| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Game Mechanics

EVE's Phoebe adding better search functionality and more

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

Another day, another Phoebe-focused dev blog from the folks at CCP. EVE Online is getting a bit of a search overhaul in its November patch, as items inside station containers will be included in search results.

CCP is also calling attention to the "pretty powerful advanced search functionality" in EVE via a new question mark icon in the game's Asset Search tab that leads to a keyword tooltip. There are several other UI changes scheduled to debut with Phoebe, but you'll need to click through the links below to view them in the full dev blog.

If you're a third-party EVE app developer, don't forget to visit CCP's newly published blog.

You'll want an aircraft carrier in World of Warships

Historical, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, War, Dev Diaries, World of Warships

Wargaming released a new World of Warships dev diary video this week. It's focused on aircraft carriers, which the firm calls "the most unique type of vessel" in the game.

Carriers are speedy, excellent at spotting enemy ships, and of course pack a tremendous punch. Once a carrier has launched its aircraft, they can traverse the entire map and attack from unexpected angles, according to the video. Have a look for yourself just past the break.

Continue Reading

Star Citizen's latest patch adds ESP, improves control

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen

Cloud Imperium has officially released version 0.9.2 of Star Citizen's Arena Commander. It's kind of a big deal thanks to something that the company is dubbing ESP, or Enhanced Stick Precision. CIG's Chris Roberts explains how this latest version of the alpha software, which combines ESP with significant changes to the ITTS and HUD systems, comes the closest so far to achieving "the level of control and sense of dogfighting that I had in my head when I first pictured how space combat should feel back when I started the journey that is Star Citizen."

The latest patch also doubles the size of Arena's Commander's maps. You can read the full patch notes here.

CIG also unveiled the Drake Herald this afternoon. Be sure to click the web page's decrypt button to see all the details.

[Thanks Cardboard!]

Turns out Blizzard found more Hearthstone cheaters to ban

Fantasy, Bugs, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

Hearthstone
Earlier this week, Blizzard banned "several thousand" botter accounts in MMOTCG Hearthstone for the crime of botting. But the bans were only temporary, and the problem players will be back in the game by the turn of the year.

The subjects of a new wave of bans, says Blizzard, won't be let off so easily. Community Manager Whirthun told forumgoers last night that win traders have and will continue to be banned -- permanently:
We've recently banned Hearthstone accounts that were found to be participating in win trading. Win trading at any rank is something that we do not take lightly, and is in violation of our Terms of Use. As we mentioned in our previous statement regarding fair play in Hearthstone, instances of cheating will not be tolerated. Accounts that were discovered participating in win trading have received permanent account closure and disqualification from events where ranking is used as a method of qualification.
Win trading is an exploit of the matchmaking system to position accounts for easy ladder climbing. PC Gamer reports that several big-name Hearthstone players have already fallen to the ban, including a grey hat player who went public with the exploit nearly a year ago in the hopes of provoking Blizzard to fix it.

The Mog Log Extra: Hands-on with Final Fantasy XIV's new Ninja

Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, Patches, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Guides, Subscription

Don't be a ninny!
This week's patch 2.4 for Final Fantasy XIV added in a new class and job: the Rogue and Ninja. It's the first addition to the game since 2.0's Arcanist, Summoner, and Scholar, and as was true with those classes those, this week you could not take two steps outside of Limsa Lominsa without seeing a flurry of Rogues everywhere, thus rather obviating the "stealthy" part of the whole stealthy assassin gimmick they have going.

Of course, only a few Rogues reach maturity from their Limsan spawning grounds.

But maybe you're in it for the long haul. You want this to be your new main, you want to understand how to play this class in the endgame, and you want to be one of the best darn dagger-wielding maniacs the game has ever seen. I cannot tell you how to be one of the best, but I can at least give you the benefits of my insights from having relentlessly pushed at the class and learned what makes it tick.

Continue Reading

WoW level designers discuss Draenor's callbacks and vignettes

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Lore, Previews, News Items, Subscription

WoW
Blizzard's final Artcraft blog for World of Warcraft has arrived today in the form of an interview conducted by Community Manager Bashiok. Once again, the topic is the design of Nagrand, a zone made iconic in The Burning Crusade expansion and returning in Warlords of Draenor next month.

The five interviewees, all level designers, discuss preserving key landmarks and environments in the proto-zone and how they've incorporated appropriate callbacks for classic content. The popular Ring of Blood arena quests will return, for example, as might everyone's favorite escort quest NPC, Corki. "Vignettes" will sound familiar to fans of more modern MMOs, as well; Senior Level Designer Victor Chong explains:
We've added a lot more vignette stuff, and I was working with Kurt Sparkuhl, a quest designer, on how I could add hidden stuff on the tops of mountains. So we have a lot of vignettes where players have to figure out how to get up there without just being able to walk up. It's stuff like doing some jumping around to get into an area, and then when you get to the top, you find a goblin with a glider that'll let you glide to specific areas that aren't normally accessible. Then if you get through all of that and land on a specific spot, you're rewarded with whatever the prize is there from a chest or something. We're doing a lot of that, and Nagrand was a good test bed for those kinds of things.
The complete interview is available on the WoW official site.

The Daily Grind: Do you actually use your MMO house?

Game Mechanics, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Housing, Player-Generated Content

SWG
Every time I go off on a tear about how Star Wars Galaxies' and Ultima Online's houses were so amazing for merchants and traders because of player vendors, one of you always snaps me back to reality: "That's great, Bree, but most MMOs don't have vendors. Most MMOs don't give houses a point at all."

Some of them have tried -- WildStar's homes can provide buffs, Lord of the Rings Online's provide teleports and cheap materials, and lots of games offer safe resource harvesting of one form or another in your home or plot or instance. But most MMO housing boils down to mini-sandboxes where you can build and decorate, so I can understand why MMO gamers might just go play Minecraft or The Sims or another offline game where they can build and decorate in peace and without the interference of grinds and cash shops.

Still, I always decorate my houses and do my best to make use of them when I get them; I like the sense of ownership I feel over that tiny piece of pixelated land. What about you -- do you actually use your MMO houses?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

The Think Tank: Fixing the Landmark-EQ Next perception problem

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, The Think Tank, Landmark

Not a Landmark post on Massively goes by without at least one commenter essentially telling SOE to talk about EverQuest Next or shut up. Massively's MJ Guthrie, who writes our EverQuest franchise column, has herself explained until she's blue in the face that Landmark is EQ Next's foundation, and SOE has talked plenty about EQ Next independently too, but for some reason, the explanations aren't sticking with the MMO populace, so the same complaints are voiced in every thread.

So what gives? Has SOE been too confusing with the Landmark/EQ Next co-branding? How can SOE dig itself out of this persistent perception problem? That's what I asked Massively's writers in today's Think Tank.

Continue Reading

SMITE reveals Nox, Goddess of the Night, just in time for Halloween

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Lore, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA

SMITE
Nox, Goddess of the Night, will soon debut in MOBA SMITE, Hi-Rez has announced. Based on the classical goddess of the same name, playable Nox is both beautiful and terrifying, a shadowy figure rarely seen, who "glides between the light just at the edge of vision." Her core mechanics revolve around the clever implementation of candles and candlelight; abilities used near Nox light up the candles she wields, reducing her mana consumption. Other powers include a mitigation shield, a damage-plus-silence raven attack, and multiple darkness-themed debuffs.

Check out Nox's god reveal trailer below!

[Thanks, Sorenthaz.]

Continue Reading

Line of Defense's Derek Smart recaps ongoing test phase

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, News Items, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries

Line of Defense
3000AD's Derek Smart has penned a new Line of Defense developer blog outlining the current state of the MMOFPS title's early access test phase. Smart explains that more than half of the game's world stations have been opened to testers so far, with two more stations expected to open soon. The final four will unlock when aircraft are patched in.

Smart also says that his team is working on a public roadmap website so that players can track release progress and vote on new features. He thanks his testers for their patience with the "staggered" test schedule. " It is for the greater good," he writes. "Been doing this a very – very – long time, so you just have to trust that I know what I'm doing."

Earlier this fall, Line of Defense launched on Steam's early access program, but an error allowed the public to download the game without paying for a founder's pack, leading to negative reviews when the games were confiscated and eliciting a fiery response from Smart.

CCP explains EVE's upcoming mission guidance system, CSM changes

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

CCP released another Phoebe-focused dev diary earlier today, this one detailing the new mission objective system coming to EVE Online next month. The firm is walking a fine line between general guidance and "brain-dead instructions to follow," and as such it is asking for feedback relative to how the new feature is presented in today's diary. It's a lengthy read, but you can also see the new system in action if you log onto EVE's Singularity test shard.

CCP has also delivered minutes from the Council of Stellar Management's summer summit earlier than expected. CCP Leeloo explains that the studio will make further changes to the CMS next year, starting with lengthening the winter summit and shortening the current CMS's term to better align with next year's Fanfest. Applications for CSM10 open on January 30th.

Camelot Unchained devs play music, talk audio stretch goal

Fantasy, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Humor, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained

If you've ever wanted to see Mark Jacobs fend off a wasp attack, the latest Camelot Unchained dev diary video is for you! It's also noteworthy because Jacobs details how the crowdfunded PvP sandbox met its previous stretch goal and how it is now on to a "sound and effects" stretch goal.

"This is a very serious attempt to have triple-A sound and effects," he says, before going on to explain how CityState will hire a dedicated engineer, license a top engine, etc. Click past the cut to watch Jacobs, a wasp, Grumpy Cat, and the CU dev band.

Continue Reading

Elite: Dangerous' third beta is now live with new systems, ships, and interdiction mechanics

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Elite: Dangerous

Elite
After a brief technical delay, Elite: Dangerous' "Beta 3.00 is now available," declares a post on the official Frontier forums. The patch notes are extra long; new and updated features include new ships, player-driven interdiction, fuel scooping from stars, asteroid mining, visual overhauls to planets, philanthropy missions, and an expanded game map with now over 2400 systems. Frontier has also added hundreds of audio tweaks and bug fixes. Players have continued reporting stability issues with the new patch.

This episode of beta, like the phases before it, is exclusive to those who've pre-purchased the game and beta access. Massively's Mike Foster spent September playing the game in beta 1 and had enough fun to say that he "would happily recommend it" but for the beta price tag.

We've included the new beta 3 trailer below.

Continue Reading

Destiny's The Dark Below expansion launches December 9th

Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Business Models, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Consoles, Dungeons, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

Destiny
The Dark Below, Destiny's first expansion -- sorry, "Expansion I" -- releases on December 9th, Bungie announced today. What's in store for players?
  • New weapons, armour and gear
  • A new Light Level cap of 32 with 5 additional Bounty slots
  • New story quests and missions revolving around a new character Eris and the Hive
  • A new co-op Strike called The Will of Crota (with a second co-op Strike, The Undying Mind, exclusive to PlayStation gamers for a year)
  • Three new competitive multiplayer arenas: Pantheon, Skyshock, and The Cauldron
  • And a new six-player Raid called Crota's End.
Bungie says the expansion will cost £19.99 standalone or £34.99 for a bundle that includes this expansion plus Expansion II. We've included a few of the new screenshots and concept art pieces below.

Continue Reading

EVE video dev diary talks Phoebe features

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

CCP has published a new dev diary video focused on EVE Online's upcoming Phoebe release. The clip runs for nearly seven minutes and features a who's who of current EVE devs talking about various bits and pieces scheduled to hit Tranquility on November 14th.

Phoebe features nullsec travel tweaks, an unlimited skill queue, a revamped invention system, mission objective guidance, and more. Click past the cut to watch the dev diary!

Continue Reading


Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW