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Villagers and Heroes announces April 17th Steam launch and new expansion

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Launches, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, MMORPG

Villagers and Heroes
Free Realms refugees, if you're looking for a new home with cute graphics and quests and housing and crafting, then indie F2P MMO Villagers and Heroes might just be it. The game itself isn't new, but with its new expansion, Fury of the Stone Lord, it's receiving a major graphical upgrade and content patch revolving around gargoyles. Expect 30 new adventure maps (bringing the count to 110), new quests and monsters, new spells and heroic feats, and 15 extra skill levels to boot.

Developer Mad Otter Games says the sandbox MMO will launch on Steam on April 17th. We previewed the upgrades and new client back in February. Check out the trailer below!

[Source: Mad Otter Games press release]

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Destiny screenshots show the wonders and horrors of space

Betas, Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, MMOFPS, Destiny

Destiny
Outer space won't be the technocolor thrill-romp that one might assume from pulp sci-fi, at least when it comes to Destiny.

Bungie released five new screenshots showing some of the visually impressive if intimidating vistas as well as one or two of the threats that players will encounter in the game. The studio also mentioned that it won't be utilizing NPC companions, players will be able to customize and upgrade gear, and Guardians can change loadouts on the fly.

Check out the new screenies in the gallery below.

Skyforge gives a glimpse into The Factory

Betas, Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Free-to-Play, Skyforge

Skyforge
Skyforge is looking better and better, as the team released a new set of pictures today for the upcoming MMO that focus on the title's industrial side.

The three new pictures showcase the high-tech Factory, a large installation that's recently seen a riot by intelligent robots. Players will no doubt be asked to go in and quell in the microchip insurrection. "Cleaning up the plant is not an easy task," the devs teased. "Lives of the personnel are the price of a failure."

You can take a peek at the Factory in the gallery below.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

Guild Wars 2 unveils new account-wide wardrobe system

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Roleplaying, Dev Diaries, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

GW2
The latest ingredient in Guild Wars 2's April 2014 feature pack has just been announced, and it's a delight for those of us who like to play dress-up in our MMOs. Yes, it's quite literally a wardrobe, an "account-wide system that allows players to collect every skin in the game."

Says ArenaNet, "Currently, it can be a little overwhelming to try to sort through it all and customize your character exactly how you'd like to. Our answer to that is the Wardrobe, which makes it easy for players to change their look at any time and to share cosmetic items across all the characters on [their] account." In other words, a skin unlock for one character will work for alts too, and players will use transmutation charges to swap their looks as part of the new simplified transmutation system.

ANet launched a brand new dev blog, video, and gallery today to toast the new feature. Enjoy!

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Skyforge releases new screenshots of Dankit Island

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMORPG, Skyforge

Skyforge
Skyforge: Is it sci-fi or fantasy? Who cares -- it's pretty. Obsidian and Allods Team have just released brand-new screenshots of the upcoming MMORPG; they feature a location named Dankit Island, which is so pretty that it's obviously home to evil, rat-like creatures called Virth. Naturally, players will be saving Dankit Island from said evil. That's just what players do. Enjoy the screens!

[Thanks to Paul for the tip!]

Amazons await in DC Universe Online's 10th DLC this spring

Super-hero, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, DC Universe Online

Amazons await in DC Universe Online's 10th DLC
DC Universe Online's 10th DLC is coming this spring, and it will pack an Amazonian punch. Titled Amazon Fury Part I, this DLC begins a three-part series focused on Wonder Woman and the Amazons, including Queen Hippolyta. Aside from introducing the Amazon story arc, this pack opens up the Themyscira Palace District and seaside port for adventuring in the new alert and duos, introduces weapon mastery, allows players to relive moments as either Wonder Woman or Circe that led to the war, and brings a new alternative phase of Gotham City that's under siege by the Amazons.

Amazon Fury Part I will be free to Legendary Members; free players will be able to purchase it. Get a sneak peak at what's in store in the gallery below, then peruse the full press release after the break.

[Source: SOE press release]

[Update: SOE contacted us to clarify that the DLC will be free to Legendary Members, not a pay purchase. Yay! We've adjusted the text accordingly.]

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Guild Wars 2 announces 'April 2014 Feature Pack'

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

GW2
ArenaNet has just announced what it's calling Guild Wars 2's first-ever update focused entirely on new features and feature enhancements, one that will "introduce a sweeping range of new systems and feature enhancements to the game."

Dubbed the "April 2014 Feature Pack," the update is set to go live on April 15th, but in the interim, the studio plans to roll out multiple videos and dev blogs, starting with this first one: a dev blog discussing the overhaul of the trait system, the introduction of 40 new traits, and inbound "horizontal progression opportunities."

Arcane Legends announces The Dragon Enclave expansion

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Browser, Mobile

Arcane Legends
Spacetime Studios has just announced the newest expansion for its most recent browser-and-mobile MMO, Arcane Legends. The new update, which launches today and brings the game's total number of expansions to five, will lift the level cap to 41 and introduce a brand-new island with new dungeons, bosses, daily quests, currency, gear, and crafted items. Enjoy the new screenies and video below!

[Source: Spacetime Studios press release]

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WildStar announces June 3rd launch date, preorder bonuses

Betas, Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Promotions, WildStar, Subscription, MMORPG

WildStar
It's official: WildStar is launching worldwide on June 3rd, and as of right this very moment, the NDA has lifted.

Preorders for Carbine's sub-based sci-fantasy MMORPG will be available next Wednesday, March 19th. The $59.99 preorder provides beta events, early access on May 31st, housing deco that grants a rest XP bonus, character and guild name reservations, a 10-slot storage bag, and the exclusive rocket house shown above, in addition to the Standard Edition's 30 days of play time, buddy passes, and more deco. Another $15 gets you a Digital Deluxe version with a hoverboard, costume, title, and dye set.

Stay tuned today for Massively's coverage from the recent press event, and enjoy the newly released images and launch announcement trailer.

[Source: Carbine press release]

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Hands-on with the Elite: Dangerous alpha

Betas, Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Hands-On, First Impressions, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous

Elite: Dangerous alpha test
I don't have much history with Elite. I played the original, circa 1985 on my dad's green monochrome Apple II, but frankly I didn't understand a bit of it and subsequently went back to Sundog and subLOGIC's fledgling wireframe Flight Simulator as a result.

By the time Elite II and Frontier: First Encounters shipped in the early to mid 1990s, I was already losing copious amounts of my adolescence to Wing Commander, Privateer, and X-Wing, all of them of course indebted to the space trading flight sim thing that David Braben and Ian Bell published a decade earlier. For all intents and purposes, then, I'm an Elite virgin despite a lifetime of playing nearly everything in the genre it inspired.

And if the Elite: Dangerous alpha client is an accurate barometer, gosh have I missed out.

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Guild Wars 2's Battle for Lion's Arch has begun [It's live now!]

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

Yikes, Scarlet. Dat hair.
Fans of Guild Wars 2's living story villain Scarlet Briar -- all five of you -- will likely be disappointed by the finale launching today in ArenaNet's core MMO, but everyone else will be letting out a big cheer and enjoying some fresh loot piñatas. Marketed as the "final showdown with villain Scarlet Briar," the Battle for Lion's Arch patch will allow players to try to reclaim the beloved capital city that's been under siege for the last two weeks.
Players will engage in a desperate struggle to take back one of the game's most important cities and a major hub for players. The city of Lion's Arch has fallen to a vicious surprise attack from sylvari super villain Scarlet Briar, backed by her army of Tyria's dark forces and an arsenal of war machines. Her weapons of war include the massive airship drill Breachmaker, which continues to bore deep beneath the city's harbor. Under the shadow of this mechanical monstrosity, players must now rally to reenter Lion's Arch to challenge Scarlet's army, and perhaps face the villain herself.
Massively's Anatoli Ingram spoke with ArenaNet's Colin Johanson last week about what to expect from the update.

[Update: The patch has now gone live! Read the full patch notes and check out Richie "Bogotter" Procopio's video comparing the brand-new tormented weapons to their GW1 originals.]

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

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World of Tanks launches worldwide on the Xbox 360

Galleries, Screenshots, Launches, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, World of Tanks

A simple yield sign could have fixed all this.
Are you ready to blow up tanks on your Xbox 360? Probably; there have been roughly two million games released for the console based almost entirely around blowing up tanks. But are you ready to do so in World of Tanks? Because the game has launched on the console worldwide, complete with special Founder's Packs. The packs contain tanks, currency, ammo, and crews, but will be available for purchase only until February 28th.

Before you run downstairs to fire up your console, keep in mind that you won't be able to play the game for free; an Xbox Live Gold subscription is required for continued play. All Xbox Live accounts do get a free trial of the game for seven days, however, so you can decide if it's worth subscribing to the service. You can also take a look at the gallery below to get a glance at what the game will look like on the TV.

[Source: Wargaming.net press release]

Check out FFXIV on the PS4 through new screenshots, trailer, and dev video

Betas, Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, News Items

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is hitting the PlayStation 4 on April 14, 2014, but you don't have to wait until then to get a glimpse of the fantasy game on the console. Square Enix has released a number of new screenshots highlighting this version along with the official PS4 trailer. Additionally, Producer Naoki Yoshida shares his experience with developing the console version in another video entitled "PS4 Conversations with Creators." And we've got them all right here for you.

If you own a PS4 and you'd like to test the game out, you can join A Realm Reborn's beta for free. The first phase is currently scheduled for February 22nd through March 3, 2014, and the second test will be April 4 though April 7, 2014. On April 11th, all players who own the game on PS3 will be able to transfer their accounts for free.

[Source: Square Enix press release]

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Dev blog offers snapshot of Pathfinder's finances, new screenshots

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Pathfinder Online

Dev blog offers snapshot of Pathfinder's finances
While most dev blogs focus on game systems, features, and the like, Pathfinder Online's newest one gives the public a look at Goblinworks' financial performance. And for those who backed the project on Kickstarter, the proffered pie chart gives a clear view of where their money went in 2013. The majority of funds, $1.3 million, went to employee overhead, and office overhead ate up the next largest chunk. In all, the company feels it came close to its overall budget plan for the year, with the biggest variance due to hiring more staff.

The blog continues by introducing new devs working on Pathfinder, announcing a new funding feature for those who still want to back but missed the Kickstarters, and offering new screenshots. Check out the images in the gallery below and head to the official site to meet the new staff.

[Thanks to Chrysillis for the tip!]

Hyperspace Beacon: The official launch of SWTOR's second expansion

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Interviews, Launches, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Announcing the official launch of SWTOR's second expansion!
Today, Galactic Starfighter officially launches in conjunction with Star Wars: The Old Republic Update 2.6. Free-to-play players as well as preferred and subscribed players can now jump into 12v12 freeform space battles. All players can choose to pilot one of four Starfighter archetypes: scout, strike fighter, gunship, or bomber. Two team deathmatch maps joined the pre-launch domination maps, giving pilots four possible arenas to dogfight. But if space isn't your thing, BioWare also introduced a new dynamic flashpoint called Kuat Drive Yards that changes every time you run it.

It's not often that the Hyperspace Beacon coincides with the launch of a SWTOR update let alone the official launch of an expansion. This week, I intend to give you all the juicy details of the new type of starfighter, the new Starfighter PvP maps, and the brand-new flashpoint. I also had a moment to ask a few of questions of Producer Blaine Christine and GSF Lead Designer Michael Backus. But first, let me show you a few screenshots from the new content below and a launch trailer after the break.

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