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Expansions

EVE Evolved: What does Thera mean for EVE?

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Lore, Patches, Previews, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
If you've been keeping up with the recent news updates on EVE Online, you've probably heard about the upcoming Rhea update scheduled for December 9th. This mega patch will introduce the new tech 3 Tactical Destroyer ship class, Sleeper incursions into normal space, hands-on WASD flight controls, and 101 new wormhole systems (including 25 that are limited to small ships). The new wormhole systems have had all of their planets shattered by an as-yet unknown stellar phenomenon, and clues as to what transpired there will be hidden in the rubble. This infusion of new content and story will mark the first time the wormhole storyline and gameplay have been significantly expanded in over four years.

Each of the new shattered star systems is guaranteed to have at least one outgoing wormhole leading to normal space at all times, increasing the likelihood that pirates will catch you exploring or farming them. And since these systems won't have any in-tact moons, you won't be able to put up a permanent starbase to retreat to if hostiles appear. I'm pretty excited for exploring this new lawless frontier, but it's a unique shattered star system called Thera that I'm most looking forward to finding. Thera will be the first and only wormhole system to have fully kitted NPC stations and will serve as neutral ground for anyone who wants to live there. It's been described as the Mos Eisley of EVE, a permanent home to pirates, PvP corps, and smugglers looking to make some quick ISK.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at how the Thera system could revolutionise EVE for a lot of players and where the EVE storyline could go as a result.

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The opening cinematic for Destiny's first DLC has been leaked

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Destiny

It is dark.  And you are below something.
You remember Destiny, don't you? Come on, folks, it was only a few months ago. Science fiction shooter? Made by Bungie? It had a cave that you shot until candy came out? Well, the opening cinematic for the game's first major DLC, The Dark Below, appears to be out in the wild via a leak. You can watch it just past the break, complete with ominous chanting and creepy voice over explaining what the title actually means.

The DLC is planned for launch on December 9th for $20, or included as a part of the game's Season Pass for $25. There's no way to confirm if this is indeed the trailer, but it certainly looks legitimate, and it lays out a reasonable story pitting players against the Hive and its ultimate designs on Earth. You can check out the trailer for yourself just past the cut.

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The Think Tank: Assessing Draenor's launch

World of Warcraft, Bugs, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

WoW
World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor launch has come and gone, driven by the chaos we've come to expect from this year's MMO launches. Was it a bad launch... or the baddest launch ever?! In today's Think Tank, I asked the Massively writers, as players or industry watchers, how the launch and Blizzard's response stacked up next to those of 2014's other offerings.

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SWTOR's Guardian, Juggernaut discipline changes detailed

Sci-Fi, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Star Wars: The Old Republic

Another day has brought us another Star Wars: The Old Republic dev blog detailing the class changes coming in the Shadow of Revan expansion. This time around, the focus falls squarely on Jedi Guardians and Sith Juggernauts.

BioWare says that both versions of SWTOR's single-saber tank will get new passives, new utilities, and more thanks to the discipline tweaks scheduled to hit the game's class trees in December 9th's 3.0 update.

TERA's Fate of Arun expansion is coming December 16th

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, TERA

TERA fans, mark December 16th on your calendars, as that's the launch date for the fantasy MMO's first proper expansion. Fate of Arun features a mysterious new continent, a level cap bump (65), new class skills, new dungeons, and a new battleground based around competitive PvE.

The game's enchanting mechanics will also be simplified, and a new quest UI will "streamline 60 to 65 leveling, allowing players to teleport right to the action, find groups, or turn in quests from any location."

Finally, you'll want to log into TERA prior to December 16th and pick up your free Northern Initiative Pack. It includes rare potions, campfires, buff charms, a white tiger mount, and more. TERA's Fate of Arun expansion will be a free content update via Steam and the game's official website.

[Source: En Masse press release]

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WoW subs back over 10 million, WoD sells 3.3 million

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, MMO Industry, News Items, Subscription

World of Warcraft's global subscriber base now numbers over 10 million, and several of those subscribers can even log in and play!

In all seriousness, Blizzard did announce that its MMO is experiencing "growth across all major regions," not to mention that it sold 3.3 million copies of the Warlords of Draenor expansion in its first 24 hours.

Blizzard defines subscribers in its press release:
World of Warcraft subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet game room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Subscribers in licensees' territories are defined along the same rules.

New WoW video is proof that Blizzard hates Gnomes

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Expansions, Humor, Subscription

It's been a long-running contention of the World of Warcraft Gnome community that Blizzard, erm, hates that race with a molten passion of a thousand forges. Now our pint-sized characters have proof.

Blizzard posted a new video today showcasing Warlords of Draenor's updated character models. Depending on how you look at it, the video could either be a cheeky promotion of the expansion feature or a horrific exposé on a developer straight-up torturing a Gnome.

We have it for you to watch after the break. Consider it NSFW if you are a diminutive underground gadgeteer.

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The Stream Team: What really happened to EQII's Isle of Refuge?

Fantasy, Video, EverQuest II, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Livestream, The Stream Team

Did you get enough of EverQuest II's new Altar of Malice expansion last week? Neither did Massively's MJ! She was too distracted by nostalgia to do much last time, so this week's she's diving deeper into the story to find out exactly what happened to the island. What dastardly deeds caused such a calamity? Inquiring minds want to know! Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to watch this EverQuest Two-sday adventure unfold.

Game: EverQuest II
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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SWTOR's Sentinel, Marauder discipline changes detailed

Sci-Fi, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dev Diaries

No, Sentinels and Marauders, BioWare hasn't forgotten you. Star Wars: The Old Republic's latest class-based dev diary went live today and it's focused on -- you guessed it -- Sentinels and Marauders. More specifically it outlines how your favorite dual-saber class will play after December 9th's Shadow of Revan expansion.

Head to the official SWTOR website to read all about the changes.

World of Warcraft apologizes and compensates for Warlords of Draenor issues

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Bugs, Expansions, Subscription

wow
Blizzard is so, so sorry for the expansion launch issues -- and it is trying to make things right.

This is the word from World of Warcraft Executive Producer J. Allen Brack, who issued a public mea culpa on the forums for the problems with Warlords of Draenor's launch. "The quality of the content does not excuse the subpar launch experience we delivered, and I apologize for that," Brack wrote.

He outlined the events and studio response over the past weekend, saying that the team is expanding its instancing tech to reduce queues on realms. To compensate players for their troubles, Brack said that Blizzard is giving five days of game time for all subscribers as of last Friday.

Neverwinter: Rise of Tiamat goes live today

Fantasy, Expansions, Launches, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

After rising, please immediately sit back down.
Who's afraid of the big bad dragon goddess? Wait, scratch that, who isn't afraid? She is a dragon with five heads that can breathe fire, chlorine gas, lightning, acid, and frost. She is enormous. That is scary. Unless you're a player character in Neverwinter, which launches the Rise of Tiamat expansion today; then she's just another target down the inevitable road of dragon-slaying. Technically your goal is to stop her from being summoned altogether, but let's face it, we know how this sort of thing works out.

So what else awaits adventurers aside from stopping the Cult of the Dragon and saving the eponymous city of Neverwinter (and by extension the world)? Well, Scourge Warlocks can pick up the new Soulbinder paragon path, and players of all stripes can pick up new artifact equipment for four different slots (neck, belt, main-hand, off-hand). This is, of course, assuming going toe-to-clawed-toe with the queen of dragons herself wasn't motivation enough.

[Source: Cryptic Studios press release]

Hyperspace Beacon: Concerns about SWTOR's 3.0 combat

Sci-Fi, Classes, Expansions, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Concerns about SWTOR 3.0 combat
BioWare has finally begun revealing the specifics of the Discipline system landing in the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion. We have seen the Bounty Hunter, Trooper, Inquisitor, and Consular paths. We have seen in detail how the Discipline system changes the leveling process in SWTOR. We've seen that tanks become tanky faster; we've seen that healers gain healing abilities earlier in the leveling process. A primary goal of the new system has been to ensure advanced classes learn role-specific abilities earlier without worrying about those abilities being exploited by hybridization.

With characters now able to level to 60, BioWare gave each advanced class at least one new ability. For instance, Deception Assassins gain Ball Lightning, a 10-meter ranged ability that inflicts 2652 to 2780 damage and costs 32 Force. Many of the new abilities were specifically designed to make your character feel more powerful, which makes sense, right? You should feel that your character is growing with each level. But do these changes and additions actually make you feel more powerful, or are they just unnecessary impedences to the current priority flow or rotation?

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The Stream Team: World of Warcraft has a new thing

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Launches, Patches, PvP, PvE, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
Massively's Mike Foster started his MMO career with World of Warcraft, cruising the hills of Stranglethorn on a completely incompetent priest. Later he became a Mage, Death Knight, a Rogue, a Shaman, and... everything but Paladin, basically. Thus, it's only fitting that he dive immediately into Warlords of Draenor, WoW's most recent expansion, to see what's new. Tune in tonight to watch Mike as he investigates some Warlords of Draenor content and attempts to re-learn his PvP-centric hotkeys.

The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EST, as long as the queue gods treat him right.

Game: World of Warcraft
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Monday, November 17th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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BioWare explains SWTOR's commendation changes

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, Star Wars: The Old Republic

BioWare community manager Eric Musco has published a "one stop shop" post that details what's happening to Star Wars: The Old Republic's commendations in the forthcoming Shadow of Revan expansion.

In a nutshell, all basic, classic, planetary, elite, and ultimate comms will be converted to basic commendations. The classic and planetary types are going away completely, while warzone and ranked warzone comms will remain as they are now. There are more details -- including bits about the basic conversion rates -- on the official SWTOR forums.

Warlords of Draenor's rocky launch saga and Reddit controversy continue

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Bugs, Expansions, Launches, Subscription

wow
We've heard a lot of "it's a good problem to have" in regards to the struggles that World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor has faced this past week, as a huge influx of players have met laggy servers, lengthy queues, and DDoS attacks. But we're sure that Blizzard would prefer no problems, period, which is why the studio has been updating the community on an hourly basis regarding its efforts to stabilize the game.

Blizzard says that it's currently monitoring the servers and has seen an improvement in performance around the world. In the past day, the studio has performed rolling restarts, hotfixes, and increased the population caps on various servers. Massively's own writers have had mixed experiences thus far; while we had to cancel Mike's Friday stream because of queues and the servers were down a large portion of Saturday, by Saturday night queues and lag issues were clearing up on some servers, like Bree's, no doubt thanks to increased capacity.

But some gamers are taking their reaction to the extreme. The core moderator of the WoW subreddit shut that subreddit down last night in protest over his personal login difficulties. While the forums have since been restored with apologies from other Reddit mods, participants are still arguing over the events. "r/WoW shouldn't be a hostage," Blizzard bluename Zarhym admonished via Twitter.

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