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Expansions

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!]

MMO Week in Review: Revisiting Revan

Expansions, MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Week in Review, Miscellaneous

SWTOR
At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO or WoW Insider story last week, you've come to the right post.

This week, BioWare officially announced Star Wars: The Old Republic's Shadows of Revan expansion, complete with reduced grind, fast-track bonuses for story-minded players, and a major overhaul of the game's class specialization system. For those who'd like to catch up on Revan-related lore, Massively's SWTOR expert Larry Everett has chronicled the relevant in-game quests.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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EVE Evolved: Fixing EVE's player activity

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Business Models, Culture, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
It's been a sort of running gag in EVE Online throughout the years that players spend inordinate amounts of time docked in stations and spinning their ships around in the hangar, but this is oddly close to the truth. Those of us who have been hooked to EVE for years know just how intense the game can get at its most frantic and how incredible it is to be present for historic events and important PvP battles, but those moments are rare, and there's typically a lot of downtime between periods of activity. For every PvP battle fought, incursion fleet formed or wormhole op organised, players often have to spend hours in stations or in space amusing themselves or doing busywork.

With gamers now spreading their increasingly limited free time across a growing catalogue of online games, some EVE players log in for only a few minutes per day to queue skills, chat with corpmates, and see if anything interesting is happening. The recent announcement that the upcoming Phoebe release will contain infinite length skill queues has some players concerned that people will lose the motivation to pop their heads into New Eden each day and see what's going on. Since the best sandbox gameplay is emergent in nature, just getting players to log in so they're available to take part in something awesome when it happens is extremely important.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I ask whether EVE is in trouble due to its recent decline in player activity, look at the impact of people with just a few hours per week to play, and suggest a new app idea that could help solve all of those problems.

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Betawatch: October 4 - 10, 2014

Betas, Expansions, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous

The Crew
This week, The Crew's launch date was delayed until to December 2nd, ensuring a longer closed beta for the driving MMO. What else is new in the world of MMO testing? Read on for our complete Betawatch roundup.

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RIFT brings back a trio of fan favorite events

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Free-to-Play, RIFT

rift
Trion Worlds is hosting a reprise of three popular RIFT events that are running from now through October 15th.

Currently running is the Temporal Flux event through the 11th, followed by Budgie Madness from the 11th through the 13th; the events conclude with Unicornalia from the 13th through the 15th. Players can earn special rewards during these events, in particular bizarre and fun mounts.

RIFT is also running a 25% bonus to XP and various goodies from now through the release of the expansion on October 22nd.

World of Warcraft launching patch 6.0.2 on October 14th

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Subscription

Tired of orcs?  No you aren't.  Have more.
It's been a while since a real patch hit the live servers of World of Warcraft, but that's all going to change soon. Specifically, it's going to change in four days from today. The pre-expansion patch for Warlords of Draenor will be hitting the live game on October 14th, bringing with it stat squishes, new character models, and all of the general improvements you'd expect going into the expansion.

Of course, there aren't many new systems to play around with aside from a handful of new talents... and the limited-time level 90 version of Upper Blackrock Spire. This 5-person dungeon will pit players against the forces of the Iron Horde and will, again, be available for only a little bit of time. The same is true of the pre-launch invasion event, which forces players to fight off Iron Horde attacks from beyond the Dark Portal. Take some screenshots of your current character model now, buy things with Justice and Valor points, and get ready for the patch in less than a week.

The Think Tank: Autumn is the season of MMO expansions

Business Models, Events (Real-World), Expansions, MMO Industry, Patches, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

SWTOR
Happy autumn! It's a season of MMO expansions. World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, EverQuest II, Star Trek Online, and bunches more are all getting major updates or expansions in the next few months. Presumably, expansions aren't meant only to give existing players something to do; they're also meant to give old players reasons to come back. But do they work?

That's the question I asked Massively's writers in this week's Think Tank. Do we return for expansions? Do we avoid them? Do we even like them? Let's talk expansions.

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World of Warcraft's garrisons will send Leeroy Jenkins to protect you

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Previews, Dev Diaries, Subscription

wow
Part of the potential fun of owning, building, and operating a garrison in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor is that you'll be leader to several NPCs known as followers. A new garrison dev diary today talked about the acquisition and benefits of followers and how that will change your gameplay.

Followers can be obtained through several means, including quests, reputation, and a once-a-week headhunter service. Once there, followers can be sent out in missions alone or as a group in order to bring back rewards for their kind and generous master. Players can accumulate up to 25 active followers of various quality types and can level them up over time.

Probably the most interesting facet of follower ownership is the use of a select handful as bodyguards. Players can attach a bodyguard to them for general world questing, asking such famous figures as Leeroy Jenkins to fight by your side. Once enough reputation with that NPC is reached, the bodyguard will attain several helpful abilities, such as being able to summon friends or create a portal back to your garrison.

RIFT previews the Glacial Maw dungeon

Fantasy, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Dungeons

Someone has apparently not been sleeping well of late.
It's nice that RIFT's upcoming expansion is named Nightmare Tide because it really gives you a clear idea of what you're walking into. So when you read about the upcoming level 65 dungeon, Glacial Maw, it doesn't really surprise you. A dungeon that takes place burrowed inside of the carcass of the powerful Izbithu, wherein you fight off an infestation of parasites hoping to make the dread creature rise once more? Nightmarish, sure, but that's what you were promised on the tin.

Of course, all of that is assuming that you make it to Izbithu's corpse first, since first you'll have to fight your way past an ice drake that tends to eat anyone investigating the decaying monstrosity and a golem fused with tentacles and sharks. And even once you fight off the insidious parasitic infection, there's something even worse in the depths of the body. Which... just the fact that you're fighting inside of a giant corpse is pretty bad, yes? Take a look at the official preview, but you know it's not going to be pretty.

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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