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Age of Wushu: Winds of Destiny releases on October 15th

Fantasy, Historical, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

If everything could only be this good forever.
It's happening, just like the headline says: Age of Wushu's next major update is launching next week, giving you just a few more days to prepare for everything that's coming. That means new areas, new gameplay, and a whole host of new challenges for experienced masters and relative novices alike.

The update looks to build player bonds and alliances with the new Companion system, which allows players to establish a mutually beneficial partnership via the game's existing offline occupation system. There are also new areas to explore, like Delightful Isle and Lingxiao City. You won't have to wait long to go through all of this for yourself, though; it's just a little over a week until the patch goes live.

RuneScape customer service helps 500K players in a year

Fantasy, MMO Industry, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

runescape
To coincide with National Customer Service Week in the United Kingdom, RuneScape is preparing a series of posts and meetups about and with the customer service team. To kick it off, the team put together an infographic about its previous year's efforts with players.

Probably the most stunning figure is that the 28-member team assisted 500,000 players over the course of a year. A majority of those service requests were for account issues. Response time was decent but not astounding, with 25% of calls answered within an hour and a "vast majority" addressed within 24 hours. The team was happy that 75% of those helped rated the help as eight or above out of 10.

You can view the full infographic after the break.

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Allods Online offers ship test arenas

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, PvP, Free-to-Play, Allods Online, Dev Diaries

allods
Players looking to learn the ropes of their flying ships in Allods Online will soon have a friendlier and cheaper option: the Astral Arena.

Coming with the 5.0.02 update, the Astral Arena is essentially a series of test rooms for players to pit their ship against others with a variety of rulesets. The arena won't be as hardcore as normal PvP encounters, as ships can be repaired after fighting in them for no cost.

The Astral Arena is divided into the maintenance system (for ship repair), the firing zone (with dummy ships), the stable zone (PvP with three astral anomalies), and the scintilliation zone (another PvP mode with two anomalies).

SWTOR: Shadow of Revan will include new class missions

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic

swtor
Butting heads with famous Revan and his cronies is one thing, but will the new Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion allow our characters to continue their individual class stories? BioWare Community Manager Eric Musco confirmed on the forums that, yes, every class will get a single new mission with Shadow of Revan:

"Each player class will be given one unique class story mission as part of the storyline; these are entirely different from one another," Musco wrote.

SWTOR: Shadow of Revan was officially announced yesterday with a December 9th release date.

EverQuest II begins a month of bonuses to prep players for level 100

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, EverQuest II, Expansions, Free-to-Play

Are you ready for EverQuest II's level bump to 100 when the 11th expansion, Altar of Malice, launches next month? If not, then you've got a month of bonuses ahead to help you prepare. Starting today at 3:00 p.m. EDT and lasting until Tuesday, November 11th at 2:59 a.m. EDT, All-Access members will receive a 25% bonus to experience. This includes adventuring, tradeskilling, and Alternate Advancement points. Additionally, all players will receive double Etyma, the coin used to purchase gear and items from the Tears of Veeshan merchants. (And yes, this double offer stacks, so paid members will actually be receiving four times the Etyma!)

Want more? The 2014 Summer Ethereals and Artifacts are also making a comeback for this limited time. Check out these flaming weapon drops in the clips below.

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Hyperspace Beacon: Eight quests you should play before SWTOR's Revan expansion

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Lore, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guides, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Eight quests you have to run before SWTOR's Revan expansion
The next expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic is coming in December, and any BioWare fan already knows the primary antagonist: Revan.

Revan has been BioWare's focal Star Wars character since its first Star Wars game, Knights of the Old Republic. SWTOR even features Revan in multiple questlines. I could recommend that you read Drew Karpyshyn's book Revan, but there are plenty of ways to get Revan's story in-game. In fact, there are eight different questlines that you should run if you want to get caught up, and more importantly, if you want to prepare yourself for the next expansion. If you have been living under a rock for the last three years, be forewarned that this article will contain spoilers for you.

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SWTOR's Shadow of Revan expansion arrives December 9th, nukes skill trees

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Lore, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dev Diaries

SWTOR
After a brief delay and much speculation, BioWare has officially revealed Star Wars: The Old Republic's next digital expansion, and it will indeed be called Shadow of Revan. A tweet from the official account names the title and promises a new level cap of 60 and a launch just in time for Christmas on December 9th. BioWare's press release previews two new planets (Rishi and Yavin 4), four hard mode flashpoints, two "role-neutral" flashpoints, two level 60 operations, and a mission storyline that will unite Republic and Empire to fight Revan's army. Players who pre-order the expansion (19.99 USD) receive a limited time leveling boost, early access to SoR, and free access to TOR's first expansion, Rise of the Hutt Cartel, which was granted to all subscribers last year.

Most intriguing is the addition of disciplines, a hefty class overhaul that will delete skill trees from the game. "No longer are you forced to purchase skills that are, in essence, necessary for your character to function; you simply get them automatically as you level up and progress down what we call the Discipline Path," says a new dev blog covering the 3.0 overhaul. "Much like the old Skill Trees, each path is made up of active abilities, passive abilities, and a new type of progression concept called a utility selection."

We've included the announcement trailer below, complete with the requisite ominous Star Wars music.

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Pathfinder Online's latest alpha patch is live

Betas, Fantasy, Economy, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Pathfinder Online

The mysterious roaming Stress Test, a beast no one can confirm seeing.  There may be one hiding in this header.
After no small amount of hand-wringing, the latest alpha patch is live for Pathfinder Online, with the intent of eventually cracking open the servers for stress testing. It's a pretty important patch even without the aim of a stress test, though, as it expands the map size to its full early access scope and fixes a variety of issues with advancement and the game's overall systems. Even if you didn't get to play recently, the development is humming along.

Obviously those who didn't get to play also didn't get to experiment with the game's recent auction house functionality, which is explained in depth on the official site. Setting up an auction requires a starting price and a minimum price. Over the auction's duration, the price slowly decreases from the starting price down to the minimum; if no buyers are found at that discount rate, the auction ends unsuccessfully. Check out the full development blog for more details.

Suba Games is bringing Dream of Mirror Online back

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sunsets

Now fall.
It's always sad when you lose a game that meant a lot to you. Dream of Mirror Online made a pretty big impact on a number of players, and it's been gone for a while. Yet sometimes it turns out that the game is less gone than you had previously thought, which is also the case with Dream of Mirror Online. It's coming roaring back under the aegis of Suba Games.

When? Where? How? Who can say? The team behind this unexpected revival certainly can't, as the official post states that there are no more details to be announced at this time. Still, there's a very quick trailer past the break, and if you've been missing the game, you can take some joy in the fact that it is happening after all. So isn't that enough?

[Thanks to Evan for the tip!]

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Previewing RIFT's new masteries system

Betas, Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Dev Diaries

RIFT
Trion Worlds has today previewed the new "masteries" system coming in RIFT's Nightmare Tide expansion later this month. Masteries take the place of the soul points normally earned as players level up. Instead of spending soul points to take new powers in your soul trees (which would have created class imbalances), players will essentially buy powers from a new set of skills open to all characters within the same base class. Trion outlines the types of powers available:
Most Masteries provide a general primary bonus and a secondary bonus that focuses on individual abilities and Souls. These secondary bonuses have several types of effects ranging from increasing the functionality of a given ability (or type of ability) to improving utility and hybridization options for others. Masteries from level 61 to level 64 focus on passive bonuses. The primary bonus on these Masteries will generally fit a theme for all Masteries at the same level:

Level 61: Survivability
Level 62: Healing
Level 63: Utility
Level 64: Damage

When you hit level 65, you'll unlock the final tier of Masteries along with an array of active abilities. These are aimed at supplementing multiple builds, allowing you to add damage to a healing build, or even give some healing to a pure DPS build.
Masteries are saved per role and can be swapped out of combat.

The Stream Team: Becoming an ArcheAge juror

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, The Stream Team

If you've made it to level 30 in ArcheAge without any crime or infamy points (or whittled them away back to nothing), you get to embark on the jury quest. This allows you to sit in court and decide the fate of your peers who've been accused of crimes. Is that Firran who killed a group really acting in defense of his companions? What about that Harani who uprooted a grove of trees? Is killing bots worthy of jail time? Is the defendant a pirate or dutiful citizen? Massively's MJ has saved this quest line just for you, and she hopes to make it through jury selection to give you a feel of this peer-run legal system. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. for the first episode of The Haranyan's Court.

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, October 4th, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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ArcheAge restricts chat for low-level characters

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge

aa
Papa Trion is lowering the boom on naughty chat in ArcheAge, as the studio announced recently that it will be restricting chat accessibility for low-level characters.

From now on, players will need to reach level 15 to access faction, shout, trade, need party, and nation chat channels. Presumably this is intended to combat gold-selling spam and other unwanted advertisements from free accounts.

Other changes for build 4.11 include a tougher Kraken, healer weapons as quest rewards, and larger warehouses. Trion says that over two million players registered for the sandpark MMO.

[Thanks to Varth for the tip!]

Star Trek Online's Kobali hijack corpses to stay alive

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Lore, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play

sto
Out of all of the races that players will encounter with this month's Star Trek Online: Delta Rising, the Kobali might be the most skin-crawling. According to a new dev diary posted today, the NPC race reproduces by taking corpses and injecting their DNA into them for a twisted "rebirth."

Even though they reappropriate dead things, the Kobali are peaceful, nomadic folk who have recently settled down on a new homeworld of Kobali Prime. It's on this planet that players will get to visit the capital city and go on several adventures through the surrounding landscape.

LEGO Minifigures Online sheds the beta tag with full toy integration

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Launches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Family

Internet ghost ships.
Good news, friends! The latest round of LEGO Minifigures is out on shelves now, so if you enjoy buying blindpacked figures and seeing what you get, you can get some more. And this newest series is fully integrated with LEGO Minifigures Online right from the start, so you can grab a new figure, put it together, and start playing with it online in the time it takes you to get back home and get playing. Isn't that fun?

The game has also shed its beta tag without ceremony, which makes sense as it had previously been hanging about in its open testing phase. If you've heard rumblings about the game but have yet to take a peek at it yourself, there's a new trailer just past the cut designed to show off what you can do in the game once you assemble some figures.

[Source: Funcom press release]

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PlanetSide 2 patches in Directive improvements and space pumpkins

Sci-Fi, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2, Subscription

We're up all night to get spoopy.
The latest PlanetSide 2 patch is a pretty big one even without the pumpkins. Yes, there are pumpkins. Space pumpkins. You will need to shoot them to get currency, which you can then cash in for Halloween-themed masks, maximizing your character's spookiness through the month. But the patch has a lot of other changes in it as well, starting with major improvements to Directive tracking and overall Directive progression, complete with a new Leadership tree.

Experience awards are also adjusted slightly, changing certain bonuses and how they're distributed to make life a bit easier for players. Offline cert points have also been removed from non-Member accounts and added exclusively to Members, thus making your subscription seem just a bit more worthwhile. For a full rundown of these changes, other balance tweaks, and the like, check out the full patch notes.

[Thanks to theKavorka for the tip!]

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