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Earthrise goes on sale, looks ahead to expansion [Updated]

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Earthrise, Promotions

Big things are afoot in Earthrise, which is now going worldwide as publisher Iceberg Interactive has launched the English language version in all territories. To tempt players into giving it a try, Iceberg's digital launch will be offered at a hefty 40% discount, bringing the title to $29.99.

Even bigger than that is the news of Earthrise's first free expansion: Territorial Warfare. This content update promises to double the size of the current game world and will let players take over territory, build bases, and fight against opposing forces. These bases can even provide players with resources to further expand their power.

The price drop and expansion will apply to European boxed copies as well. The boxed versions also include a map and poster.

Masthead Studios has been pursuing aggressive updates and fixes to the game as of late, and with the expansion there should be plenty of additional content for players to enjoy.

[Updated: Changed the price to reflect US sales price.]

Huge Earthrise patch brings major combat tweaks, bug fixes

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Earthrise

There are patches and then there are patches, and the most recent Earthrise update was definitely the latter. Masthead Studios has dropped approximately one gigabyte worth of changes on the world of Enterra thanks to the 18143 patch, and if the preliminary discussion thread is any indication, players seem to be happy with the tweaks.

Many of the changes are found in the game's combat engine, with adjustments to core and special weapon damage as well as weapon ranges and substantial updates for assault rifles, precision rifles, flamers, melee weapons, and shotguns. AI line-of-sight issues have also been fixed, and several UI and party-related bugs have been squashed.

There's also an interesting blurb in the patch notes regarding territorial warfare. Specifically, the notes say that "all bases and the environment around them are complete and standing by." While Masthead hasn't publicly confirmed that Earthrise's warfare system is complete and ready for prime time, it's encouraging to see some official progress.

Win a copy of Earthrise from Massively and Masthead Studios!

Sci-Fi, Contests, Earthrise, Giveaways

The Earthrise developers may be taking their time and making sure every detail is just right on upcoming patches, but they've promised fans it's going to be worth the wait.

If you've been following the game's progress since launch and thinking about giving it a try, we've got just the thing for you! Masthead Studios has given us three digital copies of Earthrise to pass on to some lucky readers.

Already an Earthrise player? No problem -- we've got you covered too! We've also got 10 spiffy Earthrise t-shirts to share. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment here before noon EDT on Saturday, May 7th. Let us know which prize you'd like to have (specify large or extra large if you're entering for a t-shirt), and Saturday afternoon we'll draw 13 winners!

As always, take a look at our contest rules. Best of luck!

Earthrise patch coming soon, roadmap features delayed

Sci-Fi, Bugs, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Earthrise

Fans of Masthead Studios' Earthrise MMORPG have waited a long time between patches. According to producer Atanas Atanasov, the wait is almost over. A new post on the official Earthrise boards details what players can expect when the new version goes live toward "the end of this week, or early next week at the latest."

The patch will include fixes for the inventory stacking bug and the problems with party experience gain. The game's shadow renders are also being tweaked, and AI attacks through walls and other solid objects are being addressed. Atanasov also tells us that the previously reported development roadmap has undergone a few revisions, and most of the items on that particular list are being delayed in favor of improving Earthrise's graphical performance.

"Due to changes in our priority list you can expect [a] delay of some roadmap features such as vehicles, inverse kinematics, quest hints on the minimap, and item painting," Atanasov explains. "Our expectations are that you will see them in game in June/July 2011."

Masthead releases Earthrise vehicle concept art

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, MMO Industry, News Items, Earthrise

What's Masthead Studios been up to lately? Aside from bug-fixing and putting out fires on the forums of its newly released sci-fi sandbox called Earthrise, the studio is finding time to iterate on future features for the world of Enterra.

Player vehicles have been an oft-requested addition since the game's early beta days, and if two new pieces of concept art are any indication, the cries haven't gone unnoticed. Masthead has just published preliminary models for two types of single-occupant vehicles, both bearing the sexy lines and sleek stylings of a futuristic hover-bike, swoop, or insert-sci-fi-motorcycle-analog-here.

While there's no word on when we'll see these new pieces of awesome in the game, we'll keep our eyes (and ears) peeled for further details. In the meantime, check out both images in our gallery below.

Gallery: Earthrise

Masthead releases two-month Earthrise roadmap

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, Patches, News Items, Earthrise

It's been nearly two months since the launch of Earthrise, and Masthead Studios is moving forward with long-term development plans for the sci-fi sandbox MMORPG. In a press release this morning, the Bulgaria-based dev team laid out a list of new features planned for integration in April and May.

Citizens of Enterra will be getting some direction in the form of minimap quest hint indicators, alleviating the confusion that often results when searching for various objectives. Earthrise crafters will be able to produce paint that can be used on armor, weapons, and vehicles, and guild diplomacy mechanics will give leaders the ability to both declare war and cultivate allies.

As a result of the February Choose Your Game Feature voting, resurrection mechanics will be coming to Earthrise, and player parties will also be able to share battle points and karma from defeated enemies. Finally, various technical and performance-related tweaks are in the offing, including customizable chat windows, a friends/ignore list, AI improvements, and shadow enhancements.

Masthead adds exploration rewards to Earthrise, hints at player-crafted vehicles

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Patches, News Items, Earthrise

It's patch time for Earthrise, and the sci-fi sandbox from indie developer Masthead Studios is looking to put the hurt on a few of its early-release gremlins. The patch notes for version 17045 indicate that players should notice a substantial reduction in lag and an overall increase in server and client performance. The patch has also added keybinding functionality to the world of Enterra as well as animation tweaks for strafing and walking.

Exploration rewards have also arrived in Earthrise, and players "will now be able to salvage materials and use them for either crafting or personal advantage." The dev team isn't stopping there, though, and producer Atanas Atanasov drops a couple of tasty hints regarding upcoming updates. "We are actively taking player feedback and requests into consideration for future releases, and have extensive developments planned for completion in the next few months, including the addition of territorial conquests and player crafted vehicles," he said via press release.

Gallery: Earthrise

One Shots: It's not all brown

Sci-Fi, Screenshots, One Shots, Earthrise, Post-Apocalyptic

When someone says "post-apocalyptic" to people, it can conjure up the idea of an irradiated, desolate landscape full of twisted wreckage and more shades of brown than you thought were possible. However, if you're one of the people enjoying Earthrise, you have a lush future full of all manner of flora. Never mind that a good chunk of it wants to go all Audrey II on you and chomp your face off. Today's lovely Earthrise One Shots comes to us from Atanas M., who didn't write much of a note other than to comment "cool area."

Whatever kind of MMO you love, we're always on the lookout for great screenshots. Players like you make this column possible! So capture an image in your favorite game and email it in to us here at oneshots@massively.com along with your name, the name of the game, and a description of what we're seeing. Your image could be the next one we post here on Massively!

The P-word: Earthrise first impressions

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Launches, New Titles, Opinion, Hands-On, Hands-On (Massively's), First Impressions, Earthrise, Post-Apocalyptic

Prior to taking the plunge with Masthead Studios' new Earthrise MMORPG, ask yourself the following questions: Do you have patience? Do you like to read? If the answer to either one of those questions is no -- regardless of whether you consider yourself a sandbox fan -- the game's current incarnation probably isn't for you.

Earthrise is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi MMORPG featuring two human factions struggling to rebuild in the aftermath of a third world war. In this distant, dystopian future, nanotech, quantum engineering, and cloning are commonplace technologies, and that's a good thing for you since you'll be dying. A lot.

If you're pre-disposed to sandboxes, excited by complexity, and not averse to a little ganking, the game might just tickle your fancy despite its rough-around-the-edges presentation and sub-par performance. We previewed the game a few weeks back over livestream, but today we add to that with a full hands-on with the game post-launch. Join me after the cut for my first impressions after 10-plus hours of gameplay.

Gallery: Earthrise

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Earthrise launch day arrives, sandbox title available for purchase

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Events (Real-World), Launches, New Titles, News Items, Earthrise

Zomg it's a sci-fi sandbox! You'll have to forgive our somewhat subjective enthusiasm on this one, as it's an increasingly rare occasion when we're able to announce the launch of something other than a themepark with classical fantasy elements. Yes, Earthrise is here to (hopefully) save the day for the sandbox die-hards in the audience, and Masthead Studio's skill-based title is available for purchase in both a retail edition (which features a poster and map) and a digital download from Direct2Drive (which comes with exclusive Overdrive armor).

"Our team has channeled years of dedication and hard work into Earthrise, and we are thrilled for those fans who have been following us this entire time, as well as those who are just now checking us out, to experience the world of Enterra. We are already working on updates and expansion packs to be integrated within the next few months, and are excited to continue to develop and enhance the world," says Masthead producer Atanas Atanasov.

As of press time, the server has not come up, and a couple of us have been unable to enter our activation keys into the account page on the Earthrise website. Fear not though, as we've got plenty for you to do while you're waiting impatiently to check out the world of Enterra. Join us after the break for a launch-day roundup of all the recent Earthrise news, interviews, and videos to get yourself up to speed and ready for action.

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[Update] Get a head start on Earthrise with our closed beta key giveaway!

Betas, Sci-Fi, Contests, Earthrise, Giveaways

[UPDATE: All keys have been claimed -- good luck in beta!]

If you follow Massively on Twitter or Facebook, you've probably noticed our oh-so-casual mention of some Earthrise beta keys. The February 4th launch date is looming, and we've been waiting patiently for the go-ahead from Masthead Studios to distribute our stock of keys.

With the green light given this morning, we're happy to present 1,000 closed beta keys for you, all located on our handy giveaway page! Redeeming the key is pretty simple. Once you have your code, go to Earthrise's beta page and create an account. Then download the torrent using this link, install, and enjoy.

Thanks for your patience, and we'll see you in Earthrise!

One Shots: Linked to the future

Betas, Sci-Fi, One Shots, Earthrise, Post-Apocalyptic

With the NDA down on Earthrise's beta and the game set to launch on February 4th, we're somewhat surprised that we haven't gotten a great flood of Earthrise screenshots for One Shots yet. Thankfully, Cavadus has stepped up and decided to give those of us who didn't make it into beta a little sample of what we can expect to see in-game. He writes in: "[This screenshot is part of] a virtual tour of Sal Vitas, capital of Enterra and the Continoma faction. It's really quite beautiful. I hope you enjoy the picture!" He also enclosed a link to a gallery of the other tour images, if you'd like to check those out.

Are you in the mood to show off something cool you've seen recently? Perhaps you're also in a beta whose NDA is down? If you'd like to share, then email your screenshot to us here at oneshots@massively.com along with your name, the name of the game, and a quick description. We'll post it out here for everyone to enjoy and give you the credit for sending it in. Couldn't be easier!

[Updated] Earthrise launch roadmap reveals a commitment to continued development

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Earthrise

We've known for some time that Masthead Studios' upcoming single-server sci-fi sandbox Earthrise was planned for retail release on February 4th. Until now, however, we haven't known exactly what would be in that initial release and what features won't make the final cut. In an announcement today, Masthead Studios revealed not only a list of key features they'll be guaranteeing to provide at launch, but also a roadmap for further development and releases throughout the year. The announcement confirms Earthrise's release in less than two weeks time on February 4th, with a substantial commitment to continued development on specific features in the following months.

The list of key features promised for launch is as follows:
  • A unique post-apocalyptic setting where the cloned remnants of mankind battle to survive and rebuild.
  • Highly customizable characters with over 100 different skills, abilities and tactics.
  • No artificial imposed "class" restrictions.
  • Fast-paced, action-packed combat featuring dynamic targeting, adaptive power armor and hundreds of high-tech weapons.
  • Sophisticated player-versus-player (PvP) mechanics that let players fight for the established order, join the revolutionary underground, or carve their own bloody path as an independent criminal.
  • Character progression that keeps players advancing in their development with no limits.
  • An advanced market-based economy with in-game supply and demand based on player activities and interactions.
  • Deep crafting mechanics that enable players to design and manufacture unique items from blueprints and raw resources.
Skip past the cut for a look at Masthead's development schedule for 2011 and a first look at what we can expect to be introduced throughout the coming year.

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Earthrise shows off the feel of the game in a new cinematic trailer

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, News Items, Earthrise, Post-Apocalyptic

The feeling of personal possession, of place. A sense that your character's goals are your own. A wide-open world to explore and make a place in. Anything we're forgetting about the intended feeling of Earthrise? Well, we're sure it'll come to us eventually. In the meantime, Masthead Studios has released a brand-new cinematic trailer for the game, showing off the elements that players can expect from the sandbox game slated for release on February 4th.

Putting the viewer right in the heat of events, the trailer follows a young man with a high-powered shotgun speeding across a wasteland with a keen eye toward his destination. The trailer is only a couple minutes long, but it nicely captures the feel of a sandbox game, even with only a few lines of dialogue and the barest exploration of the game's backstory. If Earthrise can deliver the feel it advertises in the trailer just past the break, there are going to be a lot of happy sandbox players next month.

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Masthead Studios reveals Earthrise's European box art

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Launches, News Items, Earthrise, Post-Apocalyptic

It's almost here! It's almost here! Ma, get the kids in the cellar! Pa, grab that shotgun and prepare for the apocalypse! Lassie, Timmy's stuck in a well, so... get on that already!

That's right -- Earthrise's February 4th release date is right around the corner, and we're betting that quite a few of you sci-fi sandbox fans are eagerly waiting for its launch. While we cannot speed up the flow of time (yet -- Shawn is working on that, but he's a busy man), we do have one new tidbit to share with you: the European Earthrise box art.

While the centerpiece of the box is the same saucy blue/white-haired lady looking over her shoulder as if to say, "I saw you looking at my... guns," it's interesting to note that the background silhouette seems to resemble an atomic cloud.

Indulge in a bit of culture today by visiting the Earthrise art museum after the jump.

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