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Expansions

Final Fantasy XIV introduces two new jobs and new races for Heavensward

Fantasy, Classes, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Previews, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Well, at least we finally got it.
The last Final Fantasy XIV fan festival of the year is going on now in Japan, and the event's keynote speech has already contained big revelations for the game's first expansion, Heavensward. Players can look forward to the first new race for the game, the Au Ra, a race of dragon-esque people from Othard. It's been established that heretofore masked NPC Yugiri belongs to this race, and she will be revealing her face in patch 2.5.

Fans were also treated to preview footage of the Dark Knight in-game as well as two new jobs, the Machinist and the Astrologian. Astrologians are a new style of healer, drawing cards from decks to aid party members while debilitating enemies. Machinists are ranged DPS with a single large handgun and a style of play based on laying down turrets and paying attention to positioning. The keynote also contained information on the next multi-part raid and the Collector's Edition for the game, currently scheduled for release in spring of 2015.

War Thunder's Steel Generals expansion beta is live

Betas, Historical, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS

War Thunder
War Thunder, Gaijin Entertainment's WWII-flavored MMO, updated with its Steel Generals patch this week, just ahead of the holidays. It includes new vehicles, tow cable mechanics, retooled artillery strikes, and new damage modeling. Gamers can also jump into three new maps: White Stone Fortress for air and ground battles, an Eastern Europe map with "varied open ground and urban terrain features," and the massive air-combat Battle for Moscow, which reconstructs the city during the Winter Campaign of 1941-1942. The Steel Generals content, however, "steals" the show:
The biggest addition to War Thunder with this update is the beta of the Steel Generals expansion, which includes the first six American tanks available now. By the end of Q1 2015, more than 30 US WWII tanks will be available. This release schedule allows Gaijin Entertainment to test each of the tanks to ensure that they are ready for battle when commercially launched. In honor of the update launch, special packages are available for purchase that contain premium US tanks and other bonuses alongside closed beta access. Players can participate in the Steel Generals beta by entering into contests and in-game events in War Thunder.
Check out the new screenshots and walkthrough video below.

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Watch six videos of TERA's new dungeons

Fantasy, Video, Expansions, Free-to-Play, TERA, Dungeons

tera
If you haven't heard from your TERA-playing friends, don't worry -- they're merely in the thick of enjoying the new Fate of Arun expansion. As with many MMO expansions, Fate of Arun came packed with tough new dungeons, and intrepid YouTuber Skill Graal filmed adventures through several of them.

You can watch six of these dungeon dives after the break, including looks at Bathysmal Rise and Ravenous Gorge.

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Choose My Adventure: World of Warcraft and the shadowy priest

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Polls, Expansions, New Titles, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Subscription, MMORPG

It's been one week since Choose My Adventure's voters sent me on the path of darkness in World of Warcraft, daring me to cast off my healing roots and adventure forward as a Priest who deals only in shadow. I've gained a couple of levels, tinkered with my garrison, and killed hundreds and hundreds of orcs. I've even managed to work out some of last week's confusion, finding a spell rotation that works for me and laying waste to any PvE enemies that cross my path.

I've also completed about a million quests, Warlords of Draenor-style.

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR's 2014 report card

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Expansions, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Roleplaying, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR's 2014 report card
In 1996, Richard Bartle published a study of MMO gamers that eventually led to his 2003 book Designing Virtual Worlds, which was at the time the de facto MMO genre's design bible. Of course, this was before World of Warcraft hit the scene, but many of the principles Bartle laid out still hold true. In fact, if you don't believe me, take it yourself: GamerDNA still has an online test based on the Bartle study.

Bartle categorized players based on their interests in the game; I would like to do the same this year as I did last year for Star Wars: The Old Republic since it's a good way to measure the game against the average expectations of certain types of players. Bartle divides us all into Achievers, Socializers, Explorers, and Killers. I'll explain what each of those means as I discuss the different aspects of SWTOR. If you know what that means and so you have a point of reference, my profile is SEAK, which means that I interact with all types of players.

For fun, I've added a grade-card-style of rating system: A, B, C, D, or F. Just remember the information I give about that score counts for more than the score itself.

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TERA: Fate of Arun goes live today

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, TERA

If there's one thing the game lacked, it was robots.  (It's always robots, really.)
Ready to travel to unfamiliar lands, level past the existing level cap, and fight against new villains in TERA? Of course you are. You know what expansions are all about. Not coincidentally, that's the whole basis for Fate of Arun, the game's first expansion, which sends characters to Northern Arun for the first time. And wouldn't you know it, we have a shiny new trailer for this update just past the break.

The expansion also includes quality-of-life improvements like a simplified enchanting system and a new Coliseum mode, which throws two teams of players in a race to clear through groups of enemies. You can check all of this out now on the live servers, although you might want to view the trailer first. Tradition's sake and all.

[Source: En Masse Entertainment press release]

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Not So Massively: HEX gets new cards, Dota 2 cancels Christmas, and Hearthstone lands on Android (sorta)

Betas, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, HEX, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

HEX
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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TERA's Fate of Arun expansion arrives in Europe today

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Expansions, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, TERA

TERA
TERA's European fans have reason to be excited as the game's first expansion, Fate of Arun, deploys today. First announced to surprised MMO gamers back in October, the content deluge includes a level cap bump to 65, new PvP modes, four new zones, four new instances, and the advancement of the game's plotline.

The expansion lands in North America next week. EU publisher Gameforge has posted new screenies that should make everyone happy, though; we've included them all in the gallery below!

MechWarrior Online enters beta testing for Community Warfare

Betas, Sci-Fi, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, MechWarrior Online

And they say bright colors can't be intimidating.
There's a lot of stuff packaged in with MechWarrior Online's Community Warfare update: Clan 'Mechs and hardware, the new Invasion gameplay mode, new maps, the dropship mechanic allowing players to get back into the action if their 'Mechs are destroyed. But you don't have to take our word for it. The update has entered open beta, so anyone who wants to start taking part in the conflict of the Inner Sphere against the marauding Clans can do so at his or her leisure.

Piranha Games has also made an update to the way that the game handles units. Previously, "disbanded" units were frequently just being remade under a different leader or faction, but the game's structure meant that keeping the same identifying marks required the intervention of customer service. This update removes disbanded units in one swoop, allowing players who wish to disband and remake a unit to do so with greater ease. Check out the full update for the fine details and the corner cases.

Choose My Adventure: I am so confused in World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Polls, Expansions, New Titles, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
Last week's Choose My Adventure polls for World of Warcraft set me on a very unexpected path. Male Blood Elf? Really? If you had asked me to predict the result of the class/race/gender/faction polls, I would have been extremely super-wrong. I thought for sure Massively's readership was full of carebear Alliance sympathizers who spend their WoW hours hosting hug parties in Darnassus.

Anyway. This week saw me creating our new character, using the included-with-Warlords of Draenor instant level 90 character boost, and diving through the Dark Portal to experience the starting moments of Blizzard Entertainment's latest bundle of WoW content.

It was... something.

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Hearthstone players struggle to buy expansion packs

Fantasy, Bugs, Expansions, Previews, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

hearthstone
While a new expansion to the hit card game Hearthstone is cause for much celebration, in some corners it's also been cause for consternation as players have struggled to buy the right packs from the in-game store. This and other expansion issues got so bad, in fact, that getting these CS requests sorted out forced Blizzard to slightly delay Goblins vs. Gnomes' European launch (although it is now live in that region).

The problem, as dismayed players and streamers discovered, is that the default pack purchase option in Hearthstone's store was for the base game's cards, not the expansions. Gung-ho players would then accidentally mass-purchase a whole lot of packs thinking that they were from Goblins vs. Gnomes, only to discover that they just wasted hundreds of dollars on cards they already had. Touch Arcade has come to the rescue by pointing to a handy guide how to buy the right packs for the expansion.

Destiny: The Dark Below is live today [Updated: Crota has already been defeated]

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

So not such good news if you bought an Xbox One, although if you bought an Xbox One you're probably used to bad news.
Destiny isn't leaving players in the dark today; the game is actively sending players into the dark. Why? Because The Dark Below launches today, bringing along with it updates and expansions for several parts of the game along with some exclusive content for players who buy early and/or play on a PlayStation system.

The new content includes a new raid, three new competitive arena maps, new loot, new story missions, and another cooperative Strike. Players who purchase before January 15th, 2015, will also receive an exclusive vehicle, and PlayStation players get a special shotgun and access to an additional Strike exclusive to the platform. So if you're ready to start shooting the Hive in the darkest places you can think of, jump in today; we've placed the trailer just after the break.

[Source: Bungie press release]

[Update: Aaaaaaand the new raid has already been beaten.]

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Not So Massively: Hearthstone's expansion, The Crew's launch, and Dead Island: Epidemic's beta

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Expansions, Launches, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, MMORTS, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warplanes, MOBA, League of Legends, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Hearthstone

NSM - Hearthstone
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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Hearthstone expansion now live

Fantasy, Expansions, MMO Industry, News Items

Blizzard's first Hearthstone expansion is now live. Goblins vs. Gnomes boasts 120 new cards and "throws a big wrench into the way Hearthstone works," according to CEO Mike Morhaime.

Logging into the game between now and December 19th will net you three free expansion card packs. You can obtain additional packs for either 100 in-game gold or real money.

[Source: Blizzard press release]

The Daily Grind: Are you playing any of the December releases?

Expansions, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, The Daily Grind

This is a pretty full month for MMO content releases. We've got a couple of new games in The Crew and Elite: Dangerous, though how "MMO" they are remains to be seen. We've also got expansions for Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, and Destiny, one of which I'm already playing and another of which I'll get to before the month is out.

What about you, Massively readers? Do any of this month's MMO content releases tickle your fancy? Which one(s) are you playing?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Featured Stories

Make My MMO: December 14 - 20, 2014

Posted on Dec 20th 2014 7:00PM

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TUAW