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Fantasy

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.

Black Desert's sieges are purposeful chaos

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Black Desert

black desert
Believe it or not, Black Desert's appeal doesn't begin and end at darn fine looks; the Korean MMO has a wealth of other features as well. Two of those features are the subject of a new trailer today, half of which shows off the mighty field boss fights and the other half showing the chaos of castle sieges.

We've got a five-minute look at both of these features in a gameplay trailer after the break! Our favorite part is the musician who is merrily wandering around the field of combat belting out sweet tunes, oblivious to the carnage all around.

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Listen to Shroud of the Avatar's player-created soundtrack

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Music, Shroud of the Avatar, Buy-to-Play

sota
The fact that approximately 90% of the soundtrack for Shroud of the Avatar will be player-created may have escaped your attention, but the devs have not forgotten. In fact, in this past week's newsletter, several of the successful submissions were featured, including the track called Truth.

The team is getting ready to unleash another grand tour quest and has announced that the reward for completing this journey will be a seasonal yule hat. Another addition planned for the upcoming Release 13 is the ability to light weapons on fire via magic. Why have magic if you're not making the world burn, right?

True fans of the genre, get thee hence to Cabal II's closed beta

Betas, Fantasy, Free-to-Play, Humor

cabal 2
Are you a "true fan" of the MMO genre? If so, then according to a hyperactive press release by ESTGames, you'll surely want to sign up for Cabal II's closed beta on the official site.

The beta sign-ups for the sequel to Cabal Online are indeed live, and a focus test is already in the works for December 19th through the 22nd. Cabal II is an action-MMO with "fluid, skill-based combat"; it's aiming for a 2015 release in both North America and Europe.

[Source: ESTGames press release]

Make My MMO: December 7 - 13, 2014

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Make My MMO

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Shards Online pretty much stole the show. Sure, Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous made some noise like they always do, but the player-driven sandbox world-builder from Citadel Studios not only polished off a successful Kickstarter campaign but also started getting a bit of pub outside the usual MMO blogging circles.

Click past the cut for the rest of this week's crowdfunding roundup.

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ArcheAge details its upcoming update, PTS, and holiday events

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge

What do stockings, a vengeful sea goddess, and a dragon have in common? No, it's not a titillating new fantasy paperback. It's ArcheAge's next update. Version 1.2 Build 4.6 (as it is officially known) heralds the introduction of the Red Dragon to Erenor, an insane ancient Wyrmkin that will test the mettle of the strongest adventurers. Additionally, the jealous sea goddess Dahuta will make traveling the waters near her domain even more treacherous. Other update tidbits include a five-second forced delay between land claim attempts "in order to disrupt rapid spam-placement attempt tools" and the sale of the Comet speedster for 800 gilda. Players can test these new experiences out on the newly launched public test server. More information on all this and instructions for installing the PTS can be found on the official site and the PTS FAQ.

This update also introduces the Winter Maiden Festival for the holidays. Featuring buff-giving trees you decorate and stockings you assemble all from loot drops, the event sees players decking the mobs with swords and staffs all through the season. Plushie collectors have the chance to acquire seven new snowman plushies to decorate their homes.

Archlord 2 adds a new server and two races

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Patches, Free-to-Play, Races

archlord 2
Next week's Eternal Strife update for Archlord 2 will offer a fresh start for many players, as the semi-launched title will open a new European server and toss in a couple of additional races.

So which races will be immigrating to the fantasy MMO? First up are the Moonelves, who will team upwith the Crunn and bring their exclusive magical orbs to bear (insert skimpy armor joke here). Over on the Azuni side, the Dragonscion and their deadly pistols will join the struggle. Each race will also get its own new starting region as well.

Eternal Strife is scheduled for Tuesday, December 16th. We've the update trailer for you to watch after the break!

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Shards closes its successful Kickstarter campaign with a livestream

Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

Shards Online has already met its Kickstarter goals, and now Citadel Studios is throwing a celebratory wrap-up livestream as the clock winds down. And when we say now, we really mean now, since the stream runs from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EDT today. The team will be giving away alpha codes and riffing on some of the gameplay viewable in the new campaign highlight video that we've embedded after the break.

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SOE bracing for 'enormous' Landmark update

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting, Landmark

So next week's Landmark update is big. Real big, according to SOE's Dave Georgeson. The patch includes "caves down to the world core," salvaging, crafting tweaks, transportation systems, monsters, new loot, and more.

Georgeson also cautions that SOE "fully expects this update to be problematic." He says that the firm will keep players updated via Twitter and that it will announce on Sunday whether or not the update will occur on Monday as currently planned.

EverQuest celebrates 15 days of holiday cheer

Fantasy, EverQuest, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Promotions

everquest
Whether you've been naughty or nice this year, SOE has plenty of presents to go in your virtual stocking. To celebrate EverQuest's 15th anniversary year, the studio is throwing 15 days of "holiday cheer" for the game's community.

On each of the next 15 days, there will be some sort of event or promotion for players to enjoy. It kicks off today with double faction points and double rare spawns. After that, there will be many daily sales, including cheaper severed hand mounts (because who doesn't want to ride on one of those?) and a 50% off housing items sale on December 18th.

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