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Fantasy

RIFT beefs up the minion system

Fantasy, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, RIFT

rift
RIFT's new minion system is arguably one of the more popular additions to the game in some time, with players sending out their loyal subjects to bring them back treasures and fame. However, Trion Worlds says it still has work to do, and in a new "State of the Minunion" post, the studio lists a few areas that it's improving with the game's next hotfix.

The new Fae Yule minion mission pack, with a series of quests that tell a story, will have some of its minion rewards buffed up with better stats. The hotfix will also tackle a few bugs and add minion-releated achievements. Finally, adventure rewards are being fine-tuned and improved, although it has been difficult for the team to handle this as it has been "an extremely extensive change touching dozens upon dozens of loot tables."

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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Camelot Unchained's Mark Jacobs on the warrior class and development transparency

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Classes, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained

Camelot Unchained
City State Entertainment -- an indie studio that's becoming better known to our readers, I imagine, after it ran away with our poll for best studio last week -- has today posted its first class concept reveal. The tentatively named Drengr is the Viking warrior class, and in its long design document, the studio has outlined just how the archetype fits into the proposed Path system that will govern character development in the crowdfunded RvR MMORPG.

We spoke to CSE's Mark Jacobs about the Path system, warrior reveal, and the impact of transparency on the game development process. Enjoy the interview below!

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SMITE explores Awilix in depth and kicks off Saturnalia

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play

The lack of lore apparently meant that Awilix drank heavily from the well of Generic Fantasy Undress.
There are a lot of goddesses of the night or the moon, period, and there's no shortage of playable ones in SMITE, either. Awilix is also a figure without a whole lot of prominent lore trying to provide a different take on the general role of assassin. So how did the design team go from a name and a few details to a playable character? Through interplay with her pet jaguar, a different series of abilities, and an emphasis on mobility and hit-and-run tactics.

Already have all of the gods you need right now? You've still got a reason to log in to SMITE as the game runs its Saturnalia event, offering free bonus gems to everyone and doubled experience gains for each match played. A series of rolling sales on the pantheons of the game will also persist through the whole of Saturnalia, so if you decide you would like to pick up some new skins, you've got that option.

[Thanks to Sorenthaz for the tip!]

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Onigiri MMO coming to consoles next year

Betas, Fantasy, Free-to-Play, Consoles

onigiri
The Japanese mythology MMO, Onigiri, is officially on its way to the Xbox One (and PlayStation 4) next year in North America and Europe, Windows Central reports. The title, which is developed by Cyberstep, will be free-to-play and is already live on the Xbox One in Japan.

Onigiri came out on the PC in 2013. The console version may have patches slightly lagging behind the PC version, but it will otherwise be identical in form and function. There will be no cross-over play between platforms.

While Windows Central says that this will be Xbox One's "first MMO," that overlooks the already-released Destiny and The Crew as well as other titles on the way, including Elder Scrolls Online, PlanetSide 2, All Points Bulletin, Neverwinter, The Division, and Warframe.

See Bless Online's character creation options

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

bless online
Getting a closer look at character creation options when a title is deep in testing is always useful, especially to those of us who lack access to the beta. Steparu.com took Bless Online's character creator out for a spin as the title's closed beta test revved back up, and you can enjoy a sneak peek as a result.

Steparu noted that it doesn't look as though classes are gender-locked, although players may be wedded to a faction once they roll up their first character. You can watch the character creation video after the jump, and make sure you bounce over to Steparu.com for more videos on several of the game's classes.

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Guild Wars 2 kicks off Wintersday events

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Patches, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

gw2
The event avalanche of Guild Wars 2's Wintersday has gotten up to full speed and is currently roaring down upon the game's population.

Today's update activates the previous years' Wintersday content as well as a few new additions. There's the Wondrous Workshop to explore, jumping puzzles, bell choir minigames, the Snowball Mayhem battle royale, and a quest to track down Grawnk to get a Wintersday tree for home instances.

The patch also activates a couple of PvP events, new Wintersday-themed cash shop cosmetics, the daily login rewards, and the latest overhaul of the daily achievement system.

LotRO patch nerfs essences, adds group Pelargir epic battle

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

LOTRO
A small but significant patch hit the Lord of the Rings Online servers last week, bringing with it a new fellowship-size version of the Retaking Pelargir epic battle. This version comes with additional secondary missions and tougher elite mobs (naturally). Also, the team announced that, "Aragorn's voice can FINALLY be heard summoning the dead to fulfill their oaths."

Update 15.1 also nerfed essences by only allowing one of each type to be equipped at a time, as multiple copies were deemed too powerful and an obvious threat to Sauron's dominance over Middle-earth. Also, Beornings got a bear-load of tweaks, as well as the permission to use the "-beorn" suffix with names.

Exclusive: Elsword's Ara becomes the Dark Fox

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play

Elsword
KOG Games is on the verge of launching new content for the North American edition of F2P sidescrolly MMO Elsword in the form of updates for character Ara. Ara is a speardancer with insane jumping skills, and starting tomorrow, she can follow a brand-new job path that ushers in the Masters of Darkness theme destined for the game.

As the appropriately brooding Dark Fox, Ara can advance to Little Specter at level 15 and Asura at level 35, both of which roles feature phantom claws. "Explore the eerie side of Ara's mystical connection with Eun, the spirit of the legendary nine tail fox sealed in the ancient hairpin for centuries," hints the website. We've got an exclusive trailer below that shows off Ara's new path -- enjoy!

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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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Path of Exile Update 1.3 goes live with PvP revamp

Fantasy, Patches, PvP, Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

path of exile
Big things are afoot at Path of Exile. The OARPG released the much-anticipated Update 1.3 on Saturday, and with it, heralded the beginning of tournament season one.

The update contains challenge leagues, a new forsaken master, a comprehensive PvP revamp, and tons of additional skills. Due to a slew of changes to passive skills, every character in the game has also been treated to a free optional passive respec.

Since Update 1.3 is such a PvP-heavy patch, the devs have posted a PvP Manifesto that explains their purpose and reasons behind balance and damage scaling.

Wurm Online adds in a new Challenge mode

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, Wurm Online, News Items, Sandbox

Sandbox, noun: a version of gameplay wherein no actual content is provided, thus inciting players to punch one another in hopes of something happening.
Sometimes you don't want to fuss about with leveling; you just want to jump into the meat of a game and start accomplishing things. Wurm Online's new Challenge mode is all about that, giving new characters created just for these month-long challenges enough skills to get started right away and a faster advancement rate to boot. It sounds pretty magnanimous until you realize that the other two sides are also starting ahead and moving just as fast, so players are going to need to step up fast if they want to keep going.

The Challenge server offers a 64 square kilometer space for three player factions to feud over control. Everything on the server remains persistent for a month, after which point prizes are awarded to the players and factions that have advanced the furthest in specific categories. The update also includes siege weaponry, strategic resource spawns, and defensive fortifications to hold off attackers. It's the equivalent of throwing players in a box and shaking it until the fireworks start flying; if that sound like fun, you can jump into that box now.

[Source: Code Club press release]

Guild Wars 2 celebrates the holidays with a player murder spree

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), PvP, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

gw2
Don't get too comfy and cozy with that hot cocoa and crackling fire; Guild Wars 2 is calling all fighters to arms for epic PvP conflict over the next month. Today, the team posted details for the game's two upcoming PvP events, both starting tomorrow and ending on January 13th.

The fun and casualties begin with the WvW Sneak Attack event, which will change some of the established rules for this setting to make it harder to see who is attacking what and give a bonus to experience and rewards earned. Then the team is testing out a PvP ladder season, with prizes such as mini llamas and glorious hero's armor pieces to those who kick and claw their way up the rankings.

The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV's Eternal Bond

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

WEDDINGS WE CAN JUST SAY WEDDINGS COME ON YOSHI-P
Weddings in MMOs always feel like content aimed directly at me. However many side benefits might exist, weddings are fundamentally roleplaying tools, ways for people to mark themselves as bound together in a virtual space that serves no purpose beyond character establishment. So even if I weren't planning on taking part in the marriage ceremony in Final Fantasy XIV, I'd be happy it existed for that reason alone.

Of course, since my actual real-life wedding was objectively the best day of my life and the best possible wedding, there's no way that the Eternal Bond setup could quite match that. But for roleplaying purposes, my character was engaged, so I was still looking forward to it. All that's left is to take part in the actual ceremony, but there's a lot of stuff to be looked at about how it's handled thus far and what's praiseworthy or just plain baffling in the setup stages.

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ArcheAge Korea adding second-story housing upgrades, treehouse

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Housing

When update 1.8 hits in Korea, ArcheAge housing will reach new heights -- literally. Two different models of houses, the thatched farmhouse and the medium house, are getting a special upgrade that will elevate them to two-story dwellings. Available in the cash shop, this upgrade item is applied to existing homes; there's no need to tear down and build anew. In addition, there are new models of houses being developed for release in Korea, including a house nestled high in a tree. Yes, folks, there's an outline of a genuine treehouse to tantalize housing aficionados!

There's also talk of an exclusive housing district, but the details of the translated notes are fuzzy. Whether the Western market gets this update, however, remains to be seen; if it does, it's likely a long way off.

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