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Dev Diaries

Latest EVE dev blog charts module rebalancing

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

EVE's forthcoming Proteus release will feature the second round of rebalancing work that CCP has termed Module Tiericide. Today's dev blog explains some of the changes courtesy of a sizable chart that shows stats like CPU usage, optimal range, powergrid usage, and more.


There are a lot of numbers to parse, but if you're into that sort of thing, CCP says that it will be collecting player feedback and acting on it prior to Proteus' January 13th launch date.

EVE Online plans security crackdown on RMT rule violators

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Patches, Previews, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription

eve
Players who have been skirting EVE Online's TOS might find themselves on the bad side of a ban come 2015, as the studio is rolling out tougher rules on violators in the new year. CCP posted a security blog in which it outlined how real-money traders will be punished, as well as those engaging in other activities such as input broadcasting and multiplexing.

While CCP didn't post the number of bans it performed in 2014, it did show a few graphs illustrating where the problem areas lay. Banned accounts this year, permanent and temporary, were divided up by macro use (56%), ISK selling (18%), ISK buying (5%), modified clients (4%), ISK spamming (1%), and other (16%).

On the brighter side of news, the team is hard at work on January's Proteus patch with sneakier combat recon ships, improved asteroid belt visuals, and the retirement of industry teams.

[Thanks to Chrysillis for the tip!]

MapleStory 2 begins closed beta signups next week, will include a jail system

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Business Models, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Player-Generated Content, MMORPG

MapleStory 2
Another day, another game we can't have yet. This one's MapleStory 2, the sequel to Nexon's MapleStory, which in spite of its cuteness is still one of the biggest MMORPGs in the world. Steparu reports that MS2 is set to enter its first closed beta phase on January 21st; signups go live for Korean players on Christmas eve.

Over on the official site (in Korean), Nexon further discusses the MMO's jail system, something fans of games like Ultima Online and ArcheAge know well. This particular jail is meant to hold those who make wreckage of chat channels, though Nexon says will punish counter-abuse "severely." What could possibly go wrong?

We don't yet know whether the game will come here, but since classic MapleStory has a global version that's earned Nexon boatloads of money, it's pretty darn likely.

We've embedded Steparu's MapleStory 2 customization video below.

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EVE Online nixes industry teams

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription

eve
Not every new idea is going to take off and be a smash hit, as CCP definitely understands this as much as anyone. The EVE Online developer said that the implementation of industry teams earlier this year has been vastly underused, and as a result, teams will be removed from the game entirely in 2015.

"We have been closely tracking all related industry metrics and dials and it is apparent to us that usage of teams has been very low relative to the goals we set for it -- with single figure percentage use in manufacturing jobs and near nonexistent use in research," CCP wrote.

Industry teams had allowed players to hire NPCs to help out with industry jobs. The feature will be "methodically removed" over the next few months, although players will be able to use teams until they are forceably retired.

On another note, EVE tweeted that it has freed up over six million names from former trial players and has made them available for general use.

Echo of Soul has 'everything an MMO player could want'

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries

eos
"At launch, Echo of Soul will include everything an MMO player could want," says Global Development Project Manager Junhyung Jung. "With 68 areas and over 1,600 quests, EOS offers far more initial content than other games."

Them's fightin' words, Mr. Jung. But also playin' words, too. The above quote comes from a new Echo of Soul video dev diary, in which Jung makes a case for why this title should have broad appeal. He runs down the features list, including PvE content, PvP battles, and solo and team challenges. The level cap is also mentioned as where the game "truly begins."

You can watch the full dev diary after the break.

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EVE Online speeds up game installation and access

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Previews, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription

eve
To "get people into the game quicker," CCP is smoothing out the download and installation process for EVE Online. This new method of deployment is scheduled to go into service at the start of 2015.

This means that the installation package will go from a 7GB download to a zippy 200MB one instead. Once that game client is up and running, it will then download the rest of the game's resources as needed.

"On a fast connection you probably won't notice much of a difference -– load times may be slightly longer at times. As you play more, more resources will be cached and fewer and fewer need to be downloaded. The client will be smart about pre-fetching resources it expects will be needed soon," the team said.

The Elder Scrolls Online's Undaunted Pledge system promotes daily dungeons

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Guides, Dev Diaries, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO
Are you wandering around The Elder Scrolls Online in a post-Update 5 haze, lost on what to do? Wander no more: ZeniMax has released a dev blog today to give you some guidance.

The guide details the pledge system of the Undaunted, whose tasks are reminiscent of daily dungeon quests in other themeparks. Starting at level 45, players can swear themselves to the Undaunted faction, which offers two daily quests to complete dungeons, one veteran and one not. Depending on how well they complete the dungeon and the difficulty of the encounter, players will be awarded reputation with the faction as well as a key to unlock a sweet chest of loot. "The Undaunted chests can contain a variety of helpful loot, from valuable Ornate items and soul gems to unique items sets and attention-grabbing shoulder pieces fashioned from the very brutes you've slain," writes ZOS.

The full guide is on the official site.

Guild Wars 2 is revamping dailies... again

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

GW2
ArenaNet has just announced that it's revamping Guild Wars 2's daily achievements... again. "We want to give players the opportunity to try things they may not normally experience and feel like the rewards they earn for doing so mean something," says the studio. "Rather than [give] a generic reward for all achievements, each one will give players something that is thematically tied to the content they're playing." Completing dailies will allow players to earn everything from achievement points to fractal relics and badges of honor, depending on the daily's difficulty and type (PvE, PvP, WvW).

The studio is also rolling out a new achievement track that replaces the old monthlies system and rewards players just for logging in. "One way to think of this is like a holiday calendar that gives you a new present from ArenaNet each day," the devs write. "There are 28 individual rewards on the track, each one building toward an epic chest containing a permanent 1% increase to account gold find and your choice of either ascended crafting materials, materials necessary for crafting your legendary weapon (including mystic clovers), an additional sum of laurels, or tomes of knowledge."

Yesterday, the studio revealed that the ongoing season two plotline will be on hiatus through the holidays, being replaced by Wintersday. Season two resumes on January 13th.

CCP dev blog talks PBR and 'making EVE look real'

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

Have you ever wondered about the math behind the visuals in your favorite games? If so, look no further than the latest EVE Online dev blog, which regales us with tales of the Phong Reflection Model and how it's giving way to something called Physically Based Rendering or PBR.

The post features a bunch of equations, literally, and plenty of associated smart-person talk. Fortunately for me it also features quite a few pretty pics of internet spaceships! You can read it for yourself via the links below.

EVE Evolved: The Sleepers are coming!

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Game Mechanics, Lore, Patches, Previews, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, Roleplaying, EVE Evolved, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
Ever since the announcement of 100 new wormhole systems and the unique Thera wormhole hub system, some interesting things have been going on in EVE Online. A new star appeared in the night sky and began rapidly growing in brightness like a supernova, and curiously, the light from that star was able to be seen from every star system in New Eden simultaneously in clear violation of the laws of physics. Two days prior to the event, Sansha's Nation were seen scattering from an Incursion site and leaving the area without using wormholes, hinting that something big was happening in their home system. Combined with the intruiging story of Thera, this has had even non-roleplayers scrambling through the EVE lore to come up with theories about what's to come.

Players slowly set apart picking the mystery to pieces, conducting a galaxy-wide search to find the origin of the bright star and sending people into the test server to get clues. The mystery intensified when players discovered that the star was likely near or within restricted Jove space, and soon after they began finding strange cloaked structures throughout known space. While observing these structures, players even found that an all-new form of Sleeper NPC called the Circadian Seeker was periodically warping into the site and using some kind of scanning beam on the cloaked structure. All of this comes in anticipation of the public release of the Rhea patch on Tuesday 9th, which will introduce hidden Sleeper sites in known space and kick off the arms race to discover tech 3 destroyers.

In this lore-heavy edition of EVE Evolved, I look at everything we know of EVE's new Sleeper storyline event and try to figure out how it all fits together.

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Camelot Unchained tackles building systems, ability crafting

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Camelot Unchained

Camelot Unchained
City State Entertainment has continued its daily Camelot Unchained updates with another batch of notes on the ongoing state of the build as the team gears up for alpha testing in 2015.

Studio boss Mark Jacobs says that his crew has done a first pass on the building system as well as the ability crafting system UI, mage VFX and casting, and the grass system. The team is also working on improvements to client performance. "Last month we rocked the network and PhysX side," Jacobs wrote. "Now we begin to do the same on the client side."

Critical improvements to duck pedestal collision are also included in the notes. Check the whole list out on the official site to understand that joke.

EVE's Rhea tweaks star map functionality

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

Rhea's on final approach, and EVE Online developer CCP has published another dev blog designed to clue pilots into the patch's new features. Today's installment tackles the star map, which has been tweaked with new visuals, a windowed mode, and zoom functionality that represents the beginnings of a consolidation project that will marry the star map with EVE's solar system map.

There are some smaller changes as well, so click through to the dev blog to learn more.

Star Citizen's November report is long, informative

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Star Citizen

Welcome back, Star Citizen fans, curious onlookers, and trolls of all shapes and sizes. It's that time of the month where Cloud Imperium publishes an absurdly huge wall-of-text detailing exactly what it's doing with its crowdfunding windfall and provides some fairly unique insight into the making of a triple-A online game.

But, eh, why bother reading all that when you can just skip to the comments and call it vaporware? On your marks, get set, go!

[Thanks for the tip, Cardboard.]

Elder Scrolls Online says there's still 'work to do' on its console version, no launch date yet

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Consoles, Dev Diaries, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

eso
The self-imposed six-month delay of Elder Scrolls Online's console release has come and gone, and it looks as though fans will be waiting a while yet to see the title come to Xbox One and PlayStation 4. In a new Road Ahead post, the team admits that the adaptation has been tricky but that progress is being made.

"We have been (and will continue to be) steadily working on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of ESO. They are playable and fun right now, but there's still some work to do before we can set an official launch date," Game Director Matt Firor said. He mentioned that, among other tasks, the team is designing a new UI from the ground-up and adding voice chat for the consoles.

Firor also discussed Update 6, which is scheduled for January. The update will contain the new champion and justice systems, the latter of which will allow players to pickpocket NPCs and steal from vendors. However, this will be but the first pass for the justice system, as PvP will be integrated at a later date.

Age of Conan gives rewards for testing achievement system

Fantasy, Age of Conan, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries

aoc
Age of Conan is hopping on board this cool, hip achievement train that all of the kids are talking about these days with its Update 4.5. In November's game director letter, Joel Bylos said that the upcoming achievements will be merely "the first wave" in an ever-expanding system. In fact, if players help the team test achievements before they go live, they will be given a random pet as a thank-you.

Bylos said that work is also progressing on revamping the world boss event "to provide a more entertaining experience." He also asked the community for its input on which one of two styles of lore entries that players preferred.

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