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Lore

Star Trek Online drops a Delta Rising trailer, new ship tier [Updated]

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Lore, Previews, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Subscription

THANKS, JANEWAY.
The Delta Quadrant in Star Trek Online isn't a pleasant place. It's filled with many threats, some familiar to players already (the Borg and the Voth spring to mind) and others heretofore unseen. Delta Rising is going to bring players into contact with this violent region of space, and the newest trailer for the expansion shows that players will find no shortage of enemies -- including many races that had faced off against the USS Voyager years earlier.

Players who watch the trailer can catch several familiar locations and enemies from Star Trek Voyager, including some minor enemies such as the Vaadwaur. Click on past the break to view the trailer in all its glory. It doesn't have a whole lot of story provided just yet, but it serves as a clear indication that the quadrant hasn't gotten any friendlier since the last time Starfleet visited.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Taking command in Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

I hope you're not tired of my Elementalist yet, because I'm not tired of taking screenshots of her.
Last week, ArenaNet wrapped up Guild Wars 2's two-parter story arc, The Dragon's Reach. It's a doozy, especially since part one of the chapter was, in my opinion, the weakest of the living world story's second season so far. It wasn't bad, mind you; it just didn't leave me staring at my calendar in thwarted anticipation the way previous installments did.

Part two brings that feeling back, which is almost too bad since we're going to be waiting until autumn for the story to start up again. In the meantime, we've got a bunch of stuff to talk about, so jump past the cut -- but only if you're cool with spoilers for pretty much everything.

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Destiny shows off a Venus trailer

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Lore, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Destiny

I like this version a lot better than the sulfurous wasteland version.  Better wi-fi, for one thing.
What lurks beneath the cloudy exterior of Venus? In the real world, a blighted hellscape that's about as conducive to human life as the heart of a nuclear reactor. In Destiny, though, it's a lush landscape full of ruins, plant life, and stunning vistas, though considering the large number of gun-toting robots that appear to be popping out of the woodwork, one suspects it might not be all that comfortable for humans just the same.

Yes, the latest Destiny trailer is giving a quick peek at the planet, and while it's not replete with detailed information, it's enough of a tease to get fans excited. Click on past the break to see the planet for yourself before the game launches on September 9th.

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Leaderboard: What the heck is Guild Wars 2's Pale Tree?

Fantasy, Polls, Lore, Guild Wars 2, Races, Leaderboard, Buy-to-Play

I've heard of Mad King Thorn, but this is ridiculous.
Since Guild Wars 2's humble beginnings, players have been debating the exact nature of the seemingly benevolent Pale Tree, an entity who has acted as a mother to the playable Sylvari race. Season two of the living world story has been throwing more fuel on this particular fire with almost every chapter, and this week's release of The Dragon's Reach: Part Two is no exception.

Since ArenaNet has announced a mid-season break in the story, it seems like a good time to cast our votes once and for all and ensure bragging rights for those of us who turn out to be correct. What's your favorite explanation for the existence of the Pale Tree? Click past the break to vote (but be warned that while this poll is spoiler-free, the comments may not be)!

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Star Trek Online highlights the path of Voyager

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Lore, Previews, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Subscription

You're allowed to start humming the theme song, really.
Captain Kathryn Janeway led the crew of the USS Voyager across the Delta Quadrant, traveling 70,000 lightyears in seven years and encountering a variety of species and phenomena during the journey. Star Trek Online's next expansion, Delta Rising, is retracing her steps, bringing players back into the Delta Quadrant to explore both strange new worlds and ascertain the fate of the known ones. The most recent development blog takes a look at Voyager's journey through the region as well as where players will wind up relative to that lengthy trip.

The expansion will cover a region of space starting at the Nekrit Expanse and extending toward the Alpha Quadrant, including encounters with races heretofore unseen in Star Trek Online such as the Kazon, the Ocampa, and the Talaxians. Players will also encounter the Borg Cooperative (a splinter group from the Collective) and the Benthan Guard, as well as a mysterious adversary that's harassing the entire region and giving every race pause. Whether you want to see the long-term effects of the Borg's failed Alpha Quadrant invasion or just pick up a Talaxian officer to handle your ship's mess hall, it seems you'll be getting the chance.

Elder Scrolls Online's 'Tales of the Dead' contest seeks storytellers

Fantasy, Contests, Culture, Events (Real-World), Lore, Roleplaying, The Elder Scrolls Online, Player-Generated Content, Subscription

ESO
If you've spent even an hour in an Elder Scrolls RPG, you're certain to have stumbled into one of the iconic corpse-and-letter storytelling scenes created by the writers and world builders. This week, ZeniMax is giving Elder Scrolls Online players the chance to join in the fun via a contest titled Tales of the Dead, which asks gamers to put pen to paper in the service of describing this cheerful scene:
To participate, take a good look at the image [above]. Then, create your own fictional entry of 500 words or less that tells us more about the scene. You can write a short story, a journal entry, or any other kind of fictional text that sheds more light on what happened to cause this grim tableau. Once you're happy with your creation, post it in the contest entry thread.

We'll start accepting entries today, August 11th, and will close the contest this Friday, August 15th at 11:59PM EDT. If you're one of the three winners we announce on August 29th, you'll receive a $25 electronic gift certificate to the Bethesda Store and an ESO t-shirt of your choosing!
The complete rules are available on the ESO forums. Good luck topping A Falling Wizard!

2001's RuneScape announces its first-ever expansion

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Launches, Lore, Patches, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Sandbox

RuneScape
Who says old games never get new content? Jagex has just announced Lost City of the Elves, the first expansion pack ever for 13-year-old sandbox MMO RuneScape. The expansion, which is being rolled out gradually beginning today, will bring to conclusion the long-running Elf Quest campaign and mark the start of a new adventure, Plague's End:
"From today, high level players can begin their journey towards Prifddinas by taking part in the new and epic Plague's End quest, the largest adventure in RuneScape to date. As well as being voted by RuneScape players as part of the game's Player Power initiative, the development of the Lost City of the Elves has seen considerable collaborative efforts between Jagex and the community throughout its creation. The expansion pack is being released in three parts to enable players to experience and enjoy all areas of the new content. Today's release of Plague's End will be followed by the unlocking of one half of the elf city in September, and the second half in October."
The expansion also includes new skill training methods, wearables, minigames, a "guild social hub," and the largest city in the game to date.

[Source: Jagex press release]

The Daily Grind: Which created-for-an-MMO fantasy setting is your favorite?

Fantasy, Lore, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge, Sandbox

I spent some time getting familiar with ArcheAge's backstory over the weekend, and it ain't half bad as far as these things go. Some of it may change in the translations from Korean to English, but overall I enjoyed the tale of the 12 companions interwoven with vignettes about fallen gods and angels, the gates of hell, and the dawning of a new age.

Which brings me to this morning's Daily Grind. Which created-for-an-MMO fantasy setting is your favorite and why?

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!

EVE Evolved: Capital ships ruined nullsec

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Guilds, Lore, PvP, Endgame, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription

EVE Evolved title image
All throughout EVE Online's lifetime, compelling stories of incredible events, daring heists, and colossal battles with thousands of players have periodically surfaced and spread across the gaming media like wildfire. Most of the recent stories have been about record-breaking battles between huge alliances of players in the lawless depths of null-security space, and each one has been met with an influx of new players who want to participate. The surprising truth behind nullsec warfare, however, is that many of those on the front lines are simply fed up with the political state of the game.

In EVE's early years, the map was split between hundreds of small alliances, each of which slowly expanded its influence by conquering the star systems bordering its space. Skirmishes and pirate incursions were brief and commonplace, while border wars over territory were long and protracted affairs. Today's nullsec is a different animal entirely, with nearly the entire map carved up between two colossal mega-coalitions of alliances (N3/PL and CFC), each one internally held in a state of perpetually monotonous peace. No alliance in a coalition can break away and stand on its own for fear of being demolished by the others, and so all of nullsec is at peace with its neighbours and bored to tears by it.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I examine how nullsec got to the state it's in now and why it's badly in need of an overhaul.

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EverQuest Next unveils a new lore eBook

Fantasy, Lore, News Items, EverQuest Next, Sandbox

Spot the ridiculous parts of her outfit; we lost count at twelve.
While Landmark has been the star of the show lately (being in very open and active testing), EverQuest Next is still humming along behind the scenes. A new eBook has just been released for players looking to get a headstart on lore for the game. "From Ash Comes Fire" focuses on twins dealing with the events following the Dragon War, a major conflict detailed in previous eBooks for the game.

If you're not a dedicated fan the overall importance of the sweep of events might be lost on you, but you can still enjoy the story. It also offers a peek at the formation of the Ashen Order, which will have great importance in the main game's storylines. You can grab the novella now if you're interested.

Obsidian explains Skyforge's class-swapping system

Fantasy, Screenshots, Classes, Game Mechanics, Lore, Previews, News Items, Dev Diaries, MMORPG, Skyforge

Skyforge
Obsidian and My.com are back today with another new Skyforge dev diary, this one a lengthy explanation of the game's class system. Skyforge allows class-swapping that will remind players a bit of RIFT: You'll pick a base class and then unlock intermediate and advanced classes as you play, swapping your current played class along the way. Check out the team's full explanation!

Skyforge: Classes

Many people have made the observation that the Skyforge class system is non-traditional and unique for an MMORPG. Our decision to design our class system this way was influenced by changes we see in gamers. In recent years we've seen a change in the way people play games, specifically, with the new found popularity of MOBA games. They have fast become the most popular online games and are consistently beating records for participation in various tournaments.

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NCsoft launches Lineage II's Ertheia expansion today

Fantasy, Galleries, Video, Lineage 2, Classes, Expansions, Lore, Patches, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Races, Dungeons

L2
Lineage II's latest expansion, Ertheia, launches today, bringing with it a new race (the Ertheia), two new classes (Ertheia Fighter and Ertheia Wizard), a new racial skill (Alchemy), new stats (Charisma and Luck), a level 99 instance (The Dimensional Barrier), and two new hunting zones for -- you guessed it -- Ertheia characters.

Former players can take advantage of a welcome-back promotion that includes a pack of goodies for veteran characters and a free mount for freshly rolled toons.

We've included some concept art as well as videos describing the lore and new classes below.

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Get the full story of Warcraft in 40 minutes

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Lore, Subscription

wow
The story of Warcraft is large, if I'm in the mood to be understating the real truth. If you feel overwhelmed by the decades of lore that Blizzard's built up around the game and have only scratched the surface of who did what and why this is here, then we have a way to help you get a handle on it all.

In just a little over 40 minutes, an annotated video covers the highlights of the entire Warcraft timeline and universe. Even without going into great depth, it's an excellent crash course for the aspiring loremaster. It's too bad you don't get an achievement once you've mastered it! You can give it a watch after the break.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Introducing Guild Wars 2's Dragon's Reach

Fantasy, Interviews, Lore, Patches, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

Can this sharktoothed flopears gnaw through Mordremoth's vines?! Stay tuned!
Today's edition of the Flameseeker Chronicles is a little bit special. We've got the teaser trailer for Guild Wars 2's next living world release, The Dragon's Reach: Part One. We've got some sweet screenshots provided by ArenaNet to feast your peepers on: aw, yeah. And if that's not enough, I got the chance to chat with Associate Game Director Steven Waller about next week's episode. Check out the video, and then read on!

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DC Universe Online highlights the creation of Batman

Super-hero, Video, Lore, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, DC Universe Online

Batman created by Bill Finger, credit swiped by Bob Kane.
It's been 75 years since Batman's creation, and that means everyone is talking about the Dark Knight. More than usual, even. DC Universe Online has gotten in on the action with a series of short videos exploring how Gotham's protector was brought into the game, what players can do to really feel like a part of the bat-family, and what the future holds for everyone's favorite nocturnal billionaire aside from beating up clowns.

The videos feature artist Jim Lee, voice actor Kevin Conroy, and various members of the DCUO development team looking at every aspect of the character in the game. There are three different videos past the break, but each one is fairly short -- you can watch them all at once or take them in chunks, whichever you'd prefer. It's a great dose of bat-nostalgia for fans of the game.

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