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Final Fantasy XIV rolls out the Starlight Celebration

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

The real reason for the season is, and always has been, cute dresses.
You could be forgiven for not remembering the imminent Starlight Celebration in Final Fantasy XIV. After all, there are weddings to worry about now. But it's back again, and like most holidays in the game, it brings with it a new outfit and a new minion for players to procure. Even better, it also brings a variety of housing decorations to help turn your room, house, or guild hall into a festive wonderland. A stuffed qiqirn is appropriate for any house all year round, after all.

The celebration starts on December 18th and runs until December 31st, with a main questline as well as daily quests for event rewards. Another batch of goods will also be made available to players starting on December 24th, so you'll want to be ready for more as the event rolls on. So take a little time away from wedding planning and relic weapon upgrades to celebrate the reason for the season. Also to unlock fake moustaches; that's pretty great.

Gloria Victis pre-alpha patch adds weather system

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Sandbox

gloria victis
While it's still very much a work in progress, a weather system (with clouds!) has come to Gloria Victis with the advent of pre-alpha patch v.0.1.1.

The new patch isn't solely about additions that make Weather Channel fans geek out, of course. The title added an item decay and repair system, updated the world map, included more music, improved mob AI, and further optimized performance.

Still, if gorgeous sunsets and foggy days are the sort of eye candy that gets you excited about an MMO, the weather may be the biggest addition yet to Gloria Victis.

TERA's Fate of Arun expansion arrives in Europe today

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Expansions, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, TERA

TERA's European fans have reason to be excited as the game's first expansion, Fate of Arun, deploys today. First announced to surprised MMO gamers back in October, the content deluge includes a level cap bump to 65, new PvP modes, four new zones, four new instances, and the advancement of the game's plotline.

The expansion lands in North America next week. EU publisher Gameforge has posted new screenies that should make everyone happy, though; we've included them all in the gallery below!

RIFT brings Fae Yule back with new mounts and sweaters

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

Nice marmot.
What could be better than riding around on a festive squirrel while wearing awful holiday sweaters? Why, doing so on your way to fight a boss, of course. You'll get your chance to do just that in the latest incarnation of RIFT's Fae Yule event, running until January 7th. Players can send their minions out to find the missing Grandfather Frost, take on the new Golden Devourer boss, and take part in several new quests and special events during the event period.

And what do you get out of it? Aside from a new mount to carry you into battle, you can earn new pets, minions, holiday-themed weapons, cloaks, decorations for your home Dimension... lots of stuff, in other words. So get in-game and get moving because if you have an urgent need to deck yourself in all the holiday gear available, you've got only a little time to pick it all up. And who wants to miss out on horrible sweaters? No one, that's who.

Tree of Savior reveals more classes, promises a surprise on December 12th

Fantasy, Video, Classes, Previews, News Items

Be all that you can be, sometimes with little rhyme or reason.
Whether or not you think that Tree of Savior is going to be a game to watch out for, you have to respect the game's dedication to class diversity. A new batch of classes has been unveiled by fan translation work, and it's certainly a far cry from the usual fare. How many other games expect you to choose between Doppelsoldner, Pied Piper, Murmillo, and Schwarze Reiter? And that's just out of this group!

At character creation, players will choose between four basic classes (Swordsman, Wizard, Cleric, and Archer), which leads into the extremely diverse lineup of advanced classes such as the aforementioned additions. You can see some of these classes on display in the game's trailer from G-Star 2014, embedded past the break. The game has just put up a teaser site promising a reveal on December 12th, possibly the game's first beta test.

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Arisha coming to NA Vindictus next week

Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Vindictus

Last summer we told you about Arisha, the latest Vindictus mercenary and a playable character that Nexon has labeled the Sorceress of Blades. She's coming to the game's North American servers next week, according to a Nexon PR blurb. "Though Arisha's main weapon is her sword, she performs Intelligence-based attacks," the firm explains. "When she fights, she dances across the battlefield in a whirl, insulting her foes with cocky taunts before delivering the killing blow."

Arisha uses a mana system that allows for "super-fast" sword slashes and teleports and separates her from all other Vindictus mercs.

[Source: Nexon press release]

Shards lead dev talks skill caps, pickpocketing, and more

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

Citadel Studios CEO Derek Brinkmann was interviewed by Worlds Factory this week, and the subject of course was indie sandbox Shards Online. The piece explains Shards' debt to both Neverwinter Nights and Ultima Online, the latter of which Brinkmann helped develop.

He explains Shards' current skill cap (each skill tops out at 50 while the total cap is 250) as well as everything from hirelings and tamed companions to housing, pickpocketing, and guild wars!

TERA's Korean incarnation is getting a new class this month

Fantasy, Classes, News Items, Free-to-Play, TERA

And the long history of overcompensation continues.
Have you ever been playing TERA and thought that what the game really needed was more guns? Because the upcoming additional class (tentatively translated as Arcane Gunner) brings exactly that to the game. More guns. All of the guns, in fact. There's no space for any more guns because the ladies of this class are hauling around cannons as big as they are. Yes, ladies; much like the Elin-only Reaper, the new class is limited to High Elf and Castanic women.

Aside from the aforementioned huge gun, the new class will also be able to summon sentry drones and robot helpers whilst it blows everything away. There will even be new hairstyles available. No word on when the class will arrive in the game's local incarnation, although based on the last added class, it'll be four or five months. You can wait on gunplay until April, right?

Black Desert's characters still look incredible

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Black Desert

Had enough Black Desert trailers yet? Good, we haven't either. This latest one gives us an eyeful of the fantasy sandbox's singular character design. The two-minute clip features NPCs, mobs, and some really slick-looking avatar outfits (with damage!).

See for yourself after the break.

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Age of Conan is selling instant level-80s until January 2nd

Fantasy, Age of Conan, Free-to-Play, Promotions

Getting a high-level character in Age of Conan now requires you only to break out your wallet and plunk down a few bills. Funcom announced today that players can purchase an instant level 80 character on the cash shop for $40 (or $30 if that player already has another level 80 toon).

These new level 80s will come equipped with a set of rare gear, a fast mount, the riding skill, a 56-slot bag, 79 expertise points, and other goodies. If you're planning on picking up one of these "go straight to buff" packages, you'll need to do so before the promotion ends on January 2nd.

Age of Conan is also offering bonus free months of subscription and other goods when you sign up or extend your membership by at least three additional months.

The Elder Scrolls Online's Undaunted Pledge system promotes daily dungeons

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Guides, Dev Diaries, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Are you wandering around The Elder Scrolls Online in a post-Update 5 haze, lost on what to do? Wander no more: ZeniMax has released a dev blog today to give you some guidance.

The guide details the pledge system of the Undaunted, whose tasks are reminiscent of daily dungeon quests in other themeparks. Starting at level 45, players can swear themselves to the Undaunted faction, which offers two daily quests to complete dungeons, one veteran and one not. Depending on how well they complete the dungeon and the difficulty of the encounter, players will be awarded reputation with the faction as well as a key to unlock a sweet chest of loot. "The Undaunted chests can contain a variety of helpful loot, from valuable Ornate items and soul gems to unique items sets and attention-grabbing shoulder pieces fashioned from the very brutes you've slain," writes ZOS.

The full guide is on the official site.

Final Fantasy XIV has 2.5 million registered accounts

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

We're going to need a bigger house, like the one I just bought.
At the very end of Final Fantasy XIV's Eternal Bond trailer on Tuesday, there's a small line imploring watchers to join 2.5 million adventurers worldwide. The last official word from the game on numbers was two million registrations back in April. It was easy to miss that line at the end, but it was caught by blogger Syncaine, and we reached out to Square-Enix to confirm that the game has indeed passed the 2.5 million mark in registrations.

Registered accounts is obviously not the same thing as active subscriptions, but it's still a milestone for the game, especially with an expansion on the way in spring of next year. That's good news for both the Final Fantasy XIV team and the players who will have plenty of other people to adventure with.

A dragon interloper is approaching ArcheAge

Fantasy, Lore, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Subscription

I think he's kind of angry.
ArcheAge is gearing up for its December update, and that means getting ready for a dragon. A long time ago in the in-game lore, the dragon Misagon tried to take the land of Erenor for himself and his kin, which led to the Nuon rising up and killing him because that's just a really rude way to move in. The dragons panicked and left, but one among them started planning for Dragon Invasion II: The Dragoning.

That invasion is going down as part of the December update, with the somewhat uncreatively named Red Dragon leading his minions in an assault on Erenor. This is the same dragon who resorted to feeding on other dragons to get stronger, so you know he's... well, not a good guy. Go ahead and check out the lore post for a slightly less irreverent explanation of what flies forth on crimson wings, and get ready to undertake some dragon hunting in the game's next major patch.

Players power direction of Oort Online's development

Betas, Fantasy, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

Oort Online's dev team is not content to make this voxel sandbox in the isolation of its ivory tower (or the corner of a deserted warehouse, whatever may be), but it has been asking for constant input from backers for the direction of the game's development. "As the game currently stands, the playable features are quite contained as we've been focusing on establishing the core MMO services and game engine," the devs posted.

In a recent backer survey, 43% of those surveyed asked for the devs to prioritize the creation of character races out of the four options presented. In addition, the team said that some of the biggest priorities for a 1.0 release include resource gathering, crafting, and PvE combat. At the bottom of the list? "Real money purchases -- I want short cuts!"

Oort Online is a "universe-sized" sandbox that's currently in alpha testing and has raised over $123,000 in crowdfunding.

[Thanks to Jose for the tip!]

The Stream Team: The art of ArcheAge bot wrangling

Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, The Stream Team, Player-Generated Content

What do you do when rampant ArcheAge bots are littering your landscape and lording over the mining nodes? Why not make them sleep with the fishes? It seems as if the devs aren't doing enough to help stem the bot problem, so Massively's MJ and the Minions took matters into their own hands and developed an amusing new minigame within ArcheAge: Bot Wrangling. It takes a bit of skill mingled with some luck, but unlike PvP, this game can be played in peacetime zones. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to see who can rustle up the most bots.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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