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Expansions

Captain's Log Supplemental: Exploring the story of Star Trek Online: Delta Rising

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Game Mechanics, News Items, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Captain's Log, Subscription

Two hundred passengers set sail that day for a three-year tour of duty.  (A three-year tour of duty.)
If you think about it, Star Trek: Voyager is basically a remake of Gilligan's Island. Ship goes out for a routine trip and gets stranded, and for the next several years the crew of that ship tries to get back home and repeatedly fails. I bring this up because I recently had a chance to to on a tour of Star Trek Online: Delta Rising, and I kept thinking that "going on a tour" was just the first step before being stranded in the quadrant myself.

Well, maybe not, but it's as good a segue as anything.

Lead Designer Al Rivera and Senior Producer Stephen Ricossa took me on a trip through all of the various systems of Delta Rising and several of the upcoming story elements. If you don't want to be spoiled on the expansion before it goes live, you might want to steer clear, but there are some fascinating developments awaiting otherwise. When players finally warp into the Delta Quadrant, they're going to be seeing familiar faces and facing some old problems -- very old, in one case.

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Leaderboard: Warlords of Draenor vs. Shadow of Revan

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Expansions, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Leaderboard

Last time in Leaderboard we pitted this winter's Warlords of Draenor expansion against this fall's Nightmare Tide expansion. This week, let's see how the top dog fares against another highly anticipated MMO content dump, this one bolstered by the worldwide media juggernaut that is Star Wars.

How about it, Massively readers? Warlords of Draenor or Shadow of Revan? Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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Age of Wushu: Winds of Destiny releases on October 15th

Fantasy, Historical, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

If everything could only be this good forever.
It's happening, just like the headline says: Age of Wushu's next major update is launching next week, giving you just a few more days to prepare for everything that's coming. That means new areas, new gameplay, and a whole host of new challenges for experienced masters and relative novices alike.

The update looks to build player bonds and alliances with the new Companion system, which allows players to establish a mutually beneficial partnership via the game's existing offline occupation system. There are also new areas to explore, like Delightful Isle and Lingxiao City. You won't have to wait long to go through all of this for yourself, though; it's just a little over a week until the patch goes live.

SWTOR: Shadow of Revan will include new class missions

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic

swtor
Butting heads with famous Revan and his cronies is one thing, but will the new Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion allow our characters to continue their individual class stories? BioWare Community Manager Eric Musco confirmed on the forums that, yes, every class will get a single new mission with Shadow of Revan:

"Each player class will be given one unique class story mission as part of the storyline; these are entirely different from one another," Musco wrote.

SWTOR: Shadow of Revan was officially announced yesterday with a December 9th release date.

EverQuest II begins a month of bonuses to prep players for level 100

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

Are you ready for EverQuest II's level bump to 100 when the 11th expansion, Altar of Malice, launches next month? If not, then you've got a month of bonuses ahead to help you prepare. Starting today at 3:00 p.m. EDT and lasting until Tuesday, November 11th at 2:59 a.m. EDT, All-Access members will receive a 25% bonus to experience. This includes adventuring, tradeskilling, and Alternate Advancement points. Additionally, all players will receive double Etyma, the coin used to purchase gear and items from the Tears of Veeshan merchants. (And yes, this double offer stacks, so paid members will actually be receiving four times the Etyma!)

Want more? The 2014 Summer Ethereals and Artifacts are also making a comeback for this limited time. Check out these flaming weapon drops in the clips below.

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Hyperspace Beacon: Eight quests you should play before SWTOR's Revan expansion

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

Hyperspace Beacon: Eight quests you have to run before SWTOR's Revan expansion
The next expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic is coming in December, and any BioWare fan already knows the primary antagonist: Revan.

Revan has been BioWare's focal Star Wars character since its first Star Wars game, Knights of the Old Republic. SWTOR even features Revan in multiple questlines. I could recommend that you read Drew Karpyshyn's book Revan, but there are plenty of ways to get Revan's story in-game. In fact, there are eight different questlines that you should run if you want to get caught up, and more importantly, if you want to prepare yourself for the next expansion. If you have been living under a rock for the last three years, be forewarned that this article will contain spoilers for you.

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SWTOR's Shadow of Revan expansion arrives December 9th, nukes skill trees

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Lore, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dev Diaries

SWTOR
After a brief delay and much speculation, BioWare has officially revealed Star Wars: The Old Republic's next digital expansion, and it will indeed be called Shadow of Revan. A tweet from the official account names the title and promises a new level cap of 60 and a launch just in time for Christmas on December 9th. BioWare's press release previews two new planets (Rishi and Yavin 4), four hard mode flashpoints, two "role-neutral" flashpoints, two level 60 operations, and a mission storyline that will unite Republic and Empire to fight Revan's army. Players who pre-order the expansion (19.99 USD) receive a limited time leveling boost, early access to SoR, and free access to TOR's first expansion, Rise of the Hutt Cartel, which was granted to all subscribers last year.

Most intriguing is the addition of disciplines, a hefty class overhaul that will delete skill trees from the game. "No longer are you forced to purchase skills that are, in essence, necessary for your character to function; you simply get them automatically as you level up and progress down what we call the Discipline Path," says a new dev blog covering the 3.0 overhaul. "Much like the old Skill Trees, each path is made up of active abilities, passive abilities, and a new type of progression concept called a utility selection."

We've included the announcement trailer below, complete with the requisite ominous Star Wars music.

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Previewing RIFT's new masteries system

Betas, Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Dev Diaries

RIFT
Trion Worlds has today previewed the new "masteries" system coming in RIFT's Nightmare Tide expansion later this month. Masteries take the place of the soul points normally earned as players level up. Instead of spending soul points to take new powers in your soul trees (which would have created class imbalances), players will essentially buy powers from a new set of skills open to all characters within the same base class. Trion outlines the types of powers available:
Most Masteries provide a general primary bonus and a secondary bonus that focuses on individual abilities and Souls. These secondary bonuses have several types of effects ranging from increasing the functionality of a given ability (or type of ability) to improving utility and hybridization options for others. Masteries from level 61 to level 64 focus on passive bonuses. The primary bonus on these Masteries will generally fit a theme for all Masteries at the same level:

Level 61: Survivability
Level 62: Healing
Level 63: Utility
Level 64: Damage

When you hit level 65, you'll unlock the final tier of Masteries along with an array of active abilities. These are aimed at supplementing multiple builds, allowing you to add damage to a healing build, or even give some healing to a pure DPS build.
Masteries are saved per role and can be swapped out of combat.

Star Trek Online's Kobali hijack corpses to stay alive

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Lore, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play

sto
Out of all of the races that players will encounter with this month's Star Trek Online: Delta Rising, the Kobali might be the most skin-crawling. According to a new dev diary posted today, the NPC race reproduces by taking corpses and injecting their DNA into them for a twisted "rebirth."

Even though they reappropriate dead things, the Kobali are peaceful, nomadic folk who have recently settled down on a new homeworld of Kobali Prime. It's on this planet that players will get to visit the capital city and go on several adventures through the surrounding landscape.

World of Warcraft shows off the dungeons of Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Previews, Endgame, News Items, Dungeons, Subscription

Comes pre-loaded with all the draenei you can eat.
As the release of Warlords of Draenor inches ever closer, it's no surprise that players might want to know what dungeons they'll be running religiously for the next several months. The official World of Warcraft site has been updated with a preview of the eight new dungeons being added with the expansion, four of them intended for leveling along the way and four of them pegged at level 100 for players who have already reached the top.

On the leveling path, players will stop in the Bloodmaul Slag Mines, the Iron Docks, Auchindoun, and Skyreach. Once at the cap, they can start exploring the Shadowmoon Burial Grounds, the Everbloom, and the Grimrail Depot... or they can take a trip back to Azeroth to view the revamped Upper Blackrock Spire. Take a look at the full preview for more of the lore backdrop for the newest dungeon drives coming to the game in November.

See Star Trek Online: Delta Rising's feature briefing

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play

sto
"The biggest and most inspired expansion" for Star Trek Online has Cryptic thrilled to show it off. So thrilled, as a matter of fact, that you can hear the narrator of this new features video quivering with excitement as he talks about encounters with new worlds, returning aliens, "and even Seven of Nine!"

This Delta Rising trailer discusses the new open world adventure zone that includes elite challenges, the reunion of the bulk of the Voyager cast, the Tier 6 intelligence starships, and the races of the Delta Quadrant. You can catch the excitement by watching it after the jump!

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Trion delays RIFT: Nightmare Tide's launch [Updated]

Fantasy, Expansions, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Livestream

rift
RIFT: Nightmare Tide's October 8th release date is no longer set in stone -- if it ever was. In a livestream yesterday, Trion Worlds devs said that there is a possibility of a release delay based on feedback and that the team will decide soon if that delay will happen. Whatever date Nightmare Tide ends up releasing, it will go live in both Europe and North America at the same time.

Many smaller details about the expansion launch were discussed during the livestream. The devs said that players will have a way to buy Planewalker: Water Attunement using in-game experience as well as purchasing it through the expansion bundle. Nightmare Tide will release with three new armor sets, new aquatic pets, additional housing dimenasions, four new dungeons, two "return to" dungeons, and the 10-person Rhen of Fate raid. The 20-person Mount Sharax raid will launch at a later date.

Trion also admitted to already discussing RIFT 4.0 and 5.0 (i.e., the next two expansions) but declined to give specifics apart from a mention of "an over-arching plan" with them.

Update: Trion announced tonight that the expansion will be delayed until October 22nd.

Enter at Your Own Rift: How Nightmare Tide brought me back to RIFT

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

rift
Wow -- it's been a year and a half since I last sat down to pen this column. Obviously, around that time I had left the game and focused on other writing projects here at Massively. It wasn't a bad break-up with my former stomping grounds in Telara; it was a "goodbye for now" type of situation. There were other vistas to be viewed and other worlds to conquer.

Yet RIFT has this power to eventually pull me back in. I'll admit that I hadn't even thought of the game for the most part in 2014 until one fateful morning at PAX Prime in September when I sat down with Trion's devs to get an overview of the new expansion. The more I watched, listened, and asked questions, the more I groaned inwardly because I knew that my carefully tuned play schedule was about to witness another upheaval. I knew I'd have to go back to RIFT to experience Nightmare Tide.

In less than a week, Nightmare Tide will roll into this game, bringing with it several new features, zones, and most likely fellow lookie-loos who will be equally curious how the game's improved with its second expansion. For this returning edition of Enter at Your Own Rift, I want to highlight four factors that were instrumental in grabbing my attention and convincing me to come back for another go in this fantasy world.

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Leaderboard: Nightmare Tide vs. Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, RIFT, Leaderboard

There are a couple of big fantasy MMO expansions coming out in short order. RIFT's Nightmare Tide drops on October 8th, while World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor releases on November 13th.

Given those facts, I bet you can guess the content of today's Leaderboard, can't ya? Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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RIFT explores the heights of Tarken Glacier

Fantasy, Expansions, Lore, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Subscription

I can't hear you!  I said, what's cooler than being cool?
Beneath the waves lies the city of nightmares, but RIFT players exploring the Nightmare Tide expansion will not stop there. Far above those waters sits Tarken Glacier, a massive edifice of frost that stretches to the very boundaries of the cosmos. Players will be exploring this towering mass of ice, obviously, starting at the most basic ascent before moving up to the most distant reaches of the land.

Along the way, players will be working with Skelf pilgrims, fighting off vicious frost giants, and seeking the last stronghold of the near-annihilated Pelagic Order. There are port cities nestled within the glacier, great structures devoted to researching the frostbitten land, and marauding enemies from all sides. In short, it's exactly the sort of place players will love exploring and fighting through when the expansion goes live; check out the full preview for more details on the lore of this region. The open beta for the expansion went live yesterday, with the full launch planned for October 8th.

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