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War Thunder's Steel Generals expansion beta is live

Betas, Historical, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS

War Thunder
War Thunder, Gaijin Entertainment's WWII-flavored MMO, updated with its Steel Generals patch this week, just ahead of the holidays. It includes new vehicles, tow cable mechanics, retooled artillery strikes, and new damage modeling. Gamers can also jump into three new maps: White Stone Fortress for air and ground battles, an Eastern Europe map with "varied open ground and urban terrain features," and the massive air-combat Battle for Moscow, which reconstructs the city during the Winter Campaign of 1941-1942. The Steel Generals content, however, "steals" the show:
The biggest addition to War Thunder with this update is the beta of the Steel Generals expansion, which includes the first six American tanks available now. By the end of Q1 2015, more than 30 US WWII tanks will be available. This release schedule allows Gaijin Entertainment to test each of the tanks to ensure that they are ready for battle when commercially launched. In honor of the update launch, special packages are available for purchase that contain premium US tanks and other bonuses alongside closed beta access. Players can participate in the Steel Generals beta by entering into contests and in-game events in War Thunder.
Check out the new screenshots and walkthrough video below.

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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
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!

Norrathian Notebook: First impressions of EQII's Altar of Malice

Fantasy, Galleries, EverQuest II, Expansions, Opinion, Free-to-Play, First Impressions, Crafting, Norrathian Notebook

Norrathian Notebook:  First impressions of EQII's Altar of Malice
Although Altar of Malice has been available to All Access subscribers for two weeks, EverQuest II's 11th expansion just opened up to everyone on Tuesday. That makes this a great time to share my initial impressions of the new lands and new content. Mind you, these are literally only first impressions: I am not one to blow through the content at a break-neck speed just so I can consume it all in as little time as possible. That's relegated to pecan pie. MMOs aren't a race to me. I prefer to gradually savor the content, stretching it out so the experience lasts. I've actually also been holding myself back from doing too much so I can run through things with those who can finally join me now that the expansion is fully released. I will continue to poke though it at my pace while I continue my other endeavors (do you realize just how long it takes to decorate a house?!). As such, a full review of everything will have to come at a later date.

So what my thoughts as I amble amble my way through the land of the lost... er, jurassic park... I mean, Altar of Malice? EQII's dino-riffic expansion definitely has its highlights, like offering a heaping helping of nostalgia, but it has its disappointments as well. Here's my take.

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Black Desert posts new screenshots ahead of open beta

Betas, Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Classes, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Black Desert

Black Desert
The Korean open beta for upcoming sandbox Black Desert arrives next month, and Daum has refreshed the game's website with a ton of new screenshots.

They've got lady archers wearing garters, a knight with spiked hair, a castle siege, a leprechaun with a basket of herbs, a strangely sweaty ranger, a butt shot of a girl, a butt shot of a pack horse, sunsets, fishing, and murder -- so it's pretty much everything you'd expect from a Korean sandbox MMORPG. Enjoy!

Guild Wars 2's Tangled Paths update goes live today

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Launches, Patches, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

GW2
Episode six of Guild Wars 2's second season of living world content, Tangled Paths, arrives on production servers today. The continuing storyline sends players on an epic dragon egg hunt through "newly discovered underground caverns" in the Silverwastes. Players who've been piecing together the carapace armor set this season can look forward to a pair of gloves this go-round.

Massively's GW2 expert, Anatoli Ingram, has been chronicling the seasonal plotline in his Flameseeker Chronicles column. Enjoy the fresh screenshots and slightly less fresh episode six video below.

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Black Desert's Korean launch lands in December

Betas, Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Launches, Previews, News Items, Black Desert

Black Desert
A new announcement on the official Black Desert website confirms that the sandbox MMO will launch before the end of the year. Beta is expected to launch in the next few weeks. That's the Korean beta, of course. No details on a western launch have been given. Last summer, we learned that Daum would be publishing the game in the west.

We've embedded the G-Star 2014 Black Desert trailer and all of the new screenshots -- there's a ton, and they're gorgeous -- below.

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WoW's Iron Horde declares war on Times Square

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Galleries, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Humor, Promotions, Subscription

Draenor
Finally! Here's the Blizzard we know and love. Why promote a World of Warcraft expansion with a pat press release and gory trailer when you can beat up an actual taxi in Times Square with a 15-foot replica of the epic Gorehowl axe? And that's exactly what Blizz did this morning to bemuse passing New Yorkers. Surveil the carnage in the gallery below.

WoW's Warlords of Draenor expansion launches this Thursday. Holla if you know of an Etsy shop where we can buy some #WARLORDS crime scene tape; that has to be a thing someone makes, right?

Quirky indie MMOFPS Hunternet boasts 700-player battles

Betas, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Game Mechanics, New Titles, PvP, News Items, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous

Hunternet
Indie developer Fernando Zapata of CPU Dreams is taking on a subgenre not often challenged by indies, the MMOFPS, but he doesn't seem daunted. In fact, his fledgling MMOFPS, Hunternet, can already handle 700 players on a map, more than PlanetSide 2 -- more "any other MMOFPS."

The video below includes footage from a Hunternet network stress test, with "700 clients spread across the cloud connected to a single dedicated server," a server where "players are not limited in their interaction by network culling as done in other large scale MMOs that spread out players and limit when you can see other players."

After two years in development, the game is in alpha, so placeholder art is seen throughout the tech demo video and screenshots. Zapata says he's revisited and rethought many genre tropes, like "controls, health, scoring, shooting, spawning, teamwork," along with more "mundane" bits like a scaling UI and integrated voice chat. The website welcomes tester signups from gamers who "embrace failure as an integral part of learning" and "value mechanics over aesthetics." Skip the signup, says the dev, if you think shooters must be ultra-realistic "big macho war fests."

Check out the alpha assets below, and notice we didn't use the word Kickstarter.

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Neverwinter resurrects its April Fools' Day event next week

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Roleplaying, Humor, Promotions, Neverwinter

Neverwinter
Nope, it's not April Fools' Day, but it's going to look like it next week in Neverwinter. Cryptic is reintroducing Respen's Marvelous Game, its 2014 April 1st event, from November 13th to November 17th. The minigame turns your character into a tabletop miniature that slides around the tabletop skirmish map as you collect special dice currency and other rewards. Massively's Justin Olivetti included the event in his roundup of the top 10 MMO pranks of all time.

The event's reprise leads into the launch of Neverwinter: Rise of Tiamat, which launches on November 18th. We've included pics of the event below![Source: Neverwinter press release]

War Thunder prepares to roll out Steel Generals

Galleries, Screenshots, Patches, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Miscellaneous

And the train conductor says take a break, driver eight.
Do you enjoy being able to roll around on the ground in War Thunder while taking out anything on the business end of your tank's main guns? Good! The game's next update is giving you new ways to do just that. War Thunder: Steel Generals is due out by the end of the year and is aimed at spicing up the ground game with the addition of US military hardware to the game's lineup.

How many pieces of hardware, exactly? Try 30 new tanks and AA units from the appropriate time period. It's exactly the sort of update that can appeal to players who like the game so far but feel it just doesn't feature quite enough tanks. No specific release date has yet been announced, but it's due out before the end of the year, so you won't have to wait long to get your US-based tank on.

[Source: Gaijin Entertainment press release]

TERA announces Fate of Arun expansion

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, TERA

TERA
En Masse Entertainment has just announced Fate of Arun, the first-ever expansion coming to action-MMO TERA. And at least on paper, it actually looks like a classic MMO expansion, too, complete with a level cap bump and new zones.
The mysterious continent of Northern Arun is finally open – and it's under siege by a soul-sucking bloodmage army. In Fate of Arun, players will explore this lost world, discover the home city of the Barakan race, fight for the freedom of the native Khirians, and take on a powerful new evil.

Fate of Arun represents the first and biggest expansion for TERA to date, featuring a new level cap of 65 and the lands of Northern Arun to explore through a brand-new storyline, new quests, zones, dungeons, skills, gear and a new PvP battleground, in addition to vast systematic improvements to the gameplay experience.
Producer Patrick Sun declates that "Fate of Arun will be, without a doubt, the biggest addition to the world of TERA new and returning players have ever seen." A launch date has not yet been confirmed. Enjoy the teaser pics and video below.

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Infinite Crisis reveals creepy alien starfish Starro

Betas, Super-hero, Galleries, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, Infinite Crisis

Infinite crisis
Crowd-control fans, listen up: Turbine MOBA Infinite Crisis has today announced Starro, a new playable controller champion going live on November 5th. For those not up on their DC lore, the short version is "creepy alien starfish." Long version?
Starro is a Star Conqueror. These nomadic and parasitic creatures roam the cosmos in two forms: motherstars and parasites. Motherstars are sentient, while parasites are extensions of the motherstar's consciousness. A parasite attaches itself to other sentient creatures, allowing the motherstar to control that creature's mind. Once controlled, the victims work toward growing more motherstars to go out and bring universal harmony to other planets-by conquering them. Little did the Star Conqueror who came to be known as Starro know how difficult carrying that plan out on Earth would be! Starro has little concern for what happens to the individuals it controls. They're a tiny part of the whole. When Starro speaks to creatures it doesn't control, it does so telepathically, urging them to join in universal harmony.
We've got some pics and a video below to finish out Starro's reveal.

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Star Trek Online's Delta Rising cinematic has... arisen

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play

STO
Star Trek Online's Delta Rising expansion technically went live yesterday, but today's the official launch, and that means a brand-new cinematic and fresh screenshots. The update bumps the character level cap to 60, ushers in a partial Voyager cast, and adds a new tier of ships, gear, and officers to the roster. Enjoy the trailer and pics!

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Sneaking a peek at EQII's Altar of Malice with SOE

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, EverQuest II, Expansions, Interviews, Free-to-Play

When EverQuest II's next expansion, Altar of Malice, was announced at SOE Live in August, we heard about upcoming features, perused concept drawings, and even saw some screenshots. As exciting as all that can be, nothing compares to actually getting in the game and seeing the living breathing world of Norrath. And that's exactly what I got to do last week on a tour with Senior​ Producer Holly Longdale and Creative Director Akil Hooper.

While we have to wait a bit longer to hear more about the Aerakyn (the new winged dragonkind race) and what special goodies will be included in the collector's edition, the tour of the zones allowed me to bask in the beauty of the artwork while weaving through dinosaurs, pygmies, and my favorite-yet-long-lost starting zone. And it definitely made me even more excited for the upcoming release of Altar of Malice!

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SWTOR dev spoilers from the NYC cantina tour

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic

SWTOR
During this past weekend's New York City cantina tour, BioWare fielded shiploads of player questions about Star Wars: The Old Republic. MillionsKNives on the official forums has compiled a partial list; the devs say they're unhappy with PvP balance, will continue to monitor the difficulty of expanding guild ships, and plan to use the 3.0 patch as a "testing ground" for more class story, though we won't see "full storylines like pre-50 stuff." They also confirmed that while there will be no companion story in 3.0, there will be NPCs romanceable regardless of the player character's gender.

BioWare Senior Producer Bruce Maclean spilled some wonderful spoilers to Gaddock Gaming as well. Of note, he says that Togrutas are coming as a playable race post-3.0, an appearance gear system is being discussed for 3.0 or beyond, the pod-racing prototype was abandoned in the testing stages due to lag, and faction-changing might be considered in the future.

[Thanks to greatwildhunk for the tip!]

Featured Stories

Make My MMO: December 14 - 20, 2014

Posted on Dec 20th 2014 7:00PM

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