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Game Mechanics

Elite's latest newsletter talks hyperdrives, the Cobra MK III, and more

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous Cobra MK III
Frontier has sent out issue #19 of its Elite: Dangerous newsletter. As usual, there's plenty of interesting info on the upcoming space sim sandbox, from how heat (and heat management) factors into Elite's gameplay to the design philosophy behind the iconic Cobra MK III.

This latest letter concludes with more "mostly harmless questions" from the community, including bits about Kepler data and traversing Elite's mind-bogglingly big playfields.
There are two modes of super luminal (faster than light) travel. Super cruise (or frame shifting) is used for travel inside systems. It was originally conceived as a sub-luminal drive, but based on the fantastic collaboration we have been having with our Design Decision Forum backers it was re-worked and is now itself a super luminal system to allow relatively rapid travel within systems. Hyperspace drives are used to travel between star systems.

Hyperdrives with different ranges, charge up times and fuel consumption parameters are available, and so your particular model of hyperdrive governs your specific ability to move around the galaxy.

Both will make their debut in Alpha 4 (not counting the early version of hyperspace in Alpha 3).

Sony: VR 'might be quite a social experience'

Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Consoles, Virtual Reality

Project Morpheus
Sony is following Facebook onto the mass-market virtual reality bandwagon, according to comments made by the firm's London studio boss.

Speaking with MCV, Dave Ranyard says that Sony has worked "quite hard" on something called the social screen in concert with its Project Morpheus VR headset, the former of which will attempt to link tablets or phones to a TV version of what the Morpheus user sees and thereby facilitate companion app play.

"The 1970s future vision of virtual reality was a very solo experience of people playing on their own, Ranyard says. "But actually it might not be that, it might be quite a social experience."

Trion hosting ArcheAge combat and crafting livestream tonight

Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Crafting

ArcheAge caption contest screenshot
If you're an ArcheAge fan and you're not in Trion's alpha, you'll want to set aside 45 minutes starting tonight at 7:00 p.m. EDT to watch the latest dev livestream hosted by producer Victoria Voss and community guru Evan Berman.

The duo will examine ArcheAge's combat classes and crafting skills live on Twitch.

Trion also announced its first official AA competition which takes the form of a caption contest. The prize is a spot in the sandpark's alpha, and you've got until April 23rd to work on your entry.

[Thanks WNxArcticwolf!]

The Secret World's new ARG opens signups for loyalists [Updated]

Horror, Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, The Secret World, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

TSW
A newsletter sent yesterday to current and former players of The Secret World invites them to sign up for the game's upcoming Black Watchmen alternate reality game, which is due to officially kick off in September. Here's the hard pill to swallow for those of you used to the B2P nature of TSW: The ARG isn't free. Players who sign up will be funding the game's previously announced Crowdtilt crowdfunding campaign and will receive a year's worth of ARG gameplay and missions and a special in-game outfit for $20 ($10 off the normal fee).

Massively's MJ explored the ARG in detail just a few weeks ago. Enjoy the trailer below!

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip.]

[Update: It turns out that if you're a lifetime member of TSW, this deal is even sweeter: Not only do you pick up the in-game goodies, but you get a free sub to the ARG for a year.]

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A fierce weather front is blowing into Age of Wushu

Fantasy, Historical, Trailers, Game Mechanics, Previews, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

Age of Wushu
Age of Wushu is introducing dynamic weather effects that will do more than look moody; they will actually herald several events.

Each weather effect will have a different event that it will trigger. The great fog will start a school assassination PvP contest, the sandstorm will begin a treasure hunt in the desert, the eclipse will launch an invasion by the Prince of a Thousand Sentiments, and the thunderstorm will give you the opportunity to find the fight of the century.

This weather system will be coming with the Age of Wushu: Tempest of Strife update. You can check out the weather effects preview video after the break!

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Leaderboard: Does Elder Scrolls' lack of an auction house bother you?

Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Leaderboard, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Elder Scrolls Online doggie
Yesterday's Massively Speaking took Elder Scrolls Online to task for not having an auction house. Normally I would agree, given my long-standing passion for MMO economies and crafting.

So far, though, the lack of an AH hasn't affected my playstyle at all through the first 30 levels. I'm a member of two trading megaguilds as well as my normal guild, and from the inside looking out, there's no difference between selling to thousands of faceless people in your "guilds" or selling to thousands of faceless people via an AH.

I can't say whether ZeniMax purposefully designed ESO's economy this way or simply ran out of the time and money necessary to make an AH. But it doesn't really matter, personally, because my pre-launch expectations amounted to "yet another themepark crapfest," so I continue to be pleasantly surprised by how wrong those expectations were -- even without an AH! What about you, ESO players? Does the game's lack of an AH bother you? Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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Guild Wars 2's megaserver update and patch primer [Updated]

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Hands-On, Buy-to-Play

GW2
If you're still reeling from playing dress-up and retraiting your stable of characters thanks to Guild Wars 2's feature pack launch yesterday, then friend of Massively Richie "Bogotter" Procopio has just the video for you. He's put together a patch primer that walks current and returning players through the new wardrobe system, dye system, and trait system. He also gives a few more obscure tips that aren't obvious from the patch notes.

Meanwhile, ArenaNet has posted that the patch's promised megaserver tech is slowly rolling out to key zones. Here's what's been activated so far: The Grove, Heart of the Mist, Black Citadel, Timberline Falls, Southsun Cove, Rata Sum, Straits of Devastation, Fields of Ruin, Brisban Wildlands, Hoelbrak, Iron Marches, Blazeridge Steppes, and Dredgehaunt Cliffs. [Update: Lion's Arch, Lornar's Pass, Kessex Hills, Diessa Plateau, and Metrica Province were just converted this afternoon, according to the official site.]

Enjoy the primer video after the break!

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Watch the first 14 minutes of the Icarus Online Korean open beta

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE

Icarus Online cutscene
WeMade Entertainment's new fantasy MMO Icarus Online began its Korean open beta yesterday. ThisIsGame was there, and the site has published a 14-minute video detailing the tutorial, early gameplay, and a few cutscenes.

The open beta client features five classes (Berserker, Guardian, Assassin, Wizard, and Priest) as well as a level 25 cap, the new Hakanas Ocean map, and a new raid. TIG reports that WeMade will add a dedicated player-killing area and an Archer class "after the OBT."

Click past the cut to watch the gameplay clip.

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Here are lots of helpful EVE UI tips

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Guides, Sandbox, Subscription

EVE's fitting UI
If you're confused by EVE Online's UI, CCP Karkur has made a new video that you'll want to watch. Actually, you'll want to watch it even if you aren't confused, because it's full of tips and tricks relating to searches, inventory, the market, fittings, fleet settings, and more.

Click past the cut to have a look!

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Heroes & Generals gets a huge update

Historical, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Browser

Heroes & Generals is badass
We haven't heard from Heroes & Generals in a while, but that's because the devs at Reto-Moto have been working like dogs to update the F2P FPS.

What's Heroes & Generals, you say? It's a nifty blend of massive online shooter and strategic persistent elements that gives you the ability to fight in the trenches, in the air, or as a campaign mastermind. If you'd like to know more about it, see our various hands-on articles, or just go to the game's website and play it for yourself.

The latest update, codenamed Oster, adds plenty of new weapons, more campaign battlefields, improved weapon handling and avatar behavior, the ability to steal vehicles, and more. Click past the cut for the update vid.

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Defiance's Arktech Revolution DLC is live for PC and Xbox 360

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Defiance

Defiance Arktech Revolution
Defiance's fifth DLC pack -- Arktech Revolution -- is now live for PC and Xbox 360 players. PlayStation 3 ark hunters will have access to the new content on April 29th (North America) and April 30th (Europe).

Trion's update page divides the DLC into free and paid feature lists, the former of which includes an EGO cap rating increase, EGO rating progression, new enemy difficulty tiers, expert co-op maps, and more. Paid features include a new titles, a new outfit, daily contracts, 15 new perks, and more.

In addition to the release notes, the Defiance website also features an article by creative lead Trick Dempsey on the game's EGO changes.

PAX East 2014: WildStar shows off Warplots at last

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, Endgame, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

To fight monsters we created monsters.
Do you want to go to war in WildStar? Then you're going to want a stronghold. No, that's not right, you're going to want a fortress. You're going to want a fortification that makes others quake in terror. And then you're going to want to drop that fortification down on your enemy's front lawn and claim their territories while laying waste to their fortifications.

Welcome to Warplots. They're the game's answer to player-made fortresses and high-end battlegrounds all at once. More specificially, they're team-based 40 vs. 40 maps that drop you into a race to tear down your enemy. At either end sits the carefully constructed fortress held by each team, in the middle sit resource nodes, and both sides are pushed together to be the last side standing or the one putting a fortress back together post-battle.

Want to know more? That's a good thing. Take a look at the typical WildStar trailer past the cut, and then let's talk details.

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PAX East 2014: Upsilon Circuit is an MMO like no other

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play

This is the first time that a rough pre-alpha build has excited me so deeply.
A lot of what I see in the MMO industry is fairly predictable. That's not an insult; it's just that most of the new games you see are either a result of elegant mechanics solving a problem that's always been there or a new take on an old system, and that's OK. There's nothing wrong with taking old favorites and refining them. But then I see something like Upsilon Circuit and I wind up being completely blown away because the very idea is a fundamental rewriting of how we understand MMOs.

Upsilon Circuit is a new game currently in very early development from indie studio Robot Loves Kitty (of Legend of Dungeon fame), and when I say early, I do mean early. The animations are rough, the build is very much in a proof-of-concept stage rather than a fully playable state, and none of that matters. The game is the love child of Twitch Plays Pokémon, the Hunger Games, and Diablo III, a game that not only encourages streaming but demands it while interacting with the audience

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War Thunder's 1.39 update adds player-generated content and more

Historical, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Player-Generated Content

War Thunder's Twin Mustang
Gaijin has published War Thunder's 1.39 update. The patch introduces new aircraft including the F-82 Twin Mustang and the F-84 Thunderjet. There's also a new Kursk map and associated missions for War Thunder's various game modes.

What else is new in 1.39? How about PvP ladders, progression adjustments, and AI behavior tweaks?

The devs have also enabled Ground Forces tank battling functionality on the main game server, although currently said functionality is limited to closed beta testers and special events. Finally, the War Thunder CDK enables creative players to build missions, locations, and even unique planes, according to the 1.39 teaser trailer. Click past the cut to watch it!

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Snail previews Age of Wushu's scheming eunuch Rootless Clan

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

Age of Wushu's Rootless Clan
Want to get castrated and join "a cabal of scheming eunuchs?" Age of Wushu's Rootless Clan is for you. The martial arts sandbox game's upcoming Tempest of Strife expansion introduces the "mysterious yet heinous" new class which is an expert at both ranged and melee attacks.

The AoW website features more info about the archetype's skills and abilities as well as a teaser video. Or you could just click past the cut to watch the latter. Hey, don't say Massively never did anything for you!

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