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Chaos Heroes Online MOBA arrives this fall

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA

If it were any more generic, it'd be Warcraft III!
It's safe to say that there are a lot of MOBAs on the market at the moment. Do you want another one? Because Chaos Heroes Online looks as if it's set to be just that. If you've found yourself saying that you've got only a limited number of MOBAs to play and really need another one on the pile, this game will completely satisfy you by virtue of being a MOBA and being released this fall.

Chaos Heroes Online is based on a variant of the original genre-defining Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III, and its main claim to fame is offering players the ability to gear up from anywhere on the map rather than requiring anyone to return to base. Beyond that, it offers... well, you can probably guess what it offers if you're familiar with other MOBAs. Because that's what it is. Purely. You can check out the trailer past the cut if you have a mighty need for another MOBA.

[Source: Aeria Games press release]

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The Stream Team: A final farewell to Vanguard as it sunsets

Fantasy, Screenshots, Vanguard, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, The Stream Team, Sunsets

It's finally here: The end of the world. And that world is Vanguard's Telon. Tonight the game sunsets, and Massively's MJ will be there to wish it a fond farewell while celebrating all that's unique about it. She'll be sharing different Vanguard memories and inviting you to do the same. On top of that, there will be an end-of-the-world party that sails from continent to continent, ending at Ahgram with the biggest barge party. Join us live at 7:00 p.m. for the two-hour final farewell.

Game: Vanguard
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, July 31st, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Ultima Forever will sunset August 29th

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Miscellaneous, Sunsets

Ultima Forever is unfortunately not so forever after all: EA/Mythic has just announced that its Ultima-flavored mobile MMO will be shutting down on August 29th. Forever.
Strangers, Seekers and Avatars all,

While the past year has certainly been quite the adventure – in Britannia and beyond! – that adventure is now drawing to a close, as the time has come for us to say goodbye. As of Aug 29th 2014 (11:00 AM EDT), Ultima Forever will be shutting down its online services, and will no longer be available to play.

This was a very difficult decision for us to make. We've seen the game through ups and downs, and hope that you've enjoyed playing it every bit as much as we had making it! Through it all, it's been players like you who've made it all worthwhile.
The team says that during this final month of operation, it will boost rewards and drops, halt equipment decay, and cease selling premium currency.

Path of Exile announces Forsaken Masters, its second major update

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

Not to be confused with the Forsaken Maestros.  That's a very different expansion.
You aren't the best around in Path of Exile. To be the best, you need someone even better to teach you. You need a master. Maybe even a lost master, which is the premise of the game's second major update, Forsaken Masters. This update will give players seven different eponymous masters to train under, each of whom will make different requests of players and offer different lessons as players improve their reputation.

That's not all the update will offer when it goes live, though. Players will be able to craft their own customized hideouts upon reaching enough reputation with a given Master, allowing them to craft their own little town. There are also new items, revamped passive skills, rebalances of existing content, and new challenge leagues to enjoy. Players will be able to start taking on these new adventures when the update drops on August 20th. Then you can start really being the best around.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

ArcheAge's second closed beta event is live right now

Betas, Fantasy, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox

ArcheAge's second closed beta phase is officially underway! This time around, you can play through 1:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, August 4th. If you played CBE1, you don't need to download the client all over again, but you will need to update your build to 4.3 via the 161 MB patch.

You may also be pleased to note that all of your CBE1 progress will carry over, including your crop timers and taxes. Trion says that CBE2 is expected to be "three times the size of the first."

Age of Wushu expansion Warrior's Ascension releases today

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

Snail has released Warrior's Ascension, the "summer expansion" for its Age of Wushu martial arts MMO. The update includes a beta of the Sky Ladder, which is a new PvP tournament system wherein players will fight random opponents "who match their level."

Warrior's Ascension also enables players to acquire new level six gear upon completion of the "Before the Final Battle" chapter that has been added to the Age of Wushu records.

[Source: Snail Games press release]

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Vindictus previews upcoming hero Arisha

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Classes, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Vindictus

Girl talk.
Bad news first: if you're a stateside player of Vindictus, you don't know when you're going to be able to start playing with Arisha, as she's not releasing in Korea until August 7th. You can, however, take a look at her trailer just past the break to get a sense for the character and how she fights, so that's something, at least.

In play, Arisha looks to be a fast-moving character using a single blade and magic to teleport, freeze time, and otherwise tear through her opponents. Also, by the looks of it, she's got a pet dog. Take a gander at the trailer if you're interested in seeing more about the character, although you will have to wait for a while yet to play her yourself.

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World of Tanks builds strongholds for Update 9.2

Video, Patches, War, Free-to-Play, World of Tanks, MOBA

world of tanks
Wargaming is betting that players will fight even harder than usual if it's over something they built, which is why the company introduced strongholds with today's Update 9.2 for World of Tanks.

Strongholds are a new game mode in which players can lay out a virtual base and fight over it. If a clan can upgrade its base enough, it will be treated to limited-time bonuses that will cover all clan members across the game.

Update 9.2 also comes with eight reworked maps, more medal achievements, HD upgrades to a few tanks, and the Fire Arc battle arena. Check out what 9.2 has to offer in the update video after the break.

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Hearthstone unlocks the doors to the Plague Quarter

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

Hearthstone
The second wing of Heartstone: Curse of Naxxramas is now open for players to explore and plunder, as the weekly rollout of this online card game expansion continues.

The Plague Quarter has unlocked for players, but unlike the free taste of the Arachnid Quarter, this one will require gold to purchase. Inside the quarter, you will find Noth the Plaguebringer, Heigan the Unclean, and the big boss Loatheb.

Players that master the Plague Quarter not only will be treated to new cards for their collection but can also go on to tackle two class challenges with additional card rewards.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

Captain's Log: Star Trek Online's eternal crafting problem

Sci-Fi, Patches, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Captain's Log, Crafting, Subscription

Out of the wreckage.
I haven't had the chance to really dive into the new crafting system in Star Trek Online just yet, but I can tell it's certainly a valid effort to revitalize the crafting system for the third time in the game's lifespan, this time with an even more fundamental teardown. Memory Alpha is gone now, along with the exploration clusters that used to provide oh-so-many spots to analyze in the hopes of getting more materials.

Back at the start of this year, the column took a look at the state of Star Trek Online's crafting and asked whether there really is a future left for it. After all, crafting as a source of items was up against the fleet stores and reputation items. Could you make something better than those systems without replacing those systems? Would it even be worth it? What could be done to clean up crafting? We've gotten our answer about what will be done, but is it a net benefit for the game as a whole?

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Defiance's Silicon Valley expansion arrives next week

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic, Defiance

Defiance
Trion Worlds aims to publish Defiance's next expansion, Silicon Valley, next week on August 5th. The "completely free world expansion" will bolster the newly free-to-play MMO with new story content as well as a new modifier, Encryption, for weapons and shields. Says the studio,
Within the world expansion, players will find Karl Von Back has disappeared into Silicon Valley with his EGO-imbued followers, but it's not the paradise they promised. The valley is overrun with Grid, and a strange cult, the Pilgrims of the Guiding Light, have taken hold in locations across the zone. As all new mysteries unravel, the populace of Silicon Valley calls for help, and only ark hunters have what it takes to face the trials ahead.
Trion intends to stream on Twitch this evening at 6 p.m. EDT to answer questions about the update.

[Source: Trion press release]

NCsoft launches Lineage II's Ertheia expansion today

Fantasy, Galleries, Video, Lineage 2, Classes, Expansions, Lore, Patches, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Races, Dungeons

L2
Lineage II's latest expansion, Ertheia, launches today, bringing with it a new race (the Ertheia), two new classes (Ertheia Fighter and Ertheia Wizard), a new racial skill (Alchemy), new stats (Charisma and Luck), a level 99 instance (The Dimensional Barrier), and two new hunting zones for -- you guessed it -- Ertheia characters.

Former players can take advantage of a welcome-back promotion that includes a pack of goodies for veteran characters and a free mount for freshly rolled toons.

We've included some concept art as well as videos describing the lore and new classes below.

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APB update pwns cheaters and creates quicker matchups

Patches, PvP, Free-to-Play, Legal, All Points Bulletin

APB
APB: Reloaded has moved beyond merely shaking a fist at cheaters to waging war on them.

Today, Reloaded Games released its Open Conflict patch that contains the much-vaunted "FairFight" technology that monitors for illicit behavior and nips it in the bud on the spot. This system also publicly shames hackers and botters as they are banned so that the entire server can witness their downfall.

Open Conflict also contains cloud saves for character settings and a new matchmaking mode that lumps people together based on availability instead of skill.

[Source: Reloaded Games press release]

RuneFest tickets on sale this week

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

If you're a RuneScape fan and you'll be in London on October 11th, you might want to know that tickets for this year's edition of RuneFest are now on sale. Passes are £99 each, or you can get in for free (and even get a hotel room!) with RuneScape's in-game bonds.

The event starts at 10:00 a.m. local time and runs through 7:00 p.m., with an afterparty and late-night gaming scheduled through 11:00 p.m.

Neverwinter coming to Xbox One in 2015

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, Neverwinter

Perfect World is porting Neverwinter to the Xbox One in China this year followed by a worldwide release in "the first half of 2015," according to IGN.

The site interviewed lead producer Andy Velasquez who says that a consolized Neverwinter will boast "all the same races, all the same classes, [and] all the same maps. The content will be there with some minor exceptions."

The Xbox One version of Neverwinter will not feature cross-play with the PC version, and Perfect World offered no comment on plans for other platforms.

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