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Lore

EVE Evolved: Stepping through the EVE Gate

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Expansions, Lore, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
Though EVE Online is often lauded for its rich decade-long player history full of wars and complex political dealings, the NPC storyline and New Eden's ancient backstory have always held my fascination. I started playing in early 2004 after reading dozens of fiction chronicles and mock scientific articles on the EVE website that painted the picture of a real living universe where incredible things could happen. Sure enough, my first years of play were punctuated with compelling live events and storyline arcs like the Crielere research project that led to the development of cloaking devices, the theft of a Federation Navy titan by Serpentis pirates, and the Blood Raiders taking over Delve.

CCP has frequently stated that its goal with EVE is to create the ultimate sci-fi simulator, and the core of a compelling sci-fi setting is a living universe that grows and changes. The best sci-fi TV shows are those with a constant cycle of revealing compelling mysteries and then solving them and of encountering escalating challenges to be overcome. EVE has done this extremely well a few times in its life, such as with the release of wormholes or when the Sansha incursions events were kicking off, and each time the concurrent player numbers have spiked. Guild Wars 2 has shown the power of an evolving living storyline to get people into the game and keep them actively playing in the long term, something that should be the norm for MMOs and that EVE Online could take much greater advantage of.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at some of the big NPC mysteries revealed in EVE Online's decade-long history and ask why they were abandoned and where they could go now.

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Warlords of Draenor's Talador is at the heart of the Draenei civilization

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Lore, Dev Diaries, Subscription

wow
World of Warcraft continues its exploration of the new zones of Warlords of Draenor, this time with the gorgeous land of Talador.

Talador is the predecessor to what eventually becomes Outland's Terokkar Forest, and while players will see familiar sights like Shattrath, it won't be quite as they remember. The area is a warzone as the Iron Horde has besieged it, and players must do all they can to push back the wave of invaders.

"Talador is home to the heart of Draenei civilization," Blizzard writes. "It is stunningly beautiful, and the zone has a palette of oranges, golds, and greens that make it incredibly vibrant. The zone really showcases the breadth of Draenei life: the sprawling trade hub of Shattrath, the massive mausoleum that is Auchindoun, the iconic city of Tuurem, the mythical Telmor (it does exist!), and so many others."

Camelot Unchained emphasizes horizontal progression, won't rule out story

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Lore, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Camelot Unchained

Welcome back to our coverage of City State Entertainment's batshit-crazy days for Camelot Unchained! A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being revealed this week via livestream; this afternoon, on the last and final day of BSC, let's tackle character power and progression.
Massively: We're curious about how, exactly, the vertical progression will keep new players competitive. After the initial rush, new players will spend a long time being less powerful than their player enemies. What exactly is the benefit to creating the equivalent of a long level grind in a PvP game that lacks PvE? Isn't the team worried that power discrepancy might cause newcomers to wash out the same way raid gear or levels might in a game with both PvE and PvP?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: Not at all. First, the horizontal nature of this game means that while the veteran player will have some scaling in his stats and abilities, the difference will be a lot less than in any MMORPG I've played. Please keep in mind one of the things I said during our Kickstarter, which is that I want a new player to be able to meet a veteran (just for example, say a six-month one) on the field in a 1:1 match. The new player needs to know he has a chance of either winning or at least putting up a good fight. Now, compare that to any other MMORPG that has meaningful PvP or RvR, and can you say the same thing? I know it wouldn't be true in any I have played.

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Elder Scrolls Online offers new guild heraldry

Fantasy, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Lore, Previews, News Items, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO
If you're excited for August's Elder Scrolls Online upcoming update, then today's ZeniMax devblog will be a welcome one... though not one that promises sweeping changes for the game. Specifically, the new post previews some of the new symbols that guilds can adopt as their official crests. "You'll probably recognize some of them, like the symbols for the Divines and the Daedric Princes," write the developers. "Combine these with even more crests, a huge color palette, and different tabard shapes, and your guild will have its own memorable look."

We've included the images below. See one you like?

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Lineage II's new expansion to launch on July 30

Fantasy, Lineage 2, Expansions, Lore, Free-to-Play

Lineage II
NCsoft has announced today that its classic fantasy MMO Lineage II will be launching its next expansion on July 30. Entitled Ertheia, this free expansion brings new hunting zones, new adventures, and reveals the lore that explains the arrival of the Ertheia race.

"As the last of Einhasad's four original races (Elves, Orcs, Dwarves, and Ertheia) enters the playing field, they will join forces with the other races and Heroes of Aden to save their world, all a part of the continuing saga within Lineage II's epic storyline," according to an NCsoft press release.

Check out the video after the cut for more information on Lineage II's Ertheia.

[Source: NCsoft press release]

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Flameseeker Chronicles: The true nature of Guild Wars 2's Sylvari

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

Honey, you've got a big storm comin'.
Remember last week, when I made a comment about how neat the little touches in Guild Wars 2's Gates of Maguuma release are? Stuff like a vine poking at a waypoint in Dry Top and making it spark? Hey, it was actually kind of cute! Aww, the big fella probably doesn't know what a waypoint is. Maybe he's hungry. Those aren't for snacking on, you silly vine.

Right. Well, hide your Miracle-Gro because more vines are now spreading eastward across the waypoint network. As of this writing they've gotten as far as Lion's Arch, which as we all know hasn't seen enough trouble lately. Some of them have even fully entangled the floating waypoint doodlehoppers, growing larger in the process. So I may have been right about the snack part, but that doesn't exactly bode well. What exactly is going on?

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The Division's director on gameplay, customization, and The Cleaners

Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Buy-to-Play

Ubisoft has released a video filmed at last month's E3 featuring The Division game director Ryan Barnard and a bunch of slick-looking footage. Barnard touches on gameplay, character customization, Clancy-style tech, and a group of baddies known as The Cleaners who take no prisoners when it comes to dealing with The Division's infected populace.

Click past the cut to have a look!

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Skyforge previews its Lanber Forest zone

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Lore, Previews, News Items, Dev Diaries, Skyforge

Skyforge
Obsidian and Mail.ru have just unveiled Lanber Forest, a key area in the companies' upcoming sci-fantasy MMO Skyforge. Lanber Forest was once "an oasis of pristine nature" distant from industry and politics but is now overrun with a dark evil awakened by a traitorous god, along with more mundane baddies like "looters, smugglers, [and] evil men, who have decided to cash in on the grief of others." That, of course, is where you come in.

Read on for the complete lore description and a few screenshots of the (damn pretty) zone.

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Guild Wars 2 launches Entanglement today

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Launches, Lore, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 fans, prepare yourselves for some tangly living world action today as ArenaNet launches Entanglement, episode two of the ongoing second season of the game's story content. Players will continue the established plot arc that has them joining a now-familiar cast of NPCs in the newly opened zone in the Maguuma Wastes.
The lethal, fast-growing vines that have plagued the Brisban Wildlands have begun to spread. Word reaches you of trouble in the town of Prosperity, where the asuran prodigy Taimi was left alone to research the threat. Get back to Prosperity, meet up with Braham, and check in on Taimi. [...] There are secrets hidden within the newly revealed area of Dry Top, just waiting to be discovered. Learn more about the mysterious denizens lurking beyond Prospect Valley and come face-to-face with never-before-seen foes. Follow the trail you picked up in the last release and continue your search for the ley line hub. Stay wary! In Dry Top, danger and discovery go hand in hand.
Don't forget that if you can't play the episode in the next two weeks, you can log into the game and save the episode for a later date.

ArenaNet has also released new screenshots for the event's launch; enjoy them below.

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Defiance drops patch 2.1 on Monday

Sci-Fi, Lore, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, Defiance

In the future, all transport will be done via ATV.
Ready to roll out into more Defiance content? You'll have to wait... until the weekend is over. Patch 2.1, Alter EGO, is going live on July 14th, bringing a new mission and two new factions into the game. The new mission helps keep the game's lore humming along and should provide plenty of interesting revelations, as players investigate the apparently resurrected Karl Von Bach and his newfound desire to just give EGO implants to whoever wants them.

Meanwhile, the two new factions are the Tarr Family and the Defiant Few; the latter faction is headed by Camden Pace and promises big rewards to anyone who aids her goals. Players are also promised a new mission line and a new arkbreak in the coming weeks. If that's just what you've been waiting for, load up your gun and get ready to roll out when Monday comes around.

[Thanks to Gaius Cavadus for the tip!]

Path of Exile comic books hint at upcoming expansion

Fantasy, Expansions, Lore, Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

path of exile
We all know that you haven't made it as a video game unless you're immortalized in a comic book. Path of Exile has joined that very select club as it announced today that it will be the focus of an official comic book mini-series.

The four upcoming Path of Exile graphic novels will be based on the lore of the game and penned by Dynamite Entertainment. The comics are slated for some time this summer and will be 22 pages apiece, with a compilation release in early 2015.

So other than the cool factor, why should players care? Well, not only will the comics feature a lead-in to the game's unannounced expansion, but each issue will have codes for in-game goodies such as cosmetics.

I saw a real Jedi in Star Wars: The Old Republic

Sci-Fi, Classes, Culture, Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, PvE, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, MMO Travelogue

This is a Consular's saber, but whatever
Let me tell you about this Jedi Guardian named Nayelii. She lives on Star Wars: The Old Republic's Ebon Hawk server. She could actually be a he, but the avatar (and the name) seemed female, so that's the pronoun I'm going with at the moment.

I say "seemed" because Nayelii was wearing hooded robes, it's fairly dark through most of the Kuat Drive Yards flashpoint, and I tend to play dungeons with my camera at max range. Anyway, that's all beside the point because last weekend Nayelii put on what is unequivocally the best tanking performance I've seen in all my years playing MMORPGs.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2's Gates of Maguuma is a leap forward

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

Skritt just got real.
A few months passed between season one of Guild Wars 2's living world story and the start of season two, and the first content release of the new arc was going to have to make a big splash, no matter what it turned out to contain. Fans grumbled warily about the chances of being asked to repair road signs for weeks while waiting for the meat of the story, and ArenaNet played its cards close to the vest. Teasers, speculation, and season one recaps were all we had to quench our thirst for GW2's second season. We were parched, moving endlessly through a vast wasteland of -- wait, there's a metaphor here. Hold on, it's coming to me.

Anyway, we've been delivered to an oasis: The Gates of Maguuma are open, and we've taken our first steps into a new region of Tyria. Along with several other media representatives, I was invited to take a developer-led tour of the new Dry Top zone and story content. Does it live up to the anticipation? The answer necessarily contains spoilers, so read on at your peril, mortal.

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Guild Wars 2 teases Entanglement, season two's next episode

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Events (In-Game), Lore, Patches, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

GW2
Have you played through Guild Wars 2's latest living story installment yet? No? Well, hurry up because episode 2 arrives next week on July 15th. It's called Entanglement, and its associated teaser video arrived in our inbox last night with merely this cryptic introduction:
There are secrets hidden within the newly revealed area of Dry Top, just waiting to be discovered. Continue your adventures in the Maguuma Wastes and take a stand alongside your fellow heroes against an ancient, growing threat.
Evil grows in the video below.

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Not So Massively: Destiny's beta, The Witcher's MOBA, and the IeSF's gender ban fiasco

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Lore, Previews, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Transformers Universe, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Hearthstone

NSM
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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