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Expansions

Enter at Your Own Rift: Which Nightmare Tide edition is right for you?

Fantasy, Expansions, Opinion, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Enter at Your Own Rift

rift
I was fully expecting RIFT: Nightmare Tide to be out by the time I sat down to write this, but then the delay happened and I had a little unasked-for breathing room to figure out what I was going to discuss while we waited for the expansion to come out. The good news is that it should be releasing tomorrow, and we'll all be well on our way to enjoying both new high- and low-level content.

However, there's one big question that each RIFT player needs to answer for her or himself, which is, "Which edition of the expansion is right for me?" Unlike some other MMOs, RIFT is not charging for its expansion at all. Trion Worlds did announce a trio of collector's editions as optional purchases, and since each of these editions has an impact on how we experience the new content, I thought it well worth examining the qualities of each as well as the benefit of not paying for it at all.

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EQII's Altar of Malice pricing, bonuses announced

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Expansions, Free-to-Play

During my recent dev tour of EverQuest II's upcoming Altar of Malice expansion, Senior​ Producer Holly Longdale revealed the new part Shaman/part Warrior elite merc that comes with the purchase of the collectors edition and said "We're really excited about what we're offering there -- some really special stuff this year." And now we've got all those details!

The standard edition will cost $39.99 and comes with a special housing item. This large painting depicts an AoM scene of an angry Lanys T'Vyl and plenty of skulls. The collectors addition for $89.99 adds the elite battle-mystic mercenary Kluuron V'Lon as well a Striped Savage Pterodon flying mount, a tyrannodon house pet, two 40-day spell research potions, three Gems of Armor Advancement, and a multi-appearance mage tower housing item to teleport to the new content. Check out what each bonus looks like in the gallery below.

Altar of Malice is available to November 11th for All Access members (who also get 10% off the purchase prices) and on November 28th for everyone else.

The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV's post-fanfest shakedown

Fantasy, Business Models, Classes, Expansions, Patches, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

Honestly, if the existence of the cash shop is the only rude surprise awaiting us, I'll be happy.
So Final Fantasy XIV players like yours truly have a mouthful of fanfest information to chew on. How did it all shake down, in the final assessment?

Well, I'm not going to lie: My aim was mixed at best. A minority of demo stations covering content I hadn't anticipated, patch 2.4 a week after my prediction, and mentions of 2.5 in brief. But we did get gear details and an expansion announcement. I'd call it a mix and a wash, at the end of the day. You tried, gold star, etc.

But enough about what I did and didn't get right; there's plenty more to talk about from the various panels, the Live Letter, and other revelations. So let's start in on it, kicking off with the elephant in the room that I've already been hearing about for the entirety of the past day for obvious reasons. Yes, it's a cash shop.

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EVE Vegas 2014 roundup: Tech 3 destroyers, permadeath and more

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, Previews, News Items, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

An event that started out several years ago as an impromptu EVE Online player gathering, EVE Vegas has grown so large that this year it was was officially taken over by developer CCP Games. This year's event was organised like a mini-Fanfest, with Executive Producer Andie Nordgren's keynote address and some interesting talks from both players and developers. Players got a chance to compare notes with developers on the game's recent progress, CCP let out a few exciting reveals, and the whole event was streamed live to viewers at home for free.

This year's big reveal was a new tech 3 Tactical Destroyer ship class that can transform into one of several tactical configurations mid-fight to boost power to the engines, shields, or weapons as required. We also heard rumblings of new "glass cannon" weapons that deal increased damage but lower your ship's damage resistances, and CCP tested the public response to the controversial idea of adding permadeath characters to EVE. Player talks were equally informative, giving insights into the world of nullsec Fleet Command and the custom Region Commander software that the game's biggest coalitions use to maintain their grip on power.

If you missed out on the event, read on for links to Massively's coverage of the stream or to watch the stream recordings for yourself.

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EVE Vegas 2014: CCP on the new player experience and permadeath

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

Every time some huge scandal or record-breaking battle erupts in EVE Online, thousands of new players flood into the game ready to create epic stories of their own. Confronted with a confusing interface and a practically mandatory tutorial that takes most of the day to complete, most of those players, unsurprisingly, don't stick around. The past few updates have improved things by adding tooltips to the main UI elements and introducing a new notification system, but there's more to come.

At EVE Vegas 2014 this weekend, CCP Rise discussed his plans for a new Opportunities system that will replace the tutorial. To help design the system, developers got together groups of gamers who had never played before and dropped them into EVE with little to no instructions. The playtests highlighted a lack of action compared to expectations and showed how confusing things like the map, station UI, and hangar inventory system can be for newcomers. Many of these problems are very easily fixed and may even be solved in one of the two remaining patches this year.

In an interesting move, Rise went on to talk about his idea to add a form of permadeath to EVE Online. Although you lose your ship when you die in EVE, it's actually only a financial loss as your character is reborn in a fresh clone. What Rise wants is for people to make new mortal characters with no clones and a fixed number of skillpoints to allocate to skills. It's possible that this could close the gap between old and new players by allowing newbies to purchase single lives with the focused combat skills of a veteran. This isn't something that will be introduced any time soon or even that's definitely coming, but the fact that CCP is talking about the idea publicly now is intriguing.

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Final Fantasy XIV announces its first expansion, Heavensward

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Called it.
The Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival is currently underway in Las Vegas, and the keynote speech brought with it the big announcement many people were waiting for: The game's first expansions has been announced for spring 2015. Heavensward will focus on the city-state of Ishgard, as seen in the trailer embedded just past the break.

Gamer Escape's liveblog of the keynote notes that the expansion will feature a level cap increase to level 60, new jobs, a new race (albeit with an as-yet-unconfirmed identity), new primals, and new high-end content. More information will be available at the London fanfest taking place next week. For now, players will just have to speculate a bit on what the future holds. (The smart money, of course, is on dragons. Lots and lots of dragons. It's kind of an Ishgardian thing.)

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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EVE Vegas 2014: December's Rhea update adds tech 3 destroyers

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Classes, Culture, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

During the Keynote speech at EVE Vegas 2014, EVE Online developers revealed some big news for the game's next two major updates. We heard the broad strokes of CCP's plans at the latest EVE Fanfest back in March, when it was revealed that the company would switch from releasing two expansions per year to around ten smaller releases. The upcoming Phoebe release planned for November 4th will improve Tech 2 Invention, improve life in the lawless nullsec regions with heavy nerfs to capital ship movement, and introduce a highly requested unlimited length skill queue system.

While players are certainly looking forward to Phoebe, it's December's Rhea update that will really pack a punch. The Blackbird, Falcon, and Rook electronic warfare ships will get new models, and a new type of freighter codenamed the "Tug" will be introduced that can move large numbers of fitted ships around the game. But the big news coming out of EVE Vegas 2014 today is that a completely new set of tech 3 ships will be added for the first time since 2009's Apocrypha expansion. The new ships are tactical destroyer, and they aren't just smaller versions of the tech 3 strategic cruisers.

Instead of being built out of a set of subsystems, tactical destroyers will have the ability to switch between several modes on the fly, transforming them from snipers or tanks to speed demons as required. If you've ever wanted to transfer full power to your engines or shields like something out of Star Trek, these new ships are for you. Thanks to winning a recent research race event, the Amarr version of the ship will be released before the other races.

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RIFT's newest dungeon is called the Citadel of Insanity

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, RIFT, Dungeons

Citadel of Insanity has a nice ring to it, don't you think? It'd probably make a swell guild name or at the very least, a subforum title on a particularly crotchety MMORPG message board.

Alas, Trion has already put it to work as the name of a new RIFT dungeon. It includes a giant armored crustacean called Glacieus, a "massive nightmare worm," and a couple of other bosses who may cause your party to break a sweat.

You can read all about the new dungeon on RIFT's official website.

World of Warcraft gives players a 100% chance to get heirlooms for Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Subscription

wow
The World of Warcraft faithful are busy devouring the recent Patch 6.0.2 in anticipation for the much larger expansion pack that's coming next month. To help players prepare for Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard is currently running a Smash 'n Grab event that will award players prized heirlooms.

By running any difficulty level of Siege of Orgrimmar, players will get a 100% chance to obtain their first Garrosh weapon if they haven't already for that difficulty. The caveat is that players will have to run this without the assistance of the raid finder.

The Smash 'n Grab event is currently running and will end on November 13th.

Star Trek Online's Delta Rising cinematic has... arisen

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play

STO
Star Trek Online's Delta Rising expansion technically went live yesterday, but today's the official launch, and that means a brand-new cinematic and fresh screenshots. The update bumps the character level cap to 60, ushers in a partial Voyager cast, and adds a new tier of ships, gear, and officers to the roster. Enjoy the trailer and pics!

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World of Warcraft moves toward Warlords of Draenor with Patch 6.0.2

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, Promotions, Subscription

wow
You won't need to wait until next month to start experiencing Warlords of Draenor, as the expansion's preparation patch released today with several new features.

Patch 6.0.2: The Iron Tide will destroy World of Warcraft's famous Dark Portal landmark, prune away some class abilities, enact the talked-about "stat squish," update most of the racial models with better visuals, put in a toybox, include a special revised version of the Upper Blackrock Spire dungeon, and add prologue quests in the Blasted Lands against the Iron Horde.

With the patch also comes a change in the game's retail package. The Mists of Pandaria expansion is now bundled with with the rest of World of Warcraft and is on sale for $20. You can get an overview of Patch 6.0.2 in the video after the jump.

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Star Trek Online: Delta Rising is live today

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Launches, Patches, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Subscription

I look forward to the patch in which Kate Mulgrew reveals that Janeway is now running a kitchen in a prison.
It's time to start boldly going all over again. Star Trek Online's second expansion, Delta Rising, is live today. That means that players can find their way into the Delta Quadrant, explore an expanded level cap, and take flight in a new set of starships as they take on familiar and yet novel enemies. The expansion also brings in several veteran Star Trek actors to reprise their roles: Robert Picardo (The Doctor), Garrett Wang (Harry Kim), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine), Tim Russ (Tuvok), and Ethan Phillips (Neelix).

Delta Rising introduces captain specializations for leveling past the previous cap of 50, allowing players to reach the ranks of Fleet Admiral and Dahar Master while exploring new specialization trees and unlocking passive and active benefits. But there's no need to take our word for it, as the expansion is live now. Log in, patch up, and head out into the Delta Quadrant.

Sneaking a peek at EQII's Altar of Malice with SOE

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, EverQuest II, Expansions, Interviews, Free-to-Play

When EverQuest II's next expansion, Altar of Malice, was announced at SOE Live in August, we heard about upcoming features, perused concept drawings, and even saw some screenshots. As exciting as all that can be, nothing compares to actually getting in the game and seeing the living breathing world of Norrath. And that's exactly what I got to do last week on a tour with Senior​ Producer Holly Longdale and Creative Director Akil Hooper.

While we have to wait a bit longer to hear more about the Aerakyn (the new winged dragonkind race) and what special goodies will be included in the collector's edition, the tour of the zones allowed me to bask in the beauty of the artwork while weaving through dinosaurs, pygmies, and my favorite-yet-long-lost starting zone. And it definitely made me even more excited for the upcoming release of Altar of Malice!

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Try out an early discipline builder for Star Wars: The Old Republic

Sci-Fi, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Subscription

How dare the system change to accomodate the way it's actually playing in a practical sense.
Star Wars: The Old Republic players will have to adjust to a new system of leveling and advancing when the Discipline system goes live with the expansion. But you can start preparing yourself, at least. A prototype Discipline Calculator is now available on Dulfy.net courtesy of swtor_miner; it utilizes data presented during livestreams as a starting point for building a reasonable picture of the trees.

As of this writing, the only advanced class available to play with is the Sith Sorcerer, but clicking around on the calculator should at least clarify the structure if not the details for all of the various classes. The calculator will likely be expanded as more data become available; until then, you can play around with what's provided.

SWTOR dev spoilers from the NYC cantina tour

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic

SWTOR
During this past weekend's New York City cantina tour, BioWare fielded shiploads of player questions about Star Wars: The Old Republic. MillionsKNives on the official forums has compiled a partial list; the devs say they're unhappy with PvP balance, will continue to monitor the difficulty of expanding guild ships, and plan to use the 3.0 patch as a "testing ground" for more class story, though we won't see "full storylines like pre-50 stuff." They also confirmed that while there will be no companion story in 3.0, there will be NPCs romanceable regardless of the player character's gender.

BioWare Senior Producer Bruce Maclean spilled some wonderful spoilers to Gaddock Gaming as well. Of note, he says that Togrutas are coming as a playable race post-3.0, an appearance gear system is being discussed for 3.0 or beyond, the pod-racing prototype was abandoned in the testing stages due to lag, and faction-changing might be considered in the future.

[Thanks to greatwildhunk for the tip!]

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