale for half price through February 25th to celebrate its arrival. That means you can pick up the game for the price of one month's subscription ($14.99), or the collector's edition for just a smidge more ($24.99).

Players who already own the game won't need to do a thing, although the addition of a new platform may well encourage more players to join even before the game launches on the PlayStation 4 in two months. But if you've been looking for a sign to try the game out, this sale might just qualify for you.

[Thanks to Balsbigbrother for the tip!]

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