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Fantasy

Elder Scrolls' fourth major update teased in new concept art

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

When Elder Scrolls Online's fourth major update lands in September, players will be able to "discover the ruins and delves of the last region of Craglorn," according to a teaser on the fantasy MMO's website. Upper Craglorn holds the key to the mystery of the fallen constellations, apparently, and it also boasts something called "the Serpent Trial" and "treacherous new delves."

ZeniMax has posted a few concept art wallpapers to whet your appetite for the new content.

Landmark's combat patch goes live

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

Combat has finally come to Landmark, but there's much more to this update than just armor, weapons, and death. There are plenty of new Kerran-themed props, new materials (10 new color of Stucco variations and 16 new Burled Wood tints), movement props, and bug fixes. On top of that, there's a new way to pay claim upkeep; those who desperately want to keep their claims but don't want to bother with copper now have the opportunity to pay with Station Cash at a cost of 10 SC per day per claim.

And here's probably some of the best news from the mouths of the devs themselves:
"We've made a number of optimizations that should improve framerates for many players. This does not include the Multithreaded Rendering, which we are still working on."
If you plan to dive in and check out combat, SOE has posted instructions for setting up the PvP games on the forums to help answer any questions. Full details on the update can be found in the patch notes. For now, all claims will be flagged for PvP until the observer mode can be added.

Finally, the Workshop livestream is moving! Starting August 28th, the show focusing on the collaborative development of racial buildings will be broadcast on the EverQuest Next Twitch Channel Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

Project Gorgon engages its second Kickstarter campaign

Fantasy, Video, New Titles, Crowdfunding

gorgon
After its Kickstarter campaign fizzled back in 2012, Project Gorgon and its team regrouped to prepare a second, and hopefully successful, crowdfunding drive. The campaign launched a couple of days ago and is attempting to rake in $100,000 in pledges before the end of its 30 days.

Project Gorgon bills itself as "an indie MMORPG with the deep gameplay of the classics, all the features of a modern game, and a unique immersive feel." The team promises a virtual world with a focus on exploration without signposts and immersive aspects such as being able to write in-game books for others to read. Project Gorgon also allegedly rewards certain types of gameplay with "behavior badges."

Project Gorgon has been in development for four years and is nearing the production stage. The game is actually playable in an early state right now, so if you're curious, you can check it out before deciding whether or not to sponsor its development. We've also got a preview video for you after the jump.

[Thanks to Gaming Conjecture for the tip!]

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The Stream Team: Looking for trouble in ArcheAge places

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, The Stream Team

After having her car insurance canceled in ArcheAge (apparently water damage isn't covered!) and her driving privileges revoked, Massively's MJ heads back to the safer realms of questing. Oh, whom are we kidding -- there is plenty of trouble she can get into anywhere! And if you know MJ, you know she'll find some. Maybe she'll even turn to a life of crime and go on a potato-stealing spree. Join us live at 6:00 p.m. for more Firran alpha adventures.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Gutrhie
Date: Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Time: 6:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Blizzard's Tom Chilton on World of Warcraft's slow content pace

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Patches, News Items, Subscription

Blizzard's Tom Chilton has been making the rounds this week in one candid interview after another. World of Warcraft website Icy Veins recently asked him directly why recent content releases haven't been meeting the originally planned six-month cadence, and Chilton didn't dodge, explaining that scaling the team up to make Warlords of Draenor resulted in a slower-than-desired pace for releases:
We did a good job earlier in Mists of Pandaria, having the content come at a more frequent intervals, and certainly we had hoped to have Warlords of Draenor out a couple of months ago. The reality is that scaling up the number of people that we have, to work on multiple projects at once has slowed us down. Honestly, it should have not come as a surprise to us. We increased the size of the team by 50% and the majority of those people had never worked on World of Warcraft before or any other MMO, so it is really difficult for them to create content right away, without getting up to speed. So we ended up redoing a lot of the content that we were doing for Warlords to make sure that we would get it at the quality level that we would expect. Also, the garrison feature turned into a bigger thing than we expected it to be. Quality is the most important thing, so if we have to make a choice between getting you something two months ago or getting you a great expansion in November, the choice is obvious. I think we are in a better position now for the future, we already have zones in production for our next expansion. So, if things go well, there will be less of a gap.
Chilton also discusses alternative subscription models for niche players (there are no plans for such), the possibility of making Outland and Northrend parallel level 60-80 content paths, and the potential for visual and aural upgrades beyond character models.

Massively Exclusive: Elsword's two new systems

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play

elsword
Elsword is adding in a pair of new systems for two of the MMO's key characters, Aisha and Eve. Both of these systems have something in common, which is the ability to automate or streamline some of the fancy combat moves.

Aisha gets the memorization system, which takes three skills and mooshes them up into a single button press. Players can activate Aisha's legendary memorization during play, assigning specific skills in order for use later. It's helpful that MP is used while setting up the skill chain and not when triggered, although the chain will do only 70% of normal damage.

As for Eve, she is being granted with the core release system. Players can trigger Eve's awakening mode to unleash automated attack and defense moves. By choosing certain skills during this phase, players can change the core from an automatic laser that lashes out at enemies to a protective shield.

We've got pictures of the memorization and core release systems below!

Leaderboard: How do you feel about loyalty rewards?

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Opinion, Leaderboard, The Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online announced its vet reward program recently, and while it doesn't take effect until next month, it got me to thinking about similar incentives in other MMOs. They're pretty common, of course, and even F2P games offer them provided that they also offer an optional subscription tier.

Personally vet rewards aren't much of an incentive. I mean, sometimes they offer a neat-looking vanity pet that I'll look at once and subsequently forget to ever summon again, but I can't recall ever anticipating a loyalty reward or remaining subscribed in order to get one. What about you, Massively readers? Are loyalty rewards nothing more than a nice bonus, or are there some that go above and beyond in terms of desirability? If so, which ones? Don't forget to 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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Get Skyforge closed beta keys in a social media scavenger hunt

Betas, Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, Giveaways, MMORPG, Skyforge

Did the upcoming title Skyforge grab your attention during its Gamescom panel earlier this month? Are you now looking forward to delving into the class-swapping system for yourself? If so, we've got good news: You have the chance to nab a key that guarantees access to the closed beta! Obsidian is having a scavenger hunt giveaway on the game's official Twitter and FaceBook page, getting a total of 100 keys into the hands of fans. Numerous keys have been posted already, so if you want one of them, keep your eyes peeled. If you don't win, however, you can still sign up for a chance to get one on the official site.

[Thanks to Dystopiq for the tip!]

Guild Wars 2 previews crafting backpacks

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Crafting, Buy-to-Play

I said there's got to be some good reason for your crafting themed backpack, gold stack, turn around your gems are back, yeah.
Do you consider yourself nice and crafty in Guild Wars 2? Are you fond of being a master of your chosen profession? If so, you're going to be nabbing some nice upgrades when the September 2014 feature pack rolls out. For example, there's the new line of craft-based backpacks available to players that don't take much to make but show off just how good you can be at making stuff in the game. If you've ever wanted to haul around a miniature forge on your back as part of your wardrobe, your ship has come in.

Players can also look forward to new exceptional weapons that can either be crafted for leveling characters or found via exploration, giving your character a little boost while leveling through Tyria. There are also loot changes that make you more likely to receive items you can use on a character rather than receiving an endless string of greatswords on your Thief. Take a peek at the official post for more details.

Final Fantasy XIV celebrates a year since its relaunch

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Anniversaries, Subscription

Well this is much more pleasant than what exploded in the night sky at Carteneau.
As of today, Final Fantasy XIV has made it a full year since its successful relaunch. Producer Naoki Yoshida took the time to celebrate with a special letter from the producer, looking back at the past year of operation, both the pitfalls and the highlights. He also thanks the fans and especially the Legacy players for having stood by the game from a rocky inception to the present, and looks forward to upcoming patches, the pending Fan Fest, and the as-yet-unrevealed expansion.

Today also marks the start of a seasonal event to celebrate the anniversary, featuring new minipets, a new emote, and new items for players to enjoy. The event will run until September 8th, giving everyone time to complete the sequence if they so choose. So here's to a year of the resurrected game, and let's hope for many more to come.

Black Gold Online announces its first major content update

Fantasy, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Black Gold

Making a joke about critical reception seems just plain cruel.
The first major update to Black Gold Online is going live on September 10th, and it's not going to be all sunshine and lollipops. The name alone kind of makes that obvious; a title like the Campaign of Ashes doesn't bring to mind pleasant undertakings. It brings to mind a new region of the game, plenty of new open PvP, and new missions and quests for players. Which, as it turns out, is exactly what the update will provide.

Of course, that's not the extent of what the update is offering to players, who can look forward to a higher level cap, a new "Skill Surge" system, more equipment, and more content across the board. The update also ushers in an improved interface and a variety of performance upgrades, making the game run more smoothly while being that much easier to play. It's only a couple of weeks until the update goes live, so active players should get ready now.

Diablo 2.10 patch releases with week of in-game bonuses

Fantasy, Video, Events (In-Game), Patches, Diablo III, Buy-to-Play

d3
It's time for new challenges in Diablo III, as Patch 2.10 crash-landed today to the delights of players and the screams of frustrated hellbeasts. Why won't you stop slaughtering them already?

The big four features that arrive with 2.10 are seasons, greater rifts, leaderboards, and cesspools. Starting today, players can roll up a fresh character for a new season to earn special rewards without assistance from the player's other assets. To celebrate the patch, Diablo III has triggered a week of double gold find and double treasure goblin appearances.

The patch notes are so long that, well, they descend into the deep blackness of the website. If you'd rather not go blind reading all of that, you can check out the patch overview video after the jump. Happy gaming!

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Trion Worlds denies ArcheAge server security breach, recommends new passwords

Betas, Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, ArcheAge

AA
Over the weekend, the ArcheAge beta forums erupted with claims that testers' credit cards were being charged for unauthorized purchases of founders packs. Trion has today responded with a forum post that denies a widespread server security breach. Community Manager Scapes writes,
Let us start by saying this very clearly: Trion Worlds' security has not been compromised in any way. There has been absolutely no breach in Trion's servers.

What happened in the last few hours is sadly nothing new: Every day, bots obtain user credentials from various unprotected sites around the Internet, build lists of login and passwords, and try them on Trion's servers (along with many other sites). If players consistently use simple or repeated passwords across different online services, these bots may get access to their accounts. Because of the current momentum around ArcheAge, hundreds of millions of such attempts were made from well over a million different IP addresses in the last few weeks, only a fraction of which ended up being successful today.
Trion says that it has begun issuing refunds to affected users and is (by coincidence) buffing its Glyph launcher with new device-specific security features. The studio recommends strengthening all game passwords.

[With thanks to tipster Boinya.]

Jukebox Heroes: The music of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Opinion, Jukebox Heroes, Music

wow
Cataclysm was the first World of Warcraft expansion that I was not there to experience. While I initially applauded the idea of the devs changing the world and bringing the new tech to old spots, that fundamental change in the land that I used to know so well ended up causing me pain. Nobody likes to think of something beloved changed and lost forever. So I stayed away and missed what is probably the worst-reviewed expansion to date.

As such, it was the first WoW expansion score that I listened to outside of the game. To my ears, it was substantially darker than previous efforts, although there contained moments of beauty and excitement. Due to the nature of the expansion, the soundtrack is all over the place thematically, occasionally rewriting old zone music (alas).

The one thing that really pops out at me from this album is how the composers extensively used various background sound effects and noises to suppliment the tunes. I'm not sure if these were added for the album or if these exist in-game, but they certainly add more in terms of atmosphere. Interestingly enough, one of my all-time favorite World of Warcraft tracks came from this expansion, so it certainly wasn't a wasted effort.

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TERA introduces Kickstarter-esque BAM Killer event

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, TERA

Instead of asking for cash, TERA has taken to crowdfunding to solicit manpower. Using a fake Kickstarter page, En Masse invites players to help combat the out-of-control population explosion of BAMs -- or Big Ass monsters -- throughout TERA before they invade our world. How dire is the situation? Watch the video below to see!

From now until September 16th, players can contribute to the BAM kill count and work toward the ultimate goal of 5 million BAMs dead in 21 days. Each day players log in during the event they will receive a special loot box that will contain five federation bills and a chance to drop bronze, silver, or gold BAM tokens -- tokens that can be exchanged for costumes, accessories, and even weapons exclusive to this event. For a look at all the possible rewards, check out the BAM Killer program.

[Source: En Masse press release]

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