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Fantasy

Riot will pay you cash to find League of Legends bugs

Fantasy, Bugs, Free-to-Play, League of Legends

lol
A discovered vulnerability in League of Legends led Riot Games to the conclusion that it not only needed to react to such issues when they arise, but to be more proactive in discovering these weak spots in the game. To wit, the studio has implemented a bug bounty program that will reward players who find vulnerabilities in LoL's code.

The studio has been testing out the program with a smaller group and has given $100,000 in rewards so far: "Currently in closed beta, the Riot bug bounty program is only available to a few security professionals who we've already identified. These professionals have helped us squish more than 75 bugs, vulnerabilities, and exploits, including client crash exploits, vision related exploits, and vulnerabilities that could potentially lead to player impersonation on forums."

MapleStory 2 shows off a new trailer for G-Star 2014

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, MapleStory, News Items, Free-to-Play

Anywhere but here, driver, anywhere but here.
MapleStory 2 looks pretty different from its predecessor, but it still has its heart in the right place. You can see some of that on display in the game's latest trailer, released as part of the G-Star 2014 festivities going on right now in South Korea. The are ducklings to ride, walls to climb, and boss monsters for huge numbers of players to desperately thwack at until they die. Nature of the beast and all.

The game's next beta test has also been confirmed for January of next year, although it will not be a global test at this time. This new test will include 32 new areas for players to explore, more classes to play, and a new Shadow World with open PvP. More player customization and creation options will be unlocked as well. While you might not be able to participate in the test yourself, it'll at least help to know it's hurtling toward completion.

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Guild Wars 2 streamlines PvP queuing, adds map voting

Fantasy, PvP, Guild Wars 2, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

gw2
How can Guild Wars 2's PvP experience be improved? By streamlining the flow, baby!

A new dev diary posted today talks about how ArenaNet is working to improve match flow, starting with the elimination of PvP rosters and simply allowing players to queue solo or with a party. Other significant changes include replacing AFK players before matches begin, group voting on favorite maps, and using the dishonor system to ding those who leave or go AFK during matches.

To get into PvP matches, players will now be required to go to the Heart of the Mists, which is being outfitted with additional core services so that it can be a fun social hub between games.

The Stream Team: No more Landmark tour deaths!

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Free-to-Play, Giveaways, Livestream, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

Thanks to the disabling of fall damage, Massively's MJ is able to take a tour of more Landmark builds without the fear of imminent death! Even without mobs, travel in-game has been dangerous for her; MJ's died many a time just trying to visit cool spots from the gallery. But that's all changed (at least for now), and not a moment too soon: She's seen plenty of impressive possibilities to check out this week. There are Egyptian builds, Orc builds, tree houses and ruins galore... even pinball machines! Pretty much anything you can imagine is being built somewhere in game. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. to check out some of the latest in Landmark creativity. Then grab a beta code and try it out for yourself!

Game: Landmark
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, November 21st, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Raph Koster explains how WoW changed MMOs

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items

There's liable to be a lot of virtual ink spilled over World of Warcraft as it celebrates its 10-year anniversary this month. You can save yourself some time by just reading famed MMO designer Raph Koster's lengthy and informed analysis, though. He covers a ton of ground, both negative and positive, including WoW's roots in EverQuest and the DikuMUD while also touching on all of the genre features that Blizzard cut in the name of "fun" and accessibility.
Among the things left by the wayside were features that were proven. Gone were the richer pet systems that had driven so much engagement from players in earlier games. Player housing, past and future source of endless devotion (and revenue) in other games, absent. Never mind stuff like towns and politics and the like. Crafting took massive steps backwards from the heights it had been developed into in [Star Wars] Galaxies or even Sims Online, and went back to being more like that in EverQuest. Even the robust character customization that we slaved over in Galaxies, a system which today is in every RPG on earth, was gone.
Koster credits WoW as the true innovator of the quest-led game, but he also points out that the game stifled MMORPG innovation in numerous ways.

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LotRO begins testing fellowship version of Pelargir epic battle

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Dungeons

lotro
The newest epic battle added to Lord of the Rings Online in Update 15 is about to get even bigger. Retaking Pelargir, the offensive-focused battle, was initially released in a solo/duo version, but testing has begun on a fellowship version.

This change will come with Update 15.1, according to the preliminary patch notes: "A fellowship version of Retaking Pelargir is now ready for limited release on Bullroarer, where we'll be taking important balance feedback from preview players. The timing of its release will depend on the feedback we get about this new version."

Update 15.1 will also contain plenty of tweaks and bug fixes for the Beorning class as well as allow players to track nearby quests inside of structures.

RIFT brings back Unicornalia

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Subscription

Every one you meet will be the last of its kind.
As the holiday season swiftly approaches, RIFT reminds us all of an important issue that doesn't get much discussion over the year: Unicorns. Oh, sure, the plight of these noble creatures can easily be dismissed with a waved hand and a claim that "these are fictional animals that do not actually exist," but RIFT's Unicornalia returning is a chance for everyone to adopt a unicorn in peril.

During the event, which runs until November 26th, you can provide a home for an Onyx Unicorn or an Opal Unicorn. Both can potentially be received from the limited edition Sparkle Troves in the RIFT store. You can also obtain the Onyx Unicorn as a rare drop from an event in Moonshade Highlands or by completing the "A Rainbow in the Dark" achievement, while the Opal Unicorn can be received via Unicornalia dailies. Please, take time out of your day to consider the unicorns. They're not just for virgins any more.

WoW previews Highmaul raid, kicks off anniversary events today

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Lore, Endgame, News Items, Dungeons, Subscription

And this time, slightly less than a year between updates!
Are you ready to start in on the raid cycle of Warlords of Draenor? Yes you are; that's what you do here. You can start by checking out the latest World of Warcraft development blog that shows off Highmaul in all its glory. The raid's release will be staggered into four parts, with Normal and Heroic releasing on December 2nd, Mythic and the first part of the Raid Finder difficulty releasing on December 9th, and the final two wings being added to the Raid Finder on December 16th and January 6th.

Highmaul contains seven bosses, three of which are optional and two of which are mandatory. Players will take on Kargath Bladefist to kick off the raid experience, while the ultimate encounter leads players against Imperator Mar'gok, the pinnacle of ogre power in the region. You can also take the time to play around with the game's new Twitter hashtag campaign while you wait. That won't help you with the raid at all, really, but it will help pass the time.

In other WoW news, Blizzard will be kicking off its previously announced anniversary events today. Both the 40-man, level 100 version of Molten Core and the Southshore vs. Tarren Mill battleground will become available to players through the raid finder and battlemaster queue, respectively. Everyone who logs in will receive a molten corgi pet as a happy birthday present from the team. The events end January 6th.

Lost Ark is a full-featured MMO; check out the new trailer

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Classes, Free-to-Play

lost ark
Lost Ark made quite a splash in our community here when we got a first look at the game last week. Despite its isometric hack-and-slash facade, Lost Ark is now revealing that it will have a range of features to put it firmly in the MMO camp.

Steparu has a great writeup on the new information surfacing about this game, including some of Lost Ark's class lineup. Players will be able to roll as a Battle Master (monk), Devil Hunter (ranged guns), Arcana (gambling skills), Warlord (rifle tank), Infighter (melee attacker), Summoner (pet master), and Berserker (AoE attacks). Lost Ark will also feature an open world with hidden quests and locations, drinking minigames, raids, PvP arenas, and even ship sailing.

Don't believe that this could be an MMO? Check out the new 20-minute gameplay trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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Ultima Online publish brings holiday gifts, veteran rewards

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Ultima Online, Sandbox, Crafting, Subscription, MMORPG

UO
You might forgive 17-year-old Ultima Online for long stretches between patches, but fortunately, you don't have to. The antique sandbox's Halloween event is now over, being replaced yesterday with a new patch that ushers in the winter holiday event and its attendant gifts. This year, Santa's bringing us a fireplace, a plant grinder, a power scroll book, and "a steam powered beverage maker that can be used in conjunction with the cooking system to create new items listed in the 'Beverage' section of the cooking menu." Yum.

The update also includes a new monthly game hunting competition sponsored by the Skara Brae Ranger's Guild, with special hunter-themed rewards like a new title and weapon. PvPers can look forward to a new leaderboard to track PvP progress in the still-fresh vice-vs.-virtue PvP system, and long-term players will find new veteran rewards are available, including new statuettes for youngish accounts, an ethereal hell hound mount at the 15-year-mark, and a sewing machine and smithing press for sevenbies.

Pathfinder Online continues to delay early enrollment

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Sandbox, Pathfinder Online

pathfinder
While Pathfinder Online groupies may get a little excited at the imminent release of a new patch, Goblinworks put it out there that the long-delayed early enrollment start is still on hold.

"This build does not meet our internal requirements for the early enrollment release candidate," the studio announced to players yesterday. Previously, Goblinworks said that the game must be able to support 2,000 simultaneous logins and 100 characters per hex before it would activate early enrollment.

However, the good news is that the game is getting better with the release of Alpha 12.1, which is now live. The patch contains balance fixes, better hairstyles, performance improvements, and the activation of the encumbrance system.

Gloria Victis implements dialogues and other improvements

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Sandbox

Should we talk about the weather? (Hi hi, hi.) Should we talk about the government? (Hi hi, hi.)
The Gloria Victis pre-alpha is getting a bit more chatty today with the implementation of the dialogue system in the most recent update. Said update also contains the first implementation of bow-wielding NPCs defending cities, the addition of buff and debuff descriptions, and various bugfixes and improvements -- all good things unless you try to open a dialogue with a bow-wielding NPC and get an arrow in response.

The design team promises that this is just the beginning of major changes, however, with the next patch slated to add the first pass of the questing system into the game. Territory capture mechanics are also coming, allowing an entire nation to benefit from captured lands. So onlookers can enjoy a more robust rollout in the coming weeks as the game adds more features in.

SkySaga videos encourage you to explore its world

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Sandbox

skysaga
We've got more to share today about SkySaga, that new sandvox that's trying to woo the Minecraft crowd. Radiant Worlds has released a new pair of videos this week that show off the game's playful and exploratory nature.

In the videos, you'll follow a trio of adventurers around as they navigate the various biomes of the world and get into nasty scraps with mean foes. Of course, the biggest mystery here might be, "Where are their arms and legs?" See it all after the break!

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Guild Wars 2's revamped sPvP rewards skillful play, not just wins

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

GW2
ArenaNet's Justin O'Dell is on dev blog duty today for Guild Wars 2, and his post is all about planned updates to the game's sPvP matchmaking and ladder ranking systems.

"We decided to move to a score-based search method that takes into consideration several metrics that we believe are important for a match to be fun," he explains. "We chose a score-based system over other methods because we found that it's a good compromise between the often competing goals of match quality and short queue times." The system will do its best to match players by skill level, rank, party size, and so forth.

Points awarded through the ladder ranking system are determined by final score and odds of victory in an attempt to ensure that playing well in spite of a loss is encouraged and that luck isn't the driving force in ranking.

"Imagine a world where everyone took the saying 'It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game' seriously," O'Dell says. "Wouldn't that be great?"

Norrathian Notebook: Landmark's AI will be a game-changer

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, Player-Generated Content, Norrathian Notebook, Landmark

It's really hard not to be all giddy and excited about the introduction of AI to Landmark; it's quite literally going to be a game-changer. Some might even argue a game-maker! Only one other feature, combat, comes close to the impact that this system will have on the sandbox. Even then, combat doesn't rival it; it complements it. In truth, it will be an early Christmas present for all those players who've been waiting as patiently as possible for this next step: Monsters are slated to be released into the wild on December 10th. I am sure I mirror the sentiments of many when I say the Storybricks system just can't get here soon enough!

Before you get your hopes up too high, know that this first iteration of the AI system does not include the much-anticipated storytelling features that players will have access to on their personal claims. Those will come in time. But that doesn't diminish the magnitude of what is coming in just a few short weeks. The introduction of mobs will truly be the big bump that makes Landmark an actual MMORPG in the eyes of the world as opposed to "just a building game," an inaccurate description the game's had a hard time shaking. And did I mention, I can't wait?! If you are fairly new to following Landmark, you may not know what all the excitement is about. Let me share that with you.

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